At 31 How Much Better Can Roger Federer Get?
by Sean Randall | August 19th, 2012, 6:26 pm
  • 301 Comments

Roger Federer capped a marvelous week of tennis today winning a record-breaking fifth Cincinnati title in flawless fashion devouring Novak Djokovic 6-0, 7-6.

Just weeks after celebrating his 31st birthday, Federer put on one the best perfomances I’ve seen from the Swiss in quite a while leaving Djokovic, six years his younger, in bewilderment and fans like me in awe.

Federer never faced a break point and like he had all week moved, er glided, around the court incredible well, forced the issue when needed and was rock solid off both groundstroke wings.

For a guy his age playing someone like Djokovic who is in his prime, it’s really remarkable what Roger did today. Pure precision.

Perhaps Djokovic was struggling with some fatigue from a busy summer, but Federer was playing his first hardcourt event since losing to Andy Roddick of all people in March! And in his last big match Andy Murray mashed him up like potatoes in that Olympic final earlier this month. Yet what does Federer do? He wins the title without losing serve or dropping a set, then in the final not only did he beat the man who had won six of eight coming in and been the victor at the last three hardcourt Slam Majors, he force fed him a bagel! That’s what he did.

It’s truly remarkable.

What’s also amazing and under publicized somewhat is his ability to shake off devastating defeats. I mentioned the Murray loss at the Olympics. Earlier this this year he lost that tough match against Nadal in Australia and promptly rebounded to win Rotterdam and then Indian Wells. Last year he had those two match points against Djokovic at the US Open. Rather than sour as many players would have understandably done he went on a tear the rest of the season.

Since reaching his 30s, in the last 12 months all Federer’s done is defy the odds and rewrite history by winning nine titles and a 17th Grand Slam. He’s also beaten all three of his rivals – Nadal, Djokovic and Murray – in straight sets this year and he’s reclaimed the No. 1 ranking, a position it looks like he’ll hold a lot longer.

Did I mention he’s the oldest guy in the Top 20?

So what’s next? A US Open title? Year-end No. 1 ranking? Calendar slam next year? Sure, why not. The more we write Roger off the more he proves us wrong. The guy is the greatest.


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301 Comments for At 31 How Much Better Can Roger Federer Get?

Pitchaboy Says:

He remains the favorite on fast hard courts and grass. On slow hard and clay courts I believe the golden retrievers of tennis (Djoker, Rafa and Murray) will outrun and defend making it difficult for the old man to win. However, unquestionably the greatest to pick up a tennis racquet.


trufan Says:

He also has 863 ATP match wins so far. The last player who reached that number (Agassi) was fried two years before he reached it. Who reached that number before Agassi? Lendl.

Federer is well on his way to 900 match wins by early next year. He is 627-83 since winning his first wimbledon in 2003!! That’s a ridiculous win-loss record in today’s times.

He has secured his No. 1 ranking at least till past Shanghai in Oct (299 weeks total, at least).


trufan Says:

The best part? His favorite part of the season is yet to come (fast indoor courts). Ha ha! and he is already 56-7 for the season with 6 titles!


trufan Says:

From my calculation, it seems like Delpo will be 7th seed, and Raonic might just get 16th seed. Gives both a good chance to go deep at the USO (Delpo doesn’t have to face a top 8 player till the QF, Raonic doesn’t have to face a top 16 player till 4th round).


Pitchaboy Says:

The big improvement this year has been his backhand. He takes it early, does not protect it and it is as viciously beautiful as it used to be. Would be fascinating to see him play Nadal now.


RaaR Says:

Additionally, Federer didn’t offer his opponents a single break point during the entire tournament.


trufan Says:

Annacone has certainly appeared to fill in the only remaining small gaps in Fed’s game.

Would LOVE to see him play Nadal now… especially outside of clay.


trufan Says:

Has anyone won a tournament without even facing a break point? I know it has happened without being broken, but not even a break point?

I think Fed did face 3 break points or something like that. Not sure. Can someone confirm?


Kimmi Says:

Yee pee!! missed the match but love the results. Congrats to federer. gotta have to look for a replay now. :))))))


Nadal Says:

There are only three classes of people.

Roger, the rest, and the one who beats Roger…..


Nadal Says:

There are only three classes of players.

Roger, the rest, and the one who beats Roger…..


Ben Pronin Says:

I hate to say it, but seriously, what is tennis going to do when Federer retires? I like to believe the sport is above any one player but Federer is slowly, no, quickly becoming one with tennis. What we’re seeing here, I don’t think it’s ever been done before and I doubt it’ll ever happen again. Last year he was a distant number 3. This year he’s becoming a distant number 1… AGAIN!

I’m sure people will find excuses (no Nadal, for example) but the fact remains that Federer has been playing unbelievably well for most of this year and earned his way back to the top. His level is much higher than it was the last two years and that is so amazing considering it should be much, much lower.


Lisa Says:

If he keeps playing like this….he could play well into his 40s….

I think he definately can, however, I highly doubt he’d like too….

Federer would most probably retire at 34 or 35 at least….

But all on his own accord….not because he cannot keep up physically and healthwise….


Sean Randall Says:

Federer did face a handful of break points in Cincinnati. Fish had a few I think so did Wawrinka.

I’m not sure those were the exact matches but I am 100% certain he did face (and save) a few.


skeezer Says:

Sean,

One of your best write ups………ever!


Pitchaboy Says:

Federer became No 1 by winning the most matches in the last year, beating Nadal, Murray and Djoker and doing it in Wimbledon by beating the then No. 1. Therefore Nadals recent absence is meaningless considering that outside of clay Nadal has not won anything in two years.


skeezer Says:

Ben,

Your writing like your finally a believer ;)


skeezer Says:

Is there anywhere to watch a replay of this match? Thanks.


john Says:

not yet, but here are some 11 minute highlights. No English commentating though.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4V7mhJf1pI


Addicted Says:

I think mentally, Federer is probably in a better place than he has ever been in his life. He has nothing to prove, has nothing to lose, is enjoying an (at least from all outside appearances) a very stable, supportive and happy family life, but yet still seems to relish every win, showing the hunger is still there.

And weirdly enough, he seems the fittest guy in the top 3 right now.

Will certainly be an interesting few months.


skeezer Says:

John
Thanks!


Lisa Says:

Definately….Federer has absolutely nothing to prove or play for anymore….

A bit like Sampras after winning his 14 major GS….


Pitchaboy Says:

He has nothing to prove but plenty to play for: his legacy which he values a lot.


skeezer Says:

Some credit has to go to Annacone(assuming he was involved in the change). When players figured out Feds chip BH return, (as an example) they learned to crush it. Notice how Fed hits out alot more on his BH return, and as a result has had a real change in his ability to be agressive.


Lisa Says:

Yes, at least for another 2/3 years….my calculations…..


Pitchaboy Says:

Annacone deserves significant credit. Feds backhand is aggressive this year and guys are not getting much headway attacking it any more. He is also stepping in and taking the ball earlier on his backhand. Unbelievable he can improve at 31.


Lisa Says:

@Skeezer….

Yes Annacone has done a fantastic job to Federers game….full credit to him….


Polo Says:

I don’t think Federer can get any better. He does not need to. I have been expecting him to get worse for a few years now. It still has not happened. It baffles me.


skeezer Says:

When he loses a step, it will be over. This game requires finely tuned incredible footwork. As of now, Feds got it still, superbly ;)


Kevin Kane Says:

Sean, I haven’t posted in over a year but I read every article.

Terrific analysis and such a positive message. Thanks for reminding us why we’re all so inspired by Federer.


dari Says:

I’m PUMPED for USO. everything for fed is icing at this point, but he sure is loading up the cake with icing, and i wouldn’t mind a little more. Hope he defies even more odds and wins USO, too!
*** i admit, i got trained to tense up whenever fed was hitting a backhand in a heated rally, but it has just been so solid this year

Can’t wait for USO


skeezer Says:

dari,

Been there with ya ;)


Maso Says:

What a tremendous year for us Fed fans! 31 and still rocking it. That was a rather convincing victory against Novak today. Granted, Nole didn’t show up in the first set but Rog was merciless, hitting tremendous shots off both wings, efficient with the serve. Absolutely can’t wait to see how the USO plays out. If Fed brings this kind of form, in any case, he’s definitely got some serious chances of getting #18!


Paul R Says:

Tennis X was among the earliest to sniff that “we’ve now seen the best of Federer.”

That was in 2007.


Humble Rafa Says:

Damn! I was hoping the Arrogant One would stay in the Trunk for the rest of the year.

With me out for the US Open, Djoker playing like crap, and all that are left to challenge the Arrogant One are mental midgets. Tough times (for me).


Angel Says:

Humble Rafa, it doesn’t matter that Rafa is not playing right now this Federer beats Nadal outside of clay for sure. No doubt in my mind about that.


DC Says:

@Humble Rafa Says:
Damn! I was hoping the Arrogant One would stay in the Trunk for the rest of the year.

With me out for the US Open, Djoker playing like crap, and all that are left to challenge the Arrogant One are mental midgets. Tough times (for me).
————————————————
Great time for Rafa – away during the hard court season means he doesnt worsen his H2h against Fed and Nole.


Gaga Says:

We already saw the rejuvenated Federer at IW against Nadal this year. Off clay Federer would beat him now. It’s like we are in 2007 again.


Gaga Says:

Nadal is the clay GOAT. On other surfaces than clay he needs a million things to go his way to win a slam. He is like Agassi who won just 1 FO and 1 Wimbledon while Nadal has only won 1 AO and 1 USO. Both overachieved at their worst slams to win a title at each of them. Agassi won 2 USOs at his second best slam while Nadal won 2 Wimbledons at his second best slam. The only difference is that Agassi won 4 titles at his best slam, the AO, while Nadal might end up with twice that number at his best slam, RG.


Michael Says:

Simply unbelievable !! That is all I can say. A man aged 31 years beating a top player in his prime and of all giving him a bagel. Ofcourse, fast hard courts are bread and butter to Roger, but a great player must be able to play on all surfaces just like Roger does which unfortunately other players namely the young guns are lacking much behind. It was unfortunate that his critics wrote him off and now Roger is paying them back in his own coin. Even I was little sceptical about Roger’s performance considering his advanced age, but he proves me wrong too for which I am very happy. I want Roger to continue playing and for that to happen, he should keep winning. Some say, Roger’s winning spree makes Tennis boring. But I want boring Tennis much more !! Hats off to Roger and by the way I am little upset that Novak who is my other favourite who lost. It has been many finals this year for Novak and he is short of luck which he had in plenty last year. All the best to him too !!


andrea Says:

a bagel set…that’s awesome. how does this guy keep up the longevity? remarkable.


David Says:

Michael

I wouldn’t say it’s “unbelievable.” Fed is likely the GOAT so why shouldn’t he still be playing amazing tennis at his age? Laver won the CYGS at age 31 so I think it’s possible that Fed could pull off the NCYGS at the same age. What amazes me is to hear Fed fans doubting him. “Even if he never wins again, he’s the greatest ever..” etc. etc. What?!? He’s the best player in the world right now and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get to 20 Slams. He put that number out there for a reason because he knows he can do it. And when has he not done what he says he wants to do?


David Says:

Andrea

This really shouldn’t be soooo shocking. Agassi made it to a Grand Slam final at age 35. Rosewall at age 39!!!! And Fed’s way better than either of those two.

We’re going to be seeing Fed for many, many, many more years. He’ll probably be playing in the 2020 Wimbledon final. And since he tops every past great in every category, he’ll probably win that match when he gets there.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Skeezer he has lost a step, well maybe a 1/2 step at times(2008) but then has gotten it back. i remember him saying at some pt that in one of the past few years (not sure which) he didn’t really feel he could go all out on defense for a period but then he recovered and played well. he has had a few dips but has managed to bounce back.


David Says:

Ben

Your post at 6:56 is a real over-simplification. Would you have made that same comment after Fed’s loss to Djoker at the semis of this year’s French?

Fed was awful in that match. He was much better at the 2011 Roland Garros so it’s not so clear that his overall level is that much higher this year. I think he is riding a wave of confidence after winning Wimbledon and I think Djoker’s confidence has taken a hit, but by and large they’re the same players they were last year. It’s just tiny things that make the results of one year different from the results of another year, so let’s not blow this out of proportion.


David Says:

tennisfansince76

I’m not buying it. Fed played very well in the 2008 Wimbledon final. That level would’ve been way too good for Roddick, so we need to give credit to Nadal for a well-earned victory. Actually I thought Fed was really sub-par in the 2009 Wimbledon final but his serve saved him. So we can’t just go by the result: he won that means he played well, he lost so that means something was wrong.


Ben Pronin Says:

I said Federer has been playing well most of the year. Key word: most. Between Madrid and Wimbledon he played borderline awful, especially at French. But outside of that month or so, he has been playing supremely well. Djokovic, mentally, is not playing as well as he was last year, including this year’s French Open.


Michael Says:

David, The GOAT status is long settled. It is Roger. But I am still in awe of Roger’s consistency at this age and that too in what is supposed to be the strongest era in Tennis. A 31 year old ranked No.1 – believe it or not ??


David Says:

Michael

But Agassi was No. 1 in 2003. So for me it’s only expected that Roger would do it and in fact hold it until a later age than Agassi. If he doesn’t do that, I’d be shocked.


David Says:

Ben

OK, sorry for misinterpreting you. I’m just getting a bit flustered with comments saying that “Annacone made Roger a better player! Now he’s much better than in 2010!” I just don’t buy it. Form comes and goes and microscopic things make all the difference. Roger was up 2 sets to love on Tsonga and Djoker in Slams last year and lost both matches. How did that happen? I don’t know. Those are mysteries of the universe, but all I know is that no one passed him by. He had everything he needed to win those matches and those Slams but he didn’t. Now I think he has that magical X factor back – confidence – and that will take him to Slam No. 18 in a couple of weeks.

Then he’ll go through another bad patch and people will write him off again, and then as sure as the sun rises in the east, he’ll get his form back and win a couple more Slams.

The point is the greats have ups and downs and I’m sure we haven’t seen Fed’s last down or last up.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

It does look a bit ridiculous what Roger seems to be doing for past 1 year, not just winning Cincy. What I liked about Roger in cincy was his willingness to move forward. That’s one area he still can make improvement, and if he adopts the same approach at USO, it would be fantastic.

The one area where Roger differentiates from others of this generation is his ability to play all court game. But he puts that in the backburner and plays a baseline tennis, then Novak, Murray and Rafa would get the better off him.

