Hewitt Overcomes Federer Spell, Wins Halle Title

by Sean Randall | June 13th, 2010, 3:35 pm

Roger Federer’s troubles continue. Today the Swiss faced longtime pidgeon Lleyton Hewitt for the Halle Gerry Weber Open title on the grass in Halle. But all the numbers in the world weren’t enough as it was Hewitt stunning Federer 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. ADHEREL

Federer had come into the final having won 15 straight matches over Hewitt. Federer was also victorious 29 straight times in Halle amounting to 5 titles and he had won 76 of his last 77 matches. But it was the Aussie’s day to finally shine in the end.

“It’s fantastic. Roger’s a hell of an opponent; his grass-court record speaks for itself,” said Hewitt after his first win over Federer since September 2003. “Any time you play Roger on a grass court you know you’re in for a hell of a battle and I was lucky to get out of today’s match.”

Hewitt was in deep trouble midway through the match with Federer ahead a set and with three break chances at 4-4 in the second set. But Hewitt kept fighting taking the second set in a break, then securing an early break on Federer to start the third.

“It’s fantastic for me; I’m getting towards the end of my career and had couple of surgeries, to know I can still compete at this level. I’m thrilled to be here and to have won another title,” Hewitt added. “The tournament’s been fantastic; Roger’s obviously come here all of his career, it’s a fantastic atmosphere. I’ll be back next year.”

Hewitt remains a perfect 7-0 career in grass court finals, and that includes the 2002 Wimbledon title.

For Federer, more question marks.

“I’m happy with the way I’m playing,” spun Federer. “It’s unfortunate not coming through today, but I think my level of play is fine. This loss here doesn’t worry me in any way. So, I’m excited about next week. And I thought it was a good tournament.”

Well Roger, “fine” use to work. It doesn’t anymore. Since his Cincinnati win last August, Federer has just one title – the Australian Open – and zero ATP (non-Slam) wins. Zero! And he’s losing to guys he use to dominate – Soderling, Davydenko and now Hewitt.

And while we saw ominous signs ahead of the French Open, could this be foreshadow of what may come at Wimbledon next week? Is the dam ready to break for the soon-to-be 29-year-old? Perhaps.

As for Hewitt, you have to credit the Australian who’s been left for dead on more than one occasion. Hewitt’s endured the new techonolgy, the bigger and stronger players and multiple serious injuries most recently a hip surgery, and here he is still playing good ball.

“For me, I don’t cut any corners,” Hewitt said. “It would have been easy just to turn up and not have the surgery and say it’s too hard to get back and retire there. But I still feel like I’m a good enough player to compete with these guys. It was a matter of getting my body in as good as shape as possible.”

I wrote yesterday that’s Lleyton’s quietly had a good year. Well, now he’s making some noise again.

You Might Like:
Lleyton Hewitt Beats Roger Federer in Halle Highlights [Video]
Federer Faces Old Foe Hewitt for Halle Title
Federer Wins Grass Opener In Halle, Haas v Gulbis Thursday; Murray Rained Out In Queen’s
Murray Wins Two, Del Potro v Hewitt Friday At Queen’s; Federer Stars In Halle
Halle TD: Federer’s Withdrawal a Shock, We Had Private Jet, Maid Ready For Him

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145 Comments for Hewitt Overcomes Federer Spell, Wins Halle Title

Andrew Miller Says:

Sean: great article. my opinion – the fact that Hewitt, in good health finally, beat Federer, pretty much guarantees that Federer will always be a contender given that Federer is, almost always, in good health.

The thing that nails the players usually is the health issue. Agassi exited the game not only because of his love/hate relationship with it, but because of the da– sciatica problem: he had to take cortisone shots just to endure normal match play. Rafa Nadal’s “take no prisoners” game also has him either out or playing sub-Rafa level for much of some seasons (2009 especially), Federer’s mono issues disrupted his play, the WTA is annually decimated by injury.

(wishful thinking I know, but if Aravane Rezai develops a serve…she will win a slam. Better than Dokic, who seemed mean enough on court to get a slam!)

Andrew Miller Says:

Sorry to post this, but if anyone on the ATP or WTA plays like Rezai they should slam it up!


blank Says:

His level of play obviously is NOT ‘fine’. Maybe he needs to lose early in Wimbledon to learn that. Or maybe not…he might spin it and say he still has a 4th or 3rd round streak going and he was just unlucky to lose.

I hope Roddick is in proper shape and realizes this is his best chance to win Wimbledon.

Andrew Miller Says:

I hope Roddick has a good Wimbledon. The pessimist in me says that last year was his best shot. The realist in me says that every player in the tournament has a shot!

Andrew Miller Says:

True Mr. Randall, the signs are subtle but ominous! (Ominous because they are all relative to Federer: for many/most other players they might consider retirement based on the GOOD results of Federer in 2010! Davydenko would kill for a Slam title, so would James Blake, or even a Masters final these days).

The ominous signs: losing to players he hasnt lost to in half a decade (true, Roddick had beat him in 2008 during the ‘Federer Has Mono’ era), but the list of players beating him these days is getting longer and longer! Losing in the QF to Soderling after wiping him out at last year’s French Open final, losing in the QF at any slam for the first time in forever.

While Federer is closing in on the “best ever” in every conceivable category, parallel to that is him losing matches he has match points in or certainly has opportunities.

Baghdatis. Berdych. Soderling. Montanes. Gulbis. Davydenko.

All that said: Federer has reached a slew of QF, SF and Finals. His record looks “excellent” but not excellent compared against his normal resume.

(Unless we’re comparing him to the Mono year of 08)

Andrew Miller Says:

Federer might lose before the finals at Wimbledon.

First time since 2002, when Federer lost in the 1st round to Super Mario Ancic in straight sets.

Andrew Miller Says:

Sheesh. 2002’s Roger Federer was like Gasquet 2010

US Open, NY: Lost, Max Miryni, 4th round.

Wimbledon, England; Lost, Mario Ancic, 1st round.

Roland Garros; Lost, Hicham Arazi, 1st rd.

Australian Open; Lost, Tommy Haas, 1st rd.

Andrew Miller Says:

“You always have a chance. That is the beauty of sport. Roger also only has two arms and two legs.”

SG Says:

“Nobody beats Lleyton Hewitt 16 times in a row”. LOL

Gordo Says:

Classic Tennis-x blogging logic.

Federer loses in the finals of Halle against Hewitt who has quietly been playing rather well, and it’s “That’s it for Roger – he’s done!”

Roddick can’t even make it to the quarters of Queens, losing to Sela (!) and “This is his (Roddick’s) best chance to win Wimbledon.”

Cue the circus music, kiddies.

And as for Roger “being finished,” his streaks may indeed be over and he may not regain #1 again, but I would not bet on that. He is still very dangerous and in a best of 5 setter I like his chances over the upcoming fortnight.

Yes, Roddick is a threat, as is Murray, but I think – based on his relentless play today – you have to include Hewitt in the mix.

The mens draw is going to be interesting indeed.

Dan Martin Says:

I think Roger is in some sort of decline. He has won 12 of his past 15 matches or 80% – nice stretch for most guys, before that he went 5-4 and before that he had a great two weeks in Oz. If he can time the great stretches well enough he can win more slams, but players decline. He is at the same career stage where Sampras went through a 26 month title drought. I know he says he will play through 2012 and beyond. The question is Roger okay with being a guy who wins 70-80% of the time? If he is, he can play as long as he wants. For player X or player Y, one title, 2 runner-up finishes, 2 semifinal finishes mixed with a few other results would be a heck of a year, but for Fed will it be enough?

Gordo Says:

Well said, Dan – it is Roger’s mindset, not his possible waning ability that is the issue.

How DOES he feel about no longer being invincible?

Time will tell.

Ben Pronin Says:

Fed’s been in a decline for years now. It’s just a slow and steady decline.

Andrew Miller Says:

Federer didnt play so hot the last two matches! Judging on form alone (always risky, because if Federer’s doing anything it’s definitely aiming to peak at Wimbledon), he’s playing kinda shoddy.

Then again, just to reiterate, the shadows over the court must have been bothersome to both players. I guess they prefer man-made obstacles (such as huge X pattern shadows on the court) to natural obstacles, such as super gusts of wind.

Andrew Miller Says:

I agree with Ben Pronin that Federer has been “declining” but it’s a decline that everyone not named Federer (or even Federer) would love. Roddick would take Federer’s current form and decline anyday, diddo Djokovic etc.

I mean if this is Federer’s decline, and if players find declines ugly to experience (as bad as fans or worse!!!) we’re in for a wave of retirements from the likes of Roddick, Davydenko, Nalbandian etc in the next 2-4 years. Their prime time is coming to a close real soon.

ines Says:

People talking about Roger retiremnt?That´s funny
these are the same people who said Roger would retire in 2008.Seems to be a lot of hate towards
Roger around.The others top 5 has been incredible vulnerable, but nothing is said, Nadal has been without a title for almost a year.
This is sport and this is tennis, players come and go.Roger´s not that dominant like before but he´s still strong, figthing, and is still motivated for his love for the game.
Roger achieved and given to the game of tennis is way beyond measure.

Eric Says:

On the one hand, it’s about time Hewitt played up to his level and skill. On the other hand, this loss – more than any other in this year of shocking federer losses – signals, to me, the real beginning of Federer’s decline. To lose to Hewitt – who is older than Federer and has had health issues – a man he has utterly dominated on their best surface since 2003 – I think really means that Federer is just not up to playing at his best level any more. He’s still the Wimbledon favorite and I still think it’s possible he will recover his no. 1 ranking (possible, not inevitable), but he is aging and appears to lack the mental resolve to play big on big points, which he needs to do to keep up with Nadal and others.

grendel Says:

Someone earlier, can’t remember who,Contador perhaps, said that Fed was a tennis junkie, and that is true. I always remember him saying some years ago that he was fortunate because he felt at home on a tennis court. This was a simple statement, without frills, and to me, very revealing of the man.

