Scheduling Smarts Help Federer Return To No. 1, Leaving Djokovic, Nadal Scratching Their Heads
by Sean Randall | July 10th, 2012
  • 427 Comments

The ATP computer doesn’t lie. It doesn’t play favorites or instincts. It just processes numbers. In the last 12 months Roger Federer has one Grand Slam title in one final. Rival Novak Djokovic has two Grand Slam titles in three finals, Rafael Nadal has one title in three finals. Yet it is Federer standing on top the men’s rankings today and not Djokovic or Nadal. Why? Because the Swiss knows how to play the schedule and make the most of his ranking points.

I wrote last year that I thought nobody in the history of tennis schedules smarter than Federer. And with his latest coup on the rankings we have further confirmation: His scheduling prowess is indeed another weapon.

While Djokovic and Nadal were “resting” (on their laurels?) at the end of last year and in February after the Australian, thinking it was a 1-2 race, Federer was busy collecting titles, snatching points like the ATP finals with a secret eye on returning to No. 1 and overtaking Pete Sampras’ record. Rotterdam, Basel, etc are not the biggest of wins, but collectively they add up and after he won Wimbledon on Sunday those smaller events finally paid off awarding him just enough to sneak past Djokovic by 75 points. That’s right, 75 points.

With the disparity in Slam results, people will question the validity of his ranking. But facts are facts are facts. He’s accrued more points the last 12 months than anyone else. The ATP finals and the Paris Indoors, two events Djokovic, who had long wrapped up No. 1 earlier in the year, basically half-assed out of are costing him today. Now he’s looking up at the rankings. Nadal the same.

With the top-heaviness of the men’s tour, Federer is basically telling his rivals, “If you don’t want those events, great, because I’ll come in and take them.”

The season isn’t nine months, it’s 11. Federer understands that. I don’t think Djokovic and Nadal do.

So Djokovic/Nadal collectively have to be thinking, “What the hell just happened? We’ve dominated the Slams! The old man was dead and buried and now he’s in the driver’s seat for No. 1? Huh?”

Djokovic and to some extent Nadal have played the high risk game of betting on their Slam results. It’s the same one employed by the Williams sisters, Agassi and others, with mixed success. But there’s a very low margin for error. If you don’t do well – like Nadal did at Wimbledon – your rankings suffer. And Novak’s in a similar situation.

When someone like Federer is piling up points all the events you might not care about, you can get yourself in trouble with the rankings. That’s what happened.

But then again, are these guys like Novak and Rafa even interested in the No. 1 ranking? I don’t know. Greats like Sampras, Lendl, McEnroe were. Maybe this generation, aside from Federer, don’t care. Maybe for them the challenge of staying on top for an extended period of time is far too tough these days. I don’t know.

For Djokovic, the problem may be much deeper. I really thought after the way he finished the French Open final against Nadal he had his game on track after an off-peak start to the season. But against Federer in the semifinals last week at times he appeared to be resigned to losing; the road back was just too tough and that drive, the belief wasn’t there. Like he had said, “You know what, I reached my goals, I made my No. 1, I won my Wimbledon last year, that’s good enough.”

And really that’s been the case for Novak since the US Open. It’s as if after he won New York he took a big fat exhale. To be the best in any sport, you can’t do that. Federer never did. Sampras never did. Novak probably did. (Again, facts are facts, since his US Open win he has won just TWO titles.)

The way Novak played against Roger – and Roger played really well – I have to wonder how much the guy really wants it. At 25 Novak is in the very prime of his career. He should be at his peak. But does he want to put the work in to stay the best or now that he’s reached the top does he want to enjoy all the spoils that come with it like being in movies or commercials, etc? Right now, it’s probably the latter.

As for Nadal, Rafa we know he puts the work in. He wants it. But I’m not sure his body will allow it. With the clay/grass season over and hardcourts ahead from here until the end, it’s tough to see Rafa doing much damage – remember he hasn’t won off clay since 2010 Tokyo, but he’s going to fight for it. Somehow Rafa’s going to need to start winning on surfaces other than clay. At 26 with his knee troubles, it’s a tall order.

Back to Federer. I’m not surprised at all he won Wimbledon. It’s his best surface, Djokovic’s worst and we know Nadal can be vulnerable on grass. Roger, shrugged off a bad back, got hot and rode his serve and belief across the finish line.

At the close of Wimbledon, Roger was serving unbelievably well (roof helped but it wasn’t the determining factor) and in the final he really was remarkably firm in those backhand-to-backhand exchanges with Murray. And I haven’t seen anyone volley that well in a Wimbledon final in a very, very long time. At times it was a majestic display.

It was a title Federer deserved. At 30, he turned back time proving a lot of people wrong, myself included to some extent. In the end it comes down to priorities and goals and Federer remarkably continues to achieve his.

And thanks to Federer, for the first time in many years we should have an intriguing 3-way race to the finish. Roger gets the edge in my mind. If he can steal a Masters title (or final with an Olympics title) this summer and reach at least the finals at the US Open that should be enough for him to finish No. 1 and press his colleagues. I say that because in the fall Federer, back willing, figures again to be at ease indoors while Nadal likely running on fumes and Djokovic perhaps packing it in.

So with Roger back in front, Novak/Rafa, your move?


Also Check Out:
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Roger Federer: GOAT Of Scheduling?

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427 Comments for Scheduling Smarts Help Federer Return To No. 1, Leaving Djokovic, Nadal Scratching Their Heads

csebig Says:

Nice article Steve!


csebig Says:

Sean! Sorry!


skeezer Says:

Love the article Sean!
Booyah!

“But facts are facts are facts,”

And records are records are records!


Pablo Says:

hmmm, if you’re right about Djoko, then its likely that Nadal will win on the cement in the not-too-distant..the 2 masters pre-US open should be v.interesting in terms of form and rankings..i have a hunch we could see a rested Rafa doing some damage this hard court season..also hoping that Murray can avoid his usual post GS final loss of form – the US open is his best chance of a major (hard court, no roof)…I wouldn’t read Roger’s superb 7th Wimbledon and return to No.1 as a sign of things to come, since he won’t always have a covered fast court and a tourney free Rafa to aid his cause (see RG semi vs Djoko)


Brando Says:

PRETTY MUCH AGREE WITH SEAN- for once.

I think rafa wants to win, puts the work in- BUT fitness has always been that dark cloud that seems to follow him. Guess you got to take the good with the bad.

Novak? well that is a mystery. like sean mentioned, post USO in 10 MONTHS HE’S WON JUST 2 TITLES! Now the AO he won, DESERVEDLY, wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Murray lost 7-5 in the 5th, and rafa was 2 games away from the title himself- VERY CLOSE CALL!

Then MIAMI, where he beat a murray in the final who was undercooked by the walkovers. Nontheless, STILL DESERVED as he was the best in that tourny!

BUT the point is, where is that A GRADE, firing on all cylinders novak at the moment?

There seems to be NO INJURY ISSUES, no off-court drama- sure he lost his grandfather BUT he still made finals at Rome and RG. Change of sponsor? still made RG final.

He’s making finals, SF consistently BUT not going further. My guess, is that the olympics to USO swing is CRUCIAL for him not only for this season but also the future.

IF he walks away empty handed here, then that aura he built last year may just start to fade.


jamie Says:

There is no roof at the USO.

No USO for Fed!


jamie Says:

Fed’s best chances of slam #18 are at AO and Wimbledon with their roofs.

He has no chance at the FO or USO with no roof.

No roof no slam at his age.


Brando Says:

my FAVS for the olympic to USO swing:

1- Federer: just won wimby, back to no.1, GOT THE GAME for those surfaces, and most importantly- CONFIDENCE MOST BE AT AN ALL TIME HIGH! Olympics is on grass- he’s the daddy there. Cincy and USO are fast HC and at his best HE’S THE BEST THERE. ONLY MONTREAL might not favour him due to slow HC there.

2- Murray: he lost at wimby not because he wasn’t good enough to win, it’s just FEDERER was across the net. I think right, he’s playing better tennis than nole or rafa- and these SURFACES SHALL SUITE HIM.

3- Nole: world no.2, bar olympics he’ll be on his FAVOURITE SURFACE.

4- Rafa: Injury issues, bar olympics a surface that he’s not as strong on as the others- hard to guess his scenario atm.

things could EASILY CHANGE- that must be remembered!


jamie Says:

Nole won’t win anymore slams this year.

He is paying the price of winning 3 slams last year. Happened to Connors, Wilander and Nadal as well after winning 3 slams in a calendar year.

The only player who was immune to this was Federer who backed his 2004 with another year with multiple slams in 2005 and then backed his 2006 with another year with multple slams and 3 again to booth.

Fed was a cyborg.

Connors, Wilander, Nadal and Nole are human.


Brando Says:

@Jamie:

AGREE with your point there.

Rafa, connors, wilander ALL somewhat struggled in the following year after winning 3 slams- so maybe nole is going through the same!

Makes sense really, it is VERY TOUGH to repeat or defend 3 majors the following year!


tfouto Says:

Sean, great article.

Pablo, i also think that Nadal will be strong for USO. We will rest and try to be at USO2010 level.


sam Says:

Great article Sean was waiting for it since last 3 days. I visit this site just to read your take on matches.

Great Job keept it up !!!


the mind reels Says:

@jamie: I disagree about the US Open, as I feel the courts there play arguably quicker than at Wimbledon, in large part thanks to lighter balls. Given that the surface bounce is more true than Wimbledon, and given Federer’s results there over his career, I’m not sure on what grounds, other than emotion, you give him “no chance.” On balance, given the recent shocker of Nadal’s loss where his game was exposed by someone who played reckless, aggressive tennis, I think if either guy was to have an off day at the US Open, Nadal would be in a more precarious position than Federer.

Pablo says:

“I wouldn’t read Roger’s superb 7th Wimbledon and return to No.1 as a sign of things to come, since he won’t always have a covered fast court and a tourney free Rafa to aid his cause (see RG semi vs Djoko)”

Having Nadal at the US Open or not having a covered fast court hasn’t really hurt Federer that badly in the past, so I’m not sure why that matters all of a sudden this year. Is it because people are thinking that the only reason he won Wimbledon was because the roof was covered? That seems wrong.

The Wimbledon title alone may not necessarily be “a sign of things to come” (then again, it might), but it is precisely because he’s been winning more tournaments than anyone else over the past 9 months that he’s been able to re-take the ranking. Now, he has momentum and added confidence, having beat down both Djokovic and Murray back-to-back. As long as he’s healthy, I give him a good chance over the next few months to stretch the lead.


Skeezer Says:

Sofuuny now posters saying Fed can only win unless he’s has a roof. What’s next, a cane, a wheelchair, or blue balls? Hehe


the mind reels Says:

@skeezer: yea, pretty much — maybe an oxygen tank, too?

4/5 titles that he’s won this year have been outdoors (Rotterdam the lone exception), and believe it or not, Wimbledon is an outdoor tournament, contrary to what some have been suggesting. A true indoor event is different from a tournament that goes back and forth between indoor and outdoor conditions, and at Wimbledon, not only are players dealing with the humidity/wind/etc., they’re also dealing with the surface being more or less slick depending on whether the roof has been closed all day (dry) or whether it gets closed mid-match due to rain (a little wet). The players who can adjust best to these tricky situations are rewarded. On top of that, Murray and Federer are both phenomenal indoor players.

Interestingly, Murray’s indoor stats are more impressive than Djokovic’s: 9 of 22 career titles indoors, compared to only 5 of Djokovic’s 30 titles.


pranay Says:

Article starts wrong. Federer plays less matches a year than Nadal/Djokovic. And so, no. of 500 level tournaments are less. Federer has won more titles in past year, I agree, but amongst them are 3 Masters 1000 and ATP word tour finals. And of course there’s the wimbledon worth 2000 points. So, if I add up correctly I have 2*(1000-360)+(1000-640) +(2000-720)= 2920 points alone from these 5 tournaments(he successfully defended his 1500 points in World Tour Finals). Maybe you can say that Nadal/Djokovic were tired during Paris/World Tour Finals but they competed well in other three. 500 levels don’t help that much. The way Federer played in Wimbledon semis, if he stays at that level, it’ll be difficult for Djokovic to beat him.


rogerafa Says:

“Because the Swiss knows how to play the schedule and make the most of his ranking points.”

I guess he didn’t know it the last two years when he was not at the top.

“The old man was dead and buried and now he’s in the driver’s seat for No. 1?”

One somewhat lucky major win does not change the fact that he is just not the player he used to be. Rafa and Novak are, despite their defeats at Wimby, going to be winning much more than Roger as they are much younger and in their prime while Roger is well past his. They are going to be back in the thick of things in no time.

“are these guys like Novak and Rafa even interested in the No. 1 ranking?”

You bet they are but it is not easy to remain at the top year after year especially for players whose main strength is their ability to physically grind down opponents. That is also why they can not remain consistent right through the season.

“Greats like Sampras, Lendl, McEnroe were. Maybe this generation, aside from Federer, don’t care.”

Sampras went to ridiculous lengths to retain his top spot especially to achieve year-end no. 1 spot. Roger has never shown even a remotely similar desperation to retain that spot. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have had to wait so long to break that 286 weeks record. The two more weeks he needed could have been “managed” had he really gone for it during his previous stint at the top.

“For Djokovic, the problem may be much deeper.”

There is no problem with Novak. He is hugely ambitious and extremely motivated. Please give the guy a break. He is having a great season and expecting him to be virtually invincible is unfair to him and his rivals. He is still the best player right now with Rafa just behind him. Normal service will resume soon.

“But I’m not sure his(Rafa’s) body will allow it.”

We have been talking about his body and knees for several years and he has gotten stronger. He will be around for a long time given the wonders of modern medicine. Rafa is not going anywhere.

“I’m not surprised at all he(Roger) won Wimbledon”

It surprised me but it wasn’t shocking. He had an easy draw in the first five rounds but I didn’t expect him to pull two consecutive rabbits out of his hat in the last two matches. He definitely raised his level when he needed to. This is something he has not been able to do in his big matches lately.

“Roger gets the edge in my mind.”

It will be interesting but I think Novak is still the favorite to finish at the top when the season ends. He and Rafa remain the favorites for the US open too. Novak is very good indoors. I also think Rafa will do very well. The early Wimby exit may yet prove a blessing in disguise. Roger has played a lot of tennis over the past year for an old man and his back, hip and other body parts must be feeling it. I am not sure he can go on like this much longer.


Sienna Says:

yes With rafa in decline and with Novak of the boil (wel he could handle the NOVAK of 2011 very well)it is actually quite easy for Fed to stay at the topdog slot. NUMERO UNO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


andrea Says:

why all of a sudden is a roof part of the equation for players doing well or not well? this debate seemed to crop out of nowhere, now fueled by practically everyone.

all the top guys have had success indoors and outdoors. for some reason nadal wilts after the USO every year but it’s more a physical issue than playing under a roof. novak can do both. andy and roger can do both, as do other players. it would be advantage to any player to play under a roof since their games are not impeded by weather or wind, so i’m not really buying into this roof issue.


tfouto Says:

Sienna. Rafa in decline??? Rafa is not winning as much due to Novak 2.0. Rafa wont fade so soon.


jane Says:

rogerafa, @12:48 – great post, level-headed and, I think, very fair. I think Andy M also has a good shot at the USO, although he has seemed to be most consistent, in terms of slams, at the AO and WImbledon. Not sure what to think of Delpo going forward.


dc Says:

Scheduling Smarts Help Federer Return To No. 1, Leaving Djokovic, Nadal Scratching Their Heads
by Sean Randall
—————————————————
I don’t think its scheduling – hes the only player to have won Masters or GS tournaments on all surfaces this year, proving he superior to his peers.

In the last 1 year,
– Nole has won major tournament on clay & HC
– Nadal only on clay
– whereas Fed has won on HC, Clay, Grass & Indoors.

At Age 31, he effortlessly glides on tennis courts where his much younger peers from the next generation fall often while running (Nole, Nadal & Murray all has at least 1 fall in their last match at Wimby 12) or complain about the surfaces being slippery (Madrid).

Its not his scheduling prowess, its his multidimensional quality of play & shot-making capabilities that has catapulted him to #1, a place where he and only he truly belonged


jane Says:

True dc. And last year Nole was the only one to have won Masters or Grand slams on all surfaces, and his two clay masters he won over Rafa, the king of clay. In 2010, Rafa was the only one to have won masters or grand slams on all surfaces. So I guess, then, in those years Rafa and Nole were the best, as they were #1. That’s the way it goes, ebbs and flows.


RZ Says:

Great achievement by Roger, and I agree that smart scheduling had a lot to do with it!

I don’t think Djoker is backsliding, though. I think he just hasn’t figured out how to play deep into tournaments ever week all year long. As for Rafa, it’s been his pattern that he does great the first half of the year and then fades away the second half.


RZ Says:

dc, you forgot the all-important new surface: blue clay! :-)


dc Says:

Exactly Jane,A player who wins only on 1 or 2 surfaces will find it very difficult to get to the top ranking.
Some people just cannot accept that Fed is #1 because he has been the better player.


jamie Says:

@minds reels

Last year the USO was blue clay. They messed up the surface and it was the slowest USO EVER.


jamie Says:

The Wimbledon SF was played under the roof.

The final was mostly played under the roof as well.

Fed won the 2 most important matches of Wimbledon under the roof where he is unbeatable.

There will be no roof at the USO.


V S Manian Says:

At the start of this article, I had a feeling that the author is trying to indirectly belittle Roger Federer, claiming that his ranking climbed because of inconsequential tournaments. However, after few paragraphs, the author cleverly mixed some realities to contain such doubts.

I still remember the end of last year : Djoker played for anything and everything. Though knowing pretty well that he can not compete well due to his aching body, he played in Paris Masters and ultimately withdrew midway.

Another famous development at the end of 2011 was Nadal’s comment : “I did not have the motivation” after losing to Roger Federer in ATP World Tour Finals at London!!! It is clear that his motivation is not constant.

That is why neither of them could come anywhere near Federer’s consistency, longevity and fitness.


Brando Says:

‘ In 2010, Rafa was the only one to have won masters or grand slams on all surfaces.’

RAFA WON A SLAM ON ALL 3 SURFACES IN THAT YEAR!

As far as i know the ONLY ONE POST ROD LAVER IN 1968 TO DO SO!

Actually i think connors may have done so also.

the MAIN REASON why rafa hasn’t won a title outside clay has been NOVAK- NOT the surface or the tour players.

He’s lost at the AO, USO, WIMBY,MIAMI, IW to novak- HAD it not been for novak rafa would have had in all probability won a big one outside clay!

In a weird way, this SIMILAR TO FED ON CLAY- remember that classic quote by him: ‘ clay is not a problem for me, BUT rafa on clay is the problem’!

for rafa i would suggest during that period its been NOVAK not the surfaces!


Sienna Says:

Clearly Rafa is in a strong decline. Thanks for showing us Branda!


jamie Says:

When it comes to movement, baseline exchanges that are longer than some shots, Djokovic and Nadal will be ahead of Federer at the slams. Wimbledon indoors was perfect for Federer. He could finish everything quickly. Not outdoors.


Sienna Says:

tfouto Says:
Sienna. Rafa in decline??? Rafa is not winning as much due to Novak 2.0. Rafa wont fade so soon.

July 10th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Losing in SECOND ROUND AGAINST #100 is being in decline. That and also the fact he hasnot won a non clay event since 2010.


jamie Says:

It’s not a surprise Fed won indoors Wimbledon. He wins the YEC all the time as well.

Slams played outdoors are another story.

Even headcase Murray was beating Fed before they closed the roof in the final.

The SF was also under the roof.

Fed can only win slams played indoors nowadays.

Proof? He lost in the past 2 years at every slam he played outdoors.


Channon Says:

1st of all, Federer is only #1 by 75 points because Djokovic did not defend his points by winning Wimbledon 2012. How dare you suggest that Rafa or Nole don’t care as much at being #1 as Federer? It is incredibly naive for you to not take in the extended wear and tear on the mind and body defending the #1 title. Federer had nothing to lose because he had not made it to a slams final for some time. Grass is Federer’s best surface and with Nadal out there was not the same dynamic to challenge him (especially mentally). Nadal has a much stronger winning record against Federer than anyone else and achieved more Slams earlier in his career than Federer.


cianar Says:

Ok, you forgot to mention that most of his titles were won while fighting against players such as Philipoussiss, Nalbandian, Baghdatis, Lleyton Hewit etc. In the last three years he was more like an outsider compared to Nadal and Djokovic. ATP and WTA rankings are just unfair. Caroline Wozniacki was number one for an incredible extended period of time without winning a grand slam title. It took Nadal 3 to become number 1 and so did Nole. And only one for Federer. Not because he is the smartest but the most nain of all. He never masde a secret that he was after bitting records, being number 1 and now, his latest goal, becoming an Olympic champion. He can’t stand that Nadal has it and he doesn’t.


jamie Says:

There will be no roof to safe him at the USO.

He won’t even have mps against Nole this time!


tfouto Says:

Nadal, lost to Soderling on FO. Decline, no?

This games happen from time to time. Not to Federer sure. Federer is the GOAT of consistency. No one can argue with that.

But Nadal lost all final slams to Novak, except 2012 wimbledon. In 2011 lost the Miami and Indian Wells to Novak on clay. And had several results that he always as every year which are not brilliant. Novak 2.0 is the reason of Nadal “decline”.

The question is how Nadal and Federer will handle Novak 1.5?


tfouto Says:

Murray is somewhere on 1.6… I hope he gets to 2.0 as well and fast.


Eric Says:

ARGH. This kind of article _drives me crazy_. Horrible analysis ungrounded in fact.

First of all, some chestnuts:

- Wimbledon isn’t Djokovic’s worst surface; actually he has a worse career record at the French Open, an a significantly worse one over the past four years (1 trophy at Wimbledon, none at the French; 21-3 vs 17-4 match record; how then can Wimby be his worst surface?).

- Nadal hasn’t won a title off clay for almost two years, sure, but think of how close he’s been in many finals since then – whether AO this year, Miami last year, etc., there have been genuinely very close calls.

- What’s with this idiotic disrespect for Rafa and Djokovic? I’m pretty sure they understand the ATP calendar at least as well as you, Sean. Maybe what you don’t appreciate that they do is that Federer actually has just been the better player over the past year, overall if maybe not at slams.

Finally, the meat of your argument is that Federer is no. 1 because he plays sooo many more tournaments while Rafa and Nole are twiddling their thumbs. Actually, on Fed’s point sheet right now is a grand total of one (1) more 250 tournament than Rafa, against which Rafa has another 1000-pointer (MC). So who is giving himself more opportunity to rack up points?

It works a little better for Djokovic: he hasn’t played any 250s, and is also a 500 behind Roger. But again, he has MC on his point sheet – so the total points possible in their tournaments played is the same.

The explanation isn’t that Roger schedules better, it’s that both Rafa and Nole put in a horrible WTF back in December. Fed is carrying 1500 points from that event, Rafa and Nole just 200 each. On top of the fact that Roger is holding three Masters titles (one more than either Nole or Rafa), that’s a whole mess of non-slam points. Maybe you’re right to think Rafa and Nole don’t care as much about non-slam play (I don’t think that’s true at all, but whatever — you seem to be possessed of brilliant psychological insight into the hopes and dreams of people you don’t know). Or maybe it’s just that Roger has been more consistently excellent over the past 12 months. But that would require you to be honest and informed.


the mind reels Says:

rogerafa says:

“Because the Swiss knows how to play the schedule and make the most of his ranking points.”

I guess he didn’t know it the last two years when he was not at the top.

* Until Djokovic gets better at defending titles and both he and Nadal get better at playing well over the course of an entire season, your criticism of Federer here seems bitter. 6 tournaments have gone by this year for Novak where he has failed to defend his title. Those were all opportunities to keep the distance between himself and Nadal/Federer in the rankings.

“The old man was dead and buried and now he’s in the driver’s seat for No. 1?”

One somewhat lucky major win does not change the fact that he is just not the player he used to be. Rafa and Novak are, despite their defeats at Wimby, going to be winning much more than Roger as they are much younger and in their prime while Roger is well past his. They are going to be back in the thick of things in no time.

* I mean, OK, but what you’ve just said is: Roger = well past his prime but still winning (and with wins over both of them this year) and Novak/Rafa = younger and in their prime but losing and, at least for now, dropping from top status in the rankings. Hm. Sounds like you really really want to believe that Federer at 30 is a shadow of the Federer we saw at 25. He may not win every match he plays, but he just soundly beat Djokovic and Murray. Without getting pretentious and using “greater than” and “less than” math symbols, this too — “somewhat lucky win” — sounds bitter.

“are these guys like Novak and Rafa even interested in the No. 1 ranking?”

You bet they are but it is not easy to remain at the top year after year especially for players whose main strength is their ability to physically grind down opponents. That is also why they can not remain consistent right through the season.

* So, the way by which they tackle their opponents isn’t a style suited for consistent results across an entire season. I agree, and the results support this. It seems, then, that they’ll never be as consistent, year after year, as Federer was from 2004-2007.

“Greats like Sampras, Lendl, McEnroe were. Maybe this generation, aside from Federer, don’t care.”

Sampras went to ridiculous lengths to retain his top spot especially to achieve year-end no. 1 spot. Roger has never shown even a remotely similar desperation to retain that spot. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have had to wait so long to break that 286 weeks record. The two more weeks he needed could have been “managed” had he really gone for it during his previous stint at the top.

* What’s your point? He set his sights on it post-US Open, and look, guess who’s back at #1 and soon to be the new record holder?

“For Djokovic, the problem may be much deeper.”

There is no problem with Novak. He is hugely ambitious and extremely motivated. Please give the guy a break. He is having a great season and expecting him to be virtually invincible is unfair to him and his rivals. He is still the best player right now with Rafa just behind him. Normal service will resume soon.

* OK. I’ll stay tuned for Djokovic vintage 2011 to resume domination and win everything in si…oh wait, it’s already July. At current pace, his 2008 season was better at this point than this season.

“But I’m not sure his(Rafa’s) body will allow it.”

We have been talking about his body and knees for several years and he has gotten stronger. He will be around for a long time given the wonders of modern medicine. Rafa is not going anywhere.

“I’m not surprised at all he(Roger) won Wimbledon”

It surprised me but it wasn’t shocking. He had an easy draw in the first five rounds but I didn’t expect him to pull two consecutive rabbits out of his hat in the last two matches. He definitely raised his level when he needed to. This is something he has not been able to do in his big matches lately.

* So raising the level = pulling a rabbit out of the hat? Federer played well all tournament, including managing a couple tough matches where his back was ailing. As for his relatively easy draw through the quarters, sure, it was pretty favorable. Novak, too, had quite the nice draw. Ferrero at 32 years old? Ryan Harrison? Stepanek? Troicki, Novak’s punching bag (12-1 H2H)?

“Roger gets the edge in my mind.”