I believe Roger is slowly learning that he cannot stay back and win against these guys, maybe Paul has a role to play in convincing him.

But for past few years, Roger’s momentum has been stopped by illness or injury. Let’s hope he is healthy. If he is then he is definitely one of the favourites for next 3-4 slams.


skeezer Says:

TF76,

I said “When he loses a step”. He hasn’t lost it yet, just sayin when he does ;). His footwork now is some of his best ever stuff. Hope he saves some of “DAT” for USo ;)


jatt Says:

some more high quality highlights of the cincy final here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y84dUk4VEzI


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Just curious, does the year end No 1 is decided before WTF?


scineram Says:

The Weak Era is not over, apparently.


Eva Isoyi Says:

Roger knowshow to care for his health.When e is ok, he plays great and can win when unwell he doesnt say it but you can note in the way he can play cautiously esp where the back is concerned or when he doesnt run too much after balls. When its shoulder or back his serves hit the net couple of times…so as long as he is healthy he shall play and put himself in situation to win. Which I know he can.


Rahul Says:

Agreed Sean

Really love the way hes been hitting some of his forehands. He started doing it in Wimbledon and carried it here as well. Its like a flick almost like a table tennis shot. Keeps the ball low and generates good pace and angle.

To win a Master at this age without dropping a set is one thing but to do it without dropping his serve is unbelievable.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

How easily views get chanaged ? Some months ago, you were writing off Roger and now today you say he is a favourite for 3-4 slams after his sequence of wins.


Michael Says:

David @11.57 am, Underline this. In the supposedly strongest era, Roger is No.1 player at the age of 31 whereas Agassi was No.1 after the eclipse of Sampras.


madmax Says:

No one should write off any of the players after a purported bad performance. Novak is tired. Murray is super tired. Nadal is injured. That doesnt mean they are in decline. Roger has been in decline since 2008! And the authors here have been saying so for 4 years! Cant deny that.

Roger is just extra special.

Age has nothing to do with this and I have said this for the last 2 years. If a sportsman can schedule carefully, eat sensibly, listen with focus, and be happy and motivated to put their body through the grind of training, then wheres the harm? Wheres the worry? Wheres the connection with age?

Look after your body is exactly what has been doing. Born with natural talent, he has a gift.

With motivation, a great team and a belief in your own abilities, anyone can do anything.

He is an incredible tennis player. I am so grateful to be alive to watch this era of great players. Roger does just eclipse them all. He is so beautiful to watch on the court. He really takes my breath away.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael,

I said he is one of the favorites, which he is always. Still I can’t see Roger beat Rafa. Things have changed since Rafa is not around.

I’m not sure if you have read my posts. I have said many times Roger can win slam, provided Rafa is not there for him in semis or finals. Still Novak is a hurdle for him, but much lesser hurdle than Rafa.

And to credit to Roger, I did not see him play this high quality tennis for a long time. His FH defense on the right seems to be the best in years. That’s been his weakness for past few years. Once that shot is ON, he can beat anyone other than Nadal.


Reyals Says:

Federer always wins the slams that Nadal withdraws from. AO 2006, Wimbledon 2009 and you bet Federer will win USO 2012. Once Nadal is not there, Roger becomes unstoppable. Roger becomes the most confident player ever once Nadal is not there or loses very early: FO 2009, AO 2010 and Wimbledon 2012.

I would be stunned if Roger does not win the USO. He is the most confident player on the tour right now.

Djokovic is not the player from last year, he has lost his mojo and does not have the ultra-confidence he had in 2011.

Murray is not proven to be a slam winner.

Del Potro has a wrist injury.

Nadal is not around.

The others won’t win it.

Roger for USO 2012 and probably WTF this year as well as the Year end #1.


max Says:

@Nadal says:
“There are only three classes of players.
Roger, the rest, and the one who beats Roger…”

I say:
There are only three classes of players.
Roger, the rest, and the one who refuses to play Roger on fast courts. No?


max Says:

@Nirmal Kumar 6:57am

Roger can beat Nadal on a fast court any given day even with Nadal’s knees fortified with kryptonite.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

max,

Ok, i will agree when I see it.


El Mago Says:

federer is 4-0 against nadal indoors. 8 sets to 1. Post clay season, when the fast-court season starts with grass, Fed is 6-1 against rafa.

You must be blind to have not seen that.


El Mago Says:

Great going fed. If he can do well at USO, he will be the 1st male tennis player to be ranked no.1 for 300 weeks!


max Says:

Nirmal,

Nadal does not play too often fast indoor courts. In fact, he seldomly does.
But the few times Nadal did play fast indoor courts, Federer beat him:
Master Cup 2007, semis: 64 61
Master Cup 2010, final: 63 36 61

In fact, their H2H off clay is 8-6 Federer.
On clay 12-2 Nadal.

Had Nadal played the same number of matches against Fed on fast HC as Fed has played against Nadal on Clay, their H2H would show, perhaps, a Federer supremacy.

Take a look at the H2H of the one player who has a winning record against Nadal, Davydenko.
Right now it is 6-5 Davydenko.
On Clay: 4-0 Nadal
On HC: 6-1 Davydenko.

H2H Federer-Davydenko is 17-2 Federer.

No one disputes that Nadal is the GOAT on clay. Off clay he is definitely not.


madmax Says:

Nirmar,

I suppose Murray winning the olympic gold medal doesnt count because nadal wasnt playing? Give me a break!

Roger would beat rafa on a hard court more times than you think. Check out Daves statistics. And by the way, Rafa doesnt just beat roger on clay, he beats everyone on clay. So show some respect to the guy who has faced rafa in more finals than anyone else in grand slams ON CLAY, or do you want to be so petty?

He is just the best player ever. How anyone can deny that is just in denial.


madmax Says:

Great stats Max


madmax Says:

ElMago, no one can now dispute what you have said here, but Nirmal could come back and ask for the source, so beware.

But yes, you are right. of course.


David Says:

Michael

I wasn’t comparing Agassi and Fed for the purpose of saying that what Andre did was more impressive. Far from it. I know that was a weak stretch from 2001-2003.

The point was that if Agassi could be No. 1 in the world at age 33 and make the finals of the U.S. Open at age 35, it should hardly be shocking or even surprising that Fed – a far superior player – can do what he’s doing at age 31.

In fact, there should be no surprise whatsoever when the GOAT continues to make Slam finals for the next 3-4 years, possibly longer.

The only surprising thing would be if he doesn’t do it.


David Says:

Max

I don’t like this “undisputed” stuff. Was Nadal really any better than Borg on clay? Borg won 6 FOs and didn’t play one year (1977?). He also retired at what, age 25, when he could’ve won more.

I know “coulda woulda” but the fact is that Borg was easily just as dominant on clay as Rafa.

In fact, when asked, Nadal says Borg was better. Or Tio Toni told him Borg was better.

I’ll go with that too. I still say Borg is clay GOAT. Rafa a close second. So it’s not undisputed.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

max,
I think you are getting confused between fast indoor and outdoor HC. Yeah, Roger did beat Rafa many times on fast / slow indoors. Note, the indoors is not always very fast. Only Paris is fast indoors which also changes. I don’t think OZ arena is really that fast.

But I really need to see Roger win against Nadal on outdoor HC in a slam, whether it’s slow / fast.

Let’s not forget the only indoor HC slam match they played, Nadal won against Roger. Maybe it’s a slow HC, but still it was indoors.

So let’s see when they meet.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

madmax,

I’m not sure what you are trying to say. I never said anything about Murray. Infact, I picked Murray before Olympics to win the Gold. I still expect Murray to come big in USO along with Roger and Novak.

Roger would beat rafa on a hard court more times than you think

Hmm..that’s interesting. Last time I checked the stats, Roger was 0-2 against Nadal in HC slam. Not sure I missed their slam matches where Roger beat Rafa many times. I would be really happy to see that stat. It’s one record of Roger which bugs me, not the clay losses.

max, also you took out clay from Nadal’s stat which is his best surface. But you did not remove indoor HC from the list for Roger. I believe this is a biased approach. If you want to remove clay from Rafa, then remove Indoors from Roger. Im not sure how the stat would be, maybe Roger still has winning record, but to be fair remove one favorite surface for each player and compare.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

El Mago,

If you are telling me, yeah I know that. I know Roger has done incredibly well on WTF tournaments against Nadal.

I’m not sure what Roger needs to do to be No 1 for 300 weeks, but it would be an incredible effort.
Also I believe Roger is the 1st player to enter USO with 6 years as No 1 seed. Ridiculous.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Reyals

Roger becomes unstoppable. Roger becomes the most confident player ever once Nadal is not there or loses very early: FO 2009, AO 2010 and Wimbledon 2012.

But Rafa was there in 2005, 2006, 2007 when Roger had than incredible streak going.


skeezer Says:

“But I really need to see Roger win against Nadal on outdoor HC in a slam, whether it’s slow / fast.”

Whatever makes you happy.

i would rather see Fed get more titles and Slams than be all wrapped in this BS. Lets see, “Fed has to beat so and so on only this type of court and this type of event for me to believe he is the best ever.” Do u know how ridiculous that sounds?


Violet Says:

So what if rafa wasn’t their in the final when fed wins? It’s not his fault nadal can’t reach those stages. Some nadal fans really go to great lenghts to discredit fed’s achievements. Sad.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

skeezer,

actually it’s the other way. you are sounding pretty ridiculous. You never understood what I said and went on making some statements.

Did I say Roger needs to win against Nadal on fast HC to prove he is a better tennis player? That’s absurd.

I have always maintained that Roger need not do anything more in his career to prove he is the best player of this generation even before he won Wimby.

As a fan it’s only my personal wish that Roger should beat Rafa in a slam match. I never said the H2H puts Roger second to Rafa in this generation.


tfouto Says:

imho Federer was won all those GS and broke all those records because Optominezer Man haven’t played any of those games against Federer.

BTW Opominezer Man is a imaginary super-player that would win with his eyes closed against Federer, Nadal and Djokovic all together.

Lucky Federer…


john Says:

Lol Skeez,

Don’t let anyone spoil your celebrations!


Sienna Says:

O2 might not be the fastest HC but it still is faster then AU Open. And the bounces are fairly low.

So it has not much to do with indoor or outdoor but more with slow or fast hardcourt.

Roger owns Rafa on a fast hardcourt indoor or outdoordoesnot matter even more lobsided as the clay dominance for Nadal.
Roger gets the edge on gras en Rafa on slow hc which makes it quit even stevenin the end.

The only problem is they haveplayed more on thertrms of Rafa then on the terms of Fed. Mainly because Rafa is not able, capable or willing to meet Roger on the faster courts.

SO NK please donot try to bring something about. The match up between Roger and Rafa is fairly even going by the different surfaces we have in ATP.


the mind reels Says:

Glimpses of the first set yesterday reminded me of the way Federer used to crush forehands from just about anywhere on the court (I’m thinking in particular of his 2004 and 2005 seasons). Djokovic gave him a lot to work with in the first set, but it was still very refreshing to see him looking so unrestrained out there. His post-match interview was also interesting, I thought, in that he’s already achieved his goals for the year and so he can just hit out of his shoes for the remainder of the year. Assuming he’s healthy, I can’t wait to see what that results in.

One thing that he doesn’t seem to do as well these days is hit his forehand as well when on the dead run or pick up the forehand that’s hit behind him, as he’s sometimes caught leaning too much to the backhand side now. It’s small fries, though, compared to the improvements he’s made to his game.

As for Sean’s other article about Djokovic’s 2011 season being a fluke, I agree with his own assertion later in the comments that he was being too harsh on the guy. Djokovic had an incredible season in 2011 — one of the best we’ve seen in the last few decades — and as others have pointed out here, he’s not exactly having a bad 2012. He’s just not having as good a 2012 as he did a 2011. Was it a fluke? No — that seems…absurd. The guy is clearly wildly talented and has shown even this year that he’s capable of being the very best (Nadal in Australia, Murray in Miami, Federer in Rome and Paris, to say nothing of most of the rest of the field). Djokovic had been poised for a breakthrough — the kind we’ve been waiting Murray to have — and once he got his mental edge together, the guy was virtually unstoppable. If Murray could similarly get his head together long enough to string together a few good months, he’d also have a slam and a #2 ranking this season. Djokovic’s season to me was mostly a result of very hard work off the court to be bit and to be mentally airtight. The rest — talent, athletic ability, etc. — was already there.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Sienna,

I really did not bring it. I do not know who brought that topic. But to say it’s even between them, I don’t know. As I said, I need to see Roger beat Rafa in the fast HC. It would be interesting as they have not met in the second half of the season.


john Says:

Its simple really…

Nadals is best on clay..And Fed reached the french open final a bunch of times allowing Nadal to beat him.

Feds best on fast courts. If Nadal was as good on hard fast courts as Fed is on clay Nadal should of reached the Finals at Us Open atleast 5 times allowing Fed to beat Nadal. Where was Nadal when Fed was racking in 5 consecutive Us open titles?

Exactly. Its ludicrous and down right stupid argument. Basically the argument says because Nadals not good enough to reach Finals and allow Fed a chance to beat him Fed is a worse player.

Its a funny argument.


john Says:

Nirmal Kumar

As I said, I need to see Roger beat Rafa in the fast HC.

Your Kidding me right?

So you need to see a 31 year old Federer beat a much younger Nadal, to prove what?

And wait a minute, how long must Federer wait for Nadal to reach the final of one of these events?

Fed must hang around till hes freaking 40 years old and then when Nadal beats him in the Final Nadal is better on fast courts?


skeezer Says:

NK,

Geez the guy just won a masters 1000, fresh off a medal at Oly, and just winning his 17th Slam, 7th Wimby title, securing the #1 world ranking, with one of his best years ever at the old age of 31, and your bustin his b@lls to beat a guy at a Slam who can’t play? Wow, best Fedfan EVER.


David Says:

Reyals

That’s really overstated. So Roger got so “unstoppable” after Nadal lost to Soderling that he came within a few points of losing to Tommy Haas on clay? Or went down two sets to one against DelPo?

Fed is an incredibly mentally strong individual and I doubt his mental state or preparation changes that much no matter what Nadal does or doesn’t do. Either way he’s there to win every match and every tournament he plays.


max Says:

@David

I forgot about Borg!! what a sacrilege!! honestly.
In hindsight, and having seen Borg beat time after time my fav player at that time (Vilas)and considering what you just said, Borg retiring at age 25, may be the “undisputed” clay king is still for further debate depending on Nadal keeping his winning streak @RG.

