A World Without Roger Federer
by Ben Pronin | February 11th, 2010, 12:03 pm


It’s barely been a month since Roger Federer won the Australian Open and it already feels like we’ve had too much Federer. Albeit there’s A LOT to say about the guy, I want to steer away from him for at least this blog and try to give credit to the other players of the Federer Era. ADHEREL

Federer has won a record 16 major singles titles and and has reached a record of 22 major finals overall since only 2003 (7 years in real time is like 14 years in Federer time). That’s a whopping 55% of majors that Federer’s won dating back to the 2003 Australian Open (76% for just finals). Unreal, unprecedented, probably ever-lasting.

While Federer completely deserves to over-shadow his competition, it also causes people to greatly overlook how particularly good his competition is. So what I’ve done is gone through all 22 of the major finals Federer has been in and taken him out. To keep things simple, I assumed that whoever Federer beat in the semifinals would’ve reached the final.

2003 Wimbledon,  Andy Roddick vs Mark Philippoussis: How Philippoussis even made this final is beyond me but I definitely think Roddick gets his first slam here. Roddick, like Federer, was young and hungry and had a lot more game than Philippoussis. Fun fact: This was the only slam final where Federer didn’t even face a break point. I have no doubt Roddick would’ve won this match.

2004 Australian Open, Juan Carlos Ferrero vs Marat Safin: Safin was the big story of this Oz Open and I think he would’ve had his fairy tale ending against Ferrero. Safin may have been physically more tired but he was playing some great tennis and would’ve been able to edge out Ferrero, who was about to hit a long slump.

2004 Wimbledon, Sebastien Grosjean vs Andy Roddick: Considering how well Roddick played against Federer that year, I’d fully expect him to repeat his 03 effort and defend his title. Grosjean knows how to play on grass but Roddick was playing much better.

2004 US Open, Tim Henman vs Lleyton Hewitt: This would’ve been Henman’s first and only slam final and he would’ve lost. Hewitt has owned Henman throughout his career and despite what Federer may have done to Hewitt, Hewitt was playing some great tennis and would’ve gotten his second US Open here.

2005 Wimbledon, Lleyton Hewitt vs Andy Roddick: This is interesting because by this point, they’d both have won the last 3 Wimbledon titles but Hewitt also had a great record against Roddick. Hewitt was also playing some of his best tennis in 05 so I’d have to pick him to come out in this one.

2005 US Open, Lleyton Hewitt vs Andre Agassi: Agassi played fantastic tennis throughout this event, including the final. And if he was up 4-2 against Hewitt, I don’t think he would’ve blown it. Hewitt is a fighter but if Agassi could find a way to click for three sets, he would’ve won… probably in another five-setter.

2006 Australian Open, Nicolas Kiefer vs Marcos Baghdatis: Like Safin, Baghdatis was the story in 06 and the guy played brilliant tennis in reaching his first slam final. Kiefer got to the semi with a pretty easy draw and would’ve been completely outclassed by Baghdatis in the final.

*2006 French Open, David Nalbandian vs Rafael Nadal: This is perhaps the toughest one to call of all. If Nalbandian wasn’t injured, then I think he would’ve been able to beat Nadal. But if he was, Nadal would’ve come out victorious. But if I really have to make one pick, it’s got to be the defending champ.

2006 Wimbledon, Jonas Bjorkman vs Rafael Nadal: Nadal would’ve destroyed Bjorkman almost as bad as Federer had. Bjorkman was too old and too just-happy-to-be-there. Even though Nadal wasn’t that great on grass yet, he wsa great enough to beat an old Bjorkman.

2006 US Open, Nikolay Davydenko vs Andy Roddick: Roddick has owned Davydenko and Davydenko would’ve been too nervous to derail Roddick’s resurgent run. Roddick wasn’t far from getting a two sets to one lead over Federer, no question he would’ve beaten Davydenko.

2007 Australian Open, Andy Roddick vs Fernando Gonzalez: Gonzalez showed just this year that when he’s on, he can beat Roddick, and he was never more on than at the 07 Oz Open. Roddick wouldn’t have caved in but I’d expect Gonzo to clinch his own fairy tale ending.

2007 Wimbledon, Richard Gasquet vs Rafael Nadal: As talented as Gasquet is, he’s never beaten Nadal and he also has a tendency to bail out mentally. Nadal would be the defending champion and would repeat over a nervous Gasquet.

*2007 French Open, Nikolay Davydenko vs Rafael Nadal: Davydenko in another major final? Wow. Who would’ve thunk it? But no way would he beat Nadal at Roland Garros. He can push Nadal, but not at this particular court.

2007 US Open, Nikolay Davydenko vs Novak Djokovic: Djokovic played like a real champ at this event and he would’ve beaten Davydenko in this final. Djokovic played some of his very best tennis and had it not been for nerves, he may have even beaten Federer. But Davydenko is no Federer, especially in the mental department.

*2008 French Open, Gael Monfils vs Rafael Nadal: Nadal was playing like a beast that year and no way could a nervous and thoughtless French player would be able to beat Nadal on his best surface.

*2008 Wimbledon, Marat Safin vs Rafael Nadal: By 08, Nadal was a pretty great grass court player and he would’ve also been the two-time defending champion.  I was ecstatic when Safin made the semis and had he made the final, I would’ve been in bliss. But would he have beaten Nadal? Unfortunately, no. Safin never quite mastered the grass and Nadal also has a tendency to break down Safin from serve to drop shot.

2008 US Open, Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray: This would still have been Murray’s first slam final and he still would’ve been nervous. Djokovic would’ve been the defending champ and a two-time slam champ by now. Djokovic would’ve won this match in pretty straight foward fashion (although maybe Murray would’ve gotten a set this time).

*2009 Australian Open, Andy Roddick vs Rafael Nadal: Nadal. Nadal was playing spectacular tennis and Roddick might have been able to make a classic out of it, but there’s just no way he anyone could’ve beaten Nadal.

2009 French Open, Juan Martin del Potro vs Robin Soderling: This match is particularly interesting because del Potro showed he has what it takes against Federer in the semis but Soderling was playing the tournament of his life. Fitness issues would’ve hurt del Potro but I also feel like this match would’ve been a lot like their match in London; Soderling should win but del Potro would snatch the victory in the last minute.

2009 Wimbledon, Tommy Haas vs Andy Roddick: Considering how well Roddick played against Murray and Federer, there’s no way he would’ve lost to Haas. Haas has a game that has often troubled Roddick, but Roddick did beat him on clay in Madrid just weeks before. Roddick would’ve added to a pretty hefty Wimbledon collection.

*2009 US Open, Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro: Assuming Djokovic was still going through his slump, there’s no reason why del Potro wouldn’t have been able to dethrone a two-time defending champion (considering he de-throned a five-time champ in reality). Perhaps a different kind of classic, but I think this match would’ve also gone five sets.

2010 Australian Open, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Andy Murray: Tsonga has beaten Murray in Melbourne before but since then, it’s been the Scot who’s had more success. Murray has more variety and better court sense than Tsonga. And even though they’re both prone to mental lapses, Tsonga sucks at getting out of them. Murray would’ve won this tournament in dominating fashion.

*Denotes finals Federer lost.

Players who’d have more slams without Federer: Agassi (9), Nadal (8), Roddick (5), Hewitt (4), Djokovic (3), Safin(3), Del Potro (2), Murray (1), Gonzalez (1), and Baghdatis (1).

Of course tennis is more complicated than that and I think Roddick was affected the most by Federer’s dominance. Five slams he may have won if he wasn’t facing Roger, but also think about how many slumps Roddick fell into because he kept getting shut down by Federer. With more confidence and belief, Roddick may have had close to 10 slams by now.

The point of this is to really show how great Federer’s rivals are. And it also shows just how great Federer has been to be able to deny great players slams they would’ve otherwise won. (Honestly, only Federer can beat Gonzalez in straight sets while the guy is playing the best tennis of his life). But this whole alternate reality is just for fun and it doesn’t mean that I want Federer out of the picture (if anything, I wish Federer was 22-0 in slam finals).

