The Art of Excellence: 15 Grand Slam Titles
by Dan Martin | July 8th, 2009, 3:10 pm
  • 367 Comments

Five Quick Thoughts on Wimbledon 2009

1. 16-14 in the fifth set is pretty amazing. Tennis in the 5th set is better than any sport (I am biased, but I am right).


2. Andy Roddick and Roger Federer proved tennis can be played at a faster pace. Not that we don’t all love ritualistic behavior or a lot of bounces before the service toss, but it was nice to see a tennis match move along between points even if the points were at times quite quick.

3. The Women’s draw served up the best possible final pairing it could. The result? An awkward match between 2 sisters and best friends, and a Centre Court crowd that was quiet. The WTA has to wonder how smaller events will attract fans if Serena vs. Venus at Wimbledon was so anti-climactic.

4. The Williams Sisters winning in doubles and being champion and runner-up in singles has capped a nice 54 weeks for the family. Venus and Serena won Wimbledon doubles titles in 2008 and 2009, added an Olympic Gold Medal in 2009 and an Australian Open doubles title in 2009. Serena winning 3 of the previous 4 majors helps re-categorize her career. Venus has always had a game with more hitches that was more likely to break down. Serena could have been viewed as having squandered a lot of talent, but now I view her career more like Andre Agassi’s. Each did lose a few years, but in the end Serena is carving a nice spot for herself in tennis history. Venus is among the best grass court players ever.

5. Andy Roddick deserves to be accepted by the mainstream non-tennis U.S. Sports media as a nationally significant figure. The mainstream sports media in the U.S. has never quite warmed up to Roddick due to not winning as often as Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, or Pete Sampras. Roddick is a stalwart for Davis Cup, he’s been a top 10 player for the majority of a decade and a top 5 player for many years.

The Match

I don’t want to rehash the 3rd consecutive 5 set championship thriller produced on the men’s side of the draw. The first 2 sets felt a lot like the 2000 Wimbledon final. Sampras was aiming for his record 13th major title. Patrick Rafter won a 1st set tiebreaker when Sampras missed a few serves and made a nervous double fault. Rafter then raced to a lead in the second set tie breaker only to let Sampras level the match. Each player won a set the other likely should have. Rafter went away after the second set in 2000. Roddick did not in 2009. In a sense, the match resembled Goran Ivanisevic in 1998 missing a few returns to take the second set only to rally in the fourth and fall in the fifth to a man who beat him in the 1994 final and 1995 semifinal round. One can only hope Roddick has a similar cathartic Wimbledon experience to Goran’s 2001 title run.

This was a great match. I can only say Roddick went the distance, and Roger won the crown.

The one thing I felt was odd about this great match was the side story. At tennis’ most hallowed grounds, the former masters of the sport sat to watch history being made. Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, and Pete Sampras sitting in the Royal Box gave a fatalistic tone to the match. These former high priests of tennis looked on stoically to see if Roger Federer could add something new to the pantheon of the sport. If Roddick had won, would these three have shown up every time Roger reached a Grand Slam final? It was great to have them there, but I had an eerie feeling about the match from the outset.

15 is Hard to Fathom

As a kid I loved tennis. I would read about it, play, check scores in the morning newspaper, and of course watch tennis whenever I could. Being born in 1975, I did not have the internet for looking up facts, figures, anecdotes and trivia about this great sport. Although, I have always thought TENNIS Magazine was too slow in its circulation to cover the professional tours well, I loved getting the yearbook issue every December. Somewhere buried in that issue was a list of all of the Grand Slam winners: male, female, singles, doubles, and even mixed doubles for every year back to the inception of these events. I would pour over the data to find interesting things such as Jimmy Connors two Grand Slam doubles titles. I would circle results and count various titles. I thought it was cool to look at 1988 and see Steffi Graf’s name across all four champion lines. I remember thinking Connors’ 5 U.S. Open titles were unreal, but also wondered how good Bill Tilden must have been with his 7 U.S. Championships. Each year it was nice to see what Mats Wilander or Ivan Lendl or Boris Becker or Steffi Graf added to their respective legacies in relation to other greats.

Excellence is an Art

Today that information is all quite accessible and easily sorted. Still, I can’t help but feel like a kid again when I consider Australian Open titles in 2004, 2006, 2007, a French Open title in 2009, Wimbledon titles in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 and U.S. Open titles in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. The sheer numbers are unreal.

After the championship match ended Sampras was interviewed in front of the board of champions, I could see his name on the board over and over again. I just thought “Wow, what a champion!” I am 33 now and life is more complex. One of the fun things about sports for me today is that I as an average player and lifelong fan can see people do something I love at the highest level. Longevity is an added bonus. There is something enlivening about seeing a person do something exceptionally well over a number of years. Aristotle said it best when he said, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

The sublime, the aesthetic, and the excellent, are things to appreciate even in athletics, and Roger Federer, playing against the best tennis players in the world, has been generally excellent and somewhere between really good and otherworldly every week since July 2003. In 7 years, he posted 15 major titles. Fans of tennis in the future can look at the data electronically and think, “I know today’s number 1 is great, but what about this guy who won all 4 majors at least once, won 5 U.S. Opens in a row and 6 Wimbledon titles in 7 years? He must have been something.”


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367 Comments for The Art of Excellence: 15 Grand Slam Titles

huh Says:

Excellent article as usual by Dan Martin. Kudos to him!


MMT Says:

“If Roddick had won, would these three have shown up every time Roger reached a Grand Slam final?”

I think it had more to do with Wimbledon than #15, to be honest, although both were factor, because I don’t recall them sitting together at RG when he hit 14, but a bunch of the great Aussie’s were in Melbourne this year when he lost to Nadal.

BTW – both Serena Williams and Federer currently hold 3 of the last 4 slams. Another interesting fact – in the span of just over a month, Nadal has gone from holding 3 of 4 slam titles to 1, while Federer has gone from holding 1 to 3 of 4. How quickly the landscape changes in tennis.

As for Roddick – I hold the guy in very high regard both as a player and a person (despite some problems I have with his behavior here and there) but I don’t think he deserves to be revered in the same way as these other giants of American tennis – he just doesn’t have the record, and at the end of the day, to the victor (and only the victor) go the spoils.


I like tennis bullies Says:

is there a way to test for federer’s blood doping?


mem Says:

i like tennis bullies, you’re barking up the wrong tree, haven’t you learned by now that federer is the exception, only nadal and other players are capable of using performance-enhancing drugs. federer is beyond reproach, you should know that! have you ever read or heard anyone say that federer was awaken at his home to be tested. no, and you never will, because you don’t test perfect people!


Jugadora de Tenis Says:

Doping? Didn’t we cover this in the other thread under Sean’s article? Great article Dan!


SG Says:

agreed. excellent article. Federer deserves a great deal of admiration for his period of dominance (…which is still ongoing). Roddick deserves the admiration for not only the way he played, but the way he handled the disappointment afterward.

It’s pretty awesome that in 20 years from now, there’s going to be some kid who loves tennis, looking through the record books the way we did and marvelling at Federer’s record in this era. Just as I did when I saw Borg’s record in the 70′s and early 80′s. Dan, you are right on the money!


Dan Martin Says:

SG yeah looking at Borg’s stuff was impressive.


Jugadora de Tenis Says:

1 way to look at 15 majors is to think how many greats you can combine and in what order to get 15. Edberg + Becker + Guga = 15 or McEnroe + Lendl = 15 or Borg + Courier = 15 or Sampras + Moya = 15 It is kind of fun


Green Balls Says:

On the topic of the lack of interest in the women’s final…I was disinterested because they’re sisters. It’s great that they both made it to the finals because they were both deserving of getting there, but I just feel deep down that it really doesn’t matter too much to one or the other who would come out the winner, because it stays in the family.

I’ve got some nice seats for the Roger’s Cup women’s final here in Toronto this August so hopefully I’ll get to watch something that isn’t a snoozer…don’t know I prefer watching the quallies and early rounds personally but hey sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.


SG Says:

Borg didn’t even really play the AO much back in those days. Hard to say how many of those he could have racked up. If I remember correctly, the AO was the last major played during Borg’s time. If he had latched on to a couple of USO’s, he may have shown up more in Australia. The AO has really gained relevance by moving to January. You can’t win a calendar slam without it anymore. Back in the 70′s are early 80′s, it was kind of looked at as being on a lower tier than the other 3 majors. I don’t know much about how the AO was run 30 years ago, but now, it is first class all the way from a state of the are facility to a surface that pretty much puts everyone on a level playing field. Hard to say how AO’s Borg would have had he entered. Even harder to believe that the Mark Edmonson’s of the world could win a major with Borg around. Was Borg at the event when Edmonson won?


SG Says:

some typos in my last post…excusez moi.


Skorocel Says:

Green Balls: “On the topic of the lack of interest in the women’s final…I was disinterested because they’re sisters. It’s great that they both made it to the finals because they were both deserving of getting there, but I just feel deep down that it really doesn’t matter too much to one or the other who would come out the winner, because it stays in the family.”

Completely agree.


mem Says:

Dan Martin, if i were lucky enough to have the draws and schedules federer has had, i would be injury-free and able to win 15 or 20 majors too. then throw in the players who have the game to beat him, but don’t have the guts. roger played one top ten player (del potro) enroute to the french open title and he played one top ten player (roddick) enroute to the wimbledon final. does that mean that his path was so tough until no one really knew if he would win? please! all of this crap about what he has done being beyond anything, anyone has ever seen is sheer exaggeration! there are other factors to consider! i respect his achievements, but my goodness, how far will you guys go to make him appear greater than he actually is! so, this is what tennis has come too; promoting a false sense of federer’s superiority!


jane Says:

Dan says “Tennis in the 5th set is better than any sport (I am biased, but I am right).”

I agree; I am a diehard for 5 setters. Whenever it gets there, the drama escalates ten-fold because it’s like a whole new match but with all the blood, sweat and tears it took to get there.

I suppose sudden-death over-time in hockey or whatever is similar, but the fact that tennis is 2 individuals, with all their weaknesses and strengths on display, amps it up even higher in mind. The best!

Thanks for your article Dan; always a pleasure to read. And it almost goes without saying that what Federer has achieved is nothing short of remarkable.


Joe W Says:

Dan – enjoyed the piece. I still have a few copies of Tennis magazine from the eighties. The covers include Tim Mayotte, Becker, Edberg, Connors. And I couldn’t wait until they arrived in the mail. I grew up in Wash DC and for a city of its size, there weren’t real world ATP facilities until the Fitzgerald Center was built in 88 (its now a HC tour stop in July). Being a tennis fan, I got to finally attend a real pro tournament. The first match I ever saw was Becker vs Brad Gilbert and Gilbert won! Brad junk balled Boris to death. I remember thinking at the time how is this guy beating becker with his type of game? In 94 had front row box seats next to Brooke Shields and we watched her husband eventually lose to Edberg. I turned 30 that year and have not returned since. Yes life is more complex after 30.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘mem Says:
Dan Martin, if i were lucky enough to have the draws and schedules federer has had, i would be injury-free and able to win 15 or 20 majors too.’

if you were ‘lucky’ to face Roddick’s bombs for 4 hours, you may be in ER after getting hit by his serves…I understand that you are getting annoyed with all the over-reaction in praising him to divine levels. But you are overreacting in other direction and dismissing his wins and more so, his opponents in the process.


Dan Martin Says:

Mem,

I am a huge college basketball fan. The 64 team (now 65) team draw throws out that teams need to win 6 games in a row to be national champion. Over the years many brackets get busted and a top team slips up versus someone. That is half the fun of a single elimination sport. In tennis you have to win 7 matches due to the draw being 128 players. We could beat this to death. Ivan Lendl beat Pernfors at the 1986 FO when Wilander had beaten him in the 1985 final. Pete Sampras was courageous after the foot injury in 2000 but also got Justin Gimelstob, Jan Michael Gambil and Vladamir Vlotchkov after the injury to reach the final (not exactly murderers row). In fact Pete only beat 1 top ten player to win Wimbledon in 2000 (Rafter). Goran and Rafter both let a very makable 2 set to love lead slide away vs. Pete in 1998 and 2000. Agassi had to play Hewitt in the later semi in 2002 when Sampras got Sjeng Shalken in the earlier semifinal. Yevgeny Kafelnikov won the 1999 Aussie Open and Pete skipped it that year to recharge from burnout. We can go back and use an eraser in the history books, but I think all we can deal with is who won the tournament and winning 7 3 out of 5 matches is not easy. Consider that Agassi lost to Clement at the U.S. Open in 2000 or that Guga as the #1 seed lost to Wayne Arthurs in the first round of the US Open in 2001. Sampras lost at the 1994 U.S. Open to Jaime Ygaza in the round of 16 when he looked to be the biggest favorite imaginable. Jaime Ygaza?!?!? Upsets are part of single elimination sports and to point out that Roger manages to avoid upsets the other top 5 players have makes Roger consistent at winning – the point of sports where people keep score.


zola Says:

Dan,
nice piece.

I think this sentence of yours summed up the match in an excellent way:

***Roddick went the distance, and Roger won the crown***

I also agree that Roddick needs to be recognized more by the media. I have been in deep water criticizing his on-court manners sometimes, but what a determination on his part to get together with a new coach, work on his fitness, work on his game and stay with the best of the best till the last point. He deserves nothing by admiration and hopefully a GS title.

I think it will be years before anyone can break Fed’s record of 15 majors. Again, I am not a Fed fan but he needs to be acknowleged by hanging in there suring the tough times and getting back on track. He could have lost motivation very easily.

WTA is nowhere close to the ATP in its depth. Credit to Serena and Venus for making it interesting. For me WTA is getting a bit better with these new faces like Safina, Azarenka, Wozniacki…and the oldies who are playing better ( Dimentieva) and those who will hopefully be back ( Sharapova, Dokic…).


Dan Martin Says:

This quote from Pete Sampras really more or less sums up my thought on what the draw looks like etc.
“… My major goal was to hold up that trophy at the end, and I didn’t want anything to get in the way of that….”
- Pete Sampras

I don’t get the sense that Sampras ever thought holding the trophy is not going to mean much because player X or Y got beat before the final round. He wanted the hardware for his trophy case and my guess is every other elite player has liked holding trophies or biting trophies no matter what happens on a side of the draw in which they are not playing.


zola Says:

oh, I forgot…

Add me to the fans of the fifth set too and no tie-breaks!

I was in a workout during the final. I thought the match was over. I had left it at the end of 4th set! My coach came to me after an hour and said it is 11-11! I couldn’t believe it. It was 14-14 when I left and came home to see it was over!

btw, which GSs have a tie-break in the fifth set?


Jugadora de Tenis Says:

My favorite player ever Carlos Moya was defending champion at the French in 1999 and was up a set and 4-1 in the second to Agassi. It killed me to see him lose. Agassi gets credit for winning even if Moya had him beat and let him off the hook. Same thing with Roger. I love Spanish players, but he can’t control how Rafa’s knee tendons are feeling. If Federer can, then he is a James Bond villian. Was Federer supposed to also withdraw? In Paris Roger played a lot of tough players to win the title. Monaco is strong on clay, Paul Henri Mathieu is very fit and hits hard, Haas has had a good career, Monfils nearly beat Federer in 2008, Del Potro is good and Soderling obviously played well to beat Ferrer (pobre cito David), Rafa, Davydenko and Gonzalez.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘btw, which GSs have a tie-break in the fifth set?’

Only the US open.


zola Says:

I can’t deny that I have felt many times that Fed had the easier draw.

But the point of being number one or winning a trophy is to be better than the rest in the field, not a selected bunch.

But there is an easy fix for this ongoing draw discussion. A fixed draw ( I am going to patent it!)

I mean the ATP can have a fixed draw by the rankings. (1 vs 64, 2 vs 63, ..etc.). Then the players will work on their rankings because they do not want to end up say in Rafa or Fed’s first round match and no one can then say there is a fix in the draw!


NachoF Says:

zola,
You missed the Wimbledon final?….for a workout?? are you kidding me?


zola Says:

tennisontherocks,
thanks!

Jugadora de Tenis,
Moya is one of my favorites too. Not just tennis, looks as well!
Yep, players do what they have to do. They can’t shut down a tournament because the champion has lost or withdrawn. Of course we have to ask Sean too. He has a very specific opinion about those who “collect” the trophy when the champion is out ! (Sean, just kidding!)


zola Says:

NachoF

I know! shame on me!
The worse is that I left it at 2-2! I think I couldn’t take the excitement!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Borg was my favorite player of all time. None of the current players stack up. Don’t really care who wins the events.

He won the FO and Wimbledon back to back for 3 straight years 1978,1979,1980. He Played the AO, only once. In those days it was barely a grand slam and a forgotten tournament. Hell, Brian Teacher won it. Who’s that?

Had he played a little longer and the AO he would have captured more than 15 slams for sure.

Not Federer’s or Sampras’s fault but had Borg known how much of a big deal the slam numbers would turn out to be, I’m sure he would have played longer and the AO. Seeing him in the stands, watching Federer garner all this attention he must have been thinking “I wasted it, could have done more”. Borg looked a little sad.

Federer is smart in this regard. He knows he’ll have plenty of time to sit back and review his great career. He’s not wasting anytime or years. He’s going to play until he can’t win slams anymore. Not one of these atheletes who retires and then un-retires endlessly after getting bored.
He knows the window is now. Seize it, why he can.


Jugadora de Tenis Says:

My husband may not like this but Moya is the whole reason I started watching tennis. 1997 Australian Open semi vs. Chang I was like “mmmm-mmm who is that?” Moya and Safin ………. :)


sensationalsafin Says:

Only the US Open has a TB in the fifth.


zola Says:

Jugadora de Tenis,
***
My husband may not like this but Moya is the whole reason I started watching tennis. 1997 Australian Open semi vs. Chang I was like “mmmm-mmm who is that?” Moya and Safin ………. :)
***

confessions of a female tennis fan!

I agree with your list, plus Pat Rafter!


zola Says:

sensationalsafin,

thanks to you too.

I wonder if US Open would change its policy. Nothing like a thrilling 5th set.


Andrew MIller Says:

I agree with Mr. Martin and his take, 100 percent. It was quite troubling to me to see all the Wimbledon champions on the sidelines, plus Boris Becker commenting (he had said Roddick did not ‘believe’ enough) – frankly, it was a little upsetting to me to see Pete Sampras in the stands, clearly pulling for Roger Federer out of the promise he had made.

That said…I like how Roddick said before the semifinals he would think that the crowds chanting “Andy” were chanting for him, and that he wanted to give himself as many chances in the final as possible. I think he definitely accomplished that.

And I think he can pull it off – pull of a W. in another Grand Slam final. I like it how he truly never gave up or gave in – the last game was tough to see, but heck it was the 30th game of the set! I think all of those speak more than Boris Becker, to the fact that Roddick wouldnt have made the final or played a historic match, if he didnt believe in the possibility of taking the title.


Joe W Says:

Consider that Tiger Woods loses 2/3 of the tournaments he enters. Fed’s career win % is 93% and golf is more of a skill set than a sport.


mem Says:

Dan Martin, thanks for your response, but i’m familiar with how the sport of tennis works, and i’m perfectly aware that consistency is the name of the game, but did you and your colleagues linger endlessly on the topic when rafa won 81 consecutive clay court matches, which will probably never be duplicated in the history of tennis. did you glorify rafa day in and day out for such an incredible feat? did you ever go on and on and on about how near-impossible this was to pull off. rather than discuss the scope of rafa’s achievements on clay, you guys made it about roger; how roger was the one to end rafa’s run in hamburg. what is so astonishing is how transparent and blatantly bias you guys are in your promotion of roger federer. personally, i don’t care what you write about roger and who chooses to believe it, but what i have problem with you beating around the bush; if there is a consensus among you guys to promote roger, why don’t you just say it! i’m sure no one will be surprise!


Jugadora de Tenis Says:

Zola how could I forget Rafter? Best with the samurai hair.


Cindy_Brady Says:

A golf tournament is much harder to win than a tennis tournament.

Tiger Woods accomplishments are far superior to Federer’s.

In Golf you must beat the entire field yourself. In tennis, you only play a small % of the field to win. Many of the best players eliminate each other.


Dan Martin Says:

Mem,

I am not sure who my colleagues are. I don’t get paid to do this. I do think Rafa’s clay court streak is freakish and he deserves tons of credit for it. Winning 5 Monte Carlo titles, 4 Rome titles, 5 Barcelona titles, 1 hamburg title and of course the 4 consecutive French Open titles is never going to happen over 5 year period again.

I think I have been really fair to Rafa in my writing. It is hard to be focusing on him right now due to him not playing this year. Still, he is a warrior and among the best ever in my mind.


Tennis Freak Says:

Mem’
“Roger played one top ten player (del Potro) en route to the French Open title, and he played one top ten player (Roddick) en route to the Wimbledon final….a false sense of Federer’s superiority!”

Even if I were to use your measuring rod, Fed played 30 top 10 players on his route to the 15 Slam titles, and Rafa played 10 top ten in his 6 titles. Your scale of top ten puts Fed above Rafa: Fed’s share of top ten averaging 2 per Slam and Rafa averaging 1.6 a Slam.

Ideally, a player can face up to 3 top ten players on his route to the final, (exceptionally 4?). Fed met 3 top ten players three times on his route to the Slam titles. Rafa never had to face 3 top ten players in his route to any of his 6 titles. Twice Rafa faced only 1 top ten player in the same period; Fed 4 times. Looking at the number of Slam titles, Rafa’s percentage of facing more than 1 top ten player is less than Fed’s. In other words, Rafa met 33% of the times just 1 top ten player; Fed 26.6%.

But, imo, that’s not how it works. In a lot of Slams, one or more players below top 10 turn out to be hotter than top ten players. Take for examples Baghdatis, Tsonga, Verdasco, Soderling, to name a few. At other times, top ten players are upset in early rounds.

Where is the “false sense of Federer’s superiority”?


sensationalsafin Says:

Federer played 2 top tenners in the FO. And it’s not his fault. In most slam wins, the champ usually plays no more than 2 top tenners. Look at Nadal’s slams, too. Although, in the 07 USO, Fed beat numbers 5, 4, and 3 consecutively to win the tourny. That’s 3 top fivers!!


sensationalsafin Says:

Yeah, Tennis Freak. I’m guessing you looked up those numbers because I just mentioned what I remembered from the top of my head. But I was vying for the same counter to mem.

I think for most slam champs, the average is around 2 top tenners per slam. It just seems to work out that way most of the time. Maybe it was more when there was only 16 seeds. I’m too lazy to look it up, plus the ATP might just have N/A instead of the ranking anyway -_-

But what are you gonna do? Why does praising Federer automatically mean Nadal’s being insulted? It’s not like Dan or anyone else has written, because Federer is so great Nadal sucks. If anything, because Federer is so great that must mean Nadal is incredibly great, too. Jeez.


Tennisfan Says:

… half the players on the golf tour would have heart attacks if they had to play a 5 set tennis match … golf is a sport “sort of” … like bowling outdoors :)


Dan Martin Says:

Joe those old issues of Tennis Magazine were pretty cool. I remember one where they talked about on a big point how Steffi and Boris were a new breed who wanted their opponent not to double fault because they loved the pressure. I mean how did the author know this? Jimmy Connors in 1987 more candid than ever was another good one. The author described Connors having a foot that looked like it belonged in a MASH unit (in vivid detail) and Connors calling it his good foot due to the other one having bone spurs in the heel.


Tennis Freak Says:

Correction: Fed actually faced 3 top tenners 4 times (’04 USO, ’06 USO, ’07 USO, and ’07 AO).


Dan Martin Says:

I am pretty sure my colleague David Tench settles this whole thing here in an interview with patrick Rafter –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZ3_okc4uo0

Whomever you like best this is this is funny unless maybe you are a Hewitt fan


Tennis Freak Says:

Sensationalsafin,

My correction owes to you, because I went back and double checked after reading your post.

My earlier post was spontaneous response. Habitually, I pay attention to the reasoning and supporting arguments to the main thesis. As soon as I read Mem’s post, it intrigued me to look up those numbers.
Anyway, it’s good that we think alike sometimes.


Tennisfan Says:

Its pretty hilarious that some people seem to think that Federer has generally faced an inferior lineup of players on his way to his 15 GS’s. A randomized draw is about as even as you can get over a 7 player run. Players that you face as you go along are the “in-form” players that are generally the toughest to play at the time … and on a specific surface… and current player rank is less meaningful.

These kinds of arguments are weak to meaningless …


Tennis Freak Says:

Tennisfan,

As an addendum, draw divides the top ten evenly (even top 32) into 2 halves, so the top half gets 5 and the bottom half the other 5. It is utterly silly to question the draw.


Dan Martin Says:

Ivan Lendl said of this of Steffi Graf’s 1988 Grand Slam “amazing, unbelievable. I don’t care if it was against old ladies or everybody was sick.”

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/1999/year_in_review/flashbacks/retire_graf88/

Tennis fan is right the in form players tend to be the one’s making it into the later rounds. Sure you get Mark Wooford in the 1996 Aussie semis, Todd Woodbridge in the 1997 Wimbledon semis, or Jonas Bjorkman in the 2006 Wimbledon semis – a guy makes a life time run and is out of gas and out gunned when he gets there, but normally the in form guys play through.


sports fan Says:

GOAT list…….

Federer
Laver
Sampras
Borg
Agassi
Lendle
Connors
Mcenroe
Emerson
Gonzales


SG Says:

Cindy_Brady Says:

Federer is smart in this regard. He knows he’ll have plenty of time to sit back and review his great career. He’s not wasting anytime or years. He’s going to play until he can’t win slams anymore. Not one of these atheletes who retires and then un-retires endlessly after getting bored.
He knows the window is now. Seize it, why he can.

*********************
I agree 100%. Borg must be kicking himself for leaving all those AO’s on the table. He may have had 15 or 16 majors!


Dan Martin Says:

I will have you know two time Aussie Open champion Johann Kriek was voted #1 in lob feeds for 5 years running and Borg would have had to contend with that.


SG Says:

Borg played Connors, McEnroe in their prime and Lendl pretty close to his. Tough, tough era. Interesting that Borg lost to Connors at the USO on clay. I think Borg’s 4 losses at the USO were too much for him to handle and he hung up his Donnay. If ever there was a man completely devoted to winning, it was Borg. Tennis was his universe…and ultimately this singleminded lifestyle became his undoing.


SG Says:

lob feeds?


sensationalsafin Says:

SG, Federer lost 3 straight FO finals. 4, if you count the 05 semi the de facto final. Plus, he lost to Nadal a million times before and after those finals. Idk where I’m going with this, but just saying.


SG Says:

SS,

Yes, but Fed didn’t take that 4th consecutive loss. Borg did. Not sure what Federer would have done had he lost to Soderling. Take up drinking maybe…


Tennisfan Says:

… tennis wasn’t Borg only focus … apparently he is also a psychic … he is able to make predictions of the winner of every major GS before it actually happens … and usually during the event when interviewed by tabloid reporters :)


SG Says:

Borg should have used his prognosticative powers on himself and played a lot more Ao’s and a lot less USO’s…He’d be the king of the hill right now.


Donna Says:

Ok, I’m a FedFan, I admit, but I find all the nitpicking over the GOAT issue a bit boring now. You just can’t go back and revise history…what if, what if…for instance, Borg quit tennis completely because he didn’t ever win the US open. Well, Fed kept on being very consistent in getting to the French Open final 4 times in a row and finally he won it. Greatness also includes consistency not just streaks. If streakiness made for greatness Nalbandian would be one of the best! :)


sensationalsafin Says:

Yeah, SG, I don’t know. A 4th loss to Nadal would probably be like, well you know how it goes. But if he had lost to Soderling. Pheww. Idk. Not good I would say.


Veno Says:

SG says: Borg must be kicking himself for leaving all those AO’s on the table. He may have had 15 or 16 majors!

Hey SG, I’m not sure Borg minds all that much. He walked away from tennis, because he didn’t feel comfortable in the tennis world anymore. I know he tried to make a comeback 7 years later was it? But after the ’81 season he was fed up with it all. You can be the most successful player ever, but without any hunger or proper motivation it is better to change direction.


Veno Says:

And wasn’t the AO played around Christmas time until ’85?


Veno Says:

Cindy_Brady Says: A golf tournament is much harder to win than a tennis tournament.

Tiger Woods accomplishments are far superior to Federer’s.

In Golf you must beat the entire field yourself. In tennis, you only play a small % of the field to win. Many of the best players eliminate each other.

A perfect example of stating something as a fact based on an assumption that, if you look at the exact same argument from a different yet equally valid angle, it actually contradicts the conclusion you(subjectively) draw from it….Interesting


leo Says:

Veno – Tennis is far more physically demanding than golf… The wear and tear in a tennis event is far more than that in a golf event. So I dont’ get the whole golfers achievement vs tennis player achievement comparisons.


Veno Says:

Leo, that’s exactly my point in what I wrote :)
Senseless to compare…


Von Says:

“..frankly, it was a little upsetting to me to see Pete Sampras in the stands, clearly pulling for Roger Federer out of the promise he had made.” — Andrew Miller.

Same here. My respect for Sampras has taken a nose-dive, but he knows which side of his bread is buttered and by whom = $1 million in exhos.
_____________________
mem: Can I ask you a little favor, and that is to please begin your posts by saying you’re a Nadal fan? I ask this, due to what has transpired on the other thread, where all who had disagreeing opinions on Federer’s win, were automatically placed under the ‘Roddick’ fans umbrella, and we took senseless and unjustified heat, with us now wearing the shingle around our necks with the inscription ‘whiner. Thanks.


mem Says:

Von, it’s no secret that i’m a nadal fan and i must say with great pride. it has never been hidden, although i don’t feel the need to flaunt it everytime i make a statement. in all due respect, i don’t believe for one moment that you’re are being completely honest in your reason for asking me this. i’m sure you speak on behalf of others. let me make it easy for you guys and leave because i will never be accepted by these participants. i’m never going to say what others want me to say. it’s just not my personality. i was created with an independent brain to use and that is exactly what i do, “think for myself”. nonetheless, i could have been gone long before now, but i thought this blog was a platform for voicing honest opinions and observations about players in general. forgive me, but i did not know that it was understood that everybody supports federer, whether they want to or not. clearly, this is not the forum for me! i can see from your request that this is a blog where people in general are pretentious, in that they want you to believe that they support other players, but when it all boils down, it’s all about federer. it’s odd, i’ve asked before if this was a federer forum, but no one had the backbone to say to me directly that this is a blog that supports federer only; although it is disguised to be an unbiased by throwing in a couple of other players occasionally. i’ve always been suspicious of why when one person says something here, everyone agrees for the most part. it’s the sad truth!

don’t lose any more sleep over it, it’s not problem, i wouldn’t want you to be labeled, gagged,tied. and casted into the depths of the sea because you are mistaken for a nadal fan.

you can breathe a sigh of relief now, everybody will be on the same page, no controversy, just one big happy family!

hopefully this will ease your fears!


blah Says:

I don’t agree with the number 5 on the who’s hot list at all. The only espn analyst I can stand is Darren Cahill. All the other guys just repeat the same things already played up by the media and repeat them 24/7.

With Roger winning the 15th slam, plus having a french, I would say he has done more and is better than Pete Sampras in this era than Pete was in Pete’s era. I still can’t stand the guy’s arrogance though.

Has Nadal been confirmed to play Toronto? I am curious to see how serious the knee problem is, and if he does play Toronto, it would tell a lot about this injury, as the court itself plays rather slowly and is the perfect hardcourt for counter punchers. Nadal winning the tournament last year was not just an accident or a hot streak.


huh Says:

sports fan Says:
“GOAT list…….