Back to the Fedal H2H…it has always bothered me because of those 12 wins of Nadal on clay. And when I say it bothers me is because Nadal has never really excel after Wimbledon, aborting as a result more Fedal encounters on Fed’s favorite surfaces.


Sienna Says:

Nirmal Kumar Says:
Sienna,

I really did not bring it. I do not know who brought that topic. But to say it’s even between them, I don’t know. As I said, I need to see Roger beat Rafa in the fast HC. It would be interesting as they have not met in the second half of the season.

August 20th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Yes but we are never ever going to see Nadal rise again on these kind of courts. I wish he was then Roger could whipe the floor with him in a fancy night match.
Nadal has taken the highway on the fast lane. He will be prepairing for clay court and for next year easy going. No more defeats.


David Says:

John

I think you’re being too harsh on Nadal’s hard court ability. I agree that when both Fed and Nadal are at their best Roger would win on any fast court and therefore the head 2 head is very misleading.

But as to “where was Nadal when Fed was winning 5 USOs in a row?”, that’s an unfair question and I think you know that. The better question is “how old” was Rafa in those years. Answer: he was 18-22. Now, how many all-time greats were reaching Slam finals on their worst surface in that age range?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

skeezer, I’m not busting anything. If you think I cannot have a wish for roger, that’s not correct. Every fan has certain wish for his favourite player. For me it’s about Roger beating Rafa in a slam. I’m done with Roger winning tournaments. I have followed him too closely in his peak years. He has won too much for me already.

If you think i’m not enjoying these victories, then you are wrong. These are fantastic moments.


Sienna Says:

Even with Rafa not playing to Rogers strenght the faster HC. Roger is turning there h2h at the moment.
His win in IW is testimony for that.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

David

The better question is “how old” was Rafa in those years. Answer: he was 18-22. Now, how many all-time greats were reaching Slam finals on their worst surface in that age range?

This is one of the most reasonable statement I have seen in this forum.


El Mago Says:

It is not just indoors. Rafa never made cincinnati final [ Cincinnati is supposed to be the fastest outdoor hard on the tour, followed by US open]

Let us assume Pete Sampras in federer’s place. Sampras would never make it to all those clay court finals and guess what? He would have a 6-1 or 6-2 H2H against nadal like davydenko leads on nadal outside clay. What does that prove? It proves that Nirmal Kumar’s logic is pure horse crap.

If you just take australian open, Sampras never beat agassi. He is 0-2 against agassi, just like Federer is against Nadal. But agassi, being more versatile than Nadal, also ended up playing Sampras 5 times in USO, where as nadal never played federer on the faster hard court slam.

You can even apply this stupid logic in this hypothetical situation.

Say sampras and nadal played in the same era. Due to sampras being pathetic on clay, these might end up only playing at australian open say 3 times. 2 times in wimbledon and 5 times at USopen.

Sampras kicks rafa’s azz in uso 5 times, 2 times in sw19, but rafa leads 2-1 at australian open.

some joker would then claim sampras has a 8-2 H2H against rafa in GS and so unless rafa beats sampras @ French open, you cannot say rafa is the better clay courter than sampras.

How stupid is that?

If Federer and nadal play 10 times at USO, federer will win 8 out of those 10. There is a good chance he will win 10/10 too.

If a 30 year old federer can bagel nadal on a not-so-fast hard court like O2 arena, can you imagine the mayhem federer would have caused on faster hardcourts like USO and Cincinnati, if federer could have played nadal there during his peak years of 2004-07? Instead 5 out of the 7 outdoor hardcourt meetings of fedal have happened on slower hard courts of miami and australian open. and 4 of those happened when rafa was ranked higher than fed, which means fed played a guy 5 years younger than him with the younger guy in better form and on courts that suit the younger guys style!


Giles Says:

Isn’t it a coincidence that each time Nadal is absent from a tourney federer wins!


El Mago Says:

David:

how many greats achieved career golden slam by age 24?


Humble Roger Says:

Humble Rafa

lol. as always. Nadal’s fanatic arrogant bl Nadal is Arrogant gamesmanship player. always fake time-out . too annoying always. excuse. bump to player. ugly protest. ego two-year-ranking. etc.

looks down on Sampras era. “It was not true tennis only in the serve..”

smug arrogant Nadal


RZ Says:

What’s amazing is Federer’s motivation and willingness to keep improving. He’s gotten a lot of flack over the last few years for being stubborn and not switching up his style of play, but he’s done a lot of that in the last few years with more serve-and-volley play. And I’ve noticed that he uses the drop-volley a lot more now.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

El Mago, you are basically saying Rafa is better than Roger on clay and slow HC.


Pitchaboy Says:

Let us get this straight. Rafa has 2 lousy slams on HC versus Fed who has 9. There is not an argument who is better on HC. Federer by a mile. When Fed won those 9 titles it is not his fault Rafa was not on the opposite side of the net to stop him. Rafa was simply not good enough those 9 times to get there. GOAT means sustained brilliance on all surfaces. Not flashes of them


Pitchaboy Says:

The Bleacher Report has a good analysis of the best ever players on hard courts. It is Fed followed by Sampras and Rafa way down the list. Read and be educated.


Reyals Says:

Giles Says:

Isn’t it a coincidence that each time Nadal is absent from a tourney federer wins!

:P

Yes, great news for Roger fans at the US Open this year.


Huh Says:

I’ve no idea whatsoever as to how can fed be this unreally GREAT even at this age and after remaining right on top for a decade now??? He’s been the absolute best player from 2003-12(10 freaking years). sometmes nadal and noek has spoiled the party, but that’s it.

Federer is just sickeningly dominant…

He’s really THE GREATEST EVER… for now…

But the scary thing is it wouldn’t be easy for just anyone, i really mean, anyone… to equal or overtake fed’s record anytime soon.

If fed’s able to win his 18th slam, then I’ve to say I don’t see his record falling for at least 2 or 3 decades. Fed is so supreme himself that it’s unlikely that he’d have a superior in terms of tennis legacy/greatness anytime soon.


Huh Says:

Well Nirmal,

you and me’re both most unlucky fed fans coz of nadal not facing fed from 2004-07 in USO coz that was the most confident and most brillaint federer having no doubt whatsoever against nadal on any court except clay(nadal was shaky in beating fed even when fed was playing his absolute worst with least confidence in WIM 08 final; can’t imagine what fed would have done if he had played that young inexperienced much less confident nadal at USO from 04-07). too bad, nadal didn’t face him and we couldn’t have our wishes of fed thrashin rafa in USO fulfilled.


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

Fed beat Nadal straight sets at IW (outdoor HC) THIS YEAR. Don’t you remember?????

For the first time, in the last few months, I have seen something from Fed that I have always wished I saw – taking the ball early on the backhand, hitting over it, and coming to the net more often AND in a smart way (and of course hitting dropshots pretty regularly).

The Fed of 2012 is different. You have to be blind not to see that. Anywhere outside of clay, he is likely to beat Nadal. On a fast HC like USO or Cincy, he will beat the crap out of him. He gave Djokovic a 6-0 yesterday!!

Dubai, IW, now Cincy – after a long time, Fed is winning big tournaments on outdoor HC. He is clearly the favorite for the USO.

Nadal? He can barely play right now. Fitness is part of being a top sportsman.


trufan Says:

And BTW, Fed is guaranteed to be No. 1 for a total of 299 weeks at least. He cannot lose the ranking at the USO now – he has only 720 points to defend, while Djokovic has 2000. His lead is greater than 720. After that, the next masters is in Shanghai one month later – both will gain whatever points they earn there.

My guess? If Fed reaches the USO final, even if he doesn’t win it, he will not go to Shanghai, since he will be guaranteed his No. 1 ranking till after Basel. If Fed wins the USO, He will skip Shanghai for sure.


Kimberly Says:

http://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketUsOpenATP/tennisxrocks/Pre-Register.aspx

ATP pre-registration for US Open draw challenge. Skeezer, Conty, Can someone post it on the bracket site. I am temporarlily locked out and i know there are some who might come here, but looking for the link.


Reyals Says:

Federer is up there with Ali, Jordan, Pele.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

trufan,

I agree Fed is playing much better tennis now than past 2 years. But Rafa beat Roger at Dubai when probably Roger was playing his best tennis.

I don’t really care about the masters. Yeah Roger can beat Rafa at IW or WTF. My interest is only on slams. We saw at AO 12, just one month before IW and one month after WTF.


Gordo Says:

I posted this yesterday on a different thread, but I think this is where it belongs –

It is time to stop comparing Federer to Nadal and Laver and Sampras and instead place him in a grouping where he belongs, with Ali, Pele, Jordan and Gretzky.


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

if you don’t care about the masters, then why do you care about Dubai that you brought up? Ya, that was in 2006 I think – Fed just tanked that match, don’t know why, after being up a set and a break.

If you look at non clay slams, Nadal is 3-2 on Fed. But all three of those victories were 2008 or later – when Fed was 27-29 years old, while Nadal was 22-24 years old and at his prime. And my God, two of them were so close.

I think going forward, at the AO, Nadal still could beat Federer, since those are not only slow HC, but also high bouncing. But at Wimbledon, Fed will most probably beat Nadal, because the bounce is lower. And at USO, where they have never played, Fed has good chance of beating Nadal.

And now that Nadal is off his peak and clearly in decline (hasn’t won ANYTHING outside of clay for TWO years!!!), and Fed is playing better than he was anytime in the last 3 years, I think fed beats Nadal more than Nadal beats Fed, going forward.

That’s, of course, if Nadal shows up in the big matches outside of clay. That has been the problem. While Fed showed up in all those clay finals to play Nadal, Nadal mostly lost early on the non clay tournaments, so they have played half their matches on clay, while only 1/4 of the tournaments are on clay. Disproportionate.


trufan Says:

The way Fed played at Cincy – after a LONG time, it reminded me of the real Fed – with some boosters like a better backhand and more serve/volley. And his movement was back.

Even Djokovic, who beat the pulp out of Nadal last year, was dumbfounded yesterday in the first set. No way would Nadal have beaten Federer yesterday.

Nadal loves to slide on clay – now all that’s going to slide is his ranking. He’s never getting back to No. 1 again.


Pitchaboy Says:

Some guys here need to get over it. Rafa has just 2 HC slams. Just 2. When he wins a few more we could compare him to Fed. Right now he is not even as good as Novak.


Giles Says:

@ trufan “He’s never getting back to No. 1 again”. Famous last words! I remember people saying that about Roger! Hmm!!


Pitchaboy Says:

Not worth discussing whether Fed would have beaten Nadal yesterday. Nadal has never won this one. He is an all time great but onfast hard courts, a nobody.


trufan Says:

Giles,

Roger is different.

Hardly any player has gotten back to No. 1 ranking after 26 years of age. The fact that federer got it back in 2009, and now again in 2012, is just astonishing.

Nadal can get 5500 points from the clay season, MAX. He needs at leas 5500 points from non clay tournaments to get there. Ain’t happening unless he starts winning several non clay tournaments. And that’s where the problem lies.


trufan Says:

As for Nadal’s 2010 USO victories – here were his opponents:

93 ranked Gabashvili in the first round.
39 ranked Istomin in the second round.
42 ranked Simon in the 3rd round.
25 ranked Lopez in the 4th round (one of his pigeons)
8 ranked Verdasco in the QF (another of his pigeons from Spain)
(AND WOW) 14 ranked Youzhny in the semi (6-2, 6-3, 6-4).

Then he gets to play a tired Djokovic in the final, who had just played a 4 hour 5-setter against Federer, saving match points in the fifth, a total of 311 points in the match.

Yeah right! Nadal ain’t getting that much luck again.


trufan Says:

Give Federer these players at the USO, and he will reach the final the next 10 years in a row!!


Giles Says:

^ The element of luck in life and sport is ever present.


Huh Says:

”But Rafa beat Roger at Dubai when probably Roger was playing his best tennis. ”

nirmal has got to b kidding me!


El Mago Says:

Gordo:

The discussion on Fed being the GOAT of all sportsmen has been already started – straight after fed’s 7th wimbledon a month ago!

Federer has a very good case. he plays a very demanding individual sport and makes it look ridiculously easy. Genius, magician, wizard – very few people receive such high praise in an essentially brawn over brain field such as international sport. I mean, no one is going to confuse ali, pele with mozart/beethoven for sure.

With federer though, genius/maestro/magician or wizard seems to fit so well! Add federer’s leadership and awareness of the history of his sport and you will not find another sportsman in his league. Has anyone held the no.1 ranking with the ease/majesty with which federer holds? most players buckle under the burden. Federer seems to be able to rise above the pressure of the burden and carry it with aplomb!

Federer The Magician!


El Flaco Says:

Yeah that 2010 USO draw was a cake walk for Nadal except for the final. Fed needed to beat 3 top 5 players to win that year. Soderling #5, Djokovic #3 and Nadal #1.


Sienna Says:

Nadal all time great?
How many greats are there in history ?

If you mean top 15 i agreement, but top 5? Sorry he doesnot make that list by maybe 100 weeks #1 and 1 or 2 hc slams .

He is to one sided too one dimensional.


trufan Says:

Giles,

I agree, the element of luck is always present.

And even though I firmly believe Fed is the GOAT of tennis – I think its too much to call him GOAT of all sports. there have been legendary sportsmen and women in other sports – and it becomes nearly impossible to compare across sports.

But men’s tennis? Yeah, he is the best of all time. And he is clearly not done yet!! Since the last USO, he is 73-7 with 9 titles including 1 slam, 1 YEC, and 4 masters tournaments. And he is 31.

I distinctly remember when Fed had 12 slams and Tiger woods had 14 – and the question was who would break the record sooner (will Fed get to 14 before Tiger gets to 18?). Well, 4 years later, Fed is at 17, Tiger still at 14. Looks like Fed will reach Jack Nicklaus’s number of 18, but Tiger won’t!


Polo Says:

That Federer is GOAT will always be contested by others. But of all the tennis players, is there any question that Federer is the most accomplished?


Polo Says:

About luck, it does not really work if you are bad.


trufan Says:

Well, bad luck can move you from 10-12 slams to 8 (e.g. Ivan Lendl), or from 8-10 slams to 12 (e.g. Nadal). Luck (good or bad) can’t make Roddick a 10 slam winner, or Federer a 5 slam winner. I think it definitely could affect at least a few slams, one way or the other.

Oh Boy, if Fed wins the USO, that would just be a new height. He pretty much seals the No. 1 ranking for the rest of the year, and I don’t think any other men’s player is getting to 18 singles slams anytime soon.