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126 Comments for A World Without Roger Federer

sonic Says:

now do an other one for 90’s withouth Sampras. it won’t be any less boring, but you seem to have the time.

madmax Says:

haha, Sonic! I was thinking the same thing.

Honestly Ben. I think sometimes you DO have too much time on your hands. Let’s face it. However you want to get away from the fact that you dont want to admit that Federer is just awesome and the best ever, you have to write something like this which excludes Federer? I dont get it.

A world without federer, is like strawberries without cream, like winter without snow, like summer without sunshine, i could go on, but really Ben.

Ben Pronin Says:

Roger Federer is about tennis. Tennis isn’t about Roger Federer.

This has nothing to do with me wanting or not wanting to admit anything.

I’m at work right now with absolutely nothing to do, why can’t I blog about something that could interest people who aren’t ready to lick the bloody blisters on Federer’s feet?

madmax Says:

Actually Ben,

It would be like Tennis.X without Ben Pronin. Imagine that? A world without Ben Pronin. Noooooooooo (Havisham style).
I simply couldn’t stand that! :)

madmax Says:


I think you need to calm down a bit. Why so bristly? We dont always have to agree with you. PLUS with a headline like that, how on earth can you stop Fedfans from responding. This is exactly what you wanted. Go on. Admit it!

Ben Pronin Says:

I’m tired of crazy Federer fans going nuts when someone says even the tiniest thing about Federer. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Madmax, honestly, I didn’t realize it right away that this is like Fed-fan bait. But that’s not what I want. I want to talk about other players for a change. Did I expect this? Unfortunately. But I don’t WANT this. This isn’t supposed to be about Federer so I don’t want to discuss him. I want to talk about how great Roddick is. The guy has been in the top 10 just as long as Roddick and he never gets any credit for it. For 3 years while Nadal was number 2, he had enough points to be number 1 in any other time period. Lleyton Hewitt reached 2 straight slam finals at one point and no one even remembers him. It’s not fair to them.

tim Says:

whatever it is that you are smoking Ben do YOU and us a favor and ask for a refund!

Emma Says:

I’m a die hard Fed fan and I love this article! I don’t see why Fed fans shouldn’t, if anything it’s a compliment to the guy that he was able to beat all these great players! Good stuff :)

Steve Says:

Hmmm I’ll take it less personal, it’s a flexible article, can be read in different contexts.

Ben don’t worry, I’m Fed fan and that madmax (the guy who loves to only go after people) is only one out of the 100 million Fed fans (lol)

Maybe your time was better spent watching this:


tennisfan#1 Says:


what king of article is this. You suck dude. Find another job. Cheers.

ThyGodisTennis Says:

There will be a day that tennis is referred to as

BF = before Federer


AF = after Federer

Mitch Says:

An interesting thought exercise. In addition to your assumption that whoever Fed beat in the semis would advance to the final, you’ve also overlooked the effect Federer’s had on the development of the men’s game. For example, without all those crushing and repeated losses to Federer, I doubt Roddick would have had the motivation to change and evolve his game to where it is today.

andrea Says:

i agree that roddick would have had more slams sans roger, but 10 is a pipe dream.

Fedster Says:

Maybe you shouldn’t put up a picture of Roger on the homepage, that will attract less Fed fans, lol…

But most tennis-x bloggers like to stir things up.

Skorocel Says:

“Honestly, only Federer can beat Gonzalez in straight sets while the guy is playing the best tennis of his life”

I don’t think so. Anyway, thanks for the article!

madmax Says:


now dont be cruel! You dont know me and Ben and I go way back – a lot of stuff is tongue in cheek. Plus, after reading some of your posts (ones that I complimented you on yesterday), I would say you are more “madsteve” than steve. So really. do me a favour. be nice.


perhaps rethink the headline – how about Roddick Rules – ok? Rather than this headline and a warning? It’s a recipe for disaster.

madmax Says:


your youtube of murray v fed was hilarious. Thanks for that. Laughing till my socks fell off!!!!!

Steve Says:

Seems there’s another steve on tennis-x, hmmm…

madmax Says:

hmmmmm. if so, i dont think you could use the same name steve? and fyi I am a girl! maxi.


Madmax, honestly, I didn’t realize it right away that this is like Fed-fan bait. But that’s not what I want. I want to talk about other players for a change. Did I expect this? Unfortunately. But I don’t WANT this. This isn’t supposed to be about Federer so I don’t want to discuss him. I want to talk about how great Roddick is.


having problems with laptop today, split posts. sorry.

Roddick IS great. Write an article about RODDICK then, not with a misleading post – if you know what I mean. And who said Hewitt was finished? Hewitt is a great player. Still. I think him, roddick and federer been in top ten for almost 10 years now. I agree that Roddick doesnt get enough kudos.

In fact when watching wimby 09, well, really felt for roddick. Who couldnt feel that way? and he has reinvented his game with stefanki. No doubt about it. And there is still more to come from him.

iskett Says:

Definitely an article for Fedex-fan, me inclusive.
Indeed, had Federer not existed the other players would have shone even more, showing the calibre they had.
An since Federer does exist, it simply highlights how amazing his achievements are winning against all those guys!

madmax Says:

iskett, yes. this is true, but i dont think Ben sees it this way.

The American tennis wonder still bring the thrills and excitement to the sporting world of tennis. Making his mark on the international stage 6 years ago with a magnificent display of power and control raised him to number one in the world in 2003. The life of Andy Roddick has never been the same since. The invincible Roger Federer kept the power of Roddick from reclaiming top spot on the ATP tennis charts in the years that followed. Nonetheless, that did not stop the power packed game of Roddick, 27, who went onto to take title after title annually while maintaining a respectable 10 top appearance on the world top tennis ranking without fail.

He has had his share of ups and downs to see his way through. Did I mention the might of Roger Federer constantly being the one match and one win away for Roddick retaining number and more majors as the two clashed on several occasion at Wimbledon alone?

The rivalry between Federer and Roddick became hot topic every time the two were to meet head to head in the major tournaments. The only problem was that the matches tended to go in Federer’s strong willed favor. In more recent years Roddick’s powerful game has managed to get the better to the returned to world number 1 status Federer.

Still known for the most tremendous service game in the business, the Roddick serve continues to be the vision of glory and amazement. Serving up 155 mph is all in a days work for this talented tennis player. He speaks modestly of his service game strategy suggesting instead that he aims to change it up more. This will further increases its effectiveness and essentially devastate his opponents even more. Which is what you really want from the service game of all time? Ranked number 7 in the world, Roddick considers himself a student of the sport that has given him so much throughout his still young career. Always the one to learn and take away the positive from his tennis wins and loses, the future of this most courteous on and off court gentlemen of the tennis sporting world is brilliant brighter than ever

So, ben, this is for you – a little praise for the great roddick. seriously.

Polo Says:

Who is Ben Pronin?

Andrew Says:

There is a major flaw with your article as you assume that whoever Federer beat in the semi-final would have replaced him in the final. Why could someone Federer beat earlier in the tournament not have come through the draw to win? Surely Ancic or one of Federer’s earlier opponents would have beaten Bjorkman in Wimbledon semi-final of 2006.

moi Says:

fun article.

thank you steve for the link to the video with the arab commentary.

steve Says:

I am lowercase “steve.”

The other Steve capitalizes his screenname.

Chi Chi Says:

Thank you Steve for the so funny youtube arabic commentator. I laughed so hard. BTW any Arabic speaking native here. What was the real translation for I am sure it is not the real comment. However I like it.

And Ben Ben Ben, you aske for it man. Though I always like crazy guy who writes crazy like you.

