Novak Djokovic Presser: I Think We’re Experiencing Maybe The Best Era In Tennis Of All Time
by Tom Gainey | October 15th, 2012
  • 105 Comments

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic and his fans today. The Serb rallied from a set down and saved 5 matchpoints to defeat Andy Murray and win his 13th career ATP Masters 1000 title, his first in Shanghai.

Afterward, Djokovic discussed his epic match with Murray and their blooming rivalry, and commented on his racquet smashing, the No. 1 race and what it means for the tour to now have Murray as a Grand Slam champion.

Heading into the European indoor season, Djokovic has won his last two events at Beijing and Shanghai winning 10 straight matches. He’ll scheduled for the Paris Masters 1000 in two weeks.

Here’s his presser after his win today:

Q. You didn’t get the character right tonight.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Okay, doesn’t matter. You know what’s the point.

Q. But you got the match right. That’s the point. Andy just said you are the better player tonight. You said he is the better player.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s difficult to judge who was better because it was so close throughout the whole match. We had so many rallies in three and a half hours for best of three set match is a very long time.

Could have easily gone the other way. He was five match points up. When I faced those match points, I tried to focus on each individually. He was so close to the victory that I cannot say I was the better player.

I won the match. But, you know, as spectators could see, we were very close. It was a very even match throughout the whole three sets.

Q. The first set you lost and seemed very angry. You broke your racquets, bang, bang, bang. The second set Andy Murray did the same thing.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: What did he do (smiling)?

Q. What did you think at that time?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You don’t want to know what I thought (smiling).

Q. Do you think the mentality determined the results tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: We are humans in the end. We are professional tennis players and we’re big rivals, but in the end we’re humans. We shouldn’t be ashamed of our emotions.

I don’t see anything bad in showing your emotions, positive, negative emotions. I think it’s understandable that we get to show our emotions in this way. Okay, it’s not nice if we break a racquet obviously. It happens once in a while. But we are in the middle of the fight, in the middle of an incredible match. We’re playing for a big trophy. Both of us, we want to win.

We can’t just be flat faced throughout the whole match. So for me that was okay from both of us.

Q. At the beginning of the match it seemed that more fans were cheering for Andy. As the match went on, more fans turned to cheer for you. Did you feel the support?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, both of us, we had a great support. But I agree that towards the end of the second set when I made this 30 Love point through the legs, won that point, saved the match points, came back on 5 All, that’s where I felt really there was a big support on my side.

I cannot be more thankful, of course. Crowd support is something that you always need, something that is always welcome in these matches. Xie xie to everybody.

Q. You lost to Rafa in the French Open and you lost to Roger in Wimbledon and you lost to Andy Murray in the Olympics.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Thanks for reminding me (smiling).

Q. Finally you beat one of them.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: ‘Finally’?

Q. What is the meaning for you for tonight?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The meaning, as you said: finally (smiling).

Q. Do you feel your confidence come back?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I didn’t have such a great season, you’re right.

C’mon, you know, I’ve had an unbelievable season. Comparing to 2011, results wise maybe wasn’t at the top, because I had three Grand Slam titles, this year I have only one. But I’ve had an incredible year. We have to pay a little bit of respect to the other players. They’ve had an amazing year also.

At this level you cannot expect to win all the matches. With this Asian swing so far, maybe comparing to 2011 also it’s one of the best years I’ve had in my life. So I’m enjoying this moment. I’m enjoying every match that I play against them.

Over the course of a couple of years before 2011, I was losing most of my matches against top guys, especially important matches. Then that changed. 2011 I won basically all the matches I played against them.

This year, it’s quite even with all of them. I’m enjoying my time. I’m playing well and I have a confidence.

Q. You played with Andy six times this season, and most of the matches are top quality. Do you think the rivalry with Andy is the dominant rivalry for the next few years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I hope so. We had an incredible year so far with our matches, big matches in important events. We split victories.

But, you know, he definitely is a different player this year. You could see by the results that he has achieved. He’s more aggressive on the court and he’s definitely a danger to anybody on any surface.

Also it’s very competitive now with him joining the group of Grand Slam winners that we have. So it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of years.

Q. Often in a rivalry there’s a chaser. Andy has had that role in your rivalry. Do you feel that he’s still the chaser or do you think he’s evened up now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as I said, I think we split three wins both this year. So, yeah, I won in Australia, he won in US Open, he won in Olympic Games. I mean, we get to play these big matches and we put up a show for people. It’s exciting to be part of such an extraordinary rivalry, extraordinary matches, especially with somebody that you grew up with and you know for a long time.

I can’t really say who is the chaser. I think we both focus on our careers individually and we both try to improve each day. His example is the right example of how an athlete seeks to improve always and to get better.

This is great. It’s great for the sport. I think we’re experiencing maybe the best era of all times.

Q. You start preparations for the season with the exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Have you also formed plans, and does that include Dubai?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I still haven’t a hundred percent decided what I’m going to do for my off season preparations. I’m trying to focus now on the end of the season. I need to play well indoors. I need to try to stay consistent, you know, with my results and eventually get a shot at No. 1 of the world. After, I’ll think what I’m going to do next.

The Abu Dhabi tournament is in my schedule, so most definitely I will go there and play.

Q. Barring a calamity over the next few weeks, you’re going to end the year ranked No. 1. What is it going to mean to you to do that two years in a row?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s my biggest objective in this moment. It’s something I’m aiming for. Obviously this is going to be a huge confidence boost and also is going to help me in the race for No. 1.

As I said, it’s still not done. I still have to play well indoors.


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105 Comments for Novak Djokovic Presser: I Think We’re Experiencing Maybe The Best Era In Tennis Of All Time

the DA Says:

What is up with some journalists? Saying ‘finally you beat one of them’!! You can tell Nole is irked but handles it with a smile like a consummate pro.


Alok Says:

I don’t agree that this is maybe the best era in tennis of all time. Someone’s kidding himself. Don’t blame Djoker for tooting his horn though, because if he doesn’, then no one will else will be doing it for him. lol.

I know it’s been mentioned many times by a few here who’ve chanted ‘down with Fedal’, but I say, YES to Fedal and NO to all others. It’s obvious from the enormity of the crowds during those matches that Fedal matches are a YES, big time.


the DA Says:

Umm…Fedal is part of the era Nole is describing as the best of all time.

“it’s obvious from the enormity of the crowds during those matches that Fedal matches are a YES, big time.”

The BBC viewing figures for Murray vs Federer were 16.9 million – the highest audience for a Wimbledon final since 1990. The most watched Wimbledon final of all time is Borg/McEnroe with 17.3 million.

Although Fedal has never happened at he U.S. Open, this year’s final was watched by more than 16 million, the highest total since 2007.


skeezer Says:

#the DA,

Well I think it is great that the Murray/Fed match viewership was so high. Could it be that no matter who Fed is playing in a GS final the viewership is high?