Federer
Laver
Sampras
Borg
Agassi
Lendle
Connors
Mcenroe
Emerson
Gonzales”

No, I disagree! My list is 1.Laver 2. Gonzales 3.Borg 4. Federer 5.Lendl. Nadal may very well be the 6th best by the time he retires.


scineram Says:

By what criteria do you put Lendl above Sampras and Borg above Federer?


huh Says:

I also like Tilden very very much to put him close to Lendl and Rafa in my fave list despite him playing in the old era. Oh my God, but how can I forget Sampras? My list needs to be revised.


blah Says:

mem- One of the site’s main (and most frequent) blogger is pro-federer, but these new federer fans only came out when their Rog started winning again. Stick around- we need someone like you to counter the fed “fans”, this blog is sure to be overrun by them in the next months as Roger has now become the consensus GOAT. There needs to be some one with passion and persistence- as logic clearly do not work with many posters. I’ve also noticed that as much as I dislike Fed’s attitude, I dislike his “fans” even more (the true federer fans I am fine with). Of course, Nadal fans and Nadal has flaws too, but it seems as if the media and the tennis world simply didn’t want to accept Nadal as #1, and this leads to Fed being constantly praised/idolized, which can get quite annoying after a while.

Just to clarify- I am not a Nadal or a Federer fan, though if the two met each other I would probably root for Nadal. I was previously a Gasquet fan but now that he is suspended I am left without someone that I consistently root for. Oh well.


huh Says:

My fave list is 1.Laver 2.Gonzales 3.Borg 4.Federer 5.Sampras (agonisingly close to Fed overall though) 6.Lendl . And then may be the 7th best would be Rafa subject to the condition of his matching/crossing Borg’s GS tally(which I’m sure he will).


TejuZ Says:

Excellent Article Dan :-)

“In 7 years, he posted 15 major titles.” .. well, this is just start of his 7th year since he won his 1st wimby in 2003.. so.. its 6 yrs and 1 month… 3 more grand slams to go before he completes 7 yrs ;-)


huh Says:

mem Says:
“Von, it’s no secret that i’m a nadal fan and i must say with great pride. it has never been hidden, although i don’t feel the need to flaunt it everytime i make a statement. in all due respect, i don’t believe for one moment that you’re are being completely honest in your reason for asking me this. i’m sure you speak on behalf of others.” ………………………………….Ok ok mem, gloat as much as you want to over your pride for being a Rafa fan. But accusing Mrs. Von of not being honest is just too much. She’s not taking sides of anyone to please anybody else so far as I have seen. Secondly, I don’t remember her denigrating Fed or overrating him either. When everybody, especially the non-Feds or anti-Feds were out doing the post mortems of Fed’s Mad 09 victory over Rafa, it was only Mrs.Von whose one line “The post mortems are sickening” was the most welcome from a non-Fed poster. She gave Fed due credit for his win there, and at the same time also commented on as to how Fed should/could have avoided stating about Rafa’s routine acts before the start of a match. I just was about to enter tennis-x then or probably had entered and she instantly won my respect for her great observations and unbiased views. Then also nobody gave Fed any chance of pulling off a win against Rafa except of course Mrs.Von. She at least was wise enough to see the possibilty, might be a vague one, still at least some possibilty, of Fed making the most of what she stated as “Fed’s last realistic chance of beating Rafa on clay”. This shows that she thinks quickly and objectively while posting. Does she have to always keep praising my fav Fed or your fav Rafa? No, coz she’s a Roddick fan and nobody’d have told her anything even if she gave a shit as to the achievements of Fed and Rafa. But still she praises/has praised Fed and Rafa at every point when they win a title or when they deserve to be praised. Do you know why she does this? IMHO, coz I feel she loves tennis, she’s a TRUE tennis fan unlike you who went on discarding the obvious importance of even the Championships Wimbledon, that too just coz Rafa was not playing. You saying that tennis’d return with the return of Rafa shows that how lowly you regard the other players and the game of tennis as a whole. I can’t imagine not watching tennis even if Fed is out from any slam, to be honest. Though I love Fed, it’s impossible for me to miss any moment of this beautiful game regardless of Fed’s participation. So I suggest you, you being more of a Rafa fan than a tennis fan, not to spout garbage against true tennis fans like Mrs.Von, if not for anything else, at least for the sake of showing some gratitude for how honestly and vehemently and justfully she defends/might have defended Rafa when he deserves/needs to be defended from the anti-Rafa posters. Besides tennis-x needs true tennis fans and broad-minded people like Mrs. Von rather than the narrow-minded ones. I guess being a good observer, wise, impartial, truthful and honest person is her fault and that’s why she gets attacked left, right and center from people(having very much of one-sided and one-dimensional views) posting on this site, . Anyway I wish Mrs. Von all the best to keep up her good work on this site! I thoroughly enjoy her posts.


huh Says:

blah, I don’t think Fed has become the consensus GOAT yet.


Gordo Says:

mem Says:
Von, it’s no secret that i’m a nadal fan and i must say with great pride. it has never been hidden, although i don’t feel the need to flaunt it everytime i make a statement.

====

Actually Mem, perhaps you do need to point it out, much in the way an opposition party will nit pick a governing party’s policy – no matter how exceptional it is. You have such a hatred for Federer that you first have the gaul to chop at Dan on his article and then bring up the old Fed on drugs assertion. When Dan puts you in your place you get all pouty and dissect him again and actually claim that you could have done as well as Federer had you been “lucky” enough to have his opponents.

You have been the antithesis of the person you most despise – as do I – the unabashed Federer fan who fails to acknowledge how great Rafa is.

The people who are so in love with Rafa that they try to knock Fed down every chance they get are just as bad and that is what you have sunk to.

Years from now, when both Rafa and Roger are retired, whether or not they are considered the GOAT will be determined by their accomplishments.

If Rafa comes back and wins a ton of slams then he will be a valid selection, especially if his H2H against Roger is as lopsided as it is now.

If Roger wins more slams and especially if he starts to level the H2H against Nadal then most people will simply look at the Grand Slam total.

Discussion on who is the greatest now is moot, for both men – I hope – have a lot of tennis left in them.


Gordo Says:

Cindy – the golf vs tennis comment is interesting. Certainly in golf you beat everyone, so you can’t hear the Phil Mickelson fans go “Yeah, but Tiger didn’t meet Phil in his half of the draw!” That doesn’t happen in golf. I wish it didn’t happen in here.

And mentally there is possibly no greater test to a participant in any athletic competition. Your mind has to be so focussed for every shot because in reality, from addressing the ball to the end of your swing, the actual time you are physically playing the game over 18 holes is only about 12 minutes (74 swings x 10 seconds per).

But athletically there is absolutely no comparison. Could you imagine if past winners of Slam events in tennis could automatically enter the draw of today’s tournamants? The life of a golfer is 10 – 20 years longer than that of a tennis player, because of the fitness demand that is imposed upon the latter.

I think that is whay you often here to the “game of golf” as opposed to the “sport of tennis.”

Could you ever envision Roger – in the middle of a match – whipping out his Blackberry and texting Tiger congratulating him on a tour win, as Tiger did on Sunday in the middle of his round? lol

Still – it is definative when you beat everyone, and not just 7 out of 128, isn’t it? Although there is a valid tennis argument to be made that after those 7 matches you are the only player of the 128 who is undefeated – everyone else lost once.


TejuZ Says:

mem says:” but did you and your colleagues linger endlessly on the topic when rafa won 81 consecutive clay court matches, which will probably never be duplicated in the history of tennis. did you glorify rafa day in and day out for such an incredible feat? did you ever go on and on and on about how near-impossible this was to pull off. rather than discuss the scope of rafa’s achievements on clay, you guys made it about roger”

comon mem.. have a look at the blogs

On Nadal

by Dan
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-06-17/503.php

by Sean
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-02-01/817.php
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-06-08/495.php
(abt his clay streak)
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2007-05-14/164.php

(against fed, the infamous ‘Age of No Comp’)
http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2006-10-25/104.php


MMT Says:

Jugadora de Tenis Said: “1 way to look at 15 majors is to think how many greats you can combine and in what order to get 15. Edberg + Becker + Guga = 15 or McEnroe + Lendl = 15 or Borg + Courier = 15 or Sampras + Moya = 15 It is kind of fun.”

That’s a great exercise – Wilander + Agassi = 15, Newcombe + Rosewall = 15 Emerson + Gonzales + Chang = 15.

SG Said: “Even harder to believe that the Mark Edmonson’s of the world could win a major with Borg around. Was Borg at the event when Edmonson won?”

Borg played the Australian Open only once, but indicated he would have if he had ever won the US Open. To me, there’s no telling how he would have done at the Australian – he may have won a few more than he did, but there are no guarantees. The surface is not the only factor because Sampras won the Australian only twice and made 1 final, but won 5 US Opens and lost 3 finals. Also, Laver won 4 Wimbledons, but only 2 Australians and both were on grass. Agassi won the Australian 4 times, never lost a final there, but won the US Open just twice and lost 3 finals, so you never know. You could also argue that their careers were extended (or the quality thereof) by NOT playing the Australian, and playing the full 12 month calendar may have impacted their wins at other slams – very hard to judge.

mem: Djokovic didn’t face a top 10 player at all, and he lost in the quarterfinal. Murray faced 1 top 10 player and lost to him, the same player Federer beat. Nadal didn’t face any top 10 players and lost in the 4th round at RG. Same with Djokovic and Murray. What you are claiming is so easy, isn’t so easy, otherwise, the seeds would always get through to the draw – but they don’t, because they’re all professional tennis players. If you play tennis, you know that if you consistently play with players at your level, you will lose – in fact you’ll lose a lot, unless you are the best. There is no level higher than the ATP tour, so his results are, as Jane said, nothing short of remarkable and without qualification. Nobody’s going to any lengths to exaggerate anything – you can’t exaggerate results, and these factors you describe apply to everyone the draw – some get through it, and some don’t. Federer has more often than anyone in history. That’s a fact.

zola Says: “I can’t deny that I have felt many times that Fed had the easier draw.”

The draw looks easy when you get through it – you’re only saying it’s easy because Federer gets through them – but answer me this – Nadal had beaten Robin Soderling 6-1, 6-0 in Rome 3 weeks before RG – looked pretty easy didn’t it? But he didn’t get through it. At the end of the day, this supposed criticism of Federer is really just a confirmation of his remarkably consistent excellence. After all – how can a man rack up 15 slams in 6 years, 15 MS titles, and 4 years at #1 without generating a long list of players that would be perceived as making his draw easy?

Andrew Miller Said: “…frankly, it was a little upsetting to me to see Pete Sampras in the stands, clearly pulling for Roger Federer out of the promise he had made.”

I know this wasn’t meant as a rebuke or critique, so please don’t take this personally – this directed at an idea you brought up about “support” from the crowd. You should catch an episode of “Only At the Open” on Tennis Channel – one in particular is Tracy Austin – that poor kid had the world rooting against her in when she beat Chris Evert in 1979 and Martina in 1981, who cried at the trophy ceremony because she was overcome by all the support she was getting. But Austin didn’t care one iota – she just got on with it and won.

I find all this belly-aching from modern players about getting the crowd on their side to be unbelievably presumptuous and totally illogical – why on earth should anyone expect any crowd to support them is beyond my ability to comprehend, and more importantly has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the actual tennis UNLESS you allow it to – so why allow it to? John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis played the US Open final in 1979 – two boys from Queens playing a grand slam final in Queens – unbelievable. You’d have thought the crowd would have supported them – one or both – take you pick. But that year, people were so disappointed that Borg and Connors didn’t make the final (Borg had lost to Tanner in the quarterfinal while Connors lost to McEnroe in the semi-final) that they were BOOED IN THE FINAL.

Kenan Ivory Wayans was asked why he left In Living Colour after years of battling with network executives, and he said something his father told him that I think tennis players should really learn from: “Fight the battles you can win and @#$^ the rest of them.” You can’t control the crowd, so who the hell cares who they’re pulling for? There are A LOT of players who can learn from this, and it would help them to play Davis Cup (like Roddick, BTW, who had no problem with the crowd in his match with Murray) to get accustomed to focusing only on the tennis.

Tennis Freak – your response to mem was spot on – good on ye.


zola Says:

MMT
*******
zola Says: “I can’t deny that I have felt many times that Fed had the easier draw.”

The draw looks easy when you get through it – you’re only saying it’s easy because Federer gets through them – but answer me this – Nadal had beaten Robin Soderling 6-1, 6-0 in Rome 3 weeks before RG – looked pretty easy didn’t it? But he didn’t get through it. At the end of the day, this supposed criticism of Federer is really just a confirmation of his remarkably consistent excellence. After all – how can a man rack up 15 slams in 6 years, 15 MS titles, and 4 years at #1 without generating a long list of players that would be perceived as making his draw easy?

************

You haven’t read the rest of my post I think. I said if a player is the best they have to be able to win the rest of the field, not a selected bunch. So to me whether Rafa has to beat number 200 or number 2, is irrelevant. To be number one, he needs to be able to win them all.

but having said that I don’t deny that having an easier draw keeps ther players fresher for the final. What if Fed had to play Murray before the final instead of Tommy Haas?

See also my comment about Fed’s 15 GS titles in the same post.


Tennis Freak Says:

blah,

(1) On “this blog is sure to be overrun by them in the next months”—-immigrants have already taken over the natives: you are overrun, so “Run Lola Run.”

(2) On “There needs to be some one with passion and persistence”—this is lacking in most players, and fans’ “passion and persistence” is not going to help them. This is energy wasted in futility. Tennis is played not on blogs but out there on courts. We replay them fictionally on blogs as if this were the reality. We create a reality inside this fiction of blogs.
Moreover, you have decided to resort to “passion” because you don’t have any logic to back up your arguments?

On “logic clearly do not work with many posters,” let me analyze how logic s working in your argument:

(3) On “these new federer fans only came out when their Rog started winning again”—Is not that the case with everyone? I did not see your posts during the last few tournaments; you came out to spoil the party that we are having right now as Fed has become the new landmark, and you could not bear it, thus your emergence out of intolerance of a player’s success. It will be wiser on your part to be rather complaining about your players’ failures to stop him than complaining about Fed’s success.

(4) On “as much as I dislike Fed’s attitude, I dislike his “fans” even more”—-so you have apparently nothing to criticize about Fed’s tennis, you need a diversion to extraneous elements, to fodder, intensify, and express your dislike?

(5) On “Nadal fans and Nadal has flaws too”—-why don’t you mention them, then? Why selectively focus on the player who is most successful? Logically, if Fed had more flaws, he would not have been the most successful player in the entire history of tennis.

(6) On “Fed being constantly praised/idolized, which can get quite annoying after a while”—so your sole reason being miffed is Fed is being constantly praised by media? And diversion to his attitude, which you distort to suit your taste (distaste)? This must be miserable.
Let me add one more thing: If you are already an atheist and don’t believe in this religion, it is gonna be annoying even on your first Sunday morning, sitting in a pew and hearing his praise, because that is what they do at any tennis media church. So the “constant praise” that you mention just becomes an excuse for you to get annoyed.


I like tennis bullies Says:

most important point,

6) federer can’t win unless nadal isn’t playing


Tennis Freak Says:

Now, sour grapes have stooped to questioning the neutrality and veracity of the draw? Did they not read my post above?

Let me re-post it:

Fed played 30 top 10 players on his route to the 15 Slam titles, and Rafa played 10 top ten in his 6 titles. Your scale of top ten puts Fed above Rafa: Fed’s share of top ten averaging 2 per Slam and Rafa averaging 1.6 a Slam.

Ideally, a player can face maximum 3 top ten players on his route to the final.

Fed actually faced 3 top tenners 4 times (’04 USO, ‘06 USO, ‘07 USO, and ‘07 AO). Rafa never had to face 3 top ten players in his route to any of his 6 titles.

Twice Rafa faced only 1 top ten player in the same period; Fed 4 times. Looking at the number of Slam titles, Rafa’s percentage of facing more than 1 top ten player is less than Fed’s. In other words, Rafa met 33% of the times just 1 top ten player; Fed 26.6%.

Tennisfan: “Its pretty hilarious that some people seem to think that Federer has generally faced an inferior lineup of players on his way to his 15 GS’s. A randomized draw is about as even as you can get over a 7 player run. Players that you face as you go along are the “in-form” players that are generally the toughest to play at the time … and on a specific surface… and current player rank is less meaningful.
These kinds of arguments are weak to meaningless…”

As an addendum Tennisfan, draw divides the top ten evenly (even top 32, g4, 128) into 2 halves, so the top half gets 5 and the bottom half the other 5. It is utterly silly to question the draw.


MMT Says:

You couldn’t be any more contradictory – you have to be good enough to get through the field (if you’re Nadal), but somehow the draw is easier because one particular player in is not in the final (if you’re Federer).

And if Federer is fresh for the final it’s because he took care of business before the final. And if his draw is easy it’s because over the last 6 years he’s taken care of business against Haas – which Djokovic couldn’t do.

So what you call an easy draw, I call a natural consequence of consistently playing at a very high level – namely that your opponents have poor records against you because you beat them all the time.

Murray was 6-2 against Roddick – his same record against Fed – and he has already beaten Roddick at Wimbledon once in 2006 when he wasn’t nearly the player he is now, so no surface advantage.

Easy draw, right? Wrong. It didn’t help him, because it’s only easy if you get through it. So if Roddick can turn around a 6 – 2 record against Murray and Federer beat Roddick 2 days after he did it, what makes Murray a “hard” draw for Federer?

Sorry – there’s nothing easy about it unless you win, so there’s no advantage there. And Fed went to the distance twice in Paris, in addition to 3 other 4 set matches and won the final in straight sets, so “fresh for the final” stuff is also debunked.


jane Says:

Can I say one thing about draws “neutrally” which is not directly referring to Federer?

Surely we can look at draws and consider them tough or okay or on the easier side. And it doesn’t necessarily have to do with rankings. It has to do with match ups. E.G., if players have “nemeses”, or players who they just don’t match up well with, in their section of the draw (i.e., if Nadal truly has difficulty with big, flat hitters and Fed with counter-punchers) then we could surely say “so and so has a tough quarter” without being way off the mark presumably. And the reverse would also be true.

There are a couple of caveats to add to that: (1) draws don’t always play out the way we expect, in fact they often don’t. And so perhaps a difficult draw can “open up” or an easy draw can suddenly look more difficult. (2) If we’re discussing long term top players who have lots of experience and winning records against many others, then they don’t have a lot of guys who can trouble them. Some more than others, sure. But draws may be more if an issue for struggling or middle tier players.

But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with commenting on a player’s section when draws are initially released and noting who their first round opponents are and which seem more difficult etc. We’re allowed to do this right? Tennis analysts do it all the time. It’s fun to comment on the draws. And if they didn’t matter we wouldn’t be all stoked about when they first come out, looking to see who is where…


JCZ Says:

I like tennis bullies says “federer can’t win unless nadal isn’t playing”

So who did Roger face in Wimbledon in ’06 and ’07? Come one man, stop with the hating.


Tennis Freak Says:

I like tennis bullies Says: “most important point, federer can’t win unless nadal isn’t playing”

Since 2003 Wimbledon, Nadal’s Slam debut, Nadal has played in the same 21 Slams that Fed played (plus 4 more). How many times Fed won in those same 21 slams that Nadal was also playing? Fifteen.


JCZ Says:

Jane: There’s nothing wrong with analyzing a particular draw. Like you say it’s a lot of fun to get hyped up before a tournament. What doesn’t make much sense is to say that over and over despite the randomness of the draw and the way that top 10 players are distributed (evenly between both halves) that Federer has always/mostly faced weak draws.

I mean, Federer facing Novak in AO ’08 seemed like an easy draw since he had pasted him the previous year in the same tournament and had just beaten him in straights at the US Open. But guess what, Novak won. Regardless of how the draw looks players have to play at their top level to win 1 Grand Slam never mind 15.

The same is the case with Nadal and Soderling. After manhandling him earlier in clay 6-0 6-1 he lost to him in the French because of a combination of factors. Nadal has 6 slams because he’s played amazingly well through 7 matches in each of them, nobody should be questioning his or any players draw when they win. They beat who was across the net for 7 straight matches.


jane Says:

“How many times Fed won in those same 21 slams that Nadal was also playing? Fifteen.”

Well, to be precise 14? : )

—————————-

JCZ “They beat who was across the net for 7 straight matches.”

My turn to repeat: please tell this to Sean Randall. LOL!


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane,
It’s a good exercise and fun to compare draws, their beginning, middle, and ending, how they become easier and tougher, etc. It is more than appropriate to analyze draws if we are doing specifically tournament by tournament, round by round, etc, and exhaust them before drawing a conclusion. Without laying out specifics meticulously, it is absurd to generalize that player A has always had easier draws, player B always tougher draw, and conclude that player’s B’s titles are more legitimate than player A’s. If we see a poster going in this direction without going through every one of them, say those 21 Slams, round by round, her intention will not look.


Tennis Freak Says:

Correction: will not look= will not look good (last four words)


Tennis Freak Says:

Ok, Jane, my slippage, honestly inadvertent.


Tennis Freak Says:

Right before this year’s FO draw came out, every tennis expert and enthusiast were curious about Djoko (who had proved he was the 2nd best clay courter of the season) and when they saw he was on Fed’s side, most declared Fed was toast then, and the initial prediction was it would be a final between Rafa and Djoko. And you know what happened. And now Mem comes out and, without analyzing how the draw shaped in the later stages, says Fed played only one top tenner and puts an asterisk to his title. That’s problematic.
Exactly, you play the player across the net, not the ones who have lost early and out of the tournament. So, Sean, stop your garbage collector BS.


Case Says:

Jane says:
But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with commenting on a player’s section when draws are initially released and noting who their first round opponents are and which seem more difficult etc. We’re allowed to do this right? Tennis analysts do it all the time. It’s fun to comment on the draws. And if they didn’t matter we wouldn’t be all stoked about when they first come out, looking to see who is where…

But to complain ad nauseam about how easy a player’s draw is after the tournament has been played (like the haters) is pointless.


Tennis Freak Says:

GOAT enthusiasts,
Here is a pretty detailed article on the GOAT (GOATS) debate. There are some interesting points, some plausible and others implausible, depending on your preferences. Nevertheless, it is worth looking at it:
http://www.tennisweek.com/news/fullstory.sps?inewsid=503656


huh Says:

“Tennis Freak Says:
blah,

(1) On “this blog is sure to be overrun by them in the next months”—-immigrants have already taken over the natives: you are overrun, so “Run Lola Run.”

(2) On “There needs to be some one with passion and persistence”—this is lacking in most players, and fans’ “passion and persistence” is not going to help them. This is energy wasted in futility. Tennis is played not on blogs but out there on courts. We replay them fictionally on blogs as if this were the reality. We create a reality inside this fiction of blogs.
Moreover, you have decided to resort to “passion” because you don’t have any logic to back up your arguments?

On “logic clearly do not work with many posters,” let me analyze how logic s working in your argument:

(3) On “these new federer fans only came out when their Rog started winning again”—Is not that the case with everyone? I did not see your posts during the last few tournaments; you came out to spoil the party that we are having right now as Fed has become the new landmark, and you could not bear it, thus your emergence out of intolerance of a player’s success. It will be wiser on your part to be rather complaining about your players’ failures to stop him than complaining about Fed’s success.

(4) On “as much as I dislike Fed’s attitude, I dislike his “fans” even more”—-so you have apparently nothing to criticize about Fed’s tennis, you need a diversion to extraneous elements, to fodder, intensify, and express your dislike?

(5) On “Nadal fans and Nadal has flaws too”—-why don’t you mention them, then? Why selectively focus on the player who is most successful? Logically, if Fed had more flaws, he would not have been the most successful player in the entire history of tennis.

(6) On “Fed being constantly praised/idolized, which can get quite annoying after a while”—so your sole reason being miffed is Fed is being constantly praised by media? And diversion to his attitude, which you distort to suit your taste (distaste)? This must be miserable.
Let me add one more thing: If you are already an atheist and don’t believe in this religion, it is gonna be annoying even on your first Sunday morning, sitting in a pew and hearing his praise, because that is what they do at any tennis media church. So the “constant praise” that you mention just becomes an excuse for you to get annoyed.”

Very good post by Tennis Freak as usual!


Von Says:

“Andrew Miller Said: “…frankly, it was a little upsetting to me to see Pete Sampras in the stands, clearly pulling for Roger Federer out of the promise he had made.”

“I know this wasn’t meant as a rebuke or critique, so please don’t take this personally – this directed at an idea you brought up about “support” from the crowd. You should catch an episode of “Only At the Open” on Tennis Channel – one in particular is Tracy Austin – that poor kid had the world rooting against her in when she beat Chris Evert in 1979 and Martina in 1981, who cried at the trophy ceremony because she was overcome by all the support she was getting. But Austin didn’t care one iota – she just got on with it and won.” MMT

Since I agree with Andrew I’d like to answer your spin on this. You have very adeptly taken what he has said and generalized this by talking of crowd support, citing Tracy Austin. Crowd support is alright and it’s the norm, and as you pointed out Roddick is accustomed to crowd support, especially in Davis Cup. However, Davis Cup is not the same — it’s country v. country, whereas a GS final is mano e mano. and, at this year’s Wimby, it was Federer v. Roddick. Hence, it’s only logical to assume Roddick and/or his fans would find it somewhat disconcerting watching Sampras, an American, (who’s been a friend of Andy’s for several years, before Federer came along),to be sitting there rooting for his newly found friend, Federer. You can put forth arguments on this, how much you want, but the bottom-line is, what Sampras did showed partiality and whichever way you want to spin it and/or neutralize the impact of Pete’s appearance on Roddick, it has to hurt Roddick on a personal level. After all, how would Federer have felt if Pete was rooting for Roddick? It might have blown his mind. If I were Roddick I’d avoid Sampras, John McEnroe and his side-kick Robinson, at all costs.


huh Says:

“I like tennis bullies Says:
most important point,

6) federer can’t win unless nadal isn’t playing”

No, you’re wrong. Instead it’s Rafa who actually cannot beat Fed unless Fed is either self-destroying or having a bad day at the office or is suffering from some sickness/loss of form or his momentum is broken by medical time outs and other similar antics by Rafa! ;)


huh Says:

“jane Says:
“How many times Fed won in those same 21 slams that Nadal was also playing? Fifteen.”

Well, to be precise 14? : )”………………No Mrs. Jane, I think Rafa has not participated in AO 06 and WIM 09, so it’s 13.


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane and Huh,
To be precise, it is 12: Rafa did not play 04 SW19, ’06 AO, and ’09 SW19, the 3 occasions Fed won. Fed’s 80% of the titles (12 out of 15) came from the same Slams that Rafa played.


vared Says:

Seeing him in the stands, watching Federer garner all this attention he must have been thinking “I wasted it, could have done more”.

Borg was my favorite too, along with Pete. I don’t know if he was that into attention. I know at one time he wanted to get rid of all his silverware and McEnroe told him he was nuts. Borg said he kept all his wins in his memory, never had trophies displayed in his house and if you walked into his house you would never know a tennis player lived there. A fine man, almost the anti-Fed.


Von Says:

“As for Roddick – I hold the guy in very high regard both as a player and a person (despite some problems I have with his behavior here and there) but I don’t think he deserves to be revered in the same way as these other giants of American tennis – he just doesn’t have the record, and at the end of the day, to the victor (and only the victor) go the spoils.” –MMT

To begin with, why can’t you just say you like Roddick without bringing up his ‘on court problems’, but the truth is you absolutely don’t like Roddick and has pretty much said that in the past, repeatedly. To me, this is just a subtle way of your hiding behind a verbal smokescreen, saying you like Roddick using it to get to the crux of the matter, which is you don’t like him at all, and you don’t feel he’s accomplished anything worthwhile in his tennis career to talk about.

Roddick has always stated that he had four (4) goals for his tennis career: (1) To be No. 1; to win Davis Cup; (3) win the USO, and (4) win Wimby. Thus far, Andy’s been able to realize three (3) of those dreams, with only Wimby missing to wrap things up. His Wimby dream could have become a reality, except for a few mistakes in that match.

I don’t think Roddick feels he deserves to be revered as the past greats. He’s not aspiring to break all records and/or win 20 GS titles, nor be No. 1 for 300 weeks — not every player want to be in the limelight and be the focal point. Life is much too important than for some of us to just be focused on one aspect of it, and in roddick’s case, tennis. Thus, your comment on his deserving to be revered is not at all pertinent. To begin with he’s not even the topic of this thread and very little credit is given to him for his recent Wimby performance. This thread is specifically to laud more praise on Federer from one of his best fans, Dan Martin. It’s almost like Federer played that match all by himself.

Which brings me to Roddick’s Davis Cup success, even though unrelated in some way, but it does tie-in with the above with respect to his dreams. The DC topic was touched upon in-depth in an article on your personal blog website. I was shocked by what you wrote. In that article, you disagreed with Bodo’s take on Roddick where he was praising Andy for his DC’s success. You even went so far as to write with absolute disdain, calling Andy’s Davis Cup designation of ‘team leader’ to be nonsense, and bashing Bodo in the attempt because Bodo found something to be admired in Roddick where you never will or can’t? The topic of roddick is not to be revered was also in that article, where you went on to claim that roddick is using DC as a means to fill up an unimpressive resume.

Roddick doesn’t play DC for the glory or because his tennis resume is lacking, as you’ve pretty much intimated — he plays it because he loves his country. I’m sure if James Blake had that kind of success you’d be doing cart-wheels in his favor. Please tell me MMT, why do you try to so hard to denigrate Roddick and his DC achievements? Admit it you dislike Roddick, period? And, how could you diminish his Davis cup success so badly, blows my mind.

I’ve in the past mentioned that you appear to be an unbiased and knowledgeable poster, but I can tell you after reading that article, I’ve found it more and more difficult to view you as such That, plus and your comments on the draws, ‘luck’ and Laver, has reversed my previous opinion to almost nil.


huh Says:

Tennis Freak Says:
“Jane and Huh,
To be precise, it is 12: Rafa did not play 04 SW19, ‘06 AO, and ‘09 SW19, the 3 occasions Fed won. Fed’s 80% of the titles (12 out of 15) came from the same Slams that Rafa played.”

To be honest, I knew Rafa did not play in 2004A0, but I thought ok, let me be a bit more accurate than Mrs. Jane and then let someone else correct me again. I did it for some fun. ;)


Dan Martin Says:

Vared,

What players do with trophies is an interesting article that I probably don’t have enough access to really write. I recall in John Feinstein’s book that Chris Everett visited Martina and martina had a huge trophy case and Chris said, “This is really cool I should dig my trophies out of storage and do the same thing.” Agassi and Graf’s house was described as having no trophies on display in a TENNNIS Magazine article (maybe the Price SI piece on Agassi that was excellent). Serena recently said she keeps make-up brushes in a few of her trophies. I know Gimelstob’s blog on SI (prior to the whole Anna disaster) mentioned going to work out with a post-retirement Sampras. Gimelstob said you have to walk past his immaculate and very full trophy case just to get to the courts at his house. Seems some players display them proudly, some find odd uses for them and some don’t display them. I am not sure what it says about the player. Martina who was still winning mixed doubles titles recently surely does seem like she loves to win hardware, and I can’t blame her for that. The others I really would not have guessed just because it seems like Steffi might want all of her Slam and Olympic stuff on display somewhere.

Anyway, here is what Borg said he sees in Federer (a kindred spirit) so Vared maybe Borg is the anti-Federer, but to Borg himself he does not see it that way – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/atptour/2315095/Borg-sees-Federer-as-a-kindred-spirit.html

I love how many points of view the fans of this site have. I love that people respond (the old site I used to write for before I felt the need to leave), I would get 5-10 responses per column/article. Getting 100′s of responses is humbling. The only thing I don’t get is the deep personal distaste for people I am guessing none of us know. The players I got to briefly meet at Indy last year all seemed nice. However, even if the current holder of 15 major titles was some combination of Jeff Tarango’s out bursts, Lleyton Hewitt’s “Come’on!”s, J. McEnroe’s vocabulary, and Illie Nastase’s gamesmanship – I would still cover 15 and say it is a towering achievement.