Good day Ben. At least you spend your time writing for all of us.

rhiannon Says:

Only useful thing about this article is that it points out (unintentionally) just how awesome federer is.
Tennis without federer?unthinkable.miserable. boring.
he’s elevated the game to so much more than power and serve. its beautiful. its elegant. its smart.
it’s everything that sampras’s game was not.
tennis was sooooooooooooooooo boring back then. i stopped watching tennis. it was a huge turn off.

it’s not a case of federer fans disliking anything a touch negative about federer. its the fact that sections of the media have really loved reporting the negative – worse because thre’s precious little that is negative. compare the reporting that he gets with that given sampras. we’re told sampras was great. really?why?the guy won 7 of his 14 GSs at wimbledon with his huge serve and sent us off to sleep in the process.yet we constantly hear that federer is ‘arguably’ the greatest, ‘almost’ the greatest. ‘he can’t be great until he’s won the french’.
its silly. why did we not have this huge debate with sampras with his one-dimensional game?

and meanwhile the media love to play up djokovic, del potro, sampras. wonder what they have in common…..

JoshDragon Says:

Great post. I think I might link this to Tennis Warehouse Forums. There’s so many threads about how Roger played during a weak era and that everyone ranked outside the top 2 (prior to 2007) was a clown.

I think they should read this.

Also, in my opinion. Roddick, probably would have won Wimbledon in 2005. Like you said, he plays at his best when he has confidence in his game.

If Roddick, had been the 2 time defending champion at Wimbledon. There’s no question that he would have beaten Hewitt in the finals.

Roddick, would have had a completely different career if not for Roger Federer.

gublooo Says:

The youtube video of fed vs murray was HILLARIOUS
I cant stop laughing – thanks for sharing.

Maverick Says:

Hey Steve
You got more of Arab TV tennis stuff. Funny. I cannot stop laughing. Thanks

Golf is barely a Sport Says:

MadMax I don’t think Pronin should go but I also think Sean is clearly the top writer for this site. Dean Martin is good too but needs to write more often.

Fruitcake Says:

I’m a diehard Fed fan (since 2001) and saw nothing in this article to get upset about. I took it the way I believe it was meant – a bit of fun. Its a lot better than reading all that incessant “weak era” claptrap that keeps being trotted out by some tennis journos. And I wish Fed was 22-0 in slams as well … but he isn’t and I can live with it!

Long Live The King Says:

Good post Ben!

Argued so vehemently with people who brand this a weak era. Roddick and Hewitt are the major sufferers. Also, I cannot think of another player in the history of tennis who could keep Nadal at no.2 for 3 effing years! Thats just insane! I mean, it wasn’t even close till Roger lost the Wimbledon 08 final. He generally had a handy lead over the no.2 for the better part of 4 and a half yrs.

Anyway, as I told Von, cheering for a Roddick GS slam soon. Go A-rod

Fot Says:

I think too many folks are taking this article too serious! I enjoyed reading the “what if”…I’m thankful that we DO have Roger but it shows how other player’s lives would have drastically changed had Roger not been there.

Ben, just so you know – you actually made Roger’s homepage! Someone linked your article to Roger’s official homepage and the Federer fans there are not having a problem with the article. They are taking it from the standpoint of people saying Roger played in a ‘weak’ era and your article shows that without Roger, we would be talking about players having multi-slam wins.

One thing… I’m retired so I have time, but man – you must have a nice job since you said you had time to write articles! Keep that job! lol!

contador Says:

great woulda, coulda, shoulda. article….all conjecture and wishful thinking for fans sick of federer for one or many of the well known reasons. i’ve read enough of tennis-x to know ss, dd and now, ben is actually a federer fan/ an experienced and well-informed tennis fan.

it’s a fun fantasy to imagine roger federer was never born, especially for the fans of previous eras or fans put-off by RF’s natural talent and domination, then go on to imagine the atp #1’s and gs winners without him, even for a fed worshipper like me.

i have been so ready to see roddick win another gs, particularly at wimbledon.

but more recently, really dreaded the day fed played andreev, thinking, “oh dear god, fed’s going out in the first round of the AO.”

AO 2010-Murray woulda, shoulda, almost took federer to 4 sets and then, muzza like rafa, coulda taken down the King in 5 sets on a sorta hc surface or delpo did on at true hc gs.

nole did it in less than 5 sets at AO 2008, right?

however, i am super happy federer is federer and feel lucky to have witnessed his genius.

and what about tennis the past 7 years without not only federer but nadal? nadal has been a complete clay court, FO winning pig! lol….

think who woulda, coulda shoulda won the FO without nadal?

i think you left out nalbandian, ben. i confess i read the above in a big hurry, maybe his name was in there. and what about tommy haas? my personal faveorite fantasy winner.

and don’t you think playing fed and the likes of nadal could be the reason some of these guys have so many injuries?

it just requires so much on every human level to get the best of a federer or nadal.

all that said. i enjoyed the read, ben. ty

Fot Says:

Just an ‘off-topic’ note. It is snowing in Dallas! We have had almost 7-8 inches of snow. Now I know folks in DC and other eastern towns will say that’s nothing – but for us in Texas – man that’s a lot of snow! Interesting that the “Global Warming Protest” was canceled in DC! lol!

Plus, we have the NBA all-star activities here this weekend so I hope this ‘snow stuff’ stops!!!!

contador Says:

ah so sorry, ben. you did remember nalby- thanks.

he certainly woulda coulda won a gs without nadal or federer.

probably his injuries were sustained from battles with rafa, especially.

poor nalby. such mental toughness and talent!

contador Says:

hey you got tommy in there too. i am in a lunchbreak hurry. trying to keep my day job!

Haas woulda won a wimbledon, if he coulda kept from imploding, that is.

NachoF Says:

Not to complain but if you are to do this you should have considered the players that Federer beat in each round of these tournaments…. many players that got beaten by Federer in a quarter final or 4th round could have possibly won the whole thing.

madmax Says:

Golf is barely a Sport Says:
MadMax I don’t think Pronin should go but I also think Sean is clearly the top writer for this site.


you misunderstand. I dont think Ben should go either. He is fab, if a little jaded! :) Big love going out to Pronin!

isnt that a song? coulda woulda shoulda? cant think who by?

evie Says:

I’m a huge Fed fan and loved this article. It was fascinating. Also weird remembering all the players Fed beat in the semis. Haas? Keifer? If not for your simplifying (which makes sense), there are a lot more guys who would have had a shot at a final. And there is no question Murray would have just won his first Slam for the UK.

The article is not “anti-Fed” at all. I don’t get all the fuss.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

This is a very interesting article. The rap that there have been no strong contenders during the era is really blown apart by showing how many slams Roddick, Djokovic, Hewitt, Safin and even Nalbandian and Davydenko would have were it not for one man.

The critique that you should look deeper than the semifinal opponent is true to be sure, but as a first approximation this really emphasises just how strong a few of these players are, and would be remembered, had it not been for Federer.

Really, Roddick stands out because your championship claims for him here seem to really stand up- he would have been in the upper echelon of Slam champs, with Wilander, Becker, Lendl and MacEnroe. Which is exactly what the tennis world expected of him when he came on the scene.

Vin Says:

FED rocks !!!

skeezerweezer Says:


Actually, nicely written, entertaining article!

I usually don’t like “what if” scenarios because the people that bring up the “what if” scenarios do it to justify there opinion. You did not do this….thanks!

It was insightful and a fun excercise.

I honestly did not know you write up here ( They let you write?….J/K :) )

Oh and Thank you for not going into the GOAT debate, you would have gotten hammered….

Golf is barely a Sport Says:

Madmax thanks for the clarification. What lies beyond the thunder dome?

jane Says:

“Roger Federer is about tennis. Tennis isn’t about Roger Federer.”

I agree 100%. I feel for people for whom “tennis is about Federer”, because what happens when he retires?? Do they suddenly stop watching tennis? For me, tennis comes first; favorites come second, and they change and evolve with the sport. I’ve been watching tennis for 30+ yrs. Tennis was around before Fed and it’ll be around -alive and kicking- after him. I’ll still be watching anyhow.

“2009 French Open” – I disagree on this one for sure: I think Del Potro would’ve taken his first slam. He had Fed to a fifth; he’d’ve beaten Sod imo.