Polo Says:

There has never been an era in men’s tennis where the active players include 2 men who have completed calendar slams and three players who have won 3 majors in one year and another player considered to be the best player to have never won a major (until he ruined that by winning this year’s US Open). If this is not the best era in tennis, tell me which one is.


jane Says:

That’s right the DA. Many people have commented on this era being a golden one, not just Nole: from sports illustrated, to USA today, to tennis warehouse, there have been many articles about it. I tend to think of it as “one of” the best eras, which is partly based on the evidence: just flipping through the “reliability zone” at the ATP site, looking under “career” for the different categories, I see Fed, Rafa, Novak and Andy in the top echelons of a number of the categories/surfaces, in the mix with Laver, Borg, Sampras, Mac, etc, and sometimes even above them. That tells me that this era is compatible with some of the other greats eras/rivalries, since the players are in that mix. Of course it’s debatable, and somewhat subjective, but with 4 players as consistent as these four, and multiple slam champs competing all the time, it seems like the tennis is pretty smashing to me.


jane Says:

Polo, good points.


lazslo Says:

It sounds like Judy Murray was doing the interview.


Alok Says:

I’m not talking about viewership, I’m talking about the actual attendance at the matches. When Fed’s playing there’s obviously more people in attendance in the stadiums.

The USO, Fed was picked as one of the faves, and when he lost, those ticket holders still attended because they already bought their tickets. I’m sure if say another player was the fave, there wouldn’t have been so many tickets sold.

Viewership is not only US and UK, it’s Asia, and Fed’s the biggest tennis star in Asia.

I don’t consider Fed to be part of this era. Each era is about a decade and Fed has gone past that, being 31 Y/o and the others 6 years younger. Djokovic, Murray, and maybe Nadal are all part of this era, but I consider Nadal to be more Fed’s era because he began playing in Fed’s era.

IMO, Djokovic was referring to his rivalry with Murray as part of this era. That’s how I see it.

Sorry to have pushed some buttons here.


the DA Says:

@ skeezer – ‘Could it be that no matter who Fed is playing in a GS final the viewership is high?’

In some cases regarding Wimbledon, yes. But the USO figures show that more tuned into Nole/Andy than any final since 2007. Fed was in two finals after 2007. That to me dismisses the notion that viewers are only compelled by Fedal matches.

@Jane – so true. I often look through the “reliability zone” and am amazed at how prominent the big 4 are in all time stats. Even before Andy’s breakthrough this year, he was in several all-time top 10 categories.


Alok Says:

If Fedal is part of this era, how is it that some here keep talking about new blood, younger players,and down with Fedal? Fed’s old, blah, blah, blah, he should give the young ones a chance, et.c, etc., etcetera.?


skeezer Says:

ERA of Borg, Jmac, Connors, Lendl, Noah, Vilas, Wilander is worth the debate…..no?


Alok Says:

Q. You played with Andy six times this season, and most of the matches are top quality. Do you think the rivalry with Andy is the dominant rivalry for the next few years?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I hope so. We had an incredible year so far with our matches, big matches in important events. We split victories.

—–

The abolve is what I’m talking about. How would Fed be part of that era when some are singing he’ll retire soon?


Sienna Says:

How can it be the best era ever if a 31 year old player is #1 in the world? HUh oh he got his bunch of slams in the so called weakest era?

LMFAO SO out of the bue we are entering the strongest era from the weakest era?

That does not compute. You cannot in a few years go from the weakest to the strongest. That my dear tennis x friends is truly impossible.


Sienna Says:

If Fed was 5 years younger he would have owned Murray Djokovic and Rafa only on the fast courts.

Rafa would still be dominant on clay but not the others.


the DA Says:

@ alok – sorry that’s nonsense and unprovable. People don’t decide to buy tickets because a particular player is selected as a favourite to win the tournament.

“When Fed’s playing…”

Oh so just Fed now. Thought it was Fedal that drew crowds.

Your era argument is-shall we say- fuzzy. And unconvincing.

“Djokovic was referring to his rivalry with Murray”

Disagree completely.


Alok Says:

ERA of Borg, Jmac, Connors, Lendl, Noah, Vilas, Wilander is worth the debate…..no?

Absolutely, and that era was great. Sampras, courier, Agassi and Chang, right up there as one of the best.

Who knows what the next eras will bring forth? That said, how could this era be the best.

Did Sampras know Fed would break his GS tally? Nothing’s written on stone, hence, it’s not possible to say which era is the greatest, best, etc.


the DA Says:

@ skeezer – absolutely. The 80s is still supreme but the sheer dominance of a few in the current one is extraordinary, and hasn’t ended yet.


Alok Says:

@the DA, I’m not here to convince anyone, I’m only voicing my opinions.

Yes, people bought tickets for Wimbledon and USO with Fed in mind. I’m sure they weren’t thinking of the two who made the finals.

Look, Asia is growing in population by leaps and bounds, which means TV viewership will be greater each year. Tennis is at its highest in terms of fans, so that’s anolther reason for increased viewership. However, Shanghai was an example of when Fed and Nadal are not playing, the stadiums are just one-half full. Those two pack stadiums world-wide.

FYI, I don’t consider djokovic having a rivalry with Federer, it’s Nadal and Fed. It was only in 2011 that Djoker broke through and won 3 additional slams, since 2008. Before that, it was always Fed and Nadal for their era.


Alok Says:

If the 80s was supreme, how could this be the best era?


Alok Says:

I should have added that there is no such thing as best of all time. Time is infinite …….so I don’t know what djoker is talking about.


the DA Says:

“I don’t consider djokovic having a rivalry with Federer”

What?? Sorry, but a 16-12 H2H is a rivalry. So is Fed/Murray at 8-10. Nole/Rafa at 14-19 is also a rivalry. Nole broke through much earlier than 2011 – rivalries aren’t only about slams. Even though Rafa became pro in 2001 the Fedal rivalry only really started in 2006

You may have your own criteria for what constitutes a rivalry but it doesn’t make it valid.


Giles Says:

^ He is trying to give himself a back-handed compliment!! Lol


Giles Says:

My last comment was for Alok.


skeezer Says:

We all should enjoy these rivalries while they last. Just a few short years ago, it was mostly Fedal. I’m hoping the old man can play well for another year or 2 cause Nole/Murray are a force and we truly do now have a great foursome with all pocketing Slams. Spread the wealth, enjoy the Game.


jane Says:

the DA, in fact, Nole and Fed have met in the slams more times than any other 2 players in the Open Era (yes, more times than Fedal), and their H2H in slams is very close 6-5 for Fed; in addition, Nole is the only player ever to have 3 straight set victories over Fed at the slams. And of course there is an entire Wiki page dedicated to their rivalry, so yeah – I’d agree that it’s a rivalry.


jane Says:

I always hesitate about saying “greatest of all time” or “best ever”; I see this is a golden era, or one of the best, so in that sense, I’d say Nole’s statement could be qualified. However, I do think he meant to include Fed-Rafa as part of the era he speaks of, because he always talks of them as being 2 of the greatest players so I can not see him excluding them from that statement.