It will be interesting but I think Novak is still the favorite to finish at the top when the season ends. He and Rafa remain the favorites for the US open too. Novak is very good indoors. I also think Rafa will do very well. The early Wimby exit may yet prove a blessing in disguise. Roger has played a lot of tennis over the past year for an old man and his back, hip and other body parts must be feeling it. I am not sure he can go on like this much longer.

* On what basis is Nadal still a favorite to win the US Open? I’m not saying he has no chance, but I’m curious to know why you give him an edge? The amount of time between Wimbledon and the US Open is too much for an early exit (or a title run) to have any effect on how they’ll play in Flushing. The tournaments in between will be better indicators. Nadal has the most to gain from Cincy and Canada, with Roger next and Novak in the worst position of having to defend a W and a runner-up. The pressure is squarely on Novak this summer to dig deep and find his 2011 form. If he doesn’t, he could end the year #3 behind Nadal. As for him being “very good indoors,” I’m indifferent. His reliability index for indoor play ranks him #7 among current active players over his career, and he hasn’t bagged an indoor title since the fall of 2009.


nick Says:

I am sorry but am inclined to disagree when comments are based on nadal, this is a man who in the era of fed at his peek managed to continously hold off everyone to keep his number two ranking, win a slam once every year and also has maintained a huge level. He suffered a huge loss but have to believe had nadal reached the final of wimbledon i dont think nadal would have lost as he affects federers mind so would be convinced fed might not have it


jane Says:

“I think he just hasn’t figured out how to play deep into tournaments ever week all year long.” But Nole has played deep into tournaments every week this year, and he did in 2011 too. The only event this year in which he lost before the semis was blue clay (QFs). He made the finals of all other clay events losing only to Rafa in all three of them (MC, Rome and RG).

At the slams thus far this year, Fed lost in the semis at the AO, lost at the semis in the FO and won Wimbledon. Rafa lost in the finals at the AO, won the FO, and lost early Wimbledon. Nole won the AO, lost in the finals at the FO and the semis at SW19. If you look at just slams, Nole has actually had the best results of all three.

He is fine.


El Flaco Says:

Annacone has clearly worked with Federer on hitting his 2nd serve harder. It used to be in the high 80s with more kick and back arch. At the US Open last year it averaged 92 mph against Djoko in the semi. This year it was 95 mph in the Wimby semi against Djoko and 98 mph in the final against Murray. He hit one 2nd serve against Murray 110 mph. Fed’s average for the tournament was 97 mph which was faster than Tsonga’s average 2nd serve speed. It will be interesting to see if Fed continues with bigger 2nd serves into the hardcourt season. There aren’t any average mph stats to track until the US Open so you would have to watch the match and pay attention to the radar screen if it is visible on TV because most commentators don’t pay attention to 2nd serve speed unless the player happens to go for a 1st serve on 2nd serve. Typically, the US Open balls give you a little more speed on the serve compared to Wimbledon.


the mind reels Says:

jamie says:

“Even headcase Murray was beating Fed before they closed the roof in the final.”

Federer had grabbed the second set and the momentum with the roof open. They closed it at 1-1 in the third when it started pouring.


Brando Says:

@Eric:

EXCELLENT POST- BEST ONE ON THE THREAD SO FAR!

Rafa and nole will be back. Fed being the new no.1 doesn’t suddenly make them 2 chumps all of a sudden.

Fed is no.1 JUSTIFIABLY on the merit of his performance- ESPECIALLY THIS YEAR!

IN 2012 he has won:

1- Wimbledon (Grass)
2- Indian wells (HC)
3- Madrid (Clay)
4- Rotterdam (Indoor)
5- Dubai (FAST HC)

MORE TITLES WON IN 2012 THAN ANYONE SO FAR! ON ALL SURFACES!

He was SF at AO and FO- so GS CONSISTENCY has also been shown!

fact is, he has been better than both rafa and nole this year!


Sienna Says:

The new Kin is called Fed. The sooner yaall except this the easier future wins of TMF can be accepted.

He is going for Gold, Rogers Cup, US Open, homeboy town, and of course WTF.
I think he is in with a great shot at winning all these events SO him winning these 5 events is really not so far fetched as you might think.

Now a not and talk to my fellow Fedfans!

Isn’t it the greatest feeling in the world! He did it. He brought us the WImbly crwon along woth the #1 record.
He has given us all he;s got and more. I am walking on air with pink glasses on and smiling like a schoolgirl with a big crush……….


Sienna Says:

Brando Says:

Fed is no.1 JUSTIFIABLY on the merit of his performance- ESPECIALLY THIS YEAR!

IN 2012 he has won:

1- WTF
2- Basel
3- US Open
4- Rogers Cup
5- Olympic Gold singles
6- Wimbledon (Grass)
7- Indian wells (HC)
8- Madrid (Clay)
9- Rotterdam (Indoor)
10- Dubai (FAST HC)

MORE TITLES WON IN 2012 THAN ANYONE SO FAR! ON ALL SURFACES!

He was SF at AO and FO- so GS CONSISTENCY has also been shown!

fact is, he has been better than both rafa and nole this year!

July 10th, 2012 at 2:19 pm

WOW whos psychic is that Branda?


jane Says:

TMR ” At current pace, his 2008 season was better at this point than this season.” I disagree. Nole’s results this season are more consistent than 2008; for example, in 2008 he lost Miami in the first round, he lost early at Wimbledon, he lost early at Marselle, and he didn’t play in 3 clay finals, including Roland Garros. Also given that the first half of 2011 Novak created a streak that hadn’t been seen since Mac and Vilas, so around 30-40 years (!!), personally I didn’t expect him to repeat and defend all those titles – especially the clay ones versus Rafa. His losses this season haven’t been bad ones; who has he lost to? Murray @ Dubai, a hot Isner @ IW, and 3 clay court losses – all in finals – to Rafa, and Fed @ Wimbledon. (oh plus Tipsy on blue clay). So basically, bar 2, all Nole’s losses have come against the other players in the top 4. No shame in that. He is not losing to bad players. Indeed, because of his record-setting 2011, he does have a lot to defend still, but post-USO, he has a lot to gain – he didn’t even play the Asian swing last year, so he can gain points there, plus at Paris, WTF. So we’ll see. He may not get back number 1; he may even go to number 3. But his season hasn’t been bad thus far, imo.


steve-o Says:

Very good article.

Federer’s set an unparalleled standard of consistency in the majors. Everyone says “he’s back” but in reality he never left, he was always making at least the quarters and usually the semis. He was always close to winning, although not in the winners’ circle. So when an opportunity came, he was able to make the most of it and go all the way.

Yes, it was the smart choice for him to add Rotterdam for confidence and then skip MC in preparation for the Olympics. He came through a tough semi against Davydenko to win Rotterdam, and that helped set him up for a winning run in the post-AO hard court season.

He even won a title on a new surface. Everyone dismissed the blue clay after Nadal and Djokovic lost, but it was still a Masters. So he did what tennis players are supposed to do: win the title; those 1000 points were a big help in his quest to regain #1.

And even when he wasn’t playing his best tennis, as against Del Potro in RG, he found a way to win. If he’d fallen in the QFs in Paris, he’d not be at #1. It would have been easy to give up after losing the first two sets, but he didn’t.

So far, Djokovic has failed to defend all but two of the titles he won in 2011. The ones he defended were on his favorite, slow hard courts. He may do better during the late fall hard court season than he did last year, but I don’t know if he can defend the USO, which is basically his only chance to end the year at the top.

He seems to have lost just a little bit of his motivation, and was unable to win any of his three clay-court finals. That hurt him in the points race.

Nadal’s “knee problems” are the usual circus of BS. In Miami he withdrew, claiming knee issues. Many (including myself) expressed skepticism, only to be met with the usual screams of rage from Nadal fans that we dared to doubt his sincerity.

A couple weeks later Nadal makes a mockery of his own injury claims by demolishing everyone at Monte Carlo, Djokovic included, and is pretty much unbeatable the rest of the clay season, except for Madrid (which Nadal’s team would like to pretend never happened). No knee problems–the magic treatments worked like a charm.

The claim that a supposedly recently “injured” player could rip through the draw in Paris as Nadal did is absolutely preposterous. Until the final he was more dominant than in 2008.

And like clockwork, cue the KNEE DRAMA yet again after he was bounced at Wimbledon; Nadal is nothing if not utterly predictable. I foresee a miraculous recovery at the Olympics; Nadal will be blasting his forehand and running full tilt for every ball, with no sign of damage to his knees or any other part of his body.

In some ways, he’s having a slightly worse year than 2011. Last year he had made two hard-court finals and one major final (Wimbledon) by this time (losing all of them to Djokovic). This year he lost one major final (AO) to Djokovic.

So you would have to say he’s not doing quite as well as last year: just as last year, he’s lost one non-clay major final to Djokovic. But, he’s not made any other non-clay finals unlike last year.

To return to Rosol, I don’t buy the claims that “Rosol would’ve beaten anyone that day.” Many times Federer has faced journeyman who were playing the match of their lives, and beaten them.

In 2010 Wimbledon, Falla was serving for the match against Federer in the first round. Just this year he went down two sets and was two points away from defeat against Benneteau. In 2009 he was two sets down to Haas at RG and five points away from defeat. In 2008 he was embroiled in early-round five-setters against Tipsarevic at AO and Andreev at USO. In every situation, he won.

For eight years Federer has made the last eight in every single Grand Slam, and for five straight years, he made the last four. It’s highly improbable that he just got lucky all that time. The simpler explanation is that he was and is good enough to fend off all the potential Rosols he faced.

Part of it is his tremendous variation and arsenal of shots. He is capable of adapting his game to beat many different kinds of players. Against a more one-dimensional player like Nadal, Rosol could simply get into a rhythm and blast away. Federer constantly changes the pace and spin and mixes up his shots and plays so fast that it’s much harder to get into rhythm against him. He has more options to get out of tough spots than anyone else.

In the early rounds, the title’s a long way away. The stakes aren’t very high yet. It’s hard to motivate yourself to beat a player ranked so far below you, especially if your game is off. In that situation, you tend to play for survival, not to win, which won’t get the job done, because the other guy is playing for the biggest victory of his life and is throwing everything he possibly can at you.

That Federer was able to find that motivation time and again, to fight to win against lower-ranked opponents who were playing far above their level, speaks to his love of the game, fighting spirit, and professionalism. Talent and raw ability aren’t worth much if you don’t have the heart and desire to make use of them.


the mind reels Says:

@jane: that’s all fair.

For what it’s worth, I was only looking at titles won. I agree that he’s competed better tournament to tournament this year than in 2008, but to consider an extreme example, people aren’t remembered as great if, say, they make the SFs or finals of every tournament but lose them all. Surely, this isn’t happening to Novak, nor am I suggesting it will, but the W’s are what count most, I think. I hope he can rebound and compete well this summer.


Robert Says:

INACCURATE GARBAGE all over the place in these comments. First I wish to address the notion that Nadal “is on a decline”. Lets see, his biggest loses off of clay in the past 18 months were to Djokovic who was playing at a level that may never be seen in tennis again, and despite the extraordinary level Novak was playing at Rafa was clearly #2 to him. Last time I checked Rafa had reached 5 consecutive grand slam finals before the shocking upset at Wimbledon. As a previous post already pointed out he hasn’t won on a different surface other than clay since 2010 because of NOVAK. He is NOT on a decline, count him out at your own peril.

As for FED being #1 it is well deserved. However, if you are breaking down the specific reason he is #1 the Tour Finals are clearly the reason why. He will have those 1500 points on his record to the very end of the season and therefore he will remain in the driver’s seat. Its foolish to me to say he simply won Wimbledon just because the roof was closed, however it did play a significant factor in the final outcome.

As for the rubbish in the article stating that Novak/Rafa are not as motivated to be at the top as FED is insulting drivel. Both of those men are great champions whose results speak for themselves, just because of early losses late in a year and a slight loss of form they are all of a sudden not motivated? Really?


Brando Says:

Novak’s results in 2008 till wimby:

1- AO: W
2- Dubai: SF
3- IW: W
4- MI: R2
5- MC: SF
6- Rome: W
7- Hamburg: SF (3 sets loss to rafa)
8- FO: SF (best result against rafa by ANYONE in that tourny)
9- Queens: RU
10- Wimby: R2

In summary: 3 titles, 1 RU, 4 SF, 2 R2 exits!

Novak’s results so far this year:

1- AO: W
2- Dubai: SF
3- IW: SF
4- MI: W
5- MC: RU
6- Madrid: QTR
7- Rome: RU
8- FO: RU
9- Wimby: SF

In summary: 2 titles, 3 RU, 3SF, and 1 QTRS.

Which years better?

IMHO 2008.


Tumi Says:

Great commentary by mind reels_people seem to forget that it was 1 set all and 1-1 when the rain came down plus fed’s ball striking already improved when he served 1st in the 3rd set. I don’t understand how people think fed needs the assistance of a roof-@ us open he won 5 consecutive titles,lost 2 delpo the next year in the final then lost 2 consecutive finals to nole after holding match 2 match points in each,its not like novak outplayed him in both contrary to the implications on these threads.


Tumi Says:

I meant semi-finals against nole earlier.


Nina Says:

There is something innerently wrong with this article. It was expected the overhype of Federer (not want to take anything from him obviously as he is the deserving number 1 and he impressively won Wimbledon) BUT people forget too easily several facts:

* Federer could have easily lost to Benneateau. He was on the brink of losing that day. What would have happened then? I already could hear the cries of “Federer will never win a slam again”, “he should retire”, etc. Let’s put things in perspective please. It was over the top to think like that as it’s over the top to think now that he will dominate the future slams.

* I don’t think Djokovic lacks motivation though I agree he’s not going through his best moment right now. But if we take 2011 as his best moment it’s absurd to expect him to do the same in 2012, isn’t it? That was a freak year. I hope he can do it again, but I doubt it. But STILL he made finals or semifinals in every tournament. Yes, he has only won 2 but he has been in the mix for winning the others too. Just like Federer, being in position to win the slams means that eventually he will win one, same for Murray.

* People read too many things into Federer’s victory over Djokovic. People forget Nole had beaten Fed not very long ago in straight sets in Rome and FO. People said Federer would never beat Djoker again. Obviously it’s absurd to think like that. As it is absurd to think that Federer has the upper hand in the rivalry just because he beat Nole in semifinals.

* Rafa, despite his knees, has kept on winning slams and is always there. I don’t think he will be troubled by that. He has proved many times that he always bounces back. He just won RG people! he made the last 5 Slam finals! How can people think he is in decline? Those are the same that not so long ago said Federer was over!

It’s just funny to see how people overreact on results. Most probably these four players will exchange slams in the following two years. It won’t be a total domination by just one like recent years. It probably will be a more equal distribution of results. And that is definitely good for tennis and the fans.


jane Says:

Why is 2008 better Brando, because he had one more title? He did win Rome, but both Rafa and Fed lost early. This year, he made all clay finals and lost only to the King of clay. In slams and MS, Nole has exceeded his results from 2008, and he scheduled smarter by cutting out the 250 events like Marseille and Queens. He can add those, and a 500, at the end of the year. In 2008 he was a clearly less consistent player, having shocking losses at Miami and Wimbledon. This year, there has been none of that. This year is better in terms of consistency, playing all finals in clay season – except Madrid – so finishing second only to Rafa on clay, and going deeper at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon than in 2008. The only argument that would make 2008 better is Rome, but in my opinion, losing in early rounds at Miami and Wimbledon were worse, than ONLY reaching the finals of Rome this year.


the mind reels Says:

@Robert (and I don’t really mean to single you out, as others I think are also sometimes guilty of this): calm down a little, bud. The article above — an opinion piece (as most are on this site) written by Sean in the first person — states that Sean *isn’t convinced himself* that Djokovic and Nadal are motivated enough to maintain the #1 ranking. He says twice: “I don’t know.” I didn’t read anywhere Sean proclaiming that, after discussing it with both Novak and Rafa, he has announced that they, fact, aren’t motivated. You can and should disagree with Sean on this point, but don’t rip him apart for stating his opinion.

As for Nadal, Sean actually says that he thinks Nadal *is* motivated: “As for Nadal, Rafa we know he puts the work the in. He wants it.” That sounds like an admission of Rafa’s motivation to me. Yes, he questions Nadal’s ability to stay healthy, as many (including Nadal fans) do, but that’s because health has been a big issue in Nadal’s career.


Naidu Says:

Nice Article..Very good indeed.


Brando Says:

@Jane:

‘Why is it better?’

FIRST & FOREMOST- the start of year till wimby part is what i am looking at. Reasons:

1- Titles: Ultimately THIS is what it is all about. the additional rome title is HUGE in my eyes. For example, i think rafa has had a better year this year so far in comparison to last (as a fan of his) since he is PLUS ONE on trophies won so far part.

2- Clay swing RU: this year he has had 2 MORE RU- all on clay. In 2008, he lost to rafa at SF in FO and hamburg- where he really pushed him- IF he were no.2 seed, he MAY had RU finishes in those tournys also. Basically same problem- rafa, earlier loss is more of a seeding by product as he could ONLY meet rafa at that point.

3- Worst losses: BAR MIAMI, he was really consistent. Yes, he lost in R2 at wimby, BUT people forget that he faced 2 times GS champion, SF in THAT tourny, the highly talented MARAT SAFIN. so it was SHEER BAD LUCK. For me, that result deserves more of an asterisk than say his rome win- i mean just because rafa or fed lost early doesn’t really take away from his win in my eyes. A WIN IS A WIN. whereas losing in R2 is a very bad result, BUT facing a ‘on’ marat safin IS VERY BAD LUCK!

4- Overall picture: 2008 was a breakthrough year, where he was on the rise, VERY CLOSE to getting no.2 ranking at hamburg etc. In 2012, the trajectory is slightly downwards, unfairly or not.

Long story short, in 2008 he was making some real waves, so far this year, he has won the matches he was expected to do so, and reached the stages he was expected to reach as a minimum considering that he was WORLD NO.1.


Sienna Says:

Roberto,
Rafa is definitely in decline how else can he lose to #100 in second round?
he just cannot cope anymore with the big guns on the swift courts .
He has chosen this year to make a safe haven in RG. and that is why he was able to win a slam. He added more power on his racquet. So his focus is on the wrong thing. It is these kind of Failure that strengthens the decline he is in.


Jess Says:

I’m having a good chuckle at all the absolutely definitive statements I’ve read here, esp. Jamie’s many authoritative assertions about the roof determining every outcome. (This quote comes to mind: “Full of sound and fury signifying nothing”…) Yep, that lucky Fed, never been known to scrape out a big win in the great outdoors.

Would love to have heard what these armchair wizards were pontificating about going into Wimbledon. How ’bout it, Jamie, what was your oh-so-authoritative Wimbledon prediction, and how’d that turn out for ya?


RZ Says:

Jane, re: my comment about Djokovic and the week-in/week-out grind, I meant through the Year-End Championships. Nole did fantastic through in 2011 from the beginning of the year through the U.S. Open but it was after that when he faded in the last 2 months of the season because his body and possibly his mind too were fatigued. I think he’ll do a better job this year and future years in managing his schedule and training to keep up the wins in September, October, and November.


lacapra Says:

this article basically says, “nothing special by roger here…novak just didnt want it that much and rafa was tired/injured.” its not like other players, like a berdych or a tsonga could have any impact, noooo, all roger had to do was fiddle with his schedule and no. 1 was his…wonder why he hasnt been doing this since 2008!


Sienna Says:

Well that are you people talking about? Novak was lucky! Ho you call Fed losing in semi against Safin? or twice with MP against Djoker or against Delpo or …. He could have already 20+ slams .
Is that how this game works? Just name all the though close loses your guy shouldnt have had .
Stupid game and That will also be won by Federer.


Nina Says:

Sienna calm down, we are trying to have an adult discussion here. No one is saying Fed won because of luck, he just won because he was the best in that tournament. Period.


Dave Says:

Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writer, The Times of London:

“Can’t blame a guy for coming second to the greatest tennis player of all time.

AH, well. Maybe we’ll get another chance in 74 years. And there was a long, lovely moment when it even seemed possible.

But then the tears fell like rain and the rain fell like tears, and on the opposite side of the net there was a man playing tennis much in the way that God does when He brings His A-game.

Andy Murray was the first British man to reach a Wimbledon singles final for 74 years but, alas, he is not the first British male winner for 76 years – Lord, those finalists and those winners came past like buses in those days.

Roger Federer won 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 to take his 17th grand-slam title. Murray’s first will have to wait a little longer.

“I’m getting closer,” he told Sue Barker on Centre Court before tears overwhelmed him, before tears overwhelmed his supporters and family and lover, before tears overwhelmed a good half the people on the court.

I’ll not start finding him excuses: he was beaten by a better player. But I’m not putting defeat down to a failure of character: I can’t find it in my heart to blame a guy for coming second to the greatest tennis player that ever swung a racquet.

That’s the way of it in these grand-slam tournaments: you do something great and then you’re asked to do something even harder, and half the people will call you a weakling if you fail. We’ll steer clear of that and celebrate a great achievement in reaching the final, and celebrate a near-miss from a person whose dedication to self-improvement is almost frightening.

Murray has become a reckless spendthrift of himself in his efforts to do that elusive, that impossible, that glorious thing and win one of those huge tournaments. He is doing so having made a major error in being born at the time he was, a time when three players of undisputed all-time greatness are all plying their trade.

Murray remains the fourth among equals, for he was certainly Federer’s equal, if not his better early in the match with an I’m-in-dreamland break of serve in the very first game.

He and Federer are in love with the art of the rally. They adore long, subtle, clever points, prolonged discussion, the searching out of weakness and then the kill-shot or the one that draws error.

Murray exalts in the artistry as Federer does, and although he was broken back, he broke again. But this time he let artistry go hang for a moment and drilled a volley straight at Federer.

Murray showed us several big things. The love of the rally. The ability to avoid those orgies of self-hate. A killer backhand cross-court. A second serve that’s the most improved shot on the tennis circuit. Oh, and cojones.

Pushed and pushed on his own serve in that first set, he played a colossal game. He’d have buckled there last year but not this. Oh, there were a couple of shots he’d want back.

He might have squeaked that second set, he really might. He hit a wild untamed backhand on a break-point — a shot that could have given him the set. As it was, Federer seized on an error or two and shaded it.

Small margins, but that’s the way it is when you play sport at this dizzying level of brilliance. Dark metaphors were gathering overhead with dreadful inevitability. The Centre Court has a roof to deal with such emergencies but Murray was out there unprotected.

So the rain came. These delays can shift the mood and flow. Playing the rain is one of the core Wimbledon skills, and Federer played it like a master.

It’s not weakness to fail when confronted with such brilliance. Murray almost didn’t. He played a titanic defence of his serve in the third set, a game that lasted for 10 deuces in which he saved five break points. It was the sixth what did him, and it was a killer. After that, it was plucky Brit time.

Alas poor Andy. Back in his chair, sadly letting his hi-tech Excalibur drop from his hands. He’d given us the lot. And maybe it won’t be 74 years. Maybe it will only be 73 this time.

Or as Sally Bowles sang in Cabaret: “It’s got to happen, happen sometime.”

Perhaps Muzza sings it in the bath.”

[Note: The article originally appeared in the London Times.]
http://tinyurl.com/7ufqdsa


jane Says:

Nole lost to Safin in 08, but Safin never really did well at Wimbledon. Compare that to his only losses at slams this year: to Rafa at Roland Garros (7 times titleist) and Federer at Wimbledon (7 times titleist). Essentially that’s like losing to Borg at the FO and Sampras at Wimbledon. Personally, I think this year has been better than 08.


Nina Says:

It doesn’t matter Jane, the season is far from over! Nole could still win USO and the WTF and then his season could be equally spectacular.

Pundits and fans are generally resultadists, which means that they only take into account the most recent wins and overlook the whole season. I personally think Nole played his best game this year in Wimbledon. His game was finally clicking and he looked solid, relaxed and comfortable on the court. He dominated all his rivals with no trouble. He only lost to Roger, the best grass courter of all time, who had a great end of the tournament playing his best tennis. Admittely Nole played an average match against Roger and he looked dispirited and fatigued, could be due to many reasons. He also said he had a cold. Anyway, not trying to find excuses, just ponder why I think his season has been great by any standards.


Sienna Says:

Nina Says:
Sienna calm down, we are trying to have an adult discussion here. No one is saying Fed won because of luck, he just won because he was the best in that tournament. Period.

July 10th, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I am just asking how it works calling defeats of Novak hard done by<
Nobody ever wins a slam for free.
And when you lose in 2round you were just not so good s you thought you were.

Ithink if Fed wins 20 slamsbefore his time is up I hold his 23 semis and 33 1/4 CONSECUTIVE to be his #1 feat. Those numbers are mindblowing and put him on the GOAT thrown.
Not winning his 17th yes for you the doubters butfor me it is his record of always playing the slams into the seconde week.
Nobody not even Rod Laver has done that.


jane Says:

Nina, “resultadists,” ha ha funny word. Yeah, you’re right. I am content with Nole’s season overall. Sure, it would’ve been great if he had got to the Wimbledon finals again – that would’ve been his 5th slam final in a row, but it wasn’t to be. The truth is, no one has defended their Wimbledon title since Roger in 2007. It is 5 years since anyone defended that title. Meanwhile, Nole defended AO and Rafa defended FO, so they have had solid results imo. As for the USO, it’s the same – no one has defended it since Roger in 2008; then it went to Delpo, Rafa and finally Nole. It’ll be interesting to see what happens there this year.


SG1 Says:

I do not believe that Rafa is in decline. He’s still in his prime. Many a great player has lost in an early round. Rafa (like Roger) has built some much expectation because of his slam consistency that now, if he loses a match he shouldn’t, he’s in “decline”. I doubt that if Rosol played him another 20 times that he could beat him. Lightning in a bottle. That’s all it was.


The Great Davy Says:

Tennis-X,

Shhh, quiet now. I do not want people to find my secret of becoming number 3 in whole world… ehem I mean

ALL SHALL BOW TOWN TO YOUR GREAT DAVY!


SG1 Says:

As for Novak, he’s had a good year. Any time you win a major (and you’re in the final of another), you’ve had a very good year. I believe Novak will be in the finals as the USO duking it out for another slam. He’s still the best hard courter in the world. There will be some motivation here for both Rafa and Novak. Lose at the USO and it’s five months to the next major. I actually expect Andy Murray to have a good USO as well. Don’t think he’ll win it, but I think he’ll be around late in week 2. At that point anything can happen. Hopefully DelPo can make another nice run in NY as well.


Nina Says:

Sienna, point taken. Roger is the GOAT.

Jane, I know, it’s really difficult to defend Wimbledon or any other slam for that matter. These three top players have spoiled us I believe. They make us believe that winning a slam is pretty average, winning 2 is the norm and winning 3 in a row is not even shocking, lol. Such high quality tennis, it’s mind-blowing.