Federer has always come across to me as a modest and not especially imaginative man (the imaginative stuff comes out in his tennis). This thought shocks some people, who are convinced he is a braggart, with his talk of greatness and so on. That is a simple, if understandable, misreading.

It will not have escaped Federer’s attention that he has broken all kinds of records on the tennis courts, and like any exceptionally gifted person, he is very aware of his gift and is not inclined to deny it. That would be a complicated manoeuvre, and he is not a complicated man. I repeat, he is a modest man who absolutely does not give himself airs, but he is not modest about his tennis, and I for one like this about him. There is nothing worse than the talented person downplaying his talent, well aware that others will make good his “deficiency”.

Like all champions – and imo there are no exceptions – Federer hates losing and is sometimes less than gracious about it. Considering the expectations of him, I do not reckon this to be such a terrible fault. And again, the fact that he behaves badly sometimes is to me reassuring -I have never trusted the goody two shoes, and wonder what they get up to behind closed doors.

But, as many keep saying, Federer is losing more often these days and, in the nature of things, we can expect this decline to accelerate. This clearly deeply bothers many of Federer’s fans, and certainly is a cause of disappointment to all of them, including me. But I don’t think it bothers Federer nearly so much. More than anybody, far more than anybody, he will be aware of the process of decline. He won’t want to broadcast this too publicly, that would be strategically foolish. But that feeling he had, when he knew he could beat his opponent whoever it was, with the exception of Nadal, he’s bound to know – how could he not? – that that feeling is fading all the time. He’s had his period of magic, and now he’s joining the ordinary mortals of great but not unique players. There is a calm levelheadedness about Federer which leads me to believe that he is quite alright about that. Sad, sometimes perhaps – who is not sad about evidence of mortality?- but perfectly ready to accept this stage in his career.

For in the end, it comes down to this: Federer is a tennis junkie. Think of Lendl, Sampras, even Henman to a smaller degree – they’d had enough, they became bored and bone weary with tennis. That just isn’t true of Federer, and you can’t imagine it ever being true. There is a curious innocence about him. He loves tennis, he loves playing it. Of course, all that fame and success was (apparently, it’s not always, is it?) enjoyable, but he’s had much more than his share and, who knows, he still may have a bit more to come. But meanwhile, the game’s the thing. Federer enjoys playing tennis with his peers. He actually enjoys the tour. That, in my opinion, is why he will continue for some years to come even as success grows more and more sparse. I don’t think that will faze him. Why should it? He must have some extraordinary memories to draw upon.

And meanwhile, why on earth stop doing what gives you so much fun?

Eric Says:

grendel, that’s great, I think you are right on. I think Federer could, if he really wanted, extend his ‘magic’ a bit longer, but I think that fire is gone, even as he remains a ‘tennis junkie’.

True Leader Says:

Great post Grendel.

Using a part of what you said (federer being aware of his being able to beat anyone except nadal)

i think till 2007, the statement would mean nadal on clay. Fed was 5-2 outside of clay against nadal and he had more fastcourt losses to hewitt/nalbandian.

2008 would be the year Federer realised the surface advantage he had over nadal vanished – in part due to his decline, but also rafa’s continued improvement.

Federer reached heights no player in the open era reached and he is slowly coming down to earth where mortals play tennis.

In all those great things about Roger, his preparation and planning is overlooked. His remaining fit is nothing magical but smart and intelligent scheduling. He decides well in advance his yearly schedule and more or less sticks to it. I am sure Federer will plan this “mortal” stage of career as exquisitely as he did his “genius” stage. Ofcourse he could get struck by lightning tomorrow, but he will do as much planning as humans can do.

I am quite optmistic Fed will reach 300 weeks as no.1 and get the 20 in GS titles. what would be insane is if he beats Graf’s record for most weeks as no.1 and margaret court’s 24. Those numbers, even an optimist like me wouldn’t dare to imagine for Roger.

Seth Says:

Federer should never lose to a guy like Hewitt. Ever. Even with a broken leg. Not looking up for his Wimby chances.

Anna Says:

Grendel, Very nice post, but I don’t think I agree. I just can’t see a 32 year old Roger showing up at tournaments just to bat balls with his friends. Smiling at the net at his opponent who just improved his h2h by 5 over Federer, the greatest tennis player ever. How great would it be for someone to see Roger in their quarter of the draw and know he’s only come for a hit and doesn’t really care to win. It’s always disappointing to me when an athlete doesn’t know when to call it a day. While I think Roger is the great guy you talk about, I also think that once it’s clear he can’t win and he drops from the top 10 he will retire. The good news for Roger is with all that he’s achieved he WILL have a wonderful and gratifying life outside of tennis. Most definitely he can leave without ANY regrets.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Hello all,

Sorry I missed all the posts, tried to read them all…….very good stuff written today:) Tx to Kimmi, Contador and the gang for the play by plays ;)

Out playing tennis much of today trying to play like Fed but played like a 2.5. The Beer is alwats good after though…… and now off to a date movie, ugh :)


Last post: “Classic”. That one Sean needs to put in the “great archive” of tennis x

Andrew Miller Says:

I enjoyed Grendel’s post also. Federer also has Agassi’s example, however he chooses to interpret it. Federer will one day soon (as soon as two years from now) be the old guy (in ATP tennis terms, still young in life terms) on the other side of the net having to find new ways to beat young, hungry up and coming players. Agassi SEEMED to relish in it – besting the likes of Gasquet and a few others, including Federer before the Masters in Houston of 2003. Agassi, a little before that moment when Federer began to demolish him (age 33) had seen Hewitt as his opposition. A little under a year after the smashing of Agassi in Houston, (2004 US Open) Agassi still felt that he could win Slams and had said that he felt the 2004 US Open QF match against Federer was the deciding match of the tournament, and that the tournament was between him and Federer (and that he felt he had a chance to best Federer but was irked by the lousy weather conditions, which he felt were the worst he’d ever played in).

So, if Federer wants to play as long as he feels he has a shot, all the better. It was not so fun seeing Mats Wilander decline, and Agassi’s last year, for all its nostalgia and fanfare, was not much fun either. I’d guess Federer would, having seen Sampras go out in style with a slam and seen Agassi go out without one, probably want to finish with another Olympic medal.

That sounds like a fitting way to end to me!

Andrew Miller Says:

A last thought: if Federer is “nearing the end” within a few years, then James Blake must already be close to done, now. It would be a mistake to compare Blake with Tommy Haas, who made a good run last year at Wimbledon and a memorable French Open last year. Tommy Haas is more technically sound than Blake, with a game that hold up better. He might not be as mobile (he’s not) but he’s more fundamentally sound in terms of tactics, gameplan, etc.

midsun Says:

“There is a curious innocence about him.”

I loved this observation about Fed, Grendel. So weird because I was just talking to my daughter today about this peculiar blend of arrogance and innocence that Roger has. What reminded me of it again was the article about Roger, mentioned somewhere here today, where he talked about the fans screaming his name wherever he goes. The fact that he would even mention the fan adulation, something that most people in his lofty position would just take for granted or have become jaded about by now, may seem like arrogance to some (Oh look, Roger wants to make sure everyone knows how much he is loved). To me, it seems that even though he has achieved so much, he still can’t quite get over the fact that so many people adore him. Despite his bon vivant reputation, he still seems rather the dorky guy at heart, who even after all this time, has the capacity to be confounded by all the hoopla and love. This to me shows an inherent innocence that Gendel pointed out.

contador Says:


what an excellent post describing roger federer!

if you’ve watched the video clips of him behind the scenes at a masters cup in houston playing arcade race car driving games or more recently singing with his swiss mates, you know he’s a regular guy. there’s proof : )

but he’s misunderstood. people make him out to be aloof and more complicated than he is. far from true, i agree, Grendel.

a regular guy with sensible uncomplicated taste…until he steps on a tennis court. he knows who he is: one of the greatest, if not the greatest tennis player ever. it’s simple and he doesn’t hide who he is. his game made a junkie out of me.

yep, he’s a tennis junkie too, like us. loves the game. i remember him in a 2006 pre AO “uncovered” interview in a hotel room being asked by that Jensen guy about how much tennis he watches and he admitted that he watches as much as he can, ATP, WTA, everything. he was laughing about it, joking that mirka has to pull him away!

signs and symptoms sound familiar? for me it’s all an atp addiction- not enough time for more.

gotta love all tennis junkies. i imagine nadal is similarly wired to tennis.

loved this part, Grendel:

“…the fact that he behaves badly sometimes is to me reassuring -I have never trusted the goody two shoes, and wonder what they get up to behind closed doors.”

hahaha! exactly right!

cheers and thanks, Grendel : ))

i am it Says:

I saw the query on the other thread. If you are still interested, here is Fed’s stat on grass (his wins/ losses):
(1) Between 1999 (his debut) and 2002, Fed lost four times at Wimby, to Jiri Novak in ‘99 (1st Rd), to Kafelnikov in ‘00 (1st Rd.), to Henman ‘01 (QF), to Ancic in ‘02 (1st Rd.. Between 2003-2009, He lost once at Wimby, to Nadal in ‘08 (Final).

(2) Between 2000 (debut) and 20, Fed has lost 3 times at Halle, to M. Chang in ‘00 (QF), to Rafter in ‘01 (QF), to Kiefer in ‘02 (SF). Between 2003-2010, he lost once, to Hewitt in ‘10 (Final).

(3) Between 2001 (debut)-2002, Fed lost twice at s-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands),to Hewitt in ‘01 (SF) and to a Dutch Schalken in ‘02 (QF). Those are the only times he played here.

(4) Fed played Eastbourne (Nottingham) once, lost to Fromberg in ‘00 (R32).

(5) Fed played Queen’s once, lost to Byran Black in ‘99 (1st Rd).

As for career record on grass, Fed has 92-13 with 11 titles.