Huh Says:

LUCK=LABOUR UNDER CORRECT KNOWLEDGE

Luck is also “When Preparation Meets Opportunity”.

so yeah, all GREAT players like nadal and federer are lucky indeed! too bad, some of the posters here are not! ;)


Kimberly Says:

Sienna-id give him top 10 for sure. Maybe not top 5 but prob just outside of it. I like to think I’m pretty reasonable about his achievements. You can’t just dismiss clay. It is a large part of the game. Who other than Federer and Sampras would you put above him? I even hesitate to put Sampras as he was never even able to achieve a final on clay while rafa did achieve 4 finals on hard and 5 on grass at GS. Does Sampras even have a clay court masters?


Sienna Says:

Kimberly id
in brando order …

Borg, Jimbo, Mac, Roger, Pistol, Laver, Lendl, Rosewell, Gonzalez, Tilden……

They were all true leaders champions.
Rafa is a great warrior but not a king.

He failed to lead. He never was able to free himself as individual from his upbringing. Therefore himself he never can or will be


Sienna Says:

Or will be a real champion of the all time greats. all the names you see here have done just that although some have lesser slams they were all bigger champions in tennis.


john Says:

David says:

Now, how many all-time greats were reaching Slam finals on their worst surface in that age range?
@David
Good point, think about this…

How many finals has Nadal reached on his so called worst surface at his present age?

And how many french open finals has Fed reached, on his so called worst surface?

And I don’t buy your argument cause Nadal with his two US Open Finals is not close to Fed on clay. Don’t forget Fed was defending titles on fast hard courts and grass. Fed reached his first French open final in 2006, 3 years after his first grand slam. Nadal reached his first Us OPEN Final in 2010!!!! 5 years later..


john Says:

5 years after his first french open title..


john Says:

So if you wanna be all fair and square lets just say Nadal is in the minus when it comes to pitching up for the finals.

Don’t blame Fed for not beating Nadal, blame Nadal for not giving Federer an opportunity to!


Sienna Says:

Brando order ? Random autospelling .


trufan Says:

Nadal has reached a sum total of 2 finals at the AO and 2 finals at USO. Won 1 each. Not even close to Fed at the French, where he made 5 consecutive finals and won 1.

Fed at Wimbledon is comparable to Nadal at the French. BUt then Fed has 5 USO and 4 AO too. nadal doesn’t have those. Nadal has 5 wimbledon finals with 2 titles, pretty similar to Federer on clay.

So if you combine clay and grass, Fed and Nadal are pretty even, IN TOTAL. But hardcourts is where Fed pulls WAY ahead of Nadal – and hard courts are where 75% of the tennis is played!


john Says:

^

Exactly, Fed was backing those grass and clay court results up with Hard court results. Nadal simply hasn’t performed as well as Fed hence not giving him the opportunity to beat him.

Its not that important to me and I don’t wanna take anything away from Nadal. I just back up fed when people bring arguments that I don’t agree with.:)


Huh Says:

greatest ever list, sorry ladies ;)

1.ROGER FEDERER
2.Laver
3.Borg
4.greatest ever list, sorry ladies ;)

1.ROGER FEDERER
2.Laver
3.Borg
4.Pete
5.Lendl
6.Connors
7.Nadal
8.JMac
9.Agassi
10.Edberg

now only if jmac was more serious and agassi was more dedicated, they might’ve ranked next only to the top-4.
5.Lendl
6.Connors
7.Nadal
8.JMac
9.Agassi
10.Edberg

now only if jmac was more serious and agassi was more dedicated, they might’ve ranked next only to the top-4.


David Says:

John

For some reason, you’re assuming that just because I make a comment defending Nadal that means I’m trying to argue Nadal is better than Fed or trying to take something away from Fed in any way, and I most certainly am not. As far as I’m concerned Fed is the greatest player I’ve ever seen.

All that said, it’s just a fact that there’s almost no one in tennis history (at least among the men) who was making Slam finals on their worst surface between ages 18-22. So I think questions like “Where was Rafa when Fed was winning all those USOs?” are completely unfair.

That doesn’t mean I think Rafa is better on hard than Fed is on clay. In fact I think the opposite. Take Fed out of the equation and Rafa’s results on fast courts are virtually unchanged. Take Rafa out of the equation and Fed would have 6 FO titles to add to all of his other Slams.


Huh Says:

oh heck, dat was unintended, but you got the point of my last post despite doubl typo, no???


skeezer Says:

I remember how Fed haters a few years back would go to lengths to discredit his GOAT status and achievements, which was really just an act of jealousy. Now, no matter how your mix and match his stats, there is nothing anyone can say. GOAT.

Rafa’s career is not over, and a few years younger than Fed. I am not into discrediting his achievements, just not into others using it as a stick to bring down the Maestro. When he gets into his late 20′s ( fast approaching ), I think fans will get a clearer picture of where he stands among the all time greats. He for sure needs to improve his GS and titles on Grass and Hard, forget Clay, he has already answered that with a “best ever”.


David Says:

skeezer

Rafa is not the GOAT and doesn’t think of himself as a potential GOAT. He’s recognized in many different remarks he’s made that Fed is the greatest player ever.

What he needs to concentrate on is what he does best and that’s win on clay. Any Slam win is so difficult and obviously the French is his best chance of winning another one so that should be his focus. Chances are he’ll never win anything else besides the French ever again, so focusing on AO, Wimby or USO at the expense of the French would be extremely foolish.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

David, I think you’re presuming a lot in your prescription for Rafa. He has been told from his first years on tour that winning a Slam outside of clay would be near impossible for him, but he did it. 4 times. With knee and other problems interspersed among those slams. Then, he just barely lost the Australian Open this year, and was a finalist at Wimbledon and US last year.
The idea that a win off clay is some freakish moonshot for Rafa is nonsense.
But so too is demanding as a fan that we can set the priorities for players: maybe winning off clay is more interesting to Rafa now, after all, he has nothing to prove on clay. Off clay presents the challenge that a world class competitor hungers for. It is difficult enough to understand exactly what motivates ourselves, let alone a stranger we know only through mass media.
I wouldn’t pick Rafa as favourite at the USO if he had been entered, or at Oz or Wimbledon next year, but neither would I think him a long shot. He has a champions heart, and I think he gets his greatest satisfaction in doing those things which are most difficult.


David Says:

Alright, “freakish moonshot” is going too far. Basically what I’m saying is he should keep doing what he’s been doing. It would be a big mistake, imo, to put extra focus on grass or hard and place less focus on clay because that might cause him to miss out on an FO. He’s still got a solid chance of winning another one of those, whereas no matter what he does, he’s probably not going to win the other 3 again.


Kimberly Says:

I’ll be honest, I really don’t know enough about previous generations to make a list like huh and sienna, I only know what the numbers and the records say. Nadal is up there although clearly federer and laver are above, maybe Sampras and lendl. But Sampras utter incompetency on clay bugs me. Even if fed had not won the French his four or five finals and masters title would have still shown an overall competency which Sampras just did not have. Like Lendl played the final of Wimbledon so he actually could play on grass, and Jmac played the final of the French. But saras clearly lacked the game to succeed on this surface. I guess maybe nadal lacks the game for indoor hard, but tennis is essentially an outdoor sport anyway. At least here in Miami for sure!


Alok Says:

@skeezer, 723pm, the Fed detractors still dispute he is the goat.i guess it’s because it helps to ease the pain that only Fed can be the goat?


dari Says:

gonna do the ladies bracket this time, just registered both

Thanks Kimberley


David Says:

Huh

Is this a ranking for the Open Era only? If so, why is no one before Laver considered?


David Says:

Sorry, I meant to ask “If not, why is no one before Laver considered” for your list?


Nirmal Kumar Says:

trufan,

this is what you said

“And now that Nadal is off his peak and clearly in decline (hasn’t won ANYTHING outside of clay for TWO years!!!), and Fed is playing better than he was anytime in the last 3 years, I think fed beats Nadal more than Nadal beats Fed, going forward.”

Exactly in this period Rafa beat Roger in their biggest match of the year ie AO 2012 in 4-sets. So I’m not sure if you really follow tennis or only follow Roger’s results when he wins.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

trufan, you really make some funny cases for Rafa than Roger in your statements.

As per you “Then he gets to play a tired Djokovic in the final, who had just played a 4 hour 5-setter against Federer, saving match points in the fifth, a total of 311 points in the match.”

But wondering how come Nadal who played a 5 hr semi final match could beat Roger in AO 09, when Roger was at his peak. Rafa is supposed to be a nobody on HC’s right?


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

We are coming in a circle basically and it often ends up in this H2H discussion. I for one would have been still more happy if Roger had a better H2H against Nadal. The fact is it is not ? Reason, Roger is second best to Nadal on Clay and it is on that surface they have met the maximum. Why this is so ? Because Nadal is not so consistent outside clay courts like Roger was outside Grass and hard courts or even indoor courts. What this proves is that Roger is an all court player unlike Nadal who struggles on indoor and fast courts. Just have a look at this. Nadal managed to reach his first US Open final only in 2010. Doesn’t this tell you something ? What would have been happened if they had met atleast twice or even thrice when Roger was at his peak ? Most probably Roger would have won. Why I am saying this ? It is because Roger beat Nadal at the 2006 and 2007 Wimbledon finals and also he has a positive record against Nadal on hard courts. You keep pointing about the Australian Open 2009. Yeah, it was a tough loss for Roger. A match where the better player ended up being the loser. It was an aberration. Roger just managed to serve just 37% of his first serves in and still Nadal managed to beat him only 7-6 and 7-5 in sets. With his monstrous dominance on Clay, Nadal can have only a better H2H against his rivals. If he is such a good player in hard courts, why he is 5-11 against Novak and 1-6 against Davydenko ?? On the other hand, you know Roger’s H2H against these players on hard courts. It is total dominance. I am also seeing some jealous comments about Roger managing to win when Nadal is not around. Is that so ? Nadal was very well there when Roger won Rolland Garros and when he won 2012 Wimbledon and even 2010 Australian Open ? If he ended up losing early, is it Roger’s fault ? I just fail to understand this spurious logic which just comes out of jealousy more than anything else.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael,

I don’t really care about H2H. I never bring it up as much as others do. But I’m concerned only about majors and HC majors where I believe Roger should have a win against Rafa. I don’t want Roger to end with a career record of 0-2 (which he is now) or 0-4 maybe at the end of his career. I’m not worried about other H2H, which I understand is due to clay.

Novak and Davy are two handers and play a similar game. I’m not sure if Davy has won a slam match against Rafa yet. Nadal has beaten Novak in 2010 USO finals. It all evens out. He wins some and loses some, not like Roger losing almost everytime in majors.

People often bring about Rafa’s HC record in his career, which I don’t care much. It’s for Rafa’s fan to worry not mine. I only care about when he meets Roger. My concern is why can’t Roger beat Rafa when they meet in a slam. That’s all I’m looking forward to.


john Says:

NK Says:My concern is why can’t Roger beat Rafa when they meet in a slam. That’s all I’m looking forward to.

@NK

Why don’t you worry about that once Nadal starts playing again?

At the moment its completely pointless since Nadal isn’t playing.

It also seems to me like you keep on conveniently ignoring information like the fact that Federer has reached so meany Slam finals on fast HC with no Nadal present. Federer consistently reaches semis at Majors even when not playing his best tennis so of-course his beatable(specially t his age). Nadal needs to be playing somewhere near his best to reach the semis(except clay), that’s why his often vulnerable in early rounds at Wimbledon and in New York.

Look at Federer’s streak of Semifinals(which was broken at french) or finals and you can see how Federer continuously gives Nadal the opportunity to beat him. Nadal just didn’t pitch up for the finals when Fed was playing at his best.

That all being said there is really no point in harboring on about it as its probably not gonna change anyway.

Federer is 31 now and playing great, and Nadal is injured. Who knows when Nadal will come back and it will probably be on the slow courts at Australian Open where he will again have an advantage over Federer(specially at 31).

See my point?

So Federer has to wait another year before maybe getting an opportunity to beat Nadal on Fast HC by which time he will be 32 years old!!

DO you know how ridicules that sounds?

Its complete BS, if Nadal is still an active player at 31, beating the top 3 players in the world then we can talk. Till then everything is gravy for Fed and he has nothing to prove. What his doing is amazing and that’s just that. Fed has wins over Djokovic, Nadal and Murray this year all at his Ripe age.

If your expecting Fed to hang around and beat the younger generation till his 36 at slams your asking for a bit much I think :(.


skeezer Says:

“I don’t really care about H2H. I never bring it up as much as others do. But…..”
Then you go on about how it does matters to your personal rationale. C’mon man! Come out of the closet already! So you’ll never ever be satisfied until Roger does that for you?

Geez think if you were a Rafa fan, u would never ever be happy….


skeezer Says:

John,

I think my new mantra is just ignoring the rationale of NK…I mean really. WTF?


john Says:

^

lol I agree, cant understand it for the life of me.


bckbypplrdmnd Says:

@ David: In response to your comment that Fed played well in Wimby 2008. Actually he did not. The statistics of the match prove it as well. Though Fed had 25 aces vs Nadal’s 6. Fed had 52 UE vs. Nadal’s 27. Fed only converted 1-of-13 BP opportunities. Fed’s 1st serve winning percentage was only 73%. His 1st serve percentage was 66%, but fluctuated below that in the first to sets esp. If Fed had hit a higher 1st percentage & converted more bps he would have won the match. As a huge Fed fan that was the most frustrating match as Fed did not play to the level he was capable of. Here is where i got my match stats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Wimbledon_Championships_%E2%80%93_Men's_Singles_final


Kimberly Says:

Tennis channel showing a replay of last years is open final.. The third set where nadal played well. The points ate absolutely outrageous. I know it’s not everybody’s style but these points are insane. Even though he lost the match it was a good one. Makes me sad, miss him and his tennis win or lose.


john Says:

I think NK must be a Nadal fan hiding in a pretty box called Fed fan.

How else can you explain his lack of joy at what the great man has achieved this year?

Instead choosing to repetitively make it about Nadal and H2H.


skeezer Says:

@K was watching some of that also…but going to sleep… zzzz…Toooo looong…but absolutely great match. One of the most physical ever!


noogie Says:

Skeez et al, I am a big Fed fan. But is NKs argument really so outrageous. He has a point and a valid one for that matter. Forget all and consider the HC slams where Fed reallistically had a chance to beat Nadal. We just want him to turn it around and simultaneously shut the Nadal asses.


john Says:

it’s a moot point since Fed is in the twilight(still no1 might I add:)) years of his career and Nadal is injured. It is very interesting though, how Federer has taken advantage whenever Nadal isn’t playing in Salms.