There is a very interesting article here rating the current Top 3 as the closest tennis has come to perfection and with stats to prove it!

http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2012/02/13/exclusive-djokovic-nadal-federer-as-close-to-perfection-as-tennis-has-ever-been-130201/


Dan Martin Says:

I agree, but I think Roger has played awfully well too. Basel and Dubai are each 500 level events so they are not chopped liver. Rotterdam is indeed a 250 event & Fed leads by 75 over Nole so Rotterdam (or the blue clay that hit Nole) could be credited with Roger’s leap to #1. However, Federer is the reigning Wimbledon champion, WTF champion (1600 points) & holds 3 Masters 1000 events in the past 52 weeks. His slam record over 52 weeks is 22-3. Nole holds 2 slams, 2 masters 1000 events & a 25-2 slam record over the past 52 weeks. Rafa over the past 52 weeks holds 1 slam, 2 Masters 1000 wins and Barcelona (500 points). His slam record for 52 weeks is 20-3 (2 wins less than Roger’s slam record). If someone asked me who is the best player in the world, I’d say Nole, but Federer being the reigning champion at 8 tournaments (5 worth 1000 or more points) over the past 52 weeks and doing no worse than the semis at the past 4 majors makes him a reasonable holder of the computer points lead. Now, had he won Halle he’d have a 175 point lead & be reigning at 9 events over the past 52 weeks. Darn you Tommy Haas!!!


Dan Martin Says:

Nole’s 2012 has been better than his 2008 imho. As Jane said, he lost to two great champions at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Throw in winning an all time epic semifinal and final at the Australian Open this year and reaching his first ever French Open final, and I think it is case closed. Besides his Wimbledon result in 2012 is way ahead of what it was in 2008. Now, he did win the WTF in 08 and a Bronze medal so if he finishes in a whimper their might be a debate. Still, I think he medals again in 2012 and is the favorite headed to NY.


Brando Says:

@Dan:

‘Still, I think he medals again in 2012 and is the favorite headed to NY.’

There are 3 medals at olympics, so the chance of securing a medal are PRETTY HIGH.

Favourite at USO? DEPENDS on how he does prior to it, the momentum he’s gathered. BUT fact is since the start of 2011 in OUTDOOR HARD COURTS IN SLAMS AND MS HIS RESULTS ARE THE FOLLOWING:

- SLAMS:

1- AO 11′: W
2- USO 11′: W
3- AO 12′: W

- MS:

1- IW 11′:W
2- MI 11′: W
3- MONTREAL 11′: W
4- CINCY 11′: RU (Retired hurt)
5- IW 12′: SF (lost a tight 3 setter to isner)
6: MI 12′: W

So BAR cincy and IW this year EVERYTIME he has played in a MS or slam outdoor HC he has WON.

the 2 losses he has had include a RU in which he RETIRED HURT, and a VERY CLOSE 3 SETTER at IW. And we know slam are 5 SETTERS!

Just based on these FACTS- he probably is the SOLID FAVOURITE FOR USO!


Chris Ford Says:

I think Nole is the best all around player right now. Federer in his prime was better than Nole on all surfaces, but even while incredible and winning right now…this isn’t the Federer of 2007.
As for Fed making it a super-high priority to stay #1 or be number one at years end – I don’t think so. But if Federer is still feeling great, gets a 1000 ATP title and some other big win – Olympics, US Open, or is close at the start of the ATP Finals…maybe it will become a big thing on his radar.

The big satisfaction was winning Wimbledon and by doing so matching Pete AND beating Pete in weeks at Number 1. And NOBODY is looking like they will come close to Pete or Rogers cumulative time there in the years to come.


Ben Pronin Says:

How is there even remotely a debate about 2008 Novak vs 2012 Novak? Title-wise maybe, but Novak also has 2 finals in the clay court Masters plus better results at both RG and Wimbledon. Even if he doesn’t medal, I’m sure he’ll win a few more titles by the end of the year. And I agree with Brando and Dan, he’s the favorite for the US Open. Not by much, but he’s still better on hard than everyone except maybe Federer on his best day.


Brando Says:

yes it will be interesting to see what POST OLYMPICS, roger goal/ aim is- most likely going for another USO!


Dan Martin Says:

Federer could get 6 years finished at #1 and that would tie another Sampras record. Still, I doubt Roger kills himself to try to finish #1. He has a ton of points to defend after the USO so Roger will have to do well between now and the end of the USO to even consider chasing #1 for the year.


Dave Says:

Federer’s scheduling smarts is a secondary factor to his success. First, it does take much intelligence for Nadal’s team and Djokovic’s team to plan the best possible schedule for them. It’s not rocket science. Second, the best scheduling in the world won’t help Nadal/Djokovic if they are unable or unwilling to extract the maximum points from their schedule.

In the past 52 weeks, all top three players have played 16 to 17 tournaments each. But now look at the results each of these players achieved from basically the same number of events: Federer is 72-9 (8 titles from 17 tournaments), Djokovic is 63-12 (4 titles from 16 tournaments) and Nadal is 59-13 (4 titles from 17 tournaments). All three players have played about the same number of events but given Djokovic’s record in the grand slams (which gives him a massive amount of ranking points) he obviously squandered a large amount of potential points outside the slams.

So it’s really very simple: Djokovic and Nadal are losing more matches than Federer. You have to scratch your head when you find out some of the players and the rounds that Djokovic and Nadal lost in the past year.

[Actually, it is not surprising. Only four players have had the ability to win over 90% of their matches in multiple seasons: Federer, Lendl, Borg and Connors. My theory is that players like Nadal and Djokovic would burnout and suffer injuries if they tried to keep winning so much.]

On the other hand, even at 30+ years Federer will try to find a way to win matches, even when he is not 100% or distracted. This year Federer had a back injury at Doha; a flu at Indian Wells; Nadal’s public resignation at Miami; a hip injury at Madrid which affected him throughout the clay season; a nagging cold from his French Open semifinal with Djokovic to his matches at Halle; a back injury in the middle of Wimbledon. He did not quit or seek sympathy, but gutted it out to win whatever he could.

The primary reason for Federer’s success is that he is the greatest winning machine in tennis history. Federer has the capability to win on all surfaces, all conditions and in all quarters of the year — even when he is not feeling 100%. E.g., even on clay this year, despite skipping Monte Carlo, Federer still earned 2,080 points to Djokovic’s 2,580 including Monte Carlo.

This winning ability gives Federer the flexibility to schedule a bunch of tournaments, efficiently win as much ranking points as he can from those events, and then to rest whenever he needs.

Federer’s points have come because he wins more and goes deeper into more tournaments than do Djokovic and Nadal. Federer rarely loses before the semifinals or lose to players ranked outside than top 19. When Federer plays an event he does what players are supposed to do – win as many matches and points as possible. He does not show up at lesser events like Rotterdam or Basel or Dubai just to collect $1.5 million appearance fees, which is what other top players seem to do sometimes (except for Djokovic’s January to September last year, they are saving most of their energy for the slams).

*****

I’ll repeat what I had posted last November in Sean’s blog “Roger Federer: GOAT Of Scheduling?”:

“Smart scheduling does not — by itself — explain Federer’s track record in playing so many matches in one season.

In 2006, Federer played 97 matches in 17 tournaments.

However, it was more like playing 104 matches under today’s tournament conditions — another extra 7 matches or an extra grand slam tournament.

- First, Federer won 3 tournaments (Canada, Madrid, Basel) that required the top players to play 6 rounds in 2006, while today those same events require 5 rounds. That’s like playing an extra 3 matches.

- Second, furthermore Federer played 7 finals that required best of 5 sets (24 sets total in finals at IW, Miami, Monte Carlo [4], Rome [5], Madrid, Basel, WTF)), while today these events are all best of 3 set finals. That’s like playing another 4 matches.

If Nadal, Djokovic and Murray had to play tennis under 2006 conditions (best of 5 set finals, 6 rounds in many non-GS events), would it have affected their overall performance throughout the season? In 2006, events like Barcelona had best of 5 set finals and the Masters 1000 events required 6 rounds. Already Djokovic’s body and motivation is breaking down after only 73 matches. Nadal’s body breaks down or he burns out at some point every season. Even under today’s tournament conditions.”


Dave Says:

It’s a good probability that Federer will end the Year No. 1. Federer knows he has only 990 points to defend while Djokovic has 3,600 from Canada, Cincinnati to US Open. Plus the Olympic gives 750 additional points to the winner. He has a good chance to leave the US Open with a 1,000 to 1,500 point lead over Djokovic (possibly more if he wins the US Open). But that’s on the 52 week rolling rankings.

More important for the Year End Rankings is the Year-To-Date Rankings: right now, Federer is 245 points ahead of Novak and 290 points ahead of Nadal.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/YTD-Singles.aspx

Federer has a chance to finish the US Open with an 500 to 1,000 YEAR-TO-DATE ranking point lead over the best of Djokovic/Nadal. I think Fed will go all out at the Olympics, Cincinnati and US Open (unfortunately Canada is the week after Olympics so the top Olympic players will be prone to upsets from lack of hardcourt practice). I think this summer will see players like Murray, Delpo, Berdych, Raonic and a few others playing the role of giant killers against the big three — and the US Open might be won by someone other than the big three (as I suggested before: four slams, four different players).

After the US Open, Federer also has the flexibility to add Tokyo/Beijing and Shanghai to his schedule if he needs the points against Djokovic or Nadal (e.g., if one of them is is within 500 points of him). And his final thrust will be Basel-Paris-World Tour Finals. As long as he does not waste his time and body in Davis Cup, he should be able to handle this schedule. I think Federer will do whatever is necessary to achieve the Year End No. 1 — unless his body is injured.


Dan Martin Says:

Dave, interesting point about the 6 matches vs 5 matches and best 3 of 5 championship matches. The Madrid results to my mind were pivotal. It is not Nole’s job to protect Sampras’ records so I am not saying that Novak should have tried to gut out another round or two in Madrid.


Nina Says:

It’s so funny how Fedfans are always feel the need to project Federer above anyone else comparing him with them all the time. Federer in his prime was superior to X player in is prime and blah blah blah… We don’t need to be reminded about this all the time ad nauseatum, we know Federer is the greatest player ever but why do we have to always have the other players be compared to him? It’s really annoying and unfair to other fandoms. I don’t care if Roger has 16 slams or if he’s the Goat, those debates bore me to no end. Each champion is great by his own merits and doesn’t need to be compared to anyone else. Djokovic and Nadal have earned their place in history by their own rights.


Possum Says:

How important is the #1 ranking anyway? When a player hangs up his racquet, the key stat is how many slams he’s won. The top ranking status can be exaggerated. Pat Rafter was #1 for 5 minutes and here in Aus whenever his name is mentioned it is preceded with the clause, ‘former world number one…’


Eric Says:

Possum, well it’s pretty important when you’re breaking the record for most time spent at #1, at least IMO.

The slams are most important, not the only important, thing in tennis.


tfouto Says:

Possum you can’t justify that #1 time is not important with Pat Rafter. That’s a little reducionist. Just a little…


Kimberly Says:

I knew federer could get another slam. He was clearly contending in every tournament he played and a bit unlucky in a few. But I was skeptical about number 1 for sure . Now reading Dave’s posts he has a legitimate shot of ending the year number one although I would say djokovic is the front runner. My boy the least likely, what should be more interesting is the challenge he poses will force Nadal and Djokovic to put some serious effort into the post USO season which at least Nadal has not done in the past and Djokovic certainy did not do the last two years.


slicer Says:

What´s all this roof talk? It seems completely exaggerated to claim that Federer somehow must have a roof to win. What he needs is confidence, which he now has, and a high first serve percentage. He won Wimbledon because he played at a higher pace with more aggression than any of his rivals. It has nothing to do with the darn roof. In fact, he plays better in extremely windy conditions than most other players.


Lisa Says:

There’s no stoping Federer now….

I think his more motivated then ever(confidence wise) to find that missing/elusive….’Olympic Gold Medal’….

If he has any better chance at the Olympics….it’s now or never….

But I think it’s quite strange that Roger have do it here again at this very vanue (Wimbledon)….

But again, this can also prove to be ‘Redemption’ for Murray, Rafa or Djokovic….

But if Murray can win GOLD!…..WOW!….Imagine that!

I hope I dont jinx him though….

C’mon!….Bring on the Olympic!!


Kimberly Says:

Slicer, fed uses a smaller racket head then the others, less forgiving for interference of the elements. Also seems to help his timing, probably related to the racket, no shanks when the elements are removed. So it helps him but not that much, as someone else said, he won several outdoor titles, and indian wells was very windy when he played nadal. But I think the smaller racket head plus the elements is not as favorable as indoors,


Eric Says:

Kimberly, I agree that Djokovic is the front runner because right now Fed has the slimmest of leads pointswise and Djokovic should (will) do better at the WTF/YEC/whatever it’s called now. On the other hand, Federer is actually FURTHER ahead in the year-to-date points race than he is in the overall rankings — which means he might well also be considered the favorite for the year-end no. 1 spot, too. I suspect it will come down to the USO semifinals, with the added Olympic twist thrown in.


Eric Says:

Djokovic should do better than last year, I mean – not necessarily better than Fed.


skeezer Says:

Nina,

Rafa fanatic fans it always seems they need reminding, rarely the Nole fans. Why? Well…. Nole fans feel secure with there man, Rafantic fans are Insecure. Why? Good question. Real Fed fans are just defenders of THE well earned Crown, nothing more. When it gets ridicuoled, they bite back, and rightly so.


The Great Davy Says:

Nadal better stop scratching his head, he is already balding did you know. I know, trusting me. I am experience. I used to scratch my head at Fed and look at me now!


Alok Says:

@andrea Says:
“why all of a sudden is a roof part of the equation for players doing well or not well? this debate seemed to crop out of nowhere, now fueled by practically everyone.”

I’m asking myself the same question. The guy’s won 6 Wimby titles outdoors and only this one with the roof closed. So why all this talk of the roof? Murray has played under the roof many times and is a good indoors player.

I read somewhere else a Murray fan saying all Fed fans should now lobby for a roof at RG. Sour grapes can cause a stomach ache peeps.

According to some. Rog would never get the No. 1 ranking had it not been for the blue clay and the Wimby roof. Get a grip peeps and deal with Roger’s success. Remember he’s an old man who shouldn’t be winning anything.


skeezer Says:

@alok

Shaammooon! ;)


Alok Says:

I see the new name for Madrid is blue clay,

e.g., “The only event this year in which he lost before the semis was blue clay (QFs). He made the finals of all other clay events losing only to Rafa in all three of them (MC, Rome and RG). ”

Another, “His losses this season haven’t been bad ones; who has he lost to? Murray @ Dubai, a hot Isner @ IW, and 3 clay court losses – all in finals – to Rafa, and Fed @ Wimbledon. (oh plus Tipsy on blue clay).”

I wonder if Novak had won the blue clay title, if it would have been referred to by it’s correct name, Madrid?. Remember peeps, sour grapes will cause a stomach ache.

Why? Is this


Alok Says:

@skeezer, You a MJ fan?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Sean misses the point. For years, we were told Federer was the smarter scheduler than his rivals as he took more breaks and more risk to his ranking to maintain his health. This year, apparently Federer is smarter for taking more tournaments?
In fact, the story never really tries to prove the argument it makes, because the main facts brought up are the tournaments where Federer has gained ranking points, and the vast vast bulk of these have come at tournaments where his rivals also competed, but faltered.
Yes, Federer added a couple small tournaments this year to boost his shot at returning to #1, but Rafa and Nole haven’t been getting lazy. Look how many points Fed passed up with his abbreviated clay season while Rafa was racking up points even at smaller tournaments.

Scheduling is a small piece of the bigger picture. Federer has been more consistently good or great at more tournaments. Sometimes his opponents have been absent due to injury, sometimes they’ve played under less than ideal mental or physical conditions, and sometimes they just lost. But since the USO, Federer has been the strong man of the tour.
Does this mean he will win more slams, beat Nole or Rafa more often in those big moments? Who knows? But Federer is ranked #1 because he plays more tournaments WELL, not because he plays more tournaments.


Michael Says:

This is another aspect of the Greatness of Roger -right scheduling. Roger is an expert in that. I do not agree with Sean that Roger became No.1 with just one Slam. He is being rewarded for his consistency over the year. He has already won 2 Master titles, 2 500 ATP tournamnets and Wimbledon. He was semi at the French. Therefore he has been rewarded for his performance. On the other hand what is Novak and Nadal’s record ??? They do not look impressive except for Nadal who excelled in the clay court season. But even there, Roger won the Madrid. So it was not a complete victory for Nadal even at Clay. Roger has not become No.1 like Wozniacki. He has won the Premier event in Tennis and according to me Wimbledon is the most prestigious and must be rewarded more points than other majors.


Michael Says:

It is a big shame to these young guns that a veteran at 31 years old is the new No.1. I do not think there is bigger shame than this.


Michael Says:

I think this is the best chance for Roger to win the elusive Olympic Gold. One of the prized possession that is missing in his grand collection so far. This time this is happenning on Grass which plays to the strength of Roger. It is three sets till the finals and therefore the courts will not be subjected to more wear and tear as they become when it is five sets. This will mean the grass stays on the court and it will play fast. And we know on faster courts, Roger is a different player altogether and these young guns will never be a match for him. Therefore, I believe this is the right time for Roger to win that elusive Gold for his Country.


Michael Says:

Dave @ 7.07 PM – Great post. Nice reading.


Michael Says:

Some Federer haters say that Roger won since the roof was on. Whatever may be the merit of this bizarre argument, with all things being even, the conditions are quite the same for both the players. Infact the closed roof is the best condition to play Tennis as the quality of play will not be susceptible to the environment outside. Roger beat Novak the World No.1 and then Andy Murray back-to-back. Although my sympathies are with Murray, he had everything going for him. Right from the mad spectator support,Roger’s age factor and his suspect back problem etc. etc. But with all these advantages, he was still not able to make it. This means Roger played Tennis at another level which is not reachable for these so-called young guns. This is just enough to explain the so-called weak era argument.


Eric Says:

Nice take, as usual, from the New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/sportingscene/2012/07/legacy-match-at-wimbledon.html

“Few things shift quicker than legacies. Three years ago, Tiger Woods was the greatest golfer in history. Now he’s a very good golfer with a sex addiction. A month ago, LeBron James was a spectacularly talented player whose hubris, the thinking went, might prevent him from winning a championship, or at least as many as he thought. After four relatively easy victories, we can only wonder how many titles might he win. Is infinite a possibility? And, just last week, Roger Federer was over the hill, within a few points of being out of Wimbledon, his fans reduced to wishing ill upon opponents. Today we act like we knew his latest victory was coming all along.”

etc.


Ray Says:

Rafa/nole cannot defend no.1 well, because they are grinders who can never play a complete season. These guys can hardly play 80 matches a season without whining (mostly nadal)

federer’s game is just super efficient and clinical.

I hope djokovic realises that stupid defensive grinding style will not keep you @ top long enough. He needs to always be aggressive and keep points short to dominate the tour for 3-4 years!

Like most people, I think fedkovic are the favorites @ USO! They will most likely be 1/2 in rankings and rafa will have to go through both of them to win and i dont think he has ever done that in his career, outside clay!


Stella Says:

Fact: Federer won Wimbledon 2012 and in now the new world #1.

Fact: The Olympics are next!

Good luck to all!


steve-o Says:

Best of three is tricky, especially on grass. The difference between losing to Haas and beating Benneteau was that Halle is best of three and Wimbledon is best of five. Literally one point can decide a best-of-three match on grass.

It’s nice to have what amounts to an extra grass-court tournament, and it’s interesting that it takes place after the biggest grass court event of the year.

Clearly Federer will have a lot of momentum; Nadal will magically be physically imposing again, and I don’t know how Djokovic and Murray will fare.

I don’t really like the emphasis on the Olympics as a personal accomplishment. You play for your country, not to put another feather in your own cap. That’s why the Federer/Wawrinka gold medal in doubles means as much as any medal in singles.

Of course, I’m rooting for Roger, not because of any love for Switzerland but because I want to see him win. So I guess I’m sort of breaking my own rule. Oh well.


metan Says:

@skeezer,
Rafafanatic doesn’t need your reminder, wiki is enough no, and we don’t have insecurity, we have FAITH N BELIEVE to Rafa Vamos.

Roger fanatic must rewrite all his statistics coz they FREAK OUT some one soon or later will run over it no!

Go n enjoy your party before your king will be flatten in olympic,,,,


Vivek Says:

Its awesome to see Fed win Wimbledon. What a season it will be for him if he retains his confidence and plays his backhand aggressively and serve as well as he did against Murray. Hope he starts of all his match with full flight during Olympics..


Michael Says:

Very good article!

It is interesting that his choice to play Rotterdam which he has not done for quite some time gives him the #1 ranking for most likely the rest of the summer. Djokovic has to defend 3,600 points through the USO, Federer only 990 points, therefore Federer will need to use this opportunity to extend his lead because if Djokovic decides he wants the end of year #1 then Roger will have a lot of pressure defending Basel, Paris and WTF for which accounts for 3,000 points.
I never expect much from Rafa after Wimbledon because his team seems to lower their expectations and minimize his playing time due to the season moving to all hard courts for the rest of the year. Other than USO you never see him compete at a high level for any tournament after Wimbledon. USO should determine a lot for end of year #1 as Fed-Djok matches have been fantastic the last 2 years there.


nick Says:

sorry i wasnt as thourough as i could be, when people continously go on about nadal not winning more slams off clay and that if he doesnt soon he will end up being just a one horse race. Sorry but rod laver who some consider to be one of the greatest players the sport has seen, completed his grandslams winning on the same surfaces and yet he isnt regarded as just a one horse race, aggassi one only eight grandslams winning only one wimbledon and one french open does anyone hold him in any less regard. Or john mcenroe he only won us open and wimbledon does any one hold him and less no. Nadal has won wimbledon twice, aussie open once runner up and us open and runner up once he has reached wimbeldon final five times runner up three times am sorry but where does that make him any less of a legend player he also holds eleven majors twenty one masters titles davis cup medals and has been world number one twice in his career so am sorry people but get a lttle annoyed when all you ever here is this guy is any less a great player am sorry but nadal is a legend especially as he has over taken borg on clay and twice has won wimbledon and roland garros back to back even fed only managed that once. Both nadal and fed are legens but i still consider both men the goat of tennis and like nadal keeps saying lets value there status when they are retired and watching tennis from the stands Vamos nadal keep proving them all wrong please amazing player that you are


Mark Says:

@ nick. Great post. Did you forget the Olympic Gold?


Michael Says:

Nick,

Sorry to disappoint you. Do not put Roger and Nadal on the same plane. Any day 17>11.

WTF = 6>0

Roger = All time GOAT
Nadal = All time Great

Matter ends !!


skeezer Says:

@alok

Yes! You know it! Who’s Bad?

@metan

There are Rafa fans (like you) and Rafa fanatics (not you).


Michael Says:

Mark,

When even your own idol Nadal has admitted that Roger is the GOAT, what is the problem with guys like you ???


jake Says:

@nick well said mate.rafa is no lesser great than Roger or rod laver.many so called greats couldn’t win atleast one french open that means french is the most difficult of all four grandslams.if we take history roland garros is won 5 or more times only by two players in the world where as Wimbledon by a total of 6 players.that explains how great rafa is.the difficult feet in the all time history is winning grandslams on 3 different surfaces(rafa in 2010) which is something even fed couldnt do.he pulled of the most difficult feet in tennis i.e winning french-wimb combo two times which fed couldnt do.all in all any one cant take rafa for granted as we dont know how many rare feats he is gonna create coz he is just 26.the recent early wimb exit is just a blip.unlike any other player in history i think he will stay strong physically until he is 35 because of his athletic body providing healthy knees.


st4r5 Says:

Roger Federer is the GOAT
Pete Sampras is second to GOAT
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are part of the elite group of tennis players under the category of great players.


Kimberly Says:

Was reading the bio of steffi Graf last night. Clearly the GOAT of female tennis. And few people remember the Seles use to hand her her ass. I would have to look up the head to head but i would imagine it is in Seles favor. And no one thinks Seles is the goat. I see a parallel here with roger/rafa and Graf/Seles. Anyone else or I imagining it?


Kimberly Says:

Actually just looked it up and Graf leads the head to head, but not in the period prior to the stabbing. For some reason I see Graf as the federer and Seles as nadal. Except I loved Graf. And couldn’t stand Seles. I was only a kid when they played so don’t even really remember why.


metan Says:

@ nick, great post, let time prove it, rafa just 26, his biggest rival is his own injury, nothing to do with players and surfaces.
I pray so hard for his health, so he’ll be fit for olympic and uso and also his future.


Sienna Says:

kimberley How ignorant can you be ?
Seles was winning more slams then Graf at the time she was knifed down by a crazy a crazy man .

So how is this the same as the Fedal rivalry ?

how low can you go is that the game you play?


Dan Martin Says:

Kimberly, I think the Graf-pre-stabbing Seles rivalry is a great analog for Roger and Rafa. Seles’ style of play really victimized Graf’s slice.

Roger may very well do enough between now and the close of the USO to fight for #1 to end the year. Still, he has 3100 points to defend from the close of the USO to the close of the poorly named WTF. He’ll undoubtedly play Basel, Paris and the WTF, but will Federer win every match in October and November that he plays? He might. Still, at 31 he may dial it back some. I guess it is a matter of how he is feeling and what his priorities are. I’d love to see a fight for #1 that is not decided until the last event is in the books.


Marc Says:

I haven’t gone through all the comments, so maybe someone else already mentioned this, but your analysis on Djokovic is wrong. Yeah, he’s only won two titles, but one of them was an Australian Open over Nadal that went close to six hours. And you’re saying the guy isn’t hungry? If he wasn’t hungry, he wasn’t winning that match. As always, many, many tennis analysts look at the last few months, and think they have the next couple of years all figured out (i.e., After winning the US Open in 2010, Nadal was never going to lose a Slam ever again and would easily surpass Federer’s Slam record). I’m not sure what Djokovic’s going to do the next few months, but based on one tournament (Wimbledon), I doubt that anyone else does.


Sienna Says:

This is so funny.
Ignorance is bliss> Is that the phrase?

Comparing Seles to Nadal. Seles a girl whos was dominating tennis took over from Graf and the was stabbed by a lunatic.

How is this in any way comparable with Fedal?

Fedal who where both still winning slams. There has not been a time where Rafa was more dominant then Roger.

Maybe Rafa won 2 slams in 2008 but that was due to the afteraffects of the mono. Fed put that rigth at US Open and in the 2009 channel slam.

Even at start 2010 FEd was the dominator and Rafa had to look from a distance how hthe GOAt collected thefirst slam of the year.
Because of Fed lunginfection he wasnt able to dominate the slams further in 2010.

2011 we had Djokovic and know Fed is back at the top against in prime in shape and not injured Rafa Djokovic.

The dominator has put it right once again.

STupid college girls who think they know tennis and watch Wikipedia to claim stupid facts over Seles.

Dan Martin you dumbass. Get it in youre thick skull the yearend ranking has nothing to do with any points they have gained last year. So in order to try to project the year end ranking the amount of points to defend for the rest of the year is totally irrelevant.