Also, Nole started meeting Fed and Rafa in the latter parts of masters and slams as early as 2007; that year he beat Rafa at Miami in the semis going on to win the title, and he beat Rafa and Fed in Toronto (semis/finals), and then went on to face Fed in the USO final, so I see their rivialries as beginning back then. With Murray it was perhaps a year later, though I think he had a masters win over Fed as far back as 2006. The point is that Nole and Andy have been in the top 4, more or less always, since 2007/8 so personally I see their rivalries with Fedal as beginning back then for sure.


Deborah Says:

I wonder which of Roger’s records any of these folks will surpass? Consecutive weeks at number one? I’m through debating Roger’s greatness. Let’s see who among the others will deliver at his level with his consistency.


john Says:

i seriously think this is th best era of tennis.Roger federer is the most popular tennis player right now ,rafa is right behind him ,just look at his fan following even in face book he lead the likes of rafa,novak by some margin.His presence is enough to draw huge amount of crowds.He is winning fan favorite award from 8 years,so its quite obvious i think.
The popularity of novak djkovic is also increasing rapidly and andy murray has great fan following in UK.
So yeah ,next year is going to be awesome for us tennis lovers.I just roger will play alteast for 5 years,he is the sports icon.

You know guys ,roger federer is the 5th highest paid athlete.
Tennis without roger is like a water without fish


john Says:

i seriously think this is th best era of tennis.Roger federer is the most popular tennis player right now ,rafa is right behind him ,just look at his fan following even in face book he lead the likes of rafa,novak by some margin.His presence is enough to draw huge amount of crowds.He is winning fan favorite award from 8 years,so its quite obvious i think.
The popularity of novak djkovic is also increasing rapidly and andy murray has great fan following in UK.
So yeah ,next year is going to be awesome for us tennis lovers.I just roger will play alteast for 5 years,he is the sports icon.

You know guys ,roger federer is the 5th highest paid athlete.
Tennis without roger is like a water without fish in my opinion.
missing rafa already ,i hope he will come back soon and stronger than ever.


Skeezer Says:

“I wonder which of Roger’s records any of these folks will surpass?”

0

Hesitate in best ever? I mean, when is enough….enough? 40 Slams?


Skeezer Says:

Roger has the most complete resume, EVER.

Pete was suppose to be the best ever at that time but some said he never got the French. Same with Borg, he never got the USO. It was always compared to Laver. Lendl had a fabulous resume but no Wimby title. It goes on. And take in mind judging past greats, h2h was never considered in there overall careers. Then, and now, Slams is what matters most.

Its (GOAT) is only a moving target to some cause there waiting for everyones career. Uh? In that train of thought, one would never recognize a players place in ones current accomplishments and achievements over others.


the DA Says:

‘I’m through debating Roger’s greatness’

That debate never started on this thread – which is about the best era in tennis.


Nina Says:

This thread is the reason why fedtards are destroying my joy in tennis. The smugness is getting old.


jane Says:

Nole does have some stand-alone records. For example, he is the youngest player in the OE to have reached the semis of all the slams; he’s the only one to win 5 masters events in a year; he has the longest match winning streak of any of the current players (only I think Villas’ and Lendl’s were longer); only he and Fed have reached the finals of all the slams and masters, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Nole adds Cincy and Monte Carlo before he retires, therefore being the first to win all the masters. Rafa has his own records too of course; off the top of my head, I know he has the longest surface winning streak at 81 matches on clay. He’s won 7 FOs; no one else has done that. And I’m not sure, but possibly Andy has a couple free-standing records too? Margot?

All of them are pretty great and some might even end up with records of their own when all is said and done. It’s an amazing era for sure: one of the best.

john “Tennis without roger is like a water without fish” – I appreciate your love of Fed, but I do hope for your sake that when he does hang up his racquet, you will still enjoy this great sport. I’ve been watching it for a long time, long before Nole or Murray, and will continue to watch after my current faves retire. It’s the sport itself I love, and while, for sure, the players are intrinsic to my love of tennis, my love of tennis itself came first. I guess it’s not like that for everyone.


jane Says:

skeezer, when I said I hesitate over “best ever” I was referring to eras and that was the topic of the thread, due to Nole’s presser statement. But yeah, I stay out of the goat debates for numerous reasons…! :)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

I’ve long thought the greatest era was the late 80′s, with Lendl, Edberg, Becker and Wilander- 4 all time greats near their peaks, with McCenroe and Connors still showing flashes of greatness, and Sampras and Agassi showing promise.
Now, we have Roger, who has had a greater career than Lendl. Rafa, who has had a greater career than Becker, Novak, who is perhaps close but a shade below Edberg, and Murray who undoubtedly hasn’t the resume of Wilander but certainly seems primed for it. There are no McCenroes or Connors today, but DelPotro can fill in for Pat Cash…
I’d still hold up that earlier line-up, but Murray and Nole’s ascendance may upend that relationship.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

In fact, I thought Brokaw was talking about Lendl, Edberg and Becker in his book.


Steve 27 Says:

Even I am a Rafa fan, I expect in the next two or three year Novak will be another with a career grand slam.


skeezer Says:

@jane

Yeah typical knee jerk reaction from me. Too much electric shock from previous discussions me guesses on Feds status in the History books.:(

TV,

That was a great post at 5:18


roy Says:

this is clearly the greatest, most competitive era.

and look how many slams federer has won since the other ‘big four’ reached maturity.
not quite so many, huh?

that’s because federer’s peer group was weaker, allowing him to clean up and now he has superior competition and can’t dominate.

if he’d grown up with djoker,nadal and murray, there is absolutely no way he would have 17 slams and would be lucky to be at 10.
that’s plain to see for anybody with basic reasoning skills.

so talk your goat crap all you want, but context matters. and the fact is, federer will finish his career with losing records against nadal,djoker and murray. you can excuse one as a ‘bad matchup’ but not three.

and wins over an ‘old’ federer around 30 [and in the top 4] still count more than federer beating an 18-21 year old nadal/murray/djoker. players are typically better in their late 20s/early 30s than in their first years on tour, as the rankings prove.
any wins djoker/nadal/murray get in the coming years still don’t compensate for the wins federer snuck when these guys were children.


Angel Says:

Roy, it can be seen that you don’t like Federer but evethough you bring all the arguments you want about he not being the best you should respect him because no one has earn it more with his behavior inside and outside the court, all players recognize it. An for the record in a 100 years nobody is going to look for the h2h or what era was more competitive, people are going to look for Most Grand Slams and Most Time as number 1 but I guess you already know who that guy is.