Rafael Nadal’s Pain Is Roger Federer’s Gain

Over the course of the last 19 consecutive Grand Slam events, there have been five occasions when Nadal was absent or beaten by a player other than Federer prior to the semi-finals. During those five Grand Slams, Federer claimed the title on four occasions: an 80 percent success rate.

-http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1303789-2012-tennis-season-nadals-pain-is-federers-gain


Nirmal Kumar Says:

john / skeezer,

I think you guys are getting it wrong. I never brought in Nadal, some should have brought in, for which I should have responded.

John, you are trying to make things really look bad for Roger. That’s not the case. Initially I heard Roger had problem with Rafa only on clay. Now it has changed to slow HC ie AO. If they had not met on two finals, probably people would have always thought Roger would have had better of Rafa in AO. That’s what I kept hearing till 2008.

So there is no guarantee that Roger is going to get the better of Rafa at USO. That’s what I want to see, it’s the most intriguing match up in tennis.

I know Roger is winning plenty, but it’s not like he is Novak or Murray who is in the middle of his career. I’m sure many fans here started watching Roger probably from 2008. But I have been watching him from 2000. I have seen him win so many matches, followed him so closely, I don’t really care much about Roger winning cincy. It’s great, but not something out of the world. Wimbledon was and if it happens at USO it would be great.

There are many hyper fans here who does not want to look at Roger’s failures. They think it does not exist. But for me that’s not the case. that’s what you guys are finding difficult to understand. Roger is not perfect. It does not mean you have to be a Nadal fan to say that. It’s a pity people think that way.


john Says:

NK,

Sure Roger is not perfect and I understand that. Obviously its not right to assume someones is a Nadal fan just for pointing out Rogers flaws, sorry about that :). I suppose it just comes across as odd and a little strange to be worrying about Rogers failure(as a fan) at a time when his winning?

Its the best time in years for Fed fans so why try and focus on what you find imperfect?


john Says:

failures not failure..

Zzz


metan Says:

Great post NK, coz most of Roger’s fans made him like god of tennis, no blemish.,You are TRUE FAN OF TENNIS, FAIR!!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

john,

I never bring up Rafa. But I can’t hold back when someone tells me bad about Rafa just to hype Roger. You really can’t make a false argument just to make Roger look better. He is already so much better, what’s the point in hyping him.

But year, things are so good. As Roger himself put it, it’s been a magical summer, infact a magical year post USO 11. I think it’s going to last more. I’m not too pessimistic about Roger yet. He will play well atleast for next 3 years. That’s my guess.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

metan,

It’s not a good life in this forum if you are a tennis fan. You need to be either a Rafa fanatic or Rgoer fanatic. It’s a pity.


john Says:

^
NK,

Well you seem to be a bit of both :))

Good Night


Rahul Says:

noogie

The thing is that Federer has won the majority of his slams while Nadal was in the field. Thats all he can do. Who makes the final or not is not his concern.

So then the argument becomes but Nadal was young then. Yes Nadal was young, afterall he is from the next generation of players. Only difference is he matured faster winning his first slam in 2005.

So if NK has this wish about Federer beating Nadal on fast hardcourt at a slam which is basically USO then good for him. But I guarantee that even if this ridiculous wish comes true he’ll say that once is not enough.

Im just happy to see Roger play such a perfect tournament at a time when he’s achieved it all. I really thought he would lose his hunger and motivation, but to see shades of vintage Roger was really unexpected. I hope he carries on cause I love watching his game.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

Novak and Davy are two handers and play a similar game. I’m not sure if Davy has won a slam match against Rafa yet. Nadal has beaten Novak in 2010 USO finals. It all evens out. He wins some and loses some, not like Roger losing almost everytime in majors

Here the comparison of the H2H between Nadal and Novak and Roger Vs Nadal doesn’t stick because Novak and Nadal are of similar age and there were many opportunities for them to meet in hard court slams in the prime of their careers. So it may be evened out, but still Nadal trails Novak 5-11 on Hard courts and that doesn’t look good at all. On the other hand, you have Roger and Nadal who have met surprisingly just twice on hard court slams whereas if you consider the record of Roger, he has won 5 US Open and 4 Australian. So he managed to win them without facing Nadal which means Nadal was just not good enough to reach the final of hard court slams on many occasions in the past. Now it is a different thing altogether with Roger being 31 and Nadal at 26. The whole thing just changes. Nadal beating him today doesn’t mean much at all.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

But I guarantee that even if this ridiculous wish comes true he’ll say that once is not enough.

How stupid statement this is. How does expecting a Top player to beat another top player a ridiculous wish. Who are you to define which with is correct and which is ridiculous.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael,

I understand Roger is going to lose more now. I don’t mind him losing to Nadal, but can he win few against him when they face. I’m not even saying Roger needs to even out the H2H, that’s not fair for Roger.

I’m not seeing age as a big factor. Yes, Roger does not play the same flawless tennis like he did earlier, but his BH is actually gotten better. So his chances of beating Nadal are much higher now than before. The question is, can the BH hold on for 3 sets. It does hold good for 2-sets, we have seen that at WTF and IW. For me, it’s a big ask for Roger.


Rahul Says:

NK Because on one hand you agree that Roger’s wins at the USO at his prime shouldnt count because Rafa was too young. On the other hand you want Roger to beat Rafa at a time when he’s well past his prime in Tennis years.

As I said if thats your wish its good but I just dont see what it proves…


Nirmal Kumar Says:

NK Because on one hand you agree that Roger’s wins at the USO at his prime shouldnt count because Rafa was too young.

Rahu, just point to where I made this statement. How can a win be invalid or not countable. I just don’t understand. Roger deserves all the title he has. How can anyone with sense will not agree to it.

As I said if thats your wish its good but I just dont see what it proves…

My wish need not prove you anything. It proves to me that a better tennis player can win against his chief rival irrespective of the matchup.


Michael Says:

I understand Roger is going to lose more now. I don’t mind him losing to Nadal, but can he win few against him when they face. I’m not even saying Roger needs to even out the H2H, that’s not fair for Roger.

That Roger is doing already. He has won against Nadal at the World Tour finals as well as Indian Wells – two most important tournaments after majors. It is not that he cannot beat Nadal. The H2H is 18-10 and not 18-0. Out of this 18, Nadal won, 12 have been on Clay courts and that shows the skewed nature of this H2H and has to be seen in proper perspective. Roger is being penalised and slammed by his critics for this lop sided H2H because he was consistent enough to reach the clay court finals whether it be the majors or Masters. In one way, he is paying the price for his extraordinary consistency. Imagine what would have been the H2H of Borg against Mcenroe if they met in say 10 clay court tournamnets rater than just Grass and hard. Mcenroe was fortunate that he faltered in the beginning stage in most clay court tournaments whereas Borg was a consistent player in all courts.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

The question is, can the BH hold on for 3 sets. It does hold good for 2-sets, we have seen that at WTF and IW. For me, it’s a big ask for Roger

I just cannot understand this. If a Rosol or Gonzalez or Tsonga (remember he thrashed him at the Australian in straight sets) or Del Potro or Novak can beat Nadal in Wimbledon in a five setter, why not a GOAT like Roger ? Why are you having doubts about that ??


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

Your constant haggling over the H2H of Roger with Nadal will acquire more importance if Nadal was unbeatable on all courts outside Clay. However the actual reality is that he has been beaten by all and sundry outside clay courts and even by a player who mainly participates in challenger tourneys and to add insult to the injury, in a five setter . When this is the case, your argument fails to convince me.

Foot note:

Sorry for mentioning this. It is not to belittle Nadal, but only to demonstrate the superiority of Roger as a player who is so consistent and physically strong unlike Nadal.


Rahul Says:

NK
“My wish need not prove you anything. It proves to me that a better tennis player can win against his chief rival irrespective of the matchup.”

Personally for me this means nothing. So Rafa is a bad matchup for Roger. We all know that. In spite of it Roger has still managed to achieve much of his success playing in the same field. Its not like Rafa is some 3rd rate player who has Roger’s number. If Rafa were to retire today he would still be remembered as one of the greats. So Im comfortable with it…

The other posters have tried to explain why the H2H is skewed and therefore not a good indicator but this is something that’s important to you. So fair enough…


alison Says:

Michael sorry but when did Delpo beat Rafa at Wimbledon?


Michael Says:

Alison,

Del Potro beat Nadal at the US Open.

I was just meaning about Rosol when I made that statement with intent. Sorry, that sounded a bit misleading and it was in the correct context.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael,

I’m not haggling on their H2H on non slam matches or clay matches. I’m just talking about HC slam matches. It’s bad that Roger cannot beat Rafa on bigger stages in HC slam.

You seem to hold on to Rosol too much. My question is, if Rasol who beat Rafa when he met once in Wimby, Why can’t Roger beat Rafa when he met him 2 times in HC slam. Just explain.

You give me so many examples of how others have beaten Rafa, but I never said Rafa is unbeatable on HC slam. People keep coming back giving all the known stats about Rafa’s on HC, but conveniently ignore the important stat of him beating Roger in 2 slam matches.

So, let’s wait for Roger to meet Rafa in the next HC slam. I don’t think age should be a factor considering the way Roger is playing.


alison Says:

Michael you say Roger was the better player at the AO final in 2009 yet still lost (fair enough),dont you think its amazing how a much fresher,fitter,more rested Federer,who was the better player,still lost that final to an exhausted Rafa who the day before beat Verdasco in that long match,TBH after that semi i thought theres no way on earth this Rafa would beat Roger in the final,i had no expectations i expected Roger to take that final in 3 straight sets,so dont you think its to Rafas credit even though he was exhausted,that he still managed to dig deep and push Roger and beat him 5 sets,Rafa also has a champions metality,and a big heart too.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

You seem to hold on to Rosol too much. My question is, if Rasol who beat Rafa when he met once in Wimby, Why can’t Roger beat Rafa when he met him 2 times in HC slam. Just explain.

It is just like this. While Davydenko has a 2-15 disastrous H2H against Roger, he has a 6-5 positive H2H against Nadal and in hard courts he leads 6-1. How can you explain this phenomenon ??
Gonzalez,Ferrer, Hewitt, Tsonga, Del Potro were able to beat Nadal in hard court slam but not Roger. Why ?? It just happens in Tennis. Cannot be explained. Just because they were able to beat Nadal in a hard court slam were they better than Roger ? I am leaving out Murray and Novak who have also got the better of Rafa out of this discussion because they are different breed of players.

People keep coming back giving all the known stats about Rafa’s on HC, but conveniently ignore the important stat of him beating Roger in 2 slam matches.
Yes that is one of Nadal’s achievements beating Roger twice in hard court slam. But just by that yardstick can he be labelled as a better player than Roger ?

So, let’s wait for Roger to meet Rafa in the next HC slam. I don’t think age should be a factor considering the way Roger is playing.

Yes. Let us wait. But things must happen soon because Roger will be 32 next year and it is nothing creditable to beat a Daddy.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

don’t think age should be a factor considering the way Roger is playing.

Age is indeed a factor. We will watch in another three years as to how Nadal performs against the top level players and then may be you will realize the greatness of Roger.


alison Says:

Michael theres no way in hell Rafa will be playing at the level Roger is in 3 years time, no player ever will,you can sleep peacefully over that one,i very much doubt Rafa will even be playing then.


Michael Says:

Alison,

It was indeed a tremendous effort on the part of Nadal to beat Roger in that 2009 final at the Australian Open. Coming as he did after a brutal match against Verdasco was indeed commendable. But look at this. A player like Verdasco almost beat Nadal in the Semis whereas a player like Roger could not get the better of him even after a exhausted match he had a day earlier. I thought Roger lost that match mentally. He had a disastrous 2008 against Nadal at French where he was beaten in straight sets as well as at Wimbledon in a nail biter. This played in his mind and he could not produce the Tennis that normally he delivers in the final stages. It is just like Nadal who could not get the better of Novak in three consecutive majors. Psychologically it was demoralizing and Roger was no exception. His first serve percentage was a pathetic 37% and yet he was able to take the set No.4 in a scoreline of 6-3. Normally for a player like Roger, first serves are his bread and butter. If that fails, he suffers. But in this particular match, he competed fiercely even when his most important weapon failed. That being said, all credit to Nadal. As you rightly said, he played like a Champion with a Lion’s heart and beat Roger fair and square eventhough I thought Roger played better than him. This happens because Tennis is often decided by a very few points. A player might have win more games and more points but would still have lost the match. In this particular match, Nadal was just one point ahead of Roger even when the scoreline in the fifth was 6-2.


alison Says:

Michael but you dont get how irritating it is when your a fan,people claiming Rafa gets lucky in this match and that match,lucky he faced an exhausted Novak at the USO IN 2010,lucky he faced Roger at the FO last year not Novak,lucky Roger put the ball wide on set point in that very same final,lucky there was a rain delay at this years FO final,instead of actually getting credit for been the better player,lucky against Bellucci in the 1st round at Wimbledon this year,how about this unlucky there was a rain delay against Rosol when they had to stop play to shut the roof,with momentum with Rafa having just won the 4th set 6/2,as they saying goes you make your own luck.


Reyals Says:

David Says:
Alright, “freakish moonshot” is going too far. Basically what I’m saying is he should keep doing what he’s been doing. It would be a big mistake, imo, to put extra focus on grass or hard and place less focus on clay because that might cause him to miss out on an FO. He’s still got a solid chance of winning another one of those, whereas no matter what he does, he’s probably not going to win the other 3 again.

…………………..

I concur.


Reyals Says:

David Says:
skeezer

Rafa is not the GOAT and doesn’t think of himself as a potential GOAT. He’s recognized in many different remarks he’s made that Fed is the greatest player ever.

What he needs to concentrate on is what he does best and that’s win on clay. Any Slam win is so difficult and obviously the French is his best chance of winning another one so that should be his focus. Chances are he’ll never win anything else besides the French ever again, so focusing on AO, Wimby or USO at the expense of the French would be extremely foolish.

……………….

Ditto.
I concur.