Thats not true it is important for seeding procedures. But for the rest it is of litle or no importance how many points Fed has to defend from last year.
Maybe you think you know youre stuf but your claims are based on defending Fed’s points.

IT IS IRRELEVANT.


El Flaco Says:

Last year’s schedule was ideal for Fed. You had a lot of time off between Paris Indoors and the WTF. This year it looks like they are back to back. Fed would have to play every day Wed-Sun assuming he makes the Paris final then would only have 1 day off before the WTF assuming his Group plays the 1st round robin match on the 2nd day. So in order to defend 2600 points he would have to win 10 matches in 12 days at the age of 31.


Sienna Says:

Fed winning Olympic and US Open he need not care about defending Paris! El Flaco I am not talking to nitwits am I?
Defending points is not rellevant for year end however Fed is thinking ahead and planning 2013 as we speak.

He wants to hold the ranking to break more records. He is gunning for the ladys numbers so his slam total and weeks # 1 will be from now on projected to all of tennis.

We already establist he is among the greatest atletes in the world tennis has become to small for him to find any equals!

So next is #22 slams Steffi Graf, 8 WTF championshps Navratilova, # 377 weeks at #1 Steffi Graf, #9 Wimbly title Navratilova….

He will try to reach those records but you have to plan your startegy.

First he set goal for #20 slams , 7 or his 8th wimbly next year and he needs to maintain #1. So that is why defending points is relevant for those objectives. He will defend the WTF but doesnot risk any injury with Masters titles.


Dan Martin Says:

Sienna, First, you need to be civil. Second, as I said in an earlier post in this thread Federer’s results between now and the end of the USO will have a lot to do with whether he pursues the year end #1. My only point is that at 31 Federer may not go as hard after the USO as he did last year. Yes at the end of Nov. none of the 2011 results matter, but if relative to the field he is not pushing as hard from Sept-Nov then he may not finish 2012 #1. He pushed hard last year during those months. That will not effect how 2012 ends, but it certainly has a lot to do with his current lead in the rankings. Sienna, if you want to test or challenge my tennis knowledge, fine, but do so with questions about tennis rather than school yard taunts.


Sienna Says:

Dan it is not important for year end ranking how many points there are to defend by any of players in #100.

Why is this so hard for you to understand?

Instead of acknowledging this simple fact you choose to give prays to some little girl who saw on wikipedia that Graf playe Seles in her liftime.

And she made an anaoge of Seles and Nadal and YPOU agreed with her. So who is supposed to keep it civil?


Dan Martin Says:

My point about Graf and Seles is that Graf moved more smoothly and generally looked more like a tennis player than Seles. Graf was the better athlete in terms of sprinting and stamina vs. Seles so that is different. However, Graf was dominant. Seles’ game and left-handedness presented Graf with problems no one else seemed to be able to. That seems analogous to Nadal’s game presenting Federer problem. Now for the one poster who seems to not understand anaologies, an analogy is BOTH similar AND different. I.e. Federer’s dominance in tennis is an analog to Michael Jordan’s in basketball. It is not exactly the same as one played a team sport and one plays an individual sport etc., but there are similarities. So the Graf-Seles rivalry can be BOTH similar AND different from Fedal. That is how analogies work (both/and reasoning as opposed to dialogical reasoning that relies on either/or reasoning), and why I used the word analog.


Dan Martin Says:

Sienna, I just said at the close of November 2012 when the WTF ends that no points from 2011 will count. I guess I could explicitly say that means no points are defended to finish the year #1. I also explained that if Federer does not push hard in the fall relative to the competition someone else could pass him. I am not sure how those refer to 2011.


metan Says:

@ sienna,
are you Roger pr , coach or his wife milka?


Robert Says:

Apparently Sienna needs a reality check. I am happy to oblige.I will agree that the Seles/Nadal comparison is a stretch. However, where you showed your true Fedtard Fanatic colors was the creation of excuses. RAFA has clearly been the superior player since 2008 and to deny that is just pathetic! Federer had a lung infection in 2010, and that’s why he didn’t do anything after Australia? In the words of the great John McEnroe, YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!! He didn’t win any other majors after that because RAFA won them all, and there was nothing Federer could do about it.

You seem to forget that when FED returned to #1 in 2009 it was after RAFA went down with knee injuries. If you can bother yourself to recall facts it was the ONLY time RAFA had lost in Paris and the reason he subsequently pulled out of Wimbledon in 2009 and was unable to defend his title. So, what is your excuse for Fed not winning a major in 2011? A hang nail? Depression? How about the fact that he simply was not as good as his rivals that year? You said, and I quote, “There hasn’t been a time when Nadal was more dominant than Roger” Ummmmm, again see 2010 without using your BS goggles, thanks. Also you said Nadal can’t beat the heavy hitters outside of clay anymore. I’m assuming by heavy hitters you are referring to ONE player only and that man is NOT Fed.Or maybe by heavy hitters you mean players who can crush the ball, then see his match against Berdych in Australia earlier this year. Or maybe by big hitters you mean the top players? Then again see every major in the past couple of years. Who did he beat in the Australian semis this year? Oh I know, Fed had a “Cough” when he lost.

RAFA suffered a fluke loss, got it? It happens, just like it did last year in the Wimbledon quarters when arguably the greatest player, and certainly the greatest front runner the sport has ever seen in Roger Federer, lost a 2-0 set lead on his favorite court. You also said that “The dominator has put it right once again”? So winning ONE slam in the past 2 and a half years on your best surface is a return to dominance? Didn’t you say RAFA “Built a safehaven at RG”? That’s called hypocrisy sweetheart. Also, your claim to dominance seems to ignore the fact that he lost to the other big 2 in the other slams this year. He didn’t look that dominant when he was summarily dismissed in Paris, did he? Or in Australia where despite his best effort on an OUTDOOR hard-court he was bested by his arch nemesis.

So basically before you attack other posters on this thread make sure you don’t look idiotic yourself. That was a REALITY CHECK…and you’re welcome!!


Nina Says:

Lol Dan Martin, I wouldn’t try to make sense with Sienna, she’s either a tard or an overly excited 15-year-old.


Sienna Says:

Yeas Graf moved very smooth??? Lmao.

Are you sure you have the same Steffi Graf that I try to envision?

Martina Navratilova was a ballerina compared to Graf!

Ridiculous what you are trying to coock up on this site.


JimboJones Says:

Don’t be mean to Sienna he’s just senile. He’s so old that the Dead Sea was only sick when he was born. He had the 3 Wise men tutor him in grammar school.


Robert Says:

lmfao @ Jimbo and Nina


Dan Martin Says:

Graf is one of the best movers if not the best mover in the history of the women’s game. I have never heard anyone (fan, journalist or player) before now dispute that. I guess the fact she might have been able to run the 400 or 800 at the 88 Olympics for West Germany or her balance (see video clip/link) mean nothing when evaluating her movement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxJLR-IzxEY


metan Says:

@jimbojones, lol


Kimberly Says:

My point was I think Graf is the GOAT of women’s tennis but Seles game clearly bothered her.

Nadal more vulnerable to the rest of the field even at his best yet his game clearly bothers Roger.

Didn’t expect the comparison to cause such an explosion!

Dan, love the video of Graf, what movement


skeezer Says:

Kimberly,

Graf is my all time fav women’s tennis player. Ran on the court with grace and beauty. I mean how do you win all those slams with a slice backhand ? Her FH could be monstrous.

Agree, Seles was great also, and was Graf’s thorn for sure. She was well on her way to taking over Graf’s perch imo if not for that @sshole. Seles is a class woman also, and had the privilege to hit with her post injury. Best woman returner in the game at that time. Amazing.

For Fed Fans/Tennis fans

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151877696100332&set=a.10150154909290332.397933.10150107266525332&type=1&theater


dari Says:

I like your analogy, kimberly, and that video is great. I should be doing some footwork drills!


Steve 27 Says:

Congrats to Federer, this is his last major of his wonderful career. Djokovic and Nadal are the best players, and one of them would be finish number 1.
Btw Jamie, you said
Djokovic Australia
Nadal Roland Garros
Federer Wimbledon
Who will win Us Open?


Nina Says:

@Steve 27, I’d say right now Federer is the best player, at least until the next tournament. ;)


Mark Says:

@ Robert. July 11 10.55 am. Great post.


john Says:

@steve27
Congrats to Federer, this is his last major of his wonderful career.

Who the hell are you to say when Federer will win his last Slam?

Nadal finish number 1?

What you been smoking, have you looked at the rankings recently?

Federer is the obvious favorite for the year end number 1 ranking.

Ill eat a broom stick if Nadal overtakes Federer and Djokovic in the next six months.

Not gonna happen!


Steve 27 Says:

Nadal would be number 2 at the Olympics, Djokovic would be 1 and Federer 3, right?


jamie Says:

@Steve 27

According to the Argie psychic, Nadal is the favorite to win the USO.

http://foro.astrodestino.com.ar/showpost.php?p=184681&postcount=345


El Flaco Says:

WTF points drop off after the last ATP event so going into the WTF event you are not defending those points, but this year could be different unless they change the rules.

The Paris Final is on 11/04 and the 1st round of play in the WTF is the next day on 11/05 so last year’s WTF points won’t drop off until the 1st day of play in this year’s WTF if they go by the rule book. Keeping your points up to the day of the tournament is basically defending them. Maybe they will drop off last year’s WTF points a week or two before the last tournament.

Also, will Paris points factor into the race to qualify? Unless they make the final call on who qualifies for the WTF and make the draw Sunday night after the Paris results are tabulated then they won’t have the results factored in. That last tournament could determine who gets the #7 and #8 spot.


Robert Says:

John,
“Who the hell are you to say when Federer will win his last Slam”? Point taken, and I agree. But, who the hell are you to say that Rafa can’t finish #1? Lets wait till the Open is over to declare favorites. If Rafa or Novak win the Open then they will be in a prime position to finish #1. Just saying.


jamie Says:

JimboJones Says:
Don’t be mean to Sienna he’s just senile. He’s so old that the Dead Sea was only sick when he was born. He had the 3 Wise men tutor him in grammar school.

___________________

I thought Sienna was a teenager. LOL!


the mind reels Says:

@Steve 27:

No — seeds for the Olympics will follow the latest available rankings as of the start of the Olympics. So, seeding for the Olympics will be as follows:

1. Federer
2. Djokovic
3. Nadal
4. Murray

Entry into the men’s singles event itself, which is limited to the top 56 singles players (and which is obviously different from seeding), is determined by world ranking as of June 11, 2012. As noted above, however, determination of seeds uses rankings as of about 6 weeks later.

See here (p. 16):

http://2012.itftennis.com/media/111275/111275.pdf


rogerafa Says:

@ TMR

First of all, I am not bitter at all but there is no reason to be euphoric either. One major win does not change anything for either Roger or his rivals as far as their prospects in the future are concerned. Who will you bet your money on for, let us say, the next ten majors?

“6 tournaments have gone by this year for Novak where he has failed to defend his title”

Even then, he is only 75 points behind Roger and he can gain a lot after the US open. Rafa and Novak don’t need to play at their best for all 11 months (frankly they just can’t without breaking down) so long as they win the big ones consistently. It is a high-risk strategy if the goal is the top rank but it can be done in your prime as they showed in 2010 and 2011. There is a lot of tennis still to be played this year and we will see.

“Sounds like you really really want to believe that Federer at 30 is a shadow of the Federer we saw at 25.”

Roger is in the twilight of his career. Sure, he can pull off the occasional big win but he reached just one final in his nine majors prior to Wimby. Rafa and Novak won all of those titles. They, and probably some others, are likely to do better than Roger in the next few years too. Of course, Roger’s current level is still quite decent but you cannot possibly say that it is as good as it was in his prime. Others have gone up but he has come down but that is natural as age catches up. ““Somewhat lucky win” was meant not to belittle his achievement. Roger has also been unlucky on many occasions. You do need a bit of luck as most players frequently affirm but he had a very kind draw till the semi final this time. Combine that with slightly fresher and more slippery grass due to the largely wet conditions and removal of the elements due to the roof and things worked nicely for him. He would probably have won anyway but these factors made it a bit easier.

“It seems, then, that they’ll never be as consistent, year after year, as Federer was from 2004-2007.”

I wonder if any player will ever be that consistent given how physical the game is today. If they attempt it, they probably will jeopardize a lot of things. It will take a super-efficient player to come even close to that kind of consistency for four seasons in a row and, probably, even for one entire season.

“What’s your point? He set his sights on it post-US Open, and look, guess who’s back at #1 and soon to be the new record holder?”

My point was very simple. Roger is not obsessed with records the way Sampras was. Roger just loves and enjoys the game. That makes him handle the different pressures of being a top player a bit better and shake off bad losses quicker.

”OK. I’ll stay tuned for Djokovic vintage 2011 to resume domination”

I didn’t mean that by the resumption of normal service. I meant that Novak and Rafa will be consistently better than Roger at the Majors in the future. There are many Roger fans here who think that Roger is going to be dominant once again. I hope you do not think that Roger is back to his vintage 2006 level.

.“So raising the level = pulling a rabbit out of the hat?”

Well, certainly as far as the last stages of majors are concerned. He has been found wanting at this stage since AO 2010 except maybe at RG 2011.

“On what basis is Nadal still a favorite to win the US Open?”

Rafa has reached the final the last two years and I think it will take a big effort to beat him. At this stage of his career, I think any pre-US open result will not be very relevant if he is physically alright. I will treat the Wimby loss as an aberration. He is damn good on hard courts now especially over five sets. Novak, of course, has been very consistent at the US open and he will be the slight favorite. IMHO, the back to back semi and final scheduling is a big negative for Roger at this age. I also think Novak, like Murray, has no issues playing indoors as such. Rafa can struggle a bit on very low-bouncing courts but Rafa has won before indoors and he doesn’t have to necessarily win titles if he has done well up to the US open. It is all a matter of priorities. You seem to put a lot of emphasis on defending titles but ultimately Novak, or Rafa, has to do just a bit better than others for the rest of the season and he will finish number one at the end of it. It is not as if he is trailing by a lot in the race. Roger is also not going to win the tons of points at the end of the season the way he did last year given the cramped schedule this year. As I said, we will see.

@other posters

Sorry for the long posts.


Steve 27 Says:

Who the hell are you to say when Federer will win his last Slam?

john, who the hell are you to respond like that?

ATP Race to London:
Federer 7,085
Djokovic, 6,840
Nadal 6,795

Points to defend Us Open series:
Djokovic 3600
Nadal 1390
Federer 1170

After the summer in North America, is the Swiss he has to defend more points (3000), while Nadal only (590) and Serbian even less (560). I’m not counting points for participating in the Davis Cup.
So if we add to end of year
Djokovic 3600 + 560 = 4160
Nadal 1390 + 590 = 1980
Federer 1170 + 3000 = 4170

If you know arithmetic, not tennis, which of the three is more likely to score points until the end of the season?
Only the pathos of some Swiss fans may despise the possibilities of Spanish as No. 1 finish at the end of season

Ill eat a broom stick if Nadal overtakes Federer and Djokovic in the next six months.

Not gonna happen!

As Maradona said: LTA


Sienna Says:

1 Federer, Roger (SUI) 7,085 2 12
2 Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 6,840 0 10
3 Nadal, Rafael (ESP) 6,795 -2 12
4 Murray, Andy (GBR) 3,800 1 12
5 Ferrer, David (ESP) 3,755 -1 14
6 Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG) 2,600 1 13
7 Berdych, Tomas (CZE) 2,515 -1 14
8 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) 2,465 1 14
9 Almagro, Nicolas (ESP) 1,910 -1 16
10 Tipsarevic, Janko (SRB) 1,625 0 15

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/YTD-Singles.aspx

This is the only ranking that determines the year end #1.

So it has absolutely nothing to do with defending points from previous year.

And Seles was about to conguer the world of tennis and Graf would have never had 22 slams if it was not for the stabbing incident.

But that has absolutely nothing to do with Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer. Rafa has gotten absolutely everything hecan out of his career. unlike Seles who was cut short by a lunatic.
I would sauy Rafa is the greatest over achiever the tennis world has seen in modern era tennis.


jamie Says:

BTW, I don’t think Nadal will win the Olympics.

I don’t know what the psychic will predict for the Olympics but no male or female player won 2 gold medals in singles in tennis, ever.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Olympic_medalists_in_tennis


Sienna Says:

And I am Usain Bolt when Graf was an elegant mover on court. My god that woman was only a big forehand. Serena Williams is a better mover.


Steve 27 Says:

Mistake: Federer has to defend 990 points in the Us series and 3990 points until the end of the year, pretty much like Djokovic (4160).

When it finish the U.S. Open, we will know which of the three is more likely to be 1 at the end of the season. Not the time to rush


Sienna Says:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyV-scO-PcY

I have been watching a match that popped up from you tube and I must say Graf is not elegant ofr a smooth mover.

She might be effective and quick on the court but it was not grace, smoothness or elegance,


Robert Says:

Sienna,
“Rafa is the greatest overachiever the tennis world has seen” What? Such nonsense will not even warrant a response. PLEASE stop posting your absolutely baseless opinion on the board. At least the rest of ATTEMPT to remain objective in our analysis.


Sienna Says:

And why not?

He got absolutely everything he can with 11 slams. He did great but donot try to make stupid statements like Rafa is the male version of Seles.

This is absolutely NONSENSE
To state something like that is indeed an ABSOLUTE BASELESS OPINION and I am being totaly objective with a stands on that..


MMT Says:

I have to agree with the comments that it has more to do with results than scheduling – all of the big 3 have played about the same number of tournaments but Federer’s results have just been better. People said his scheduling was brilliant when he played almost the exact same schedule as Djokovic played in the last 12 months – only Masters 1000′s, and just a couple of 500′s. As far as I can tell the only thing he’s added that he didn’t play in years past was Rotterdam, and he skipped Monte Carlo (if I’m not mistaken). Djokovic didn’t play before Indian Wells (which Federer did in years past) and played Monte Carlo (again, which Federer’s done in years past). He skipped the Serbian Open and only played clay Masters 1000′s leading into the French. I guess the one thing he skipped was Halle/Queens but I don’t think there’s enough of a difference between that and either Federer’s past or present scheduling, such as to suggest that he’s “out scheduled” them.

What am I missing?


Kimberly Says:

Sienna, I will try to explain one last time, my point is that Seles game bothered Graf when no one else’s really did. Sort of like Rafa’s bothers Roger while Rafa remains much more vulnerable to the remainder of the field than Roger does. And years later, everyone remembers Graf and the GOAT and could give a crap whether she was routinely getting her ass kicked by Seles at one point in time. As people will remember Roger as the GOAT and not care that he had a losing record to Nadal. My posts was actually intended to be favorable to your guy. It was not to compare the career of Seles and Nadal but the role they played v. the GOAT. And maybe Graf wouldn’t have had exactly 22 slams but for the stabbing but she still would have had a huge amount. There is no doubt in my mind that she is the GOAT of womens tennis. And true class as well.


Kimberly Says:

btw, what do you have against Graf, most Roger fans like Graf. But clearly you do not? Why?


Dan Martin Says:

Sienna did anyone say Rafa is the male version of Seles? People said the rivalries had some similarities. Similar does not mean same. Comparisons even inexact ones help us to gain traction when examining something. Think about this: a novelty map at an amusement park is not exact but it is a lot more useful (while being a lot less accurate) than a map that is 1/2 the size of the amusement park. Sometimes analogical reasoning is the best way to get at something even if from the outset one knows that it is not precise.

For instance, no one would say Seles was the female Rafa as
Seles was not a natural athlete in terms of speed etc. by her own admission whereas Rafa is a physical specimen. Rafa was never assaulted by a crazed Federer fan. The differences are obvious. Still, Graf dominated like no other in 88 and 89, Graf was older than Seles, Seles was a lefty who found vulnerability in a previous invulnerable champion during her prime. There is some value in looking at the two rivalries side by side imho. Noting of course that I don’t think they are the same or precise measures of one another. Sometimes fuzzy reasoning is all we have, but like that novelty map it gets us to the big roller coaster faster than trial and error would.


Robert Says:

Sienna,
“He got absolutely everything he can with 11 slams”…so are you saying he is done winning slams? Also, overachiever? On what basis is he an overachiever? You gave absolutely no criteria for that. Finally, IF you actually read what I previously posted I said I agreed that the comparison of Rafa and Seles is meaningless. Oh and you are not at all appearing objective in your posts. I am paraphrasing; FED is aiming for the female versions of all the records. Oh really? Is he going after Court’s 24 slams? So, based on what you have posted you see it as more likely that FED gets to 20 majors than RAFA winning at least one more major? EXPLAIN…


dc Says:

I guess the #1 ranking at the year end will go to Nole or Fed.
2012 points:
1 Federer, Roger (SUI) 7,085 2 12
2 Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 6,840 0 10
3 Nadal, Rafael (ESP) 6,795 -2 12

Fed is about 200 points ahead of Nole and 300 points ahead of Nadal.

Nole & Fed have always been the top contenders for points post Wimby, so i am expecting these two to widen the gap to Nadal by the end of the year.

Nole seems to be exhausted, mentally as well as physically.
Fed has a good chance here as he knows this is probably his last chance and will be highly motivated.


Sienna Says:

Sometimes analogical reasoning is the best way to get at something even if from the outset one knows that it is not precise.

Of course it must be reasonable. Andwhen Seles is brought in with Graf to look at the NAdal Seles rivalry.

You immediately feel Seles was hard done by and robbed from eternal glory in tennis by an freak and terrible event.

Rafa is in the prime of his life and he is eager and ready to make his claim for greatness there is nothing that resembles any of the incident Seles had in hetr prime roibbed of her glory/

There are plenty of rivalry in tennis that contains a youngster and an older person. So the SelesGraf rivalry was brought in to try to stir something about Rafa being hard done by and he is not hard done by. He has attained more in tennis with his possibilities then any other person in the gsame of tennis. So that is why he is the greatest over achiever in the game of tennis.


Kimberly Says:

Sienna-I was the one who brought up the rivalry and I am a huge Nadal fan and I don’t feel he is hard done by. And maybe an overachiever off clay. On clay he is what he is. I originally made the point to show the losing H2H v. Nadal will be forgotten in years ahead as he is remembered as the GOAT but perhaps in Nadal’s legacy he will be remembered as the only guy who could actually beat Federer at all during his prime years even if many of the wins were on clay.


Robert Says:

I’m sorry I am just not buying the Overachiever label. He is one of the best athletes that has ever picked up a racket and one of the most naturally gifted players the sport has ever seen. RAFA is doing what his talents and abilities have dictated he should be doing. Just my opinion!!


Dan Martin Says:

Sieena, I see your point maybe Mac breaking Borg’s invincibility first at the USO and then Wimbledon is a better analog. Younger lefty challenges the polished #1?


Dave Says:

Chief Sports Writer, Telegraph of London:

“Contrast between majesty of Andy Murray-Roger Federer Wimbledon final and John Terry trial is too much to bare

So there we were on Sunday night, ruminating on Roger Federer’s majesty and Andy Murray’s rise to a higher plane, unaware that the very next morning would bring quite such a wince-inducing insight into the depressingly narrow and insult-splattered vocabulary of some of our professional footballers.

To jump from Sunday’s festival of sportsmanship on Centre Court to the John Terry trial at nearby Westminster magistrates’ court the following day required quite a mental shift.

Across Britain at the weekend 16.9 million television viewers knew they had witnessed something intense, fierce, graceful and perhaps even profound. They marvelled at the dude Federer’s athletic grace and felt they had seen something new in the previously inscrutable Murray.

If personal soundings are anything to go by, the country went to bed with a feeling of warmth. The Wimbledon men’s final was a perfect distillation of the human qualities that come our way packaged as sport.

Morning broke, with more rain, but with the reviews of Murray-Federer and a thrilling Tour de France being greedily digested by a country braced for the descent of the Olympic spaceship.

Then Twitter went genital for two days, with swear words outnumbering non-expletives in 140-character dispatches from court reporters who could probably barely believe what they were having to fire into the twitterverse. The charge against Terry of committing a racially aggravated public order offence need not detain us. This is a criminal trial…”

If interested, read more. John Terry is the former captain of England’s national football team and captain of the Chelsea football team. He is on trial for racially abusing another footballer.
http://tinyurl.com/7cufxmb


Brando Says:

GLOVES ARE OFF- ADDING MY 2 CENTS TO THIS STUPID DEBATE ABOUT RAFA:

- Firstly, in tennis- as we all know- GRAND SLAMS are a major measuring mark regarding ANY of the big player. It’s the not the ONLY thing that counts, BUT is most probably the most crucial one.

Now rafa ENTERED the ‘big boys club’ in summer 2005 AGED 19 when he won the FO. SINCE that date when rafa won his first slam, he has won 11 GRAND SLAMS IN TOTAL. ONLY FEDERER has won more in that time period: 13 GRAND SLAMS!

JUST A MERE 2 SLAMS IS THE DIFFERENCE HERE! Add to that fact that rafa is STILL ONLY 26 (less than 2 months since his birthday) and is 5 YEARS YOUNGER THAN FEDERER, then it becomes RIDICULOUS all of a sudden to look down on rafa as some chump on the scene, when NO ONE truly knows how many rafa will have by the age of 31.

- Secondly, since FO 2005 rafa has competed in a total of 16 GRAND SLAM FINALS, with ONLY FEDERER having competed in more finals: 20 FINALS!

Again a difference of ONLY 4 FINALS, with rafa having RECENTLY DONE A RUN OF 5 GS SLAM FINALS IN A ROW!

Again, considering his AGE and RECENT PAST IN GS SLAMS ONLY an IGNORAMUS would suggest that someone of this pedigree and recent history should be written off as a has been!

I mean, since rafa stepped up on the GS SCENE in FO 2005, he’s ONLY won 2 slams less than roger and appeared in ONLY 4 finals less- that too when he is 5 years younger!

And yet SOME believe the FUTURE IS BLEAKER FOR him in comparison to roger?

ABSOLUTE IDIOCY!

In summary, ALL i’ll conclude is that WHILST rafa is NOT roger’s equal in their overall career, FACT IS since he has stepped onto the GS SCENE he has done tremendously well- and THAT TOO at 5 years younger in age to roger!

Give HIM 5 more years, and we shall see where he is at age 31 in comparison to roger- as going forward despite rogers deserved wimby win and no.1 ranking, i would argue that it would be FOOLISH to write rafa off as the one who has LESS to look forward too!

P.S: i would KEEP NOLE OUT of it since he turned pro ONLY in the year roger won his 1ST SLAM (2003)- so DUMPING on him by comparing his career, standing in the game to federer at this point in time is BEYOND UNFAIR! To be honest, STUPID!


Marc Says:

Not trying to step in-between these arguments/discussions going on, but I do have an objective question here. With his 2nd round loss at Wimbledon, I thought it would be next to impossible for Nadal to be #1 at the end of the year. Am I wrong? Unless Djokovic and Federer lose early in the US Open and Nadal wins it, I just don’t see how Nadal can be #1 this year, especially since he was a finalist at the Open last year.