Poor Poor Roddick! How many times my heart has felt crushed watching his efforts go for naught. I hope he gets another slam!!

jane Says:

FoT – stay warm! LOL.

madmax – I actually saw this as quite a positive article from a “Fed fan” perspective. As others have noted, it highlights his achievements, while also illustrating how mean he’s been in taking slams from some of my favorites. ; ) (just kiddin)

sar – speaking of faves, thanks for the update on Djoko’s match/WO! I missed that today.

contador Says:

hey jane,

am at work but have the livescores from san jose on. remember leonardo mayer from, i think it was the valencia tourny last fall?

i know, this is just an atp 250 event but the young lefty from argentina is playing roddick later. i’ll be watching. provided i can get a stream. and there is a 19 yr old lithuanian named berankis still hanging in there… but he’s one of those guys you go look up on the atp site and- no picture. the no picture thing makes me feel guilty for even looking, lol….

Ben states above that he wrote this fine piece to NOT discuss roger federer. c’mon, really? i was determined NOT to post anything about tennis today keeping my mind elsewhere but:

1) there is an attractive pic of the fed.
2) the title: “A World Without Roger Federer”
3) the teaser WARNING: “not for die-hard fed-fanatics.”

hehehhee- you couldn’t have done a better job to draw in the likes of me!

and i immediately liked the piece. teehee – better luck next time :-)

Steve Says:


No it’s not my video, I hope that guy makes more stuff like this hahah:)

Andy Says:

Interesting exercise. It would be absurd to feel sorry for Roddick–aside from the Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays when he faces Fed he has a great life–but your analysis underscores just how cursed his timing has been. One or two years earlier, and he might have caught Fed when his confidence was still a question mark.



Kimmi Says:

Interesting article indeed, Ben. Roddick poor Roddick but I agree with those people that said you should have looked at fed’s opponents before semi too. Good example is davydenko in AO 2010. I think without federer he woulda shoulda won the AO. The guy was on fire, he just went brain dead because he was playing the maestro.

Sar: Walkover for Djoko: A retirement in 1st round and a walkover in Qtr final, shall we say lucky Djoko?

I was expecting a more competative match between Bagdatis and Davy but not to be..what happened 6-3 6-2.!

Ben, I think Davy would have won 2010 AO..the guy is on fire. I still don’t know what happened to him down under..they guy was srushing federer, it sure looked like a straight set defeat.

jane Says:

contador, I don’t remember Mayer, no. So I will watch along with you if you’re here!

Andy – true, Roddick has a good life overall! But it’s just that his timing has been less than desirable in terms of achieving all he might have otherwise. That’s all I feel “sorry” for. It’d’ve been nice to see him win a few more.

Kimmi Says:

jane: “I agree 100%. I feel for people for whom “tennis is about Federer”, because what happens when he retires?? Do they suddenly stop watching tennis?”

I agree jane. I think the same problem goes to some Nadal fans and some diehard Djoko fans too. So many times I read comment like “tennis is not the same without Rafa” etc

jane Says:

For sure Kimmi, it applies to all “diehards” regardless of the player – the sport is bigger than any one player and always will be. Tennis rrrrrooocks. : )

Kimmi Says:

@ my post above 6.07pm. I was deleting that last para but for some reason it is still there, must be a long day..oh well!

evie Says:

Fed, btw, had it much easier in his first Slam than any of the guys he’s playing with now. Can you imagine if Gonzo or Djokovic or Murray had had Philippoussis in his first Slam? The first one is so hard, and all these guys have had to go through Fed to get it.

Tom Says:

I agree with Andrew that picking Federer’s semifinal opponent to get to the finals is a bit too easy. You’d have to look at the whole Federer’s half and pick the most likely candidate to advance to the final. For example, Haas almost beat Federer at FO 2009, could he instead of Del Potro advance to the final and ultimately won ?

And how about a Nadal-less world? That’s real easy to answer. Federer would have won at least three Calendar Slams by now, but he could have also retired early out of boredom, a la Michael Jordan.

So agree that federer’s competition is very good, but only Nadal is good enough. :)

Wyatt Rash Says:

So… where is the one sans Pistol?

Kimo Says:

I think this article is a MUST READ or Fed fans like myself.

There is no doubt that Roddick would have been a Wimbledon legend had it not been for the Fed. And don’t forget that Roger did face Andy in rounds other than finals and semis (2007 US Open I think they met in the quarters). Roddick would have probably ended up with 4 Wimbys and 3 US Opens. Now that is definitely McEnroe-esque (3 Wimbys, 4 US Opens for J-Mac).

And it is true that tennis is not about Roger, but I can’t even start to think about how the tennis world would looks like without him. Right now, none of the young guns seems to be head and shoulders above the others (then again, who thought that of Roger in 2001? Sure he beat Sampras and everyone knew his talent was crazy, but a 16-time slam champ? No way). Of course we will see another player in the future dominate the sport, but can he dominate it like Roger did/still does? Highly unlikely. From 2000 to 2003, we saw what the tour would look like without a dominant player, and while that was exciting to watch, there was no narrative, and narratives are what attract fans. That’s how it is in any sport.

sar Says:

With all his luck, if Novak doesn’t win this title I’ll be real mad.
Guess we won’t see Nole until Saturday.

Skorocel Says:

jane: „I feel for people for whom “tennis is about Federer”, because what happens when he retires??“

They’ll most probably droooooooooooool over some old Wimby 2003 tapes in the next couple of years and then commit suicide upon hearing about Roger’s and Mirka’s divorce… LOL and LOL :-)

Kimmi Says:

Sar, I think you should go one match at a time, that way if things don’t go according to your expectation you will not get tooooo disappointed. I do that with my faves a lot. Good luck to you.

Kimmi Says:

Skorocel: “They’ll most probably droooooooooooool over some old Wimby 2003 tapes in the next couple of years and then commit suicide upon hearing about Roger’s and Mirka’s divorce… LOL and LOL :-)”

LOL skorocel. The funniest post so far. So what do you think hardcore rafa fans will droooooool about…Wimbledon 2008 or is it AO 2009? Bacause right now they seem to drooling about those two matches!

Polo Says:

Who do you think will retire first, Federer or Nadal? I noticed that Nadal has been doing that a lot recently.

sunny sw19 Says:

Tennis without federer? Is like the ocean without WATER..love him or hate him hes the greatest human to pick up a racket. How can u be so annoyed with this mans success ? U cant expect him to just put he’s racket down and say to he’s opponent ‘you win’ he’s there with other competitors to COMPETE. What fed has is a ‘god given talent’ not only he’s tennis but the fighter he is, the ability and attitude to come back when your writen off and to stay no1 ‘remeberer getting to the top or getting to a final is easy, but staying at the top and consistanly getting to final is tough ask.Fed has toppled them all established men when he entered tennis like the ‘sampras,agrassi’ men of his era like the ‘safins,hewits,roddick’ and the new boys in town ‘murrays,nadal,djockovic’ why stil knock him doesnt make sense these articles are ones stupidity or ability to deny a genius or king of hes place…ben I’m sorry if your a Murray fan you might need to wait for another 150,000 years to take a slam of fed…. LONG LIVE THE KING.

Why the burn Says:

Tennis without federer? Is like the ocean without WATER..love him or hate him hes the greatest human to pick up a racket. How can u be so annoyed with this mans success ? U cant expect him to just put he’s racket down and say to he’s opponent ‘you win’ he’s there with other competitors to COMPETE. What fed has is a ‘god given talent’ not only he’s tennis but the fighter he is, the ability and attitude to come back when your writen off and to stay no1 ‘remeberer getting to the top or getting to a final is easy, but staying at the top and consistanly getting to final is tough ask.Fed has toppled them all established men when he entered tennis like the ‘sampras,agrassi’ men of his era like the ‘safins,hewits,roddick’ and the new boys in town ‘murrays,nadal,djockovic’ why stil knock him doesnt make sense these articles are ones stupidity or ability to deny a genius or king of hes place…ben I’m sorry if your a Murray fan you might need to wait for another 150,000 years to take a slam of fed…. LONG LIVE THE KING.

