What’s Next for Rafael Nadal?
by Sean Randall | February 5th, 2010, 2:00 pm
  • 516 Comments

For me the biggest takeaway from the Australian Open wasn’t Roger Federer’s Sweet 16 and his mentally-challenged combatants Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. For me it was the declining health of Rafael Nadal.

From what I could tell Nadal came into the 2010 tennis season and the Australian Open in perfect health. His bad knees which had ailed him in late spring/early summer last year were fully healed and recovered. His body, his mind, according to him, were fully fit, ready to go.

But things didn’t quite work out the way he and his fans had hoped. As we all saw early in the third set with Murray, Nadal pulled up with yet another knee issue forcing his first retirement from a Grand Slam match. What a shame. Rafa had played top-flight tennis all tournament including that match with Murray in which I thought he played exceptionally well even though – injury or not – the Scot was the better man that night.

A later MRI revealed a small tear at the back of the Rafa’s right knee.

Said his doctor Dr Angel Ruiz-Cotorro last Friday, “After two weeks, and depending on the results of the different tests and controls, he will steadily resume his sporting activity with a total recovery time to resume competition in fours weeks.”

Said Nadal, “I feel good and I am only thinking now of recovering well. My main goal right now is to get ready again and fit to play the forthcoming events once I am able to compete.”

Nadal is now out of Rotterdam which begins on Monday and the four-week rest period will probably preclude him from facing the Federer-less Swiss in Davis Cup.

Then in mid-March he has a major title defense in Indian Wells followed by Miami. That is assuming he even plays and his knees are ready for another 2.5 weeks of pounding on the hardcourts. (My advice would be for him to skip the hardcourts to prepare for a full clay onslaught with the singular mission of regaining his French Open crown.)

The problem I fear coming up for Nadal won’t be as much physical as it will be mental.

The guy had worked so long and so hard to overcome his knee problems (tendinitis, strains, tears, et al), and just when he thought he had it licked, the problem again flared up. New injury or not, it’s the knee again and that’s not good. Further, he didn’t injure it through any noticeable trauma or jerk movement, it just happened. No rhyme, no reason. Just pure bad luck and that’s going to be the tough part to overcome.

So once Rafa returns to his health what will his mindset be on the hardcourts or even on the clay? Will he still be expending full energy, lunging, digging and stretching for every ball as we’ve come to know him, or will he hold something back in fear of re-injury and further time on the sidelines? As we saw in Australia, knee problems with him can happen at any time, any moment and in any match. This was not late in the season either, it was the start.

Fact is, Rafa will be 24 in four months and his knees are not getting any better. And really knee issues don’t tend to get better as you age unless you flat-out stop putting heavy stress on them which is not going to happen because I don’t think Rafa’s retiring anytime soon. But unfortunately, with each subsequent flare up you have wonder how much longer the guy can ultimately last.

My personal feeling is Rafa will still be winning Grand Slam titles but with his style of play, the deep field of contenders before him and with a physically demanding schedule, I have a hard time seeing him finish a season ranked No. 1 again. Yes, we may very have seen the best from Rafa. Truth be told, though, I hope I have to eat my words on that one.


Also Check Out:
Jerzy Janowicz Says What’s Happening To Polish Tennis Is “Magical”
What’s Andy Murray Been Eating This Week At The US Open? Steak And Sushi!
What’s Roger Federer Been Doing? Driving To Practice That’s What!
Roger Federer: What’s Important is to Get Thru the Early Rounds in Montreal [Video]
What’s Wrong With Novak Djokovic?

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

516 Comments for What’s Next for Rafael Nadal?

Rosalind Brown Says:

hi,

1stly, Nadals knees are not heeled.
2ndly, tendinitis does not heel over, what 6 months..? Tendonitis – Treatment – An episode of tendonitis may last for only a few days but it can become more persistent and last for several weeks or months. This is if he has Tendonitis…I actually think it is something else. Something, that the Nadal Camp is keeping tight about. He fell awkwardly at the Roland Garros game to Soderling and slipped on his sweat during the match with Andy Murray. That was not a slip.
However, I am no doctor etc but if it is tendonitis or other cause Nadal needs to take time off for about a year, at least to heal completely…I actually think this will save him.


alexandra999 Says:

I am so sorry Nadal. I miss you and I am sure a lot of people miss you. Please GET WELL SOOONNNNNnn!!


Fed is GOAT Says:

Almost one year ago, after Nadal’s french loss, I had said that he is past his peak – 2008 was his peak. Many people on this forum jumped on me for saying that. (Go back and check it out)

Now Sean is saying that. Funny, ha?

Fed is upto 16. Its becoming difficult to not call him the GOAT. Perhaps another couple of slams would really shut out the most irrational of critics too.

I still remember 2004, when Tiger Woods was way ahead of Federer in no. of slams, and everyone was saying Tiger will reach 18 before Federer reaches 14. Well, so much for that. Tiger may never reach 18 now. Though I think I will. If a 59 year old can win a major in Golf (so much for calling it a sport), then Tiger has plenty of time!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Sean, you are right on the money!

Seriously, I don’t see what Rafael Nadal has to gain by playing Indian Well and Miami, but he has everything to lose. Potentially aggravating his already tender knees and forcing him out the rest of 2010.

So what if doesn’t defend A hard court master series event? His knee health is far more important than those two events. Nadal needs to get his knees as healthy as humanly possible for the clay court season leading up to the FO and Wimbledon.


jane Says:

This is a sad story; Rafa is so great for tennis. I have always loved watching him play, from the first time I saw him. I’d agree with Sean too; I’d like see to Rafa regain his strength and really go for it at the French, and especially on grass, where he can only gain in points. Good luck to him.


FedFan2010 Says:

Cindy – what you fail to realize is that Rafa has not internalized the reality that he’s not a full-time player anymore. He’s built to play on clay/grass but not not hard-courts.


Tennis Riga Says:

Hope Rafa knows how to plan this season and to be ready for Franch Open.


Fot Says:

About 5 years ago I also said that Nadal fans need to enjoy him while they can because the way he plays (all out 100% on 100% of the shots) – usually players like that doesn’t last long.

To Nadal’s credit – he actually stayed relatively (to him) healthier than I thought but it seems like every single year it’s something else physically. People would say Nadal is the strongest, most physically gifted tennis player playing today. Just because you have muscles doesn’t make you the ‘strongest’ player today. In fact, I think being that muscular has some downfalls for Nadal (but since I’m not a doctor, that’s just me guessing).

Many folks also say that Nadal is still young and he can recover. He may be young in age (24) but he has an ‘old’ tennis body because he’s been playing a long time. He started on the tour when he was ‘young’ so all that wear and tear has to hurt your body.

I know a lot of folks can’t play like Roger, but one thing I noticed between Roger and Nadal. When Nadal is running to get an ‘almost out-of-reach’ ball – you hear him. You hear the feet and legs pounding the surface. You see the ‘hussle’ it takes for him to get to the ball. He’s fast and he most likely will get to it. But you actually can hear him getting to the ball.

I noticed with Roger, he seem to run ‘silently’ and you look up and he’s gotten to the ball. You don’t hear the ‘pounding’ of the feet/legs and maybe that ‘silent’, on-the-toes running style that Roger has is better on the body than the way Nadal gets to it.

Both are great athletes. Both are fast and both rely on their incredible speed to get to the ball. When Roger lost that 1/2 step as some said last year, we saw that it affected him in his tennis. If a guy like Nadal loses just that 1/2 step, I know it’ll also affect (and maybe has affected) his tennis as well.

I hope the Nadal fans don’t get upset with me when I say this – and it’s not in a bad way – but Nadal reminds me of an ‘updated/better’ Chang and Mats Wilander-type player. He’s better than them, but his ‘style’ of depending on your legs remind me of them. That type of player tends to not stay around as long as some other players.

I don’t know if Nadal can change his style to help his knees or not. And I would hate to have Nadal only play clay-court tournaments (and grass – although we don’t have that many grass tournaments). As a competitor, I don’t think Nadal would like doing that either. But clearly Nadal needs to do something different because he constantly gets hurt year after year.

Hang in there Nadal fans, and I seriously mean that.


NachoF Says:

Im guessing Rafa will be trying to play those events cause he doesnt want to fall of the top #4…. Can you imagine a Federer Nadal quarterfinal?? that would just suck.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Nadal can’t change his style, at least not significantly.

He will never do it – but he should just skip the first 3 months of the year (australian and the hard court season). Start on clay, move to grass, then go to the US hard court season, and then see where he is for the rest of the year. That will greatly lesson the load on his knees.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal’s gonna need a pretty long doctor’s note if he wants to skip the first 3 months of the year.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Ben Pronin,

I think a tear in the knee is justification enough, considering what happened last year.

What would tennis rather have, A healthier Nadal playing the clay court season at near to full strength or one who is hobbling around the clay courts on the verge of defaulting.

His chances are better if he rests. Not guaranteed, but better.
I want to see the greatest clay court player of our time playing in the premiere clay court events where his chances of success are greatest.

NachoF,

I would rather see a Nadal/Federer QF than no match up at all. Nadal falling a few ranking places is nothing in comparison to him potentially being out for an indefinite period.


Sai Says:

For all you ladies and gents that rafa fans… i hate to admit this but his career is officially over. Its hard for me to say this and have to admit federer is a superior player look at what federer has accomplished and has been consistent throughout his career. overall, i dont think nadal can be the player he once was anymore.. its time for me to move on from this sport cuz if rafael nadal cant play way he was able to then its just to painful to watch him lose. and fact is that there is no other player to watch whose as entertaining as him.


Fot Says:

Sai – in 2008 the ‘experts’ also said Federer’s reign is over too. That he wouldn’t win another slam. You can never say “never”. Just saying…


skeezerweezer Says:

Fot,

Agreed, Never say never. Look all the posters who were writing off Fed after he lost AO last year. I don’t think we have heard the last of Nadal, but it does look scary for him. Wish him the best. This will be a very telling year, in a lot of ways, IMO the most news worthy for tennis in a long time. I’m out…


jane Says:

I agree with FoT. It’s too soon to write epitaphs for Nadal’s career. He’ll be back, and I’d bet good money he’ll win more slams, were I the bet-making type.


Dan Martin Says:

I hope Nadal makes a full recovery. Wertheim commented that Spanish reporters seeing Hewitt on crutches implied that this was a look at Rafa’s future. I am not quite as bleak, but Nadal’s confidence, aura of invincibility and consistency seem in part based on playing a lot of tournaments and winning a lot of matches. Look at how awesome his 2006 season was on clay and the momentum that carried him to his first Wimbledon final. 2007 & 2008 saw Rafa play a lot better grass court adapted game, but even in 2006 when his strategy was less refined he took Federer to 4 sets. Rafter and Hewitt also seemed to play better when they would play a lot of tennis and log a lot of miles/km on their legs. I hope Rafa finds ways to trim his schedule and organize his practice and training routines in a way that adds years to his longevity. No easy task …


Freelancer Says:

Rafa is a perfect case of “peaking a bit too early”. Ofcourse even after his humiliating defeat at the hands of Soderling he still remains the best Clay court player. But, he is now a pale shadow of what he was earlier especially after he skipped Wimbledon and had a long break. In the US Open, although he came to the Semis he was just thrashed by Del Potro 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 wherein he just had no clue how to face him. In most of the other small Tournaments, he was consumed by lesser players like Davydenko, Cilic etc. who Nadal would have beaten 9 out of 10 times earlier. Even Djokovic who had a bad H2H beat him thrice straight times. That will tell you something about the degeneration in his game. His serve is a big problem today. Not that day, it was strong earlier. Atleast it had some sting and placement and not easy to attack. But today, his opponents fancy many chances against attacking his weak second serve. In the Murray-Nadal match recently, Nadal broke Murray in each of the sets earlier only to give it back. The only silver lining for Nadal is that he has age on his side and capable of a good come back. But that depends on the way his knees and body behave. My gut feeling is that even if he is fully fit, recurrence of these injuries once again while playing will play a big role in Nadal’s mind.


Michael Says:

The greatness of Federer can be visibly seen in the decline of Nadal. Here is a player who is 28 and nearing 29, fit and healthy and raring to go. Whereas a young Nadal aged 23 is fading due to recurring injuries. That is where the consistency factor comes into play. Consistency is the hall mark of greatness and Federer has shown it to the World whereas Nadal who had a brief over the sky career is now losing ground and has dropped to No.4. The future too is not that much bright for Nadal. He has to defend his points at Indian Wells and Miami which will be a tall order and he might even drop below Del Potro. That will bring us to a Federer-Nadal clash even in the quarters of the majors which will be not that great but still interesting. I can bet on Federer blasting away the current Nadal.


guy Says:

it’s interesting to see how proud people are of federer for showing up the critics blah blah, continuing to win slams.
there is only one reason this happened after 2008 and it isn’t because of federer’s courage or artistic vision etc. it’s because the best player in the world was injured.
the last three slams fed won? each time the defending champion could not defend due to injury.
in 2008 nadal proved that when fit, he is the best player on all surfaces. and if he had stayed healthy, the chances of roger winning slams again, regaining no.1 were very low.

as for nadal’s style, federer/djokovic/murray scrap just as much as he does. all rely on heavy defense as part of their games. for people who think nadal hasn’t changed his game, watch the old
AO QFs against hewitt, then watch the 2008 AO final, or wimbledon etc. very different style.

the guy just has dodgy knees it seems. he’s like the haas of the knees. and it’s a real shame for tennis


steve Says:

“Never say never. Look all the posters who were writing off Fed after he lost AO last year.”

The cases are totally different.

Player A’s slump: he made one Slam final and three Slam finals, winning one. The next year, he proceeded to lose the next Slam final in five sets.

Player B’s slump: he won one Slam but then was knocked out in the fourth round in the Slam where he was four-time defending champ, then was unable to even play in the next Slam. He made it to the semis of the next Slam, but then the next year he withdrew in the quarters of a Slam where he was again defending champ, citing an injury that had suddenly appeared mid-match.

So which player had the worse slump? A or B? I would say B, by a long shot. Player B has a lot tougher climb if he wants to get back to the top.

Federer’s problem was mono and consequent temporary loss of fitness and confidence. Once he recovered from the mono, he added more variation to his game and worked hard to regain his fitness, and was thus able to return to the top.

Nadal’s problem is a long-term one that stems from the extraordinary taxing style he plays. His knee ailments are chronic and severe, and they’re going to get worse.

It’s entirely different.


Michael Says:

Guy, It is just pure rubbish when you say that Federer would not have won the Grand slam titles had Nadal been there. First who prevented Nadal to reach the finals of these grand slams. It is certainly not the fault of Federer that Nadal did not reach those finals. In the French Open, Nadal very much played only to be whipped by Soderling in the fourth round. Ofcourse in the Wimbledon he defaulted due to his bad knees. But even if he tried to played there, he would not have even reached the Semis just because in the exhibitions he tried before Wimbledon, he was beaten square by Wawarinka and Hewitt. Nadal stated before the US Open that he was 100% and then started to murmur about his abdominal injury in every match and in the semis Del Potro just made a mincemeat of him to be thrashed 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. In the Australian Open, once again Nadal stated that he was in the pink of his health only to be whipped by Murray in straights and then disappeared from the scene even before completing that match. What are you trying to say ? Nadal saying to Murray that I am not good enough to beat you, but I can beat Federer. Try saying that and it will be big joke.


Michael Says:

The skewed logic of Nadal supporters has no parallel. They cite Nadal’s absence in the finals as the root cause of Federer winning. This vent of frustration is due to pure jealousy of Federer’s achievements and the inability of Nadal to even reach the Semis. Can you ever imagine, Nadal saying to Soderling after the French Open finals – You beat me in four sets, but if you had allowed me I would have beaten Federer hands down. In the same manner, Nadal saying to Murray after the Australian Open finals – You flogged me in straights, but had I been in the finals, I would have whipped Federer in straights. Doesn’t this argument sound very funny to say the least. Nadal had no business to complaint if he could not reach the final. That shows his inability more than anything else. The H2H of Federer against Nadal is rather misleading. It is true that Nadal has got the better of Federer in Clay and once in a Hard court. But Nadal has failed so far to even reach one US Open final to show his game to Federer where he has been waiting since US Open hosts a very fast surface to play with and Nadal would have nil of a chance to compete against Federer. The consistency level has to be brought in here and the success percentage of the two has to be calculate on the number of tournaments they entered. Looking from the statistics, it is evident to even byestanders that Nadal’s consistency rate is quite poor compared to Federer who is a regular in grand slam finals. Moreover Nadal gets beaten black and blue by even some of the relative low quality players while Federer if at all he gets beaten only loses to the players of high calibre like Del Potro and Nadal.


PietjeP Says:

Let’s hope most people here are wrong… Although I suspected a couple of years ago already that this would be the path for Rafa.

Everybody talks about Rafa being only (almost) 24. He has the mileage of a 26/27 year old player. Because he made the absolute top at a very young age. He played long seasons, with all the physical and mental pressure for some 4/5 years already. Add to that his grueling physical style of play, his usually longer matches and his bad scheduling of tournaments and you can see how he got to this point.

But tennis needs him badly. A Fed/Murray match, a Djoko/Fed match or a Delpo/Murray match isn’t quite the same as a Fed/Rafa match… Also his presence in a tournament, the media; it’s very important for tennis.

If Rafa doesn’t came back strong this year, I honestly don’t see him coming back to the absolute top of the game ever again. And that would be sad for such a great player and competitor. And for us fans too


Skorocel Says:

steve: „Federer’s problem was mono and consequent temporary loss of fitness and confidence. Once he recovered from the mono, he added more variation to his game and worked hard to regain his fitness, and was thus able to return to the top.“

Attention people! We’ve just heard that all Fed’s losses in 2008 were due to mono! It wasn’t Djokovic who beat him at AO, it wasn’t Roddick who beat him in Miami, it wasn’t Nadal who mauled him at FO and then humiliated him at Wimby and AO 2009! Nah! It was MONOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Poor Roger! He had to carry this sickness till the spring of 2009, and even then, it had a brief relapse in September and virtually during the whole autumn… Can this man get any sicker than this? He better visit some doctor, or it’ll soon become duo, trio… LOL :-)


Skorocel Says:

Michael said: “But Nadal has failed so far to even reach one US Open final to show his game to Federer where he has been waiting since US Open hosts a very fast surface to play with and Nadal would have nil of a chance to compete against Federer.”

If a guy like Andreev can push Fed to 5 in Flushing, I’d say Nadal’s chances (just purely looking at his past record vs Fed on hardcourts) would’ve been pretty good in this one… But oh no! That was Fed with mono, wasn’t he? ;-)

————-

„Consistency is the hall mark of greatness and Federer has shown it to the World whereas Nadal who had a brief over the sky career is now losing ground and has dropped to No.4.“

Show me another player apart from Federer AND Nadal who has been consistently winning BIG titles in these last 5 years, and I’ll gladly concur…


Dan Martin Says:

I have made it clear that I prefer Federer to any player I have followed as a tennis fan. However, Nadal displays a lot of qualities that I admire and like to watch as well. I’ll leave the Federer fans versus Rafa Fans stuff aside. I just want to list the injuries I can remember from Nadal with the year.

2004 Nadal missed the French Open with a stress fracture
2005-2006 Nadal missed the Masters Cup and Australian Open with a stress fracture
2007 Nadal was clearly struggling with leg issues at the U.S. Open
2009 Nadal missed Wimbledon due to severe knee problems that also potentially impacted his play at the French Open 1 month earlier
2009 Nadal’s serve was hampered by an abdominal injury at the U.S. Open
2010 Nadal defaulted against Andy Murray in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a small tear at the back of his knee

My only conclusion is that these are pretty serious injuries and that the frequency seems to be increasing. The previous 4 slams have seen Nadal either not play due to injury or play below par due to injury issues. The guys in the lockerroom who probably used to want to avoid a long match with long rallies versus Nadal may now think they have a chance to take advantage of problems if the match is long and taxing. I feel for Rafa, his camp and his fans. I think he can and likely will win big again but not as often as what we saw from Spring 2008 – Spring 2009.


KillerC Says:

If i was in rafa’s camp, id suggest to him to sit out, heal up, practice (improve his serve even more–helps shorten points/freebes) and play a warm up or 2 for the french open and just play the clay&wimby this yr. Its not a matter of rank or whatever, he’s got nothing really to prove– just get healthy and float for a bit’ it might drop em outta the top 10 but whatever.. use the injury card to get outta the master series events for awhile/conserve &maybe repair the knees.


Ben Pronin Says:

Dan, you forgot 2008 when Nadal retired against Davydenko in Paris and then withdrew for the TMC and the Davis Cup final.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Becker was pretty much done by 23-24 – won just one slam after that. Not even wimbledon, his strongest suit.

What makes you think Nadal, with a much more physically demanding game than Becker (a serve and volleyer) is not done at 23/24? Ya, I am sure he will win one or two more french titles (may be not!), but other slams are just gone for him. Too many other players who can beat him now. Cilic and Del Potro are both 2-3 years younger than him, and not going anywhere. Djokovic and Murray too. And then you have Federer and Davydenko, still around for a couple more years. And Tsonga and Soderling. And there will be a couple more this year, as there are every year, I am sure.

So how is nadal going to beat 2/3 of these guys in the same tournament, if it is not on clay, if he is in a major?


Fed is GOAT Says:

Also, look at the number of matches Nadal has already played. I think about 500. That’s a large number, in terms of wear and tear. So he may be 23/24, but in match terms, he has played more than what most players play in their whole career.


sam Says:

This might not be relavant thread but 1st time great article in bleacherreport.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/340274-stacking-up-federers-career-in-light-of-lavers


skeezerweezer Says:

Michael, Skorcel

Thanks for the rebuttal with Steve. I was all over that post but you guys beat me to it and did a much better job. “Good Knowledge”.

Sam,

Thanks for the link. Fed fans should give it a read. Well written article. I’m out…


Glen Evan Says:

Nadal is such a great sportsman, such a level-headed competitor. So why do so many of his fans (at least the ones who bother to post here) come off as bitter whiners?


skeezerweezer Says:

FED GOAT? take a look at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Laver#Rivalry_with_Ken_Rosewall.

Let me know what you think. I think alot of us here don’t know our tennis history very well. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Fed man all the way, but Rocket’s argument is still a strong one today….

Glen,

DITTO!


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Randall is right – Nadal should skip the U.S. hardcourt tournaments in Indian Wells/Miami. Sure it’s bad for Nike, but what’s good for Nike is not necessarily good for Nadal. I think he should aim to recapture the French and pull a Muster. Chase points on the clay, play the grass season, and play only Cincy and the US Open.

Really it’s totally clear. Rafa, even though he’s super young, cant handle more than the minimum number of tournaments per year. If that has him at #5 in the world rather than #2 or #1, so be it. He’ll win more tournaments and stay healthier.

Mr. Martin and Mr. Randall pointed this out. And Rafa’s just not going to develop a world-best serve or a s-v game any time soon, or ever, to shorten up the points. He just has to be on soft surfaces 80-90 percent of the year.


skeezerweezer Says:

I think most of the top players would NOT want to play the entire season anyway. What pro sport season lasts from January to November every year? Jeez, give these guys a break! But aren’t they binded by some ATP contract that they must play so many tourneys? Or is it because the players ranking will drop and they feel like they can’t afford too?

Maybe Rafa should look at playing the rest of his career like Serena and forget the ranking. Serena doesn’t care and everyone knows she is a threat when she is entered. That way, whenever he is in a tourney healthy, everyone will basically know he is the man to beat ( excluding fed )


Fot Says:

Skorocel and others…good points. I don’t like reading that the only reason Roger has won these slam titles is because he didn’t have to face Nadal. Nadal has every change to make a final in a slam as Roger does. It’s not Roger’s fault that Nadal didn’t hold up his end of the bargin as the #2 seed and make the final so they could play. Roger has reached 18 of the last 19 finals. He’s upheld his end of the bargin.

Also on the article, all I can do is go by what the “pros” say. You can point out the old stats of Laver and others, but when you ask them: Laver, Sampras, Ken, Agassi, Nadal, Roddick, and others…THEY say Roger is the best ever. Regardless of what a lot of fans think or want to try to ‘prove’ by stats, I have to respect what those players say and they are the ones who have proclaimed Roger as the greatest.


winepig Says:

Skeezerweezer:
The only player who is close to the championship levels of Rod Laver is Roger. With regards to tennis history, here goes: Mr. Laver won the calender Grand Slam TWICE, in 1962 as an amateur and then again as a pro in 1969. In 1962, only amateurs were allowed to play the Slams. Mr. Laver turned pro in 1963 and the Slams didn’t allow professionals to play until 1968. Therefore, Mr. Laver was banned from Grand Slam competition from 1963 through 1967, a total of 20 Grand Slams! Given that Laver won the calendar Grand Slam BEFORE AND AFTER his banishment, it is not unlikely to speculate that he would have won at least 10 of those 20 missed opportunities. Years ago, I heard an interview with a player of Laver’s era (can’t remember who)say that it would take at least 20 Slams for any other player to be considered with Mr. Laver. I agree. Roger is a great fan of tennis history and I firmly believe that he feels the same way.

Pete Sampras doesn’t rate because of his horrible ‘performances’ at the French. Let’s face it, for the last 5 years, he tanked the French(3 wins in 5 years) in order to better prepare for Wimbledon. That ain’t no ‘champion’!


skeezerweezer Says:

Fot,

Find me where Rod said “Fed is GOAT”, not “the greatest player of his era”. As for the rest of the guys I agree. Look, IMO Fed is GOAT, nuff said. But more importantly I think when his career is over it will be a clear slam and dunk. IN the meantime, respect to other generations and eras and what they had to deal with is always open for debate, and where there place is in tennis history. In baseball, if Bonds didn’t take roids I still think people would argue that the Babe was still the king of home runs, and some would argue that Bonds is, because purists can look at stats and justify there own means, ala Rafa fans.

Roger will cement is greatness when he is done, or for Rafa fans, when Rafa is done, lol.

Regarding Nadal, that argument has been already been brought up and dealt with. You won’t see Nadal fans bring that up anymore. Fruitless argument, and you explained it well!


skeezerweezer Says:

addendum to last post, Weather or not Bonds took Roids, the debate amoungst baseball purists, exists.
Sorry, no more talk about Baseball, this is a Tennis blog, no? I’m out…


Andrew Miller Says:

Skeezerweezer is right about Nadal – he should follow Serena’s schedule and “play sparingly”. Maybe Serena’s style and Nadal’s have a lot in common – Serena is fast and runs down a lot of balls.

The difference? Serena has the best serve on the WTA Tour and has owned players with her serve for more than a decade.

Nadal does not have the ATP’s best serve – it’s a great serve but it’s not an amazing serve. The cheap points just arent coming for Nadal.


skeezerweezer Says:

Andrew,

Agreed about Rafa’s serve. However, remember Borg. Early in his pro career, lousy serve. Later, big first serve he developed helped him win 5 Wimbdys. It can be done? Can he do it? Guess we have to wait and see…..


steve Says:

“Attention people! We’ve just heard that all Fed’s losses in 2008 were due to mono!”

Someone’s lacking in reading comprehension skills. I never said that. You did. You’re arguing with yourself here.

You can set up a strawman and demolish it all you wish, but leave me out of it.


steve Says:

“However, remember Borg. Early in his pro career, lousy serve. Later, big first serve he developed helped him win 5 Wimbdys.”

Borg played mostly on clay and grass. He also was facing serve-and-volleyers playing with wooden rackets. Not 6’6” power baseliners with graphite rackets who hit forehands faster and spinnier than people used to serve.

Nadal is basically a modernized version of Borg, attempting to play a game of heavy spin and consistent ball retrieval in an era of overwhelming power and spin where most tournaments are played on hard courts. And the result? Physical burnout.

If it weren’t for Federer, Nadal would probably have three Wimbledon titles, not just one, and he would be a lot closer to Borg’s record and his position in the pantheon. But no one ever thinks of it that way, do they?


skeezerweezer Says:

winepig,

Nice knowledge. Thanks for diggin that up.:)


skeezerweezer Says:

Steve,

Great point!


skeezerweezer Says:

Steve,

On second thought, in the days of Borg, Grass was a completely different surface, like an ice skating rink compared to todays wimby surface. More credit to Borg,a natural baseliner. Nadal has never proven a great player on a fast surface…….fact: slower the surface, better for Nadal.


winepig Says:

skeezerweezer:

No problem; unfortunately, I didn’t dig it up man, I’m old enough to remember!LOLOL


skeezerweezer Says:

winepig,

Please stick around. We need some tennis historians up here who don’t look up “wiki’s” ha! Thanks


blah Says:

when nadal was at his peak last year i said that i see him winning maybe 10 total slams in his career due to his knees, but i think 8 is a more realistic number now. he is already very very accomplished, and i think people should remember that he won six slams, which is a great feat in itself, and he did in the era of Federer, and he won 5 of his slams beating Federer in the final.

He is already one of the greatest players of all time, but again it comes back to the knees. He’s not going to have a second youth though, but I think he can still keep his levels high enough to win 2 more slams. Whether he wins the French this year will answer a lot of those questions. For the first time he will be entering as a player who’s lost the previous year at Roland Garros, and everyone is going to be watching him. Injury or not, I think he has to win it to send a message that he is still there, or else it’s going to be more slams for Fed for 1-2 years, before Roger declines or one of the players step up and consistently push him. If Nadal runs into someone like Del Potro at FO, I would say that match would be one of his greatest battles in his career, right next to 08 wimbledon final. You could imagine how badly he would want to win there. A victory there will be very sweet, I would imagine, right up there with his first slam and his wimbledon win.

As far as him changing his playing style, I don’t see him raising it to a level to where he can be dominant again, but people shouldn’t feel too bad for him. Six slams? I don’t see anyone in the current young generation getting to that number, even after Fed is out of the picture.


winepig Says:

I feel that the only way that Rafa can move foreward is to man up and dump uncle Toni. Look at his facial expressions throughout his match with Murray; confused and unsure. In tennis, as in life, you don’t know what a person is made of until they have to pick themselves off the floor after being knocked down. Compare Rafa’s play and subsequent excuse making after getting ripped by Soderling to Federer’s play after getting killed by Rafa at the French; there is no comparison…at the moment, it is man versus boy.


winepig Says:

Blah:

Rafa and Roger are the only players I would pay to see. Let’s all cheer for Rafa’s return to health; he is indeed one of the greatest talents we have ever been lucky enough to see.


steve Says:

skeezerweezer: true, the courts, racquets, styles etc. have changed so much that it’s hard to make comparisons across eras.


Avtar Says:

Truth be told I totally agree with you even though I am a huge nadal fan been watching him since I was 12 yrs old back in 2005 when he won the French and i really looked up to him as my hero. to be honest he needs to focus on the positives clay court season should be coming in no time so he should prepare for that, he knows he plays best on clay, and there is less strain on his knees so he should look to win Rome monte carlo hamburg Barcelona and finally the French. Mentally he needs to look at the facts HE IS THE BEST PLAYER EVER TO HIT A CLAY COURT…. When it all goes wrong no matter who you are you need to look at how it all started…. For nadal it was the clay courts that started his success so he should look to rebuild from there on.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

hey ppl!!!! i am an ardent nadal fan n i am pretty sad to see that he is no longer world no.2…. but i know and he definitely knows that he will come back with a bang….. i’ve been reading this blog for quiet a few minutes n i still can’t understand why the fans of the greatest tennis player the world has ever seen or will ever see r pessimistic about nadal’s recurrence of injuries… he knows better than anyone else about how much his body can take….n for people who say that nadal is past his peak, see the 4th round of AO, he thumped ivo karlovic n i’ll say that that was his best tennis this year…. u people say that he puts a lot of pressure on his knees n he runs tooooooo much…..but in that match with karlovic his net game was awesssssssome…. he really made the giant strech near the nets…..personally i feel that nadal’s got a mental block that he needs to conquer….fatcs r facts n people can say that nadal is “aged” n all that stuff…..but it is the mind that needs conditioning…..u all saw that he played and won and crushed fedrer with brutal tennis despite having to play with an injured knee
and playing through the pain
that was possible only because nadal believed it was possible….. he needs to do the same now….perhaps fedrer is playing good tennis but i’d say that he’s still past his prime….. i’m not mad nor am i an idiot when i say that nadal could’ve beaten fedrer had he not lost those matches(fact remains that he lost those matches n that its sad) he’d have beaten fed in the finals bcoz fed dosent match nadal in speed and ferocity n nadal will certainly not compromise(am i speeling it right??) on those quality bcoz they come naturally to him….fedrer hasn’t beaten nadal in the last 4 grandslams where they’ve locked horns n that says a lot abt nadals fighting quality n mind u nad defeated fed despite having those recurring injuries….. nad need not take rest….he will slog it out in all tourneys before FO n will be licking fed in the quarters…..all fedrer fans know this but r not ready to say so because it’s a known fact
lets all hope for the best n pray that he gets positive in the coming tourney
VAMOS RAFA……… VAMOS………
U R THE GREATEST AND WILL FOREVER BE DESPITE WHAT PEOPLE SAY
go out there to win….not jus play…..be positive n grandslam wins will automatically follow……… hope for the best at FO
NADAL RULES


Rosalind Brown Says:

Hello
I hope we are all made to eat our words. I eagerly waited for Rafa Nadal to play and although win, he did, it was somewhat painful. Peter Fleming voiced his thoughts and said, he did not think his knees that bad. Well, I hoped he was right. We all don’t know the true extent of Nadals knee and, if there is something else wrong (**I actually think there is something else too**), but we’ll never know, maybe years to come but one thing I do know is we need Nadal, like Murray said, he brings a special element to the game. We need to see another Rafa/Roger final. One winner on points; but both winners on their style, fortitude, dance and play.


Cindy_Brady Says:

I’m much older than most of the posters in here.

Part of me would like to see Borg’s record six FO titles stay in tact. Borg’s accomplishments seem to get unnoticed by the younger generation.

Borg played with wood and only attempted playing the AO once. Had he tried down under a few times, no doubt he would have more slams than Sampras.

Also, no master series 1000 events during Borg’s time. In those days, the Master series in Rome was called the Italian open. Borg dominated that event until unruly fans threw things at him from the stands because he was whipping an Italian player. Borg never again, played that event. Who cold blame him.

Borg was the fittest player ever. Never got tired. rarely got injured. Was a cardio machine. Probably could have lasted 10 sets at the FO if he had to.

Put Nadal’s racket in Borg’s hand and Borg would be better. Don’t think Nadal would have nearly the success he has with wood.

Nadal is the best clay courter of this time but Borg is the best of all time.


Ariella Says:

A few years back, I recall thinking Nadal would be all washed up at 23 because of his knee problems. You just can’t keep doing that to your body and expect the body to take it. It is sad and he was a great player, but he needs to take care of himself now and not risk permanent disability. It is too bad, but his body has vulnerabilities and is just not built for the style of game he plays. I wish him well.


Skorocel Says:

skeezerweezer: “Nadal has never proven a great player on a fast surface……”

LOL :-) What sport are you watching? 99,99 % of the players on the tour would be MORE THAN HAPPY to achieve what Nadal has achieved on what you call a “fast surface”…

Let’s see… USO is Nadal’s worst slam. Everyone knows that. His best result there was a semifinal (twice), which is not particularly great by his standards – yet it is still MILES ahead of what Soderling, Tsonga, Gonzalez, Cilic, and other people who can play well on “fast surfaces” have ever achieved…

It’s interesting how every single Nadal’s win outside clay is attributed to a “slow surface”, whilst when he’s losing, it’s always a “fast surface”… LOL :-) In AO 2007, he got thrashed by Gonzo. In 2008, the same happened against Tsonga, however, no one at that time ever mentioned something about “slow” or “fast” surface, since everyone was convinced he WON’T EVEN WIN A SLAM ON HARD (which was considered as “faster” than clay) back then. These 2 losses were no less brutal than the one which he suffered to JMDP in that last year’s USO semi – yet he came back in 2009 and, like it or not, won the whole thing…


Skorocel Says:

winepig said: „Pete Sampras doesn’t rate because of his horrible ‘performances’ at the French. Let’s face it, for the last 5 years, he tanked the French(3 wins in 5 years) in order to better prepare for Wimbledon. That ain’t no ‘champion’!“

That ain’t “ain’t no ‘champion’” – that’s realistic thinking… Better win 7 Wimbys than not even single FO…


Skorocel Says:

Cindy_Brady: „Put Nadal’s racket in Borg’s hand and Borg would be better. Don’t think Nadal would have nearly the success he has with wood.“

That may be true, but let’s not forget that Nadal’s opponents have the SAME racquets as well…


Cindy_Brady Says:

Skorocel,

All I’m saying here, is that Borg created angles, especially on the passing shots that no else during his time could do with wood.

Let’s face, do you honestly believe Nadal or even Federer could pass and create angles with a Donnay regular sized wood racket? Not likely.

The video is poor, but look how Borg handles a young Lendl.

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


Clare Says:

I dont think Rafa is over.

What the ITf really really really need to do is SHORTEN the mens season.

11 months of the year on the run is ridiculous.
Talk about running those guys into the ground.

Verdasco had 11 days off over the break for example.

Bodies who take a consistent pounding need to heal.

How many guys were out with injury at the Australian Open in 2010? Allot.

They need more rest.

As a fan of Rafael Nadal I have to have the strongest faith that if he says he will be back and that people speculate to much then I beleive him. I have faith in his integrity. I wont abandon him when he needs positive energy more than ever. What ever number he is, I dont care, he is such a wonderful role model. In an era of disgusting male sporting role models (tooooo many to list of late) guys like Rafa should be commended even more.

ps: better to be a cougar than a cheetah and a tiger.

VAMOS


winepig Says:

skorocel”

It appears that you are unaware of how greatness in a tennis champion is defined. As with golf, it’s only the Grand Slams that history pays attention to.

Pete Sampras was fortunate to even be given a seed in the French. Had the folks in Paris handled their seedings based upon clay court play like the folks in London did for grass surfaces, your Sampras would not have been seeded. He was that pathetic on clay, losing )or tanking) to players that were known only to their immediate family. Heck, the last guy that beat him at the French was ranked well up in the 300′s. Being consistently eliminated in the first 3 rounds of the French while ranked #1 in the world is no objective person’s idea of a great champion. Pete Sampras on Grass? He’s right behind Federer and Laver, because, after all, it was a teenaged Federer who dumped Sampras at 2001 Wimbledon. And for anyone who tries to avoid Sampras’ French Open record, the numbers don’t lie.

BTW, there is a huge difference between ‘greatest player’ and ‘greatest champion’. And these evaluations will be OBJECTIVELY made based upon their careers in the Grand Slams, nothing else.


winepig Says:

Cindy_Brady:

I must respectfully disagree with your belief in Borg as best of all time. The man never won a Grand Slam on a hard court. The fact that he chose not to compete at the AO eliminates him from being in consideration as GOAT. However, I think that his ability to win 6 French and 5 Wimbledons, especially when the grass was so much faster, will forever rank as one of the greatest, if not the greatest accomplishments ever achieved in tennis.


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel

“”LOL :-) What sport are you watching? 99,99 % of the players on the tour would be MORE THAN HAPPY to achieve what Nadal has achieved on what you call a “fast surface”…”

I stand by my post, wherever it is:

By the way, it’s same sport where Joke, Murray, Fed, JMDP, Soderling, Tsonga, Gonzalez, Cilic, etc are watching.