Tennis Freak Says:

Huh,
In your response to ILTB, you said, “No, you’re wrong. Instead it’s Rafa…similar antics by Rafa! ;)”

I am sure you don’t believe that. You are just countering irrationality with irrationality. Closure with the smiley indicates that you are being facetiously playful.
Let’s make my version of Raddick’s famous aphorism the discursive norm: “What matters is the win. The rest is just details.”
The only time in the recent days, I felt like, man, this is not tennis was this year’s IW final, but I’d not discount the win, despite those blustery, sand-storm like conditions favored one player against the other.


MMT Says:

Von:

I don’t share in your criticism of Sampras at all. I don’t know his finances, but I find it fantastical that he would bother kissing up to Federer to guarantee a little more money for himself in future exhibitions – he is, after all, a great champion who has amassed over $40M in prize money (excluding endoresements) over the course of his career. In fact, I find it hard to imagine Sampras kissing up to anyone, for that matter.

Sampras has always said that he would like to attend if Federer was on the verge of breaking his record – that was a public statement on his part, and not, as you characterized it, a promise from Sampras to Federer. It was a statement from Sampras about whether he would attend a seminal moment in the history of tennis. In fact, record-holders attending the occassion where their records may be broken has become something of an unwritten tradition in sports.

I don’t know any of them well enough to know what the dynamic of their relationship is between Roddick and Sampras and whether Roddick would have been emotionally disturbed by seeing Sampras in the royal box – he was in the royal box after all. Sampras came at the invitation of the All-England Club – not Federer. He sat next to other notable Wimbledon Champions, no next to Mirka. And not once, in the entire match, do I recall seeing him cheer anyone at any time – in fact the same can be said of all the “Mount Rush-the-net-More” residents we saw.

I’ve never heard Sampras say he’s rooting for Federer, or against Roddick; only that he would attend if Federer were on the verge of breaking his record. All perfectly natural and above the board, and I don’t think Roddick would be so egotistical as to expect that Sampras would make an exception to what he has stated since he’s been asked the question, just because Federer were playing him or any other American…and I’m an American, by the way.

My point is that none of that has to do with winning a tennis match, and it didn’t seem to bother Roddick at all. He came as close as he ever has to beating Federer in a slam. In fact, I went out of my way to praise Roddick’s ability to shut out the crowd in the Murray match. And this is something that a lot of player who have complained in the past about not getting crowd support, can learn from – for example Djokovic.

I don’t think Nadal cares one bit if anyone is cheering for him. I’m sure he likes it when they do, but I’m sure he plays the same when they don’t. I know Federer likes it when people cheer for him, but I also know that he plays the same whether people are cheering for him or not. The same can be said for Roddick, and while you may feel aggrieved by Sampras showing up and watching the match from the royal box, I don’t think it affected his play in any way other than to be nervous about playing within eyeshot of that halcyon of tennis greats – but the same can be said of Federer.

In fact, I’ll tell you a secret, most players play the same whether the crowd is cheering for them – most of this discussion purely an exercise in vanity.

I think in your analysis of Roddick’s state of mind you have presumed a frailty in him that I don’t think exists. For all his shortcomings, Roddick is, if nothing else, single minded. I don’t think such a thing would bother him at all – maybe if he was asked about it after the match on reflection he may say he would have liked to have Sampras rooting for him (who wouldn’t). But in the moment – which is where greatness lies – I don’t believe it affected Roddick at all.

It seems to me that you are more aggrieved by it than Roddick.


huh Says:

“Borg was my favorite too, along with Pete. I don’t know if he was that into attention. I know at one time he wanted to get rid of all his silverware and McEnroe told him he was nuts. Borg said he kept all his wins in his memory, never had trophies displayed in his house and if you walked into his house you would never know a tennis player lived there. A fine man, almost the anti-Fed.”

Borg did not do that for fun, he was thinking of selling his trophies coz he had literally become bankrupt and was in desperate need of some money. And this is the reason why, being sad and worried at such hopelessness of Borg, Mc Enroe called him and persuaded him not to do sell his trophies. Why would a man with a family, i.e. Borg, otherwise think of doing away with such priceless tokens of his pride and good memories unless he’s under compulsion?


huh Says:

“Tennis Freak Says:
Huh,
In your response to ILTB, you said, “No, you’re wrong. Instead it’s Rafa…similar antics by Rafa! ;)”

I am sure you don’t believe that. You are just countering irrationality with irrationality. Closure with the smiley indicates that you are being facetiously playful.
Let’s make my version of Raddick’s famous aphorism the discursive norm: “What matters is the win. The rest is just details.”
The only time in the recent days, I felt like, man, this is not tennis was this year’s IW final, but I’d not discount the win, despite those blustery, sand-storm like conditions favored one player against the other.”

Hi Tennis Freak! ;)


Dan Martin Says:

Von,

I do think I should have said more about Andy Roddick in this entry. In an earlier draft I compared Roddick to the first Rocky film and thought that is no good so I went with “Roddick went the Distance…” in a nod in that direction and struck the paragraph. My major unease about Pete, Bjorn and Rod sitting there is it took on an almost sacrificial feel. I also viewed a piece posted the Wednesday after the match as more historical analysis than a match analysis which Sean did in his posting.

I have never hidden that I am a Federer fan. I am not comparing my abilities as a writer to Peter Bodo’s, but Bodo was close to Becker in the late 80′s early 90′s and obviously is close to Sampras too. Still, if Tommy Haas halted Federer and Murray in a parallel universe where the semis were reversed, I hope Bizzaro Dan Martin would have written something appropriate about the event and what it meant. I really hope to see Roddick at Indianapolis and Cincinnati where I have credentials. I was fighting back tears after the match when I saw Roddick sitting in his chair and throughout his post match moments. The main reason I did not include more about Roddick in my piece was that everything I wrote seemed like me feeling sorry for him. I did not think this was appropriate to the effort he put forth. Roddick is not Charlie Brown with someone always pulling the football away. He is a champion and a guy who has played great for years. I could not strike the right tone so I did not say more.


huh Says:

“Roddick has always stated that he had four (4) goals for his tennis career: (1) To be No. 1; to win Davis Cup; (3) win the USO, and (4) win Wimby. Thus far, Andy’s been able to realize three (3) of those dreams, with only Wimby missing to wrap things up. His Wimby dream could have become a reality, except for a few mistakes in that match.”

He was so agonisingly close to win Wimby! :( I still believe that the 2nd set took Wimbledon away from him. I’ve been to see some latest photos from RogerFederer.com and I swear, I was extremely hurt when I saw the Fed-Roddick photo, Fed holding the cup and Roddick holding the runners-up plate. I had always imagined, as I’ve said before, to celebrate Fed’s 15th slam, but when the moment came, it was more tragedy than happiness and greatest of all—irony. I hope it wasn’t the last best chance for Roddick. I can only say that Rod, if wins the Wimbledon someday(God Bless him!), it’d be as emotional and as happy a moment for me as it was when one of my fave players, Goran Ivanisevic, won the Wimbledon, with the only difference being that I was too young to grab the emotion in its entirety when Goran won, but now as an adult, I’d not just be soul-happy but would also shed tears of joy! May this happen! God!


Tennis Freak Says:

MMT,
There is nothing unusual or unnatural for Von to feel “more aggrieved by it than Roddick.” I did the same once long ago, so I can see where she is coming from. Did that affect Roddick while he was on the court? I doubt it. Did he feel great afterward about Sampras that he was rooting for Fed? Definitely not. Was there 100% honesty and purity on Sampras’ rooting for Fed, at the unconscious level, for instance, in comparison to Tiger Woods’ rooting for Fed in ’06 USO? We don’t know.


Von Says:

“But in the moment – which is where greatness lies – I don’t believe it affected Roddick at all. –MMT

How do you know this for a certainty? We’re both surmising — you’re saying it didn’t, and I’m saying it most probaably did, thus we could both be wrong, or one of us could be right. Only Roddick would know for sure.

Look, I’m a humanist, and a sensitive and compassionate one at that, thus, I’m speaking from a purely sensitive/compassionate coign of vantage, if the tables were turned and it was me playing there instead of Roddick, how would I have felt? I’ll say kind of betrayed. Sampras and Roddick were good buddies, but that seemed to fizzle with the advent of Federer, who called up Sampras a couple of years ago to practice with him at his house while Fed was in LA. A whole scenario evolved from that practice. After that I read articles and saw a few Tennis Channel clips where Federer stated Sampras is his ‘idol’, and I thought to myself, OW, that changed pretty quickly. I recently saw another clip wherein Federer states that his idols are: Edberg, Lendl and Sampras, so you go figure.

“…but I find it fantastical that he would bother kissing up to Federer to guarantee a little more money for himself in future exhibitions – he is, after all, a great champion who has amassed over $40M in prize money (excluding endorsements) over the course of his career. In fact, I find it hard to imagine Sampras kissing up to anyone, for that matter.”

Really, well money can make even a perceived grounded individual change his thinking. Do you think anyone who’s in his right mind considering this economy and living in a Beverly Hills lifestyle would turn his or her back on millions of dollars? I’m sorry I don’t think so. Borg has gotten in on the exhos also, and from what I’ve read Borg needs the money.

“It seems to me that you are more aggrieved by it than Roddick.”

Maybe so, but no more that you’ve been aggrieved by people who mentioned that Federer’s draws were easy, or he was ‘lucky’. You’ve been so aggrieved that you wrote several posts in an effort to convince everyone that it’s not so. You’ve written so much on the ‘draws’ and the ‘luck’ issue, that I’m practically afraid to mention both, to avoid raising your ire.


huh Says:

I don’t think Sampras was cheering for anyone, he was impartial. But I sure suspect that Sampras might deep within himself have got hope of Roddick pulling off the victory by seeing the way the 5th set was going, and with the progress of the 5th set, his hope of Roddick beating Fed may be increasing more and more. Pete definitely must be wishing or even praying for Roddick breaking Fed and then serving out for victory, as that and only that may have saved his record for, who knows how much longer?! Pete certainly couldn’t be the happiest person with Fed reaching GS no.15, that’s for sure. Who wants his own achievements to be overshadowed after all? Nobody does including Pete or me! And that alone must be forcing him to secretly root for Roddick’s victory, especially seeing Roddick not willing to give up in the match. I clearly observed that Pete was a bit sad though he was trying his best to appear as cheerful as possible and applaude Fed’s win, he was hurting. And the old fool Mc Enroe added insult to his injury by forcing him to accept Fed as the greatest ever. Can you imagine how painful it must have been for Pete? No, nobody else can feel the pain of such mocking at Pete by Mc Enroe except the man Pete himself. Roddick alone was not crushed, Pete too was! And if you’ve observed, neither Sir Laver nor Mr.Borg were happy either about Mc Enroe’s crap questioning to Pete.


Von Says:

Addendum: “In fact, I’ll tell you a secret, most players play the same whether the crowd is cheering for them – most of this discussion purely an exercise in vanity.”

Really, so now I’m indulging in self-vanity? I suppose next I’ll be blowing smoke plumes and stacks from my vanity generating plant? Ouch. Anyway, I think we both need to stop here before we say stuff we’d regret in the future and/or may become a boomerang.


MMT Says:

Von:

My comments concerning Roddick were in response to item #5 in Dan’s post – I didn’t claim Roddick felt he deserved anything – I merely disagreed with Dan.

I included my issues with some of his on-court behavior towards officials and his opponents (which was exemplary the last 3 tournaments I’ve seen him play, by the way) so as not to appear hypocritical to those who have read my criticisms of him in the past. For those who could care less, it is of no consequence, but for those who do…well, maybe my opinion is still of no consequence, but I include it anyway.

The post you refer to his here, in case anyone cares:

http://tennis-column.blogspot.com/2008/11/davids-cup-according-to-bodo.html

That is a criticism of Bodo and his castigation of Nalbandian. I didn’t bash Bodo because he found something to admire in Roddick – I bashed Bodo for blaming Nalbandian for Argentina’s loss, despite winning their only point, and for using the “team leader” designation to do it.

I still feel that is nonsense in tennis.

And I felt he was heaping undue credit on Roddick, just as I felt Dan above unduly placed Roddick in the same category as men who have won 8, 7, 8 and 14 grand slams respectively. When Roddick has only won 1.

I don’t dislike Roddick – I’ll never say that, because I don’t. I will admit that my opinion of him has evolved over time as I have learned more about his character on and off the off-court. In short, I have changed my opinion of him and I’m not ashamed to admit that. But that doesn’t mean he’s an angel and where he merits criticism I will always give it. The same goes for all players on tour.

I’ve also given the American media a hard time for heaping expectation and more commendation on him than his career merits. It’s been a very good career – better than average – but certainly not to the level of other American greats that Dan cited (and a few that he hasn’t).

In fact, by aggrandizing these invented accomplishments, like “team leader” for examle, Bodo actually diminishes his real accomplishments. He does so by inventing imaginary laurels to aggrandize Roddick beyond what he has accomplished in tennis – and in doing so, he precisely denigrates what HAS ACCOMPLISHED. It is both unnecessary and counter-productive.

I haven’t ever diminish his Davis Cup record in any way, nor the fact that he won the Davis Cup with the US and played the biggest role in doing so – but any credit I give in that areas will (and always will be for him or any other player on tour) restricted to what he does ON THE COURT, and not what he (or anyone else, including Nalbandian) supposedly does or doesn’t do off the court – as Mr. Bodo has done.

As for draws, my biggest criticism of the comments on draws is when some, as you have, claim a conspiracy to rig the draw. I think that’s nonsense. I have also said that the only time luck of degree of difficulty comes into play iis first round, because that’s the only time you know who you’re going to play.

After that, you play the player who was better than his opponent in the previous round, and the more rounds you go the better the next opponent presumably is. So I don’t believe, for example, because players (specficially Federer, because he seems to bear the brunt of this contention) playing someone you’ve beaten in the past is necessarily an easy draw (to this I give example of Soderling and Nadal at RG or Murray and Roddick at Wimbledon) and even if he believes it to be, that is only the result of having beaten his rival regularly, so there’s certainly no “luck” involved in that.

But you and Jane and anyone else can enjoy postulating and guessing and anticipating potential match ups – that I don’t share in that exercise has nothing to do with anyone else revelling in it – to each his own. I simply disagree with the idea of “lucky” or even “tough” draws.
As for GOAT, Laver and luck, I think I’ve written ad nauseum on those topics, and I won’t bother anyone with repeating them only to say I stand by my beliefs.

Finally, I don’t know why you say Roddick hasn’t been given credit for his performance at Wimbledon this year – plenty of posters have lauded him in the past week. In fact, there were about 100 comments 2 posts ago claiming (a contention I disagree with, by the way) that he played BETTER than Federer but lost.

This seems to me to be an overreaction to the comments about Roddick.


huh Says:

Ha ha, Montreal masters starts the day after my examination ends, yayyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Von Says:

huh: “I clearly observed that Pete was a bit sad though he was trying his best to appear as cheerful as possible and applaude Fed’s win, he was hurting. Serves him right, he’got only And the old fool Mc Enroe added insult to his injury by forcing him to accept Fed as the greatest ever. Can you imagine how painful it must have been for Pete? No, nobody else can feel the pain of such mocking at Pete by Mc Enroe except the man Pete himself. Roddick alone was not crushed, Pete too was! And if you’ve observed, neither Sir Laver nor Mr.Borg were happy either about Mc Enroe’s crap questioning to Pete.”

If Pete was sad, then he shouldn’t have been there, and he’s got only himself to blame for trying to appear magnanimous. I don’t think it bothered Laver because laver has already stated ther isn’t a GOAT, and there’s no way anyone can compare eras. I’d say Borg doesn’t care either, because he’s won the FO/Wimby combination quite a few times. John McEnroe is the biggest idiot and is the one who’s been pushing the GOAT designation for Federer.


Tennis Freak Says:

Dan Martin,
Ref: “One thing I don’t get is the deep personal distaste for people I am guessing none of us know.”

If I am not wrong, you are referring to some posters who denigrate players’ personalities despite barely knowing them. I don’t want you to respond to me or elaborate on this further. I have been vocally protesting against this trend, but I am trying to find a way to remain ambivalent toward this. So far, no success. If it is fine to base your liking of a player partially on personality traits exhibited on/off the court, then the question comes why is it not ok to dismiss a player on the same grounds? But we do not pick favorites exclusively on those grounds, if they are not already at the top, thus those traits play secondary, background roles and should be treated as such, i.e. should not be used to eclipse or dismiss or downgrade his game or accomplishment. More often, posters mention them, selectively picking a few instances of gaffes, to generalize the overall personality of a player, and to dismiss the player, rather than disagreeing with those instances. Their intention is to make their favorites look better, compensate what is lacking in their achievement by these proxy means, or to pull down the most successful to the level of these lesser players that they support, by these extracurricular means or unfair extra grades.
In any case, they contribute to the number of comments that you receive. So, it’s all good in that regard.


huh Says:

Mrs. Von, was Pete invited by AELTC?


tennisontherocks Says:

Von – ‘John McEnroe is the biggest idiot and is the
one who’s been pushing the GOAT designation for Federer.’

True. JMac was ready to call Roger a GOAT had he beaten Nadal at their first RG final. At RG this year, he literally started the ‘countdown to GOAT’ after Roger won first set. Mary C. had to remind him that Soderling is keeping things close and match is even, if he wins second set. The worst was his interview with Sampras, Borg, Laver after wimbledon. I mean, you have the best players in history in one place. Instead of asking anything intelligent about tennis, he starts GOAT discussion. Its one thing for fans to argue about GOAT in discussion boards, but to put these legends in such awkward spot was lame. I just wanted to strangle him there.


Dan Martin Says:

My thought is that Pete after Paris nodded to Roger due to never winning there. After Wimbledon, Pete might have been thinking in my prime Federer never breaks me on a fast grass court because Federer obviously struggled breaking serve in the 2009 and 2008 finals. Pete threw in “if we go by the numbers Roger has to be it.” Going by the numbers might be true, but my gut says Pete thinks he would beat Roger on grass if their careers had lined up more. Roger’s best year on grass to my mind was 2005 he was hitting his topsping backhand pass so authoritatively and slicing well. He was moving better than he does today too. Pete’s best year on grass was probably 1995 when he took down Goran Ivanisevic and Boris Becker back-to-back to win the title. I think a lot of the great champions think you know I would have been able to beat that guy … and that might be part of what made them great.


MMT Says:

Okay Von – I don’t know if Roddick was affected by Sampras watching the match from the Royal box. I also don’t know how good of friends they were, why Sampras came to watch the final and whether it was all about the money. A lot of speculation.

What I have tried to do in contradicting comments about lucky/easy/rigged draws is to MITIGATE speculation, the what if’s and if only’s, particularly when it is part of a denigration of a player’s accomplishments, and try to focus on results. You’re right, I’m passionate about that – that’s not specific to Federer – if the blog had been filled with Nadal was lucky, and he had an easy draw, and his era is weak, etc. (which it never has), I’d be saying the same thing.

And by the way, I’m speculating, but I think Roddick would care a lot less about where Sampras was sitting (which was in the Royal Box, BTW) than if you told him, “You know, you were lucky to win the US Open in 2003 – Nadal was just a kid, Djokovic wasn’t on tour, Murray was just starting out, and Federer wasn’t the real Federer. And by the way, Federer and Nadal don’t care about Davis Cup – and because of that it was a lot easier for you to win it with the US in 2007.”

But I want to clarify something here – I have never in anything I’ve ever written anywhere diminished Roddick’s RECORD in Davis Cup – ever. I criticized Bodo’s characterization of Roddick as a team leader because I felt it was so contrived as to appear to have the intent of lauding Roddick beyond what his career merits.

I’m a firm believer in results.


huh Says:

tennisontherocks Says:
“True. JMac was ready to call Roger a GOAT had he beaten Nadal at their first RG final. At RG this year, he literally started the ‘countdown to GOAT’ after Roger won first set. Mary C. had to remind him that Soderling is keeping things close and match is even, if he wins second set. The worst was his interview with Sampras, Borg, Laver after wimbledon. I mean, you have the best players in history in one place. Instead of asking anything intelligent about tennis, he starts GOAT discussion. Its one thing for fans to argue about GOAT in discussion boards, but to put these legends in such awkward spot was lame. I just wanted to strangle him there.”

So true!


FoT Says:

For those getting on Pete for coming, Roger said in an interview that he and Pete really became close when he went to Pete’s place and practiced with him and then developed that tour in Asia. He said Pete told him if he ever got in a position to break the record he (Pete) would be there. Then he added that he hoped it would not be at the AO because that’s too far. So Roger said even though he and Pete kept texting each other and missing each other, Pete promised him he would be there and he was. So what’s the big deal?

Pete set in the royal box area – not in the player’s personal box. How could Roddick get offended by that? I think maybe some of you were offended but that Roddick didn’t have a problem with it.

And for the record, all Americans were not pulling for Roddick just because he is an American. This was not the US vs SUI. It was Roger vs Pete and as an American, I was 100% behind Roger.


tennisontherocks Says:

I think Pete now does regret not playing wimbledon for a couple more years. He may not have won another slam, but he did not kind of left it all out on court before saying the final good-bye (compare that to say, Agassi or Navratilova). Also Pete was never quite able to enjoy the full crowd support that usually all legends get late in their careers. Playing in various exos/seniors events in past 2 years has enabled him to reconnect with many of his fans, but those are not slams.


Von Says:

MMT: I thank you for your response @4:21 pm, I only wanted you to know that I’m aware as to how you felt about Roddick and his DC situation.
I won’t bother belaboring most of the points mentioned, except for a few as follows:

“As for draws, my biggest criticism of the comments on draws is when some, as you have, claim a conspiracy to rig the draw. I think that’s nonsense. I have also said that the only time luck of degree of difficulty comes into play is first round, because that’s the only time you know who you’re going to play.”

Don’t you think it would have been better to confront me on this issue, instead of going off on a tangent and generalizing, when it was really me who was the focal point of your dissension? Come on MMT, you could have done better than that — I felt insulted that you had to address that topic in such a round about fashion.

I explained several threads ago my reasons for saying the draws are a ‘conspiracy”. I’ve done that in jest, and that’s the truth, despite your and any others thinking to the contrary. I even mentioned I’d be teased for so doing. My complaints on the draws have been due to my anger at seeing Roddick so many times falling into Federer’s side of the draw, which I determined to be ‘bad luck’, but definitely it was NOT meant to be taken as a conspiracy. I believe you are insulting my intelligence to think I’d be serious and/or would entertain that kind of thought process.

“But you and Jane and anyone else can enjoy postulating and guessing and anticipating potential match ups – that I don’t share in that exercise has nothing to do with anyone else revelling in it – to each his own. I simply disagree with the idea of “lucky” or even “tough” draws.”

Well, I’ve heard Federer state on my occasions that his draw is tough, or he’s had to play tough opponents whichever way we’d want to spin that. Hence, what’s wrong with us non-pros talking about what we perceive to be some draws tougher than others? Nada. I perceive some players’ draws tougher than others by their opponents, or more appropriately their match-ups, e.g., their H2H against some in their side of the draw, even though at times, it doesn’t play out as we’d think, but the odds are in favour of the negative H2H nonetheless. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that train of thought.

Sean Randall, has on many occasions watered down some of the players draws and built Federer’s draws up to be tough, as opposed to other writers and tennis analysts. For example, the FO draw, 4 out of 5 writers/analysts (Sean being the fifth) claimed Federer’s draw was easy, except for Sean. Hence, whether we agree or disagree, it’s not going to change the minds of the other writers and/or analysts. Also, our postulating on the draws is not going to change the results.

“As for GOAT, Laver and luck, I think I’ve written ad nauseum on those topics, and I won’t bother anyone with repeating them only to say I stand by my beliefs.”

I remember sometime last year, the two of us had a discussion on the GOAT topic, and your response at the time had lead me to believe you thought it was an impossible task due to the eras. You more or less gave the nod to Laver and Gonzales, hence, it’s the reason why I’m a bit baffled as to your swing on the topic. However, I could be wrong and we most probably didn’t agree on the topic.

“Finally, I don’t know why you say Roddick hasn’t been given credit for his performance at Wimbledon this year – plenty of posters have lauded him in the past week. In fact, there were about 100 comments 2 posts ago claiming (a contention I disagree with, by the way) that he played BETTER than Federer but lost.

Not many people of the 100 comments gave Roddick kudos for playing a great match. To be truthful, I saw a lot of arguments proffered against Roddick’s performance, e.g., Federer’s was not in form, and he wasn’t playing his usual game. I tried to counter that it was Roddick’s form that showed up Federer’s game, but the stats were pulled out and my comments were perceived to be ‘sour grapes’.

“This seems to me to be an overreaction to the comments about Roddick.”

No it’s not, it’s an unbiased observation.

MMT, thank you for your time, and all’s well on my side of the fence.


Von Says:

“Pete set in the royal box area – not in the player’s personal box. How could Roddick get offended by that?”

Pete sat in the Royal Box, because the Queen didn’t attend. Not even TMF could have gotten the Queen to attend, except Murray. tah dah.

“I think maybe some of you were offended but that Roddick didn’t have a problem with it.”

Who said Roddick had a problem with Pete sitting in the Royal Box? Read again. And, who’s ‘some of you’? I’m the only one, so stop generalizing. I doubt Roddick cared where Pete sat. My contention surrounds Pete’s presence at the match, not where he sat. And, read again.

“I think maybe some of you were offended but that Roddick didn’t have a problem with it.”

And, you know this for a fact, that Roddick was or wasn’t offended by it, or that ‘some’ of us were offended by where Pete sat? Is this you or your crystal ball talking? I don’t mind if you say you ‘think’ Roddick was not offended by it, but to be so emphatic tells me you’ve got some mystical powers of perception drawn from your astral walks. for the record I wasn’t offended that Pete sat in the royal Box, I was glad to see he got such a nice seat. I just didn’t think he should have been there, period.

“And for the record, all Americans were not pulling for Roddick just because he is an American. This was not the US vs SUI. It was Roger vs Pete and as an American, I was 100% behind Roger.”

Who cares — all I know this American did, and if you did or not doesn’t matter to me. Go Roddick!


FedFan_2007 Says:

The thing about the golf vs tennis debate. It’s true it’s more difficult to win a golf major because of random factors that a player can’t control. However a golfer who keeps in top physical condition can contend for about 17-18 years, while a tennis player about 8-9 years. So the random factors even out for a golfer over the greater duration. Given that, I can’t say whether winning the X amount of majors is easier/harder in either sport.


Von Says:

Tennisontherocks:

Pete said he felt his record was good at 14. He’s also said he didn’t like going back to Wimby because it chokes him up. Shakespeare comes to mind on the things that come not back: ‘The past life, and the lost opportunity’.

Yes, he’s also stated it’s the reason he plays those exhos to fill the void and the incompletion he feels as a man, whatever that is.


Von Says:

huh:
“Mrs. Von, was Pete invited by AELTC?”

don’t know hon, about the AELTC inviting Sampras. I had heard the day before that he would be commentating on the match from LA through NBC, and was surprised to see him there. I’d hazard a guess that the Royal Box was vacant due to the Queen’s absence, and the AELTC offered it to Pete, hence his presence in that box.


Tennis Freak Says:

Von,
“For example, the FO draw, 4 out of 5 writers/analysts (Sean being the fifth) claimed Federer’s draw was easy, except for Sean.”
Which 4 experts said Fed had an easier draw and in which rounds?


Dan Martin Says:

I doubt Pete came for the money. Sampras and Agassi have a series of exos lined up in the fall/winter that I am sure each player is being paid a nice sum. When they spent time together in CA, Pete and Roger did discuss their approach to being #1 handling the tour etc. They probably can relate at a level regarding that topic that few can. Still, Sampras and Roddick were Davis Cup teammates and seemed to get along pretty well. I am sure Pete felt bad for Roddick and good for Federer and maybe bad for his record all at once.


FoT Says:

Von, you know what I thought it was about tennis but I can say “Hello Von” and you would have a problem with it. Oh well… If you want to be bitter and have a problem with whatever I write – go ahead. Maybe that will make you feel better.

I’m still on cloud 9 because Roger won. I can’t change that to make you happy. Maybe one day Roddick will win Wimbledon, and I will pull for him as long as he’s not playing Roger! (not that it matters to you)! lol!


FedFan_2007 Says:

Is it fair that Tiger Woods makes 3x what Federer makes per year?


Von Says:

TF: “Which 4 experts said Fed had an easier draw and in which rounds?’

I can’t remember now which 4 other than Sean. Some links were posted by jane and a few other posters. I think TennisTalk, Tennis.com/Tignor, ESPN and Bleacher, but I’m not 100% sure.
________________
FOT: Why do you think I’m bitter? Is that what happens to you when Fed loses? So sorry to disappoint you. Sad, yes, but not bitter. And, don’t go thinking I’m angry Roddick lost, no, I’m sad. I’m angry at the put-downs toward Roddick. Perhaps, if you’d change your accusatory tone, I’d be more favorable, and your generalization doesn’t help either. The other problem is that you don’t seem to get things right and go off on the wrong path. However, hope springs eternal that you’d someday understand it all — i’m hoping.


Von Says:

Dan: I don’t know whether Pete’s presence there was due to a commitment or to something else, I just thought it was not the right time to show up that’s all. He was in a precarious position and one which must have been uncomfortable for him and some others, who knows. That was a situation where discretion is better than valour.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Yes it is fair Tiger Woods makes 3 times what Federer makes.

If Tiger Woods generates more money for golf than Federer generates for tennis than he deserves every penny. Golf, world wide is a more popular a sport than tennis is. Facts are facts.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Oh Von,

Does the fact that Federer winning color your opinion about Sampras at Wimbledon.

I’m sure you would have been delighted of Sampras’s presence if Roddick had won.

Those sour grapes sure have turned bitter.


Von Says:

I’d like to gag you with some.


vared Says:

Anyway, here is what Borg said he sees in Federer (a kindred spirit) so Vared maybe Borg is the anti-Federer, but to Borg himself he does not see it that way – Dan

Borg says:
“Until a few years ago, I hadn’t watched any videos of my matches at Wimbledon.

I cannot imagine this statement ever coming from Federer. Borg’s quiet, unassuming personality is and will always be the opposite of Fed’s. To me Borg is a GOAT!


Tennis Freak Says:

Von,
I am an expert, with all the requisite credentials. Three variables are generally considered: how well they have done on a particular surface (titles on the surface), their rankings, and how hot they were coming to the tournament. You can add matchups, but I did not.
I said Fed had a tougher draw on the 1st day the draw came out because Fed had Djoko and DelPo on his half, 2 clay courters with titles and solid resume coming to FO. As far as I know, not many experts believed Fed’d get past Djoko.

As the draw shaped later, Fed had (1) Alberto Martin, clay title holder; (2) Jose Acasuso, clay title holder; (3) P. Mathieu, clay title holder; (4) Haas, clay title holder; (5) Monfils, clay title holder;(6) del Potro, clay title holder.

Fed’s all 6 opponents were clay court title holders, with higher average ranking.

On the other half, Rafa had (1)D. Marcus, zero title; (2) Gabashvilli, zero title; (3)Hewitt, clay title holder; (4) Soderling, zero clay title; and if Rafa had not lost, (5) Davydenko, clay title holder; (6) Gonzalez, clay title holder.
Rafa’s 3 opponents did not have clay court titles, and the average ranking of the six opponents was lower than Fed’s.

I’d have happily swapped my draw with the second half. No spin, based on the bare facts of number.


FoT Says:

Von said: Borg says:
“Until a few years ago, I hadn’t watched any videos of my matches at Wimbledon.