Michael Says:

Alison, I do not know how you define something if it goes in favour of you. Let us name it as luck. Why it happens ? How it happens ? It just happens. You have to be lucky if you need to post big wins. That is plain and simple. It does not apply to Nadal alone. It applies to every player. The first and foremost thing for you to win a match is your opponent should not play well at crucial moments. This happened to Novak in the first set against Roger in the Cincinnati open. Novak served awfully and Roger took advantage of it and bagelled him. In the same manner, that 2011 French Open final, where Roger had a set point and an easy drop shot ahead of him. Normally, Roger would have made it 95 out of 100 times. But on that day, he missed that shot which should have got him the first set and then we do not know how the match will turn. Nadal went on to win that set and then the match. Novak won against Nadal at the Wimbledon and US Open when Nadal I thought didn’t play his best Tennis as usually as he does. Like this, luck may turn the other way too. You need that in every realm of your life.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

We will watch in another three years as to how Nadal performs against the top level players and then may be you will realize the greatness of Roger

Michael, I’m not sure why you make this statement. For me even if Rafa plays great for another 6 years Roger would still be great player. It does not change based on Rafa’s longevity.

I do believe Rafa should be good enough for next 4-5 years. I think he is going to come back strong and may do what Serena is doing in women’s tennis. Watch out for Rafa in 2013. He may not have continuous excellence like Roger, but he will exceed with proper breaks. That’s how his body is built.


Rahul Says:

I dont know Michael. In sport I think 99% of the time the deserving player/team wins. As fans we may question if things unfolded differently but Im of the opinion that barring injury or something extraordinary like that the better player overall on the day wins.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael, I do not understand why age is a factor for Roger when he faces Rafa. He is still beating Novak and Murray the next best players on tour. He beats everyone in the Top 20 without any trouble. But age seems to be the factor (excuse) for his loss against Nadal. I find this strage.

I will agree to age factor once Roger stops beating the Top 10 players consistently. Till then it’s not a big factor when he is No 1 and beats everyone.


alison Says:

Michael its the way it comes across at times,Rafas wins seem to be down to luck,where as Rogers and Novaks are down to them been great players in peoples eyes,people dont seem to think Rafas as talented as those two,maybe he isnt,its speculative i suppose.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael,

You are right that the opponent has to falter at key moments, but what is important is most of the mistakes happens because of the opponents good play.

You point to Roger’s drop shot. Yeah Roger missed it. But why does me miss so many easy shots against Nadal. It’s because of Nadal’s defense. He wants to be more perfect against Nadal than others, that’s what forces him to go for smaller margins and make mistakes.

I believe the better player forces others to play bad or hit a bad shot.


dari Says:

I am a major fed fan and i would love to see roger neat rafa in HC or even clay!

Roger is superlative on so many areas and defiant of so mamy constructs, so yes, it would be excellent for him to see him defy the bad match-up with nadal.
NOT a requirement or an expectation, just something i would like to see. Thats why RG 2011 hurt quite a bit, would have been the big nail ( there is already SO many nails!) in the coffin on roger’s status
I get what you’re saying, NK


skeezer Says:

I would love to see Rog pound Rafa again also, just sayin it is not a requirement to prove his GOAT status.

NK gotta give you props for hangin in there with some us and remaning cvil, despite the difference of opinion.

For me sometimes you are looking at the glass half empty when it comes to Fed, and the reality is his glass is overflowing.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

I would love to see Rog pound Rafa again also, just sayin it is not a requirement to prove his GOAT status.

Skeezer, i have been making the same point, just that I have been phrasing it differently. I never said Roger needs to win against Nadal to prove his status. But as a fan, I do wish Roger beat Nadal in the majors. That’s what I expect from Roger, more than winning tournaments IMO.

For me sometimes you are looking at the glass half empty when it comes to Fed, and the reality is his glass is overflowing.

Exactly. I know his glass is overflowing. But that does not mean he does not have flaws. I just bring it up when I’m asked. It’s no shame. He has the least flaws maybe in the history of tennis players.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

dari,

yes. it’s fair as a fan to expect Roger to beat his best Rival.


Huh Says:

”Yes, Roger does not play the same flawless tennis like he did earlier, but his BH is actually gotten better. So his chances of beating Nadal are much higher now than before.”

pure conjecture…

who cares about chances??? fed ACTUALLY beat nadal in wimby when he was a 2 and 3 times FO champ respectively. so he had more than mere chnces to beat nadal then, but not now.

however, nirmal raised a question that why’s age always brought up as an excuse against nadal only. but here he’s wrong, these days, whether or not fed wins against nadal/nole/murray, age is brought up, not by one, but by all, as an issue, and justifiedly so. it’s uncannily good that fed’s able to beat them in some big matches even after crossing 30.

but then, one can raise a valid question that why’s fed able to beat nole and murray in slams with regularity while he’s not able to beat rafa at all for 5 years now??? the answer for it, lies in some factors like fed’s 5 age older. he crossed 26 by 2007 august and faced rafa afterwards only, in non clay slams other than wimby, fed has declined a bit, nadal rose to his height a bit etc. The above factors have surely contributed a bit to fed’s repeated losses at the grandest stages, but none of the above factors is the prime factor for fed’s loss continuously at rafa’s hands in slams post 2007 even though he kept beating others with regularity and even dominance! THUS, the BIGGEST FACTOR for it is that Nadal’s closest to fed in terms of sheer greatness and attitude. Nadal’s second to none except federer in this era! nole and murray are not in nadal’s league! so fed’s not able to beat a guy who’s close to him


David Says:

Michael says: “Nadal managed to reach his first US Open final only in 2010. Doesn’t this tell you something?”

This statement is obviously meant as a dig on Nadal by Michael. “See, Rafa’s so much weaker on hard courts that it took him years and years to reach a final on his worst surface.”

Rafa was 24 years old in 2010 when he reached his first final on fast hard (of course, he was 23 when he reached his first hard-court final, but we’ll call AO a slow hard court), an age when most greats typically are at their absolute peak. Let’s look at the ages of other recent greats when they reached their first Slam final on their worst surface:

McEnroe (clay, 1984) – age 25
Lendl (grass, 1983) – 23
Becker (clay, never happened)
Edberg (clay, 1990) – 24
Agassi (clay? grass?) 20 or 22
Sampras (clay, never happened)
Federer (clay, 2006) – 24
Nadal (hard, 2010) – 24
Djokovic (grass, 2012) – 24

So I think it’s clear from this little table I put together that Rafa’s performance on clay is perfectly in line with what other greats were able to achieve (and when they were able to achieve it).

This takes nothing away from Fed. He’s the GOAT in my opinion and he won those 5 straight USOs against the world’s best competition. It wasn’t like Emerson winning Slams as an amateur while all the world’s best players were ineligible to compete.

But this argument of “where was Nadal all these years when Fed was racking up USO titles” needs to stop. It doesn’t seem to be based on anything except a defensive attempt by Fed fans to justify his 2-8 head to head against Rafa. It’s true that h2h is misleading but it’s not misleading because Nadal’s not an all-court player. It just took Rafa a perfectly normal amount of time to get up to speed on his worst surface.


David Says:

Couple of corrections:

Edberg was 23 when he reached the FO final. Rafa was 23 when he reached his first hard court final. I don’t think that changes the overall point I was trying to make.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

huh,

Who defines that a player gets old when they are 30. Then what was Agassi doing at 30 years. It’s a lame excuse given for Roger’s loss. Yes, you may not be as good as you were younger, but you get wiser and play smart tennis like Roger is doing now. He does not think he is old and feels he can improve and challenge his opponents. But why is that his fans has to think he is too old.

THUS, the BIGGEST FACTOR for it is that Nadal’s closest to fed in terms of sheer greatness and attitude. Nadal’s second to none except federer in this era! nole and murray are not in nadal’s league!

I do not understand what you meant by this statement. If Roger cannot beat Nadal because he is better than Novak or Murray. Then if Roger is better than Nadal, he should keep beating him right?


David Says:

Nirmal

You say: “If Roger cannot beat Nadal because he is better than Novak or Murray. Then if Roger is better than Nadal, he should keep beating him right?”

But it’s not that simple. I think most can agree that Fed is greater than Nadal and Nadal is greater than Nole and Nole is greater than Murray based on their achievements.

But that doesn’t mean Fed should beat Nadal, Nadal should beat Djoker, etc, when they play.

Obviously their different styles and matchup issues come in to play, so that, for example, Murray matches up as well or better against Djoker than Nadal does because he’s better able to avoid giving him that high topspin ball that Djoker attacks so well. Nadal’s heavy topspin to the backhand side doesn’t bother Djoker that much but neutralizes Fed, etc.

Obviously Nadal can beat Djoker on any surface. Fed can beat Nadal on any surface but those matchups are always going to be their biggest challenges.


Huh Says:

”I do not understand what you meant by this statement. If Roger cannot beat Nadal because he is better than Novak or Murray. Then if Roger is better than Nadal, he should keep beating him right?”

nirmal,

my answer already is self-explanatory. Look, fed is able to beat nole n murray coz those guys’re farther to fed in terms of class, but nadal’s much closer in greatness to fed, and when you’re that much closer to your main rival and you acquire certain disadvantages like age, fall in form etc etc, then it’s enough for your close rival to overtake you. nadal overtook fed after his loss of form and confidence combined with rise in his own form and confidence after demolishing fed in RG 08. that’s whyfed wasn’t able to beat him anymore. but as murray n nole are lesser mortals in comparison to nadal, fed’s able to take care of them despite that bit of difference in his level of play. that slight difference in federer’s play after 2007 therefore didn’t give him bad results vs nole/murray, but against nadal, who’s close to him in terms of class, that little difference proved enough to turn the scales in favour of nadal! thats it.


madmax Says:

hey Michael, errrr…roger wasnt beaten in straight sets at wimbledon…firstly, I always like to think that fed, having reached the final at the FO, where he WAS beaten in straight sets, should be commended for the fact he reached the final…and how many times has he reached the final…are we clapping yet?…Wimbledon 2008, 5 sets, almost 5 hours…of course, everyone knows that, but you seem to put it down to a flat out win by rafa? 9 7 in the fifth, the all time greatest classic ever, and you make it sound like some kind of walk in the park.

alison, your man will be back. I cant imagine how you must be feeling right now. But better safe than sorry, and better he is rested and ready to play, even if that is next year.


Huh Says:

btw nirmal,

i don’t oppose you defending nadal from vicious attacks of some fed fans. you’re justified in doing so, n also entitled to it. and you’re not completely pointless when you say fed needs to beat nadal in slams to give his true fans joy. but if fed’s somehow not able to do it, and nadal keeps beating him, i’d say it’s the law of nature balancing out in some ways(fed has humiliated every player in sight during his career, so may be nature has someone who at least makes fed think twice, and suffer the agony that fed himself has inflicted on so many other players in his career) by putting in fed a much needed blemish, so that he’s not called absolutely perfect. but other than that, federer still has no comparson, he’s still the best…


David Says:

Huh

@12:31 great post.

The tennis gods gave Roger the perfect tennis game but also gave him one opponent who could humble him a little bit. Sounds more than fair to me.


skeezer Says:

“nole and murray are not in nadal’s league!”

Rewind and start at 2011 and watch every match till now between the 2(Nole), I beg to differ.


Pitchaboy Says:

Every player has a peak. Federer was at his peak from 2004 to 2007 when he best everybody on every surface except Nadal on clay. Nadals peak was 2008-2010. Past his peak in 2007 federer found ways to win all the four majors (2 Wimbledons, 1US open 1 FO and 1 AO). Nadal past his peak has won nothing but clay. It is this sustained brilliance that makes Fed the unquestioned GOAT. Nadal was simply not good enough to get to Fed in his peak years. Fed was still good enough to run into Nadal during Nadals peak. It is a bit unusual to have two all time greats in the same era. But there is only one GOAT for the length of dominance and his capacity to still win on all surfaces.


David Says:

Pitchaboy,

I generally agree with your post, but the comment “Nadal was simply not good enough to get to Fed in his peak years” is overly harsh. It’s setting a higher standard for Nadal than what you’re seemingly wanting to set for Fed.

I could make a similar (completely unfair) comparison between Agassi and Fed.

Between 2000 and 2003, Agassi won 3 Majors and I’m pretty sure Fed was in the draw in all of those tournaments – age 18-21, I believe. Was Fed “simply not good enough to make the finals” to play Agassi when it would’ve been a fair fight? I mean they did play one match at the 2001 U.S. Open and it was an easy victory for Andre. It wasn’t until Fed hit peak in 2004 (when Agassi was 33,34) that he was able to take total control of that rivalry.


Pitchaboy Says:

You are making my point. It is inherently unfair to purely use head to heads for this very reason. People peak at different times. To draw any conclusions on Agassi and Fed based on head to heads is meaningless. You look at their whole body of work and there is no doubt who is greater.


Huh Says:

thanks david!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Obviously Nadal can beat Djoker on any surface. Fed can beat Nadal on any surface but those matchups are always going to be their biggest challenges.

David..That’s exactly my point. You just can’t justify loss to Nadal by saying he is better than Novak or Murray. You can’t demean Novak and Murray just like that. They have beaten both Nadal and Roger. My point is we should give respect to them.


skeezer Says:

Pitcahboy,

Wish we could repost(1:03) your post to every anti Fed that trolls in once in awhile. Should be the standard reply to H2H issues, Save that one!


David Says:

Pitchaboy

Right, I agree. But don’t you see how it’s offensive to Nadal fans to hear “he just wasn’t good enough to reach the finals during Fed’s peak.”

No one says that about Fed from 2000-2003. I’ve never heard anyone say “Fed wasn’t good enough” to make finals against Agassi or Sampras or whomever.


skeezer Says:

Pitchaboy…sorry


Huh Says:

”Rewind and start at 2011 and watch every match till now between the 2(Nole), I beg to differ.”

one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

reached the final of each slam more than once incluing he has reached wimbledon final 5 times(the most prestigious slam). novak hasn’t done that, reached FO this year only.

nadal has been winning one slam at least for 8 years now, novak can never do that. you’ve to be playing tennis or following it closely to realise the magnitude of this achievement. how many have done that exactly, n how many in the future are even going to do that actually??? i doubt too many. it’s coz he’s nadal that he’s done it.

nadal has 11 slams, nole has only 5.

so where’s the comparison between the two???

nole’s really really talented n gifted player, even moreso than nadal. he can beat rafa anywhere and anytime if his game’s clickin(except in clay and RG). but nadal has beaten him more times than vice versa. moreover, he can never have the consistency of nadal. that’s why he’s below nadal.

one may say nole should’ve achieved more than what he’s already achieved coz he’s got the talent, but that’s more like being wishful. it is what it is for the time being. nadal has achieved more, nadal has remained on top for longer than nole. nole has more to do if he’s to be regarded in the same league as nadal, coz talent alone doesn’t mean anything, one has also to achieve to be regarded as great. and until nole has done that, he cannot be regarded as being in nadal’s league.

last but not the least, nole was a headcase kind of thing from 2008-10. it’s only in 2011 that he composed himself. but nadal right from the very start has been calm and composed and has shown fiighting spirit. he’s better than nole in showing fightin spirit n intensity for a longer period of time. so in that aspect too he’s greater.

long story short:

nadal is still above nole…


alison Says:

David i have to agree with you on what you said about Michael,i try not to pick fault with other posters,but alot of the time,there seems to be a sly dig about Rafa thrown in the majority of his posts,Yes Roger made so many HC slam finals before Rafa did,but its as you say many of the greats were of the same age when they won there 1st GS on their worst surface so what,and like you also say Rogers the GOAT, and nothing changes that.