In addition, to clarify picking


jane Says:

krishnan, good point about Nadal’s net game versus Karlovic; I thought he played really well in that match but for one poor serving game which cost him a set. But overall, he looked really good. I hope he is back soon, but not too soon. I’d prefer he really get well and then come back.

blah, very true – Nadal already is one great player. He has nothing to prove. But I still think he’ll be back, and I think before he retires he’ll have slams in the double digits. Just an opinion, but given Rafa’s comebacks from injury in the past, I think it’s got some sound history behind it.


Cindy_Brady Says:

winepig,

I respectfully disagree with you. Borg and the other top players of the era, were NOT #s grand slam whoring. It just wasn’t that important. The AO at the time was a horrible tournament, barely worthy of grand slam status. It was played on bad grass courts and in December. For God sake Vilas won it twice. Hardly a grass court virtuoso.

Borg was in 4 U.S. Open finals and 3 of them were hard court events. He was a far better hard court player than Sampras was a clay court player. Borg lost to both McEnroe and Connors twice. Hardly slouchy competition. They both are in everyone’s top 10 list of greatest of the open era.

One fact that cannot be denied. Borg entered 27 grand slam tournaments in his career and won 11 of them. A 41 win %. The best in the open era.

Federer won 16 out of 43 entered. A 37 win %.

Nadal won 6 out of 23 entered. A win 26 win %.

Sampras won 14 out of 52 entered. A 27 win %.

The numbers don’t lie.


Skorocel Says:

winepig: “Pete Sampras on Grass? He’s right behind Federer and Laver, because, after all, it was a teenaged Federer who dumped Sampras at 2001 Wimbledon.”

Sampras = 7 Wimbledons
Federer = 6 Wimbledons
7 Wimbledons > 6 Wimbledons
Sampras > Federer on grass

It’s that simple, winepig ;-)


skeezerweezer Says:

Cindy_Brady

I for one appreciate your knowledge on Borg and bringing to the present. Great champion! What happened to a tennis player body?


jane Says:

Interesting stats on Borg Cindy_Brady. I caught only the very end of his career, as I mostly watched Mac and Lendl’s rivalry as I was growing up – plus Everett and Navratilova.

I wonder how his slam winning percentage would’ve fared had he not stopped playing so early? Hmmm..


Cindy_Brady Says:

Jane,

I believe if Borg continued He would have won at total of at least 8 F0s. I mean seriously who was in his way in 82 and 83. A young Wilander and Noah. Please! Great players in their own right, but clay pigeons for someone as skilled as Borg.

Connors came back to take Wimbledon in 82 over McEnroe. Borg owned Connors at Wimbledon. Borg may have won that too. Borg may have even won a U.S open or two. He was that close to winning it. McEnroe could be inconsistent in 2002 and 2003. Borg could have taken full advantage.

Borg could have easily amassed 16 or maybe 17 GS by the time he was finished.

Borg retiring early changed the face of tennis. Perhaps if Borg did own the GSs record, Pete Sampras would have stayed around a bit longer to chase it.

It would now be Federer chasing Borg for the record.

Remember, Borg didn’t retire because of injury or fitness problems, it was more mental burn out.

To me, Borg’s status in tennis history should not be forgotten or belittled by the new breed of tennis fan who never saw him play and witnessed the tremendous athlete he was.


Cbeast Says:

One thing people must take into account considering Rafa and Fed is that they are still playing.
Fed could still brake the record for most Wimbledon titles won(and us open) and Rafa could do the same on clay.The entire Goat discussion about Fed and Rafa seems a bit pointless to me since they are still active players.
Like fed said “when I hang up my Racket then I can look back at my achievements and talk about them,”
(Or something similar)
Personally I think fed is the Goat but that’s irrelevant!


Skorocel Says:

Clare: I don’t think it’s the length of the tennis season which is responsible for Nadal’s (and all the others’) health issues. Look, for example, at Federer. Despite the fact that he’s still (at the very least) among the top 5 when it comes to amount of matches played per year, he’s been able to adjust his schedule, which, year after year, has looked more or less like this:

1. Abu Dhabi and/or Doha, Kooyong, or NO TOURNEY AT ALL
2. Australian Open
3. 3-4 weeks or REST
4. Dubai
5. 1 week of REST
6. Indian Wells + Miami
7. 3-4 weeks of REST
8. Monte Carlo + Rome + Madrid
9. 1-2 weeks of REST
10. Roland Garros
11. Halle or 2 weeks of REST
12. Wimbledon
13. 3-4 weeks of REST
14. Canada + Cincy
15. 1 week of REST
16. US Open
17. 3-4 weeks of REST or an odd participation in Davis Cup or some Asian tourney
18. Basel
19. Paris
20. 1 week of REST
21. Year Ending Championship (provided he gets there)
22. 1 month of REST and preparation for the next season

So you see, even though the season may appear to be „long“, he’s still able to find at least 20-24 weeks for rest and preparation, out of which some 12-16 are within a continuous 3-4 weeks period. And it pays dividends, as he’s still there, alive and kicking ;-)


Rosalind Brown Says:

Right….lets put Rod, Bjorn, Sampras, Federer, Nadal and John all the same age, all use the same kind of tennis racket…..Tennis Heaven.

Name your winner…..


leo vixen Says:

I hope all you Nadal naysayers eat crow one day, just like all of u did when u wrote Federer off last year and he came back to win 3 more slams. Yes, the issue is different because of Nadal’s knees but he is a true competitor and fighter and I am sure that he will find a way to be back stronger than ever. Also, even though Djokovic has repeatedly complained he was born in the wrong tennis era, having to constantly battle Federer-Nadal for slams and rankings, Nadal can easily say the same; he, too, was born in the Federer era, and maybe the GOAT, so all of you should stop and realize who would have been number 1 for 5 years and won the most slams if it were not for Federer. Just Nadal’s bad luck and timing, but that is life. Too many what if’s that only make for endless mental masturbation and speculation. And blogs like these!


Ben Pronin Says:

Skorocel, don’t forget that it’s not all REST, Federer practices too.

And Cindy, don’t forget Borg tried to come back in the early 90s only to fail to win a single match. The great Bjorn Borg ended his career with a 14 match losing streak.


Kimo Says:

I read all the posts and I just have a couple of things to say:

1- Rafa is indeed a fierce competitor, no one can deny that, but a fighting spirit is no cure for ailing knees. After years of predicting Rafa’s demise due to his taxing game, the predictions have come to pass. I don’t see Rafa winning another major.

2- Regarding who’s the GOAT. In my mind the debate is settled. It’s Roger. Before Roger burst on the scene, no one even thought that tennis could be played liked that. Not only is his game the most beautiful to watch, it is also the most efficient, and that’s why even though he’s closing in on 29 years of age, he’s still the king, beating players who are well younger. Some people tend to dismiss that. When Sampras won his 13th slam in Wimbledon, his back was so bad that he didn’t practice between matches and had it not been for what must be the easiest draw to a championship in grand slam tennis history, he wouldn’t have won. Sampras was almost 29 then too, just like Roger. As for Laver, I never saw him play, but his numbers are indeed impressive. I will not get into “what if he didn’t turn pro” arguments, because Laver’s achievements already say the whole truth. He was the no.1 player of the sixties, slams or no slams. But tennis was not as physical as it is today, and being consistent today is much harder than it was forty years ago. And Roger has to be consistent on four different surfaces, Laver had to be consistent on only two. I’m not gonna put Fed’s titles next to Laver’s and compare them. Fed had GOAT credentials ever since 2005, if not before. All what he has been doing since is backing up his GOAT claim with numbers, and he hasn’t disappointed.

3- There is a certain fact that goes unnoticed by most people: Even though Roger is a master in terms on scheduling his tournaments, he is ALWAYS among the top five players in terms of matches played per year, and that’s compared to everyone on the ATP tour. That’s because he goes deep into every tournament. In other words, Fed plays more matches than anyone ranked outside the Top 6. Talk about longevity!!!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

And Cindy, don’t forget Borg tried to come back in the early 90s only to fail to win a single match. The great Bjorn Borg ended his career with a 14 match losing streak.

Who was talking about the early 90s? I was referring to the early 80s, you idiot!

What does his attempt at a comeback have to do with anything? Borg was in his late 30s removed from the pro circuit for more than 10+ years. That doesn’t register at all in your pea brain?

Stop dumbing down the forum which such irrelevancy. You are much dumber than I gave you credit for.

You have now ventured into VON territory, where she stated John Isner should have not tried hard to beat Andy Roddick at last Year’s U.S Open. Her logic was that Roddick is American and Isner should have handed Andy the match because Roddick’s chances were greater to win the tournament since Roddick was the better more experienced player. If Roddick was the better player, why didn’t he win, then?

Talk about dumb! and dumber!!


Skorocel Says:

Ben: I know it’s not only rest. My point simply is: Fed NEVER complains about the season being too long (contrary to some of his tennis colleagues). As far as I remember, the only time when he voiced his displeasure re: the scheduling and all these things around it was when he and Nadal had to play Hamburg after that gruelling Rome final in 2006, which (luckily for him and Nadal, but unluckily for TV viewers) in the end contributed to the fact that the MS tourneys’ finals are no longer being played in a best of 5 sets format.


Ben Pronin Says:

Well, Cindy, you already lost this argument by resorting to meaningless name-calling. But for those who actually care about tennis;

Most people see Borg as a great player who burnt out mentally and packed it in after he lost to McEnroe in the 1981 US Open final. That loss was only a few tournaments after McEnroe snapped Borg’s Wimbledon streak. Obviously he’s going to be a little shaken. But that wasn’t his last match by any stretch. He actually won a tournament right after that on clay, so it’s not like he suddenly stopped playing. But he was done mentally and he only played in one event in each of ’82, ’83, and ’84. Then he attempted a comeback in ’91 (that’s 6 years removed, not 10+) and he failed to win a single match in 12 tries. Those 12 tries spanned 91-93. If I’m not mistaken, graphite racquets started becoming a trend in the mid 80′s, right around the time Borg retired. He came back in a time when technology was starting to make a legitimate difference.

Cindy claims that if Borg had played with, say, Nadal’s big-framed Babolat, he would be even better than he was. Not to discredit Borg, but isn’t it possible that he’s a glorified Chang or Hewitt who actually benefited from the LACK of technology? Personally, I doubt it. Talent comes from the player not the racquet but Borg let the technology and the tour pass him. But before we go around claiming that Borg was the greatest thing ever and would’ve been greater if this and if that, let’s look at ALL the facts.


SG Says:

These comments about Borg are interesting. My personal opinion is that the guy was mental french toast after losing 4 US Open Finals and having to deal with McEnroe at Wimbledon. Those losses broke his will. I suspect that evey great champion can look back on a specific loss and say, “That’s where my career began to slide backwards.” In Borg’s case, he could see the writing on the wall. McEnroe was figuring him out. A young Lendl was on the cusp of greatness and Connors? Well Connors was still a threat to Borg on any surface but red clay. Borg was a very focused athlete. He breathed, ate and drank tennis. When you invest so much into something and you start to fail at it, it wears on you. While Borg may have had several majors left in his body, his brain was cooked. I seriously doubt that he could have won any more majors even if he’d come back in ’82 or ’83.


skeezerweezer Says:

Done with this blog topic. Name calling is the dumbest. I’m out….


SG Says:

Interestingly, I actually think the biggest loser in this whole Borg retirement thing was McEnroe. Borg brought out the very best in Big Mac. I strongly suspect that had Borg not burned out, Mac may have ended up with a double digit major total. After Borg’s retirement, Mac’s focus drifted a little. He didn’t win a major in ’82 and only Wimbledon in ’83.

I remember a line Mac said in regards to Borg and the No.1 ranking…something to the effect of “I’ll chase all around the world if I have to.”. I think a lot of Mac’s unfulfilled potential can be traced back to the Borg hanging up his tennis shoes. Mac had a great first act, but the 2nd act never materialized. I think largely because Borg wasn’t there to drive him.


Ben Pronin Says:

Yeah but don’t forget, SG, that McEnroe’s best year was ’84. And it was also his last year winning any majors. He, more or less, had a similar mental burn out that Borg did, only he was able to still produce sometimes. He still had Lendl and Connors to drive him, but it wasn’t the same as Borg because not only were they great rivals but they were close friends, too. I don’t remember exactly, but in his book he said that it wasn’t just the loss of Borg as a competitor, it was losing a friend that he always had around when he was playing.


SG Says:

As for Nadal, he has some serious decisions to make. I for one would definitely like to see him back away from some of his hardcourt commitments. I know the sponsors wouldn’t be happy, but long term thinking is what’s needed right now. Maybe play some claycourt tournaments once his knee is better but stay off the hard stuff until the USO. Then depending on how he feels at the USO, he decides whether or not to play. I think Rafa can find his Mojo if he can get things going in Paris. I will say this…If Rafa gets bounced early at Roland Garros (before the semis), I think he may be done.


SG Says:

Hey Ben,

Mac’s ’84 campaign was awesome to be sure. The problem with Mac was his erratic play. While Borg was around, Mac won 3 consecutive US Opens (’79,’80,’81) and won Wimbledon in ’81. In otherwords, year in and year out he was winning majors and was a threat at the USO and Wimbledon pretty much every year. Maybe Mac wasn’t as dominant when Borg was around as he was in ’84, but yuo always sensed that Mac was going to be there from ’79 to ’81. After ’83, I never sensed Mac was going to have the ’84 he had. It was one of those rare tennis years where a man basically mastered the sport and took it to another level. I’ll say this, I don’t think ’84 would have happened without Borg. His battles with Borg were part of the building bricks for that remarkable year.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

Cindy claims that if Borg had played with, say, Nadal’s big-framed Babolat, he would be even better than he was. Not to discredit Borg, but isn’t it possible that he’s a glorified Chang or Hewitt who actually benefited from the LACK of technology? Personally, I doubt it. Talent comes from the player not the racquet but Borg let the technology and the tour pass him. But before we go around claiming that Borg was the greatest thing ever and would’ve been greater if this and if that, let’s look at ALL the facts.

Borg is a glorified Chang or Hewitt? Borg was winning Wimbledon when the lawns were lightning fast and chewed up. Not the slowed down version they are today so that baseline games like Federer and Nadal can dominate.

How old are you? You don’t seem to know tennis history very well. You are just parroting something you read. The word on Borg when he first started playing was his game was not suited to the lawns of Wimbledon and would never win.

It was Connors who stated he would chase Borg to the ends of the Earth to beat him. You children of today don’t understand yesterday very well.

Also, Lendl was afraid of Borg. Connors once called Lendl chicken because he tanked a match at Madison square gardens to avoid playing Borg.

I suppose many of you believe Borg, Connors, or McEnroe couldn’t match up with today’s players because of power? How is it slight player like Daveydenko can beat Federer, Nadal, Murray, and all the other contemporary players of today.

I guess Daveydenko is better than Borg by Ben’s silly comical analysis.

But I wouldn’t expect anything less from a mind like that.


laadlabakdaas Says:

“it’s interesting to see how proud people are of federer for showing up the critics blah blah, continuing to win slams.
there is only one reason this happened after 2008 and it isn’t because of federer’s courage or artistic vision etc. it’s because the best player in the world was injured.”

Classic example of a sore Nadal fan. LOSERS.

Isn’t Federer’s illness what caused Rafa to even catapult to no. 1 in 2008. Even while being ill Fed got to the semis of Aussie 08, Finals of French and lost a very close Wimbledon in 5 sets and in darkness. Just accept the fact that Rafa was never that good. If he is that let him prove that he didn’t win those clay slams only because of Kuerten’s retirement or those non clay slams only because of Fed’s illness and injuries.


Ben Pronin Says:

I said “isn’t it possible” not that he definitely is.

What is your point in talking about what other players said about him? I’m not saying Borg isn’t great. He’s easily one of the greatest. But you’re just assuming all these things like he’d have more slams if this and he’d be better if that. It’s pure speculation.

You know Federer used to serve and volley a lot? He beat Sampras at Wimbledon by serving and volleying on almost every point. So maybe he could’ve dominated when Wimbledon was super fast, too, no?

And if Nadal is so much like Borg, then by the transitive property he would’ve been able to win on super fast Wimbledon, too.

It’s pure speculation and you look over way too much, brilliant Cindy.


Eliza Says:

Wow, Cindy, you certainly seem to get away with mindless insults! Don’t you know that personal insults totally undermine any argument?

On the actual subject, I saw Laver when I was very young and later saw Mac. Lendl, Borg et al play, and the level then was nothing like now- and that includes allowing for changes in rackets, balls and surfaces. The game is constantly evolving upwards. I’m confident that Federer is utterly peerless in his GOAThood and that for a golden period Nadal was the greatest on clay. Of course he’s having trouble now but for a period he was the best claycourter I’ve ever seen and Federer second – without Nadal Fed would have won many French Opens.

Federer’s incredible consistency on ALL surfaces is what puts him way ahead of anyone from the past. 23 straight semi appearances – with Lendl, note, not Borg, next at 10 – is just surreal, as is his 20 out of 21 finals of the last Slam appearances. Laver only had to contend with two surfaces and Borg never won on hard.


winepig Says:

Cindy:

Take a few extra hits of Midol will ya? “Getting better with age” most assuredly does not apply to you.

As I said before, Borg’s 6 French and 5 Wimbledon wins rank at the very top of accomplishments in men’s tennis; however, a career is comprised of the sum total of a player’s accomplishments, not just one. Try to remember that before you continue your insults in this excellent blog.


winepig Says:

Eliza:

Well said on all points made by you!


Cindy_Brady Says:

Well, I can see, as usual, I’m getting gang attacked without provocation.

Borg still won 11 Grand Slams out of 27 trys. The highest percentage of any player in the open era including fabulous Federer who lacks contemporary competition at the top of the game.

Borg had both Connors and McEnroe to contend with. Two of the mentally toughest and grittiest players to ever grace a tennis court.

Who does Federer have, Only Nadal who has kicked his ass more times than Federer has kicked his.

Andy Murray,Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, and Daveydenko are all mentally fragile who wilt in grand slam finals. Only Nadal and Del Potro stood up mentally to Federer and let their games kick his lucky behind.

And I say Lucky because, Unlike Borg, there are no Connors or McEnroes standing in his way. He’s even lucky he didn’t have to face hall of famers like Becker, Edberg, Agassi, Lendl, or Sampras at their peaks either.

Yes lucky Fed – Lucky! You dominated at a time when the top of man’s tennis was mentally sub par/weak. Kudos!


andrea Says:

hmmm. i don’t know what the difference between the punters posting on this site or the tennis.com site is but on the latter, you rarely see the type of bashing that happens on this site. keep it in perspective people. we’re just people that love tennis.

it is a shame about nadal’s knees…although he did say that the current injury is not tendinitis, tendinitis does come back after a period of remission. so if his current knee problem gets better, the liklihood of tendinitis coming back to aggravate him is very high.

don’t think you can write him off quite yet, but many of the ‘young guns’ (novak, andy, juan) have a solid game with which to beat him with. primarily they all have 2 handed backhands, which doesn’t give nadal the ad court advantage of pummeling a one handed backhand, a la federer.

so the question now is how will he stack up against all the other players that are nipping at his feet? the glory days of multi fed/nadal finals seem to be behind us, especially if nadal’s ranking continue to remains below #2. that’s a drag cos no one is in fed’s head more than nadal and i quite like watching how their matches unfold. the usually calm unruffled fed starts coming apart at the seams.


winepig Says:

Andrea:

Good call on the Nadal forehand cross court; it’s his safest shot against the Fed but the worst shot against Murray, Djokovic and Del Potro.

Let’s all hope Rafa heals completely and returns to form; it would be great sport to watch him compete at his best once again.


alisky Says:

let’s just enjoy tennis guys.if nadal still wants to play then let it be..if he loose then let it be and besides its just a game.the only reason that the players are there is for us to be entertained.let rafa decide how long he will stay in this sport because each of us has no right to decide for him.im not a rafa fun but we should be thankful how he made this sport interesting to watch,not just rafa but all of the tennis players.playing this kind of sport is never easy…imagine 1-2 hours of running on that big court,is exhausting.so instead of saying bad things about them lets just thank them for giving us a good entertainment…


laadlabakdaas Says:

“the usually calm unruffled fed starts coming apart at the seams.”

No! if that was the case none of their matches that were played when Fed was unfit and Rafa was fully fit and in form would’ve gone the distance.

It took Rafa 5 sets and darkness to win Wimbledon. Yet he couldn’t defend his wimbledon. The same goes with his Aussie open win too. The trend that I am seeing coming from Rafa’s side is that he is giving away too many excuses which never came out of Fed camp. Its a shame Rafa retires from his matches when he clearly knows he can’t win them. being the mental midget that Rafa has been he’s started giving out statements like “mentally I am not up there”


dc Says:

@ Cindy “Yes lucky Fed – Lucky! You dominated at a time when the top of man’s tennis was mentally sub par/weak. Kudos!”

Federer was far too good to let anybody else rise; unlike Borg or the other greats, who were not capable of defeating rising stars or booming compatriots and a few of these would become formidable threats to Borg.

Just because you crush your competition does not mean you did not have quality competition.Maybe Fed is so good, he is able to crush quality competition, which Borg or McEnroe or Lendl or other greats were unable to.In layman’s terms, If your kids do well in school, you won’t tell them they are not good and everyone else in the school is a dud.

Also, the percentage figures you put are sheer nonsense – for whatsoever reasons, he did not participate in few of the GS’s. You should base your stats on the no of grandslams events held during the career of Borg, rather then how many he chose to play in.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Borg is an all time great and still ahead than Nadal in terms of current accomplishments. However, i still won’t make any conclusions about Nadal – he is an absolutely WOW player and still young and can achieve a lot if he can get back his 2008-09 form/confidence.


Skorocel Says:

laadlabakdaas: „It took Rafa 5 sets and darkness to win Wimbledon.“

It indeed did. Too bad it took Federer no less than 4 tries to realize that he’s still yet to win a match against Nadal at RG…


Fot Says:

Well I’m as old or older than a lot of you here as well. I got into tennis when Ashe came on the scene and he became my favorite. After Ashe came Borg, Lendl, Pete, and now Roger. I loved all of those men, but I still see Roger doing more in terms of tennis shots and tennis ability than all of those players before him, which – when you look at sports in general, makes sense. With the increased technology and fitness programs, the athletes are just a little better (in general). In swimming, track, and other sports where you can actually ‘measure’ times – the athletes of today are getting stronger, faster, bigger, better.

I loved watching Borg and Lendl back in the day. But when I got back and watch some of my tapes of their play, even the women’s game of today seem faster. Again – those were still great players. Just on a personal favorite – I like watching Roger play more than any of those other players put together. It’s just something about Roger. Sometimes we don’t know why we like someone – we just do. Roger has become my favorite sports player (not just in tennis but in any sport), and that’s saying a lot because I’m a big sports fan.

Whether he goes down as the GOAT, or one of the GOATS or whatever – he’s still MY GOAT. It will be interesting to see where he finishes when his career finally ends.

I loved Borg but I just can’t personally forgive Borg for quitting too soon (for me as a fan of his). I wanted him to continue playing since he still could – but he didn’t, and as a fan – I felt cheated. (just the way I felt – not saying it was right or wrong). So I can’t even consider him as the GOAT because he ONLY played in 27 slams. Put Roger’s accomplishments in perspective and he’s almost made as many grand slam SFs in a ROW as Borg played! That’s amazing.

As for Nadal – maybe he will prove everyone wrong and come back strong and winning everything, but the injury bug that he seems to have developed doesn’t seem to be stopping – in fact, it seems like it’s coming up more and more which should be a worry – not only to him but to his fans too.


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel,

Fed = 16 majors

Nadal = less than that

That is all that matters

Also, Please don’t bring up anymore twisted arguments about Nadal vs Fed. Fed has had 19 chances to meet Rafa in the GS finals, How many chances has Rafa had? This head to head stuff sucks….


steve Says:

Nadal has never really had to deal with pressure.

He is always cast as the underdog whenever he goes, so he has nothing to lose. If he’s beaten, everyone shrugs their shoulders and says “Of course he lost. He was the underdog. What do you expect?” If he wins, not only is a .

Psychologically he likes to play down his chances and deprecate himself. Even when he was #1, he continued to downplay his performance. Until after he won AO. Then he could no longer believably claim to be the underdog. And not long after that, his current slump began.

He prefers a position of irresponsibility. But the #1 player is always in the spotlight . Though he is very kind to his fans, I feel that deep down he would rather play without an audience, just himself, the man on the other side of the net, and the minimal number of umps and line judges necessary to ensure that play proceeded smoothly.

If Federer faces a break point, the blogs are instantly abuzz with proclamations that he’s finished and there are front-page articles the next day screeching “Has Fed lost it?” and “The king is dead!”

If Nadal were knocked out in the first round of four straight majors, you wouldn’t hear a peep until some brave soul raised his hand and asked the obvious question: does a consistent pattern of bad results at the big tournaments mean decline?

Then he’d be roasted by the furious hordes claiming that if it hadn’t been for injuries and exhaustion Nadal would have won the tournament even though he was knocked out in the first frickin’ round.

The same dynamic will prevail at this year’s Roland Garros. If he wins, everyone will proclaim that he . If he loses, it will be ascribed to injury.

I don’t think too many people appreciate that whenever Federer played at Roland Garros, he was fighting not one, but two opponents: Nadal and the weight of expectations (his own, the fans’, and the media’s).

Because . And he himself felt that he was a truly great player, and had the ability to master all surfaces.

Facing Nadal is hard enough by itself. Trying to deal with both Nadal and one’s mental demons


sam Says:

well said steve….


Michael Says:

More than any other, I would rate the 2009 win of Roger Federer at the French Open as his best ever achievement. The reason was because of the early exit of Nadal from the tournament which put so much pressure on Roger as “Now or Never”. Even if Nadal had been alive in the tournament, the task would not have been that much tougher for Roger. That he came through that ordeal and emerged triumphant speaks volumes about his mental strength and fortitude, champion’s character, the fighting spirit and the “do or die” attitude. It is there Federer scores over from the likes of Borg who is also heralded as one of the Greats. Unlike Federer, Borg ran away from the battle after defeats against Mcenroe at the Wimbledon and US Open. He resembled a persona who could not accept defeat in a sport where that is a thumb rule. It is in defeat, the character of a Champion comes out and it is there Federer scores. Like Borg, he was also defeated by Nadal at the French, Wimbledon and Australian. But he did not run away from the battle and once again clashed swords to test his strength and emerged triumphant deservedly. I do not know much about Laver or his achievements, but still comparing Laver and Federer is ludicrous as the dynamics in play are totally different. It will be Federer who will be known as the real GOAT for generations to come and that you can be certain. The greatness of Federer will be realized only on his exit and not when he is still in the game.


Michael Says:

Cindy_Brandy,If you consider Borg as one of the Greats, I do not dispute that. True he is and I also admire him for all his achievements. But please do not compare him with Federer who is a class apart. Federer did not run away from the battle after his consecutive defeats to Nadal at the French, Wimbledon and Australian. He took those defeats in his stride, came back and won the only trophy that was missing in his cabinet. That will tell you something about Federer. Compare this to Borg who just ran away from the scene after consecutive defeats to Mcenroe at the Wimbledon and US Open. That was really chickenery and in a way diminished his stature as a true Champion. As regards the oft repeated claim of Federer dominating a weak era while Borg having Mcenroe and Connors to contend with, that may not be a correct assessment. I just cannot agree with the contention that Nadal or Djokovic or Murray or Del Potro are any less inferior compared to Mcenroe and Connors. They too are very good players but Federer is dominating them unlike the Borg era where there was stiff competition. That is not the fault of Federer that his level of play is a scale higher and he is above the competition. If you need to blame anything, blame the Genius of Federer which is solely responsible for his total domination in the Grand slams.


steve Says:

I accidentally posted before finishing. I don’t have the energy or inclination to fill in all the gaps, so I’ll leave it as is, since I said most of what I had to say anyway.


Michael Says:

Skorocel, You must realize that Tennis is not about Federer Vs Nadal, it is about 128 players on the circuit and who emerges dominant playing them. Federer is a proven Master in this while Nadal is an upstart who has many things to prove. Unless Nadal wins 5 consecutive US Opens, 5 consecutive Wimbledons, 4 Australians and the Masters Series more than four times, it would be extremely futile to compare him with Federer because the balance sheet of the both just never tallies and Nadal’s value is a lot lesser. Just dwelling upon the H2H of Nadal against Federer is not going to prove anything. Ten years from now, all that would be totally forgotten and what will be remembered and treasured in history books would be the grand slam achievements of Federer and his name will crop up whenever another Tennis player scales a peak.


Ben Pronin Says:

Steve, you’re going overboard. You have a point in saying that Nadal’s slump started shortly after he became the undisputed, unquestionable, clear-cut number 1.

I’d just like to mention that Nadal’s mental/emotional turmoil off the court should not be attributed to his poor form. Words can’t describe how hard it is for someone like Nadal, who’s so family oriented, to go through a divorce, and I really feel for him. But tennis should’ve been an escape. It’s fun for him, he’s good at it, and he was having tons of success in it. The (possible) fact that it distracted him on the court could be a result of the pressure he was feeling as no longer being the underdog at all, ever. Maybe that’s how Nadal deals with pressure, by thinking of his family, but if he thought of his family, he got upset, so it was a circle of constant struggle.

“If Nadal were knocked out in the first round of four straight majors, you wouldn’t hear a peep until some brave soul raised his hand and asked the obvious question: does a consistent pattern of bad results at the big tournaments mean decline?”

A peep? Really? That’s absolute nonsense. Nadal likes to play the underdog role by his own choosing, not by his fans. So many of Nadal’s fans claim that the he is the actual best player in the world, he’s better than Federer, he’s better than this and that and all that stuff. No, Nadal’s fans, and anyone who watches tennis, expects Nadal to win a helluva lot more than they expect him to lose. After last year’s Wimbledon, people were already claiming that Federer and Nadal will be co-favorites at Wimbledon this year. I still think that’s ridiculous but it just goes to show that people have mighty high expectations of Nadal. If Nadal lost in the first round of even one major, there would be a monstrous uproar and lots of crying.

Michael and other people who are trying to convince Skorocel that tennis isn’t about h2h, he knows. The only time he mentions the h2h is when someone else gives excuses to a particular Nadal win (like 08 Wimbledon). Federer’s easily the more accomplished player, but if you had to bet on their match, who would you put money on?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I have to agree with Michael’s point: the comparison between Nadal and Borg as clay greats is interesting, but a more interesting comparison comes between Borg and Fed.

When Borg was faced with upstarts closing in (Lendl) and beating him (Mac) he quit.
Fed put his chin down, got back to work, and beat the field.

That alone tells you something of how great Fed is compared to another true great.

I do agree that the 00′s were probably not as great an era as the 80′s: certainly going from Connors/Mac/Borg to Lendl/Edberg/Becker shows that decade as maybe the greatest of all time. But I’d definitely take Fed’s era over Sampras. No doubt to me that Nadal is greater than Agassi, and I would take Djokovic, Murray, Safin, ROddick, Hewitt, Ferrero over Pioline, Muster, Martin and Ivanisevic.
Fed may not have faced the toughest competition ever- though its difficult to assess because his domination has been more extreme than we’ve EVER seen. But his era definitely looks favourable compared to Pete’s.


winepig Says:

Here’s a hypothetical question for all posters.

In the history of men’s tennis who would be your number 1 choice would you pick if:

1- You lose your life if your chosen player loses;

2-The match is played on 1 of the Grand Slam surfaces;

3- The surface is to be chosen by a blind draw.

Cheers!!


winepig Says:

oops…nice sentence structure by me…


winepig Says:

And another thing…since a lot of people are making a point of saying how old they are, why not just tell the room how old….(-:


dc Says:

@Ben Pronin “.. and other people who are trying to convince Skorocel that tennis isn’t about h2h, he knows. The only time he mentions the h2h is when someone else gives excuses to a particular Nadal win (like 08 Wimbledon). Federer’s easily the more accomplished player, but if you had to bet on their match, who would you put money on?”

Ben- let me know who you would put your money on for the following scenarios and would you use the h2h results as a basis for your decisions.

Nadal vs Fed – Wimbledon final
Nadal vs Fed – French Open final
Nadal vs Fed – US Open final
Nadal vs Fed – Australian Open final


dc Says:

@winepig.
Assuming that this question was asked 50 years ago at the start of every year, most of the people who chose Federer would have lived, followed by Sampras and so on and so on….


skeezerweezer Says:

Ya know you all keep mentioning H2H. Tennis, although sometimes seems like person vs person because in one tennis match that is what you see, is far from it. When you enter a Slam you have to play 7 matches to win the title ( correct me if I am wrong here on the number, just trying to make a point ). Although H2H match ups are interesting, exciting, etc, the two best players MOST of the time end up in the finals. From the pulling of the draw, which players have no control over other than there well deserved seed, they have to play several matches to get to the finals. Then from there, they have to win one more match.

Although I know discussing H2H can sometimes be interesting, you are going to have to change the rules of tennis if you think a player is better overall than another because they have a better H2H. Has nothing to do with anything in the tennis world and its rules on determining # 1 or GOAT or the greatest. Nothing!

Now, disclosure, two guys (or gals) wind up in there career with lets say 20 slams a piece, then you can start talking about tie breaker theories, I guess?


skeezerweezer Says:

Let me paint another scenario for your h2h.

How about Rafa and Fed play 9 exhibitions. 3 on clay, grass and hard. Then would you say whoever comes out the winner they are the greatest player of all time, the better player? the best? What?


Ben Pronin Says:

Skeezerweezer, you’re undermining the significance of an H2H. Yes, tennis is about beating the players put in front of you, but h2h has a little something to do with beating particular players that may be put in front of you.

What do we use to measure a player’s greatness more than anything else? The slams. You can’t determine who’s the best between any 2 players by pitting them in exhos (Federer and Nadal are 1-1 btw). Greatness is determined by how well and how often a player comes out on top when it really matters. You know what matches really matter? Slam finals. You know what Fed’s record is against Nadal in slam finals? Spanning all 3 surfaces, it’s 2-5. Who cares that it’s 5-8 outside slam finals? Hell, it’s 5-7 outside slams all together. Everyone claims that the lopsided h2h is due to too many clay court matches. To me it looks like it’s due to too many slam matches.

DC, we haven’t seen Federer and Nadal play in a very long time. Since their last encounter, Nadal has gone down, down, down, while Federer won 3 of the next 4 slams. Federer SHOULD be favored, but Nadal’s in his head.

But based on history, I’d pick Nadal to win at the AO and FO and Federer at Wimbledon and USO.


Norwin Frans Says:

Federer is the best player of all times. This is thruth. But, it is only thrue in the tennis way of ranking players.
So the question is; who is the better player Federer or Nadal. Answer … Nadal ofcourse!
Nadal beat Federer 13 – 7. And dont forget Nadal beat Federer every time even in the period when Federer was like unbeatable. Nadal is tied with Federer on Hard Courts (3-3, On Grass Federer is 2 – 1 (2 five set gruweling matches) and Nadal leads Federer 9-2 on clay.
If the boxing ranking was applied. Federer would never have been #1, as Nadal beat him the first time at age 17.
Same thing with Serena, she is not #1 (okay she is now) but she is the best player of all.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

Uh, Ben. How many slam finals has Nadal Been to so far? How many has Fed? Semi’s? Your trying to justify h2h that way to make a player better than fed and the overall field? As Hewitt would say, “C’mon!”

I wrote an earlier post many moons ago about this:

Mu hammed Ali, which MOST boxing enthusiasts agree is the GOAT, many believed lost the Heavyweight Championship of the World 2 out of three matches against Ken Norton and Leon Spinks. Now, does the boxing world consider Ken and Leon even in the top 20 all time Heavyweights? NO. I’m out


winepig Says:

dc:

So, you’d risk your life with Sampras on clay??


MMT Says:

You’re always on dodgy ground when you start to hypothesize how players would have done if this or that. There’s really no way to know this. For example, to claim that Borg would have won titles in Australia had he competed is a stretch – after all, he competed at the US Open for 10+ years and never won. And as Cindy pointed out, grass is about the only thing the Australian and Wimbledon had in common and even that’s not necessarily comnparable.

I think it’s safe to say that based on where Borg and Nadal are right now, an argument could be made that Nadal was a better clay court player, but at the end of the day he’s still 2 FO’s short of Borg’s record. Vilas had great recrods on clay as well, but he pales in comparison with both for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was his failure to have sustained success at the French Open.


Fot Says:

A poster earlier posted the link to this article. I’m also posting a very good fan’s response to it. It’s long, but it’s interesting. It was also pointed out that the writer had already written that he doesn’t like Federer so it was almost impossible for him to be really objective.

Ashiq said:

Hi Ruffin! Thanks for your analysis and comments. I read your article carefully and found something interesting. Here is the breakdown :

-> I come to you in the spirit of reason, and understanding. Fascinated by the constant debate over whether Roger Federer is the single greatest player of all-time or not, I have decided to examine the compare him to nine players who are also on that top level of all-time greats.
———————————————————————————————————
You compared Federer only with Laver in whole article.

-> In the minds hearts and minds of millions of fans, Roger Federer is without peer. Federer is loved unconditionally, his dominance unquestioned and his humanity is often questioned. After-all, only a divine being, a son of the tennis god’s could do such things as he. Only a superior being could string together his run of Major finals and an even more ridiculous run of consecutive semifinal appearances.
———————————————————————————————————
Good acknowledgement. But you hurt Federer’s fan throughout the article. You have no such right to do that.

-> Let’s meet the contenders. The ten players nearly universally agreed upon as the crème de la crème of the tennis world. To be fair, only player from the Open Era have been included. After-all, few have lived to see Bill Tilden or Don Budge play live. We honor their genius, but for the purposes of this exercise they will be excluded. The list looks like this: Laver, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Becker, Agassi, Sampras, Federer .
———————————————————————————————————
Why are Bill Tilden and Don Budge excluded? You consider only open era players. But in case of comparing Laver’s acievement with Federer’s you took Laver’s amature and professional records too. Not self-contradictory? Very few current tennis fans also have not seen Laver play live. Then will we exclude him?

-> Federer boasts 16 slam singles titles to Rod Laver’s 11. Federer enjoys 62 ATP titles, compared to 40 ATP wins for Laver. Both players have won all four majors. Federer has won four on four different surfaces, he is only the second man ever to do that (behind Agassi). Laver is the only player ever to have won the Calendar Slam twice, a feat that Federer has fallen shot by only one match in both 2006, and 2007 (both to Nadal). Both players have a career winning percentage of about 80%.
———————————————————————————————————
Federer won slams in three different surfaces. No matter is it fast clay or slow hard court. Clay is clay and hardcourt is hardcourt. Is not it? Everything is changing. Federer reached all four slams final for three years.Laver did it twice and you did not mention it which you did throughout the article. You just saw how tough it is now to win calendar slam where all other players just find it hard to reach a slam final a year.

-> Therefore, Laver lost his Grand Slam eligibility during his best years from 1963-1968. However, during that span he managed to capture the Professional equivalent of Wimbledon, the Wembly Pro Championship (four times) and the U.S. Open, the U.S. Pro Championships (three times) as well as the French Pro Championship (one time). In these finals he defeated the likes of multiple slam winners Ken Rosewall, and Pancho Gonzales
———————————————————————————————————
It is not wise to say that those five years could be his best years. You just mourned for those lost years but while comparing with Roger’s tally you took those pro-championships. What is the problem? He beat older Ken and Gonzales when they were well past of their peak. Federe is losing to 5/6 years younger players.
Where is the shame? What if Federer did not have 08/09 bad patch? What would be the tally? Did you add up something to his tally? It is said that Federer has destroyed the career of many of promising tennis stars (Safin, Hewitt, Roddick and Nadal in other way). Did Laver destroyed Ken, Gonzales, Emerson? There numbers do not tell so? Nadal, Hewitt, Safin and Agassi are multiple slam winners. Where are they now?