I cannot imagine this statement ever coming from Federer. Borg’s quiet, unassuming personality is and will always be the opposite of Fed’s. To me Borg is a GOAT”

Well, Roger said when he was younger or earlier in his career he did watch videos, but he doesn’t any more. He’ll see the highlighs sometimes on television but in an interview at Wimbledon when they asked him ‘Roger, have you want your match against Nadal in last year’s final?” He said “No, I don’t want my matches anymore”. So imagine that! lol!


FoT Says:

that should be Roger said “I don’t WATCH my matches anymore”.


Tennis Freak Says:

Vared says: Borg: “Until a few years ago, I hadn’t watched any videos of my matches at Wimbledon.”

These are pretty lax criteria for declaring a GOAT: (1) “quiet,” (2) “unassuming personality,” (3) “opposite of Fed.”
Would you call my brother a GOAT, too? He has not watched any of the matches he has played. He is quite, barely speaks, always head down, and almost opposite of Fed.
You are not smoking anything, are you?


Dan Martin Says:

Vared, Federer and Borg both like each other. They have worked out together, played doubles as partners, and in general know one another. My guess is Roger and Borg both lose zero sleep if you happen to think Roger is an ass. Maybe he is. Regardless, you can think what you want about Roger. I am just pointing out that Borg likes Federer and sees him as being similar to how Bjorn comported himself as a pro.


Tennis Freak Says:

FoT,
You confused the name. It’s Vared who said that. She would kill you.


Jugadora de Tenis Says:

I get worried reading some of these comments. I am a huge Rafa fan, but I suspect some of you have shrines to your favored players and have voodoo dolls of the ones you don’t like. Roddick has a strong foundation and saved someone’s life at a fire in Rome in 2004. Federer is a UNICEF ambassador and helps kids with AIDS. Nadal has a global foundation too. I don’t know any of them but they all three sound like good level headed people. I root for Rafa, but if a player wins I never say he should not have because he is not nice. I don’t know them so how can I say that?


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jugadora de Tenis,

If only some of the posters on here showed as much sportsmanship and courtesy as the players you mentioned, this site would be a far better place.

There are a mob of psycho obsessed fans of certain players here. It’s one thing to be a loyal fan but quite another to be an obnoxious fan who disrespects other players to boost their favorite up. Some people stoop to unbelievable lows. It’s appalling!


Mina Says:

Jugadora de Tenis: A huge standing ovation for your comment. Couldn’t agree more!


Von Says:

Could someone please post the definition of a forum? Also, please state it’s function and what should or should not be discussed.


Von Says:

FoT: Please read again — it’s same problem all over again.


Von Says:

TF: Von,
“I am an expert, with all the requisite credentials.”

You are, good for you.

“Three variables are generally considered: how well they have done on a particular surface (titles on the surface), their rankings, and how hot they were coming to the tournament. You can add matchups, but I did not.

“I said Fed had a tougher draw on the 1st day the draw came out because Fed had Djoko and DelPo on his half, 2 clay courters with titles and solid resume coming to FO. As far as I know, not many experts believed Fed’d get past Djoko.”

Yes, but isn’t it also wise to look at the draw up to and including R16, instead of the QFs and SFs. As we’ve all seen the draws open up due to elmination of some players. Also, we should look at the records and H2H of the players who could pose a threat. Just because the probable contenders have won titles on the same surface, does not mean they pose a threat. For instance, we need to take into account, when the title was won, how well they’ve played since then, and whom they are playing against. Even though Fed’s opponents were clay courters, most of them were one-offs, as opposed to Nadal’s half which had very strong players in Davydenko, Soderling, Hewitt and Gonzalez. and case in point, it was soderling who took out Nadal.

I sincerely hope no one is going to take our draw discussion with respect to matchups and interpret it as saying Fed’s draw at the FO was easy.


Von Says:

Yes, this site would be a lot better if some who post here didn’t sit on the fences judging those who post and also take some comprehension classes.


Dan Martin Says:

I do think that Sampras and Federer should enter the doubles draw at Indian Well 2010. This would give Sampras time to play exhibitions and practice. It is close to home (does/did Sampras in some way sponsor the Indian Wells event?) and the two could do well. Of course, I know a lot of guys skip doubles due to thinking it takes $$$ out of the pockets of guys they played juniors with who could not quite make it as singles players, but this would be an epic pairing.


jane Says:

This one’s for Von : )

forum |ˈfôrəm|
noun ( pl. forums )

1 a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.

2 a court or tribunal.

3 ( pl. fora |ˈfôrə|) (in an ancient Roman city) a public square or marketplace used for judicial and other business.

ORIGIN late Middle English (sense 3) : from Latin, literally ‘what is out of doors,’ originally denoting an enclosure surrounding a house; related to fores ‘(outside) door.’ Sense 1 dates from the mid 18th cent.

———————————–

So if we take the first definition and apply it to this site, I guess we’re exchanging views and ideas on everything related to tennis: matches, rules, players, draws, etc and so on and so forth.

Let’s scrap the second definition – this isn’t court. There is no reason to judge nor is there a resident “Judge” (well, except for the moderator, I guess.)

So various ideas can and should be tolerated and discussed here, without declaring someone guilty or innocent.


Von Says:

jane: Thank you. I knew what it meant, and its purpose, but I wanted for someone else to place the seed of understanding as to the meaning of a forum and its purpose.

As can be seen, we have a severe problem here, where some sit on the fences and post only to criticize those who post without contributing much to the matter at hand — forum voyeurs. I’ll say, let he who is without blemish cast the first stone.


Mina Says:

I’m still of the opinion that ideas can be exchanged and expressed without resulting to insults and backtalk, but I know that this is an unmoderated message board so people can feel free to post what they wish to and as often as they’d like and even hurl insults if they want to. Some people post more frequently, some post less (“forum voyeurs”)- I don’t think that makes anyone’s opinions any less valid.

Personally, I really like reading the differing opinions because I find many of the comments very insightful.

Back to tennis – Dan, Federer and Sampras playing doubles together is an interesting proposition, but I fear that it will only be happening during an exo. Who knows, though?


Tennis Freak Says:

Von,
Ref: “Fed’s opponents were clay courters, most of them were one-offs.”

How were most of them “one-offs”? If they were, Fed would have sailed more easily than at Wimby, where he lost only one set prior to the final? In FO, he lost 6 sets to 4 different players (he won in straight sets only in 1st round and the final). You just throw in some of these things that don’t make sense. When you disagree, it would make more sense if you provide some factual data.
Then, you talk about matchups and H2H. Do they always hold, esp. at Grand Slams? Did Murray’s 6-2 work against Roddick at SW19? Did not Rafa have better H2H and bagel Soderling at Rome, not long before FO? Did not Djoko have winning record against Kohl? The two hottest clay courters were upset by unexpected players.
How are Davydenko, Soderling, Hewitt and Gonzalez strong players, esp. against Fed? None of them has won a set against Fed on clay, except Gonzalez? Is any one of them a bad match-up for Fed? No. How are Haas, Monfils, and del Potro weaker, in comparison to these four? Were not Haas and DelPo close to upsetting Fed? I’d put my money on Monfils over Hewitt on clay. DelPo would not have problem downing any of those four.
You go round and round and arrive at the same conclusion, but without stat to back up. So let’s stop this here. No more on this topic. Not a word.


Tennis Freak Says:

Hey Jane, long time no see !
I am missing your interjections.


Von Says:

TF: I didn’t really care to become embroiled in the draw discussion. I made a reference to the writers’ opinions on the FO draws, and you got into a whole scenario of breaking down Nadal’s and Federer’s draws. If you will notice, I tried to make my answer as short as possible. I’m not one for deliberating match-ups and played out after the fact scenarios, and yes, please let’s end it before you get into a further tail-spin.
_______________
Mina: When people post generalized comments it’s somewhat difficult for others to determine who’s being criticized and which opinions are being criticized. Maybe, a rebuttal to a specific comment would help and then it would be clear which remark caused the umbrage. Making reference to ‘some people’ when there are 158 comments doesn’t make much sense does it/ neither your:” I couldn’t agree more”. Do you know exactly what you are agreeing to. And, who’s Jugadora de Tenis referring to as some people. It’s better to confront the poster don’t you think?


Von Says:

“How are Davydenko, Soderling, Hewitt and Gonzalez strong players, esp. against Fed?”

I said Nadal.


Joe W Says:

Golf is mentally more demanding than tennis? Don’t think so. Tennis players must solve their match/game by game, moment by moment challenges without the aid of a coach, team mates, caddy or the corner cut man. While battling the elements and perhaps a hostile crowd. Golf galleries are pretty benign.

Tiger is more accomplished than Roger? Depends on what your definition of accomplishments are.

Federer has won more majors and has compiled more individual records in a shorter amount of time than Tiger.

Federer has never had a serious injury below the waist playing a demanding sport at an extremely high level. Before Tiger there were no athletes in golf. There are still very few (can you imagine John Daly with his shirt off on a practice court). Roger is a better athlete than Tiger or any other past or present golfer Golf is less of an athletic contest than NASCAR racing.

Golf averages 3-4 times the ratings share of tennis in the US. Indeed, a non-major golf final(where Tiger was in contention) played on the same Sunday as Fed’s record tying FO final drew 1.5 times the viewers in the US. Tiger’s earnings reflect this disparity among other variables.

Tiger turned pro golf on its head and changed it forever. Roger has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and compiled records that may never be broken in tennis. He is Tennis’s Cal Ripken, pro baseballs’ “iron man” who holds the record for the most consecutive games played. Tiger is Golf’s Ali, combining social transformation (although not deliberately as Ali) with utter dominance of his sport.

Tiger is reconizable
World wide. Roger is too. However, he could walk into half the restaurants in the States and enjoy a meal in peace. Tiger could walk into any restaurant in Geneva w/O reservations and never get a bite in.

Accomplishments? Damn straight. Its not a coincidence they are friends, consider themselves peers, and appear in commercials together with Derek Jeter/NY Yankees.

Roger is a better tipper. Tiger a better singer. Tiger was a phenom at a much younger age than Roger. Roger speaks four languages. Tiger’s nemesis? Himself. Roger’s? Nadal.

Golf and tennis. Two sports seperated by a commom ground at the country club.


Von Says:

Hey Joe:

Ever consider writing as a past-time? You’re good, and would definitely sell some magazines.

How do you know Fed’s a good tipper? I’d better change my job and get a job at his favourite restaurant then.


Mina Says:

Von: I guess this is where the miscommunication comes into play when people are not discussing things face to face and things are taken out of context. When I said “I couldn’t agree more!” I was referring to the comments about Roddick, Nadal, and Federer’s charity work and how they all seem to be great guys on and off the court. And the general context about how it’s possible to appreciate all 3 both as players and as individuals even if you have a personal favourite. I re-read the comment and saw that bit about the voodoo which I somehow missed before (and disagree with, by the way). That’s totally my fault for not reading the comment more carefully before posting my reply.

I do think some fans (not referring to any specific posters on this board, but rather people in general) can become a little bit hysterical and interpret everything said about that person as slight against them or the praise of another individual as an insult to their favourite. Heck, some of my friends are like this when it comes to that ridiculous guy from “Twilight” – you’d think they were teenagers again despite the fact that they are all in their 30s. Say anything bad about him, and they will become very snappish LOL

And when someone posts snarky comments that seem to be directed at me are veiled in the case of “some people”, I just shrug it off and not take it personally. This goes back to our earlier conversation a few weeks ago. People will say anything on message boards – I find it better to ignore those comments and just move on.


Jugadora de Tenis Says:

I should have been more precise on what troubled me on this board. In Sean’s article Tennis Bullies said Federer should FOAD. It took me a moment to even figure out what that means but once I did I became very on guard about any comment implying these players are bad people off the court. We have no real idea how they live off the court, but the FOAD sentiment is what had me worried and maybe over reacting to various comments in this article’s comments section. I am sorry, my voodoo doll quip left me guilty of what I am most frightened by in the other thread.


Mina Says:

Von : Just saw this comment “Yes, this site would be a lot better if some who post here didn’t sit on the fences judging those who post and also take some comprehension classes”. Don’t know who you were referring to with this comment…hope it wasn’t directed towards me, but if it was, I’ll take my own advice and just move on.


jane Says:

Von, the smiley was meant to indicate that *of course* I know you know the definition of “forum” but I was merely trying to back up your implications by fulfilling your request, even if it was somewhat rhetorical.

Hey Tennis Freak, thanks. I am a bit busy enjoying summer to tell you the truth; it seems we’ve been swamped with tennis, so it’s kind of nice to have a lull.

I do concur with Von that a number of tennis sites and writers had made that claim about Fed’s FO draw; I am not saying they were necessarily correct, but she is correct that the majority of articles claimed Fed’s draw was kind, and Sean was one of the exceptions.

Here’s just one example, from Tennistalk.com, in which the writer declares: “Federer’s Quarter: This is—without question—the weakest quarter of a Grand Slam draw I have ever seen. Ever. And “weakest” is putting it nicely”.

The full link follows if you care to read his full analysis and rationalization of it (keep in mind that Dimon seems to be generally very pre-Fed, so I don’t think there is undue bias here…).

http://www.tennistalk.com/en/blog/Ricky_Dimon/20090522/French_Open_preview_part_3:_Draw_analysis


Mina Says:

Jugadora de Tenis: I’ve posted things before that I’ve regretted saying – we are all human after all and make errors in judgement. Please don’t be afraid to post your opinions and welcome to the forum. I am relatively new here too, although, I have been reading this blog and the comments for a while.


Von Says:

Mina: “Heck, some of my friends are like this when it comes to that ridiculous guy from “Twilight” – you’d think they were teenagers again despite the fact that they are all in their 30s. Say anything bad about him, and they will become very snappish LOL”

Please tell me you’re kidding? LOL. I must be living in a cucoon.

“Von : Just saw this comment “Yes, this site would be a lot better if some who post here didn’t sit on the fences judging those who post and also take some comprehension classes”. Don’t know who you were referring to with this comment…hope it wasn’t directed towards me, but if it was, I’ll take my own advice and just move on.”

No, it wasn’t you at all; I’d confront you if I were in doubt as to what you said. It was directed at one whose comprehension is extremely impaired and refers to me as ‘sour grapes’. There’s no need for you to move on.


vared Says:

in an interview at Wimbledon when they asked him ‘Roger, have you want your match against Nadal in last year’s final?” He said “No, I don’t want my matches anymore”. So imagine that! lol!

FOT: I wouldn’t want to watch that match either if I were him. He lost.

Would you call my brother a GOAT, too?
Tennis freak: no I would not. Only if his name was Bjorn Borg or Pete Sampras. Sorry.

I am just pointing out that Borg likes Federer
Dan: and I am just saying I like Borg and consider him a GOAT with a better personality than Fed’s. What is the big deal?
————————————————–
My statements below:

Borg was my favorite too, along with Pete. I don’t know if he was that into attention. I know at one time he wanted to get rid of all his silverware and McEnroe told him he was nuts. Borg said he kept all his wins in his memory, never had trophies displayed in his house and if you walked into his house you would never know a tennis player lived there. A fine man, almost the anti-Fed.

Borg’s quiet, unassuming personality is and will always be the opposite of Fed’s. To me Borg is a GOAT!


Mina Says:

Jane: Thanks for the link. I’ve noted that a lot of people have been talking about Federer having a weak draw at the FO. I still think the concept of a “weak draw” is skewed because Federer handles most players with ease. I mean technically, we could say that Nadal had a weak draw in all the FOs that he won because he plowed through all the players (Federer included), but we all know that isn’t true – the draws just look weak because Nadal is so dominant.

Some are even saying that Federer had a weak draw at Wimbledon – I definitely disagree with that opinion.


Von Says:

Jugadora de Tenis: I’m still trying to figure out FOAD. LOL. I’m dumb with respect to acronyms. When I don’t understand, I just skip over them.
_________________
Mina & Jugadora de Tenis: I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth several times, but I’m just a human being with frailties and foibles who’s trying to keep abreast with tennis, so all i can say is post your opinions and let the chips fall where they may. Hey, we win some and we lose some.


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane,
I already quit on that topic. Thanks, though.
I try to stick to my words. So, I’d appreciate a reminder if I fail.


Von Says:

jane: Thanks for the link on the FO draw. I did remember TennisTalk and mentioned that one.

BTW, do smileys appear on your computer from this website? All I see is the symbols. I know at one time there was a problem and the smileys were disabled.


Mina Says:

Von says: “Please tell me you’re kidding? LOL. I must be living in a cucoon.”

Yes – I have horrible taste in friends…or rather, I have good taste in friends but THEY have horrible taste in movies and actors. LOL

vared: Borg’s one of my all-time faves, but wasn’t the reason he wanted to get rid of all his trophies because he needed money after mismanaging his earnings? But yes, he does seem to be a very humble champion.

I would argue, though, that the marketing of athletes today is very different than it was in the past during Borg’s era. Athletes are practically shoved down our throats with commercials and fawning magazine articles hyping them up and constantly telling us how amazing they are. This makes it virtually impossible to be a humble athlete nowadays unless you shun all endorsement money.


Joe W Says:

Von – thanks. I’d say my “writing” is more stream of conscious at the third grade grammar level than writing.
Remember I never received the “your brains are definitely not mashed potatoes” compliment from my public speaking professor. Should probably stick to my day job (which I’m not good at either).
Fed’s tipping: you would have to move to Zurich Von. Have a friend who happened to be walking out of an eatery at the same time fed and mirka were and, ironically, as Tina Turner was walking in. Fed turned to the Head Waiter (considered a real profession in Europe) and slipped him a wad of euros. My friend didn’t know what the gesture was as Fed was speaking swiss german. Moments later, fed jumped into a limo and was gone. Tiger is a renown cheap skate.

Tiger’s singing: have another friend who is a sr executive at a golf course mgmt firm. He happened to be at a club house late at night in a private party with tiger and friends. Tiger was singing prince’s 1999 karoke style! Not sure about Fed’s voice but he likes lenny kravitz. Can’t see his monotone, nasal voice matching up real well there.


jane Says:

Mina – I love vampires and so I tried to read “Twilight” but I could not get into it, and it’s not the most astutely written thing ever, that’s for sure! I will steer clear of the film, and leave it for my nieces, who swoon over the main actor. Your name reminds me of a certain vampire tale. ; )

Von, no – no traditional smileys appear at my end either. Just the kind made with parentheses and colons, or some other creative combination from the keyboard.

Tennis Freak – sometimes topics have to be left with an “agree to disagree” or they’ll go on. But I do appreciate your effort to stand by your words; it’s admirable. Keep on truckin!


Mina Says:

Jane: Yes – I’ve also tried to slog through that book and didn’t make it past page 20. To each his or her own, I guess. Give me Bram Stoker any day! I find vampires fascinating as well but that’s not why I chose my screen name, and actually, for some strange reason, I did not make the link to Dracula until you mentioned it, jane. Very astute observation!

Joe W: A while ago there was footage floating around of some of the players singing karaoke in the laundry room at the FO. Federer can play tennis but he certainly CANNOT sing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_pk457q-z8.

And check out the top 10 karaoke clips here – funny stuff! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPh3JCy_l8s&feature=related


MMT Says:

Von: “Addendum: “In fact, I’ll tell you a secret, most players play the same whether the crowd is cheering for them – most of this discussion purely an exercise in vanity.” Really, so now I’m indulging in self-vanity? I suppose next I’ll be blowing smoke plumes and stacks from my vanity generating plant?”

The vanity I referred to here has nothing to do with you – it has to do with the vanity of players who complain or lament that the crowd doesn’t cheer for them, and for the record I never claimed Roddick has ever made such a claim – to the contrary I praised his ability to block it out, and that he probably developed this ability by playing Davis Cup.

“I only wanted you to know that I’m aware as to how you felt about Roddick and his DC situation.”

You are misconstruing the purpose and point of that post – my post was about Bodo and Nalbandian, not Roddick. I have never in anything I’ve ever written denigrated anything about Roddick’s record in Davis Cup – or any other results for that matter. I’ve never said he got lucky, or someone else got unlucky, or that he’s cheated or that he doesn’t deserve anything he’s ever won. I want that to be clear to anyone reading who cares.

“Come on MMT, you could have done better than that — I felt insulted that you had to address that topic in such a round about fashion.”

You were not the only one who made comments about easy or lucky or rigged draws. I didn’t cite the list of commenters who did, not avoid confrontation with you personally, but to address the concept, which is what I take issue with, and not anyone who makes it. If I want to address a specific comment that only you have made, I have done so and will continue to do so. That I didn’t pick on you personally should not be interpreted as an insult, because my issue is with the concept.

“My complaints on the draws have been due to my anger at seeing Roddick so many times falling into Federer’s side of the draw, which I determined to be ‘bad luck’, but definitely it was NOT meant to be taken as a conspiracy. I believe you are insulting my intelligence to think I’d be serious and/or would entertain that kind of thought process.”

You are not the only one who discussed rigged draws – but when you and others did I addressed it. That you take it as an insult that I didn’t assume you were joking is asking a bit much, in my opinion. In any case, since you say you meant it only as a joke, I’ll take you at your word, and direct that rebuttal to all the others who have concurred with the rigged draw theory, and you can simply ignore it.

And by the way, the only time I believe I have ever really insulted anyone’s intelligence on this blog is here (CTRL-F on “moimoi”):

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-01-27/783.php

My views on the GOAT have indeed changed over time. I am not dogmatic in all of my opinions and the GOAT debate is indeed complicated by many factors (that’s for you Jane) and that is a reason to be sufficiently flexible to change one’s opinion. What I disagree with is the idea that the GOAT cannot be determined, or that as many have said (yourself and Laver included) that we should all be satisfied with just the short list. I totally disagree with that idea.

The oldest comments I can find on my opinions of the GOAT are here – http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2008-06-08/495.php and as you can see I initially concluded Gonzales and Sampras, then a short list that included Tilden, Gonzales, Laver and Sampras. Later (not on that page, but in general), as I learned more about Laver’s record as a professional, his profile has risen in my opinion, on par with Gonzales. And as I thought about it – there’s really no reason to distinguish between the periods before 1947 and after 1967, in which I think slam totals are the best measure – so while it was Sampras with the most, now that Federer has passed him, I give him the edge – the French Open didn’t do it for me – 15 did, and that measure has always been the case with me, by the way – that hasn’t changed. So my short list is now Gonzales, Laver and Federer and my last effort is to try to find a way to measure across 3 categories – touring professionals (Gonzales) tournament professionals (Laver) and Amateur/Open eras, which I consider one category, and for which my GOAT is now Federer. I have not come to a conclusion of whom from that short list is THE GOAT because I have not found a suitable way to compare.

In all things tennis I’m above the board – I say what I think and think what I say – you will be wasting a lot of energy trying to uncover hidden agendas with me because my agendas are as plain as the words I write. I think what you may in fact have an issue with is the fact that I don’t like or dislike certain players as singularly or intensely as you seem to be looking to uncover. You love Roddick, and you are not alone – but does everyone else have to either love him or hate him because of that? My answer to that is no. In the words of Robert Ritter of “Clear and Present Danger” – the world is gray.

I like it and admire him when he is like he’s been for the last few months, and I can’t stand it when he goes off the boil – behaviorally that is. In other words, my opinion on him changes. Is that such a bad thing? If it is, so be it, because they will change. There is one (somewhat of an) exception – James Scott Connors, who I have almost no patience for at all…that said, I can still appreciate his accomplishments as an 8-time GS champion, and even commiserate with, for example, his struggle to justify the coaching of his beloved mother and grandmother – even if I can’t stand him, I know he is not the devil.

So if you’re looking for me to monolithically arrive at the same conclusion on every topic based on some pre-existing dispositions, I’m going to be a big disappointment. And if so, so be it.

And to the other readers of this blog, I promise this is the last bit of self-indulgence you’ll get from me – from here on out it’s all tennis all the time – that is after all the reason I come to this blog.


sports fan Says:

Federer=
15 majors
4 masters cups
5 consecutive Wimbeldons
5 consecutive US Opens
3 majors in one year 3 times (04-06-07)
237 consecutive weeks ranked #1
olympic gold medal
career slam
7 consecutive Wimbeldon Finals
21 consecutive major semifinals
16-17 majors finals
10 consecutive major finals
6 consecutive major finals and counting
24 consecutive finals won (05-06)
4 Lawraus Awards
4 sportsmanship awards
65 consecutive grass court matches won
56 consecutive hard court matches won
15 Masters Series Titles
4 consecutive years of winning 10 titles or more
finished year end #1 4 consecutive years

This is by far the GOAT and there is to be no discussion about it………Does anybody dare predict how many majors Federer ends up with…….My prediction is 17


margot Says:

mina: Hi! I’m not a “forum voyer” but I haven’t posted for ages. Why? a) I’m just really bored with this endless Roger, Rafa debate, also GOAT debate which is insoluble.
b) am Andy M fan becos I like the way he plays, he is British like me, he is struggling to improve his game and THAT I find interesting
c) also like Tsonga, Djko
d) when there is virtually no tennis going on these players get so mention so people like me who like less popular players, feel marginalised and don’t bother, I guess. And like jane says, it’s the Summer time!


Ecublens Says:

FOAD = “F… Off And Die”

Tennis Bullies = “Sad Person”


Cindy_Brady Says:

Tennis fan….

You should have added.

Federer:

4 straight 4 French Open finals

Same number as Nadal

0 French Open finals for Pete Sampras

Federer’s accomplishments on clay combined with grass and hard courts are unparalleled in tennis history, Period!


margot Says:

Oops, two corrections discussions about GOAT are “unsolvable” !! and other players get “no mention.” sorry.
But while I’m here I care not a fig for match stats, heads to heads etc etc yawn,yawn. I DO care whether my man fought hard to the finish eg Murray v. Rafa US Open, or Murray v Wawrinka Wimbles or stamped his foot like a petulant teenager and glared at the skies at the injustice of it all, like Tsonga v. Karlovic at Wimbles or indeed Gulbis v. Murray.


jimbojones Says:

The Sampras-Federer debate does seem the most solvable of the bunch since they were on tour together for a little while and the tour Pete played on most resembles what it does today (as compared to Borg or Laver’s era). Even still the Aussie Open was player on Rebound Ace for Pete and mostly for Fed but the past two years it is an acrylic surface. Grass has generally been slowed down as well. So it is not the same. Clay is the stuff that makes Pete slip up even in retirement. Pete did have some good Paris showings, won a massive set of Davis Cup singles points in Moscow on indoor clay in 1995 and won Rome in 1994. Roger has 6 QF or better showings in Paris to Pete’s 4 – close for now. Roger has 5 semifinal or better showings to Pete’s 1. Roger has 4 final or better showings to Pete’s 0. Roger has 1 title to Pete’s 0. Masters Series Shields/Super 9 titles on clay goes Federer 5 – Sampras 1 Any tour level clay court title goes Federer 9 – Sampras 2.

Grass Pete is still ahead in terms or quantity at Wimbledon and quality probably. Fed’s 5 Halle titles to Pete’s 3 Queen’s titles, plus Federer’s grass court winning streak are not enough to yet say it is a tie, but the disparity is no where near what it is on clay.

Hard courts is pretty even. Roger has 8 slams to Pete’s 7, but Pete’s 3 U.S. runner-up finishes, 1 Aussie runner-up and multiple semi and quarterfinal appearances make up for the 1 slam difference. Roger once again has the all time hard court winning streak, but Pete has the 2nd and 3rd longest streaks on hard courts.

Indoors is solidly Pete, but with no slams indoors no one really cares too much. Pete has 5 season ending titles to Roger’s 4 but I think 2 of Roger’s were outdoors – could be wrong.

On a whole Roger is so far out in front on clay it makes it hard to say he was not more dominant year round, more decorated, more consistent than Pete.


jimbojones Says:

Varied I also think complaining that a player likes to hold trophies = Straws + grasp

Rack me!


fed is afraid Says:

roger has to beat rafa in a few more slam finals to be considered the GOAT.


jimbojones Says:

Roger reached the last 4 slam finals Rafa reached 1 of 4. Yes, Rafa beat him, but not the other 3. Who is he supposed to beat? The guy across the net and he did that.


jimbojones Says:

In other words “Afraidy” would Fed be closer to being the GOAT if Berdych and Monfils beat him at the AO this year and the FO last year? He’d be 2-3 in slam finals instead of 2-5, but a rd of 16 or semifinal is not as good as runner-up and you know it.


fed is afraid Says:

when one guy owns you in your own era how can you be considered the GOAT? he’s not even the greatest of his era.


Cindy_Brady Says:

fed is afraid,

Let’s get Rafa to single U.S. Open final first, where he can meet Federer in the final to beat him.

To date, Rafa has failed miserably in New York to do so for whatever reason.


MMT Says:

“when one guy owns you in your own era how can you be considered the GOAT? he’s not even the greatest of his era.”

How about Krajicek and Stich – are they greater than Pete because they had winning records against him? (6-4 and 4-3 respectively.)


Tennis Freak Says:

jimbojones Says:
“I think 2 of Roger’s were outdoors – could be wrong.”
You are right: ’03 & ’04 Masters Cup were played on outdoor hard in Houston. I was there to witness them.
Unlike other years, ’04 final was played best of 3 sets, like ’08 final. From last year, is the final ALWAYS going to be best of 3 sets?


fed is afraid Says:

did krajicek and stich have 6 slams?


fed is afraid Says:

and 6-4 and 4-3 is better than 13-7.


MMT Says:

Does Nadal have 15?


fed is afraid Says:

who did he beat to get the 15? a young nadal, a virgin murray and djoker, an old agassi.


jimbojones Says:

Afraid

Who had a better career Becker or Lendl?


jimbojones Says:

Krajicek and Stich being less successful than Nadal makes losing to them worse than Nadal. Becker was 5-1 vs. Lendl in Slams and 3-0 in slam finals and yet no one would argue he had a better career and the disparity in slams is 8-6 in favor of Lendl hardly a gap of 9 slams.


MMT Says:

Nadal played the same field of players players Fed did when he won slams from 2005 to 2009, inclusive of the list you gave, and didn’t get better results. How can Nadal be the better player in his era when he fails to get better results in that era?


jane Says:

Isn’t the “era” of Fed and Nadal still going though? How, then, can anyone determine who’s the best of their era? (let along “of all time!) It doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe when both their careers are over, it will be possible or at least more feasible to make assessments as such. At least that’s the view from here.


Tennis Freak Says:

FIA and other interested parties,

Let’s say we are in a political negotiation about resolving this issue of GOAT, and you are the leader of the minority. Let’s say we are on the verge of declaring one player the GOAT. Apparently, since you are in the negotiation table, you at least accept the premise of GOAT, the topic of discussion. We know you are opposing the candidate, opposition is not a demand as such. We would like to accommodate your demand. What’s your demand?
For instance, if I were in your position, I’d say, the concept of GOAT has to be reconfigured from “Greatest of All Times” to “Greats of All Times” (rather Greats Up to Our Time), which would include more than a couple of players and do justice to eras plus politically this is like splitting the Center of Power across generations since we are talking about history.
Once again, aside from your opposition, what are your demands that the majority, GOAT believers, should consider?
Other posters can jump in, too, if you have something new to add.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Nadal’s almost inhuman effort to beat Federer over the past 4 years have rendered his body worn out and injured.

While Federer is still prodding along winning slams. Nadal is home nursing chronic knee injuries.

Sure Nadal has beat Federer in slam finals but at what cost? There in shows Federer’s greatness. He hasn’t changed much. Hasn’t needed to. Players are constantly chasing him with everything they have and still losing ground to Federer.

Federer is far greater than Nadal because he plays the sport at a consistent high level, year in and year out, without sacrificing his body too much. His game is far more “longevity” friendly than Nadal’s is. The proof is, who was playing in the Wimbledon final for the 7th straight year and who was side lined with a “wear and tear” injury.


Cindy_Brady Says:

And since Federer got blown out by Nadal in the 2008 French open, here are the GS stats.

Federer 4 wins and 2 finals in the last 6 slams.

Nadal 3 wins in the last 6 slams.