To sum up, Fed was 16-11 on grass between ’98-2002. Between 2003-2010, he has 76-2 with 11 titles, i.e. he has lost only twice since his 1st title on grass at Halle in ‘03, which he followed with Wimby ‘03 title. Prior to ‘03, Fed had not reached beyond semifinal on grass.

I think Fed’s loss to Hewitt will only inspire him to work harder and get stronger for Wimby. Nothing to be alarmed.

Jurasick Says:

Federer should move his base from Dubai to Egypt….’coz he’s living in De Nial!! The GOAT’s decline is evident to all, including the players that are beating him now. And the more he loses, the more it spirals out of control. He just doesn’t have the aura any more where he could simply be a set up by just being Fed. In fact, in many ways, it is surprising how comfortably he won the Aussie Open. I think that kind of lulled us into a sense of inevitability and hope about the man’s winning ways. Too bad this is coming to an end now. We can clearly see that the sting’s gone from every major weapon of his, be it the serve or the forehand. But for Federer to continue to play these mind games of things being “fine” has started ringing hollow. As a competitor, he’s obviously trying to do the only thing he has trained himself mentally for. To think positive. But to the observers (like me), it just seems to obvious. Federer is not even able to get past the defenses of a Soderling who is a big hitter but a pretty ordinary mover on the court. The Federer of old would have had him stretching and struggling to return shots. In the FO, Soderling was pretty much dictating play. I haven’t seen his loss to Federer today but there also seems to be more than a hint of over-confidence in Federer when he plays guys who he has owned for years (Hewitt, Soderling, Baghdatis, Davydenko). But one shanked forehand and it sets off a chain of errors from the man. Sorry Fed fans (including myself!), the decline and fall of the Federer empire is well and truly under way.

contador Says:


playing tennis, eh?

okay good enough. but you were missed : )

shaamooon! wimbledon is close!

that’s all from me.


i am it Says:

correction to “(2)Between 2000 (debut) and 20” s/b = “Between 2000 (debut) and 2002”

Hello to all Tennis-X friends.
Grendel, welcome back after a long hiatus.

Polo Says:

Re: Grendel’s post, like it!

zola Says:

nice post about Federer. “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” and it is apparent from your post how much you admire him. Obviously I do not agree with some of your conclusions but it really does not matter.

About the decline, I think you guys ( Fedfans) should look at the big picture. Federer has been a champion for years. Some time he might slow down, but that does not erase his fantastic records. For this year, that he has not had very good results by his own standards, he has won a GS and was number 1 till a week ago. How many players would kill to be in that sort of decline?

I think he will win a few more majors and he will break more records, but maybe not with the speed of a few years ago.

skeezerweezer Says:


I know your a Rafa fan, but your respect and admiration for Fed is admirable. I guess what I am saying is if we all behaved like you and raved our fav but saw through objective eyes like yours we would all be better for it :). Hope for you Rafa goes as deep as you want him to at Wimby, and thanks for showing Fed the kudos he deserves :)

Vamos Rafa!


Fot Says:

Hey guys! I have been out of town and missed all the action (kind of glad I did!) lol!

But seriously….no sweat. If Roger loses more than before – so be it. He doesn’t have to prove anything to any of us. He said he just loves tennis so the longer he plays, the more he’s going to lose because he is getting older. But he said he just ‘loves tennis’.

About his personality. He has 2. One that you see on court (the serious player) and the ‘off court’ clown that a lot of players say Roger has. They have even said he is a big jokester! He laughs all the time; he plays jokes on them; and that he is a ‘fun guy’ to be around. This is the Roger that we (the general public) seldom see because it’s not ‘in front of the camera’. I can only go by what other players have said; what some of the ‘behind-the-scene’ material shows, etc.

But anyway…I’m not too disappointed in Roger’s loss. Hewitt has worked hard and this is from Roger’s interview:

Federer was graciousness itself in defeat, an experience rare enough for him to get it right whenever the occasion demands. “He played fantastic,” the world No2 said of the world No32, “and deserved to win.”

So Congratulations to Hewitt and his fans on the victory today. Now we look forward to Wimbledon to see what happens there!

mem Says:

skeezer, the article is not about how far rafa can go at wimbledon this year. i didn’t find where zola mention anything about rafa and wimbledon. in case you didn’t notice, the article is about hewitt & federer. i’m sure an article will come out on nadal soon enough and you can do all the commenting you like. after all, it seems that discussing rafa nadal is the essence of your being. any nadal fan who says something favorable about roger, he/she becomes an admirable poster in your eyes. give it a rest! wimbledon is not guaranteed to anyone, if it were, the players wouldn’t have to play, the trophy could be presented now!

forgive me, i forgot, it’s nadal fault that roger lost to hewitt! your resentment & bitterness are evident!

i actually don’t know how many other ways you guys can write the the same things over and over and over and over and over again from one thread to the next. we get the point!

andrea Says:

surprised at the hewitt win, but he did win wimbledon not that long ago.

nice to see him bounce back and win a title.

sheila Says:

with age in the tennis world, inconsistency becomes prominent. roger has had a great run and may not be as consistent as he once was, but hopefully he will win a few more majors.

Skeezerweezer Says:


I am no longer getting provoked. Nice try. Think and comment how you like. My post to Zola was stands as sincere, and with it that is how I felt. If your looking to just lurch here and attack at will, then that go for it. This is the last post you’ll get from me.


mem Says:

skeezer, this is not about provocation! it’s about how you turn every topic into something about rafa nadal. you are in dire need of some serious help. i don’t think you even know it and no one here is going to tell you! but believe me, you have a problem! “sincere” in not a word you should be using!

Michael Says:

More than any other, this defeat should wake up Federer from slumber. He has definitely lost the midas touch that he had before when he weaved magic with his Tennis racquet. Now all those players whom Federer will dismiss without a freak are now harbouring chances against him and the latest in this list is Hewitt who would never have imagined that he can beat Federer and more so in a Grass Court final. This defeat is looking rather ominous for Federer and one hopes that he recovers before the crucial Wimbledon – gateway of Tennis glory.

zola Says:

Thanks a lot for your nice words. It is no secret that I do not like some things that Federer says or does, but that does not change the fact that he is one in a 6.2 billion. I hope him and Rafa play for a long time and keep us excited about tennis.

My wish for Rafa is to win Wimbledon! I think our wishes might collide in the final! :)

I think you misunderstood Skeezer’s post. He is just wishing Rafa well. I did not see any hostility towards Rafa in his post.only respect.

Skeezerweezer Says:


Thx, :) back to you ……

mem Says:

zola, i didn’t misunderstand, not at all. don’t be easily deceived, skeezer doesn’t wish rafa nadal once ounce of good; he never has. he has a need to punished nadal because he feels that nadal is more a threat to roger than any other player. he blames nadal for standing in roger’s way. you just dont’ see through him like i do! i know skeezer from posting here a long time ago. he is the same bitter person when it comes to nadal. you have to have read a lot more than one of his posts to know who he really is! i don’t have problem with you finding good in what he says. i know differently!

Naderer Says:

Jurasick @ 9:04……

will you swallow your words if Fed wins Wimby…?

‘…….the decline and fall of the Fed Empire is well and truly under way’

True Leader Says:

Skeezerweezer – Good on you for not taking the bait. Yet to see mem post something about tennis and not rafa this or that. sounds more like a troll than anything. Don’t give him or her attention.

Jurasick @9:04 – only one in denial is you. most federer fans are saying he is in decline. If you want federer to say that, nice try. You have to wait for him to retire and write his biography. Just foolish to expect a pro-athlete to admit his skills are declining, in public.

To add, federer seems to be that rare sportsman who you can talk to about his own sport without him shooting back “hey dude, this is my work. can we talk something else? ” Most players see the matches as work and effort. may be, federer making tennis look easy and effortless has a lot to do with how much he loves the game and vice-versa.

May his tennis-love continue. I for one do not mind even if he is out of the top 100. He could play like santoro did. Two magicians on a tennis court. hardly matters if they win or lose. federer has pampered his fans with wins, but his game is so much more than about winning. That said, I think Fed will keep playing tennis as long as his body allows and with that smooth and efficient game of his, who knows how long that would be?

mem Says:

True Leader, i got your attention, didn’t i? you wouldn’t recognize ” what tennis really is” if it slapped you in the face! stick to what you know, which is nothing more than rambling on and on and on about the same stuff we’ve been hearing for years!

True Leader Says:

Troll alert!

Do not feed trolls, dear x-men or x-women.

Steve Says:

Time flies, I wish to have seen another few years of dominance from Roger but I guess it’s over, the total dominance for sure. It’s only human to let it go a bit after having worked and focused so hard for the last 8 years. I mean, it’s just impossible to keep that fire in you as before!

So I think Roger is doing well by taking it easy, he probably understands his own situation very well. He won’t beat himself up over all these losses, and this is his advantage for long-term and the majors.

Steve Says:

The balls that he missed yesterday, it has nothing to do with being out of form, it all has to do with focus and inner-motivation. Nobody can blame him for the performances in these tournaments, it’s just all too human. Remember he has young twins, as well… Caring for takes energy out, especially when they’re so young (think about breast-feeding…..)!

Steve Says:

Nadal will take huge advantage of Roger’s slump, and so should Djoker, Murray and the others. At Wimbledon Roger should be back to business.

I think the bloggers on this site are provoking Federer fans because it generates website-visitors. Just read the funk-trunk-section, cheeky.

It’s frustrating to see Roger play so bad, so sloppy, that’s why I can’t wait for SW19 to start.

Eskay Says:

Even assuming Roger does not win any more G.S this year, he already has one. That should be sufficient to keep him going. It is difficult to rule out at least one G.S even next year, since his game has not diminished in any significant way. Already he is not as invincible as he was in, say, 2005-07, but still he is the opponent feared by most. He will still dominate, though not absolutely.

Cindy_Brady Says:

Blah, blah, blah!

So many ridiculous posters on this site. Mostly Federer fanatics. You know who you are.

As soon as Federer wins another slam, all this talk of retirement and/or decline will end. “Fed is back”, will be the chant.

madmax Says:

It is to be expected when Federer loses that journalists come out and write his obituary.