-> When the ATP was first established in 1973, Laver was already 34-years old. Despite his advanced age, he managed to win 40 events over the next six years (more than six titles a year from the age of 34 on). The 40 titles doesn’t tell half of Laver’s story. It is estimated that overall, the Australian won at least 198 events. Even more telling are his head to head records against his rivals. Laver’s greatest rival was the
genius Ken Rosewall. Rosewall, an eight-time Grand Slam winner himself (plus 15 professional slams), won 33 of the pairs first 46 matches in 1963.

However, an older and more mature Laver turned the series around dramatically after that. Laver eventually went on to take over the overall head to head, 76-61. The Rocket also enjoyed a commanding 47-18 head to head edge against 12-time Major winner, Roy Emerson. He also holds a 35-19 head-to-head lead over the older, but ever dangerous Pancho Gonzales, a two-time grand slam winner (with 11 professional slams). Laver also enjoyed a dominant 37-16 head to head record against fellow Aussie and five-time grand slam winner, Lew Hoad (a man who stood 6’3 and nearly 200 pounds, Laver was 5’8” ).
———————————————————————————————————
Now-a-days 34 years is not an age to play tennis. How many 34+ players are now in professional tennis circuit? Ken was genius, why did you not include him in GOAT list? Is his 23 majors meaningless? You took Laver’s H2H against Ken as assessment. Ken was ahead in H2H series while he was young and esperienced. Laver got upper hand while Ken got older. Is not it normal? What is the subject of argument? Laver has
played 137 times against Ken, 65 times against Emerson, 54 times against Gonzales, 53 times against Lew Hoad. Surely he holds better H2h against them. But what does it mean? Titles were shared among them? No? And in every tournament they played against themselves(i do not know the fixture format of that time). Currently it is impossible to play against other players 137,65,54 or 53 times and titles are shared with many players. Laver won 16(’61), 22(’62), 11(’64), 17(’65), 16(’66), 17(’67), 12(’68), 18(’69),15(’70) tiles in respective years shown. Numbers do not lie. Is it possible to repeat that now? Consider Federer enter nearly 20 tournaments a year. Federer won 11(’04), 10(’05), 12(’06) tiltles. It is said that in those years Federer dominated in such a way that no one had ever done. He did it not by carrying a racket into the court only. You know what he had to do. It took him to win 24 staright finals, which is a record in
open era.

-> All in all, Laver was the player of the 1960’s. If he’d been allowed to play the Majors from 1963 to 1968, he would have amassed a total 19 grand slam singles titles. Okay, the argument will always arise that the players from the 1960’s played three out of four Majors on grass. This is a true, somewhat valid argument. But to counter, answer this: which is an easier transition? Moving from fast grass, to hard courts? Or making the move from slow red clay to grass?

The latter has been proven tougher over and over again. Recently only Borg, Nadal, and Federer have accomplished this. Laver and Rosewall did this consistently . One must also not allow themselves to be duped into thinking that Laver never played on hard-courts. In fact, he won many tournaments on hard-courts even though the U.S. and Australian Open’s simply were not contested on hard court surfaces during his
time.
———————————————————————————————————
Now players make the move from hard court->clay court->grass court->hard court. You have to play in which surface the tournament provides. To be a great you have to come out of these sort of difficulties. Surface should not be a matter of debate. If it is, then who has the edge? Is it guaranteed that an US Open champion will win AO next year(hard court to hard court transition)?

-> Not to be outdone, Federer has a sterling resume of his own. Let’s compare streaks. Federer won five consecutive Wimbledons and six consecutive U.S. Open finals (five titles). Rare air, no doubt. However, for anyone to claim that such a feat has never been approached before is slightly misleading. Laver won four consecutive U.S. Professional championships starting in 1966 at a time when the competition on the pro circut was far stiffer than at the Grand Slams.
———————————————————————————————————
Is not the information slighty misleading? In his pro tennis career Laver won 2 consecutive us professional championships. However he won 4 consecutive wimbledon professional championships. Taking open era record in consideration, he won 6 consecutive wimbledon titles. This record also misleads us. While Federer was
playing in ’08 wimbledon finals, people were saying he is trying to break Borg’s consecutive wimbledon titles record. Where was Laver then? Again if we consider Professional championships titles what happens to amature grand slam titles of those years? Which will we count? If we count both then there were 2 champions
for those respective grand slams in the same year. no? If we consider Laver’s peak from ’60-’69, he entered in 19 grand slams(12 amature, 7 open era) and 15 Professional championships. In his 19 grand slams he reached 16 finals (84.21%), won 11 titles(57.89%). For Professional championships he reached 14 finals(93.33%), won 8 titles(53.33%).Does the statistics mean Professional championships were stiffer? Federer in his peak(’04-’10) entered 25 grand slams, reached 22 finals(88%), won 15 titles(60%). Who is ahead?

-> Laver also won Wimbledon all three times he played it during the 1960’s (1962, 1968, 1969), as well as the Wembly Professional championships three times during his leave from the Grand Slams. This adds up to six titles in a ten year span.
———————————————————————————————————
It will be – Laver also won Wimbledon all “FOUR” times he played it during the 1960’s (“1961″, 1962, 1968, 1969), as well as the Wembly Professional championships “FOUR” times during his leave from the Grand Slams. This adds up to “EIGHT” titles in a ten year span. Misleading statistics.

-> Federer has set new marks in both grand slam final appearances (22) and consecutive semifinals appearances (23). Laver appeared in 17 grand slam finals with a record of 11-6, compared to Federer’s 16-6. But add in Laver’s professional “slam” finals record and the more realistic record is 19-12, with 31 finals appearances.
———————————————————————————————————
Then Pete’s 14 titles in 18 final(77.77% success) ,Emerson’s 12 titles in 15 finals(80%), Fred Perry’s 8 titles in 10 finals(80%), Tony Trabert’s 5 titles in 5 finals(100%), Manuel Santana’s 4 titles in 4 finals (100%), Gustavo Kuerten’s 3 titles in 3 finals(100%), Nadals 6 titles in 8 finals(75%) is not realistic. No? Federer’s success rate is 72.72%.

-> In essence, Roger frequently appears in Majors finals and has really only been stopped by a six-time slam winner, predominately on clay. Laver did the losing primarily on clay, to an eight-time slam winner and 23-time Major championship winner.
———————————————————————————————————
You do not count Ken, but his record. Remember the court is there for anyone to play and win. The point if you cannot win it others will.

-> In examining the competition, a lot of the story can be told. Federer has benefited from modern physical training methods, racquet technology and footwear. However, at the same time, Roger has had to deal with a much deeper field. From #100 right on up to the very top (we’ll say #8 or #10) the competition is as strong as its ever been. Players are stronger and much more dangerous in the early rounds of tournaments.
———————————————————————————————————
No one from this era played in Laver’s era with modern physical training methods, racquet technology and footwear and no one is currently playing with a wooden racquet. I think other players in current era are also benifited from modern physical training methods, racquet technology and footwear. If Federer has to deal with stronger and much more dangerous players, who has the edge?

-> Federer must receive special consideration for wading through the masses of potential upsets with alarming regularity. But for every pro, there is a con. At the business end of the big events, Roger has successfully faced a three- time or greater grand slam champion only six times. If we dig deeper, and see that his first victim was a 30-year old Pete Sampras who was well past his prime in 2001(only a year from
retirement). Additionally, another three wins came over a 34+ year old Andre Agassi, who was forced out of the game by back problem.
———————————————————————————————————
I do not get from where the number “six” came from? Federer played Pete only in wimbledon’01, Agassi 4 times(US open ’01, ’04, ’05, AO’05) and Nadal 4 times(wimbldon’07 &’08, RG ’08, AO’09) as the opponents have at least three GS titles. So the total is 9 times. Misleading? If we dig deeper we find Federer is
the only player who did not lose to a 14 times Grand Slam winner Pete and 8 times Grand Slam winner Agassi(after winning 8th). You blamed the age and injury problem of Pete and Agassi. When did Laver get upper hand over Ken? What was Ken’s age then?

-> Federer is left with exactly two grand slam victories over players who have serious grand slam credentials. Not so with Rod Laver. Laver’s Grand Slam final victories read like a who’s who of tennis legends. There were thee Finals victories over Roy Emerson, as well as wins over Neale Frasier, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe and Tony Roche. Now those may not be names that ring a bell to the modern ear, but they were without question at the very top of the sport in their own era.
———————————————————————————————————
You are ringing the bell for them. If Federer would have won less GSs, then there would be many multi-slam winners.

-> Laver’s battles with Rosewall are comparable to Federer’s wars with Nadal. Rosewall was the premier clay court player of the 1960’s. Laver lost four French Pro Championships and one French Open Final to Rosewall, as he, like Federer, had the experience of having to play a clay court genius during his career. The difference is that Rosewall’s dominance over Laver never extended past the clay.

Despite the fact that Rosewall himself was a very accomplished fast court player, probably second only to Laver during the 1960’s, Laver had the edge on the grass and hard courts. Federer has had no such luck, losing five of seven Majors finals to his greatest rival, including relinquishing his beloved Wimbledon title and a Major hard court loss at the Australian Open.

The major difference here is that Rosewall and Laver had an entire career of back and forth in their rivalry. But in the end, Laver came out the better. Federer currently trails Nadal 7-13 all time, but more notable, 2-6 in Grand Slam play. In all fairness, both Federer and Nadal are in their 20’s and should have many more opportunities to square off. Federer will have his chance to bridge the gap.
———————————————————————————————————
Then Laver had an advantage over Ken on grass and hard court. No? Remember Federer is nearly 5 years older than Nadal while Laver was 4 years younger than Ken.

-> If we take a deep look at the past, how can we so quickly brush aside the accomplishments of it’s champions? For every John McEnroe and Pete Sampras who proclaim Roger Federer to be the Greatest of All Time, there are/were another generation who cries foul. Take long-time tennis journalist Bud Collins and
multiple Grand Slam winner, Jack Kramer.
Both have actually lived long enough to see everyone who played from the Open era to now. While they have dubbed Federer one of the best that they have ever seen, they stop short of calling him the single greatest. It depends a lot on what era a person is coming from.
But how foolish would it be for a person, relatively new to the sport to attempt to proclaim that they know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this man, Roger Federer is the greatest ever, when they themselves have never seen the legends of yesterday perform?
———————————————————————————————————
Thanks for mentioning the names who are claiming Federer as the greatest of all time and who are not. In “His 1979 autobiography Kramer considered the best player ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, and Pancho Gonzales. All of these sources were written after Rod Laver completed his second, and Open, Grand Slam in 1969″(wiki). What is your age(May be a very offensive question)? Did you live long enough to see everyone who played from the Open era to now? Watching video in home and playing on court is different. Only players know that. There were no such pressure from media, fan, audience, fame etc as now. Remember players like Federer, Nadal, Murray always think what will they
answer to media, fans if they lose.

-> At the end of the day, while Roger Federer’s choke hold on the sport seems unrepeatable, remember that the same things have been said about several other players. Bill Tilden in the 1920’s, Don Budge in the 1940’s, Rod Laver in the 1960’s and Pete Sampras in the 1990’s. Similar runs of dominance have happened before. They will happen again. The difficulty of declaring one player greater than the rest is beyond
description.
For instance, if we go by Major Championships alone the Ken Rosewall has 23 Majors (8 grand slams, 15 pro slams) Laver sits second with 19 (11 grand slams, 8 pro slams) Federer is third on the list with 16 (all Grand Slams). Keep in mind that the Grand Slams were not as lucrative, or valued prior to 1968.
———————————————————————————————————
Bill Tildon, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Pete Samprass, Federer dominated there era. There is no question about that. The point is how strongly they dominated, what is the outcome of the time of their domination, I mean success rate or time taken to break record.
(http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/Federer-15-Quest/Slams-Stats.aspx).
If Grand Slams were not as lucrative or valued prior to 1968, then why would they play those tournament and you are arguing with it? No sense.

-> And while the pro slams had a much smaller field, they were comprised of all marquee players. There was no such thing as a second round upset of a top seed by a player ranked in the 1950’s. There was no playing your way into form. Players needed to ready to go with their best stuff from the start.
———————————————————————————————————
You said before that “Federer must receive special consideration for wading through the masses of potential upsets with alarming regularity”. Is not self-contradictory?

Throughout your discussion you took and forget the statistics for your own advantage. You are really a good debater. I appreciate you. Last point, going through history or twisting it is differnt. Thanks.

Hi Ruffin! Thanks for your analysis and comments. I read your article carefully and found something interesting. Here is the breakdown :

-> I come to you in the spirit of reason, and understanding. Fascinated by the constant debate over whether Roger Federer is the single greatest player of all-time or not, I have decided to examine the compare him to nine players who are also on that top level of all-time greats.
———————————————————————————————————
You compared Federer only with Laver in whole article.

-> In the minds hearts and minds of millions of fans, Roger Federer is without peer. Federer is loved unconditionally, his dominance unquestioned and his humanity is often questioned. After-all, only a divine being, a son of the tennis god’s could do such things as he. Only a superior being could string together his run of Major finals and an even more ridiculous run of consecutive semifinal appearances.
———————————————————————————————————
Good acknowledgement. But you hurt Federer’s fan throughout the article. You have no such right to do that.

-> Let’s meet the contenders. The ten players nearly universally agreed upon as the crème de la crème of the tennis world. To be fair, only player from the Open Era have been included. After-all, few have lived to see Bill Tilden or Don Budge play live. We honor their genius, but for the purposes of this exercise they will be excluded. The list looks like this: Laver, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Lendl, Wilander, Becker, Agassi, Sampras, Federer .
———————————————————————————————————
Why are Bill Tilden and Don Budge excluded? You consider only open era players. But in case of comparing Laver’s acievement with Federer’s you took Laver’s amature and professional records too. Not self-contradictory? Very few current tennis fans also have not seen Laver play live. Then will we exclude him?

-> Federer boasts 16 slam singles titles to Rod Laver’s 11. Federer enjoys 62 ATP titles, compared to 40 ATP wins for Laver. Both players have won all four majors. Federer has won four on four different surfaces, he is only the second man ever to do that (behind Agassi). Laver is the only player ever to have won the Calendar Slam twice, a feat that Federer has fallen shot by only one match in both 2006, and 2007 (both to Nadal). Both players have a career winning percentage of about 80%.
———————————————————————————————————
Federer won slams in three different surfaces. No matter is it fast clay or slow hard court. Clay is clay and hardcourt is hardcourt. Is not it? Everything is changing. Federer reached all four slams final for three years.Laver did it twice and you did not mention it which you did throughout the article. You just saw how tough it is now to win calendar slam where all other players just find it hard to reach a slam final a year.

-> Therefore, Laver lost his Grand Slam eligibility during his best years from 1963-1968. However, during that span he managed to capture the Professional equivalent of Wimbledon, the Wembly Pro Championship (four times) and the U.S. Open, the U.S. Pro Championships (three times) as well as the French Pro Championship (one time). In these finals he defeated the likes of multiple slam winners Ken Rosewall, and Pancho Gonzales
———————————————————————————————————
It is not wise to say that those five years could be his best years. You just mourned for those lost years but while comparing with Roger’s tally you took those pro-championships. What is the problem? He beat older Ken and Gonzales when they were well past of their peak. Federe is losing to 5/6 years younger players.
Where is the shame? What if Federer did not have 08/09 bad patch? What would be the tally? Did you add up something to his tally? It is said that Federer has destroyed the career of many of promising tennis stars (Safin, Hewitt, Roddick and Nadal in other way). Did Laver destroyed Ken, Gonzales, Emerson? There numbers do not tell so? Nadal, Hewitt, Safin and Agassi are multiple slam winners. Where are they now?

-> When the ATP was first established in 1973, Laver was already 34-years old. Despite his advanced age, he managed to win 40 events over the next six years (more than six titles a year from the age of 34 on). The 40 titles doesn’t tell half of Laver’s story. It is estimated that overall, the Australian won at least 198 events. Even more telling are his head to head records against his rivals. Laver’s greatest rival was the
genius Ken Rosewall. Rosewall, an eight-time Grand Slam winner himself (plus 15 professional slams), won 33 of the pairs first 46 matches in 1963.

However, an older and more mature Laver turned the series around dramatically after that. Laver eventually went on to take over the overall head to head, 76-61. The Rocket also enjoyed a commanding 47-18 head to head edge against 12-time Major winner, Roy Emerson. He also holds a 35-19 head-to-head lead over the older, but ever dangerous Pancho Gonzales, a two-time grand slam winner (with 11 professional slams). Laver also enjoyed a dominant 37-16 head to head record against fellow Aussie and five-time grand slam winner, Lew Hoad (a man who stood 6’3 and nearly 200 pounds, Laver was 5’8” ).
———————————————————————————————————
Now-a-days 34 years is not an age to play tennis. How many 34+ players are now in professional tennis circuit? Ken was genius, why did you not include him in GOAT list? Is his 23 majors meaningless? You took Laver’s H2H against Ken as assessment. Ken was ahead in H2H series while he was young and esperienced. Laver got upper hand while Ken got older. Is not it normal? What is the subject of argument? Laver has
played 137 times against Ken, 65 times against Emerson, 54 times against Gonzales, 53 times against Lew Hoad. Surely he holds better H2h against them. But what does it mean? Titles were shared among them? No? And in every tournament they played against themselves(i do not know the fixture format of that time). Currently it is impossible to play against other players 137,65,54 or 53 times and titles are shared with many players. Laver won 16(’61), 22(’62), 11(’64), 17(’65), 16(’66), 17(’67), 12(’68), 18(’69),15(’70) tiles in respective years shown. Numbers do not lie. Is it possible to repeat that now? Consider Federer enter nearly 20 tournaments a year. Federer won 11(’04), 10(’05), 12(’06) tiltles. It is said that in those years Federer dominated in such a way that no one had ever done. He did it not by carrying a racket into the court only. You know what he had to do. It took him to win 24 staright finals, which is a record in
open era.

-> All in all, Laver was the player of the 1960’s. If he’d been allowed to play the Majors from 1963 to 1968, he would have amassed a total 19 grand slam singles titles. Okay, the argument will always arise that the players from the 1960’s played three out of four Majors on grass. This is a true, somewhat valid argument. But to counter, answer this: which is an easier transition? Moving from fast grass, to hard courts? Or making the move from slow red clay to grass?

The latter has been proven tougher over and over again. Recently only Borg, Nadal, and Federer have accomplished this. Laver and Rosewall did this consistently . One must also not allow themselves to be duped into thinking that Laver never played on hard-courts. In fact, he won many tournaments on hard-courts even though the U.S. and Australian Open’s simply were not contested on hard court surfaces during his
time.
———————————————————————————————————
Now players make the move from hard court->clay court->grass court->hard court. You have to play in which surface the tournament provides. To be a great you have to come out of these sort of difficulties. Surface should not be a matter of debate. If it is, then who has the edge? Is it guaranteed that an US Open champion will win AO next year(hard court to hard court transition)?

-> Not to be outdone, Federer has a sterling resume of his own. Let’s compare streaks. Federer won five consecutive Wimbledons and six consecutive U.S. Open finals (five titles). Rare air, no doubt. However, for anyone to claim that such a feat has never been approached before is slightly misleading. Laver won four consecutive U.S. Professional championships starting in 1966 at a time when the competition on the pro circut was far stiffer than at the Grand Slams.
———————————————————————————————————
Is not the information slighty misleading? In his pro tennis career Laver won 2 consecutive us professional championships. However he won 4 consecutive wimbledon professional championships. Taking open era record in consideration, he won 6 consecutive wimbledon titles. This record also misleads us. While Federer was
playing in ’08 wimbledon finals, people were saying he is trying to break Borg’s consecutive wimbledon titles record. Where was Laver then? Again if we consider Professional championships titles what happens to amature grand slam titles of those years? Which will we count? If we count both then there were 2 champions
for those respective grand slams in the same year. no? If we consider Laver’s peak from ’60-’69, he entered in 19 grand slams(12 amature, 7 open era) and 15 Professional championships. In his 19 grand slams he reached 16 finals (84.21%), won 11 titles(57.89%). For Professional championships he reached 14 finals(93.33%), won 8 titles(53.33%).Does the statistics mean Professional championships were stiffer? Federer in his peak(’04-’10) entered 25 grand slams, reached 22 finals(88%), won 15 titles(60%). Who is ahead?

-> Laver also won Wimbledon all three times he played it during the 1960’s (1962, 1968, 1969), as well as the Wembly Professional championships three times during his leave from the Grand Slams. This adds up to six titles in a ten year span.
———————————————————————————————————
It will be – Laver also won Wimbledon all “FOUR” times he played it during the 1960’s (“1961″, 1962, 1968, 1969), as well as the Wembly Professional championships “FOUR” times during his leave from the Grand Slams. This adds up to “EIGHT” titles in a ten year span. Misleading statistics.

-> Federer has set new marks in both grand slam final appearances (22) and consecutive semifinals appearances (23). Laver appeared in 17 grand slam finals with a record of 11-6, compared to Federer’s 16-6. But add in Laver’s professional “slam” finals record and the more realistic record is 19-12, with 31 finals appearances.
———————————————————————————————————
Then Pete’s 14 titles in 18 final(77.77% success) ,Emerson’s 12 titles in 15 finals(80%), Fred Perry’s 8 titles in 10 finals(80%), Tony Trabert’s 5 titles in 5 finals(100%), Manuel Santana’s 4 titles in 4 finals (100%), Gustavo Kuerten’s 3 titles in 3 finals(100%), Nadals 6 titles in 8 finals(75%) is not realistic. No? Federer’s success rate is 72.72%.

-> In essence, Roger frequently appears in Majors finals and has really only been stopped by a six-time slam winner, predominately on clay. Laver did the losing primarily on clay, to an eight-time slam winner and 23-time Major championship winner.
———————————————————————————————————
You do not count Ken, but his record. Remember the court is there for anyone to play and win. The point if you cannot win it others will.

-> In examining the competition, a lot of the story can be told. Federer has benefited from modern physical training methods, racquet technology and footwear. However, at the same time, Roger has had to deal with a much deeper field. From #100 right on up to the very top (we’ll say #8 or #10) the competition is as strong as its ever been. Players are stronger and much more dangerous in the early rounds of tournaments.
———————————————————————————————————
No one from this era played in Laver’s era with modern physical training methods, racquet technology and footwear and no one is currently playing with a wooden racquet. I think other players in current era are also benifited from modern physical training methods, racquet technology and footwear. If Federer has to deal with stronger and much more dangerous players, who has the edge?

-> Federer must receive special consideration for wading through the masses of potential upsets with alarming regularity. But for every pro, there is a con. At the business end of the big events, Roger has successfully faced a three- time or greater grand slam champion only six times. If we dig deeper, and see that his first victim was a 30-year old Pete Sampras who was well past his prime in 2001(only a year from
retirement). Additionally, another three wins came over a 34+ year old Andre Agassi, who was forced out of the game by back problem.
———————————————————————————————————
I do not get from where the number “six” came from? Federer played Pete only in wimbledon’01, Agassi 4 times(US open ’01, ’04, ’05, AO’05) and Nadal 4 times(wimbldon’07 &’08, RG ’08, AO’09) as the opponents have at least three GS titles. So the total is 9 times. Misleading? If we dig deeper we find Federer is
the only player who did not lose to a 14 times Grand Slam winner Pete and 8 times Grand Slam winner Agassi(after winning 8th). You blamed the age and injury problem of Pete and Agassi. When did Laver get upper hand over Ken? What was Ken’s age then?

-> Federer is left with exactly two grand slam victories over players who have serious grand slam credentials. Not so with Rod Laver. Laver’s Grand Slam final victories read like a who’s who of tennis legends. There were thee Finals victories over Roy Emerson, as well as wins over Neale Frasier, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe and Tony Roche. Now those may not be names that ring a bell to the modern ear, but they were without question at the very top of the sport in their own era.
———————————————————————————————————
You are ringing the bell for them. If Federer would have won less GSs, then there would be many multi-slam winners.

-> Laver’s battles with Rosewall are comparable to Federer’s wars with Nadal. Rosewall was the premier clay court player of the 1960’s. Laver lost four French Pro Championships and one French Open Final to Rosewall, as he, like Federer, had the experience of having to play a clay court genius during his career. The difference is that Rosewall’s dominance over Laver never extended past the clay.

Despite the fact that Rosewall himself was a very accomplished fast court player, probably second only to Laver during the 1960’s, Laver had the edge on the grass and hard courts. Federer has had no such luck, losing five of seven Majors finals to his greatest rival, including relinquishing his beloved Wimbledon title and a Major hard court loss at the Australian Open.

The major difference here is that Rosewall and Laver had an entire career of back and forth in their rivalry. But in the end, Laver came out the better. Federer currently trails Nadal 7-13 all time, but more notable, 2-6 in Grand Slam play. In all fairness, both Federer and Nadal are in their 20’s and should have many more opportunities to square off. Federer will have his chance to bridge the gap.
———————————————————————————————————
Then Laver had an advantage over Ken on grass and hard court. No? Remember Federer is nearly 5 years older than Nadal while Laver was 4 years younger than Ken.

-> If we take a deep look at the past, how can we so quickly brush aside the accomplishments of it’s champions? For every John McEnroe and Pete Sampras who proclaim Roger Federer to be the Greatest of All Time, there are/were another generation who cries foul. Take long-time tennis journalist Bud Collins and
multiple Grand Slam winner, Jack Kramer.
Both have actually lived long enough to see everyone who played from the Open era to now. While they have dubbed Federer one of the best that they have ever seen, they stop short of calling him the single greatest. It depends a lot on what era a person is coming from.
But how foolish would it be for a person, relatively new to the sport to attempt to proclaim that they know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this man, Roger Federer is the greatest ever, when they themselves have never seen the legends of yesterday perform?
———————————————————————————————————
Thanks for mentioning the names who are claiming Federer as the greatest of all time and who are not. In “His 1979 autobiography Kramer considered the best player ever to have been either Don Budge (for consistent play) or Ellsworth Vines (at the height of his game). The next four best were, chronologically, Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, Bobby Riggs, and Pancho Gonzales. All of these sources were written after Rod Laver completed his second, and Open, Grand Slam in 1969″(wiki). What is your age(May be a very offensive question)? Did you live long enough to see everyone who played from the Open era to now? Watching video in home and playing on court is different. Only players know that. There were no such pressure from media, fan, audience, fame etc as now. Remember players like Federer, Nadal, Murray always think what will they
answer to media, fans if they lose.

-> At the end of the day, while Roger Federer’s choke hold on the sport seems unrepeatable, remember that the same things have been said about several other players. Bill Tilden in the 1920’s, Don Budge in the 1940’s, Rod Laver in the 1960’s and Pete Sampras in the 1990’s. Similar runs of dominance have happened before. They will happen again. The difficulty of declaring one player greater than the rest is beyond
description.
For instance, if we go by Major Championships alone the Ken Rosewall has 23 Majors (8 grand slams, 15 pro slams) Laver sits second with 19 (11 grand slams, 8 pro slams) Federer is third on the list with 16 (all Grand Slams). Keep in mind that the Grand Slams were not as lucrative, or valued prior to 1968.
———————————————————————————————————
Bill Tildon, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Pete Samprass, Federer dominated there era. There is no question about that. The point is how strongly they dominated, what is the outcome of the time of their domination, I mean success rate or time taken to break record.
(http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/Federer-15-Quest/Slams-Stats.aspx).
If Grand Slams were not as lucrative or valued prior to 1968, then why would they play those tournament and you are arguing with it? No sense.

-> And while the pro slams had a much smaller field, they were comprised of all marquee players. There was no such thing as a second round upset of a top seed by a player ranked in the 1950’s. There was no playing your way into form. Players needed to ready to go with their best stuff from the start.
———————————————————————————————————
You said before that “Federer must receive special consideration for wading through the masses of potential upsets with alarming regularity”. Is not self-contradictory?

Throughout your discussion you took and forget the statistics for your own advantage. You are really a good debater. I appreciate you. Last point, going through history or twisting it is differnt. Thanks.


Fot Says:

And to follow up – another fan wrote this in response to the article:

tom hoang 108233 posted about 3 hours ago 1265647551 1870755 tom
I read a few of your other articles, and they were really good. But I thought I read somewhere that you admitted you didn’t like Federer’s arrogance. With that bias, it’s impossible for you to be impartial when writing something like this article, and that’s why immediately, without having to read much, I already knew the intention was to try to prove that Federer does not deserve GOAT title.

I’m not a federer fan or anybody’s fan. I’ve been playing and watching tennis for a while, and I just want to keep watching good tennis being played, so Federer being GOAT or Laver being GOAT, or Goran Ivanisevic being GOAT does not make any difference to me. I do have preference for the one handed backhand attacking all court game style of a Federer or Laver. McEnroe/Pete/Edberg/Rafter’s style is a bit too much serve and volleying for me. I also like the Nadal’s loopy inside out forehand. It’s a lethal shot that looks like a canon being fired.

So from my perspective, I can’t think of any reason other than bias for an article as long as this one (and not finished yet by the way) to just make a point that Federer does not deserve to be GOAT. You should aready know that no matter how you slice and dice the number, you will not win any convert. The ones who agree with you already did, and the ones who don’t won’t. Maybe you should reconsider about continuing with this series and stick to the topics you write best.


winepig Says:

PETE SAMPRAS AT ROLAND GARROS

YEAR RANK ROUND SCORE MATCH WINNER

1991 6 2 6-3,6-1,6-1 Champion ?
1992 3 1/4s 7-6,6-1,6-1 Agassi
1993 1 ” 6-3,4-6,6-1,6-4 Bruguera
1994 1 ” 6-4,5-7,6-4,6-4 Courier
1995 2 1 7-6,4-6,6-7,6-2,6-4 Schaller ??
1996 1 1/2s 7-6,6-0,6-2 Kafelnikov
1997 1 3 6-2,6-4,2-6,6-4 Norman
1998 1 2 7-6,6-3,6-4 Delgado ??
1999 2 2 7-5,1-6,6-4,6-3 Medvedev
2000 2 1 4-6,7-5,7-6,4-6,8-6 Philippousis
2001 5 2 7-6,6-3,,6-2 Blanco ???
2002 12 1 3-6,6-4,6-2,7-6 Gaudenzi ????

25-# of match wins in 12 years = less that 2/year
5-# of straight set losses
1-# of bagel sets lost
4-# of 6-1 sets lost
6-# of 6-2 sets lost

Gaudenzi was ranked in the 300s


Ben Pronin Says:

Why do you have to put down Sampras’s achievements?


Skorocel Says:

Ben Pronin: “Why do you have to put down Sampras’s achievements?”

Because he’s run out of ideas as to how to explain why Fed’s record vs Nadal is like it is ;-)


skeezerweezer Says:

Fot,

Good stuff. Loved it. Thanks for the post, although it was a “little” long :)

IMO Fed GOAT in the open era. Besides the record books, IMO the game has matured so much since then with fitness, shotmaking and power. Fed is the only guy who can hit every shot. Slice, chip, topspin, touch, power, wrist control, etc.

His arguments for Laver, although, good, has too many “if”s in it. We can only deal with the record books which contain facts, and make a call accordingly.

IMO Laver was GOAT in his era, no doubt.

Rememeber, when all said and done, FED IS NOT DONE YET, only 28…..


Skorocel Says:

skeezerweezer: „Fed has had 19 chances to meet Rafa in the GS finals, How many chances has Rafa had? This head to head stuff sucks….“

Dude, Fed has had no less than 7 (SEVEN) chances to beat Rafa in a GS final, and won TWICE. Nadal had the same 7 (SEVEN) chances to beat Fed in a GS final, and won FIVE times. Got it? If 7 (SEVEN) finals is not enough for you, then show me another 2 guys who played as many GS finals in the Open Era as these two, and I’ll gladly agree with you.


Skorocel Says:

„Greatness is determined by how well and how often a player comes out on top when it really matters. You know what matches really matter? Slam finals. You know what Fed’s record is against Nadal in slam finals? Spanning all 3 surfaces, it’s 2-5. Who cares that it’s 5-8 outside slam finals? Hell, it’s 5-7 outside slams all together. Everyone claims that the lopsided h2h is due to too many clay court matches. To me it looks like it’s due to too many slam matches.“

Completely agree, Ben.


Skorocel Says:

„And dont forget Nadal beat Federer every time even in the period when Federer was like unbeatable.“

Very good point, Norwin Frans!


Skorocel Says:

Tennis Vagabond: „No doubt to me that Nadal is greater than Agassi“

Really?

Agassi = 60 titles, 8 Slams (winning each), 101 weeks at No. 1
Nadal = 36 titles, 6 Slams (winning all but USO), 46 weeks at No. 1


Skorocel Says:

Michael: „More than any other, I would rate the 2009 win of Roger Federer at the French Open as his best ever achievement. The reason was because of the early exit of Nadal from the tournament which put so much pressure on Roger as “Now or Never”. Even if Nadal had been alive in the tournament, the task would not have been that much tougher for Roger. That he came through that ordeal and emerged triumphant speaks volumes about his mental strength and fortitude, champion’s character, the fighting spirit and the “do or die” attitude.“

Don’t know about you, but I would rather see him beating Nadal in the finals than to come through that „ordeal“ of not having to face the Spaniard…


Skorocel Says:

„It is there Federer scores over from the likes of Borg who is also heralded as one of the Greats. Unlike Federer, Borg ran away from the battle after defeats against Mcenroe at the Wimbledon and US Open. He resembled a persona who could not accept defeat in a sport where that is a thumb rule. It is in defeat, the character of a Champion comes out and it is there Federer scores. Like Borg, he was also defeated by Nadal at the French, Wimbledon and Australian. But he did not run away from the battle and once again clashed swords to test his strength and emerged triumphant deservedly.“

LOL :-) That’s as if I had said that Federer and Borg went to a safari trip, and when they spotted a lion on the other side of a 500 m broad river, Federer stayed there whilst Borg ran away ;-) The truth, Michael, is: as long as the H2H between Nadal and Fed is like it is, all what you’ve written above will be pointless.


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel Says:

„Greatness is determined by how well and how often a player comes out on top when it really matters. You know what matches really matter? Slam finals.

That’s right Skorocel. You said it. How many GS Finals has Rafa been too? How many has Fed? Greatness = Slam Finals.
I’m out….:)


Skorocel Says:

Fot: „In swimming, track, and other sports where you can actually ‘measure’ times – the athletes of today are getting stronger, faster, bigger, better.“

Yeah, but let’s not forget that the laboratories’ equipment gets better and better as well ;-)


Skorocel Says:

steve: „I don’t think too many people appreciate that whenever Federer played at Roland Garros, he was fighting not one, but two opponents: Nadal and the weight of expectations (his own, the fans’, and the media’s).“

You’re right about that, but still, that doesn’t justify his losses in Paris even a bit. It wasn’t Nadal’s fault that everyone was talking about Fed as a possible GOAT virtually since 2003… Fact is, Roger had no less than 4 chances to beat him in Paris. He needed just one win, but unfortunately, he never got it.


skeezerweezer Says:

“Dude, Fed has had no less than 7 (SEVEN) chances to beat Rafa in a GS final, and won TWICE. Nadal had the same 7 (SEVEN) chances to beat Fed in a GS final, and won FIVE times. Got it? If 7 (SEVEN) finals is not enough for you, then show me another 2 guys who played as many GS finals in the Open Era as these two, and I’ll gladly agree with you.”

Well I guess Nadal needs to get to meet Fed 12 more times, then we’ll see.

Mmmmm I just don’t get it…..Fed 19 Finals….Nadal 7…..you play against a field, apparently Nadal can’t get through the field as good as Fed….Wait….There is an app for that!!!.


Long Live The King Says:

Why are we neglecting the Masters Cup matches where Nadal did not win a set off federer in 2 tries?

And about the slam finals, Nadal beat federer only on clay, when Roger was at his best. Remember, Nadal beat federer outside clay only after Djokovic had gotten roger in the oz open 08. If you believe Roger since 08 oz open to 09 oz open was the best tennis Roger ever played, I am sorry you must have been sleeping in 04,05, 06,07. What was the slam finals record those 4yrs? 2-2. 4-2 in Rogers favor if you include the TMC shanghai in 06 and 07 (which was hardcourt, btw). It is not Roger’s fault that Nadal was a no-show at the aus open and US open those years.

Nadal only beat Federer in a grass or hardcourt slam after Roger’s game dipped considerably. There is no way Rafa would have beaten Roger on grass or hardcourts if Roger plays at his 04-07 level (known as TMF level in Federer-land!)


Long Live The King Says:

To add, Roger has been in 19 out of the last 20 slam finals. Which means, Roger gets to the slam final whether his game is on fire or if it is in the dumps. Whereas Nadal, like other mortals (on grass and hardcourt) gets to a slam final most likely when he is playing his best tennis. Given that, and the match-up advantage, Nadal getting wins over Roger outside of clay is more likely than the other way. Even then, nadal needed 5sets at both wimbledon and oz open to beat Roger, whose game was clearly in a slump.

Outside of clay it is still 2-2 in slam finals. Clay is definitely Nadal’s territory and Roger was unfortunate not to catch Nadal on a bad day at the French (like soderling did and like Rafa caught Roger at wimbledon or oz open)

Like their H2H, Roger got penalized for being good enuf on clay to make the slam finals, where as rafa did not make it to the slam finals when Roger was at his most dominant from 04-07


Polo Says:

I find if sad that those who would not accept Federer as the best ever had to drag Nadal’s name and his only claim to fame at this time is that he has a better head to head record against Federer. How valid is that argument to deter Federer from the being called the best when Nadal, who, when people talk about the best ever, would not even be included in the discussion? Not at this point. He may have a better H2H against Federer but look at what it cost him? He is now so worn down and has not factored in the last 4 majors while Federer has collected three? Tell me, in the long run, who had come on top?


Long Live The King Says:

Continuing on that topic of slam finals record, lets say sampras played this decade and faced rafa instead of Roger and we can safely assume sampras would have made 0 finals in paris and most probably fared like roger did against rafa at both wimbledon and oz open, the slam final H2H would have been 2-2. Does that mean Sampras is a better player than Roger? because he has a more “respectable” H2H against nadal?

I dont think so. Branding Roger as mentally weak or that Nadal is in Roger’s head, because Roger loses 3 more french open finals doesnt make sense. Roger has had match up issues with hewitt, nalbandian and murray and he has turned around really bad H2Hs against those 3. Against Nadal, he hasn’t been able to. 3 out of 4 opponents, Roger has tamed – it is more likely the 4th is an exception rather than being the rule.


Long Live The King Says:

Krajicek has a 5-4 H2H against sampras and beat Sampras the only time they played at wimbledon. Are you going to use that to claim that Sampras is not one of the GOATs at wimbledon?

Here is how history will look at this :

Aus open : Roger 4, Nadal 1
Frnch : Roger 1, Nadal 4
Wimbledon: Roger 6 Nadal 1
US open : Roger 5, Nadal 0

and counting…..


Fed is GOAT Says:

On this whole Federer versus LAver debate (Sampras is not longer in this debate).

People misrepresent Laver’s record. Yes, he had 11 majors. Yes, he would have won more had he not turned pro.

However, his first 6 majors (in 1961-62) are junk – he wouldn’t have won ANY of them had Rosewall been playing slams at that time. Rosewall was clearly above Laver until 1963. Same for Pancho Gonzalez.