Federer still gained ground over Nadal during Nadal’s supposed most dominate period of his career to date. And this was accomplished while Federer was supposedly slumping!!

I think any professional tennis player would rather have 4-2 over 3-0.


jane Says:

margot: how nice to read your posts! Just noticed them now. I guess we’ll remain on the margins a little longer eh? Like you, I can’t wait until the hard court matches begin and we can watch some tennis. For now, it’s enjoy the sun, while the GOAT whirligig continues.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Oops, My bad.

Excuse me Federer was 3-3 during that period. But still better than Nadal’s 3-0 mark.


fed is afraid Says:

rafa’s 6 slams have come at the expense of roger. so if roger is the goat, then what does that make rafa?


fed is afraid Says:

rafa’s fo and wimbledon victory is more impressive since it went through the “GOAT”. roger’s fo and wimbledon victories did not have to go through the man who owns him 13-7.


margot Says:

jane: Hi to you too, ta 4 comment. BTW saw your post about “eras” and completely agree, it’s baffling and as Rafa and Roger overlap where does one era start or finish??? Yikes.
In UK we are actually having A SUMMER, incredible. Am just off to Scotland for a week’s hols. Have you ever been? Edinburgh is most beautiful city. Might even take in Dunblane….no, only joking.
Was gonna ask are you familiar with expression “talk to the hand” ? It’s rude, in the sense of impolite, but useful. BFN


Dan Martin Says:

I would categorize Federer as [art of the new ball generation and Nadal as part of the string generation. Generations do overlap into eras, but a generational change is something that happens about every 5 years. It is not an exact science, but I would see Safin, Hewitt, Federer, JCF, Roddick, Coria, Gaudio, Conzalez et al. in one generation and Rafa, Murray, Djokovic in another even if there is bound to be some overlap.


jane Says:

margot – yes have driven round Scotland but haven’t been since late 90s. LOVE Edinburgh, and the highlands, the coast around Aberdeen; it’s all so lovely. Have a great time!

“where does one era start or finish?”

EXACTLY!!

And yeah, am aware of “talk to the hand” saying; will keep it handy for future use. LOL.


Skorocel Says:

“Virgin Murray”? LOL!


Tennis Freak Says:

Ok, both sides are steadfast to their position and opposition. Time’s up.
It’s simple Fed does not need any non-title accolade. GOAT is not a title: It does not increase the number. It is an ornamentation like the embroidered number on his jacket. In a way, it is a religion, driven by monotheistic desire. As Fed said, it is only “nice to hear.” That’s the value of GOAT discussion. He is the indisputable landmark. That’s good enough. It’s better for him if he can magnify the landmark by a few more Slams, than regret later like Sampras.

How he won, who his opponents were, what his opponents’ H2H were, how difficult/easy the draws were, how lucky/unlucky he was, etc. are just details that have no real value in the real world. What matters is the greatest number of major titles, and Fed has it for now. Catch him if you can, and if that happens, then we will revere the new landmark just as we are unconditionally doing the present one.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘fed is afraid Says:
rafa’s 6 slams have come at the expense of roger. so if roger is the goat, then what does that make rafa?’

That just means Rafa has the talent/potential to break all Roger’s slam record if slams are converted to 2 man invitationals and Roger-Rafa meet at least another 10 times. But with current 128 draw, its not going to happen if he manages to loose to in-form players before facing Roger or just don’t be healthy enough to play.

Roger may not have fully figured out Nadal challenge or may never will, but has done great job of outliving it. Nothing wrong with that…in tennis, a 50 point rally that ends with screaming winner or your opponents double-fault win you exactly 1 point.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘Skorocel Says:
“Virgin Murray”? LOL!’

agreed. ‘fed is afraid’, that was good one.


Skorocel Says:

FIA: “when one guy owns you in your own era how can you be considered the GOAT?”

That’s the question!


Skorocel Says:

“roger has to beat rafa in a few more slam finals to be considered the GOAT.”

“roger’s fo and wimbledon victories did not have to go through the man who owns him 13-7.”

“did krajicek and stich have 6 slams?”

“and 6-4 and 4-3 is better than 13-7.”

VERY GOOD points, FIA!


Fed is not afraid Says:

Come on, Rafa owns Fed only on clay. On surface other than clay, Fed leads by 5:4.

Let’s put it this way. Rafa is Clay Goat, while Fed is Grass/Hard Goat. Yes, Rafa won titles on grass and hard courts, but he is primarily a clay court player (so far). Look at his titles, how many are on clay (probably 2/3). And if I am correct, he hasn’t defended any titles other than on clay. On the other hand, Fed has many many records on grass and hard court.


Veno Says:

I’m all for a good debate between opposing camps, but come…..enough already with the h2h arguments….Just agree to disagree, there won’t be any consensus for a long time coming :)

Let’s move on!!!


huh Says:

“fed is afraid Says:
when one guy owns you in your own era how can you be considered the GOAT? he’s not even the greatest of his era.”………………………..Fed is by far the greatest of his generation, ha ha ha!!!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Skorocel Says:

FIA: “when one guy owns you in your own era how can you be considered the GOAT?”

That’s the question!

Depends what your definition of GOAT is?

Is it based on h2h or is it based on one’s achievements/accomplishments over a career during an era?


huh Says:

Fed is by far the greatest of his era, ha ha ha!!! :) And as I said before, Rafa’s just one of the better survivers in this Roger Federer Era. :)


tennisontherocks Says:

“roger has to beat rafa in a few more slam finals to be considered the GOAT.”

few more? can you be more exact about the number. Does it matter what slam? what about score – does it have to be a beatdown or 5 setter nail biter or both? what if Nadal wasn’t 100% physically or had to face more top 10 and so on? Roger can go and beat Nadal in next 4 slam finals and we will still have some one popping their head up and saying, oh but Laver did not play any slams for four years or Rafa’s knees must be hurting or its a weak era and so on…

“did krajicek and stich have 6 slams?”

“and 6-4 and 4-3 is better than 13-7.”

hmm…so Sampras has loosing record against one-slam wonders and Roger has loosing record against another all time great player??? seriously, does it matter? A win is win and is any day better than a loss. If you win 15 slams, you f**king win 15 slams. If that’s a lame achievement, someone will go and break that record. Until then, just relax.


huh Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:
“Two arguments have been repeatedly used to argue that federer is not GOAT (the other arguments have now been squashed – like winning the FO, amx number of slams, etc.)

1. Laver could have won many more slam titles had he been allowed to play during 1963-67.

This is a wrong argument. First, 6 of Laver’s 11 slam titles were won when he was an amateur (1960-62), when the OTHER top players were not allowed to play. Would he have won these 6 had the others been allowed to play? Doubtful, since, even in the Pro circuit, he became the top player only in 1965. Remove these 6 and he has 5 left. But, of course, from 1965-67, Laver WAS the top player, so had he been allowed to play, he would have definitely won a few slam titles. How many? That is impossible to guess. So Laver’s tru tally should be 11-6+X, with X being the unknown. People just say it should be 11+X, and THAT is the wrong argument.

2. How can Federer be the best player of all time, when he has a losing record to Nadal?

Well, firstly, the losing record is only on clay. Second, tennis is a sport where EVERY top player always has a losing record to SOMEONE in his generation (Krajicek, Bruguera, Haarhuis, etc. for Sampras). In addition, if Federer is not the best player of this generation, who is? Will you now suggest that Nadal is the best player of this generation? Nobody will buy that – overall, even in the last 4 years, Federer’s record is superior to Nadal’s in almost every dimension. So if Federer is not the best player of THIS generation, who is? Someone’s gotto be.

3. Sampras had tougher competition.

Well, that theory has been squashed so many times on this board that I won’t even go into it. In fact, you can make a very good case that the nineties were the WEAKEST competition of any decade in the open era. I can prove it. I challenge you to disprove it if you want to get into it.

So live with it. Fed was rightly called the GOAT even a couple of years ago. Now he has all the numbers to back it”…………………………Very impressive arguments, I must say! Really really impressed me, except may be the third one, on which my take’s that the level of competition in the Sampras and Federer era has been close, how much close, I won’t go into that coz I hardly have got any time left for my exams to start.


MMT Says:

Don’t see who it’s more important to beat one player than it is to win slams. If that were the case, they should go back to the days of the touring professionals.

I’m sure if you ask Nadal if he’d prefer to beat Federer 13 more times or win 10 more slams, the answer would be obvious.


MMT Says:

“Maybe when both their careers are over, it will be possible or at least more feasible to make assessments as such. At least that’s the view from here.”

Mary Carillo made a similar argument after the French Open, and withholding your judgment until the end of both their careers makes sense in one way – we don’t know where they’ll wind up. But that’s true of every player who will ever play this game.

In the here and now – if their careers ended tomorrow – you would have to say Federer’s career has been better.


Veno Says:

I’ll say following for anyone interested to ponder on:

“Again, however entertaining the GOAT-debate may be, it’s still useless imo(not trying to take away anything from anyone who thinks it is relevant)
But, extrapolating the notion on the comparison between the ’90’s field of players to the current field I feel compelled to agree with “FED IS GOAT” in saying that the field now is considerably stronger than 10-15 yrs ago. The fact is that the level of professional athletes(from top to bottom for players and on average in a field)inevitably goes up. This has been, is and always will be the case in any professional sport as long as it is commercially exploitable.
And on a final note: this is exactly why stating that Fed would be more or less dominating facing Pete’s competition and vice versa is futile, because Pete would have developed into another player if he were 10 yrs younger(the advanced racket technology, the slowing down of the faster courts and the speeding up of the slower courts, the change to generally an all-round baseline game in tennis etc would have made sure) and exactly would have been true for Fed if he were born 10 yrs earlier.”


Veno Says:

Absolutely the only thing we can draw as conclusion from Pete and Fed’s h2h in tennis can be taken from their 4th rnd Wimby match in 2001, in which Fed beat Pete in a close 5 set match and according to me it’s this:

“They both played great serve and volley tennis and Fed won that match because he was just a little better on that day”

Claiming anything more would be stretching it imo


huh Says:

“fed is afraid Says:
rafa’s 6 slams have come at the expense of roger. so if roger is the goat, then what does that make rafa?”……………………………………..Rafa lost to a clay court novice like Soderling in the fourth round(ho ho ha ha he he!) in probably the most dominant time of his career and on his most dominant surface while Fed, even when going through his biggest slump and sickness last year, made to at least the FO final, now that’s called GOAT stuff. Similarly, Rafa JUST edged a Federer, who was under extraordinary pressure to break an extraordinary record at Wim 08, that too at the peak time of an opponent 5 years younger and ready to literally lay down his life for the Wimbledon trophy. So it is hardly a shame for a 5 times winner to lose to a young and hungry guy, who’s being termed as the fittest player since Borg. So the last year’s losses at FO-Wim or this year’s AO is not to be taken as any great blemish on Fed’s legacy, if you’re being honest. And then winning three slams out of 4 once in a span of a year doesn’t make Rafa a GOAT candidate at all unless he’s able to do it a few more times. And if you are ready to call Rafa the clay GOAT, then Fed’s lost in the finals to none other than the invincible clay GOAT, which means Fed’s legacy is GREAT indeed and is far from blemished. Of course it’d have been a shame if Fed lost to meagre players in the FO, but no, he’s lost a semi and three finals to the supposed clay GOAT, who has even the age advantage over a 5 years older Fed. So Fed’s to be ashamed of absolutely nothing.


MMT Says:

There’s a bigger problem with the weak competition argument – if the basis is that the quality of player is superior, that is purely subjective, and can never be resolved. If the basis is the number of slam winners and the number of slams they won, then in order for a player to be judged a greater champion by virtue of the strength of his era, he would necessarily have to LOSE MORE, which obviously doesn’t make sense.

The other argument, the H2H argument is also weak, because tennis is not prize fighting – the slams are not belts that you have to beat someone in particularly to achieve. They are tournaments that you have to win against everyone who plays. Also, it’s not Federer’s problem that Nadal hasn’t played in as many slam finals as he has. Why should Federer be judged based on something that Nadal is not able to do, which is to get to more slam finals?

Boris Becker beat Lendl in all 3 slam finals they played, but Becker finished his career with fewer slams, is he a greater champion than Lendl even though Lendl won 2 more slams than he did? Not really.


Veno Says:

I agree MMT,

every way you look at it: determining the GOAT will never be 100% objective. And it doesn’t always have to be the case.
The closest you can come to it is to take the determining constant(which everyone now and past agrees on is comprized of winning any to all of the yearly 4 Majors/Grand Slam tournaments), strip all the dummy-variables and cross-over variables attached to these 4 majors and look at the list who won the most, therefor having to say Fed is 1 with 15, Pete is second with 14 etc.

And of course this is flawed to a huge extent (go over all the arguments discussed endlessly, and subjectively all of them can be looked upon as relevant) because there’s always the need to weight the different aspects that determine the value of winning any particular major let alone the total of majors won by a single player(and the closer the player gets to the pre-set highest mark, the more the GOAT debate heats up.)

Think about this as an example:
Is winning 4 wimbledons in a row more or less impressive than winning 4 different slams in a period of 4 years?

Before you start drawing conclusions, think about it for a while as if you had no prior knowlegde about tennis/majors/the players etc before reading the statement. What would your answer be?


Dropshot Says:

You know, we are having all these discussion now. But I bet 10, 20 years from now, nobody will even care how Roger won all his slam titles. All they will ever know is the number, which will be >= 15.


Von Says:

Margot: “Oops, two corrections discussions about GOAT are “unsolvable” !! and other players get “no mention.” sorry.
But while I’m here I care not a fig for match stats, heads to heads etc etc yawn,yawn. I DO care whether my man fought hard to the finish eg Murray v. Rafa US Open, or Murray v Wawrinka Wimbles or stamped his foot like a petulant teenager and glared at the skies at the injustice of it all, like Tsonga v. Karlovic at Wimbles or indeed Gulbis v. Murray.”

There ya go! A woman after my own heart. The stats are killing me. It seems no one can talk about tennis unless we have stats, stats and more stats. I mean how did people ever watch and talk tennis without the computerized stats to back up their arguments prior to computers? OY VEY.

So you’re off to Scotland eh? Say hello to my Uncle Edwin and auntie Bunnee, who lives in the Orkneys, that is, if you get that far. You’ll find him fishing for Salmon. Enjoy your vacation and don’t get swallowed up by a Salmon! LOL.


huh Says:

By the way, we are all reminding ourselves that Fed-Rafa h2h is 7-13 in Fed’s disfavour. Had Fed reached the finals of the MC and Rome masters and lost(suppose) both of them to Rafa, his h2h with Rafa would have looked like 7-15 in Fed’s disfavour(again suppose). So can ‘fed is afraid’ say that Fed has performed better/done the right thing in the clay season by not reaching the finals of those two clay MSs and therefore not allowing Rafa to beat him (which she assumes to have happened had he faced Rafa) to make his h2h look even worse against Rafa? And can she tell whether or not Djoko’s did the right thing this clay season by reaching MC & Rome finals and losing both of them to Rafa, thereby worsening his h2h with Rafa? Had Djoko not been in the finals of those two clay masters and semi of Madrid, his h2h with Rafa’d have been 4-11 in his disfavour, better than 4-14 deficit, no? But by playing good enough to reach the finals and semifinals in clay tournaments, Djoko’s allowed Rafa to make it look 4-14, to his own disfavour. Now I’m wondering who should be called as the better performer in 2009 in clay masters overall? The guy Fed, who was unable to reach the finals and save his record from may be worsening, or the guy Djoko, who played good enough to reach the finals knowing Rafa’s invincibilty on clay and allowing his h2h to worsen? If I remember correctly, then ‘fed is afraid’ was roaring at the top of her voice that Djoko’s done better than Fed in MS clay by reaching the finals. So now would she say that Djoko did a folly by making his h2h look even more lopsided in Rafa’s favor by reaching the finals to only get defeated by Rafa? FIA’s answer is awaited coz Fed has been exactly in the same situation against Rafa for the last 5 years on clay tournaments, with the only difference being that Fed’s losses at clay have been even more numerous than Djoko’s, in the MS finals, and his 3 or 4(if she calculates 2005 RG semi) losses have come at the biggest stage of the game, namely the slams. Had Fed not reached all the 06,07 and 08 RG finals, Rafa’d not have at all got a chance to beat him there all these times! Similarly if he’d reached the clay court MS finals less consistently, then also Rafa may not have been able to beat him there, no? But as he consistently reached virtually the final of each and every clay tournament, Rafa beat him and gained an unusually lopsided h2h advantage over him. So what would ‘fed is afraid’ suggest to Djoko now, whom she evidently likes more than Fed? Should he follow the example of Fed and try to have a shot each and every time in a clay MS/GS final, though finally he’d/may be defeated by Rafa there? Would ‘fed is afraid’ be more appreciative of Djoko if he rather does the job of reaching each and every final of clay tournaments, without caring for Rafa’s presence there? Or would she prefer if Djoko doesn’t reach the clay finals at all, thereby denying Rafa a chance to further improve his h2h against him? I’m asking this question coz Fed’s done just that in the past, he’s tried to and reached the finals of virtually all the clay MS/GS from 2005-2008 in the hope of beating Rafa, only to lose to Rafa eventually. As ‘fed is afraid’ cares so much about some players improving h2h against some other players, she should answer it! Does the lopsided h2h of some players against some other players still make her feel that they are only and only afraid of the player enjoying the h2h advantage?


Von Says:

huh hon, paragraphs please. You’re killing my eyes. Do you know how to paragraph on the computer keyboard? just hit enter at the end of a sentence. BTW, thank you for yesterday, I hope you understand what I’m talking baout without too many details.


Von Says:

Veno: A shout out to you. I’m glad to see you listened and are joining in the discussions. enjoy.


huh Says:

It has already been 8 years since Rafa turned professional and he has won 6 slams. And it’s been 11 years since Fed turned professional, yet he’s already won 15 slams. Thus just three more years of professional career than Rafa until now and yet 9 more slams(again until now) in comparison. Just figure! ;)


Von Says:

MMT: Thank you for your very, very detailed reply. Now I feel so guilty that I’m responsible for your having to devote so much time to answering me. An apology to you from me, and I’m so very, very sorry. How about if we just leave it as ‘all’s good’ and we’re still friends? Is that OK with you, or do you need a reply to all you’ve stated? Thanks.


huh Says:

Thanks Mrs. Von for telling me about paragraphs. Now it’s for you and ‘fed is afraid’, the modification of my 4.00M P.M. long post! ;)

By the way, we are all reminding ourselves that Fed-Rafa h2h is 7-13 in Fed’s disfavour. Had Fed reached the finals of the MC and Rome masters and lost(suppose) both of them to Rafa, his h2h with Rafa would have looked like 7-15 in Fed’s disfavour(again suppose). So can ‘fed is afraid’ say that Fed has performed better/done the right thing in the clay season by not reaching the finals of those two clay MSs and therefore not allowing Rafa to beat him (which she assumes to have happened had he faced Rafa) to make his h2h look even worse against Rafa? And can she tell whether or not Djoko’s did the right thing this clay season by reaching MC & Rome finals and losing both of them to Rafa, thereby worsening his h2h with Rafa?

Had Djoko not been in the finals of those two clay masters and semi of Madrid, his h2h with Rafa’d have been 4-11 in his disfavour, better than 4-14 deficit, no? But by playing good enough to reach the finals and semifinals in clay tournaments, Djoko’s allowed Rafa to make it look 4-14, to his own disfavour. Now I’m wondering who should be called as the better performer in 2009 in clay masters overall? The guy Fed, who was unable to reach the finals and save his record from may be worsening, or the guy Djoko, who played good enough to reach the finals knowing Rafa’s invincibilty on clay and allowing his h2h to worsen?

If I remember correctly, then ‘fed is afraid’ was roaring at the top of her voice that Djoko’s done better than Fed in MS clay by reaching the finals. So now would she say that Djoko did a folly by making his h2h look even more lopsided in Rafa’s favor by reaching the finals to only get defeated by Rafa? FIA’s answer is awaited coz Fed has been exactly in the same situation against Rafa for the last 5 years on clay tournaments, with the only difference being that Fed’s losses at clay have been even more numerous than Djoko’s, in the MS finals, and his 3 or 4(if she calculates 2005 RG semi) losses have come at the biggest stage of the game, namely the slams.

Had Fed not reached all the 06,07 and 08 RG finals, Rafa’d not have at all got a chance to beat him there all these times! Similarly if he’d reached the clay court MS finals less consistently, then also Rafa may not have been able to beat him there, no? But as he consistently reached virtually the final of each and every clay tournament, Rafa beat him and gained an unusually lopsided h2h advantage over him.

So what would ‘fed is afraid’ suggest to Djoko now, whom she evidently likes more than Fed? Should he follow the example of Fed and try to have a shot each and every time in a clay MS/GS final, though finally he’d/may be defeated by Rafa there? Would ‘fed is afraid’ be more appreciative of Djoko if he rather does the job of reaching each and every final of clay tournaments, without caring for Rafa’s presence there? Or would she prefer if Djoko doesn’t reach the clay finals at all, thereby denying Rafa a chance to further improve his h2h against him? I’m asking this question coz Fed’s done just that in the past, he’s tried to and reached the finals of virtually all the clay MS/GS from 2005-2008 in the hope of beating Rafa, only to lose to Rafa eventually.

As ‘fed is afraid’ cares so much about some players improving h2h against some other players, she should answer it! Does the lopsided h2h of some players against some other players still make her feel that they are only and only afraid of the player enjoying the h2h advantage?


Von Says:

huh: There ya go! Now doesn’t that look beautiful? You’re a quick learner sweetie. Your teacher gives you and A+.


huh Says:

“Tennis Freak Says:
Ok, both sides are steadfast to their position and opposition. Time’s up.
It’s simple Fed does not need any non-title accolade. GOAT is not a title: It does not increase the number. It is an ornamentation like the embroidered number on his jacket. In a way, it is a religion, driven by monotheistic desire. As Fed said, it is only “nice to hear.” That’s the value of GOAT discussion. He is the indisputable landmark. That’s good enough. It’s better for him if he can magnify the landmark by a few more Slams, than regret later like Sampras.

How he won, who his opponents were, what his opponents’ H2H were, how difficult/easy the draws were, how lucky/unlucky he was, etc. are just details that have no real value in the real world. What matters is the greatest number of major titles, and Fed has it for now. Catch him if you can, and if that happens, then we will revere the new landmark just as we are unconditionally doing the present one.”

Very good post! :)


huh Says:

MMT Says:
“Don’t see who it’s more important to beat one player than it is to win slams. If that were the case, they should go back to the days of the touring professionals.”

EXACTLY!!!


SG Says:

3. Sampras had tougher competition.

Well, that theory has been squashed so many times on this board that I won’t even go into it. In fact, you can make a very good case that the nineties were the WEAKEST competition of any decade in the open era. I can prove it. I challenge you to disprove it if you want to get into it.

So live with it. Fed was rightly called the GOAT even a couple of years ago. Now he has all the numbers to back it”…………………………Very impressive arguments, I must say! Really really impressed me, except may be the third one, on which my take’s that the level of competition in the Sampras and Federer era has been close, how much close, I won’t go into that coz I hardly have got any time left for my exams to start.

*****************************

Interesting how Sampras played in the “Weakest Era” in the Open Era but there is no comment on the state of the era that Federer has played in. Biased, fanatical drivel. If Sampras’s era as weak, what would you call the period from 2003 to 2005. You won’t find many peak Borgs, peak McEnroes, peak Connors, peak Lendls etc. in that period. Who won the 2002 Wimbledon Championship? Lleyton Hewitt. Good player but Lendl Caliber? Courier Caliber? Agassi caliber? Becker Caliber? Stich Caliber? Edberg Caliber? Ivanisevic Caliber? On grass? I think not. Federer’s domination began plum in the middle of a tennis void. Sampras was gone, Agassi was past his prime. Andy Roddick is a much better player today than the man who won the Open in 03′. Who did he play in the final of a hardcourt tourney? Frighteningly dangerous hardcourter JCF. Federer can only play the guys in front of him and he has done that very well. Please though, save the implication that Sampras’ era was easier than Federer’s. It’s simply not true.


Tennis Freak Says:

huh Says: “By the way, we are all reminding ourselves that Fed-Rafa h2h….only afraid of the player enjoying the h2h advantage?”

This is one of the best ever arguments and most original in the last month or so. And I am usually stingy about praising arguments until I see a real one, and this one from huh is a real deal, a mind at its finest logical, unhurried, measured, methodical, cogitative deliberation.
Simply impressed !


fed is afraid Says:

huh-i can’t dispute what you are saying.
i am not a fan of djoker.
roger has allowed rafa to get inside his head.
he has choked a number of matches away against him.
if roger had not allowed rafa to take up residence
in his head, my nickname would not be fed is afraid.


huh Says:

“Tennis Freak Says:
huh Says: “By the way, we are all reminding ourselves that Fed-Rafa h2h….only afraid of the player enjoying the h2h advantage?”

This is one of the best ever arguments and most original in the last month or so. And I am usually stingy about praising arguments until I see a real one, and this one from huh is a real deal, a mind at its finest logical, unhurried, measured, methodical, cogitative deliberation.
Simply impressed !”

Thanks Tennis Freak, ha ha! ;)


huh Says:

“fed is afraid Says:
huh-i can’t dispute what you are saying.
i am not a fan of djoker.
roger has allowed rafa to get inside his head.
he has choked a number of matches away against him.
if roger had not allowed rafa to take up residence
in his head, my nickname would not be fed is afraid.”

You know what FIA? The reason for Fed being wary of Rafa’s that Rafa indeed can play some tennis, great tennis! As far as choking vs Rafa’s concerned, I’d even say that Rome Masters 2006 wasn’t a complete choke by Fed, in that match Rafa was simply the better player. Fed was playing crazy in that match, but Rafa was crazier even. That’s why the win for Rafa. To me, it’s always been somebody playing well rather than someone choking that determines the result of a match. Hence I’d suggest you to give credit to Rafa for his wins rather than discrediting Fed for choking, coz by that way, you are taking away enough credit from Rafa’s well-deserved and hard-earned victories!


Skorocel Says:

huh: „So the last year’s losses at FO-Wim or this year’s AO is not to be taken as any great blemish on Fed’s legacy, if you’re being honest.“

LOL! Are you kidding, man? The truth is, it was exactly THE WIN IN WIMBY which catapulted Nadal at the very top, AND, exactly this same loss which tarnished Fed’s resume as nothing before. The invincible, unbeatable & supposed GOAT Federer (who’s at least just that good on grass as Nadal is on clay) got beaten on his home soil by the supposed greatest clay-court player ever (who everyone thought about as a guy who could beat Fed only on clay), whereas he himself wasn’t able to do that to his conqueror on his home soil at RG in 4 tries out of 4… Need I say something? After this win, Nadal was formally already the No. 1, even though he got it on paper some 6 weeks later. So not a great blemish on Fed’s legacy? I wouldn’t think so…


Skorocel Says:

huh: „Similarly, Rafa JUST edged a Federer, who was under extraordinary pressure to break an extraordinary record at Wim 08, that too at the peak time of an opponent 5 years younger and ready to literally lay down his life for the Wimbledon trophy. So it is hardly a shame for a 5 times winner to lose to a young and hungry guy, who’s being termed as the fittest player since Borg.“

Then what? I mean, it’s not like Sampras vs Safin & Hewitt (who were twice that younger than Sampras as is Nadal compared to Fed when they beat the American at USO), is it? If he can own Del Potro or Djoker, why not Nadal? He’s the supposed GOAT, the invincible, unbeatable Number 1 of all times, so why he shouldn’t own Nadal as well? I’m not talking about that damn clay – just grass & hard. If Nadal can own him on clay, then why he (as one of the greatest, if not the greatest grass & hardcourt player ever) can’t do that to him on non-clay surfaces?!


huh Says:

SG Says:
“3. Sampras had tougher competition.

Well, that theory has been squashed so many times on this board that I won’t even go into it. In fact, you can make a very good case that the nineties were the WEAKEST competition of any decade in the open era. I can prove it. I challenge you to disprove it if you want to get into it.

So live with it. Fed was rightly called the GOAT even a couple of years ago. Now he has all the numbers to back it”…………………………Very impressive arguments, I must say! Really really impressed me, except may be the third one, on which my take’s that the level of competition in the Sampras and Federer era has been close, how much close, I won’t go into that coz I hardly have got any time left for my exams to start.

*****************************

Interesting how Sampras played in the “Weakest Era” in the Open Era but there is no comment on the state of the era that Federer has played in. Biased, fanatical drivel. If Sampras’s era as weak, what would you call the period from 2003 to 2005. You won’t find many peak Borgs, peak McEnroes, peak Connors, peak Lendls etc. in that period. Who won the 2002 Wimbledon Championship? Lleyton Hewitt. Good player but Lendl Caliber? Courier Caliber? Agassi caliber? Becker Caliber? Stich Caliber? Edberg Caliber? Ivanisevic Caliber? On grass? I think not. Federer’s domination began plum in the middle of a tennis void. Sampras was gone, Agassi was past his prime. Andy Roddick is a much better player today than the man who won the Open in 03′. Who did he play in the final of a hardcourt tourney? Frighteningly dangerous hardcourter JCF. Federer can only play the guys in front of him and he has done that very well. Please though, save the implication that Sampras’ era was easier than Federer’s. It’s simply not true.”

SG, Lendl wasn’t the contemporary of Pete! Guys like Stitch and Krajikeck are way inferior to Lleyton Hewitt, you’re fortunate enough not to see them face Hewitt, otherwise Hewitt’d have placed them in their proper places, that’s lower than him and your mouth’d have never opened putting Hewitt down so much! Ivanisevic is also a clearly inferior player to Hewitt. You probably think that Hewitt’s an ordinary player, but you’re very very wrong, I must say, to disappoint you! Hewitt at his best can definitely beat Federer, he’s that good otherwise he’d not wipe the floor with Pete in 2001 USO.

And if at all, you wanna strengthen the argument in Pete’s favour, I don’t understand how you completely forgot Guga? And how and why did you left out Rafter? Edberg’s GS honeymoon ended in 1992 and he wasn’t exactly Pete’s generation, simple truth though it may hurt you! You can make a case for Becker though he was four years older to Pete. However,Becker, even after Sampras’s ascendancy, won 2 GS and 2 TMC, so he’s to be taken into consideration. Jim Courier, though won not a single slam after 1993, he was Pete’s generation, so you are to be tolerated here. And Agassi was also absent for 3-4 years when Sampras was stacking up slams. So even his real rival wasn’t there during some of the most significant phase of his career.

However, my instant suggestion to you is to STOP VACILLATING about your supposedly stronger Sampras era! Your biasedness towards Pete’s also led you to run out of sound logic and you’re just senselessly going on telling others that there are no Connors or Borg etc etc in the Federer era, thank God, you did not mention the absence of Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Bill Tilden etc in Federer era or I woulda been shocked! And as far as I know, there were no peak Borg/Connors/Mc Enroe in Sampras era either. So forget it!


huh Says:

Skorocel Says:
“huh: „So the last year’s losses at FO-Wim or this year’s AO is not to be taken as any great blemish on Fed’s legacy, if you’re being honest.“

LOL! Are you kidding, man? The truth is, it was exactly THE WIN IN WIMBY which catapulted Nadal at the very top, AND, exactly this same loss which tarnished Fed’s resume as nothing before. The invincible, unbeatable & supposed GOAT Federer (who’s at least just that good on grass as Nadal is on clay) got beaten on his home soil by the supposed greatest clay-court player ever (who everyone thought about as a guy who could beat Fed only on clay), whereas he himself wasn’t able to do that to his conqueror on his home soil at RG in 4 tries out of 4… Need I say something? After this win, Nadal was formally already the No. 1, even though he got it on paper some 6 weeks later. So not a great blemish on Fed’s legacy? I wouldn’t think so…”

It’s not created that much of a blemish in Fed’s legacy as it’d have been if those losses occured to a contemporary of the same age.And as far as I’m concerned, I’ve never ever considered Fed as the GOAT, may you’d in your dreams! ;) And one further great flaw in your argument’s Fed was considered as unbeatable on grass as Nadal was on clay, but that’s not true. Nadal has been considered more dominant on clay than Fed has been on grass even before WIM 08 win. Why? I think you know that. And lastly, if you think Fed’s FO-WIM-AO losses has that much damaged his reputation and high place among the greats, then that’s your absolutely personal opinion. Many don’t think like you do, certainly not me on this matter; and that’s not the end of the world for either me or you, right?