We have seen it all before. Since 2008 really. So Cindy, you are right in terms of your comment (to a degree, when he wins again). It makes for a scintillating discussion, but this is the nature of journalism too – and then we’ll get on the upswing again as we move into wimbledon.

Federer knows he isn’t the favourite, am sure he must read some of the comments about him and I hope he does, because that means he is going to get pretty darn angry. Great. Feed the fire Federer!

I don’t see why Federer losing the Halle final should sound the death knell. It is obvious that not only Federer, but any professional competitor in sport hates losing. This is what drives athletes on. If every loss resulted in that competitor giving in or jacking it all in or taking early retirement, then nadal would have retired last year, hewitt would have retired after surgery, dent would have done the same, roddick with his knee injury, davydenko and delpo, the list goes on.

You have to take these losses and see what can be salvaged out of them. Every loss, should only serve to make an athlete more determined to win for next time. This is the nature of sport.

IceCold Says:

Can’t wait till Wimbledon. If Fed doesn’t win it this site will go into a meltdown.

Anyway since there is more to tennis than Federer, I hope Hewitt can go deep into the tournament. He’s such a fighter, even at his age and stage of his career. Great win for him. Hope Murray snaps out his funk too,would be great to see him in the final.

Jurasick Says:

Naderer – yes, I’d be happy to swallow my words if Fed wins Wimbledon :).

True Leader – you are probably right, I am in denial. Still, it’s a phase I’ve been through a few times (Borg/McEnroe, Edberg/Becker, Navratilova/Graf, Graf/Seles, Sampras/somebody else). And now, Federer/Nadal or Federer/somebody else. Each time one of these eras ends it is a painful process for the fans.

Dan Martin Says:

I think the rule with Roger is to take things one slam at a time. Will he get to 17 maybe. No one should talk about 18 until he gets to 17. He won Oz so easily this year that I broke my own rule and thought he has 2-5 left in him. He might. I think any players north of 27 has to be looked at in terms of their next stretch or two as opposed to projecting out too far. Heck, JMDP has a pretty nasty injury. It is hard to project results out too far on any player.

True Leader Says:

Dan- that is true, one slam at a time. Of all the active players, federer is still the guy with least slams between any two slams he won. Even nadal went 4slams waiting for his next slam, from 2009 AO to 2010FO. For fed it is 3slams, USopen 2007 to 2008. so if you can do long term projection for anyone, it is Roger.

Having said that, this wimbledon is much lesser in fed’s grasp than even 2008. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Cindy_Brady Says:

True Leader,

Having said that, this wimbledon is much lesser in fed’s grasp than even 2008. It will be interesting to see what happens.


Why is that? Only because Federer lost to Hewitt in 3 tough sets on grass? Hewitt is no slouch. Federer basically mowed down the competition except for an extra-ordinary performance by Hewitt. I don’t think he could have kept it up, best 3 out of 5.

All of Federer’s rivals lost early in the warm ups too. What are we going to take from all of this. Hewitt and Querry are the favorites? I don’t think so.

Federer will resurrect his game and win Wimbledon. I feel it in my old creeky bones. He loves to cry but it will be Sampras really shedding the tears. I bet Pete Sampras is secretly routing against Fed to win 7. Pete’s 7 Wimbledon’s are the only thing he can point to as reason for being called goat. Fed is superior to him on every other front.

Wonder if Sampras will be in attendance at Centre court to watch Fed raise the trophy for the 7th time.

It will be a world crowd pleaser, that’s for sure.

grendel Says:

Zola – as I pointed out to you 18 months ago….Only kidding. It’s mostly a matter of perspective, and you and I are never gonna agree on that where Federer’s character is concerned, you wouldn’t be you and I wouldn’t be me if we did, and that’s fine, as you imply.

However, just to be naughty, I would be curious to know on whether you have changed your view on one issue, which perhaps is more amenable to objective scrutiny. I refer, of course, to this business of whether Davydenko can beat a Nadal firing on all cylinders on a hard court. In the light of Davydenko’s remarkable late season surge (I wonder where he’s at at the moment, b.t.w., he seems to have disappeared beneath the radar)would you consider revising your opinion? I don’t mean overall, Nadal’s consistency will generally in the end trump Davydenko, but a Davydenko on his day seems to me capable of taking anyone.

Seth, and also Sean – I disagree about the significance of the Hewitt victory. Over the last two years or so, Federer has had some tight scraps with Hewitt which could easily have gone either way. How, then, can it be a shock when Hewitt emerges on top after another tight one?

I think it is significant that Federer beat Hewitt fairly easily at the AO – Hewitt himself alluded to the very high level of tennis – and if Hewitt turns the table on Fed at Wimbledon, then we can talk about portents and suchlike.

Actually, this Wimbledon looks like being the most open for years. It’s amazing the number of players you can see, if not actually winning the whole tourney, certainly taking out one of the top two. Let’s hope these fellas are spread evenly over the two halves….

guy Says:

everyone thinks federer is losing more because his level is going down when in fact it’s actually because the level of tennis is going up.

federer is NOT old, he is not slowing down etc and he is never injured so that’s not the problem.

the players that have beat him lately, players that he’s been dominating…they’ve IMPROVED. davydenko got himself a transition game, berdych got himself a bit of mental toughness, soderling likewise…nadal improved his game on fast courts, beefed his serve[sort of]…etc….roddick has been getting a little better each year, although still pansies the ball around…

federer is really just lucky djokovic is the only 6’2 player on tour who can’t serve and that murray is a headcase, otherwise he’d be in a lot more trouble.

the top players fed used to beat everywhere used to have major flaws in their game, while fed didn’t. they had more room to improve, and now many are filling out their games a little. result, federer isn’t so unbeatable anymore.

guy Says:

speaking of djoko, he is actually a much better player than fed from the back of the court, as the return stats prove. he should AT LEAST have a serve close to feds given his height, and possibly better. and if he did would be number one. it’s quite silly really.

Skeezerweezer Says:

FYI The Wimby draw comes out Friday…..

Skeezerweezer Says:

Yeah agree with you about Nole, finds his serve, he’ll be fighting for the top spot. Frustrating….

Dan Martin Says:

To look at the bright side, I think Roger has been close. He did not get blown out in Madrid. He had break points early in the 2nd set and a set point in the 3rd set vs. Soderling. He was up a set and triple break point on Hewitt. He has had chances and in a 3 of 5 format on grass things that have not gone his way might go his way. I agree in a 3 of 5 set match down 2 sets to 1 – I still think Federer would be favored vs. Hewitt.

To look at things more pessimistically, a player playing without pressure may quickly turn into a player playing without an edge or urgency. Maybe life is so good – a wife, 2 kids, a trophy case that is over flowing, lots of cash that losing does not sting as much anymore (potentially a good thing), but also the drive to win might be a bit blunted.

grendel Says:

Federer not slowing down at all? My eye is not good enough to detect – but common sense suggests that physically he is past his prime. It’s called ageing. Happens very slowly, not all at once.

There is no doubt that all great players have phases of excellence which can’t easily be accounted for. How explain McEnroe’s decline after routing Connors at Wimbledon – just when you thought he’d go on for ever, he faded.

There is not the slightest doubt that Federer is not as consistent as he was. He plays poorly far more often than he used to, and this may be mental. Perhaps maintaining focus relentlessly over the season really is a job for one in his early twenties.

Certainly Davydenko and others have improved. There is no one cause for the change in status at the top of the game. Saying Djokovic is “much better than Fed from the back of the court” is a legitimate opinion,not one all neutrals will share, but quite how “the return stats” are supposed to prove it is mysterious. People’s strengths are, in any case, different, and not easy to compare. Djokovic is certrainly more consistent from the back of the court than Fed, Federer has more options, more sheer unpredictable flair which can win matches from out of the blue.

Keith Says:

Is it the chicken or the egg, the psychological or the physical issues that trouble Federer’s game? IMO, he’s tentative and timid because his body is not 100%. He is slower than before, he has problems getting to sharp low balls. Also, his serve deserts him often, that serve which is his strongest, sometimes only real weapon when he starts to shank forehands.

People keep repeating he’s never injured. Wrong, he’s practically always injured. He has a chronic back pain that comes and goes. He himself recently said he’s playing in pain 80% of time. Why do you think he permanently hired a former ATP physio last year, that bulky French guy always in his box? He needs his services 24/7.

So, yeah, Federer is in a steady, slow physical decline and has been for a couple of years now. Which is only natural.

True Leader Says:

Cindy Brady:

I think you do have a point and I still think Roger has better odds than anyone else. It is just that “Not Roger” odds have improved because of Roger’s rather inconsistent performance in the past 2years. I hope your prediction comes true. Roger winning 2slams this year would be super cool.

True Leader Says:


federer did not slow down or decline? not true. he is much more rushed on the forehand and soderling, berdych or roddick or any of the other hard-hitters (other than delpotro) hit as hard even earlier. his forehand is also not as consistent. 2004-07, it was totally lethal. Going to his forehand was definite death. not so anymore. and definitely his focus is not as laser sharp as it was then.

djokovic should have a better serve than roger because he is an inch taller? fed should have a serve like sampras then. serve is much more than height. and as good as djokovic is from the back-court, he is nowhere close to federer’s transition game and he does not have much of federer’s variety. and fitness? Roger is perhaps the fittest tennis player ever, even ahead of someone like agassi and lendl. (though lendl started this fitness thing, so he gets brownie points)

you will just show up your ignorance trying to take credit away from Roger’s abilities. i also think Djokovic should be no.1 ahead of nadal, because he is a more complete player than nadal, but till he gets mentally tough and works on his fitness, djokovic will continue to be an underachiever.


Actually Guy, Fed’s level has dropped off since his peak play 2005-2007 where he was practically unbeatable at slams except for Roland Garros. His forehand is not as lethal as it once was. He has more unforced errors, fewer winners and pushes more forehands than he used to. I agree with you that I don’t think there is anything physically wrong with him, but just because you aren’t “old” doesn’t mean that your level of tennis is the same as it used to be.