Skeezer Says:

^stamp it! Shaaaammmooon!


Skeezer Says:

“that’s plain to see for anybody with basic reasoning skills.”

Skills apparently you don’t have. Your post was laughable, uneducated, and speaks volumes of jealousy and lacking of Tennis history. Time to visit Feds wiki page for you young padawan.

And in regard to context matters. djoker, nadal and murray didn’t have Safin, Sampras, Agassi, Hewitt, Guga, Roddick, etc. to face either….who did they have to face in this era? Old man Fed and who….Rafa? Ony 2 guys?

According to your logic not only Fed but Fed and Rafa have been in a weak era, after all they have 28 slams between them, who else comes close?

“this is clearly the greatest, most competitive era”…ROTFL


nilam Says:

This is an ATP article on Federer’s 300 weeks at the top. I think it is not unfair to say that any true tennis fan will realize the enormity of his achievement. Past and current players certainly do.

Roger Federer today begins his 300th week at No. 1 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, a milestone that the Swiss believes is “probably one of my biggest accomplishments. I’m very proud of that record, no doubt about it.”

So while all eyes are on the Race To London as players battle for year-end No. 1 honours and qualifying berths at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, today is a day to celebrate Federer and his enduring reign as World No. 1.

Pete Sampras, who previously held the record of 286 weeks at No. 1, and Ivan Lendl (270 weeks) were among the first to pay tribute to Federer. Sampras said, “It’s an incredible achievement and accomplishment to be ranked No. 1 in the world for 300 weeks. It is a testament to his consistency at the top of the game for so many years.”

Lendl said, “Being No. 1 is a special achievement and also an honour. Congratulations to Roger for being there for 300 weeks.”

Ever since he arrived on the ATP World Tour as a 17 year old with an elegant all-court game, the tennis world had been preparing to witness greatness. Once Federer lifted his first major trophy at Wimbledon in 2003, which set him on the road to the pinnacle of the sport, his career has been about monumental achievement.
Being World No. 1 is so much a part of him and his game. “I always felt tennis [it] was easier for me playing as World No. 1 than actually getting there,” he says. The statistics prove his theory.

In his tenure, which first began on 2 February 2004, Federer has won 417 of his 469 matches (.889) and lifted 46 of his 76 career titles (.605). Without the World No. 1 ranking, Federer has gone 454-143 (.760) and captured 30 trophies.

Incredibly, he has lost no more than 10 matches as World No. 1 in any single season except 2008, when his record streak of 237 consecutive weeks at World No. 1 came to an end on 18 August, at the hands of his great rival Rafael Nadal.

Since February 2004, only two players have been able to wrestle the World No. 1 ranking away from Federer. By comparison, Nadal compiled a 140-22 mark (.864) and won 11 titles in his 102-week total stint at World No. 1, while Djokovic lifted four trophies and went 63-13 (.829) in his 53 weeks, which started on 4 July 2011.

“It’s a great reward for me,” said Federer at the Shanghai Rolex Masters. “I feel a great sense of satisfaction because of that incredible number and because of all the effort I’ve put into it. I know how much work it has been. It’s not easy to stay at the top for so long and handle all the obligations that go with just playing tennis.”

ATP Executive Chairman & President Brad Drewett remarked, “To have held the No.1 ranking on the ATP World Tour for 300 weeks is a phenomenal achievement, and quite simply unprecedented. The fact that Roger has been able to consistently re-write the record books over such a long period of time is a credit to his hard work, dedication and talent. We are extremely fortunate to have such an incredible champion at the top of our sport.”

Few performers in any sport have given as much pleasure as Federer over the years.

One of the secrets of Federer’s success is that he learned early on in his career never to under-estimate an opponent, regardless of their aptitude or his self-belief on any given surface. At 31, he continues to hold off his rivals.

Andy Murray, who recently won his first major title at the US Open, said, “It’s his consistency that’s been the most impressive thing. I hope when I’m 31 [that] I still have a lot of desire and [I am] still am trying to compete at the highest level.

“It’s such a hard thing to do. He’s been doing it now getting close to 10 years. That’s very impressive in a sport as physical as this one to have done that.”

Federer’s enthusiasm for the sport is astonishing. Blessed with majestic movement, balance and a seemingly ageless body, he has managed his schedule carefully to ensure he continues to lead a golden era of men’s professional tennis.

In his 300 weeks at World No. 1, spanning eight of the past nine seasons, he has earned worldwide respect for his genius and as a global ambassador for many causes.

After a decade of record-breaking achievement, it is hard to imagine the tennis world without him. He remains the ultimate scalp for any tennis player.

“It’s extraordinary achievement – there is no doubt about it,” said Djokovic. “There is no questioning his results and achievements. At 31, he’s winning Grand Slams. He’s always a favourite at any tournament he plays in.”


trufan Says:

BY FAR, the most competitive years in tennis werein the mid-80s. BY FAR, Lendl faced the greatest competition ever.

Lendl started by facing a near peak Borg in 1980/81, along with a peak McEnroe and peak Connors in the early 80s. Wilander came along soon, and paralleled his career all along. Then in 1985, just when McEnroe started to fade a bit (and Connors was past his peak), Becker came along. Wilander was still going strong. Then in 1986, Edberg came into his own too. They were at their peak in the mid to late eighties. Then, around 1990, Agassi and Sampras showed up, so Lendl did not get any respite even in his waning years.

That’s Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Wilander, Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Agassi – all 6+ slam winners – Lendl had to face them ALL. Who’s left? Just Federer, Nadal, and Perhaps Djokovic, as far as top players in the open era.

Perhaps 1985-86 were THE MOST competitive years in tennis. Lendl, Wilander, Becker were at their peak. Edberg was hitting his stride. McEnroe was a still a big threat (just coming off of his great 1984 performance). That’s FIVE top players at or near their peak TOGETHER.

That has never happened. Throughout the 90s, it was either Sampras just by himself, or Sampras and Agassi in the mid 90s.

Most of the last decade was Fed and Nadal. Now that its Djoke, Nadal (maybe Murray now????), Fed is 31, so he doesn’t count that much anymore.

5 6+ slam winners playing each other, at or near their peak. That was the mid 80s.


trufan Says:

1988 could also count as the MOST competitive year in tennis. Lendl was at his peak. Wilander was at his peak. Becker and Edberg were both at their peak (though McEnroe had faded a bit).

So we have 4 6+ slam winners playing each other at THEIR peak, together.

Weakest era was the late nineties – perhaps 1996-1998 (when Sampras made hay, since there was nobody really big around to challenge him).

So overall, I would say 1985-88 as the toughest period, 1996-98 as the weakest period in tennis (Imagine Pioline reaching the wimbledon final today, as he did in 1997???)