Wow Ow Says:

Take away the Top 1,000-ranked tennis players in the world and maybe I’d be in with a shout for a GS. Doh.

steve Says:

Roddick would be one of the greatest players of the age, with a couple Wimbledons, another US Open, and possibly an Australian Open to his name. Hewitt and Safin would have a couple more majors each.

Marcos Baghdatis would have been inspired by winning 2006 AO to go on to a top 10 career, instead of disappearing from the scene with injury.

Haas and Davydenko would have probably gotten a crack at a Grand Slam final. Who knows if either would have made good.

Of course, the other guys who have won Grand Slams in the era of Federer: Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro would have more Slams than they do. Murray would have a Grand Slam.

And colors would be duller, the singing of birds would be less sweet, and we would all go around with a vague aching sense of loss in our hearts, in a world without Roger Federer.

He won’t be fully appreciated until he’s gone. Just like you can only really appreciate the warmth of the summer sun when the bitter cold of winter rolls around.

Big Stick Says:

Really creative idea for an article, and a lot of fun to read. I’m not sure how you get del Potro taking out Soderling in the O9 French, “in the last minute” no less. Must have been some day dream you were having… : ]

The most interesting aspect of this article, to me, and testament to Federer’s accomplishments is that even when you take Fed out of the past 7 years — NO ONE comes close to doing what he has done.

skeezerweezer Says:


“LOL skorocel. The funniest post so far. So what do you think hardcore rafa fans will droooooool about…Wimbledon 2008 or is it AO 2009? Bacause right now they seem to drooling about those two matches!”

You are simply awesome. Nice and witty post :)

Michael Says:

Ben, At the outset, thanks for accepting the harsh fact that Federer era is not a weak one as often being played out by his detractors to belittle his achievements. It is as intense and competitive as never it was. I know it probably does not go well with you whenever Federer wins a Grand slam. But you need to take it in your stride and admire his genius, wizardy and mastering of this Sport called Tennis. Ofcourse that is what you also have now accustomed to do and styled yourself as you cannot compete against his genius. You wait to tear him apart whenever there is a miss, but that seems never ending given the 23 consecutive semi final streak he has achieved, which seems incredulous honestly as the next best achievement is just 10. There is just no point in hankering over a Federer-less Grand slam final and what could have been the scenarios. Nevertheless, it seems that you want a Federer-less Tennis atleast in your fertile imagination and therefore has gone on to present this analysis which may be fit for just time pass. I am sure one day you will not be able to deny that Federer is the real GOAT and I am waiting for that.

Joe Says:

Fun article. There is too much fluff and repetition on the internet, so a well thought out original article deserves some credit! (and not a flame war) Thanks to Steve for the youtube video link, I’m still drying my eyes here. Cheers!

Joe W Says:

Ben – really enjoyed the historical” what if” jaunt through the last seven years.it does indeed pay tribute to federer’s sucess – and rightfully so. As for your critics, remember that if there were’nt any critics, everyone would be a fans.and how interesting would that be?

Let me offer a no less titilating topic: Will Brooklyn Decker grace more SI covers than her husband? Discuss among your selves…sorry Von :)

TennisMasta Says:

“A World Without Roger Federer”


“It’s barely been a month since Roger Federer won the Australian Open and it already feels like we’ve had too much Federer.”

What is one thinking when he starts an article with the above attention grabbing headlines?

That no one reads the rest of the article? Even though that would absolutely be the proper response.

That everyone who reads it fully agrees with the author’s opinion? But in case some disagree they deserve to insulted as “DIE-HARD FED-FANATICS”, are “ready to lick the bloody blisters on Federer’s feet” and so on?

Despite the “Roger Federer” screaming headlines, to this writer “this isn’t supposed to be about Federer so I don’t want to discuss him.” Then why use “Roger Federer” in the title unless he knew full well that those two words generate the most hits on the internet?

Then he goes on to say “I want to talk about how great Roddick is.” Then why not put Roddick in the title? Perhaps he thinks he wouldn’t get any clicks? For sure that article won’t get nearly the number of clicks on with Roger Federer does.

I am a huge Roger fan, and I enjoyed the article from the second paragraph onwards. So I don’t understand the insinuation that Federer fans don’t enjoy reading about “What if” scenarios, or about someone other than Roger Federer.

But what Federer fans or anyone for that matter can read clearly is that the writer is “tired of crazy Federer fans going nuts when someone says even the tiniest thing about Federer.” The writer is tired just after a mere two responses from these crazy fans of Federer.

This is called the Bud Collins syndrome. That is 1) trying to make a living by making ridiculous and shocking statements 2) use “Roger Federer” in the title or on the cover page to draw internet traffic to their site and pretend to talk about someone else by trashing Federer and his fans.

guy Says:

roddick with close to 10 slams? that’s insanity. roger federer isn’t the only person stopping him from winning

madmax Says:

tennismaster’s posts above.! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Ben knew what he was doing (very clever man!!!!).

Jane, lovely to see you here again. Not seen you for a while and did reply to your earlier post on another thread – I hope you read it? (about the joe frazier comment, but briefly, I was not referring to nadal’s brain – it was his knees! I love rafa always wish him a positive recovery – how could anyone think otherwise?

And it is true that tennis is not about Roger, but I can’t even start to think about how the tennis world would looks like without him. – this is true also.

Roger federer is the reason I watch tennis more and more. so, for the present, when federer isnt playing, I know that Rotterdam is being televised and match between meltzer (love him) and Seppi, but you know, it doesnt hold the same appeal.

Of course there are other players I like, but without federer – it’s just NOT the same! I dont even want to think about him not playing.

And I think if I am right, contador, you have said the same – that federer is THE reason why you watch tennis (not that you dont like watching other players).

graveleader Says:

what a lovely article, made me laugh and pity some1

anon Says:

I’d have to disagree with a lot of this article, not necessarily who you picked to win each match, but who you picked to get to the final. For example, the 2005 Australian Open. Federer didn’t win it, but along the way he beat Agassi in the quarters. I’d pick Agassi to beat Safin and Hewitt and win that. Safin was on fire but I think Agassi would have wanted revenge badly for losing to Safin the year before in 5, and Hewitt didn’t look so great in the final. He was way too pressured both from being in the final of the Aussie Open and for wanting to win so he could be a winner when he proposed to Bec. Agassi wanted the number 9 badly, I think he would have gotten it. A better example of a flaw in this article is the 2004 US Open. You picked Henman to get to the final against Hewitt because Henman lost to Federer in the semis. But wait a minute, Agassi lost to Federer in the quarters in 5 sets. He would have surely beat Henman to get to the final, where I think he would have beaten Hewitt. So all in all, Agassi probably would have had 11 Slams without Federer.

Andrew Says:

I’m a diehard fed fan myself, but I found this article very interesting. In fact, I actually think it is VERY possible for Roddick to have won close to 10 slams if it hadn’t been for Federer’s dominance. Roddick would’ve made a very likeable Wimbledon champion and he would’ve had the crowd on his side most of the time.

I felt for Roddick when he lost to Fed last year in Wimby finals. It’s not that I wanted Federer to lose, but I more on the side of “I wouldn’t mind if Roddick wins…”

I kinda feel for Hewitt as well. I think he’d be Federer’s second greatest victim.

Tennis Racquets Says:

Roger is the man… He’s the Michael Jordan and the (*Cough) Tiger Woods of Tennis.

He’s the man. Period!

jane Says:

Hi madmax, yes, I did read your repsonse on the other thread, thanks! Like I said, I feel for you. Because one day Fed won’t be playing, and it’ll leave a hole for you. : (

I watch any tennis I can, and though I have “top faves,” I watch matches and tournaments when they are not playing and thoroughly enjoy it. I’ve seen some of the most enjoyable matches when I least expected it (e.g. Blake vs. Delpo at the AO this year).