So Laver won 5 legitimate slams, plus 8 Pro slams (which we can count as legitimate). That makes it 13.

If you think slams won before 1968 were legitimate, then you should put Roy Emerson above him, since he won 12. But they were almost all junk.

Rosewall won 15 Pro slams, and 4 legitimate slams, making it 19. So Rosewall is the true GOAT. Somehow, people never talk about him.

Winning 16 slams with today’s deep competition, on different surfaces, is far tougher than anything these guys may have done before. I think the door on who is GOAT is pretty much shut.


Long Live The King Says:

Another analogy. Sampras is 6-2 against agassi in slams. I am sure just based on H2H you would think Sampras owned agassi at slams. Here is the deal, though. Sampras was 4-0 against agassi at USopen, 2-0 at wimbledon. He was 0-2 at aus open. And here is the devil – they never met at french!!!! ( I wonder which player is to blame for that)

I am sure Roger and agassi would both have evened their H2Hs at slams against nadal and sampras, if nadal was good enuf at USopen and sampras at the French to consistently run deep.

Bottomline : H2Hs are only relevant if the champs are on equal footing on the GS pecking order. I am sure if Nadal hits 16 slams, we can proclaim him better than Roger. Till then, I think Roger is the better player.


Fed is GOAT Says:

Nadal is not even in the GOAT picture. Ya, fanatics can do on talking about him, but he still remains a super clay courter who did well to win a couple other majors.


Fed is GOAT Says:

BTW, how many top 10 players has Nadal beaten since May?

Based on NAdal fanatics arguments, Hrbaty is the GOAT – winning record against both Federer and Nadal!


Long Live The King Says:

” I think the door on who is GOAT is pretty much shut.”

Yes sir! Most of the tennis world, except for some whiny sampras fans and some Fed-haters acknowledge that.

Long Live The King.


Skorocel Says:

Michael: „Skorocel, You must realize that Tennis is not about Federer Vs Nadal, it is about 128 players on the circuit and who emerges dominant playing them. Federer is a proven Master in this while Nadal is an upstart who has many things to prove. Unless Nadal wins 5 consecutive US Opens, 5 consecutive Wimbledons, 4 Australians and the Masters Series more than four times, it would be extremely futile to compare him with Federer because the balance sheet of the both just never tallies and Nadal’s value is a lot lesser. Just dwelling upon the H2H of Nadal against Federer is not going to prove anything.“

Do you have a comprehension problem or what? Who the hell is saying Nadal is a better player than Fed???!!! Every sound-thinking person on this planet knows that Fed’s accomplishments are FAR better than those of Nadal! BUT, he’s the supposed GOAT, isn’t he? The very best. The best of the best. The ultimate tennis player. Better than Sampras, better than Borg, better than Laver, better than everyone. Then, HOW COME he has such a poor record against Nadal both overall and (most importantly) in Slam finals?! Nadal isn’t even 24 (and, compared to Fed, still looks like a baby), yet he OWNS Federer like no one has ever owned… And he owned him virtually from the get go, when Fed was at his very best whilst Nadal was only a rookie. When you think that 99 % of the players look totally clueless vs Fed, it’s almost appalling (and funny as well) to see that it’s usually the opposite when he plays Nadal. The guy doesn’t need to do anything special except to pound that 5000 rpm FH & his serve to Fed’s BH, and Fed suddenly doesn’t know what to do… THAT’S what the supposed GOAT should look like?

And don’t tell me it’s only because of a „bad matchup“! FO 2007 final – Fed had no less than 10 BPs (!) in the 1st set (out of which at least 5 were makable), yet what happened? He didn’t convert even one, and lost the set 6-3. WTF? AO 2009 final – he had some 6 BPs towards the end of the 3rd set, the match was (more or less) his to take, but he didn’t convert even one. Instead, the set went to Nadal, and 1 hour later when it went to the 5th, Roger completely collapsed (only to collapse even more at that hilarious trophy ceremony). THAT’s what you call a GOAT? Sure, he showed a resolve of a champion in that Wimby 2007 final (where he twice escaped from a 15-40 deficit on his serve in the 5th), but more often than not, when the stakes were high, Nadal was the better man. You people are all saying that they haven’t played enough matches, that Nadal didn’t make it to the USO & AO finals often enough for Fed to have a chance to level their H2H, and all this BS, but the fact is: Fed had UMPTEEN opportunities to prove himself against the Spaniard (Rome 2006 final, Wimby 2008 final, or the AO 2009 final being perhaps the most glaring examples), but more often than not, he failed to solve the Nadal riddle. He solved Hewitt, Murray, JMDP, Djoker, Henman, Nalby, heck, he even solved Agassi! But in case of Nadal, he’s still yet to find a clue – and it won’t help a bit that these matches were close. He lost them all – and that’s what counts (especially for a champion like Fed)…


Ben Pronin Says:

LLtK, it’s not like Agassi was making FO finals left and right. Who’s to blame? Both of them. Agassi had a few good runs early and one good run late, he was never a consistent major force on the red clay.

Let’s ignore the French for just one minute then. Federer is 2-1 at Wimbledon and 0-1 at the Australian. That’s 2-2 outside of clay. Why isn’t it 4-0 in Federer’s favor? Not only is he the apparent GOAT, but he’s easily the greatest hard court player and one of the greatest, if not the greatest, grass court player. What’s up with that? Lemme guess, slowed down surfaces favored Nadal.

I’m not trying to say Nadal is better than Federer, not at all, but all you Fed-fanatics are completely discrediting Nadal and trying to make Federer look like a God. He’s not, he’s human, and there’s no such thing as the GOAT. As far as I’m concerned, the GOAT should have all the best records, all the best stats, all the best h2h’s, and all the best everything. Federer has losing records to several players. His winning streak is 5th on the all time list. He doesn’t have the most titles. He doesn’t have most wins. He doesn’t even have all the MS titles (he’s missing a whopping 3/9). Is he the most accomplished player? So far, probably. Is he the greatest of all time? N/A.


SG Says:

Fed is GOAT Says:
On this whole Federer versus LAver debate (Sampras is not longer in this debate).

People misrepresent Laver’s record. Yes, he had 11 majors. Yes, he would have won more had he not turned pro.

However, his first 6 majors (in 1961-62) are junk – he wouldn’t have won ANY of them had Rosewall been playing slams at that time. Rosewall was clearly above Laver until 1963. Same for Pancho Gonzalez.

———————

I’d say Fed’s first 7 majors were won when the competition was less than stellar. Nothing like it is today. Interesting that Fed was 7-0 in his first 7 slam finals and 9-6 in his last 15. He did benefit from some weak field 5 and 6 years ago, at least in my opinion.

Granted, Laver didn’t play the best field available and Fed did. But if the best field available is one where A-Rod is the next best player, some parallels can be made.


Ben Pronin Says:

Skorocel, we posted at the same time, but, DAMN STRAIGHT!!!


Long Live The King Says:

Borg is one of the GOATs, but above Roger? Nice try.

Roger had 12 slams when he lost that heart-breaker of a wimbledon final (not to mention the FO whipping). Can you imagine the mental strength required to get off the mat and land slam 13 at the next GS, then have another gut-wrenching defeat at the Oz open 2009 and then come back to win 3 of the next 4 slams? I am sorry, but even Nadal would love to be THAT mentally strong.

In all the myriad of awesome things about Roger, no one talks about his mental strength. He is 2nd only to Rafa on the mental strength scale. Borg, I dont think rates too high on that – packing it in at 25, after getting whipped by your closest rival? I am sorry, but if you give-up on yourself, you cant expect me to put you on a pedestal. I would put sampras, agassi, lendl, laver and even wilander above borg in mental strength. It is a strike off against borg, like the French open is for Sampras.

So, that leaves us with laver, federer and rosewall as the top 3 GOATs


Ben Pronin Says:

Why isn’t Agassi in contention for GOAThood?


Long Live The King Says:

Ben,

If you dont believe in the concept of GOAT, why do you try to discredit people who believe Fed is the GOAT? (ahem, to put it aptly, why does it get your GOAT? ;)

You can be secure in the concept of NO GOAT, if you really believe in it. You seem more driven on discrediting Roger as GOAT by bringing Nadal in, who is not yet in the discussion. You should be arguing about why there should be no GOAT and not bend over backwards to prove Roger is not GOAT, if you really do believe in what you said about your definition of the GOAT, that is.


Long Live The King Says:

“(Rome 2006 final, Wimby 2008 final, or the AO 2009 final being perhaps the most glaring examples),”

How about Miami 2005? Fed won that from 2 sets to down. Oh right, linesman wronged nadal. Oh poor nadal. how unfair. let us see the excuses come pouring out now…..


Fed is GOAT Says:

Fed vs Nadal, Clay, last match – who won?

Now let the excuses begin, Skorocel…

Nadal is done, mate, except it. Like becker etc. – he’s stuck at 6 slams.


Long Live The King Says:

He did drugs! duh!


Fed is GOAT Says:

Competition? What was Sampras’s competition from 1993 onwards – a washed out becker, semi retired edberg, past retired wilander, or a goofed off Agassi? Oh yes, there was Bruguera (who BTW has a winning H2H against Sampras!).

Name ONE 6+ slam winner who sampras faced at HIS prime. Other than Agassi, but that was on and off.

Now let the excuses come pouring in on this one too! Better still, people like skorocel will get abusive…


Long Live The King Says:

” I’m not trying to say Nadal is better than Federer, not at all, but all you Fed-fanatics are completely discrediting Nadal and trying to make Federer look like a God. He’s not, he’s human, and there’s no such thing as the GOAT. ”

I would say you Federer-haters are bringing nadal into a discussion to discredit Roger, when Nadal is nowhere in the picture. And dont say you are not a fed-hater, you are as much as I am a fed-fanatic.

I know Federer is not GOD, but he’s the closest to GOD, that I have seen on a tennis-court.


Long Live The King Says:

I was joking about Agassi and drugs. anyways, Agassi out of contention coz 10 seems to be the cut-off for slams in GOAThood. Hez on the 3rd tier of no. of slams. laver, rosewall, federer – tier 1 sampras, emerson, borg, tier 2, mcenroe, agassi n connors, lendl, next


Freda MC Says:

No one but no one, is as exciting to watch play tennis as Rafael Nadal. Please God he will get better soon and be able to play again.Vamos Rafa.


Long Live The King Says:

“Fed had UMPTEEN opportunities to prove himself against the Spaniard (Rome 2006 final, Wimby 2008 final, or the AO 2009 final being perhaps the most glaring examples), but more often than not, he failed to solve the Nadal riddle.”

>>>> Outside of clay, Roger is 5-4. looks like puzzle solved to me. Even on clay, tell me another guy with multiple wins on clay against nadal since 05? quick…..

So, you are telling me sampras would have solved the nadal puzzle on clay? whats your point about Sampras being a bettter GOAT candidate than Roger?

Also, Fed won miami 05, tennis masters cup 06 07, wimbledon 06 07 and lost wimbledon 08, oz 09, rome 06 (Oh! wait! you want to tell me rome is more important than the masters cup? lets hear your excuse for that skorocel!)

How does that qualify as Federer being mentally weak when playing nadal? it looks like roger won most important matches outside clay till end of 07, then his form dipped in 08, and nadal took advantage beating a federer who was in a slump from oz open 08 to rome 09. If nadal was really in Rogers head, as you say skorocel, why didn’t he beat him at US, aus, wimbledon or shanghai before 08? Could you please answer?

If nadal beats roger on clay, its like claiming bruguera is in sampras’ head when sampras lost to him. clearly nadal is better than roger on clay. fed took his chances in hamburg and madrid, but couldn’t do so in rome, mc or paris.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m not a Federer hater. I love Federer. I don’t think you can say Federer is close to “God” but he’s as close to “perfect” as I’ve ever seen in a human being.

I’m not trying to discredit Federer. I’m proving he’s not the GOAT by using his record against Nadal as evidence. People don’t want to accept that his poor record against Nadal matters. It’s not the be all, end all, but it’s important. Especially considering that it’s the defining rivalry of Federer’s career. Nadal is Fed’s arch rival. But Federer never fully overcame Federer.

Let’s look at this from Nadal’s perspective. Nadal has had a winning record over Federer from their very first match. However, no matter how many times he beat Federer, he was always stuck at number 2. No matter how many Masters he won, or FOs he won, he was stuck at number 2. Nadal had to overcome someone who is considering the GOAT by many fans and even players. It all finally came together at the 2008 Wimbledon where Nadal managed to win his first slam outside the French AND beat Federer in the process after falling short the previous 2 years. He continued to take away Federer’s number 1 ranking and won the Olympics Gold Medal in singles. He suffered injuries late in 08 that put his 09 into question. However, the 2 would play in their first hard court slam final for the first time at the Australian Open. There, Federer was a 3 time former champion and champion of the last hard court major, the 08 US Open. Nadal had never even been to a hard court slam final and it’s a well known fact that hard court is Nadal’s least favorite surface. This match would also, more or less, determine who the real number 1 was since Federer was ill and injured throughout much of 08. Once again, Nadal overcame Roger and was, without a doubt, the best player in the world.

Nadal didn’t overcome Federer at every opportunity he got, but he eventually prevailed. Federer was never able to prevail over Nadal in that fashion. He didn’t wrestle away Nadal’s number 1 from Nadal himself (not his fault). He never beat Nadal at the FO but has failed plenty of times. And, that AO, he got a perfect opportunity to re-establish himself. He would go on to prove himself later, but he failed against Nadal.


SRM Says:

Beb Pronin Says: “As far as I’m concerned, the GOAT should have all the best records, all the best stats, all the best h2h’s, and all the best everything.”

Had it been the case, we would be arguing about Federer playing a week field and not even a candidate for GOAT !!


Fed is GOAT Says:

And BTW, Fed is 5 years older than Nadal. Until end of 2007, Fed was 6-8 against Nadal. Quite even, wouldn’t you say?

Its only when Fed was 26+, AND had mono, AND had back trouble, that’s when Nadal finally took that lead over Fed, in 2008.

Now don’t tell me age doesn’t matter! A 27 year old, not at his best player facing a 22 year old player who is healthy – tell me who has the advantage.

Now Nadal is getting a taste of his own medicine, and quite early (he is not even 24 and his body is rusted). Davydenko and Cilic are beating down on him, not to mention Djokovic and Del Potro. And oh yes, Murray, whom Federer whacked again in the final. And Soderling.


Ben Pronin Says:

Fed is GOAT, that’s true. Age does matter. But since 07, Fed is 1-5 against Nadal. Age, shmage. According to Federer, he’s only in the second half of his career. A second half that includes holding 3 of the 4 majors. If Fed was the “GOAT,” he shouldn’t be 1-5 against Nadal just because of age.

SRM, if I hear the weak field argument, I will argue against it. Believe me.


SRM Says:

In an interview in Mercury News, Sampras said “The six years in a row at No. 1 is probably something that’s going to stay for a little while,”

Well I feel that’s the only record that will be left for Pete.

http://www.mercurynews.com/search/ci_14354506?IADID


jane Says:

LLTK, “There is no way Rafa would have beaten Roger on grass or hardcourts if Roger plays at his 04-07 level”

Well, it’s worth at least noting that Nadal came *very close* to beating an “07 level” Fed on grass at the Wimbledon final in 2007. He didn’t but he was close, and had foiled break chances in the 5th set. My point is that by saying there is “no way” you might be overstating the case.

———————————————–

How, b.t.w., did a thread on Rafa’s injury and speculation about his future morph into a debate on Fed’s greatness/GOAT status? Strange! : )


Long Live The King Says:

Ben :

I know you are not a Fed-hater. I was just trying to say I am not fanatical either. I agree he’s as close to perfect – but isn’t that what God is? maybe thats God in atheist terminology – Perfect human or as in this case perfect tennis player. (I am an atheist, so GOD is just an extension of being “too good” for me!)

I agree with your Nadal point of view. Though I think Nadal gets to play these matches with lesser pressure than Federer. Fed handled the extra pressure well till 08, when definitely his star was on the wane and nadal’s on the rise.

I will explain, what I mean by extra pressure. The FO is dominated with “will roger solve the nadal puzzle” talk, but come wimbledon and the talk is “will roger break borg’s record or sampras’ record” the nadal thing comes up only when nadal reaches the final, coz no one is as certain that nadal will reach a wimbledon final, as they are that roger will reach a french. that was definitely the case in 06 and 07. I agree 08 was more even ground, but definitely it was more important for Roger to win that coming as it did after the 08 French thrashing and his loss to djokovic, fish, roddick earlier in the season, which already hinted at a Roger slump. Fed played 08 wimbledon and 09 australian open with most pundits claiming he wouldn’t win slams anymore. anyway, my point is Fed’s redemption chances came at a period when he had started losing to the next generation at slams (djokovic 08 aus open, delpotro 09 US open) You could have claimed roger didnt solve the nadal puzzle if Roger lost to nadal at aus open/us/wimbledon in 05, 06 or 07. As it is, he beat nadal at wimbledon and SHANGHAI in 06 and 07 (I bring shanghai, cause the Masters cup is the next important tournament after US/aus open)

I believe Roger’s losses to nadal in 08 wimbledon and aus 09 are more like his losses to djokovic and delpotro. Its not like nadal beat him 10times.
I am sure Roger would have beaten nadal at 09 USopen or 10 oz open, but as it turns out delpotro and murray did the job at ozzie open.

Djokovic got 3 wins off nadal in the fall season, I am sure Roger would have been 10-13 if he got those chances instead.

Anyway, the H2H doesn’t discredit Roger in the GOAT argument, especially against Sampras. It only shows Roger had a young tiger nipping at his heels as he accumulated the slams, while Sampras had his 1yr older colleague busy banging older hollywood bimbos and doing crystal meth.


Long Live The King Says:

Ben 1-5? Fed won 07 wimbledon, 07 masters cup, madrid 09. He was 0-4 in 2008, which clearly was his worst year since 03. He’s unfortunate he didn’t get rafa 3-4 times after 09 wimbledon, like Djokovic, davydenko did.

Surely, nadal pulled away in Fed’s worst year, though Roger got no shots at a slumping nadal, like nadal got at a slumping roger?


Ben Pronin Says:

No reason to bash Agassi.

LLtK, even if Federer was 10-13 against Nadal right now, I would still stand by my argument. Nadal could be 10-1 against Federer in best of 3 set matches. It’s almost as meaningless as Murray’s former 6-2 record (now it’s 6-5, still no big deal). But in the slams, Nadal is 6-2. Bring in the TMC (I agree that it’s quite relevant) and Nadal is 6-4 in the most important events. Nadal isn’t a puzzle, he’s an obstacle. Federer has failed to overcome him, is what I’m saying.


Ben Pronin Says:

After 07, the h2h was 6-8. Now it’s 7-13. So post-07, it’s 1-5.


jane Says:

Skorocel – “And don’t tell me it’s only because of a „bad matchup“! I’d respectfully love to hear your opinion on what it is then? Is it a failure on Fed’s part mentally? Nadal just having the right strategy against him? No way for Fed to solve it? Other?? Just curious re: your take on the H2H.

SG – “Interesting that Fed was 7-0 in his first 7 slam finals and 9-6 in his last 15.” Wow, never noticed that before. I don’t think that stat has ever been posted here before, or if it has, I guess I missed it. Admittedly, I am guilty of scrolling over stat posts sometimes… But I think I will go look up all his slam opponents for fun. : ) I presume Nadal is the one who put a big dent in those slam finals W/L.

Ben – your post @ 6:19, in which you switch the perspective around, is certainly revealing. It shows how easily interpretation is shaped by perspective. Someone said on this thread that Nadal has never “faced pressure” or something to that effect. But I think he faced a different kind of pressure, always being second best, struggling to beat Fed not only on clay but on his prime surface of grass, eventually even taking over the number 1 spot, much to people’s chagrin. Heck, the fans at the FO even booed him. He’s had pressure; just not the same as Fed. His pressure was to continue changing so he could do better. Plus, he is no stranger to defending titles – look at that 81 match winning streak on clay. They are both great, and both VERY mentally strong.


Long Live The King Says:

Jane:

didn’t I ask you NOT to visit this blog? ;)

anyway, Fed beat nadal twice at wimbledon in 06 and 07. and twice at shanghai (tmc – 5th slam?). he lost a total of 3 sets in those 4 matches. My point is nadal was no more of a problem than hewitt or nalbandian for Roger, but for the fact that nadal had the age advantage and could bide his time on the grass and hardcourt and hurt federer when he slumped. heck even nalbandian pulled a couple off fed at the end of 07. so I dont think its about Nadal being in fed’s head as much as it is about Roger coming off his peak and the field pulling it close.


jane Says:

LLTK, : (

I didn’t catch you asking me NOT to visit it. But I find the thread’s morphing interesting. I guess whenever Nadal comes up Fed does, and vice versa, since they are, as someone else put it, “arch rivals”.

It could be what you say, but weren’t both Hewitt & Nalbandian once difficult opponents for Fed, for example, Nalby even more so. I mean, I believe he beat Fed to win the TMC in 2005? So I am not sure that it was the field catching up only? Some players just play Fed closer than others maybe?

In any case, I wonder if 2007 should be included in Fed’s peak years? He played fantastic at the AO that year, but then he had a few more losses than previously throughout the year. I think they are 04-06.


winepig Says:

long live the king @ 5:41:

“…so that leaves us with laver, federer and rosewall…”

That statement, in a nutshell, says it all.


Long Live The King Says:

Ben :

Good 6-4 and 2-4 outside off clay. Now tell me, if Fed hasn’t overcome the obstacle, would sampras have? How is Fed inferior to sampras, as a GOAT candidate?

Jane:

Yes, Nadal faced different kind of pressure, but quite clearly, the pressure of chasing something is lesser than actually maintaining it. Nadal always was pursuing, Roger had to keep his wins going on and on. For, roger losing a match at french was “will he ever win french?” questions popping. Even if nadal lost at wimbledon, he wouldn’t face such questions, because age was on his side. Roger had to deal with nadal and uneasiness of wearing the crown. Nadal felt that heat post AO 2009 and look how things have been? I think it is quiet clear Roger had more at stake in each of those matches than nadal. Add to that, that Roger got like 1 shot at wimbledon after nadal gets 3 shots on his favorite clay (monte carlo, rome, french) so Roger always was the one who had to prove. You can say they are little things, but that is what matters when you lose 9-7 in the 5th.

Anyway, as long as people stop branding Roger mentally weak or having nadal in his head, just cause he is fighting a younger foe whose game matches perfectly against his and he has to play always on nadal’s term (meaning nadal gets to grass/hardcourt final only when his game is on, roger is in slam finals like clockwork, whether his game is full throttle or not, he will get there) – I dont think any player of any era could have done any better against nadal than what Roger did.


winepig Says:

jane:

Nalby and the Fed have a history that goes back to their junior days. In those days, Nalby just pounded on Fed’s backhand until it broke down. I think that gave Nalby a psychological edge for quite some time against Fed.

As to Roger’s current form, perhaps Hewitt said it best when he said that Roger’s play against him at the 2010 was “special tennis” and that he felt Rog was playing as well or better than he did in the 2004-2006 years…


Long Live The King Says:

Jane:

Don’t be sad. I am only joking about not wanting you in this blog. See this blog and I hope you will see the context in which I said that.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2010-02-07/3242.php

Also, I agree, Nadal’s game matches best against Roger, but I was talking about field catching up, in the context that, when Fed elited from stratosphere, Nadal really pulled away. 8-6 became 13-6 in fed’s worst year in 08.


Ben Pronin Says:

LLtK, no where did I say Sampras is better than Federer or that he’s the GOAT or anything like that. I don’t know why you’re even directing Sampras question towards me. But in any case, no I don’t think Sampras would’ve faired better against Nadal on clay. Sampras was a great baseliner in his peak years but still not as good as Federer is. And Federer can’t beat Nadal off the baseline on clay so no way could Sampras do it. Sampras’s stats are worse than Federer’s so, according to what I believe the GOAT should be, no way is Sampras a better fit. But that doesn’t diminish his accomplishments. He’s right up there on Mount Rushtennis.

Jane, this link has a crap load on Federer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Federer_career_statistics

Coincidentally, I was looking at it earlier today before I really got into this discussion. It’s fun to look at Fed stats :)


Ben Pronin Says:

LLtK, doesn’t it bother you that in Federer’s best year, 2006, he was 2-4 against Nadal? As a Federer fan, that bothers the crap outta me.


jane Says:

LLTK, Thanks for clarifying; I missed that comment. This makes sense: “Even if nadal lost at wimbledon, he wouldn’t face such questions, because age was on his side.” It’s true that the expectations weren’t quite on Nadal until 2008 final at Wimbledon. But by 2007, Fed was facing more pressure re: winning the FO.

I did look at who he beat in all the slam finals Ben – lots of big hitters hey? Roddick, Safin, Philippoussis. But also counter-punchers and great returners: Agassi and Hewitt. Also, lots of first time slam finalists in recent years: Gonzalez, Baggy, Djoko, Murray and Delpo. Obviously Rafa stands out as his major “slam nemesis”.

Lots of “stands alone” records Ben!


Skorocel Says:

Long Live the King said: „And about the slam finals, Nadal beat federer only on clay, when Roger was at his best. Remember, Nadal beat federer outside clay only after Djokovic had gotten roger in the oz open 08. If you believe Roger since 08 oz open to 09 oz open was the best tennis Roger ever played, I am sorry you must have been sleeping in 04,05, 06,07.“

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL :-) OK, so let’s assume Fed, from 2008 onwards, was (and still is) „not at his best“. Fine. Then what about his triumphs at RG 2009, Wimby 2009, and most recently, at AO 2010? Even FEDERER HIMSELF (listen, FEDERER HIMSELF, not you!) said that the recent AO final against Murray was perhaps his best (or one of his best) efforts in a slam final. Can you explain this?

But nah! Fed „wasn’t at his best“ only between January 2008 and May 2009! LOL :-) From then on, he was again at his „best“, because after all, he didn’t have to play Nadal since then – which means he also didn’t have a chance to be at his „worst“. LOL and LOL :-)

Who the f.cking hell cares if Fed was at his best or not during that period, LLTK?! He got beaten, and he got beaten in 2 tournaments where everyone including YOU would favor him to come out victorious against Nadal (that is, Wimby 2008 and AO 2009). And, it’s precisely THESE 2 LOSSES which are the biggest blemish on Fed’s record against Nadal. So he was not at his best in Wimby 2008? Then, how come he didn’t lose a set en route to the finals?! He beat Hewitt, Soderling, Ancic, and Safin amongst others. Except maybe Safin, not exactly pushovers on grass, are they?

———————————–

„Why are we neglecting the Masters Cup matches where Nadal did not win a set off federer in 2 tries?“

Ask Nalbandian whether he would’ve traded his win at TMC 2005 for just one single GS title… You can bet your money he would say a resounding „YES“! To put it differently, what would you remember Nalby more for? For his TMC 2005 win, or for a possible win at any of the 4 GSs?

———————————–

„To add, Roger has been in 19 out of the last 20 slam finals. Which means, Roger gets to the slam final whether his game is on fire or if it is in the dumps. Whereas Nadal, like other mortals (on grass and hardcourt) gets to a slam final most likely when he is playing his best tennis. Given that, and the match-up advantage, Nadal getting wins over Roger outside of clay is more likely than the other way. Even then, nadal needed 5sets at both wimbledon and oz open to beat Roger, whose game was clearly in a slump.“

LOL :-) Why don’t you just say that Nadal’s wins at Wimby 2008 and AO 2009 are meaningless? Yeah, poor Roger! He always had to face an in-form Nadal outside clay! How we can even take those 2 losses seriously when it was clear that he was automatically at this disadvantage even before these matches begun?! LOL and LOL :-) This is perhaps the biggest BS I’ve ever heard on this forum! Keep them coming! :-)

———————————-

„Continuing on that topic of slam finals record, lets say sampras played this decade and faced rafa instead of Roger and we can safely assume sampras would have made 0 finals in paris and most probably fared like roger did against rafa at both wimbledon and oz open, the slam final H2H would have been 2-2. Does that mean Sampras is a better player than Roger? because he has a more “respectable” H2H against nadal?“

You’re grossly underestimating Sampras‘ capabilities on hard & grass there. Of course, no one knows what would’ve happened had these matches occured, but you can bet your money on one thing: Sampras certainly WOULDN’T crap in his pants like Fed did in that AO 2009 final 5th set!

———————————–

„So, you are telling me sampras would have solved the nadal puzzle on clay?“

Where did I say that?

———————————–

„whats your point about Sampras being a bettter GOAT candidate than Roger?“

Sampras‘ mental strength. He may have had a sh.tty record on clay compared to Fed, but bottom line is, he DIDN’T FEAR ANYONE.

———————————–

„I believe Roger’s losses to nadal in 08 wimbledon and aus 09 are more like his losses to djokovic and delpotro. Its not like nadal beat him 10times.“

Yeah, but these 2 losses to Djokovic and JMDP are thus far the ONLY losses which he suffered to these 2 guys on slams, whereas Nadal beat him 6 TIMES out of 8 in majors. And Nadal managed to beat him both at RG (clay), Wimby (grass), and AO (hard), whereas these 2 did beat him only on hard. And that’s the point. If you can’t understand this, then I’m really sorry…

———————————–

„Roger had 12 slams when he lost that heart-breaker of a wimbledon final (not to mention the FO whipping). Can you imagine the mental strength required to get off the mat and land slam 13 at the next GS, then have another gut-wrenching defeat at the Oz open 2009 and then come back to win 3 of the next 4 slams? I am sorry, but even Nadal would love to be THAT mentally strong.“

Yeah, but that still doesn’t make that 7-13 H2H vs Nadal any better, does it?

———————————–

„In all the myriad of awesome things about Roger, no one talks about his mental strength. He is 2nd only to Rafa on the mental strength scale.“

In present yes, but where he would rank among the other all-time greats? You think Sampras was mentally weaker than Fed? I don’t think so. On the contrary, I think Sampras was mentally tougher than Fed. And that’s the point.

———————————–

„Ben 1-5? Fed won 07 wimbledon, 07 masters cup, madrid 09. He was 0-4 in 2008, which clearly was his worst year since 03. He’s unfortunate he didn’t get rafa 3-4 times after 09 wimbledon, like Djokovic, davydenko did.“

LOL :-) Then, why Fed lost in Miami 2004 or Dubai 2006?! Can you answer this, LLTK? Both of these matches were on HARD, and he was at his BEST, wasn’t he? Yet he lost these matches. If a 2004-2006 Federer can’t beat Nadal on a hard court, then how come you’re SOOO sure he would beat him in 2009? Any explanation for that? And PLEEEEAAAASE, don’t give me this sh.t about Fed having a sunstroke in that Miami 2004 match! Nadal was AS GREEN AS IT GETS, an ABSOLUTE NOBODY at that time, whilst Fed was having perhaps his best ever season – yet he got mauled 3-6 twice…


Ben Pronin Says:

Relax, Skorocel. Although the only thing I don’t agree with is Safin being a push over on grass. Safin is the greatest player of all time.

LLtK, the whole point is just that, Fed’s poor record against Nadal is a blemish on an otherwise impeccable career.


Skorocel Says:

Ben said to FIG: „According to Federer, he’s only in the second half of his career. A second half that includes holding 3 of the 4 majors.“

Are you listening, FIG? 3 (THREE) of the 4 (FOUR) majors!


Skorocel Says:

Ben: „But in any case, no I don’t think Sampras would’ve faired better against Nadal on clay.“

That may well be true (actually, with his style of play, I think he would’ve fared even worse), BUT what about hard & grass? Do you think he would’ve caved in just like Roger did in that 5th set of the AO 2009 final? I don’t think so.

——————

„Let’s ignore the French for just one minute then. Federer is 2-1 at Wimbledon and 0-1 at the Australian. That’s 2-2 outside of clay. Why isn’t it 4-0 in Federer’s favor?“

That’s the question, Ben ;-)

——————

„Nadal didn’t overcome Federer at every opportunity he got, but he eventually prevailed. Federer was never able to prevail over Nadal in that fashion. He didn’t wrestle away Nadal’s number 1 from Nadal himself (not his fault). He never beat Nadal at the FO but has failed plenty of times. And, that AO, he got a perfect opportunity to re-establish himself. He would go on to prove himself later, but he failed against Nadal.“

Very true, Ben.

——————-

„LLtK, doesn’t it bother you that in Federer’s best year, 2006, he was 2-4 against Nadal? As a Federer fan, that bothers the crap outta me.“

Same here, Ben!


Ben Pronin Says:

Skorocel, I don’t think Federer “caved” in that 5th set. He collapsed mentally, but he didn’t stop trying or anything of the sort. He serve deserted him but Nadal also really stepped it up. I think that’s overlooked a lot. Again, Nadal isn’t getting his credit. Like Del Potro, he really took it to Fed in that 5th set.

Whether Sampras would’ve collapsed like that or not is hard to determine. Don’t forget how he hit the wall against Kafelnikov at the FO in 96.


NELTA Says:

Long Live The King – As a former nationally ranked junior in the U.S. I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Nadal was not good enough to make more Wimby finals, any U.S Open finals and a bunch of other hard court tournaments. Fed has a slightly winning record against Nadal on surfaces other than clay, but again there are no U.S. Open meetings. Therefore, the only conclusion you can make about their H2H is that Nadal is better than Fed on clay.

The absurdity of their argument is if Federer was a worse player on clay and had lost in the earlier rounds of the French Open(no H2H with Nadal), then made a break through winning the French in 09 he would be the GOAT because then he wouldn’t have those additional H2H losses against Nadal. His overall record would be even or slightly above.


dc Says:

Nadal never made it to the finals of GS’s to face Fed, except when he was playing exceptionally good and/or when he was playing on clay.

If the field was much weaker, Nadal would have reached all of the the GS finals and Fed would have beaten him. We can safely assume that if Murray, Soderling and likes beat Nadal in these GS’s, Federer could also have beaten Nadal in those tournaments.

Therefore the h2h in favor of Nadal does not make much sense. Nadal would bump into Federer only when conditions (form, surface, confidence)favored him, unlike Federer who was ready to face Nadal in sickness, before becoming father, after /before marriage etc etc…


Ben Pronin Says:

“We can safely assume that if Murray, Soderling and likes beat Nadal in these GS’s, Federer could also have beaten Nadal in those tournaments.”

No we can’t.

The claim is that we can’t peg Federer as the GOAT, not that Nadal is better than Federer.


Skorocel Says:

“Skorocel – “And don’t tell me it’s only because of a „bad matchup“! I’d respectfully love to hear your opinion on what it is then? Is it a failure on Fed’s part mentally? Nadal just having the right strategy against him? No way for Fed to solve it? Other?? Just curious re: your take on the H2H.”

Jane, I said “only because”. I mean, if it was scientifically impossible for Fed to beat Nadal (mainly because that Nadal’s lefty FH to Fed’s onehanded BH thing), then he wouldn’t have even won 7 times against him, would he? In other words, he certainly had some chances (even in those matches which he lost), but in most of the cases, he didn’t take them (contrary to the Madrid 2009 final, where he didn’t let himself offer twice). That 1st set of the FO 2007 final & the 3rd set of the AO 2009 final which I mentioned above are perhaps the most glaring examples – at least for me certainly.

In the first case, Nadal didn’t play anything extraordinary – yet he won the set 6:3. He seemed sort of stiff, and surprisingly nervous – just like he was the year before when Fed blitzed him 6:1 in the 1st. On the other hand, Fed was really pumped up and ready to go, but as soon as the BPs appeared (and boy, did they come in numbers!), he suddenly became tight and nervous himself. As if someone had switched him to a whole different mode… I just couldn’t believe how he could’ve lost that set, not to even lose it 3:6!

As for that AO 2009 final, well, there’s absolutely no denying that these 6 BPs which he had towards the end of that 3rd set were the most crucial points in the whole match… If I remember it correctly, it was like 4 all, or 5 all, and Fed led 40-0 on Nadal’s serve, only to squander all these 3 BPs (and then another 3 as the game went to deuce numerous times). They were 1 set apiece, and Fed had a GOLDEN opportunity to gain a vital 2 sets to 1 lead… He had Nadal virtually on the ropes in that game – but unfortunately for him, he failed. And, as soon as that happened, I knew the match was over…


Skorocel Says:

Ben: “Skorocel, I don’t think Federer “caved” in that 5th set. He collapsed mentally, but he didn’t stop trying or anything of the sort.”

I don’t know. All I remember is that is was like 2 all, or 1-2, and deuce (or gameball Federer). Federer hit a very close would-be FH winner which in the end landed wide (or long, can’t remember), and, from that point on, he was as if someone had whipped him with a magic wand (only in this case, things went south for him)…


Kimmi Says:

In the past year or so, federer has improved some of his returns of serve. Instead of chipping backhand returns which has lost him a lot of his battles with nadal imo, he is now occasionally returning aggressive especially the second serve. Nadal serve can be attacked, but federer just refused to do so in the past. Federer had a lot of chances to attack those second serve on those missed BPs. I feel this is what lost him these matches. I believe their matches could be different if they meet again now. I hope I am right; I would like to see them play again.


jane Says:

Skorocel, thanks for your reply. It makes sense; if it *were* strictly a match up thing, then he couldn’t've beaten Rafa as many times as he has – or to have come so close on so many occasions as well, and on Nadal’s best surface – clay. It seems to be a mental thing, that Fed gets tight versus Rafa. The break point conversion stat in many of their matches is striking, as you note. It could be that Rafa turns many of those away (he does that versus lots of other players too, with crazy defense etc, which is in turn deflating for his opponents) but surely we’d think Fed would have converted more in those crucial situations.

Maybe Kimmi’s right and Fed has made adjustments; I am sure many people are looking forward to their next match. Certainly Fed seems to have the momentum and confidence now, as opposed to Nadal.


skeezerweezer Says:

Wow This really heated up with Fed. the blog is hot hot hoT! lol!
Was goNE for a few hours and the “ifs” and “lets consider” and “WHO’S ON FIRST BASE” etc. keeps coming out. Do the facts matter? This is what happens when you try to justify your playters stance with H2H comparisons. That is all you got to hope for right now. Bottom line……19 finals 16 major titles…and your player has been to how many finals and won how many majors? BTW< thanks Ben for admitting Fed GOAT. I’m out….


Skorocel Says:

dc: „Nadal never made it to the finals of GS’s to face Fed, except when he was playing exceptionally good and/or when he was playing on clay.“

Agree. 7 GS finals is definitely not enough! For example, certain Agassi and Sampras played as many as 5… LOL :-) 3 finals on clay and 4 finals outside clay is also not enough to make that Fed’s H2H look better… LOL and LOL :-) Lastly I checked, 7 was two more than 5, and 4 was one more than 3, but after reading your post, I guess I’m not that sure anymore ;-)

————-

„If the field was much weaker, Nadal would have reached all of the the GS finals and Fed would have beaten him.“

I thought LLTK’s post from February 8th, 2010 at 5:03 pm was a pearl, but this one beats it! :-)


Ben Pronin Says:

I never admitted Federer is the GOAT, I was addressing the guy who calls himself “Fed is GOAT.”

Btw, Fed’s been in 22 finals.