David Says:

Thanks Alison

It seems like you and I see eye-to-eye on this. Fed, Nadal and Djokovic are all amazing, all-time great players, yet instead of appreciating them it seems the majority of discussion about men’s tennis turns into a food fight. And every comment in favor of Nadal is automatically assumed to be anti-Fed and vice-versa. I think this site is better than most though as far as people trying to be reasonable and objective. I’ve seen a few trolls but thankfully they’re a small minority.


Sienna Says:

Nadal losing 2011 Garros would have beenthe end of him. The only thing that kept him from literally killing himself was the fact he could come up with the Garros trophee.
So he should be extreem happy with Fed because his career would have been over and out. as it is he still has a bit of spark to throw his body in for another clay year.
Without the 2011 he would not have picked up a raquet to train for 2012.

And Novak with career slam and majors would have been scaled up passed Rafa in the picking order of all time greatness.

As it stands Novak has to do it the hard way like Fed did. year by year by year,


El Mago Says:

David :

by the same token no one ever claimed federer was better than sampras becuase of his 1-0 H2H or 8-3 H2H.

Federer is better than both those players but not because of the H2H. because of slams won, titles won, weeks at number one.

unfortunately those nadal fans who are wise and very objective in your book keep making stupid claims and hence the fed fans give it back. keep your preachings to your “wise” nadal fans and spare us your sermons!


El Mago Says:

nadal is better than novak on clay and grass. on hard courts novak is a much better player than nadal.

even on grass, novak will eventually end up with more wimbledons than rafa, imo.

novak already has double the hardcourt slams that nadal has.

he also has a better indoor record than rafa.


skeezer Says:

Huh,

I am referring to now, not a a career. Clearly Rafa has more achievements than Nole if you matchup careers at this point. But the last 1-2 years there has been a big change. You cannot ignore the fact Nole has beaten Rafa in 7 consecutive finals, 2 of which were Slams up until this past Clay season.

Never said Nole has is better per se, but he for sure is in the same league.


El Mago Says:

the point here is that H2H records are hogwash unless the players are in the same generation.

you cannot say federer is better than agaiss because he is 8-3 H2H

or lendl better than connors because he has 17-7 h2h.

same token, you cannot use nadal’s h2h against federer which is skewed because of both age and federer having a more versatile game than rafa.

if you have any tennis knowledge you will readily see that federer (and even djokovic) have more versatile and less uni-dimensional games than rafa. yes, rafa wins more, like sampras did in the past. but agassi in sampras’ generation and novak in rafa’s generation have much more complete game than those 2.

ofcourse federer has the more complete game and better records than both rafa and sampras.


El Mago Says:

skeezer :

nole beat rafa in 3 consecutive slam finals, not just 2 :)


David Says:

El Mago

You’re putting words into my mouth. When did I ever say that I thought Nadal fans are “wise and very objective”? I know that many Nadal fans make dumb arguments to try to denigrate Federer. And I understand why Fed fans fire back with dumb comments about Nadal. It’s an endless (and very boring) cycle.


Huh Says:

Nirmal

stop being so dogmatic in your views. there’e room for everyone’s views here. I’m not justifying federer’s loss to rafa, but gave you the good cause as to why fed’s still winning against others while he’s not beaten nadal for so many years in a slam. the closeness between him and rafa combined with the age and form and other disadvantages prevented him from beating nadal. while those disadvantages couldn’t help other players beat fed, nadal being close to fed, he was properly able to take advantage of all that, and it’s natural even thatb he did.

that’s as plausible a cause as you can get for fed’s losses to nadal.

moreover, don’t you keep harping about fed not being able to beat rafa??? give me a better cause then!

do you think fed loses to nadal coz nadal’s the better man??? may be you do!


Huh Says:

sorry skeeze,

if i sound outrageous, but yeah, I shouldn’t be saying that rafa and nole’re in the same league, but only say that rafa’s a greater player than nole. english is a funny language, hehe. ;)

but does that not make it sound like nadal’s is in a different league than nole? ;)


El Mago Says:

if you had to rank players on the basis of complete games,

rafa would not even be in top 10. players like safin, haas, murray, gasquet, edberg, rafter, becker, lendl, mcenroe and many more players would rank ahead of him.

same would be the case for ranking aesthetically pleasing games or most talented players.

that is a fact that many uninformed rafa fans cannot accept and digest. yes he has won more titles than these players, but rafa cannot hold a candle to safin’s genius.

to a lot of mature people, playing sport is not about winning. it is about how you play. yes, 10 year old kids become fans because some player is winning a LOT. but if people really have a brain and are capable of maturity, what is more important is HOW you play.

It does not matter how less gasquet has won, but you see him play that terrific backhand and you can see it a 100 times and you will still be in awe of it.


El Mago Says:

David :

You must also know that some people make those dumb comments while PRETENDING/MASQUERADING to be a federer fan when they are actually not!


David Says:

El Mago

That’s just insulting and contributes nothing to the discussion.

Murray says Nadal is his favorite player to watch. So I guess he’s an infantile 10-year old who knows nothing about tennis. Steffi Graf and Martina have also made statements about how much they love watching Rafa play. But hey, again, what do they know compared to the great “El Mago” on Tennis-x.com?

Maybe we shouldn’t even have an ATP ranking system. Since you know it all, maybe you can make the rankings. Then you can rank Nadal No. 1,556 and then he won’t even qualify for any Slams for the rest of Fed’s career.


Huh Says:

sorry again skeeze :(
i actually meant to say this in my previos post:

”sorry skeeze,

if i sound outrageous, but yeah, I shouldn’t be saying that rafa and nole’re in the same league, but only say that rafa’s a greater player than nole. english is a funny language, hehe. ;)

but does that not make it sound like nadal’s is in a different league than nole? ;)”


skeezer Says:

Huh,

No apology needed, keep proudly posting!

El Mago,
Thanks.

Good reading up here :)


Huh Says:

sorry again skeeze :(
i actually meant to say this in my aug 21 2.21 pm post:

‘’sorry skeeze,

if i sound outrageous, but yeah, I shouldn’t be saying that rafa and nole’re NOT in the same league, but only say that rafa’s a greater player than nole. english is a funny language, hehe. ;)

but does that not make it sound like nadal’s is in a different league than nole? ;)”


El Mago Says:

rafa’s game is more exciting than safin’s or nole’s or federer’s or mcenroe’s? RIGHT! David has got that one.

let us award all the slams to rafa so he can overtake federer and make David on tennis-x happy.


Huh Says:

skeeze:

actually i wanted to say in my aug 21 2.21 pm post that

”sorry if i sound outrageous, but yeah, I SHOULDN’T be saying that rafa and nole’re NOT in the same league, but only say that rafa’s a greater player than nole. english is a funny language, hehe. ;)

but does that not make it sound like nadal’s is in a different league than nole? ;)”

anyway, thanks for your kind post :)


El Mago Says:

I guess we finally know whose fan david is! LOL!

another wolf in a sheep’s clothing!


El Mago Says:

You are welcome skeezer.

I like how people try to take digs at federer, all the while claiming to be federer fans and assuring us they are only being objective.

I wonder why they cannot be objective when some stupid rafa fans like mem, rick or mark or some other dumbf$%ks post.


Pitchaboy Says:

A player has to be assessed by his or her whole body of work. We can all argue as to who was the better player at his very peak. Was Federer 2006 greater than Nadal 2008 or Novak 2011 is a matter for conjecture and the answer will be speculative and subject to bias. But to decide who was the overall greater player it is the entire body of work. If Nadal never returns to tennis, he would still be an all time great. But for him to be hailed the GOAT there is a lot left to be achieved. if he achieves a resume at the end of his career that parallels Federer, then the head to head record would be the tie-breaker. I simply do not see him making any headway on grass courts or hard courts at this time


El Mago Says:

David and Nirmal Kumar :

It is OK to call yourselves RAFA fans. really! please dont try to act too smart and think no one can see through your lies.

you guys really are not smart. we can see through your lies and your ACT!


David Says:

Hey, I’m glad you put it that way because it perfectly expresses the assumptions on tennis message boards.

“He’s a Rafa fan, so he’s also got to be anti-Fed! He must have some secret agenda at work. Even though he’s called Fed GOAT about 10 times in his last 30 posts, it must be part of a secret plot somehow to denigrate all of Roger’s achievements and boost up Nadal at all costs. Yes, of course, he seems reasonable but he’s really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”


El Mago Says:

Well said pitchaboy.

at this moment, there is a greater likelihood that nole will overtake nadal’s achievements (11 slams and 102 weeks at number one) than nadal overtaking federer [299 weeks at number one (atleast), 17 slams, 6 year end championships and then you add the laureus awards, fan favorite awards (9 in a row) and lots and lots more of accolades and honors!


David Says:

I’m new here and I don’t know who mem, rick or mark are. I don’t think they’ve posted anything in the last three days, so am I supposed to respond to their imaginary posts or what?


El Mago Says:

David :

dont fret. this is how nirmal kumar started too. just like you.

now he spends every minute wishing federer loses his next slam or tournament so that he can be OBJECTIVE and so very BALANCED and SUCH A NICE FEDERER FAN WHO LIKES RAFA MORE THAN FEDERER!


El Mago Says:

dont worry david, they will soon come and take you over to the dark side!

meanwhile, here is a funny comparison i came across on another site.

Fed – bruce wayne/batman [partying with all millionaires and all]

rafa = bane

djoker = joker

murray = two face/ harvey dent!

LOL!


David Says:

Overtaking Nadal’s Slam count? Wow, that would be quite a haul from Nole starting at age 25. You’re talking about him winning more than half of his Slams after the age when a lot of greats didn’t really win much more at all.

I mean there is the precedent of Lendl and Agassi. I guess Lendl won 6 Slams after age 26 and Agassi won 5. Djoker would have to win 7 more and Nadal win none. I mean anything is possible but I’d give Nadal a 0% chance of overtaking Fed and Djoker a 5% chance of overtaking Nadal. I see Djoker topping out at 8 Slams.


Pitchaboy Says:

I don’t know about you guys but I have watched Borg, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, Fed, Nadal and Novak in their prime. Forget their records, there is nothing more beautiful than Fed in 2006. we are blessed to be witnessing two extremely great players; there has never been a better all court player than Fed and no one to match the grit and determination of Rafa. These two guys are Borg and McEnroe on steroids. I consider Fed, Laver, Sampras, Borg and Nadal as the top five of the Open Era. But even Rafa will tell you, Fed is special.


El Mago Says:

Federer won 6 slams after turning 26. funny how federer fan knows about lendl/agassi’s numbers but does not remember fed’s achievements :)


El Mago Says:

“But even Rafa will tell you, Fed is special.”

Who cares! murray said he likes watching rafa more. you must be a blind federer fan.

signed,

David and Nirmal Kumar aka ONLY TRUE FEDERER FANS WHO ARE NOT BLIND.


alison Says:

Personally i have always thought its a matter of opinion as to who is the most gifted,talented,or has the style thats most pleasing to the eye,we are all different,it would make for a boring world if we all felt the same about everything,talent has many variations,Rafa has alot of skill,style,passion,and a never say die attitude,and thats what ive always loved about him,not because he wins more,might just be my opinion,but clearly its not just my opinion is it?


Pitchaboy Says:

You are right Alison. However, when you watch Novak or Rafa or Murray you get the feeling tennis is a tough sport and only for the fittest amongst us. When you watch Federer or Edberg the darned game looks so easy.


Huh Says:

El Mago:

complete games mean nothing unless you translate it to success. and if nadal could do so much with his incomplete game, then that’s not too shabby.

moreover, gasquet, haas are losers. nadal’s one of the greatest champion.

in sports as in any other thing, mental strength, motivation, determination and hardwork are much more important than just mere talent. talent without hardwork and zeal takes you nowhere. best example is safin, he never did justice to himself or his fans, and where he’s now???

he ranks nowhere near nadal or federer. that’s your fate, if all you depend on is your talent.

moreover, winning is sport mayn’t be important for amateurs. even ordinary professionals’re happy more than losing. but fed hates to lose and nadal is always wary of losing, that’s why they’re the best!!! they won’t take losses lying down. that’s why they’re champions man! so don’t compare nadal with losers like haas and gasquet.

and hundreds of millions find nadal’s game exciting. he must be doing something good for sure!


Reyals Says:

Federer deserves his own tier, especially if he wins #18

At 18 slams he would have 4 more slams than Sampras, the previous record holder, 7 more slams than Laver, Borg and Nadal.

Tier 1 Federer
Tier 2 Sampras Laver Borg Nadal
Tier 3 Lendl Connors Agassi McEnroe
Tier 4 Wilander Edberg Becker


David Says:

El Mago

I would rather that someone besides Fed wins the U.S. Open, but I’m pretty sure he’ll win his third to last Slam in a couple of weeks.


David Says:

Huh

You sound pretty devious, man! Another wolf in sheep’s clothing!


David Says:

El Mago

Of course I know Fed’s achievements. I’m predicting he’ll get to 20 Slams. But it just seems totally unrealistic to expect Djoker to duplicate what Fed has been able to do. Based on style of play/talent level, I think Lendl and Agassi are much better comparisons.


Huh Says:

ok guys, see u tomoro, ba bye!


El Mago Says:

it takes one to recognise another, David.

Good on you for spotting this Huh guy out.

nadal wins, so what. haas and gasquet have much better games. too bad they did not have a psycho uncle who treated them like slaves. yes, they really are the losers.


Reyals Says:

David

Djokovic might end up in Tier 3 with the likes of
Lendl, Connors, Agassi and McEnroe by the time his career is finished.


Reyals Says:

Federer reaching 20 slams is feasible as well.


David Says:

Sure, why not?

I expect Fed and Djoker to dominate the Slams over the next 18 months. But maybe Murray can get one too before Fed slides down a bit and Raonic takes over.