Some players like Soderling have improved, but some are actually getting back to the way they used to play 3-5 years ago like Hewitt, Roddick, Berdych and Baghdatis. Fed owned these guys back then when they were better players so your theory that Fed’s game is at the same level it always has been is not true. Fed gave Hewitt 2 bagels at the USO final back when he was still a slam contender on hardcourt. Hewitt was a better player than he is now and Fed just lost to him. Baghdatis was playing the tennis of his life at the AO 4 years ago and Fed beat him after a slow start dishing out a 3rd set bagel.

Fot Says:

I’m curious. Who would you guys say IS the favorite for Wimbledon?

Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Roddick, Cilic all lost early at Queens

Hewitt finally beat Roger in the final at Halle;

Fish and Querrey made the finals in Queens;

Sodering has been ‘resting’ since the French;

Davydenko came back but lost in Halle;

Soooooooo… if you had to put a ‘favorite’ right now for Wimbledon – who would it be?

People are saying Roger isn’t the favorite…well if he isn’t – who is? Nadal? Who has had – what – 3 matches on grass in 2 years? Roddick who lost to a guy named Dudi? Murray who hasn’t done too much since the final of the AO; Novak who has gone awall lately?

I wonder who the bookmakers will place as the odds on favorite?

Kafu Says:

Mortals do fade, not last forever. Humans beings are mortal. And Federer is a human being. Federer has achieved enough. He re-wrote tennis history. He is a living legend. So do not expect the same level of consistency to last forever. Sooner or later he will be gone. I recommend you to enjoy him while it lasts instead of underlining his decline. You may not see another player with his style, flair, elegance and beauty in your life time. Expect at least a couple of slams and the record for the number of weeks (…just a couple of weeks short now) before he puts his racket to rest.

Kafu – loyal Federer’s fan

skeezerweezer Says:


Amem to that :)

skeezerweezer Says:

Oooops. I meant “Amen”. Typo….funny how that came out though…..:)

Fot Says:

skeezerweezer thanks for the link. I had not seen that yet!

grendel Says:

Fot – definitely not Davydenko; he just goes through the motions on grass, no belief at all. All the others you mention – except Cilic, he’s not quite ready imo -, plus Fish and Berdych could certainly beat either Federer or Nadal. That doesn’t mean to say they’ll win though. The giantkiller often gets slain in the following round.

So my two cents worth is: Nadal favourite (Queens result irrelevant), Federer close second favourite – but just as likely, somebody quite other. Impossible to say who, though.

Consider: being a slam, one can see Fed maintaining his focus throughout, and therefore he’s in with a good shot at winning the title. Hard to see Querry or Hewitt or Berdych winning 7 in a row. But very easy to see any of them beating even a focused Fed or Nadal. But it is impossible to give a sound reason why one rather than another of the hopefuls can cause an upset.

That’s why, in my view, this is a very open Wimbledon.

Steve Says:

If Roger really got challenged by Djoker and Murray, if they had beat him once or twice at a GS, he would have upped his game and beat them anyway…

grendel Says:

not to mention Gulbis, Gasquet and I daresay others. The standard is astonishing.

Skeezerweezer – just seen your link. Sharapova at 8to 1, Na Li at 33 to 1. That reads oddly, given that only yesterday, I saw Na Li take Sharapova apart!

Polo Says:

As to who will win Wimbledon, I can’t seem to see anyone other than Nadal or Federer. I feel strongly though that one of them would lose early but that person cannot beat both Nadal and Federer in the same major. So if either Nadal or Federer gets upset in an earlier round, the other one will take the title.

Skeezerweezer Says:

From just a little over a year ago, Fed has won 2009 FO, Wimby, Finalist at USO, and 2010 AO Champ. IMO would wait until after USO to say he his starting to decline. If his decline is imminent, what a cliff he just fell over, no? I thought he was ready to ride into the sunset after Wimby last year, play a little here and there, and call it a day with his new family. And then BAM, Kicked some butt @ AO. It’s a hard sell and a tough buy on the imminent demise of present GOAT. It’s fun to predict, but I for one will just relax and enjoy the ride of someone’s style of game IMO I may never see again :)

madmax Says:

Nope. I still dont buy this age thing.

Federer has adapted his game very nicely. He chooses his tournaments, he decides when he plays. He signs the contracts. He is in his prime.

He takes on full time ATP physio guru, (forget his name), who travels with Roger all the time, and “knows” his body. He clicks everything back into place as soon as Fed’s matches are over.

Roger is in great shape. He has his trainer, pagnini still with him from the age of 15, who also knows Roger, his team is secure and Roger is happy. Even happier now with 2 babes in tow.

It has to be mental.

But it cannot be motivation. (Not that kind of mental), his eyesight is 20/20, his passion is 100%, so what does he have to do in order to move forward?


Age? No.

We have Lleyton, 1 year older, heading towards 30.
We have Luby, 31 going on 32 winning his first 1000 masters this year.

We have Llodra,32, who beat…was it almagro or youzhny(?) earlier this year, 500 atp tourny.
We have davydenko, same age as roger, winning the WTF in November 09 – playing THE BEST TENNIS OF HIS LIFE. Nope. It’s not age.

It’s not age. It’s not motivation. It’s not passion.

It’s Roger’s belief that he can get those break points and convert them at vital points of the match.

That is something that CAN be overcome, but only Roger himself can face that and do something about it.

He has precisely 9 days to sort it out.

zola Says:

lol! what do you think my answer would be regarding Davydenko/Rafa?
I think I would like to see Davydeno/Rafa play when both are close to 100% and then we will see. But if Davydenko could beat any one at anytime he would have been no 1! no?

Yes, Rafa has not played on grass for a long time. But Federer has won Wimbledon 6 times and he lost to Hewitt, although he was the “favorite”! So nothing is certain.

zola Says:

I for one do not know who is the favorite. I would say Rafa and Federer based on their past results and on the fact that they both want this so badly, and would rate them equally, followed by Roddick, Hewitt, then Djoko and Murray….

of course we will have a better picture when they start to play.

grendel Says:

Zola – you say:”But if Davydenko could beat any one at anytime he would have been no 1! no?” True,
but what I said was:”Davydenko on his day seems to me capable of taking anyone.” Not the same thing at all. Of course, it does raise the question of what would happen if Davydenko on his day met Nadal on his day. We all know the answer for clay and grass. For hard court, the answer is not so clear – especially in the light of Davydenko’s late season surge, which took everyone by surprise.

However, what that late season surge does suggest is that Davydenko’s defeat of Nadal in Spring was not only not a rogue result, but quite possibly it was a representative result.

As to what you would say, well, Zola, I do remember you remarking that you looked forward to seeing how Davydenko would fare against Nadal at the O2 Championships.

Davydenko won those championships, didn’t he? And so I conclude, Zola, that you concede Davydenko is – just – Nadal’s master on the hard surface.

A fair conclusion, would you say?


Davydenko may have been playing his best tennis the end of last year and the beginning of this year where he beat Fed and Rafa at the TMC 09 then beat them both again in Doha 10. Nalbandian did the exact same thing to Fed and Rafa in 2007 at the Madrid then Paris indoors. Neither guy has won a major. They usually play their best at non-slam events. I think Davy’s best is a semifinal at a major, but I can’t remember which one. Nalby made it to the Wimby final a long time ago and lost to Hewitt.

Fot Says:

NELTA, and Nalby hasn’t been to another final since. I remember clearly when he got to the Wimbledon final a lot of ‘experts’ said “oh, just wait, he’ll have many more chances and he’ll be a grand slam champion before long because he has all the talent”. Uhm…I guess talent along isn’t enough because Nalby hasn’t even been to another final since and not many SF’s (if I recall right off hand). So when a player gets a chance – like Del Potro did last year – he/she better take advantage of it because you never know if you’ll get that chance again.

Kimmi Says:

players like davydenko or nalby when they beat top players they deserve some credit. It does not matter if those top players were 100% or not. No player gives their best perfomance all the time and that depend on a lot of factors.

when davydenko is on is always tough especially on hardcourts. That match at AO qtr final with federer he had it on the taking, just dont know what got into him. Pity he got an injury when he was playing his best tennis. It will take him time now to gain his confidence back.

Dan Martin Says:

I remember the day after Federer beat Hewitt to win the 2004 US Open I was at lunch and they had ESPN classic on TV and it was showing some of Sampras’ best matches. I was sad for a moment thinking one day Federer will be like Sampras a great player playing no more. However, one quote sort of comes to mind when I think of Federer’s career. It comes from David Bowie’s song Heroes, “Though nothing, nothing will keep us together We can beat them, for ever and ever Oh we can be heroes, just for one day…” Corny, sentimental, whatever, as a fan you can’t follow your favorite players and coaches forever. However, some wins transcend that corrosive effect of decline for fans and legends alike.

True Leader Says:

davydenko made semis at french and USopen

nalby made semis @ all 4slams.

they both have the wood on rafa on hardcourts. most players do. but rafa is just more persistent than these guys and finds his way through them to earn more titles than them.

Twocents Says:

Not surprised and very happy for Leyton. Way to go!

Since when a guy supposed to bet another top-tier peer for 16 times in a row or else his fans would be shocked? LOL!


Excellent point about Roger’s fitness issues. Sean niffed me before for always brining up Roger’s back problem. But I’m always amazed by the univeral law of “Fed’s always above injury/illness”. The guy’s human. My god. It’s not even that he did not acknowledge it. He mentions all kinds of niggling pains in German media. He just does not broadcast it to English media. As late as in Paris, he told the media that his body felt it when they reminded him that his 700th ATP win was to come up.