In recent years, 2012 might count as a super competitive year too.


skeezer Says:

^ Yeah its not that we won’t have the most greatest competitive era coming up, its just too early to say that it is here, now. Too much history to compare to atm…


trufan Says:

Mind you, in all of these “competitive era” comparison, you have to be cautious about a logical fallacy than most people fall into.

Suppose a REALLY out of this world suddenly shows up, and starts winning everything. By definition, because he is that good and is winning everything, others don’t win that much anymore. in any NORMAL era, they would have perhaps won multiple slams, but not now.

In this hypothetical case, this so-called out-of-this-world player will LOOK as if he played in a weak era, since he would not have faced multiple slam winners that much.

But herein lies the fallacy. Are there no other multiple slam winner because competition was weak, or are there no multiple slam winners because this ONE players was SO GOOD? Just the absence of other multiple slam winners doesn’t prove this one-way or the other – you have to dig deeper and decipher which one of the two it is.

Now lets get real. Federer from 2004-07, I believe, is like the situation above – were he not there, slam winners like Roddick, Hewitt, Safin (who, BTW, were all ranked No. 1 at some point – something Murray has yet to achieve – so much for the hype about Murray) would have surely won more slams each, and would perhaps have been counted in a category closer to Becker, Edberg and Courier. But just because Federer was THAT GOOD, his era at that time might incorrectly look weaker.

The Sampras 1996-98 was different, IMHO. Sampras’s slam final opponents were:

95 wimbledon – a WAY past his prime becker.
96 USO – Chang (come on!)
97 AUS – Moya (??)
97 Wimbledon – Pioline (oh yeah…)
98 Wimbledon – Ivanisevic

Yeah, that’s weak competition….


Alok Says:

@trufan, you’ve said it all. This era is not the best of all time. Fed’s overlapping into it because he loves to play tennis, but this is not his era. Djokovic, Berdych, Murray, Nadal, (who’s somewhat overlapping from previous era due to his joing the tour at 14) and Delpotro are in this era. Ferrer and all those 30+ guys are Fed’s era.

I can understand some djoker fans wanting to talk him up by showing stats and records, H2H (which don’t count for a hill of beans, IMO) it’s the results that matter in terms of GS, YEC, and MS wins, and to date Djoker has won 5 GS, Murray one, DelPotro 1. Thus, how can this be the best of all time eras? And, trying to state that maybe djoker meant something else, doesn’t cut it, because we don’t read minds regardless of how well we think we know our faves.

Also, the reason Djoker has faced Fed so many times is due to their draws, which should not be thought of as a rivalry. That word has been so mis-used in tennis.


jane Says:

^ I beg to differ: you cannot simply say ” the reason Djoker has faced Fed so many times is due to their draws”; how does this make sense? They both have to *get to* the latter stage of all these events to meet time and time again. They’ve met 28 times. In slams *no two players in the Open Era* have met at often as Nole and Fed. In their grand slam meetings they are in a closely contested rivalry at 6-5 (which is in contrast to Fedal, where Rafa has a big edge). If this isn’t a rivalry I guess I don’t know what is?

“a. a person, organization, team, etc., that competes with another for the same object or in the same field”

That’s the definition of a rival; certainly given how often Fed and Nole have played each other with the similar objective or winning slams and/or masters, they would seem to be rivals. In terms of their careers overall, obviously Fed’s been around longer and has accomplished more, but that doesn’t discount that these two have played often high stakes matches.

Indeed, right now they are duking it out for number 1, as they have all year: started with Nole, Fed took it at Wimbledon, and it’ll end with …. maybe Nole.

This page has a lot of good information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djokovic–Federer_rivalry


trufan Says:

Of Federer’s 24 slam finals, just 4 were against players you can say were not that strong (still better than Pioline, for sure!!):

2003 WImby – Philipoussis (way better player than Pioline, especially on grass).

2006 AUS open – Baghdatis (yeah, weak opponent)

2007 AUS open – Gonzalez (this one too)

2009 French – Soderling (he did beat Nadal at the French on clay that year, and no, Nadal was not injured, at least not before he lost!!)


Alok Says:

It makes sense to me that they’ve met each other due to their draws. How else would they meet each other? djoker, is placed on Fed’s side more times than any athlete in the open era, and as long as they wade through their opponents they will meet, barring any deafeats. How does that constitute a rivalry?

Any top 4 player is expected to be drawn to meet another top 4 player in SFs, especially if they are on the same half of the draw. How does rivalry come into that? It’s the luck of the draw. Do you think when the draws are done the thought of rivalry is taken into account?


jane Says:

I don’t feel the need to “talk up” Nole’s results; those speak for themselves. It merely adds to the discussion that this era, imo, is *one of* the best. Just look, for example, where Nole, Murray and Fed are in the hard court pantheon: Fed’s first, Nole is 6th, Andy is 10th – that’s 3 in the top ten of all time – Nole is ahead of Sampras and Agassi in winning percentage; Andy ahead of Becker. Not too shabby of an era then, imo.

http://www.atpworldtour.com/Reliability-Zone/Reliability-Hard-Career-List.aspx

Stats and records aren’t all, but they are a part of analyzing eras.

BTW, Nole said “maybe”.


trufan Says:

Alok,

Djoke and Murray are not done yet. Who knows, 4 years later, they may have both won 6+ slams (seems harder for Murray to get there). So in hindsight, this era may look better than it looks right now.

One thing is for sure. Fed is the LAST player with a one-handed backhand who will ever win a slam.


trufan Says:

Of the 25 players EVER to be ranked No. 1, Fed has played against 12 so far. Perhaps that’s also a measure of how hard someone’s era is – how many current or former No. 1s do you face.

And Fed’s number of 12 will certainly increase, when Murray gets to No. 1, and perhaps other younger players who he has already faced.


trufan Says:

Unfortunately, Djoke-Murray matches are a bit boring to watch (like women’s tennis). Its more a game of attrition than shot making. Same when either of them play Nadal.

I think next year the three of them (Nadal, Djoke, Murray) will just destroy each other’s bodies playing long matches, which might be pretty evenly split overall (Nadal winning more on clay, these two winning more outside of clay).


Skeezer Says:

Keep in mind that yes, they are both duking it out for #1, but one is in his prime, the other 31. The duking want last long.


the DA Says:

@trufan – you were doing well until that last post. Lost a bit of credibility there.

One thing nobody has touched on is the all-court prowess of the current era. Two of the current players have career slams and a third is very close to one. None of the players from the 80s achieved that and only Agassi did in the 90s. That’s a significant factor.

@alok – I think you need to have a few more talks with your father about tennis.