I cannot understand a comment like “tennis without Federer is like the ocean without water” — wow! That’s a little overboard for me. Tennis had great champions and personalities before – Sampras, Agassi, Borg, Mcenroe, Connors, Becker, Edberg, Safin, etc – and it will have exciting and talented players after Fed’s gone. And I haven’t even mentioned all the other talented and various players playing now!

At most, I can see Fed playing another 5 years. I know that’s just an opinion, but I am sticking with it.

Nina Says:

I always thought Djokovic completely deserved to win that final against Fed at the US Open 2007. At times he was clearly outplaying Roger. I think Federer had good luck that day. Imagine Novak with two slams already… Gods have always favoured Roger. Look, I appreciate the guy but all these years of Fed this and Fed that finally got me Fed Up.

tom Says:

I think the genius of Federer does not lie as much in talent as in knowing how to combine that talent into a winning package days in and days out.

On talent alone, Federer would not be able to dominate so completely. There are many players (Nalbandian, Safin, Hewitt, Nadal, Gasquet, Murray, Del Potro, Djokovic, etc..) who can beat Federer if the competition is just on talent, and there would surely be an upset here and there at the Slams.

Unfortunately all of the players with the skill capable of beating Federer break down (body, mind, what have you) more often than not. And Federer is just humming along like the energizer bunny. Even a few hiccups did not derail him badly.

I don’t know if there is a GOAT for everything, but Federer is no doubt GOAT in this category of consistent performance at the highest level.

been there Says:

“It’s barely been a month since Roger Federer won the Australian Open and it already feels like we’ve had too much Federer.”

Let me join in the chorus: Who exactly is WE????????? Only YOU Ben, only you. lol. You’ve made it clear from last year that you are tired of Federer, so why write a headline about him? Why don’t you write about other players freely without bringing Federer’s names into your articles? (almost all your articles have Federer in it)

TennisMasta @1:11 has said it all really. Spot-on! Surely, the author of this article can still get internet hits (which is clearly what he was after), without such excessive attention seeking. We’d (paraphrased to most of us here) still read the article, with or without Federer’s name in it. lol.

There are many great things to say about many players without Federe’s name being uttered. It has been done many times before…no need of starting an unnecessary uncalled for debate with such an inflammatory first paragraph, especially the ‘fed-fanatics’ bit.

Seems like the only person utterly OBSESSED with Roger Federer is the article author Ben Pronin simply because he can’t stop mentioning Federer’s name anywhere…even when it’s uncalled for. lol ;) The one obvious Fed-fanatic on this thread is the author himself, who warns ‘fed-fanatics’ not to read. lol. Talk of irony.

jane Says:

Nina, “Fed Up” LOL! I’ve felt the same when he won over a favorite of mine, like in the final you mention. Fed has faced a number of first time slam finalists in recent years for sure: Djoko, Murray, JMDP, Gonzales, Baggy, Soderling, others? Anyhow, it’s tough for someone to win on their first try as nerves can factor in, though some do of course – for e.g., JMDP! At least Djoko won the second final he reached, and went through Fed in the semis to do it.

tom, you make some great points @10:27. It’s true there is a lot of talent out there, but Fed has had that aura in the past, he has always been mentally tough, and he knows precisely when/how to raise his game when he needs to. So it’s a package deal, as you say. He’s also not had many injuries so that has helped him continue to amass titles.

contador Says:

hi madamax!

what i mean about “federer being the reason i watch tennis” is this: i was only watching prior to federer to keep my dad company- he loved playing and watching and i took pity on him screaming at the TV all by himself, lol.. he taught me to play tennis when i was not yet in middle school- i liked playing much more than watching. until, i was more mature and able to keep an attention span for watching any sport. coincidentally at the time, federer was on the rise . point here: i doubt, especially where i live that i would have taken more than a passing interest in watching tennis if not for federer. then, tennis got even more interesting when nadal started showing up! now i am a full-on junkie, whenever possible. my tennis habit won’t go away when federer retires. but i imagine i’ll be sentimental about him like the fans i read carrying a torch for their retired favorites…lol…

roddick- i feel sorta guilty for cheering for fed all this time over him. but to me it’s not about cheering for the homeboy, though i do feel bad when i think about how many gs titles he woulda, coulda had by now, if not for federer.

madmax, to me, it’s even more fun watching now, trying to pick who the next talent with enough of that extra something, something and mental toughness to begin to rival nadal. federer is beyond belief. it’s not even fair to label anyone, “the next federer.” delpo could be “somethin’, somethin’ but his lingering injuries after last septembers’ big win make me wonder. murray needs a second serve and bigger forehand plus more confidence imo, to win a slam. djoko is up and down, it seems. i really DO NOT think rafa’s glory days are over, he’s playing safe and scheduling smarter, he has to take more breaks and plan to peak later in the season, not just wipe up during clay court season then like last year, not have enough left for wimbledon or the us open.

i loved TennisMasta’s post! except the part about “licking the bloody blisters…” eeeeyooooww! not unless i was paid a very large sum of money, wore nose plugs and blinders! haven’t looked at verdasco the same way without thinking of those close-ups of his bloody feet at AO 09. anyway….nuff of that.

Shal Says:

I’m a huge Federer supporter. I really enjoyed this information. It helped to solidify that there has always been many talented tennis players in the field and it’s amazing that Fed was able to defeat them on his way to the top!

Thanks for the insight!


shervin Says:

Oh come on. If you want to look at things from that aspect then you’ve got to consider what the situation would have been had there been no Nadal. In that case Federer would have won his twenty-third Grand slam in the Australian open this year, considering his six defeats in the finals at the hands of the Spaniard and a semi-final defeat.Not to metion having completed three Grand slam calenders which is a extrordinary feat itself. Thus it is undoubtedly pointless to make such erratic assesments. Although by differing the circumstances we can dream up all sorts of alternations for the current conditions, these are all irrelevant to reality.

Skorocel Says:

been there: Seems like another Fedtard is coming out…

Skorocel Says:

anon: You make good points about Agassi.

Skorocel Says:

jane: “I cannot understand a comment like “tennis without Federer is like the ocean without water” — wow! That’s a little overboard for me.”

And you call yourself a regular blogger here? If you’ve been there for such a long time (and you indeed have), you should know that there’s absolutely zero point to discuss ANYTHING other than Federer on this site, since, no matter what or who you’d want to talk about, in the end it’s all about Federer being the GOAT, the best, the greatest tennis ambassador, the greatest husband and father on this planet, the greatest thing since sliced bread, the greatest thing than everything… Don’t you know he’s THAT good? He’s so good so that when he loses, it’s either his biggest win (Wimby 2008 final), or simply a bad day at the office (FO 2008 final). He’s just that good. He’s the only player who has managed to win a slam final with mono and lose it because of it. He’s so passionate about the game he can even occasionally forget to shake hands with the umpire after the match. He’s so generous that, even with those sh.tty $ 20 million of income he’s receiving per year, he can still organize a charity event which would generate some stunning $ 500 k! His fans don’t need to argue with anyone, since they’re the ones who know the truth. Didn’t you know all that, jane?

jane Says:

Skorocel, you’re too funny, very tongue in cheek. And contrary to what many think, I happen to know that you’re a long time Fed fan at this site. It’s true Tennis X has many extreme & devoted Fed fans (but they’re all over the internet…), yet I still find statements like that one surprising – the statements that reduce a sport to one player only – ’cause I’ve watched tennis for a long time and have enjoyed many great players.

Remember how Pete would jump up to hit a smash? Sublime! Or Borg would look so wooden with his wooden racket, but from the matches I’ve seen, he would move like a cat. Or Edberg’s volleys, or Lendl’s domination of the baseline. Wow – lotta greats over the years!! Of course Fed is one of the greatest greats, but he’s got weaknesses and flaws, like everyone.

madmax Says:


I know you are a lot older than me, more experienced, seen more players. But for me. Federer is Fantastic, and for the person who mentioned earlier that she is “fed up” with fed” how rude. Just plain rude to ever get bored with his game. My God. Go do some washing up, or gardening but never say fed’s game is boring. He is amazing. In so many ways.