The “Big 3″ are so far ahead of everyone else on the tour, that one minor slip-up (in this case Nadal at Wimbledon) has tremendous ramifications on the rankings.

Again, if I am mistaken, someone can set me straight. But I think only Federer or Djokovic can be #1 at the end of the year, barring of course, the scenario at the US Open that I gave above.


Eric Says:

Oh my god, why are you guys trying to explain this analogy to an intellectually challenged troll?

Kimberly, I think it’s a great analogy. Being the GOAT doesn’t mean that no one could consistently trouble you. Excellent point.

//

Fed and Nole are neck-and-neck for the year end no.1. No one is really the favorite yet – Fed has a small but not insignificant lead in the points race, but Djokovic could easily win more points in the remainder of the season, especially if he does well at the Olympics. (By well, I mean “better than Fed.”)

Rafa is clearly a ways behind them, but certainly he could make up the distance too, especially if he wins the USO (which would surprise me).


Eric Says:

Marc, no, that’s totally false. Djokovic and Rafa are exactly tied in points for the year to date — which means that if Rafa wins more points in the rest of the year, he’ll be ahead of Djokovic (obviously).

That is certainly unlikely, at least in my estimation. (Djokovic is obviously the favorite to do better on the hard courts of the fall season.) But it’s not impossible by any stretch of the imagination.


alison Says:

Brando great post can i also add,in 2009 when Rafa lost early at the FO to Soda,was also unable to defend Wimbledon due to tendoitis,lost in the semis that same year to Delpo at the USO,a lot of people claimed his years of winning slams was over,when he lost to Murray at the AO IN 2010,i very much doubt anyone thought he would go on to win 3 Slams in the same year,he has actually gone on to win 5 slams since that injury in 2009,not too shabby for Rafa,just goes to show how quickly things can change,and how people should not be too quick to jump to conclusions,as for the USO you never know Jamies pyschic could be right,stranger things have happened lol,he won it 2 years ago after been completely written off,so he might do it again ya never know lol.


Brando Says:

@Alison:

I AGREE. In a way i think USO MIGHT just help him more than wimby.

At wimby he has ALWAYS been vulnerable in the 1st week due to the transition from clay to grass- it takes time for him to adjust. This time he went out of the tourny during that stage.

At USO however, he will have montreal, cincy to get used to the hard court surface- a surface which he most plays on during the year.

ADD to that the fact that he has WON USO, was RU in the following year, 2 times SF prior to that, the 5 set nature of it, the lack of a roof etc- ALL these elements FAVOUR him going into it.

Then when you consider that he is, against his main rivals at USO:

1-1 v Novak
1-1 v Muzza

Shows CAUSE for hope regarding his chances! the ONLY one he hasn’t played, roger, he has 5-2 OUTDOOR HC h2h, a 2-0 GS HC h2h, an 8-2 GS h2h- reason enough to believe he has a CHANCE against to him IF they are to meet one another.

So all in all, whilst i WOULD NOT call rafa the fav for USO, i would certainly believe he has more than a fighting chance of winning it!


Mark Says:

@ Brando. Great post. Vamos Rafaaa!


alison Says:

Brando yes,yes,yes completely agree,it would surely then stop people calling him just a claycourt player grr,which can get really annoying sometimes.


tfouto Says:

Of course Nadal is not just an claycourt… alison you should not be bothered with it. It’s just a nonsense idea.

As a Federer fan i dont think that a claycourt only wins against Federer (one of the best on grass) on grass and hardcourt GS finals…

Nadal won also US Open 2010 against Nole, which is one of the best hardcourt players…

I dunno why i am even trying to explain the obvious…

I really think that the days after GS finals, there is much nonsense on threads… People can oversee the entire season based on that final, and the rivals past career is just an incredible lucky thing…


Sienna Says:

I was stating over achiever as to the analoge used in Seles Graf V FedNadal.
Nadal didnot steal any of his slams. He won them fair and square.

Over achiever can be used as a negative but it mightbe a positive. I dont seehow Nadal in any ways was har done by he won the most slams he possibly could. Unlike Seles whos was Robbed by a mad men in the peak of their tennislife.

So that is why I dont care or the analoge given.

enough.


Brando Says:

@Alison:

i can understand that frustration- used to get to me also when people just REDUCED rafa as a one trick pony claycourter. BUT then i started looking at it like this, and i suggest you should do so also:

1- the people/ posters who USUALLY call rafa a mere ‘claycourt specialist’ do so from a rather biter, spiteful, narrow minded viewpoint of rafa. Why on earth should i even take their views seriously when it is from such a place?

ESPECIALLY when people like Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graff, and a certain Roger Federer feel otherwise about.

2- IF rafa was a mere claycourt specialist, then HOW GOOD are these other ‘so called superior players’ when they lose to rafa in non-clay events, especially majors? I mean they MUST NOT be as good as they are paraded to be when they lose or are pushed to the limit by a supposed one trick pony in non- clay events, right?

LOL, so just IGNORE them, do not respond to them as it would ONLY SERVE TO EMPOWER their seemingly obvious IGNORANCE which all can recognise, except of course, they themselves!


Brando Says:

@Mark:

thanks.


Brando Says:

tfouto:

‘really think that the days after GS finals, there is much nonsense on threads… People can oversee the entire season based on that final, and the rivals past career is just an incredible lucky thing…’

ABSOLUTELY TRUE and so well put! GLAD to see posters like yourself point that out!

Congrats also on your favs win by the way- which was much deserved considering how well he has played in the LAST 2 YEARS, not just the SF and final in wimby!


alison Says:

Thanks Brando and Tfouto i will take on board your comments,your both completely right,its not worth arguing about.


Sienna Says:

@ Robert
Fed has already acknowledged that his goal is to get 20 slams.

What are Rafa’s goals?He is reluctant to speak about it.

I find it heartening that someone can speak about adding slams when he hasnt won one in almost 2 years to finalyy 8 months later get another slam at Wimbly.

If he aims for 20. I give him great odds of achieving that goal. Next goal after that is Graf with 22 Stap by step.

I think Roger;s future in tennis at 31 is brighter then Rafa ‘s future at 26.

Roger has never ever showed signs of fatigue or lack of passion.

When Rafa gets another few early upsets on the fastlane we just entered then I am not so sure about his ability to regroupe.
He has I feel 1 more good slam year in him and that is for Garros.Because it is all a little less and less.

Roger on the other hand is like an old wine getting better and better.

You guys have been watching tennis the last year?


tfouto Says:

@Brando thanks…

I am sure your favs will be winning GS sooner than many people here think.

Sienna it’s crazy to think that Federer will have more GS future titles than Nadal. I have seen last year tennis. Federer was on 1 final. Nadal on 3.


Steve 27 Says:

Forget a moment of Nadal and Federer, and appreciate the talent and beauty of Eugenie Bouchard, Wimbledon champion Junior. If there is a Raonic in men, in women there is now a Bouchard, soon we will see in the WTA.
The link in Spanish
http://www.puntodebreak.com/2012/07/09/eugenie-bouchard-la-campeona-perfecta


jamie Says:

LOL @ Sienna thinking Olderer will win 20-22 slams.

Lay off the crack pipe already!

======================================

Slams won after 27 years old:

======================================

SLAMS WON AFTER THE AGE OF 27yrs [open era]:

5 slams = Rod Laver
5 slams = Andre Agassi
5 slams = Roger Federer

4 slams = Ken Rosewall
4 slams = Ivan Lendl
4 slams = John Newcombe

3 slams = Pete Sampras
3 slams = Jimmy Connors

1 slam = Arthur Ashe
1 slam = Boris Becker
1 slam = Guillermo Vilas
1 slam = Andres Gomez
1 slam = Goran Ivanisevic

===========================

As you can see nobody won more than 5 slams after 27 years old in the Open era.

Laver, Agassi and Federer are the top of the list with 5 slams won after 27.

The fact that Federer needed more than 2 years to win a slam after his #16 SAYS IT ALL.


jamie Says:

^It is more likely that Federer never wins another slam than winning 20-22 slams. That is ludicrous.

Nobody won more than 5 slams after 27 years old in the Open era.

Federer already has won 5 slams after 27 years old like Laver and Agassi did.


the mind reels Says:

Not news: the 52-week rolling ranking points and the year-to-date “race” points are two different ways of measuring performance. One shows standings over the past 52 weeks (which is how we determine current world ranking), and one shows year-to-date points accumulated.

As the season gets closer and closer to the World Tour Finals, these two ranking systems align more and more until they are identical (circa late November or early December).

In the 52-week ranking, Federer (11,075) is a slim 75 points ahead of Djokovic (11,000), and Nadal is 2,095 behind Djokovic (8,905).

In the YTD race, however, Federer has a slightly larger margin over Djokovic, but Nadal is much closer positioned to both Djokovic and Federer:

1. Federer: 7,085
2. Djokovic: 6,840
3. Nadal: 6,795

Both metrics can be considered important for different reasons, but ultimately, it’s the 52-week rolling ranking that matters and that *dictates* one’s ability add points to his ranking. In other words, winning a major that you won last year adds 2,000 points to your YTD ranking, but it doesn’t add anything to your current 52-week rolling tally.

Players compete against their own performance from the prior year, so while adding 720 points to your YTD race by making the final four at a major is optically nice, it’s affirmatively bad for your real ranking if you won that tournament last year because you’re actually losing 1,280 points (see: Novak Djokovic).

I’m obviously not picking on Novak, but the point is that given the opportunity set between now and the close of the year, as others have indicated on this thread, each guy has the following number of points to *defend*:

1. Djokovic: 4,160
2. Federer: 3,990
3. Nadal: 1,980

Nadal has the fewest points to defend, which is good in so far as he wants to move up in the rankings, but he also has typically struggled most of these three down the homestretch in the season.

All else being equal, I see the challenges from here on out as fairly straightforward:

* now – U.S. Open: Federer needs to turn in good results (semis or better) to remain on top, and Nadal/Djokovic need to turn in excellent results (finals or wins) to stay close.

* post-U.S. Open through WTF: Federer needs to excel indoors (so, at least semis or finals) and add a healthy chunk of new points in Shanghai. He probably needs to turn in at least a finals performance at WTF. Nadal/Djokovic need to show up hungry (finals or wins) and push Federer in Paris, Basel, Shanghai, and WTF, all of which are indoors.

Obviously, none of this factors in the Olympics, so there’s an x-factor.


tfouto Says:

@jamie

Federer is the men of records so he might win at least 1 more.

20-22 seems a too much, even as a great Federer fan as myself.


alison Says:

Jamie I actually agree,nothing against Federer or his fans,but i think to win another 5 slams as sienna is sugesting IS maybe a bit of a tall order,another 3 i think sounds more plausible ATM,i would say,still you never know i suppose.


Brando Says:

re: how many more slams can or will fed win going forward?

Realistically speaking, with all due respect to fed and his nice fans of course, i think:

- AO: TOUGH ONE- it seems that BOTH rafa and nole have his measure here. BOTH lead the h2h over fed here, one is a 3 times current champion, the other is a former winner and RU this year. Further, murray is a 2 times finalist here. IMHO, it’s a close call but i think the slow HC suits the others more than fed here. I think its UNLIKELY HERE.

-FO: SORRY but i CANNOT see him winning here again. Rafa (old story), nole (this year), delpo (2 tough 5 setters) are the main guys here in the future for me- ALL can beat fed here.

- WIMBY: STRONG CHANCE- depends on his form and fitness here more than the competition here.

- USO: GOOD CHANCE- like wimby form and fitness.

All in all, FACT IS as good a win wimby was it was his first win in over 2 years. So i would say 3 MORE SLAMS AT A ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM- REALISTICALLY 1 MORE SLAM IMHO!

ULTIMATELY though, in tennis more often than not surprises do happen- so who knows, maybe he goes on a tear from here and goes past 20 slams!


Eric Says:

We need to distinguish between possibility and expectation. There indubitably exists a real possibility of Federer winning 5 more slams. It wouldn’t need to involve anything completely insane happening or divine intervention. He could have easily reached 5 of the past 10 slam finals instead of just 2 if a few points here and there had gone his way. (Like Murray said after Wimby – a few inches here and there and Fed would be sitting on 20 slams already.) There’s no real reason to think he can’t reach another five in the remaining years of his career. Agassi was well over 33 years old when he fell off the top ranking for the last time.

Now, is it reasonable to EXPECT Federer to win 5 more slams? Well, no.

That’s that.


MMT Says:

BTW – Steve27, I don’t want to burst your bubble, but I just saw some clips of Bouchard and unless she is or becomes the hardest working player in all of tennis, there’s no way she’s going to be a top player – there’s more junk in those strokes than Fred Sanford, and that’s just rife to consistently fall apart under pressure on the WTA. She’s cute though, I’ll give you that! :-)


Lisa Says:

Its pety how most people suddenly rule Nadal out of contention for No_1 year ending ranking….

All critics are just based on current tournament results….pathethic!

When some player wins a major tournament….all of a sudden, they are the ‘Top Guns’ for the Next Major…..

This is not always the case….

A player should be judge based on;

1) His performance during the whole season….previous 1-2 years at most, and maybe his whole career performance….if necessary.

2) Confidence and Self-believe Levels (State of mind)

3) How close Top Players got close to winning ‘matches in slams/slams’.

3) Scheduling of his tour….

4) Match Stats( Break point, First Serves, Volleys, Winners….,etc)

5) Visual aspects of the game( watching how they play their games), mentle strength, injury-free, healthwise,….etc

All these points factors as to who will win the next major tournament or get No 1 ranking….

Nobody at the beginning of 2012 Wimbledon thought Federer would win it, actually everyone thought it be Nadal/Djokovic….

Nadal to win 2012 Wimbledon because he won the recent 2012 FO??….Wasn’t the case

Or

Djokovic to win 2012 FO because he won 2012 AO??….Wasn’t the cse

Analyse those (5) factors carefully and then you decide who will win the next Major….IMO….

Federer winning Wimbledon doesn’t make him the favourate for the ‘Olympics”…..No….unless all those (5) factors are taken into consideration….then yes….


Brando Says:

@lisa: WISE points you make there- I’ll see you and evryone again hopefully around the olympics. Until then, make sure you are nice to each other kids- it’s ONLY a game at the end of the day!


Eric Says:

Lisa, if you’re talking about me, I’m not ruling Nadal out of anything. (That would be foolish.) But it’s just a simple fact that the clay and grass season is over (save for the Olympics, where anything can happen) and Rafa is behind in the points race – which means he will have to earn more points on the hard courts of autumn than Federer and Djokovic in order to end the year at no. 1. Last year he got about half as many points as those guys in the remaining events on tour. On the other hand, in 2010 he earned something like 4000, or about as many as Fed and Djokovic each earned last year. So sure, anything can happen, but just based on what we would expect from the Big Three, Fed and Djokovic have to be favored to win more points overall in the autumn season, especially if Rafa doesn’t win the USO.

It would be a different story if Rafa were ahead in the points race. For example, in 2008 he earned around 2600 points after Wimbledon, while Federer snagged almost 3000 a nd Murray around 4000 (!). But Rafa ended the year far ahead of them (2700 points at the current scale) because he entered the fall so far ahead in the points race.

Sorry, this is terribly written. The point is that Rafa could certainly end the year at no. 1. But there are excellent objective reasons to think it less likely than to have Roger ro Novak in that position.


Tennislover Says:

El Flaco,
That is a good observation you made about Paris and WTF this year. According to my understanding, the 52 week rolling system is kind of sacrosanct. I mean the points drop off only after 52 weeks have passed no matter what except in the special case of WTF where the points drop off the Monday after the last event of the regular season. In fact, even Basel/Valencia points will drop off only on 11/5 this year while Paris points will drop off only on 11/12. By then, the WTF will be over and, logically, the 2012 WTF points should replace the 2011 WTF points on 11/12 itself since the 2011 WTF points can obviously not drop off before the 2011 Paris points have dropped but, at the same time, there is no logical need to drop the 2011 WTF points later than 11/12. Since the WTF qualification is based on the race, I presume the race standings at the end of Paris will determine the qualifiers. Of course, it will mean a late draw/schedule finalization as you mentioned. WTFs also start on Sundays but this year, the Monday start would necessitate a final the following Monday unless they do some “creative” scheduling. The only complication it creates is that the “residual” effects of some of last year’s events will get reflected in the rankings for one or two more weeks than they would normally because of the compressed schedule this year.


Steve 27 Says:

MMT, you probably knows more her tennis abilities than me, but she is so young(18), besides is not a Capriati, Sharapova, Williams S., Graf in terms of precocity we have to wait her development and the transition from junior to a Pro.
The Canadian authorities will guide her on track and can achieve a great career. hopefully

On Federer after 31 is virtually impossible to win any major by more than your initials are RF. Then after Wimbledon 2013, his chances will be virtual at 0 percent. Is the lifetime and nothing can stop it. For fans of Batman a preview of what promises to be the masterpiece of Nolan and a comic adapted to film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4lGdfmDRf0


metan Says:

@brando, excellent post


Tennislover Says:

Regarding the Graf-Seles rivalry, let us not forget that Seles was absolutely the dominant force when she was stabbed by the crazy Graf fan. Seles was, at that time, the reigning three-time defending champion at the AO and FO and two-time reigning defending champion at the USO. She lost badly to Graf at the 1992 Wimbledon final but she would probably have won there some day as well. I’d like to believe that Seles would have dominated the tour for at least four more years. Graf won a lot of her majors after the stabbing with her nemesis nursing the psychological scars and her career derailed. I don’t see Graf as the GOAT at all but her fan ensured what Graf herself didn’t seem able to do. Graf won 11 of her 22 majors after the stabbing. Seles had won 8 till then in her brief career. It was so cruel and such a travesty of justice that one player was physically and psychologically scarred to enable the other to become the so called “GOAT”. Graf was a great player but her tally of majors should have been much lesser and she has her fan to thank for that.


Eric Says:

It’s sick and outrageous to blame Graf for the actions of a psychotic “fan.”


Tennislover Says:

Nobody can blame Graf but she did benefit hugely due to the stabbing.


jane Says:

Thanks for that link on Eugenie Bouchard, Steve 27. Too bad I can’t read Spanish. ;) I always trust MMT’s technical views but I still hope she can improve and have success in the WTA. Canada’s Filip Peliwo won the boy’s juniors title too, so it’s nice news for us here in Canada – the National tennis centre has had success. Peliwo was in the AO and FO finals, as well, so third time’s a charm worked for him, though he said Eugenie’s titles inspired him as he wanted Canada to sweep the juniors. Since last September, Canada’s national training centre has Louis Borfiga heading things up. I really hope the sport continues to grow and thrive here.


jane Says:

I’ve always loved watching Graf, my all-time favourite female player, and personally, like many others, I thought she moved like a cat on the court – so swift and smooth. I was happy when Seles came along, though, and spiced things up, so it was very very tragic the way that ended. Both were great champions in their own right.


Eric Says:

Maybe, maybe not. *shrug* Nothing lasts forever. Look at Rafa and Djokovic – Rafa got totally blanked in 2011 by Nole, but this season he leads 3-1. Who’s to say Seles would have continued to dominate for another 4 years (that’s some wishful thinking there)?

Anyway, not sure why I’m arguing about 90s women’s tennis…


Dan Martin Says:

I was and am a Graf fan. I do think Seles’ was the most mentally tough player I have ever seen in the women’s game. Seles also had a great ability to take the ball early and punish it. She could change the direction of the ball too. Undoubtedly, her career and Steffi’s would be different had the stabbing not occurred. It was one of the worst moments in the history of all sports to see a player violently attacked during competition.


Polo Says:

I like Graf and she should be proud of her 22 majors. As for Seles, good as she was, her main legacy in tennis is that she started the shrieking trend in women’s tennis. It was not that noisy until she came along.


JimboJones Says:

After reading tennislover’s post I have to believe most of his spirit as a tennis fan is 90 proof.


Kimberly Says:

Love graf. And the romance story with Agassi fairytale like as he is so mad about her!


Andrew Miller Says:

Mr. Martin is right about Seles. When I first watched her play I thought she was incredible, 1990 French Open final vs. Graf. I became less enthused because of the grunting, but then saw how she took out Sabatini in MSGarden. I think Seles even forfeited a Wimbledon by the vow to cap the grunting and play a silent final (credit to Steffi, but a non-grunting Seles just wasn’t Seles!). Seles was far and away the champ, and with the Williams sisters not on the horizon for a few years yet in the 90s, seems Seles would have picked up more Slams. I think Serena Williams also borrowed some of her own mentality from Seles. Sometime in the future when Serena is inducted into the Hall of Fame, I wonder if it will be Seles who is on hand to welcome her.

Mr. Randall was right on the money about Federer. I don’t think Djokovic has lost much of a step – he played a great tournament until the semis. He’s also had to deal with an improved Nadal and an improved Federer – he handled this well in Australia, and it wouldn’t surprise me if his form improves on the hardcourts. Federer may be the best indoor player, and Nadal the best on clay, but Djokovic is the world’s best hardcourt player until proven otherwise. He has the consistency and the endurance, and those two qualities reward big time come August at the Open.

One of the three is bound to get a “boost” from the Olympics. Djokovic and Nadal are Davis Cup ringers, so I’d think they would emerge stronger with the Olympics and manage their summer schedules (maybe a strategic withdrawal at, say, Mason, Ohio or so to rest a little before the US Open, no?).

Generally these guys pull an awful result at one of the Masters – an early loss to someone like Berdych or even gifting Stepanek another top 3 victory. It almost always feels strategic (such as, I don’t really want to be here in Toronto much longer – I love Canada, but I’m just dang tired!). Or, they win Canada and think, wow, I just feel like I need a cough drop, cough cough! Hey, agent, please send in the usual down to Cincy, I feel like a$%!

These guys are clever. They play for the big ones, so well in fact that they’ve won almost every major going back to May 2005, with the exception of a blip in 2009 when an Argentine went on a hot streak in the final of the last slam of the year.


Daniel Says:

The fun about this season is that the number 1 ranking will be decided at WTF. Mark my words.
Fed has 1500 points there abd Djoko and Nadal 200. Even with Fed’s sulreme indoor recorda if hou shift the points with Nadal or Djoko winning and Fed losing in semis it’s around 2500 potential points diference between then. Unless Fed wins Olympics, US Open and another Masters, the potential of shift in rankings will be there, to the very end.

The positive for Fed is that the #1 ranking don’t shift after Wimby when someone dethrone the former #1 since 2003, so Fed has a real shot at finishing on the top. Specially since Nadal never bags more than 2000 pts post US Open.


contemperory Says:

El Faco,

Basel tourney is also just a week before Paris.

So,

Basel: Oct 22 to Oct 28
Paris : From Oct 29 – Nov 4
WTF: From Nov 5 – Nov 12

This means that Fed will have to play 3 consecutive weeks, which is hard. I do think that Fed is going to skip one of the tournaments OR he may lose early in Paris and WTF.

So the chances of he retaining #1 is slim at this point, unless Novak and Rafa play so poorly post USO.


Dave Says:

Rick Reilly, 11-time National Sportswriter of the Year:
Comparing Roger and Tiger
http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/8156409/comparing-roger-tiger

Don’t forget to cast your votes on Federer vs. Woo


Michael Says:

Being No.1 or not will not bother Roger. He has already achieved so much in this sport and broken almost every record. I think henceforth he will be playing just for the fun of it.


Dave Says:

Freak of nurture: How Novak Djokovic harnessed the untapped powers of his body
http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/8132800/has-novak-djokovic-become-fittest-athlete-ever-espn-magazine

This was what Federer beat in the semifinals of 2012 Wimbledon and 2011 French Open. It’s time for Roger to step up from his old-fashioned traditional methods, fairplay and hard work — and start incorporating the very latest technolgies.


Michael Says:

Annacone has said that Roger has more left in the tank and he expects him to scale greater heights. A prospect which must be terrifying for the young guns. He has compared him to Sampras who he felt became tired with Tennis when he was 31. But Roger on the other hand breathes and loves Tennis and he must be in the middle of his career. May be he is expecting him to play until he is 35/36. Roger too said that his goal is to be ready for the 2016 Olympics. So, he is there for a pretty long run. If Roger lives up to his words, I see him ending up with around a minimum of 19-20 majors.


Michael Says:

Dave @ 12.32 am,

Very good one !!


Michael Says:

Dave,

But it is Novak and the other players who have to learn from Roger on maintaining fitness levels.


skeezer Says:

Enjoying the posts about the Graf/Seles era. Thanks to all.

Regarding the ongoing Fed argument vs “other” players. Who really cares? Hasn’t Fed done enough for you? As a fan am so happy with his comeback to #1 and making that alltime record( who cares how long it lasts ) and solidifying his all time GS titles (17). If you’re expecting more from the Maestro, you’re greedy. Its all gravy from here on out, if other achievements come, great. If not, still great. He doesn’t need to prove to anyone or anythng about his GOAT status. The bar has been set, and it looks very unatainable in this era of players. One can argue only now who is the best player playing TODAY, not all time( that is clearly Fed ), and as of today, still, amazingly, Fed rules. Tomorrow? Who knows. Not even Jamie. Play on.


Sienna Says:

I am not expecting Fed to win more slams. He himself thinks he wil win more slams.
His goal is 20 so who are to question this men’s goal?
I believe he can achieve an goal I he sets himsel.


Sienna Says:

And with rafa reduced back to the one trick pony he once was winning. chances for Fed are rising. He is heavy odds on against rafa at wimbly and USOPEN.
With Rafa reduced in decline and Djoker at USOPEN . Rover must love his chances at the nextel slam. We will see if Djoker andRafa getta their spark back next year.


Sienna Says:

I am making a mess out of the spellingtools on my phone. But you get my point it is advantage Roger and Djoker and Rafa needs some catching up to do and they look like theyre not ready yet .


Roxana Says:

This article gives way too much credit to Federer. It doesn’t take a genius to enter ATP 250 and 500 tourneys to rack up the points and win without breaking a sweat. Federer has always shied away from grinding matches and confrontations, the ones that Rafa and Novak thrive on. But, as a tennis fanatic, I enjoy those nail biter, passionate, exciting matches that Rafa and Novak play over any sleeper match starring Federer. Federer’s goal is to break Sampras record of most weeks at No. 1, which he has already tied by being No. 1 this week (and will break the record by being No. 1 next week). He chose the easiest way of achieving that goal.


Nina Says:

I think fed fans are overreacting which has to be expected. I don’t expect Roger to now dominate the tour, how quickly people forget that for the last two years it’s been all Nole and Rafa. One single tournament doesn’t change everything. Saying that, I believe Federer can still make some damage, but it will be once every now and then. Don’t expect him to dominate. Djokovic had a really bad day in the semifinal, he was feeling sick or something, he didn’t look like himself at all, he could also have some personal problems that we don’t know about. In my opinion he disposed of Federer quite easily in Rome and FO and also won their last six meetings. He wasn’t his usual competitive self in the Wimbledon semifinal, I’d like to know why.


tfouto Says:

Nina, please say: “some fed fans” instead of “fed fans”…

I think that on FO Fed had a flu when playing with Djoko. I also think that motivation those days is one major factor in Federer performances differences…

Federer motivation was different (Nadal-clay FO final and Murray-grass Wimbledon) on SF.

