Rafael Nadal Says He’s OK to Go
by Sean Randall | July 14th, 2009, 2:26 pm
  • 476 Comments

And now for your weekly Rafael Nadal injury update: He’s ok! Hurray! That according to a statement on Nadal’s website: “Rafa Nadal underwent further medical tests today in Barcelona. He is slowly recovering from his injury and will resume practice next Monday July 20th. He will back in action in Montreal where he is defending champion.”

Hopefully this latest Nadal announcement puts to rest what really has turned into circus which began after the French with his revelation that his knees had been troubling him all spring. Then we endured the doctor’s report followed by the Wimbledon exo charade and subsequent withdrawal. Of course during Wimbledon word leaked of his parent’s divorce.

Now, Nadal releases news under the puzzling headline “TODAY: RAFA’S INJURY UPDATE”. Does this mean there will be another update tomorrow? Maybe a weekend update or one after his July 20 practice? Please? Can’t wait!!

Whichever you want to believe the cause of his Soderling loss – his parents, his knee – it’s all been handled rather oddly.

I understand he has a huge media following his every move, his every twitch, but does he really need the dog and pony show?

Yes, Rafa, we remember who you are, we remember you are injured and we remember you are a great tennis player. Just because Roger Federer has won the last two Slams – winning last Sunday in thrilling fashion over Andy Roddick – you and your sleeveless tees, butt-picking routine and the extended time you take between points haven’t been forgotten by your fans. Don’t worry, and get well soon!

Anyway, it has been a wild ride for Rafa this spring/summer. Just two months ago things were in high gear in Camp Nadal. Rafa was piling up titles, Sports Illustrated was writing him in as the soon-to-be GOAT and Federer, who was headed out of the Top 5, was floundering with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.

Now, Federer is back at No. 1 as the undeniable (yes!) GOAT following back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles while Nadal hasn’t played a point since his startling loss to Robin Soderling at Paris.

But at least now we have official word that Rafa’s ok to play. That is until his next website announcement: “TONIGHT: RAFA’S POST DINNER BLADDER UPDATE”. Just stay away from the punch, Rafa.


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476 Comments for Rafael Nadal Says He’s OK to Go

Xeno-Freak Says:

“He’s ok! Hurray!”

Let me repeat: The lion is ok. Hurray !


Xeno-Freak Says:

Ref: “you and your sleeveless tees, butt-picking routine and the extended time you take between points haven’t been forgotten by your fans.”

Unnecessary and irrelevant.


Sean Randall Says:

“Unnecessary and irrelevant” – Much like Rafa’s announcement.


Xeno-Freak Says:

“Much like Rafa’s announcement.”

In a way, yes.


naresh Says:

Thank god all’s good with Rafa. Now the whole tennis world can breathe a collective sigh of relief ! Heck even Roger must be relieved.. now he can work at trying reduce his H2H deficit with Rafa lol ! I cannot wait to see this champ back on court.
No I haven’t forgotten him and unlike Sean (who seems to remember everything else, other than Rafa’s tennis)I remember the loopy forehands and the hound dog style coverage of the court, the never say die attitude, the spectacular passing shots of both flanks and also as the man who’s beaten the current no.1 in the world, 13 times.. that’s the Rafael Nadal I remember and I’m truly glad that he’s back.


Holly Says:

Ahhhh so Unnecessary that you had to write about it?

They put that up because as you said there was a media circus. Everyone knew there would be news early this week.

Why so negative against Nadal? Had he stayed healthy your little goat would have been put out to pasture!

I’m happy he’s coming back in Montreal. It will be great to have him in the tour again.


Von Says:

Naresh, wonderful post and Mazel Tov! You are a TRUE tennis fan, not just a Federer fan, ala Sean, but a true fan of the sport of tennis, where you are able to separate fan-a-ticsm for one player from the sport itself, because no one is bigger than the sport.

I’ll also be glad to see a healthy Nadal competing at Montreal


Von Says:

Another article on nadal’s comeback from Yahoo Eurosport.

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/14072009/58/nadal-set-montreal-comeback.html


Kimo Says:

I sooooooooooo want to see Roger play Rafa again.


I like tennis bullies Says:

Hopefully this latest Nadal announcement puts to rest what really has turned into circus
=====

still nothing compared to the media circus surrounding federer’s never ending bout of “mono”

good to have nadal back, tennis needs him to keep federer’s ego in check


Chad Says:

I get tired of people blaming Roger for not *really* being a champion because he didn’t beat Nadal in the past two slam finals.

You can’t blame Roger for another player’s failure to advance as far as he did. He can only play the best player from the other side of the draw in that tournament and last time I checked, most of the time over the past few years that player’s name hasn’t been Rafael Nadal.

That being said I’m pumped Rafa’s back and I hope he makes some noise. Miss him on the tour.


I like tennis bullies Says:

Now, Federer is back at No. 1 as the undeniable (yes!) GOAT following back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles
======

very deniable. federer did not beat the defending champion and best in the world (nadal) to win those titles.

But at least now we have official word that Rafa’s ok to play. That is until his next website announcement: “TONIGHT: RAFA’S POST DINNER BLADDER UPDATE”. Just stay away from the punch, Rafa.
======

stay away from the federer kool aid sean


Gordito2009 Says:

To Von,

I am a TRUE tennis fan, but Rafa’s antics do not belong to the tennis gentlemen’ club:
- butt-picking routine,
- extended time taken between points,
- plastic water bottle allignment,
- calling the doctor when start losing,
and I can go on but I am a gentleman and I will stop here because you will tell me that I am a fanatic (Roger’s). I like Sampras a lot, he just played tennis, he did not concentrate in winning by disturbing its opponent (and the refs) like John McEnroe did. Sorry Rafa, you did not make the cut for the tennis’s gentlemen club. You will never make it too.


steve Says:

The defending champion and former world #1 beat himself by playing a style that causes enormous wear and tear on his body.

It’s not as if he slipped on a banana peel, or was struck by lightning, or some other accident that he had no control over. His injuries were the inevitable consequence of his debilitating style of play and his overloaded schedule.

That said, I’m glad he’s back and around to make tennis more interesting.


tennisontherocks Says:

well, rafa’s website is designed to give ‘his fans’ constant updates about him. so they are just doing their job. If I don’t care about it, I have option to just not visit his site. But if you are going to just ‘cut and paste’ whatever is written there and make articles about it here, then I guess you are just bored or lazy to look for better stories. I mean, Seles gets inducted in hall of fame over the weekend. A word about that would have been nice.


Dropshot Says:

I like tennis bullies –

Face it, your defending champ has never defended titles other than on clay. It’s not Fed’s fault that Rafa couldn’t reach final in every major. Yeah, Rafa is a great player, but even he couldn’t win 5 consecutive RGs while Fed won 5 in a row at both Wimby and USO. So give Fed some credits – one of his greatest strength is his consistency.


Dropshot Says:

Having said that, I am glad Rafa will be back soon to join in the mix. The following three months will be very interesting.


andrea Says:

I like tennis bullies Says:
Now, Federer is back at No. 1 as the undeniable (yes!) GOAT following back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles
======

very deniable. federer did not beat the defending champion and best in the world (nadal) to win those titles.

bullsh**.

if nadal wins the US Open without beating federer, no one else will make this inane argument.


Von Says:

Some of the comments here are now shaping up to be similar in context as those on the Yahoo Eurosport link I posted @ 3:16 pm. Those comments are an interesting mix of Federer’s v. Nadal’s fans’ thoughts on Nadal’s return.


Green Balls Says:

Nadal – knees, Fed – mono – they all have their excuses


Xeno-Freak Says:

I like tennis bullies Says:
“federer did not beat the defending champion and best in the world (nadal) to win those titles.”

Laver did not beat the Greatest Fed to win those 2 Grand Slams. You know why? Federer was not playing then, just like Rafa was not playing in the SW19. At FO, Fed had to beat the guy who beat Rafa to win the title. At SW19, he beat the 2nd best clay court player in the longest 5th setter ever. He beat the toughest player of the tournament because he was not allowed to beat a guy who lost in R16 in one and withdrew from another. Tennis is a single elimination sport (except YEC), so if you lose in R16, you don’t get to advance. And the winner is regarded as having played better on that day. You should read those rules once again, if you forgot them.


JCZ Says:

Andrea: Awesome comment!

Should be an interesting end to the season with so many points to be defended by the top 4. Nadal has Montreal, Murray has Cincy, Federer has US Open, and Djokovic has the year end tournament. Who will be no 1 at the end? Only time will tell, it will eb fun to watch though.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Von says: “Sean, …[you're not] a true fan of the sport of tennis,…you are… fan-a-tic for one player…[not] the sport itself, because no one is bigger than the sport.”

I agree “no one is bigger than the sport.” But calling Sean a “fanatic” in a round about way violates your own “infringement” rule. I am not objecting to your characterization of Sean or to your splitting of fans into the binary opposites of true fans vs. fanatics (tennis fans vs. player’s fans). I just wanted to direct your attention to your own position: “I need to feel free an/or breathe when I post. I don’t like parameters…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.” Maybe, Sean is just passionate about the topic (my understanding is he was parodying the announcement, the way it was made, wordings, etc.).


fed is afraid Says:

thank God!!
now the tennis hierarchy can be reestablished.
watch out roger, there is no where to hide.


JCZ Says:

Also, Nadal will be dropping 800 pts from the olympics and Murray will be dropping 1,000 from Madrid last year. So Roger may just keep his No 1 ranking


neela Says:

hey rafa
u r a great player & a true champion
here’s wishing u luck
come back & win the us open & top it with the grand slam next year


Von Says:

“Should be an interesting end to the season with so many points to be defended by the top 4. Nadal has Montreal, Murray has Cincy, Federer has US Open, and Djokovic has the year end tournament. Who will be no 1 at the end? Only time will tell, it will eb fun to watch though.” –JCZ

Both Djokovic and Nadal will also lose points from the Olympics which are indefensible.

Last year, I mentioned the whole top 10 will become a revolving door. It’s already happened to a small extent, and will culminate with a mind-boggling ending with respect to the top 4 especially. ‘Unpredictability’ will be the watch/buzz word and/or the name of the ranking game. Let the good times roll!!


Von Says:

Xeno-Freak, please stop over-analyzing my comments and putting words into my mouth. I did NOT call Sean a fanatic.

Here’s what I said, and which I applied to Naresh and Naresh ALONE.

“You are a TRUE tennis fan, not just a Federer fan, ala Sean, but a true fan of the sport of tennis ..” Now where did I call Sean and/or inferred he’s a fanatic? I was speaking about Sean being a Federer fan. The fanaticism encompassed all those Federer fans who are not just fans but fanatical fans, of which Naresh is not. Please try to earn your Sean defense kudos some other way. phew


Von Says:

Xeno-Freak: “Maybe, Sean is just passionate about the topic (my understanding is he was parodying the announcement, the way it was made, wordings, etc.).”

That’s Sean’s prerogative to be passionate. Did I tell him: “I want it stopped and/or s’stop it’ which you order people to do when you dislike their comments. I was merely replying to Naresh on what I perceive to be his fair-mindedness with respect to Nadal and Sean’s bias.


huh Says:

“Anyway, it has been a wild ride for Rafa this spring/summer. Just two months ago things were in high gear in Camp Nadal. Rafa was piling up titles, Sports Illustrated was writing him in as the soon-to-be GOAT and Federer, who was headed out of the Top 5, was floundering with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.”

Hilarious, ha ha ha !!!!!!


Sean Randall Says:

I like tennis bullies, wasn’t I drinking the Nadal koolaid earlier? I honestly can’t keep up with my ever-changing “fanboy” status these days!

Green Balls, true, the players all have excuses and injuries, etc. It becomes a question of how and when you use them.


huh Says:

Good post by naresh at 3.06 p.m. Like it very much.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Von says, “fanaticism encompassed all those Federer fans who are not just fans but fanatical fans.”

This is even worse as you lump many Fed fans into the category of fanaticism.
We also need to feel free and/or breathe when we post. We don’t like to be called fanatics. Phew.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Von says: “Did I tell him: “I want it stopped and/or s’stop it’ which you order people to do when you dislike their comments.”

Why do I have to express my dislike in your censored language? Is that what this forum’s rule says? I didn’t get to read that memo.


huh Says:

If anti-Feds like ‘I like tennis bullies’ and ‘fed is afraid’ can post, then why not Fed-fanatics, if any?


huh Says:

Whatever , who cares?


Von Says:

Xeno-Freak: Find someone else to engage with in your verbal battles as you seem to enjoy discussions where you can flaunt your perceived ideological superiority. Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not going to be suckered into your guise of pretentious discussions only to be zapped when you feel the urge to do so.


huh Says:

I wanna make it a bit clear that I meant to say not about Fed-fanatics posting here, but about them expressing their views. Fed-fanatics must, can and should express their views freely just like the anti-Feds, no question about it.


Von Says:

And, we tennis fans should be able to post without being called ‘whiners’ delusional psycho’, et al. it’s a two-way highway, huh. You’re becoming fixated again.


huh Says:

Anyway, it’s good , hell, great to hear about Rafa’s return as I can’t wait to see him losing to Fed (to Murray,Roddick too), ha ha!


huh Says:

“Von Says:
And, we tennis fans should be able to post without being called ‘whiners’ delusional psycho’, et al. it’s a two-way highway, huh. You’re becoming fixated again.”

I can’t disagree with this though!


huh Says:

Mrs. Von, I’ve also been referred to as Fed butt-kisser, biased, fed-worshipper etc. I take pity on those alleging me to be as such as they can do nothing except hurling abuses or bringing false allegations against me.


huh Says:

I’m also as much a fan of tennis as you Mrs.Von. But I’m also a Fed-fan and I’d defend him whenever I deem necessary or warranted. I’m sure you understand me.


Von Says:

huh: Of course you can defend Federer as much as you want to as long as you remain within logical parameters — freedom of speech works all of the time for me and for all concerned. But, by the same token, others have the right to speak also, yes?


huh Says:

Mrs. Von, I’m always within logical parameters as long as I should.


huh Says:

http://paultan.org/archives/2008/05/24/kias-bizarre-nadal-versus-alien-video/

I watched it, I liked it, it’s so hilariousssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everyone should watch it, I guess.


Xeno-Freak Says:

huh,
Your (and my) freedom is conditional because we like Fed; a couple of others are privileged and have unconditional freedom.
Is that how it should be?
They will say “yes,” but don’t be intimidated by anybody. You can count on me for backup.


Von Says:

Gordito2009:

“Von,

“I am a TRUE tennis fan, but Rafa’s antics do not belong to the tennis gentlemen’ club:
- butt-picking routine,
- extended time taken between points,
- plastic water bottle alignment,
- calling the doctor when start losing,
and I can go on but I am a gentleman and I will stop here because you will tell me that I am a fanatic (Roger’s). I like Sampras a lot, he just played tennis, he did not concentrate in winning by disturbing its opponent (and the refs) like John McEnroe did. Sorry Rafa, you did not make the cut for the tennis’s gentlemen club. You will never make it too.”

You’re probably new to this site, and if so, a hearty welcome to you.

I say you’re new, due to the fact that you’re probably unaware that I’m NOT, and I repeat I’m NOT a Nadal fan. I’ve in the past criticized Nadal for all of those antics you’ve mentioned above, and have taken a lot of heat for so doing. However, I don’t subscribe to some of the unjust bashing he’s been subjected to, and it’s to that kind of stuff I’ve taken umbrage. We should be happy to hear he’s returning and not treat the news with disdain.

If we were to look at things objectively, and not subjectively, from a poster’s point of view, you’d understand from where I’m coming. Nadal’s return to tennis can only enhance the sport and engender more meaningful discussions on blogs, as opposed to the one-sided discussions we’ve been having since the FO. I’d like to see that scenario played again, and not deteriorate it any further than has been happening. This site used to be supported by many Nadal posters too, the majority of whom have disappeared when Nadal pulled out of Wimby. I welcome and embrace their return and their insightful and illuminating contributions which always spark meaningful and/or heated discussions, once again.

Additionally, and more importantly, Nadal’s return is very good for the sport of tennis as a whole, and to have him back in the thick of things, where he can once again take up his rivalry with Federer, Murray and Djokovic. I’m delighted about this new development with regard to Nadal’s health, and I sincerely hope he is back for good, which will translate to us, the fans of tennis, being afforded the luxury and entertainment of some very well-fought and hotly contested battles, which will definitely increase tennis’ viewership, yes?


huh Says:

“Xeno-Freak Says:
huh,
Your (and my) freedom is conditional because we like Fed; a couple of others are privileged and have unconditional freedom.
Is that how it should be?
They will say “yes,” but don’t be intimidated by anybody. You can count on me for backup.”

Thanks for your concern Xeno-Freak! However I’d say things the way they are and you must also do the same. We don’t need to fight, we just need to go on giving our views. Anyway, I’m with you whenever any Anti-Fed attacks Fed unjustly, I’d surely defend Fed and at all costs(if it’s justified).


Andrew Miller Says:

Hopefully Blake improves. It’s going to be a tough rest of his career if he’s going up two sets to zilch and then losing in 5.


NachoF Says:

its funny that Nadal fans are so certain that Nadal would have destroyed Federer at the FO or Wimbledon this year…. its like Madrid never happened.


huh Says:

Xeno-Freak, you’re probably new to this site, no? I’m also new. So we would be good friends being Fed-fans. But there was another fellow calling himself/herself a freak, just like you. Do you wanna know what was his/her name? It was Tennis-Freak! As if one Freak wasn’t enough , we’ve another one in you, Lol! ;) However I liked his/her posts very much.


huh Says:

“NachoF Says:
its funny that Nadal fans are so certain that Nadal would have destroyed Federer at the FO or Wimbledon this year…. its like Madrid never happened.”

LOL!


steve Says:

No, no, no, NachoF! Madrid was a result of (pick one or more of the following):

–the high altitude favored Federer;
–the speed of the court favored Federer;
–Nadal was exhausted from beating Djokovic;
–Nadal was exhausted from his grueling clay-court season;
–Nadal’s knees were bothering him;
–Nadal was worrying about his parents’ divorce;
–Nadal woke up on the wrong side of the bed;
–Nadal ate some bad seafood the night before;
–Federer was lucky to have a “soft draw”;
–Federer was lucky, period;
–Federer hired a voodoo priest to hex Nadal.

Clearly, it could not have been because Federer came in with a clear game plan and executed it. Because, as we all know, no one can ever outplay Nadal, except for all those players who have like Federer, Tsonga, Del Potro and Soderling.


jane Says:

Federer’s back injury was largely because he played at the start of 2008 with mono, and because he’d risk rupturing his spleen if he worked out too hard, he couldn’t train properly throughout the season, and therefore he hurt his back, which may’ve, arguably, cost him the YEC and the AO.

ALL players make mistakes and misjudgments – YES EVEN FEDERER!

————————

Bullies – yeah, someone should stop feeding Sean the Federer kool aid. This is a writer who went on and on about the mono story throughout last year, and one month of Rafa’s knees sends him off the deep-end. Not one, er, “inflammatory” column, to all but declare Rafa’s faking it, but now another one to criticize Nadal for keeping the press informed. Sheesh.


Xeno-Freak Says:

huh,
I changed my name from Tennis Freak into Xeno-Freak yesterday or the day bedore. I am the same person. I had a couple of posts on the name change. I guess you missed them.


steve Says:

jane: You’ll hear no argument from me. Federer should have skipped Paris and Madrid last year to rest and saved himself for Shanghai.

Not only that, he should have changed his game plan against Nadal a long time ago instead of trying to rally endlessly from the baseline until he got a chance to hit a winner, and he should have embraced the drop shot years ago.

Also I didn’t like that military jacket at Wimbledon and I hope he tells Nike to keep his wardrobe simple next time.

Of course Federer makes mistakes. I doubt there are many people who claim Federer is infallible, so really your argument is misplaced.


jane Says:

steve, I meant the back injury could’ve been a problem for this year’s AO, not last year’s. Not sure if I made that clear. Nadal outplayed him at the AO this year, imo, but Fed’s serve was weak, and as some have noted, the serve is first to go with back problems.

“I doubt there are many people who claim Federer is infallible, so really your argument is misplaced.”

Not misplaced; it was a simple reminder, that while people tear down Rafa’s style of play, his too full clay schedule, his dealings with the media, his on-court habits, and everything else they can possibly think of, it is worthwhile reminding people that ALL players make mistakes and errors in judgment. Also, my point is HIGHLY relevant imo, because Fed’s misjudgment was very similar to Rafa’s, in that playing through mono cost him his fitness, which lead to a back injury, which may’ve cost him two important titles. Similarly, Rafa pushed himself too hard early in the season and through clay, which inflamed his knees, which may’ve cost him two important titles.


Skorocel Says:

„Just because Roger Federer has won the last two Slams – winning last Sunday in thrilling fashion over Andy Roddick – you and your sleeveless tees, butt-picking routine and the extended time you take between points haven’t been forgotten by your fans. Don’t worry, and get well soon!“

LOL :-) Indeed, I miss it!


Xeno-Freak Says:

Jane,
Are you gonna respond to my post in the thread below this? Check that out, please.


steve Says:

I wouldn’t say Nadal made too many “mistakes,” unless you want to call his decision, made early in his tennis life, to play a style based on out-attriting the other guy, a “mistake.”

Your emphasis on “mistakes” and “misjudgments” is misplaced. What is happening to Nadal is not anomalous, not something he could have magically averted with a little R&R. It is essentially bound up with the kind of tennis player he is.

Yes, his style is hard on his body and not suited to longevity in the sport. But it’s the style that suits him and his personality and has won him so many titles. Change that and you change something essential about him. In that sense what he is going through now is inseparable from his successes.

You could just as well say Federer’s regal manner and stubborn belief that he knows best are what kept him from beating Nadal at Wimbledon and the AO, but those traits are equally inseparable from his successes.

I don’t think Nadal sees his exhausting style of play as a “mistake.” If I were him I would consider a shortened career a fair price to pay for nine or ten Grand Slams, maybe the career Golden Slam, and a high place in tennis history. It’s only certain of his followers who aren’t satisfied with that and want him to break every record there is, which is highly unlikely.

It took this for him to learn his physical limits, whereas before he played as if he would be twenty forever and had no care for preserving his body. And now the game gets more interesting because for the first time, he’s facing a problem that he can’t solve merely by demanding more of his body.


G. Says:

HAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!


jane Says:

Xeno-Freak, yeah I saw that and thought it a little peculiar. You don’t need my permission to post anything. So if you’d like to, please go ahead. I’ll read it but may not respond, only because I think we’re really coming from two different stand-points on the “adjunct” aspects of tennis, so it might be moot. But I will read it, as I say.

————————————-

steve, “It is essentially bound up with the kind of tennis player he is.”

With this comment, you’re pigeon-holing Rafa’s “style of game”; however, if any player has shown a penchant for making improvements and adjustments to his game style/plan, and evolving that style, along with Roddick, it has to be Rafa. And Rafa could’ve, maybe even still can, make adjustments to end points more quickly. There’s no doubt he’s got the talent to do it!

Federer failed to find an alternative in playing Nadal, other than getting hung up in the corner hitting high backhands endlessly. So his style of play didn’t match up, but he was too stubborn to alter it. Maybe that’s changed after Madrid.

It will be interesting to see when they play next. While fast hard courts favor Fed, Rafa knows how to play him. So it would be a good contest.


Green Balls Says:

The press wire just reported that Nadal was seeing an ass therapist because his right butt-cheek had become severely inflamed. But in Majorca there was a language issue and he only realized 2 weeks into therapy that his doctor was a veterinarian.


Alicia Says:

Thank you for this! What is with Rafa and the knee updates? Just show up and play like everyone else.

Glad he’s coming back. He should let his racquet do the talking like everyone else does.


jane Says:

“In that sense what he is going through now is inseparable from his successes.”

I disagree with this; it’s too final. He can alter his schedule and play considerably less (no Rotterdam, no Barcelona, no Davis Cup, for example). And, imo, that will help.

But I agree that in addition to a lightened schedule, he should work to shorten points. He’s already improved his serve to the degree that he can occasionally win some easy points off it, but he can work on that more; he can also hit deeper into and through the court, taking some spin off (esp. when not on clay). etc…


Scottish Says:

Hey All, i see we have another article on the Nadal vs. Fed topic. I guess people have nothing else to write about right now? I’m happy Nadal will be back playing so soon and hopefully all of the injury / no Rafa talk will soon be over. Nadal has only mastered Fed on clay (Fed has beat him more times on grass and level on HC). They are both amazing tennis players, different styles and sometimes we forget mutual friends.

It’s going to be a crazy and great end to the year. The most exciting tennis year in a long time and more to come.


SG Says:

Anyone find it a little strange that less than two weeks after Wimbledon, Rafa is good to go? He missed the most important tournament on the calendar and is ready to go back to battle two weeks after it’s over. Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for how the man plays. He’s cold blooded Fed killer if there can be such a thing. To be honest, I didn’t think we’d see him show up until a couple of weeks before the US Open. The fact that he has healed so quickly is puzzling. I hope he’s not coming back too early protect points or get a better draw for the final major. He’s made this mistake in the past. Knees are tricky subject. Once they’re messed up, they never really heal up perfectly.


Andrew Miller Says:

Rafa Nadal could quit tennis today and there would be no mistake: he would go down in history as the best player in history’s “better rival”.

Just like Monica Seles had Steffi Graf’s number before the most traumatic event in tennis history, so too does Nadal have Federer.

Kind of eerie how many parallels there are. Please keep Nadal safe!


jane Says:

SG – I don’t think the announcement was meant to imply he can take the court and play today. I think they’re merely saying that after the tests he had yesterday, doctors feel he’ll be ready to defend his title *in another two weeks* – so it’ll be more like a month after Wimbledon that he is technically “ready to go”. Or at least that’s how I interpreted it. But I have the same concerns; much as I’ve missed seeing him play, I hope he’s not rushing his return for sake of a ranking position.


SG Says:

jane Says:

I disagree with this; it’s too final. He can alter his schedule and play considerably less (no Rotterdam, no Barcelona, no Davis Cup, for example). And, imo, that will help.

But I agree that in addition to a lightened schedule, he should work to shorten points. He’s already improved his serve to the degree that he can occasionally win some easy points off it, but he can work on that more; he can also hit deeper into and through the court, taking some spin off (esp. when not on clay). etc…

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

hi jane,

i think this is touchy subject. there’s a limit to how much you can alter your tennis instincts. Instincts and habits that have been developed from early on in his tennis life. Rafa has definitely improved his serve and backhand over the past few years. But, trying to change his forehand to hit more through the court may have negative repercussions on other surfaces.

Michael Chang was most effective playing defensively. As a defensive player, he had some successes against the likes of Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras. But, when he abandoned this approach for a more powerful game, he gave away his advantage. He was trying to outhit giys like Agassi, Sampras, Courier etc and all of those guys had bigger games. Rafa has to be very careful to not abandon what has made him successful to this point. Imagine Jack Nicklaus suddenly changing his game to play a draw. It just wouldn’t have been Jack. And it wouldn’t have worked for him because a draw wasn’t his game.

What you said about his schedule is right on the money. He plays a very physical game so he has to be far more cogniscent of how he schedules himself. But, if he does it right, he could be a dominant force for the next 4 years.


Dan Martin Says:

Sean,

You are the workhorse that gets so many posts up on this site. I will try to keep up. I think the story of the U.S. Open series is going to be Roddick even if he will only be among the contenders in New York, he is likely to be greated as a hero in Indy, DC, LA (if he plays any or all of them) and since his wife is from a town 15-20 miles from Cincinnati he will be embraced in Cincy. Who knows what Montreal’s fans will do, but the other events will have a Roddick friendly aura.


Scottish Says:

I predict that Rafa will come back and either defend his title in Montreal or at least reach the finals. He’s not going to skip Wimbly only to come back at less than his best for a lesser tournament. It’s also unlikely that Fed will win in Montreal but he should pick up some points since he isn’t dropping many. If Rafa does come back still partially injured then he is a fool and won’t last too long in this sport.


steve Says:

jane:

There is simply no way Nadal will become a world-class attacking player. He could probably get good enough at it to go deep in Grand Slams, but not good enough to beat the very best. By which I mean players like Federer, Roddick, and Tsonga–players with great (not just good) serves, who move forward nimbly and volley very well, and who can play excellent first strike tennis on their serve.

He is still essentially a defensive player. His style is based on grinding down his opponents until they make errors. That hasn’t changed despite all his improvements. If he can’t do that he loses.

That’s why players like Tsonga and Soderling and Del Potro can hit him off the court. They’re not bothered by the topspin, and they don’t let him play his usual game of extending the rallies because they stay on the baseline, come forward, and take time away from him.

I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding of how Nadal has altered his game. The improvements he has made allow him to win a few more cheap points and protect his serve better, which was enough–given his usual game of attrition–to win Wimbledon and the AO. But they aren’t in themselves sufficient weapons to rely on in the absence of his main game.

I have never seen him win a match in which he hasn’t been able to play his usual style, in which he relied primarily on ending the points quick and coming forward. Whenever he can’t win by attrition, he usually loses.

All that said, I expect him to win at least a couple more French Opens and possibly a US Open, because he clearly wants to prove he can win on every surface. His determination knows no bounds, and if there’s a way to do it he will find it. But I’m just not buying the idea that he’s so fungible that he can pick up an antithetical style of play and become better than it than the masters of that style.


Giner Says:

Sean, could you be a little more clear on something: Why do YOU think Nadal skipped the grass season? Was it because he lost to Soderling? i.e. are you skeptical there ever was an knee problem?

I don’t for a second buy the divorce. Yes his parents split, but I don’t think it affected him professional in the least.

I want to know what you think personally. Do be brave at least.

As for me, I do think he had some niggles but they were never all that serious. If Wimbledon was a few weeks later, he would have played it, though not won it.


steve Says:

The “new” Roddick will surely go very far at the US Open. I would love to see a rematch between him and Murray.

I heard that until he got with Stefanski, he lived off junk food, like burgers and pizza, even while on tour. It’s amazing he could stay in the top ten for so long with dietary habits like that. Which should tell you how good he is.


Andrew Miller Says:

I would like Roddick to win this year’s US Open singles title.

Apart from that, I wish James Blake would get himself together and win a GS title. It would take a miracle.


Von Says:

Andrew: “I would like Roddick to win this year’s US Open singles title.

“Apart from that, I wish James Blake would get himself together and win a GS title. It would take a miracle.”
_________________
I second that one on Andy Roddick, hoping he’ll win the USO.

I won’t talk about Blake, because I’m so disappointed and angry with him due to his excuses of late.


Von Says:

Giner:

“I want to know what you think personally. Do be brave at least.’

You’re quite the manipulator aren’t you? BTW, What type of bravado are you seeking? LOL.


Scottish Says:

Andy was awesome at Wimbly and should have a huge boost in confidence going into the USO. Hope he does well too. I’m also hoping JMDP shows up big. The guy has so much potential, would love to see him go far. Djoko is starting to under-achieve but who knows, maybe he will surprise us. Murray, Nadal, Fed all have high hopes. It’s a very wide open GS much like the last 2.


Von Says:

Scottish — A shout out to you. I see you’ve decided to grace us with your presence. ha ha. Yes, Andy looked sharp at Wimby and I’m hoping his loss didn’t dampen his enthusiasm to keep up with the hard work. However, that famous saying comes to mind …. only time will tell …. isn’t it?


Sean Randall Says:

Dan, the story this summer will be how much Nadal and Federer play. Combined, I say they max play 3 events, Nadal 2, Federer 1. I’d take the under guessing Roger may not play any ahead of the US Open with the baby on the way.

Giner, honestly Rafa’s troubles I’d say are 70% parental, 30% knees. I think he lost to Soderling because his parents were on his mind. I never saw – nor did any journalist – a single hint of a knee issue in that match. Obviously Soderling was playing really well but just a hunch, the crap was hitting the fan back at the homefront.

Fortunately I have never dealt with such a family issue, but I can only imagine a kid at his age having to deal with that must be nothing short of traumatic.

Rafa seems like a very grounded, family-oriented guy. I’d imagine tennis would have been the furthest thing from his mind. Then again maybe tennis was the escape. Hard to know.


jane Says:

SG says “trying to change his forehand to hit more through the court may have negative repercussions on other surfaces.”

That’s totally true, clay especially.

And steve, I am not saying Nadal abandon his game altogether and become an attacker, but maybe he could look for ways, in rallies, to end points more quickly. So just add some more offense when the moment presents itself. That’s all. I agree his game is unique and that’s what makes him a winner, but there are ways to make small adjustments, which can bide his knees some time, much like the schedule-alterations already mentioned.


Scottish Says:

Hey Von, Wish I had more time to check in but gotta keep paying the bills. I don’t think Roddick will go down after Wimbly. He’s made changes because he wants to win. It wasn’t just a chance he was there. He earned it. And getting to the final will only boost his confidence. But he does need to make a run at a few tournaments to solidify it.


Green Balls Says:

Yah if I were a young 20-something and my parents splitsky I’d be a little sad about it, but then I’m not an emotionless cyborg like some of the xblog dysfunctional bloggers here. My tears flow freely.


Andrew Miller Says:

The tennis world has been coming down hard on Blake. ESPN’s Tom Perrota said he thus far has had a D+ year, lost his confidence, and needs an incredible summer and a run to the final of a grand slam. They also want Blake to get some additional tennis “consulting” from someone who can introduce some wisdom into his game.

(They recommended the kid from Las Vegas, kind of looks like Mr. Clean, hits a mean forehand).


Polo Says:

The US Open will be an exciting tournament with Nadal’s return, Federer’s inspired performances recently (although impending parenthood may lessen his focus) and the improvement in Murray’s game particularly in a surface where he would be very competitive with the top two guys. I am not very sure about Djokovic but I will not be surprised if he shakes up the tournament. With the top four all playing, US Open shall rock!


Andrew Miller Says:

Here’s a tribute to old school Andy Roddick from 5 years ago.

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


Von Says:

Andrew: Thanks — kinda found myself reminiscing down memory lane there for a while. I saw roddick cracking his forehand again during Wimby.

I think Blake is in a state of contumacy — he’s refused to do anything to change his game. Instead, he’s reverted to excuses.

BTW, who’s the Kid from Las Vegas?


mrmilbury Says:

I think the matter is very simple: Nadal has a biomechanical playstile that cosume his body too fast.
He has tried to change it, and in some way he has got it, but against some class players like Roger Federer he can’t do anything except bring them to an error. And it means he has to run a lot, every match.

Tennis, unfortunatley, is a ‘total-body’ sport. You need mind, legs, arms, back, ankle, shoulder. And you need everything works in a perfect way.

Nadal is nearly a phisical laboratory-made tennis man player with a great will, but a great will is not enought.

If you loose against Soderling, if you loose against Federer in Madrid because you have spent four ours against Djoker, well, theese things have only one meaning: they are stronger player.
A tournament is not made only of one match, and is not made only of the final.

That’s why tennis is a great sport.
That’s why Nadal, actually, it is not the number one in the world.


steve Says:

jane: if that’s your meaning, I’m pretty sure Nadal is already making those small modifications under the guidance of Uncle Toni.

If he does that and reduces his schedule he’ll be able to continue at a high level for four or five more years, but it’s still only a stopgap.


natasha Says:

This sarcastic article about Rafa is more than pathetic and it only proves that some people even though they consider themselves to be knowledgeable journalists are not able to accept reality. Rafa is only 23 and has 6 grand slams behind him and he will do so much more to make people like you pay respect for what he has contributed to tennis. It is not his fault that he had an injury but it is worth huge admiration that he has been working so hard to return and prove that he will last! And please, leave his odds out of the picture: after all, he is only a human being like the rest of us! Considering how much joy and happiness it brings to watch him play with his unique style we sure can forgive him for doing these unintentional and somewhat superstitious things…I love him and I hope he is going to last to break all the records because he definitely is capable of doing so! Remember, with all due respect, Federer was 22 when he won his first grand slam! Vamos Rafa!!!!


PietjeP Says:

Great article Sean and nice sarcasm :)

By his whole media communication and pre Wimbledon exo’s he took a lot of buzz away from Federer. Maybe not the buzz, but the value of the wins. I still believe Soderling beat him fair and square at the French. And that he could have played Wimbledon, but that’s just me.

I still don’t understand why Rafa fans get upset when somebody mentions the time between points, the but picking or consistently calling for the trainer when behind. Everybody agrees they are bad habbits. Or should they allow cursing and racket abuse on the courts too? Rules are rules and good conduct is good conduct.

Having said that, I like his personality of the court and in the press. He gives everybody a lot of respect and is a great ambassador for the sport.

Anyway, I’m happy to see Rafa back and hopefully he will give us many more great matches. Although I’m a Fed fan I would love to see him complete the career Slam some day. The GS will not happen. This year was his best chance.

Hopefully everybody is fit this summer and playing. Nadal, Fed, Djoker, Murray, DelPo and the resurged A-Rod. Throw in 1 or 2 smoking hot outsiders and what a great USO to look forward to…. may the best man win!


Agnes Says:

OMG! The most stupid article I have ever read. So cheap and derogatory. And you call yourself a writer? Do not hate. Sean Randall or whoever the f..k you are- some cheap writer on TennisX website. Keep these stupid, and as many already said, the very irrelevant remarks to yourself. Nobody cares how your bladder is doing and that probably pisses you off. Maybe Federer is GOAT (at least in your books…lol) but you are a stupid goat. I hope you read this!!!! Although who knows …you sound very stuck up so brobably you do not care what people got to say. Have a nice life.


MMT Says:

I don’t think the Wimbledon exhibition was a charade – why wouldn’t he want to try to see if he could play Wimbledon? I agree that I get tired of all these injury updates from Nadal and Federer, but if either of them is fit enough to play you can sure they’ll give 100%, so I don’t think the exho’s with Hewitt and Wawrinka were phony at all.


MMT Says:

I’m really looking forward to the next match between Nadal and Federer – first they are usually finals, with all the tension and drama associated with that – but more importantly the quality of tennis between this two is almost always very high – I was just looking at highlights from the Australian Open this year, and both of them were playing outstanding tennis. It’s really a shame that the story of the final became Federer’s breakdown, because the tennis was on par with the Wimbledon final last year. In any case, two players that have a lot of skill and athleticism at their disposal, hugely competitive and most importantly do something other than just smashing the ball as hard as they can. I very much look forward to a renewal of this rivalry.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

This is a bitter and insulting post, Sean. I’ve been reading here for a while and I really enjoy most of your and the teams thoughts. I haven’t seen anything so overtly mud-slinging before- except in the soap opera comments. Don’t know why you felt the need to slam a guy who has only been a gentleman on the public stage.

What in the world is so strange about the until-injured world number 1 issuing a release on his return date?

This is hardly Rafa making a media circus. In fact, his camp has been quite quiet since the withdrawal for Wimbledon. This whole post is just wrong on many levels.
I am a Federer fan who looks forward to Rafa’s return and hope he is truly healed up and not rushing things.


Kimo Says:

andrea Says:
I like tennis bullies Says:
Now, Federer is back at No. 1 as the undeniable (yes!) GOAT following back-to-back French Open and Wimbledon titles
======

very deniable. federer did not beat the defending champion and best in the world (nadal) to win those titles.

bullsh**.

if nadal wins the US Open without beating federer, no one else will make this inane argument.
——————————-

Kudos to you andrea for setting things straight. If Rafa wins the USO to complete his career slam without beating Roger I would never say something stupid like “he doesn’t deserve it”. I’m a huge Fed fan but at least I know a serious accomplishment when I see one. Roger was the most deserving champ at RG and Wimbledon this year.


Ela Says:

We get it Sean!!! You are not Nadal’s fan. You are Federer’s fan and that is fine I could not care less. That is probably the only message I got from reading you article? post? message?…whatever it was. Anyways, whoever let you spill your guts publicly on this website shame on him. Are you trying to be funny?…well you are not. I am a hughe sports fan. Not Nadal’s fan, not Federer’s fan, not Murray’s fan. Sports fan! And this is something that you are not. So please do people who love the sport a favor and do not write anything else ever about it. One more thing, your fascination with Federer…weird!!! do not forget he has a wife now lol anyways I bet you were crying with him during Australian Open. God bless you.


Green Balls Says:

Tennis FANaticS make that type of lame ass argument all the time, i.e. Federer would not have won RG or Wimby had Nadal played. It’s a joke and not worth arguing with such inanity. There is no such thing as an easy Grand Slam trophy save for the rarity when a player gets to walk through all the way to the final and his opponent keels over with a heart attack.


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 (maybe many) 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 up.

Posted July 10th, 2009 at 12:22 pm


Polo Says:

The article would have been really nice had those derogatory comments been omitted. But they definitely evoked interesting responses. In the end, I suppose those inserted words served their purpose.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Looks like Sean lost some of his readership, affecting Tennis-X business? Does this site make any money out of these posters? Do they click these adds and go shopping? If not, why care about these, including me, posters? Someone enlighten me.

This guy is like another poster who has a favorite and who posts just like we do, express opinions variously. His posts, like ours, please some and displease others.
I liked when I saw, “He’s ok! Hurray! And I repeated: “The lion is ok. Hurray !”
I did not like his description: “you and your sleeveless tees, butt-picking routine and the extended time you take between points haven’t been forgotten by your fans.”
I said: “Unnecessary and irrelevant.”
His response: “Much like Rafa’s announcement.”

So, in a way, he is right that the announcement (go to Rafa’s site and read the whole) is as irrelevant as people’s enthusiasm about his sleeveless tees, butt-picking routine and the extended time between points.
Some may argue it is an important info for his fans, etc, and he is updating them, but there is no new info in that announcement. It has been the same since SW19. That announcement does not put a period to confusion: the language is full of uncertainty. Before this announcement, there were schedule update and his answer to a fan, basically saying the same thing: He plans to play and hopes he will be ready for Montreal; he will be on the court practicing soon (this time they added Monday).

Hurray, once again !


Voicemale1 Says:

“steve Says:
jane:

There is simply no way Nadal will become a world-class attacking player. He could probably get good enough at it to go deep in Grand Slams, but not good enough to beat the very best. By which I mean players like Federer, Roddick, and Tsonga–players with great (not just good) serves, who move forward nimbly and volley very well, and who can play excellent first strike tennis on their serve.

He is still essentially a defensive player. His style is based on grinding down his opponents until they make errors. That hasn’t changed despite all his improvements. If he can’t do that he loses.

That’s why players like Tsonga and Soderling and Del Potro can hit him off the court. They’re not bothered by the topspin, and they don’t let him play his usual game of extending the rallies because they stay on the baseline, come forward, and take time away from him.”