Alok Says:

I find stats and winning percentages boring. Gimme the results. To get a broader perspective of winning percentages one has to wait until their careers are over before mentioning those stats. Also, the quality of competition they faced enroute to their SFs and GS needs to be taken into consideration

OK, so djoker and Murray are ahead of Sampras and Lendl respectively. show me their slams tally. 5 and 1. Great, terrific stats, but GS not close. They are in their peak, let’s wait and see how they’ll fare as they age. If say Djoker had 14 GS and Murray 9, then those stats would be relevant. And, at the rate they are going e.g., playing one 3 setter MS final for close to 4 hours, grinding it away, I doubt they’ll get to 31 and still playing like Fed.

As I was watching the Shanghai final, I had an evil thought. I wished that this week was WFT.

BTW, Fed’s NOT in this era. He’s just like a dangling participle, hanging on by his fingernails. How could anyone pit a 31 Y/o against three guys who are in their prime? C’mon get real.


Alok Says:

@DA, how about you quit with the insults, and at least try to have a decent discussion. FYI, there’s no point in being nasty and/or sarcastic.

I maybe younger than some here, but not that young, hint just a couple of years behind Fed, but was very bookish and not watching tennis getting degrees. however, I’ve been playing the game for 5 years, and watched a lot of old matches via Tennis channel and CDs from my dad’s collection. End result, I’m not as ill-informed as you may think.


Alok Says:

trufan Says:
Unfortunately, Djoke-Murray matches are a bit boring to watch (like women’s tennis). Its more a game of attrition than shot making. Same when either of them play Nadal.

So true. One of the reasons I didn’t even bother to make an effort to watch the final live.

The high UFE’s is an example of what you state. Both were waiting for the errors, hence the reason there were so many breaks. Unreal.


the DA Says:

@ alok – “I’m not as ill-informed as you may think.”

Debatable.

“Both were waiting for the errors, hence the reason there were so many breaks”

Nothing to do with the fact that they’re the 2 best returners in the game? Unbelievable. All those CDs and old matches and still so ignorant.

“I find stats and winning percentages boring”

Yet you point to the number of UFEs as evidence to the quality of a match? BTW, Federer had a high number of UFEs against Wawrinka – were you bored? You’re all over the place.

What’s evident from your contributions is your devotion to one player and an intense dislike of the other top 3 players -nothing to indicate a love of the game. It’s clearly a huge waste of time to engage you in discussion.


Alok Says:

hey DA, do the initials in your scren name remind you of something not wise? FYI, I won’t answer anything else from you in the future. I made the mistake of doing so, against my better judgment yesterday. It won’t happen again.

FYI, I cannot have an intense dislike of someone I don’t know. Now their game is a different story. I hope you enjoyed the usual tongue lashing, which seems to be your natural defense.


the DA Says:

Time to hear opinions on this era from a few guys who understand the game better than anyone here:

AGASSI:

“They are so athletic, so talented, I think 20 years from now people will look at them as one of the best, if not the best, group of players ever,” the Hall of Famer said. “Our game is in a great place now, I just hope people appreciate it as much as we do watching what these guys can do.”

COURIER:

“These guys are just better than we used to be in so many ways.”
“It would be a shame if only tennis aficionados appreciated what’s going on,”

MCENROE:

McEnroe believes men’s professional tennis is presently in a golden era, with the Top 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings – Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray – all posting deep runs at the major championships.

“I think it’s an incredible time, actually,” said McEnroe. I think we [had] better enjoy it while it lasts. The shots that these guys can come up with … is phenomenal. They’ve taken the baseline game to a whole new level.

SAMPRAS:

“This generation is incredible.” “We’re going to probably have three players winning double-digit majors.” “Those four guys are just better movers than everyone else. They are better athletes.”

LAVER:

“We will never see something better than what we just saw.” (referring to the Rafa/Nole AO final)

Nuff said.


jane Says:

“Fed’s NOT in this era”. I guess it depends on how you define an “era”; when does one begin and another end?? Often the eras are defined by the great players themselves, and/or the main rivalries.

As mentioned previously, Nole and Andy have been in the top four since 2007 (Nole) and 2008 (Andy); thus they have been playing Fed for a while. They started to break through 06-07, when Fed was dominant.

If you mean they and Fed are from a different generations, sure; I can see that. But they have all still been playing in this same era, and I am certain Nole means to include Fed, and that he’s not speaking of just right now when he says “maybe the best era”; he’s been saying stuff like this in his interviews for some time.

Fed broke through at the end of the Agassi/Sampras period, and he’ll likely retire before Nole/Andy/Rafa: true.

In terms of main rivals, perhaps you could bifurcate Fed’s career.

From 2003-06 (3 years), his main rivals might have been Hewitt, Agassi, Safin, Nalby, Roddick and Rafa (05-06 for Rafa).

But from 2007-12, his main rivals have been Rafa, Nole and Andy, possibly Roddick too on occasion.

His career has spanned over two generations, but he is definitely “in this era,” insofar as he has been playing and has been a major factor in making this period an extra special one. But in addition to Fed, you have these other players arguably pushing the bar. Nole has 5 slams, which is as many as Safin, Hewitt and Roddick combined. Rafa has 11 slams, which I think is as many as (more than?) Borg. Andy just started, and like his mentor Lendl, he could go on to win many more.

It’s true that they’ve peaked at different times: Fed, 06; Rafa, 10; Nole 11, Murray, 13?. But they are all key players in this era, at least imo.

Fed’s kind of like Connors and Agassi in that his longevity has allowed him to span two periods of tennis players/generations.


Skeezer Says:

“But from 2007-12, his main rivals have been Rafa, Nole and Andy, possibly Roddick too on occasion.”

In that period, he(Fed) amassed 8 Slams alone.

“But they are all key players in this era, at least imo.”

This is the relevant pont of the day. Good post jane.


the DA Says:

Jane – you have the patience of a saint. If you look at Alok’s post @ 11:53 am she suggests that an era consists of a decade. Roger’s breakthrough came in 2003. According to her own rationale the era not only includes the other 3, it is due to end next year.


Alok Says:

I’m a guy not a gal.

An era is defined and/or marked by a distinctive character. Fed was/is the distinctive character up until 2009. He did however, share the spotlight with Nadal, which constitued a rivalry.

Of course there are other key players. Fed couldn’t play by himself.


the DA Says:

Gobbledygook.


Alok Says:

@trufan: “So we have 4 6+ slam winners playing each other at THEIR peak, together.”

That was a rivalry. They were all on par with each other.

Fed’s the player who’s out in front and the others are all trying to play catch up but can’t.


Alok Says:

@DA, it appears to me that your main focus on here is to pick a stupid fight with any poster and then twist their words around to suit yourself. You begin with distortion of the facts and end up with insults. How very childish. Grow up.


jane Says:

skeezer, re: the 8 slams since 2008 – exactly. That’s why there are rivalries between these guys, and that’s why Fed’s of this era (and has spanned two). When we speak of Fed in the future, there is no doubt Rafa will come up, but likely Nole and Andy will come up too since they’ve been dualing with Fed almost as long as Rafa (maybe 2 years less), and in key matches. As I say, Nole and Fed have been in NUMEROUS memorable exciting matches – matches that have been the best of a season, not to mention that they’ve played 28 times!