Skorocel Says:

Aside from the fact that Nadal overall leads Fed 13-7 in their career meetings, it’s their Slam meetings (which are 6-2 in favor of Nadal) that matter the MOST. The fact that Nadal’s been already touted as the greatest clay-courter in history doesn’t help Fed’s cause even a bit, since the same can be said about Fed on grass & hard as well – yet Nadal already managed to beat him at SW19 & AO, whereas at RG, Fed didn’t emerge as the victor even once… Just f.cking once! One win in the FO finals against Nadal – and ALL the previous losses which he suffered to this same guy on clay would’ve been erased for good… Too bad, Roger!


huh Says:

Skorocel, well if you think Fed did not dominate Rafa and wasn’t considered the fav vs Rafa before 2008 on non-clay surfaces, then I can say only this much to you. May be you see something nobody else does. I’m certainly like that. I certainly see things in a different way than others, but fortunately, I’ve been right most of the time. You may think I’m lying or bluffing or stuffing, but honestly I’m not! ;) And please, don’t ask me anything about Fed telling me he’s the GOAT, invincible, absolute tennis player!


Von Says:

huh: I have another suggestion for you, if you have to quote each post in it’s entirety, just draw a line at the end, so that we’ll be able to differentiate, where the quote ended and your comments begin. this old lady’s eyes are a bit fuzzy. Thanks hon. (Now don’t go calling me an old lady, that’s only for me to say — I’ll be very miffed. LOL)


Skorocel Says:

Fed is GOAT said: “In fact, you can make a very good case that the nineties were the WEAKEST competition of any decade in the open era. I can prove it.”

LOL! Really? Then do it, man!


Skorocel Says:

huh: Where did I say you think of Fed as the GOAT?


huh Says:

Skorocel, please do me a small favor! Just keep in mind that when you’re posting to me, don’t use slang language like the F-bombs like you’ve used in the post vaguely referring to, only God knows whom. And one more thing is, if you think one victory at the AO vs Fed would matter very very much, then again, I don’t agree wth you just as myriads of other fans and observers who think like me on this topic.


huh Says:

“Skorocel Says:
huh: Where did I say you think of Fed as the GOAT?”

If you’know that I don’t consider Federer as the GOAT, then you needn’t, while asking me questions, say thinks like ‘He’s the supposed GOAT, the invincible, unbeatable Number 1 of all times’ etc etc!


huh Says:

OK MRS. VON! :)


huh Says:

Btw, bye bye Mrs.Von, I’m gonna sleep right now, it’s already morning here1 ;)


Dan Martin Says:

I had a column after Paris about how the GOAT debate is not something I am overly interested in – I do think Roger added something new to what tennis players have accomplished in the Open Era, but something new does not equal definitive proof of a player being #1 of all time. There is no proof. It is a title people like to argue about but there is no scoring system, computer ranking system or hawk eye for this. I think people will marvel in decades to come about what Roger has done as they do for Borg and Sampras. They will about Rafa as well. Courier said something to the effect that after Laver there are some records that require awe – Borg’s 6 FO, 5 Consecutive Wimbledon titles, Lendl’s 8 consecutive U.S. Open finals, Sampras’ 14, Sampras 7 Wimbledon’s in 8 years, Andre’s career slam, and then he said Roger’s various streaks in NY, London, slam semifinals, slam finals … I think I would add Connors 3 U.S. Open surfaces and 1974 performance, Mac’s 1984 performance, and Rafa’s clay court streak to this list, but yeah certain accomplishments deserve a wow and that is about all I can say. I am sure to be leaving a lot out I know.


Skorocel Says:

huh: “Skorocel, please do me a small favor! Just keep in mind that when you’re posting to me, don’t use slang language like the F-bombs like you’ve used in the post vaguely referring to, only God knows whom.”

Was that post directed at you? Did I offend someone with using that F-bomb?

P.S. Please, do this blog a small favor! When quoting a certain post (like the one which Fed is GOAT wrote), how about doing it on the thread where this post was originally written, and, if it’s a long post, how about saying something like “Fed GOAT, your post from July 10th, 2009 at 12:22 pm is just great, even if I disagree with…” instead of copying & pasting the whole thing once again? ;-)


Skorocel Says:

correction: should read “Fed is GOAT, your post from…”


lifeskills Says:

It is strange to to use some one’s losing record (such as H2H) as a factor in comparing players. By the same logic, shouldn’t one take into account all the other losses as well. May be we should dig into each of Federer’s, Sampras’s, Laver’s losses and look into patterns to build a case for them. It will go no where.

Why not just use their accomplishments (and in the worst case in case of a tie in their accomplishments, only then look at H2H and that too only between the players you are comparing if possible)?


fed is afraid Says:

it’s not only the bad h2h with rafa, what about the one with murray?


Polo Says:

If I were a professional tennis player, I would rather have a losing head to head record with several players and still have 15 majors to my name compared with another with only 6 to his name. All his fans can call him better than I am but I could not care less because by having 9 more, it means I have accomplished me. I focused on the same field and not just on one person. If one person beats me regularly yet loses to several other players ranked lower in majors and yet he claims he is the best for that solitary accomplishment, I will just smile. I will not be bothered because I know that he is merely riding on my majestic coattail.


Polo Says:

A lot of being written here are hypothetical. Everyone can write their own fictional story. You can twist events and make them turn the way you want, not the way it happened. Harbor all the ifs and whatnots and make them turn your merry way. No one can dispute what your mind weaves. All different endings can be concocted by fictional accounts. Yet truth remains and cannot be bent, Federer has fifteen, Nadal has six and Murray has none.


Kimo Says:

I’ve been following the posts for the past few days but didn’t fee like posting anything myself. However there is a point I wanna make for those who claim that Fed is not even the best in his era:

Yes, Nadal does have a 6-2 lead against Roger in slams, and in every one of those six wins Nadal went on to win the slam. But did you guys ask youself why is it that Nadal had to face Roger to get his slams but Roger didn’t have to face Rafa to win most of his?

It’s because in this era Roger is the standard bearer. He is the guy who you have to beat if you want to win a slam. If you’re good enough on the day of the match to beat Roger you’ll win the whole thing, if you’re not, Roger will take the slam home. Ever since Wimbledon 2004 (that’s 21 slams ago if you’re counting), the only guys who won slams were guys who were able to beat Roger in that slam. For me, that’s the bottom line of who is the best in his own era. The same can’t be said of Rafa. Had Rafa been there at every one of Roger’s slam wins I would have said that it’s a debate whethet it’s Roger’s era or Rafa’s era, but the fact is, it’s not even close.

Who knows what their H2H would have looked like had Rafa been able to reach the finals of the AO or the USO from 2005 to 2008, when he was world no.2 and can only face Roger if he makes it to the final?

Roger is always there for Rafa to beat, but Rafa isn’t always there for Roger to beat. That statement is not an insult to Roger, it’s a testament to how dominant he has been. This is Roger’s era.

As for the GOAT debate, in my mind the debate is over and I’m not gonna waste energy trying to convince anybody that he is. Besides, I believe that Roger’s accomplishments speak for themselves. There is no need for me to put any spin on them to make them GOATish. They are what they are.

I’m out.


SG Says:

huh Says:

“Hewitt at his best can definitely beat Federer, he’s that good otherwise he’d not wipe the floor with Pete in 2001 USO.”

As I said, biased, fanatical drivel. Hewitt at his best couldn’t beat Pete at his best or Federer at his best. Hewitt beat Sampras roughly 3 years past his peak. Hell,even Hewitt knows it (but he’d never admit it). Agassi has 8 majors and Hewitt 2. What are you going to say now? Hewitt is better than Agassi? LOL!


Gordo Says:

What I find interesting isthat post-match at the US Open no less than Rod Laver put the whole GOAT thing into what I believe is a proper perspective when he said that Roger Federer was definitely the best tennis player of his generation, adding that it is almost impossible to compare players from different eras and besides, any argument whether someone should be considered the GOAT should be put to rest until after the players in discussion no longer play tennis.

There are a lot of tennis fans in here who post comments on a regular basis who MUST have seen that interview. But here we are, dragging on the “Roger is the GOAT,” “Rafa is the GOAT” arguments, counter arguments – none of which are obviously conclusive because there are holes in each theorey, or it would not be generating such a heated discussion.

If it WAS conclusive there would be no bantering, contadictions and discussion.

So me – I am now electing to heed Laver’s words and will not partake in a goat discussion until after Roger Federer has retired. Then we can look at his numbers and achievements.

In the meantime, those of you that persist in keeping this topic alive, why don’t you start by quoting what Laver said (feel free to copy it from above) and then opine that he doesn’t know what he is talking about before you tell us your GOAT theorey?

I’m out on this subject.


FoT Says:

I read this and thought it was a fantastic article so I decided to share it with my Federer fans:

“Kool-Aid Open Bar.
Posted on 11, July, 2009 by dootsiez

I have gotten myself into a bit of a predicament by creating a new ritual: whenever Federer wins a slam, I shout all my friends to drinks. The result? My booming popularity coupled by a deflating bank account. Guess I should think twice next time before I yell those 3 magic words – “drinks on me“. Whatever, I’d rather be a pauper with drunken and disorderly friends than a rich ***** with none.

But why should my personal friends be the only ones to benefit from my “boundless” generosity? After all, it was to you – Anonymous-Blog-Readers – that I vented, ranted, commiserated and celebrated tennis over the past year. While I can’t really buy all of you Finlandia Mules, surely I can afford a round of cyber Kool-Aid instead? Hey, it’s not gonna break the bank.

So drink up my imaginary free Kool-Aid while I vent some more on what I consider to be utter ******** this week.

The thing is, I’ve tried really hard to take the high road. A part of me really can’t be ****ed responding to claptrap. But if it’s threatening to piss on my bonfire while I celebrate the best tennis month I’ve ever had, then I’ve got to get it off my chest.

Let me preface by saying that I have no problems with anyone hating Roger Federer’s Wimbledon gear – it was highly risky fashion to start with. Nor do I care that a lot of people may be feeling more sorry for Roddick than happy for Federer right now. What I don’t like is how the media has branched out on those two premises into what I consider to be a personal attack on the Fed.

Among other things, Tennis.com, SI, the Times and the infamous Mirror have accused Federer of being arrogant, disrespectful of Andy Roddick, and classless. All this is apparently based on his post-victory interview and a jacket with an inconspicuous 15 on it.

Nevermind that Federer admitted he didn’t know about the 15 jacket beforehand – the fact that the jacket was a surprise from Nike was never really relevant in the media portrayal of “Jacketgate“. Instead, tennis fandom has used a gift from Nike to its most valuable player as the premise to launch some rather vitriolic attacks on Federer. Head over to GTT for some sense on this Wimbledon dead horse.

The notion that a jacket with a small 15 on the side, neither designed nor orchestrated by Federer, could equate to him being arrogant and dismissive of his opponent is just ludicrous and cruel.

Similarly ludicrous is the idea that Federer was somehow rubbing it in Roddick’s face when he said that he knew what Roddick was going through in his trophy acceptance speech.

Yeah, what an insensitive, heartless jerk. How could he possibly know what it feels like to lose an epic final to a long time nemesis?

The fact that Nadal gave Federer, almost word for word, the same consolation – “tough losing an epic match, I know how you feel yada yada” – just a year ago on the very same court was irrelevant and couldn’t possibly be regarded as condescending. It’s only condescending coming out of the Mighty Fed’s mouth. A guy who said this about his opponent is obviously deserving of some serious bashing:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC
Federer acknowledged his celebrations were somewhat reserved after a marathon 30-game final set but this was partly out of respect for an opponent he has now beaten three times in Wimbledon finals.

“It was a combination of being maybe a little bit sad for Andy after seeing Rafa was sad for me at Wimbledon last year,” he explained.

“I felt like it was such a gruelling match, everybody was tired and felt for Andy so I didn’t want to make a drama about it but I knew the importance and that it was one of the greatest moments in my tennis career.”
Yup, the guy’s an arrogant, insensitive ass. Was I the only person who thought Roddick’s quip was just part of his dead pan humor rather than any offense taken on his part? How about a truer representation of what happened during the post-match speech instead?

But there’s something even more insidious on than these allegations of unsportsmanship. Let me see if I can put a finger it – some writers have gone as far as saying that Federer misrepresents the sport of tennis by portraying the image of “a lucky, privileged Porsche-driving, mummsy-loving, polo-watching, country club dandy”.

Ummm … Do I really have to point out the irony that Federer’s being accused of portraying an elitist image at a tournament where the umpires and linesmen wear Ralph Lauren blazers?

And of all the things you can accuse Federer of, misrepresenting the sport of tennis ain’t one of them. Let’s see: did the guy take drugs? Snort cocaine? Did he pick out his wife from an SI swimsuit issue? Has he married and/or divorced a Hollywood actress? Does he ball-bounce excessively, grunt or cheat on court? Has he ever gone off at the umpire or the linesmen?

Instead, he marries the girl-next-door that he’s dated for almost 10 years. He carries himself so calmly on court that when he smashed a racket in Miami, it made headline news on CNN and became instant youtube sensation. He sells his RF merchandise and uses the funds to affect change in South Africa. He gives up more time for the press than any other player in order to promote tennis. This is a guy voted by his peers for the Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award year after year. And somehow, because of a tracksuit jacket, we’re far too willing to toss his long standing credentials out the window, and cry “where is the old Roger?”

I’ll tell you how Federer has ‘misrepresented’ tennis: the day after the final, the two main newspapers in Melbourne – the Age and the Herald Sun – were inundated with letters to the editor congratulating Federer for his win. Not in the sports section, but in the general opinion section, next to discussions of government policy and international politics.

The Age dedicated its editorial of the day to Federer. Months earlier, when Federer lost to Djokovic in Miami, the Herald Sun ran a chatroom to discuss the crisis. I have never seen a foreign player spark so much interest for a sport that essentially expires mid-February in this country. Did anyone give a hoot that Federer wore a jacket with gold piping to celebrate his victory?

I just don’t get this ********. Among other things, I am truly shocked at how quickly haters, wait – ‘proper’ journalists, will jump on Fed’s perceived actions/inactions with a mob-like mentality.

What disheartens me more is the stuff that’s been left out of the discussion:

Lost amongst all this brouhaha over Jacketgate and sympathy for Roddick is the very human story of Roger Federer.

A few months ago, he was written off, thought to be done and dusted. Incapable of winning another slam.

A few months ago, he was serving poorly, and losing clutch sets with epic meltdowns, and crying about it too.

He rebounded from that. He coped with the immense pressure and “the Monster” he’s created for himself. He achieved slam No 15, and got back to World No 1. And did I mention he worked his ass off in Dubai and in Italy to get his serve back.

Did I mention he didn’t choke in the clutch set, and came through the fifth set in this Wimbledon final with some serious wilanders of steel.

But all this seems so insignificant compared to a jacket.

If a celebratory jacket is capable of amounting to a scandal in Roger Federer’s career, then I’d say that’s a pretty good reflection on his character. If I were him, I’d take all this as a compliment and a sign that he’s playing well again. After all, no one kicks a dead dog.

More Kool-Aid, anyone?

Drunk and still ranting,

xx dootsie ”

http://allineedisapicketfence.wordpress.com/2009/07/11/kool-aid-open-bar/


Kimo Says:

“And of all the things you can accuse Federer of, misrepresenting the sport of tennis ain’t one of them. Let’s see: did the guy take drugs? Snort cocaine? Did he pick out his wife from an SI swimsuit issue? Has he married and/or divorced a Hollywood actress? Does he ball-bounce excessively, grunt or cheat on court? Has he ever gone off at the umpire or the linesmen?”

LOL and ouch :DDD


Gordo Says:

Although I am out of the GOAT discussion I do want to weigh in alongside KIMO, who makes an excellent point about the consistency of Federer compared to Rafa at the slams. I had posted the breakdown in an earlier blog, but would like to do so again who those who may not believe Kimo’s comment.

Here is how Nadal and Federer have fared in the 21 Grand Slams they have both played in (Wi = Wimbledon, US = US OPEN, AU = Australian Open, RG = Roland Garros) -

EVENT and YEAR / Nadal / Federer

Wi 2003 / lost in 3rd / WON
US 03 / lost in 2nd / lost in 4th
AU 04 / lost in 3rd / WON
US 04 / lost in 2nd / WON
AU 05 / lost in 4th / WON
RG 05 / WON / lost in SF
Wi 05 / lost in 2nd / WON
US 05 / lost in 3rd / WON
RG 06 / WON / lost in final
Wi 06 / lost in final / WON
US 06 / lost in QF / WON
AU 07 / lost in QF / WON
RG 07 / WON / lost in final
Wi 07 / lost in final / WON
US 07 / lost in 4th / WON
AU 08 / lost in SF / lost in SF
RG 08 / WON / lost in final
Wi 08 / WON / lost in final
US 08 / lost in SF / WON
AU 09 / WON / lost in final
RG 09 / lost in 4th / WON

Nadal’s won – loss record: 90 – 15
Federer’s won – loss record: 134 – 8

Record in the 19 tournaments in the round where they did or would have met each other (meaning at least one player advanced to this round. [US 03 and AU 08 are the only tournaments where both players lost prior to the round where they would have met]) –

Nadal – 6 – 13
Federer – 13 – 6

So yes, Nadal’s Head to Head in Slams over Federer is impressive (6 – 2), but Roger could have had more opportunities if Rafa had been good enough to have reached the rounds where he would have met Fed.


Tennis Freak Says:

Ok, I have had it enough.
GOAT discussion in this proportion has become increasingly boring topic. If you think ornamentation, which is the real value of GOAT(read my posts above) does anything other than ornamentation, you are wrong. In fact over tawdry ornamentation will only trivialize what Fed has accomplished, if it has not already. That’s what you’ve doing to him by overdecorating him with clothes over clothes, makeups over makeups, lipsticks over lipsticks, eyeliners over eyeliners, botox over botox, facials over facials, bling blings over bling blings, ostentatious jewelries over jewelries, transplants over transplants (remember MJ’s nose?), and ultimately you are turning him into an unattractive Hoochie Coochie Man, despite you did not intend this (like kids do when they get their hands on makeup kits and mirror and nobody is around). Please, stop it.


huh Says:

SG Says:
“huh Says:

“Hewitt at his best can definitely beat Federer, he’s that good otherwise he’d not wipe the floor with Pete in 2001 USO.”

As I said, biased, fanatical drivel. Hewitt at his best couldn’t beat Pete at his best or Federer at his best. Hewitt beat Sampras roughly 3 years past his peak. Hell,even Hewitt knows it (but he’d never admit it). Agassi has 8 majors and Hewitt 2. What are you going to say now? Hewitt is better than Agassi? LOL!”

Comprehension problem man, comprehension problem! And it’s funny to see SG accusing others of biasedness towards faves!


huh Says:

SG: For your kind information, I have seen Agassi and Hewitt facing each other, and as far as I remember, it happened at their prime stages, and they were beating each other very very evenly and their level of play was also pretty much close. Each gave the other great fight and none could dominate the other. The H2H was 4-4 as well. So necessarily Hewitt wasn’t that better than Agassi and vice versa, especially when clashing with each other at their best.


fed is afraid Says:

the GOAT should have been able to win at least one french from rafa. he couldn’t even win one? what does that say about roger?


Von Says:

Gordo: “What I find interesting is that post-match at the US Open no less than Rod Laver put the whole GOAT thing into what I believe is a proper perspective when he said that Roger Federer was definitely the best tennis player of his generation, adding that it is almost impossible to compare players from different eras and besides, any argument whether someone should be considered the GOAT should be put to rest until after the players in discussion no longer play tennis.”

Laver has always mentioned that it’s impossible to compare eras and any player’s accomplishments should relate to his era and his era alone.

The Tennis Channel recently showed some clips of a party, honoring in Laver’s by the Hollywood Australians, before Federer won the FO. At that party Laver was interviewed on his thoughts with respect to any player being the greatest of all time, and his answer was the same as he’s ALWAYS stated, ‘no it’s impossible to compare eras, and a player can only be considered the greatest of his era”. I’ve also seen several other interviews with Laver and he’s held firm to that conviction. however, when I mentioned it here, MMT stated that Laver probably said that because he must have been tired of being asked the same question repeatedly. However, I don’t perceive laver to be that kind of person and stating such is really putting down a great champion in order to justifiy one’s personal conviction that Federer is the ‘GOAT’.

“There are a lot of tennis fans in here who post comments on a regular basis who MUST have seen that interview. But here we are, dragging on the “Roger is the GOAT,” “Rafa is the GOAT” arguments, counter arguments – none of which are obviously conclusive because there are holes in each theory, or it would not be generating such a heated discussion.”

Yes, again, I’ve seen that and several other interviews as mentioned above, but it has fallen on ears that are either in denial and/or feel they know more than Laver. I’ll defer to Laver, because I’m not a pro, I didn’t win 165 titles, nor held two (2) calendar GS wins.

As one who’s been posting regularly for 19 months, I’ll say this site is and has always been a predominantly Federer fan based site, from the writers to the intelligent posters, to the not so intelligent ones, et al., but despite it all, we the non-Fed posters had a voice, and during the time Federer had his drought, most of his fans high-tailed it out of here, the reason being : ‘because it hurt too much when he loses’. I’ve seen where some of those same fans began bad mouthing him, then made a 360 degree turnaround beginning with his Madrid win over Nadal — I call them fair-weather fans’. But never, have I seen the element that I see presently. It’s like a world gone mad, where the non-Fed fans are deprived of their right to speech, are told what they can and cannot say (says who) and only the Fed fans can contribute what they feel are worthwhile comments. We the non-Fed fans of tennis, are stigmatized and placed in a category marked ‘unmentionables and sour grapes’ and a caste system prevails — we are out-casts.

What I see slowly and ultimately happening to this new over-run ‘Federer fan boy’ site, is that some of the faithful day-in, day-out posters, who have contributed so much, have already left, some others will leave, and eventually all that will be left will be the ‘Federer fan-boys’ who’ll only post when Federer wins again, the comments will be sparse and the site will eventually have very little readership. My compliments to some of you, you’ve done an excellent job, taking something good and turning it into a mess. Then when it becomes a utter mess, those new Federer fans will ultimately leave from boredom, because there’s only so much one can talk on the same worn-out topic with their peers. Enjoy the ride.

I don’t care if Cindy Brady or whomever calls me ‘sour grapes’, but that’s how I see things evolving, and if any of you care, you’d do something about this situation before it comes back to bite you where it most hurts to sit.


Von Says:

“Did he pick out his wife from an SI swimsuit issue? Has he married and/or divorced a Hollywood actress?”

No, he didn’t, but what’s wrong with marrying an SI model (Andy Roddick) or married a Hollywood actress (Pete Sampras) and/or divorced a Hollywood actress (Andre Agassi)? Nothing.

“Instead, he marries the girl-next-door that he’s dated for almost 10 years.”

I wonder why he had to?

“Has he ever gone off at the umpire or the linesmen?”

Yes, yes, and yes, even hawkeye.


Kimo Says:

Von, it’s true that Fed sometimes complains to umpires, but he does it very rarely and when he does, he says nothing degrading to the umpires, nothing like “stay in school kids, or u might become an umpire.”


Kimo Says:

Von said:

“What I see slowly and ultimately happening to this new over-run ‘Federer fan boy’ site, is that some of the faithful day-in, day-out posters, who have contributed so much, have already left, some others will leave, and eventually all that will be left will be the ‘Federer fan-boys’ who’ll only post when Federer wins again”

I’ll admit that part of what you’re saying is true. I don’t post when Fed is losing because it DOES hurt too much and anything I say will be sour grapes (not just perceived that way).

But you know what, I think I speak for all Fed fans that after Fed won his RG and broke the GS record Fed’s losses won’t hurt as much, not even for Fed himself. His game will start to inevitably decline. He will not reach the heights that he reached from 2004-2007. It’s only natural. Fed will not cry like he did in Wimbledon 08 or AO 2009. He has cemented his place in history, GOAT or not. If he wins more slams we’ll be extatic, if he doesn’t we won’t be demoralized.

So don’t worry, we’ll stick around. :)


jane Says:

Von excellent posts at 3:33 & 3:48.

Personally, I think it’s absolutely FINE if a player marries an actress, a rock star, a model, another tennis player or whatever! Who cares? Who are we to judge? As long as they are happy. That’s the way I see it. This is, after all, the *private* part of their lives. It is not “on” the court, like, say, the fashion faux pas are.

Most wives and girlfriends have a pretty low-key presence in the player’s lives, just watching a supporting, and then they have a life of their own. For instance, Brooklyn wasn’t in attendance at the beginning of Wimbledon since she was working; Pete’s wife has a successful acting career (she was great in “Shopgirl”!); Djoko’s girlfriend is a student in Italy; Nadal’s girlfriend is hardly ever at matches; Johnny Mac’s wife is a singer and has a life of her own. These are great wives who have their own lives; when their husband retires, they will carry on with things.

———-

This business of Federer”s perfection is utterly grating too! No one, no one is perfect or free of mistakes. He gets mad at flashbulbs, moving spectators, hawkeye, Djoko’s parents, and so on. He cries overtly when he wins or loses. And so on. Some may find this endearing and others may not; that’s down to personal preference. Some may find Roddick’s umpire tiffs unmannered; some may find them valid and honest. Some may dislike Djoko’s bouncing; others could care less about it.

Can’t you people see? Federer is your favorite but he doesn’t have to be everyone’s!! Nor does everyone have to buy into this notion that he’s the classiest, most well-behaved, most moral, most down-to-earth player ever to grace the tennis court!

SHEESH.

Okay, rant over.


17th Century Monk Says:

In jeu de paumme there was a Parisian monk named Father LaSalle, OSB whose mastery of spin was only matched by his abilities in Gregorian chant. He was the GOAT – you update his equipment and let him play tennis in something other than a habbit and he would beat em all.

Seriously, nice article. Fed is Afraid Federer being a 3 time runner-up at Roland Garros makes him better at his worst slam than most of the other GOAT candidates. He’s no Father LaSalle, but maybe close.


Von Says:

Kimo: Honestly at this point, I could care less who sticks around, I know I won’t be for much longer. I personally don’t care to interact with anyone who refers to me, as ‘you people’ (NachoF, you wanted to know what you said) ‘delusional psycho’ (Kimo) ‘sour grapes’ and several other names (Cindy Brady ‘yuck’) ‘about to have a nervous breakdown, etc.,’ (Polo), ‘bitching’ behaving like a kid (sensationalsafin), ‘whining’ etc., (TennisFan), et al.

Kimo: “I say will be sour grapes (not just perceived that way).” I don’t understand, elaborate.
________________
jane: I’m 90% sure I know who wrote that BBC drivel; he used to post here, posts at Tennis Planet and is the one who always gives me the evaluation card whenever he shows up, demonizing me in the worst way. I tell you the abuse I’ve taken from some Fed fans is undescribable. Had it ntot ben for the fact that this site is not as vulgar as some others I’d be out of here along time.

“Can’t you people see? Federer is your favorite but he doesn’t have to be everyone’s!! Nor does everyone have to buy into this notion that he’s the classiest, most well-behaved, most moral, most down-to-earth player ever to grace the tennis court!”

He’s got scores of holes that need to be plugged up and is no better a human being than any other player, except for the manner in which he wields his racquet. LOL.


Von Says:

“Kimo Says:
Von, it’s true that Fed sometimes complains to umpires, but he does it very rarely and when he does, he says nothing degrading to the umpires, nothing like “stay in school kids, or u might become an umpire.”

He doesn’t say that, but he says a lot worse, ‘this F’ing HE is killing me’. He told djoko’s parents ‘be quiet’. If it were my parents i’d bop him on the mouth for that. how dare he. He also shouted out to Nadal’s Uncle ‘OK Toni” about what he felt was coaching. Not to mention behaving like a two-year-old at MC v. Hidalgo Ramirez.

Bottomline, he ain’t that classy, IMO.


Polo Says:

The reason this site is and has always been a predominantly Federer fan based site is because there are far more Federer fans in the entire world than any other tennis player at the present time. Therefore, there being more of them, the amount of blogs in Federer’s favor would naturally be more than anybody else. Plain and simple fact that anybody with an IQ can deduce.


Von Says:

“Plain and simple fact that anybody with an IQ can deduce.”

Mine is a lowly 172, so what can you expect? Dumb, dumber, dumbest, isn’t it?


Tennis Freak Says:

Von,
Sorry to disappoint you.
—”we the non-Fed posters had a voice”:
by voice, you mean unopposed monopoly? Who took your voice away? How does that “had a voice [=now that voice is taken away]” argument hold when you post most of all?
—”during the time Federer had his drought”:
he had a drought? Never thought so. I thought those 5000 tennis players have had title drought since 2003, except Rafa.

—- “most of his fans high-tailed it out of here”:
some do, which is obvious, because not everybody celebrates birthday every day unless you are Drew Barrymore in 51 First Dates.
— “it hurt too much when he loses”:
You felt the same way when your fav lost the other day. Nothing wrong with that.
—-”fair-weather fans”:
They are still tennis fans. There is nothing wrong to switch allegiance: there is no rule that if you support a player once, you should stick with him for life. There is no “I do” vow in the world of sports fans. There is no need to have a low opinion of those who divorce when it’s not working.
—- “It’s like a world gone mad, where the non-Fed fans are deprived of their right to speech…we are out-casts”:
How so? Have they tied your hands, taken away your computer, or frozen your mind? Did/ do you expect us to agree with you all the time? That’s not gonna happen.

—-”What I see slowly and ultimately happening to this new over-run ‘Federer fan boy’ site…turning it into a mess”:
You are entitled to think this way, but what would you say if another person disagrees with you and says, “we feel the same way about non-Fed fans: they already have turned this place into a mess.” What’s the quick resolution?

—”Cindy Brady”: You cannot turn your anger with a non-Fed fan on all those who admire and follow Fed. We cannot be held accountable for what she says to you.

—”sour grape.” I have seen more than a couple of sour-grape instances from non-Fed fans, obviously the party poopers.

Last words, Fed is not going anywhere, and Fed-fans are not deserting the field, either. You have to win. Neither drought-stricken players nor their fans should expect double exits, that we will age and wither and you will have your dog’s day. Fight for it, either on the court or on forums.
Sorry, young lady.


Von Says:

TF: ‘nolo contendere’. If I anwer you won’t like it, hence, nolo contendere.


Von Says:

Just one last thing before I stop: “argument hold when you post most of all?”

No I don’t, count the posts. Even if that were true, I pledge and promise, it won’t happen again, you’ve got my word on it. Hey, it’ll be that much less for anyone to read.


Tennis Freak Says:

Any writing that focuses on player’s behavior, personal life, clothes, food, etc. and makes judgment about him is nothing more than absolute crap. This is an infection, 19th century British-gossipy pandemic catching the fire on this side of Atlantic. We, the non-soap opera people, need to quarantine and asphyxiate it.
Please, help prevent the spread of the disease by not posting those stuff.
Best precaution is to avoid the infected territories.


huh Says:

“The fact that Nadal gave Federer, almost word for word, the same consolation – “tough losing an epic match, I know how you feel yada yada” – just a year ago on the very same court was irrelevant and couldn’t possibly be regarded as condescending. It’s only condescending coming out of the Mighty Fed’s mouth.”

Exactly FoT, very well said!