- – - – - – -

This post is an example of how tennis assertions in teh media and on blogspots everywhere become an Urban Myth. Not only does Nadal have winning records over Federer, Roddick, Tsonga, Soderling and Del Potro – but he has decisively winning records over every one of them. Nadal is 13-7 against Federer; 5-2 against Roddick (71%); 4-1 against Del Potro (80%); 3-1 vs. both Tsonga and Soderling (75%). Even collectively, these five guys can’t even manage a .500 percentage against him, scraping together 12 wins in 40 matches against Nadal (30%). And if you took out Federer from this group, Nadal would have a collective record of 15 wins in 20 matches against the others (75%). Leaving Federer aside for the moment, Nadal may lose to someone who gets hot for a match (like everyone in tennis can), but it’s clearly obvious to anyone that his consistency is far and away superior to the occasional flashes of fire he’s faced from the others. Looking at their H2H’s we can easily say that when Nadal loses to Roddick, Soderling, Tsonga and even Del Potro he loses because he played less than his best – not because any of these guys are better than him.

With Regard to Federer, their H2H is clearly in Nadal’s favor on the face of it. But if we look at just the Majors, it’s even more decisive in Nadal’s favor. To date, they’ve met in Majors 8 times, and Nadal has won 6 of those matches – and on every surface. The only place Federer has beaten Nadal in a Major is at Wimbledon, so it’s been two years since Federer has beaten Nadal in any of the big events.

This pasted post above somehow tries to equate “attacking” with success on the ATP Tour. This is nonsense, as Tsonga has proven. He made the Final of the Australian Open in 2008 and has spent the last 18 months unable to get past the Quarterfinals in any of the other Majors since. Call him the New Baghdatis: a once-Major Finalist who spends the rest of his career making us forget he ever made it that far. Yet, claptrap like this post above STILL wants to believe the myth. After Australia 08 the Urban Myth started to really cement, claiming its was Tsonga who was a limitless potential and Nadal was already a washed-up has-been. Could the prognostications have been more wrong between those two? Yet the myth persists that somehow Tsonga’s rare flash of life (along with the Soderling moment of glory) is somehow superior to Nadal’s ruthless consistency. Such devotion to an Urban Myth takes on almost a religious bent – “I believe The Myth because I want to”. OK. It’s mystifying to me, but this Urban Myth has one central theme no matter what it’s variation: to microscopically ferret out the perceived “flaws” in the Nadal game. It seems the fascination with such an examination has embedded within it an almost “desire” to see Nadal lose a match, and thereby justifying the “analysis” of the “flaws”. But it’s worth remembering that Rafael Nadal has a winning H2H record against every other player currently ranked inside the Top 10. None of the other nine players in that group can make such a claim. Not even Federer.

Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi – all of these players had outstanding careers based a ruthless and punishing ground game, not this “attacking is best” drivel. These players broke down the games, and many times the spirits, of their opponents far more often than any flash-in-the-pan took them down on the rare occasion. What’s more, like Lendl, Nadal’s Forehand is a more formidable weapon than anything Evert, Borg, Connors or even Agassi had to work with. Nadal easily belongs in the same mention as any of those above. By age 22 he’s accomplished more than any of them, and his place in the Hall of Fame is already assured. Or maybe like these others, Nadal’s accomplished career won’t be fully appreciated until he’s hung up his racquet for good. Until then, the Urban Myth will persist that no matter what he manages to accomplish, he’ll still be seen as vulnerable every time he takes the court.


Skorocel Says:

Polo: “The article would have been really nice had those derogatory comments been omitted. But they definitely evoked interesting responses. In the end, I suppose those inserted words served their purpose.”

Indeed. In my opinion, the Nadal fans shouldn’t take this article too seriously… After all, these 3-4 weeks after Wimby are always sort of a “dull season” in tennis, so there isn’t really that much to write about… Luckily, though, Sean Randall knows very well HOW to draw tons of replies even in a such uneventful time for tennis fans :-) Long live the tennis-x.com staff!


Ela Says:

Yea, Long live the tennis-x.com staff!
How do they get these fanatic writers to work for them? I can write stupid articles too!… and I need a job.


Green Balls Says:

Voicemail can I leave a message or is your inbox full of baloney already?


Dropshot Says:

Another interesting tidbit of information is in single elimination tourney matches, Rafa and Fed never meet after Wimby. The only time they did meet, are during TMC, both time Fed won in straight.


Dropshot Says:

Match up breakdown —-

|Nadal, R|Federer,| Total
|afael | Roger |
———+——–+——–+
Clay | 9 | 2 | 11
———+——–+——–+
Hard | 3 | 3 | 6
———+——–+——–+
Grass | 1 | 2 | 3
———+——–+——–+
Total 13 7 20

Statistically speaking, is Rafa a superior player? The test result says no (p=0.2265, not statistically significant).

Fisher’s Exact Test
———————————-
Table Probability (P) 0.0426
Pr <= P 0.2265


Fed is GOAT Says:

Its unlikely Rafa’s tendinitis is gone for good. How can that be? Tendinitis, especially in the knee, is nasty and lingering. Never really goes away. And to think that he is going to be playing on hard courts only for the next 8-9 months!

Either he removes the cause of his problem (too much running like a rabbit from side to side, leading to hard accelerations and decelerations), or the problem comes back soon. If he drastically changes his game, its not going to be that effective any more. Already, on hard courts, he loses many matches every year. Now its going to be tougher.

Of course, this is partly speculative, so we’ll see what happens.


Dropshot Says:

Fed is GOAT asked “So if Federer is not the best player of THIS generation, who is? Someone’s gotto be.”

The GOAT is Hrbaty, who has winning records against both Fed and Rafa.


Fed is GOAT Says:

dropshot,

On clay its probably significant. But nobody disputes that – Nadal is the best player on clay. But not outside of clay.

Nadal’s short burst of narrowly digging out grand slam matches against federer outside of clay is over. Federer has no pressure any more. Nadal cannot stop him from achieving his two main goals any more – French Open and 15th slam. That was weighing on federer, its not anymore.

On the other hand, Nadal will be feeling more pressure – to regain No 1, regain French, try to win another major outside of French, USO, Try to get to at least 10 slams, fragile knees, advancing age (yes, 23 for some players is not that young – Becker won just one slam after turning 23, reached just two slam finals after turning 23 – and he had no big fitness problems.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Ha ha, yes, Hrbaty for Goat, that’s a good one…


Dropshot Says:

Fed is GOAT, you are absolutely right. On clay, the result is significant (two-sided p-value=0.0348, statistically significant).

WINNER Frequency Percent
—————————————
Nadal, Rafael 9 81.82
Federer, Roger 2 18.18

Binomial Proportion for
WINNER = Nadal, Rafael
——————————–
Proportion 0.8182
ASE 0.1163
90% Lower Conf Limit 0.6269
90% Upper Conf Limit 1.0000

Exact Conf Limits
90% Lower Conf Limit 0.5299
90% Upper Conf Limit 0.9667

Test of H0: Proportion = 0.5

ASE under H0 0.1508
Z 2.1106
One-sided Pr > Z 0.0174
Two-sided Pr > |Z| 0.0348


Xeno-Freak Says:

Tennis Vagabond, maybe it is about time Rafa needs a different team, complete overhaul. Uncle Toni’s name should not be off the table.

Rafa is not a human like us, sorry Natasha, slouching on a couch and blogging about tennis. He is a tennis machine.

MMT, “the quality of tennis between these two [was] almost always very high,” but I don’t think it will be the same any more, even though the dramatic side of their match will be as exciting as ever if they meet in finals.

Sean, I hope it was only family matter, not his knees, and Rafa has gotten over it and is ready to win a couple more hard court titles. Not sure if Fed will escape the 2 Masters, maybe 1.

Polo, I think Rafa will do everything to win the US Open. He knows he needs this. But so do a few others. Fed, he’s the defending champ; Murray, a finalist last year, his goal has always been to win the USO; Djoko, he has not been doing well, so he may be feeling that he needs to prove he is not dead; DelPo, he is hungry and want to do better; Roddick, he has to prove SW19 was not fluke and he is for real, an improved title contender. Outside, these 6, I’d surprised if anyone else wins the USO. But you never know for sure. The 2 Masters will give us a partial picture, if not full, of who is hot. Aren’t we all impatient, a little bit?


jane Says:

Xeno-Freak, I am curious why you think the quality of tennis between Nadal and Federer will no longer be the same, high quality stuff we’ve seen in the past?

“Outside, these 6, I’d [be] surprised if anyone else wins the USO.”

I tend to agree; I think it’ll be one of the top 6 players who wins. But I wouldn’t be disappointed by some crazy run/win/upset. I always like those.

p.s. I agree the other conversation is over, and I replied to you, but because I added a couple of images, my reply has been put in the “moderation” queue.


jane Says:

Voicemale1, Nadal’s consistency, like Federer’s, is remarkable, and Nadal’s winning records against everyone else in the top ten speak highly as well. Whatever style his game is, it’s clearly working against all different types of opponents thus far anyhow.

You also make a good point about every player once in and while being upset by a “hot” player. This just goes to show how much consistency matters, because clearly there is a lot of depth and talent in men’s tennis.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Voicemal1,
Beautifully written. The catch phrase “urban myth” was a good one. That “such devotion to an Urban Myth takes on almost a religious bent” was priceless.

I agree “it’s clearly obvious to anyone that his consistency is far and away superior to the occasional flashes of fire he’s faced from the others.” But I will not say “when Nadal loses to Roddick, Soderling, Tsonga and even Del Potro he loses because he played less than his best.” Certainly not because any of these guys are better than him, but they are also talented players and happen to raise their game on that particular day.

Defense alone is not enough, but if it is as good as Nadal’s, it is better than all-out error-prone offense like Gonzalez’s, who I like a lot. He is not as limited to defense as Murray is. He turns from defense to offense pretty quickly, even if not as quickly as Federer.
The rest is all good.


Joe W Says:

I’m going under on Rafa being 100% in 2009. As mentioned before, his injury has shortened many an athlete’s career. That being said only Rafa knows how severe his injury is. He has such laser beam focus and mental toughness that i think the seperation of his parents is a minor distraction in his professional life, especially since he is a 22 year old man. Of course I’m basing this on my view of American family dynamics. So we’ll see.

Its forseeable that Rafa could adopt Serena’s schedule, where he limits his play at the non-majors, or at least the <1000 events. Of course Serena can skip the entire clay season and still maintain a #2 ranking. That speaks volumes about the state of the womens’ tour. For Rafa’s sake I hope it works out. The possibilites of matchups between the top four are alluring. Throw in a rejunivated Andy Roddick, Hass, and a rising Juan Martin and Soderling, and 2009 looks to finish up with a bang.

MMT: did you mention you live in the DC area? Wow what a draw this year for the Legg Mason. Roddick, Del Potro, Hass, Hewitt, Tsonga, Monfils, Cilic, Soderling, Stepanek…hope I can make it. Did you get a chance to attend WTT downtown? Serena and Venus’ appearance sold it out. Anna K didn’t play but is always a crowd draw…wonder why??


tenisbebe Says:

Having endured a similar family issue at age 20 while away at school but home for holidays & summers, I believe this is the major factor in Rafa’s troubles this spring (agree with Sean’s est. 70% family issues/30% knees). It would be nearly impossible for Rafa to block it out & perform at his best. He & his family share a common dwelling, so when at home (his haven), it would be difficult to escape the constant tension, worry & despair, not to mention the frustration at having no control over the situation. You also worry about your younger siblings who will be left at home to deal with the fallout & whether they are emotionally equipped to do so. In short, many, many, many worries and tennis would be far down the list.

Giner, honestly Rafa’s troubles I’d say are 70% parental, 30% knees. I think he lost to Soderling because his parents were on his mind. I never saw – nor did any journalist – a single hint of a knee issue in that match. Obviously Soderling was playing really well but just a hunch, the crap was hitting the fan back at the homefront.

Fortunately I have never dealt with such a family issue, but I can only imagine a kid at his age having to deal with that must be nothing short of traumatic.

Rafa seems like a very grounded, family-oriented guy. I’d imagine tennis would have been the furthest thing from his mind. Then again maybe tennis was the escape. Hard to know.


tenisbebe Says:

Oops – the last 3 paragraphs were copied from Sean’s post at 11:05pm – should have noted this on my previous post.


Xeno-Freak Says:

why I “think the quality of tennis between Nadal and Federer will no longer be the same, high quality stuff we’ve seen in the past” is just my hunch, based on the AO final, which many thought as good as others, but to me, there was drop in level, by a few inches. I was only thinking about hard court. As Fed is aging, Nadal may not be under pressure to overwork and sacrifice anything to up his level. It is not only up to these two guys keep the level high. There are 6 matches before they reach final. So, unless the young guns raise their game level consistently, not just sporadically, and put a lot of pressure on these two and bring out each other’s best, the overall hard court tennis level will not be the same. Honestly, I felt the drop in level in both AO this year and the USO last year, not just one match, in the over all tournament (don’t get me wrong there were a couple of good matches, but not enough from the usual suspects).
That’s just me.


tennisontherocks Says:

Nadal’s offensive skills are as good as anyone in the game, esp. on the forehand. If you give him a short ball on forehand, you are finished. Even Roger will shank a few here and there, but don’t recall Rafa missing them. And he has shored up the backhand over the years.

Only area that still needs more attention is first serve. I mean, he has great variety/spin and uses it very intelligently. But does not win enough free points on it, like say Roger, who can have an off day with his groundies, but can still crank up the serve when matters. It will just make things easier for Nadal in long run.


tennisontherocks Says:

http://www.tennis.com/news/news.aspx?id=180074

Looks like Gasquet’s suspension is over after a 2 month ban. I think its fair enough as he missed 2 slams in the process. But his ranking is still in good shape and hope to see him back on tennis court soon.


Green Balls Says:

Completely agree tennisontherocks, Nadal is quite offensive! Especially the smell emanating from his right hand’s fingers.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘Green Balls Says:
Completely agree tennisontherocks, Nadal is quite offensive! Especially the smell emanating from his right hand’s fingers.’

LOL. That explains why his opponents prefer to just hug him instead of shaking his hands :)


Fed is GOAT Says:

The time that Nadal takes between points is unsporting. He is in violation of the time rule on most points. If referees had balls, he would suffer a point penalty in almost every game – probably wouldn’t win that many matches anymore. Alternatively, if he does stick to the time limit, he might not play that well anymore, since he is so used to his delaying tactics.

That’s not the hallmark of a top player.


Polo Says:

That is good news that Gasquet’s suspension was reduced to two months and he could now play again. Two years would be tantamount to killing the career of this young gifted athlete.

I agree with Xeno-Freak that “Outside, these 6, I’d surprised if anyone else wins the USO”. I have been trying to figure who, outside those 6, can be considered a dark horse but could not find any. It will be so tough for anybody to beat any 2 of those 6 guys back to back. Tsonga, maybe?


MMT Says:

Xeno-Freak said: “…is just my hunch, based on the AO final, which many thought as good as others, but to me, there was drop in level, by a few inches.”

I don’t see that at all – the level of play in that match was very high. Much better than the first 2 Wimbledon finals, or FO 2008.

Fed is GOAT said: “The time that Nadal takes between points is unsporting.”

Agreed.

“That’s not the hallmark of a top player.”

Disagreed – the greatness of Nadal is without dispute – this behavior is indeed unsporting, but for me does not raise to the level of calling into question his pedigree. In fact I think if the rules were adhered to he’d find a way to win regardless. It would be harder for him to grind out points if time in between were cut down, but he’s good enough that he’d find another way to win, no doubt in my mind.


Xeno-Freak Says:

FIG,
You are not an umpire. ATP/ ITF licensed umpires with many years of experience and sound judgment know what is best for tennis. What’s your current status in tennis, an onlooker? Not enough. Your case will not be heard until you go inside and be a part of tennis either as a tour player, umpire, official, organizer, or in a similarly influential capacity. Maybe, you should be working toward achieving one of those than wasting your time in a wrong place. Or, you could start a signature campaign, ask all tour players, and, if you have majority on your side, turn in the petition to the Rule Committee. Just a suggestion.


Green Balls Says:

We need a “Judge Judy” type chair umpire on the ATP circuit to deal out some justice


jimbojones Says:

Sampras is making little sense here. I guess his early losses in Paris to Gilbert Schaller (1st rd 95), Magnus Norman (3rd rd. 97), Jaime Delgado (2nd rd. 98), Andrei Medvedev (2nd rd. 99), Mark Philippoussis (1st rd. 2000) all as either the 1st or 2nd seed somehow made him the man in his era. Had he played through and lost to elite baseliners his reputation would be worse than losing early as a 1 or 2 seed year after year? The logic that losing earlier helps your GOAT status is something only a goat or lower life form could embrace.


jimbojones Says:

Didn’t Dave Martin’s Wimbledon wrap up on this site mention that Roddick and Fed played at an enjoyable pace and that ritualistic behavior and tons of pre-serve ball bounces were not missed by anyone? I think he wrote that.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘sam Says:
http://www.tennistalk.com/en/news/20090715/Sampras_says_Federer_needs_to_get_on_top_of_Nadal

Mr Consistent Sampras changing his words.’

I would rather see the full interview before making any comments. Many times, the articles just pick one paragraph to make nice story and conveniently forget to add other things.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Sam,
This is a news from The Onion. I searched all over the internet and could not verify the Sampras interview, besides the one you innocently cited.


Voicemale1 Says:

Jimbojones:

Sampras is echoing what more than a few others have said, most importantly this talk of GOAT is just a media driven hype anyway. There is no such official commemoration or plaque or other such things to be given to any such person. Laver and Sampras have long since both agreed that the most you can do as a player is dominate your own era, and that’s all. And as has been pointed out many times – sheer number of Major Titles alone doesn’t cut much mustard as a measure of greatness either. Unlike Federer or Sampras – Laver, Rosewall, Emerson were all denied entry into Majors because they turned pro. It’s not a stretch to see they’d have padded their own respectable tallies of majors had they been allowed to play.

Pat Cash also weighed in on this Federer as GOAT subject, puzzling how someone who was the 2nd Best Player on grass and the 3rd Best Player on clay could be considered the overall best of anybody who’s ever played anywhere? Seems Cash doesn’t buy the Federer as GOAT stuff either.

Sampras had winning H2H’s over all the primary rivals of his era: Agassi, Courier, Chang, Rafter and Becker. Conversely, Federer has a problematic record to Nadal in general, and at the Majors in particular. Combine that with a decisive losing H2H Federer also has to Murray, and you get the idea Sampras has a point.


huh Says:

Voicemale1 says: “Looking at their H2H’s we can easily say that when Nadal loses to Roddick, Soderling, Tsonga and even Del Potro he loses because he played less than his best – not because any of these guys are better than him.”

REALLY YOU THINK THAT???!!!


tennisontherocks Says:

‘http://tennisworld.typepad.com/tennisworld/2009/07/tk-1.html’

Article on tennis.com by Bodo has snippets from Sampras interview with same comments. But again, I would rather see/read full interview here, esp. because I do not trust Bodo (He is ok with this tennis mag articles, but on tennis.com his articles appear to be more targeted towards attracting more comments).

But seriously, when are these so called tennis journalists stop bugging these past champs about Roger and/or the GOAT topic? Pete/Laver/Borg did some amazing things in their own career, have a life of their own and I don’t mind hearing a couple of things about that.


huh Says:

I mean at least on the day Tsonga/Roddick/Soderlin beat them, they were playing at a very high level.


huh Says:

Correction to my previous post needed, it should be: I mean at least on the day Tsonga/Roddick/Soderlin beat Rafa..


jimbojones Says:

Pat Cash is not an authority on anything. The guy tried to get into it with Becker by wearing a Ronald McDonald wig in 1988. Sampras lost to 4 good baseliners in his 4 best FO finishes. Fed lost to a great baseliner 4 times in Paris. Fed’s mistake was not spreading the losses out. Losing to 4 different guys once makes simple minded people say banana peal slippage when the reality is Pete could never beat a healthy good let alone great baseliner in Paris. Yeah he beat surgically reconstructed Muster in 1991, dead arm Courier in 1996 and never motivated Bruguerra in 1996. Not discounting any of that, but Bruguerra’s chip forehand returns and Courier’s bad grip on his backhand are NOTHING compared to what Nadal puts his opponent through on clay.

Federer is close to but behind Sampras at SW19, close but ahead in Melbourne, well ahead in Paris, and basically tied in NY. 2-1-1 to Fed. He is 1 Masters Cup behind but 3 or 4 masters series titles ahead. Fed won 11 titles in 04 & 05 and 12 in 06. Pete’s best year was 10 in 97. Roger has the all time grass and hard court streaks. Roger won over 90% of his matches in 04, 05 and 06. Pete never did that for even 1 year. What was that about needing to be the man in your era to be the GOAT?

More slams, more masters series shields, more dominant years, light years better on clay … do we have to go on? Roger is at the same stage Pete was after winning Wimbledon in 1999. He has another 3 years to reach the stage where Pete retired and he is already ahead. Roger could spend the rest of his tennis career doing performance art by trying to start a fire by rubbing 2 rackets together until the umpire defaulted him for time violations (that rule is on the books right?) and he would still be ahead of Sampras.


jimbojones Says:

Read Bodo’s stuff and Pete does say by the numbers Roger is the GOAT but that it is tough to lose to another guy often. Makes sense. I probably came down too hard on old Pete. Lendl lost a lot of big matches to Becker, but Lendl accomplished more over all. Connors had a losing record vs. Borg, McEnroe and Lendl, yet a lot will argue Jimbo is above Mac and Lendl. I know age is a factor for Jimbo, but Roger is 4 years and 10 months older than his nemesis. Nadal plays by using stamina and consistency. Not the type of guy you want to be 5 years older than.


sam Says:

” Roger could spend the rest of his tennis career doing performance art by trying to start a fire by rubbing 2 rackets together until the umpire defaulted him for time violations (that rule is on the books right?) and he would still be ahead of Sampras.”

LOL :)


jimbojones Says:

Sam, I wrote what I did in response to selective quotes from Sampras. Once I read the whole thing, I was too hard on the guy. I think Roger has accomplished more than Pete. Bodo is hard to figure out. He says in that blog that Federer is the Beatles and Nadal the Stones. He says he was always a Stones fan. In other stuff Bodo has said he thinks Roger did not have enough Heft to beat Sampras on fast courts. He said he might revise that thinking if Roger got to 15 majors. After the French Bodo said Federer was getting the shaft on clay because everyone said he never won in Paris but that Roger was really way out in front of Pete on clay so winning Paris lifted an unfair slight against Roger. I think Bodo likes a physical brand of tennis that focuses on power and athleticism. He seems to prefer Pete to Roger, but also respect Roger. I think tennis based on balance, imagination, variety is more fun to watch. Makes me biased for Fed. Federer is athletic and powerful in his own right, but Pete was more power based. Roger has more variety even if Pete was an all court player. Eacvh guy is good where the other excelled. Pete did have an all court game and could work a rally before his late career. Roger does have an effective power game. Each excelled in one area but was not weak elsewhere. If it comes to building a fire with rackets though I bet on Fed.


Von Says:

I’m elated that Gasquet’s name has been cleared and we’ll once again be able to enjoy watching him employ the use of his beautiful one-handed backhand. Welcome back Richard!

Blah: You must be on cloud nine. I’m happy for you and your guy!

“The tribunal panel of three lawyers said Gasquet consumed no more than “a grain of salt” of the drug, and a long ban would be an injustice in a case which was “unusual to the point of being probably unique.”

I don’t understand why the ATP/ITF/WADA and/or the hearing committee saw fit to drag out Gasquet’s case for over 4 months despite the inconsequential evidence proffered from the very inception of their drug testing. It’s preposterous that the hearing committee deemed it necessary to put Gasquet through the whole rigmarole of waiting for a hearing to be convened, Gasquet’s suspension, and the expense involved for convening such a hearing, despite their knowledge that the cocaine level in his system was a mere ‘grain of salt. Based on the evidence alone, when the cocaine showed up in Gasquet’s test, the quantity of cocaine involved, and the bad publicity for tennis in the sports world, I think the ATP/ITF should have used better judgment and moved to quash at lightning speed, for a dismissal of all charges, thus sparing Gasquet the humiliation, loss of income and psychological damage he’s had to endure and will have to overcome in the future. Gasquet’s case is a perfect example of being hooked up into the corporate ‘red tape’ scenario, where one is at the mercy of feet dragging protocol.


Andrew Miller Says:

The Kid from Las Vegas? None other than 8 time grand slam winner Andre Agassi. I dont think Agassi it itching to coach anyone, but I think Blake could benefit from an intervention by someone like Darren Cahill or Paul Annacone – by someone…ANYONE.

I dont get why Blake isnt taking a look around and, barring the truth that it’s no shame to lose 8-6 in the fifth set against the best serve in tennis (Karlovic), there is some shame in losing both singles matches. The last time I saw that – Andy Roddick, Davis Cup semifinals in Russia, losing to: Marat Safin (Straight sets on Clay), and Dimitri Tursunov (17-15 in the fifth set).

That was a match Roddick probably should have won.

The problem I see is – correct me please – Blake doesnt seem to have earned his #1 spot on that team. And without Roddick on board, the Davis Cup team exposes US tennis: thin in the ranks. Mardy Fish losing in five is no shame either against Cilic, but losing in five and winning in five are pretty close, so it’s still not a great result to lose both matches in five sets and then lose again in the reverse singles.

Maybe no one outside of Roddick and the Bryan brothers has earned a spot on the US Davis Cup team. I almost feel as though McEnroe might be well served to do something drastic AND American: host a tournament of US players to compete for the Davis Cup spot, and make a tournament on red clay. Exempt anyone whose made a grand slam semifinal from playing (Roddick would be exempted).

It’s definitely heresy, and with a Davis Cup win already in 2007, maybe Davis Cup is no big deal these days for the U.S. Still, I think it’s an awful result to lose in Croatia. Sure, they’re good.

But are they really that much better than the U.S. without its top player? Clearly yes. THAT’S THE CONCERN.

Anyhows…I’d advise the U.S. to create the next generation fast, to get James Blake working on the rest of his game before he’s out of tennis completely (drastic I know, but if this is not a wake up call, I dont know what is).


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

Great post with analytical depth and data to back up your argument with respect to the Nadal vs. Federer rivalry and their H2H. However, I’m sure you’re aware that there will be several rationalizations and justifications put forward, as is evidenced by some posts already, in an effort to render your comments moot and/or ‘mute’ also. At least some good has evolved from Sean’s article and that is, to see more Nadal fans posting again, especially those intelligent and insightful Nadal fans.


Von Says:

tennisbebe: A shout out to you — glad to see you back! How’s ‘Baby did a bad, bad thing’ doing?


Von Says:

Andrew:

My question: “BTW, who’s the Kid from Las Vegas?”

Your answer: “The Kid from Las Vegas? None other than 8 time grand slam winner Andre Agassi. I dont think Agassi it itching to coach anyone, but I think Blake could benefit from an intervention by someone like Darren Cahill or Paul Annacone – by someone…ANYONE.”

Thanks, I kept racking my brain as to whom you were referring to, and drew a blank. You’re right, Andre is not interested in coaching, but he’s been very helpful to those players who have hooked up with Cahill, e.g., Sam Querrey and Verdasco. In fact, shortly after Sam did his stint with Reyes in Vegas, he won a title. Also, look at Verdasco, his time spent with Reyes and Agassi proved to be the turning point in his career. I saw Verdasco on the Tennis Channel recently and he mentioned that Agassi’s advice was so beneficial to him, that he now has a different perspective on his tennis as a whole. However, when Verdasco was asked what transpired in their conversations (Agassi/Verdasco) he stated he couldn’t tell his secrets, and what he has changed to enable him to evolve as a better player.

As I mentioned Blake’s problem is contumacy – he insists and persists in rebelliousness, and it will be his downfall, thus ending his career on a negative low and note. How could anyone be so stubborn and pig-headed at such a crucial point in their career simply blows my mind. His coach would depress me to no end. I mean just look at Barker, he’s like a walking dead, so how could he spark anyone into action and/or be effective?

“Maybe no one outside of Roddick and the Bryan brothers has earned a spot on the US Davis Cup team. I almost feel as though McEnroe might be well served to do something drastic AND American: host a tournament of US players to compete for the Davis Cup spot, and make a tournament on red clay. Exempt anyone whose made a grand slam semifinal from playing (Roddick would be exempted).”

I’ve said this many times before, and I’ll again re-iterate, Blake earned a DC medal piggybacking on Roddick’s hard work. I’d be humiliated if I were Blake to know that I’m the No. 2 player on the DC team, but can’t pull out a win when the No. 1 player is absent. It’s unbelievable that Patrick McEnroe keeps placing Blake in the line-up, knowing fully well he’s a dud. Or maybe, McEnroe doesn’t feel Blake’s a dud, then in that case, I’d have to say, PMc needs an overhaul himself.

To say I’m unhappy the US lost to Croatia, is putting it mildly. I’m heartbroken that American tennis is in such shambles, and would like to see some drastic improvement. I’d like to have been a fly on the wall watching Roddick’s reaction to Blake’s blowing of his 2 set lead to Karlovic, and the final rseults on Sunday. It’s unfathomable the amount of pressure Roddick has to endure and play under whenever he plays in DC ties. Just knowing it’s all on his back is enough to make his knees shake, and yet, he goes out each time and delivers. I’m proud of our little guy.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Voicemail1′s post is devoid of proper logic or analysis.

Sampras had a losing record to some 13 players who were his contemporaries. Krajicek, Haarhuis, Bruguera included. As someone pointed out, he just spread his losses around different players. When he couldn’t master all his contemporaries, who is he to talk about others?

And if you look at Sampras more closely – the guy was a DISASTER on the red clay in Paris. 24-13, just one semi. The last 6 appearances he won like 3 matches. He never really played that much on clay, since he was never good enough to reach the later rounds, and face the same top clay courter ON CLAY over and over again. Even Bruguera beat him repeatedly – Fed would have chewed up bruguera (the way he chewed up ferrero, moya, gaudio, on clay courts).

If Sampras had played nadal on clay 100 times, he would lose 100 times.

Federer is just too good on clay, that lead to him facing Nadal REPEATEDLY in clay finals, and he ended up with a 2-9 record against Nadal on clay. Add to it the fact that Nadal is probably one of the two best clay courters of the open era – the 2-9 against Nadal on clay is not really a blemish on Fed’s record.

his 2-6 against Murray is in fact a bit more troublesome.

And of course, these guys are 5 and 6 years younger, respectively. If you repeatedly ignore that, then you are BLIND to logic.

Sampras was lucky to never face much competition. Becker, Edberg were past their peak by 1993, mcenroe, lendl, connors, wilander were retired. Courier was also done. Agassi goofed off for 3-4 years from 1995-99. What did Sampras do in those 3-4 years? Win multiple slams.

Proof that he faced EXTREMELY weak competition? He was ranked number 1 with match records of 65-11 in 1996, 55-12 in 1997, and 61-17 in 1998 (yes, 61-17!!!!). In comparison, in this decade, to be No 1, players (both Federer and Nadal) have had to have MUCH better match records. Winning 55 matches in a YEAR would never make you no 1 today, but it did make Sampras no 1. What does that tell you about his competition?

What a sore loser, Sampras, to make that comment.


Sean Randall Says:

Dropshot, where’s the biquadratic equation? Maybe apply Guass-Jordan elimination?

Really though, the only math you need to determine the GOAT is:
15 > anything else out there

To those who have taken offense to my post, I’m sure they are plenty of other tennis sites which will provide you with a continuous, positive stream on Rafa news. Seek them out! I, however, choose to call it like I see it. And with Rafa (and his camp) I see a guy in need of the attention.


Tennisfan Says:

I think Nadal is making a very poor decision coming back so soon … the hard courts will not be kind to his knees … nor to his longevity in the game. Better to be fully healed … I think his performance at the USO this year may turn dismal …


Voicemale1 Says:

Sean Randall Says:
Really though, the only math you need to determine the GOAT is:
15 > anything else out there

To those who have taken offense to my post, I’m sure they are plenty of other tennis sites which will provide you with a continuous, positive stream on Rafa news. Seek them out! I, however, choose to call it like I see it. And with Rafa (and his camp) I see a guy in need of the attention.

- – - – - – - – - -

*The GOAT is just another myth, no matter what the math. And it’s a moniker that’s utterly meaningless.

*Nadal in need of attention? I see. I suppose he should be more low key, like a certain tennis player out on the tour now who not only feels to need to make a commercial about the heaviness of his trophies on a wagon, but yet an additional commercial to openly discuss the crucial subject of which of his own nicknames he prefers. Talk about a narcissistic need of attention :)


tennisontherocks Says:

http://www.tennisreporters.net/sampras0709.html

Matt Cronin also talks about Pete’s interview. Looks like he and Bodo are the ones who keep pestering Sampras with the GOAT questions.

Pete Sampras has been a very classy guy over the years, so I am reluctant to believe that his quotes are rooted in any jealousy or just sour grapes. I think he is genuinely confused about why Roger cannot beat Nadal. He thinks that it can be achieved if Roger plays like him and just attacks and attacks and attacks the net more. I do not think Pete has watched Nadal play in person, only on TV. So best thing for him is find a doubles partner and come back to tour to play doubles to find out first hand what this new ‘string generation’ brings to the table.

After watching Graf collect 22 slams, Martina N. could have kept on talking about Seles stabbing to diminish Steffi’s achievements. Instead she made her own comeback, won slams in doubles and set her own records.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Sean
“I’m sure they are plenty of other tennis sites which will provide you with a continuous, positive stream on Rafa news. Seek them out!”

“Seek them out.” I can help you.
Yeee…haaaw !


tenisbebe Says:

Von: Hi ya! re: “How’s ‘Baby did a bad, bad thing’ doing?” The concert is this weekend – thanks for asking. As for the real life “baby”, my nephew, my little pumpkin is doing well after his surgery & it was great to spend time with him & the familia last week after a trip to the lake.

Looks like it’s business as usual on the site with Sean writing contentious articles, etc.


Von Says:

“..but yet an additional commercial to openly discuss the crucial subject of which of his own nicknames he prefers. Talk about a narcissistic need of attention :)’ Voicemale1

And, his light up, while saying he likes ‘The Federer’, and the ‘Fed Express’. LOL. I mute the TV, and I wish they’d stop showing it so many, many, many, many times. Enough already!


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Enjoy the concert and let me know if he sang my song.

BTW, I’m happy to hear your ‘baby’ is doing fine after his surgery and the whole family as well.

“Looks like it’s business as usual on the site with Sean writing contentious articles, etc.’

Oh well, it’s more bounce to the ounce and spice to the blogs, isn’t it? LOL.


Von Says:

correction @ 8:28 pm; ‘And, his light up’, should be: ‘And, his ‘eyes’ light up’.


Voicemale1 Says:

Von Says:

And, his light up, while saying he likes ‘The Federer’, and the ‘Fed Express’. LOL. I mute the TV, and I wish they’d stop showing it so many, many, many, many times. Enough already!

- – - – - – - – -

And let’s not forget the Fashionista side, yet ANOTHER opportunity he exploits to grab even more of the spotlight. Every time I see him carrying that gold lame man-purse I become more convinced Mirka had to be artificially inseminated. No one who dresses like that could impregnate anyone naturally.

Federer is the most self-congratulating winner I’ve ever seen. So ebullient is he after his biggest successes. But the flip side of such self consuming joy is what we might see some time – the manic depression and probably even an unstoppable crying jag should he ever lose a big match.

Oh, but wait…


tenisbebe Says:

Sean Randall Says: “To those who have taken offense to my post, I’m sure they are plenty of other tennis sites which will provide you with a continuous, positive stream on Rafa news. Seek them out! I, however, choose to call it like I see it. And with Rafa (and his camp) I see a guy in need of the attention.”

Good God Sean, me thinks you go too far. This is your idea of an intelligent, thoughtful response to your critics? No, more like a very churlish one considering your complete lack of tact in this article. And Rafa is in “need” of attention (after having Fed win the FO & Wimby??) Please! I have never seen a #1 player shy away from the spotlight more than Rafa. For heaven’s sake, he posted an “update” on his own website for his fans & the general public – he did not call a press conference. And I for one was glad he did since I will be present at several USO Series events, I would like to know what players I can expect to see.


Giner Says:

Fed is goat:

“And of course, these guys are 5 and 6 years younger (than Federer), respectively. If you repeatedly ignore that, then you are BLIND to logic. ”

That’s not good enough. He has winning records against almost everyone he’s played that is 5 or 6 years younger than him. Why not these guys? Why should their case be any special?


NachoF Says:

Fed could be 0-20 against Nadal, Muray and Djokovic for all I care…. 15 GS is all we need to know he is the GOAT


Giner Says:

Voicemale1:

“Federer is the most self-congratulating winner I’ve ever seen. So ebullient is he after his biggest successes. But the flip side of such self consuming joy is what we might see some time – the manic depression and probably even an unstoppable crying jag should he ever lose a big match.”

I remember when Justine Henin suddenly retired and other players were asked to comment on such a shock retirement, and Federer started with disbelief and then quickly turned the topic to himself and his achievements.

I don’t think he intended to be boastful, but that’s just how it sometimes comes out for him. Call it lost in translation.

Sometimes he’s been disrespectful (again, I think unintentionally). He thrashed a Brittish player in DC once, and said “That was the easiest match I ever played,” and other insulting things.


Dropshot Says:

Federer doesn’t like Grinders/defensive players. The players who are leading in H2H against Fed – Nadal, Murray, Simon, Canas (until 2008) are all these kind of players.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Voicemale1,

I take back the compliment I gave you earlier. You are slowly revealing your Fed-hating teeth and ganging/ giggling up with the same pack of witches.

Ref: “Federer is the most self-congratulating winner I’ve ever seen.”
You know why? He wins most of the time. Other players (that you support) don’t get congratulations, let alone have an occasion to self-congratulate themselves. You know why? They are pathetic, gutless losers. They never win. They are defeatist, they believe in losing; and you whine just like the players you support: Fed has won all; what are we gonna do now? we cannot win majors; let’s just go after his interviews, clothes, character, and everything.
That’s what you Voicemale1 have chosen your life to hate as defeatism has surrounded your players’ lives, hoping Fed will age and resign. It must be painful for you to stand Fed’s 15> greater than the combined 9 Slams of 5000 players in the last 6 years now.
This is a very controlled response to your last 2 posts. My fellow Fed-admirers will do the rest.


Todd's sorethroat Says:

I am so sick and tired of Nadal and his knee troubles. Let us all just call it what it is he is either on steroids or he is just not as tough as we thought. Roger Federer lost alot of respect for Rafa for not showing at Wimbledon.


Von Says:

Voicemale1: “And let’s not forget the Fashionista side, yet ANOTHER opportunity he exploits to grab even more of the spotlight …”

I casually mentioned the Sergeant’s Pepper jacket and a comment was fired back at me, the gist of which: there wasn’t anything wrong with the jacket with the ’15′ written on it, and Roddick should get a jacket with ‘ONE’ written on it. Note well, the “ONE’ for Roddick was written in Caps. I mean can we even voice an opinion based on fashon without such digs at another player’s GS record. sheesh. Everything is verboten to talk about.

As I said, I’m glad to see some intelligent Nadal fans posting again because since the FO, this site has become a shrine to Federer’s greatness. And, I say, Mazel Tov, to you Voicemale1, for your chutzpah! I can see the arrows coming. LOL.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Voicemail1,
Let me add one more thing.
You said, “self consuming joy” causes manic depression”? That may be so, but only in defeatist hospital or losers’ club.

You are already suffering from depression, having to see your 5000 players lose all the time. So, it is the sadness of losing that causes manic depression, not the joy of winning. Looks like you need help.


Von Says:

“This is a very controlled response to your last 2 posts. My fellow Fed-admirers will do the rest.” XF

Yeah, you’ve just very tactfully given them the ‘green light’ to attack en masse. Ganging up big time because you’re ill-equipped to handle any time of criticism — bullying perhaps to keep others quiet? More power to the masses! Now hop to it and don’t break a leg and/or turn an ankle in the process.


Tennisfan Says:

I actually think Federer is pretty down to earth … he didn’t marry a super-model wife like some (most?) of the other players on tour … he is respectful of the sport and other champions … and he is well liked by his peers … what more do you want?

… I don’t think he takes his commercials too seriously either and has fun with them … some people take all of it just a little too seriously …

… he might be too conservative for some and maybe he’s too mainstream a champion for others … but most people drink coke … while others like Dr. Pepper … or even marinated octopus suctions cups? ….

… I think most people who like Federer … mostly enjoy watching his game … he’s exceptionally skilful … the skill allows him to win most of the time … and I believe he has to be the most elegant player that ever played the game. Most if not all former champions would agree with that last statement.


jane Says:

tennisontherocks – great news re: Gasquet. It will be nice to see him back on the court, and I hope he comes back with a fire.

Polo asks “Tsonga, maybe?” He’s certainly capable if he gets -and stays- hot, but he’s so up and down that it’s tough to say. I think Murray and Federer could beat him, likely Rafa too. Murray lost to him at the AO 2008 but I think Murray’s much better since then. Tsonga can beat Djoko, and likely Roddick and JMDP, depending on how any of them are playing on the day.

Maybe Gasquet, if he has any sense of revenge in him.

” He says in that blog that Federer is the Beatles and Nadal the Stones.”

Well! That explains a lot!!

Voicemale1 says re: a certain player – “who not only feels to need to make a commercial about the heaviness of his trophies on a wagon, but yet an additional commercial to openly discuss the crucial subject of which of his own nicknames he prefers.”

LOL! No kiddin… that netjets commercial is too much.

tenisbebe @ 8:47 – well said!! Sean’s not offering much in terms of rationale, but then he never does. It’s his opinion, with very little analysis. He sure gets good response in terms of sheer numbers, though; you have to give him credit for that. Have fun at your concert (it’s Blackcrowes right?) and let us know how it is. Green Day were loads of fun.


tenisbebe Says:

Voicemale1 Says: “Nadal in need of attention? I see. I suppose he should be more low key, like a certain tennis player out on the tour now who not only feels to need to make a commercial about the heaviness of his trophies on a wagon, but yet an additional commercial to openly discuss the crucial subject of which of his own nicknames he prefers. Talk about a narcissistic need of attention :)

And let’s not forget the “new” commercial where various high profile sports figures give him kudos for his 15th. UGGGGH – Enough already! More mindless, congratulatory drivel (although I’m not sure how much control he exercised over the ad play frequency). I have admired & adored Roger for many yrs but he has been acting like a smug little s**t since (finally) winning RG (senza Rafa). Has he forgotten the despair from AO 2008 through the finals of FO 2009 so quickly? Apparently so, by which I am dismayed. Once Rafa returns, in good health & fighting spirit, things will not be as rosy & he will once again feel the unrelenting pressure of having the Spaniard in the mix.