Contador, yes. I understand where you are coming from. Of course. And life will go on when federer has gone, but for now, I just want to watch him play, I don’t want to be thinking of things to come in the future, as there is no need to right now. He could well be playing the game into his late thirties, as Connors did. Why not?

Jane, I do understand your comments – really I do – and I think you can say that because you have already been through it, “accepted” your favourites players have retired from the game and moved on. It is not that I don’t love other players, of course I do. I enjoy watching rafa, novak and roddick, tommy haas and even Meltzer. I watched some of his game against seppi last night, and they are good, solid players, but when I watch federer play, there is no other like him. That’s just my opinion.

And Skorocel, I think there are many discussion about many players on this forum, not just about federer – and if you read some of the threads that Ben has posted lately, you would have thought that this was NOT an homage to Federer – at all.

I think you are a little bitter Skorocel, are you lleyton hewitt or andy roddick by any chance?

contador Says:

hey. wazzup with the changed picture today? now the less flattering “distressed federer.” who is in charge, i ask? :-))

all the action appears to be in brazil today, Jane.

san jose- too predictable

rotterdam – must try to watch semi and final this weekend

margot Says:

jane: so agree with you! Am feeling just a bit “Fed up” myself. Yes, the man is just sublime but I’m feeling everything that can be said about his genius has been said. Isn’t this all a bit repetitious? Enough already! And I swear to god if folks start arguing about H2Hs between Fed and Rafa, I will be in grave danger of pulling my own head off! Nor do I want more articles about Andy M, I’ve had enough of “shouldna, wouldna, couldna” for quite some time.
Wasn’t it Wordsworth who said “she that is tired of tennis is tired of life?” Well, not all tennis but the endless repeating stuff-yes!
Perhaps we can start a conversation about the genius of Johnny Mac? BFN

jane Says:

hi madmax, I understand, but it’s nice to hear that you enjoy watching other players too! :)

I think when people say they are “fed up” with Fed, it’s not so much fed up with watching him play but with seeing him win a lot and seeing him in most finals. I guess some fans of other players would like to see someone new winning more often. That’s all I think (?) Nina meant by her comment, and I know that’s all margot and I meant.

Plus, it seems like with a lot of threads here at Tennis X, even when they have nothing to do with Federer, the conversation somehow reverts back to him – like the one about Rafa’s injury became a debate about Fed’s greatness, GOATness, or whatever, and the recent one about Delpo’s injury is somehow morphing into a discussion about Fed’s forehand! Yet the articles were not about Fed at all. It does all get somewhat repetitive.

margot – YES! Let’s discuss J-Mac, post some old vids. Whatever.

contador – I think the semis at Rotterdam could be great: both Sod and Davy have looked very strong, and Djoko and Monfils had a battle the last time they played (assuming la Monf gets by Youz…which is about to begin).

contador Says:

my dear lord, monf and youzy.

well, that one would be fairly impossible to pick a winner.

i mean, monf *should* win. it depends….

djoko in a final v davy- is my hope.

Long Live The King Says:


You are just being a dumbass! How many non-Federer posts have you made on this blog? If you really want to talk about other people, who exactly stopped you from talking about them? Obviously, you cannot stop talking about Federer or his fans. Like someone pointed out, you were stupid enough to say Federer fans were talking about him having a better personal life than Tiger, when there was no one who did that except you.

Stop preaching Federer fans to prove yourself to be “OBJECTIVE”. You can share your “objective” babble for rafatards or samprasses like yourself.

louise Says:

Creative, thought-provoking, fun-to-read article, Ben. Thanks.

Fot Says:

I think it’s normal for blogs to blog about ‘what’s hot’ in the sport. When Tiger was “winning” a lot in golf, that’s all you read on the golf blogs. Roger has been winning regularly in tennis so naturally a lot of blogs will be about him. I can understand how non-Federer fans might feel. Truly I can. And I know many don’t have anything ‘personally’ against Roger himself…they are just tired of hearing and reading about Roger.

Thanks god I’m in the other boat. I can’t get enough of reading about Roger and I do know that I’m fortunate on that aspect since he is my favorite.

Someone else asked if Roger retire would tennis take a back-seat to us Federer fans. Probably not, because I love watching tennis.

Seems like everytime my favorite player retires, someone else comes along to take that person’s place. (I’m blessed that my favorites have been pretty good along the years: Ashe, Borg, Lendl, Pete, and now Roger). Believe you me – I have had to read a lot of negative comments on a lot of my favorites throughout the years – especially on Lendl! But that didn’t stop them from being my favorite, or it didn’t stop me from watching tennis when they retired.

Of all the group mentioned above – Federer – BY FAR – is my favorite of the favorites so I know it’s going to impact me as far as watching tennis when he retires. I just hope my ‘next favorite’ comes along real soon after Roger decides to hang it up. And I don’t understand why player x becomes my favorite – they just do. Right now, there is no other player that can step in as my ‘favorite’ when Roger retires. Hopefully some youngster coming up will catch my fancy, otherwise, I’ll be a ‘drifter’ in tennis! lol!

Long Live The King Says:


“Just plain rude to ever get bored with his game.”

>>>> It is like people who cannot appreciate the music of Mozart or the works of Shakespeare. Whose loss is it? People watch tennis for many reasons. Some watch for tennis, some watch for a player who becomes bigger than the sport. I am one of the millions who started watching basketball because of Jordan and I am done with basketball after he’s done. I can watch Jordan’s games all my life-time and still be in awe of it. Same goes for Roger, he has really shown what “Winning Beautiful” is in a game which is mostly known for “Winning ugly”

Anyways, dont worry if people dont understand watching a game for a player! A lot of people wouldn’t understand what “love” is all about, but doesnt mean people who understand what it is should stop loving, right? Rog has already given us infinite moments of brilliance, wizardry and excellence in a tennis court. I am sure its more happiness and joy than a lot of people see in their whole lifetime. As millions of people around the globe would say, “It is a privilege to watch Roger play”. He brings gladiatorial sport and aesthetic art come together like few athletes have managed in centuries of history of sport.

Long Live the King.

Long Live The King Says:


“Thanks god I’m in the other boat.”

Fot, nice balanced post as usual. I too am glad I am in this boat. Keep the Federer flag flying and our boat cruising. LOL

I definitely dont want to be in the boat Skorrocel is either, searching for Federer’s fans’ posts to try and provoke them to prove himself to be an OBJECTIVE federer fan.

Sean Randall Says:

Ben, interesting insights. I do think the level of play and competition has improved since the days when Robredo, Blake and Ljubicic were among the Top 10.

FoT, what I love about tennis is that each and every year, regardless of who is playing, who isn’t, we’ll have four Grand Slam titles awarded. It’s 100% guaranteed. And these four Slams will almost assuredly create new stars over and over again, year after year, in factory-like fashion.

Skorocel Says:

LLTK: “Rog has already given us infinite moments of brilliance, wizardry and excellence in a tennis court. I am sure its more happiness and joy than a lot of people see in their whole lifetime.”

Well, if that’s what makes you and your life happy, then I really feel sorry for you…

Nancy M Says:

This was a very interesting armchair exercise. It must have been deeply discouraging to a lot of players to have Roger hogging the top spot (fair and square of course) since 2003. I agree that Andy Roddick probably would have several more slam wins in a Federer-less world. Martina N. was blocked a lot by Chris Evert in their day. And Sampras was an immovable object too. Good post!

jane Says:

FoT – good post at 2:28. I like your sense of perspective. It’s weird how faves evolve over the years of watching this sport. Often I have a few favorites at once, which makes it fun for me. But I’ve liked a lot of the players you have as well. Anyhow, hope that snow is melting.

TennisMasta Says:

“it already feels like we’ve had too much Federer”

I don’t ever recall reading one such thing about Tiger Woods, Pete Sampras, Micheal Jordan,…

Tiger can take off months from the tour and still be #1 by a mile, Pete finished six years in a row at #1, and Jordan was Jordan.