Apart from fintess, it’s this dad thing. Roger was really really lucky that he won AO before his twins began to get sick and crawl and walk! Going thru the rituals twice myself, I know that before 6 months, babies are just baby dolls. They are very easy to handle. And they don’t get sick. After 6 months, the ordeal begins. Roger can shut off baby cries with earplugs. But he can’t shut them out of his heart. Dragging twins around the world is not as simple as adding 10 pieces of luggages and two nannies, no matter how rich you are. If I have a important meeting in Bangalore and my family wants to go along, I have them either leave before or come after my meeting — cuz I won’t be able to focus on my meeting when my own family is in a foreign town. But whom am I to question Roger’s decision to be with his family? Fed’s a superdad who can do it all, isn’t he? Have fun and best luck.

Well, I tend to lump fitness, family, et all all into the “aging” pack. It’s just natural. Things that go up must go down. I fully trust Roger to make best of his Fedv3, and I’ll be his fan till his last point.

Dan Martin Says:

For the sake of argument let’s say Roger stays at 285 forever. Isn’t 285 a lot better than where he was at 237? Is coming close to breaking a record a terrible thing? I think these weeks at #1 stats are really kind of for stat guys for the most part. Becker and Edberg pretty similar careers. I’d say in one sense Edberg had the better career as he was more consistently good/excellent whereas Becker had ups and downs. On the other hand, Edberg’s 2 aussie open titles came when the event was a slam in name only whereas Becker’s 2 Aussie Open titles came when the event drew more top contenders/players. It is a close debate that could go either way. However, in terms of weeks at #1 Edberg is like 4 times the player Boris Becker was (not even the biggest Edberg fan could argue that with a straight face). My conclusion is that this particular metric is mildly interesting and nothing more. The ranking system shifts. Maybe if Slam runner-ups were weighted as they had been for a long time (70% of a slam title instead of the current 60%) Roger would have had 200 extra points. Maybe Nadal closes out Luby or Roddick in the semis of Indian Wells or Miami (or Davydenko in Qatar) and negates it. Sure had Roger won a winnable match he breaks the record, but Rafa skipped Rotterdam and gave 300 points away. If Sampras’ results were normed to today’s scale would he have picked up weeks at #1 due to Rios only getting 1200 points from Australia versus the 1400 he got in early 98? If Gully does not get sick and Pete does not struggle in 95 and 96 do Muster and Agassi steal weeks from Pete? The article is dealing in counter factuals and makes me think most of ESPN’s tennis coverage sucks. Hire Sean Randall will ya!!! Ben Pronin would be better suited for the Jim Rome Show (I say that with love as I do listen to the Jungle during my lunches). How many weeks at #1 would Lendl have had if the Aussie Open had been played on a slow hard court instead of grass for the best years of his career (or how would Lendl have fared with slower courts at Wimbledon and today’s strings?) We can play the Roger squandered the match against Berdych card all day, but didn’t Rafa skip points at Dubai and Rotterdam while losing matches he might typically have won at the London season finale last year?

Twocents Says:

The media guys continue to entertain me: all these buzzes on Fed’s falling short, you’d think he’s one week short of Nadal’s no.1 weeks…

Skeezerweezer Says:

Two cents,

LOL :)


Nice read. Thanks for bringing up Edberg. One of the last great pure serve and volley guys, and a beautiful game it was……coming in behind that kicker serve in a flash to put a stinging first volley into play….

Tanya_Harding Says:

Sadly, Federer will never regain #1 again. He’s too old and fading fast. He had a decent run but history will record Sampras a little better long term.

A 29 year old Pete Sampras is a better tennis player than a 29 year old Roger Federer. Facts are facts. Pete Sampras was more consistent.

286 is greater than 285.

Darren Says:

I’m not a huge Tennis follower, I tend only to watch the 4 Majors, and the short grass-court season.

So Federer has lost in the final set of a final, in the final warm-up event before a Major. He did this just prior ro the French Open too; but admittedly he ONLY reached the Quarter Final. But he also did this just prior to the Australian Open, and as we know he won that Major.

Looking at the stats since the ‘All-England Club Championship 2005’, Federer’s Grand Slam record when taken in runs of 5, reads:

He won 4/5 Majors (between All-England 05- All-England 06 inclusive), He won 4/5 (between US 06- US 07 inclusive), He won 1/5 *but reached all 5-finals* (between Australia 08- Australia 09 inclusive), and he won 3/5 Majors (between French 09- French 10 inclusive).

It’s been evident since 2007 that Federer is no longer deeply bothered whether or not he wins the smaller ATP and Masters 1000 Events, (as long as he fairs well in those events), because ultimately, he now focuses whole-heartedly only on the Major’s.

He’s my tip to equal Sampras’s grass-court record and lift a record-equalling 7th ‘All-England Club’ Title on Sunday July 4th 2010 :)

zola Says:


So you think Rafa was in his day during the O2 event? He lost all his matches!

As for Davydenko, I think he is very good and very hard working, but I do not think he is better than Rafa or Federer. If so, he would have been in their position.

So, to answer your question, I think we still have to wait for a match between Rafa and Davy when they are both 100%. :)

dc Says:

History proves that most of the top players have won slams at 28+ years of Age (if they really really wanted to).

Fed will win a few slams for sure. I don’t see anyone else consistent enough (except Nadal on clay..this year)to win a slam.

If i were to bet my life on one player winning the Wimby or US open, it would be Fed.

for those who Say Fed has kids to take care of – I’m sure Fed has enough help to take care of their daily necessities.And i don’t see rich people quitting their jobs just because they have had kids.Fed loves playing tennis and there is no reason he should quit because he’s a father

margot Says:

Also, isn’t Davy 28? If we’re talking about Fed’s decline due to age, do we think Davy has bathed in the fountain of youth?

guy Says:

the real difference between davydenko and federer is serve. even before davydenko could handle himself at net, he was beating fed from the back of the court, but fed’s serve is superior. fed has a much better serve, yet often in their matches isn’t winning much more percentage wise on the service games. this demonstrates how much better davydenko’s return game is, as does the fact he’s always at the top of the stats for returning.

unfortunately davy is quite a bit smaller and so even though his serve is quite good it could never be as good as a guy 6’1 all things being equal.

the same holds true for nalbandian.

why do return stats demonstrate how good someone is in general play? because it shows how good someone is without their serve giving them free points and setting up points.

fed is never topping return stats. the onehander has something to do with this. it’s a myth he is better than everyone in general play. it’s the combination of this and his great serve.

true leader > i said nole should at least have a serve close to fed given his height. but potentially better, yes. height and serving power are proportional on average. that’s common knowledge. as a matter of fact fed’s serve is probably better than sampras’. consider how easily hewitt handled sampras’ serve compared to fed’s. fed has to face more, and better returners than sampras did.

nelta > people like to think fed is playing worse, but i don’t see any statistical basis for the lack of winners, less lethal forehand etc.
as for hewitt being better all those years ago, no. he was a safer player, now he realises he has to take more risks to beat the top guys. roddick and berdych are also better players now. baghdatis lost in the final so easily because it was his first final, and because he’s not that good. the only reason he got there because nalbandian was injured in the semi and was serving second serves the last 3 sets. nobody seems to remember that.

and for everyone who likes to think fed or anyone else is ‘slowing down’ in their late twenties, explain how 100 metre sprinters peak in their late twenties. they’re the fastest humnans on the planet. you only slow down at that age if injuries take their toll. fed is never injured. as i said, the general standard of play is just increasing, as is natural.

Thomas Says:

i disagree. Sprinters dont run every day. Period. Tennis players play for most of the year. The wear and tear eventually catches up with you. Moreso with Federer than other people his age,as he has played more matches than Hewitt,Roddick etc(as he progressed deep in more tournaments than they could ever dream of) ALL the greats start declining when they get older.(and other players) It happened to Sampras,Agassi etc. It is happening to Federer. It will also happen to Nadal and all the others in a few years.

Polo Says:

Tanya_Harding Says: “A 29 year old Pete Sampras is a better tennis player than a 29 year old Roger Federer.”

So now we have come down to comparing Federer with somebody else age-by-age, year-by-year and week-by-week. Next we will say Sampras has a better record for the month of June. Then, maybe a better first week of July. Then a better record for matches played at night, etc. etc.

madmax Says:

So many people talking here about Fed in decline and yet, consider the other players, same age and older, (or even a few months younger than fed, who have evolved their own game to the next level – roddick for example). Roddick and Federer played many matches with each other growing up as juniors, Roddick is 8 months younger than fed. Same with Lleyton in juniors, he is a year older than fed. Look at the tournaments that both roddick and lleyton have won this year – okay, so hard courts for roddick and a clay and grass court for Lleyton. These guys are not “over the hill”, they have reinvented their game and they STILL, even now (as “oldies” – hahaha), are still putting in the hours, putting in the work. Remember Lleyton has two young children. In Halle, apparently Lleyton (said in his interview), that his family tossed a coin to make the decision whether they were going to travel with him to Halle, and this time, they decided to stay in OZ).

Michael Llodra, really great clay courter, two young children, won a tournament earlier this year. He’s 31. Same with Luby. a young daughter, 14 months old, he wins his first masters 1000 tournament this year. Now come on! These guys are going from strength to strength are STILL a force to be reckoned with.

And then there is Federer. The most accomplished of “the oldies” so far.

Keith, your comment:

So, yeah, Federer is in a steady, slow physical decline and has been for a couple of years now. Which is only natural.

June 14th, 2010 at 11:26 am

I would imagine many of the men on tour would be wishing for the same sort of decline that federer has been experiencing since 2008 – how many slams has he won since then? 3 slams.

Federer may have slowed down a little, but then so have the others. It doesnt just affect ONE man.

Federer is still motivated to win. The only thing I would wish for (apart from seeing him continue to play until say, 40 years old, like Jimmy Connors), is to convert his frustration that he must feel in those “tight moments”, to wins.

Sharpen up his game. He still has all the shots and I am sorry but I disgree that his body is not willing. He has a fantastic team of trainers to make sure his body is in top condition. Not only that, he selects his tournaments. He is a very clever strategist here.

madmax Says:

Missed one point – sorry –

Davy, same age as Fed, played brilliant tennis towards the end of 2009 at WTF in London. Is he declining as well? I think not.