Xeno-Freak Says:

I am sad to see some sad Roddick fans posting again: “I become more convinced Mirka had to be artificially inseminated. No one who dresses like that could impregnate anyone naturally.”
That’s so intelligent !
Were you born out of critter insemination? Ask your parents.


Von Says:

Giner: “And of course, these guys are 5 and 6 years younger (than Federer), respectively. If you repeatedly ignore that, then you are BLIND to logic. ”

“That’s not good enough. He has winning records against almost everyone he’s played that is 5 or 6 years younger than him. Why not these guys? Why should their case be any special?”

We can apply the same argument/logic to Federer beating Sampras in ’01. Federer was 10 years younger than the ailing Sampras and it took him 5 sets to put Pete away.


jane Says:

Tennisfan,

You’re certainly entitled to think Fed is “down-to-earth”; it’s tough to really know what a player is like unless we meet him/her, but we can get our own sense of things based on their behaviour, interviews and so on. I did think Fed seemed down-to-earth in the past, but I don’t feel the same anymore.

And offering this – ” he didn’t marry a super-model wife” – as support for his “down-to-earthness” doesn’t hit the mark, for me anyhow, since Mirka is clearly caught up in a whirlwind lifestyle, with Anna Wintour, and Gwen Stefani, as friends. Moreover, I sometimes think the wives who work (whether it’s modeling, acting, or whatever) are better off than the ones who are always on tour. It might be tough for Fed and Mirka once he retires since both their lives revolve around his career and the spotlight it brings. But she will have a baby soon, and that will change things and give her something new on which to focus. The baby will be a huge change for them, especially her. I think a good one, in many ways.


Von Says:

“I actually think Federer is pretty down to earth … he didn’t marry a super-model wife like some (most?) of the other players on tour … he is respectful of the sport and other champions … and he is well liked by his peers … what more do you want?”

Yeah, it only took 10 years and an unplanned pregnanacy to do that, an d even then he was rattled per his own comments. When you start lashing out at other players for their choices in a mate, then expect their fans will retaliate. All’s fair in love and war, and what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.

XF: “I am sad to see some sad Roddick fans posting again: “I become more convinced Mirka had to be artificially inseminated. No one who dresses like that could impregnate anyone naturally.”
That’s so intelligent” !

Considering the limelight was hogged by MOST of the Fed fans since the FO, I think it’s about time some other players’ fans begin posting again; they were literally driven away by the masses.

You desperately need some comprehension classes. Who said Voicemale1 and tenisbebe are Roddick fans? Need I remind you of your first post making your grand entrance on Tennis.X? Don’t let’s go there.


Von Says:

Jane: “It might be tough for Fed and Mirka once he retires since both their lives revolve around his career and the spotlight it brings.”

Like the retired folk who finally realize they had zilch in common because they were so caught up in HIS job/career. The working wives are independent while Mirka is SOLELY dependent on the Federer. Without him she’s just another woman living through her husband’s identity/success. ‘Roger, can I have an advance on my allowance for this month’?


sports fan Says:

Guys……..I thought this was a site about Nadal making a comeback to tennis in Montreal not Federer vs Nadal in the goat war of words………Guys when are yall going to realize there is no comparison……..

Federer- 15 majors

Nadal- 6 majors

Please let us focus on Nadals comeback or we need not post…….


sports fan Says:

I am a fan of Nadal as well and would not dare get into an argument with a Federer fan about who is the GOAT…….I know I would lose!


tenisbebe Says:

Xeno-Freak Says: “I take back the compliment I gave you earlier. You are slowly revealing your Fed-hating teeth and ganging/ giggling up with the same pack of witches.”

You “take it back”?? I haven’t heard that expression since fifth grade. And who would these “pack of witches” be?
——————————————–
“Ref: “Federer is the most self-congratulating winner I’ve ever seen. You know why? He wins most of the time. Other players (that you support) don’t get congratulations, let alone have an occasion to self-congratulate themselves. You know why? They are pathetic, gutless losers. They never win. They are defeatist, they believe in losing; and you whine just like the players you support: Fed has won all; what are we gonna do now? we cannot win majors; let’s just go after his interviews, clothes, character, and everything. That’s what you Voicemale1 have chosen your life to hate as defeatism has surrounded your players’ lives, hoping Fed will age and resign. It must be painful for you to stand Fed’s 15> greater than the combined 9 Slams of 5000 players in the last 6 years now.
This is a very controlled response to your last 2 posts. My fellow Fed-admirers will do the rest.”

Dude, you need to go have a cocktail & chill. I could empathize with the “sentiments” you attempted to express in this nonsensical diatribe if you had birthed or were sleeping with Roger but that scenario is unlikely. Please take a quaalude and check back in the morning. :-)


Xeno-Freak Says:

Wait until Cindy Brady shows up again, and she will give you all kinds of necessary lessons.
B.t.w., my last post was directed at you? If you had good eyesight, you’d notice the words and parallel syntactical structure copied from your post: “intelligent”; “I am sad to see some sad Roddick fans posting again”= I’m glad to see some intelligent Nadal fans posting again. Who needs comprehension lessons?
And none of my posts ever make fun of a pregnant woman and call out her husband impotent for his choice of clothes. None of my posts ever use ageist name-calling like “Granny” or mildly racist phrase like “ESL posters.” And a couple of others’ nativist remarks (not you, though) like “how long have you been on this site or country? you don’t have the rights…” etc.). None of my posts will ever violate civil rights, discriminate people on the basis of color, gender, origin of nationality, religion, ethnicity, age, and size. You can pull out anything I have said. Feel free. I know my boundary: I keep it to tennis.


Von Says:

Considering you use one of Voicemale1′s post, you couldn’t be talking to me.

Do you have a license to psychoanalyze the posters here?

“Wait until Cindy Brady shows up again, and she will give you all kinds of necessary lessons.”

so very mature and adult. Yes wait till my mommy comes home, I’ll show you. Yes, I can see the admiration for Cindy Brady, because you are like two peas in a pod.

No more from me to you, enough venom already from your side. you can’t handle an argument by yourself without looking for reinforcement from your ‘fellow Fed fans’? sheesh.


tenisbebe Says:

Jane says: “Have fun at your concert (it’s Blackcrowes right?) and let us know how it is. Green Day were loads of fun.” No it’s Chris Isaak & another night Widespread Panic, I dig both of them. The Black Crowes are playing another night but I’m not attending – we’re in a recession, you know :-).

Re: Gasquet. Am so very happy is back on tour soon as was dismayed by the cocaine charges. Having read the article, why were these charges even brought up given the infinitesimal amount of cocaine found in his system? And now he not only has to contend with missing 2 mos plus of play but if another test is suspect, a lifelong ban? Another dunderhead decision by the ITF – Can’t anyone in this organization use common sense?


tenisbebe Says:

Xeno-Freak Says: “Wait until Cindy Brady shows up again, and she will give you all kinds of necessary lessons.”
——————————————–
Now this I haven’t heard since the third grade when it was “Wait til your father gets home.” Congrats Xeno-Freak – you have taken me back to my childhood with just 2 posts.


Polo Says:

Somebody here is a Lady Macbeth to everyone and anyone who says anything contrary to her opinion. And her nose must be getting so brown from kissing up to bloggers who praise her hero and to new bloggers she is obviously trying to seduce to be her allies. Some subtlety, please. You are so transparent.


Voicemale1 Says:

Xeno-Freak:

First, I wasn’t fishing for compliments, so I don’t care whether I get them or not.

Second – I don’t need you to explain to me why Federer is the most self congratulating winner ever known. I realize it’s because he wins, genius. That’s why I used the term “winner”. See? So what if he wins often? Why is that a sanction for him to start his public self-adoration? Lots of guys win big tournaments. They just don’t feel the need to start making commercials telling us all how happy they are, or impressed with themselves they are, for having won. That’s what trophy ceremonies are for. You say your thanks, give us your delight, and then move on. Not Federer. He thinks we don’t get enough of him, or worse: is terrified we’ll forget him. So we have a series of commercials now to remind us how pleased he is with himself that he won. Lest we forget. Believe me, I get what his motivations are.

As for the rest of your post at 9:11 PM (ironic of the time, give your attack on me, huh?) – it’s clear you’re a fool. If Federer has “won all” (and he hasn’t), why hasn’t he been able to beat Nadal in a Major outside of Wimbledon? Or in a Major at all in two years? Why does Andy Murray own Federer with a 6-2 H2H lifetime? Why is it he’s lost his last two matches to Novak Djokovic, one on a hard court and one on clay? Are you SURE he’s won all? Did he actually win those matches against these guys but the news services reported the wrong scores? Help Me out, Xeno.

As for your 9:22 post, this demonstrates you have a reading comprehension problem. I didn’t say self-consuming joy “causes” manic depression; I said depression was the flip side of self consuming joy (the High Highs and Low Lows, just so you know). And we did see it – after he lost the Australian Open Final. Which is what makes Federer’s gloating now so unseemly. He gives us commercials today telling us how impressed with himself he is when he wins, but he then wants us to be so moved by his tears of self-pitying depression that we unconditionally offer up our sympathy when he loses??? Uh..No sweetie.

Federer’s achievements on court are exemplary, and many of them extraordinary. Of all the numbers, I’d single out three: 237 straight Weeks at #1; 20 Major Finals; and his 5 straight at the US Open, the one Major where he’s never lost a Final, to date. His tennis itself is unique in this way: he has more variations on his exemplary forehand than anyone either before or since. What makes it the shot it is today are two elements above all the others: his rotation, and his extension on the forward swing. The first is lethal; the second is the most consistent, maybe ever. The only one out there today who combines anything as close on the forehand rotation and extension that consistently is Nadal. If you took a tape measure and ran it from the bridge of their noses to their wrists at the point where the wrist is directly across the nose bridge at the furthest point of their extension, you’ll see that these two guys are almost always at the same maximum measurement consistently – no matter how off balance they’re forced to hit the shot. This is largely why they are 1 & 2 in the world, and have been for the better part of four full years now, and entering its fifth year in 10 days.

Having said all of that, I don’t need, or want, Federer appearing on my TV screen trying, in fact begging, for even more reasons to admire him with either his self-adoring commercials or his self-pitying tears. As a player he’s extraordinary; as a person he’s nothing more than your garden-variety Diva. The kind of Diva you’d see coming out of Madonna, Cher, or Streisand. Like all of them, there’s not only not a big enough spotlight for Federer, but however many actual spotlights there are in the world – there aren’t enough for him.


Xeno-Freak Says:

T-bebe,
The pack refers to those who unconditionally celebrated this remark, as they did his entire post: “Every time I see him carrying that gold lame man-purse I become more convinced Mirka had to be artificially inseminated. No one who dresses like that could impregnate anyone naturally.”

At least I took you some where (did you have a sad childhood that you loathe to be reminded of? Mine was not), but your posts take me nowhere except the land of defeatism and soap opera gossips. And I am not that excited about it.


tenisbebe Says:

Xeno-Freak Says: “B.t.w., my last post was directed at you? If you had good eyesight, you’d notice the words and parallel syntactical structure copied from your post: “intelligent”; “I am sad to see some sad Roddick fans posting again”= I’m glad to see some intelligent Nadal fans posting again. Who needs comprehension lessons?”
————————————
Well my eyesight is 20/10 but I missed this “parallel syntactical structure” which I suppose you thought “obvious” by use of the words/phrases: “to see”, “intelligent”, “posting again”. Not so parallel to me or others and we can comprehend just fine.


Von Says:

Polo: Are you having fun? I hope so. FYI, tenisbebe, is not a new poster, nor is Voicemale1, and I’ve always said hello to them whenever I see them return. You’re not very perceptive/observant are you? As a matter of fact, Voicemale1, has been posting here longer than I have, but considering you only post when Federer wins, just like so many others, what can one expect? Anyway, enjoy the ride until Federer loses again.


Polo Says:

Surprise, surprise!!!

By the way, Federer has 15 already and anything thing above that is just icing on the cake. He can lose all his subsequent matches and none of that can take any of those 15 majors away. And Roger will have a child soon which is just grand and the joy from that will simply wash away any pain of any loss. Roger’s place in tennis history is secure. He need not worry and neither should his admirers. That is one advantage Federer’s admirers have over the others. They picked a winner. Why do you think all anti-Federer fans concoct all these scenarios to drag him down? You only try to pull down someone who is on top.


jane Says:

Xeno-Freak,

Not to evoke a “war” of words, but I’d like to point out to you that you’ve very recently called some posters here a “pack of witches,” and given the history of real “so-called witches” -in other words, the GENOCIDE of women who were designated as such – I’d say that word could easily be construed as a gender-slur, and therefore you’ve broken one of your own rules: “None of my posts will ever violate civil rights, discriminate people on the basis of color, gender, origin of nationality, religion, ethnicity, age, and size.”


Sean Randall Says:

True, Rafael Nadal is not the only one who likes to call attention to himself/herself, there are plenty of others including RF who definitely takes it to another level.


tenisbebe Says:

Xeno-Freak Says: “T-bebe, The pack refers to those who unconditionally celebrated this remark, as they did his entire post: “Every time I see him carrying that gold lame man-purse I become more convinced Mirka had to be artificially inseminated. No one who dresses like that could impregnate anyone naturally.”

1) Tennis Freak called me T-bebe – who are you? I assumed a poster yet unknown to me. Have you morphed?

2) I looked at every post after Voicemail1′s original at 8:44pm and no one made any comments pro the remark above – if I missed one, please point it out.
————————————————
“At least I took you some where (did you have a sad childhood that you loathe to be reminded of? Mine was not), but your posts take me nowhere except the land of defeatism and soap opera gossips. And I am not that excited about it.”

Did I have a sad childhood?? I suppose you are referring to my entry posted July 15th, 2009 at 1:38 pm regarding Nadal’s emotional state due to his parents impending divorce & my personal take on the situation? I was 20 – not in childhood. Or perhaps it was the personal post to Von I made at 8:22 pm regarding my 5 month old nephew’s recent surgery? You are a real @%^@%ing piece of work & I don’t give a hoot whether my posts excite you. Quite frankly, your insensitivity with this one makes me want to vomit.


Von Says:

“That is one advantage Federer’s admirers have over the others. They picked a winner. Why do you think all anti-Federer fans concoct all these scenarios to drag him down? You only try to pull down someone who is on top.”

Ahh so! Now we get to the nitty-gritty of the childish stuff.Let’s see, because Federer won 15 GS his fans are better than the fans of the other tennis players? Which in essence states, you are not really tennis fans, but only like tennis because of Federer? How very sporting! It’s the analogy of the secretary who works for the Executive VP. She/he feels they’re so powerful because the boss is powerful. Sad to say, it doesn’t work that way in life, one needs to earn his/her own victories in order to be powerful. The sad truth is: Federer fans aren’t any btter than the fans of the other players just because he’s won 15 GS. How many GS did his fans win? NADA.


Ela Says:

Wow! The author of this pathetic story actually read some of the posts today and realized he might have offended some people with his derogatory comments – very bright.

Further, Randall said “And with Rafa and his camp) I see a guy in need of the attention”
Ok, dude I think you need to chill because the only one who obviously needed some attention was YOU. And kudos, you got it.

Randall says: “I’m sure they are plenty of other tennis sites which will provide you with a continuous, positive stream on Rafa news. Seek them out! I, however, choose to call it like I see it”
Sean Randall, be sure there are plenty other sites and thank God you are not posting your little stupid articles on them. And if you “call it like you see it” you must be fuckin blind.


Von Says:

tenisbebe: Xeno-Freak is a re-make of Tennis Freak, and in case you haven’t noticed, he’s always right. I wouldn’t waste my time discussing anything with him. His MO is to engage people in a discussion, gets off-track and/or loses the essence of the discussion, and when he can’t comprehend what’s hapening, he insults them by telling them they make no sense. Check out his discussions with jane and you’ll see it ends up the same way each time — he’s right, she’s wrong. Can a leopard change its spots? Hell no, not in a million years, so too it’s the same with the X-Freak aka Tennis Freak. Same freak different name.


Xeno-Freak Says:

T-bebe,
(1) Yes, I have morphed from Tennis Freak into Xeno-Freak.

(2) Some called that post of Voicemail1′s an “intelligent” post, the one containing that statement. Now, try to visualize a situation you are pregnant, and some one calls your husband impotent because he was carrying certain purse and says that you were artificially inseminated. How do you feel? How would any bystander shut her eyes to this and not say anything? Trust me I will oppose such remarks regardless of who it is directed against (I primarily freaked out because of that remark).
(3) Honestly, I have not read any of your posts that are not addressed to me. So, rest assured, my reference to your childhood has nothing to do any of the things you said. It was an attempt to ricochet at your calling me 3rd grader or 5th grader. So, no need to puke: I am not that insensitive.

————————
Jane,
I recognize the term could easily fall into “a gender-slur,” and I sincerely apologize for the error, without getting into argument, which I could have done by resorting to etymological analysis.
I appreciate your pointing out the error. Holding me accountable for my slippage will help me be more careful. That’s how I look at it.


tenisbebe Says:

Von Says: “tenisbebe: Xeno-Freak is a re-make of Tennis Freak…Same freak different name.”

Ha ha, ha ha. Very good Von. So he morphed from Tennis-Freak to Xeno-Freak while I was gone last week? Why??? Xeno = (n.); alien, foreign, strange (adj.). Ok, whatever, his posts are making more sense now. Thanks for the clarification.


Von Says:

“2) Some called that post of Voicemail1’s an “intelligent” post, the one containing that statement. Now, try to visualize a situation you are pregnant, and some one calls your husband impotent because he was carrying certain purse and says that you were artificially inseminated. How do you feel? How would any bystander shut her eyes to this and not say anything? Trust me I will oppose such remarks regardless of who it is directed against (I primarily freaked out because of that remark).”

No one agreed to this. READ AGAIN AND THEN TRY TO COMPREHEND WILL YOU. As usual, you twist comments to give reinforcement to your arguments which are based on half-truths.

“Jane,
I recognize the term could easily fall into “a gender-slur,” and I sincerely apologize for the error, without getting into argument, which I could have done by resorting to etymological analysis.
I appreciate your pointing out the error. Holding me accountable for my slippage will help me be more careful. That’s how I look at it.”

Unbelievable — can a leopard change its spots? never. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I think all the non-Fed posters should lstop posting and leave the Federer posters to post and then there will be one happy family.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Jane,
Just to add to what I said, I guess others don’t have to apologize when they slip because they have not made the same commitment as I have, right?

—————–
Von,
Ref: “No more from me to you.”
Can you ever stick to what you say?
You don’t have to. But if you keep coming after me and Fed’s appearance and personal life, you will get the same from me (I will artificially go after Roddick’s everything). If you are seeking to be my enemy for life, I can become a very good one. Or, you leave me and my player alone; I leave you and yours alone. Or, if you have a better option, let me hear about it. Be serious.


steve Says:

voicemale1:

Who are the players with the most longevity and the most Grand Slams? Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer.

All of those players have (had) big serves, play(ed) an attacking game, and come (came) forward often.

Of the baseliners you mention, Agassi and Evert are the most successful in terms of longevity and major success. But they’re not like Nadal; they were more aggressive, able to outhit their opponents and end points quickly. They had the ability to hit very powerful winners from the baseline without making many errors.

Agassi had an uncanny ability to read the ball and insane reflexes, which made his game a lot more efficient. Unlike Nadal he could regularly hit return-of-serve winners even against great servers like Sampras; Nadal can’t do that as easily; he uses his return to set up the rally, and so he has to spend a lot more time running. I don’t know much about Evert, but I suspect she played a similar game.

Nadal is a different kind of player, a defensive baseliner–one who is very good at repeatedly producing low-error strokes (not winners), getting the ball back into play, and outrunning his opponents until they make an error. That takes a great deal of mental stamina and puts a lot of stress on the body.

Probably the greatest defensive player, and the one whose style most resembles Nadal’s, is Borg, but he’s the poster child for early burnout. His style–like Nadal’s–required him to put absolute concentration on every point, every single game, every every single set, every single match, every single tournament. Once he was unable to muster the will to do that, he was finished. And despite all his defensive skills, he still had to learn serve-and-volley to win Wimbledon.

“With Regard to Federer, their H2H is clearly in Nadal’s favor on the face of it. But if we look at just the Majors, it’s even more decisive in Nadal’s favor. To date, they’ve met in Majors 8 times, and Nadal has won 6 of those matches – and on every surface. The only place Federer has beaten Nadal in a Major is at Wimbledon, so it’s been two years since Federer has beaten Nadal in any of the big events.”

At one point in their career, Chris Evert had a 21-4 winning record against Martina Navratilova. Want to know how it ended? 43-37 in favor of Navratilova.

Just a fact for your delectation.

“This pasted post above somehow tries to equate “attacking” with success on the ATP Tour.”

Please don’t put words in my mouth. I never asserted that, and it’s obviously not true. Otherwise Radek Stepanek and Taylor Dent would be winning Grand Slams, not Federer and Nadal.

What I was saying was that an attacking, aggressive style was effective against Nadal. And that has usually proven to be the case when he loses.

“Looking at their H2H’s we can easily say that when Nadal loses to Roddick, Soderling, Tsonga and even Del Potro he loses because he played less than his best – not because any of these guys are better than him.”

Ha! So there really is someone who subscribes to the theory that Nadal is infallible, and if he loses it’s only because he wasn’t feeling well that day. I made an earlier post mocking those like you. Feel free to read it.

Nadal’s ‘ruthless consistency’ depends on his ability to run down every ball and outgrind his opponents. His secret is that he lacks the inborn self-preservation mechanisms that most people have, so he can summon reserves of strength and endurance that most people can’t.

But all that punishment damages the body, and eventually you have to pay the price as you get older. If you think he can play like he did at twenty-two for the next five years, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Look at what happened to Lleyton Hewitt, and you’ll see what happens to players who play that style. Nadal has more weapons, of course, so he will be able to stay near the top much longer than Hewitt did, but he will not be able to dominate every year like he did in 2008.

Well, this has been fun. Let me know if you’d like to scrap again :)


tenisbebe Says:

Voicemale1 – re: your post @ 10:41pm: Yes, yes and yes!! Thank you for taking an hour plus I’m sure to compose a well-choreographed & entertaining rebuttal.

I particularly appreciate a sentence in your final paragraph: “Having said all of that, I don’t need, or want, Federer appearing on my TV screen trying, in fact begging, for even more reasons to admire him with either his self-adoring commercials or his self-pitying tears.” AMEN brother! As I mentioned in my post from 9:28pm, “More mindless, congratulatory drivel.”


jane Says:

Xeno-Freak,

“I guess others don’t have to apologize when they slip because they have not made the same commitment as I have, right?”

I would never try to hold myself to such a standard as saying “none of my posts will ever…” do such and such. I try to make it a habit not to say “never”, “none” or “ever”. (Barring the fact that I don’t swear and try not to call anyone here names.)

I am okay with different views, with contradictions (humans are very contradictory; I see no problem with admiring a player’s game but not admiring his/her behavior – why not?), with the changing of minds, and, as you know, even with having opinions on players’ lives, behavior, clothing, interviews, and so forth, since, as I mentioned on the other thread, they are “public” figures, and therefore are open to public scrutiny. And those players who make themselves particularly public (sponsorships, media appearances/interviews/articles, etc), will ultimately be more vulnerable to criticism. That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Frankly none of us, I am assuming, actually know the players personally, so it’s not that big of a deal if they get ribbed a little now and then. It’s not like it’s hurting Federer if someone criticizes his commercials or gold bag. He’s probably still sleeping pretty well. Although Nadal’s imminent return may have stirred a few night terrors. LOL.


Von Says:

Xeno-Freak: “2) Some called that post of Voicemail1’s an “intelligent” post, the one containing that statement.”

I told Voicemale1′s that his post intelligent, but it was not the same post as the above-quoted; you took the above-quoted out of context from another post using my ‘itelligent’ remark, and then cast your aspersions in a gneralized way towards me, and it’s the ONLY reason I answered you. I have never been your friend, jane is, not me. Your first post, did it fom me, and always will.

Your remark, “Can you ever stick to what you say.” You betcha, I made it clear to you a couple ago that I won’t become embroiled in any discussions with you when you tried to engage me into so doing, and you thanked me for a ‘free pass’. You can go after Roddick as much as you want, you’l get tired eventually. However, didn’t you do enough of that when you made your grand entrance? If it tickles your fancy to do so, keep it up, and enjoy the ride..


jane Says:

LOL – I just contradicted myself: “I would never try to …. I try to make it a habit not to say “never”.

I guess the word “try” lets me off the hook, somewhat, but the point remains the same – people contradict themselves all the time, and it’s not really such a big deal. Tennis is just a game.

Save the super high standards for RL. (not Rod Laver, although you could make that argument – but – real life, where it matters)


Voicemale1 Says:

Steve:

This sentence in your post makes me understand you might have all your own facts straight:

“Of the baseliners you mention, Agassi and Evert are the most successful in terms of longevity and major success. But they’re not like Nadal; they were more aggressive, able to outhit their opponents and end points quickly”

Chris Evert “aggressive”, and “end(s) points quickly”??? Chris Evert – queen of the clay court moonballs??? Chris Evert – who came to the net once in a match – to shake hands when it was over? You don’t know what you’re talking about. Evert’s whole strategy was to wear her opponents down and outlast them, and that comes from Billie Jean King – who might actually know what she’s talking about since she played Evert so often. That you can call Chris Evert an aggressive player who ended points quickly is just laughable.

Court, Laver and Emerson “came in often” for one main reason: the wood racquets of that day made it far easier to rush the net. They didn’t have to worry about power coming from the back court -only accuracy. No one playing with a wood racquet today would serve & volley. They be out of there in less than 30 minutes if they tried. The power generated from the back court today renders serve & volley almost obsolete. That’s why we don’t see it anymore.

The rest of your post is as easily refutable:

“At one point in their career, Chris Evert had a 21-4 winning record against Martina Navratilova. Want to know how it ended? 43-37 in favor of Navratilova.” – The difference with Federe & Nadal is age. Federer at just about 28 is against the clock to turn his rivalry around with Nadal, who’s just 23. It also presumes Federer will be on a win streak against him from here on. Highly dubious to say the least.

“What I was saying was that an attacking, aggressive style was effective against Nadal. And that has usually proven to be the case when he loses.” – Then how do you explain the “attacking aggressive style” when employed against Nadal and it fails, which it has on numerous occasions? Tsonga, Soderling, Djokovic, Gonzalez, and Roddick have all done this same tactic time and again and they end up losing to Nadal far more often than they win. or is that just more dumb luck for Nadal too?

“Nadal’s ‘ruthless consistency’ depends on his ability to run down every ball and outgrind his opponents. His secret is that he lacks the inborn self-preservation mechanisms that most people have, so he can summon reserves of strength and endurance that most people can’t.” – This is such gobbldeygook that it defies any sense, such as a lack of an “inborn self-preservation awareness” (whatever that is) somehow allowing Nadal to be stronger and fitter. Translation: Nadal’s basically to dumb to know better that he should be exhausted. Yeah right – it’s just dumb luck Nadal lasts longer and is stronger than other guys out there. What dreck.

“But all that punishment damages the body, and eventually you have to pay the price as you get older. If you think he can play like he did at twenty-two for the next five years, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. Look at what happened to Lleyton Hewitt, and you’ll see what happens to players who play that style. Nadal has more weapons, of course, so he will be able to stay near the top much longer than Hewitt did, but he will not be able to dominate every year like he did in 2008.” – These two paragraphs try to talk out of both sides of the mouth. First, The Nadal Physical Calamity Demise has been preached by the tennis world for four years running, and all he’s done is win more and ascend to the #1 Ranking – a ranking which the likes of Tsonga and Soderling will never see in their careers. Then you turn and claim that, after comparing an eventual demise to parallel Hewitt, you then say Nadal has more weapons to last longer than Hewitt. Uh..do you think it’s wise to undermine your own point? Just for your information; Tsonga, Baghdatis, and even Murray have spent as much or more time on the shelf with injuries as Nadal has, and none of them have won anywhere near as many career matches even when they’ve been healthy. And you wanna talk injury? Graf, one of your vaunted Power Players, was out for almost a year due to major reconstructive surgery she had done on her right knee because it was basically shot.

Hewitt’s decline had less to do with injury that it did about the nature of the game changing. During his ascent in the late 90′s until 2002, he was adept at passing these guys that kept coming in. When the game became a power event from the baseline, he started to get dusted because he had no weapon shot. He was forced to have to run more then he ever had with nothing in his arsenal to get him out of trouble and reduce his running. Nadal has his Forehand for that, and now the Slice Backhand too.

So you have a bridge to sell me? Uh Steve, it’s clear by your post that’s highly questionable you have what it takes to own a bridge to sell in the first place.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Jane,
So for the sake of “different views, with contradictions,” anything goes? Even racist, sexist, ageist, nativist remarks, all that trample on civil rights, have to be silently approved, if it is coming from a non-celebrity?
I disagree.


jane Says:

Xeno-Freak,

” Even racist, sexist, ageist, nativist remarks, all that trample on civil rights, have to be silently approved”

No. But generally there aren’t too many of those types of remarks around here. Sure, some comments may push at the boundaries, but all in all it’s pretty civil imo. The worst ire seems to occur when Federer and Nadal fans go at it. Even then, it’s not that bad usually. You seem to take any remarks about Federer very personally.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Jane says: “Save the super high standards for RL. (not Rod Laver, although you could make that argument – but – real life, where it matters).”

Save it for real life? where it matters?

It is my real life wherever I participate. And it matters to me to uphold what I think needs to be upheld.
All right, Jane, whatever.
———————-
B.t.w., I added a couple of links with articles and pictures, to the other thread. They support your argument.
—————————–
And I am gonna take a long leave. Maybe, a permanent one. And I am gonna take my high standard where it matters. Thanks for chatting with me.


Von Says:

As I said, the non-Fed posters should leave, so that the Fed posters can then fight among themselves as to who worships, loves and/or can fight for and defend his honor the most. And the winner is ………?????? Who loves ya baby?


jane Says:

Xeno-Freak, I’ll check out those pictures. And if you need to take a hiatus, so be it. But just like in “real life” (i.e., with friends, family, people you run into that you know), you can’t make everyone here post according to your standards so I find it’s best just to let certain things roll off your back a little more. Choose your battles wisely. Or it won’t be much fun posting, is all.


tenisbebe Says:

Xeno-Freak Says: T-bebe, (1) Yes, I have morphed from Tennis Freak into Xeno-Freak.
—————
O-Kay, WHY??
———————-
(2) Some called that post of Voicemail1’s an “intelligent” post, the one containing that statement. Now, try to visualize a situation you are pregnant, and some one calls your husband impotent because he was carrying certain purse and says that you were artificially inseminated. How do you feel? How would any bystander shut her eyes to this and not say anything? Trust me I will oppose such remarks regardless of who it is directed against (I primarily freaked out because of that remark).
———————
Again, I see no, NADA, affirmative responses to Voicemail 1′s remarks. Not one. I agree, his remarks are incredibly inflammatory &, being a woman, I do not need to envision the situation you put forth to recognize this – he obviously does not like the gold laminate man purse and Mirka is getting the brunt of it. Shame, shame on him for this obvious crude & rude remark. However, you stated that in making this statement he was ganging up with the pack of witches & when I asked who these witches were you replied “The pack refers to those who unconditionally celebrated this remark, as they did his entire post.” So I ask you again, where, in this ENTIRE post, did these “witches” “celebrate” Voicemail1′s remarks? Please give time and date of posts.
=============================================
“(3) Honestly, I have not read any of your posts that are not addressed to me. So, rest assured, my reference to your childhood has nothing to do any of the things you said. It was an attempt to ricochet at your calling me 3rd grader or 5th grader. So, no need to puke: I am not that insensitive.”

REALLY? I find this very hard to believe. How in the world would my saying that your words remind me of being in 3rd & 5th grade warrant that response? No way Jose, I’m not buying it – reread my posts @ 9:58pm & 10:32pm. My response to your remarks in paragraph 2 at 10:41pm stand – you were definitely referring to my earlier posts re: my parents divorce (Rafa) and a PERSONAL post to Von re: my baby nephews surgery. These were the roots of the “sad childhood” & “soap opera gossip” comments below:

X-F says: “At least I took you some where (did you have a sad childhood that you loathe to be reminded of? Mine was not), but your posts take me nowhere except the land of defeatism and soap opera gossips. And I am not that excited about it.”


jane Says:

Here’s an interesting article/blog post on “the lost boys” of tennis:

http://tennistalk.com/en/blog/Kelli_DeMario/20090715/The_Lost_Boys:_tennis_talent_gone_AWOL


tenisbebe Says:

Von says: You desperately need some comprehension classes. Who said Voicemale1 and tenisbebe are Roddick fans? Need I remind you of your first post making your grand entrance on Tennis.X? Don’t let’s go there. Posted July 15th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

OK Von, let’s have it. Since I am renaming him Xeno-Dick per my post 1:45am, please give me the link to that first post. But wait, let me guess…it was during the FO after Soderling beat Rafa, yes? Or maybe as early the final in Madrid? Sigh – so predictable these fanatics.


jane Says:

tenisbebe, I believe Tennis Freak (a.k.a. Xeno-Freak) showed up at this post, by Sean Randall: “Free Swinging Federer the Clear Wimbledon Favorite. ”

What I can’t understand is that we’ve had good conversations with him (remember talking with Tennis Freak about tea? Rooibos, to be specific, a few weeks back? And also about music and patchouli?), but other conversations, most recently about Federer, have been much more toughy. TF or XF has expressed the notion that we should not talk about anything but tennis history/matches/stats – i.e., criticizing a player’s personal life, interviews, advertisements, clothing, spouse, etc is off-limits and “gossipy,” and that’s where the “soap opera gossip” remark that he made to you comes from. So he’s been championing that cause, and I think Voicemale1′s critiques of Fed’s ads and clothing (which I think are fair) set him off, particularly the joke about Mirka. But he’s very protective of Fed in particular.

Anyhow, thought I’d update you on a couple things as Von may be sleeping by now.


steve Says:

Voicemale:

“Translation: Nadal’s basically to dumb to know better that he should be exhausted. Yeah right – it’s just dumb luck Nadal lasts longer and is stronger than other guys out there. What dreck.”

I really would appreciate it it you would stop twisting my words.

What I mean is that–on top of his fitness–he has an ability to call on the extra reserves of strength that most people can only tap in the last extremity, because the body has natural mechanisms to keep you from pushing it too far.

Most players hold back a little bit, even when they’re playing their best, because in the back of their heads, there’s something that forces them to keep a little bit in the tank. But not Nadal, he never holds back, regardless of the strain it puts on his body.

You can call it a “dumb” strategy, if you like. I wouldn’t call it a strategy at all. It’s an inborn trait, not something he does by volition. Murray talks about imitating it, but I don’t think it’s possible to emulate. It’s his special gift and it’s what’s allowed him to win so many Grand Slams at such a young age. It’s also the reason he will not be able to keep up the same level for a long period of time.

“The Nadal Physical Calamity Demise has been preached by the tennis world for four years running”

Four years ago he was nineteen. Of course a nineteen-year-old won’t burn out physically. But twenty-four, twenty-five? That’s when it starts getting dicier. He’s barely twenty-three now, and the knee problems are clearly getting more serious.

“all he’s done is win more and ascend to the #1 Ranking”

And he kept that ranking for less than a year.

Wasn’t he supposed to be #1 forever? Weren’t people like Agassi saying that Nadal would break Borg’s record at the French, and go on to take the career slam this year?

Then he lost in his own house, where he had never been beaten, in the fourth round, then couldn’t defend his Wimbledon title. So much for all those rosy predictions.

“And you wanna talk injury? Graf, one of your vaunted Power Players, was out for almost a year due to major reconstructive surgery she had done on her right knee because it was basically shot.”

She was what, 28, 29? I’d imagine most tennis players have injury problems at that age, no matter how good they are. And she managed to win one more Grand Slam after that.

Nadal is in what are supposed to be the peak years–21 to 25. Not a good sign that he’s not been able to defend a Grand Slam title at his age.

“The power generated from the back court today renders serve & volley almost obsolete. That’s why we don’t see it anymore.”

Haas made it to the Wimbledon semifinals playing serve and volley, beating Djokovic along the way. Federer used it quite a few times in Madrid to mix it up. Tsonga also employs it.

The tactic isn’t dead, it’s just playing a different role. The days where people would come in behind every serve are probably gone for good, but I expect we’ll see it a bit more often now, especially if Federer begins to refine and deploy it as he gets older.

There’s also more ways to come forward than just the serve-and-volley. Witness last year’s US Open final–chip and charge, taking short balls with a driving volley, the multiple short smashes at the net, coming in behind drop shots, and things I don’t even have a name for. And Murray just could not handle all that–even after beating the then-world #1 in the semis.

Look at how much Roddick has improved his attacking game, to the point where he could beat Murray by jamming his backhand on the approach, coming in, and forcing him to make a tough pass. He was able to trouble Federer playing the same way. He may be one of the few players left who could serve and volley on every serve and get away with it.

So, attacking tennis is very much alive and well, in all its forms, and for that I’m glad.

“Federer at just about 28 is against the clock to turn his rivalry around with Nadal, who’s just 23. It also presumes Federer will be on a win streak against him from here on. Highly dubious to say the least.”

It’s 1968, and someone comes to you and says that Rod Laver will win the calendar Slam next year.

Your response: ‘Laver at just about 30 is against the clock to beat all those younger hungrier players at a Grand Slam…’

It’s 2005 and someone tells you that Andre Agassi will make one more US Open final at the age of 35.

Your response: ‘Agassi at just about 35 is against the clock to be able to make it that far…’

Federer was supposed to be done after Australia, remember? He was supposed to disappear in shame, he was supposed to be too old to beat the young’uns, blah blah blabbedy blah.

He beat Del Potro at the French–a man seven years his junior, who was outhitting him for the better part of three sets. He beat Roddick at Wimbledon, a man who was outserving him for the better part of five sets, and playing some of the best baseline and attacking tennis of his career. Federer wasn’t supposed to win those matches. But he did.

And just look at Wimbledon this year. One by one the young’uns–Del Potro, Djokovic, Tsonga–fell away, till Murray was the only man left under 25. And the final was a repeat of 2004-05, not of 2006-08. Quite aside from the fact that one of the men playing had been there every year since 2003.

So no, I don’t think it’s “dubious” to suggest that Federer might be able to turn around his losing record against Nadal.

I’ve found another buyer for my bridge, by the way. But I’ll give you a chance to match his offer. Care to take it?


tenisbebe Says:

Jane – thanks for the update and also the link to Kelli’s article (which are always interesting).
Re: The Freak. Jane says: What I can’t understand is that we’ve had good conversations with him (remember talking with Tennis Freak about tea? Rooibos, to be specific, a few weeks back? And also about music and patchouli?)”
———–
Yes, some very late night good conversations outside of tennis (had I known it was T-F I would have suggested a cup of green Rooibos to calm him down instead of a cocktail). And he is extremely defensive of Fed – strange to me. (I mean if you’re not his lover what’s the scoop? :-)

But Jane, I did not criticized Fed before agreeing with (jumping on the bandwagon?) VM1′s comment about the ads which I also found/find annoying. He (X-F, T-F or whatever the hell he’s going by) was pissed off because I said: “I have admired & adored Roger for many yrs but he has been acting like a smug little s**t since (finally) winning RG (senza Rafa).” T-F wants unconditional love for Roger, which I find irrational.

Jane – I understand your argument however I am NOT CONVINCED that he was not making reference to my earlier posts – it simply doesn’t fit. The “soap opera gossip” and “sad childhood” statements don’t add up.

You are a kind & decent person Jane, who wishes no adversity among others. I also hope to help alleviate adversity through my deeds and actions but I am not as generous as you (not yet). One day, but not yet. Hold firm precious Jane – we will all catch up with you eventually. XOX


sam Says:

Kudos to Von she drove one more poster from here.


sam Says:

Xeno Freak,
If you are reading this please dont leave because of some insane posters.
I like reading your posts , which are very intresting and intelligent unlike some posts here.


blah Says:

Great to see Gasquet back on tour! Looks like he’s not an addict or even anything close after all. Although it hurts to see him miss wimbledon as I think he had a real shot on grass this year with the wide open field, but perhaps he needed a break from tour. I doubt he could’ve won anything with him in his mental state anyway, but still great news as it shows his life is not in pieces and his career is not over.

It is dubious to suggest Federer can turn his losing record around against Nadal simply because Federer continues to gradually decline, and his backhand will not get any better at handing Nadal’s high kicking topspin forehands.


blah Says:

As for the author of this article- I guess now that God Fed is on top again there’s no point in even hiding his bias. Nadal’s site has had two injury updates in the month of July- one which stated an injury update is to come tomorrow, and the second one which is what the article referred to, which tells us he’s ready to play Montreal. Is that considered attention grabbing now?

Not being a nadal fan, I was interested in when he would come back on tour, given that his knee was serious enough to make him miss wimbledon. Looks like it’s not that Rafa wants people to remember him, but rather the pro-fed tennis world wants people to forget Rafa. After all, if Rafa disappears, the blemish on Fed’s otherwise perfect career would be gone, and all would be right again.

No tennis fan would want to endure his uncivilized twitches on court; they would rather watch tennis quality on atp tour stay low and watch fed retake his god given tennis throne. And the injury, psh, it was definitely a cover up, unlike fed’s mono, which is of course very serious, and had nothing to do with him trying to make himself look better after he started to lose more often. Only Nadal would use injury as an excuse to cover up any mental problems.

The Wimbledon exo/charade? How dare he tests out his knees to see whether he could play at enough strength for two weeks at wimbledon to win it all. He should have just risked further injuring his knees without having a good chance of winning. And having that press conference after he found out he can’t play? Total attention move, it’s not like he’s the first player to not be able to defend his wimbledon title in a while.


Polo Says:

THis was my comment: “That is one advantage Federer’s admirers have over the others. They picked a winner. Why do you think all anti-Federer fans concoct all these scenarios to drag him down? You only try to pull down someone who is on top.”

Von’s response: Ahh so! Now we get to the nitty-gritty of the childish stuff.Let’s see, because Federer won 15 GS his fans are better than the fans of the other tennis players? Which in essence states, you are not really tennis fans, but only like tennis because of Federer? …

Von, I have to lay it straight to you. How stupid and twisted can you be? Read my post and read your post (sorry for using the words you usually you in your confrontations). See how different they are? I said an advantage, I never said better. Although I must admit that a lot of Federer admirers are better than your pedantic and vitriolic meanderings. For a self-proclaimed genius, your neural wirings are totally discombobulated. But I must admit that of all the bloggers here, I read yours the most. It is like going to the circus, you always look for the clown.