Fot Says:

I just think you guys like to argue! lol! Federer fans are not going to change Nadal fans and Nadal fans are not going to change Federer fans! I’m just laughing reading these back-and-forth replies! lol! I can imaging Roger and Rafa sitting down having a drink laughing at all these fans who can’t get along!


skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel,

Fed 19 GS Finals, 16 GS titles. No matter how many “if” “when” “Fed had a bad year” “Rafa was injured”, let’s put it a very simple way, ANY and ALL excuses for both players, When you look at the GS titles in history the numbers will never change no matter how many ways you twist numbers. H2H the numbers aren’t going to change that figure nor have they came into play when they (the media, fans ) were claiming Laver GOAT and Sampras GOAT. It’s about winning titles and GS, NOT who they lost or won against H2H. Don’t you get it? Look at history and facts. This is NOT a boxing! And, Titles and GS titles? Hey guess what, were not done yet…..


Fot Says:

By the way, at San Jose, Verdasco beat Sampras in an exho 6-3 7-6(2)…


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben Pronin,

Sorry you missed the quotes so I thought you were saying it. Dang, I thought you finally owned up to the truth…LOL~! :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Fot Says:

“I just think you guys like to argue! lol!”

Fot, no argument here, just the facts = truth :)


Michael Says:

Skorocel, You have a stick to beat FED with and ie. the H2H of Nadal against him and you are using that to near perfection because somehow you want to undermine his achievements by saying that he didn’t have to face Nadal in some of those Slam finals and so in a way those wins pale in significance according to you. No Champion is perfect and they all have minuses too apart from positives. Ofcourse you are entitled to your opinion about the H2H. So what is your real point ? I can only infer that unless Federer turns around favourably his H2H against Nadal, he can never considered be the GOAT – This is unsaid. But the question is whether that argument holds good today when Nadal has been relegated to the fourth position and is being threatened to even move down further. Suppose if Nadal is pushed out of the top five (a very real possibility) how can that argument hold. Federer does not have only a bad H2H against Nadal, you know one player named Canas, Federer is 0-3 against him. Does that mean Canas is a better player than Federer even though Nadal and Canas are a class apart and can never be compared. Your H2H argument might have counted to an extent in the later part of 2008 and early part of 2009 when Nadal was in the top, but now with his game considerably weakened and he is just not in a position to compete with the top 10 players, how can that argument just hold ground today. I cannot understand or comprehend your sticking to that weird opinion of just looking at the H2H to evaluate a player. For instance Connors had a bad H2H against most players of his generation namely Borg, Mcenroe, Connors, Lendl, Wilander etc. to name a few. But nobody discounts Connors due to that and count him as one of the greats. Mcenroe had a good H2H in grand slams against Borg and that stands at 1-3, but just for that reason alone does anybody name Mcenroe among the greats or does that bad H2H any way diminishes the stature of Borg. Rosewall had a good H2H against Laver in many grand slam tournaments when he was young as he is 5 years older than Laver but does that count Laver out just because of the bad H2H. As I said Tennis is not about Federer Vs Nadal. It is about 1000 players on the circuit trying to assert their dominance over one another. Your logic sounds like if Nadal does not make it to the finals then Federer should consider a walk over since his victory will not carry any significance. That is really weird. It is Nadal’s job to come to the finals and compete against Federer whenever he is there. If Nadal is not able to do that and get smashed by other players how does that bother Federer ?


Fot Says:

Michael, don’t you know that to some folks eyes, Roger will NEVER be the GOAT? I remember reading a couple of years ago a lot of folks said Roger wasn’t the GOAT because he was still behind Pete in the grand slam totals and he would either have to catch Pete or at least win the French. Well, last year Roger did both….but now Roger can’t be the GOAT because he has a losing record against Nadal. So even if Roger some how manages to turn that around – don’t you know another factor would come up? Something like – Well, Roger haven’t beaten the top players with one hand tied behind his back yet. He’s not the GOAT until that happens. So don’t you see – he will never be the GOAT in some people’s eyes because no matter what he does in the future – another criteria will come up defining how to be “the GOAT”. It never ends! lol!


Ben Pronin Says:

That’s right, Fot. To me, Federer has to beat every single record out there until I declare him the GOAT.


winepig Says:

Sampras feared EVERYBODY on clay.


winepig Says:

I’m so glad that the skeezemeister is on here to keep it real…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Roger Federer= 16 slams
Raael Nadal= 6 slams

Roger Federer= 269 weeks ranked #1
Rafael Nadal= 46 weeks ranked #1

Roger Federer= 4 ATP World Championships
Rafael Nadal= zero ATP World Championships

Roger Federer= 4 Australian Open Titles
Rafael Nadal= 1 Australian Open Title

Roger Federer= 1 French Open Title
Rafael Nadal= 4 French Open Titles

Roger Federer= 6 Wimbeldon Titles
Rafael Nadal= 1 Wimbeldon Title

Roger Federer= 5 US Open Titles
Rafael Nadal= zero US Open Titles

This is what I look at as an objective tennis fan. I am a fan of neither player over the other, but those of you who try and put Nadal in the same category as Federer have lost your marbles. I am actually a Borg fan, but I also have a brain. Roger Federer is without a doubt the Greatest Tennis Player of the Open Era and if he wins a couple of more slams I will have no choice but to call him the GOAT.


tennisfan#1 Says:

I would understand the H2H discussion if Nadal was remotely close to Federer in career achievements, but when the H2H count is closer than the difference in slams won than the conclusion is clear. Roger Federer is hands down the greater player and it is not even close. I mean the guy has nearly three times the slams as Nadal. Whether people want to admit it or not the Grand Slams are the true measuring stick for greatness in the world of professional tennis. How many weeks you are able to stay at the number one position throughout your career would be the other main objective to determine greatness. Sorry Nadal fans, but your case holds no water.


winepig Says:

Couldn’t agree with you more, tennisfan#1, Unfortunately, you gotta deal with the fact-challenged trolls in here…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

Nobody cares if you say he is the GOAT or not. The point is that whether you say it or not the fact still remains. He is the GOAT and I know that you truly believe this as well. Say what you wish, but we know what you truly think.


winepig Says:

Hey Ben! Sanpras’ record on clay is for the benefit of you and skocerer or whatever his nic is for when you wanna pretend that Pete is any good…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Winepig,

No matter what they type on their computers we all know what they know in their heart’s. It is the anger and jealousy that is talking right now, but once the Australian Open hangover wears off they will be ok. It hs been a rough six or seven years for the Federer critics and their nightmare does not look like it is going to be over for a while.


winepig Says:

Federer is the greatest tennis talent in history…


winepig Says:

I agree tennisfan#1. No doubt their hatred stems from their lack of genitals…


winepig Says:

…or brains…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Instead of talking about the Federer legacy we should talk about players who have a major hole in the resume. How about the inability of Sampras to win the French, or Borg and Nadal’s inability to win the US Open. How about Lendle’s inability to win Wimbeldon. Talking about Federer is rediculous because there is nothing left to discuss except how many times over he can break his own records. There is no hole in his resume. He has the career slam, the most slams, and many more records to come. Let’s talk about somethin interesting.


Ben Pronin Says:

This is unbelievable. Now I understand why people get upset and yell at others for reading comprehension problems.

No one is saying Nadal is better than Federer or that he is more deserving of GOAThood or anything of the sort. We’re saying that Federer’s h2h against Nadal is a blemish on his career. Nadal’s got plenty of blemishes on his career. But Federer’s most important one is his h2h against Nadal. How can you say he is the GOAT if he can’t beat someone in his own era? Oh that’s right, you can’t. I do not believe that Federer is the GOAT. He has the most complete game, possibly, and he’s the most accomplished player, but there’s no such thing as the GOAT.

And I still don’t understand why you guys are trying to insult Sampras. How is Sampras even involved in this? No one is saying Sampras is better than Federer, either. But mentally tougher? Quite possibly. No, Sampras wasn’t afraid of anyone, clay or not clay. He may not have been the best clay courter, but he never tanked matches. He’s not Agassi.


winepig Says:

Sampras was a joke on clay; Borg couldn’t be bothered to compete in the AO, Lendl busted his hump to get better on grass and then had the misfortune to play a one-hit-wonder (Cash) on grass. Lendl’s attempts to win on his worst surface (grass) are in stark contrast to Sampras’ tanking of the French so he could focus on Wimbledon…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Does anyone think Nadal will be able to win ten slams in his career? Does anyone think Nadal can win 5 consecutive titles at a slam? Federer did it at two seperate slams. Can Nadal win a single ATP World Championship title? Can Nadal hold the number one ranking for one entire year without dropping it? Can Nadal defend a slam title besides the French Open? Can Nadal beat a player in the top eight again? How about take a set? These are some good topics to discuss and I will let you guys discuss it while I catch some shut eye.


winepig Says:

Pronin:

Sampras tanked the French. Get over it dude!


winepig Says:

Crap, I couldda beat Sampras on clay…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

Yes you do believe Federer is the GOAT and denying it does not do you any good. Just accept it and move on. It will do your soul good to let it go. The h2h is not a blemish on his resume because a resume in tennis is made up of career accomplishments. This means how many slams have you won, have you won them all, and how long were you able to stay at the top of the sport. That defines resume for tennis Ben, and the one with the holes is Nadal. I am truly sorry that this has gotten to you like it has, but just relax and enjoy the sport my friend. You are missing alot of good quality stuff worrying about why people do not see eye to eye with you. Goodnight and goodluck.


Michael Says:

Ben Pronin, There you have revealed yourself. You are a Sampras fan out and out and for that reason alone you want to belittle Federer and his achievements sticking on his H2H against Nadal. So be it. Ofcourse GOAT is not a title as such and only conferred as a matter of one’s subjective opinion. When even Sampras, Borg, Mcenroe, Lendl and some of the other Tennis Greats have conferred the title of GOAT on Federer, who are you to dispute that ? The majority of Tennis columnists, commentators and players have concluded that he is the GOAT. So bear with that since you have no other alternative. As I said no Champion is perfect and everyone have draw backs. What matters is only near perfection and Federer definitely is the Champion of Champions as he is near-perfect. There has been no other parallel in history of the kind of achievements Federer has mastered over the years. Again coming to Sampras being mentally tougher – what a cruel joke. Just see his record in the French Open beaten black and blue by underrated players in straight sets and even in Wimbledon and US & you have still the audacity to say that he is mentally tougher and does not tank matches. Nevertheless, I praise you for your humour sense.


winepig Says:

At the Fench, Sampras had a backbone made of 30 minute spaghetti…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

Funny you bring up Agassi because he has no holes either. He won them all and Sampras did not. Sampras will forever be delicated to the rank of third place on the alltime greats list. The reason Sampras is third is because he won fourteen slams, but that is it. His inability on clay makes him and Agassi alot closer than you want to believe my friend. Here is the alltime greats list:

1. Roger Federer
2. Rod Laver
3. Pete Sampras*
4. Bjorn Borg*
5. Andre Agassi


winepig Says:

I need a new keyboard…or new fingers…


winepig Says:

Tennisfan#1:

I don’t think Borg and Sampras belong there: if ya haven’t won them all, ya get no consideration at all!


winepig Says:

Federer, Laver, Rosewall.. period.


Ben Pronin Says:

Where did this idea that Sampras tanked matches come from?

I’m a Sampras fan out and out? Now that’s some good old-fashioned comic relief right there.

Tennisfan#1, once again, I do not believe Federer or anyone else is the GOAT. It’s impossible to determine.

My point is just that, all champions have flaws, including Federer.

I’m not trying to belittle Federer’s accomplishments. Federer’s accomplishments speak for themselves. Do you want me to send you the link to his stats page? I’m a big fan of records and streaks and looking at all of Federer’s records is like pure bliss for me. But that’s the thing, why do you have to belittle great champions like Sampras and Nadal in order to make Federer look better? Federer looks great all on his own.

You were right, LLtK. You’re not a Fed-fanatic. You’re firm in your beliefs but you’re quire fair compared to these fanatics (Michael, tennisfan#1, winepig).


Michael Says:

Fot, I need to agree with you. Some of the posters here just cannot digest the victory of Federer at the Australian Open. They just never imagined that Federer will once again come to the finals. They thought that probably he would be consumed by the in-form Davydenko. But that didn’t fructify. Once in the finals, they thought that Murray who thrashed Nadal in straights would have a walkover over Federer and the reason is the much stressed H2H edge Murray holds over Federer. But to their amusement Federer took the wind out of the sails and beat Murray in straights. It is from that shock these posters are not able to come to terms with and now again they have revived this much flogged bad H2H of Federer against Nadal. Never mind, there cries will fall on deaf ears and Federer has become the Sun of Tennis around which the planets like Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, Potro and Roddick revolve. We know the importance of SUN and Federer is the SUN of Tennis.


skeezerweezer Says:

“Ben Pronin Says:

That’s right, Fot. To me, Federer has to beat every single record out there until I declare him the GOAT.”

Ok everyone, you finally heard the true colors and rationale of the poster come out. My question is, why didn’t you own up to it rather than go through posts upon fruitless posts trying to justify your unrationale argument based on make up H2H arguments?

You won’t challenge anyone on Feds Record in Slams, just if you can bring Rafa into the picture to try and taint it. Look Rafa is GREAT, is not done ( hopefully ) and is GREAT for the game.

LISTEN UP DUDE, But when RAFA says Roger is #1, all is current past and present playin peers ( except Rocket ) says he is #1 and even RAFA says his is GOAT then why would anyone listen to you?

I’ll listen to Rafa…..MR. FED BEATER

Your still trying to justify who Roger plays, rather than titles.

Look, what is the object of the game called tennis?

To WIN. Oh wait, to beat somebody H2H.LOL.

WHO has won more titles, GS, FED, RAfA?

Fed 20 ( I stand corrected ) GS finals, 16 majors, all surfaces…and counting….GOAT


Ben Pronin Says:

Tennisfan#1, why isn’t Lendl on that list?

As a matter of fact, I’ve always wondered why Agassi was never proposed as a GOAT. I’m guessing it’s because he wasn’t in double digits in slam count but 8 slams including a career Golden Slam is a pretty great career. But to say Agassi had no holes in his career is just… wrong.


winepig Says:

PRONIN BOY:

LOL Fanatics ignore facts; look in the mirror little boy.


tennisfan#1 Says:

Guys,

Ben is a smart guy and with a little time he will see the light. He is just in pouting mode right now. After the French Open and Wimbeldon last year the Sampras and Nadal fans need a little more time to adjust. My only concern for you Ben is that if last year was tough, how are you going to stomache what is coming this year?


winepig Says:

Pronin moron: Look at my ost about Sampras at the Fench…again. You’ve already whined about the post, now read the bloody thing and shut up!


Ben Pronin Says:

22 Slam finals. TWENTY TWO.

Skeezerweezer, when I say all the records, I include having winning h2h’s over every single player he’s ever played. Why is h2h so overlooked? I want Federer to turn his h2h against Hrbaty around. I want Rafter and Kuerten to unretire so that Federer can turn his h2h’s around against them.

When I look at Fed’s stats, it annoys the crap out of me to see 0-3 vs Rafter. Of course it’s meaningless, he was young and all that. But still, I’d rather see it 2-1. To me, that’s what the GOAT would have.


winepig Says:

Jesus Pronin, go back to school and learn English 001…


Ben Pronin Says:

“After the French Open and Wimbeldon last year the Sampras and Nadal fans need a little more time to adjust. My only concern for you Ben is that if last year was tough, how are you going to stomache what is coming this year?”

I fell off my chair laughing at this one. A Sampras fan I am but a Nadal fan? LMFAO. The only thing that’s tough right now is that Del Potro had to ruin Fed’s slam streak. Fed could be holding all 4 slams right now. I like Del Potro and I’m glad he won a slam, but still, it’d pretty amazing to see Federer holding all 4 slams at once.


winepig Says:

Notice how Pronin avoids the Sampras debacle at the French…


Michael Says:

Ben, If GOAT is impossible determine then how come Sampras, Mcenroe, Lendl, Borg etc. have already crowned Federer as the GOAT. What you have got to say about that. Ask the current crop of players right from Murray, Roddick, Del Potro, Soderling, to name a few. Everyone have unanimously agreed that he is the GOAT. Why ? Just because the achievements speak for themselves. Say if tomorrow another players comes and outperform Federer may be there will be reconsideration. But seeing how Tennis is evolving and the kind of competition it is facing, it is difficult or I would say near impossible to visualize any other player breaking Federer’s record in Grand slams. You say that you are not a Sampras fan and yet say that he is mentally tougher and does not tank matches like Federer. It seems that just you are not aware (which I cannot believe) or ignoring the pathetic performance of Sampras at the Roland Garros where he was consumed by second ranked players. Even in Wimbledon where he is called the King, he was subsumed by Federer himself in the fourth round, Richard Krajeck who beat him in straight sets and also lost to an unknown player in the first round, the name which I do not remember at the moment. That will tell you something.


winepig Says:

Sampras was a quitter…get over it America…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

Careful not to hurt yourself falling out of your chair. Why would Federer care if he loses a slam final here or there. At this point in his career there is no downside. He can never win another match the rest of his career and he still goes down as the GOAT. That is the hardest thing for Sampras fans to accept.


winepig Says:

Yep, I’d vote for a player as GOAT if he averaged less than 2 match wins per round…


winepig Says:

…without winning…


Ben Pronin Says:

Sampras’s 96 FO run:

Magnus Gustafsson 34 W 6-1, 7-5, 7-6(5)
Sergi Bruguera 23 W 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(2), 2-6, 6-3 (2 time champ)
Todd Martin 18 W 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-2
Scott Draper 99 W 6-4, 7-5, 6-2
Jim Courier 8 W 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 (2 time champ)
Yevgeny Kafelnikov 7 L 6-7(4), 0-6, 2-6 (eventual champ)

So Sampras beat the 2 guys who combined to win 4 of the last 5 FO’s. Has Federer ever done that? No.


winepig Says:

…without reaching a final…


winepig Says:

…without EVER winning a semi final…


winepig Says:

…with getting knocked out of the first or second round SIX TIMES…


winepig Says:

Get over yourself Pronin… you are delusional.


Michael Says:

Ben, Now you have gone to Lendl and say why he is not in the All Time Great List. Ofcourse Lendl is a very good player and a role model for the current crop of players due to his fitness regime. But wasn’t he the worst choker ? See his grand slam finals record speak for themselves. His turning point came when Mcenroe threw away the match at French which he was poised to win due to his tantrums. That was the turning point for Lendl as before that he was being thrashed in the finals and had that jinx at the Grand slams. If not for that suicide by Mcenroe at the French, I do not think Lendl would have gone ahead and won another grand slam. Connors beat him repeatedly at the US Open by calling him a choker and even declaring himself as the winner before the final match up. Such was the arrogance of Connors against Lendl till that point when he was widely known as a Choker. So he got a lucky break. Now how come you are too eager to include a choker in the list of greats and at the same time trying all that you could to belittle Federer and his achievements. I do not know what is in your mind. But by all your sayings you clearly imply that you are anti-Federer.


Ben Pronin Says:

Why does this keep coming back to Sampras?

Why SHOULDN’T Federer care about losing a slam final? What’s the point of doing all that work just to lose? He wouldn’t play if he didn’t care…

I’m done answering questions about Sampras because you guys don’t even bother to look into his career, you just see Federer did this and that’s it.

It’s not like I don’t want Federer to be the GOAT, I just don’t believe you can call a player the GOAT.


winepig Says:

wow Pronin…your boy actually made it to 1 semi in 12 years.. that really compares to federer’s record…LOLOLOLOL


Ben Pronin Says:

Someone show me where I’m belittling Federer’s achievements.

Michael, choker or not, Lendl went on to have a great career and was one win away from a career slam. 8-11 isn’t that terrible of a record. Afterall, until Federer, Lendl reached the most slam finals ever.


winepig Says:

It keeps coming back to Sampras because of your own post, moron! LOLOLOLOL


winepig Says:

I think little Benny is afraid to answer me…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Guys,

You are dealing with a very jealous and angry individual right now. He is very bitter about the fact Sampras is losing his records to Federer. Most Sampras fans were Nadal fans by trade because they hoped he could keep Federer from winning the French open and breaking the Slam record. Now that both of those have happened it is an empty argument and that kills them. I find it hilarious because I could careless about Federer, but I enjoy the pouting from Sampras and Nadal fans. It is quite comical.


winepig Says:

LOL to tennisfan#1!!


Ben Pronin Says:

Tennisfan are you a comedian? You just keep coming up with these great jokes.

I’m not nor have I ever been a Nadal fan. Every time Federer plays Nadal, I have trouble sleeping the night before because I’m worried about Fed losing. Too many matches Federer let slip through his fingers against Nadal (Dubai will always come to mind) that drive me insane. Federer winning the FO was the happiest day of my tennis life. What else do you want? I just don’t believe in this idea of one player being the GOAT.


Michael Says:

Now Ben, coming to Lendl how could anyone be labelled as Great when he could not win at Wimbledon which is the crowning glory of Tennis. You know Lendl’s record at Wimbledon finals once against a second ranked player like Pat Cash and another against Becker. Both the matches he lost in straight sets. Common Lendl yelled the famous “Grass is for cows” due to sheer frustration and his inability to win at the Premier event. Then after realizing its importance, he traded one win at Wimbledon with all his other tournament wins. But despite his best efforts he came a cropper. now how can anyone be called as Great when he could not win the Premier event ? I am just not able to understand your weird logic


winepig Says:

Goodnight all intelligent posters; this does not, for obvious reasons, include Ben Pronin…


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

If you want Federer to be the GOAT than you should be a very happy man now shouldn’t you? Regarding the 1996 run Sampras made at the French Open. It was indeed a good effort, but not making it to the finals is what people remember. It is like the Great Federer said after the win in Australia. “People remember titles and that’s it and that’s all”. If you are a Federer fan than that quote gives you great satisfaction, but if you are not it ties you up in knots. Which is it Ben?


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

Yes you do believe in one GOAT, and everyone here knows you do. Denial is a disease and you have it bad. Nobody cares about h2h results. Like Federer said titles are all that matters. Now come on I thought you were a tennis writer. Am I going to have to teach you how to do your writing or what? Come on now you can do better than this. Don’t embarasse our sport.


Skeezerweezer Says:

“It’s not like I don’t want Federer to be the GOAT, I just don’t believe you can call a player the GOAT.”

Ben , I give u credit for trying to justify your position, although as someone mentioned earlier “delusional”. I think we should put this to bed. We are just fans, players, etc. I will leave my argument with Fed as GOAT by saying I heard it from his past and present playing peers, who better qualified to make that statement?

BTW, I stand corrected again. 22,22,22, thanks!


Ben Pronin Says:

So if I’m a Federer fan, I can’t be a fan of anyone else? That explains every comment you’ve posted.

I’m happy for Federer, but tired of his dominance. Would I have liked to see things differently? Yeah. I would’ve liked to see Federer beat Nadal at the FO all those times and at Wimbledon and at the AO. But now I’m ready for the next generation.

People overlook Sampras’s great 96 run and it’s a damn shame. He put everything into that event and it was especially important for him since he was trying to do it for his former coach, Gulikson (I always forget if it was Tim or Tom that died). That’s what makes Federer’s wins that much better. After seeing him struggle for so long he finally won the French. It saddens me that Sampras never did. Why? Because I’m a fuggin tennis fan. I’m not gonna support Federer at the expense of others, there’s no point.

Just to be clear, Federer’s achievements can’t be taken away. But he can be overtaken eventually. And I sure as hell don’t want Nadal to be the one to overtake. Let’s go Djokovic!


tennisfan#1 Says:

Goodnight folks. I will be checking in on you tomorrow Ben so try not to dissappoint. I believe in you buddy. Cheers.


Ben Pronin Says:

Tennisfan, watch another sport, research its history, and then come back and tell me there’s such a thing as a GOAT. I’ll say it again, N/A. It’s not denial, it’s reailty. Get over yourself.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Tough night for Ben, good night everyone


Michael Says:

Being so fond of Federer as you say when you do not sleep before his match against Nadal, why come you have any objection when the Tennis Greats, Commentators, Analysts, Players proclaim him as the “GOAT”. He is being called the GOAT as of today because of his insurmountable achievements which have become the benchmark for aspring Tennis players of the next generation. GOAT is not a title as such, it is just a recognition being given to the finest and purest in Tennis today.


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

Sorry brother, but Roger’s achievements are not going to be passed and that is what he will spend the next three years making sure of. Nadal will probably not ever win a slam again, and the other boys might win four or five between them while Federer will finish with nineteen or twenty slams. Cheers.


tennisfan#1 Says:

Ben,

So much anger and resentment hurts the soul my friend. Call it a night and get some rest. You will feel better in the morning. Cheers.


Michael Says:

Ben, Now we understand that you are tired of the domination of Federer in the Grand Slams. You just can’t help it when he is so perfect. Don’t you think just this one quality qualifies him to become a GOAT when he has left you frustrated with his dominance at the grand slams as per your own words “I’m happy for Federer, but tired of his dominance”. Despite your best efforts to shore up Sampras at Clay, history will only judge him as a pathetic performer there. I am not just talking about Roland Garros, Sampras had a dismal record even in other Clay Court tournaments. As regards Federer’s achievements being overhauled, we can well debate on that eventful day when that happens. Now that will be pure speculation. So accept for God’s sake that “FEDERER IS THE GOAT” and have a good sleep. Good night.


Michael Says:

Good night everyone.


O-Kerr Says:

Federer is the indisputable GOAT. Stats don’t lie.

Sampras (14) + Hewitt (2) = Federer (16)

Emerson (12) + Courier or Vilas (4) = Federer

Borg or Laver (11) + Sedgman or Trabert (5) = Federer

Tilden (10) + Nadal (6) = Federer

Lendl (8) + (Connors) (8) = Federer

Rosewall (8) + Agassi or Perry (8) = Federer

McEnroe (7) + Wilander (7) + Safin (2) = Federer

Edberg (6) + Becker (6)+ Rafter (2) + Kaflenikov (2) = Federer

Budge (6) + Crawford (6) + Kuerten (3) + Chang (1) = Federer

The list goes on without any possibility of one-on-one comparison.


Skorocel Says:

Michael said: „But the question is whether that argument holds good today when Nadal has been relegated to the fourth position and is being threatened to even move down further. Suppose if Nadal is pushed out of the top five (a very real possibility) how can that argument hold. Federer does not have only a bad H2H against Nadal, you know one player named Canas, Federer is 0-3 against him. Does that mean Canas is a better player than Federer even though Nadal and Canas are a class apart and can never be compared. Your H2H argument might have counted to an extent in the later part of 2008 and early part of 2009 when Nadal was in the top, but now with his game considerably weakened and he is just not in a position to compete with the top 10 players, how can that argument just hold ground today.“

What that Nadal’s recent slump has to do with his H2H vs Federer?! Are you trying to say that Nadal’s some rubbish player these days, so that we could discount his wins over Fed as „less relevant“? In case you don’t know, he’s still the 4th best player in the world. And even if he wasn’t… Show me another player apart from Federer who, in the post Sampras & Agassi era, managed to win 6 slams, 30 other tournaments, and stayed 46 weeks at the No 1. spot. Hint: there’s indeed one such guy, and it ain’t JMDP, Murray, or Djoker ;-) Oh, and btw, Fed is 3-3 with Canas. Case closed, riddle solved.

——————————-

„I cannot understand or comprehend your sticking to that weird opinion of just looking at the H2H to evaluate a player. For instance Connors had a bad H2H against most players of his generation namely Borg, Mcenroe, Connors, Lendl, Wilander etc. to name a few. But nobody discounts Connors due to that and count him as one of the greats.“

You yourself said it here. „One of the greats“ and „GOAT“ is a big difference. Connors is „just“ one of the greats, whereas Fed is hailed by many as the GOAT. And if he’s indeed the GOAT, he should be able to handle everyone they put in front of him, don’t you think? MOREOVER when that guy is someone whom he met 7 (SEVEN) times in a grandslam final, not someone like Simon or Hrbaty (whose 2 wins against Fed not only occured outside slams, but will also most probably remain as their only success worth of mentioning)…

——————————-

„Your logic sounds like if Nadal does not make it to the finals then Federer should consider a walk over since his victory will not carry any significance.“

Where did I say that? Look, for example, at his most recent triumph at AO 2010. In my opinion, that was almost a TEXTBOOK tournament for Federer. Against Andreev, it was expected he would struggle, and he indeed did. But he overcame him. Then, he played excellent against Hanescu, Montanes, and Hewitt (whom he virtually blasted off the court), only to struggle against Davydenko. The SAME Davydenko, whom he lost to in their previous 2 matches, btw. But he WON the match. It was maybe obvious that Davy had one of the biggest mental breakdowns in the recent tennis history during that 2nd set, but that doesn’t matter a bit. All what matters is that Fed won the match, and he won it deservedly. Then he came up against Tsonga. The SAME Tsonga who beat him in Montreal last year. And he won. He not only won, but he literally erased the Frenchman from the court. And then he beat Murray in the finals. The SAME Murray who has already amassed no less than 6 wins against the Swiss maestro. The Scot was playing perhaps his best tennis in Australia, beating such people like Nadal, Cilic, or Isner (who, despite his limited tennis skills, is ALWAYS dangerous when his serve is clicking, but whom Murray simply didn’t give a chance)… And he did it in a very quick fashion, spending very little time on the court. In other words, he was 100 % ready for the final, with a positive H2H against Fed behind him, yet Fed beat him comfortably in 3 sets. If that’s not a worthy GS triumph Michael, then I don’t know what is?!


Skorocel Says:

„How can you say he is the GOAT if he can’t beat someone in his own era? Oh that’s right, you can’t.“

You nailed it here, Ben!


Skorocel Says:

winepig: „I need a new keyboard…or new fingers…“

Or a brand new brain, you idiot!


Ben Pronin Says:

Skorocel where have you been? It’s like arguing with 5 year olds! I’m going to sleep. Peace out fanatics.


Michael Says:

Skorocel, All that I am saying about Nadal relegated to the fourth position is he is not the best right now and is not in a position to beat the top 10 players. Therefore that H2H which you constantly flog to belittle Federer just does not hold water when Nadal is meandering along in a headless way. I am not in anyway downgrading Nadal or any of his achievements which are remarkable. But he has more to prove to the World to be included in the list of Great. Just his H2H against FED will not do the trick. Regarding the bad H2H of Connors against his competitors and is being labelled as one of the Greats. Yes, that is true. He has been labelled as one of the greats due to his achievements of 8 Grand Slams despite his adverse H2H against his competitors. Whereas Federer has 16 (8 more than Connors could manage) and therefore definitely deserves the title of “GOAT”. Will you atleast understand this simple logic.


Michael Says:

Skorocel, Your contention of “How can you say he is the GOAT if he can’t beat someone in his own era? Oh that’s right, you can’t”.

We know from the records that Federer has beaten Nadal twice at the Premier event of Wimbledon, in the Masters series and even in Clay Court tournaments. So how come your logic will stick. I just cannot understand ?


Skorocel Says:

Michael: To put it straight, I’m a Federer fan. Everyone who has been blogging here in these last 3-4 years knows it. I literally HATE Nadal’s game, as it is based largely on destroying, not creating. Hell, that’s why I love players like Fed and Sampras! These 2 always had only one goal: to win the rally by creating something – be it a FH winner, an ace, a smash, a volley, or something else. AND, not only they were good at it, they were PRETTY DAMN ELEGANT while doing so!

To be honest, when you look at Federer’s resume, there really isn’t any major flaw you can point at EXCEPT that H2H vs Nadal. That’s the only thing that bothers me, Michael. And it’s NOT ONLY the 7-13 which bothers me, it’s also the way in which Federer has been RESPONDING MENTALLY in these matches. In other words, Nadal forced him to tread in an unexplored territory. He forced him to go out of his comfort zone as they say, and, as we saw, Fed didn’t like it a bit. That’s what bothers me, Michael. Sampras may have sucked on clay, but he didn’t let ANYONE to get under his skin…


minime Says:

Sampras let krajicek into his head. The only time they met in a slam, Krajicek beat him. Their H2H in grand slams is 1-0 Krajicek. Therefore Krajicke was in Sampras’s head, causing him to choke.

And Sampras was brainshit on clay. Didn’t know what to do except go to the net and get slaughtered there. He had no other gameplan. Not a complete player and definitely mental headcase for not adjusting tactics in the clay.


Michael Says:

Skorocel, Nice to know that you are too a Federer Fan. Again coming to that much vaunted H2H of Nadal against Federer, if we look at the stats of their Grand Slam clashes leaving aside the French Open it stands at 2 all. Federer won one of the Wimbledon in four seats and there was also a set in which he bagled Nadal and in another Wimbledon it was five with the last set being won at 6-2. Nadal on the other hand won Wimbledon beating Federer in five and scraping through by the skin of his teeth 9-7 as the scoreline indicates. In the Australian Open, it was once again hard fought 5 sets with Nadal triumphing in the end after a Federer collapse in the fifth. It was a match Federer should have won in four sets utmost with so many break points going abegging. But yet by quirk of fate he lost and that is it. Only when we add the French Open does the picture look a bit clumsy for Federer since he lost three finals and a semi-final too. But there I felt Federer paid for his consistency in constantly reaching the finals of Roland Garros and he was up against arguably the best Clay Court player ever. So, it is not that Federer lost completely the plot against Nadal as you seem to project here. It is not so. Federer too had his victories against him in grand slams. All that said, I feel the pressure of breaking the Sampras record played a big role in his defeats to Nadal at the Wimbledon and Australian Open. The pressure was just a bit too much for him to handle and he succumbed to it. But once claiming the French Open, he regained that confidence back. Coming to Sampras dominance, do you remember a player named Richard Krajicek, he owned Sampras and their H2H stands at 6-4 in Krajicek’s favour. No it was not like the Nadal – Federer rivalry where Nadal had this advantage in clay courts, Krajicek owned Sampras in his favourite courts.


madmax Says:

Back to the same old argument nadal v federer. I dont know who said it in these 285 posts, but I liked what this person said – why not also realise that FEDERER, stopped nadal from winning two wimbys? We always look at it the other way around. I guess this could be a huge compliment to Federer?

Another argument: and that is Federer is a MULTI SLAM WINNER on ALL courts. Nadal isn’t.

Nadal has won the FO 4 times (making him a multi slam winner on clay courts only). He hasnt multi slammed anyone on grass, or anyone on hard courts. Federer has. Time and Time again, over and over and over. We all know what the stats are. That is what makes federer the GOAT. The most versatile, most consistent player – ever.

Plus when people talk about ages of these two players, shouldnt it be calculated on the basis of when they both turned professional? Federer in 1998 and Rafa in 2001? so really only “3 years between them”. This makes Roger’s stay at the top of the ATP so much more incredible because of his longevity and the fact that he has been prepared to change his game, thanks to the likes of rafa and of novak and of murray.

These ridiculous arguments about the h2h, mean very little when you look at it from a different angle. Hasn’t James Blake got a better h2h over rafa? Does that make Blake a better player than rafa? Will James Blake be remembered for having a better h2h than Rafael Nadal? I dont think so.

Are we saying that Julian Benneteau is a better player than Roger Federer because he beat him at Percy Masters this year in Paris?. It just gets more ridiculous.

Rafa is a champion, amongst the all time greats, forever. But Federer. He is in a class of his own.

How anyone can just argue h2h is weak in my view. And let’s face it. That h2h may very well stay the same. But will NOT detract from the great rivalry between the two. It could stay the same because rafa doesnt face roger in a final.

So Soderling blasts rafa out of the FO in the fourth round, and that’s Roger’s fault that Rafa didn’t make the FO?

Roger goes from strength to strength and he is still set more targets by anti fans and the media – “unlikely that a father will ever win a slam again”. So what does Roger do? Wins the AO. What more does this man have to do to prove to people out there just what he can do. He doesnt need to prove anything to anyone anymore, but he will, because he has a love for the sport and is a competitor.

Plus, is it fair that because Rafa didnt reach a final and Roger did, that it means that Roger’s victories in a slam are less because Rafa wasnt there? So by definition, he cannot raise the h2h because rafa wasnt in the final? Rubbish!

C’moon! Roger has always earnt his place in a GS final, rafa is not playing his best right now, but as day becomes night, things change and every true tennis fan can only hope that rafa recovers.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

laadlabakdaas

but unlike fedrer he was no crybaby…..fedex cries whether he wins or loses…..nadal was a perfect gentleman…..his words seldom go wrong….he told that fed will improve sampras’ record at AO ’09 and WALA


Freelancer Says:

Krishnan, Why can’t one cry at a loss ? It is quite natural. It is easy to point out things sitting in front of a desktop. But after all the hardwork when you go to a grand slam final and lose a match you almost won only then you will understand the pain, frustration and disappointment seeping through your body. It is better to vent out in the open than keep it inside for long. Federer did exactly that. If Federer had only cried on defeat then you can well call him a cry baby. But Federer does not cry only in defeat, he cries even when he is victorious and this was evident in his first win at the Australian Open when he wept before Rod Laver on accepting the trophy. That is Federer who gets so emotional about the game he loves, adores, respects and idolize. As Federer himself said, he is not in Tennis for money like say Davydenko who said it openly. He is there in Tennis only for the love of sport and it is quite natural he is more emotional about it. For that matter even Murray cried after his loss to Federer at the Australian Open. Is he too a cry baby according to you ? Similar to Federer, I did not find anything wrong in Murray crying either even though he lost in straights. It is quite natural that he was disappointed after such heavy expectations on his shoulders from the British public.


Freelancer Says:

Krishnan, by the way Federer will not run away from the match like a Coward Nadal when he is losing. That is the meanest thing a player can do.


Ben Pronin Says:

Minime, that’s not true at all. Sampras’s folly on the clay was that he wanted to beat players at their own game. He wanted to grind it out with the best of them. He SHOULD’VE been serving and volleying. He heard that same crap that Federer’s heard over the last few years about how to be Nadal.

Madmax, technically, Federer is not a multi-slam winner on all courts since he only has 1 slam on clay. But that’s besides the point. Once again, we’re not saying Nadal is better than Federer, we’re just saying Fed’s poor showings against Nadal in slams are a blemish on his career.

For the “logical” one (Michael), how can Federer be the GOAT if Nadal is the greatest clay courter of all time and Sampras is the greatest fast court player? The fast court thing isn’t Fed’s fault because the tournaments have slowed down the surfaces so fast court tennis doesn’t exist now like it did in the 90s. However, what makes a player “the greatest” if he’s only second best on a particular surface? Shouldn’t the greatest of all time be the greatest on ALL surfaces?


Cbeast Says:

Big deal Federer is an emotional player.
You’d probably cry if you won a hundred bucks in a lottery.. loser, never mind an Atp 250 or a major.
And to say nadal is the perfect gentlemen and federer isnt is just lame.
Do you see federer but picking on court ?

And by the way I like Nadal a lot just cant stand these dumb comments.I mean seriously if I wanted to listen to an ass id fart.(no offense intended )


Cbeast Says:

And Ben

I must admit I felt like giving Cindy_Brady a real tongue lashing when I read how rude she was being to you.Had to exercise every last ounce of self restraint not to throw some of my own sour grapes at her.


dc Says:

I am one Federer fan who agrees with the non-Federer fans that Fed is not the GOAT till he beats the record for the max number of weeks at #1.
Lets see if Fed has the skill to do that. If Fed is able to manage that, i see no reason why he should not be declared GOAT, but until that time..


dc Says:

@ For the “logical” one (Michael), how can Federer be the GOAT if Nadal is the greatest clay courter of all time and Sampras is the greatest fast court player? The fast court thing isn’t Fed’s fault because the tournaments have slowed down the surfaces so fast court tennis doesn’t exist now like it did in the 90s. However, what makes a player “the greatest” if he’s only second best on a particular surface? Shouldn’t the greatest of all time be the greatest on ALL surfaces?