Polo Says:

My reaction when Federer loses to a player who has had in his pocket for so long and for so many previous matches depends on who the player is. I find it rather acceptable when he loses to somebody young with lots of potentials and coming up in the tennis world. Guys like Soderling, Berdych, Gulbis. But when he loses to somebody within his age level, like Hewitt, Davydenko, Montanes, it becomes a little bit worrisome.

zola Says:

***Michael Llodra, really great clay courter, two young children, won a tournament earlier this year. He’s 31.***
you forgot one thing: He is soooooo good looking!

Dan Martin Says:

286>285 true true, but Pete set his entire career up chasing the number 12 and he ended up with 14. Roger is at 16. By Pete’s own internal measure of greatness, Roger has already passed him. Therefore, his longevity is not much of an issue in this (settled) debate (Pete called Roger the greatest ever in June 2009). Also, the idea that Roger is worse than Pete was in 2000 is debatable. The guys are 10 years apart. In 2000 Pete got to the semis down under Roger won the 2010 Australian Open. In 2000 Pete did not do much in Paris. In 2010 Roger got to the quarters. In each case Roger exceeded Pete’s slam results at the same age. Tanya not only is it a foolish point of comparison, but if you carry out the foolish exercise your point does not even hold up. I am looking forward to the John McEnroe was better at 50 than Ivan Lendl debate.


Again, not true Guy. The evidence is staring you right in the face. 2006 was a career year for Baghdatis and the facts show that. You dispute that by saying he beat an injured Nalbandian? Don’t forget he beat Stepanek, Roddick and Ljubicic in that tournament. Another thing I didn’t mention is he made it to the semis of Wimby that year beating Andy Murray and Lewton Hewitt before losing to Nadal. We’ll see if Baghdatis makes a GS final and semifinal this year. You need to start looking at facts and then draw conclusions, not the other way around. Federer beat a better Baghdatis in 2006 and lost to him this year. You didn’t even mention my Hewitt evidence which is even more obvious. Do you realize that Fed dished out a total of 5 bagels to Hewitt in various grand slam events back when he was a slam contender? Fed beat Hewitt 15 straight times when Hewitt was a better player than he is now.

I haven’t said anything about Federer being old and washed up. He still has the ability to put a great match or tournament together, but he won’t get back to his insanely high level of 2004-2007 with any consistency. He may even win a few more grand slams and get back to #1 for a brief period. I’m definitely not writing him off.

Huh Says:

I am MOST MOST MOST happy for Hewitt even though I am a first and foremost a Fed fan FOREVER. Nevertheless I was, am and would continue to be a Hewitt fan forever. Glad that he beat Fed after such a long long time. :P
People here have always been highly dismissive of Hewitt and his ability as a great tennis player, while at the same time, almost idolising players like Nadal, Nole or even Murray(he is still slamless). :( There have been people here who always argued that Hewitt was never capable of beating a guy like Fed in his prime or near prime. But Hewitt by beating Fed in Halle proved that he can beat Fed. BTW, none can say that Hewitt is in his prime, YET he beat Fed who had just won a slam in the beginning of the year. So arguably a PAST-PRIME Hewitt could beat this Fed (who can be safely said to be a lot closer to his prime than this Hewitt, who lastly won a slam in 2002). So may be now at least people should realise that as much as they may like to deny it, a prime Hewitt could have had decent chances vs a prime Fed, if they both clashed with each other. In fact the Fed Hewitt beat in that 2003 Davis Cup match was far better than the Fed of 2008 IMO and that is satisfying for me. :D

And Hewitt beating Fed in 2010 further proves how lame the ‘weak competition for lucky Fed from 2003-06’ theory actually is and also how wrong the advocates of this theory were/are when they thought/think of guys like Hewitt or Roddick as plain lucky/average players to pick up one or two slams. It’s time for Roddick and Hewitt to kick a few butts at WIM/elsewhere.
Go guys(Hewitt and Roddick), you rock!!! :D

Huh Says:

The best thing is Hewitt won the match against Fed even though he might have lost it in straight sets, won the TB and won the match, trademark Hewitt style! :D :D :D
That’s why I loved Hewitt: fine shots, youthful vigour, great courage and fighting spirit.


Huh Says:

I mean I still love Hewitt as a tennis player.

Huh Says:

BTW, those who are writing off Federer for this loss to Hewitt are more wishful than realistic.

Huh Says:

Hopefully Fed dearest would win a slam again and shut the smug and arrogant ones who are wishing his demise.


Cindy_Brady Says:

Nadal would have more fans if he would stop picking at his butt so much.

It’s bordering obscene and almost “Michael Jackson” crotch like grabbing.

I think most of his fans are his fans by default because because he wins. People like to be on a winners side no matter what the cost. I prefer the elegant free flowing style of Federer any day over the ugly spastic strokes of Nadal.


I was happy for Hewitt as well Huh. After 2 hip surgeries and all the rehab to get his movement back it’s a nice reward to not only win a tournament, but do it on grass against Fed.

I was only able to watch the 3rd set in that match, but an interesting note is I didn’t hear or see a single outburst of emotion from Hewitt after winning some big points in that 3rd set. There was no C’MOOOOOOOOOOOON. Even after the last point I didn’t see any celebration. Obviously both guys have a lot of respect for each other so maybe Hewitt didn’t want to appear to be using gamesmanship during the match or rubbing it in at the end. Also, when you’ve won a few grand slams like Hewitt has it just isn’t the same when you win a regular event. Verdasco celebrated his win in Barcelona like he just won the FO. He dropped to his knees and looked up to the sky.

Hewitt really kept his cool in that 3rd set. If you show too much emotion after you win a big point you can have a let down on the next point or game especially against an opponent with a mental edge who isn’t going to roll over. I was comparing this to Almagro the last few times he has played Nadal where he has screamed out VAMOS with double fist pumps and chest pounding after he gets a break of serve or wins a set. Maybe he is trying to imitate Nadal, but it doesn’t work for him or for most players. Andy Murray did the same thing several times this year at the AO where he opens his mouth really wide, both hands clenched and yells out C’MOOOOOOOOON.

Huh Says:

Thanks NELTA. :) :)

BTW, I only realised now that Hewitt has a perfect and impressive 7-0 winning record in grass court finals! A great record, if you ask me. Don’t you think so NELTA?


That’s a great stat Huh. Fed is 11-2 in grass court finals, 9-11 on clay and 42-13 on hard/carpet

blank Says:

If Federer wins the Wimbledon, majority would start saying…oh…everyone was wrong about Roger. You can never write him off…blah blah. Then if he stumbles at the US Open, then the current chorus will only be intensified and the majority group will grow larger.

I think it is stupid to argue either way. Because of age, ‘what’s more to achieve’ kinda attitude and most importantly other younger/fitter/more motivated/good players emerging, it’s a given that Roger’s results aren’t going to be as good as before. It’s very obvious even though it’s painful to see for a fan like me.

But to count him out of contention in any slam event for the next few years is plain outrageous. He could lose Wimbledon, lose USO and win some GS next year or he could win Wimbledon this year and not win anything for a long time…he may never win anything again (very unlikely)…but the fact is, we won’t know and we have been wrong in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Federer is always Federer and as long as he chooses to play, he is a threat to everyone.

Darren Says:

If Federer goes on to win the “All-England Club Championship” and the “US Open Championship” this year, but fails to win another tournament aside; critics will likely change their tune of his so-called decline. lol!

Assuming that happens, and he therefore is the holder of 3/4 majors for 2010… it would be a ‘flaw in the system’ if he were not World #1 at year end.

Long way to go before that though :P So lets see what happens at the All-England first. And does anyone know what events would need to take place for Federer to regain the World #1 at Wimbledon?

He presumably needs to win it, given that he won it last year so he will need to defend those ranking points. But Rafa didn’t take part last year, so it would seem impossible for Federer to regain the World #1 in the next 3-weeks???

blank Says:

Those are great stats NELTA and Huh. If we exclude Fed’s losses to Nadal, here is how I think his record stacks up: 11-1 in grass court finals, 9-2 on clay and 42-11 on hard/carpet.

One can spin it in number of ways:
– Nadal is great
– Federer is more consistent and all-round (Fed has reached more finals on Nadal’s favourite surface than Nadal has on Fed’s)
– Fed has serious problems in a match-up with Nadal (or ‘Fed is afraid of Nadal’ as Nadal fans may like to put it)
– Etc etc

Nadal is 5 years younger, he exploits Fed’s weakness on his weaker surface better than anybody else and has arguably gotten into Fed’s head so much, it doesn’t really matter anymore what surface they play on. But all that should take nothing away from Fed’s achievements which are superior to any other player on the planet, ever.

Twocents Says:

Some clarifications:

On Fed’s “aging”, I really mean a whole system of Fed’s pro match mass, achievement, age, pressure, etc, not just bio age.

On Fed’s loss to players older than or similar to his age, it’s perfectly normal for two reasons: 1) those devil lopside H2Hs mean the former losers have better and better chance to win — law of average, forst and foremost; 2) Every player has his own career curve: Davy’s decline may be later and subtler than Fed’s. And after slumping for some years in case of Leyton, it’s no surprise he finds his groove on his best surface and has some decent local peaks after his earlier major peak. For Fed who stayed on Mountain Everest for so long, descending is more likely than ascending right now.

Last but not the least, while I’m the lead singer of “Fed’s falling” song, I’m NOT writing Fed off by any means. Nobody knows how Fed’s V3 will fan out — not even the mastro himself. How many sub-peaks and rebounces he can manage before he finally calls it a day? Welcome to the show!

blank Says:

Twocents, Nice reasoning. I would add one more to the list of reasons why Fed is losing. And, that’s ‘motivation to win’.

In terms of injuries, Hewitt has gone through a lot in the last few years. Since he has gone through so much more pain and sacrificed so much to give himself a chance to play level with the best, it’s not very surprising that he has done so well, at least in this event. Hope he continues the run for another year or two.