Polo Says:

Von, you are not just Lady Macbeth. You are Iago too. You twist other peoples’ words to make them look bad to others.


sinnet Says:

May be after few days she ( Von ) will be the only one postng here.

Writing after Roddick’s loss , how handsome his face was while loosing…………..

blah blah blah blah blah blah………………….


cliffie Says:

Sean, clearly you are unaware of what a megastar Rafa is in Spain, where the public wants to know every single thing about him. If you were at the USO (maybe not?), you would have seen the pack of journos that follows him everywhere.

In addition, for his many fans around the world, his participation in a tournament IS big news. Check out the Canadian newspapers – they are thrilled to have him.


Ecublens Says:

I asked 2 years ago for a feature to automatically filter out Von’s posts because they insulted my intelligence and feelings; I’m doing it manually ever since, and, by reading your reactions, I’m sure it was a good idea (and no, I’m not someone using another identity)…


Von Says:

Polo: Thank you so very, very much for your character assessment. As I said previously, Dubai did it for me.

A gift from me to you, from the Dubai thread:
_______________
“Polo Says:
Von,

I have seen through Roddick’s supposed negative attributes and realize now that all those are part of his character. He is consistent in his behaviour and I could see why he did what he did about the Dubai tournament. When I think back about what I did not like about him before, I know now that they were not negative attributes. He was simply stating what was in his mind when he argues against linesmen and umpires, commented about Djokovic, etc. etc. So his backing out from the Dubai tournament in support of a colleague is an honest action, not a PR stunt. It is believable because it is consistent with what Andy is wont to do and he seems to say “If I believe that you are wrong, you will hear it from me and I will fight you.”

Posted February 26th, 2009 at 8:05 am
_____________

“Polo Says:
;o Says: Re: Federer

“…Hes injured, can’t play a tournament thats being weighed with controversy, yet still shows up to the players party and picks up his appearance fee.”

“I checked this and it true. There is even a video. That is quite incredulous! Everytime I see or hear about Federer, he keeps diminishing in my eyes. Roger keeps chasing the GOAT title but what he could well turn out to be is just one plain greedy goat.”

Posted February 26th, 2009 at 7:20 pm
________________

That’s some loyalty you have to Federer.

Re advantage: If someone says they have an advantage, it means they are superior, and superior means better than. Here’s the meaning of advantage per the dictionary:

1. advantage: superiority or ascendancy

2. a position of superiority (often fol. by over or of): their advantage in experienced players.

3. Tennis. the first point scored after deuce.

—Idioms9. have the advantage of, to be in a superior or advantageous position; possess an advantage over: By virtue of independent wealth, he has the advantage of his opponents.

So Polo, to me advantage not only means better, but superior.

Assassinate my character as much as you want. I’m not the one that’s looking bad, it’s you. However, your persistenece in putting me down not going to make me stop posting and/or change my views on Federer. I’ve stuck faithfully to my player, but the question to be asked, have you done so with yours? I don’t think so from the posts I quoted above.

Enjoy the ride Polo, and keep up with the mud slinging, but it’ll only be one-sided. Glad to see you read my posts so often, I think I’m the only poster who uses the word ‘discombobulated’. LOL


Von Says:

Ecublens: Considering I’ve only posted here for 18 months, I don’t see how you could have done so two years ago, and, I don’t ever recall exchanging post with you as to insult your intelligence. Jump on the hate Von bandwagon. Also, I don’t see you posting, so what’s the problem.

How about if I stop posting, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll begin posting? I’ll give it a try, but remember you have to post.

The problem here is pure and simple, whenever I mention anything displeasing to Federer’s fans with respect to his nibs, it only takes one Fed fan to start the ball rolling and to put the Von bashing in motion, then a domino effect happens, and they all follow suit. what about when I give him kudos, I don’t see anyone complaining then.

Take Sam for instance, does he ever post? No, but he comes up with the same drivel every time I say something he deems offensive with respect to Federer, e.g., I’ve driven another poster away. and, that’s the sum total of Sam’s posts. Sam has a little books of checks and balances. LOL.

What a lovely bunch.


Von Says:

Polo: I forgot this one:

“Polo Says:
I am the only one who feels that this blog site is getting a little bit pedantic? There is so much philosophizing and psychoanalysis going on. Why can’t I say that I like Roddick now because he has character? Or I like Federer less now because what he has been doing and saying recently? Call me shallow but this place seems to be getting to deep for me. I come here to have fun, not for psychoanalysis.

Posted February 27th, 2009 at 12:44 pm
___________________

All it took was a FO GS win and a wimby win for you to do a 360 degree turn. you’re a peach!!!

@7:22 am: You stated with reference to me: “Although I must admit that a lot of Federer admirers are better than your pedantic and vitriolic meanderings ..”

And in your post of Feb. 24th which I quoted above, you mentioned the site became too ‘pedantic’. Hence, I suppose this site and myself are ‘pedantic’, which goes to show how much you vacillate. LOL.

NOTE WELL Polo: I won’t answer any subsequent posts from you. Perhaps you won’t believe this, but I don’t find happiness exposing others, but you’ve been pushing me since last week, and there’s only so much restraint anyone can practice.


Von Says:

“sinnet Says:
May be after few days she ( Von ) will be the only one postng here.”

No, you and the Fed fans will be the only ones posting. hAVEN’T YOU NOTICED: 905% OF the Djokovic, Murray, and Nadal fans have ALL GONE.

I’m being picked on because I said I welcome the return of nadal and his fans, and that’s the cardinal sin I committed in the sight of the Federer fans. Tough, suck it up dudes.


Voicemale1 Says:

Steve:

The basic discrepancy we have is this: Nadal is much better than you think he is, and the guys that have beaten him on a rare occasion, like Soderling and Tsonga, aren’t as good as you think they are. If Tsonga, Soderling and for that matter Haas so outstanding, why haven’t they won a Major?

Agassi lasted as long as he did because he essentially had two extended sabbaticals from tennis, one of them lasting over 2 years.

So I’ll take the bet you wanna make: by the time thy hang up their racquets – Federer will not have a winning H2H over Nadal.


veno Says:

A big shout out to Von from warm and sunny Spain!!!!!! Just wanted to say hi!
Good to see you counter attacks from all wind directions with your pen-sharpness yet again :-D
And talking to you as a tennis fan for 25 and a Fed-fan for 8 years, I WELCOME NADAL’S RETURN AND THE RETURN OF HIS FANS. Why? Because I’m a TENNIS FAN first and a Fed fan second.
Only caveat in your literary display in the previous post is 905%?! Come on girlfriend…Not used to seeing you make typos like that(just messing with you of course)
I’m making a bold prediction here, but I think Andy Roddick will be UO champ this year!

Later, talk to you(and the rest of the regulars of course) when I get back from my holiday!!!


Von Says:

Veno: A shout back at you! But, I’m not supposed to hail anyone, according to the opposition that’s ‘brown nosing”, and it’s viewed as I’m trying to ingratiate myself with new posters in an effort to make friends. So what else is new, can i get any worse? LOL.

Yes, the 905% was a typo — I meant 90%. Even 90% of Roddick fans have gone, we’re just about 3 or 4 now left here, but I’m the most vociferous, hence the severe verbal beatings, left, right and center. LOL.

How’s sunny Spain? Have you been able to to go as far as Costa Del Sol? Lovely place — I wish I could join you — I’m very jealous!

Veno, thanks again for saying hello, have a great vacation, and I’ll probably see you when you return.


veno Says:

@voicemale1:

With all due respect my friend, after they hang up their rackets it won’t be relevant anymore what the h2h is.
All that counts in sports is the results, not the way you get the results. That aspect is mainly interesting fun and games for outsiders(meaning e1 not being a direct rival of the protagonists)to write about and to debate eachother on. You really think Nadal or Federer care about their h2h other than the fact it could have mental significance the next time they face off?
Nadal only cares that he has 6 GS now and wants to win as many more he can, same holds for Fed.
Andy Roddick didn’t care one bit about losing to Fed for the 19th time in 21 meetings, all he cared about was that he didn’t win the Wimby final(he actually deserved it) and everyone was referring to their h2h possibly contributing to fact he was the unlucky one and Fed was the lucky one that warm July Sunday almost 2 weeks ago which imo is absolute nonsense(sorry to rattle that up Von)


veno Says:

Von says: “Even 90% of Roddick fans have gone, we’re just about 3 or 4 now left here, but I’m the most vociferous, hence the severe verbal beatings, left, right and center. LOL.”

Oh come on, don’t tell me you don’t love it like that!!! And you seem capable to deal with the beatings… But, sure, a compliment now and then would be nice.

Wow Von, all the Roddick fans left? And the Murray, Djoko and Nadal fans?
I guess it’s only fun if you can jump on the winner’s bandwagon…Hmm

Sunny Spain is great, burnt red like a lobster and no, won’t be getting near Costa del Sol(staying near the Costa Brava which is further north)


veno Says:

Oh and Von, before I go…

CONGRATS on your man moving past DelPo :-O

Hope he puts his teeth in Djoko now!!!!!


Von Says:

Veno: No need to apologize, you’re right, Roddick doesn’t care about his H2H v. Fed, all he cares about is winning whenever they meet. Some people make fun of Roddick because of the H2H, but IMO, that’s the least of Andy’s problems. Andy wants to win another GS, and that’s where his focus lies. BTW, I’m holding you to your prediction that he’ll win the USO.

So how many Flamenco dance clubs have you visited? As I mentioned, I’m jealous.


Von Says:

Veno: “Oh and Von, before I go…
CONGRATS on your man moving past DelPo :-O
Hope he puts his teeth in Djoko now!!!!!”

You’re so funny, but I needed the laughs. I mean I have welts all over my body now from the beatings. LOL.

Roddick’s only ahead of DelPotro by 25 points, but could make up more ground during the USO series and at Cincy where he didn’t play last year. He’s got 3rd round points to defend at Montreal, so there could be a sizeable jump, if he does well at the two MS tourneys.

I don’t know about moving past Djoko though, we’re talking approx. 2700 points and that’s a lot.


veno Says:

I’ll drink a glass of Sangria here to you and to Andy winning another GS soon! As a tennis fan I care greatly for him, especially concerning all the crap that has been thrown at him through the years and he never ever gave up believing in himself. That is a really rare quality in an athlete. It’s the same quality I respect so much in Fed(of course not easy to compare them…difference in talent and success, but you get my point I think) They never stop believing in themself. I respect Rafa’s determination and will to win, but it will be interesting to see how he bounces back after things haven’t been going his way….Interesting dynamic to see develop!


veno Says:

I know Von, no pun intended, I keep up with the points ranking and breakdown vigorously throughout the year(writing down possible scenarios for the top 6(oh yes, not only Fed)
That was just a “feel good comment” to balance your sheet a little after the pounding you got. But ok, it’s fine, I will refrain from further future positive remarks that bear no other significance than to make you feel better.


Von Says:

Veno: a Sangria Salud to Andy winning another GS. You’re a true and rare tennis fan!


Von Says:

Veno: “But ok, it’s fine, I will refrain from further future positive remarks that bear no other significance than to make you feel better.”

Nahh, I love it, don’t stop. LOL. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Now watch me get pounded again for ‘brown nosing’. LOL. Isn’t this amusing? LOL.


Dan Martin Says:

Xeno-Freak I think some of your comments are bordering on tasteless, but I guess it is time to make a statement on fashion – so here goes.

Fashion has played and continues to play a bigger role in tennis than I would like. Andre Agassi wore some pretty ridiculous stuff during the first half to 2/3rds of his career. Acid wash denim shorts, followed by day glow yellow/lava pink complete with spandex under shorts, followed by the bald pirate look that held sway through 1995. Sampras introduced the pretty innocuous if not welcome change of baggy shorts. Stepanek had the strange shirt in 2005 that Hewitt commented along the lines that the shirt only motivates someone to beat a bloke wearing it. We could add the hair issue with the various mullets over the years. I thought Nadal’s capri pants were pretty ridiculous. That still leads us to Mr. Federer whom I have been known to praise from time to time.

The white jacket in 2006 was ok, strange but ok – kind of reminded me of the Green Jacket in golf. The 2007 white jacket and pants was strange but tolerable I thought. The 2008 sweater was not so good but also pretty innocuous. The 2009 military jacket and pants was really a stretch. The gold bag was something that had to go. I saw the bag on day 1 at SW 19 and thought I think he either needs to ditch the bag or karma alone will cause him to lose this event. 16-14 in the fifth set shows that karma is mighty indeed.

Fed’s SW19 get ups have ranged from strange but acceptable to looking a bit like a Ken doll complete with accessories in 2009. The 15 jacket may have been in bad form, but I did hear Federer on ESPN radio’s Mike and Mike show the day after that Nike sprung that on him. Mike and Mike loved the jacket and said he should wear it to get ice cream when he is 45. This gets to the point of non-tennis sports. Golf does give a green jacket. The Indy 500 constantly changes hats during the winner’s post-race interview, NBA, NCAA and NFL champions get hats and T-shirts immediately after winning. The Kentucky Derby winner gets a garland of roses. The non-tennis media would generally not react poorly to the 15 jacket and it was likely something Nike did without telling him (06 & 07 he put the white jacket back on after the match). If the 15 jacket did nothing else, it at least spared us the sight of the military jacket.

As for Mr. Roddick. I guess he might have rights to complain. Then again in 2007 at the U.S. Open the two wore dueling all black ensembles for a night match at the U.S. Open. Roddick used to wear a visor (Steve Spurrior is the only guy in sports who can get away wit that). The visor came complete with boy band spiked hair. Throw in the backward baseball caps and we may be at a point where Roddick has only varried from Federer in terms of degree and not kind.

I wish all of these guys would wear some sort of basic attire and let the tennis do the talking. The fact is Agassi, Roddick, Stepanek, Nadal, Hewitt, Moya, Haas and yes Federer have all been more into fashion than I really care about. Lendl used to wear the French Foreign Legion cap. Mac and Pat Cash introduced ear rings only to see Agassi ramp that up even further. Tennis needs to get over the glam. It is not a David Bowie concert it is a freaking athletic event and I think once a player leaves the spectrum of normal tennis attire it detracts from how tennis is viewed as a sport. It is grueling and requires nerves, great hand eye coordination and explosiveness – instead it can come off as a sport for weaklings.


veno Says:

I mean it!!!

Of course I’ll be happy if Fed wins UO ’09, but I think he’ll win a couple more coming years and I’m not a greedy person. If he stays at 15 I’ll revere him as much as if he would win 20 just because what he has brought to the game of tennis(as did Laver, Borg, Connors, Mac, Becker, Edberg, Sampras and Agassi to name a few. That said the first and last 2 are in a class of their own onviosly) It seems fitting that Andy will get his second, cause boy does he deserve it!!!!! Djoko and Murray will win 1 in the future and Rafa already has 6. Have to go now!!!
Talk to you later…Have fun


Dan Martin Says:

By the way, I love Space Oddity; I just think tennis is about the competition not the run way. The WTA and fashion I left alone. Ted Tinling (sp?) always pushed for fashion in women’s tennis. Still, the WTA’s decision to market sex appeal in the late 1990′s is a continuing disaster. First, some players don’t look their best when running around and trying to win an athletic contest. Second, the novelty of sex appeal on the court might have helped in the short run, but if a fan is watching to see women in revealing clothes can’t they find this somewhere else. By making that move the WTA put itself in competition with a lot of non-sports stuff when it really has had the monopoly of tennis being the premier women’s professional sport (WNBA, Beach Volleyball and other women’s pro leagues pale in terms of coverage and prize money). Why forfeit that to put women’s tennis into competition with celebrities, models and less savory sex appeal centered media?


MMT Says:

Joe W: I do livein the DC area, and I’m very much looking forward to the Legg Mason, although I have my doubts as to whether Roddick will play given his injury.

I have not seen WTT tennis yet – I considered watching the match with the New York team that has John McEnroe – I saw him play once towards the end of his career, but it wasn’t a particularly interesting match.

Amazing that after all these years he’s still something of a draw.


Von Says:

MMT: Speaking of Legg Mason, I remember at one time you had mentioned you were thinking of subscribing to live streaming, did you? If yes, do you know whether the USO series will be on live streaming per ATP website and/or their affiliation with the live streaming network? Please explain how this works because I know the matches won’t be on TV and would like to watch some of them. Thanks.

BTW, I love watching WTT, and I believe there will be a broadcast this weekend on TC.


MMT Says:

Dan Martin: “…the WTA’s decision to market sex appeal in the late 1990’s is a continuing disaster.”

Was that really a decision of the WTA, or a decision of players who had the option to do so and have done it. These women are independent contractors and have the right to do whatever kinds of endorsements they’re comfortable with. Males players do it, so what’s the problem with women doing it?


MMT Says:

At this point it appears that tennistv will only be showing highlights of the tournament, but that’s an interpretation of what i see on the site – there doesn’t seem to be a defnitive answer either way. The DC tournament is listed, but you cannot buy a live pass for it, so I’m assuming there are only highlights.


Dan Martin Says:

MMT the players certainly did some of this on their own but the WTA was all too willing to push the sassy new tour idea with Anna K, Hingis, the Williams Sisters, and a few others.


Von Says:

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/15072009/58/gasquet-free-return-tour.html

Gasquet free to return to tour.
______________
MMT: Thanks for the information. I’ve been looking forward to watching the USO series but am now disappointed that there probaably won’t be any type of TV or live streaming coverage.


Dan Martin Says:

Gasquet is a welcome returnee. He hit some shots at last years USO vs. Haas that were jaw dropping. Of course Haas won in 5, but good stuff.


Fed is GOAT Says:

More on the Sampras comment:

When Sampras turned 25 (go back to 1996) – competition absolutely vanished for him. His only competitor, Agassi, goofed off the next 3 years. There was NOT A SINGLE player with 5-6 slams that he faced after that, FOR THE REST OF HIS CAREER, except Agassi, when he came back in 1999. So after his peak, Sampras just coasted along merrily, facing the weakest competition in history (open era at least).

Proof? Again, he was ranked No 1 in the world in 1996, 97, 98, with just 65, 55, and 61 wins in the whole years respectively. He won a total of 4 slams and 2 masters titles during the ENTIRE three years. Where was the competition? Who was challenging him?

Now compare to Federer. What happens when he turns 25 (2006)? Nadal emerges. And Federer is too good on clay, so he ends up playing Nadal again and again on clay, on which Nadal is better. So he ends up with 2-9 on clay. Nadal had to win 82 matches last year to finally become No 1.

Sampras never faced a 5 years younger, 6-slam winner, after turning 25. No wonder he doesn’t have that kind of H2H against a top player.

Boris Becker was 5-1 on Lendl in slam matches. Does that mean Becker was a better player? Absolutely not. Becker had the advantage of age, and playing Lendl a few times on grass, his favorite surface.

Anyone suggesting that Federer’s 7-13 record against Nadal is a blemish on his record is just plain stupid, Sampras included. Its like comparing Apples and Oranges, but they can’t distinguish between the two.

Sampras of all people! I would have loved to see Sampras face a nasty lefty like Nadal, 5 years younger to him, repeatedly on clay. I think we would have seen many triple bagels!


Fed is GOAT Says:

Let me give you some other examples:

Lendl-Mcenroe – 7-3 in slam matches – does it mean Lendl was better? Again, age difference.

Mcenroe-Connors: 6-3 in slams, again big age difference.

Becker-Lendl: 5-1, big age difference.

Agassi-Becker: 4-1, again age advantage

What would you infer from these numbers??????

I am now curious to hear from the Nadal and Sampras fans…


Xeno-Freak Says:

Dan Martin,
I thought I already left. This is my last post before I come back around 2010 AO. You, Dan, forced me to slap back as you judged some of my comments to be “bordering on tasteless.” This post is intended to pay homage to your academic credentials.

—First, you did not specify which ones. Second, you did not explain how and from what angle those comments are tasteless. You did not define the term “taste” (high culture? capitalist? conservative taste? soap opera?). Taste beloning to which group of people? That vagueness of “some” lumps my comments in general into tastelessness.
—as to whom they are tasteless, you say “I think.”
—How do you “think”? At least, you are not thinking in this instance, from Thomas Kuhn’s perspective of revolutionary science. Do you mean you believe (by “I think”) they are tasteless as a theological student, certainly you are not talking about Cartesian Cogito, ergo sum? What’s your theological position? Answer: The position that you endorse: players should keep to “normal tennis attire.” How is this “thinking”? This is believing and reaffirming your belief. To me, thinking is challenging your previously held belief, not singing the same chant of normality (“normal tennis attire”). How is this tasty, as opposed to my tasteless comments?
To me Copernicus revolution was tasty, just to give an example.

—Despite your comment is a fashion statement, as you call it, your “some” seems to include my posts on civil rights issues. Commitment to civil rights everywhere you go could be tasteless for you because you might “think” rights should not have been distributed equally in the first place and you might “think” rights are for the privileged few. This goes along with your Tennis-is-a-gentleman’s-sports dictum underlying in your chanting of normality (“normal tennis attire”). Just to cite one recent example, it was not so for Roddick, who chose not to defend his Dubai title this year because of what UAE did to Shahar Peer. That’s a statement, not some hollow ear rings or bandanna. You want to use fashion to make a statement, do something like what Iranian national soccer team did a few weeks ago (the green bands to oppose the clerical establishment in its rigging the election). I admire players from Lottie Dod through Agassi who challenged the establishment (see my links in your thread). This does not contradict my earlier position, if you look at it microscopically, that fashion system and tennis system behave in their own terms. One does not dictate the other’s operational prerogatives. If tennis responds to fashion, it does so in its own terms, i.e. making sure the life of tennis system is healthy.

—-In case you overlooked, I said this in your Art of Excellence thread that I oppose fashion, an ENTITY in its own right, to be A PART, or element of tennis or any other autonomous entity. This is to say that I appreciate fashion system’s autonomy, which is in par with my endorsement of pluralism. However, I do not politically oppose fashion to be a topic of tennis discourse or conversation, despite I dislike if a player in totality is JUDGED on what he wears, unless it is technically related to his performance. 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 (tennis system) responds to these narratives is completely up to the world (tennis system). 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.

If you choose, you might need at least 6 years or so to be initiated (after you finish dissertation) into the systems theoretical realm and find these statements tasty. Until then you would have to suffer tastelessness when you encounter posts like mine or find taste elsewhere where normality reigns.

Good bye.


Voicemale1 Says:

Fed is the GOAT:

The recent Sampras comments on Federer are pretty clear to understand, if we take a look historically how those that are quoted or reported on (i.e., famous) “talk” to one another.

I know I, and I’ll assume you and many others who post here, don’t fall into the category of having the press eagerly record whatever we want to say and then broadcast it to the world. Those that have this happen to them learn, over time how to use the press for their own purposes. I worked in Public Relations for 17 years – so I understand how those that are sought by the press in fact use the press to get their messages across without explicitly saying so. It’s a calculus of carefully chosen words and phrases they know will trigger desired reactions or results in those they wish to reach, who they fully know will see and/or hear them. This technique is used constantly by Athletes, Entertainers, Corporate Executives, Publicists, and many others. The press is fully aware of this, so it’s not as though they’re being duped. But the media also have to be very careful about trying to gauge ulterior motives without any proof. Their publications could be open to lawsuits. So they just record what they’re told, mostly.

There was a definite change in the Sampras position on Federer in a very short time frame. At Wimbledon, Sampras and Laver made the long trek from California to be in attendance to watch Federer make history. They did it specifically because of him, and again, Laver & Sampras are aware that the mere coverage of their attendance would be a central part in the celebration of Federer’s achievement. Moreover, they did it of of respect for Federer himself. The triumph itself, the trophy ceremony, the acknowledgments to Federer from the Tennis Greats in the Royal Box – THAT was Federer’s moment. Sampras afterward was basically forced by McEnroe to say, on air, that Federer was the best there’s been. And Sampras probably would have been willing to leave it at that. That is, if it weren’t for Federer deciding his “moment” had to be extended.

As was mentioned earlier on this thread, Sampras always tried to comport himself with a certain dignity in his career, following the sportsmanship examples of the great Aussies, most notably Laver. They let their racquets do the talking, and kept their thoughts on their careers mostly to themselves. Indeed, even after losses later in his career Sampras would say that during a losing effort that he “had his chances to win” that he didn’t take. Rarely did he ever get snarky about the other guy who beat him (which is something we get in Federer losses all the time). The idea of Federer taking his moment and turning it into an ever growing number of commercials, drowning in an orgy of self-adoration at his reaching a record number of Major Singles Titles had to be detestable to a guy like Sampras. And to people like Laver and Borg also. Not content to just bask in the glow of his own accomplishment, Federer feels the need to thrust his self congratulations into all of our faces via three different television commercials largely talking about himself and his status. This is a committed narcissism, and it’s a coin that has two sides. Federer feels the need to keep himself On The Stage at every opportunity when he wins, but also wants to be the Front And Center Story when he loses, by either snarky comments toward opponents or by his unfiltered crying jag in Australia. Two sides of the same issue: at root, Federer wants to make sure the conversation is always about him.

This is what I suspect is at the root of the Sampras change of tone, which came in the short time frame between the end of the Wimbledon Final and the time these commercials started hitting the air. This was Sampras basically telling Federer, and the world, through use of the press he knew would record his every syllable: enough already. The sheer reminder from someone like Sampras that Federer statistically still has a Nadal Problem is his way of telling Federer publicly that you have a place in tennis history – but you’re not the only one who does. Having been down this road working in PR, I’ll bet a hefty sum of money these comments from Sampras aren’t arbitrary, nor were they made in any sort of isolation. He probably had discussions about what he was seeing with many others before speaking out. In a way, Sampras was also telling Federer he needs to show a lot more respect to the greats that went before him. After all, Federer isn’t the only one who’s achieved remarkable things in life. That this comes from Sampras instead of some hack tennis writer gives such commentary substantially more weight.

Federer’s actions tell us he disagrees with Sampras. Federer truly believes his greatness is not only self evident, and his talent not only superior to anyone who’s ever picked up a racquet, but also feels the need to make sure he’s not reveling in his moment, or dare I say his never-ending moment, alone. He wants to make sure the rest of us have every opportunity to revel in it too. So we get his commercials just for that expressed purpose. And I’m sure Federer thinks he doing us a favor by making these commercials. After all, we’re talking about a guy who, in 2007 at the US Open told a reporter that those of us watching him going for another 3-Slam year are truly lucky to be witnesses to such greatness. Federer obviously thinks we all wish we were him.

And to think Sean Randall had the audacity to write that he sees Nadal as a guy in need.


I like tennis bullies Says:

andrea says:
if nadal wins the US Open without beating federer, no one else will make this inane argument.
======

nobody would make that inane argument because nadal doesnt have anything to prove, unlike federer who cannot beat nadal in a grand slam.


tenisbebe Says:

Dan Martin says: “….The 2008 sweater was not so good but also pretty innocuous…”

I believe Andy R. called it the “Mr. Rogers’ sweater”. LOL


MMT Says:

Voicemale – I have a hard time believing that if Sampras had a problem with anything Federer were doing or saying he wouldn’t tell him himself, and not through an interview with Bodo. The speculation is fascinating, but not particularly compelling, in my opinion. I think he was just speaking his mind and answering a question about Nadal with regards to Federer’s legacy and whether he’s the GOAT.

It would have been biting the hand that fed him for Bodo to ask Sampras how explains his records against the likes of Krajicek and Stich – one-slam wonders with big serves and not nearly the games or pedigrees of Nadal, so it’s no surprise that this obvious rebuttal was not addressed in the piece.

We’re all free to agree or disagree with all or any part of it, and what I read that based on the numbers, in Sampras’ book, Fed’s the GOAT, but his record against Nadal would have bothered him if he’d had a similar one against Agassi, for example. I didn’t see him saying that if he had had a worse record to Agassi that he wouldn’t consider himself the better player given all of his slams compared to Agassi, which was nearly double.


Dan Martin Says:

Xeno whomever said Mirka was artificially inseminated bordered on tasteless. Maybe you were responding to that quote. If so sorry, if not that is the one I claim to be tasteless.


Dan Martin Says:

XF I am sorry suld not have posted in haste you made a point i was trying to make and it was not you who made the tasteless comment. Sorry again my fault.


Voicemale1 Says:

MMT Says:
“Voicemale – I have a hard time believing that if Sampras had a problem with anything Federer were doing or saying he wouldn’t tell him himself, and not through an interview with Bodo. The speculation is fascinating, but not particularly compelling, in my opinion. I think he was just speaking his mind and answering a question about Nadal with regards to Federer’s legacy and whether he’s the GOAT.”

- – - – - – - – - – - –

But this doesn’t explain the Sampras change of view that Federer was the GOAT after the Wimbledon Final to then backtracking. The interview basically has Sampras saying he can’t be considered the GOAT until he starts turning around his losing H2H to Nadal.

Moreover, the point isn’t Sampras having a private conversation with Federer to change anything. You think Federer is just gonna do what Sampras tells him? Not on your life. This backpedaling by Sampras is a clear shot directly to Federer. To view this as some kind of private beef between them is a mistake, in my opinion. Again, if Sampras had no intention of stinging Federer publicly, there’s a term he can use to Bodo or any or
other media hack: No Comment. The fact he did open up on the subject, and they way he did it, tells us a lot.


tenisbebe Says:

Dan Martin: You mentioned several times that you have credentials for Indy next week. I am thinking about attending either Monday or Tuesday, deciding after I take a look at the draw so perhaps I will see you there?


Dan Martin Says:

I won’t be there during the week, but if you make the semis or finals yeah I will be there.


tenisbebe Says:

Dan Martin – Probably won’t be there on the weekend. Will be at Cincy for both the women’s & men’s next month though. Enjoy the semis and finals.


Dan Martin Says:

I will be at Cincy at some point


Dan Martin Says:

I still feel bad about misreading Xeno’s post – what he quoted I thought he said and … here we are.


Xeno-Freak Says:

Dan,
Don’t worry about it. We are good.
I feel bad, too, for my impulsive response to you. If I had not decided to take a leave and if I were going to write a couple of posts instead of just one, I would have asked you for the post or posts that you were referring to. Since it was going to be my last post for a while, I rushed to say everything in one post. So in retrospect, I feel sorry about that.
Have a good summer ! See you around AO !


Fed is GOAT Says:

Voicemale1, and other Sampras/Nadal fans,

You still haven’t been able to dispute any of the hard data I quoted, or the inferences from that data. You can believe whatever you want about Federer in your head, it doesn’t really matter. What matters are hard statistics.

And hard statistics prove that Sampras was very lucky not to face much competition, especially after he turned 25. Otherwise, he would have ended with 10 or so slams. Still decent, but nothing GOAT like.

His comments on Nadal just reflect his ignorance (or intentional neglect) of the details – and as they say, the devil is always in the details. We have reporters to do superficial analysis, Sampras doesn’t need to do that. Like most ignorant people, Sampras seems to just see 7-13, and make judgements based on that. As I have proven in my previous post, his (and others’) inferences are totally wrong.

Sore loser, Sampras. His resume is much better than how good he was. Federer is still better than his resume, even with 15 slams and all other records.

And now, with every slam that Federer wins, he will distance himself from the pack. At some point, perhaps at 20 slams, even the laver/sampras/pancho gonzalex guys will have to give up.

If federer were American, he would have been annointed GOAT by end of 2004.


SG Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:

And hard statistics prove that Sampras was very lucky not to face much competition, especially after he turned 25. Otherwise, he would have ended with 10 or so slams. Still decent, but
nothing GOAT like.

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

LOL! Let me quote former British PM, Benjamin Disraeli, “There lies, damned lies and then there are statistics.” Bash Sampras and his generation ’till your heart’s content. Fed’s competition from 2003 to 2006 was…how do should I put it…#$%&&&& crappy! But I’m sure your statistics will prove I’m wrong. Pure statistical analysis is meaningless because there are factors that are beyond computation.


Tennisfan Says:

“If federer were American, he would have been annointed GOAT by end of 2004″ ->Fed is GOAT

… hate to say it … but this is probably true …


jane Says:

10 slams is only “decent”?!!!!??


Dan Martin Says:

Xeno you are the man and please come back before the Slam Down Under (Men at Work could repackage the song).


Von Says:

America doesn’t owe Federer anything. He’s not American. We’ve got our own athletes, many of whom fall into the cracks and are ‘unsung heroes’, thus why would we need to sing Federer’s ‘greatest’ praises? We’ve got so many greatest athletes that it’s mind-boggling as to where we should begin. Look at Michael Phelps and his records, yet he’s still not being fawned over and anointed the ‘greatest’. Isn’t Federer Swiss? Then, that’s where he should be looking for affirmation and recognition, not America. Did the Swiss anoint Sampras as the ‘greatest’ when he broke Emerson’s records? No they didn’t, neither did the Americans. Thus, what’s the big deal for Federer to be acclaimed as ‘the greatest’ here in the US? Why is it of such importance that Americans embrace Federer? Considering the amount of bashing America takes, it’s kinda ludicrous to expect the American public to embrace Federer, and our opinions should count for naught in the grand scheme of things.

Isn’t it enough that the American tennis commentators fawn over Federer ad infinitum and tear down our own athletes, not to mention watching him being flaunted on the Tennis Channel at least 6 times per hour? Enough already. When Nadal beat Federer at Wimby last year they made the cover of SI, even though Federer was a finalist. What has SI done for Roddick? Same scenario, just a different finalist, who’s American BTW, ZERO. Most of our tennis writers fawn over Federer, just look at Tennis.X, thus I’d say, Federer receives enough recognition in the US more than our American tennis players would obtain from Switzerland. A country should take care of its own first, like the Brits do, before seeking to embrace others. America has many ‘unsung heroes’ who’ve not gotten one-tenth of the publicity Federer has received in this country, so I’d say, Federer has done very well here in America, but he’ll never become a household word, like say Michael Phelps and/or Tiger Woods.


Von Says:

Dan:

I find it strange that you are apologizing all over the place to X-Freak, due to your misinterpretation of his post based ONLY on Mirka, but you didn’t see where he referred to some of us here as ‘a pack of witches’ and/or ‘sad childhood’. Which is worse Dan?

X-Freak often misinterprets posts and blames innocent people in so doing, e.g., Roddick fans even though the remarks emanates from non-roddick fans. X-Freak is also selective in his defense, and vacillates on his moral stance with respect to some comments, tearing down some to prove a point, however, he’s nonetheless a Federer fan, and as such his bias is over-looked and applauded by most Federer fans. Were a non-Fed fan to label some Fed fans as a ‘pack of witches’ World War III would break out, but not so on Tennis.X, and Dan martin, who only finds remarks aimed at Mirka to be tasteless, but gives a free pass to ‘pack of witches’ and ‘sad childhood’. OY VEY!

In Roddick’s/Hewitt’s defense, how could you in conscience equate their hats to Federer’s ridiculous outfits? A cap Dan? It’s obvious you know that Federer’s outfits are way over the top, and you are very subtly trying to defend him by using the other players as comparisons. Search your heart Dan, and you’d see there’s not a smidgen of comparison. All Roddick and Hewitt wear are caps, Federer dons outfits to make an over the top fashion statement, gold lame et al.

The unfair situation here on Tennis.X will never be anything but unfair due to the huge number of Fed fans as opposed to the few non-Fed fans posting, and it’s manifested more clearly by the non-moderation of posts, where some Fed fans can verbally abuse a non-Fed fan, and it’s overlooked. sheesh. It’s also sad to see some non-Fed fans who subtly play both sides to look good or be favored with the ‘in-house group’.


Skorocel Says:

Wow! One would never thought how many posts can such innocent article evoke :-) LOL! Is this really the mid of July?


Skorocel Says:

steve: „At one point in their career, Chris Evert had a 21-4 winning record against Martina Navratilova. Want to know how it ended? 43-37 in favor of Navratilova.“

When (and only when) Fed reverses that H2H with Nadal, I’ll be the first one to point out this quote from you! ;-) Anyhow, talk about a rivalry here! It makes Sampras and Agassi (who played „just“ 34 matches against each other) look as if they didn’t have any :-), NOT TO EVEN MENTION Fed vs Nadal!!!


Von Says:

“If federer were American, he would have been annointed GOAT by end of 2004.”

What did Federer do by 2004 to be anointed ‘GOAT”? I find it strange that Federer’s turned pro since 1998, yet his career here on Tennis.X seems to have selectively begun only since 2004. We never hear of his dismal record for the period 1998 – 2003. All we hear about is his dominant years 2004-2007. Sampras retired in 2002, thus if Sampras’ competition was soft, then that translates to Federer being soft in those years as well. It was not until Sampras retired that Federer began posting some decent results. That alone speaks volumes to me. Additionally, on clay, it took Guga’s and some other clay specialists’ absence, to enable Federer to be heralded as the second best on clay.


Dan Martin Says:

Von,

I agree the gold bag was crazy. Everything else Federer has worn does not seem too much better or worse than some of the other stuff. Things he wears to the court are to my mind less problematic than say Stepanek’s shirt from 2005. One is on for 5 minutes the other for the entire match. This is a no win situation for me. I don’t want to come across like tennis needs a uniform enforced by nuns with rulers. I also think a clear headed person can say lots of players have worn some less than great outfits over the years. Stepanek’s back vented shirt was probably the worst I have seen, but if Murray comes out wearing a kilt and a Sanchez-Vicario ball cady belt I would not be shocked because there have been some disasters over the years and the gold bag is right near the top of the list.

The thing I don’t like is when the rivalry between two players on a tennis court is personalized into some sort of metaphysical battle between good and evil. Federer had a crappy/tacky/ugly equipment bag, is that worth emotions being frayed over 1 week after the event ended? Nadal and Federer are very giving with the fans and have been more accessible with the U.S. media than a lot of previous champions. Andy Roddick took a stand vs. the Dubai visa situation and saved Sjen Schalken’s life in a hotel fire in Rome in 2004. He also has a foundation. These guys are not avatars of good and evil or what we find right and wrong with the world – they are athletes who perform at such a high level as to be entertaining. Can I say the bag was silly? Yes. However, I don’t see this as a matter of cliques and fairness. 24,000 people per day die of hunger that is a question of fairness. An outfit no matter how ridiculous is not.


jane Says:

Von asks Dan Martic “In Roddick’s/Hewitt’s defense, how could you in conscience equate their hats to Federer’s ridiculous outfits?”

I agree and I would love to hear the response. I read that post this morning but had to run out. To my mind, in no way is Roddick’s visor, or his wearing of the color black (his shorts did NOT have tuxedo stripes after all!) comparable to Fed’s fashion shenanigans! The ONLY player who comes close is perhaps Agassi, back in the denim and neon days. However, Agassi was much more of a rebel-type, not promoting some kind of traditionalist glory by walking onto the court in three-piece outfits with gold bags, so they were coming from completely different places. Same with Nadal’s earlier look, with the capris and sleeveless top; it seemed to be more rebellious than anything else.


SG Says:

Von Says:

“What did Federer do by 2004 to be anointed ‘GOAT”?”

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

I really wonder about this statement too. Strangely enough, I attribute a lot of this “Federer Lovey Dovey” crap to McEnroe. The guy just gets off on praising the living daylights out of Federer on every major championship broadcast because somewhere long ago, he said that Federer was this really great talent (which he was and is). It’s like Mac is saying, “See, look at me. Look how smart I am. I saw his greatness before all of you idiots.” What Mac conveniently forgets is how much he bragged about another young talent. A guy from Morrocco named Hicham Arazi. He turned out to be a bit of a bust for Johnny Mac.

Mac is a strange character. He’s a former US Davis Cup Captain. You’d think he’d be more focused on supporting American players, even if it’s just verbal. Does he think that by kissing Fed’s behind that he’ll catch a few more endorsement deals from Nike?

Listen, I’m not saying that Federer isn’t worth admiring for his tennis talent. He’s a sick player to watch when he’s on. But, I agree. Calling a guy the goat when he’s at 5 or 6 or even 9 majors. I just don’t understand it. He wasn’t even at Borg like numbers at that time. And boy oh boy, his tennis peers were nothing to brag about from majors 1 to 9 save Nadal.


jane Says:

Dan Martin (sorry for typo) – just saw you responded after I posted my agreement with Von’s question.

BTW, I don’t think anyone is calling Federer or Nadal “avatars of good and evil”. But at the same time, I see nothing wrong with people calling Federer out on his excesses. No one is saying he is “evil”. People are just implying, based on the ads, clothing, etc, that he seems to be self-aggrandizing.

I don’t think Nadal is being portrayed as “evil” either – but did he make mistakes in his scheduling this year? Probably most people would agree and have called him out on that. Did he overdo it with the media announcements? I think not, but clearly Sean thinks he has.


grendel Says:

Mea culpa, mea culpa! I ought to take a leaf out of jane’s book, and once and for all take to heart the truth that the concept of “never” is a dubious one in human affairs . Even so, weak, weak, weak. Admitted, without qualification. For some reason, I couldn’t resist looking in on Tennis X a few days ago, purely in a lurking capacity you know – but then, dammit, one can’t help being drawn in. I have no idea what the response was to my last post 6 weeks or so ago, I purposely haven’t looked since I really do not take pleasure in rehashing old battles. I am just , to my chagrin, easily provoked – which is rather different.

Three things particularly drew my attention. I enjoy the display of logical argument, regardless as to the topic , especially if it is concisely done. And this is what Tennis Bullies did in his refutation of andrea – whose comment I had agreed with; just shows how partiality can get in the way of thinking. Second, somewhere SG called Nadal “a coldblooded Federer killer” or something like that. This is witty, memorable, and undeniably apt.

Finally, I found the debate between Steve and Voicemale1 enjoyable and stimulating. Good points and refutations were made on either side. Coming from the opposite side of the fence to Voicemale1, I couldn’t help agreeing with the following: “Then how do you explain the “attacking aggressive style” when employed against Nadal and it fails, which it has on numerous occasions? Tsonga, Soderling, Djokovic, Gonzalez, and Roddick have all done this same tactic time and again and they end up losing to Nadal far more often than they win.” This has long been my opinion, as a matter of fact. Blake, too, could be added to that list. I recall watching Nadal dispose of Blake for the first time, I think. Blake was playing well, but he was doing the same old stuff – going for broke at every opportunity and hoping that did the trick. In a closely fought first set, you saw Nadal getting to grips with him and Blake gradually acquiring that lost looking mien which so often afflicts Nadal’s opponents. The second set was mere procedure. I always feel Nadal is favourite against whoever he plays, and when he is beaten, it feels like an anomaly. Whether this will continue to be the case remains to be seen. Players like del Potro and Cilic can only get better, and will I think offer sterner consistent opposition to Nadal than the older players.