My response;
Take the following academic scenario as an analogy

Student A (percentage marks in various subjects)
– Physics 80%
– Maths 90%
Overall (Average) 85%

Student B
– physics 95%
– maths 65%
Overall (Average)82.5%

Student C
– physics 100%
– maths 60%
Overall (Average) 80%

As you can see, student A is neither the best in physics nor in maths, however he is still the #1 student


dc Says:

t@ Ben – he “February 9th, 2010 at 10:08 am” post by me above was my response to one of your comments.


dc Says:

major correction to my “February 9th, 2010 at 10:10 am” post above
For Student C
- physics 60%
- maths 100%
Overall (Average) 80%


Ben Pronin Says:

Dc, you make a good point that goes along with when I say Federer is the most accomplished player of all time. He’s got ridiculous records, many of which are far beyond anything anyone’s done before. But to be the GOAT, as in, the best player in history, you should be the best in everything. You wouldn’t call student A the best student of all time. You’d say they’re the most consistent all around. No doubt Federer is the most all around player. Being the best on all but clay and being just second best on clay is as good as anyone’s been. But that’s just in his time. I say his h2h against Nadal is a blemish. Choking against the number 2 is never a good thing. However, the most important reason why there can be no GOAT is because it’s just not fair to compare eras. Federer is the MAOAT.


Skorocel Says:

madmax: „That h2h may very well stay the same. But will NOT detract from the great rivalry between the two. It could stay the same because rafa doesnt face roger in a final.“

I, for one, wouldn’t be that sure about it… As the things look now, they may very well meet in the semis or even quarters :-) Now that would be interesting, don’t you think? ;-)

——————

„Hasn’t James Blake got a better h2h over rafa? Does that make Blake a better player than rafa? Are we saying that Julian Benneteau is a better player than Roger Federer because he beat him at Percy Masters this year in Paris?“

Who is saying that, madmax?

——————

„How anyone can just argue h2h is weak in my view.“

OK. Let’s say you had to pick the single most important of all the Federer’s successes, and the single most important of his setbacks (or flaws, blemishes, whatever). What would you choose for the latter? A missing Olympic or DC title? Obviously not. What would these titles add to Fed’s legacy? Virtually nothing… A (still missing) record for the most singles titles won in Wimbledon? As of now, everything looks he’ll indeed break it. Breaking the Sampras‘ record of 286 weeks as No. 1? It’s only a formality now… Breaking the Sampras‘ record of six consecutive No 1 year end finishes? Maybe. But that’s still not out of question yet, since, even though he certainly won’t do it consecutively, there’s still more than a decent chance for him to do it seven times (provided his form and health hold up in the years to come, of course). Calendar year grand slam? Could be it, but still, that would be only a bonus, since he’s already managed to meet the 2 most important criterias re: the slams (that is, breaking Pete’s record of 14 slam titles & completing the career slam). Most career titles won? At best, he can overcome McEnroe (who’s 3rd on the OE list with some 77 titles), but that’s about it. When you consider that his focus has more or less shifted exlusively on slams during these last 2-3 years, it’s only logical to assume that. There’s absolutely no chance for him to beat Lendl (who has over 90 titles), not to even mention Connors (100+). So what would be it then? When you look at all his records & accomplishments, there really isn’t that much you can blame him for, is it? So what would be it, madmax? I, for one, would certainly pick the H2H with Nadal…


Fed is GOAT Says:

Sampras was so miserable on clay that he doesn’t even deserve a top 5 mention amongst potential GOATs. He just got lucky with playing aged players, or goofed off players.

Nadal is just a super clay courter.

If you can’t accept that, then keep deluding yourself.


Skorocel Says:

Freelancer: „As Federer himself said, he is not in Tennis for money like say Davydenko who said it openly.“

LOL :-) Let’s tell Federer that, from now on, he won’t be receiving any prize money & appearance fees, and you can be about sure that the AO 2010 final will turn out to be his last match as a professional… Any explanation for why he played in Abu Dhabi? Or in those meaningless exhos against Sampras or Nadal?


Skorocel Says:

FIG: What about Muster, Courier, Bruguera, or Rios? Not exactly some B-class players on clay, are they? Yet Sampras faced them all and beat them at RG… Which of today’s players apart from Nadal, Fed, and maybe Djoker can come close to their successes on the red dirt?


Ben Pronin Says:

Spread tennis to other parts of the globe :D

Dude, I said Nadal is the best clay courter ever. Where am I deluding myself?

Doesn’t Sampras have an MS title on clay?

Now Federer got lucky? I’m firmly against the idea that Federer is lucky because he has “weak competition,” but if you bring Sampras into that, I will not hesitate to show you how much worse Fed’s era is.


contador Says:

i respect the opinions of the: “fed h2h against rafa is a blemish on fed’s career,” believers.

but really, whom but the current generation of h2h flag-wavers are really going to be realistically able to pass that mind-set off through time?

unless, of course, rafa can boast more than being the “king of clay” by winning a us open ( thus, enter the career slam legends) and more slams other than his one wimbles and one AO,

not dissing rafa at all here.not only to i like him but he’s obviously an incredible champion, a true rival on court to fed, if he makes it to a final with fed…and imo, i hope the best for rafa and as a tennis fan love to see them in another final….especially a FO or us open! with fed winning the FO match and rafa winning the us open.

let a fedal GS final get us all excited again, please. however , i think chances are slim this year for them to meet at any gs final. we’ll see. :-)


Fed is GOAT Says:

Skorocel,

Defending Sampras’s clay record is a meaningless exercise. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. 24-13 at the French. 6 first round exits. Just one semi in 13 tries. So much for being a 14 slam winner. How miserable is that?

Once Sampras’s serve was returned, he didn’t have much left. On today’s grass, he wouldn’t win that many wimbledons either. He was lucky they had fast grass, so that he could win 7 of them, especially without much competition.


Ben Pronin Says:

FiG, watch the 95 USO final between Agassi and Sampras and tell me Sampras had nothing after his serve was returned.


Long Live The King Says:

Skorocel:

“Then, why Fed lost in Miami 2004 or Dubai 2006?!”

For the same reason that nadal lost hamburg 07 and madrid 09 on clay to Roger. Does that prove roger is in Rafa’s head? similarly nadal’s wins in those matches dont prove nadal is in federer’s head or that Roger is a mental wuss.

If you dont think there has been a dip in Roger’s game since 2008, well, you must have been busy drooling over sampras’ drooling tongue-hanging images and missed Roger play from 04-07.

I certainly rate Roger and rafa as the top two mentally strongest of all time with agassi and hewitt following them. I havent seen 2 players who can turn around the matches at any given point in a match like these 4. Sampras rates even below wilander or connors on mental strength. Rafa is more mentally tough than Roger, but not by a lot. Roger is definitely much more mentally tough than Sampras. Prime example would be sampras getting mauled by hewitt and safin at the US open. In a similar match, I am sure Roger wouldnt crap on the court like Sampras did those 2yrs.

Anyway, if your point is that Sampras is a better GOAT candidate than Roger and that is the reason you are using the H2H against nadal, sorry I dont agree. As I said earlier, the GOAT is between Federer, Laver and Rosewall, If you have any arguments why Laver or Rosewall are more deserving, I will listen.

As for sampras, I have no doubt that Roger would kick his ass atleast 7 times out of 10 at USopen and wimbledon and beat sampras to pulp and wipe the court with it 10 times out of 10 at both the French Open and Oz open. Roger crossed Sampras league when he won 12 slams, because Roger is a much more all-court and all-surface player than Sampras could even dream of being, not to mention Roger dominating like tennis has never seen.


Ben Pronin Says:

Agassi top 4 mental toughness? That’s why he lost 2 years after 1 loss.

Sampras was a lot more complete than he gets credit for. And he didn’t get mauled by Safin and Hewitt. Hewitt was like 10 years younger and out-fitnessed Sampras. Safin played perfect tennis, no one would’ve beaten him that day.

Depends on what Wimbledon we’re talking about, fast or slow. As for US Open, 50/50.

“Then, why Fed lost in Miami 2004 or Dubai 2006?!”

“For the same reason that nadal lost hamburg 07 and madrid 09 on clay to Roger.”

I don’t think so. Not even close. The 4 matches are nothing alike. That doesn’t even answer the question. But it’s wrong, either way.


Long Live The King Says:

Ben:

Roger being 2-4 against nadal in 2006, doesnt bug me, because 3 of Roger’s losses came on clay – where Roger almost clinched Rome 06, breadsticked nadal on his home turf.

Out of the 3 non-clay matches, Roger lost a tight one at dubai, where he blitzed nadal 6-2 in the set he won. At wimbledon Roger bageled nadal. And at the masters cup, Roger straight setted Nadal, by far the most lop-sided match of their 6 encounters. Also, Federer was 6-3 in no. of sets outside clay and 4-9 in sets on clay. Looks to me Roger was twice as better as Nadal on grass/hc and Nadal similarly twice as better than Roger on clay. If Nadal was good enough to make the Oz open final or US open final that year, I would have put my money on Roger in less than 4 in both. Roger was just unfortunate that Nadal crapped out at the Oz open (till last year) and crapping at the USopen still.


Long Live The King Says:

As I said earlier, Fed has a sucky 9-2 record against Rafa on clay, but thats no shame, as Rafa is the greatest clay courter of all time. I could argue Roger is an all time clay court great – 5 FO semis with 4finals and a title, 4 hamburg and 1madrid, 1hamburg final, 2 rome finals, 2 Montecarlo finals with all his losses except 1 rome final coming to the greatest clay courter of all time.

Outside of clay however Roger is peerless. His H2H with Nadal is 5-4 hardly a blemish (if that is a blemish, Sampras is 4-6 against Krajicek, 3-4 against Safin, 4-5 against hewitt). He has all sorts of jaw-dropping records and streaks. If you claim, Sampras is mentally tougher than Roger, becuase Roger has “only a 5-4″ H2H against a 6time slammer, then how come sampras has losing records against 3 guys who have 5slams between all of them put together. Ben and Skorocel, you got to say something about that?

And sorry, you cant ask me to bring Roger and Nadal’s clay H2H, because, can you imagine how pathetic Sampras’ H2Hs against marat and lleyton would have been if he had to consistently play against them on clay? I am totally positive, he wouldnt win a match against either of them on clay. I doubt he would win a set!


Long Live The King Says:

Ben:

“Agassi top 4 mental toughness? That’s why he lost 2 years after 1 loss.”

And then rose back to no.1 a year later – would he have been able to do that if he was not one of the toughest players ever?

“And he didn’t get mauled by Safin and Hewitt.”

>>>> really? safin and hewitt beat the shit out of sampras in the USopen finals. I dont think a “mentally” tough champ would allow that. 1yr after hewitt beat the crap out of sampras, agassi beat hewitt in 4. And agassi was 2yrs older than what sampras was when hewitt thrashed him. now you want to talk about age and people playing their best games, Ben? I thought it was just win or loss that mattered and not ages and who was playing their best and who was slumping? I dont think Safin would have beaten anyone, btw! Federer would have had a 60-40 shot at safin.


Long Live The King Says:

“I don’t think so. Not even close. The 4 matches are nothing alike. That doesn’t even answer the question. But it’s wrong, either way. ”

Really, lets see Ben,

Miami 04 – Fed was 2time GS champ, nadal 0slams
Hamburg 07, Nadal 2time FO champ, Federer 0 French

Dubai 06 – Federer 4time hard court GS champ, nadal 0 hc slams

Madrid 09 – Nadal 4time FO, Roger 0 French.

In miami, nadal straight-setted Roger at Madrid, Roger did the same.

In dubai, nadal lost 1st set 6-2, won next 2. In Hamburg, Roger lost 1st set 6-2, Fed won next 2 bageling nadal in the 3rd.

They seem similar to me. HC, Roger’s territory, clay Rafa’s – both lost matches they should have won.

How can use nadal’s HC wins to point out that Rafa is in Roger’s head but wont give credit to Roger for pulling the other 2 on Nadal’s home turf?


Long Live The King Says:

“Sampras was a lot more complete than he gets credit for.”

>>>> Thats like saying Agassi’s or Nadal’s serve is underrated. It doesn’t mean these guys’ service games were absolute killers. Can you find me a match where Sampras averaged less than 3 aces a set and won the match? Of all the 8+ slam champs, sampras relied MOST on serve and least effective from the baseline. He is not in top 5 most complete players of all time, doubt if he is in the top 10 either.


madmax Says:

Skorocel,

Thanks for your insightful posts about federer, but I am one that has never put much store by h2h’s. That’s my opinion. Always held that. It provides ONE thing about a tennis player, but also EXCLUDES a lot of others. Just because rafa is out of a tourny early on, does not mean that roger’s victory in a final is any less of an accomplishment. My view.

„Hasn’t James Blake got a better h2h over rafa? Does that make Blake a better player than rafa? Are we saying that Julian Benneteau is a better player than Roger Federer because he beat him at Percy Masters this year in Paris?“

Who is saying that, madmax?

My point here Skorocel is that h2h are only one part of the equation and I would not think any less of federer if the h2h remained the same for either his career or rafa’s career. May be I misread your earlier post (I try and read all of them, but they are getting longer and longer!), and I interpreted it as you saying that h2h is important?

Contador, hi, by the way. Just checked you out on TT and love your comments over there. That forum is boring though (I find), a lot of griping over nothing.

Ben,

Please read my post carefully and try not to work out what you “think” I am thinking. (not trying to be rude towards you).

I dont need to go through all the stats with roger v rafa, my point is that the populus go on and on about head2heads. So what if Rafa has beaten Roger in some of the finals of the GS?

It’s not as if they have been straight setters – on hard or grass – we have had some corker five setters – which could have gone either way – plus the high octane matches that both rafa and roger play, they push each other to the limit.

Am not referring to clay for roger regarding “multi slams”.

There is no question in my mind that Rafa is just brilliant here – and clay is his bread and butter tournament. And lets face it. Fed has faced rafa in three of those finals, and lost to rafa at FO. Now, you are not going to tell me that because rafa didnt reach the final of the Fo in 09, that Roger’s achievement was any less of a win, because that would be BS. And let’s face it. Previously, roger LOST to the GREATEST CLAY COURT PLAYER EVER, so there is no shame in that. So rafa will always have that “blemish” on clay courts in losing to soderling, round 4. What does that say about rafa?

In terms of Rafa, my point is that Rafa has “only” been a multi slam winner on Clay.

Reversal – Federer is a multi-slam winner on grass (6 times), on hard (9 times) – that is AWESOME, WICKED, UNREAL. I wasnt talking about clay, because although he has won 1 slam here at the FO, he still has multi-slammed rafa on the others. FACT.


madmax Says:

‘FEDERER IS THE GREATEST PLAYER OF ALL-TIME’ – JOHN MCENROE

John McEnroe has always stopped just short of declaring Roger Federer as the greatest tennis player of all time, until now.

Ahead of his appearance at next month’s BNP Paribas Zurich Open in Federer’s native Switzerland (March 9-13), McEnroe explained his views to the Swiss media while promoting the new ATP Champions Tour event in Zurich.

“Roger is just the greatest player of all time,” he said. “He is the most beautiful player I’ve ever seen and I don’t ever get tired of watching him. Rod Laver is my idol, Pete Sampras is the greatest grass court player ever, but Roger is just the greatest player of all. I think we can all appreciate how incredible he is even more lately, because he’s shown a bit more emotion on court and he’s become a father so he seems a bit more human, more relatable. That makes what he’s doing seem even more amazing.”

McEnroe added that, of all Federer’s astonishing records and achievements in the sport, his run of reaching 23 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals since Wimbledon 2003 is the most remarkable of them all.

“It’s difficult to pick out one of his achievements as the best because they’re all so incredible,” said McEnroe. “But I would probably say the 23 semis or better in a row is the best record of them all. There’s probably not another player in the top 20 who’s even played 23 straight majors (Grand Slam tournaments) in a row. Then throw in the fact that he got to 18 out of 19 finals and that he’s averaging two Grand Slam titles a year, it’s just phenomenally consistent. It’s amazing.”

Federer’s glittering career has included an intense rivalry with Spaniard Rafael Nadal, whom he has battled against in seven Grand Slam finals to-date. It is something McEnroe can relate to having been part of one of the most iconic sporting rivalries of all-time with Bjorn Borg.

“It’s unfortunate that Rafa is struggling with injury because his rivalry with Roger has become an incredible one, and rivalries are great for the sport,” said McEnroe. “I think at the moment Nadal’s injury is working to Roger’s benefit because he was able to take advantage of it at the French Open and dig deep to win that one. But at the same time I think it would be nice to think that Nadal could stick around for a couple of years and push Roger a bit because competition like that can push you that bit harder.”

At the age of 28 and having just won back his Australian Open crown – his 16th Grand Slam title, Federer shows no sign of relinquishing his grip on the Number One spot, but McEnroe acknowledged that nothing lasts forever.

“When you’ve won as much as he has you have to wonder how he will react when he starts losing regularly at major events – not reaching finals or semis. That’s not going to be easy for him. But, he seems to take great care of his body, the way he moves doesn’t put a lot of strain on the body so you would think he would be able to play at this top level a few more years. I hope so, because we are lucky to have him.”


skeezerweezer Says:

contador Says:

…”but really, whom but the current generation of h2h flag-wavers are really going to be realistically able to pass that mind-set off through time?”

You are totally right. I for one have given up discussing this as a few stubborn minded posters up here think that you can’t be the greatest at anything unless you beat everyone h2h, your entire career, 5 setters, 3 setters, on Tuesdays only, with no double faults, while eating a hamburger with a one and a racket in the other only in the winter time……..nay other conditions required for being GOAT?

I will trust TIME, FACTS, AND HISTORY.

Funny you young guys don’t remember before Sampras/Fed there was no argument amoung players/fans/analysts who the GOAT was (LAVER). NO h2h argument, excuses, injuries, didn’t play a full season, surface questions, all that BS.


madmax Says:

Yes, Federer is 2-5 in major finals against Nadal, but let’s put that in perspective. Three of those finals are at the French Open, on Nadal’s beloved red clay, the surface least suited to Federer’s game. (Need we remind anyone of all the fast-court greats who never made even one Roland Garros final?) The other two losses came during Nadal’s annus mirabilis and were five-set instant classics. Need we remind anyone that Rafael Nadal also will be remembered as an all-time great?)

Much has been made of Nadal’s chronic injuries. He wears down every year and has failed to ever reach a final at the U.S. Open, which sports a fast hard court that Federer likes so much that he has won the tournament five times. Nadal’s knee tendonitis and other health problems are always presented as simply a result of his grinding clay-court playing style. (Never mind that Nadal, in an attempt to match up with Federer on faster surfaces, has changed his game dramatically since those early days when he was strictly a clay-court phenomenon.)

Nadal’s injury issues make me think of a particularly cruel remark that Joe Frazier once made about his foremost rival, Muhammad Ali. Ali won two of his three fights with Frazier and, of course, now famously suffers from Parkinson’s Syndrome.

“Look at him now and look at me and tell me who really won those three fights,” Frazier said.

The simple fact is, it’s not easy to keep up with Roger Federer. It has caused truly exceptional athletes to push themselves to their physical limits and beyond. Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro have all struggled with injuries, including at the 2010 Australian Open. Nadal, just a couple of days after declaring that he was in excellent condition and had no lingering pain in his knees, defaulted mid-match against Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. Now he’s going to be out of action for four weeks, and observers increasingly wonder if he’ll ever be the same again. Federer, meanwhile, floats on from major to major, unimpeded by physical problems despite having to lift up all those heavy trophies. Sixteen major titles; eight straight major finals; 23 consecutive major semifinals.

Look at Nadal now and look at Federer and tell me who really won all those major finals.


skeezerweezer Says:

Madmax,

Although I totally agree with your post you are going to get some flack because someone is going to bring up somehow someway that Johnny Mac is not qualified enough as much as Ben to claim Fed as GOAT


madmax Says:

The above post (about the boxing reference) was from Fox sports – I dont want to claim that as me having written it – but I thought it was brilliant and I agree with it.


skeezerweezer Says:

madmax,

Excellent post at 4:27


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben’s last but I expect not last post was February 9th, 2010 at 2:33 pm. You can look up from there….:)


madmax Says:

Oh I know Ben, Skeezer, I was being sarcastic!


Fed is GOAT Says:

Ben,

So you do bring up the age issue? Sampras versus hewitt or safin? Well, then based on your argument, NAdal is 5 year younger than Federer – that’s gives Nadal an age advantage, right?

And for all you NAdal Sampras fanatics:

Nadal is hardly winning any more slams. And Federer is probably going to win a few more, so the debate will be ever so moot. At 15 there were questions, at 16 there are fewer questions. By 18 there can’t be any questions, even from the delusional.


Polo Says:

Federer is the best. No doubt about that. Nobody comes close. No argument against that. People who will contest that can foam at the mouth all they want but fact is fact. Roger, at this point in tennis history, is the best ever.


Ben Pronin Says:

LLtK, I’m not going to get into an argument about the Safin-Sampras match. I’ve watched that match several times and Safin played perfect tennis. And while you try to say he gave up or whatever nonsense you spew, you should look up the stats. Based on stats alone, you’d think it was a super close match. But Safin was on a different playing field that day. Sampras had injuries that hurt his fitness in his later years. Against Hewitt, he didn’t fold, he ran out of steam.

Oh and here’s something interesting. Sampras won 14 slams and reigned as the number 1 player in the world for 6 straight years while dealing with Thalassemia. What illness does Federer have? The guy was blessed with a perfect body for tennis and is quite amazing at keeping himself fit. Kudos to him. Why the hell are you guys bringing up Federer’s bagel over Nadal at Wimbledon, a match that went on to go 4 sets with 2 tiebreakers. Let me remind you of the 2008 French Open final where your precious GOAT lost 6-1 6-3 6-0. You’re telling me Sampras’s losses were bad? Federer holds the record for the worst loss by a number 1 in a slam final. Are you kidding me? And this guy is supposed to be the GOAT? Fed’s best win over Nadal was at the 07 TMC where he won 6-4 6-1. That’s a loss of 5 games over 2 sets. Not bad, right. Now let’s compare that to Nadal dropping only 4 games over 3 sets in a SLAM FINAL. THE MOST IMPORTANT MATCH ANY TENNIS PLAYER CAN PLAY. FOUR GAMES. Even Federer couldn’t get depressed over that loss because it was just beyond crap. To see a 12-time slam champion come out and play like a toddler. Unexcusable.

But wait! There is an excuse. He had mono and back injuries and this and that. Fine. If that excuse is going to fly, then here’s why Miami and Dubai can’t be compared to Madrid and Hamburg. Federer was fully fit and thrashing the competition leading into BOTH Miami 04 AND Dubai 06. Hell, in Dubai, he was the 2 or 3 time defending champion. But he lost both. In Dubai, he was well on his way to an easy straight set victory before Nadal suddenly hit some great passes and Federer pissed himself.

In Madrid, Nadal was coming off one of the greatest and definitely the longest 3 set match ever. In Hamburg, Nadal was coming off a ridiculously long clay court season. Bagel, shmagel. You guys keep making excuses for Federer, it’s ridiculous. I know how great he is. He’s my second favorite player of all time. But when you say “so what he lost a couple of slam finals,” finish the statement. He lost a couple of slam finals to Nadal, the guy who was ranked below him 6/7 times. 4/5 times he lost to the second ranked guy. Why? Federer is supposed to be number 1.

Oh and again, go back and watch Sampras matches during the mid-90′s. He relied on his serve but not as much as you all assume. But even so, what’s wrong with that? If Federer didn’t have the best serving day of his life, Roddick would be the current Wimbledon champion.


Ben Pronin Says:

I forgot to talk about Johnny Mac. I love the guy, but he’s had a huge man crush on Federer since forever. It’s no surprise he loves Federer. He’s watching another super talented genius go above and beyond his potential. McEnroe knows he could’ve accomplished a lot more with his talent so it’s nice for him to see someone like Federer who’s doing everything in his power to squeeze every little bit out of his talent. Best game of all time? Sure. GOAT? I still don’t believe in such a title. Like Laver says, you can be the best of your era, not of all time.


SG Says:

Ben Pronin Says:
FiG, watch the 95 USO final between Agassi and Sampras and tell me Sampras had nothing after his serve was returned.

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

So true. There were a lot of big servers in the 90′s. Only one of them won 14 majors. I’m guessing that’s because he was far more than a big server. He had beautiful groundstrokes and a focused mind. Not to mention his athleticism (I think he’s best athlete in the history of the sport) and those great volleying skills. Not as good as a volleyer as Edberg, but quite a bit better than Becker. He had all the tools necessary to dominate and that’s what he did.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

So you are saying Fed is at least maybe kinda sorta the best of his era? Or you just kinda sorta maybe quoting Laver?

Or should do ya think, maybe, since he is the only guy to say that,

BUT..wait…Rafa/Sampras who have actually PLAYED the guy, had GS titles admit he is GOAT. Or wait..they could have said the” best or greatest ever” :) i guess or whatever , maybe, do you think there opinion is has somewhat more validity than yours, mine, and ?. Everyone has a right to there opinion but you cannot deny the facts. I think that what his peers are so intelligently saying.


Polo Says:

When somebody goes on a very long and winded discourse to explain his argument, that means that he is not quite sure about the validity of his idea. Hence, some on the longest explanations I have seen in this blog for a long time.


Long Live The King Says:

Right Ben! now we talk about Nadal being tired and what not. Sampras has illnesses! boo hoo!

Your double standards are clear. Roger loses 2 matches on hardcourts to nadal and thats because of Nadal’s mental toughness. Federer beats Nadal on clay and that is because Nadal was tired, he spent 4hrs bouncing the ball and arranging the bottles with djokovic (that was a 3hr match at best, if players who play by the rules play!)

Federer is 5-4 against nadal outside clay and thats a blemish? Sampras is 4-6 against krajicek and not a peep about that. Instead you give me a list of Sampras injuries/illness? Why?

Anyway, as I told skorocel, done arguing Federer is a better player than Sampras. Most of the tennis fans/followers know who wins that. Fed/Laver/Rosewall, now thats a more apt comparison.

You talk about the 08 French final, wats the shame in losing to Nadal playing like a GOD on clay? Sampras would have won exactly 0 games against Nadal, if he ever played Nadal on clay that year. Not to mention Fed would have smacked Sampras’ butt on clay everytime they played. Except for serve, Sampras has zilch on Roger or Nadal. Forget Roger, Nadal would have thrashed Sampras on these wimbledon courts. They are not the same courts that Sampras enjoyed rock throwing contests with Goran Ivanisevic. These are courts that require all-court play and Roger and Rafa will rape sampras on these courts.


Kimmi Says:

“Federer beats Nadal on clay and that is because Nadal was tired, he spent 4hrs bouncing the ball and arranging the bottles with djokovic|

Long Live: LOOOOL!!


jane Says:

Wow madmax, this is a harsh example (as you acknowledged with the word “cruel”) that you bring up:

“Nadal’s injury issues make me think of a particularly cruel remark that Joe Frazier once made about his foremost rival, Muhammad Ali. Ali won two of his three fights with Frazier and, of course, now famously suffers from Parkinson’s Syndrome.

“Look at him now and look at me and tell me who really won those three fights,” Frazier said.

The implied analogy with Nadal & his injury with Ali & Parkinson’s disease is very harsh. I don’t think Nadal has quite that bleak of an outlook at the moment! Sheesh – I hope not! But in any case, if Ali and Frazier come into the equation, many, even most, people still see Ali as the greatest boxer – regardless of whether or not he sadly was stricken with a chronic disease.

I don’t get what all the back-and-forth is about anyhow. Some people argue that the Fed-Nadal H2H is a fragile spot on Fed’s otherwise impeccable resume. Who cares? It’s not like they are anti-Fed people or Nadal fanatics. Both Ben and Skorocel are long time Fed fans at this blog! Surely they can think that, and others can think Fed is the undisputed GOAT. Anyhow, it’s kinda funny, and definitely enjoyable to read, at least when you’re standing outside looking in.


Skorocel Says:

FIG: I’m not trying to defend Sampras’ record on clay. Everyone knows it’s pretty much miserable when compared to what Federer has (already) achieved on the red dirt. I was just merely reacting to your February 9th, 2010 at 11:48 am post, where you stated “Nadal is is just a super clay courter“ whilst belittling Sampras‘ opponents on clay (and in general). Federer may have had the greatest claycourter in his path (Nadal), but apart from him, there hasn’t been anyone who would come even close to what M + C + B + R have achieved on clay (except maybe Djoker, Ferrero or Coria), so I would say it’s pretty much a 50:50 situation.


Polo Says:

Federer has 16 majors and still playing well. Nadal is out very often because of injuries. That should keep his H2h advantage over Federer the same way that losing in the rounds of the majors that Federer won has done the same thing about his H2H advantage. Nadal in his attempt to keep up with Federer has now appear to have broken down and could not even contest well in the majors. Who’s the winner now?


Polo Says:

Sampras was not an all around player the way Federer is. He was not a very good clay court player. Anybody who is not blind can see that. He never even got to the finals of the French Open. How can he even be mentioned in the same league as Federer, especially now that he has been passed by 2 majors?


Skorocel Says:

Long Live the King said: „I could argue Roger is an all time clay court great“

Then, how come ALL his losses to Nadal on clay are being constantly (and deliberately) belittled?! I’m not saying he should’ve been beating him consistently. Not at all! All he needed to do was to beat him ONCE, just damn ONCE at RG… Had he beat him there, THEN you could’ve had all the right in the world to say these losses were meaningless. But as long as it’s 0-4 at RG, these losses will remain there…

—————————

„Roger is definitely much more mentally tough than Sampras. Prime example would be sampras getting mauled by hewitt and safin at the US open. In a similar match, I am sure Roger wouldnt crap on the court like Sampras did those 2yrs.“

Do you mean the same Safin who beat Pete in 2000 only to get mauled by the SAME man one year later? Or the same Hewitt whom Pete beat comfortably the year before? ;-)

—————————

„If you dont think there has been a dip in Roger’s game since 2008, well, you must have been busy drooling over sampras’ drooling tongue-hanging images and missed Roger play from 04-07.“

This is hilarious :-) LLTK, for god’s sake! Tennis isn’t about this or that player being at his „best“, but about how this or that player can impose his game on his opponent ;-) THAT’S what Nadal did to Federer in 2008, and that’s all what counts. Not that Federer was or wasn’t at his best…

Anyway, let’s assume Federer wasn’t at his best in 2008. Fine. Then how come he lost in Dubai 2006 or in Miami 2004? Can you answer this question, LLTK? Even in Miami 2005, he needed all the powers he possessed (and then some) to not lose that match in 3 STRAIGHT SETS. Repeat, 3 STRAIGHT SETS. And that was in 2005 – when Federer lost as many as 4 matches. Like it or not, your theory of Nadal having no business in beating Federer outside clay when the Swiss is at his „best“ simply doesn’t hold water…

Anyhow, let’s see what Fed can do to Nadal now. Rafa’s injured, struggling with his form, whereas Fed is fit like a fish (that is no mono, duo, cinco de mayo, no back problems, nothing), and playing reasonably well. In other words, everything speaks in Federer’s favor right now. And since Nadal has dropped to 4th place in the rankings (and can very well end up 5th before the FO), they can easily meet in the semis, or even quarters… Now that would be a shocker for some people! ;-)

—————————

„I certainly rate Roger and rafa as the top two mentally strongest of all time with agassi and hewitt following them. I havent seen 2 players who can turn around the matches at any given point in a match like these 4.“

I had seen one such guy. His name was Pete Sampras. The same Sampras who could hit a 2nd serve ace after wipping his recently thrown-up lunch off his shoulders… The same Sampras who had a 20-14 winning record over Agassi (who you rate as the 3rd mentally toughest player of all times, btw)…

————————–

„Sampras rates even below wilander or connors on mental strength.“

Wilander? The same Wilander who was so fed up with the sport he had to take a coke during the FO 1995? You gotta be kidding here :-)

————————–

„Also, Federer was 6-3 in no. of sets outside clay and 4-9 in sets on clay. Looks to me Roger was twice as better as Nadal on grass/hc and Nadal similarly twice as better than Roger on clay.“

Do you need to go as far as to the number of sets which Fed won against Nadal in 2006 in order to make him look better vs the Spaniard? LOL :-)

————————–

„Your double standards are clear. Roger loses 2 matches on hardcourts to nadal and thats because of Nadal’s mental toughness. Federer beats Nadal on clay and that is because Nadal was tired, he spent 4hrs bouncing the ball and arranging the bottles with djokovic (that was a 3hr match at best, if players who play by the rules play!)“

OK. Let’s take all these injury/tiredness/whatever excuses away. What we get is Fed beating Nadal on clay TWICE (2) and Nadal beating Fed outside of clay FOUR (4) times. In both of those Fed’s wins, he did it in a MS tourney (Hamburg and Madrid). However Nadal did it not only in a MS event (Miami) and ISG event (Dubai), but also twice in slams (AO and Wimby). So Nadal not only leads 4-2 overall, he leads 2-0 in slams. And remember, both of them had the SAME amount of chances to beat their opponent on his best surface (4 matches at RG – Nadal’s favourite surface, 4 matches outside RG – Fed’s favourite surface; SEVEN of those matches being a final, one being a semi). Now, does that make Nadal a better player than Fed? Of course not. However, what does this say about Federer as a GOAT?


Skorocel Says:

“Sampras was a lot more complete than he gets credit for.”

Nicely said, Ben!


Skorocel Says:

„Why the hell are you guys bringing up Federer’s bagel over Nadal at Wimbledon, a match that went on to go 4 sets with 2 tiebreakers. Let me remind you of the 2008 French Open final where your precious GOAT lost 6-1 6-3 6-0. You’re telling me Sampras’s losses were bad? Federer holds the record for the worst loss by a number 1 in a slam final. Are you kidding me? And this guy is supposed to be the GOAT? Fed’s best win over Nadal was at the 07 TMC where he won 6-4 6-1. That’s a loss of 5 games over 2 sets. Not bad, right. Now let’s compare that to Nadal dropping only 4 games over 3 sets in a SLAM FINAL. THE MOST IMPORTANT MATCH ANY TENNIS PLAYER CAN PLAY. FOUR GAMES. Even Federer couldn’t get depressed over that loss because it was just beyond crap. To see a 12-time slam champion come out and play like a toddler. Unexcusable.“

1000 POINTS OUT OF 1000 FOR THIS POST, Ben!


Skorocel Says:

madmax said: „So rafa will always have that “blemish” on clay courts in losing to soderling, round 4. What does that say about rafa?“

Nothing, because Rafa, after all, ISN’T the GOAT. But Federer IS – and as such, shouldn’t have had too many blemishes on his career, don’t you think? ;-)

——————————

„The other two losses came during Nadal’s annus mirabilis and were five-set instant classics.“

Who cares if it was annus or mirabilis or ursus arctos horribilis? He beat him both at Wimby and AO – both of which were Federer’s home turf, so to speak. Many consider Federer as THE GREATEST PLAYER BOTH ON GRASS & HARDCOURT, and, at the very least, among the Top 10 claycourters of all time (which is certainly not a stretch!). Then, how come a guy like Nadal (who isn’t even in Top 10 on grass, not to mention hard) can do this to him TWICE (after already making him look like an absolute joke instead of the GOAT in that absurd RG final)?!

It doesn’t matter a bit, madmax, that these 2 losses were five-set instant classics. On the contrary, it’s exactly THIS FACT that makes it even more painful for Fed. In both of these matches (but especially at Wimby), Federer had an ONCE IN A LIFETIME CHANCE to prove himself as a fighter – and this against a guy, who’s really a MASTER when it comes to fighting (UNLIKE Haas or Berdych, whom Fed recently managed to beat after coming back from a 2 sets to love deficit). Can you imagine what would it mean to him (and to his legacy) had he won that Wimby 2008 final???!!! Being 2 sets to love down, 3-4 and 0-40 in the 3rd (or something like that), facing 2 MPs (both of which he saved courtesy of some fantastic BH passing winners!)… I can’t even imagine there was EVER such a turnaround in ANY grandslam final to date! But it wasn’t to be…


Polo Says:

Federer is the best. He has 16 majors. Anybody who says otherwise is simply howling at the moon. Who among the current players comes close? Nadal? Poor Nadal. His only claim to fame will be his H2H record over Federer. That will probably hold because he keeps losing early in all the majors. I consider him lucky. It is sad that when people talk about who is the best to play the game, Nadal will not be included. He will just be a caveat to Roger’s greatness.


jane Says:

Polo this seems a little overstated: Nadal’s “only claim to fame will be his H2H record over Federer.”

Only!!!???

Nadal has won four French Opens (tied with Borg) all of which he had to beat Fed to win (once in semis, thrice in finals).

He won the French and Wimbledon in the same year (like Borg before him, and Fed after him) both times beating Federer.

He has a hard court major as well (only missing the USO) – beating Federer.

He has as many Masters Series titles as the leader in this category, Agassi (I think??).

I’d say his “claim to fame” is a little more than having a winning H2H with Fed. : )


jane Says:

Sorry Rafa’s not tied with Borg on French Open wins — Borg has six. But he is tied with him in 4 consecutive wins. THat’s what I was thinking.


Polo Says:

OK, Jane. I will modify my statement and say that Nadal’s “biggest” claim to fame is his head to head record against the best player to have played the game so far. Notice that when people in this blog mention Nadal alongside Federer, they hardly mention all his achievements which you enumerated (I must admit they are quite formidable) but it is his H2H against Federer that is emphasized to show how good Nadal is. It will remain so and is the only argument that Federer detractors can use.


Ben Pronin Says:

Polo, are you insane? That’s Nadal’s biggest claim to fame? Really? I’m rather more impressed with his 6 slams, Olympic Gold Medal, 2 Davis Cup titles, and being the first Spaniard to end the year number 1 in the world.

Skorocel, thanks for getting things rolling. I wanted to say, LLtK, I was assuming you’d use the mono excuse. You didn’t, so let’s take out all injuries and illnesses. Sampras is second on the list of most slams. I’m not saying he’s better than Federer, but you cannot tell me a guy who won 14 slams is a bad player. Bad on clay or not, Sampras was one of the greatest champions the game ever had.

Now then. Miami 2004. Nadal had never even reached an ATP final. He was 17. Federer was a 2-time slam champion. He won the previous Masters mere weeks ago. Nadal wasn’t even supposed to know how to play on hard. I’ve seen the majority of that match and it’s not surprise to hear Federer say he knew Nadal would be great from that moment. Nadal played top notch tennis to thump Federer when he had absolutely no business in doing so.

Dubai 2006. Federer was the 2 or 3 time defending champion. 7 time slam champ. 56 hard court wins in a row. He BLITZED Nadal in the first set. He was aggressive, served great, hit winners off everything, came in a lot, all that. Essentially, everything that people would go on to tell him to do in order to beat Nadal. Then it’s 4-4 in the second, Federer still cruising, and BAM a couple of passing shots and it’s 1 set a piece. You’d have thought Nadal had just as many hard court majors as Federer. The third set was more high quality only for Nadal to come out in the clutch. Federer won 77 points to Nadal’s 71. Nadal went up 3-1 in their h2h. As far as I’m concerned, that was the most important match of their rivalry and really foreshadowed their future together. Federer was better for the most part, but Nadal was tougher on the big points.

Hamburg 2007. Federer was a 3 time champ there. He was having his first rough patch since he became number 1. Nadal was in his 5th clay court final. That’s like 7 straight weeks of matches. I don’t believe in the “he was tired” excuse, but you can’t tell me he was fully fresh either. Most importantly, he wasn’t that fresh mentally. And Federer definitely wanted that match more than Nadal did. But that match made a lot of people believe he could finally beat Nadal at RG. Thinking about it now, that thought was laughable. Federer went on to squander 16/17 break points in their final. Worst conversion rate ever.