Eskay Says:

Its only when victories dry up that retirement thoughts might crop up. Roger plays best in G.S only and he is the holder of A.O. He is being rated as the favourite to retain his title at Wimby. Talk of his impending retirement appears just a gossip. There are no other hot players to talk about, so the gossip mostly centres around Roger and Rafa. If it is Wimby, Andy shares the limelight. There are no 18-19 year old prospects. Only Delpo has created ripples. Cilic is no where a G.S prospect. One likes to watch good tennis and Roger continues to provide that on a consistent basis.

SG Says:

Roger definitely possesses the most beautiful game to watch. His stroke production is smooth. No hitches anywhere.

skeezerweezer Says:


Totally agree on that one ‘motivation to win’. Old? already?

Let’s not forget in the past 13 months the man has won 3 GS titles, it’s all how you take things in perspective I guess, especially for the Fedster. He must have gotten old really fast for some fans…

Eskay Says:

It will not be surprising if Rafa goes the Roger way. Concentrate on bigger tournaments and preserve body and mind for longevity. He did not look too bothered by his loss at Queens. Perhaps their goals are different from what the fans perceive. Roger does not appear too bothered now and appears to play for the love of the game. Rafa has achieved significant success to be bothered about statistics or such facts as being no. 1 or 2, though his fire for glory is still aglow. It appears that he will go all out for U.S.O. Yardsticks and benchmarks appear to be different for them than for even no.3 & 4 and the rest.

Twocents Says:

Good point, Blank.

No matter how greedy and stubborn Fed is, the guy across the net who’s lost to him for XX times in a row, or who’s young and up wants the win more!



I like some of the points you make and I think we are in agreement on Fed. He is no longer at his peak and the facts show he is descending from the mountain. How fast and at what angle nobody can say for sure at this moment. 2 years from now we can look back at history and more clearly see the slope of his “career curve”. Even with a downward sloping career curve there can still be some “peaks” as you said.

I do take issue with the law of averages thing you mentioned. If I flip a coin there is a 50/50 chance of it landing on a particular side. Let’s say I flip it 4 times and it comes up heads each time. The 5th time I flip it there is still a 50/50 chance of heads or tails. There isn’t a 80% chance of tails on my 5th flip because my previous 4 were all heads. The law of averages doesn’t favor the opposite outcome because of a preponderance of a previous outcome.

Each time Federer beats Roddick or Hewitt there is not an increased chance of them winning the next time because of law of averages. If that were the case then odds makers would have started favoring Hewitt after say losing for the 7th time in a row because all those losses were building up the law of averages in Hewitt’s favor. At worst the odds are the same after each loss and if anything the superior player develops a mental edge and it becomes even more difficult to get a win against someone you have lost to many times in a row. Sure there is a chance that Roddick will beat Federer the next time they play, but the odds of it aren’t higher because Federer has beaten him so many times.

Huh Says:


Fot Says:

Darren, it is a fact that Roger can’t get #1 back during Wimbledon regardless of what he does. He’s defending the 2,000 points so even if he wins it again, he won’t gain any points, whereas Nadal (who didn’t play) can only ‘gain’. So perfect senerio (for a Federer fan) is even if Nadal loses in the first round and Roger wins the tournament – and will be the holder of 2 of the 3 grand slams this year – he STILL WON’T BE #1. Interesting, huh! lol!

On the decline. The one thing that’s different between Pete and Roger was that by Pete’s own admission, his later years were a struggle to him and he ‘didn’t enjoy’ tennis like he should have. He said it was a grind and getting that #1 record took everything out of him. He said he didn’t enjoy the tour during his latter years.

With Roger – he said he LOVES tennis! He following it, he watches the women and men (Mirka said he watches it too much lol), but he said the reason he watns to play a while is because he just loves tennis and wants to be around it for a long time. So even if he gets a few losses here or there, he said he still just loves the game, likes the travel, likes to be around other players, etc.

So sure, Roger may lose more here and there, but he doesn’t really have anything to prove to anyone else. He’s done so much already. And you know he’s going to give his all during Wimbledon because he has even said that Wimbledon is his favorite tournament. So I know Roger’s going to give his all to defend this title because no other tournament means more to him than Wimbledon and believe it or not – the other players know this as well. Sam Querry, after winning in Queens said Federer was the one player he’s more afraid of at Wimbledon than any other.

I’m actually looking forward to Wimbledon!

Good luck to everyone’s favorite player!

Oh, and DirecTV will have the ‘mix’ again for the first week – about 7 different channels! I love that!

Huh Says:

AT June 13th, 2010 at 6:53 pm, one CLASSIC POST BY GRENDEL.

Huh Says:


Zola and respectful of Fed???!!! Thanks for giving me some good laugh, haha. ;)


Well said Fot.

RZ Says:

Anyone know who this affects Fed’s ability to move back to #1? Nadal has no points to defend at Wimby…

zola Says:

are you looking for confrontation?

I have my opinions about Federer and all players. Their personalities, their game, etc., and there are facts that we all have to accept. You about Nadal and me abouyt Federer. Doesn’t mean I agree with him all the time. But this is the second or third time that you are trying to start something. Good luck, because I am not game!

zola Says:

I am wondering which channels will show Wimbledon, with ESPN showing the world cup.

madmax Says:

zola, did you say that Llodra was good looking? I’ll have to take a closer look!


One of the other reasons Roger wants to continue playing is that he wants his twin girls to be of an age where they can watch him play – similar to Llodra’s kids actually – boy and girl 6 and 8 years old. Was so cute when Llodra won a 500 atp tourny earlier this year (sorry, forget which one), but his son came running onto the court and hugged his dad – was lovely.

Huh Says:


Thanks for your comic June 15th, 2010 at 2:30 pm

post. It was just too funny! ;)
I see your acting skills have very much improved. Have fun out there.

zola Says:

I don’t understand what your problem is! sorry mate!

Huh Says:


You’re funny, of course you know in which sense! ;)

aleish17 Says:


Totally agree on your 11:31 post. Though Im a huge Nadal fan, I would still say that Fed is the greater and much better player, his record and achievements speak for itself. Nadal will have to work hard to level with Fed’s greatness. However, Nadal never stops improving his game and I think he and his team will find their way to yet another HC slam esp. the very elusive USO.

Am still not sure who will do well in Wimby. But if Fed fails to win this event, the issue of him declining will grow even bigger. For Fed fans, it is really difficult to see your fav play, only to lose in the end. But face it, no matter how great a tennis player Fed is, he will lose. He will lose coz other players study his game and finds his weaknesses. But losing does not mean failure. True champions have their fair share of triumphs and defeats.

aleish17 Says:

Fot @ 1:27

Yes, Wimby is Rogers favorite tournament but not only him. I remember well that it’s also Rafa’s favorite, Murray and other players too because it is the biggest picture of the bigger pictures! For me, it is the biggest slam of all slams. The most exciting part is, we, tennis fans (no matter who are fav are) will have the pleasure of witnessing who amongst all of them have the strong determination and will to win and lift the Wimby trophy.

Of course, I want it to be Rafa being the Rafa fan that I am. But he needs to bring his A game all the time even to non-threatening opponents, a bit of luck, and his mental toughness.

Vamos Rafael Nadal!

grendel Says:

Zola says: “So you think Rafa was in his day during the O2 event? He lost all his matches!

As for Davydenko, I think he is very good and very hard working, but I do not think he is better than Rafa or Federer. If so, he would have been in their position.”

Alright, what about Shanghai, then, when Davydenko beat Nadal? My worry is that if EVER Davydenko beats Nadal, you’re going to say that this is because Nadal was only 60% or something like that.

I do think you are sincere, but I think there is a confusion in your position, if you don’t mind me saying, because I know that sounds a bit patronising. The “confusion” I detect is encapsulated in your line about Davy being very good and so on, but not better than Rafa or Fed, wld have been in their position otherwise.

I agree that both Federer and Nadal are greater players than Davydenko. A large part of the greatness of the first two has been their ability to notch up, over an extended period, consistently excellent performances. Davydenko has not been capable of this (relatively speaking).

It absolutely does not follow from this that a Davydenko at his best cannot beat either Federer or Nadal playing at their best. He is just not likely to do it very often. And nor is this state of affairs remotely unique. Going all the way back to Lew Hoad, in many peoples’ estimation (that of Pancho Gonzalez, for instance)he was, in terms of sheer talent, the best of all time. But he only won 4 slams. His approach to tennis was, shall we say, cavalier.

Today, we know that Nalbandian can beat either Federer or Nadal, no matter how well they are playing. But it won’t happen very often. And in twenty years time, the name Nalbandian will be remembered by precious few.

Players like Tsonga, Gulbis, Gasquet will probably never be “greats”. But who can doubt that their innate abilities are up there with those of Nadal and Fed? There happen to be other factors missing.

Davydenko is unusual in that he is not an inspirational player like those above, but he is a consummate professional who, when he gets it just right, is a match for anybody, including Nadal and Federer. But that is unlikely to happen very often. That’s my take.


I’m more inclined to side with Twocents on this business of averages. It is true that when you flip a coin, it is not more likely to be heads if tails have come up 5 times in a row, or 500 times for that matter. That’s because the probabilities of getting either heads or tails are “independent”.

But that isn’t true in h2h’s. On the contrary, the past records have a big bearing on events, and that can go either way. There’s the intimidation factor, but there’s also the complacent factor, the never say die factor, the boredom factor, the greed factor (‘nother one to add to the pile, yum, yum),the how-‘re you- feeling-on-the-day factor and so on. This being so, it is not surprising if very lopsided h2h’s are overturned. The cards can come out differently and WILL, from time to time, come out differently. So even if it’s not exactly a law of averages (if one wishes to be pedantic), there is a built in tendency – other things being equal, such as there being a rough parity in terms of skill – for a particular run of wins to be turned around. Thus, at any rate, do I believe.

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