About Sampras. The camera panned in on him revealingly in that second set tiebreak when Federer achieved his second break back. Sampras and wife looked extremely glum. You definitely would not say they were supporting Federer. And then when Federer actually won the tiebreak, Sampras was shown leaning round to address his fellow slammers. The smile on his face was of the headshaking, isn’t it just typical type. It was wry! Meanwhile, the comments about Fed/Nadal w.r.t. this tedious goat thing have been endlessly rehearsed, and for good reason. They are undeniably cogent, if not necessarily conclusive – MMT makes a brave case for them not being so. The question is, did Sampras adduce them for the reasons Voicemale1 suggests, or was he pushed into it by the interviewer Raymond Lee, who apparently is unabashedly parti pris – and not in favour of Federer? This is a question, not a point. Another question: did Sampras mean it when he said, round Wimbie time, that he liked Federer because he was “humble”? Does he have a mischievous sense of humour – one doesn’t readily associate that with Sampras, but one never knows with this sort of thing. And this leads me nicely on to my last point. Voicemale1 chiefly, but others too, make much of recent Fed commercials, evidently not shy of boosting the credentials of the Swiss . I have to admit, perhaps because I live in England, this is the first I have heard of these commercials but let us, for the sake of argument, accept that they are as grisly as the posters are saying. What follows? Because it is not necessarily the case that Sampras was being sarcastic in his claim for federian humility. Federer has given a great many interviews recently – and this in itself could be taken as an example of monstrous conceit or as a generous granting of time or as some kind of mixture – and the impression I have is of modesty. He admits that he has talent, that he has been lucky and asks for judgement to be suspended until his career is complete. That is a broad summary. Naturally, it could all be a cunning PR job – but if it is, then it sits oddly with the apparently blatant self-promotion of the commercials. These things are always difficult to assess, especially since in attempting to do so, one brings one’s own prejudices and assumptions to bear . For instance, I have always regarded Federer as rather naive in many ways, not something the proponents of a cunning Federer will accept for one minute. The attacks on Federer’s character, in particular by Voicemale1, are remarkable – and they may, for all I know, be justified, though my gut instinct is that they are informed at least partially by instinctive hostility. It is not as if character appraisal is any sense a simple matter. As against this, you have posters like Tenisbebe who started off as fans but have been turned off by what they regard as intolerable conceit. Such testimony is certainly telling.

I’ve never belonged to the my country right or wrong but actually it’s right school , in fact I am constitutionally a nonjoiner of anything (I don’t regard this as a virtue or a flaw; it is a characteristic) and if the player I support above all others has severe character defects – well, I am not as devastated by this as once I was (I am embarrassed to think I was once a hero worshipper; for anyone who knows me, that is a puzzle – but like Walt Whitman, I own to inconsistency without too many blushes). Some of my best friends have severe character defects…….I suppose it is possible that if I saw these commercials, I would feel moved to denounce Federer. I doubt it, though, and not because I would try to deny what was on show in some sense. I deeply disliked Federer’s crying at the AO, definitely toe curling and inconsiderate. I regard his cartoon apparel at Wimbie this year as at best ridiculous. And I accept absolutely that he is a sore loser, though no more so than Roddick and Nadal for instance (I go by the expressions on their faces, which tell you all you need to know; the subsequent pressers are misleading in that they might tell you how good a player is at judicious reconstruction). But on the whole, I just like Federer, couldn’t quite say why. I suppose one is more inclined to make allowances for players whose style of play particularly appeals to you. And where I say “allowances”, someone else says “excuses”. That’s the way it goes.


SG Says:

The thing I find most annoying about Federer is his lack of humility in front of the camera. Whatever he thinks of himself in the privacy of this thoughts and life…well, that’s his business.

I saw Fed’s interview with Dick Enberg afer his win in Paris. Enberg asked him something to the effect of, “Has Rafa helped you bring your game to new levels?” Fed’s answer really knocked me for a loop. He said something to the effect of, “No, but my tennis has forced all the other players to become better.” In otherwords, no one has made Federer a better player but Federer has made everyone else better. The answer was something like that. Did he really need to say that? Is he serious about this nonsensical answer? There’s no tennis canvas to paint without the competition on the other side of the net. This isn’t a simple matter of a language barrier. His answer was measured. And it was alarmingly arrogant. Even if it were true, you just don’t say stuff like that. And he gets a free pass on saying these things. I have no idea why.

I keep hearing how he’s such a nice guy and how everyone in the locker room thinks he’s such a great guy. I tell you, these players have duped…hustled or whatever. Federer is cold eyed tennis killer and he intentionally nurtures this “nice guy” rep BS. I remember Kirby Puckett having the same kind of rep when he was playing for the Twins. Years later, when he retired, we found out who he really was.


Von Says:

Dan Martin:

“Stepanek’s back vented shirt was probably the worst I have seen,…”

I believe it was Hrbaty with the two pink lips. You have the right to water-down the vogue outfits, and you do so very well, but I’m not going to give you a free pass on what I perceive to be your attempt to rationalize the ostentation trophy acceptance outfits. Why can’t he accept the trophy in the same clothes he wore playing while playing the match? rationalizations and justifications seem to be the theme here on Tennis.X.

I notice you’ve completely avoided my remarks on the ‘pack of witches’ and ‘sad childhood’ comment.


Dan Martin Says:

Jane and Von,

I don’t think either of you personify any player as evil. Mea culpa. The reason I said sorry to Xeno was that I had called him out and mis attributed the quote. I try not to call too many people out so I was in the wrong. Possibly again here.

When we see thread after thread with personal attacks against players no one really knows (such as the insemination implication), I have to shake my head.

As for the fashion stuff, I can’t say I agree beyond the gold bag. In 2005, I thought Rafa’s clam digging pants were ridiculous. His fighting spirit got me to look past that as I was rooting for him hard vs. Puerta in the FO final. Agassi wore some gaudy stuff. Frosting one’s hair and looking like a member of Winger is rebelling against what exactly? I guess we all have a place to draw the line and for Fed I think the gold bag is the only thing that blatantly crossed my line of taste. The 09 military jacket was pretty bad and the 08 sweater was quaint at best, but the bag …. terrible. Jon Wertheim gave it to Fed pretty good over the bag as well.


SG Says:

hey grendel…nice to see you back. did you catch any of the matches at wimbledon this year?


Dan Martin Says:

Von,

I apologized for something I said to Xeno. If he wants to apologize for what he said that is his business.

Almost every sport gives the winner of a big championship something to wear. Maybe tennis shouldn’t, but I can’t really get fired up over it.

I owe Stepanek an apology as well it was Hrbaty in 2005. Thanks for catching that!


jane Says:

Dan,

I think the young Agassi was a “rebel” type in life generally, but given that he went out of his way to dress in an anti-traditional way (including trying to buck tradition at Wimbledon), I’d say he was trying to change the image of tennis somewhat, from this old-school notion that it’s a “gentleman’s sport”. What is a gentleman anyhow!? LOL.


Von Says:

SG:

“I really wonder about this statement too. Strangely enough, I attribute a lot of this “Federer Lovey Dovey” crap to McEnroe. The guy just gets off on praising the living daylights out of Federer on every major championship broadcast because somewhere long ago, he said that Federer was this really great talent (which he was and is). It’s like Mac is saying, “See, look at me. Look how smart I am. I saw his greatness before all of you idiots.”

I’ve heard McEnroe say umpteen times, and I have it down pat by now, having heard it ad nauseam and ad infinitum: “Arguably, Rod Laver, is the greatest of all time.”. Mc has also stated Laver is the most accomplished player tennis has ever seen and Laver is his (McEnroe’s idol).

During the Wimby SF/Final, McEnroe was playing Q&A with the drama queen, Robinson, about who’s retiring soon and who asked whom to be his new doubles partner. Eventually, we heard it was Santoro and the manner in which McEnroe was geeing up Santoro, I got the impression McEnroe was trying to say, “Look, out of all the great doubles players around, he’s chosen me, the great Iohn McEnroe, am I great or what? LOL.

I previously mentioned a few weeks ago, McEnroe borders on the edge of effectiveness, he’s on the precipice of dotage and his obsession with some players tells me he’s not the right commentator for American tennis on TV. You know what they say about obsession: ‘descent into madness is preceded by obsession’. As I said, the guy is on the precipice of dotage and borders on the edge of effectiness, at least where I’m concerned. I wish the USO would go back to using the USA TV network with Al Trautwig, instead of NBC and ESPN.

I had better not say anymore, because I’ll be brow and verbally beaten to death, as has been demonstarated this morning. There’s strength in numbers you know, and when one alias leaves in comes the other. LOL.


jane Says:

Ah here – will answer my own question with the ole dictionary. Is tennis really a “gentleman’s sport”? Sigh, I hope not… storm the Bastille!

gentleman |ˈjentlmən|

noun ( pl. -men)

1 a chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man : he behaved like a perfect gentleman.
• a man of good social position, esp. one of wealth and leisure.
• (in the UK) a man of noble birth attached to a royal household.

2 a polite or formal way of referring to a man : opposite her an old gentleman sat reading.

• ( gentlemen) used as a polite form of address to a group of men : “Can I help you, gentlemen?”

• used as a courteous designation for a male fellow member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

ORIGIN Middle English (in the sense [man of noble birth] ): from gentle + man , translating Old French gentilz hom. In later use the term denoted a man of a good family (esp. one entitled to a coat of arms) but not of the nobility.


Von Says:

SG:

“He said something to the effect of, “No, but my tennis has forced all the other players to become better.” In otherwords, no one has made Federer a better player but Federer has made everyone else better. The answer was something like that. Did he really need to say that? Is he serious about this nonsensical answer?”

I wonder why the drop shot is being used then, because the drop shot is clearly not considered ‘beautiful tennis’. When alse isn’t firing why not use the drop shot. LOL.

SG: I’ve gotta ask, how could you get away with being so outspoken and I get beaten to a pulp? I think gender is involved. LOL and LOL again.


SG Says:

Von said:

I had better not say anymore, because I’ll be brow and verbally beaten to death, as has been demonstarated this morning. There’s strength in numbers you know, and when one alias leaves in comes the other. LOL.

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

The truth is, we all share a sort of insanity. A very good friend of mine recently asked me, “Do you know what the meaning of insanity is?…It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Of course we were referring to the perils of our respective work environments. But, you know, this statement seems to have more universal application than I had first thought. We come to this site and blog and argue repeatedly with people whose views are as set as our own. We have no shot of changing anyone’s opinion on anything yet here we are, bouncing comments into cyyberspace day after with people who will never share our views…no matter what we say. Sounds a little nutty…but you know what? It’s still a load of fun.


grendel Says:

SG says:
I saw Fed’s interview with Dick Enberg afer his win in Paris. Enberg asked him something to the effect of, “Has Rafa helped you bring your game to new levels?” Fed’s answer really knocked me for a loop. He said something to the effect of, “No, but my tennis has forced all the other players to become better.” In otherwords, no one has made Federer a better player but Federer has made everyone else better. The answer was something like that.”

Unequivocally disturbing if this is correct, and delusional, I would say, rather than just arrogant. And that is more worrying. But it is so odd. Since Wimbledon, I have read about 5 or so interviews with Federer, even laboriously copied one out (from a radio broadcast), and there was nothing remotely like that. Nothing.

I can offer one possible reason, and that is that Federer will not admit to learning from players younger than himself. In this sense, “no one has made Federer a better player but Federer has made everyone else better.” is not what Federer intended to convey – e.g. he would admit to learning from Sampras, etc. In the dearth of further evidence, that sounds a good deal more plausible than what you are suggesting, SG. However, if he has actually said that he has not learnt from Nadal, then he has either been untruthful or – if truthful – foolish (and such folly would indeed be symptomatic of arrogance). It would be interesting to have the interview to read.

Players are “duped” into thinking he’s a great guy. Sorry, don’t buy that. This is Machiavellian stuff which might, I suppose, fool some of the people some of the time…


SG Says:

Von Says:

SG: I’ve gotta ask, how could you get away with being so outspoken and I get beaten to a pulp? I think gender is involved. LOL and LOL again.

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

Von… don’t you know…I’m Tennis X’s blogging equivalent of Federer the tennis player. I can say anything I want and get away with it.

Truth is, I’m probably not posting anything interesting and intelligent enough to bring on the wrath of the Tennis X blogging brethren. It’s an aspiring goal of mine. If you can infuriate a large group of people by just a few words, chances are that what you’re saying probably makes a lot of sense.


SG Says:

grendel…i’m sure the interview is on youtube somewhere. i didn’t like what the guy said or how he said it. and i’m not saying that Federer is not a nice guy, just that he’s not as nice as he’d like you to see. one thing i absolutely believe is that he is not the least bit humble. he’s not very gracious in defeat. it’s unbecoming and unworthy behaviour of a champion that has had a lot more successes than failures.


Von Says:

correction @ 10:07 pm “When alse isn’t firing why not use the drop shot.’

s/b: ‘When all else fails and isn’t firing, why not use the drop shot.’


Voicemale1 Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:
Voicemale1, and other Sampras/Nadal fans,

“You still haven’t been able to dispute any of the hard data I quoted, or the inferences from that data. You can believe whatever you want about Federer in your head, it doesn’t really matter. What matters are hard statistics.

And hard statistics prove that Sampras was very lucky not to face much competition, especially after he turned 25. Otherwise, he would have ended with 10 or so slams. Still decent, but nothing GOAT like.”

– – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

First, the reason I didn’t try disputing hard data is because – I wasn’t trying to. My post reflected on your point of view of the Sampras shift on Federer. I offered an explanation of that, not regarding anything Federer’s done on a court.

Your “hard data” notwithstanding, your claim of Sampras competition being light in comparison to Federer’s generation is dubious at best. This coparison has been made many times before. Sampras face many different multiple Major Title Holders throughout his career: Agassi (8 Majors); Courier (4); Becker (6) and Rafter (2). And he’s faced all of them in a Major Final. Throw in others like Guga (3); Brugera (2); Chang, Stich and Muster (1 each) and it looks like stiff competition by any measure.

When you look at Federer contemporaries who never even been to a Major Final, let alone win one, you get the idea he’s been blessed not only by talent, but by a good bit of luck in comfortably handling what’s largely been a group of underachievers. Ljubicic, Davydenko, Ferrer, Blake, Robredo, Ancic, Haas, Stepanek, Verdasco & Youzhny have all spent time in the Top 10 in their careers and have yet to make it to a Major Final. Talk all you want about the Federer Greatness – he’s only in one half of a draw. The fact that none of these other Top 10 guys had it in them to string together success in six Best of 5 Matches to face Federer for a Major Title says more bad about them that it does good about him. When you add in Top 20 occupants like Mathieu, Lopez, Fish, and others, you get the idea it’s Federer who’s had a much easier group to deal with than Sampras.

Which is why Federer’s mounting losses to Nadal in Majors is all the more fascinating, having lost to Rafael in their last three. Nadal is the only one who’s racked up more than 1 or 2 Majors in Federer’s Band Of Rivals and it’s he who’s given Federer the most trouble. You’d have to think that if someone who had the brains and guts to string together multiple Majors besides Nadal it’s Federer who might have never seen 15. Djokovic had the game but not the mind; Murray has the mind but not the game to go all the way in Best of Five. So I’d argue it’s Federer who’s been extremely fortunate to have all but one rival who’s been substandard so he can showcase his gifts to the maximum.


Von Says:

SG:

“Von… don’t you know…I’m Tennis X’s blogging equivalent of Federer the tennis player. I can say anything I want and get away with it.

“Truth is, I’m probably not posting anything interesting and intelligent enough to bring on the wrath of the Tennis X blogging brethren. It’s an aspiring goal of mine. If you can infuriate a large group of people by just a few words, chances are that what you’re saying probably makes a lot of sense.”

I’ve wanted to say for quite sometime to my fans of the ‘Hate Von bandwagon’ (and it keeps growing by the minute) that if one has just a smidgen of personality it will definitely spark some interest and raise the ire of many. Thus, I’ll take it as a compliment that I at least demonstrate some sort of personality (crazy, insane, whatever, et al) via the written word, whereby I’m able to incur the wrath of the ‘Von haters’, even though they claim they don’t read my posts. I mean how could I anger anyone who doesn’t read my posts (some clairvoyance/crystal ball talent is being used here) LOL and LOL again. Now I’ll be called an arrogant and/or conceited genius. ROTFL.

You’re right SG, it’s so much fun to be a member of the ‘nutty’ group. I love it and wouldn’t miss it for the world. I mean look at me, in the middle of writing a Motion to Quash, I’m blogging. What does that tell you, I’m really, really nutty. LOL again.

BTW, I pleaded with you to stick around, and am glad to see you keeping your word, now don’t go bailing out on me, puhlease, because I’ve now acquired this false sense of security that I can count on you to stick around to buck the system. LOL. And, just in case you’re now awre of it, we do have a system here you know. LOL again.


grendel Says:

“i absolutely believe is that he is not the least bit humble. he’s not very gracious in defeat. it’s unbecoming and unworthy behaviour of a champion that has had a lot more successes than failures.”

He’s definitely not gracious in defeat! Not many champions are, unfortunately. More were in the past, I think, which perhaps says something about the times we live in. The thing is, perhaps because success has gone so thoroughly to his head, he harbours his lack of grace, and can – sometimes – carry it into the interview room. Someone like Roddick looks every bit as pissed off when he’s defeated, but can usually manage a bit of diplomacy by the time he has cooled off. In this sense, Federer is more honest, or shall we say less calculating. Djokovic, on the other hand, has become almost incredibly gracious in defeat – and some people say to the point of rendering him less effective as a player than he might be.

Strangely enough, I think a case can be made for the “humble” bit where Fed is concerned. apparently, he doesn’t give himself airs in public, is reasonably approachable and so on. I don’t know, though. This may all be the the work of a devilish pr team.

Why do you get away with stuff, SG? It’s all about tone.


jane Says:

SG, I think this is the video that you were discussing with grendel. I am not sure if it’s the entire interview, but it is footage between Enberg and Fed (though we never see Enberg) after the French Open win this year. The Nadal and “rest of the players” comments are towards the last two minutes of the video. Fed basically says “I think I’ve helped the rest of the players more than they’ve helped me,” and that one of his goals when he reached number 1 was that the other players would want to be like him.

Here’s the link:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4239357


Nancy Says:

Sean,
I read this article before I knew who wrote it and felt it must be you. Once again, a very negative and ignorant view of a young man who is trying his hardest to play the best tennis he can. How dare you blame his parents’ divorce – yes, he is close to his family but I cannot believe his not playing at Wimbledon, etc is an “emotional” problem. Nadal plays “with heart”. Federer has been very lucky in some of his recent wins (starting with Madrid)and I do not feel that he is worthy of all the credit he gives to himself


Von Says:

Dan Martin: “Von I like you!”

Thank you Dan, and I like you too, as I’ve mentioned in some previous posts.(We sound like the members of the Mutual Admiration Society, ha ha.) I’m what one would call an acquired taste since I’m not a conformist and don’t aspire to become Ms. Congeniality. In fact I’m what the computer world would refer to as ‘WYSIWYG’: what you see is what you get. I do become angry and blurt out personal stuff, which I did recently ref: IQ, and could kick myself for so doing. But at least I try to be honest, most of the time, and I sometimes wish I had the memory of the size of a pea, because life would be much simpler.


Von Says:

I can see there’s an attempt to draw me in here, but I’m not going to fall for the bait. OY VEY. As I said one alias replaces the other. Funny only a few hours ago ….


Von Says:

Nancy:

Nadal’s return will be looked upon with disdain by many and in case you’ve not noticed, fear is the prevailing emotion here. I mean things have been rosy thus far, so why would Nadal’s return be greeted with cheers. I’m not a Nadal fan, and sorry I’ve got to expound on this, but I’m still going to say, I embrace the news of Nadal’s return with joy. I’d feel deep sorrow as a tennis fan to see tennis lose such a great player.


Long Live the King Says:

“You’d have to think that if someone who had the brains and guts to string together multiple Majors besides Nadal it’s Federer who might have never seen 15. ”

Right! Last I checked there is another player across the net in tennis or have they changed how tennis majors are played, awarding points by who puts more rotations on their forehand or who picks their butt the most no. of times?

The other guys could not string it, because Roger was there to kick their ass and break the racquet or whatever the players are trying to string. Roger beat Hewitt, Safin, Agassi and Roddick all slam winners and former no.1s, multiple number of times in Majors. Ofcourse, mentioning them would demean your argument which is logically flawed.

In 6years since 2003 wimbledon, 25 Grand Slams have been played. Federer cleaned up 15 of them, was in the final in another 5, was in the semis in 3more which makes it 23/25 slams. Ofcourse the competition is left crap pieces to play for. Compare this with sampras who won his 14 GS over a stretch of 49 slams (90 USopen – 2002 USopen). That is less than 30% (14/49) slam win ratio compared to Roger’s 60%. (15/25). Less than half as dominant as Roger. If Agassi did not got AWOL between 95-99, Pete would have won zero Aus open (notice the fact Pete never beat Andre at australian open). Add to that the fact that Sampras was aided by lightning fast courts and conditions. The kind of courts, Nadal would have struggled to make the semis (Witness TMC Shanghai the two years Nadal played and got tuned by Roger). If the courts and conditions were not slowed to prevent the rock-fests that Sampras and his “rival” ivanisevic presented us in the 90s, Nadal would not have won a non-clay slam (maybe he would still have pulled the AO out but definitely not wimbledon).

Imagine Roger Vs Nadal in the 90s wimbledon courts. Nadal would struggle to win a set against Roger (just like AA used to struggle to win sets against Pete on the faster courts of Wimbledon and USOPEN!)

Nadal/Sampras fans, whatever disguise some Fed haters are using, your excuses are running thin. Voicemale used to make sensible posts, but a few months with Von and he is reduced to making sh$$ty posts about Roger being impotent. Shame on you Voicemale! Von, we all know, is shameless anyway!


Nancy Says:

Von,
Yes, I fear the return of Nadal as well because if he is not ready , the next injury will be far worse. I just feel that Nadal’s situation (absence) has so much influenced Roger’s “Best of all time” status
and would still love to see that challenged.


Von Says:

infra dignitatem @ 11:29 pm, aka, aka, aka, and LOL and LOl again.


grendel Says:

“If the courts and conditions were not slowed to prevent the rock-fests that Sampras and his “rival” ivanisevic presented us in the 90s, Nadal would not have won a non-clay slam (maybe he would still have pulled the AO out but definitely not wimbledon).”

I suppose this is likely, though it doesn’t do to underestimate Nadal’s determination to adapt. The more interesting question is, though, would Federer still have won 6? After all, Roddick pushed him hard on two – with a faster surface, maybe Roddick would have been able to do the business. Possibly Philippoussis, too – remember, he thrashed Sampras in his prime in the first set before having to retire . Then there’s Karlovic, any others?


Von Says:

Nancy: It’s an exercise in futility to argue with logic when there’s and overload of illogical thinking. Let’s just hope for Nadal’s sake he is not returning prematurely in an effort to save himself from sliding in the rankings, but is absolutely 100 percent healthy again. I’m hoping he’d return with the same tenacity and mental toughness he had prior to Madrid.


Voicemale1 Says:

Long Live the King Says:

“Imagine Roger Vs Nadal in the 90s wimbledon courts. Nadal would struggle to win a set against Roger …”

Talk about using wishful thinking! Why do we have to imagine Federer – Nadal back then when we have them in front of us right now? But I guess looking at hard facts like that would demean your argument, which is logically flawed anyway. Besides, everybody in the world with a brain knows Federer won The French and Wimbledon this year because he didn’t have to face Nadal either time. Is THAT how far you need to go, Wimbledon of the 90′s, to make the inane point of how Federer could finally take Nadal at a Major? Sheesh.


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

Please desist from paying me nightly visits. You know the saying: ‘politics strange bedfellows doth make’, in our case tennis. I mean you’ve been away since what Madrid, you’ve just returned and we’re already joined at the hip, and I can’t keep you away? LOL. BTW, the King used to be a Nadal fan you know, go figure.

Next we’ll see the ‘Roddick is a Donkey’ posts, unless of course, Tennis.X banned that name.


Von Says:

Long Live: Aka, aka, aka, aka, et al. (morphed numerous times)

I wasn’t going to answer you, but on second thoughts I think I should, with respect to the following:

“Voicemale used to make sensible posts, but a few months with Von and he is reduced to making sh$$ty posts about Roger being impotent.”

I’ll take you back to the Federer baby thread, where you called me the ‘scum of the earth’ and a few more lovely names, due to my agreement with another poster that Federer is putting the cart before the horse, baby first. Many people took digs at Federer, but it’s strange only the woman (me) was castigated. At that time there wasn’t any hint of marriage for Federer and Mirka. Voicemale1 made a comment (not verbatim) about the baby’s father (and I won’t elaborate more as to what he said). Thus your ridiculous comment is just what it is — absolutely ridiculous, spiteful and just looking to lambaste me for nothing, but because you’re a spiteful and malicious man.

All you’re doing is just perpetuating a vendetta with me, not based on TONE, but like most of the men here, based on gender, where the men bully the women into submission to close their mouths, or failing that, the women say what you guys want to hear, and when they do this, as was established in the case of jane, attempting to please placate, whatever, she was commended for ‘restoring respect to women’.

Thus Long Live, Voicemale1 is his own man, and is in no way, form, fashion or anything else, under my influence. And, I’d like to say, he’s a much better representative of the males on this site, because he’s got the chutzpah to stand behind his remarks and not backdown. Additionally, he does not need to hide behind aliases, morphed 10 times, and does not look to bring other posters into his argument in an effort to establish himself when he makes a grand entrance, or to give credence to his arguments and/or points, as some are so prone to do, due to their insecurities. To reiterate, Voicemale1 is his own man, and not any poster’s puppet. I’m disliked because I refuse to be another’s puppet, not due to TONE and/or any other reason. Hello, I’m the clown in the circus! And, I never said I was Mother Teresa’s sister.


Giner Says:

Dan Martin:

“Stepanek had the strange shirt in 2005 that Hewitt commented along the lines that the shirt only motivates someone to beat a bloke wearing it.”

That was Hrbaty, not Stepanek. And I would really wouldn’t mind to see that shirt worn by a lady.. OK sorry girls!

Hewitt’s exact quote was “I just couldn’t lose to a guy wearing a shirt like that.” I really wished Hrbaty would go to Fed’s locker room and pay him to wear that shirt for the next match where he killed Hewitt, just to show him up. The sponsorship deal he has with Nike would never allow it, but it would have been worth it just to see. Priceless.

Fed is GOAT:

“If federer were American, he would have been annointed GOAT by end of 2004.”

It’s sad that I find myself agreeing with anything this guy says, but he is right. Americans would be in love with him if he was one of their own. Sports Illustrated had never picked him for sportsman of the year, and always chose lesser atheletes over him. In fact, they never even featured him on the front cover until after the Wimbledon defeat to Nadal last year (they were both on the cover).


Ryan Says:

To voicemale:

Fed did win against nadal in madrid…then why cant he win against him in wimbledon.He could have. He has beaten him in 2 finals there.


The Binocular Says:

Nadal runs himself into the ground.

The guy will never let a set go.

Difficult to see how he will stay at the helm of tennis for the years that Roger has been.


grendel Says:

SG says:
“We come to this site and blog and argue repeatedly with people whose views are as set as our own. We have no shot of changing anyone’s opinion on anything yet here we are, bouncing comments into cyyberspace day after with people who will never share our views…no matter what we say. “
That’s tribalism. Given that it is embedded in human nature, neodarwinism more or less confirms this, it is not surprising that attempts to climb out of it tend to be unavailing. Note, too, how both of my comments could be seen as tribalistic. This kind of problem of circularity was addressed to great comic effect in Iris Murdoch’s Under the Net, where the two characters concerned eventually conclude, in a despairing sort of way, that the only answer is absolute silence. The comedy, and Murdoch is above all a comedian, resides in the fact that the characters concerned are both compulsively voluble.

Nevertheless, it is also human nature to inquire. The trouble is, to any inquiry, one brings one’s own dirty washing to bear. Never mind that other people, who might hate you, will instantly attribute malign motives to you (e.g. insincerity, shilly-shallying, incoherence, opportunism, subtle malevolence – it goes on). There is the deeper and (to me, at any rate) very difficult problem: what does one really believe oneself, why does one believe, and if one does, to what degree? With some things, this is obviously straightforward, and may be settled by a quick glance in a reference book. But some of the kind of things which agitate people on these tennis sites are just not amenable to snap answers. Powerful emotions are generated, battle stations are assumed, and the ensuing fight is directed towards victory. Truth becomes a weapon, not a goal – and thereby, sadly, is diminished. When it comes to the characters of our respective tennis heroes, we (on these tennis sites) make demands of them which we would instantly reject were they to be realised in dramatic characters. For a character in fiction to draw our engagement, we expect a certain complexity. Ambiguity of motive is understood. Pristine heroes and blackeyed villains have their place, but this is generally in stories generated chiefly by plot (a lot of SF for example). They tend to be laughable rather than otherwise. Which is why, b.t.w., my instant reaction to Fed’s clothing this June was that it was of the cartoon variety. Because I am partial to Federer, I am inclined to forgive him. Those who are not partial to him tend not to be so charitable. This seems to me entirely natural, but it does show that complete agreement is often in principle impossible, even in a relatively simple situation like this.

But human character is a minefield . I don’t understand myself, much less my fellow human beings (of course, I understand some things about myself, don’t lets be too literal). In my better moments, when I am not reacting out of hurt – and therefore feel impelled to deliver hurt back, if I can – I distrust simple judgements, and I am b.t.w. consistent in this, if not much else. I don’t see that virtue or vice is inherent in either consistency or inconsistency – it all depends, speaking for myself I see both weaknesses and strengths. Usual story.

Despite what SG says, one can be shifted somewhat from a position. I was genuinely shocked by the interview in Paris as he reported it, and felt inclined to shift somewhat – I reported that above. I have now just this second seen the interview (courtesy of jane), and it is not, after all, any different in tone to the several post Wimbie interviews which I remarked showed Federer in an essentially modest light. So now we have a genuine difference, either I am wrong about the post Wimbie interviews, or SG is wrong about the Paris interview. Very briefly, Federer says “I don’t know how much” in response to whether Nadal has influenced him in the way Agassi and Sampras helped to improve each other. Notice he doesn’t dismiss the possibility out of hand, and the reason for scepticism he gives is because Nadal is a lefty and he is righthanded. Whether that is reasonable or not, I am not equipped to say. He does qualify a bit:”I have had many losses against him, especially on clay, maybe also affected me later on grass and maybe also later on hard court “. Surely there is a concession here? But I do not get the feeling of conceit . The next bit is more problematic. He says he has put tennis into a different league, and other players have had to play catch up – and that has been partly his goal, for the good of tennis, i.e. He is, then, making an absolutely huge statement about his own contribution to the game of tennis. He had better be right, hadn’t he, or it’s the funny farm. Well, as I understand it, Federer’s statement is at the very least arguable, and in the eyes of some neutral experts, justified.

Is he then justified in saying it himself, or should he leave it to others? I do not see that there is a right answer to this. To some extent, it is almost a matter of style. Very definitely, Federer cannot be accused of false modesty; on the other hand, to say, explicitly, that you have certain phenomenal gifts is not in itself incompatible with modesty. It all depends on the tone again, on how it is said. Two people can be saying the same thing, and one is telling it how he sees it, the other is pounding his chest. SG, and many others, think it is a sign of intolerable arrogance. I, and many others, think he is being honest, and I still think of him as essentially modest. Sorry, I can no other. Other weaknesses of Federer I have often adduced myself.

I like and respect SG, so I think what we have here is a genuine impasse. For we are looking out of different spectacles. Apparently, the Rev.Sydney Smith, a Victorian cleric, was watching two women bawling at each other over the garden fence in a poor neighbourhood. “Those two will never agree”, he observed, “they are arguing from different premises”.


Voicemale1 Says:

Von Says:

“Voicemale1:

Please desist from paying me nightly visits.”

– – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

Kill joy :). …OK. But you’ve ruined me for everybody else :)


Fed is GOAT Says:

SG,

you can quote as many British PMs as you like – quotes are catchy, and that’s all they are. Not always right. Sometimes, hard data is just too difficult to disprove, as you are finding out..

Voicemale1

You don’t really read the posts that don’t agree with you, and keep repeating the same wrong logic. Enjoy your impressions in your dreamland!

Long live the King has posted some excellent analysis. I’ll post it again:

———————————-
The other guys could not string it, because Roger was there to kick their ass and break the racquet or whatever the players are trying to string. Roger beat Hewitt, Safin, Agassi and Roddick all slam winners and former no.1s, multiple number of times in Majors. Ofcourse, mentioning them would demean your argument which is logically flawed.

In 6years since 2003 wimbledon, 25 Grand Slams have been played. Federer cleaned up 15 of them, was in the final in another 5, was in the semis in 3more which makes it 23/25 slams. Ofcourse the competition is left crap pieces to play for. Compare this with sampras who won his 14 GS over a stretch of 49 slams (90 USopen – 2002 USopen). That is less than 30% (14/49) slam win ratio compared to Roger’s 60%. (15/25). Less than half as dominant as Roger. If Agassi did not got AWOL between 95-99, Pete would have won zero Aus open (notice the fact Pete never beat Andre at australian open). Add to that the fact that Sampras was aided by lightning fast courts and conditions. The kind of courts, Nadal would have struggled to make the semis (Witness TMC Shanghai the two years Nadal played and got tuned by Roger). If the courts and conditions were not slowed to prevent the rock-fests that Sampras and his “rival” ivanisevic presented us in the 90s, Nadal would not have won a non-clay slam (maybe he would still have pulled the AO out but definitely not wimbledon).

Imagine Roger Vs Nadal in the 90s wimbledon courts. Nadal would struggle to win a set against Roger (just like AA used to struggle to win sets against Pete on the faster courts of Wimbledon and USOPEN!)


jane Says:

grendel, maybe you’ve seen it but “under the net” made Time’s top 100 English language books (since 1923): here’s the full list in case you’re interested (each one is hyperlinked so you can read reviews/summaries):

http://www.time.com/time/2005/100books/the_complete_list.html

————
Re: Fed’s interview, I could see how you’d see a certain humility in tone, perhaps in the early parts of the interview, but the last two minutes, to me, seemed another tone altogether – I thought there was a palpable shift when Enberg asked about Rafa and moved Fed away from his own accomplishments and the so-called “legends” and records. Maybe that’s my spectacles. But Fed could’ve definitely given Rafa more due, imo, and some of his other comments – about wanting the other players to be like him; that they needed to work very hard to catch up or they would lose; that he put tennis into “another league” sound arrogant coming from his mouth. His conceit is naive, not overtly boastful, but it’s still conceit nonetheless. There is something slightly childish to me about his character. Maybe I am way off, but I just get that sense.


Scottish Says:

I love this quote from Verdasco – “Bastad is one of my special tournaments of the year. It’s hard for me to retire here.” This shows the true character of these guys. Even an ATP 250 means a lot. The WTA players at the top need to get a grip and start playing tennis for tennis and not for their bank accounts.


fed is afraid Says:

i really don’t understand roger’s arrogance considering that rafa owns him and won the last 3 slams they contested. roger is able to ignore the elephant in the room and that to me is amazing.


Scottish Says:

I don’t see what all the fuss is about with what Fed says in the interview. He’s not arrogant, he’s realistic. Does anyone think Tiger Woods is helped by any other player? Not a chance. Woods and Federer both elevated their sport to such heights in such a short time that they are the guys to beat. The other players most definitely had to play catch up including Nadal (on anything but clay).

I guess some people are jealous so when they see someone who is confident and at the top who knows where he fits in tennis they get sour.


Voicemale1 Says:

Fed is GOAT:

Your posting name here tells the world exactly what your point of view is on the subject of Federer as GOAT. It’s also clear Sean Randall, Dan Martin, and a host of others here subscribe to the the same view , that Federer is the best ever. So let me ask all of you who continue to peddle this idea:

What does it mean, exactly? This GOAT accolade dispensed by you and a considerable number of Tennis Establishment types – what does it mean to call Federer a GOAT? If someone calls him the Greatest Of All Time – so what?

Does Federer get some kind of Plaque or Trophy with the letters G O A T engraved on it? If he does, who gives that to him?

*Or is this reward for attaining GOAT status a cash cash prize he gets? If so, how much does he get, and from whom does he get it?

*Since all of you have been so open in calling him the GOAT, what happens then the next time he loses a match? Does that GOAT status change?

*Or..is it now to be accepted by all of us that since you’ve all proclaimed him the GOAT after the French and Wimbledon that he’s not to lose any more matches for the rest of his life? And, if he manages to lose a match again, what can the guy who beats him be able to say? Can he beat his chest and say he beat the GOAT? And what if Federer loses twice in a row to someone outside the Top 20 (like Canas)? Will the GOAT status still apply under that circumstance, or is the GOAT status “flexible”, and can only be trotted out when he wins and not to be discounted by anyone anywhere ever if he loses?

Hope all of you can clear up these questions a lot of us have about what the term GOAT actually means. I mean if the goal is to get the entire world to agree on Federer status as GOAT, we ought to all be on the same page on what it all means. Right?

Thanks.


Scottish Says:

Voicemale1, every sport has a GOAT among media, fans and other players. Jordan, Gretsky etc. Some sports are easier to identify who that is and others are not. You seem to think that great players never lose. What a dumb question to ask about if he loses again. Of course he will lose again. Gretsky never won every single Stanly Cup, Jordan never one every NBA title. I mean seriously. LOL. Jack Nicklaus never won every major. As we speak Tiger woods is missing the cut of the British Open.

The term GOAT is given to a player who has the most stats than anyone else in the areas of individual achievement. It’s not about winning every singe match.

As for what the player gets out of it then sure there’s a lot to gain. After tennis is over for Fed there could be additional things in his life that come out of being the GOAT such as TV commercials, books, etc. So there is definitely a lot to gain for him. As for a plaque or trophy the answer is absolutely he does. For every sports mag cover hailing him as GOAT or web banner or whatever, these are all plaques and trophies he can add to his trophy case. Not all awards and honours come in the form of hardware.

I do think Fed is the best ever given what he has accomplished in such a short time and he’s not even close to being done. People said after the FO he would fade away and now he has his 6th Wimbledon. So who knows where his career will end up.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘fed is afraid Says:
i really don’t understand roger’s arrogance considering that rafa owns him and won the last 3 slams they contested. roger is able to ignore the elephant in the room and that to me is amazing.’

At RG, Roger did say that ‘I knew that one day he will be in RG final and Rafa won’t be here’. But I don’t think he was being arrogant or dismissive of Nadal, just being realistic. In past he has admired about how Nadal is able to hit open stance forehands/backhands with so much spin/power and how he wished he could do so. Seriously, just look at their upper body difference. If Roger had tried to copy Nadal’s strokes his arm would have fallen off.

Roger turned pro in 1999 and had a pretty complete game to start with. But he was not fit and was hell bent on attacking the net like his idols. The net result was loosing H2H against Hewitt, Nalbo and Agassi etc. He needed to shore up his fitness and the baseline game. That process took a while, but once he broke through the slam barrier, he has basically stuck to the same plan for last 6 years.
There have been so many calls for him to hire a coach, change his game etc etc to solve the Nadal problem. But he has stayed the course in terms of his own game/fitness/life goals and has managed outlived his younger rivals rather than trying to outhit them.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Voicemale1

Yes, my name on this board indicates my view. I am not hiding behind some name like voicemale or something.

You still haven’t read my post and responded to the questions I had raised. Once you do that, I can tell you what GOAT means. Its pretty obvious, but I will explain nevertheless.

On this issue of Sampras versus Federer – people who don’t really understand tennis keep on Saying that Sampras faced competition from greats like Becker and Edberg. This is like saying Federer faced competition from Agassi – they played many times, Fed met Agassi in a slam final as well – but Fed never played the peak Agassi of the early nineties. Same way, Sampras never played the becker and edberg at their peak.


tenisbebe Says:

Scottish Says: “I love this quote from Verdasco – “Bastad is one of my special tournaments of the year. It’s hard for me to retire here.” This shows the true character of these guys”

I read this too & remembered this video on the players’ favorite tournaments:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bhq7yNvlauk


tenisbebe Says:

Voicemale1 Says:”…Besides, everybody in the world with a brain knows Federer won The French and Wimbledon this year because he didn’t have to face Nadal either time.”

Precisely, which is exactly why his arrogant comments since FO & these never ending commercials are so very disconcerting. As I stated in another post, has he suddenly forgotten how different things looked from AO 08 through FO 09, particularly after AO 09? Apparently it was all a bad dream in his mind. I hope Rafa is back healthy & with his fighting spirit at Montreal & then we shall see just how significant his presence reflects in Roger’s results and demeanor.


Long Live the King Says:

Voicemale:

Anyone, who is not drinking the Nadal Kool Aid, will agree that he is the biggest beneficiary of the slowing down of the conditions in this decade. The single biggest reason why Nadal has the H2H advantage over Roger is that he has played more often than not the matches in conditions favorable to him (11/20 matches on clay? i wonder why! Is it because Roger is more consistent on clay than Nadal is on the faster surfaces? couldn’t possibly be, right Mr. Kool Aid sipper? It took a 9-7 in the 5th set in slowed wimbledon conditions for a Nadal, having the best year to date to beat a Federer having his worst year in 5yrs! The match up is unfair on Fed in a lot many ways, He is playing someone who is half a generation after him. You cant compare that with Sampras and agassi where Sampras was 1yr younger to agassi. A more apt comparison would be Hewitt/Safin/Roddick against Federer. All 3 of them have been mauled by Roger real bad in the last 5 yrs. Safin and Roddick dont even have a prayer in the rivalry. Hewitt is 7-14 against Roger.

If Sampras had to face Nadal in these slower conditions he would have had a record similar to Roddick’s against Federer. Maybe he would never play Nadal on clay and have a roddick like record against Nadal (2-5?), though roddick played 2 of those 7 matches on clay. Considering how great Nadal is on clay, Roger has done great to keep up a 9-2 record against the game’s greatest clay courter of all time. No shame in being the 2nd greatest clay courter in an era when the best of them all plays. And murray, please? Without Djokovic and Nadal delivering those killer blows last year at the Aussie Open French and Wimbledon, Murray would never have that 6-2 record. He made use of the opening he had to beat the lion when it was tranquilised. Again, Roger is frying bigger fish than winning against Murray in less important best of 3 setters.