I also believe that Federer will only come on top from time to time. Nole and Nadal will be regulary on top. Murray i dunno, maybe will finally break in.


alison Says:

Nina and Tfouto great posts from both,and Tfouto i dont even think its some Fed fans either,just one particular fan thats getting completely carried away,like Nina said yesterday acting like an over excited school girl,ive nothing against passionate fans dont get me wrong,but this is completely OTT,in need of a reality check.


Ray Says:

Lord of the Slams : Return of the King!

I guess it’s hard for some people to digest when other people are happy!

If you donot want your favorite to be insulted, you should have watched what you were posting when you guys were busy gloating!


alison Says:

Roger Federer is a great guy,and granted hes the greatest player to ever pick up a racket, regardless of what happens next nothing changes that, and dont get me wrong as i still think he has more slams in him yet,but to go two and a half years between slams is a long time,and each year things get harder not easier,so to sugest hes about to start dominating everything again seems a little premature,Novak and Rafa aint just going to just dissapear,just because of what happened at one tournament,plus theres other players coming up young and eager to make a break through,sounds like the sensible fans are just enjoying the moment,anything else he does now is gravy.


metan Says:

@Alison, regarding the rank , rafa is no 3 now, if olympic draw comes out, he should be in the Roger’s half, am I correct?


Mark Says:

@metan. No, not necessarily. He could very well be in Novak’s half.


alison Says:

Ray if you could care to understand the comments people are making,then you will see that they are purely objective,we could all agree on everything ,and then it would be happy fluffy talk all day long,but then again there would be nothing to talk debate about,and not much point in been here,im not bitter or resentfull in any way,i for one have never sent in posts gloating about another player,and it may surprise you to know that i actually rooted for Roger to beat Novak in that semi at Wimby,(yeah i know and that coming from a Rafa fan),so there you go not all fans hate their favourites rivals,and are so desperate for them to loose,some of us actually admire and respect the achievements of all players,whatever short comings that they might have,give it a try sometime it wont kill you to occasionally do the same.


metan Says:

Why?, I thought all the time no 1 and 3 , no 2 and 4


tfouto Says:

@metan,

no.1 can get with 3 or 4. Altough lately Federer (3) was almost with Djoko (1)…


Ray Says:

alison, why dont you give that advice to mark?

he’s been cheering every other player to stop roger from winning his 17th! unfortunately, all that cheering resulted in bad karma for nadal. kicked out mercilessly by a player ranked 100 in the world, no less!


john Says:

@steve27

Who am I to respond how?

……

congrats to Federer, this is his last major of his wonderful career. Djokovic and Nadal are the best players

WITH comments like that your lucky your head hasn’t been bitten off.

Lmao

If you know arithmetic, not tennis, which of the three is more likely to score points until the end of the season?

Seriously…your on a freaking tennis blog, again lmao. I don’t need to go to math camp to know Nadal doesn’t do well on fast hard courts.

Ever heard of statistics? Look em up..then tell me how Nadal normally performs post Wimbledon.

Obviously you need to go to math camp and a psychic before you understand this.

Its difficult to take you serious with such pathetic commentary.


Michael Says:

Alison @7.40 am,

I agree with your post. Roger will not be able to reproduce the magic of his best years ie. between (2004-2007) because age is not on his side. Therefore, it would be a bit premature to conclude that he will dominate the tour yet again after this Wimbledon win. For me, it is a miracle that he is able to win at this age and at this competition in what is actually a physical sport. Beating Novak and Murray back-to-back when he is 31 is something out of the world although it is in Grass court which is Roger’s favourite surface. Above all, the tremendous pressure he was under to win this one considering the stakes involved – 17th slam, 7th wimbledon, 286 weeks as No.1. It was really amazing that Roger has been able to withstand that. Still, I think his best chance for a next major will be at the US Open where normally Roger plays very well. Remember he has made eight consecutive semis there which is a spectacular achievement. But eking out a win might be difficult because it might not be so easy to dislodge Novak on hard courts like he has been able to do on Grass. Anyway, let us enjoy with what he has done. Who knows what will happen tomorrow ???


anthony Says:

this proves that it’s not all about the slams….oh hell who am I kidding it’s all about the slams. For roger it’s great to achieve no.1 in order to break the record for his already gigantic legacy resume. But any top player will always want the slam titles over the no.1 ….

will anyone remember that serena wasn’t number one all these years or that she amassed 14 slams.

Roger is for the record books with that no.1 but I am certain if given a choice of wimbly title or ranking, he’d snatch the title. In this case he did both! but I don’t believe he is above nadal and djokovic they have performed better in the slams. USO becomes very interesting as it will be the decider.


skeezer Says:

ESPN

Federer does not believe that this result will change the on-court competitiveness among the big four, but de does believe his return to No. 1 may have a practical impact.
“I just think it changes the dynamics now,” he said. “Now all of a sudden we’ll see, I guess, different semifinalists — it’s going to be harder for Novak and Rafa to find themselves in the finals every single time because they might face each other now in the semis. Is that going to have a big impact? I don’t know.

Yeah its nice for once the young guns have to play each other for once before they raech the final….hehe


alison Says:

Ray believe me time and time again,i have defended Roger on this forum when people like Mark or fellow Rafa fans attack Roger or Nole for that matter,but my post was to you when you claimed that many fans were gloating about Roger,and that it must be hard to see people been so happy,when all many of us were doing is been objective in our responses,still if you cant understand that i cant really say much more sorry.


alison Says:

Ray many fans were rooting for anybody but Rafa to win RG,and look what happened there,so the Tit for Tat thing is just plain childish,the sort of chat you yet from 6 year olds in a school playground,and i for one would prefer to leave it there TBH.


metan Says:

Thank you mark and tfouto. I only cheer my idol, other things is nil.

How long Roger will be no 1 if he won’t win olympic gold as his n nole just different few points.


tfouto Says:

@metan

Men’s Singles
Gold Medal 750
Silver Medal 450
Bronze Medal 340
Loser 3rd/4th 270
Quarterfinals 135
Round of 16 70
Round of 32 35
1st round 5

Federer has 75 points more then Djokovic. So depends how far Federer and Djokovic progess in tournment. Basically from Quarterfinals if Djokovic progess one more stage it will regain no.1


metan Says:

@tfouto, thank you.


dc Says:

No matter what people say about Fed, the truth is that at 31 years of age, he beat two of the best players of the current generation at their peak to snatch the #1 ranking from them.

Both these players whom he beat are 5 years younger to him, at their prime.

Anyone who has anything negative to say about Fed’s achievements is not a true tennis fan and should be ashamed of themselves.


Mark Says:

@ Ray. The above just forrrrrrr you! Enjoy!


jane Says:

Congrats to Nole and Sharpie for winning ESPY awards last night. Maria’s dress was gorgeous!


Sienna Says:

I see Rafa is resting his knees?

I thought he had his kneethreatment again. It looks like he is reliving his youth although he is reclaiming it is a better word for it.

Nice for him to let aal go finally. He got drilled so hard by T. I cant imagine what a nigthmare that would have been for Rafa and his parents.
Rafa is now his own boss and master iof his domain. He can do whatever he wants to do. Good for him.

Do hope he wil from time to time be training because he lacks match tougness after teh early exit at Wimbly.


nadalista Says:

Lol…………someone has a bad case of Vamos syndrome………I mean, disturbing……


jamie Says:

Fed needs to send Muzza a very expensive gift.

3 of Fed’s last 5 slam wins were vs. Muzza in the finals.

USO 2008
AO 2010
Wimbledon 2012

At USO 2008 and Wimbledon 2012, Fed was considered done and dusted and then came Muzza and gave Fed a lifeline. Muzza is Fed’s guardian angel. LOL.

Song for Federer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxVACta6dbA


Sienna Says:

??? Is that the start of the lovehandles I see on young Rafa? Or a derivino pitture?


alison Says:

I know it was for Sienna,but thanks for the link Nadalista,he looks great, happy and relaxed,just hoping he can do some damage to his rivals in the olympics,hes had plenty of rest now so he should be fit and ready to go.


Mark Says:

@ nadalista. You are a tease. What are you trying to do to poor Sienna. Hate to imagine!!


nadalista Says:

He’ll be fine @alison…………keep the faith.


jane Says:

skeezer, “Yeah its nice for once the young guns have to play each other for once before they raech the final….hehe”

Well, Nole’s had to play Rafa in a lot of semis over the years when Rafa and Fed were numbers 1 and 2. And of course, Murray, too, has had to play Rafa over and over again in semis. Nole ran into Rafa in almost all the Masters clay semis and he’s played him numerous times in the semis of Roland Garros too. So the young guns have played in a lot of semis. But as for the other non-clay slams, usually Nole’s had Fed in the semis, as we know.

Besides which, all things being equal, Nadal has a 50-50 chance of landing on Fed’s side in the draw too.


nadalista Says:

@mark, au contraire! Just being helpful to a fellow poster………!!


alison Says:

Nadalista thanks and never lost it to be honest,as for the pictures i guess some people dont know a good thing when they see it lol.


Mark Says:

@alisony yr post 9.09 am. “……..when people like mark …..”. What exactly is that supposed to mean?


alison Says:

Mark sorry i didnt mean to single you out personally,i was merely replying to Rays post,like you i love Rafa and i also love your pssion for Rafa,what i dont always like is the personal insults that you give to the other players or the other posters,dont get me wrong i dont always like what other posters say about you,fellow Rafa fans or Rafa either,and i will say so if and when they do,i know we and Rafa have to stomach a lot of negativity sometimes,but two wrongs dont make a right,but sometimes you have to have a thricker skin and learn to handle objective critisism,have your favourites by all means but learn to admire and respect the achievements of others,and to ingore the haters as they aint worth bothering with,that way you will be able to exist much more peacefully otherwise your spitting in the wind,no offence was intended,peace xx


alison Says:

^sorry for the typos^.


Ray Says:

alison:

as long as morons like mark/nadline post here, rafa will get his due insults. you are not the representative rafa fans. you are the exception.

rafa deserves all the cr@p he gets because he has dumbasses for fans who bad mouth other players. you know he does.


Mark Says:

@alison. Most of the time I respond to morons like Ray who constantly bad mouths Rafa. So it is just tit for tat. An example is his post to you at 3.10 pm. See what I mean?


dc Says:

@jamie Says:

Fed needs to send Muzza a very expensive gift.

3 of Fed’s last 5 slam wins were vs. Muzza in the finals.

USO 2008
AO 2010
Wimbledon 2012

At USO 2008 and Wimbledon 2012, Fed was considered done and dusted and then came Muzza and gave Fed a lifeline. Muzza is Fed’s guardian angel. LOL.
———————————————-
Are you saying that had Muzza lost to Ferrer in the Wimby 2012, Fed would have lost to Ferrer??


alison Says:

Ray im not trying to be the representitive for the Rafa fans i was merely replying to Marks post,all fans have there fare share of haters,who are all as bad as each other IMO,i dont dont do hate i only give and dont have a problem recieving objective critisism,and all i was saying is maybe other posters should do the same,now ive had my say,and ill leave it at that,i prefer to talk tennis and leave hatred in the real world,peace and congrats to Roger on winning Wimbledon.


skeezer Says:

Hot off the new product list!!

Got that tug issue habit you just can’t break? Having a hard time with self inflicting wedgies?

Your answer is here, with deodorizing action added free this month only! Hurry while supplies last.

http://thedailywh.at/tag/underwear-fart-pad/


alison Says:

Skeezer LMFAO great link thanks.


Sienna Says:

Rafa is in big trouble, his results on the fast surfaces are so bad that it is likely he will lose more ground in the rankings.
His claycourt wins will keep him atleast safe at fourth place but when the new year start he will be under pressure to stay in top 4. Losing second rounds in slams is a clear indication something is wrong.


Mark Says:

@squeeeeeezer. Have you tried them yet? Hey, advertising is not allowed on this forum!!


skeezer Says:

@marcie

Nope. I play pocket pool.


Mark Says:

@ squeeeeeeezer. You like ball games??


Mark Says:

Article did not print with my above link. It says Roger Federer declined to carry the Swiss flag at the Olympics.


Mark Says:

IMG_0072.JPG. Was Roger crying? Ahhh!!


skeezer Says:

Great article from NY times ..

“Federer was asked what role Annacone had in this victory. “Well, big,” he said. “Really, what I felt very much now the last few months particularly or maybe the last year or so was the harmony we had in the team. Paul integrated himself really nicely.”

A veteran coach, Roger Rasheed, said he believes Annacone has helped Federer improve in two key areas: being more consistently aggressive with his service returns and in picking his spots to push forward to the net. Rasheed said he feels the next phase is to improve Federer’s first volley.

“I think Paul helped a great deal with the tactics and the vision for Roger’s game, how he should develop his tennis,” Luethi said.”

A peek into returnig to #1. Great to hear going forward they are working on improving his first volley, much needed.


Dave Says:

My socks are off on the debate about Federer’s place in history.

Roger Federer already accomplished an overall body of work that is not just superior to the best players in other eras of tennis history (Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall are the only players remaining who might compare with Federer) — but Federer’s records when he was at Nadal and Djokovic’s ages are also superior to their records today. Remember: the two critical measures of greatness are biggest titles won (major: grand slams, sub-major: year-end championships) as well as number one ranking (dominance: consecutive weeks, total weeks, year-end ranking).

There are several ways to compare the relative greatness of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic: e.g., by comparing their career records to date, by comparing their career records since Nadal won his first slam (2005 FO) and since Djokovic won his first slam (2008 AO), or by comparing their career records at the same age. Let’s go for the toughest comparison — their records at the same age.

When Federer was Nadal’s age today, Roger had already won the 2007 US Open — he had 51 career titles (from 67 finals); 12 Slams (from 14 finals); 10 consecutive finals and 14 consecutive semifinals in grand slam tournaments; 3 World Tour Finals year-end championships (from 4 consecutive finals); over 190 consecutive weeks ranked as World Number One; 3 Year-End World Number One; 3 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year awards; numerous other records and streaks, etc. Not only was Federer’s record by 2007 US Open already superior in greatness to Nadal’s clay-skewed record today, Federer did it at a much faster pace: while Nadal needed 29 grand slam tournaments to win his 11 slams (38%), Federer needed just 17 grand slam tournaments to win his 12 slams (71% ).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Federer_career_statistics

We know Nadal has virtually no chance of coming close to Fed’s number one ranking records and results. However, speculation that Nadal going forward will somehow catch up and exceed Federer’s slam record is, quite frankly, illogical [Of course, nothing in the future is impossible but it is highly unlikely — tennis history shows that Federer and Lendl are the only players in modern tennis history who managed to win 6 slams after age 26, no player has won more than 6)

- Not only was Federer’s record by 2007 US Open — at Rafa’s age today — already superior in greatness to Nadal’s clay-skewed record, Federer did it at the quickest and most efficient win-rate in tennis history, man or woman: while Nadal needed 29 grand slam tournaments to win his 11 slams (38%), Federer needed just 17 grand slam tournaments to win his 12 slams (71% ). Even in Nadal’s recent best run 5 consecutive grand slam finals in a row, he won only 2 slams (no prize for guessing the 2 slams were French Opens), so he won only 40% of those slam finals in his prime. Roger Federer in his prime won 80% of the record 8 consecutive slam finals he reached between 2004 Wimbledon to 2007 Wimbledon (at Rafa’s age today). Then, past his prime, Federer reach another 8 consecutive slam finals, and still won 50% (4 slam titles: it was the sportest span any player won all four different slams outside winning a calendar year grand slam in tennis history… plus Federer was two points away from winning a fifth slam at 2009 US Open).

- Furthermore, 64% of Nadal’s slams are clay and 72% of all his titles are clay — and he has failed to win a non-clay title since 2010 Tokyo (suggesting he is already in decline outside clay, losing to Rosol was just the lastest evidence).

- Furthermore, Nadal has played 90% of his 705 ATP matches since 2005 (that’s a lot of matches) so he will likely be entering the post-prime stage of most past tennis greats — his body will likely be less able to support his physically-and-mentally stressful game that he voluntarily chooses to play.

- The question that no one has asked: How long will 51-year old Uncle Toni be willing to keep coaching Nadal at this level of intensity, before he burns out or needs to take a break?

Is it rational to hope that Nadal — going forward — can somehow reach even more consecutive slam finals than he has in the past, win even more of those slam finals than he has in the past, and win even more non-clay titles than he has in the past — and do all this during the post-prime stage of his career? Just because Roger Federer — arguably the greatest and most unique winning machine in tennis history — managed to do it, it is illogical to presume or expect Nadal to do the same or better.

Another dubious argument I hear from pundits like John McEnroe trying to elevate Nadal is that Nadal won the Olympics and Davis Cup.

- The Olympics was no better than an ATP 500 tournament and has no history of signifcance in tennis: 11 of all 12 modern gold and silver medallists were not top ten players because most of the top players skipped the Olympics (e.g., in the 1996 USA Olympics, 7 of the world’s top 10 players did not participate: Sampras, Muster, Chang, Kafelnikov, Becker, Krajicek, Courier. No. 6 Agassi was the highest ranked player in that Olympics, and his semifinal opponent was No. 126 Leander Paes and finals opponent was No. 67 Sergi Bruguera).

- Nadal won Davis Cup only because he was on the super-strong and very deep Spanish team, which has won its toughest away ties (e.g. 2011 USA) and Davis Cup finals (2008 Argentina) even without Nadal playing. Federer not only played far more Davis Cup ties and matches by Nadal’s age — unlike Federer, Nadal did not bother to play even one Davis Cup tie outside Europe. To me, the biggest unsung hero in Spain’s Davis Cup victories is David Ferrer.

Similarly, Federer’s record by 2006 US Open at Djokovic’s age is clearly superior to Djokovic’s record today.

The big red flag on both players is that Nadal (twice) and Djokovic (once) lost their No. 1 ranking in their prime — and Federer past his prime took it away from each of them. A big part of the reason this happened is because Nadal and Djokovic failed to defend their titles, e.g., Djokovic defended only 2 of the 8 titles he had won at this stage last year.

H2H is irrelevant to the GOAT argument. Why? In 1999 Andre Agassi was declared both ATP and ITF player of the year — that is, he was the greatest player of the year 1999 — for his record of accomplishment that year. It did not matter that Pete Sampras had beaten Agassi 4-1, including in straight sets at the Wimbledon finals, Tennis Masters Cup finals, Cincinnati semifinals and Los Angeles finals (Agassi’s only win was their least significant match — a round robin at Tennis Masters Cup). So if the ITF and ATP choose the greatest player of the year 1999 in total disregard to his head to head record with his main rival (and Sampras had been the year end No. 1 for the previous six years from 1993 to 1998), why should H2H be used for choosing the GOAT? Are the pundits guilty of fitting the GOAT selection criteria to a particular player (Nadal) whose resume is much more limited than Federer’s resume?

In any case, both Djokovic (6 years’ age gap) and Nadal (5 years’ age gap) are from a different generation than Federer. Nadal and Djokovic are ‘generational rivals’, not Fed and Rafa. Despite this, since 2009 Madrid, Federer is 4-5 H2H with Nadal. Since 2009 Cincinnati, Federer is 8-8 H2H with Djokovic. That’s fantastic considering that both Nadal and Djokovic are in their prime while Federer is past his prime.

Pro-Nadal pundits (e.g., Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Jenkins) advise us to “back off the “greatest of all time” argument”. Their reason for doing so is irrational: they want to give Nadal a chance to ‘win what he has not yet won (and possibly will never win)’ in order to catch up with Federer. In the meantime they would deny just accolades to Federer — who had put in hard work to actually achieve the greatest record. The agenda and credibility of such pundits need to questioned (especially when they hypocritically failed to follow their own advice when they write the column: “With another win over Federer, Nadal builds own case as greatest” in response to Rafa winning another French Open).

It is Roger Federer who has already set the standard in tennis history, even though he continues to add to his body of work. The Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger was a bit exuberant but right in stating: “The last step of the tennis-god: Now no one can any longer deny that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player in history. The numbers and the brilliance of the Swiss speak for themselves.”

There is absolutely no need to wait for the completion of the careers of the two pretenders Nadal and Djokovic who are from the next tennis generation 5 to 6 years younger than Federer. There is no guarantee that Nadal and Djokovic will meet the speculations of their kool-aid drinking pundits. Until the day Nadal or Djokovic actually meet and exceed Federer’s standards, they should not be in the GOAT conversation, Period.

In the meantime, such pundits should learn tennis history to get some perspective on the place of the great players in history. By prematurely canonizing Nadal and/or Djokovic, these pundits are disrespecting those past great players who had already earned their place in history ahead of one or both of them: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Pancho Gonzales, Ivan Lendl, Don Budge, Bill Tilden, John McEnroe, Jack Kramer and Jimmy Connors.

Putting my socks back on.


Ray Says:

Dave:

Brilliant post! Love reading your posts dude!


Dave Says:

Thanks Ray!!

Correction: I meant to write: “- The Olympics was no better than an ATP 500 tournament and has no history of signifcance in tennis: 11 of all 12 modern gold and silver medallists were not top FIVE players” the week they played the Olympics. Only Nadal, then No. 2, was a top 5 player when he won his medal. What’s amusing is that Federer haters used to bash Roger for winning the 2007 Australian Open against Fernando Gonzalez (when Gonzalez was at his very peak and one of the best hard court players in recent months) yet are silent on the fact that Nadal won his Olympic gold medal by beating a declining Gonzalez in the final.


Dave Says:

Dan Martin: “The Madrid results to my mind were pivotal.”

Dan, since Fed’s victory at the World Tour Finals I had already considered the various scenarios for Federer to regain the number one ranking – and everything pointed to it happening between Wimbledon to US Open. The best case scenario happened. Even if Federer did not win Madrid, he probably would have regained the No. 1 ranking during this period because of his post 2011 US Open points – unless he was injured or hit a slump.

Furthermore, had Federer not injured his hip at Madrid (which he admitted had the potential to affect him for three weeks in the middle of the busy clay season) and had a bad cold during the second week of French Open, he could have had a more successful clay season – a healthier Federer could have beaten Djokovic in Rome and/or French Open based on his 2011 French Open performance, where he was arguably the best overall player in the tournament (see link). It seems obvious from his spotty performances throughout the 2012 French Open that he was affected by his ailments.
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/simon-reed/superb-federer-back-stunning-best-6276.html

Dan Martin: “It is not Nole’s job to protect Sampras’ records so I am not saying that Novak should have tried to gut out another round or two in Madrid.”

That’s irrelevant. It’s Nole’s job to do whatever it takes to protect Nole’s No. 1 ranking. That’s his responsibility. The consequence is that Nole lost his No. 1 ranking in his prime to the greatest player in history who was past his prime. This is forever on his record.

Btw, Sampras amassed his 286-week record at No. 1 over 10 or 11 separate periods (he lost the No. 1 ranking even during his prime). Federer reached 286 total weeks over just 3 periods. While Federer was in his prime he did not lose the No. 1 ranking, keeping it for a record 237 consecutive weeks.

*****

Kimberly: “Now reading Dave’s posts he has a legitimate shot of ending the year number one although I would say djokovic is the front runner.”

Now that Federer can see the Year-End Number One, you can bet that he will do everything possible to achieve it, including adding extra tournaments after US Open (in 1998, Sampras added 7 tournaments after US Open to keep his No. 1 ranking from Marcelo Rios, see link). Of course injuries and unexpected defeats can affect such scenarios, but Fed’s track record in both are very good. At this point, it remains to be seen whether Djokovic, after suffering two massive hits at French Open and Wimbledon, will be motivated to fight for his No. 1 ranking going forward – my view is that Djokovic will need to build at least a 2,000 point gap over Federer between now and US Open and then play at a high level post US Open in order to end the year as No. 1. Between Djokovic and Nadal, I think Rafa will be slightly more motivated to try his hardest to make a run, even though he has not won a non-clay title since 2010 Tokyo – because he knows this may be the last one or two years he has left to be No. 1.
http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Sa/P/Pete-Sampras.aspx?t=pa&y=1998&m=s&e=0#

In the same way, would say now that Federer is probably eyeing the 2013 French Open more than he was interested in the 2012 French Open – because that might be his last best chance to win it and become the oldest winner of the FO in tennis history.

*****

Thanks x 2, Michael

Michael: “But it is Novak and the other players who have to learn from Roger on maintaining fitness levels.”

I disagree, sorry. Although we don’t know most of the details, from what I have read in recent years my sense is that Djokovic and Nadal’s fitness regimen is more advanced in technology and method to Federer’s fitness regimen, and they spend more time on fitness than Federer who is distracted by things other than playing tennis going on in his life (from parenthood to ATP Player Council). Federer’s regimen seems to be more conventional, within-the-rules (fairplay) and less leading edge than the other top players. Just his known injuries (back injury n Doha, flu at Indian Wells, hip injury during clay season, cold in French Open and Halle, back injury in Wimbledon) indicate to me that he was not as fit as he could have been. Despite this, Fed’s natural tennis and athletic talent and capacity are so high that he was still able to benefit from his fitness regimen to perform when he has need to do so.


skeezer Says:

Dave,

Awesome stuff. Real tennis talk returns


Nina Says:

@Dave, was that really necessary? Gloryhunting I call it. I don’t like it. I don’t think anyone disputes the goatness of Federer but it’s wrong to compare these players in my opinion. And anyway the greatness of Djokovic and Nadal stands on its own, no need to compare them to Federer who is probably a freak player never to be seen again. This endless goat debate is pointless and bores me to no end. Probably one of the reasons why I never warmed up to Federer in the first place.


Polo Says:

You can schedule any which way you want but you still had to win. Federer did not do any voodoo magic. We all know that if you won (or reached the finals) previously, you’ll have more points to defend. We also know that Djokovic is not doing even half as well as he did last year. Nadal also lost so early at Wimbledon where he was a finalist last year. Compared with last year, Federer is doing relatively better than the other, too. All this smart scheduling ploy is a bunch of crap.


Polo Says:

@Nina: I agree, this endless GOAT debate is pointless. Federer already proved that he is, bad back and all.


Polo Says:

I am so happy that Federer has matched Sampras’ Wimbledon titles and surpassed his record for the most weeks at number one. Sampras is now standing between Federer and the other pretenders to the throne. They have to pass Sampras first before they can get to Federer.