I have always thought of “eras” in terms of time periods, generally, not in terms of 1 distinctive character. In tennis, usually an era has been defined by time and/or 3-4 specific, standout players: like the Borg/Mac/Connors era, or the Lendl/Becker/Edberg/Wilander era, as trufan points out, or the Agassi/Courier/Sampras/Chang era, or the Roddick/Hewitt/Fed/Safin period.

This present one (since 07) could be seen as the Fed/Rafa/Nole/Andy era. That’s likely what Nole meant.


jane Says:

The DA, thanks – that’s how I see eras, as a decade or more generally as a slice of time, and then defined by the standout players.


jane Says:

*dueling not dualing. :)


Alok Says:

If Fed’s not the distinctive character then how could he have spanned two eras?


Alok Says:

jane Says:
The DA, thanks – that’s how I see eras, as a decade or more generally as a slice of time, and then defined by the standout players.”

Isn’t that what I stated in my post below:

“I don’t consider Fed to be part of this era. Each era is about a decade and Fed has gone past that, being 31 Y/o and the others 6 years younger. Djokovic, Murray, and maybe Nadal are all part of this era, but I consider Nadal to be more Fed’s era because he began playing in Fed’s era.”

Unbelievable. anyway, enough said. That’s it for me.


the DA Says:

@ Jane – you’re absolutely right. The experts and tennis legends see it that way too.

@ alok – Nonsense. I expect posters to explain their positions and have the courage of their convictions. If they start being evasive or changing the goal posts in a discussion – I will call them on it.


jane Says:

But Fed’s decade surely would have begun in 2003, when he broke through, in which case, as the DA points out, the “era” to which he belongs would end in 2013. We could extrapolate that Rafa’s would likely span 2005-2015, Nole’s and Andy”s 2007-2017. So they overlap. And the four of them are all distinctive characters who have been some of the most consistent players in a long long while, basically owning the top spots for the past 5 years and winning almost all of the masters and slams. Hence the media have coined the term the “Big Four” or fantastic, or fabulous, etc. Fed was part of an earlier generation, yes, but imo he is still of this era.

And to return to the topic of this thread, I assume that’s what Nole meant.


Polo Says:

The time period where Federer played should be called the Federer era because he was the most prominent and most successful during that period. That should include the first to the last year that he won a major event and reached number one rank. It is analogous to a kingdom, where that period is referred to by the name of the king at that time. Fed’s era is coming to a close. Maybe this is the last year. There is a transition period and from the looks of it, the next era (I think it has already started) will be the Djokovic era. But he has dominate for several years because a year does not an era make.


jane Says:

^ So Polo would you then say the “Sampras Era” or the “Borg Era” too? Leaving off the rivals like Agassi, Mac, etc?

For me, I usually think of more than one player as defining a period, though some players – for example, Fed, Agassi, Connors – are unique because they span a couple of periods and sets of rivals.


skeezer Says:

Polo describes this correctly.

Also we cannot “cherry pick” an era based on our favs. Nole’s “ERA” started when he turned pro in 2004, not 2007 or 08 or whatver year he staring playing well, and Fed had dominating success. Why is it all of the sudden Murray Noles ERA when Fed is old at 31? THis is not Feds ERA per se, he is on his way out…..
It just so happens that the old man is still making “Slam” noise # an old tennis age @ 31. Too bad.


jane Says:

So Fed’s era started in 1998 then? skeezer, I was thinking along the lines of break throughs. I mean, when a player came to prominence. That’s when people would start to think of that player as belonging to an era, usually not before when he might be half on the challenger circuit.

Raonic is a good example; he turned pro in 2008, but practically no one had heard of him until 2011. So I tend to think of him since then.

Eras seem like a difficult thing to define in tennis. Except for maybe one – the Open era. That one is easier. :p


Alok Says:

@Polo, “The time period where Federer played should be called the Federer era because he was the most prominent and most successful during that period. That should include the first to the last year that he won a major event and reached number one rank.”

What you have stated pretty much coincides with my post,viz:

An era is defined and/or marked by a distinctive character. Fed was/is the distinctive character up until 2009. He did however, share the spotlight with Nadal, which constitued a rivalry.

Of course there are other key players. Fed couldn’t play by himself.

October 16th, 2012 at 7:33 pm

DelPotro won the USO in 2009, and is somewhat forgotten. Where does he fit in considering he won his GS since 2009? Both JMDP and Murray are single GS winners.

Eras are not difficult to define. Some people make it so.


Alok Says:

Forgot to add if people are saying the djokovic era begin with his first GS win, then it can’t be 2007 because he won his first GS in 2008. Everything is switched around here as in “cherry picking”.


jane Says:

“if people are saying the djokovic era begin with his first GS win” Who said that? Not moi. A break through to me means getting into the top ten, or even top 5. Winning a grand slam is a step further. I know Roddick, for example, didn’t win his first slam until 2003, but in 2001 he had a great OF match with Hewitt at the USO. That’s when I think of him as coming into the limelight, because his and Hewitt’s rivalry began to make people take notice.

To me, Nole broke through in 2007. His first masters win, and his first slam final.

There’s no cherry picking here.

Got sidetracked by some Nick Waterhouse….

Anyhow, since “era defining” is crystal clear to some, then let it be. To others, it’s not so clearly defined by one player and the exact date they turned pro. Oh, and a decade too.

So: I guess Fed’s era would be 1998-2008 then. Fine with me.


wabow Says:

the last great match between them (GS 5setmatch)
djokovic-murray (usopen 12)
djokovic-federer (wimbledon 12)
murray-nadal (maybe wimbledon 11)
murray-federer (wimbledon 12)
nadal-djokovic (i will go with australian instead of french 12)
federer-nadal (australian 12)

-i can hardly think about a memorable battle between murray and nadal (in fact i think most were boring)
-nadal had not lost againts federer since 2007 (knowing the result take a lot from the match)
-federer-murray also are not the greatest to remember

+but djokovic… man he had great battles with all of them, many times, and won many coming from the brink (break down 5 set), we were amazed from the federer-nadal clay2006circa, but djokovic take the defensive game to full new level, in fact 2011 djokovic beat nadal 7 in a row (nadal-style)

*from the top 4, maybe federer is the best and had won the most, but djokovic from the last 2 years is adding great matches one after another, can you mention a great match in the last 2 years that djokovic was not in there?