All in all, the following numbers seal it for Roger, who might be a tad unfortunate that he might be facing the 2nd GOAT with all due advantages to his opponent (lefty, 5yrs younger, slower conditions) :

15/25 slams won, 16 /17 GS finals, 20 consecutive semi-finals, 237 consecutive weeks at the top. 24 finals won on the trot, in the finals of all 4 grandslams atleast 4times. Winning Wimbledon and USopen 5 times on the trot! and the list can go on….

As I read somewhere, Fed Vs Nadal is what would have happened between Graf Vs Seles if the german psycho didn’t act in a despicable manner! The comparisons are eerie! Grace Vs power, Old vs younger (they had about 5yrs difference too!)

Last but not the least, for Von’s sake, I want Nadal to wipe the AA stadium with Andy Roddick :)
Go Fedal!


tenisbebe Says:

Nancy Says: “Sean……How dare you blame his parents’ divorce – yes, he is close to his family but I cannot believe his not playing at Wimbledon, etc is an “emotional” problem.”

Nancy – I do believe that his parents breakup has a great deal to do with his aggravated knee problems & subsequent pulling out of Wimby. I posted regarding this at July 15th, 2009 at 1:38 pm and won’t repeat it but there is no shame if this is truly the case. Players tend to live in a bubble much of the time but the outside world sometimes crashes in & it would affect him physically & emotionally.

OK – I am off to play tennis. Check back with y’all later.


tenisbebe Says:

“The match up is unfair on Fed in a lot many ways, He is playing someone who is half a generation after him.” OH PLEASE!!! This is truly grasping at straws.


Long Live the King Says:

Tennis on the rocks :

Great post! Very well said! Roger is not going to dance around proclaiming someone else as the best, when he clearly is seen by many as best of not only his generation but all time. I like Roger’s candid comments. It is not his problem that others try to maintain this PC bullshit. Rafa’s humility sometime borders on outright lies (like calling Roger the favorite before the clay-court finals). As for the commercials, I would love to flaunt myself, whenever I can. Heck I would do the 15 GS commercial myself, irrespective of whether anyone would watch or if it is true. Everyone lives ONLY for themselves and anyone who claims they are living to improve other people’s lives is surely lying. And if Federer is really so arrogant, why did he win the sportsmanship award so many times? Surely the players on the tour and media people must be knowing better than arm chair critics led by the “ever-so-just” Von? And consider this, he is the guy with least issues with other players (Nadal included). Apart from Djokovic, not a single player has had any tiffs with Federer. Even Federer made the Nadal is one-dimensional and Murray is passive comments, he was spot-on. Nadal took 2yrs after Federer made the comment to win his 1st non-clay slam and Murray is yet to over come his passive game (which cost him the match against Roddick at wimbledon recently and his other two slam losses to verdasco and gonzo!). I find Federer’s interviews to be extremely honest. He doesn’t use platitudes to avoid riling people and calls it like he sees it. (Much like Sean, that way, uh?!). You may not like it, but as the GOAT, he is more than entitled to his view, more so than people scheming to find ways to disparage his achievements and work on and off the court, by trying to find people to endorse their views one way or the other! (We all know who tries the hardest to get Nadal and Djokovic fans (read Voicemale and Jane) worked up against Federer since there aint enough roddick fans! boo hoo!)

Fed is Goat:

Agassi post 2000 was a much better player than in the 90s. That was one of the reasons Pete could amass that 20-14 lead. Had Pete played till Andre retired, the H2H might have easily been 24-30! I agree that becker, courier, chang and Edberg were washed up by the time Pete stepped up in 93. They all put together won 1slam after 93 (becker in 96, i think!) It is not like Pete thrashed them in their primes in the late 80s or early 90s. And more over none were so accomplished on sampras’ weakest surface like Nadal is on Fed’s!


Long Live the King Says:

Right Tenisbebe, Roger is 5yrs younger than Nadal! Tennis is not golf….. where you can play with a tummy the size of the white house dome! It is a running game and 5yrs is a huge advantage. Nadal has more righties to practice against than Roger has lefties anywhere near Nadal’s league. Quick, who was the last lefty to win a GS before Nadal? dont search online…..

If Nadal retires tomorrow because his body cant hold up any more and Roger retires 6-7yrs down the line with a 7-13 record, it wont tarnish his legacy one bit. So far, in all the matches except the French Open 2008, Roger has gone into all his matches against Nadal as the favorite, with a lot of stuff on the line. From now on, the boot is on the other leg. Roger has nothing to lose, while Rafa has to keep up with insane GS record rate, Roger has set before his body caves in.

I dont think this rivalry is finished yet!


grendel Says:

jane, thankyou for the list, no I wasn’t aware of it. Good to see Murdoch is still thought highly of abroad. When I first heard she had Alzheimers – I still remember reading, with shock, the unbelievable news in a short paragraph in the London Times – my first reaction, I’m sorry to say, was:”oh, shit! no more novels from HER then”. (Actually, Terry Pratchett has Alzheimers, or some variant of it, and is still, just about, writing). I disliked all the hullabaloo about Murdoch’s Alzheimers, and deliberately did NOT see the film. It’s the novels that matter (it’s Federer’s tennis that matters……), she’s such a funny, driven sort of a writer – very unEnglish, I’d say (and not because she’s Anglo-Irish. She’s like an English version of Dostoyevski, similar humour, same kind of nightmarish frenzy – but all on a minor scale). A unique body of work, but also (like Federer’s tennis?) not to everyone’s taste. She attracts a surprising amount of sneering from the more toffeenosed of the English literati. Some people just can’t take her, of course, and that’s fine.

About that Federer interview: well, I said above that he seems to me naive. You say “childish” – I can buy that, up to a point. Of course, that does imply a certain inability to put himself in other peoples’ shoes. I don’t know whether that is just or not. I thought he was ok about Nadal in that interview, given the occasion. The other stuff, to which you take exception, I remarked previously was “problematic”. You think it is conceited, I think it is honest. These are both, imo, legitimate points of view. But just to complicate matters, I don’t want to say he isn’t conceited. He apparently shows off in these commercials which I haven’t seen. But at the end of the day, you either like someone or you don’t, and I don’t think the reasons for this are ethically based. I think all the ethical stuff comes after, when you’ve already made your mind up. Why does one like – anything really? I doubt if it’s obvious.


Von Says:

Long Live:

“Last but not the least, for Von’s sake, I want Nadal to wipe the AA stadium with Andy Roddick :)
Go Fedal!”

That’s weird, you want Nadal to wipe up the stadium with Andy? Why, because I’m glad to hear Nadal will be returning back to the tour? Wow, such hate is unbelievable. Be careful what you wish for, and I’m sure you’ve heard of comeuppance, where your magnanimous and benevolent intentions with respect to Roddick could very well ricochet onto your fave, ‘the Federer’. I wonder how that would affect you, if the tables were turned and it’s Federer that Nadal uses to wipe up the stadium?

I tell you what Long Live, I might be the ‘scum of the earth’ and a ‘disgrace to women’ as you’ve delighted in referring to me, but I can safely say, and I’ll use the word ‘never’ without blinking here, I’ve never wished for any player and/or a human being to be used as a mop to wipe up a stadium or any place, and only hope that I ‘never’ stoop to such a sick level of thinking. To me, that kind of thought process is akin to hate, and hate is such a potent and/or corrosive emotion that it eats away at the very core of our beings. Hate is what that Graf fan did to Seles or Tonya Harding to Nancy Kerrigan. Are you sure you want to become that way?


Von Says:

Voicemale1:

I almost missed the following due to scrolling past some posts:

“Kill joy :). …OK. But you’ve ruined me for everybody else :)”

Do you mean to tell me it was that good? On second thoughts, don’t desist; I think I’ll give up my day job in favor of our nocturnal pursuits. Also, I hope you realize that we’re now joined at the hip for life, and you can’t get rid of me that easily. LOL.


Von Says:

Long Live:

“Surely the players on the tour and media people must be knowing better than arm chair critics led by the “ever-so-just” Von?”

You know what, methinks you’re in love/besotted with me. I mean why do you keep hauling my name into your posts. If you were to really digest the comments here, you’d see I’ve been rather mild in my comments towards your idol, as compared to many other posters, but yet you insist on inserting me as a reference point. Gee, I’m very flattered to know that I have this kind of effect on you and some of the other Federer fans here on this site. You’ve done wonders for my ego, hence, don’t stop please, I’m enjoying this.


SG Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:
SG,

you can quote as many British PMs as you like – quotes are catchy, and that’s all they are. Not always right. Sometimes, hard data is just too difficult to disprove, as you are finding out..

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

As I said, it’s difficult to quantify the human variables that go into defining a head to head match up between human beings on a tennis court. The fact that you put so much faith in the math alone only further solidifies my belief that your approach is flawed. If the math you are proposing to use is so simple and logical than it should be easy to make a computer simulation based on this concrete mathematical. Last I checked however, there is no program in existence that can accurately pit Sampras against Laver or Laver against Federer. Perhaps the logic of your mathematical argument isn’t so logical after all.


SG Says:

Grendel,

Good blog. You certainly have a right to your opinion regarding Federer. At the end of the day, we’re pretty much all tennis fans and we see in our heroes what we want to see…and sometimes blot from our minds what we don’t want to see. You and others on this site know that Fed’s not my faovrite guy on tour. I had a lot more respect for guys like Edberg and Sampras who just played and let history judge them. That’s not to say that Fed isn’t a greater player than Edberg. Of course he is. I just liked the way Edberg handled himself. He never really saw himself as larger than the sport but a part of it. He lost his share of big matches but you never saw him cry. Boris Becker once said when asked why he was such a great big match player, how he was able to play so well and he said, “The worst thing that can happen to me is that I lose a tennis match. It’s not the end of the world.” Edberg and Sampras and Becker just had this way of looking at tennis that made you feel good about watching them.


Von Says:

I’d like to ask one question: How can any one athlete/player be considered the greatest of all time when there’s a definite continuum taking place in the sports world and the world in general? In other words, has the world ended, and has the sport of tennis ceased to exist? And if so, when did that happen?

We can only place such finality on records if mankind ceased to exist and/or everything comes to a screeching halt with respect to the world we live in. Anything short of those events occurring, will render all of the arguments proffered here on this site to be absolutely meaningless, moot, null and void, speculation, and/or an exercise in futility.

It’s really an exercise in futility and/or pure speculation, IMO, whereby so many of Federer fans want to bestow and/or add this title to his name. Due to the two scenarios mentioned above NOT taking place, or most probably will never happen, for anyone to speak with such finality, is unrealistic and/or reaching for something that could probably never happen and/or become a reality.

Again, this is where Laver’s statement becomes so profound with each passing day, and that is ‘a player can only be the greatest of his era’, but not the greatest of all time, because time has not come to a screeching halt, and/or the earth has not stood still. If the world were to end tomorrow, then yes, Federer most probably will be the greatest GS champion, but due to the fact that scenario is rather unlikely to occur, then there looms the possibility that another player could come along and demolish Federer’s records, similar to what Federer did to Sampras’ records.

I know some put forward the argument that it would take decades for anyone to break Federer’s records, I disagree. If Federer can break Sampras’ records in 7 years, then why is it not possible that another player could do the same to Federer’s records? Nothing’s a given in this world, and nothing lasts forever.

Idealization is alright to some extent, but there’s also reality, and the reality of this whole goat situation is that yes there looms the possibility that another player could and probably would break Federer’s records.

Yesterday I read an article quoting Peter Lundgren as stating:’Gringov is even better than Federer’. Considering Lundgren was once Federer’s coach, I think some credence should be given to his thoughts on the matter, however, I won’t be surprised if some Fed fans were to say Lundgren doesn’t know what he’s talking about, similar to some saying Laver is probaably tired of the press asking the same questions over and over.

Anyway, according to that famed saying: “Only time wil tell ….”. And, to be or not to be, that is the million dollar question.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘Von Says:
I’d like to ask one question: How can any one athlete/player be considered the greatest of all time when there’s a definite continuum taking place in the sports world and the world in general? In other words, has the world ended, and has the sport of tennis ceased to exist? And if so, when did that happen?’

Great question and the main reason I hate to call Roger (or anyone) as the GOAT. He is my fav player to watch right now and is the most accomplished among all my favs. But if he is the greatest thing that can happen to my fav sport, WTF I am supposed to look forward to next 30 yrs or so?

I mean after last years’ wimby final, it was called the greatest match and it seemed like it. But within 1 year, I got to watch some high quality and very enjoyable matches like Rafa-Verdasco, Rafa-Novak, Roger-Andy, Serena-Dementieva.


Von Says:

SG:

“At the end of the day, we’re pretty much all tennis fans and we see in our heroes what we want to see…and sometimes blot from our minds what we don’t want to see.”

This is so very true and profound. I ask myself so many times when I post here, why do I root for some players and put myself through so much grief, when I could easily root for the winner and all will be well in blog land. But the reality of the situation is, we all have likes and dislikes, and it’s those likes and/or dislikes that are the factors that influences our thinking and preferences.

For instance I like players who have a certain presence about them, that electricity I see and/or can feel exuding from them when they appear, be it their swagger, tenacity or their never say die attitude, and it has absolutely nothing to do with their talent, beautiful strokes, et al., it’s how their presence and appeal affects me.

It’d be easy for a fan of the other highly acclaimed athletes to say these little joys I mention are really sour grapes about what my life is missing. Or that I’ve stirred up a bit too much lemonade/kool aid from my supply of lemons/kool aid. Fruit metaphors aside, I’ve acquired my optimism and liking for that one player and always find that here and there life is sweet — those moments when I see him win the match and/or lift a trophy and a smile creases his face. But the point is, there are aspects of this specific, highly-flawed sports figure that are uniquely enjoyable, and it gives me pleasure and comfort to know that I’m not the only person to make that claim, due to that player having an established fan base and is blessed with many other fans who are rooting for him and join me in celebrating his victories.


Skorocel Says:

„The more interesting question is, though, would Federer still have won 6? After all, Roddick pushed him hard on two – with a faster surface, maybe Roddick would have been able to do the business. Possibly Philippoussis, too – remember, he thrashed Sampras in his prime in the first set before having to retire . Then there’s Karlovic, any others?“

Good point, grendel!


jane Says:

tenisbebe says ” Apparently it was all a bad dream in his mind” – LOL, like one of those shows where the protagonist awakens only to discover it was all just a dream.

——————

Long Live… says ” if Federer is really so arrogant, why did he win the sportsmanship award so many times?”

Well, he could be a bundle of contradictions, like most of us. Maybe he is very sportsmanlike with his peers but different in interviews? Context is important. I do believe that sometimes players are goaded in interviews into saying things they may regret, and unless the player is very savvy (like Roddick or Murray), then perhaps the player will say something that can be construed differently than he or she meant it. But whether you see Federer saying he brought tennis into “another league” as realistic or arrogant depends on perspective to a degree.

———————

grendel “It’s the novels that matter (it’s Federer’s tennis that matters……)”

I didn’t see the film either, and I do understand the parallel you’re making here. It is Federer’s tennis that will be remembered. Although we do also remember player’s personalities and characters, so I think that sticks too.

Fed’s more of a high profile person/celebrity than Murdoch though, at least in Canada, so he comes under harsher, or more adoring (as the case may be), scrutiny.

Re: Fed’s interview – I didn’t actually mean “childish” in a negative way. Maybe sheltered is a better word? I think many of these players, the ones who (as someone mentioned above – tenisbebe I think) have lived in a kind of bubble, who’ve been focused on tennis for so long, with no additional schooling, seem like big kids sometimes – naive. And kids can be honest and/or arrogant, again, depending on how you look at it. (The commercials, esp the trophy one imo, are over the top – you could probably see them on youtube if you wished). I know Djoko is often called cocky, arrogant, etc, but for some reason I liked him since I saw him play in the spring hard court events in 2007 – although the retirements and trainers are insufferable sometimes. Fans take the good with the bad, I guess.

———————

SG – great post @ 5:39.

———————

Von – it’s the “all time” thing I’ve always had a problem with in the GOAT designation too. Even with eras, it becomes difficult to determine precisely when one era ends and another begins unless we go by one player’s career. But even then it’s unclear; for e.g., in which era did Agassi play? It’s really blurry.

Why not simply say, Fed’s won the most slams, and whatever other records he’s broken? That’s how I see it.


Skorocel Says:

“The match up is unfair on Fed in a lot many ways, He is playing someone who is half a generation after him.” OH PLEASE!!! This is truly grasping at straws.“

Indeed, tennisbebe!


Skorocel Says:

Voicemale1 to Long Live the King: „Is THAT how far you need to go, Wimbledon of the 90’s, to make the inane point of how Federer could finally take Nadal at a Major?“

LOL!


Skorocel Says:

Voicemale1: „Besides, everybody in the world with a brain knows Federer won The French and Wimbledon this year because he didn’t have to face Nadal either time.“

I would rather put it this way: „Everybody in the world with a brain knows Federer didn’t have to face Nadal at either the French or Wimbledon“ ;-)


grendel Says:

SG:

Edberg was, without any doubt whatever, extraordinarily – I won’t even say modest, “unassuming” perhaps captures him better. He was one of those rare people who radiated a sort of unaffected normality. At the same time, he managed to be highly competitive. Difficult to carry two such contrasting features in the same person, one would have thought. He is now a farmer, I believe, which somehow seems fittingly down to earth.

Becker, my hero at the time, I believe was a different sort of character altogether. I’m not altogether sure I believe the quote you give of him. It is very similar to the one he made when beaten by an Australian (Dooley or something) at Wimbledon when he was 19. “Look, I lost a tennis match, not a war” – it was something along those lines. It is often quoted as an example of calm good sense, getting things in a true perspective, etc. But I saw him making it. He was flustered, shellshocked, pretty angry and clearly trying to put a good spin on what was a totally unforeseen disaster (as who wouldn’t, given the huge expectations on him, the wonderboy sweeping all before him). I remember watching Becker being beaten by Stich in the Wimbledon final- the ultimate calamity (anyone, ANYONE but bloody Stich). At various stages, he looked like Haas doing one of his wobblies to the power 6. Pure anguish etched his features as a stream of german goodies poured from his lips, arms gesticulating wildly. At one point, he grabbed something and shook it vehemently, it was actually pretty funny to watch although disturbing, too.

Becker comments for the BBC at Wimbledon, and he has a nice wry sense of humour. I do like him. He does come across as a confident but not arrogant man. As for Federer, I don’t know, he generates so much discussion not all of which seems quite real. This whole business of superstardom, for instance. It is certainly the case that Federer has willingly embraced it. But, given the reality of showbizz – and alas, a large part of sport has now become inextricably a part of it – would he in any case have had much choice?


Skorocel Says:

Long Live the King said:

„Compare this with sampras who won his 14 GS over a stretch of 49 slams (90 USopen – 2002 USopen). That is less than 30% (14/49) slam win ratio compared to Roger’s 60%. (15/25). Less than half as dominant as Roger.“

And exactly twice that bigger in terms of longevity too ;-)
Fed’s 1st GS → Fed’s last GS = 6 years
Sampras’s 1st GS → Sampras’s last GS = 12 years

———————-

„If Sampras had to face Nadal in these slower conditions he would have had a record similar to Roddick’s against Federer.“

LOL! If I can imagine ONE player who would give Nadal a run for his money (I’m not talking about clay, obviously), then it would be exactly Sampras – and it’s not that hard to understand why…

———————

„And more over none were so accomplished on sampras’ weakest surface like Nadal is on Fed’s!“

Again, excuses excuses! Besides, why should clay be considered as Fed’s worst surface?! Granted, he’s done a lot better on grass & hard, but if there wasn’t any Nadal around, he could’ve easily had 5 FOs, 3 MCs, 1 Rome and 5 Hamburgs… Any player would love to have his/her “worst” surface like that!

———————

„Nadal has more righties to practice against than Roger has lefties anywhere near Nadal’s league. Quick, who was the last lefty to win a GS before Nadal? dont search online…..“

Every fan of tennis with a decent memory doesn’t need to search it. It was Ivanisevic. The same lefty Ivanisevic, who had the same advantage of practicing against the righties as had Nadal, and who Sampras had a 12-6 record with, btw ;-)

———————

„It is not like Pete thrashed them in their primes in the late 80s or early 90s.“

There you go! If he couldn’t trash them, wasn’t it because they were all a TOUGH competition for anyone? ;-)


Skorocel Says:

About those recent Fed commercials, I actually found the Netjets ad quite amusing :-) I mean, he’s maybe smiling a bit on that one, but one has to sense as if he’s having a rather tough time with bearing all those trophies, both physically and mentally ;-)


Von Says:

jane:

“Von – it’s the “all time” thing I’ve always had a problem with in the GOAT designation too.

Yes, this is why I mentioned the continuum of time/world. How do we know what’s on the horizon? I don’t think any of us here engage in taking astral walks at night and congregate at a specified meeting place among the stars with the best in the crystal ball business, peering into the future. Thus, to place such emphasis and finality on a record holder in any sport is somewhat reaching IMO. And, why is there such an urgency for this designation to be rooted in the minds of those in the sports world like yesterday? Why can’t it wait until Federer’s career is over?

“Even with eras, it becomes difficult to determine precisely when one era ends and another begins unless we go by one player’s career. But even then it’s unclear; for e.g., in which era did Agassi play? It’s really blurry.”

If we were to look at the whole picture, didn’t Federer’s career begin and/or overlap into the Sampras/Agassi era? Likewise Agassi’s career overlap into Federer’s era. Federer turned pro in 1998, and it wasn’t until 2003, 5 years later that he won his first GS. And, one could logically argue that Federer was ineffective during the 4 years Sampras was still competing? Why is that? Was the competition too tough for Federer during those years?

“Why not simply say, Fed’s won the most slams, and whatever other records he’s broken? That’s how I see it.”

I’ve mentioned previously, that Federer is the greatest GS winner with 15 GS titles. However, IMO, it would be foolhardy for me to say, that he’ll go down in history as the greatest of all time, for GS titles, (since the GS is supposedly the standard by which greatness is measured) due to the fact that no one knows if that record will hold throughout the ages and for eternity. Again, did anyone foresee Sampras’ record being broken? NO. So then, why wouldn’t the same happen to Federer? And, if we were to apply the Sampras scenario as a likely trend for the future, whereby another player could break Federer’s record, then how could Federer be presently dubbed as the ‘greatest of all time’, considering ‘all time’ to mean eternity? Somehow, it all seems like it’s more wishful than realistic thinking in some people’s minds.


Von Says:

Skorocel:

“About those recent Fed commercials, I actually found the Netjets ad quite amusing :-) I mean, he’s maybe smiling a bit on that one, but one has to sense as if he’s having a rather tough time with bearing all those trophies, both physically and mentally ;-)”

If you were to watch those commercials for approx. six (6) times per hour around the clock, you’d become tired of seeing it, and not find it so amusing.

Even though I like Roddick, I remember some months ago the Tennis Channel showed Roddick’s LaCoste commercial quite often, and I eventually got so sick of seeing them, that I’d walk away the minute I knew a commercial break was about to take place. I feel the same about Agassi’s Longines commercial too. I mean enough already, sheesh.


Daniel Says:

„The more interesting question is, though, would Federer still have won 6? After all, Roddick pushed him hard on two – with a faster surface, maybe Roddick would have been able to do the business. Possibly Philippoussis, too – remember, he thrashed Sampras in his prime in the first set before having to retire . Then there’s Karlovic, any others?“

Good point, grendel!

Skorocel, grendel andall, I think this comment is a little diminishes to Fed’s achievement. This blog nowadays seems more like trying to deconstruct what he achieve than praise him, even though some think different.

Every since Federer entered into his dominant years he is the man to beat in Slams and I have already said this before. It took Nadal 9-7 in the fifth set on fading lights for him to lose on grass! Roddick played the match of his life and even tough couldn’t do it. Until he loses earlier in Slams, ending his ridiculous 22 semis streak I think, he will be favorite for ever Slam he enters outside the French, (this depending on Nadal’s health), which by the way I am dying to see playing again.

The GOAT debate is more delicate, but been a man of math if Fed manages to beat Pete’s total weeks as n. 1, year end n. 1, Agassi’s Masters Series (although I think Nadal will hold this record when all is set in their careers) and surpass 80 titles with something close to 20 Slams, it will be almost impossible to not call him GOAT, even with bad HxH versus Nadal and Murray.

To me, if he wins US Open 2009 and AO 2010, completing a Federer Slam, 4 in a row, regardless of “in the same year”, I would call him GOAT regardless of the rest of records I mention, because this would be so unprecedented in man tennis (and tennis history) that to me it would be enough.

In the beginning of the year everybody was saying things like: “his days of winning 3 Slams a year is over”, “from now on is a free fall”, some even said he would be out of top 5 by the end of the year, or would never beat Nadal again after AO. How ironic?! His only win against Nadal this year is on clay, whereas last year he gets zero wins against him.

I always remember a post from MMT earlier this year concerning rivalry and turning points on it where he gave a lot of exemplas of past greats. Maybe Fed can change the HxH, even with Nadal being half a generation from him, but in the long term picture it won’t matter that much.
As we are living this moment, we get the sense that this is hurting his resume, but in sports history what matters is trophies!

I as a tennis fan love watching tennis above players personality, on court antics, PR, interviews…(although some are annoying to the point of us disliking a particular player or more), but if we are indeed witnessing greatness, well, it’s a bonus!


Von Says:

“In the beginning of the year everybody was saying things like: “his days of winning 3 Slams a year is over”, “from now on is a free fall”, some even said he would be out of top 5 by the end of the year, or would never beat Nadal again after AO. How ironic?! His only win against Nadal this year is on clay, whereas last year he gets zero wins against him.” Daniel

Everybody? I don’t think so, because I didn’t touch that topic and wouldn’t have done so with a 10 foot pole. I think you need to qualify that as ‘some’ were saying. I have mentioned and will keep on stating that I feel the top 10 will be a revolving door and I still feel the same way. It’s ridiculous for anyone to think that Federer would have fallen out of the Top 4 considering the drop in points from 4 to 5. I mean that’s wishful thinking and or really reaching big-time.

“I as a tennis fan love watching tennis above players personality, on court antics, PR, interviews…(although some are annoying to the point of us disliking a particular player or more), but if we are indeed witnessing greatness, well, it’s a bonus!”

This again, is subjective. not everyone thinks the same as you do, and it’s why we are individuals. Separate bodies and individual thought processes. For example, I might like Cabernet and you might like Chablis, different wines, but they satisfy the palate just the same. To each his own, and everyone watches the sport to see their preferred player for different reasons. That will never change, and again, it’s why we are individuals watching an individual sport. If it were a team sport, then we’d have very little choice, and thankfully, tennis is not a team sport.


Daniel Says:

Von

“And, if we were to apply the Sampras scenario as a likely trend for the future, whereby another player could break Federer’s record, then how could Federer be presently dubbed as the ‘greatest of all time’, considering ‘all time’ to mean eternity? Somehow, it all seems like it’s more wishful than realistic thinking in some people’s minds.”

This is something that you and Jane mention before and I disagree with this take on time.

The “of all time” apllies to time untill now, as past and present. So if we were to say that Fed is the Great of All times, it will mean, past and now, and near future untill somebody come along and became worthy of that title. As Sampras hold it for a while: in 2003 if the ones that thought Sampras was the GOAT, it was right to say then that he is the great of All times, because Federer didn’t was GOAT material yet.

Same as now, the all time means to maximize what a player achieve, put him in front of the greats from the pass and leave the door open untill someone appear to starting breaking the records all over again and then can be called GOAT. But the intriguing question is, What if Nobody happens to break the records or achieve the same status?


Von Says:

Daniel:

As a huge Sampras fan, I don’t recall ever hearing Sampras lauded as the GOAT. I know he’s been referred to as ‘the great Pete Sampras’ but not the GOAT. I know for a fact I’ve never referred to Pete as the GOAT because I don’t believe in that designation. As a matter of fact, have you seen any threads with respect to Sampras being designated as the GOAT? I haven’t. The GOAT topic as far as I can remember began with Federer.

And, for the record, it’s not just jane and myself who’ve expressed our thoughts with respect to Federer being th GOAT, even some Fed fans have done so. See post by tennisonetherocks @ 6:18 pm. Zola has been adamant also on the GOAT topic. Sorry, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on the GOAT topic.

“But the intriguing question is, What if Nobody happens to break the records or achieve the same status?”

We’ll just have to wait and see don’t we. However, what if somebody comes along and does the unthinkable? This can go on and on till eternity.

Anyway, I’m off this topic.


jane Says:

Hi Daniel,

You say, “The “of all time” apllies to time untill now, as past and present. So if we were to say that Fed is the Great of All times, it will mean, past and now, and near future untill somebody come along and became worthy of that title”

The word “ALL” generally means something in its totality.

If you declare that in your opinion Fed is the “greatest” player until now, including ALL past players and present players (wow!). then the moniker should be “TGUN” = The greatest until now.

Besides which, Federer is STILL playing! Why not wait until he retires to make such proclamations, if such proclamations must be made?

And let’s face it, even that is open for debate. “Greatest” based on what? Statistics? Number of wins? H2H Records? Number of weeks at number 1? Number of titles? Number of appearances in slam semi-finals? Number of 3 piece outfits? Number of Grand Slams? Some, any, one, all of the above?

“Greatest” is such a slippery word, and it borders on hyperbole. Why not declare this: The Winner of the Most Grand Slam Titles = Roger Federer?


Daniel Says:

Sorry Von, I should have put ‘some’.
I too think the ranking will change a few times before the year end. Somehow I just don’t see Federer winning the US Open again this year.
You are also right that not many declared Sampras GOAT, not on papers or “internet”, but when I talked with people, in general, it was Sampras.

I too don’t consider Federer GOAT yet, but I am in the PRO GOAT category, if somebody manages to fulfill all those records I stated previously plus total Grand Slam record and in different surfaces (What Federer does have now). This is my opinion, and as you wisely putted: In this one we have to agree to disagree.

Hi Jane,
Regarding time, that is the redundance I saw in this ‘until now’ or ‘of all time’. If we say today ‘of all time’, includes today, and tomorrow (the nearest future). Tomorrow we can still say of all time and so on…

If it’s to declare Federer the GOAT now, we can safely say that his GOATness (invented this one now :) ) will be secure until let’s say 2012. Why this specific year, because the one closer to challenge his alleged GOAT status is Nadal. Imagine if Nadal happens to win all next 5 Grand Slam. He will have 11, a career Slam, a Grand Slam (all 4 in same calender year – 2010) and a Golden Slam. A few more GS and some more years at Year end n. 1 and he can be declare the GOAT, in what, 3 years after Federer was declare GOAT. All of this in this hypothetical scenario. But not impossible!

And if is not Nadal, will be somebody else, or we can stay in a 50 year spam with no one getting even close to what Federe did, and by this he would be GOAT. I don’t know if I am being clear, I am trying to, but my point is that as time is in the making, anything that we say of all time will include all the time that has passed and the present. If, in the present day or tomorrow he is GOAT, than it is ‘of all time’. All time that existed until now and tomorrow! LOL, anyway, even I am getting confuse now.
Let’s wait and see if some more eloquent people think the same as I do to back me up.

I too agree that we have to wait until their career is over to make history status remarks. Unless, he wins 4 in a row, than regardless of how his career will end, in my opinion with what he already has it will be it!

Answering the end of your above post: Yes, all of this is very subjective, but the thing surrounding Federer is that he is not breaking just GS records; he has potential to break almost all the records of significance that a player can break in this present era. For example, I don’t think that anybody will ever break Connors or Laver number of titles (more than 100) the way the game is played today, much more physical demand on the body. Yes, you can be 36 and play as Santoro or Agassi did, but you can’t sustain high level of tennis for more than 15 years. Agassi has some gaps in his curriculum and Santoro wasn’t top 5 material. I think Sampras won Slams during a large period of time between firts and last, 12 years. Don’t know if this is accurate, but this just show how difficult it is to sustain a high level for more than 10 years. Federer has done so by 6 and half years (since 2003). Before that he was playing high level tennis, but he wasn’t playing 80 matches year in year out.

Don’t know what happen to me?! Too many days without posting and suddenly I am making this testimonials! :)


Voicemale1 Says:

Fed is GOAT:

Having read all of your posts here regarding your “data”, your points, your statements, etc., they all amount to little more the a collection of shibboleths: This era was weak vs. that one; these stats are what count and those don’t. All of it amounting to you acting as some kind of attorney for Federer in this “Federer as GOAT vs. The World”, as though it were a court case that must be won because Life or Death hangs in the balance. None of it matters. This whole idea of GOAT is an idiotic claim to begin with – which is the poitn a lot of people have been making all along. It’s one thing to admire a player, or their career. But the notion of such a nonsensical thing as a GOAT player is pointless. GOAT is some sort of imagined moniker; a self-indulgent fantasy no more tangible than the Man in the Moon.

Why this is so important to you – making sure we all understand your mission to anoint Federer as the GOAT – is a puzzle. It’s as though YOU get more ruffled when legitimate questions arise about this subject than Federer himself would (although given his Diva-ness even that’s debatable). It’s almost as though you’re living vicariously through Federer as the GOAT on these discussion boards. You evidently need us to believe Federer is the GOAT because you’ve adopted this campaign so deeply (given your posting name here). It’s as though you see yourself as Federer. Your endless bluster about Federer’s GOAT-ness isn’t so much about him. It’s a lot more about you.

You make a bold prediction above stating now that Federer has his 15 he’ll not lose to Nadal in a Major again because the “pressure” is off. It is??? You mean if Federer gets to the Final of a Major as the GOAT even he believes he is, and his shots start shanking that he’s not gonna feel any pressure about what people will say regarding the un-GOAT-ness of losing a Major Final? There’ll be NO pressure on him to keep winning now that he’s making commercials telling us how deeply HE believes in his own GOAT-ness??? You think THAT’S not gonna be pressure??? If he does lose another Major Final (or two or three), what happens to the whole Federer-as-GOAT notion?? Or are you gonna offer up more of the “You gonna believe me or your lyin’ eyes” defense about results that don’t fit your Federer as GOAT Life Mission?

Plenty of people can legitimately question this GOAT stuff as applied to Federer. The fact you bristle when people bring up his record to Nadal is the the shining example of trying to dismiss it with such nonsense as “Well it’s lopsided because of clay”. Well – isn’t Federer a 4-time french Open Finalist, a 4-Time winner in Hamburg and a French Open Champion? How on earth would a clay record like that hinder him, even against Nadal, if Federer is in fact a GOAT? It’s not as though Federer had a Sampras record on clay. Sampras vs. Nadal on clay would be a wholly appropriate example of a lopsided record lending itself to the justification of, “..well that’s on clay”. But in no honest evaluation could that kind of shady spin apply to Federer. It’s an attempt to whitewash what’s self evident because it doesn’t fit neatly into your Federer as GOAT template. You could actually build a solid case that Federer might well be behind only guys like Nadal and Borg on clay.

Besides Nadal having won 65% of their career matches, Murray owns Federer, winning 75% of their matches. Even Djokovic has won their last two meetings – and has beaten Federer in a Major. Spin whatever or however you like, but these three guys seriously detract any GOAT argument regarding Federer.


grendel Says:

Daniel

I wasn’t trying to downplay Fed’s achievements. I just quite enjoy “what if” speculations (there’s a brand of science fiction dealing in alternative histories; what if Hitler had won, what if the Reformation had been defeated and the Pope remained supreme, etc – this has proved a fruitful back alley of SF), and in any case, Long Live Whatsit started this particular speculation, so I pursued certain implications. Because whilst it is true that the slowing of Wimbledon has been beneficial to Nadal and has facilitated his one victory there, it does seem likely that it has also helped Federer, not w.r.t. Nadal, of course, but w.r.t. Roddick and Philippoussis. Don’t you agree? We don’t know – that’s the thing about speculation, and why certain very stern people frown upon it as useless. But how can it be useless if it is productive of thought?

b.t.w., I agree, not Fed for US Open. There is this whole very strange thing of energy and its conservation on the mental/emotional level. That is not at all straightforward. I suspect, on the part of trainers etc, it requires a great deal of experience plus some inspired (but educated) guesswork, to get their man just right for the big event. But the thing is, how often can you do it in a given period? I find it VERY hard to believe Federer will be physically, emotionally and mentally in tip-top shape for the US. Surely he is now too old to climb that particular mountain again so soon after his successes.

People talk about him being relaxed now, but not all relaxation is beneficial. Don’t you think there must be a kernel of complacency residing in some corner of his mind which will be impossible to shake off? It will take the shock of defeat to dissolve this particular little nugget of slumber. But just suppose he somehow makes it to the final, and there,awaiting him over the net, like some dreadful beast from prehistory, is the Spaniard. Now, don’t tell me that won’t consitute pressure. If anyone beats Fed before the final, it will be an annoyance to Federer but that is all. At some barely conscious level, he must expect it. But if Nadal – who can only meet him IN the final – beats him – disaster! Everyone will start questioning the credentials of his French and Wimbie titles. At the moment, only the Nadal fans are doing so, roughly speaking, and that is to be expected. But all that will change if Federer loses to Nadal.


Skorocel Says:

Von: I understand that, for an anti-Fed (or non-Fed fan), it can be a bit annoying (or braggadocio) to see him dragging all those trophies, but after all, it’s still nothing more than a stupid ad! In other words, it’s just a business thing…

What I find more annoying is, for example, that interview with Enberg. There, Fed (literally) gives you an impression as if there wasn’t any other player worth of bringing something new to tennis other than him, and that Nadal is his chief rival only because he’s a lefty, not because he’s brought something new (or, at the very least, something unusual) to tennis…


Daniel Says:

Well the slowing may have hurt the big servers more, but before the slowing Fed never was stretched to 5 sets in Wimbledon. One can make the case that if the courts stay as fast as they were (heavier ball included here) he would have won easily in 2007 and 2009 and could have won 2008 (although I think it was more a Nadal in his head problem).

Yes grendel, agree with your take regarding Nadal beating Fed at US Open. But again, maybe the very prospect of losing in New York to Nadal will be the awaking call to Federer removing him from his “lethargy”, if he achieves that spot due to his recent success.
Or maybe Nadal can be n. 3 by US open with a possibility of facing Fed in the semis.
One of this two scenarios are the only thing I can think off to motivate Fed, if he runs deep as he usually does. Will see…

See, I too like what if’s, more than coulda, wouda, shoulda!


jane Says:

“but before the slowing Fed never was stretched to 5 sets in Wimbledon” – Just a slight correction here, as I believe the Fed vs. Sampras match went to 5 sets.

“Or maybe Nadal can be n. 3 by US open with a possibility of facing Fed in the semis.”

Yes, this would be a interesting prospect. I don’t think it’s too far-fetched either, given the math that was presented at the ATP site recently.


grendel Says:

Daniel: why would he have won easy in 2009 – surely the main beneficiary of the faster court would have been Roddick?


Suzy Says:

OMG~ I can’t believe all you guys – I have a headache just scrolling thru some of your comments. I’m glad my tennis friends are nothing like most of you seem to be – people who don’t seem to have any respect for fans who have different opinions than yours. Everyone has their favorite players for whatever reason but I guess you have nothing more important in your lives than coming in here to bash every player who’s not your favorite – some other tennis fans told me this was a tenins site not worth visiting but I wanted to check it out for myself and form my own opinion. They were right.


dynamo Says:

Anyone have any info on what type of skirt Nike will be designing for Federer to wear at the US Open????


Daniel Says:

Yes grendel, but Roddick lost to him 3 times before in Wimby when courts looked faster and less bounce. And surprisingy what made Roddick perform way better this year was his improved baseline game supporting a great service game.

Jane, you are right, don’t know how I forgot this one!


Giner Says:

So much vitriol appears when the topic of Federer is mentioned. It’s amazing. You know you can support Federer without name-calling or personal attacks, right?


Giner Says:

Federer said the Wimbledon final that day was played in ‘fast conditions.’ I have no reason to doubt his word on that. But for some reason, it was slow when Nadal won it. Did Wimbledon speed up the courts this year?


dynamo Says:

Sean, why don’t you write an article on how Federer is the LOAT (LUCKIEST OF ALL TIME)…because that is what he is….here is a great article from the Miror by Oliver Holt on why Federer has become a preening poser in the emperor’s new clothes….I agree with everything except the last sentence where he says he is “he’s the best there’s ever been” ……I don’t think so.

Andy Roddick wore a T-shirt and shorts when he walked out on Centre Court on Sunday. He looked like a tennis player.

The bloke walking next to him looked like an extra from Bruno.

Either that or Roger Federer had got dressed early for the Champions Ball.

It felt uncomfortable seeing him like that, seeing a great champion who has become so intoxicated with his own image that he is making himself a laughing stock. A man who was once the epitome of modesty and humility but is now tarnishing his genius with increasingly graceless arrogance.

Someone needs to tell the guy that not only is he making a fool of himself but he’s losing admirers fast, 15 Grand Slam titles or not.

Someone needs to tell him that there was a reason the crowd was cheering for Roddick, and it wasn’t because the American was the underdog. Someone needs to point out we’re getting deep into The Emperor’s New Clothes territory now.

When the six-time Wimbledon champion walked out for the men’s final on Sunday in his ridiculous high-collared jacket and gold monogrammed shirt, it was hard not to laugh.

Federer looked every inch the preening, posing, head-tossing narcissist that Novak Djokovic captured so perfectly in his famous locker room impersonation of the Swiss.

Federer is said to have rebuked Djokovic for his impudence. You know why? Because Djokovic got him spot-on.

Federer is still the most graceful, brilliant, mesmerising tennis player the world has ever seen. I still consider it an immense privilege every time I get to see him play.

And yet the world No.1 is in danger of losing the qualities that have made him so popular: his humility and his graciousness.

Part of the problem is that the poor guy has been Nikefied. And I mean totally and utterly Nikefied. So Nikefied that he has lost his judgment.

I mean, how on earth did he allow himself to be persuaded to rush to put on that tracksuit top with the No.15 etched on his back a couple of minutes after he had outlasted Roddick on Sunday? What a pathetic, smartass, gloating, selfregarding stunt that was.

But why would someone demean himself and his opponent by doing something so crassly vain and self-regarding?

I wonder if Federer gave a thought to how Roddick might feel when he saw that tracksuit top and that 15 on Federer’s back.

I suspect Roddick felt a sharp sting of irritation when he saw that. I bet he felt patronised and belittled.

Because by wearing it, Federer was making it obvious it had been made for him before the match. It had been made in the assumption of victory. It had turned a proud moment into a marketing moment. It was cheap, cheap. It lacked class.