David Says:

El Mago

To each his own. What I most like to see in tennis is tremendous athleticism winning out and that’s what makes this era of Fed, Nadal, Djoker and Murray so great. Fed has a great serve, obviously, but it rarely dominates the action so much that you’d say he won the match BECAUSE OF his serve. That’s what I fear a bit with Raonic. I think he’s a cool guy personally, but if that guy starts winning too much it’s going to turn people off. I just don’t think people are going to enjoy watching that sort of mind-numbing level of serving prowess.


Sienna Says:

I say this one more time .
Nadal doesnot belong among top5 players all time .
Stop the nonsense whenever a player reaches that stages there will be no debating about him deserving to be there .
Everyone is in agreement about the others. and I mean everybody . Ofcourse its to late now . you should have reacted earlier.
But with Nadal there seems to be to much doubt among tenniswatchers if he is top 5 i say top 10 material .
That is the best proof you can get for proving Nadal doesnot deserve that spot.
also if laver is included why not Gonzales or others from pre open era?
So that is it. Please enlighten yourself and keep it real.


Federer, Serena: Pre-Draw US Open Favorites? Says:

[...] At 31 How Much Better Can Roger Federer Get? [...]


trufan Says:

Nirmal,

Your statement – “I’m sure many fans here started watching Roger probably from 2008. But I have been watching him from 2000″ assumes a lot – how can you assume that most people on this forum have been watching Fed from 2008? FYI, I have been watching matches MUCH longer than since 2000.

As for Nadal beating Fed at AO twice (2009, 2012) – being slow and high bounce, Nadal still might have the edge at AO. Plus, don’t forget, he is 5 years younger. Even in 2009, Fed was 27+ in age. Nadal can’t even play since he turned 26! This time in 2012, Fed was 30+ in age!

At the wimbledon and at the USO, Fed will beat Nadal more often than lose to him. At Wimbledon he is 2-1 against him, with the narrowest of losses in 2008. They have never played at the USO.

Again the same trend – Fed gets to play Nadal mostly on slower and higher bouncing surfaces.

Don’t you remember the bagel Fed fed Nadal at the 2011 YEC? He demolished him every time they played on the fast indoor courts of the YEC.

Nadal is a one-trick pony (actually two-tricks). Keep moonballing to your opponents backhand, and back it up by running like a rabbit and retreiving everything. No wonder his knees are shot.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Dear Lord,
Please shorten the respites before Slams, and after WTF, so that all your children may have live tennis to discuss and I must no longer endure the endlessly repeated Federer/Rafa talking points.
Also, thank you for beer.

TV!


alison Says:

Madmax @ 12.29pm,thanks for those sweet kind words,and your right although i miss watching him play,like you say better safe than sorry.


skeezer Says:

TV,
Amen! lol..


David Says:

Tennis Vagabond

Thanks. That’s the most sane post (prayer) of the day. Just hearing endless arguments for cutting down two of the greatest players to ever pick up a tennis racquet is beyond irritating.

Anyway, I think I’m going to start back my web site at http://www.theworldoftennis.com so if you guys want to check it out it should be back up in a couple of days. I doubt I’ll continue posting here but I’ll try to post something to my site once a week or so if anyone’s interested.


jane Says:

There IS live tennis happening right now in a place called Winston-Salem. One Ernests (or not so depending on the day) is presently playing a tall South African.

And I would like to add, thanks be to our dear Lord for wine.


john Says:

@jane

Thx for the tip, only wish they had a better camera angle :)


laslo Says:

Reyals
You think Djok will only win 8 total?


Huh Says:

El Mago:

Better to be an intelligent, strong and clever wolf than being a donkey like you.

I’d love to munch on you, but wouldn’t eat your brain, which is devoid of any stuff!


Huh Says:

Posters like El Mago which’re new to this site should learn to behave with old posters. Braying like a donkey ain’t good for them.


Huh Says:

Sienna:

take it for granted that I’ve nowhere said Nadal’s in top-5. So dunno if u intended your 4.01 pm post at me, but if you did, you better refrain from thrusting your opinions down other’s throat. I’m not one to be cajoled by these name-callings of El Mago or the knowledge-flouting of yours. if you want peace, don’t post your opinion as fact, post it as an opinion only. if some people don’t believe nadal great doesn’t believe he’s not. he’s still perhaps the 7th greatest player to play tennis


skeezer Says:

“And I would like to add, thanks be to our dear Lord for wine.”

Yes jane, yes yes yes! White or Red?

Glad you’re still around, for a fleeting moment I thought you may leave. Hang around, I’m a feelin a deep Nole run at USO ;)


Nirmal Kumar Says:

trufan,

I did not mean to be offensive when I said many posters have watched tennis post 2008. I can see the insecurity in their post when it comes to Rafa. I’m sure if you have followed Roger closely in his entire career, you can be pretty much convinced how great he is. I really doubt may be not many but few posters here, have even watched Roger play tennis before 2008.

Nadal is a one-trick pony (actually two-tricks). Keep moonballing to your opponents backhand, and back it up by running like a rabbit and retreiving everything. No wonder his knees are shot.

I really do not know how can anyone who watch tennis can make such a statement. You think Nadal does not have a FH, and he just moon balls. Come on, you should watch some of Nadal’s matches. Better see 2012 AO semis or FO 2012. It should be available in youtube. You would get to know how good the FH is. He may be the greatest defensive player on clay, which is true but that does not mean he does not have any other shot. Let’s be real.

Yeah I have seen Roger getting better of Rafa at WTF. 2006 was a close one though it was a 2-setter. Wimby 2007 was a tossup, Roger broke Rafa’s serve only in the 5th set, He just scrapped through. I don’t want to break down each match. But yeah it’s understood Rafa has gotten the better of Roger at most important tournaments (slams), let’s accept it. No need to talk about 3-setter trashing. It happens. I have seen Murray trash Roger in 3-setters, what does it prove?

Also we keep talking about 5-year difference. How many years do we talk like that. It’s not like Roger was limping when Rafa started winning. Roger was either No 1 or No 2, so it’s ridiculous to talk about 5 year gap. Roger can beat everyone on the tour with his age except Rafa? So what is so special about Rafa, is he a super human?


Huh Says:

Nirmal:

don’t state any fact about nadal’s game like his strong FH, his sometimes overpowering backhand, running FH, athleticism etc. or the donkey El Mago’ll again come braying! ;)


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Huh,

There are posters who are fans of certain players and posters who are haters of certain players. It’s much easier to communicate to the fans. Let’s ignore the haters.


Sienna Says:

Huh
thank you for acknowledging Nadal is not top 5. You claim 7 but you are missing a lot of inside knowledge of tennis en the history of the game.

It is not youre fault. Try to educate yourself and you will see eventually….

btw I was referring to Reyals list.


Sienna Says:

Nk
the times rafa beat roger especially wimbly 2008 Roger was limping indeed.
He had suffered a serious case of mono. but still refused to surrender. There are more examples where Roger could not bring his a game against rafa because his body failt.

But Roger is not someone who skips a tournement in order to avoid losing against rafa.
Rafa did that just recently he knew he didnot stand a chance sodropped out.
Also he didnot choose to defend his Wimbly title in 2009.
That surely will go to pass as one of the biggest ducktales in tennishistory.
Youdo agree with me There.


trufan Says:

NIrmal,

Murray has never won a slam, and until this olympics final, had never beaten Fed in a 5 set match. So comparing him to Federer is just about as meaningless as it gets.

Fed has beaten Nadal in slams, and in 5th sets multiple times.

As for age, that IS a real difference, and it matters especially when one of the players is past 27 (if you have followed tennis as closely as you claim, you would surely know that 25-26 is the “cliff” age when almost all top players have fallen off dramatically in level of play). Nobody can fight age. A 27 year old playing a 22 year old starts out with a disadvantage, period. That Federer still beats out most players at 31 is a credit to Federer – it doesn’t AT ALL mean that age doesn’t matter.

Ad for Federer losing most of his matches ON CLAY to Nadal – its pretty simple, especially since you have been watching their matches.

First, lefties are always a bit of a problem for righties – lefties play righties all the time so are used to it, not the other way around. Second, Federer is one of the few left with a one handed backhand. While it has its advantages, given today’s racket technology and courts, returning high balls on the backhand is naturally difficult with a one-hander. Third, racket technology now allows players to hit 100mph forehands spinning at 3000 rpm. That makes the one-handed backhand a real liability for someone facing the hook forehand from Nadal. Fourth, most courts have slowed down (including wimbledon), and have higher bounce (including wimbledon, where courts are now firmer than they were in the 90s). Again, same thing – one handed backhand becomes a liablity. ANd fifth but not the least – Nadal does have (or has had so far) the rare combination of immense stamina, fast speed, strong will, and an amazing hook forehand, which makes him the most effective clay court player EVER in the history of the game. That Federer is 2-12 against Nadal on clay, including 0-5 at the French open, is no surprise given all the FACTS above. Otherwise see how easily Federer beats a TOP clay courter like Ferrer – he is 13-0 on Ferrer, INCLUDING 5-0 on clay.

Got it?


trufan Says:

Once again – Remember, until the end of 2007 season (when Federer was 26+ in age), Federer was 6-8 against Nadal (pretty even), which including a 5-1 winning record outside of clay, and a 2-3 slam record (all three losses in slams on clay, all 3 went to 4 sets). And this included the 5 hour match that FEderer lost to Nadal at Rome 2006, on CLAY, where he held match points in the 5th set.

So Federer was overall pretty even against Nadal until he was about 26+ in age. Since then, they have played 14 more times, with Federer having an overall 4-10 record. They have played half their matches on clay, while only 25% of the tournaments are clay tournaments. If you take the 4 slams, 8 masters, YEC, and 5 other tournaments, perhaps only 4-5 of these 18 tournaments are clay, rest are hard (one is grass). If their 28 matches included 7 on clay, 3 on grass, and 18 on hard courts (which would be normal), the H2H would be SO different. But Nadal is not good enough to meet Federer in that many non clay finals, while Federer pretty much showed up in every big clay final from 2006-09 (and beat Nadal in two of them at Hamburg).


Sienna Says:

Trufan
You got it.

At the end of 2007Fed had already turned the momentum in their h2h. remember he was 1-6 in their first 7 matches so at the end of 2007he had the key for nadal .

Till the mono year. Counting AUopen 2009 he lost 5 matches on the troth totally because Fed was not able fysical to compete at his best level. If he only wouldnt have reached those finals nobody would bring out h2h .

But Roger is the greatest champion that year he maybe digged deeper in his innerself then any tennis player has everdone. And he his using that experience in the wins heis having atm.
That year he learntto play his heart out off his body .


scineram Says:

Well, in 2008 they were 0-4.

After 2008 they are 4-6.


trufan Says:

Excellent point, Sienna and scineram, the 2008 matches upto AO 2009 when Fed lost 5 straight to Nadal, including two tough 5 setters in slams outside of clay, is what has really tilted this H2H in Nadal’s favor. Even if Fed had gone 2-3 in those matches, which would have been the case given their matches before and after, the H2H would be 12-16, nothing great for Nadal. Sampras was 20-14 on Agassi, nobody considers that “tilted”. The mono, at age 27, really took something out of him during that roughly one year period.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,

You point to Roger’s drop shot. Yeah Roger missed it. But why does me miss so many easy shots against Nadal. It’s because of Nadal’s defense. He wants to be more perfect against Nadal than others,

Nadal is a great defensive player, but so are Novak, Murray, Ferrer and others. Roger doesn’t miss many against Ferrer, he misses some against Novak and Murray, while he misses many against Nadal. Why ? I would say there is some lack of confidence when he plays against Nadal especially on Clay courts which ofcourse overlapped to other Courts in course of time. He has lost many matches he should have won against Nadal. Of special mention is the Rome Masters where he was leading 4-0 in the final set and the 2009 Australian Open where he should have finished the deal in four sets. But things just doesn’t turn his way due to some reason or other. Either Nadal plays brilliantly in some points or Roger pockets easy hittable balls to the net or in the worst of cases, he serves double faults. I accept there is pressure when he plays Nadal and it is all credit to Nadal for bringing this pressure by his relentless game. Psychologically, Roger struggles against left handers. You see even Falla troubles him a lot and there was a player named Guillermo Canas who had a positive H2H against Roger and he is a left hander.


Michael Says:

David,
Rafa was 24 years old in 2010 when he reached his first final on fast hard (of course, he was 23 when he reached his first hard-court final, but we’ll call AO a slow hard court), an age when most greats typically are at their absolute peak. Let’s look at the ages of other recent greats when they reached their first Slam final on their worst surface:

The problem is exactly what you are mentioning. Nadal couldn’t shine in hard courts until he was 24 whereas he started professional Tennis at age 17. While Nadal was 24, Roger was 29 and his decline started. The problem is in the prime years of Roger, Nadal didn’t manage to reach even one US Open final or a Semi. If he had made that, then things might have been pretty much different on the H2H than they do now.


Michael Says:

Nirmal,
I will agree to age factor once Roger stops beating the Top 10 players consistently. Till then it’s not a big factor when he is No 1 and beats everyone.

Everything what we are talking is relative. I am comparing his performance today to his days of prime. Back then, Roger was a very consistent performer at Majors including the French. He would win three in one year and in French Open, he would be beaten by Nadal in the finals. This happened not once but twice or even thrice. However, after 2010, his performance dipped and after that he was not a consistent performer at majors beaten in the quarters and semis and some finals.


Michael Says:

Alison,

For sure, Nadal is not as talented as Roger. But he is at a different level when compared to the likes of Murray, Tsonga etc. May be Novak levels with him in talent terms.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@Michael sorry to disagree but most lefties do not trouble roger at all. he had one tough match against Falla. it is not just that Nadal is a lefty but that he has an absolutely monstrous topspin FH and can also run down more of roger’s shots than other players. w/out those 2 attributes you are in trouble against fed whether you are lefty or righty. also Canas is most definitely a right handed player.i don’t think he really bothers Roger that much anyway. he had those 2 freak victories in 2007.


Michael Says:

Tennisfansince76,

You are right. Canas is right handed.

Yeah, that one handed backhand of Roger gives trouble when he is up against Nadal due to his monstrous top spin especially on Clay courts.


Mike Says:

I see Federer retiring when he drops out of the top 4. Or 2014. Whichever comes first. He will hang it up when he feels he no longer has a chance of winning a slam.

Top story: Rafael Nadal To Undergo Appendix Surgery On Nov 3, Will Miss Paris And London
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