Brando Says:

@Nina:

its beyond pointless- ALMOST to the point that one feels its being shoved down people’s throatt’s IF they disagree with choice or notion of one!


skeezer Says:

Nina,

What is it about? The endless goat debate? That is the issue with the antifeds. There is no debate. Yet they want to debate it. Fed is GOAT and the stats,facts, records, and respected all time great tennis professionals peers say so. Its only the ignorant posters that don’t want to accept it, cause hatred can blind, so its only fair that the GOAT gets defended. Who has his stats? Its a worthless argument I agree but it should never go un defended when attacked by idiots, he deserves more than that. As far as shoving down anyones throat, who said they were doing that? It is what it is, nd maybe for some they are just tired of Fed STILL making all time records. They don’t have to read it. I for one enjoy it it and recognize it is special and that a tennis player like this comes around once in a lifetime, if that, and savor every unbeleivable accomplishment the man has made. Special? Hell ya, and the records prove it is something really special.


skeezer Says:

Furthermore,it cracks me up how ignorant posters say Fed is selfish. I mean, wtf does that come from? Whos selfish? Try Rafa and Nole. No kids or wife to have to share there life with, its all about THEM. Where is there personal responsiblity? Tennis is a selfish sport by nature.

So with Fed, If Fed is that “all about him”….well how can that be? He shouldn’t have gotten married, had 2 kids. Parents know when you have kids you cannot be selfish or you fail as a parent.
There is abundant indication that his family is a priority in his life, but yet, he has the emotional well to take responsibilty of it all and still win Slams, loving family looking on. And where does he first look with emotion after he wins Wimby? His children, his wife. So to you ignorant idiots that bring up idiotic sh1t I say you’re talking out of the hole that u sh1t from!


Michael Says:

Dave @ July 12th, 2012 at 5:34 pm,

I think you would make a brilliant statistician in Tennis. You are keeping everything in finger tips. I am in awe of you. I appreciate you take so much pain to defend Roger from a bunch of his haters. But it is not necessary. He is already heralded as the GREATEST EVER in the annals of this sport. His name will remain as long as Tennis played.


metan Says:

I am Just Tennis Fan all tennis player just like a painter, Michaelangelo, monet , leonardo davinci, picasso, rembrandt, renoir etc etc,,,,,,,

Result is vary, one with many titles, one with many slams, one with many years rank first place, one dominant only one surface, etc,,,,etc,,, so no body perfect ,,,means there’s no GOAT,, IMO


Alok Says:

@dave, keep em coming. I don’t see gloryhunting in your comments, just stating the facts. You talk tennis with facts to back up your points, which is what some of us like to read. Too bad some peeps feel talk of Fed is being shoved down their throats. I feel the same bout the constant talk and comparisons for other top 4 players.

@skeezer, Fed’s not a selfish guy. You know it, and others know it too. He has a foundation which helps people in Africa. Don’t let the blind peeps get to you, becoz they are plain jealous. These guys don’t complain when praises flow to Nadal, and we don’t complain when Nadal praises are shoved own our throats in CAPS. Just ignore the haters who are bitter becoz their guy got Rosolled, he he.


Ray Says:

Yes, Nina. it is pointless. what is important is jamie’s endless imbecile posts about novak!

If it is pointless, you can ignore it! no one has forced you to read anything. but ofcourse you have the right to call it pointless, but those who can understand and fortunate to have their favorite as the GOAT, should not talk about it!

same goes for you brando. leave the GOAT talk to people who can see the point.

i have a funny feeling you guys would not have problems if nole/rafa had similar accomplishments and people were talking endlessly about them.


metan Says:

Why did you guys do that to brando? He is the only one who often praises Roger,

If Roger so mighty, in his prime Time 2003-2007 what happened to him in rg, was he in the cave? Why he didn’t kiss rg cup even one time?

If 2012, he has been unwell then what happened to him in 2008, 2010, 2011, was he struggled with stomachache or tbc?

If he is tennis god what happened to him in 2008 wimby?

My boy rafa just a poor fela during all these time.

We don’t discuss statistics coz no body hang their racquets yet.

No need to rewrite all those statistics , WIKI HAS IT,

Olympic and Davis cup are important, they are for country

Clay court is the most difficult court

DON’T BE LITTLE TO OTHERS


Dave Says:

ESPN: “Simply The Best. No one has dominated his sport more than Roger Federer, which opens the door to an interesting debate: Is he the greatest athlete ever? Name an athlete who has been better at a sport: There is no one….

In 2007, after I witnessed Roger Federer win his fourth U.S. Open trophy (his 12th Grand Slam at the time), I posed a question: Is he greater at his sport than any other athlete is/was at their respective sports in the history of sports? Here’s the verbatim: “Is he greater, more dominant, more merciless, mentally stronger, more separated from everyone else in his sport than all the other “Hims” [note: I referred to Roger throughout the column as "Him"] were/are in theirs?”

I threw the sports gods’ names out there to compare, contrast and cause controversy: Woods, Armstrong, Russell, Brown, Ruth, Jordan, Gretzky, Pele, Ali. Should Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps win their respective events at the London Olympics, it will be appropriate to throw in their names as well.

It’s a fair and earnest question, worth the discussions, arguments and accusations of blasphemy that would more than likely follow once asked out loud and in public. And it’s worth asking again since…” (read the rest in link)

Note: the author writes on all sports, but in the past had written a lot on basketball — so it says something that he considers Federer ahead of Michael Jordan.
http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/8160374/is-roger-federer-greatest-athlete-ever

In recent days, several eminent sports writers who cover all sports have mooted the question of whether Federer is the greatest sportsman/athlete of all time (all sports, beyond just tennis). It’s an extraordinary opportunity for Tennis that Federer has been given this accolade. Yet it’s sad to see tennis commentators and other members of the tennis community keep their heads in the sand while this very rare opportunity passes us by — just because they have invested a lot in their other favorite players not named Federer. It’s stupid really, this provincial thinking.

*****

Polo: “Sampras is now standing between Federer and the other pretenders to the throne. They have to pass Sampras first before they can get to Federer.”

I feel several more players, not just Sampras, separate Federer from the current pretenders to the throne Nadal and Djokovic. The greatest players, tennis historians and smarter pundits look beyond just number of grand slams in asessing greatness because great players (a) before the early 1980s skipped certain slams for various reasons and (b) before the open era were not allowed to play the slams when they turned professional (as Steve Tignor pointed out: “If your primary criterion for greatness (total number of grand slam titles) is only available to certain players on your list, you’re in trouble… We shouldn’t say that we “can’t compare players from different eras.” Subjectivity should be encouraged, because that’s what makes these lists worthwhile—that’s what allows us to engage and act out as fans, and to think seriously about what made certain players special”). If Borg bothered to play the Australian Open between 1976 to 1980, he would have likely won at least 3 more slams. McEnroe could have easily picked up 2 to 3 Australian Open titles to add to his 77 singles titles and 78 doubles titles.

Based on my analysis — which goes beyond just total number of slams won — after Roger Federer on the ladder of tennis greatness comes: Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras, Pancho Gonzales, Ivan Lendl, Don Budge, John McEnroe, Jack Kramer, Bill Tilden (I agree with Steve Flint’s assessment of Jack Kramer and Pancho Gonzales: “both men were gigantic achievers in pro tennis when they were barred from the Grand Slam events during the heart of their primes. Both would have taken at least ten more majors had they been eligible to compete at those events during their salad days.” Flint considers Tilden the No. 5 greatest men’s player, and Kramer No. 4.).

*****

Polo: “You can schedule any which way you want but you still had to win… Compared with last year, Federer is doing relatively better than the other, too. All this smart scheduling ploy is a bunch of crap.” Well said.


Dave Says:

Sean: “But then again, are these guys like Novak and Rafa even interested in the No. 1 ranking? I don’t know. Greats like Sampras, Lendl, McEnroe were. Maybe this generation, aside from Federer, don’t care. Maybe for them the challenge of staying on top for an extended period of time is far too tough these days. I don’t know.”

I don’t for one moment believe Djokovic and Nadal are any less interested in the No. 1 ranking than Federer is. Just because they are unable to achieve it for consecutive weeks longer than Leyton Hewitt did it, does not mean they are less interested — but it does show their deficiencies compared to other great players who found a way to do it in their eras.

Of course they are interested — virtually everyone with competitive instincts would want to be No. 1, even if they tell you otherwise. Everyone who played competitive tennis ask yourself: did you like seeing yourself seeded No.1 in a competition, or were you happy to be No. 3 or 5? Second, the No. 1 ranking is one of the two primary measures of greatness and it definitely impacts a player’s commercial appeal and sponsorship endorsements. Third, a player can win all the slams, but if he’s not No. 1 it is a big question mark on his dominance of the field (especially in tennis, which has a one-year ranking system). Greatness requires both.

That Nadal is very interested in the No. 1 ranking is indicated by his coach Uncle Toni’s comments: Minutes after Nadal won the 2012 French Open “his uncle and coach was talking not about the brilliance of the best clay-court player men’s tennis has ever seen, but about his rotten luck. The point Toni Nadal was making was that his nephew’s career could have been even more stellar if he had been playing in another era – one without Federer and now, increasingly, Novak Djokovic — his defeated opponent in this French Open final. “Unlucky, unlucky, oh yes,” uncle Toni said. “If there wasn’t Federer, perhaps Rafael would have been No. 1 for four years. But with Federer, that was impossible.” (AP)

In any case, if Djokovic and Nadal were not interested in the No. 1 ranking, they would have cut down on their tournaments, instead of putting in the effort.

I scratch my head whenever I read the creative excuses and rationalizations pundits make up whenever Nadal or Djokovic fail to achieve something significant.


Sienna Says:

Putting my socks back on.

July 12th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

@ Dave

Thanks for the post. I LOVED IT.
It’s like a snowball rolling downhill and it keeps making momentum.


Dave Says:

Thanks Michael, Alok and Sienna. And brilliant points, skeezer x 2 and Ray.

Nina: “@Dave, was that really necessary? Gloryhunting I call it. I don’t like it. I don’t think anyone disputes the goatness of Federer but it’s wrong to compare these players in my opinion. And anyway the greatness of Djokovic and Nadal stands on its own, no need to compare them to Federer who is probably a freak player never to be seen again. This endless goat debate is pointless and bores me to no end.”

Either you do not understand what glory hunting means and/or I am not a glory hunter. Therefore, if you don’t like my ‘NOT-glory-hunting’ post, then you do not know what it is you do not like.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Glory+Hunter

If you believe that no one disputes the GOATness of Federer, you haven’t been watching tennis on TV or reading the tennis pundits. Are you sure you personally have never disputed or challenged Federer’s place in the ladder of tennis history?

Regardless, it is an absolutely valid activity to compare these players. Comparisons are made all the time, e.g., Tennis Channel’s “100 Greatest of All-Time”, Tennis Magazine’s “Top 40 Players of the last 40 years”, Eurosport’s “Who’s the GOAT?”, etc, etc. As Steve Flink (International Tennis Hall of Fame consultant) will tell you: “Who among us doesn’t relish animated discussions about the best ever in any sport? It is an absorbing exercise of the mind, a chance to make an informed judgment on the relative skills and records of the greatest ever to play a particular game, and an opportunity to suspend time and envision how the finest players would have fared against each other in some kind of imaginary time warp.”

It’s nonsense that “the greatness of Djokovic and Nadal stands on its own”, in isolation to other players. By definition, the concept of greatness carries the implication that Nadal and Djokovic — when compared to other tennis players in their era and across other eras in tennis history — are clearly perceived to be significantly better, superior and more accomplished than the vast majority of other tennis players. Therefore, your perception of their greatness is a product of comparison — otherwise you bandied the term “greatness” without any qualification, making it meaningless.

Every great player is — as an individual — a freak player never to be seen again.

Yes, it is absolutely necessary to strike while the iron is red hot. Federer fans everywhere have had to endure the better part of 4.5 years of Federer haters and know-it-alls telling us that Federer was in decline and he is warming the GOAT Seat until Nadal takes over, blah, blah and blah blee. Therefore it is our responsibility as tennis citizens to use Fed’s latest accomplishment to drive home the arguments that leave an indelible impression on everyone’s minds on this issue. So that the next time Nadal or Djokovic wins another slam, sensible people will rise up to remind them to relax and challenge their claims. It would have been irresponsible of me not to have done so… especially since I am no glory hunter (I am the dave).

*****

Nina: “This endless goat debate is pointless and bores me to no end. Probably one of the reasons why I never warmed up to Federer in the first place.”

No one should care that a small minority are unable or unwilling to warm up to Federer. It’s their loss, not ours — especially when their excuse for not warming up to Federer is as trivial and irrational a reason as this ‘pointless GOAT debate’ that they don’t like. If they don’t have the common sense to avoid reading what I write, they should not expect us to have the sense to comply with their demands.

Since you get bored, perhaps you should read “Like Hamlet, this had an air of inevitability” by Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writers of The Times of London.
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050705/asp/sports/story_4950913.asp


Dave Says:

Thanks Michael, Alok and Sienna. And brilliant points, skeezer x 2 and Ray.

Nina: “@Dave, was that really necessary? Gloryhunting I call it. I don’t like it. I don’t think anyone disputes the goatness of Federer but it’s wrong to compare these players in my opinion. And anyway the greatness of Djokovic and Nadal stands on its own, no need to compare them to Federer who is probably a freak player never to be seen again. This endless goat debate is pointless and bores me to no end.”

Either you do not understand what glory hunting means and/or I am not a glory hunter. Therefore, if you don’t like my ‘NOT-glory-hunting’ post, then you do not know what it is you do not like.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Glory+Hunter

If you believe that no one disputes the GOATness of Federer, you haven’t been watching tennis on TV or reading the tennis pundits. Are you sure you personally have never disputed or challenged Federer’s place in the ladder of tennis history?

Regardless, it is an absolutely valid activity to compare these players. Comparisons are made all the time, e.g., Tennis Channel’s “100 Greatest of All-Time”, Tennis Magazine’s “Top 40 Players of the last 40 years”, Eurosport’s “Who’s the GOAT?”, etc, etc. As Steve Flink (International Tennis Hall of Fame consultant) will tell you: “Who among us doesn’t relish animated discussions about the best ever in any sport? It is an absorbing exercise of the mind, a chance to make an informed judgment on the relative skills and records of the greatest ever to play a particular game, and an opportunity to suspend time and envision how the finest players would have fared against each other in some kind of imaginary time warp.”

It’s nonsense that “the greatness of Djokovic and Nadal stands on its own”, in isolation to other players. By definition, the concept of greatness carries the implication that Nadal and Djokovic — when compared to other tennis players in their era and across other eras in tennis history — are clearly perceived to be significantly better, superior and more accomplished than the vast majority of other tennis players. Therefore, your perception of their greatness is a product of comparison — otherwise you bandied the term “greatness” without any qualification, making it meaningless.

Every great player is — as an individual — a freak player never to be seen again.

Yes, it is absolutely necessary to strike while the iron is red hot. Federer fans everywhere have had to endure the better part of 4.5 years of Federer haters and know-it-alls telling us that Federer was in decline and he is warming the GOAT Seat until Nadal takes over, blah, blah and blah blee. Therefore it is our responsibility as tennis citizens to use Fed’s latest accomplishment to drive home the arguments that leave an indelible impression on everyone’s minds on this issue. So that the next time Nadal or Djokovic wins another slam, sensible people will rise up to remind them to relax and challenge their claims. It would have been irresponsible of me not to have done so… especially since I am no glory hunter (I am the dave).


Dave Says:

Nina: “This endless goat debate is pointless and bores me to no end. Probably one of the reasons why I never warmed up to Federer in the first place.”

No one should care that a small minority are unable or unwilling to warm up to Federer. It’s their loss, not ours — especially when their excuse for not warming up to Federer is as trivial and irrational a reason as this ‘pointless GOAT debate’ that they don’t like. If they don’t have the common sense to avoid reading what I write, they should not expect us to have the sense to comply with their demands.

Since you get bored, perhaps you should read “Like Hamlet, this had an air of inevitability” by Simon Barnes, Chief Sports Writers of The Times of London.
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050705/asp/sports/story_4950913.asp


Mark Says:

Winning a gold medal at the Olympics is the pinnacle of sporting achievements. The so called GOAT’s CV will be incomplete unless and until he wins one and he is desperate to win Gold. That is why he is already talking about Olympics in 2016 just in case he is unsuccessfull in 2012. Don’t kid yourselves guys, Fed is desperate. Nadal has Gold, Fed hasn’t!


Mark Says:

@squeeeeeeeezer. The last line of your post July 12 10.53 am. Is that the lingo you use when talking to your kids? Crude and shameful to say the least. Fine example indeed! Another delirious Fedthug!!


Michael Says:

Just as Nadal is desperate in WTF and many other hard court Masters which he has never won, Roger is desperate for Olympics gold. Is that right Mark !?


Mark Says:

@ Michael. Yes that is right, fed is desperate for Olympic Gold. Why else is he already talking about 2016. Nadal is not desperate for WTF or a y tourney for that matter. The state of his knees dictates everything. And that is why he never speaks of his goals. It is all just day to day.


tfouto Says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_World_Tour_records

I know people praises Federer 33 QF and 23 SF consecutive. It’s really amazing.

Altough there’s one that is as good or at least more underrated.

All Four Finals

Federer is the only player to achive final all four final in a year. The only one, but not only once, but three times.

Federer is the GOAT of consistency, there’s now doubt at that.


Ray Says:

olympics is so great that tennis wasn’t even a olympic sport till 1988.

let us see who the Gold medalists are? I am sure they are the who’s who of tennis universe. i am sure rafa fans will know who was the defending gold medalist before rafa? please answer without google or atp searching!

and davis cup is so important that novak asked the serbs to go f$%k themselves this year and nadal always tells the same to the spannish team when they have to play on the road. please tell me how many “away” ties rafa played in the last 5 years.

Roger has always maintained GS and no.1 ranking is more than davis cup, which is the truth. you would be very dumb if you think davis cup is more valuable than GS/no.1 ranking.

As for the olympics, even the atp gives it only 750 points = half the worth of a Year end championship! federer has 6 of those and they are more valuable. check the past champions for year end championships. and check the past olympic gold medalists. you know which tournament matters more to the ATP players.

btw, ATP – do rafa farts know what P stands for? and do they know what olympics is about? ATP is the polar opposite of the spirit of olympics which is about celebrating amateur sports!


skeezer Says:

@marcie

My Re 4:03 post

No, to the question about my kids. However, sometimes you have to talk at the level of who your talking to. Just frustrated about some of the false posts and assumptions. Yeah, it was crude.


skeezer Says:

^btw wsn’t directed at any one poster but had been reading a discussun accusing Fed being “selfish” and it lit me up…..


skeezer Says:

Dave,

“Yes, it is absolutely necessary to strike while the iron is red hot. Federer fans everywhere have had to endure the better part of 4.5 years of Federer haters and know-it-alls telling us that Federer was in decline and he is warming the GOAT Seat until Nadal takes over, blah, blah and blah blee. Therefore it is our responsibility as tennis citizens to use Fed’s latest accomplishment to drive home the arguments that leave an indelible impression on everyone’s minds on this issue. So that the next time Nadal or Djokovic wins another slam, sensible people will rise up to remind them to relax and challenge their claims. It would have been irresponsible of me not to have done so… especially since I am no glory hunter (I am the dave).”

Sorry, but that garnored a repost, and yes, ” you are the dave”, lol.


Mark Says:

@ squeeeeeeezer. There are more Rafa haters than there are Fed haters. It all boils down to their insecurities of Rafa overtaking Fed and his achievements. IMO Fed’s records are safe for the time being. BUT you never know.


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Sean Randall “Somehow Rafa’s going to need to start winning on surfaces other than clay. At 26 with his knee troubles, it’s a tall order.”

I could say somehow, the others have to start winning on clay, because apart from Djokovic, when was the last time Federer won on clay? Federer hadn’t made the final of any slam since 2010 before last Sunday, and he is knocking 31. At least Rafa made the final of all slams on all surfaces from RG 2010 to RG 2012 apart from AO 2011.


Mentis Says:

But Fed played 20 tournaments against joko’s 19 in last 12 months. Thats not really called mopping up.


Michael Says:

Everyone is entitled to my opinion,

Federer hadn’t made the final of any slam since 2010 before last Sunday ……

You have a very short memory. What about the 2011 French Open final ????????


Michael Says:

Mark,

@ Michael. Yes that is right, fed is desperate for Olympic Gold. Why else is he already talking about 2016

Even if he is desperate for a Olympic Gold, what is wrong in that ?? I just cannot understand your point. This is what a player live for. To attain glory. Roger has everything a player could ask for and now he is readying for the battle to get his hand at just very few trophies that is missing in his majestic cabinet. In the same manner, if Nadal is also desperate for say WTF. There is nothing wrong in that. As players that is what you play for, live for.


Michael Says:

Even with a bad back, Roger is able to win the Wimbledon title. That goes to show as to how much superior his game is compared to these young guns. I see him a real prospect even for the next Wimbledon where he might be vying for breaking the Sampras record. I give him eight Wimbledon titles overall when he finishes his career.


jide Says:

perhaps what we should do is have people name their candidates for GOAT. All we fed fans have to do is defend his GOAT status and frankly it’s tiring. Maybe we should go on the attack cause i for 1 would like to know why if french open is the ‘hardest’ slam to win, why a man who has 7 trophys couldn’t win more than 1 us open that is supposed to be ‘easier’.


jide Says:

Perhaps what we should do is have people name their candidates for GOAT. All we fed fans have to do is defend His GOAT status and frankly it’s tiring. Maybe we should go on the attack cause I for one would like to know why, if french open is the ‘hardest’ slam to win, why a man who has 7 trophys couldn’t win more than 1 US open that is supposed to be ‘easier’.


jide Says:

Apologies about the double post

Highest Season Winning Percentage
1. John McEnroe (1984) .965 82–3
2. Jimmy Connors (1974) .959 93–4
3. Roger Federer (2005) .953 81–4
4. Roger Federer (2006) .948 92–5
5. Björn Borg (1979) .933 84–6
6. Ivan Lendl (1986) .925 74–6
7. Roger Federer (2004) .925 74–6
8. Ivan Lendl (1985) .923 84–7
9. Ivan Lendl (1982) .922 106–9
10. Björn Borg (1980) .921 70–6 = Novak Djokovic (2011) 0.921 70-6

puts Novak’s ‘amazing’ season into perspective doesn’t it.


jide Says:

Apologies about the double double post(stupid smart phone)

Highest Season Winning Percentage
1. John McEnroe (1984) 96.5% 82–3
2. Jimmy Connors (1974) 95.9% 93–4
3. Roger Federer (2005) 95.3% 81–4
4. Roger Federer (2006) 94.8% 92–5
5. Björn Borg (1979) 93.3% 84–6
6. Ivan Lendl (1986) 92.5% 74–6
7. Roger Federer (2004) 92.5% 74–6
8. Ivan Lendl (1985) 92.3% 84–7
9. Ivan Lendl (1982) 92.2% 106–9
10. Björn Borg (1980) 92.1% 70–6 = Novak Djokovic (2011) 92.1% 70-6

puts Novak’s ‘amazing’ season into perspective doesn’t it.


metan Says:

@ray

I FORGIVE you for all the flowerish words, my parents never thought me to use it, so if your mama still around ask her to teach you manner before you troll

You check in yr SCHOOL BOOK which one come n it’s been recognized FIRST , OLYMPIC OR TENNIS

if olympic is not important or Prestige why atp lobbies to include or


Sienna Says:

Ask Lendl if he would sacrifice garris title for a wimbly crown and he would jump right on it. Wait he has sacrificed or already.

Ask Sampras if he could change wimbly crown for a garros crown. And mind you he doesnot have a clay crown. I bet my lifesavings he would not even think about doing something like that.

That is the difference between wimbledon slam and a garros slam

Eternity v Necessarity


Mark Says:

@ Michael. Yr post July 13 9 am. My point is to emphasize the importance of Olympic Gold which some posters here do not appreciate.


metan Says:

I am just 24 , my tennis knowledge is ZERO that is the reason why I like to read those posts here.

But I also find so funny why those brainy bird poster use lot of flowerish words n very selfish when defend their idol,


metan Says:

@ jide, you ask Roger, why he couldn’t get the rg cup during his mighty time 2003-2007,


Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

Michael, sorry I missed last year’s RG. But my point is, why do people go on about Rafa not winning on other surfaces, when the top 5 players have hardly won anything on clay for 8 years. Do they want Rafa to commandeer the whole tour?


Sienna Says:

I believe Fed is winning clay masters in Rafa backyard!
What are you on?


Mark Says:

@Michael. “Even with a bad back, Roger is able to win Wimbledon title”. Obviously not that bad. I suppose if he had lost that would have been the excuse – BAD BACK.


jide Says:

@metan
hmm i tought we were talking about singles achievement, i mean isn’t that why we disregard the fact that Federer has a gold medal (in doubles).


jamie Says:

I was looking at wikipedia and this is Nadal’s longest losing streak off clay ever. We have to go all the way back to 2003-2005 to see Nadal having a similar losing streak off clay of twenty-something tournaments where he lost. But back then Nadal was very young, 16-19. A novice on the tour. His other losing streaks after that off clay were usually 10-15 tournaments off clay where he lost. Now he is on a 20+ losing streak of tournaments off clay where he has lost. Like at the beginning of his career from 2003-2005. LOL.


Sienna Says:

Jide
I dont think Metan is aware of the fact that Roger already got the gold medal in the back. And that for olympic achievements there is zero difference in doubles or singles gold.

Only for a tennis historical fact it is fun to win singles gold,but we already know that Olympic is lesser of importance then WTF win. WHat WTF ?? what is tht Metan would ask.probably if you wikipedia on Rafa you might not get a clue what that event is for tennis.

Maybe try wikipeda for Roger, Sampras,Agassi, Lendl< Macenroe all thos greats were able to win and dominate that tournament. Look it up Metan.


jamie Says:

Edit:

But back then Nadal was very young, 17-19. A novice on the tour. Since the first tournament off clay Nadal played in 2003 was Wimbledon where he was already 17.


Sienna Says:

Michael Says:
Mark,

@ Michael. Yes that is right, fed is desperate for Olympic Gold. Why else is he already talking about 2016

Even if he is desperate for a Olympic Gold, what is wrong in that ?? I just cannot understand your point. This is what a player live for. To attain glory. Roger has everything a player could ask for and now he is readying for the battle to get his hand at just very few trophies that is missing in his majestic cabinet. In the same manner, if Nadal is also desperate for say WTF. There is nothing wrong in that. As players that is what you play for, live for.

July 13th, 2012 at 8:00 am

Fed will of course belooking to defend his gold in 2016.

You know about defending a title. Roger succesfully defends titles on all surfaces. Rafa has never defended a title of clay.

Never notone time he defended a non clay title. SO why is he called a 1 dimensional player?


jamie Says:

WTF > Olympic Gold


Sienna Says:

talking about scheduling.

Can someone please explaine to me why David Ferrer is lpaying all these non events on clay?

He is maybe 1 small peace off of the top 4. He is he can somehow find that peace and have some luck he might get a big trophy.

Surely that will give him more satisfaction then winning 250 on clay.


Steve 27 Says:

because that might be his last best chance to win it and become the oldest winner of the FO in tennis history.

What about Rosewall or Gimeno?