Nor, in his acceptance speech, was there any real recognition of how desperately close Roddick had come to winning the final. There was no hint that Roddick had outplayed him – which he did – or that the American had pushed him to his very limit.

Instead, Federer chose to draw attention to the fact that he had had a tough loss against Rafael Nadal last year.

Even Roddick felt moved to speak up then. “Yeah,” he shouted out, “but you had won it five times by then.”

It was, a former Wimbledon star told me yesterday, “the most graceless acceptance speech I have ever heard”.

Sadly, it fits a pattern. As cracks have appeared in Federer’s invincibility, he has found it harder and harder to give credit to those who have beaten him.

He seems to find it particularly difficult with Andy Murray. When Murray beat him at the Masters Cup in Shanghai last November, Federer was ready with a raft of excuses.

He trotted them out again before Wimbledon. “I was ill and suffering with my back and I still almost beat him,” Federer said. How gallant.

A couple of years ago, I would have considered it sacrilege to criticise Federer. Not any more.

He’s the best there’s ever been but if he doesn’t want to be remembered as a genius who became bloated with self-importance and pomposity, he needs to get a grip.


dynamo Says:

*ETA* – correction on the article I posted…it is from the Daily Mirror


Long Live the King Says:

The fact that most of the fed-haters have to dig-out his fashion statement or other off-court activities to criticize him is proof that the dude has done enough on the court to achieve GOAT status. Though the western world might be split on his fashion statement, in the biggest continent on earth, Roger is hugely popular. In India and China, Roger’s popularity is ever on the rise and his fashion statements are a huge huge hit. In these two conservative countries, Roger is seen as a great humble champion and really, 60-70% of tennis fans would vote a yes on Roger as a humble champion.

So pointing out his off-court activities or arrogance by a few sour-grape sampras/nadal KADs isn’t going to change much. On the tennis-court Roger is the King, as evidenced by him winning the atp most popular player award last year, a year where nadal had his best results to date and Roger, the worst by his standards.

As for the GOAT – it is Roger, Borg, Laver and then Sampras. With 12 slams nadal can jump over sampras in that list. Sampras is a little 1 dimensional compared to the others. He was lucky that there were no Nadal, murray or djokovic in the middle of the 90s. Sampras had a competition free ride between 95 and 99. His biggest rival was Ivanisevic. need we say more?


Long Live the King Says:

Von! You got it spot on! I am totally in love with you :) Just bugs me to have a day without your attention ;) You just don’t react as passionately when people agree with you.

You broke my heart saying Voicemale is paying you nightly visits. Could you please keep such personal stuff off the board, please? What stays outside tennis-X should stay out of tennis-x.


fed is afraid Says:

hey king-how can roger be GOAT when he isn’t even the greatest of his era? that would be mr. nadal the same one who owns a 13-7 h2h over the “GOAT”.


Von Says:

Long Live:

So sorry to break your heart with respect to my nightly activities. LOL. Tell me something, are you that gullible to believe I’m having any kind of interaction with Voicemale1 outside of Tennis.X? You accused us of collaborating together and I made a joke out of your accusation.

FYI, Voicemale 1 has earned my respect because he defends his player and he does so using logical arguments and stats to back him up. He’s also independent of getting together with the gang, i.e., other Nadal fans, as most Fed fans are prone to do, and it’s for those reasons he’s earned my respect — in other words Voicemale 1 can stand alone, and he doesn’t need a posse to get his back, capiche?

It seems to me that there’s some silent competition that’s ongoing between Fed fans as to who could rise quicker and more robustly to his defense, with each one outdoing the other, by presenting the strongest and more caustic/abrasive argument and/or defense and more concise stats. It’s an exercise in futility guys. You can defend your guy minus the demonizing of other posters and dart piercing.


Giner Says:

I would also like to know why no Spaniards other than Nadal have been reaching the late second week (QFs and beyond) at Wimbledon on this ‘slow’ grass in recent years? Why did Del Potro lose in straight sets in the second round? These are the kind of guys you’d expect to do well on slow courts. Fastballers like Roddick, Federer and Murray should struggle on slow courts right? Somehow they were the ones left at the business end of the tournaments.

There has to be an explanation for this. The clay specialists do decently but none of them (except Nadal) threaten to win the title when they go to SW19. But you look at the genuine contenders with the bookies, and they are the ones who like fast hard courts. What’s going on?

And when was the last time (what year) you recalled the Wimbledon courts being ‘fast’? Who were the finalists that year?


No GOAT Says:

Perfectly said Voicemale1! Top post. Someone is talking sense at last!

This has been a fun read so far.

Voicemale1 Says:

Fed is GOAT:

Having read all of your posts here regarding your “data”, your points, your statements, etc., they all amount to little more the a collection of shibboleths: This era was weak vs. that one; these stats are what count and those don’t. All of it amounting to you acting as some kind of attorney for Federer in this “Federer as GOAT vs. The World”, as though it were a court case that must be won because Life or Death hangs in the balance. None of it matters. This whole idea of GOAT is an idiotic claim to begin with – which is the poitn a lot of people have been making all along. It’s one thing to admire a player, or their career. But the notion of such a nonsensical thing as a GOAT player is pointless. GOAT is some sort of imagined moniker; a self-indulgent fantasy no more tangible than the Man in the Moon.


Long Live the King Says:

Von:

Lighten up! That post was made in jest! I swear on everything that is Holy that I am not in love with you. We will see who the gullible one is when Rafa wipes the AA stadium with Roddick. (Just so you know, i am not saying literally, though that would be cool as well!) We will see how Nadal friendly you will be when Rafa whacks roddick as regularly as Fed has been thrashing him.

Fed is NOT afraid :

That H2H is biased in Nadal’s favor because Nadal has not been able to produce as consistent results on the hardcourts as Roger has been able to put up on clay. In 20 meetings between players, ideally they should be 5 each on hardcourt, grass, clay and indoors. Federer has the edge on all surfaces except clay where Nadal is far better (on the fast indoor courts, Roger is far better than Nadal. On Grass, Roger’s exquisite game will trump Nadal’s brute force game more often than not. Hardcourts are a toss up with Roger having a thin edge. As I posted above, in reality more than 50% of their rivalry has been played on Nadal’s best surface – clay. Contrast that with only 10% of the games on the faster indoor courts (where nadal has not won a set off federer) Add to that, the fact that Nadal is 5yrs younger than Roger and that is a huge advantage in Nadal’s favor. It is like saying Roger is better than agassi because he has a 8-3 record against him (though, even without that argument, Roger’s best will trump agassi’s best).

Of what I have seen from Roger and Rafa so far, I can safely say Roger playing at his best will win 8/10 matches on indoor carpet/hardcourt, 7/10 matches on grass, 6/10 on hardcourt and 2/10 on clay against Rafa at his best.

Just because Rafa loses to all and sundry (tsonga/blake/gonzo/berdych/johannason) and Roger doesnt spread his losses so effectively doesnt diminish Roger’s results. In the last 6yrs there has been only one player who can match Roger at his best and that is Rafa. Rest all need Roger’s game to be off to have their way. Even Superman has kryptonite, so it is ok for Roger to have Rafa but that doesn’t make Roger any less of a super hero.

When all is said and done, I think Roger and Rafa will end the game as No.1 and No.2 GOAT. The order will depend on how close Rafa can run Roger with the GS count and weeks at no.1

Giner:

Wimbledon in particular and the ATP tour in general have moved towards slower conditions at the start of the decade, somewhere around 2002-2003. There were a lot of articles about Henman having tiffs with the Wimbledon officials for them slowing the courts down. The key thing to remember is that the SW19 courts are slowER compared to the 90s. They are still faster than the parisian clay or the courts down under. Presently US open has the fastest courts of all the 4 slams, is what I have read on a few tennis-wise discussion boards. FYI, ferrero has been in a couple of QFs at SW19.


jane Says:

Ferrero has also been deep at the USO – the finals, I believe. So he’s an all-court player, not only a “clay specialist”.


jane Says:

vared, I thought you might enjoy the following article on Rafa and Djoko’s matches. I am not sure if you’re checking in these days, but just in case, here’s the link:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/220439-top-nadaldjokovic-match-ups


Von Says:

Long Live:

Von: “Lighten up! That post was made in jest! I swear on everything that is Holy that I am not in love with you.”

I’d like to end my discussion on this topic but before I stop, I’d like to clear the air on a few thing as follows:

With respect to the above quote, of course I know you’re not in love with me. Come on, get serious, do we even know each other? LOL. That was said in jest with respect to your insistence on including me in your Federer defense posts. Hey, you wanted passionate responses from me, so I indulged you with some humor, and that’s all it was.

You had mentioned a few days ago (without using my name) that ‘Roddick fans’ are trying to get jane and Voicemale1 to help out in their Federer attacks. For the record, I don’t need help from anyone, I’m quite capable of defending Roddick all by myself.

I’m sure you’re aware by now, that jane has been posting here much longer than I have, and has been very vociferous in her posts with regard to her likes/dislikes on many topics, one of them being Federer. It’s no secret that she’s not entranced with Federer the person nor his tennis, and has said so repeatedly. As a matter of fact that’s one constant for jane, because at times I’ve found her to be ambivalent on several occasions, where she’s prone to contradictions, and can be easily swayed, but aren’t we all? That said, I like jane but I’d be utterly foolish as to want to seek to form an alliance with her on any topic where I’d need some support. Whatever jane states with respect to Federer is totally unsolicited from me, as she is her own person, and she’s also a Djokovic fan, a player I don’t support, but have defended on many occasions. Thus, to accuse me of trying to get jane on my side, is so wrong on many levels, and for the reasons I’ve stated above.

Re: Voicemale1, (hereinafter referred to as “VM1″)I’m in no way trying to get him on my side for Roddick support either. FYI, I’m cognizant that VM1 does not appreciate Roddick the person, nor his type of tennis, but that does not mean I’m so small-minded as to let that cloud my thinking/judgment, that VM1′s a person who’s got the courage (chutzpah) of his convictions and there’s substance to his character. VM1 is unwavering in his support of Nadal, but he also has the facts to back up his arguments, and it’s why I respect him. Therefore, Long Live, despite my awareness of VM1′s dislike for Roddick, my compliments with reference to his posts are genuine, and it shows that I’m broad-minded enough to be able to do so despite his dislike for Roddick.

“We will see how Nadal friendly you will be when Rafa whacks roddick as regularly as Fed has been thrashing him.”

We will see won’t we? Even though I know there’s the possibility that Nadal will beat Roddick, it doesn’t change my views on wanting hm to return to the tour.

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’m first and foremost a Tennis fan, and as such, I like to see the rivalries and challenges the players face. True, I don’t want my fave to lose, but is there any shame losing to Nadal? If there is, then the ‘TMF’ should be walking around with his head down in the sand, similar to that of an Ostrich.

I personally like it that there’s someone who can keep your guy in check, or else it would become pretty boring just watching him dominate and grow more airs and graces. It seems to me that some Fed fans would like to see Nadal off the tour so that Federer could continue to dominate forever, but if that’s so, then it shows me they are not too confident of Fed’s ability to do so with Nadal in the picture, nor are true fans of the sport of tennis. I wonder why?

Last evening I watched the ’08 Hamburg final, Federer v. Nadal, and I can’t put into words how much it hit home that Nadal most probably will not be able to return to the tour with the same explosiveness and/or effectiveness as in ’08. Again, as a tennis fan, I feel very sad if this were to happen, because I feel tennis needs Nadal to challenge the top players and keep tennis interesting, ergo, I’m hoping for the best for this young warrior.

Long Live, I’ll now put a period to our discussions, and hope it will not become necessary in the future for me to have to defend myself against your unwarranted attacks on my character. However, if you feel the urge to do so, I only have one request of you, and that is, please do so with a little more class and a lot less venom. It’s not necessary to lambaste me with the unjustified name-calling and/or demonizing. (And, I say this to ALL who dislike me/my comments, please refrain from the demonizing because it doesn’t make me look bad, it does the reverse.) Anyway Long Live, I want you to know that despite all that has gone before, I bear you no ill will, and wish you and your fave the best and enjoyable tennis viewing. Thank you for your time.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Voicemale1

I love some of your posts. It is very interesting to read something written by someone who is delusional, knows it sometimes, yet continues on. So please, keep on writing your delusional stories that have no relationship to reality.

Skorocel,

Your comments are less delusional, but you have drunk the nadal koolaid nevertheless. So please, keep vomiting it out.

Long live the King has already posted the arguments that seal this debate. People who don’t want to agree can disagree, it doesn’t matter.

Anyone with half a brain (actually, less than 5% of a brain will do as well) should be able to see it clearly – Federer is the best male tennis player of all time. I know, it sucks (you Nadal koolaiders and Sampras koolaiders) – but life is tough, right?


SG Says:

Long Live the King Says:

As for the GOAT – it is Roger, Borg, Laver and then Sampras. With 12 slams nadal can jump over sampras in that list. Sampras is a little 1 dimensional compared to the others. He was lucky that there were no Nadal, murray or djokovic in the middle of the 90s. Sampras had a competition free ride between 95 and 99. His biggest rival was Ivanisevic. need we say more?

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

Do you really believe this or do you just say this kind of stuff to get people going? If you really believe this, please send some of the Kool-Aid you’re drinking my way. I could use a swig…or two!


Von Says:

“Sampras had a competition free ride between 95 and 99. His biggest rival was Ivanisevic. need we say more?”

Didn’t Federer turn pro in 1998?


SG Says:

And for what it’s worth Long Live, if Federer wants a lesson in how to behave after a loss, he should’ve watched Roddick after the Wimby final or Tom Watson yesrterday after his loss at the British Open. Both class guys acting with complete dignity. Not bawling like baby who just had their lollipop stolen. As Watson said yesterday, “What’s with the glum faces, it’s not like someone died”. Exactly. Let’s hope Federer remembers this the next time he gets tarred and feathered by Nadal.


SG Says:

Von,

It seems there are new Federer fanatics coming out of the woodwork everyday doesn’t it? And I love the stuff that comes out. Nadal’s 12 majors would equal Sampras’ 14. OK…How about this? Nadal’s 12 majors are better than Fed’s 18 or 19 because Fed’s competition from 2003 to 2006 looks a lot like the competition level at this year’s event at Indianapolis. I’m sure LL will dispute this….vehemently.

And tossing around facts like “Federer turned pro in 1998″…you can’t say stuff like this. It really hurts people’s feelings. I mean the fact that Federer was a nobody for his first 5 years as pro unlike say Sampras or Becker. And the fact that Becker won Wimbledon when Lendl and McEnroe and Wilander were around. You can’t say stuff like that. It’s inflammatory. Or that Sampras ended Lendl’s 8 year run to the USO finals or that he dispatched of Agassi when he was not even yet 19. Please…don’t say stuff like that OK. It really gets the Federer folk in a big snit. They don’t like hearing that their guy wasn’t doing much when Agassi, Sampras and Kuerten were around. Please…be more sensitive. LOL!!!


fed is afraid Says:

roger-rafa-7-13
roger-murray-2-6
anyone that believes fed is the GOAT is deluding themselves. he isn’t even the best of his own era.
facts are facts, you can’t change them.


SG Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:

Anyone with half a brain (actually, less than 5% of a brain will do as well) should be able to see it clearly – Federer is the best male tennis player of all time. I know, it sucks (you Nadal koolaiders and Sampras koolaiders) – but life is tough, right?

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

no need to use 5% of my brain. i need less than 1% of my brain to see the following:

1) roger doesn’t have “roger slam” or a calendar slam. Laver won his calendar slam in 1969 with everyone in the mix.
2) he has a losing record against two his most serious rivals and when it’s all said and done, it may be three rivals.
3) Fed’s competition while winning his first 8 or 9 majors was simply lousy.

now…if you’re using 5% of your brain and you’re coming up with this “Fed is the GOAT” stuff, than clearly, your 5% isn’t working better than my 1% and that’s not a compliment.


SG Says:

Poor Ivan Lendl. If he’d been in his prime from 2003 to 2006, he’d have been the GOAT. Then again, he kept on running into…let’s see:

Mac/Connors/Borg/Becker/Edberg/Sampras/Agassi

Yup…competition has nothing to do with how many majors you win. Not at all. How could I have been so stupid. How many of the above people are absolute legends? Try all of them.


Fed is GOAT Says:

SG,

the 5% was for you!! normal people could do it with a fraction of 1%.

Long live the King has outlined everything very well. Perhaps you would love to read it again:

15.

That’s the number. One more than Sampras. That seals it. Along with the tons of other records. All four slams, 4 finals in each slam, 21 consecutive semis, 10 consecutive finals, 16/17 finals, etc. etc. etc. etc.

Oh, and Sampras never won the french. In fact, never even came close. Just one semi, 24-13 at the French. How miserable on one surface….

As for competition? Sampras retained No 1 ranking in 1996, 97, 98 with just 65, 55, and 61 match wins. That was poor competition (and no top player was around at that time, including Agassi!). in 1998, Sampras won just one slam and just 4 tournaments, total, yet was no 1! Now that’s some competition….

1993-95? Again, except for Agassi, no top player playing at their peak. just a washed out becker (never won wimbledon after 1989), or a washed out edberg (never won a slam after 1992). Yeah right, that’s some competition.

Lendl? I’ll take your point. The poor guy was unlucky. He faced the best at their peak. Sampras? The complete opposite of that.

Federer decimated everyone from 2004-07, so by definition, you are not going to see multiple slam winners in his era. That’s just plain (and very simple) logic. If someone THAT good shows up, wins 11 slams in 4 years – then what’s left for others? In no other era has there been such dominance. So be definition, others will look weaker. Otherwise Roddick would have had a record like Becker or Edberg. So would Hewitt and Safin.

Of course, given your past posts, it seems like very difficult material for you, SG, and others like you on this board (there are many!)


jane Says:

“Federer decimated everyone from 2004-07″: This is an overstatement. Yes, Fed was dominant; however, he didn’t “decimate” “everyone”. For example:

Safin did win the AO in 2005, in fantastic style too.

Also, Rafa began dominating on clay in 2005 and continued to do so through to 2008, (even this year if you don’t count the upset at RG).

Murray beat Fed back in 2006, showing even then he knew how to beat Fed.

I’d say Fed’s level dropped somewhat beginning in 2007. Not a lot, but enough that players could beat him and push him.

Canas beat Fed twice in 2007, so did Nalbandian; Djoko beat him once, so did Volandri.

So he didn’t “decimate” everyone. There were also a lot of close matches between him and Roddick during those years.


Von Says:

SG:
“Von,

It seems there are new Federer fanatics coming out of the woodwork everyday doesn’t it? And I love the stuff that comes out”
__________________
What can I say, OY VEY and OY VEY. I’m getting it both ways, for being a Sampras and a Roddick fan. LOL.

Let’s not forget also, that Federer only became the second best on clay, AFTER, Guga, Coria, and Puerta, were out of the picture. And, Fed has a losing record v. Simon.


jane Says:

Also, Rafa beat Fed the first time they played in 2004, on hard courts. Here’s the video. It is striking how much Rafa attacks here, coming into the net to finish off points, etc. The end result was 6-3, 6-3 Nadal.

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


Von Says:

jane: On Saturday evening the Tennis Channel re-broadcasted the ’08 Hamburg SF, Djoko v. Nadal, and that match lasted over 3 hours also. I think if Nadal meets Djoko in the future in the SFs in MS tourneys and Nadal wins, he’ll be too tired out for the finals due to their lengthy matches.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘Let’s not forget also, that Federer only became the second best on clay, AFTER, Guga, Coria, and Puerta, were out of the picture. ‘

so Nadal is the BEST clay courter only because Guga, Coria, Puerta went out of the picture? And why was Roddick not even able to crack a semi at RG or win a masters series in absence of these greats?


SG Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:

“Federer decimated everyone from 2004-07….”

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

Yes he did. He dominated a bunch of nobodies in a dead era. “Decimated” is such an appropo word because most of the guys Fed played from 2003 to 2007 barely had a pulse. Sampras’ era may not have been the strongest on record but consider this:

On grass the following players were threasts:

1) Edberg (2 W’s)
2) Becker (3 W’s)
3) Ivanisevic (1 W)
4) Krajicek (1 W)
5) Stich (1 W)
6) Agassi (1 W)
7) Phillipoussis (who Fed actually beat in a
final)…(No W’s, but dangerous in the 90′s)
8) Rafter (No W’s, but with his game, the only reason he didn’t win was the depth of the grass field)

On clay,

1) Kuerten (3 FO’s)
2) Courier (2 FO’s)
3) Agassi (1 FO)
4) Bruguera (2 FO’s)
5) Muster (1 FO)
6) Chang (1 FO)

On a hardcourt:

1) Agassi (2 USO’s, 4 AO’s)
2) Becker (1 USO, 2 AO’s)
3) Edberg (2 USO’s, 2 AO’s…might have won one of them on grass at Kooyong)
4) Lendl (…though admittedly, Ivan wasn’t in his prime) (3 USO’s, 2 AO’s)
5) Rafter (2 USO’s)
6) Courier (2 AO’s)

By surface, the era was much tougher to win in. A lot of excellent players on each surface. Quite a few big time Hall of Famers in fact. And I’m probably missing a few players here and there.

Who are the threats of the caliber above save Nadal for Federer from 2003-2007. On clay, Gaudio and Nadal. On grass…stop me from laughing!!! On a hardcourt…stop me from laughing even harder! Giving Fed some credit, he has won now with Murray, Nadal and Djokovic in the mix. And now it appears that Roddick has entered the fray too. Fed’s major success has been damaged by both Djoko and Nadal when he has run into them. When confronted by excellent players, his dominance isn’t all that dominant. Facts are facts.


Skorocel Says:

Thanks, jane! Was looking for that video for ages… Quite striking – especially when we consider it was only “virgin Nadal” vs prime Fed :-) Heck, the Spaniard didn’t even wear his trademark “capri pants” back then :-)


Skorocel Says:

Long Live the King: “As I posted above, in reality more than 50% of their rivalry has been played on Nadal’s best surface – clay.”

It’s 11 on clay vs 9 on non-clay, to be precise. In other words, it’s almost 50:50 – yet their H2H is 13:7 in Nadal’s favour… Can you explain why?


fed is afraid Says:

roger’s 15 slams are devalued currency.


tennisontherocks Says:

SG, you include Gaudio as threat on clay, but not Moya, Ferrero, Coria, Nalbandian or Davydenko? Roddick has not won wimbledon, but he is not a threat there? what exactly is your criterion for a ‘threat’?

For me, ‘threat’ is any players who is capable of beating you. Sampras pretty much owned Kafelnikov ( a 2 slam winner you forgot in your list), but lost to him at RG and missed a big chance for RG title. Roger has lost only 1 match to Berdych and Blake. But those losses cost him olympic singles medal. Navratilova has very dominant H2H vs Sukova, but Sukova stopped her calendar slam in australia. Had Graf managed to beat ASV in 1989 RG, she could have ended up with 2 straight years of grand slam. There are few examples, where in spite of a highly 1 sided H2H, their turned out to be a legit threat for a day and managed to leave a permanent mark.

Roger has won 15 slams in short span of last 6 years. Add to that Nadal’s 6 slams. This type of dual dominance has been a real rarity in the men’s tennis. You can look at it as ‘weak’ era dominated by 2 very good, but not so great, players or 2 all time greats who have crushed dreams of so many others. I think the right answer is mix of both. Sometimes one gets lucky in terms of who you play or don’t play, but if you manage that 15 times, its an achievement.


SG Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:

Anyone with half a brain (actually, less than 5% of a brain will do as well) should be able to see it clearly – Federer is the best male tennis player of all time. I know, it sucks (you Nadal koolaiders and Sampras koolaiders) – but life is tough, right?

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

Fed is GOAT…you first said the above….then you said this…

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

SG,

the 5% was for you!! normal people could do it with a fraction of 1%.

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

Well, Fed is GOAT, this is the problem! You’re not normal people. Turn up the brain power to 100% please. Hopefully at that point, you’ll get it. If not, well, all I can offer is my pity.


SG Says:

tennisontherocks Says:
SG, you include Gaudio as threat on clay, but not Moya, Ferrero, Coria, Nalbandian or Davydenko? Roddick has not won wimbledon, but he is not a threat there? what exactly is your criterion for a ‘threat’?

Roger has won 15 slams in short span of last 6 years. Add to that Nadal’s 6 slams. This type of dual dominance has been a real rarity in the men’s tennis. You can look at it as ‘weak’ era dominated by 2 very good, but not so great, players or 2 all time greats who have crushed dreams of so many others. I think the right answer is mix of both.

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

Moya had his major success in the late 90′s. In fact, between 1999 and 2003, when Fed wasn’t yet dominant, Moya failed to win a single major. Moya was no longer a threat when Fed faced him. If anything, Fed was more of a threat in the Sampras era than the Federer one.

Davydenko and Nalbandian are career “almosts” rather than threats. They rarely if ever get to a point where they are dangers for Federer. Ferrero hasd his best year in 2003. He fell off the map after that and not because of Federer.

I’ll give you Coria. The statement “I think the right answer is mix of both” is correct.


SG Says:

tennisontherocks…

You see, all I’d like to hear from the Fed-heads in here is that Fed’s competition from 2003-2007 (even 2006) was less than stellar. That’s all. I’m not saying the Sampras played in an era like Lendl did. Sampras had some good draws to be sure. He played Pioline in a Wimbledon and USO final. He played in Sjeng Shalken in the ’02 semis at the USO. Definitely some favorable situations. And there are several others to be sure. But, to get the fanatics in here to admit that their guy Federer had a relatively easy road for a good stretch of his career. It’s like their keyboards will catch fire or something.


fed is afraid Says:

as someone above said roger is the LOAT.
and roger owes a great deal to rafa’s knees.
if rafa had had the sense to cut back some of his tournaments, roger wouldn’t have 15 slams.
so roger should send a note of thanks to nadal.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘SG:
Davydenko and Nalbandian are career “almosts” rather than threats. They rarely if ever get to a point where they are dangers for Federer’

These two were actually biggest threats to Roger’s path to final at RG than others (Coria/Gaudio have been a non-factor after their 2004 final). Davydenko was ahead in every set in their 2007 match and Nalbo was up a set in 2006 before retiring. So they may be less accomplished than others, but were threat to Roger on that day.

If I understand correctly, you consider a guy with a better career as a bigger threat. I think that stat is surely one factor weighing on your mind. But there are so many other things that influence the outcome of one match. If you still win 15 slams, you earned it. But yeah, some of Fed fans make too much of it and try to diminish Sampras’s 14 slams. That’s wrong, too.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘SG – But, to get the fanatics in here to admit that their guy Federer had a relatively easy road for a good stretch of his career. It’s like their keyboards will catch fire or something.’

I understand your frustration, but the fanatics are there on both sides of the fence and each side feels that the other side is more mean and vicious :) so this debate is never going to end.


dynamo Says:

repost: anyone know what type of skirt Nike is designing for Federer to wear at the US Open? Bueller???? Bueller????


Fed is GOAT Says:

SG, Skorocel, and others,

It really hurts, ha? Fed’s 15 slams? It’s really clear from your vicious attacks and wrong posts. I can understand. Your boy Sampras is not the leader of the pack any more. Some foreigner comes and takes it.

My sympathies……

I can’t imagine what you will do when it hits 16 next! Don’t end up hurting yourself too much. Try and take it as adults. There are therapists for this kind of stuff……


Fed is GOAT Says:

And let me just add one more thing that has not been brought up lately:

Federer-Sampras H2H – 1-0, that too on grass, that too at wimbledon, that too when Sampras was the defending and 7-time champion, and two years before Federer even won his first slam…. Those were the days when Federer would lose to almost anybody….


No GOAT Says:

Well done SG!! Keep giving these fed fans some hard facts! Must be hard for them to swallow.

Dead era indeed! At least pete sampras re-wrote the record books in a “competitive” era. He played specialists from each surface. Not just one, and majority of players were multiple GS holders and he had to play each and every one of them for 2 weeks from round 1 leading to the final during a GS tournament. Unlike today, where the competition begins from the QTR final and onwards. What a joke. Tennis today is just not the same as what it used to be. Lets slow down the courts, balls, improve racket technology, rackets you just cant miss with today, and give all these nobodies a little advantage.

SG Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:

“Federer decimated everyone from 2004-07….”

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

Yes he did. He dominated a bunch of nobodies in a dead era. “Decimated” is such an appropo word because most of the guys Fed played from 2003 to 2007 barely had a pulse. Sampras’ era may not have been the strongest on record but consider this:

On grass the following players were threasts:

1) Edberg (2 W’s)
2) Becker (3 W’s)
3) Ivanisevic (1 W)
4) Krajicek (1 W)
5) Stich (1 W)
6) Agassi (1 W)
7) Phillipoussis (who Fed actually beat in a
final)…(No W’s, but dangerous in the 90’s)
8) Rafter (No W’s, but with his game, the only reason he didn’t win was the depth of the grass field)

On clay,

1) Kuerten (3 FO’s)
2) Courier (2 FO’s)
3) Agassi (1 FO)
4) Bruguera (2 FO’s)
5) Muster (1 FO)
6) Chang (1 FO)

On a hardcourt:

1) Agassi (2 USO’s, 4 AO’s)
2) Becker (1 USO, 2 AO’s)
3) Edberg (2 USO’s, 2 AO’s…might have won one of them on grass at Kooyong)
4) Lendl (…though admittedly, Ivan wasn’t in his prime) (3 USO’s, 2 AO’s)
5) Rafter (2 USO’s)
6) Courier (2 AO’s)


No GOAT Says:

Not to mention the good spaniard players that were around as well during there prime such as moya, albert costa, alex corretja, Juan Carlos Ferrero and also Chilean marcelo rios.


Long Live the King Says:

SG :

Your holier-than-thou posts are nauseating. You dont need any extra Kool-AID. You already had a lot of it before you posted your no-brainer posts.

If you read the many posts that were made from the beginning, you wouldn’t be flaunting out these edbergs and beckers and couriers who were all done winning before Sampras started his “dominance” How come Sampras won ZERO slams between 90 US open and the 93 wimbledon? when edberg, courier and stich raked in their majors? Oh yea! He wanted them to win those so they could give him very very serious competition through out the 90s. The fact is Sampras started winning in 93 after courier and edberg and becker’s game started declining – which I am sure you will try to convince us, was due to Sampras.

Forget about getting Fed Fanatics to admit anything, I am just glad you let us know that Sampras had easy draws. Looks like the Kool-Aid wore off, to present us with something more rare than Federer’s dominance – a moment of sanity from you.

And why were Rafter or Muster or Kuerten or courier factors? Because Sampras let them be – he was not as good as Federer to sweep 3slams a year year in 3years. Hence every tom, dick and harry could win majors. Not so, in the Federer Era. You can beat all you want – but Federer will be waiting there on the business weekend. Can you say the same for Sampras? May be at Wimbledon. Federer has been in 21 consecutive SFs at Grandslams. When was the last time a guy won a slam without beating Roger? 04 French? Your competition is as strong as you allow it to be. Fed DECIMATED his (Yea Jane, you can keep grasping at straws, but in the ultra-competitive era of modern tennis, Fed’s 04-07 3-slam + Masters cup winning/single digit loss years count as decimation.) So yea, blame him all you want for lack of competition. He kicked out all the players from his generation (14-7 with hewitt, 10-2 against safin and 19-2 against Roddick). So what he gets caught by players more than 5yrs younger than him and all future HOF? How does this make his competition any weak than the washed out players list you doled out as Sampras’ Competition? Agassi was no factor from 95-98. He was more of a factor post 2000 when Sampras *SURPRISE* retired!

Infact it is Sampras’ competition that was weak considering the fact that players like rafter, kafelnikov, rios and kuerten cant hold a candle to the all-surface talent of murray, nadal and Djokovic. Of which Nadal is the only guy who can match Roger at his best. Murray and Djokovic need Fed to be off his A-game to have a chance.

Keep sipping your sampras/hate-fed KOOL-aid. Sampras is long gone from the GOAT list. I am sure you have no problem if I amend my list to include Lendl ahead of Sampras as well, after listening to your utterly convincing arguments! In a couple of years Nadal will kick Sampras off any non-american’s top 5 GOAT list. That would be Fed, Borg, Laver, Lendl and Nadal.


Long Live the King Says:

Von:

Awwww! Now you are making me fall in love ;) I wish the same for you and Roddick till he meets Roger or Rafa. Sorry, cant wish against those two!

And think about this, dont you think Rafa’s “return” will only make sense when he beats home-boy roddick at the US-OPEN? Now that completes a real return to Tennis and REAL tennis-fans, dont you think? :D

Getting more serious, I dont mean to say you and VM1 and Jane have secretive “tennis-x based” personal meetings every day, but the common glue that binds a Rafa KAD and Djokovic fan (ahem! who is an ex-Roddick fan) and a Roddick fan is – BLANK. Fill it up. Lets put it this way – How would you like it if I said “Roddick is impotent and he runs to Mardy Fish’s house every night to beg fish to satisfy a-rod’s wife?” or a similar thing about Djokovic, Tipsarevic and Djoko’s girl friend?

FYI, your GOOD friend VM1 said a similar thing about Roger and I dont hear a peep from you or Jane who are ready to jump and teach Fed KADS all sorts of moral lessons? I guess we all have different standards for people we like, uh?


fed is afraid Says:

lendl is an american.


No GOAT Says:

Long Live the King: – Pete Sampras says:

“How come Sampras won ZERO slams between 90 US open and the 93 wimbledon?”

Did you forget who won the US mens Open in 1990? Did you forget who sampras had to play day in and out to get to the final?

Federer played his first wimbledon and lost after the 4th round. Played the match of his life against sampras and that was it.


jane Says:

Long Live…

I thought Voicemale1′s comment about Mirka was a bad joke, and didn’t comment on it.

But I agreed with Voicemale1′s analysis of the GOAT category, and his critiques of the recent & ubiquitous Fed ads and questionable fashion statements. In addition, Voicemale1 made complimentary statements about Federer (including expounding on the merits of his great forehand) with which I concurred, but those were overlooked, unfortunately.

You say – “in the ultra-competitive era of modern tennis, Fed’s 04-07 3-slam + Masters cup winning/single digit loss years count as decimation”

Today, I merely took issue with the following generalization – that Federer “decimated” “everybody” from 04-07. Roger’s dominance was unquestionably outstanding, but that is nonetheless an overstatement.

The first word that I take issue with is “everybody” – the glaring exception is, of course, Rafa (see video evidence posted earlier of their first meeting… on hardcourts – doesn’t look like Fed is doing much destroying then). As of the end of 2007, Rafa was 8-6 versus Fed. And there were other players who could regularly gain the upperhand versus Roger, like Nalbandian, for instance. So the word “eveybody” is too general.

The second word that is arguable is “decimated”; this generally means killed or destroyed. And although it is true that Federer did, indeed, “destroy” a lot of his competition, there were many guys, who, even in losses, came very, sometimes VERY, close to the winning, and on many occasions too. So therefore, Fed won, but he didn’t “destroy” in the literal sense of that word.

Why not qualify your statements with something more realistic? For instance, ”

Federer dominated the majority of his competition from 2004-2007.”

That statement is true and not hyperbolic.

Anyhow, apologies for the semantics, but certain ways of describing things are simply more accurate.

I realize there is no tennis player who has been the subject of more encomia in the history of the sport, but it doesn’t hurt to just, you know, “take it down a 1000″ or two.


Von Says:

Long Live:

“Awwww! Now you are making me fall in love ;)”

You are, gosh darn it all, I’m succeeding at last. Can’t wait for our next encounter. LOL.

“I wish the same for you and Roddick till he meets Roger or Rafa. Sorry, cant wish against those two!

“And think about this, dont you think Rafa’s “return” will only make sense when he beats home-boy roddick at the US-OPEN? Now that completes a real return to Tennis and REAL tennis-fans, dont you think? :D ”

Now that would break my heart if Nadal were to beat up on him at the USO.

Please tell me why you dislike (note I won’t say hate) Roddick so much? I mean, what has he done to you, because I don’t understand the constant dissing and bad wishes? Fess up, I’m all ears.

“Getting more serious, I dont mean to say you and VM1 and Jane have secretive “tennis-x based” personal meetings every day, but the common glue that binds a Rafa KAD and Djokovic fan (ahem! who is an ex-Roddick fan) and a Roddick fan is – BLANK. Fill it up.”

Please help me out here, I’m not too familiar (call me disinterested/dumb) with Internet acronyms, but what is a KAD? anyway, I don’t know why you think there’s some bonding taking place. All I want is for Nadal to return to the tour. Can’t you see that? I’ll let you in on a secret, I’ll be very mad at him if he beats Roddick, but I’m powerless to change that if it does happen. Does that bit of truth make you feel better?

“Lets put it this way – How would you like it if I said “Roddick is impotent and he runs to Mardy Fish’s house every night to beg fish to satisfy a-rod’s wife?” or a similar thing about Djokovic, Tipsarevic and Djoko’s girl friend?”

Truthfully, it wouldn’t bother me considering the context of the whole thread. When Roddick began dating Decker tons of ugly stuff was mentioned, and I overlooked them as the posters being crude and/or classless. As a matter of fact I thought some of it very funny and felt a few were feeling envious that Andy got such a hot looking girl. Thus, why should it upset you so much ref VM1′s comments. It’s par for the course hon, and it certainly isn’t going to change anything with respect to Fed’s tennis, and his marital bliss, is it?

“FYI, your GOOD friend VM1 said a similar thing about Roger and I dont hear a peep from you or Jane who are ready to jump and teach Fed KADS all sorts of moral lessons? I guess we all have different standards for people we like, uh …”

FYI, VM1 is not my good friend, period. And, I don’t have any control over what jane and/or VM1 says or thinks — they are both individuals with individual thought processes. You can at least give me some kudos for not condoning VM1′s remarks, and who am I to chide him? He might slap me around, and I don’t think you or Federer would give one iota if that were to happen and/or rise to my defense.

Long Live, gimme a break will ya. I’m a very delicate female, thus easy and gently does it for me. LOL. Thanks.


No GOAT Says:

Thanks for sharing Jane. Great highlights! Just demolished him.

jane Says:

Also, Rafa beat Fed the first time they played in 2004, on hard courts. Here’s the video. It is striking how much Rafa attacks here, coming into the net to finish off points, etc. The end result was 6-3, 6-3 Nadal.

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


fed is afraid Says:

rafa was kicking roger’s ass from the beginning!!
i love it.
thanks for linking this!!


SG Says:

Long Live the King:

You need to calm down. Really. Take a couple of deep breaths. OK now…I’m going to straighten you out on some things:

1) I am not American so my appreciation of Sampras isn’t some nationalistic knee jerk reaction. I think the guy was the best tennis athlete I’ve ever seen and that includes Federer. I doubt that anyone in their right tennis might would argue that Sampras wasn’t the perfect tennis prototype. Tall, long armed, incredibly fast, agile, deft and versatile. While Federer is a great athlete, I don’t believe he possesses Sampras’ athleticism. This aspect of Sampras’ game had diminished when Fed played Sampras in 2001. One year before his retirement.

2) I have not been claiming Sampras to be the GOAT. Read my posts before you throw this kind of nonsense around. I’ve said “Federer is in the GOAT mix.” I’ve also said that I believe that the GOAT is either Federer of Laver. This is what I have said. Do you read what I write or are you still too blinded by your Federer love affair? Sampras’ clay court resume is not strong enough for him to be the GOAT. This being said, I do believe that prime to prime, I like Sampras’ chances against Federer on grass, decisively. I’d give the slight edge to Sampras at the USO and a more decisive edge to Fed at the AO where the surface slower. I think Fed would have owned Sampras on clay.

Even your call “Long Live the King” is hardly impartial. Hell, I half expect Federer to wear this on his shirt at the USO because he’s such a “humble” guy. Hope he doesn’t cry again if he loses the USO. I hope you don’t cry either.


tennisontherocks Says:

SG – ‘Hell, I half expect Federer to wear this on his shirt at the USO because he’s such a “humble” guy.’

Nah. Just spoke to Ann Wintour and at the US open the theme is ‘world’s greatest Dad’. If he wins Mirka will bring the baby on court with 16 painted on it. And Nike has started filming commercial where children of Tiger/Sampras/Jordan pay tribute to uncle Roger for winning 16th slam. oh, I am already choking up :)


SG Says:

tennisontherocks Says:

Nah. Just spoke to Ann Wintour and at the US open the theme is ‘world’s greatest Dad’. If he wins Mirka will bring the baby on court with 16 painted on it. And Nike has started filming commercial where children of Tiger/Sampras/Jordan pay tribute to uncle Roger for winning 16th slam. oh, I am already choking up :)

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

LOL!!! Thanks for reminding me. I’ll have my family size Kleenex box next to me for the finals of the USO to be sure. I think Roger’s gonna’ get the key to the city…or was it the Nobel Prize for being God’s Gift To Professional Sports. I can never keep this kind of stuff straight.

Given Tiger’s recent performance at Turnberry, he may have to now lower himself to polishing Roger’s trophy case to stay financially afloat. Those management a-holes at Nike. They are so fickle.


No GOAT Says:

SG Says:
“I think the guy was the best tennis athlete I’ve ever seen and that includes Federer. I doubt that anyone in their right tennis might would argue that Sampras wasn’t the perfect tennis prototype. Tall, long armed, incredibly fast, agile, deft and versatile. While Federer is a great athlete, I don’t believe he possesses Sampras’ athleticism.”

Amen to that! People who watched and followed pete’s career would easily agree on what SG said. I dont believe many feds fans wouldnt of and would never know how good he really was and what real tennis was all about.

The dominance of his brand of tennis is something the world will never see again see. He was beating multiple slam champions not pretenders!


Long Live the King Says:

SG:

Last I checked, tennis is played on different surfaces and not one or two surfaces. I disagree with you regarding Sampras being the perfect tennis prototype. That would still be Roger with Borg being the 2nd best. Sampras, I maintain, dominated washed up players and players who pale in comparison compared to the talent and abilities of players like Hewitt, Roddick, Safin and even the post 2000 version of agassi. This decade is tennis at its fiercest competitive levels and it is credit to Super Champs like Roger and Nadal that they can overcome such competition day in and day out. Hard to see Sampras come up with a slam with Rafa and Roger in a draw. These two are the most mentally strong and most athletically gifted players to have graced the game and they would not let Sampras get through the business weekend with any amount of silverware other than 2nd or 3rd best. Definitely not Roger who loves the fast serving and kamikaze style of play Sampras used to beat players like Ivanisevic. Besides, Roger totally dismantles big servers even on the fastest of surfaces and Sampras would be no exception. Once the ball is in play, Sampras’ game pales in comparison to the glorious shot-making that is Roger’s forte. No chance Sampras wins more than a handful of trophies ( and that is a big doubt too, given how Roger regularly eats and spits out these big serving fast paced players). To beat Roger, you got to have the Nadal, Borg type never-give-up, strong groundies based base-line game that is relentless and driven by un-ending stamina. Hewitt, canas and Nalbandian have successfully employed this style at various points to trouble Roger. Even murray and Djokovic have to rely on their defense to capitalise on a Roger’s bad day.