Tennis Freak Says:

Von,
Thanks for giving me a free pass. I earned this one, too, though it will be foolish to expect every time.


Tennis Freak Says:

Von,
“No I don’t, count the posts. Even if that were true, I pledge and promise, it won’t happen again, you’ve got my word on it. Hey, it’ll be that much less for anyone to read.”

You misunderstood me 100% if you thought I was complaining about your posts, quantity or quality.
Take back the pledge, for me, if you can. Less is no good for me, except the GOAT and personality.


jane Says:

“I thought those 5000 tennis players have had title drought since 2003″

But lo and behold! The haven’t have they? In fact, gasp, I think MANY players have won titles since 2003 – players who are NOT named Rafa and Fed. Sure, those two have had a monopoly on the slams, but a few have crashed the party even at the slams. A few dynamos, by the names of Roddick, Safin, Djokovic, and Gaudio I think?

“We, the non-soap opera people, need to quarantine and asphyxiate it.”

Tennis Freak, people can post whatever they want. If they want to talk about player’s fashion sense, wives, grunts, behavior, then they can do so!

Only the moderator can tell us “that is not allowed!” You just started posting here a month or so ago, and now you can tell posters what they can / cannot say?

I don’t think that’s how “forums” work.


jane Says:

If people don’t like the “gossipy” posts, there is the scroll bar correct?

I’ll tell you something: I scroll over most of the stat lists and slam tabulations because I start yawning and falling asleep. Sometimes the dishy stuff is more fun to write about and comment on. I think we should be allowed to have opinions about all things tennis related, and since fashion has become a part of tennis, by gosh we can talk about that. And since the players’ often have their spouses there supporting them, and since, on some level, especially the top players are kind of like celebrities, maybe we’ll talk about their spouses or their personal lives. What? We can’t mention Federer’s fashion mistakes or the impact his baby might have? We can send him congratulations on his wedding? Is that a pandemic?


huh Says:

Nobody’s voice has been crushed until now in any manner by anyone. Everyone’s progressing here in his/her own way IMO and let it happen as it’d. And suppose this site becomes a Federer fan site, I already’ve got a name for it: http://www.Fed-x.com! Lol! However I’d care very less about it if it happens as I’m a member of Fed, Rafa, Djoko, Roddick and Murray’s offical sites too, ha ha!! ;)


Tennis Freak Says:

ja…Jane,
Ref: “But lo and behold!…Gaudio I think?
Ok, Fed had drought. These 5000 did not. And I agree with Von. Happy? I don’t want to take your voice away.

Ref: “you can [not] tell posters what they can / cannot say?”
Thanks. I am novice and learning. As if they’d listen.
Did I say “they can’t”?
Ref: “Tennis Freak, people can post whatever they want.” Excluding me? If not then, why can’t I “say” “We, the non-soap opera people, need to quarantine and asphyxiate it [that "we" don't like]”? This is also an opinion, just like any other.


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane,
Ref: “fashion has become a part of tennis.”

I believe in autonomy of tennis. I don’t think “fashion” is “part” of tennis. “Fashion” does not contribute to or take away anything from tennis. “Part” is a pretty strong term with a technical meaning. For instance, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wears Armani does not mean that fashion is part of House proceedings.
How does something become a part of the whole, following any post/modern philosophical school of thought, if it does not play constitutive role?


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane,
“What? We can’t mention Federer’s fashion mistakes or the impact his baby might have? We can send him congratulations on his wedding? Is that a pandemic?”

How is Roger’s wedding and your congratulation part of the sport of tennis?
The question itself has soap opera element in it. It is pandemic to me. And my appeal was to like-minded people.
You can talk about anything you want. Is anybody stopping you? Can anyone stop you? No.
However, I will continue my opposition to what I think is a non-factor for the health of tennis. I find it invasive if someone says, “My haircut makes my tennis sexy or my goatee helps top-spin the ball the way it does.” My response would be, “You are in the wrong field.” Whether Rafa wears short pants or shorts, they do not make any difference to his shots. If and when they do, fashion becomes a part. But no player wants that to happen.


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane,
“If people don’t like the “gossipy” posts, there is the scroll bar correct?”
I forgot about that. Thanks for reminding. But I won’t use it and won’t shy away from opposing. Are you trying to “take away my voice” or what?


jane Says:

Tennis Freak – fashion, whether you see it as such or not, (fashion being the clothing players wear) has ALWAYS been a “part” of tennis. There are specific clothing items players wear to play the game, some they wear to make a personal or professional statement, and even some rules about clothing items in tennis:

- Women have almost always worn skirts, for example. A few have worn shorts but they are rare.

J-Mac & Borg were famous for the sweat / headband trend.

There is a sartorial code at Wimbledon, which upholds it’s traditionalist presentation: white only. Some iconoclasts have tried to rebel against this (ex. Golovin’s red knickers) but with little success.

Rafa ushered in the sleeveless look for a time.

And so on …

And I disagree that what the speaker of the house wears is NOT part of the proceedings: ref “Fashion as Communication” by Malcolm Barnard. The clothing people wear in any situation speaks volumes and therefore can be considered “part” of that situation. (And i mean all clothing, from homeless, to ethnic, to “vogue” peoples’ clothing)

———————————————-
Re you’re claim that those who want to set boundaries as to what can or will or should be said here – i.e. “we need to quarantine and asphyxiate it” – is perhaps an opinion but it is one that necessarily wants to “kill” (smother) the opinions of us other “soap opera” people.

Why isn’t there room for ALL opinions, barring those that are offensive or completely unrelated to tennis? That was my point. There have been posts by Tennis X staff on everything from wedding announcements, sports illustrated photos, clothing items, personal problems, smack talk – you name it! So why on earth can’t the bloggers follow suit? I don’t see any harm in it.


Skorocel Says:

Gordo: „So yes, Nadal’s Head to Head in Slams over Federer is impressive (6 – 2), but Roger could have had more opportunities if Rafa had been good enough to have reached the rounds where he would have met Fed.“

That’s true, but the thing is, no one can guarantee whether Fed would fare better or not, had these two met in some other grandslams than RG more often. As you may know, thus far, they’ve played 9 matches outside of clay (which is a pretty decent number), and they’re almost dead even. So there’s hardly any indication he would do better (or, in other words, improve his H2H vs the Spaniard). The same can be said about slams – they’ve thus far had 8 slam meetings, of which 4 were on clay and 4 on non-clay surfaces (which is again more than a decent number to give us some indications). On clay, it’s a shutout for Nadal, and outside of it, they’re perfectly even, so again, there isn’t any obvious reason for us to believe he would’ve fared better. We can only guess.


Skorocel Says:

„the GOAT should have been able to win at least one french from rafa.“

Guess someone is gonna slap me for this, but what the hell? I agree with FIA!


jane Says:

Your word “asphyxiate” is a dominating word, a word that suggests taking away life from something (breath = spirit = life). I think there is no reason for one to try to “quarantine and asphyxiate” another’s voice/opinion.

My point about the scroll bar means this: other people can have opinions that I may disagree with but that doesn’t mean I have to ALWAYS try to squash their views or engage in that discussion. I may not agree that X player’s stats are better that Y player’s but that doesn’t mean I have to try to “quarantine and asphyxiate” that person (or those people) who does believe that. I can merely agree to disagree and / or opt out of that particular conversation. That’s not “taking away” my voice; it’s saving it, using it wisely and/or where I see more relevant.

—————————————

“How is Roger’s wedding and your congratulation part of the sport of tennis?”

1.) Both of them (Roger and Mirka) are / were tennis players
2.) Mirka is also Roger’s manager, and thus involved in many aspects of his career: from PR, through scheduling, and so forth. The fact that they are married too makes it an interesting story.

There is such a thing as “human interest” and you may find it “soap opera-ish” but other fans of this sport may not.


SG Says:

huh Says:

“Hewitt at his best can definitely beat Federer, he’s that good otherwise he’d not wipe the floor with Pete in 2001 USO.”

Comprehension problem man, comprehension problem! And it’s funny to see SG accusing others of biasedness towards faves!

*********************

Don’t think so. No comprehension problem here. You’re the one with the bias. You can’t back up your statements. When was the last time Hewitt beat Federer? 2003. Yeah, at his best he could beat Federer. Right. You mean that the last 12 times Fed played Lleyton, Lleyton wasn’t at his best? Not even once? Do your really want to make that argument? Are you sure?

Read through some of my posts. I have said things like, “Federer is in the GOAT mix” and “Federer is the best hardcourter of all time” and “The GOAT is either Laver of Federer”. The fact that I liked Sampras doesn’t mean I can’t see things for what they are. I’m not making the argument that Sampras is the GOAT. What I said was that Sampras is a better grasscourter than Federer. Frankly, I don’t care if Fed wins 9 W’s, my opinion on this won’t change.

In this era at Wimbldedon, you can get away with rallying from the backcourt and win. There is pretty much no strategical change playing the FO, Wimbledon, the AO or the USO for that matter. With the exception of Agassi’s win in 1992 (which was somewhat lucky given the state of his game at that time), the 90′s was an era of big serving and attacking promoted by faster surfaces and lighter balls. The Wimbledon game has changed radically over the past decade. Even Borg and Connors, noted for their baseline games had to venture to net (a lot) to win at Wimbledon in their time. They had to change their games to win. Federer hasn’t had to.

and huh, don’t worry, you won’t have to send back your “I Love Roger Fan Club” membership fee back if you have even the smallest compulsion to admit that I might be right. I won’t tell anyone.


Von Says:

“It’s interesting circumstances,” said the 25-year-old Ram of Carmel, Ind., American-born but of Indian heritage. “But I just figured I would try to take advantage of the situation and it has gone well so far — a little bit of belief, a little bit of good fortune and a lot of hard work.”

I took this from the Querrey thread. Note Ram talks about ‘good fortune’ here, which to me is the same as ‘luck’, so for those who don’t want to hear about luck, well, just so you know players feel they get ‘lucky. And, even ‘the Federer’ says he got ‘lucky’ at times. In the end, ‘luck’ does feature in quite a few things, e.g., ‘luck of the draw’? yes?


Von Says:

SG: “Wimbledon, the AO or the USO for that matter. With the exception of Agassi’s win in 1992 (which was somewhat lucky given the state of his game at that time),”

“.. (which was somewhat lucky given the state of his game at that time),”

sshhh, bite your tongue, we are not allowed to talk about ‘luck’.


jane Says:

And another word on fashion: it COULD indeed affect the game players play. For example, women used to wear very long skirts, which could most definitely affect their movement. Now they have to worry more about something slipping out the top half, with all the spaghetti straps on view. It’s possible a shirt that is too tight could affect a player’s serve, could rub or chafe the wrong way, or just look plain uncomfortable. There are shoe issues, the style or cut of a shoe, that could definitely affect a players game. Shorts could fall down in the middle of a point and cause a player to lose that point. And so on. See? Clothing can affect performance: why not? Certainly playing in full-length slacks, polos and vests would be a little hot and bothersome for today’s power game, so the clothing had to evolve along with performance. Clothing = ear, unless it’s nudist tennis, which i wouldn’t want to watch.


jane Says:

“Clothing = ear” should be “clothing = GEAR”


Von Says:

TF: I need to feel free an/or breathe when I post. I don’t like parameters, straight jackets, and/or boundaries. You see, I have this little problem, I’m claustrophobic, which trnslates to: Ii cant live in an apartment, because I feel locked in; I can’t post on a tennis forum, if my ideas and opinions are referred to as ‘delusional’ or I’m about ‘to have a nervous breakdown’ because I’m, passionate about a topic. Nor can I post, when I see a poster telling others “I want it stopped”, or to “stop it”. I mean, of all the umitigated gall, to tell another to “stop it”. sheesh. I believe that’s crossing over too many boundaries and infringing upon my freedom of spech, don’t you think?


jane Says:

And about players’ personal lives: players are human beings! Therefore, what is going on off the court can very well impact what goes on on the court. Witness Dokic’s insane father, and the impact he’s had on her career. Or people talk about Mirka’s impact on Fed’s success. Roddick himself says that since he’s married, he doesn’t have to worry/ think to much about life off the court, because it’s all good. Players can, by contrast, have turmoil off the court, which can affect them subconsciously, which could impact their games and/or their focus/confidence.


fed is afraid Says:

skorocel-great minds think alike!!


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane,
We could have a stronger, more complex conversation, if your part-whole discussion had taken philosophical turn. Be that as t may.

You stick to what you know, and I stick to what I know. I don’t know what you believe in, but I believe in the autopoiesis of tennis, i.e. if tennis responds to fashion, it does in its own terms, not in fashion’s terms. Fashion, like tennis, behaves the same way: It is neither controlled, guided, or instructed by tennis. If fashion responds to tennis, it does in its own terms. From the vantage point I endorse, fashion is external, and it does not and should not have its say in how tennis is played, what its rules should be, what direction different surfaces should evolve into in the future, racket technology, shots evolution, all that is constitutive of tennis, the sport. Dokic’s father’s behavior is not part of tennis, and no institution related to tennis will address the issue (did it?) nor will it have any “impact” on overall tennis in the sense that instances like these are so external that they will not have effects on tournaments, their schedules, players in general, manners, rules, etc. They should not. Did Fed’s mono, back pain, wedding, etc. stop tennis or alter the sport’s constitution, rule books, or anything across the board? And non of these is or should be part of tennis, except you are speaking ordinary language. Individual problems have to be remedied individually. The institution does not and will not address those until it is adversely affected by them, with regard to its goals, which are different from player’s personal problems.

Fashion and clothing are not necessarily the same, even if you are doing some literary analysis. They can overlap, but they are not the same. You will be throwing a wider net to privilege “fashion,” if you allow it to usurp clothing. I am aware of sartorial metaphors and the limited effect of their meanings (w.r.t. a tennis or a player). But if somebody argues Murray lost or won Wimbledon due to the Fred Perry outfit, or it increased or decreased his performance, that is utter nonsense. If he had felt that it had any effect whatsoever on his game, he would not wear it. He made sure it had zero effect, i.e. non-factor.

As a player on the court, I’d not want my clothing to be a factor, meaning it should not be affecting my game negatively in any case. The “comfort” that you mention means non-factor. It is not Superman or Spiderman’s costume. I don’t go on the court, hoping my clothing to be my steroid, a performance-enhancer.

And what I am opposed is not the kind of conversation we are having right now. Even with the “worst” topic, we are good. To close, I use my prerogative to endorse territorial sovereignty, and oppose trespassing (fashion’s invasion into tennis, trying to be a part, meaning fashion having its say in what tennis can or cannot be; or tennis invading fashion industries; I endorse tennis does not and cannot tell what fashion industries can or cannot produce, even the products related to it; it is the other way round; e.g. Nike responds to tennis clothings in Nike’s terms). Don’t take me wrong: I am a sucker for pop-culture, but not the soap opera gossipy kind.
I am just sharing with good intent: what I said above is purely political and philosophical statement, based on the most current, fashionable thought in the academy, at least within sociology and culture studies scholars.


jane Says:

1.) ” no institution related to tennis will address the issue (did it?) ”

Yes, Dokic’s story was reported throughout the AO, by tennis commentators on television who were commenting on her matches, and of course at tennis blogs like this one. When her dad was arrested that was also mentioned at various tennis-affiliated/focused websites.

Note, too, that the ATP website itself reports on players’ weddings, births of their children and so on.

2.) “fashion is external, and it does not and should not have its say in how tennis is played”

But it does, and it has, historically speaking: read my post @ 7:05 pm. I’ll offer one reiteration only: women’s long skirts would’ve impeded their movement on the court, and thus the shift towards shorter skirts (at, or above, the knee) changed the way women’s tennis was/is played.

Freer movement due to a sartorical change = “a say in how tennis is played”.

3.) Players are human beings; therefore their life off the court (personal matters) will INDEED affect tennis.

For example, if people think Federer was held back due to mono/back pain, and therefore those fans/pundits argue that he *would’ve* most likely won the AO 2008 or 2009 if he was well, then his illness/injury did in fact influence tennis records, and how many slams he has now. That is, if we buy that argument.

Personal lives will affect the rules too and vice versa. For instance, doping; rules are made which directly affect/impinge upon a player’s life outside of tennis.

Or what about the stabbing of Seles inflicted by some weirdo stalker? That incident most certainly must have resulted in a change of rules, a beefing up of security at major events? (I would imagine there were “official” discussions about security rules/needs following the FO ‘Jimmy Jump’ episode in the final).

Personal issues can therefore affect a tennis institution’s goals or rules or official policy.

Or think of the Williams sisters and their conflict Indian Wells: as you know, they have boycotted that event on racial and personal grounds; this, in turn, has had an affect on the tournament’s goals every year, with the ensuing bad publicity – the goals of the tournament must be success, good publicity, and good attendance. Yet every year, this event is tainted with that past occurrence.

Personal and professional are not so separate, and I don’t understand your desire to compartmentalize them. These aspects of our lives overlap, and so will they overlap in tennis.

4) “Fashion and clothing are not necessarily the same” – they are in the sense that they are inseparable, to a degree, but for sure the words have different connotations. If you prefer, by all means use the word clothing instead of fashion; that’s fine with me. It’s still deeply imbricated in any sport because it is required “gear” – except for the “suits” and “overcoats” that Federer and Serena and Sharapova don to walk onto the court.

5) You say Murray’s Fred Perry clothing had no effect on his results, and that is probably so; in fact it’s very likely that it is so. However, on the other hand, if a person were to argue that the subconscious implications of wearing gear named after the nation’s last winner some 70+ years ago may have added to the mental pressure Murray must’ve already been feeling, whether on the surface or on some deeper level, then I could see this argument as at least plausible – not utterly illogical or untenable. Maybe only a smidgen possible, but still. A bad luck charm perhaps? LOL.

Clothing can affect mood, confidence, and/or comfort, which can in turn affect performance.


Von Says:

“Clothing can affect mood, confidence, and/or comfort, which can in turn affect performance.”

It’s why there was the whole “dress for success” trend in the eighties. Wardrobe color coordination is done according to skin tone, hair and eye colors. People’s clothes can lift their moods, affect first impressions and performance. If you look good, you’ll feel good, and feeling good translates to enhanced performance. Marketing is based on psychological affectation. And, the fact is, marketing is by definition psychology applied to business. People make purchases based on the messages they receive, e.g, through the media, and in the case of sports, what they see the players wearing. However, are the clothing manufacturers crafting that message carefully enough though? That’s dependent on the response of the public with respect to gross sales of some players outfits. For exmple, Nadal’s pirate outfit made millions of dollars for Nike. I doubt whether Federer’s Sergeant Pepper’s outfit will engender as much income though, as that outfit would most probably appeal to the classes than to the masses. Thus, all in all, the clothing used by the tennis players does have an effect on the players and the fans.


Tennis Freak Says:

If something is a “part,” it means the whole has regulative authority over it, and tennis does not have regulative authority, command and control, over fashion, therefore fashion is not a part of tennis, or vice versa.

—”Dokic’s story was reported throughout the AO, by tennis commentators on television.” Sorry, media is not a part of tennis except in ordinarily spoken language (I am aware of mandatory press interviews, but this does not mean tennis is the whole; and media is its part). Those “reports” that you mention are not considered for Ranking system and/or are not part of rule book, or tournaments, or schedules, or tennis technology. They are externals.

—Seles’ incident is an isolated case, but if it had happened outside the arena, tennis would not have addressed it.
—You have overemphasized or overdetermined the concept of effect. Let me repeat: The sport of tennis does not address individual needs and problems unless it sees wider implications (that is the key to what tennis finds relevant). Why is it difficult to understand that a systemic entity like tennis responds to anything external to it in its own terms, meaning it does not compromise its autopoietic evolution?
—”they [clothing and fashion] are in the sense that they are inseparable, to a degree.” “[T]o a degree” is the key word here. Fashion is under clothing, not the other way round. What you wear could be completely unfasionable or fashionable clothes but not clothable fashions (see the oddity of the latter pharse?). Fashion is more related to styles, what you construct out of clothing. Clothing is not necessarily constructed out of fashions. And in that construction, fashion achieves its distinguishability.

—-”desire to compartmentalize them”: it is for the functional stability of democracy, necessary for an institution that wants to behave democratically. When you come to work, you leave your domestic, personal problems at home; you don’t bring them to work. For me, the idea of overlapping is a ’90s neo-humanistic thought. I am no longer stuck with that.

—No matter how many ways you present your argument, it is not gonna convince me because I am too stubborn on this (I spent 6 years on boundary math and subsequent philosophical thoughts on this to reject any theory of overlapping or interdependence because it is not good for a functionally differentiated society that we live in: you allow A to influence B in A’s terms, B loses its sovereignty and becomes a dependent, sub-entity; e.g. your refrigerator malfunction affecting your duty at work; I am not saying it does not; it should not. If it does, you should/ could be fired).

To put in your phrase, let’s agree to disagree and put a period to this.


fed is afraid Says:

the seles incident happened while she was sitting at a changeover. the tennis world did not want to address it and pretended it never happened. monica never received any justice on or off the court.


Polo Says:

Von said: “Mine is a lowly 172, so what can you expect? …”

You probably took one of those IQ tests that pop in the internet because your posts definitely is not reflective of such an IQ. Hahaha.

By the way, I see nothing repulsive about Roger’s jacket with the 15 number on it. If I have won my fifteenth major, I would have it emblazoned on everything I wear and in bigger prints. Nobody should be offended by it the same way that I don’t think anybody should be offended if Roddick wears a jacket that has ONE printed on it.


jane Says:

1. “If something is a “part,” it means the whole has regulative authority over it”

No – not necessarily true; parts can work in tandem, or arise on their own. Moreover, why must there be “regulative authority!?”

And as I just mentioned, Wimbledon DOES have regulative authority over the players’ attire (they must wear white); Wimbledon is part of tennis, the oldest, most traditional slam, some might even say, a “symbol” of tennis; therefore, tennis can have authority over clothing. I wonder what tournaments would say if professional players can on the court wearing jeans and a t-shirt? I suppose that’d be okay?!

2. The personal will affect the professional; therefore a player’s personal life will affect how well s/he plays tennis. Tennis records / stats / history could be affected as a result. That’s my claim. It is not an overdetermined stance imo. It is straightforward. I believe in interconnection not compartmentalization.

“The sport of tennis does not address individual needs and problems unless it sees wider implications”

And often there are wider implications – I cited a number of examples: doping, Williams sisters/IW, Seles, Jimmy Jump, etc.

Here’s another example: right now there are at least two guys, two TOP guys, who take a long time to complete their service motions due to personal indiosycracies or possibly gamesmanship. As a result, there may be a clock added to the court to time service preparation. Personal proclivity = change in tennis rules/form.

Or the shrieking in women’s tennis – began largely with Seles (a personal habit?), continued in some other top players, has now reached the point at which slams and WTA are considering addressing it with rules. Personal habit = change in tennis rules.

3. “When you come to work, you leave your domestic, personal problems at home; you don’t bring them to work.”

I am not saying the players come onto the court and discuss the fight they had with their wives the night before – sheesh! HOWEVER, we are humans and not robots. Same with the players. And things play on us at a subconscious level. Therefore, if a player did fight with his wife it could affect his performance – maybe he’ll fuel his anger into his game and play lights out; maybe he’ll feel “off” and have a crappy game.

When I have a bad week, say my mom is ill, and I have to teach; I don’t come to class and talk to my students about it. But maybe I’ll be less comical in class, more down to business. Or maybe I’ll lecture less and do more group work.

I don’t believe it is possible to compartmentalize life. I believe in interconnection. Between people’s lives, nations, environments, and so on. It’s an expansive belief for me, whether it’s “’90s neo-humanistic” or not. It’s more a personal philosophy than an academic train of thought in this case.

And so yes, to make a long story short – let’s agree to disagree TF.


Von Says:

Polo: “Von said: “Mine is a lowly 172, so what can you expect? …”

“You probably took one of those IQ tests that pop in the internet because your posts definitely is not reflective of such an IQ. Hahaha.”

You betcha, and I bet yours is room temperature?

“By the way, I see nothing repulsive about Roger’s jacket with the 15 number on it. If I have won my fifteenth major, I would have it emblazoned on everything I wear and in bigger prints. Nobody should be offended by it the same way that I don’t think anybody should be offended if Roddick wears a jacket that has ONE printed on it.”

Here we go with your comprehension skills again. show me where I mentioned your idol’s jacket?

You know what Polo, if I behaved as you did during Dubai with respect to your idol, I’d be embarased. Shall I find your post to remind you of your allegiance to the mighty one? I’d say hardly likely. The bottomline i could care zilch what you think of me. As I said, dumb, dumber and dumbest.


Von Says:

Well jane, I hope you see what I meant when you had those carnival/carnivalesque discussions. Believe me it’s apples and oranges.


jane Says:

The other thing TP, is there is no single “regulative authority” in tennis: there are the ITF, the ATP, the WTA, the various slams which may/may not have their own regulations, even clubs that host some of the smaller events may have some of their own rules (e.g. a dress code or something?).

Plus there are mutations that can affect tennis clothing: e.g. women’s shorter skirts = short skirts in tennis. Men’s longer shorts in 90s = longer men’s shorts in tennis (I don’t see anyone wearing those Borg/Mac era short shorts anymore, for example; they all wear longer ones.)

Plus the increase in marketing in tennis, say even in the last five years with Nike and Adidas in particular, lead to the ITF to change their dress code in 2006 to regulate the size/extent of the branding on the players clothing. So really, what it amounts to, is that the wider move toward corporate marketing in the world at large (i.e., no logo anyone?) impacted the marketing in tennis, which impacted clothing regulations and shenanigans! :)


jane Says:

Von, yeah, and I am trying to stick to plain language; hope you can see that!


Von Says:

Jane: It doesn’t matter what kind of language you stick to. It’s getting embroiled in the discussions. I write with the simplest language possible, and yet, my posts are misinterpreted. It’s a waste of time, so I’ll just plead ‘nolo contendere’. It’s the easiest path for for me take considering my internet IQ test results. LOL.


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane,
Of all the things you said today, one thing was stimulating to my intellectual curiosity; the rest was… (non-invitational? not sure how to characterize):
“1. “If something is a “part,” it means the whole has regulative authority over it”

No – not necessarily true; parts can work in tandem, or arise on their own. Moreover, why must there be “regulative authority!?”

I will get back to it sometime tomorrow.


Save_Us_Rafa Says:

or Djoko… or Murray… or Roddick…


Tennis the Menace Says:

Von will you marry me? 170′s is really impressive. I am pretty smart myself (not in that range), but wow our kids could win Noble Prizes instead of Wimbledon titles. Think it over.


Tennis the Menace Says:

New to the site and I like it… Does this site have a facebook presence like TennisTalk does?


Polo Says:

Von says: You betcha, and I bet yours is room temperature?

My response: I am sure you are correct, if you are referring to the temperature in the room you are in. You have an incredibly high IQ, you can figure that one out.

Von added: …The bottomline i could care zilch what you think of me. As I said, dumb, dumber and dumbest.

My response: With your Sharon Stone-like IQ, you could also figure which of those you are. And I do believe you care very much what I and other people think of you. With your elephant memory, surely you must remember that you respond to everybody who has said anything about you. Von, I really worry about your mental health. You know the saying, there is a thin line between genius and…


Tennis Freak Says:

Jane,
I was only teasing you. It was (is still) tempting. Since we are speaking in two different languages, two mutually incompatible programs, there is an obvious communication breakdown, no information flow. I am not gonna reopen the topic after putting a period to it.
Looking forward to the next bout (on a new topic).


Tennis Freak Says:

I have come up with a nickname for my name, XP-Freak, where XP= xenophilous, one who likes everything that is not me or native, e.g. foreign peoples, manners, or cultures (or players that you did not like in the past). One of my every day goals in life is to try to find a way to like something I don’t like. So, as I strive to like what I dislike, I find this nickname suitable to my purpose.


huh Says:

“SG says:What I said was that Sampras is a better grasscourter than Federer. Frankly, I don’t care if Fed wins 9 W’s, my opinion on this won’t change.

In this era at Wimbldedon, you can get away with rallying from the backcourt and win. There is pretty much no strategical change playing the FO, Wimbledon, the AO or the USO for that matter. With the exception of Agassi’s win in 1992 (which was somewhat lucky given the state of his game at that time), the 90’s was an era of big serving and attacking promoted by faster surfaces and lighter balls. The Wimbledon game has changed radically over the past decade. Even Borg and Connors, noted for their baseline games had to venture to net (a lot) to win at Wimbledon in their time. They had to change their games to win. Federer hasn’t had to.”

Sorry to disappoint you, but I frankly agree with you on this! This is something I’ve always told to myself, no doubt about it. Sampras’d always remain a better grass-court player than Fed in my opinion; and also this tactical adjustment thing you mentioned is pretty spot on, I too’ve always believed that these days players don’t need to make big adjustments and/or adopt diverse tactics that much as they’d to in the past coz the dumb ATP folks’re really trying their best to make the pace and bounce of the surfaces at the different slams as closer to each other as possible, thereby IMO slowly killing the beauty of the game.


Kimo Says:

SG and huh, actually you’re both wrong.

How many times did Fed win Halle? 4 or 5? If you guys never watched Fed play at Halle I hope you get a chance to next year. Halle is FAST, crazy FAST. Gerry Weber Stadion at Halle is probably the fastest court in the world, and add to that that it has a roof!!! You don’t win Halle if you can’t adjust your game from clay to grass. It’s true that Fed plays mostly from the baseline there, but he serves and volleys a lot more there than at Wimbledon. He has the ability to do it.

I’m not gonna go into the “who’s the best grass-courter discussion” because I think if Fed played in Sampras’s era he would have served and volleyed more and do it well too (see his match against Sampras is 2001) and if Sampras played now he would have stayed back a little more and do it well too. So it’s kinda hard to choose.

I like watching Fed’s game on grass more, though. More diversity.


SG Says:

huh Says:

Sorry to disappoint you, but I frankly agree with you on this! This is something I’ve always told to myself, no doubt about it. Sampras’d always remain a better grass-court player than Fed in my opinion; and also this tactical adjustment thing you mentioned is pretty spot on, I too’ve always believed that these days players don’t need to make big adjustments and/or adopt diverse tactics that much as they’d to in the past coz the dumb ATP folks’re really trying their best to make the pace and bounce of the surfaces at the different slams as closer to each other as possible, thereby IMO slowly killing the beauty of the game.

**********************

Ok then.


SG Says:

Kimo Says:
SG and huh, actually you’re both wrong.

How many times did Fed win Halle? 4 or 5?If you guys never watched Fed play at Halle I hope you get a chance to next year. Halle is FAST, crazy FAST.

************************

Yes Kimo, this may be true but this is only because Federer is about the only guy on tour in the upper echelon (Hewitt is not in the upper echelon anymore) who actually has some decent volleys skills. This being said, I don’t see his volleys anywhere near Sampras’, McEnroe’s or Edberg’s. I’ve watched Federer volley and he misses his fair share of them. For what it’s worth, Edberg is the best volleyer I have ever seen. Edberg (1) – Mac (2) – Sampras (3) of the players I’ve seen a lot. I’m sure guys like Laver and Rosewall were as good or better.


SG Says:

I know it was an EXO but Sampras beat Fed on a greasy fast surface in Macau. He was able to keep Fed at bay with the big first serve. Much like waht Sampras did during the 90′s at Wimbledon.


Kimo Says:

SG Said:

“I’ve watched Federer volley and he misses his fair share of them. For what it’s worth, Edberg is the best volleyer I have ever seen. Edberg (1) – Mac (2) – Sampras (3) of the players I’ve seen a lot.”

True, but none of them had Fed’s baseline game. Roger misses some silly volleys coz he gets too casual sometimes, he can afford doing that, but when you’re a serve and volleyer like Sampras, volleys account for 60 to 70 % of points you win on your serve. You have to make every volley count.