The problems with fed fans are are considering clay as inferior to the hard courts, knowing that only the grass is higher (in prestige) to it. Knowing that the Anglophone countries have the most money, it is not hard to think they chose hard courts as favorite surface. Maintenance costs are more pocket friendly than clay and much cheaper than grass. And of course the chances of American tennis players to earn their own Major are considerably better on hard courts than slower courts as the forgotten har tru. Connors came to play three consecutive finals were played losing two of three. The first with a Gimeno tired of their hard semifinal and the second destroyed by Vilas, both specialists in slow courts. And his only win came against a teenager Borg, a match that Swedish himself thinks it should have won (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8gVbXBQDZw).
Therefore, it is blasphemy to consider the clay in general, and Roland Garros in particular, a surface and a tournament “minor”. It is an insult to all those who love tennis and should not be allowed. Can you imagine having said at the time of their titles Borg at the French Open tournaments were minor and only Wimbledon and U.S. Open was the only trophies worth the gain the glory? I honestly do not think so, and partly because in the internet age is allowed to say or write whatever nonsense.


Michael Says:

Mark,

I never underestimate the importance of Olympics. But you are stressing that too much here to pinpoint Nadal’s superiority over Roger. All said and done, Tennis is an individual sport and it has been included in the Olympics very recently relative to other games. There was a time when Professional Tennis players never gave importance to Olympics. But now the situation has changed and we have players vying for it. I endorse your opinion that Olympics is important as there is pride in it. However, it is not as important as the majors or WTF or even the Masters and it is for a reason that the ATP has awarded more points to these tournaments than Olympics. Nevertheless, Roger still not winning the singles Olympics Gold is a pretty big surprise for me and I hope he turns around this time considering that they will be playing on Roger’s favourite surface. I expect him to do pretty well in this year’s Olympics.


Michael Says:

The problems with fed fans are are considering clay as inferior to the hard courts, knowing that only the grass is higher (in prestige) to it

The problem is not with just Fed fans. It is with the Media, the ATP and the Tennis World in general which look Wimbledon on a higher platter than other majors although they are awarded similar points. Ask any player what is his ultimate goal. No one will say French Open or even US Open. Everybody will say we must win Wimbledon.


Michael Says:

Mark,

Even with a bad back, Roger is able to win Wimbledon title”. Obviously not that bad. I suppose if he had lost that would have been the excuse – BAD BACK.

Like other players, Roger too sometimes makes excuses. But nobody can beat Nadal in this sordid game. He is much superior when claiming injury or time outs.


Steve 27 Says:

The problem is not with just Fed fans. It is with the Media, the ATP and the Tennis World in general which look Wimbledon on a higher platter than other majors although they are awarded similar points. Ask any player what is his ultimate goal. No one will say French Open or even US Open. Everybody will say we must win Wimbledon.

No one disputes that Wimbledon is the most precious thing in tennis, you back in the pantheon of the greatest. That does not enter into debate. My point is the lack of respect for clay specialists, and non-recognition to Nadal wins especially with such phrases as typical. “If we remove the clay is” “if not for the clay would not be one of the great “,” alone worth the titles on hard courts or grass”. Do you think a player is complete if it lacks dominate a surface (see the paradigm case of Sampras)? It is curious that the Americans, Australians, Anglophones, do not give credit to slow courts and presume the artificial the hard courts. It is the power of money, obviously, subdues the freedom of individuals.


Michael Says:

Steve 27,

I for one would not like to diminish the importance of Clay as compared to other surface. The reason why I do not consider Sampras in the list of Greats is his horrible clay court performance which many might differ. Nadal is the GREATEST on Clay. There are no second thoughts about it. His achievements are such on that surface which cannot be overlooked. Out of the 50 odd tournaments that he has garnered, I would imagine nearly 37 would be on Clay. That I would say is a bit skewed considering that it is hard courts which dominate the game today. You cannot be called a GOAT just based on your Clay court performance. There has to be a reasonable distribution. Granted that Roger has few clay tournament victories. But he has made too many finals there to prove himself to be a GREAT player even on the Clay courts. If not for Nadal, I am pretty sure Roger would have atleast won 4 French Open and many other Clay court Masters including Monte Carlo. Nadal although his performance other than Clay is reasonably good is yet to show the consistency Roger had in his career in those Courts. He may do that in future. But till that happens, the GOAT debate will swing hugely in favour of Roger.


Sienna Says:

I agree with Michael Rafa being such a one dimensional player can never be considered among the true Greats.
He needs to balance his slam winnings atleast on 2 slams.

Pete might not hve don great on clay but he is 7 /5 for Wimbly Us Open. He clearly dominated 2 slams.

Nadals best chance is to win more Wimbly titles, but he is unfortunate to have to deal with TMF there. He cannot live with TMF in the fast surface.


Michael Says:

Sienna,

Rafa being such a one dimensional player can never be considered among the true Greats.

I differ here. Rafa is one of the All Time Greats. At this stage, even Greater than Sampras, but less than Borg.

He needs to balance his slam winnings atleast on 2 slams

Yes. But he has made five Wimbledon finals which is a remarkable achievement.

Pete might not hve don great on clay but he is 7 /5 for Wimbly Us Open. He clearly dominated 2 slams

Not done Great on Clay. No his record is worst over there. Just imagine such a projected Great player having just one semi to his credit on the Premier court on Clay. He also won only one Clay court tournament in his whole career – the Italian Open.

Nadals best chance is to win more Wimbly titles, but he is unfortunate to have to deal with TMF there. He cannot live with TMF in the fast surface.

Nadal is 26 and Roger is 31. I think Roger has very good chances to defend the title next year. But beyond that that I do not see him winning Wimbledon. He will be 33 and it would become pretty much tough to do what he is doing now. Nobody knows. Roger might yet surprise me. But it is less likely. Nadal is only 26 and he has about 3 years left if his body holds out. He may dominate or fizzle out. Nobody knows.


Mark Says:

@ sienna. Maybe Rafafans will pass on your advice to Rafa. After all who better to take advice from than the great sienna!


Sienna Says:

Michael
it is clear that Roger will been longer competative then Rafa in playing for the slams. Esp the ones on the fast surfaces .

Nadal’s decline there is so evident and Roger just every fast slam that he still is 1 of the 2 candidates for title .


Sienna Says:

Michael it istituto
I dont know what your thing is , but Pete iswel and truly among the tennis greats . unlike Nadal ho needs to add non clay titles slam AND occupy #1spot for 50 odd weeks or more to join the tennis greats.

I read here that Nadal can been called Goat if he stays within reach of Roger ‘s slamcount .
Delusional is how i call those people . because Nadal can add another 3 Garros title those are notaking him on par with Sampras.

Iactually think Nadal will not be able to defend Garros given his steep decline .


Mark Says:

@ Hey Sienna. Been on the coke again?? Just shut your mouth before anymore bilge spews out. You are making a total fool of yourself!


Sienna Says:

What is it that so offends you Mark?

Every claim or statement is backed with evidence or common sense. I am sorry if you are so desperately insecure that you would have to use this kind of foul language.

Keep it real.


Sienna Says:

Mark Says:
@ sienna. Maybe Rafafans will pass on your advice to Rafa. After all who better to take advice from than the great sienna!

July 14th, 2012 at 3:51 am

I have not seen any Rafafans on this site. There are only so called Rafa fans they are here purely to diminish te stature of Fed and they go to every means necc. to foul mouth Fed.

Unlike most Fedfans who just are happy to see Fed performing so well stil winning titles on all surfaces. Unlike Nadal who is losing to players outside top 100 when he enters a tourney with a so called fast surface.

Those declining results are bound to have an impact on the psyche of the Nadal fanbase.


Mark Says:

@Sienna. Your head is sooooo stuck up Fed’s @SS that you cannot see daylight.!!!!


Kimberly Says:

Maybe the reason us rafa fans haven’t been around is that you are here and we don’t feel like arguing with a troll with a wanna be stripper name?


Mark Says:

http://0.tqn.com/d/tennis/1/0/_/J/06_roger_federer_australian_open_2009.jpg Hey Sienna. This is the cry baby you support!!! Hehehe


Sienna Says:

Markie Mark

That picture fills me with great pride and joy. Because I know what it meant for him and more importantly… I know what he did whit those tears!

He took them and collected them in a bottle to set in his shower cabinet. Every day he looks at them and knows he has to work harder and try again to win … and up pops his sevent Wimbly and 17th slam.

Roger is not only the greatest player of all time he also has the greatest heart of all the past greats and current good players.


Mark Says:

@ sienna. Let us just call him the CRY BABY goat!!!! Pfffft.


skeezer Says:

^better than having this condition,

“Marcie’s backside has been a little sore of late….hehe. Too much Fed success for her, so she needs to litter the thread with trollness remarks cause she is a hater. We gets it.

“I suppose if he had lost that would have been the excuse – BAD BACK.”

He didn’t lose. Non issue and very weak try. Like your cry pic. You try hard but your sh!t doesn’t stick to the wall when throw it. Give it up ready, ur sounding like a bitter nagging sour graped couch lady with long pajamas, in rollers, a cig in the mouth, leaning on an ironing board, with an Iron in your hand, with too many clothes to press and watching Springer on the tele play referee between 2 lovers who always cheat on each other and have 20 kids with 3 tattoos each and all in rehab.


Thomas Says:

LOL skeezer. very true.


Mark Says:

@squuueeeeeeeezzzzzeeerrr. Wow, you have painted a very imaginative picture of me. You are sooooo clever and crude. Ask your kids to read your post and let’s see what they think of their father. Obviously you are used to talking trash. Hehehe.


skeezer Says:

^i’ll take crying anyday over having this ondition

“pruritus ani”


Mark Says:

http://ball71.com/images/Rafael-Nadal.jpg squeeeezzzzie. Careful what you say or I will get my man to stick his fist up any of your body parts!!!


skeezer Says:

^rafa does plenty of “that” himself….hehe

Done here participating in trash. See what happens when us fans don’t have tennis to watch? Cranky….;)


Polo Says:

@mark: “Even with a bad back, Roger is able to win Wimbledon title”. Obviously not that bad. I suppose if he had lost that would have been the excuse – BAD BACK.”

But he didn’t lose, did he?


alison Says:

Sienna Rafa fans for the most part, like myself,Brando,Kimberly,Lulu were all actually very congratulatory and complementary when Roger won wimbledon,some of us know how to conduct ourselves with a little decorum,Roger is a classy player,the best ever none of us said otherwise,shame the same cant be said for some of his fans,i didnt see you rushing forward to congratulate Rafa though when he won the FO.


dc Says:

“Roger Federer, you are the best emotional investment I’ve ever made, and now you are free”

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=827552&publicationSubCategoryId=86


dc Says:

I wonder where all the “Fed played in a weak era” propagandists are now.

If we are to agree with their theory – Fed is now playing in probably the weakest era of all time. At 31 years of age, he’s able to outclass the top players at their prime, not only to get back the #1 ranking but to also dominate the field more completely than the top two were able to in the past one year.

Either Fed is the Greatest of all time or this is the weakest era of all times.


Sienna Says:

dc nice


john Says:

@mark

I pity you. Your posts stink of desperation. You probably don’t get much attention on a daily basis.

That and you’ll need some more excuses for the verbal diarrhea you keep spewing.

Your a jealous and deranged person, Ill pray for you tonight…

For you the guillotine cant come quick enough my friend..In my humble opinion,

Long live the King.


Sienna Says:

Alison you big lyer. you guys and gals enjoy the nastiness on Fed’s behalf. It is sickening what your reazioni are not about commenta with Fed’s involved.
Branda a litle more then you guysbut you dont falli short whit a big margin.


vrtrop Says:

Is it scheduling or winning that gets you to #1? If you schedule every tournament and lose in the 3rd round, I don’t think you can get to #1 but this Sean Randall guy knows a lot more than I do


skeezer Says:

Sienna,

You’re getting waaay out a line. If u can’t distinguish good and fair Rafa fans from the bad ones(rafa fanatics) there is a problem. Know your posters, and choose your battles wisely.


Michael Says:

Sienna,

I dont know what your thing is , but Pete is well and truly among the tennis greats

I have told my reservations on that count. What is going against him is his abysmal performance on Clay when he has not managed to reach even one final of the Rolland Garros and also just won one Clay tournament in his entire career. Not only this, his performance over the years in Rolland Garros is pathetic to say the least. Always beaten in the 2R, 3R. This I think goes against him.

Nevertheless, we all have your views. Just because I deny that Sampras is not a Great is not going to make him so. It is only my personal opinion which you might differ. But the above what I said is a fact. Sampras cannot simply play on Clay. Simple !!! And for me, you must be a player who can play on all courts if you are to be termed Great.


Michael Says:

Sienna,

read here that Nadal can been called Goat if he stays within reach of Roger ’s slamcount .
Delusional is how i call those people . because Nadal can add another 3 Garros title those are notaking him on par with Sampras.

I agree with you here. Even if Nadal manages to upstage Roger in slam count, I do not think he can be termed as GOAT. Why ? It is because Roger has the biggest achievement in Tennis – His semi and quarter final streak. No player can match that. Till another player manages to beat that record along with a number of slams and WTF, Roger name will hold for the GOAT.


Michael Says:

Sienna,

Alison you big lyer. you guys and gals enjoy the nastiness on Fed’s behalf

I think you have mistaken Alison. He is one of the very few guys here who maintains decorum in this forum. He might be a Nadal fan, but he has always respected Roger and his achievements. You have launched a tirade against the wrong guy. Please do not mistake me.


Sienna Says:

I dont see kimberly and branda as fairminded posters at all.
As soon as they are given the chance they lash out with a vendgeance . Esp the branda dude . and kimberly and is also not to take lightly. I remember her using the Seles incident in order to prove a point about Nadal.
I still have to meet a fairminded Rafafan .


Sienna Says:

If you deny greatness for Sampras will then you deny tennis as a sport .
He is just in the group e behind Roger . but still whit room Roger spare in front off Nadal.


Michael Says:

If you deny greatness for Sampras will then you deny tennis as a sport

That is stretching things a bit too far. I was just pointing out the weakness of Sampras on Clay. If you think that it did not diminish his greatness, then well and good. If you can be called a Great player even if you have weakness in some surface, then that is your basis of evaluation. For me, a Great player should be able to play on all surfaces. In that respect, I rate Borg, Nadal, Mcenroe, Connors and Agassi even on a higher plane than Sampras. I would like to include Lendl too as he made two Grass court finals.


Michael Says:

I dont see kimberly and branda as fairminded posters at all

I only talked about Alison who is a sensible poster. Not in a position to comment about the rest.


alison Says:

Michael Thanks but she by the way not he sorry lol.
Sienna the posters that i mentioned in my post above,are all fair and objective about Roger and other players,and only get annoyed when they dont get the same in return,yes for my sins im a Rafa fan,but im not a Rafa fan that hates Roger or any other player for that matter,i only give objective critisism in my posts,if you dont believe me then fare enough theres not a great deal i can do about that,but as far as im concerned thats you who has the problem not me.


Sienna Says:

fair enough. I have also the tendency to be blunt and abrupt about tennisplayers. It is my lack of english that gives me less verbal ammunition to bring nuances. Also nuances seem to give lesser understanding about the real issues.SOmetimes it is good tobe extreme then later nuances can be brought to the table..


scott Says:

all 3 will be chasing andy murray next year ;)


madmax Says:

Hey TXers, read this; I think it’s great so wanted to share. Dave, enjoy as it has lots of statistics!

Some people are still debating whether Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time. But as Katie (or at least her lawyer) said to Tom, it’s over.

Monday, Federer will set a record by being ranked No. 1 in the world for the 287th week of his career. Along with his many other unassailable records suggest, that confirms he’s not only the best player in tennis history, but the most successful male athlete in any major individual pro sport. Federer is simply the most dominant competitor of our time.

Major totals:

Yes, Jack Nicklaus won 18, but he did that over a 24-year stretch, winning three majors in his 40s (rare in golf, but impossible in tennis). Federer has appeared in 24 finals (a tennis record) and won 17 (another record) over a stretch of only 37 tournaments. That means for nine years he made it to just under two-thirds of the finals and won almost half of them. For almost six of those years, you had to beat Federer to win a major. He either won or lost to the eventual champion in 23 straight Grand Slam tournaments.

Three majors, three times:

Tiger Woods had a great year in 2000, when he won three majors and finished fifth in the other one. In 2005, he won two majors and finished second and fourth in the other two.

Those are two phenomenal seasons. Federer has had five of a comparable nature. He won three majors in a season three different times, and in two of those years he was the runner-up in the fourth tournament. In 2005, he won two Slams and was a semifinalist in the other two. And in 2009 he won two majors and was runner up in the other two.

An unprecedented reign:

From 2004 to 2007, Federer had a streak of glory unequalled by any pro athlete. He won 11 of 16 Grand Slam events. Compare that to other tennis greats. In his best four-year stretch, Pete Sampras won seven majors. Same for Rafael Nadal. Last year, Novak Djokovic had one of the best seasons in tennis history and he started 2012 by winning the Australian Open. To match Federer, however, he’d have to win seven of the next nine Slams. Good luck with that, Nole.

Steffi Graf, who won 22 majors, picked up 10 trophies in her best four-year stretch, one fewer than Federer.

Even more impressive is that Federer continued to play almost as well even after those spectacular years, appearing in eight of the next nine major finals and winning four of them.

In Tiger Woods’ best four years, he won seven majors. He finished second once and in the top 10 three other times. But in the other five events, he finished anywhere from 12th to 29th. Three of those finishes were the equivalent of being knocked out in the third round of a tennis tournament. That hasn’t happened to Federer since 2004.

Unmatchable streaks:

Federer has now appeared in 33 straight quarterfinals at majors. That’s more than eight years of making it to the final eight and more than twice as many as the next-best streak, Ivan Lendl at 14. But Federer also rattled off 23 straight appearances in the semifinals, almost six years of top-four appearances (the next-best streak is 10). And he made 10 straight trips to major finals, missed one and then went on to make the next eight, giving him a stretch of 18 finals in 19 tournaments. No one else in the Open era has made more than five finals in a row. So Federer has the best streak (twice as long as anyone else) and the second-best (60 per cent longer).

Number one:

Monday, Federer will achieve the one record many thought he would miss. Nadal has been No. 1 for 102 weeks in his career, so he’s still three-and-a-half years back. Djokovic has 53 weeks at No. 1, so he needs four-and-a-half more years to match Federer.

At one point, Federer was No. 1 for 237 consecutive weeks, a period of more than four-and-a-half years. That record is a year-and-a-half longer than the previous mark.

Overall greatness:

Even Federer’s supposed slumps are only rough spots in comparison to his greatness. Many people point out he has won only one major since January 2010. But he has still made the semifinals at seven of the past eight Grand Slam tournaments. Many players of any age would be thrilled with that, let alone those in their 30s. Djokovic is the only player who has made more semi-finals over the same stretch.

And it’s not like Federer has been playing against a weak field. He’s up against one of the other all-time greats in Nadal, plus Djokovic, who could join the list in a year or two. If Nadal had chosen soccer over tennis, Federer might have another five major trophies in his closet.

Federer might stretch some of these records even further. But even if he retired today, he’d be not only the greatest tennis player ever, but the best individual athlete of our time.


Sienna Says:

Madmax
Thanks what a great post. I cant wait for Dave’s follow up;-)


Mark Says:

“Katie ( or at least her lawyer), Tom”. Who are these people???


Yahn Says:

I salute Federer for his persistence. His consistency is amazing, absolutely unmatchable. Add up to that his unchanging poker face. He seems so complacent no matter how many sets he play. Love that about him!


alison Says:

@Sienna no hard feelings,enjoy your tennis,Rogers an amazing player,be proud of him.


alison Says:

Madmax i know im a Rafa fan,but i really enjoyed your post,thats why i cant see why any Rafa fan would hate Roger,Rogers the greatest ever player whos only crime has been to bring out the best in Rafa,without Roger Rafa would not be the player he is today.


metan Says:

@alison,
Do you mean without Roger we can’t see the best of Rafa??


Mark Says:

@alison. “without Roger rafa would not be the player he is today”. Isn’t that comment just a bit OTT???


Sienna Says:

Alison is right .
Without Fed there would not have been an goal t reach for. To think Nadal and later djokovic would have reached the level they are now is a misconceptionRoger was the anomaly he is the one.

There would not have been a different way about the

Rafwould have been content winning against current players.
Roger propellente into tennisheaven and would only been caught byte next generation.

So no other way round. But Roger benefitted also he in his turn has now forthe second or third time overtaken these youngster
against the tables are turned . and the gauntlet has been caught thrown . The question is will Novak be able to pick uand will Rafa find another gear or will he blow his engineering?


alison Says:

Metan its hard to say,what i meant was that Roger brought out the best in Rafa,made him strive to become a better player,it was meant in a positive way,obviously i dont know,lets just say i was been hypothetical.


alison Says:

Mark you could be right,none of us will ever know,so its completely moot,case closed.


madmax Says:

Hey alison, I always think that rafa brings out the best in fed and vice versa. Fed brings out the best in Murray, Murray brings out the best in fed. They really are a great bunch of players. Without each other there would be complacency.

Mark Says:
@ Michael. Yes that is right, fed is desperate for Olympic Gold. Why else is he already talking about 2016. Nadal is not desperate for WTF or a y tourney for that matter. The state of his knees dictates everything. And that is why he never speaks of his goals. It is all just day to day.

July 13th, 2012 at 4:50 am

Mark, try and get over yourself and just enjoy the fact that fed has goals in his life. I think everyone does. Except you. Unless your goal is to irritate people? Well, job done. Good on fed for wanting to get the olympic gold, and if you read what he said about it, he isn’t desperate, he already has one. If he gets another, that’s a bonus.


Ben Pronin Says:

Nadal does NOT bring out the best in Federer. He brings out the embarrassingly stupid in him.


Dave Says:

madmax: Hi, love a writer who does the homework, then creates something very readable. Ottawa must be a fount of quality journalism!

Sienna: No, I can’t top that. I know my limits :)

skeezer: lol


tfouto Says:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Media/Videos/2012/07/Features/Federer-Record-Reign.aspx

Again, there’s is a record that people dont talk about, but it’s probably the one that’s more impressive to my eyes…

No player on open era, have made it to reach the four GS finals on the same year. Not even once. Well everyone except Federer. Not once or twice, but three times.


Mark Says:

@ madthing. At it again with your stupid comments. Why the he’ll should I be interested in Choc Boy’s goals? He means nothing to me. I am a Nadal fan and proud of him and his achievements. “and if you read what he said about it, he isn’t desperate, he already has one”. Ah, but he does not have a SINGLES gold medal, the coveted one. So, do you really expect him to say he is desperate to win a Singles Gold? Do you think so little of him that you expect him to blurt out “I am desperate for Singles Gold”? You are one stupid dude!!!!


tfouto Says:

Mark how old are you? Seriously?


Mark Says:

@ madthing. And I do not believe that we discuss doubles achievements on this forum, at least I have not caught sight of any. I will repeat, your man is desperate for Gold in Singles!!!


Sienna Says:

Mark you are a little slow when it comes to dealing with the people on this site.

Are you 14 years old?


Mark Says:

Ben Pronin. I thoroughly agree.


Mark Says:

@ sienna. I see you do a pretty lousy job yourself!!


john Says:

@Mark

I think its cute that your dedicating your miserable hours day in day out, towards fueling your jealousy for Fed.

You’ll literally bend down for anyone that agrees with you or hates Fed(must be back breaking work).

I just wish your Mom did a better job in the future, and disciplined you: before you start spewing that verbal nonsense…

Do you write on your wall with crayons?


skeezer Says:

^LMAO!


Mark Says:

@ John. You sound like you need a new set of crayons! Can you even afford them??


Mark Says:

@ squeeeeeeeezie. Yiu have laughed your @SS off countless times. Am wondering if you still have an @SS left!!!


skeezer Says:

^yawn


john Says:

Indeed yawn..

@mark

Stop wondering about other peoples bottoms..

Then again you do it with your fav all the time.

Difficult to break old habits, isn’t it?

Your comebacks are so lame.

I’m gonna need that flatulence pad for my eyes if I carry on reading your posts.


Mark Says:

@ John. Why don’t you resist the urge to read my posts then the need for flatulence pads will not be necessary. Or perhaps you are tired of fawning over choc boy? Same old same old. Bored to tears!


john Says:

Nice try. NEXT!


john Says:

@Jamie

Hilarious!

Watch out….your gonna make Mark crazy with excitement!


Mark Says:

@ Jamie. Thanks but that is stale news.


Mark Says:

@ John. Looks like you are the DUDE crazy with excitement!!!


jamie Says:

@Mark

No more recent nudes from your idol. LOL.


john Says:

Oh mark how I pity you.

You post pics of Fed holding the Olympic flag, and say things like: its to heavy for him.

That’s the best you can do?

Pathetic.

I don’t need to pick on Rafa cause hes not posting dumb rubbish here on a daily basis.

You on the other-hand are a different story.

Now, now.. don’t be such a bad loser.

And seriously..I wouldn’t call what you do posting. Your more of an irritation… your like a fly buzzing around, one just wants to squash you. Its an inherit trait so blame nature for making us fly slappers.

As long as you post(for-lack-of-better-word)your nonsense, I and meany others will be there to slap that fly silly!

Enough said.


WTF Says:

I like how Federer is complemented for his “smart scheduling” in getting to #1 with fewer slam wins and finals, but if a woman tries this and reaches #1 with no slams at all (doing what Federer does but taken to the next level), she is criticized for it.

Players like Wozniacki, Safina, and Jankovic have reached #1 without winning slams. Even Martina Hingis stayed #1 for years after winning her last slam. This is down to winning lots of smaller events when other players (who presumably care more about slams)are resting.

If Fed does it, he’s clever. If a WTA player does it, it shows how sad the rest of the tour is.

I don’t think Fed will stay number 1 or end the year #1. Order will be restored and Nole will return to his rightful place soon enough. Nadal will stay #3 until at least Wimbledon next year.


skeezer Says:

WTF,

WTF? You slam Fed, for like…….whatever. Then rant how women get #1 without winning a Slam? Like Fed did? Last time I looked Fed just won a Slam which resulted in #1 ranking.


WTF Says:

I’m not slamming Fed at all.

You completely missed the point.

Most people regard the top player as the one who does best in the important tournaments, which is not what Federer, Safina or Wozniacki did. They played the mathematics game. Sean commends Fed for it, but the WTA players are panned. Even if Fed has a slam and Woz doesn’t, the same point still remains.

If Nadal had beaten Djokovic at Wimb last year in the final, he’d still drop to #2 with Djoker ascending to #1, but Djoker would have 1 slam and Nadal 3 slams. Everyone knows who the real #1 would have been in that case. And it’s no different to now.

Fed is #1 in the computer only. After the US Open Djokovic will have hardly any points to defend but Fed will. The natural order will be restored.


Tennis Fan Says:

Fed is #1 on the computer in the majority of smart tennis peoples hearts … Djok is just that

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