>>all rush to say the word era, first was federer era, then nadal-federer era, then djokovic-nadal-federer era, now they call it murray-djokovic-federer-nadal era.
“i say bullshit”

1.first we got a federer era and he ruled it like neverbefore
2.then we got the nadal era, short but he also made clear who was the number 1.
3.now its djokovic era, its his time, and all the others are trying their best to battle him, same than happend in nadal era and federer era.

my PERSONAL OPINION about eras and rivalries, dont botter in reply me, i dont care what you think, nor look for joining the most long reply-reply-conversation i ever see in this blog (come on 10+ reply from 5+ people, get a life ASAP)


nilam Says:

In the absence of any unanimity on the definition of an era, Polo’s point appears to be a reasonable one. I guess this can be known only in hindsight that is after the concerned players’ careers have finished. If it refers only to the prime of a player, where he is likely to have won most grand slam tournaments and been ranked number one, Federer’s era was from 2004 to 2007. It was a decent four year period. Since then, there has not been an ‘era’ defined by the continued occupation of the top rank. Nadal’s 2008 and 2010 were interrupted by Federer’s 2009. Most probably, we are in the Djokovic ‘era’ at the moment. This is the second straight season he will finish as number one. He has also won four of the last eight grand slam tournaments. He appears well set to continue his good run. However, this could be premature and we could witness the Murray ‘era’ going forward.


the DA Says:

@ Polo – agree wholeheartedly. Well stated.

I’m astonished that anyone, least of all his fans, would not consider Federer’s GS wins in 2008, 2009 & 2010 as part of an ongoing era. And how can it be over in year where he won wimbledon and reclaimed no.1??


Nina Says:

To downplay Novak’s success or Murray’s or even Rafa’s to just make Federer look better is childish and stupid. And last time I checked they all played in the same era and the strongest opposition Fed has had to deal with throughout his career has been against the likes of Rafa, Nole and Andy. To suggest that he comes from another era is absurd. For the same matter we can say he comes from a weaker era than the other 3 who has had to deal with at least two all time greats at the same time.


Rafael Says:

If we had to pick one player as the face of tennis in 60s, that would be laver.

In 70s, it would be borg.

80s, would be becker.

90s would be sampras.

2000+ would be federer.

why? because they dominated the World Cup of tennis – Wimbledon.

to the sports world, which has much more audience than the tennis world, only Wimbledon matters.

these ar the players that dominated Wimbledon during these ages.

You can win 7 french opens or 10 US opens, but if you only win 1 or 2 wimbledons, you will be always inferior in the eyes of the people who follow a lot of sports and not just tennis.

Would Bolt/Phelps be so popular if they won some races in small events 100 times and won 0 olympics? I dont think so. If spain won euro a 1000 times and never won a World Cup, no one would care for them.

Wimbledon is the World Cup of tennis and whether murray, nole or rafa fans like it or not, Federer is the Emperor of the Center Court. Oh, he also has 300 weeks at number 1. almost double of all those 3 guys’ weeks at number 1.


Rafael Says:

3 mediocre guys can share titles among them and split them evenly. does that mean the era is strong?

federer, roddick, hewitt and safin, ferrero. they are from the same generation. and fed aced that group.

rafa, djokovic, murray, berdych and tsonga are in one generation.

it is arguable at best which era is stronger. the fact that djokovic/murray have less GS than rafa who is a player based on clay should tell you how great those 2 are.

imagine ferrero winning 11 slams! LOL! thank God Federer’s generation defended the hardcourts and grass from the clay specialists.

you cant say the same for novak/murray’s generation. novak atleast has a winning record over rafa on hardcourts. murray has a losing record even outside clay to rafa. even davydenko and blake – the so called members of the weak era have a winning H2H against rafa outside clay!


Skeezer Says:

Sampras, Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Rafa, Murray, Djoker, Agassi, Delpo. Fed Won 17 Slams with all of them in the playng field. And these players mentioned, own a Slam(s) also!!
Who tops that? Nobody.


nilam Says:

When did Federer win a slam with Sampras in the playing field? Probably, Johansson, Gaudio, Ferrero, Moya, Kuereten and Costa but definitely not Sampras.


nilam Says:

” 80s, would be becker.”

I do not agree. It has got to be Lendl.


nilam Says:

Talking about just this point in time, I do not think it is a very strong era in that Federer is 31+ and nearing retirement. Nadal has been out of action for a long time. He is also old in tennis terms and there are some question marks about how strong he will be when he comes back and for how long. Basically, it is between Murray and Djokovic because these two are the only ones who seem to be at their peak especially physically. I expect Federer to get worse and , most probably, we have also seen the best of Nadal. With no new talent on the horizon, this does not sound like a particularly special period.


Rafael Says:

International sport audience view lendl as THAT loser who never won wimbledon.

in a sense, spain were like lendl, till they won the World cup in 2010.


the DA Says:

Only a little englander would hold that view. They also believe the tennis calendar begins and ends with Wimbledon.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

nilander has a good point. It seems at this moment we could go either way: yes, we could have 4 all-time greats in Fed, Rafa, Murray and Nole, all battling at each of 4 slams.

Or, Fed could fade, Rafa could fade, Murray and Nole could take over.

Or Murray and Nole might gain another slam each and fall back; never to reach the level of a Wilander, Edberg or Becker.

Certainly, outside the top 4 we do not have the depth the 80′s had. Ferrer is no competition for the top 4, and Berdych, Del Potro and Tsonga all seem to have reached their peaks: spoilers, never consistent enough for 3 top level matches in a row that they’d need. I wouldn’t be suprised if Raonic wins a slam before any of those three, simply because he MAY yet get better, while its doubtful those 3 will.

So we could have 4 all time greats battling, we could have 2, we could have… none, while we wait for a new generation to emerge.


jane Says:

^ Um, if Nole wins one more slam he has ALREADY TIED Becker and Edberg and would be one slam short of Wilander, so how could it be that he’d “never reach [their] level?

Also Nole has had to beat either Fed or Rafa, or at last year’s USO both of them, for all of his slams – if we’re going to somehow lessen Andy and Nole, with which I disagree, then you’d still have to admit that Nole won ALL of his slams beating “2 all time greats” – and if he ends with 6 or more, how could you not say he is a great?

Sorry, but feel rather proud of my guy’s accomplishments you know. :)


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Good one !


skeezer Says:

jane,

Don’t forget, he is 25, not 29. He also has years in his prime on his side, with no major chronic injuries ( knock on wood )….so me thinks its very possible the best for Nole is yet to come ;)


jane Says:

Thanks skeezer: hope you’re right.

Wog Boy: :)


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Yeah Jane, you’re right for Nole. Nole has almost reached the Becker level of mid-level tennis greatness. Murray might never get there though. But its still hard to juggle those 4 to equal either late 80′s or early 80′s star power– so far.


courbon Says:

I have not checked blog for 5 days and there is still discussion about best era?Wow…I’ll come back in 5 days..

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