SG Says:

Hey Kimo,

Agreed that the players I’ve listed don’t have comparable baseline games to Federer. Federer may in fact have the best baseline game in the history of the sport. I’m just not sure how much it would have helped at Wimbledon. 6 Wimbledons on a really fast surface in an era with a lot of guys who could volley at least as well as Federer and quite a few who could serve the lights out? 6 W’s seems like a tall order. I’m thinking 2 or 3. If Connors could win 2, I see no reason why Federer with his big game couldn’t get at least 2.

For what it’s worth, Edberg reached finals at the FO in 89′. When he was on, even his baseline game was pretty solid. Solid enough for him to work the point around so he could get to net.


Kimo Says:

SG,

Why just compare him to Connors? Borg was basically a baseliner too and he won it five time. Roger has no problems winning on faster surfaces. He can play serve and volley on a really fast grass court. He served and volleyed against Sampras and won when Sampras was a four time defending champ at Wimbledon. Heck, even Haas who is 31 won Halle this year by S&V on all his 1st serve points and on some of his 2nd. If Haas can do it, Fed sure can.


huh Says:

Kimo Says:
“SG,

Why just compare him to Connors?”

Kimo, SG’s doin it coz he’s biased otherwise he’d have compared Fed at least with Borg instead of Connors. I wonder if he/she’d ever compare Pete with Connors!


SG Says:

huh Says:

Kimo, SG’s doin it coz he’s biased otherwise he’d have compared Fed at least with Borg instead of Connors. I wonder if he/she’d ever compare Pete with Connors!

**********************

Biased about what? Suddenly Connors is not enough of a legend for you? Agassi is sort of the 90/00′s equivalent of Connors. He won Wimby once as predominantly a baseliner. I’m saying Federer would have won 2 or 3 in that era. Are you arguing that Federer would have won 5 or 6 W’s with Sampras around in the 90′s? Are u kidding?


huh Says:

SG, let me straight set you. You know one thing? If Fed was born in the Sampras era, he too’d have developed his serve and volley skills upto almost Samprasesque level. And if Fed were around in the 90s, I’m not saying Fed’d have not lost anything, I can only say with conviction that Sampras wouldn’t win 14 slams either. If Fed and Pete’d have faced each other at their primes, regardless of the slowness or fastness of the grass/hard courts, they’d have evenly split everything including Wimbedon. May be only in the French Open, Fed’d hold the edge. ALL this and more I’m saying coz the talent and mental strength of Fed and Pete are pretty similar, both are phenomenons and both are my HUGE faves to say the least, whether you believe it or not.


SG Says:

huh,

agreed…fed and sampras would have cut into each others major count. sounds reasonable enough. but, there were baseliners in 70′s and 80′s just as there baseliners in the 90′s. 90′s baslineers were generally unsuccessful on the faster surfaces though. there is no guarantee that federer suddenly becomes a serve and volleyer of the same caliber as sampras if he plays in the 90′s. this is a questionable assumption and i’ll tell you why:

1) Fed, after beating sampras in ’01 at Wimbledon, lost in the next round to a player who I am certain, wasn’t nearly as great as sampras was on grass. proof, at least to a small degree, that Fed’s S&V game couldn’t carry him through a tournament. yes…he was 19…but sampras won the USO when he was 19.

2) i’m hearing stuff like…fed misses volleys because he’s too casual at net. i’d be careful with that one because it sounds like an excuse to me. i’d suggest that his casual approach to volleying is in fact a techique flow. watch the great volleyers and they really get down to the ball. watch edberg, rafter and sampras. they have really good knee bend. fed’s a little to upright when he volleys. i think this is more likely to ocntribute to his volley errors than a casual nature.

and for what it’s worth, i don’t need to be set straight.


SG Says:

…technique flaw…typo…:)


Von Says:

Hey SG;

I see you have your own private chat room going. LOL. I can’t remember in all the time I’ve been posting here, where I’ve seen you having so much fun. I love it.

“1) Fed, after beating sampras in ‘01 at Wimbledon, lost in the next round to a player who I am certain, wasn’t nearly as great as sampras was on grass. proof, at least to a small degree, that Fed’s S&V game couldn’t carry him through a tournament. yes…he was 19…but sampras won the USO when he was 19.”

I’ve wanted to mention the above quite a few times, but it was a case of discretion being better than valour, for obvious reasons. People criticize Sampras’ S&V style of play, but they have very little idea of how difficult it is to win a GS using S&V throughout. Case in point, as you’ve articulated in (1) above. Not to mention Sampras was 29 and ailing with a bad back when he got beaten at Wimby and Federer was a young 19 and couldn’t handle playing that S&V game for subsequent rounds.

In ’06 Rome, Federer employed the use of S&V vs. Nadal in the fianl for one and one-half sets, and he successfully and effectively kept Nadal away, but Federer soon tired of S&V and retreated back to the baseline, and the rest is history = Nadal won.

I don’t think that it’s wise for some to pooh, pooh Sampras’ S&V game, because it ain’t as easy as Pete made it appear. S&V puts more mileage on a player’s legs than the baseline game and a much more tiring style of play.


SG Says:

Hey Von,

This blogging thing is addictive stuff. And this thread is a little more interesting than some of the other stuff up at the moment. I’m just waiting for huh and kimo to admit i’m right so I can retire.

You are so right. Watching Edberg & Sampras S&V, you wouldn’t have a clue just how difficult a tactic it is execute. To pull it off for one match is hard. To do it tournament after tournament. It’s hard and it’s high risk. And you’re always living on a knife’s edge.


Von Says:

SG: No, Please don’t retire, I need to see some familiar, friendly and unbiased views expressed here. The new Nadal thread is a different name but same old stuff carried forward, next. LOL.

I posted a link from Yahoo Eurosport with respect to Nadal’s return and the comments expressed on that site there are pretty similar to what we see here on this site, so go figure.

Sampras made the S&V look so easy because he had the S&V down to a science. Immediately upon serving, Pete began to move forward to volley the return shot — what a sight to behold. Ooh, Take me down memory lane just one more time again, Pete, please!

SG, catch ya later and keep your sense of humor in tact, I love it.


SG Says:

Von,

I think we’ve buried this thread together. I’ll catch up to you on the new one.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Jane,
The reason I am revisiting this closed topic is I fear I may have been misunderstood as someone who opposes diversity or pluralism because I oppose fashion, an entity in its own right, to be a part, or element of tennis or any other autonomous entity; however, I do not politically oppose fashion to be a part of tennis discourse or conversation, despite I dislike. I draw a distinction between tennis and tennis conversation, similar to the distinction between the world “out there” (in this case, tennis) and narratives about it (opinions expressed or stories weaved in various media like TV, radio, magazines, internet sites, blogs and comments). How the world responds to these narratives is completely up to the world (you gave numerous examples suggesting otherwise for instance, Seles case, but the stabbing was not aimed at procuring a tighter security in the arena [Recall you said, in an approval of my anti-individualist stance, “ 'Tennis will be here...Its life has never been and never will be about one player of an era.' 'Well said, Tennis Freak!' " ]. Unless you think you can write a definitive script about the future of the world and believe in extreme teleology, conversation does not dictate the world’s terms (here you can recall what I said of overdetermination of “effect,” which you seem to take to be unmediated; from where I see, effects do not enter an autonomous entity without the entity’s scrutiny, processing, and negotiating, but if they do, the entity loses its autonomy, thus absolute colonization or parasiticalization (Do you remember what happened when Dubai Tennis let UAE to inject politics and religion into tennis and denied Shahar Pe’er entry? Dubai Championship is under review and could be cancelled for the soverignity of tennis. This should explain my opposition to other entiies’ imperial, in this instance politics and religion, intrusion into another soverign entity. Yes, players and tournament organizers have political and religious views, but those views should not be dictating the life of tennis.) Theoretically, if you apply Stuart Hall’s decoding options here, entities like tennis use only oppositional code for its operational autonomy, though remain structurally open to other entities and may aloow ).

Similarities in retrospect

Me: Any writing that focuses on player’s behavior, personal life, clothes, food, etc. and makes judgment about him is nothing more than absolute crap [personal taste and my thesis].

Jane: “Who cares? Who are we to judge? …SHEESH”

Me: Before the diversion, the gist of all my posts is your “SHEESH” (we express our displeasure variously, “stop it,” “cut the crap,” “enough,” or “Jeeze,” etc. Despite this immense agreement in the core part of our position, why was the all-out disagreement for? I wonder.
—————————————–

Clarification:

Me: “We, the non-soap opera people, need to quarantine and asphyxiate it”: The apposition limits my target audience to “non-soap opera people,” the ones that feel the same way as I do, and invites their take on it (“Please, help stop spreading…”). It does not ask, let alone impose my will on, every poster to oppose what I deem to be opposed. It does not command but expresses a “need” that I feel from the perspective I cherish currently. You took issue with “asphyxiate,” limiting it to literal meaning, but, contextually, it comes after the term “quarantine”, giving a clue to in what sense the terms is to be taken: similar to what virus protection software like Norton does after quarantine is carried out. You basically expunge it from your operating system, in a narrow sense from your consciousness and in a broad sense, discourage the virus’ entry into this side of the Atlantic. There are several ways to expunge it: For instance, you suggest scrolling down; another may prefer to ignore it after reading it; still another may express displeasure; another may forthrightly oppose it; and I suggest “to avoid the infected territories,” my last words of that post, which should have caught your attention, in addition to my thesis that we should not be judging a player on the basis of personal life or other extracurricular activities, (b.t.w., the operating word of the post is not “asphyxiate,” though it verges on cheap sensationalism. E.g. Congress says, “The bill was killed because of 3 nays.” Saying “no” can be asphyxiating/ killing a bill). Do you see it we do it variously for our own health? Nevertheless, I recognize the impropriety of the term and retract it.
——————————–
Me: If something is a “part,” it means the whole has regulative authority over it.

Jane: No – not necessarily true; parts can work in tandem, or arise on their own. Moreover, why must there be “regulative authority!?”

Me: This was one that seriously made me re-think my position. Let me begin by a background out of which this statement was formulated. You own a house; your house is a part your property; you can renovate, rent, sell, donate, demolish, or whatever you like with it. You have a regulative authority over it. In another context, I take part to be a constitutive element without which the whole would function differently, malfunction, or completely stop functioning. Let’s take the example of a carburetor and cigarette lighter in your car. You might think and argue the lighter is a part of your car because you smoke, but it is not (I don’t smoke), because its removal does not affect the car’s ability to function. Remove carb, it’s a different story. The same goes with say prints, embroidery, color pattern, styles, artistry, etc. which together make fashion (if we don’t reduce clothing gears into haute couture. I am well aware of mass-producing brands like Nike’s marketing slogan: “Nike Performance Apparel evaporates sweat to help you stay dry, comfortable, and focused on your performance.” The slogan’s outcome has negligible effect on your body or performance: It is merely playing on your desires. But it is tricky: “help stay…focused on your performance” also admits zero-factor). Thus I arrive at this conclusion: your clothing gear has two sides: clothing and fashion, the latter with zero-effect on performance.
On a purely theoretical level, part-whole relationship goes like this:
(1) whole is sum of its parts (1a+1a= A)
(2) whole is greater than sum of its parts (2a+2a A).
These three propositions developed in a sort of historical order, the last being the most current one. Your “tandem” is closer to the last. There is a caveat in the argument that “parts can work in tandem”: It is not a part if it works against the interest of the whole (you commit treason; you lose citizen’s rights); and the whole would be hell-bent to contain it and bring it within its jurisdiction if the thing plays a dual role (I want to be a part, but I don’t give a damn about the goal). The bigger question is, “Part of what?” Answer: Part of the goal. The whole is the goal; the whole is not a separate entity to the part in question, even if it appears as such. You are a part because you share the same goal. ATP and ITF have become part of tennis. They did not create tennis; tennis created them. If these parts start professing different interests, they will be excommunicated and perish. If the part has a different goal, it can develop into a separate entity or perish or immigrate into a different territory where its interests lie. However, a part can deviate in an acceptable way, i.e. without posing threats to the demise of the whole, and that minimal deviation can contribute to the evolution of whole. Now, let’s say we have two different autonomous entities. If they respond to each other, they do so by structural coupling, i.e. respecting each other’s operational prerogatives. Each autonomous entity is operationally closed but structurally open. When we talk about entities, we find the term “part” inadequate today. Instead, we use the term “element.” Something becomes an element if it connects to other elements and contributes to the over all functionality of the entity.
To end with a lighter note, I like enough cabinets in my kitchen so that I can function better (compartmentalization?)
.
(This may not resolve anything, but just for the sake of venting out what I had in my mind. My honest intent is to mend the fences, but I am afraid it might have aggravated the already shaky amity, instead. My apology for any inadvertent offense, esp. for a couple of phrases that I should not have used, e.g. “non-invitational” and “’90s neo-humanistic,” etc.).


Xeno-Freak Says:

Correction:
and may aloow= may allow some aspects of them trickling into after mandatory procedural mediation, only after making sure they are naturalized in the entity’s terms, only after the entity deems those externals to be healthy for its life, not threatening to its operational autonomy.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Missing:
(3) a part can be greater than the whole (a> A).


Xeno-Freak Says:

Correction:
(2) whole is greater than the sum of its parts (2a+2a < 5A).


jane Says:

Xeno Freak,

I don’t believe “in extreme teleology” – lol – this is precisely why I think there is no such thing as a GOAT, because “all time” is not over; it keeps on moving, evolving, and so will the records. I like indeterminacy much better than.

I will take a slight issue with the way you take some of my quotes out of context to make your case – i.e., from conversations besides the one we were having. I take tennis blogging to be a fun thing. People can change their minds AND have contradictory standpoints on different issues, imo. I don’t really take issue with that, although I certainly might point it out if I notice it. Perhaps that’s all you were trying to do?

For example, when I said “who are we to judge?” referring one poster’s comment that tennis players who’d married the “Hollywood” sort or a model were at fault somehow, but my comment did not mean that I do not think we can’t or shouldn’t talk about player’s personal lives and/or spouses. I was merely implying that while a girl next door might be good for one, a model or actress might be good for another. If someone wanted to respond as to why that is not so, I’d've been happy to carry on a discussion with him or her or them. My point was actually that I think tennis players will be better off with a woman who has a career of her own so she can carry on with her life while he’s on tour, and then when he retires, and is finding himself, she will have her own life to continue to focus on. To me, this seems like a better all-round arrangement, but others might see it differently.

You’ve taken my comment, however, and tried to expose some inconsistency or something, perhaps in my belief that we can talk about their personal lives, fashion, racist language, and all sundry of other things.

We’ve seen ourselves what happens when an online article writer takes a tennis player’s interview comment out of context and uses it to make a more exciting or potentially inflammatory article than the comment warranted.

Re: your house example. Sure, but a house has a history, it’s part of a neighborhood, it’s part of a town, city or rural area. Sure, you can renovate it but in fact you have to get approval from inspectors, and from the neighborhood, and sometimes even beyond that, if the house is deemed “heritage” or some such.

So to me, the house is part of a greater whole and must function within it.

More to the point, tennis cannot function without gear/clothing (unless it’s played nude). Gear/clothing, and yes, *fashion can affect the game* in instances I’ve already iterated. You do not respond to those, even though it’s quite clear they are relevant. I am not sure why.

I’ve made it quite clear that, historically, when it became more acceptable for women to wear shorter skirts in society (in other words, when fashion evolved), women could do so in tennis as well, and that, in turn, allowed for freer movement and thus a faster, freer game. So I will continue to disagree with your theory, I guess.

Anyway, a nice read, and fences are fine.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Jane,

(1) In my responses to your posts, I was not trying to get into a battle of who is right. In general, not just in this instance, my goal to have conversation with you is to enlarge my horizon, and possibly yours.
I do not believe I took your statement out of the context (if I did, I am sorry), if I am right to believe you have a consistent position from one post to another.
I was not trying to “use” that statement in support of my argument. And I was not trying to show your “inconsistency,” either.
Honestly, I was only trying to show what we share (my effort to mend fences).
Jane: Who cares? Who are we to judge? As long as they are happy. That’s the way I see it. This is, after all, the *private* part of their lives…. SHEESH..
Me: “Any writing that focuses on player’s behavior, personal life, clothes, food, etc. and makes judgment about him is nothing more than absolute crap.

You did’t see similarity and took it differently. That’s unfortunate for me, but I can live with that.

(2) Ref: “tennis cannot function without gear/clothing (unless it’s played nude). Gear/clothing, and yes, *fashion can affect the game*…You do not respond to those, even though it’s quite clear they are relevant. I am not sure why.
I’ve made it quite clear that, historically, when it became more acceptable for women to wear shorter skirts in society (in other words, when fashion evolved), women could do so in tennis as well, and that, in turn, allowed for freer movement and thus a faster, freer game. So I will continue to disagree with your theory, I guess.”

To me the whole discussion was/is not about dis/agreement and will not be limited to as such in the future, at least from my side. Walk with me slowly from here on. I have already responded to your position on fashion variously. It is littered all over my posts. However, I recognize the evolution of tennis apparels across time, and it has historical relevance. But this does not mean fashion system dictates how tennis should be played. I don’t buy into Nike or Adidas or any other company’s marketing slogan that fashion enhances performance. This is not my disagreement with your position that apparels that allow freer movement of the body have meaning for the tennis system. Just curious: What about Men’s apparels in the open era? Do we have similar argument like woman’s? I am not seeking an answer or questioning your position here.
Let me repeat my theoretical position, though it has grown boring (read more slowly from here on): Clothing/Fashion and tennis are separate social systems (just like media, politics, economy, technology, art system, etc). (Fashion is a subsystem of clothing, but I will let you blur that provisionally). Fashion and tennis don’t and should not dictate or instruct each other’s life and growth. This is consistent with my pluralist stance that these two systems, fashion and tennis, operate and should operate within their boundaries. In a functionally differentiated society, not just fashion system, no system should invade another system, in this case tennis system. Until I hear/ read that a player performed better (won) or underperformed (lost) due to what he was wearing (color, brand, pattern, materials, designs) I’d not say fashion affects tennis. And if tennis responds to fashion, it does in its own terms (your example of long skirts, short skirts, etc. across times, [in passing, there is feminist touch here], but not within the same period because everyone uses the best tools/gears/clothing available at that time: so no dis/advantage). Fashion system, which includes industries and designers, etc., cannot tell tennis what should be the approved attire of a tournament. If, in the future, fashion system can do so, then I would say tennis has become a part of fashion system, not the other way round. Fashion system is too big to be a part of tennis system.
Again, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. We are just looking at the same thing from two different angles. Each is meaningful within and for that angle.
Good to hear that all is fine.


jane Says:

Re: context/comments

The similarity I guess we may have is that we agree that we sometimes make judgements when we look at players personal lives, but I don’t deem it “absolute crap”. In fact, sometimes – for instance, if players are doing cocaine in their spare time, or making racist slurs – players should be judged; after all, they are “public” figures, and the more high profile the player is, the more serious the repercussions could be. I am not advocating censorship just responsibility.

However, we differ more than we agree. Your statement was very general (i.e., encompassing all those facets you consider to be gossipy and irrelevant), whereas my comment was made specifically to another poster regarding his/her comment about the players who are with women who work in high profile fields outside tennis. I was talking about judging *in this context* and even then I was open to hearing some sort of counter-view. But as I pointed out above, there is nothing wrong with judging high profile players, because once they become public figures, they come under public scrutiny. It comes with the territory. And if you’re a Nadal and Federer and you *promote* your celebrity status by taking on sponsorships and being a media figure, they you also will/can be judged.

Re: fashion

“What about Men’s apparels in the open era? Do we have similar argument like woman’s?”

Well, I think it’s comparable in that men’s tennis was slower, possibly more refined in the past, and men had to wear shirts with collars and so forth; now it’s faster and power based. Therefore, the clothing now has altered accordingly. But in terms of fashion affecting the look of men’s tennis clothing, the most recent example I can think of is the movement towards looser, longer, baggier clothing with the advent of hip-hop/rap into the mainstream. We’ve seen parallels in the designs of sporting wear. I think it was at the USO 2004 or 2005, where we saw some male players wearing very voluminous, long shorts, and sleeveless tops, almost along the lines of basketball players. (Ginepri and Monfils come to mind).

“Fashion and tennis don’t and should not dictate or instruct each other’s life and growth.”

I think they can/have and do. I remember a time when tennis skirts become a fashionable item off the court. Of recently Stella McCartney designed a “line” of clothing for Adidas which blurred the line between functional court wear and also fashion (you see it now with all the ruffles). Just recently there was a “scuba” trend identified in the resort 2010 collections, suggestion that sporting wear and fashion can and do overlap, and can impact the growth of those “systems.” For example, if there is a tennis trend that sells well, the fashion system grows. Next month Ivanovic will be featured in Vogue, as Nadal, Federer, Safin, and the Williams sisters, to name a few, have been. This might interest fashion fans who may in turn watch tennis or even attend the USO.

Interconnection, feedback loops, that’s how I see it.

Now if you mean to say tennis would not die if the players clothing stopped evolving as of today, no matter what, then maybe you’re right. And certainly fashion would continue on without tennis. But that doesn’t mean that now that they both exist and occasionally cross systems, that they cannot impact the growth of each other. That’s all I was trying to say.


Kimo Says:

SG Said:

“Fed, after beating sampras in ‘01 at Wimbledon, lost in the next round to a player who I am certain, wasn’t nearly as great as sampras was on grass. proof, at least to a small degree, that Fed’s S&V game couldn’t carry him through a tournament.”

Or maybe he was…I dunno…TIRED after playing a five setter with a seven time Wimbledon Champ? Maybe a little MENTALLY DRAINED? I mean the boy was just 19 and he just beat the most successful lawn tennis player in history!!!

“i’m hearing stuff like…fed misses volleys because he’s too casual at net. i’d be careful with that one because it sounds like an excuse to me. i’d suggest that his casual approach to volleying is in fact a techique flaw.”

One question: Ever watched McEnroe? He was to be almost upright all the way while volleying. It was considered unorthodox technique back then also, but guess what, he was the best volleyer in his era. You want to convince me that Fed who has the best technique on pretty much everything can’t get himself low enough for a volley? gimme a break. Fed’s knee bend on his serve is the best there is (really…just focus on is knees when he serves). I have seen him execute insanely difficult volleys. Trust me, it’s only his casualness that makes him miss trivial volleys.


Xeno-Freak Says:

(1) I may sympathize, empathize, feel pity, sorry, or happy but try to refrain from criticizing a player based on his personal life, everything not related to his performance. The same goes with an artist, philosopher, and scientist’s life, even if there is a resemblance between his work and life. If their biographies enhance my experience with their works, that’s better. If they don’t, I disregard them. There may be some exceptions where you cannot avoid biographies, e.g. surrealists/ dadaists like Andre Breton, Salvador Dali, and Antonin Artaud.
(2) I agree fashion affects “the look of men’s tennis clothing,” but I’ve reservation that “men had to wear shirts with collars and so forth; now it’s faster and power based.” Compare Federer’s shirt/ shorts before 2004 (e.g. in 2001 match against Sampras) and post-2005 outfits (he wears semi-crew neck in ’05 AO, and baggy polo in ’05 FO; crew neck in ’05 SW19 and ’05 US Open finals; crewneck in ’06 AO, and polo in ’06 FO and ’06 Sw19, but crewneck in ’06 USO; shorter mid-loose polo in ’07 AO, FO, SW19, and USO; polo in ’08 AO, FO, SW19, and USO; so you could say, since the end of 2006, he has been in polo but tighter): in his case, the shift is from looser/baggier to tighter, body-fitting looking. If it were to make a difference, why did Rafa abandon muscle t-shirts? In my case, I wear only sleeveless and muscles, but I don’t see the difference. Last year, I bought Adidas CC Genius (Silver), Djoko’s shoes, but they are no different, except in looks than my other pairs like Nike Air Vapor V1, Federer’s shoes.

(3) It is not about IS, in which case we would be seeking absolute truth, singular ontology. You like to see interconnection; I like to see functional differentiation of social systems. We disagree on this, at least terminologically.
(Feedback loop is a technical term that is specifically used to describe what goes inside a system but not between systems, but there is nothing wrong in deploying it metaphorically wherever and however you want).

You do make valuable observation. There are a lot of good ideas in your posts. I enjoyed reading them. Thanks.

Should we make this final final post on this topic, unlike the last time?


jane Says:

Sure Xeno Freak, let’s leave the topic behind us and move on. But likewise, it’s interesting to read your posts too.

I think it’s more common that fashion affects the look of tennis apparel more so than performance. But I do think that occasionally, shifts in fashion and/or tennis clothing could have an impact on the game (as with the long skirts to short skirts example for women).

I’ll leave you with a couple of images, for fun.

http://images.beijing2008.cn/44/61/Img212016144.jpg

http://www.altheagibson.com/images/althea11.jpg

http://z.about.com/d/tennis/1/0/o/E/venus-williams-forehand.jpg


SG Says:

Kimo Says:

Or maybe he was…I dunno…TIRED after playing a five setter with a seven time Wimbledon Champ? Maybe a little MENTALLY DRAINED? I mean the boy was just 19 and he just beat the most successful lawn tennis player in history!!!

****************************

LOL! Tired?!? Yeah…he was 19. Sampras had a lot more mileage on him at that point. Maybe Sampras beats Federer easily if he doesn’t have Thalassemia. I’m sure that’s an excuse for Sampras no Federer wants to hear. My point is, the guy wasn’t good enough to S&V through the whole tournament. Sampras’s all court game carried him through a 5 set war with Lendl at the 90 USO and still leave him with enough in the tank to dispatch both Mac and Agassi with relative ease. Don’t make excuses for Fed Kimo, he doesn’t need them.

As for McEnroe and his volley technique, let me leave you with a thought. McEnroe was great when the power in tennis was not yet there on a consistent basis. He had great hands and he could get away with a lot because of it. But, when the power was ramped up by the Lendl’s and Becker’s of the world, Mac had no response and I’ll tell you why. His first volley off the forehand side didn’t have a ton of stick on it. He was able to position the ball in the court well, but he didn’t really drive his forehand volley. Why? He didn’t use his body well like Rafter or Edberg or Sampras for that matter. His technique on the forehand volley cost him dearly when the real era of power tennis began.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Jane,
Did you work as a fashion designer or something?

I have a book that has pictures of tennis players from the early 20th c, similar to these ones here:
http://www.4specialtytennis.com/tennishistory.html

See the change:
http://www.womens-tennis-apparel.com/home.html

To further your point:
“Men’s tennis apparel has evolved over the years, from the seminal Wimbledon matches to today’s eagerly awaited, superstar events. While the framework of traditional men’s tennis apparel hasn’t changed since shorts and tennis shirts became the norm, certainly the styles, colors and functionality have. It wasn’t until the 1930s that Bunny Austin broke tradition and unwittingly began the era of wearing shorts on the tennis court.
“Though games featuring racquets have existed for centuries, the game today known as tennis wasn’t invented until the second half of the 1800s. Wimbledon, widely considered the gold standard of tennis tournaments, had its inaugural match in 1877. Early players wore long trousers and sweaters, and all were approved by the rules and regulations established at Wimbledon.
“The typical tennis player wears tennis shoes, socks, tennis shorts and a polo-style shirt. However, many players favor headbands and wristbands to help stem the flow of sweat to the hands and face.

Good tennis apparel should provide the following:
Shoes: Grip, cushion, support for the foot
Shirt and shorts: Sweat wicking, non-chaffing, breathability
Socks: Non-irritating, ability to keep feet dry.

“Wimbledon was over a century old when players started bucking the trend of traditional tennis apparel. While the headbands of John McEnroe and Björn Borg’s “short shorts” would be considered heresy by Wimbledon’s founding fathers, it was Andre Agassi’s use of colors (bucking the trend of traditional “tennis whites”) that ushered the age of “rock star” tennis players into vogue.”

And these articles could be interesting for you:

(1) http://www.blogpinker.com/news-blog/sports/the-tennis-apparel-history.html

(2)http://www.leadapparel.com/2009/06/history-of-tennis-apparel-and-fashion.html

I have read hundreds of articles along these lines.


Von Says:

Xeno-Freak: “(Feedback loop is a technical term that is specifically used to describe what goes inside a system but not between systems, but there is nothing wrong in deploying it metaphorically wherever and however you want).”

It’s called “intra v. inter”. Several nights ago, I summed up the whole discussion as simply as possible: ‘apples vs. oranges’. It still is, and the twain shall never meet and/or result in a harmonious consensus of opinion — in other words, the ‘consensus theory’ is obsolete/moot here.


jane Says:

Xeno-Freak,

Yes, before I went back to school to complete post-secondary and graduate work to become a college instructor, I worked in the fashion industry for 10 years, including at the buying level, and the merchandising/designing level, and taking trips all over: Hong Kong, London, LA, NYC, Taiwan, Korea,etc. So I am fairly adept at discussing that field.

Thanks for the links / pictures! It’s nice to know I wasn’t coming out of left field or anything.

I think when Agassi wore color at SW19, he had to go back to the dressing room and change.


Kimo Says:

SG Said:

“LOL! Tired?!? Yeah…he was 19. Sampras had a lot more mileage on him at that point. Maybe Sampras beats Federer easily if he doesn’t have Thalassemia. I’m sure that’s an excuse for Sampras no Federer wants to hear. My point is, the guy wasn’t good enough to S&V through the whole tournament. Sampras’s all court game carried him through a 5 set war with Lendl at the 90 USO and still leave him with enough in the tank to dispatch both Mac and Agassi with relative ease. Don’t make excuses for Fed Kimo, he doesn’t need them”

Uhmmm..FYI: younger doesn’t mean fitter. Guys usually reach their fittest at 22-23.

And I don’t know why you went into such depth into analyzing McEnroe’s game. All I said was that he too adopted an unorthodox technique on his volleys and was still able to win seven slams and reach the Roland Garros final. Fed’s technique may be be unorthodox, but so is his movement, look where it’s got him.


Kimo Says:

One more comment on the fitnees arguement: Fed is by far the oldest guy in the top 10 now, yet he is the fittest of them all.


SG Says:

Kimo Says:

Uhmmm..FYI: younger doesn’t mean fitter. Guys usually reach their fittest at 22-23.

And I don’t know why you went into such depth into analyzing McEnroe’s game. All I said was that he too adopted an unorthodox technique on his volleys and was still able to win seven slams and reach the Roland Garros final. Fed’s technique may be be unorthodox, but so is his movement, look where it’s got him.

**********************

Fed has a relatively low effort game so the argument of “he was tired” isn’t washing with me. Like I said, Sampras was near the end of his career and had an affliction that drained his energy. Fed’s S&V game wasn’t good enough then, end of story. If it was, he’d have won the tournament. In my opinion his S&V game now wouldn’t get him past the quarters in the 90′s. Of course he wouldn’t play a pure S&V game so as I said in a previous blog, he’d probably win 2 or 3 Big W’s. You want to justify his result, so be it. We’ll agree to disagree. And by the way, both Rafa and Roddick are conditioned at least as well as Federer, if not better. They play much more physical games than Fed and are still standing in the 5th set.

I thought my explanation of Mac’s game would correlate to how Fed plays. Anyway, I’ll repeat myself. Mac’s style worked until the power ramped up. Then, his style stopped working because his game, including his forehand volley, had some technical flaws. The same type of flaws that make Fed a less than great volleyer. Fed doesn’t fluff volleys because he’s casual about them. He does so because has less than perfect technique with them. The fact that his unorthodox technique has won him so many majors doesn’t make him a great volleyer. In fact what it means is that his strength, his ground game and serve, do the damage he needs them to do without much need for volleying. If Fed had to depend heavily on his volley skills to win majors, he’s be lucky to have one or two.


SG Says:

Borg had 11 majors and while he was a competent volleyer, he wasn’t a brilliant. Like Fed, he let his baseline game and serve do the talking. And also like Borg he was an excellent returner and crazy fast around the court.

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