Please find me a quote from anywhere saying “it already feels like we’ve had too much Tiger/Sampras/Jordan”

It reminds of the jingoism pointed to by the SI columnist Frank Deford, and also mentioned elsewhere(which doesn’t get much attention by the jingoistic press):

Frank Deford: If it’s not our star, our sport, U.S. doesn’t care – Wednesday September 20, 2006 3:18PM*


Fot Says:

Jane, thank god the snow stopped. We had constant snow for about 24 hours (over 12 inches). I have never seen that much snow in person! But it has stopped along with everything else in Dallas! lol! Thanks for thinking about me.

TennisMasta – you have a point. I wonder if one of the blog writers would do a blog on “What if Federer was an American” or something like that. lol!

TennisMasta Says:

Fot – Excellent suggestion! I predict “What if Federer was an American” to generate the highest number of hits on the internet barring an earthquake or terrorism at the same time. That’s a great opportunity for some one who can write better than I can.

What I also predict will come out as a consensus is that Roger hasn’t gotten anywhere near the level of respect that the US greats have gotten.

And the endorsements. Tiger collected $100m in endorsements for years. With a much cleaner image (inside and out thoroughly) you’d think Roger would have made much more. The reality is that he only hit the big leagues only recently and that too only about $30m at its highest. How do you explan that? Clearly consumers in the biggest market are not too interested in Roger, right? And clearly that is not because of his tennis, right? Or even his personality, or family values, right?

madmax Says:

Fot, tennismasta, Jane. You make me laugh, this side of the pond. I dont know why.

Skorocel, I worry about you a little bit too much. I think, on your boat, you have caught skurvy or something! Hope over onto the Fed cruiser and we’ll give you a marguerita at sunset or champagne even, to soothe your woes.

and I want to reiterate Longlive’s lovely post:
“Rog has already given us infinite moments of brilliance, wizardry and excellence in a tennis court. I am sure its more happiness and joy than a lot of people see in their whole lifetime.”

I dont understand how brilliant tennis can ever be described as boring. I mean, everrrrrr!!!!

Roger is going to be around for a long time, I hope. He is rock solid granite titanium. I just love watching him. Make no apology. When he plays, as someone said, stadiums are filled. I checked in to another tennis forum tonight, there must be – 6 blogs/articles on other players EXCEPT FEDERER, and the comments range from zero to 6 comments. What does that say?

There will be an enormous chasm when fed leaves, but that is a long way off, and I dont want to even think about it just yet.

Perhaps Ben, write a thread which is based on the “young up and coming guys” – that could be really interesting. For example, Bernard Tomic or the supposed-fed-a-like, grigor demetriov – what happened to him??????? wasnt he supposed to be the next best thing?

jane Says:

” barring an earthquake or terrorism at the same time. ” – LOL Tennismasta.

FoT- well, being a Canadian, I have seen my share of the white stuff, but it must have been a shocker for you. At least it slows down this busy world, if nothing else.

Mike Says:

Do a sampras one…that would be interesting to see how guys like agassi and chang wouldve fared without pistol.

contador Says:

lol madmax.

yes, yes! lets go on a cruise, kick back, enjoy the sunset, but about inviting Skorocel? uh, i imagine Skorocel is not inclined to join. Skorocel likes to have the woes and is afraid of having too much fun and any possible federer fans ‘droooling’…hehehehee

TennisMasta Says:

madmax, here is the conundrum in the US. You are right, the stadiums are packed when Roger plays so there is definitely support for him and following by the tennis fans here. But what about the average sports fan?

Here is my favorite question. I sometimes ask people I meet if they know Roddick. The answer is very often a resounding Yes. I then ask the same person if he/she has heard of Federer. The answer is very often a No. How do you explain that?

There is a very straight forward answer. When you have the “World Series” played by two local (within the same country) teams, the “world” takes a new definition. And Roger is from a different world, speaking in so many languages but all with an accent. He is definitely not one of us.

So to get the average person to read something about Federer, you have to write something shocking and sensational about him. Such as the six swiss flags on his blazer. To many in the US that is a clear reflection of Roger’s “arrogance” and his “shameless” rubbing into the poor Roddick.

Meanwhile, how long did it take for Serena to be rehabilitated after that obscenities and aggression laced outburst against the lines person? Fifteen minutes? Imagine the media reaction had Roger been in Serena’s shoes.

Actually, he was. Remember his remark against the chair umpire when he asked Roger to keep quiet (do you need even to ask that of Roger?) Many here are told that it is as bad, and some in the press wrote that it was worse, than Serena’s outburst.

Long Live The King Says:

LOL, contador. Skorocel seems to like the rafa fans’ drool more than the fed fans’.

I am guessing our cruise will be fun enough without the “objective” federer fan.

Long Live The King Says:

Skorocel @ 2:59

You feeling sorry for me? Really? you know what feeling sorry means? Making fun of “only 500k$” being raised for a cause where people had lost lives in the thousands, so thay you could get a few cheap laughs. Now that is really sorry and pathetic. Having done that inane act, I am sorry but you are a creature incapable of feeling sorry for fellow humans.

ho hum Says:

“I always thought Djokovic completely deserved to win that final against Fed at the US Open 2007. At times he was clearly outplaying Roger.”
This statement was just so ridiculous that it totally made my day – thanks for the laugh! Winning a championship consists of a little more than “at times outplaying” someone, no? Maybe little Nole and his fans will figure that out one day. This year at the AO little Nole completely had luck on his side, with the most cupcake draw imaginable in the first four rounds, and then…huge surprise…collapsed when he met his first real opponent. Guess he got what he “completely deserved” this year, no?

ho hum Says:

Um, so, skorocel, just curious: What proportion of your income have you been donating to Haiti relief lately? You must be a real world-class philanthropist – bile-filled diatribe notwithstanding – thumbing your nose at half a million dollars.

skeezerweezer Says:

Skorocel says

“you should know that there’s absolutely zero point to discuss ANYTHING other than Federer on this site, since, no matter what or who you’d want to talk about, in the end it’s all about Federer being the GOAT, the best, the greatest tennis ambassador, the greatest husband and father on this planet, the greatest thing since sliced bread, the greatest thing than everything… Don’t you know he’s THAT good?”

Wow, u talking to me? I just said FED is GOAT and justified it with factual data on other blogs. Hey I have a hard time with people worshiping anybody, but facts are facts, you can’t take away his ability and records no matter how you twist it. FED = GOAT. Your just sick of people raving about their FAV. An it just so happens alot of peoples Fav player is GOAT. Lighten up!

“Hee Hee” Shammon! “Ya know it!”

skeezerweezer Says:


On a good note for you Skorocel, your name is mentioned up her as much as Ben’s so be glad that a lot of people are reading your stuff, so you know your at least gettin’ respect. Peace out~

“Ya Know it!”

skeezerweezer Says:


Not to make you start pulling your hair, but you sure you want to bring Mac into this? Ya know he is on the record for saying Fed is GOAT. Shammon!

J/K…just playin wit u :)

Mr T Says:

I enjoyed the article and the comments.Definately a reflection upon how great Fed is.
Fed is no different to the majority of GOAT people in other sports. For whatever reason people feel the need to find something negative. It’s a kind of sickness. Of course Americans being the worst if the sports great is not an american. (REMEMBER THE BULLSHIT ABOUT TIGER BEING THE “ATHLETE” OF THE DECADE; LOL)

James Says:

You forgot one thing…without Federer, Sampras may have won Wimbledon 2001. His 8th in a row.

Really enjoyed this article.

dc Says:

# Mr T: Tiger woods voted as the athlete of the decade was a slap on the face of every other sports person.

Golf is a lazy man’s sports and all the couch potato’s would have voted for him.

Athlete my foot he is.

Von Says:

“Athlete my foot he is.”

LOL, I suppose Tiger has contracted athlete’s foot = he’s a fungus!

I wouldn’t call golf a lazy man’s sport, though, it’s a thinking man’s sport, and not as easy as it appears.

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