Here is how Roger would fare against Sampras:

9-1 at aussie open, 10-0 at Paris, 7-3 in London and 7-3 in New york. that is a 33/40 edge for Roger. 80-20 in Roger’s favor. Sampras has a little better chance against Nadal will have 60-40 edge, at the least, over Sampras and maybe even more if they play on the Wimbledon courts of this decade and not those from the last decade.


Long Live the King Says:

Last but not the least, I would totally love it if Fed wears that T-shirt. Maybe, with your permission, I will sell this idea to Nike. I, for one, have no problems with Roger/Nike’s fashion stunts. Of course, they will make mistakes and everybody might not like everything they do all the time. That is how fashion and most things in life, work. To each their own. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. The west might have a problem with Roger’s elitist persona, but the east totally loves it. His popularity in Asia, which is the future market for tennis, is ever on the rise and people are totally lapping up what Roger and Nike do fashion wise.

And “Humility” of the sort Nadal/Sampras exhibit is over-rated and clearly bordering on phony. Exhibit A : Sampras’ murky relation with the fairest player of them all – Pat Rafter.

Exhibit B: Nadal’s regular tiffs with players like Berdych and Soderling.

I would totally take Roger’s call-it-as-you-see-it persona, anytime over such phoniness that only results in strained relations with your colleagues. If Roger is not “humble”, I would rely on the media that hounds him every day and his colleagues who know him more personally than a certain no-body posting lame blogs on a tennis site, to judge his character! From your posts, there is no reason to believe, you have any special perception of what is humble and what is not. You are an average blogger with absolutely no special insights into either the game/life-style of tennis stars.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘No GOAT Says:
The dominance of his brand of tennis is something the world will never see again see. He was beating multiple slam champions not pretenders!’

Thanks for reminding. I am really really going to miss Pete Sampras’s finals vs Pioline, Goran, Todd Martin, Chang and Moya. Oh, the good old glory days of tennis :)

Look there is no denying the fact that Sampras playing at his offensive best is invincible on grass and would even make life miserable for someone like Nadal on clay. There were days when breaking his serve was like winning a lottery. But once you start getting looks on that serve and you are in the match. So the guy lost to many players who had no business beating him. Now I guess, finding a way to beating these so-called ‘pretenders’ is always better than loosing to them??? or those matches just don’t count as they were not multiple slam winners???


Long Live the King Says:

Von baby :

We might be finding some mutually happy place finally :) I promise to be gentle and delicate. ;)

My dislike for Roddick is nothing personal. Just been put off by a lot of anti-fed posters (much before you started posting) who posed as Roddick fans (then they shifted to Rafa fans and when Roger-Rafa relation was all pally, they shifted to Djokovic). I still include TD or Tam or whoever that poster in that category of posters. Definitely, you are not one of those and you have been as vehement a Roddick fan as I am a Roger fan. For that you have my respect and admiration. :)

Guess What! Your expressing your feelings this way

“Now that would break my heart if Nadal were to beat up on him at the USO.”

might even make it easier for me to take a Nadal or Roger or even both losing to A-Rod at the USO. Except of course unless those above mentioned posters start doing their evil dance, most probably, if and when Roger loses (which truth be told, is looking more realistic than ever after their superb Wimbledon finale! sorry for taking your thoughts there hun)

Regarding VM1′s tasteless and stupid rant, it doesn’t sound THAT bad, when you put it the way you did! (I can’t believe this is really happening, that I am getting convinced by you after all our jousts :D ) I think that’s a nice way to look at it, but I am sure you defended roddick in your unique passionate way, then! ANYWAYS ;) (you know I love that word) I shall let that VM dude get off with that crass remark for now.

“He might slap me around, and I don’t think you or Federer would give one iota if that were to happen and/or rise to my defense. ”

>>>>> Ooh! That equation has changed now dear! I dont know about Federer, but I would slap him silly if he were to do that. Count me in to rise against VM dude anytime from now on, unless I am busy with work and off tennis-x. You can include this SG guy and No goat guys in that list as well ;)

Here’s hoping our new-found romance lasts well and for a long time ;)


Long Live the King Says:

Jane :

Blame it on Von’s flirting and tweaking of my romance buttons, but I get what you are saying! I definitely love hyperbole, as you might have guessed and Dominating against majority in an english teacher’s book = decimating everybody in my book.

So we are on the same page :D

As an aside, I just love the way Roger’s game inspires most of the journalists and tennis audience to get poetic, hyperbolic and what not. I have seen very few sportsmen make a gladiatorial thing like sport seem so artistic and elegant. It is, as Roger would say, a pity if you don’t see that unique side of Roger’s game, but as you often say – Different strokes for different people. I am sure we all have (at least I hope we all do) some sportsman who makes watching him play generate the same feeling as reading a great book, or listening to some lovely music or watching nature’s many many beautiful, joyous and breath-taking creations.

To me Roger tops that list of players which includes sportsmen like Ali, Jordan, maradona, zidane, tendulkar, lara, warne, laxman, mark waugh (last four play cricket), bolt, phelps, nadia, heck even santoro and gasquet.


Long Live the King Says:

Tennis on the rocks :

For good or bad, I do not know, but you are one of my favorite posters on this blog, along with MMT and a few others. Keep those posts coming – make sure to make fun of other players too, alright? :)


SG Says:

Long Live the King Says:

9-1 at aussie open, 10-0 at Paris, 7-3 in London and 7-3 in New york. that is a 33/40 edge for Roger. 80-20 in Roger’s favor. Sampras has a little better chance against Nadal will have 60-40 edge, at the least, over Sampras and maybe even more if they play on the Wimbledon courts of this decade and not those from the last decade.

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

7-3 Federer against prime Sampras on grass. 7-3 Federer against prime Sampras at the USO?!? 9-1 Federer against Sampras at the AO?!?!? This ridiculously one sided and arrogant analysis leads me to believe that you are in fact either:

1) Roger Federer himself
2) Mirka
3) Extemely delusional
or
4) Just pulling my leg

Whatever the answer above is…I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Roger Federer is a tennis player. A great tennis player. One of the all time greats. He’s also a very sore loser and a less than classy champion and here are some examples:

1) This is a man who cried after a tennis loss and rained on the parade of the winner. I can’t remember anybody crying after losing a championship final.

2) He stomped off in a snit after his FO loss to Nadal when clearly, the fans in the stands that paid to see him play wanted to hear him speak. It’s not like he lost a heartbreaking five setter. The guy got blasted in straight sets. What about standing in front of the crowd and saying “Rafa kicked my butt today but I’ll be back to give it another go.”

3) The Enberg interview where he says nobody has made him better but he has raised the level of the sport. Wow…what humility.

4) The cutsie little US Open trophies he was weariing on his shoes at the USO a couple of years ago. Another sign of “Humble Roger” to be sure.

If this is his “call-it as-I-see-it” persona, he can stuff it. I’m calling it as I see it. This guy gets a free pass way too often. Athletes are people. They are prone to personality flaws like the rest of us. Humility is not a Federer strong point. In fact, I’d say it’s his achilles heel. I’d even go so far s to say he’s arrogantly overconfident.


SG Says:

LL,

And Federer positively struggled against Roddick who kept him at bay with his big serve. If you think that Sampras couldn’t have done the same with today’s racket technology you’re kidding yourself. The difference being that Sampras had a knack for breaking serve when he needed to. He was a more athletic Roddick is and that would have made all the difference.

And you know, Federer has had like not more than 2 or 3 service breaks in his last ten sets of the Wimbledon Finals tennis. And it’s not like Rafa is a big server. He was beaten off the ground on grass by a clay courter. Arguably the best clay courter ever. But still a clay courter. I like Sampras’ chances a lot in the high speed 90′s. He’d have done just fine against Roger.


SG Says:

tennisontherocks Says:

Thanks for reminding. I am really really going to miss Pete Sampras’s finals vs Pioline, Goran, Todd Martin, Chang and Moya. Oh, the good old glory days of tennis :)

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

He beat Goran on grass. Always a tough feat. He beat Moya when Moya was at his peak. Same for Chang. Admittedly, Pioline and Martin are not the creme-de-la creme. Then again, the same could be said of Fed’s wins over Soderling or Gonzales or Phillipousis or Nalbandian.


fed is afraid Says:

rafa has been making roger cry since the first time they played. soon nadal will be back; roger better stock up on some kleenex!!


Von Says:

Long Live:

Today was a difficult day for me where my brain was challenged to come up with some creative arguments, but upon reading your humorous post, I feel the stress just melting away and am enjoying the laughs. You know what, you could be a softie if you choose to, and I’d prefer to see you fight for your fave this way, where you’ll catch more flies with honey instead of riling up everyone. I’m falling in love with the new you. Remember, gently does it for me. LOL. (A smiley here — Tennis.X has disabled the emoticon).

“My dislike for Roddick is nothing personal. Just been put off by a lot of anti-fed posters (much before you started posting) who posed as Roddick fans (then they shifted to Rafa fans and when Roger-Rafa relation was all pally, they shifted to Djokovic).”

Ahh soo, now I got ya, and thanks for the explanation. But don’t you think you’re beating up on Andy and moi for those other posters’ behavior? I think that’s unfair to the die-hard Roddick fans such as myself. Anyway, it’s comforting to know, and see, you’re somewhat softening up toward Andy and myself, and a big hug to you for being open to reason. Truthfully, I’m very disappointed with those who jumped ship also, but you know what, it’s their prerogative and they can do whatever they want. I view it as their loss and not A-Rod’s.

“Definitely, you are not one of those and you have been as vehement a Roddick fan as I am a Roger fan. For that you have my respect and admiration. :)”

One of my greatest faults is that I have a fierce loyalty to those I like/love. It’s my Achilles heel alright, but I know of no other way. I’m an all or nothing person — no middle of the road for me. That said, you’d better be careful about whispering sweet nothings to me, because you’re going to have a huge problem on your hands of trying to extricate yourself from my ‘clinging ivy’ hands and/or heart if I were to become attached to you. LOL and ROTFL. And, I also expect you to stick to your promise of rising to my defense. You’ve now gotten a tough job on your hands doing that considering the many battles I have to fight.

“I think that’s a nice way to look at it, but I am sure you defended Roddick in your unique passionate way, then!

Of course I did, and I’ll do so again whenever the need arises.

“ANYWAYS ;) (you know I love that word)…”

So I was right all along, wasn’t I? You’ve got a good memory, and it also tells me you read my posts. You’re waaaaay too much and then some! (You’ve no idea how much I’m laughing, thinking about our past fierce word battles, OY VEY!!!!!.) LOL and LOL again. ‘Anyways’ (I’ve used it) I’m glad to see that there’s a lot of sweetness under that vinegar facade you try so hard to project, but I won’t hold you to any steadfast behavior because we all have character flaws and inconsistencies. I believe Sam Sheppard says it best:

SAM SHEPARD — American actor/playwright

“Character is an essential tendency. It can be covered up, it can be messed with, it can be screwed around with, but it can’t be ultimately changed. It’s the structure of our bones, the blood that runs through our veins.”

Hence, keep on fighting for your guy, and remember that I’m just one step behind fighting for mine. Oh man, did I write an epistle/dissertation. ha ha.


jane Says:

This is for Nadal AND Federer fans – a kind of tribute article that both camps should enjoy (particularly the statistic-lovers!):

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/220720-the-roger-and-rafa-supremacy


Von Says:

Long Live:

Addendum/footnote:

“Here’s hoping our new-found romance lasts well and for a long time ;)”

You betcha, can’t wait for the love to blossom and keep on blossoming, hon. However, I hope you know that the rose, the most beautiful flower the human eye can behold, which bespeaks of love, can be the most deceiving, pricking rather harshly due to its thorns. Translation: We’ll still fight occasionally, but hopefully not as word-wounding as in the past, and let’s keep away from the thorns. Is that a deal?


Von Says:

Long Live @ 11:33 pm, if it shows up twice, for some crazy reason, it says awaiting moderation.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘SG Says:

He beat Goran on grass. Always a tough feat. He beat Moya when Moya was at his peak. Same for Chang. Admittedly, Pioline and Martin are not the creme-de-la creme. Then again, the same could be said of Fed’s wins over Soderling or Gonzales or Phillipousis or Nalbandian.’

I was just reacting there to previous comments and sorry if I offended you. I actually have lot of respect for Martin/Pioline as players, enjoyed their games lot more than Goran or Chang and consider Sampras wins over them as important to his other slam wins. For me, you win a slam, you have earned it. There are always going to be some memorable wins and some not so memorable ones. The bigger challenge is to do so consistently over long run.

Roger is my most fav player to watch, while Sampras bored me to death. Roger has won 15 slams in 6 yrs, while Pete finished #1 for 6 yrs. I don’t have audacity to pick which one is greater achievement. But I don’t know if its really necessary for some posters to diminish either achievement by dissing quality of their opposition.

‘Long Live the King Says:
Tennis on the rocks :

For good or bad, I do not know, but you are one of my favorite posters on this blog, along with MMT and a few others. Keep those posts coming – make sure to make fun of other players too, alright? :)’

Thank you. will try to keep the humor alive :)


Skorocel Says:

tennisontherocks:

“The bigger challenge is to do so consistently over long run.”

Very true.

—————-

“Roger has won 15 slams in 6 yrs, while Pete finished #1 for 6 yrs. I don’t have audacity to pick which one is greater achievement.”

I would go for the former, but still, let’s not forget about Sampras’s LONGEVITY! He won his 1st GS at 19 and his last at 31 – which really speaks for itself. Roger’s only halfway there…


Fed is GOAT Says:

Amongst top players that faltered at the French:

Mcenroe made the french final, almost won it against lendl

Becker made 3 french semis

Edberg made the french final

Sampras just made one semi in 13 attempts, 24-13 match record at the FO.

I wonder why Sampras’s french record is even worse than Mcenroe, Becker and Edberg? Was his game THAT one-dimensional that once his serve was blunted, there was pretty much nothing else he could do? Less than 2 wins per appearance on average – that’s pretty horrible for someone being touted as one of the greats of tennis.

Perhaps some of Sampras’s fans might have more insights about this…..

ALSO:

Perhaps some of Sampras’s fans can explain how he could be No 1 in 1996, 97, 98 with just 65, 55, and 61 match wins. In 1998, he was year end no 1 with just 4 titles, including just one slam. Was the competition at that time SO WEAK that just winning a few tournaments and fewer matches was enough to become No 1? Seems much tougher now.

Perhaps someone can tell me another year when a player became year end No 1 with just 55 wins throughout the year. Has it ever happened? Or it just happened in 1997, lucky for Sampras?


jane Says:

I am admittedly not a points /ranking expert “Fed is Goat,” but wouldn’t (or couldn’t) getting to number 1 with those number of wins suggest that the competition was in fact VERY tough? In other words, that the points spread, and the title wins, were spread more widely amongst the players, and therefore the rankings points and number 1 race would’ve been closer?

I assume it could also mean that Sampras carried over points from the previous year, like Fed has done in recent years, having amassed a large points lead over the competition in previous seasons.


Fed is GOAT Says:

And while you are at it, perhaps you can also enlighten us about the top players that were at their peak from 1993-98:

1993-95: Agassi (mostly 1994-95 actually)
1996-98: nobody

perhaps you can look at the records of Becker and Edberg and decipher when they hit their peak, and which years were their declining years. Mcenroe, lendl, connors, wilander were pretty much (or actually) retired by 1993 anyway, so they are obviously ruled out.

FYI – becker won just one slam and was in just one other final after 1991. Edberg made just one slam final after 1992 – and that was in Jan 1993, AO….

Even Agassi was goofing off, even during some parts of 1993-95. He never played the AO till 1995 (when he won it on his first attempt!). he hardly played in 1993 – won just 33 matches in 1993, ended the year ranked 24. So he was really around only for the latter half of 1994 and all of 1995. Then again he goofed off. Never really came back in full force till 1999 – then he ended the year ranked No. 1, and Sampras never made No 1 after that.

Well, knowing Sampras fans, they are probably not going to talk about my posts – they will perhaps just resort to slander and name calling, since the evidence is irrefutable.


SG Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:

I wonder why Sampras’s french record is even worse than Mcenroe, Becker and Edberg?

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

Well, the fact is that Sampras’ game wasn’t really built for clay. While Edberg was an attacking player, he played enough on clay in his younger years to at least be comfortable on it. Same for Becker.

McEnroe. Well, I think Mac had one decent run at the French in a year (1984) where he was every bit as dominant as Federer has been in any one of his best years. At that time, if he had chosen to play Australia, he probably would have won it given it was played on grass. To answer your question, the early 80′s was a time when a blend of players dominated. Some who attacked and some who stayed back. The power in the game hadn’t really shot up yet so a guy like Mac could get pretty far down the road if they were playing well.

By the time Sampras hit the scene, there were a whole slew of top notch heavyweight baseline hitters. Guys who could slam the ball with a lot of tospin. They played with more room for error than Sampras did. Pete’s flat power game didn’t really work because the clay blunted his power and he was drawn into long baseline rallies. Sampras’ game was built on the quick strike. A tough strategy to live with on clay over 7 matches. There’s a reason Edberg, Becker, Sampras and other attacker haven’t been able to notch FO victories.

Today, there is effectively no blend of players. Everyone battles from the baseline. Federer has some of the best groundies in the history of the sport so he just bides his time until the other guy makes a mistake. Sampras and Fed had different tennis philosophies. Fed’s works well on clay. Sampras’, not so well. It is worth noting that 25 years ago, I don’t think American players put much stock in either the FO or AO. They considered them weaker cousins to Wimbledon and the USO. Not so today.


Von Says:

FIG: “Well, knowing Sampras fans, they are probably not going to talk about my posts – they will perhaps just resort to slander and name calling, since the evidence is irrefutable.”

I’m a Sampras fan and I don’t think I’ve at any time resorted to name-calling and slander in any of my posts on this thread, thus, I feel it is unfair to make the above statement with such broad implications.

Neither has SG, another Sampras fan, the guy who’s been most vociferous versus the Fed fans, on the Sampras/Fed discussions/comparisons, and even though he’s had many insults hurled his way during those discussions, he has dealt with the aspersions by attempting to inject humor and counter with reasonable arguments, while remaining firm and/or holding his ground. Maybe SG lives by the creed that “there are those who will not listen to an angry shout, but will strain to hear a whisper”,(author unknown), and it’s the reason why he’s been so effective dealing will all and sundry on these discussions.

As a matter of fact, SG, has always been steadfast, gracious and reasonable on the present topic, and any others in the past, without succumbing to name-calling and semantics, and it’s due to his controlled demeanor that he’s always had my respect and admiration.

I agree with SG on the following:

“Today, there is effectively no blend of players. Everyone battles from the baseline. Federer has some of the best groundies in the history of the sport so he just bides his time until the other guy makes a mistake.”

I’d like to call it, a subtle ‘war of attrition’, which many Fed fans have accused Nadal of so doing, but one at which Federer has become very adept and reliant, coupled with exercising patience and it has paid great dividends with stellar results = Federer wins. Just in case many haven’t noticed, Federer is no longer able to engage in protracted and/or long rallies, which I feel is one reason he has incorporated the drop shot into his repertoire. The drop shot coupled with his better serve placement, on which he now heavily relies, is what’s responsible for ensuring Federer’s climb back to the No. 1 position. For how long he’ll be able to remain there depends on the other 3 guys in the top four (4).

Moreover, despite all of the number crunching that’s taken place, one thing is clear, that both Federer and Sampras have taken care of business in their eras very efficiently and they are to be commended for their impressive records while making their way to the top of the game. Therefore, I’ll join Rod Laver in saying there isn’t a greatest of all time, but a player can only be considered the greatest of his era, and can only do so by taking care of the business in his specific era.

Sampras retired in 2002, after being off the tour for large chunks of time during 1999-2002 due to a bad back, hence, it would be only fair to say that Sampras was actively on the tour for approx. 10 of his 12 years as a pro, and amassed 14 GS titles during that period of time. A similar parallel can be drawn for Federer since his mono was cited as the reason for his not so stellar performance in 2008, but the only difference Fed could still play and he did play, as opposed to Sampras who couldn’t play at all.

Federer became pro in 1998 and has amassed 15 GS titles in 11 years, one more than Sampras, and considering Sampras had to deal with a chronic disease, viz., ‘Thalassemia’, I’d think the tennis world should admire this great champ, Pete Sampras, instead of trying to ridicule him and denigrate his achievements proffering weak competition arguments

We repeatedly hear of Fed’s mono, bis back problems, etc., but no one takes into consideration how much Sampras struggled with his debilitating disease, and despite it all, was able to conquer the tough competition he faced in several GS champions all being actively on tour at the same time. Additionally, we hear the argument of Sampras being ineffective on clay, and Federer’s success thereon, well that’s understandable since Fed grew up on clay and it’s second nature to him, while it wasn’t the case for Sampras. Moreover, despite Federer’s clay prowess, it’s somewhat noteworthy that Federer only became effective on clay, posting good results, AFTER, Guga, Puerta, and Coria left the sport. By 2005, the only last effective clay court threat left was Coria, and then we saw Federer slowly began to make his mark on clay from 2005 to the present time. But with the advent of Nadal’ clay court presence, we also saw Federer’s ineffectiveness on clay, whereby he was unable to win an FO title until this year.

Thus, to say Federer dominated his competition is partly true, but only on grass, hardcourts and indoor carpet from 2004 through 2007*, with punctuated wins/losses in 2008 and 2009 on those surfaces and especially on clay until Madrid, and the FO/Wimby in ’09. Further, during the years 1998 – 2003, Federer’s record/performance was very dismal, and his beautiful tennis was practically non-existent.

In summary, if we were to look at both Federer’s and Sampras careers, even though they both shone for lengthy periods of time and on some surfaces more than others, their results in terms of years on the tour, and titles won, are pretty much comparable and neither one absolutely dominated the competition in their eras.
____________
* In 2007 Federer had losses to Canas and Volandri and Nadal, so it’s not like he demolished everyone.


Skorocel Says:

Fed is GOAT about Agassi: „Never really came back in full force till 1999 – then he ended the year ranked No. 1, and Sampras never made No 1 after that.“

Yeah, and then he got whacked in the Wimby final by the same man who then later didn’t play at the USO (the same USO that Agassi won that year btw) and who 3 years later beat Agassi (a supposed “peak Agassi”, per you) in the finals of the same tournament… Now go figure out who that player was…


Skorocel Says:

jane: „I am admittedly not a points /ranking expert “Fed is Goat,” but wouldn’t (or couldn’t) getting to number 1 with those number of wins suggest that the competition was in fact VERY tough?“

Seems like an exercise in futility :-) There’s no way he’s gonna admit that…


tennisontherocks Says:

Von, I mostly agreed with what you said about sampras. But then you just had to go and add this???

‘Moreover, despite Federer’s clay prowess, it’s somewhat noteworthy that Federer only became effective on clay, posting good results, AFTER, Guga, Puerta, and Coria left the sport. By 2005, the only last effective clay court threat left was Coria, and then we saw Federer slowly began to make his mark on clay from 2005 to the present time. But with the advent of Nadal’ clay court presence, we also saw Federer’s ineffectiveness on clay, whereby he was unable to win an FO title until this year.’

He beat Guga on clay in 2002, beat Coria/Gaudio twice. All these wins were when these guys were near their peak. And Puerta??? He has won 3 titles on clay in his life, never even reached masters series finals and the year he reached finals at RG was caught for doping. what exactly were you thinking? Please do not take this as attack. Just dumbfounded here. One of us need some coffee :)

In his early years, Roger was very inconsistent, posted some good wins and managed to loose everywhere. The clay was never an issue for him, his brain/fitness etc was. Once he started winning, he has posted good record everywhere.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘Skorocel Says:
jane: „I am admittedly not a points /ranking expert “Fed is Goat,” but wouldn’t (or couldn’t) getting to number 1 with those number of wins suggest that the competition was in fact VERY tough?“

Seems like an exercise in futility :-) There’s no way he’s gonna admit that…’

I have nothing to say about the competition, but here are few other things I can think of:
1. The clay season was mostly dry season for Pete, while Roger has collected second best points on the surface for last few years.
2. The 9 masters series tourneys were not mandatory in 90s. So you can still skip or loose early in clay events and make up for the points on the hard courts. (On the other hand, Muster become #1 by winning 10 titles on clay.)
3. Sampras played lot more in summer/fall compared to Roger and as a result lost more matches in the process. His clay results have allowed Roger to space himself in the summer/fall.


Fed is GOAT Says:

With regard to the “tough” competition in the nineties, I am still waiting to hear who these “tough” players were who Sampras played at THEIR peak during 1993-98, his years as No 1. Agassi was there for some time, that’s it.

Regarding Sampras’s game not being suited for clay – that’s exactly the point.

And people forget the details, as usual, very conveniently. 2002 US Open Victory? Sampras was lucky to play Schalken in the semi, Agassi had to play Hewitt who really worked him hard. Add to it the fact that the finals are played the next day (how stupid is that), and you can see why Agassi was washed out for the final against Sampras. Not only that, the US Open organizers moved one of Sampras’s match from day to night, just because he had had a tough match the previous day. If you count the number of times that happened, you would be amazed – he just played at night, never during the day, since he would get “tired” during the day….


Von Says:

tennnisontherocks:

“He beat Guga on clay in 2002, beat Coria/Gaudio twice. All these wins were when these guys were near their peak. And Puerta??? He has won 3 titles on clay in his life, never even reached masters series finals and the year he reached finals at RG was caught for doping. what exactly were you thinking? Please do not take this as attack. Just dumbfounded here. One of us need some coffee :)”

Alright, Fed beat those guys on clay sporadically, but was he able to do so on a consistent basis thus reaching even ONE RG final from 1998 to 2005? NO. That’s my point. BTW, wasn’t Guga beginning to have hip problems just around 2002?

Yesterday you mentioned Roddick not making it to a SF at RG, hello, are we discussing Roddick’s GOAT resume, and how did Andy get into this conversation? It’s a known fact the Americans suck on clay, so what’s your point? Additionally, because the MS clay tourneys weren’t mandatory, wouldn’t you say that’s a huge contributing factor to Pete’s pedigree lacking in clay credentials? Cut Sampras and his fans some slack here will ya.

“The clay was never an issue for him, his brain/fitness etc was. Once he started winning, he has posted good record everywhere.”

It’s amazing (tennisontherocks, I’ll call you ‘TOTR” hereinafter) TOTR, that Federer only began winning and posting meaningful results on clay AFTER the clay threats left the circuit, but couldn’t do so BEFORE. additionally, after he became No. 1 he could only meet nadal, the greatest clay threat in the finals, due to their seedings. Thus, wouldn’t you say it was mainly Fed’s ineffectiveness on clay that made it possible for him to reach the finals at RG? i mean, who was there in the draw to stop him? Nalbandian? The one time it looked like Nalby was going to do so, he retired.

About the coffee, maybe so, but considering I’m a tea drinker, then maybe I needed some tea to fire up my neurons to give me a tea jolt, which I’ve been told is not as effective as a java jolt. LOL. (I’m not laughing at you but with you here.)the. I typed up that stuff between meetings today since one of my clients was late, so if everything is not OK blame it on my client. ha ha.
______________
BTW, where’s Long Live? I expect him to breeze in here at any time and begin slapping me around? Presently, it’s feeling like the calm before the storm. Let’s hear from you hon, but remember be gentle. Why? I’m a delicate flower and I bruise easily. Hence, your watchword henceforth with respect to moi, is ‘easy does it’. LOL.


Von Says:

TOTR: “3. Sampras played lot more in summer/fall compared to Roger and as a result lost more matches in the process. His clay results have allowed Roger to space himself in the summer/fall.”

Sampras had Thalassemia, a very debilitating blod disease, try playing with that in any kind of weather. The fact that Pete won so many GS is indicative of the great athlete he was, because he was plagued with a malady that would have made it imposible for many to even crawl out of bed. Just look at what happenend to Federer in ’08 with his bout of mono, just imagine Pete playing with that for his entire career. As I said, it just reinforces what a super, terrific athlete Sampras was having to play with the odds stacked so highly against him.


No GOAT Says:

Spot on Post Von. I like your posts. You are very knowledgable from both eras. I dont think many here have watched or followed the 90′s era of tennis to fully understand or grasp just how good petes career or game was, and how tough his era was.

Von says:

“Federer became pro in 1998 and has amassed 15 GS titles in 11 years, one more than Sampras, and considering Sampras had to deal with a chronic disease, viz., ‘Thalassemia’,”

“Additionally, we hear the argument of Sampras being ineffective on clay, and Federer’s success thereon, well that’s understandable since Fed grew up on clay and it’s second nature to him, while it wasn’t the case for Sampras. Moreover, despite Federer’s clay prowess, it’s somewhat noteworthy that Federer only became effective on clay, posting good results, AFTER, Guga, Puerta, and Coria left the sport.”

We can sound like a broken record but still fed fans will never admit it. Facts and truth will always be there in black and white. It will hurt them to believe it.

Federer won the FO due to nadals absence including the wimby. But I still give him credit for his efforts. People keep throwing pointless stat comparisons around on how many finals or semi finals sampras/federer appeared in? Trying to prove a point. We all know the answer to that.
Answer: Apart from nadal been the only clay court specialist in todays era, who else is there? Nobody.

And at least sampras’s injuries or illnesses were genuine. I can only imagine who many slams he would of racked if it wasnt for his jard back injury, shin tendonitis, and Thalassemia, but he never made excuses, was a gracious loser, and still managed to win 14GS and finished up 6 years consecutive at number 1 – a record. Played with out of date 85 sq stiff as wilson racquet. He was also considered to be the strongest willed athelete that ever played the sport. Sheer strength, determination and self-belief. Wore his heart on his sleeve in every match through blood, sweat and tears. What more would you expect from a spartan? ;-)


Von Says:

No Goat: Thank you, but you are way too kind. My tennis knowledge is quite sparse in comparison to many who post here, and considering I’m not a stats enthusiast, I tend to remain quiet when those discussions are ongoing.

I must confess though, I’ve only faithfully followed tennis from the Sampras/Agassi era, and am now catching up on the past greats courtesy of the Tennis Channel. Last year, for the first time, I saw the famous Arthur Ashe/Jimmy Connors Wimby ’75 match, where Ashe junk-balled Connors to death, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing ‘bad boy’ Jimmy Connors looking non-plussed, and for once quiet and/or dazed. ha ha. Sometimes I stop and think, how the mighty have fallen when I see such displays of one opponent totally outsmarting the other.

My admiration for Pete grew more after he received the sad news of his coach, Gulickson during his match v. Courier. Pete threw up, and then played crying throughout the remainder of the match. I felt broken-hearted just watching Pete broken-hearted. I saw Pete On TC in an interview, wherein he mentioned that match and he remarked he gave his trophy to the Gulickson family because he dedicated his victory to his beloved coach.

I have a friend, who’s a Fed fan, but a very fair Fed fan, who remarked after watching Pete play in his country recently, that to him it appeared that Pete was born to wield a racquet. according to my friend, Pete’s game was a thing of beauty, from his serve to his S&V game.

Very few tennis fans nowadays, realize the artistry of an S&V game, much more the high level of difficulty employed in sustaining that style of play throughout an entire tournament. And, most view S&V as one-dimensional, which to me is unbelievable. Pete played his S&V, throughout his career. Could you imagine the amount of mileage he put on his legs playing S&V? It’s mind boggling.

All we see nowadays are base-liners rooted like potted plants, standing in the middle of the baseline and just extending their arms left or right, as if they are conducting traffic, to play points. Contrast that style to Pete, who’d hit his serve and then immediately begin to move forward (as if by rote) to either take the return shot with the ball on the rise and/or to volley it, by which time he’s at the net just waiting. Not to mention those beautiful mid-air smashes, and his running forehands. WOW, am I travelling down memory lane here or what? Anyway, to reiterate, what a sight to behold!

No GOAT, thanks again for the discussion.


Von Says:

I’ve been dying to ask a question ever since Sean wrote this article, and now that this thread is pretty much on it’s last leg, I’d like to touch on the following from Sean:

“Now, Federer is back at No. 1 as the undeniable (yes!) GOAT ….”

How many fist pumps and leg raises did Sean do with respect to the above-quoted (yes!)? LOL. I’ve conjured this image of Sean doing some fist pumps and leg raises ala Nadal/Hewitt, considering how loooongg he’s had to wait to do that. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall just watching that scenery. LOL.


No GOAT Says:

We drink from the same water Von! :-)

Von Says:

“My admiration for Pete grew more after he received the sad news of his coach, Gulickson during his match v. Courier. Pete threw up, and then played crying throughout the remainder of the match. I felt broken-hearted just watching Pete broken-hearted”

I must admit those classic matches moved me as well. He displayed so much emotion on court and yet he was labelled as emotionless.

A trip down memory lane indeed and the matches you mentioned I will never forget especially with courier in 95 when someone yelled out “do it for your coach” 2 sets down, broken in the 3rd set, some how found the will and fought his way back in the match. Amazing display of strengh, heart, will and the never give up atttiude. I can always play it back and still get chills.
If it werent for gullikson I dont think he wouldnt of been where was today. It was gullikson who taught him how to be believe and to be a champion.

“Very few tennis fans nowadays, realize the artistry of an S&V game, much more the high level of difficulty employed in sustaining that style of play throughout an entire tournament. And, most view S&V as one-dimensional, which to me is unbelievable. Pete played his S&V, throughout his career. Could you imagine the amount of mileage he put on his legs playing S&V? It’s mind boggling.”

Correct. Which is why its so much easier to stand back, slog there hearts out till someone makes a mistake or conks out of gas. This is a low risk strategy and reminds me of pong. To me thats one dimensional.

Which is why I believe the serve and volley game will beat the baseline game other things being equal because the serve and volley game makes for shorter points and when on fire makes for a practically unbreakable service game with aces and short rallies ending in a put-away volley. The window for winning such points is not as open as when there is a rally from the baseline after a serve where with a round of spectacular shots a player like Sampras can run off a few winners and break serve. Serving and volleying with a serve like Sampras’s when in fine form is in effect unbreakable, the only hope is in a tiebreaker–there again the more aggressive serve and volleying style would allow less margin for error for the returner. It’s easier when learning the game to just stand back and do the up and down rhythmic cardio of baseline practice rather than the continual sprint to the front line of fire following a serve with a volley.

Why if the most superb groundstrokes of today destroy the ability of players to even exploit the entire aspect of serve and volleying did perhaps the greatest baseliner of the modern era in Agassi not destroy the ability of Rafter and Edberg? No, he did not. The great serve and volleyers of the 90s competed very well with Agassi and they won Wimbledons and other fast surface titles despite he and other formidable baseliners competing.

Which is why always say the dominance of Sampras’s brand of tennis is something the world will never see again. He was beating multiple slam champions not pretenders! Pete Sampras is the greatest and most formidable tennis star which dominated and re-wrote the record books in “The competitive era”

LONG LIVE THE KING OF SWING!

And Von, thanks again for the discussion as well.


Skorocel Says:

„as if they are conducting traffic“

LOL, Von!

„and now that this thread is pretty much on it’s last leg“

I’m not quite sure about this :-)

„Very few tennis fans nowadays, realize the artistry of an S&V game, much more the high level of difficulty employed in sustaining that style of play throughout an entire tournament. And, most view S&V as one-dimensional, which to me is unbelievable. Pete played his S&V, throughout his career. Could you imagine the amount of mileage he put on his legs playing S&V? It’s mind boggling.“

In a way, S&V is a risky technique (especially nowadays), but if executed properly, it can lead to success. But with today’s players, I don’t know… Karlovic maybe has a big serve, but not so great volleys (even though he can, at times, make some very decent ones). Stepanek, Dent, or Ancic are pretty even on both, but NO ONE of them plays both of those shots the way Sampras did. I mean, it just pisses me off big time when I see a guy at the net (whether it’s Fed or those above mentioned) in a decent position to finish off the rally with a winning volley – only to see him play it safe, somewhere in the middle of the court. Sampras was usually relentless in such situations, and that’s what I always loved about him…


Skorocel Says:

No GOAT: „He displayed so much emotion on court and yet he was labelled as emotionless.“

That’s maybe true, but then again, what the hell? The most important thing is that he left his RACQUET do the talking… And boy, was that a sweet fairytale!!!


Fed is GOAT Says:

Sampras made another one of his arrogant statements recently – “I was unbeatable on grass”, “I would have beaten roger on grass”. Blah blah.

What a jackass.

He lost to federer on grass. He lost to Krajicek on wimbledon in his own prime. He lost many other matches on grass in his prime. He conveniently forgets.

What an arrogant guy.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Sampras has never faced the vicious top spin of today’s players. He would be blown off the court – his serve and volley game is not going to work today. So his saying that he could beat them serving and volleying is just wishful thinking.

A player like him would not win 14 slams today. Much less…..


Fed is GOAT Says:

Sampras lost 5 matches on grass during 1993-98, his years when he ended the year No 1 each time. That was at his peak. After that, Even Alex Corretja, a complete clay courter, never a slam champion, beat Sampras ON GRASS in houston in the davis cup (despite home court advantage).

What is Sampras smoking saying that “at my peak, I was unbeatable on grass”? 5 losses in 6 years is pretty good, but not unbeatable.

Federer didn’t lose a single match on grass from 2003-07, and just one loss (the epic wimbledon final) in 2008. So just one grass court loss from 2003-09. He went 65-0 on grass till the wimbledon loss, and is still 72-1 since 2003 (on grass). And the least number of sets loss in his wimbledon wins, less than half of Borg or Sampras.

With that kind of record, I can still understand saying that you feel “unbeatable on grass”. Even in his wimbledon wins, Sampras lost more than double the number of sets that Federer lost.

Sampras was obviously excellent on grass, but not unbeatable. When Sampras and Federer met on grass in 2001, Sampras was the 7 time defending champion. Federer was still to be 2 years away from his first wimbledon win, and had NEVER won even a single match at wimbledon in his previous two attempts. Even with that negligible grass court record and experience, Federer beat Sampras on grass at wimbledon. And Sampras feels he would have defeated a peak Federer on grass? Pure smoke. The Federer of 2006 was devastating on grass – tons better player than in 2001, much much much more experienced than in 2001, and mentally much much stronger than in 2001. Agreed Sampras was not at his peak in 2001 either – but he was at least EXTREMELY experienced at Wimbledon, the courts were pretty fast, he should have been plenty confident (7-time champion!!!) – and yet he lost against a total novice at that time. No was would Sampras beat a peak Federer, ANYWHERE except in his own dreams.


Skorocel Says:

Fed is GOAT says: “Sampras lost 5 matches on grass during 1993-98, his years when he ended the year No 1 each time. That was at his peak.”

That’s true, but only one (1) of these losses occured at Wimby – where it all counts on grass…


Fed is GOAT Says:

Oh, I see, so losing elsewhere doesn’t matter at all. He just lost those matches intentionally, right? If he wanted, he could have won those, right? bullshit. He lost those matches just because he was not THAT unbeatable on grass.

“at my peak, I was unbeatable on grass”. Well, that wasn’t even entirely true at Wimby, and certainly not true on “grass”.

Truth is, Sampras was NEVER unbeatable. He lost 84 matches total during 1993-98, his peak. That’s more than one match per month, at his peak, ranked no 1.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Quite a lot of Tom, Dick’s and Harry’s used to beat Sampras when he was at his peak. Off his peak, after 2000, he went without a tournament win for 28 tournaments.


Skorocel Says:

Fed is GOAT: Once again, if Sampras lost all those matches during his prime (WHILST still being able to rule the world of tennis for virtually 6 consecutive years), was it really because he was THAAAT inferior to Fed? Wasn’t it because his opposition was in fact a tough one (or, at the very least, not as “weak” as you claim it to be)? ;-)

I’m NOT saying it was better than Fed’s (how could I dare?), but weaker? LOL! The guy played Agassi (one of only 6 men in history to have won all 4 slams, against whom he was like 7-2 in slams, btw, AND I don’t care whether it was a prime Agassi or not or whether he was older or younger than him – they were almost of the same age, yet he was OWNED by Sampras at slams!), Edberg, Becker (another HOFs, who maybe were more or less past their prime, but who were still BIG threats), Courier, Chang, Kafelnikov, Rafter, Krajicek, Kuerten & Muster & Bruguera (all 3 legends on clay), and even Lendl and McEnroe (who he both beat en route to his USO 1990 title, and who, even though past their prime, were hardly pushovers at that time), etc. etc. If you can’t see these obivous facts, then I feel really sorry for you…


Fed is GOAT Says:

Skorocel,

Sure, Lendl and Mcenroe!!! LOL. That’s like Saying Federer faced Sampras…… You really have no sense of time, ha? Time just fuses together for you.

While at it, why don’t you just include Borg as Sampras’s competition? After all, between 1998 and 1991, Borg did attempt a comeback (lost all 8 matches though). Yet he did play some ATP matches that overlapped.

Yes, Skorocel, as per your logic, Sampras also faced competition from Borg. How tough must he have been! Wow……. On the other hand, people like Krajicek, Haarhuis, bruguera, etc. whooped him.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Oh ya, and Stich and Rostagno – again, winning records on Sampras.


Skorocel Says:

Fed is GOAT: As I’ve said, I (and I’m sure there are others) feel sorry for you… But then again, a fanatic will always remain what he is – a fanatic…


Fed is GOAT Says:

Skorocel, the master of delusion! Somehow finds it difficult to understand logic. You can delude yourself as much as you like, if that’s what makes you happy.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Sampras just said some more “sour grapes” comments against Federer in LA, where he just lost the exhibition match to Safin. He admitted that he is “shocked” that his record got beaten in less than 7 years. No wonder he has been trying to say things like “I was unbeatable”, “I would have beaten Federer”, blah blah. Sour grapes.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Sampras should just develop the guts to clearly say what he believes.

On one hand, he keeps on saying Federer is the best ever.

On the other hand, he keeps on saying Federer didn’t really face “him”, didn’t face a true serve and volleyer, has a losing record to Nadal (on clay), so Federer really doesn’t deserve to be called the best ever.

Which one is it Pete? Because the two are contradictory. Either you think he did face legitimate competition so he is the best ever, or you feel he didn’t face legitimate competition so he isn’t the best ever.

Why don’t you have the balls to say it clearly Pete?


Shelley Says:

The nastiness was quite unnecessary, really.

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