Madrid 2009. Physically exhausted or not, you can’t tell me Nadal wasn’t mentally exhausted. Throw in Fed’s mind games, his new drop shot, and his willingness to go for his shots, there’s a win. But how important was it really? Nadal’s wins in Miami and Dubai really set the tone in their rivalry. The wins in Madrid and Hamburg are damn near meaningless.

I really truly used to believe that the reason Federer lost to Nadal was because Nadal brought out the worst in Federer. Federer never played his “best” against Nadal and Nadal was lucky for that. Now I see things a lot differently. If Nadal didn’t have the body for a football player, who knows how things would be right now?


Polo Says:

Yes, Ben…Nadal’s biggest claim to fame is his head to head record over Federer because that is what Federer detractors usually use to question Federer’s overall greatness in the sport. That is what you do. Unfortunate because it detracts from Nadal’s achievements up to date. Nadal is very good and very accomplished but he is being used by people like you who cannot accept the fact that Federer is the best who has played the game up to this point. You discredit Nadal by putting him up against Federer whose overall record is clearly superior.


Annie Says:

Okay, I just stumbled on this site and I tell you what!!! You guys need to chill… The bottom line is that Rafa DID humble Fed and basically is the only one to do so! I do think Rafa can make a comeback and I am also a Fed fan of course 2nd to Rafa. Rafa is a better champion and lets just stop bashing each of them. Roger will retire before Rafa. Lets just hope they both have many years of great tennis left in them.


Ben Pronin Says:

A simple “yes” would suffice.


Polo Says:

You are not the only one who can write long blogs, Ben. Although yours read more like historical fiction.


skeezerweezer Says:

Bem.

A simple “I give up because my rationale sucks” would suffice.

Your previous post is so biased, AGAIN, with out looking at facts. Ok, Nadal again per your qoute:

“I’m rather more impressed with his 6 slams, Olympic Gold Medal, 2 Davis Cup titles, and being the first Spaniard to end the year number 1 in the world.”

Your true colors are coming out the more this debate goes on…..and thus the your debate fails

WTF? Ask Sampras, your fav, as Rafa your fav, who do they think is the “GREATEST”? Do you think there pro opinion is based on how they FEEL like you do?, I believe they have more “B@lls” than all of us to qualify their statements.

Ya know sorry, but I am more impressed with Feds accomplishments than Nadal at this point in there overall comparisons of career(who has the title of GS?), and I think Nadal is great and we need him, and he has accomplished alot, but you want to take down Fed on your H2H argument your credibility as a writer goes out the window. Maybe you should just write for another sport? JEEZ?…..

FEd is GOAT right now, as the Tennis pro field said during Laver’s era until Sampras came, and then Fed. They know the score. YOU don’t……


Annie Says:

Polo- Now you are competing with how long the blog is?? Good Grief…You need to accept that their are folks out there that are HUGE Rafael Nadal fans and believe it or not MANY folks are a little tired of Fed. Just watch, Rafa will make a comeback. We will still see many years of great tennis with Rafa – You can only be a TRUE Rafa fan to appreciate this… VAMOS!


skeezerweezer Says:

Annie,

True in all respect. However, this discussion got way beyond if we all want to see more of Rafa and Fed. We all do!

The discussion got skewed into debating FED GOAT based on losing to Rafa ( Dumb argument ) and then Sampras got somehow someway thrown into the mix. Poor Sampras, a great Champion, one of the greatest, he even calls FED now the greatest, but his fans won’t give in to that ( take note Ben ). Hey I respect that though…I’m out…..


Ben Pronin Says:

I didn’t mean I’m more impressed with Nadal than Federer. I was responding to what Polo said, claiming that Nadal’s only claim to fame is his h2h vs Federer. I listed Nadal’s real claim to fame.

I don’t like Nadal, I respect him. What true colors? The colors that I’m not blind to reality? Safin is my fave. Followed my Roger.


skeezerweezer Says:

Annie,

“Just watch, Rafa will make a comeback. We will still see many years of great tennis with Rafa – You can only be a TRUE Rafa fan to appreciate this… VAMOS!”

I hope your right. I think FED is at his mature prime, and it would be great to see Rafa back in the GS finals with FED before he is past his prime. One of the best watching rivals ever!

Despite being a Fed fan, get well Rafa! I hope you get well soon enough to play Fed in a GS Finals. Best watching tennis ever! ….uh Vamoose?


Kimmi Says:

Ben and Skorocel: So, by your own admission, you are the biggest federer fans around here. All these back and forth arguments looks like you are trying to vent out your disappointments /frustrations of seeing Federer losing to Nadal over and over again..I know it sucks cause I used to hate it too….am I right? It sure looks like it.


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m not a freaking Nadal fan. Not huge, not little, not at all.

Skeezerweezer, please, tell me what facts what I missed. PLEASE tell me.

Even if I was biased, which I’m not, how would that make my debate fail? All you Fed fanatics are biased. So by your logic, you’re debate fails. Mine stands tall.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

Safin?

I’m impressed! Seriously, good call. A good topic to discuss Safin and his great missed potential as a tennis great. The thing about him, when he was on he could beat anybody! :)


Ben Pronin Says:

THANK YOU Kimmi. Finally someone who understands!

But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe what I’ve been saying, frustrated or not. I’m not trying to look at this through my Federer glasses, I’m looking at this objectively. Federer’s mental fragility against Nadal disqualifies him as the GOAT, as far as I’m concerned.


skeezerweezer Says:

Now Ben,

Don’t change yout ways in the middle of the stream:

“I didn’t mean I’m more impressed with Nadal than Federer. I was responding to what Polo said, claiming that Nadal’s only claim to fame is his h2h vs Federer. I listed Nadal’s real claim to fame.

I don’t like Nadal, I respect him. What true colors? The colors that I’m not blind to reality? ”
Ben, you are more impressed with Nadal, you don’t believe Fed is Goat based on that….be honest…it’s in your littany of posts….


Annie Says:

Ben: Right on!!!


Polo Says:

Ben, so now you don’t even like Nadal? And you claim that your logic stands tall? And you like Federer second only to Safin? And you are disqualifying Federer for GOAT tile because of your presumption that he is mentally fragile against Nadal? (That last claim of yours is why I call your blogs historical fiction). Will you please look up the meaning of “objective” as you describe yourself? While you are there, look up “confused” also.


skeezerweezer Says:

Annie,

I know it is laborsome, if you are truly open minded about the subject, I suggest you read Bens opinions and justifications in this entire blog…..not just tonights posts

Then if you say, “right on” then ?


Ben Pronin Says:

Well I try to stay objective. It doesn’t really matter because as a blogger I’m not supposed to be.

How can anyone be more impressed with 6 slams than 16?

Let’s not get into Safin, though.


Ben Pronin Says:

Skeezer, why don’t you read all my posts dating back to 2006 when I was under the username sensationalsafin instead of calling me a friggin Nadal fan.


Skorocel Says:

„Nadal’s wins in Miami and Dubai really set the tone in their rivalry. The wins in Madrid and Hamburg are damn near meaningless.“

Again, very good point, Ben!


skeezerweezer Says:

“I’m not trying to look at this through my Federer glasses, I’m looking at this objectively. Federer’s mental fragility against Nadal disqualifies him as the GOAT, as far as I’m concerned.”

SOOOO not true…objectively? With the facts that available to us all? Look up what you said Ben in previous posts, and don’t forget to leave your fav Sampras out of the GOAT picture……


skeezerweezer Says:

“Skeezer, why don’t you read all my posts dating back to 2006 when I was under the username sensationalsafin instead of calling me a friggin Nadal fan.”

Sorry, didn’t know you had to change your name,,,,


Fot Says:

Talk about a blog taking over! I bet there has been over 150 post since I last read this earlier. I’ve even forgotten the original subject! It has gonen from “What’s Next for Nadal” to “Is Roger the GOAT” to Roger vs Pete’ to H2H of Federer and Nadal! Heck, I can’t keep up with everything!

I think the main problem is that there is no definite definition of what a GOAT is. Everyone has their own interpretation and if their favorite isn’t in the running, they will always come up with a ‘new’ criteria as to why that person isn’t the GOAT.

Everything is subjective so if you really think Roger’s the GOAT – then he is (for you). If you don’t think he is – then he isn’t (for you). Accept it and move on (oh, I know that would probably be boring and not much talk on a tennis blog), but all you guys are doing now is going in circles with the same arguments over and over.

Do I think Roger is the greatest? YES. But that’s MY opinion. It’s easy for me because of all his amazing records, the way he plays tennis, how others who have been around and played the game have proclaimed him to be, and because I like him. If I didn’t like Roger, I’d probably try to discredit something to disprove that he’s actually the GOAT. So I can understand where some posters who are not fans of Roger is coming from.

Maybe arguments would be held at a minimum if people would say “Yes, Roger is the GOAT TO ME!” or, “No, I don’t consider him to be the GOAT in my mind” or something like that instead of trying to force the issue on everyone – whether you’re for it or against it. When you say “ROGER IS NOT THE GOAT”. Well, that’s a blank statement and it seems like you’re trying to proclaim that as a fact for everyone. He may not be the GOAT to you – that’s an opinion.

But if you guys want to continue to argue – it makes the blogs longer and maybe that’s what you guys like to do – then by all means – go right ahead. I’m sure the author of the blog is loving all this attention! lol!


Annie Says:

skeezerweezer: True, I just arrived. Just trying to be positive and objective… as I am a fan of great tennis and the greatest tennis ever is a Final between Fed and Nadal! I am out now-you all can hash this out..


skeezerweezer Says:

Annie,

Thanks for your contribution! :)


Polo Says:

Ben said, “…It doesn’t really matter because as a blogger I’m not supposed to be (objective)”.

What kind of a logic is that?


skeezerweezer Says:

Fot,

I admire your post and everyones opinion of course. But what if his peers past and present say he is GOAT? Are they more worthy of the opinion or we? Booom!


skeezerweezer Says:

Fot,

Yes for this site it is all about “Hits” so the more controversial the better. They give the “Hits” counts to the advertisers and ” Shaaaamon” = dollars.


Polo Says:

Sign off time for me. Letterman is on and Brooklyn is one of the guests.


Fot Says:

skeezerweezer – they(his peers past and present) were partially ones who helped me accept the fact that he is GOAT to me. People who have played with him, against him, against his opponents – who have been there on court with him – I do value what they have to say. People who haven’t ever played a pro-match in their life holds less weight to me. Again, it’s a personal things whether or not I (or others) want to accept it.

It’s the same when (and I hope I don’t start another argument) but when people say Roger is arrogant and that’s why they don’t like him. Then I see where every year his peers vote him for the Sportsmanship award for the last – what – 5 years in a row? Well, I’m going to value those players opinion – those who is with Roger in and behind the scenes and locker room; those who see how he acts on and off court – I will value their opinions over a fan who reads an interview on the internet. So yes – his peers and other players opinions are weighted far more than just fans of players to me. That’s why I say – Roger is the GOAT (to me) based on a lot of their opinions, stats, and everything put together. I know everyone isn’t going to agree and I don’t try to change their opinions either. It cuts down a lot of arguments! lol!


Skorocel Says:

Ben: „Federer’s mental fragility against Nadal disqualifies him as the GOAT, as far as I’m concerned.“

Ditto here.


Skorocel Says:

Polo said to Ben: „And you like Federer second only to Safin? And you are disqualifying Federer for GOAT tile because of your presumption that he is mentally fragile against Nadal? (That last claim of yours is why I call your blogs historical fiction).“

This is exactly why it’s so hard to have any meaningful conversation with these Federer fanatics a la Polo… Unless you don’t call Federer the GOAT, you simply don’t have any right to be among his fans… LOL :-)


Skorocel Says:

Fot: „If I didn’t like Roger, I’d probably try to discredit something to disprove that he’s actually the GOAT.“

Again, same problem as with Polo. Why does a Federer fan automatically have to consider Roger as the GOAT, Fot? Why don’t just enjoy the beauty of his shots, all that elegance and tennis wizardry? After all, it’s precisely THESE attributes which made Federer so special and which won him so many fans around the world…


skeezerweezer Says:

fot.

Could not have said it better :+

Good night all!


skeezerweezer Says:

“Skorocel Says:

Ben: „Federer’s mental fragility against Nadal disqualifies him as the GOAT, as far as I’m concerned.“

Ditto here.”

Skeezer SAYS: Hey you two, call up rafa/sampras/mac/etc see if they agree with your factual QUALIFIED opinion


Michael Says:

Skorocel,Since you are not willing to consider any fantastic performer as GOAT since according to you they deserve it only “IF” their career is blemishless. Federer is disqualified in your dictionary as GOAT because of his bad H2H against Nadal. However, I feel that you would have no objection to consider him atleast as one of the all time Greats. Do you subscribe to atleast rank the All time greats and don’t you think in terms of his achievements par excellence Federer will be ranked No.1 in the All time Great list by any neutral observer and if you are heading the All time Great list then it only means he is the “GOAT” for the moment unless sombody betters his record later.


Ben Pronin Says:

I think if I really laid it out for Sampras he’d agree. He’s made some comments about this little h2h problem.

Nadal is just humble but deep down he believes he’s better than Federer, otherwise he’d never have beaten him.

Johnny Mac is ready to jump in the sack with Federer so there’s no point in explaining this to him.


Ben Pronin Says:

Michael, if you list the all time greats in order of achievements, yes Federer is on top. But that’s just a general thing. What makes Federer the GOAT in so many eyes is that he’s so dominant. Would he have been so dominant in the 90s? 80s? 70s? 60s? If so, then yeah he’s the GOAT, but there’s no way to determine that.


Skeezerweezer Says:

“Michael, if you list the all time greats in order of achievements, yes Federer is on top. But that’s just a general thing. What makes Federer the GOAT in so many eyes is that he’s so dominant”

This quote came from Ben? IMPOSSIBLE:)

Time to erase alot of your earlier posts…,:)


dc Says:

for someone to be considered the GOAT, its not necessary that each and every human being consider him or her the GOAT. GOAT is rather subjective and different people may consider different players as GOAT.Just like you cannot identify the greatest man or greatest woman or greatest animal or the greatest invention or the greatest place on earth, is it really necessary to find out who the greatest tennis player is??

Have either one of you bothered to find out who is the greatest in your respective professions??


Michael Says:

Ben, Would Federer have been so dominant in the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s etc had he played then. All these will only be pure speculation. In the same way we can also go on and argue whether Rod Laver would have won a calender year grand slam if he had played today in such a competitive era where Courts too are much different than they were earlier or if Pete Sampras would have been so dominant in Grass had he played today when Grass has become a bit slow and is helping the baseliners a lot nowadays or would Borg have won Wimbledon had he played against a Sampras or Federer. The arguments will go on endless on pure speculation with no conclusion in sight. What matters in the end is the records on hand and Federer scores there undisputed and is the current leader. Only that wondrous achievement qualifies him to be on a higher pedestal than his peers and be qualified to be called the GOAT with real justification.


jane Says:

Not to mentioMn dc, that the “all time” part of “greatest” is problematic, since time, per se, is always ongoing – until 2010 anyhow. LOL.

“Greatest” is “rather subjective” and there is no way everyone will be convinced so this debate never ends. It’s like one of those movies with a million sequels. ; ) Some of the sequels are pretty entertaining, but they often rehash a lot of the same stuff.


jane Says:

Oops typos – “mention” and “2012″!! You know…the apocalypse.


Michael Says:

Ben, your post “Nadal is just humble but deep down he believes he’s better than Federer”. May be so, but with his current form he might feel himself inferior to Djokovic, Davydenko, Soderling,Del Potro, Murray et al. But still he will feel confident against Federer due to his H2H against him and fancy chances against him never mind the straight sets thrasing he gets from the players of caliber like Davydenko, Murray, Djokovic and Del Potro. Doesn’t this sound a bit odd for you.


Ben Pronin Says:

It’s funny how I could’ve easily argued that Federer is the GOAT. Besides Skorocel, I wonder who else I would’ve been arguing against.


Michael Says:

Jane, Federer will be ranked the Greatest unless some other player overhauls his record. It is as simple as that.


Michael Says:

Ben, Do not mistake me when I say this but I see a big change in your attitude than it was earlier. It seems, you have now realized the futility of leaving Federer out in the calculations of naming a GOAT. As they say, the records speak for themselves.


madmax Says:

Ben,

No one can argue with your stats but what I can argue with is when you cite federer’s injuries as “excuses” and then go on to pooh pooh nadal’s -and then you call yourself objective? No Ben.

“In Madrid, Nadal was coming off one of the greatest and definitely the longest 3 set match ever. In Hamburg, Nadal was coming off a ridiculously long clay court season”.

and that’s not an excuse?

Jane,

Hi.

If you read earlier what I posted, it was an article from Foxsports, which I thought was interesting – glad it promoted some discussion.

I wasnt being cruel to rafa – far from it – it is a different slant on things, which I found extremely thought-provoking.

Unlike some, I wish rafa the best of recoveries with his knees – mainly because I would love to see another rafa/roger final.

there is a lot of stuff out there right now saying that rafa is “done”. I dont believe that, but I do feel it’s sad that just at the start of the season, he is experiencing problems with his knees. The boxing analogy was something that I had not read before, until this article. It was supposed to be an analogy with his knees not his brain!


Ben Pronin Says:

Madmax, I said either the excuse applies to both or neither.


steve Says:

Nadal’s annus mirabilis of 2008-09 was the exception, not the rule. The 2008 Wimbledon final was probably the best tennis he will ever play. In that match he pushed Federer beyond his limits. Still it took five hours, and Federer was able to come back from two sets to love down and was two points away from winning. It was a hair-thin margin.

In his attempt to achieve parity with Federer, and to master all surfaces, Nadal sacrificed his health. The amazing thing, to paraphrase Dr. Johnson, is not so much that he did it well, but that he was able to do it at all. Nadal lacks Federer’s miraculous natural gifts–the uncanny anticipation of the ball and ability to produce any shot at will–and for one glorious day he closed that yawning gap with pure grit and tenacity. The body cannot long sustain that, and it was inevitable that Nadal could not continue at that level for long.

Even though Nadal’s career might never reach those heights again, that one moment of glory was surely worth it. After all, it’s already considered one of the greatest tennis matches ever played, and perhaps one of the iconic battles in the history of any sport, comparable to the Rumble in the Jungle between Ali and Foreman.

That match showed the greatness of Federer too. If he had won, it would not have been so moving. But he lost. It proved he too was mortal. For the first time ever his back was really against the wall, and he showed his class by fighting till the last point was done. In a sense it is the greatest match he ever played precisely because he fought so hard and still lost.

To me their AO match was a mere coda to their 2008 Wimbledon final. The tennis was patchier, the rhythm was up and down, and Federer faded in the fifth set.

Sure, Nadal will win more Slams. But it ain’t never going to be what it was. At best the tennis gods will only give you one match like that. And you’re lucky to have it.


madmax Says:

Steve,

I loved your above post – so emotive and so classy. Thank you.


steve Says:

madmax, you’re welcome. It’s easy to be eloquent, though, when you’re inspired by such great athletes.


madmax Says:

Steve,

We have a massive murray fan in UK (journalist for the Telegraph ) who spoke to Andy Murray, directly after the AO, who has just written this:

Sorry, Fed: You’re still the best
Tue Feb 09 04:14PM Simon Reed

I want to start with a heartfelt apology to all Roger Federer fans. I got it really wrong.

Before the Australian Open I really did feel that the demands of fatherhood, plus the trouble that he showed at times closing out big matches last year, meant that we had seen the best of him.

I still thought he would have occasional great moments, but that they would become fewer and fewer.

Yet that one performance against Andy Murray at the final in Melbourne blows that theory out of the water.

Federer’s decline will happen one day – it might be next year, it might be the year after.

But there’s one thing you can say for sure about this season: he has got it back.

His form ebbed and flowed a little through the tournament – just as it did last year – and he even looked a little shaky in the opener against Igor Andreev, but when it came down to the big points in the big matches he came through, and in style.

Never was it better illustrated than in the third set of the final against Murray. With the Scot serving for the set, Federer came up with the goods to break, then closed out the win.

Not for a second did I think I’d be saying this, but if Federer wins again at Roland Garros then the Grand Slam is genuinely on.

I spoke to Andy after the final, and the thing that really got to him about his loss wasn’t the missed set points in the tie-break, it was faltering when serving for the third set.

His star is still rising, though, and there’s no reason to think that he won’t spend most of this season as the number two in the world.


madmax Says:

Once again, we’re not saying Nadal is better than Federer, we’re just saying Fed’s poor showings against Nadal in slams are a blemish on his career.

Ben,

that’s your opinion Ben. Not mine.


Skorocel Says:

„Ben, your post “Nadal is just humble but deep down he believes he’s better than Federer”. May be so, but with his current form he might feel himself inferior to Djokovic, Davydenko, Soderling,Del Potro, Murray et al. But still he will feel confident against Federer due to his H2H against him and fancy chances against him never mind the straight sets thrasing he gets from the players of caliber like Davydenko, Murray, Djokovic and Del Potro. Doesn’t this sound a bit odd for you.“

What do Nadal’s losses to these guys have to do with his H2H vs Federer, Michael? Oh I know… Nadal’s slowly but surely losing ground to the rest of the field (and may never win a big title in the years to come), so that when you look at his H2H with Federer, it won’t be that bad in the end when you consider that Nadal has faded so quickly… LOL :-) Michael, tell me which of these 4 guys have achieved what Nadal has achieved? Or further more, which tennis player apart from Federer and Nadal has enjoyed so much success like these two in the last 5 years? The answer: NONE


Skorocel Says:

steve said about the Wimby 2008 final: „That match showed the greatness of Federer too. If he had won, it would not have been so moving.“

If you really believe this, then you’re lying to yourself and Federer, steve.

„In a sense it is the greatest match he ever played precisely because he fought so hard and still lost.“

Yeah. And the AO 2009 final is the 2nd greatest :-) What about the FO 2009 final? I would say 3rd greatest :-) LOL and LOL :-)


contador Says:

hello again, my friend, madmax! i have not had near the time i’d like to devote to following the ATP. you know me from TT and remember i’ll even get into following the likes of horacio zeballos and leonardo mayer in a 250 tourny if i can; in fact if i could get away with it, i’d be tennis talking 24/7!

but when it comes to discussion of tennis in the 80′s and 90′s….uh, yeah…let’s just say i don’t go back that far to have an opinion or join the comments.

all this h2h emphasis is really interesting tho, but in the long run? my opinion is that on point about federer’s fine legacy, the details of his h2h with nadal will only be carried as far as a minority tennis fans can promote/argue its importance. more of a barely noticed blip to absolutely nothing; no importance whatsoever.

and as far as a “blemish” on ROGER FEDERER? lol….the only blemish i was ever worried about seen ( on him) was that large disturbing literal one he had on his cheek in 2008. do you remember it? he had one growing coincidentally, or more likely not coincidentally, during the time he was still recovering from mono in the spring 2008 and it was apparently incised before wimbles because it fortunately had a flatter appearance and finally faded away.

it looked to me, by us open 2008, like a rather attractive beauty mark… :-)

drawing an analogy here: the h2h with nadal “blemish” will also disappear from argument regarding RF as the legend he is stands through time, whether one thinks of him as GOAT or not, THAT particular label is really still a subjective one; everyone has their all-time favorite(s)

as for rafa, the h2h against roger will definitely be right up there with clay court king, olympic gold, 6 or? slams and his many other achievements/ contributions to his sport and ( i don’t think rafa is washed up yet) and so on.

and if i was on TT, madmax, i might make a comment (just to fun with ricky) as to rafa throwing in the towel at AO in that semi match with muzz, just cuz rafa didn’t want to lose to RF in another slam final…hehehehe and chance messing up his h2h in gs finals v federer!

i am only kidding, you know. rafa is not a coward like agassi admits he was a time or two.

cheers tennis fans! i love reading tennis-x.. even.. reading ben pronin, aka dd or ss and skorocel.


skeezerweezer Says:

dc,

Bill Gates


dc Says:

@ Vskeezerweezer Says:

dc,

Bill Gates

—-

Really! i guess you are in the IT profession. Bill gates may be the riches but is he really the greatest? How about the person/people who invented the computer or internet.

Unless we have a definition for GOAT, we really cannot identify one.
Let’s first come up with a definition for GOAT – i’m not sure we are all mature enough to figure that our either.


contador Says:

i like to play tennis, when possible. as for watching or following tennis, mens or woman’s, roger federer is the one who caught my attention. i read fans who say he is boring or robotic. WHATEVER!

in my eyes there is no one like him! especially the first 5 years i watching him ( from 2003 ). i had seen him before but figured there was no tennis player like sampras or that “hottie” who beat sampras at the us open in 2000. what’s his name? ah, yes. marat safin.

still, it was fed’s style- a mixture of every skill and more, much more talent, shot-making, precision, decision and reflexive genius, enough so, to glue me to the TV. and that’s still my opinion.

okay, admitting i have missed a huge part of those who came before, like laver, borg, jmac, connors, on and on, plus only saw rafter on the downside, never liked agassi, roddick was supposed to be my home favorite and the williams sisters have ruled the women’s tour but….federer, yep, to me roger federer is the best in the sport, for the present time, at least, and also in my mind, greatest i have ever seen….my personal GOAT. so… bring on another tennis god and convince me otherwise!

i don’t think it will happen in my life. we’ll see. i was hoping it would be ernest gulbis or…somehow, gilles simon. also had picked nadal to win AO this year, or nolee, or murray.

RF got the job done. not the way he used to breeze through the competition in most gs events but he keeps on winning!

and, no argument of an intimidation factor, mismatch, h2h or whatever will convince me that roger would not have most loved to meet rafa more than murray or anyone else in that AO final!


contador Says:

okay, it’s a day off for me. i have time to follow the present tournaments and droool over the many reasons i love roger federer. one huge reason is his commitment to mirka all these years and his personal life, now is such contrast to that of tiger woods.

nadal too, is above reproach off court and on court. ( now, if he’d just stop yanking at his bottom ) i can live watching his compulsion but more importantly, get strong again

have been online reading tennis stuff and found this one from the ‘Oregonian.’ Must watch more tennis in Oregon than Idaho?

for Ben Pronin and Skorocel in particular :-)

http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/2010/02/debate_over_experts_line_up_to_call_roger_federer_the_best_ever.html


Polo Says:

Skorocel Says:
Polo said to Ben: „And you like Federer second only to Safin? And you are disqualifying Federer for GOAT tile because of your presumption that he is mentally fragile against Nadal? (That last claim of yours is why I call your blogs historical fiction).“

This is exactly why it’s so hard to have any meaningful conversation with these Federer fanatics a la Polo… Unless you don’t call Federer the GOAT, you simply don’t have any right to be among his fans… LOL :-)

To Skocerel: Do not take my statements out of context. It makes you look like you are blabbering mindlessly . Have you been reading Ben Pronin’s post? Pointing out somebodies inconsistencies does not make one a fanatic to anyone. Can you not follow the inconsistencies there? If not, there is no point arguing with you because you ignore the facts and merely jump into conclusions.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

freelancer

maybe what u say is cent percent right…..but jus look at nadal….he played a gruelling 5hr historic marathon with davis cup partner verdasco 24 hrs before the finals….and yet roger fedrer lost(mind u he had 2 days break n he should’ve won that match….it’s his fault that he didn’t win)…..nadal btw never runs away after losing a grandslam final….it was wrong for fedrer to cry that way….he had no right to…..he was mentally more prepared than nadal was on that day n yet he lost…..i am not finding fault with fedrer….technique and skill wise he is the best….but there are many players like that…..there are very few like nadal who put their soul in playing tennis n yet are forced to go through such disappointing times

now about murray…..his win over nadal was a fluke…. u see all nadal murray matches n u will see thatnadal likes to play possum with murray till say the end of second set before he gets those unmatchable devstating forehands and that heavy topspin gets murray guessing wrong…..u see nadal when he loses at a grandslam….he perhaps leaves but that is only when he loses in matches other than grandslam finals….he displays his emotions by not only congradulating his opponent but also WISHING HIM LUCK….fedrer never does that…..for a man with such passion for the game he dosent recognise his fellow tennis players….let me take u back to say 2-3 years ago when he displayed his contempt on dinara safina being world number1 despite failing to win even one grandslam…..who is he to talk about it huh?? that is wta and atp’s problem not his….when the same question was put forward to nadal, he did not critisize safna, he said that she was a good player and perhaps deserved the world number1….further, HE WISHED HER LUCK…..that is the mark of a true spotsman having a passion for the game…..cudos to u rafa…..hope u win FO 2010


Long Live The King Says:

Polo :

“It makes you look like you are blabbering mindlessly .”

>>>> That in a nutshell is the essence of Skorocel’s posts. Here is an example from Skorocel’s post at 8:28 p.m

“Even in Miami 2005, he needed all the powers he possessed (and then some) to not lose that match in 3 STRAIGHT SETS. Repeat, 3 STRAIGHT SETS. ”

and later on in the same post,

“Do you need to go as far as to the number of sets which Fed won against Nadal in 2006 in order to make him look better vs the Spaniard? LOL :-)”

Really? Talk about inconsistencies. So when you want to show Nadal in good-light, you talk about sets, but it is a no-no if I use the no. of sets to debunk your theory that Federer is mentally fragile against the spaniard? Makes so much sense!


Long Live The King Says:

Ben and Skorocel :

You have not answered about Sampras being 4-6 Vs Krajicek and how it is any less of a “blemish” than Fed being 5-4 (a winning record mind you) against Rafa. Again, clay doesn’t count as we know Fed is a infinitely superior player than Sampras. To me, it seems 5-4 against a 2slam champion is less of a blemish than 4-6 against a 1slam wonder.


Long Live The King Says:

Fot:

Nice point regarding how people claim “fed is arrogant” etc, while all his peers and journalists who actually mingle with the dude, have nothing but nice things to say. You can see another moron claiming Fed is a poor sport coz he said Dinara wwasn’t the real no.1. You can only wwonder what the age of such posters is. They have no idea that there is something called “Having an opinion”.

I agree with you that most of the tennis world claims Roger is GOAT. Heck! I would say most of the SPORTS world knows that ROGER is the GOAT in tennis. Like Pele in football, jordan in basket-ball. Ofcourse you can find people who will argue there are “blemishes” on these guys’ records or that they dont believe in GOAT, but then you will always find people who will argue against even facts. So I agree this is an endless debate.


Polo Says:

Long Live The King Says (About the GOAT): “So I agree this is an endless debate.”

I agree with you. Therefore, I will recuse myself from this topic until another tennis player comes along and wins 16 majors. Then we can have a more interesting discussion.


Long Live The King Says:

Ben and Skorocel:

The fact that you “like” Fed doesnt lend any extra credibility to your flawed statements that Federer is mentally fragile or that Sampras is mentally stronger.

In fact it wworsens your stance. If you are a fed fan “trying to be objective”, I dont know to please whom, I got some news. You are objective or you are not! By “trying to be objective” you have already made the conclusion of ” NOT federer” and then you make arguments to justify that. A very flawed approach.

Ben, You say there is no GOAT, but you spent the better part of the blog trying to prove Federer is not GOAT, rather than proving what you believe in, that is “no concept of GOAT.

Skorocel, you say Roger is not GOAT because he has a “blemish”, so who is this mysterious player who has no “blemish”. We are waiting to know.


Long Live The King Says:

Polo :

I agree that GOAT topic can be closed till another guy comes close to 16 :) I have a feeling though, that Roger’s going to crank that number up a little bit more ;)


winepig Says:

I still can’t figure out between pronin and skorocel which one is the top since they both behave like screechy bottoms…LOL


Ben Pronin Says:

Sampras has bigger blemishes on his resume than a poor h2h against Krajicek. It doesn’t even come close to that giant hole where the French Open is supposed to be. Federer’s got 3 minor blemishes: poor h2h against Nadal in slam finals, no Olympic singles Gold, and no Davis Cup.

Here’s what McEnroe said: “Roger is just the greatest player of all time,” he said yesterday. “He is the most beautiful player I’ve ever seen and I don’t ever get tired of watching him. Rod Laver is my idol, Pete Sampras is the greatest grass court player ever, but Roger is just the greatest player of all.”

Let’s add in Nadal is the greatest clay court player ever. What I don’t understand is how can someone be the best of all if he’s not even the best on every surface. Sampras is better on grass, Nadal is better on clay, and Federer is the best on hard. So why is Federer the best of all?


winepig Says:

Oh yeah, and about Sampras as a complete player? I guess you can say that as long as you make sure to add that he was a complete loser on clay to the fact he was a complete master of the fast surfaces. I suppose that, to delusional minds anyway, makes him a complete player. Not just a bit of a loser on clay, a complete loser.


contador Says:

skeezerweezer @ 2010, 4:25 pm wrote

‘You are totally right. I for one have given up discussing this as a few stubborn minded posters up here think that you can’t be the greatest at anything unless you beat everyone h2h, your entire career, 5 setters, 3 setters, on Tuesdays only, with no double faults, while eating a hamburger with a one and a racket in the other only in the winter time……..nay other conditions required for being GOAT?’
*****************************
LOL….to your above description! also, must thank-you, quite the compliment for thinking me “totally right” on something, lol..that, is rare accomplishment for me! especially, as i do not consider myself an expert on tennis commentary. i lack the experience and historical knowledge but i have no lack of passion for tennis, for sure!
********************************
skeezerweezer also writes:

I will trust TIME, FACTS, AND HISTORY.

Funny you young guys don’t remember before Sampras/Fed there was no argument amoung players/fans/analysts who the GOAT was (LAVER). NO h2h argument, excuses, injuries, didn’t play a full season, surface questions, all that BS.
**************
confirmation from a more experienced fan: “I will trust TIME, FACTS, and HISTORY.”

exactly what i meant, skeezerweezer.

but time, facts and history won’t clear the arguments to diminish roger federer will they, skeezer? including the ultimate last resort, most pitiful one; “federer is a blubbering, poor sportsman,” complaints particularly waged by the sour graper group or less often, brought up by the tennis fans simply desiring a change at the top of men’s tennis.

of the later group i can understand their point. fed has been up top a loooong time!

the “sour grapers, ” oh well, it is what it is. they will have their opinion. my opinion of theirs: get over it.

moving on..


Fot Says:

This topic is still kicking! I bet Sean Randall is happy that it’s going and the majority of the post have nothing to do with “What will Nadal do next” but they basically are talking about Federer! Like him or hate him – he demands conversation and the bloggers love to mention him because they know people will respond.

The problem I have is this. Roger is my favorite (that’s not the problem) but before this tournament a lot of people had written him off. Now that he won the AO – a lot of people are jumping back on the bandwagon. If he loses his next tournament some of those same people will go back to “he’s lost his touch and is fading” type focus again. I have seen that the tennis world is about “What have you done for me lately”.

I hope that just because Roger may lost a few matches here and there that people don’t give up on him. I also hope that because Nadal is injured right now – people don’t give up on him either. We need to realize that no one will be perfect and that wins and loses will come. I know the ‘true’ fans will stay with their favorite regardless. I know I will. I have been a fan of Roger’s since he turned pro. He use to be so hard to be a fan of too (win a fantastic match; then lose to someone he should have beaten). It was tough but I stayed with him.

Now – Roger has nothing else to prove to me so whatever he does from now on out (actually it started after he won Wimbledon last year) – it’s just a bonus for me. He may be playing pressure-free tennis – well, I’m watching him pressure-free. I don’t expect anything else from him so whatever he does is just a bonus. I didn’t put pressure on myself saying he had to win the AO this year so when he did – that was just a bonus for me. I realize we Federer fans are unique in that sense so I hope we all take a breath and enjoy. We don’t have to argue with anyone – we KNOW what Roger has done. Let’s just enjoy it because I know when Roger does retire – he will be missed not only by his fans – but by all tennis fans so everyone should relax and witness one of the greatest (the greatest to me) players of all times and that way you can tell your children and grandchildren that you were watching when he did …this…or that…


contador Says:

oops. my comments were to:

the skeezerweezers post @ 2/9/2010, 4:25 pm


Polo Says:

Federer and his fans really have nothing to explain let alone argue with anyone. Federer’s record as a tennis player is its own argument. His achievements are so high that his detractors, in trying to reach him, have to aim up and high. Federer followers should not argue with them because that will mean lowering their aim.


winepig Says:

Ben:

Please allow me explain to you as simply as I can.
GOAT is based upon a players ENTIRE career and takes into consideration what a player has accomplished on ALL playing surfaces. No slicing and dicing to suit ones preferences, EVERYTHING.
Have your favorites and root for them with everything you have, but a player who wins less than 2 out of 7 matches/Grand Slam over his career,as Sampras did at the French, just doesn’t belong in that particular conversation. Sampras as the GOAT at Wimbledon and the US Open? Now that is an extremely strong position to believe in. Borg at the French and Wimbledon? To me, that accomplishment stands apart as the best specific accomplishment of all time but I still wouldn’t consider Borg for GOAT because he didn’t win the other 2 slams.

Hope that helps.


Fot Says:

For all the Federer fans – maybe reading this will make your day (I know it did mine). This was from the DEUCE over at the ATP website:

Like Mozart and Michelangelo, Roger Federer’s body of work ranges from exceptional to sublime. The Swiss has set multiple records that will likely stand the test of time. Below we look at 10 of Federer’s most amazing feats and quantify [with totally unscientific methodology!] the chances of the achievements being matched or topped during his lifetime.

Note: Story updated after 2010 Australian Open

1. Winning five consecutive titles at two different Grand Slam tournaments

About The Feat: Since the abolition of the Challenge Round [when the defending champion was automatically placed in the following year’s final] Federer is one of just four players to win the same Grand Slam tournament five consecutive years. [Tilden six at the US Open 1920-25; Emerson five at the Australian Open 1963-67 and Borg five at Wimbledon 1978-81]. But Federer is the only player in history to win two different Grand Slam titles [Wimbledon 2003-07 and US Open 2004-08] for five consecutive years.

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 1%

2. Winning 16 Grand Slam titles in the span of 27 majors

About The Feat: After going titleless in his first 16 Grand Slam tournaments, Federer has made up for lost time, winning 16 of his next 27. Beginning with his 2003 Wimbledon breakthrough, the Swiss has won more than 50 percent of the majors he has contested. In contrast, Pete Sampras won his 14 majors over a span of 45 Grand Slam tournaments.

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 2%

3. Reaching 18 of 19 consecutive Grand Slam finals between Wimbledon 2005 and Australian Open 2010

About The Feat: This record goes beyond consistency. It speaks to Federer’s unrivaled excellence at the pinnacle of the sport – the Grand Slams – and his ability to play his best under pressure and when it counts most. No other player has come even close to a streak of Grand Slam finals appearance like this – and no one likely ever will.

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 3%

4. Reaching 23 consecutive Grand slam semi-finals (or better) from Wimbledon 2004 to Australian Open 2010

About The Feat: To put this feat into context, Federer’s ongoing streak of contesting 23 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals is more than double the length of Ivan Lendl’s 10 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals reached – the next best streak. The last time Federer didn’t make the last four at a major was in 2004 at Roland Garros, when he was beaten by three-time champion Gustavo Kuerten in the third round.

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 3%

5. Winning 24 consecutive finals

About The Feat: In 2004 and 2005 Federer won 22 consecutive finals in which he appeared [in addition to winning his last two finals of 2003] for a streak of 24 straight finals won. That’s astonishing considering that Federer was going up against the second best player in each of those particular tournaments. In finals, you not only have to play well, you have to play clutch. Federer’s finals streak ended at the last event of 2005, the Tennis Masters Cup. Although he came into the tournament with an ankle injury, Federer led arch rival David Nalbandian two sets to love and later, in the fifth set, was two points from the title on his own serve before Nalbandian rallied to win a fifth-set tie-break. It was all down hill from there for Federer, who in 2006 lost in four finals (all against Rafael Nadal) and only won 12 titles :)

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 4%

6. Reaching all four Grand Slam finals in the same season three times

About The Feat: Only two singles players have ever reached all four Grand Slam finals in the same year: Rod Laver, who did it twice when he completed calendar-year Grand Slams in 1962 and 1968, and Federer, who did it a remarkable three times in the past four years. Considering also that Federer is the only man to reach all four Slam finals in the same year on three different surfaces (hard court, grass and clay), it seems even more unlikely that someone will top that feat in Federer’s lifetime.

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 4%

7. Three-year period of dominance

About The Feat: Between 2004-2006 Federer went on a tear that is unlikely to be matched during any future three-year period, compiling a 247-15 match record. His season records during that time were 74-6 (2004), 81-4 (2005) and 92-5 (2006). He won a stunning 34 titles, including eight Grand Slams, nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000s and two Tennis Masters Cup titles. Had he served out the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup final against David Nalbandian [instead of losing in a fifth-set tie-break] Federer’s season record that year would have been 82-3, the same as John McEnroe’s unrivaled match record in 1984.

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 5%

8. Holding the No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking for 237 consecutive weeks

About The Feat: Federer’s 237 consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings (from 2 February, 2004 to 17 August 2008) is best contextualised by looking at the next best streaks: Jimmy Connors at 160 weeks, Ivan Lendl at 157 weeks and Pete Sampras at 102 weeks. Federer, who has been No. 1 a total of 268 weeks (as of 1 February, 2010), is now within reach of Sampras’ all-time (non-consecutive) record of 286 weeks at No. 1. [Federer has five times finished as ATP World Tour Champion, just one year shy of Sampras’ six finishes as year-end No. 1. But Sampras finished No. 1 six consecutive years - a separate feat that Federer, now 28, is unlikely to ever match.]

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 7%

9. Sixty-five consecutive grass-court match wins

About The Feat: Federer’s 65 straight wins on grass could so easily have ended at 39 when he saved four match points against Olivier Rochus in the Halle quarter-finals in 2006. But history shows that Federer scratched out a win and ultimately extended his record streak to 65 before he lost 9-7 in the fifth set to Rafael Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon final. With modern-day grass-court tennis no longer favouring a dominant serve-volleyer like a Sampras, Becker or Edberg, it will be more difficult for one player to dominate on the surface and threaten Federer’s streak.

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 12%

10. Winning one Grand Slam title a year for eight consecutive years

About The Feat: By winning the 2010 Australian Open in January. The Swiss has now won at least one Grand Slam title for eight consecutive years, equaling the record streak of Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg. What are the chances that someone (other than Federer) will extend the record to nine or more seasons? It sounds a tough record to break, but Rafael Nadal is already riding a five-year streak. And despite his lapse at Roland Garros last year, the Spaniard is likely to be the leading contender for that title for many years to come, as well as at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, where he is a former champion.

Chance of Feat Being Topped: 25%

http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/DEUCE-Tennis/DEUCE-Australian-Open-2010/Roger-Federer.aspx


Ben Pronin Says:

Well who decides what this GOAT is? That still doesn’t explain why Federer can be called the best if he’s not the best everywhere. No where did I say Sampras is the GOAT. If I don’t think Federer is the GOAT, how the hell can Sampras be the GOAT? My point is that Sampras was the best on grass and fast courts and Nadal is the best on clay, so how can Federer be the best if he’s below these 2 on particular surfaces.


Ben Pronin Says:

Fot, I liked that article. I love reading about Federer’s accomplishments. But I am curious as to how they calculated that “chance of being topped” percentage. What’s it based on?


winepig Says:

Fot:

Terrific post. Thanks!


Fot Says:

Ben I don’t know. Maybe they looked at how many times it had been done in the past vs how long it took to accomplish it? Heck, I’m not a rocket scientist! lol! I just liked reading the article! lol!


Long Live The King Says:

Ben:

I disagree Sampras is the greatest grass courter. Fed is the greatest grass court champion.

7 consecutive SW19 finals, 6 titles, 65 match win streak and counting. Also, Sampras got straight-setted by Krajicek in 96. Have yet to see anyone blow Fed off a grass court. Not to mention Roger’s 1-0 H2H ;) (see, H2H can be a “blemish” if they are in the same league) against Sampras


winepig Says:

Ben:

Sampras lost to Federer at Wimbledon; therefore, I’m curious to know why you feel Pete is the best on grass? On this one, would you agree that we might want to wait until Federer hangs up his racketbefore making a final call?

Federer has 9 Grand Slam titles on hard (fast) courts to Sampras’ 7. Why do you believe Sampras is better?

Just curious, mate.


Long Live The King Says:

Ben :

The answer is at the beginning of the article :

Below we look at 10 of Federer’s most amazing feats and quantify [with totally unscientific methodology!] the chances of the achievements being matched or topped during his lifetime.

As they say above, they just came up with a number, nothing “scientific” about the % of record being topped. :)


Ben Pronin Says:

Well you’re all going by what former players said so I’m doing the same. McEnroe said Sampras was the best grass court player. But it’s not so much grass, it’s fast courts. Carpet, fast grass (not the current grass), indoor fast hard courts, etc. I think part of this is because there were more fast courts in Sampras’s day.

Winepig, no, Sampras has 5 fast hard court titles and so does Federer. The Australian Open is not a fast hard court.

LLtK, I know all the stats, but tennis is more than the stats. Watch Sampras’s match against Becker at one of the year end championships I think from 96. It ended in a fifth set. One of my favorite matches, actually. That was classic fast court tennis. I can’t think of any classic fast court matches in the last few years.


Skorocel Says:

contador: „i have time to follow the present tournaments and droool over the many reasons i love roger federer. one huge reason is his commitment to mirka all these years and his personal life, now is such contrast to that of tiger woods.“

LOL :-) This one goes beyond fanaticism…


Long Live The King Says:

“Federer has 9 Grand Slam titles on hard (fast) courts to Sampras’ 7. Why do you believe Sampras is better? ”

Add, top 2 winning streaks on hardcourt in Roger’s favor. Sampras defended GS on hardcourt only once – 96 US open.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben says,

“Well who decides what this GOAT is?”

HOW ABOUT HIS PEERS, PAST AND PRESENT. I THINK THAT IS A GOOD PLACE TO START……

“…my point is that Sampras was the best on grass and fast courts and Nadal is the best on clay, so how can Federer be the best if he’s below these 2 on particular surfaces.”

THIS IS YOUR PROBLEM BEN, YOU LOOK AT IT FROM A TWISTED ANGLE. TRY LOOKING AT IT IN REVERSE. YOUR PICK HERE YOU PICK THERE.

HOW COME SAMPRAS WAS NOT GOOD ON CLAY? WHY HASN’T NADAL PROVED YET HE HAS MASTERED HARD COURTS? FED IS, AND HAS PROVEN IT, HE IS “A” MASTER OF ALL SURFACES, NO OTHER PLAYER CAN MAKE THAT CLAIM, THUS THE GS TITLES ON ALL SURFACES, OH AND DON’T FORGET THAT SAMPRAS AND NADAL HAVE SAID HE IS THE BEST EVER.


contador Says:

i have actually had the time to read this entire thread today.

wow.

dc writes far above on 2/9 @10:08 -10:13 a.m. a very good analogy: federer to grading students. in an attempt to explain why dc considers federer the best. but dc concludes that federer cannot be GOAT until federer surpasses sampras record weeks at #1.

Ben hangs onto the argument about fed being MOAT, or whatever the acronym, cuz Ben condsiders federer unworthy unless fed somehow accomplishes what would amount to a miracle and becomes greatest clay courter and grass courter of this era and samprasses era, in Ben’s most respectable opinion.

isn’t it the point throughout here? we will simply, all of us have our opinions and stipulations for best of the era, most accomplished, greatest of all time.

imo, i have to agree with John MacEnroe today in the link posted to oregon live. but…cuz i tend to be flawed and split over the outright pronouncement of GOAT for to me, ” of all time” is impossible to know, i stick with FEDERER as best of this era, my generation, what i have seen.

and, fot:
loved your post from DEUCE. ty


skeezerweezer Says:

contador,

Thanks for the props. Yes LET’S MOVE ON :)


Polo Says:

Sampras was very good on grass. Federer is very good on grass. Sampras had seven Wimbledon wins. Federer has six. Sampras won four straight Wimbledons. Federer won five consecutive titles. Sampras and Federer played each other once at Wimbledon. Federer won. Sampras is retired. Federer is still active. Can you tell me who is the better one on grass? Maybe some will pick Sampras. Maybe some will pick Federer. Who is to say who is right? But can we hold this discussion off until Federer is also retired? Then we can compare who is better on grass. About the other surfaces, is there any doubt as to who is better among the two?


contador Says:

skorocel

it’s difficult to detect, sorry: in using the word “droool” was being facetious.

really, there is some fun matches to follow, particularly rotterdam today. and still many journos writing/ drooling, marveling over RF’s accomplishments.

however, since as often as possible read the gototennis blog drooool over the beauty of ana ivanovic, brooklyn decker, rafa nadal and the great Federer, just go on and think of me as whatever you will, fanatic, weirdo

i am being respectful of your opinions and trying to be nice to you.


Polo Says:

Let me add my opinion for those who consider Nadal as the best clay court player ever. Up to this point, Nadal has only won 4 French Opens. Borg won six. If Nadal can equal or top that, then maybe he is. But until then, Borg remains tops on clay for me.


Long Live The King Says:

Ben:

I saw the 96 match, it was a great match! Probably the match of that decade.

Anyways, I don’t know about “fast” courts, but grass/hardcourt – Roger is the King. Looking at Roger’s record at the US, I am quite sure the faster courts suit his game. He would surely be a force to reckon.


Ben Pronin Says:

Polo, if you’re gonna go by how many slams they have, then Sampras must be a better grass court player than Federer.


contador Says:

it’s is no use skeezerweezer.

the debate is infinitely stimulating, isn’t it?


Polo Says:

Ben, do you know how to read?


Long Live The King Says:

To end this blog on a friendly note to Sampras fan-boys :

Chang beat sampras 1 1 and 1 at 89 RG (wow! amazing mental toughness indeed)

Santoro beat Sampras 1 and 1 at monte carlo. Hows that for a pathetic performance from a no.1 Mental toughness! WOW!


skeezerweezer Says:

BTW, How did Sampras get pulled into this thread, Fed passed him, Sampras admits he is GOAT, what’s the point?

Ok, don’t get me wrong, Sampras was one of the top 20 in history…


skeezerweezer Says:

contador,

True :) I feel like Al Pacino in Godfather 3

“I tried to get out, but they sucked me right back in again”

LOL


Ben Pronin Says:

LLtK, Nadal beat Federer 1, 3, and 0 in the RG final. How pathetic and mentally weak from an already firmly established number 1 is that?

Santoro had a terrible day against Santoro and the 89 FO? Are you kidding me? That was LONG before Sampras because the champ he is today. It’s not like Federer was beasting it up at the French until 2005.


Ben Pronin Says:

Oh and the clarify, Sampras was never known as a great clay courter. He’s not even a good one. But Federer was the best clay courter to never win a French until 2009. Now he’s the best clay courter with only 1 FO. So…


Long Live The King Says:

So he doesn’t have bad days?


contador Says:

hahahhahaa, skeezerweezer!

i know, but i keep checking this blog for more, it’s, it’s, like i am now on a sort of autopilot / mind control


Ben Pronin Says:

But you’re trying to say Sampras is so mentally weak by bringing up an early round match in Monte Carlo. So he lost badly in a best of 3? That’s not as bad as losing badly in a GRAND SLAM FINAL.


Long Live The King Says:

Chang was no 3 time FO champ with a 81 match win streak on clay either, Ben.

Time to take off, Sampras shades and look at the facts :)


Long Live The King Says:

So bad days occur only outside slams?


Ben Pronin Says:

I’m not wearing Sampras shades, you’re comparisons are filled with double standards.

So all of the sudden Federer losing is a bad day but Sampras losing is because he’s mentally weak?


Long Live The King Says:

I am sure Santoro, would have beaten him a 100 sets 6-1 that day, and do you even want to imagine what Nadal would do to Sampras on his bad day on clay?

I am sure it would be rated PG-30….. scarier to even 30yr olds.

When you have a bad day, you have one. Any amount of mental toughness aint saving you on your wworst and and your opponents best day and surface. Agree?


Ben Pronin Says:

Agreed. Therefore this statement…

“Chang beat sampras 1 1 and 1 at 89 RG (wow! amazing mental toughness indeed)

Santoro beat Sampras 1 and 1 at monte carlo. Hows that for a pathetic performance from a no.1 Mental toughness! WOW!”

…is null and void.


Long Live The King Says:

“So all of the sudden Federer losing is a bad day but Sampras losing is because he’s mentally weak? ”

You started the bad day thing. I think 2 games in 2 sets and 3 in 3 to two different players with nothing much accomplished sounds worse than losing 4 in 3 to a 3time FO champ.


Long Live The King Says:

I thought Roger’s losses on clay to Nadal were his “mental fragility” ?

so its bad days for sampras and mental fragility for Roger?

You said no double standards?


winepig Says:

Polo:

I hear you regarding a certain someone’s inability to read…


winepig Says:

Sampras lost 5 times in straight sets at the French and, I believe, 4 times in the first round and 3 times in the second round: this is mentally and ethically non-existent, I think.


Ben Pronin Says:

Even if Sampras is mentally weaker, he’s still a better grass/fast court player than Federer… according to Johnny Mac.


Long Live The King Says:

and McEnroe also said: “Roger is just the greatest player of all time,” :)


Ben Pronin Says:

So you agree that Sampras is the best grass court player?


Long Live The King Says:

If you say Roger is the GOAT ;)


winepig Says:

There’s a shocker; an American broadcaster siding with an American athlete…Even JMac would be out of a job if he didn’t deliver props to Sampras in some form, even though a teenaged Federer beat Pete at Wimbledon. Mustn’t let facts get in the way of prejudice…


Long Live The King Says:

and Skorocel too! LOL


Ben Pronin Says:

Well that’s just dumb.

But I already said that if Nadal is the best clay courter and Sampras is the best grass courter, I don’t understand how Federer can be considered the best of all.


winepig Says:

Ben:

You might be the only person in the universe who could intellectually benefit from a lobotomy…


Long Live The King Says:

but Ben,

Sampras is not the best grass courter! Fed is the best grass and hard courter, top5 in all time clay

ergo best of all!


Ben Pronin Says:

So you’re saying McEnroe is wrong…


contador Says:

i think jmac is being duplicitous. talking out both sides of his mouth, ya know? he has to do that, that is what he’s paid to do.

so in both cases, mac is right. it’s up to you to pick. lolzzzzzzz


skeezerweezer Says:

On another equally newsworthy note;

Anyone seen LOST?

This is the tennis version of it……….


steve Says:

I’m with Fot.

The journos are already setting Federer up for failure. The narrative at the French Open will be the following. Should Federer win by beating Nadal, the consensus will be that Nadal was injured/tired/lacking in confidence, so Federer’s victory doesn’t mean anything.

Should Federer lose (to anyone, but especially to Nadal) they will again say he is a choker, doesn’t deserve to be called the greatest, that he got lucky, etc. At some point it’s inevitable that he will lose more often because he’s getting older and no one can stop the march of time, not even Roger Federer. Then they’ll jump all over him.

Their job is to sell hype and make up a story that keeps people talking, not to be accurate or fair. So it’s best not to worry about what they have to say.

Federer will not be around forever and when he’s gone there will be a gaping chasm in men’s tennis. His greatness won’t be appreciated fully until he’s left the game and we see what comes after.

It’s a privilege to watch him continue to pursue excellence in the game he loves and play so beautifully.

So we should just enjoy him while we have him and not worry about whether he wins the calendar slam. (Of course it would be nice if he does, but if he doesn’t, it’s OK too).


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben Pronin Says:

“Well that’s just dumb.

But I already said that if Nadal is the best clay courter and Sampras is the best grass courter, I don’t understand how Federer can be considered the best of all.”

Well, Ben, there is Dumb and Dumber. What relevance is to pick and choose who is the best at what? I thought at one point we were justifying or not justifying Fed as GOAT( I take that back, it started with “Whats next for Rafa” ). If you are going to start arguing who is the best at clay and hard and grass, then you should talk about the best during when its windy, or who has the best record on Tuesdays, or when they are tired, injured, with wooden rackets, etc, etc. get it? What does any of this have to do with the best overall player? Oh wait I got one. Who has the best record on that sailing looking 7 star hotel with the tennis court on top in Dubai” Hey don’t question me, I know, its a tie between Agassi and Fed, ha!

Seriously we are talking about the best overall player who has the best overall record, these guys you bring up just don’t stack up unless you papercut Fed with H2H, not the best Clay courter, not the best grass courter,etc. So how does your best grass courter and clay courter stack up against all the other surfaces, titles, GS, etc. You have to look at the whole picture and you can’t, FED ( I personally believe with you Sampras would be an exception )has to beat everyone,all the time, everywhere, on every service….and what? Never had a loss? Never had a mental breakdown? WTF? As the great Cognac once said
“Its not how many times you got beaten down to the ground but how many times you get up” that MEASURES a man/woman.

“Shaamoon” ” Hee Heeee” “Ya know it”


contador Says:

LOST? that’s my favorite TV show skeezerweezer.

can’t stand many ‘serials’ but LOST? the first season was the best and required to even attempt to ‘get’ any of the other seasons of it.

the goat debate? yeah, i missed most of the sampras years. i guess i am LOST, as to having clue how to debate about the tennis GOAT.

i watch Survivor though. i’m voting myself out of the GOAT debating ‘tribe.’ i’m out, skeezer. or, in ‘exile’ at least.


skeezerweezer Says:

Steve.

To be honest I am not worried about Rafa right now. He has a long way to come back, not just physically, and the field around him is getting better. I just hope he gets healthy and actually plays less. Have you noticed the taller guys like Del Potro, Murray, handle his high topsin ( BH ). Nobody I mean nobody could handle it a few years back. Fed’s got plenty to worry about too. Gonna be a good year, especially if Rafa can get back to form….


skeezerweezer Says:

contador February 10th, 2010 at 7:09 pm,

Niiiceee post :)

Me too. Have to work sometime……and save time to watch LOST! LOL


contador Says:

and as to your 7:08 post, skeezerweezer?

Laughing my you know what off! “Dumb and dumber..” : “papercut” federer with h2h. heeeehehehhehehee, whew!


contador Says:

must pry myself out of this tennis trance.

was fun to have the day to catch-up on tennis world.

g’night skeezerweezer.

later.

madmax, hope to catch you when possible. it’s 8 or 9 hours, i think between us.


Skorocel Says:

contador: „we will simply, all of us have our opinions and stipulations for best of the era, most accomplished, greatest of all time.“

Yet when someone says Federer ISN’T the GOAT, he/she is immediately labelled as a blasphemer here ;-) Yeah, our opinions and stipulations…


Skorocel Says:

To LLTK, winepig, skeezerweezer, and all the other Fedtards who are constantly referring to many tennis greats‘ statements about Federer being the GOAT:

Try to ask Sampras or any other tennis great whether Fed’s the greatest ON AIR, before 50 millions of people (out of which 49,99 are Fedtards who don’t have a clue about what it is like to be a professional tennis player, but who expect only one answer), and then TURN OFF THE CAMERAS and ask him the same question again. Got it?


Polo Says:

Let me quote this line from a book which I feel is very appropriate to a few people on this blog, “It is always difficult to impress the ignorant.”


Polo Says:

Skorocel Says:
“To LLTK, winepig, skeezerweezer, and all the other Fedtards who are constantly referring to many tennis greats‘ statements about Federer being the GOAT…”

And whose statement should those you call “Fedtrds” refer to, yours? If they did that, that would make them more retarded than you!


skeezerweezer Says:

Fedtards?

hahahahahahha…..how about all you Sampr(kiss)asses?

Now that we have “mine is bigger than yours” “Jim Carrey” style out of the way…..

“Try to ask Sampras or any other tennis great whether Fed’s the greatest ON AIR, before 50 millions of people (out of which 49,99 are Fedtards who don’t have a clue about what it is like to be a professional tennis player, but who expect only one answer), and then TURN OFF THE CAMERAS and ask him the same question again. Got it?”

Nah Skorocel,

I don’t think I’m gonna do that one. That also falls in the “Dumb and Dumber” category. Uh ,,,gee…I don’t believe what he says publicly, Its a friggin conspiracy!

My gosh what is next with you peeps? I will not stupe that low for Sampras’s great character. And oh by the way Skorocel, I did not want to do this on this blog but, yes, believe or not, I am on the ATP tour. My name is “Juan Del Martinez Quattro Cinco”.

Shaamon! Hee Heee! Ya know it! Ya know it!


skeezerweezer Says:

“Polo Says:

Let me quote this line from a book which I feel is very appropriate to a few people on this blog, “It is always difficult to impress the ignorant.”

Best intelligent post so far! WTG Polo! :)


skeezerweezer Says:

Wait Polo!! You referring to me? Dang, Sh*T, OMG, etc…haha lol this is so funny :)


Fot Says:

I see this is still going on. Well, if it’s any consolation. As of right now, this blog (written on 2/5/10) has 482 post. There is the same ‘argument’ going on at Bodo’s blog. He just wrote his ‘blog’ today 2/10/10 and he’s already up to 608 comments. I told you – Federer is THE person to talk about when it comes to tennis blogs these days. Love him or hate him – he is an interesting subject to talk about. You guys need to catch up! lol! At least Randall didn’t say something stupid like Bodo did. He said there should be an astrick next to Roger’s name because Nadal wasn’t in the draw at the French! lol! (I guess Soderling was the invisible man.)

So you guys keep it up, if you still have the strength. I’m just waiting for Dubai to start! lol!


Ben Pronin Says:

You know what’s really funny about all this? You guys have no idea what you’re talking about. You’ve pegged me as anti-Federer, a Sampras lover, a huge Nadal fan, dumb, dumber, ignorant, etc. I’m rather impressed with how much I’ve been able to come up with to disprove Fed’s GOATness, but it doesn’t come close to how easily I can prove that he is.

Not just that, but I can do it without discrediting great champs like Sampras and Nadal. To compare being the best on a surface and being the best on a Tuesday or whatever else you said shows how little you know about the game and how little you know about Federer.

I’m done arguing with you guys. I argued on the same side as Skorocel and I managed to get more insight from him than the countless Fed-fanatics who attacked me. This argument is virtually impossible to settle, but at least learn how to debate. LLtK, madmax, and Fot, you’re the only ones who didn’t attack me directly but you still could’ve put up a better argument.


Fot Says:

Ben, I don’t come to the blogs to ‘argue’…you guys do a great job at that without me trying to do it. I like reading what tennis fans have to say but I don’t have to ‘argue’. I’m satisfied in what I know about Roger. And I know he’s the greatest to me. What’s to argue? lol!


Ben Pronin Says:

Good point, Fot, you were just a bystander. But LLtK could’ve done better.


skeezerweezer Says:

Ben,

Regarding your February 10th, 2010 at 8:27 pm post

Sorry Dude, you took all this serious? I had a blast. Sorry man no personal bad feelings towards you, just havin fun with our(s)and everyones points of view. You mentioned dumb first remember, not me, and I know you are impressed with yourself :)

Sampras has left is mark. One of the greatest, ever. Nadal, one of the best of this era so far, maybe one of the best ever, his career should be very far from over.

Fed….ok..for you I will leave that one alone :)

I agree let’s move on to the next blog :)I am done also…..


contador Says:

Ben Pronin: i did not attack you or skorocel. at least skorocel bothered to sorta read my posts. Although both of you seem to take all this far too seriously.

at least skeezerweezer has a sense of humor throughout this thread. c’mon!

and btw, not that i gather you give a rip, but i don’t usually believe there can be a “greatest of all time,” as that is impossible to know.

however the case as it stands for greatest of this era, my generation, from what i have seen: roger federer is the man.

maybe nadal will rally to get even close to Federer’s achievements. hey, it’s not beyond impossible.

please have a little more fun, Ben. i liked you when you were ss and dd too.

now, i am going to find Jane and kimmi on a different thread. want to catch-up on how haas, djoko, davy, et al are doing.


skeezerweezer Says:

492 comments? Damn!~

It’s Rafa Fed mania! I love it. ( Somehow we got distracted by Sampras? Is he still playing? Oh that’s right, he is. He just lost to Verdasco! Oh well….).

C’mon Rafa, get well so you and Fed can have some more great matches before Fed gets too old! Get well, and save your wellness for the slams! Go Fed!


skeezerweezer Says:

contador,

See you on the next “Ameeeerican Idol”, errr….blog…lol!

RE: LOST…I got hooked and started Netflixing from season one. I am on season 3, 1/2 way in a mad dash to catch up. Please don’t speel da beans up here about the last season….:)


Long Live The King Says:

samprasses sounds apt. It’s the last resort of these samprasses to brand people fanatics. how retarded is that? we all have keyboards and if it is name-calling you want, we can dole it out.

Ben :

you are just being an ass now. You can spare us the drivel about your great debating skills or our lack of it. first be clear about what you believe – that there is no GOAT or if you just want to argue Federer is not. If you are arguing just for the heck of it – to gloat about your debating skills, then I am sorry, that is not the point of this blog.

btw, your debating skills are so exemplary, you made a believer out of precisely ZERO people.


madmax Says:

Ben,

my gorgeous, lovely Ben. Whom I would like to think was my very own devastatingdjokovic and sensationalsafin (at one time), the time when I along with Jane, and a few others, had mentioned about going into writing articles, even I , dear Ben, trying to persuade you to write for TT, with your love and passion for tennis – I am not here to attack you Ben, and you rightly said that I didnt (thank you, thank you) – but when you write this: (even though it wasnt towards me).

Ben Pronin Says:
Well that’s just dumb.

But I already said that if Nadal is the best clay courter and Sampras is the best grass courter, I don’t understand how Federer can be considered the best of all.

February 10th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Sometimes Ben, things are what they are because they are. Simple.

Federer is what he is. The best of the rest, which sometimes doesnt really need any other explanation. And I am sorry my friend, but the following:

‘LLtK, madmax, and Fot, you’re the only ones who didn’t attack me directly but you still could’ve put up a better argumen’.

Ben,

because I disagree with you and because you dont like my argument, why should I change it to please you? you are not my guardian or my conscience, but a free thinking person in mind and spirit – just dont expect me to agree with you when you compare federer to others (as is your right).

It is not just the stats, it is the bigger picture with federer and yes. If I had 2 hours on this damn laptop Ben, (instead of taking a “break” from my workload, I could give you one helluva argument, but then you would fall madly in love with me and agree with me on everything I said, and I dont want that – so you know Ben, sometimes, you just have to accept things as they are. And Federer IS.


madmax Says:

Conty,

I will try and speak with you later. Great to read your comments as always.


madmax Says:

Ben,

Pete Sampras wants to say something so thought i would share:

Updated Feb 10, 2010 6:05 PM ET
SAN JOSE, Calif.

Pete Sampras doubts that Roger Federer can win the calendar year Grand Slam this year but sees no reason why the Swiss can’t stay on top of the game.

Sampras’ fellow American, Taylor Dent, concurs and sees Federer — nearly flawless in his run to a 16th Grand Slam title in Australia — dominating the tour the rest of this year, which isn’t common for 28-year-old players.

“Who else is going to do it?” Dent told FOXSports.com at the San Jose SAP Open. “He’s beating all the other favorites. He beat Andy Murray in Australia. Novak Djokovic is still up there but hasn’t shown the consistency. Rafael Nadal was the only one who was really able to compete against him, but I don’t feel he had the confidence that he did earlier last year and is having a little lull. To me, Juan Martin del Potro looked vulnerable in all his matches in Australia.

“No one has been able to do what Federer has when it comes to being so consistent. The rest of us have bad weeks, but when he plays a bad match, he’s still a seven out of 10 and usually wins.”

While few in the tennis world were shocked that Federer managed to win another major, there was a fair amount of surprise how easily he did it, battering two young elite players in the semis and final — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray. While the high-flying Frenchman Tsonga doesn’t have enough of a well-rounded game to keep up with Federer, Murray does and came into the final with a 6-4 record against the Swiss. There he played passively until the mid portion of the third set in his 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11) defeat, sending the 20 or so British scribes who were sent to cover his pre-ordained ascension home with their heads buried in Fred Perry reference books.

Before the contest, Murray appeared self-assured that he could weave his way past the Swiss, even mentioning Federer’s mediocre record in five setters. But he largely played scared during the match, rarely going for huge shots off the ground or rushing the net like he did in his impressive wins over Rafael Nadal and Marin Cilic.
Roger Federer has a real shot at the calendar year Grand Slam. WILLIAM WEST/AFP

As former Wimbledon champ Pat Cash said after the match, “Just hitting the ball back and forth hard isn’t going to get it done against Federer. You have to mix it up and find a way to get short balls and take him out of (his) comfort zone. But that’s not easy.”

No it’s not, especially when Federer appears to have improved his weaker backhand side a great deal. He knows on what occasions he has to go on the offense quickly, while Murray and the rest of the young guns are still looking for what type of ammunition they should be loading on which hunting trip.

“Murray’s natural game is to sit way behind the baseline and not miss and make you beat him,” Dent said. “To do it against Federer when he’s executing his forehand, you end up doing a lot of running and losing a lot of points. It comes down to Federer’s forehand and whether he’s dictating and if he’s not making errors off that side and spraying the ball, it’s a tough match for Murray to win. He’s just too good and it’s all over.”

Sampras feels much the same way. While he likes Murray’s potential, the 14-time Grand Slam champion saw plenty of up-and-comers fold in front of him. In major finals, Federer walks on court with an aura of invincibility and the weaponry to back it up.

For all his talent, Murray is still a pretender at the majors — and despite the contention by some of his fellow players and some of the press that he’s held up remarkably well carrying the torch of long-suffering British tennis — he hasn’t done so in the two Slam finals he’s played, not managing to get a set off of Federer in either one. The Scot now must prove that he can calm himself in the big moments, just like Federer has been doing for the past six and half years.

“I just knew in (the Australian Open final) that Roger would really tighten things up and it was like target practice,” said Sampras, who fell to Fernando Verdasco in a San Jose exhibition Monday. “Andy wasn’t offensive enough. You have to make it happen. Any time you give enough forehands to Roger he’s going to hurt you. Andy can beat a lot off the players playing his way, but against someone like Roger, he’s got to get out of his comfort zone and be more aggressive.”

Now Federer will once again pursue the calendar year Grand Slam, which in the latter stage of his career, seems like an impossible quest. But it’s really not. The last man to win it, Aussie Rod Laver, took all four majors in 1969 at the age of 31.

Without question, the tour wasn’t as deep then and the majors were only played on two different surfaces, grass and clay, but as Dent said, who is really going to challenge Federer on a consistent basis?

Nadal could if healthy, but he just suffered another knee injury and there’s no telling when and if he’ll be completely healthy again. The towering del Potro could too, but he’s been nicked up since besting Federer at the U.S. Open and has been wildly inconsistent.

And the list goes on. Djokovic is an absolute mess at the majors, Russian Nikolay Davydenko went on an inexplicable walkabout against Federer at the Aussie Open, Andy Roddick is hurt again and has never shown himself capable of beating Federer at a Slam, Tsonga may not be cut out for the long haul at the majors and as talented as he is, Cilic is still a work in progress.

That leaves Roger with a decent chance to go around the block in 2010.

“Anything is possible, but it’s not probable,” Sampras said. “The French is a big one and he’s going to have to defend that against all these Nadals and Verdascos. Things need to fall into place — a great draw and great weather — but it’s a tough hurdle. Wimbledon will be tough too, but Roger’s a freak of nature.”


Ben Pronin Says:

LLtK, the fact that I didn’t make a believer out of anyone is so irrelevant. After 16 slams, if you’re convinced one way or the other, chances are a couple of bloggers and comments aren’t going to change your mind. It’s not like Fed is going to go backwards in majors, but 16 is also more than enough to prove his worth.

What is the point of this blog then? I wanted to see what makes people beileve Federer is the GOAT. I threw in as much as I could think of to show that he’s not, and I mean seriously, that’s not much.

I don’t need Sampras to tell me Federer is a God among men.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

Long Live The King

there’s one thing abt having an opinion and another to speak it out in public….. Its because of moron’s like YOU that fedrer behaves like he rules the world….leave alone the stats…..does being a world number 1 entitle you to public comments like that huh??? learn to speak in public first….. fedrer should’ve atleast showed some respect while making that comment….he was grinning like an idiot at that press conference….if u have an opinion, why dont u keep it to urself huh?? n btw i wonder what ur age is……..n btw LONG LIVE THE KING RAFA NADAL


krishnan.t.s. Says:

Long Live The King

“GOD….IT’S KILLING ME:(:(“


Fed is GOAT Says:

I think Rafa will retire before Federer, even though Federer is 5 years older.


winepig Says:

Long live LLTK!!


Long Live The King Says:

Krishnan?

Calling a federer an idiot? You dont want to get me started on Nadal. Anyway, I am not a jackass like you, so I will not resort to attacking Nadal because of d*&!heads like you.

Your name tells me you are one of those nerdy Indians who lives with their parents even when they are 40 and absolutely has no life. You need to grow a brain before you can even earn the right to talk in public. Calling federer an idiot only makes you look like a dumbfcuk


Long Live The King Says:

Thanks winepig. There is only been 1 king on the tennis court since 2003.

LONG LIVE THE KING!


Long Live The King Says:

Krishnan :

get your head out of nadal’s butt. Hopefully he can stop his butt-picking then! LOL


Long Live The King Says:

Ben :

All is well, then. For me, I believe Roger is the GOAT. In fact, he is my all time favorite sportsman to watch. More than maradona (dont know if you know him) and Jordan. That he dominated like crazy is just the icing on the cake.

I can understand your point of “no GOAT” as well. and also your reasons wwhy you think Roger is not GOAT. Obviously we dont agree on that.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

long live the king

at least i have a name u m******f*****(true i live with my parents but i’m anyting but nerdy…..i bet u r a self centered jackass australian or american)
if u believe u r so independant n all why don’t u give me ur name u SOB…. o tell me…. when did u start livin alone?? when that W**** mother of urs gave birth to u??? r u one of those crack babies huh?? buddy u gotta grow up….. buddy first u need to understand that i have nothing against fedrer…… i’ve always wanted a rafa nadal roger fedrer final since the time they grabbed the top 2 spots in the pinnacle of men’s tennis….. fedrer is no angel and nadal is not one too…. this debate abt whose the best is btwn us not btwn them…….they will keep dishing it out btwn themselves……its purely entertainment and a level of tennis that say a person like djokovic or murray cannot produce on a consistent basis…..u say say that fedrer is the king and all….that dosent give him the right to talk whatever he wants to in the public….. u dont kno w half of what’s happening in the tennis world….i am not an orthodox type who will hang around the butt of my country’s tennis players(in fact i pray for their defeat at every grandslam tourney) i watch the best, i support and cheer for and adore the best….and the best is yet to come from both fedrer and nadal
dosent matter whether i look like a dumbfuck or not but u give me the impression of ross geller(i hope u watch sitcoms like friends) on thanksgiving day…..useless obsolete and muthafuckin SOB
kudos
Long Live The King


krishnan.t.s. Says:

long live the king
btw i want u to get started on nadal…..soon please…..i don’ have time to waste….i enjoy makin freaks like u sweat in this war of words
waintin for ur reply man….n btw fedrer will win 20 grandslams but nadal will come close to it…even if he retires before fedex does, he’ll come out of retirement and try to break the champ’s record lol:)


winepig Says:

krishnan:

If you own a sword, now would be a wonderful time to fall on it.


Polo Says:

If you read all the blogs here, you will notice that those Federer detractors are now resorting to foul language because they have ran out of rhetorics. I hope Federer fans like Long Live the King should not let them drag them down to their uncouth levels. It does not help because as I have stated before, “It is difficult to impress the ignorant.” We, fans of Federer, are already winners like our man Federer. There is no need to entertain and argue with those people who are miserable because they know but could not accept the truth.


krishnan.t.s. Says:

winepig
unfortunayely i don’t have a sword…. n i’ll not be foolish enough to fall on it….all i want like everyone is fedrer nadal finals in a slam…..tats what i call entertainment….fedrer’s brilliance against nadal’s resilience…..unstoppable force against immovable object….i like both of them n both of them r winners on any given day…..i jus don’ like fedrer critisizing anybody in the public tats all


krishnan.t.s. Says:

polo

fans last only till the time players last….. only the great one’s still have fans…. u consider fedrer to be the perfect man but he is not so….what he’s done is incredible….a feat that is difficult to match but not impossible…. nadal will come damn close to fedrers record. he will do it till the last time that he touches his tennis racket which will not be anytime soon as people have blogged here…..its in his nature and he will do it….with every match he plays he gets experience combined with new weapons in his arsenel…both players wear their heart on their sleeves and give it their all….its us idiots who sit and rant on abt who is better……they dont give a damn because they are very good friends off the court as well…….
so instead of wasting our time and insulting each other we might as well mind our own work…..
i’m waitin for FO or wimbledon and i want to see both the players in the best form of their lives…..that will be one hell of a match


krishnan.t.s. Says:

everyone
i’m here to support only a good and entertaining game of tennis….. not one that is lopsided…. i just love the tension of a five setter(except when it involves andy murray…..he sucks man!!!)
may the man who played better win
long live whoever is the king


NELTA Says:

Cindy_Brady

I agree that Borg is the best clay court player of all time, but according to the logic of Rafa fans he can’t be. Fed has a losing record against Rafa at the French so he can’t be the GOAT. Right? Ok so Borg lost twice at the French Open to Adriano Panatta, an Italian clay court specialist so he can’t be the clay court GOAT then. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

On a separate note, if Rafa can tie Borg for French Open titles then Rafa could be the clay court GOAT. It will come down to tiebreakers like clay court titles/winning percentage/winning streaks.


TennisMasta Says:

“For me the biggest takeaway from the Australian Open wasn’t Roger Federer’s Sweet 16 and his mentally-challenged combatants Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga”

Murray, Davydenko, Tsonga did not look mentally-challenged in beating Nadal, Verdasco, and Djokovic respectively. The one thing common between them is that they all lost to Federer. Are you saying then the reason they lost to him was because they were mentally challenged?

Are all the players that Nadal beats also mentally challenged?

“For me it was the declining health of Rafael Nadal.”

There was no indication of Nadal’s declining health until he abruptly quit 0-3 in the third set against Murray. In fact, he played very well but could not overcome Murray’s aggressive play combined with his defensive skills. In fact, Rafa dominated his matches through the 4th round. In fact, Rafa had a match point in the previous tournament against Davydenko but presumably was “mentally challenged” in losing the match anyway.

Would Nadal have quit were he leading Murray two sets to one and 3-0 in the third?
Or even if leading Murray two sets to one and trailing 0-3 in the third?

Top story: WTA Finals: Wozniacki Edges Sharapova, Serena v Halep Wednesday
Most Recent story: Novak Djokovic's Baby's Name Is Stefan
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Andy Murray10 Angelique Kerber
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.