Miami Title Moves Djokovic Past Federer For Lead In 2012 Rankings; French Open Top Seed Still TBD
by Tom Gainey | April 2nd, 2012, 6:46 pm

Novak Djokovic captured his second title of the season at the Sony Ericsson Open Miami and in doing so he catapulted past Roger Federer in the 2012-points only ATP Rankings.

Djokovic, who trailed Federer entering Miami, now leads with 3,540 points accumalted this season. Miami added 1,000 points to his haul which included 2,000 from his Australian Open victory.

Federer is second with 2,865; Nadal third at 2,160; Miami finalist Murray is fourth at 1,880 and David Ferrer ranks fifth at 1,585.

Djokovic could balloon his lead over the Swiss in Monte Carlo in two weeks. Federer is not scheduled make his clay debut until Madrid next month.

Visit the ATP site for the full list.

In the 52-week rankings, Djokovic enjoys about a 2,700 point cushion on Nadal and he’s roughly 3,600 points ahead of No. 3 Federer.

The Serb’s No. 1 seeding at the French Open next month is still not guaranteed since it’s mathematically possible both Nadal or Federer could pass him before Paris. However, if Djokovic wins Monte Carlo he’ll wrap up the top spot for the French.

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113 Comments for Miami Title Moves Djokovic Past Federer For Lead In 2012 Rankings; French Open Top Seed Still TBD

Kimmi Says:

ATP site have the race points back, good to know. Thanks Tom.

Djokovic will be No.1 at the french. it is no.2 and 3 seed that could change.

RZ Says:

I agree with Kimmi. I can’t imagine a scenario where Djoker isn’t #1 by the time the FO seedings come out.

marko Says:

thanks for posting up the ATP list, I didn’t know they were doing that. I also didn’t realize that before Miami Murray had apparently dropped below Ferrer and Del Potro for the YTD rankings.

King Federer Says:

What will be crucial from Roger’s point of view is how he does from wimbledon to USO.

Fed has 360+90+180+720 =1350 points to defend.

Nole has 2000+1000+600+2000 = 5600.

Federer has a decent chance to get the no.1 ranking. I would say 40-60 at this point. Fed is due for a stellar grass court season after fumbling on his beloved grass the last 2 years.

King Federer Says:

A Blast from the past :

those are the rankings on December 18 2006, Fed’s greatest year. Fed has 8370 points ( equivalent to 16,740 points right now)

Rafa, the number 2 has 4470 points (equivalent to 8940)

Fed had an approximate lead of 7,800 points over his nearest rival. UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE

malher Says:

agree – un-freaking-believable – the man is un-freakingbelievable !!

mat4 Says:

@malher, King Federer:

Just another proof that Roger played in a weak era…

King Federer Says:

Right the same weak era’s Roddick still leads djokovic 5-3 inspite of being 5 years older than him. Djokovic still trails fed/rafa in H2H. fed is 6 years older. That is half a generation in tennis.

when did you start watching tennis? you fit the stereotype djokovic fan – serbian/fed hater/rafa hater or 2 out of those 3 or all 3.

King Federer Says:

weak era is right now :

fedal past prime. murray can do zilch in GS. delpotro still cant beat fedal. the real contenders are fedal, ferrer – all 3 from mat4’s weak era!

show me a real contender in novak’s generation dude.

mat4 Says:

@King Federer:

I started watching tennis in 1976. That’s as far as I remember. I think the first match I remember was between Clerc and Gildemeister, when they both cramped. Oh, sorry, I shouldn’t have mentioned those unknown players.

Those are just bad match-ups, a bit just like Rafa-Fed, or aren’t they? Nothing serious.

What, or where do I fit? Whose the hater? Are you writing about yourself? Quite the opposite. One day I would be able to say: Nole became no 1 and won his grand slam in the era of an exceptional Federer and an unrivaled Rafa, playing at their absolute peak. There was also that Brit, eh, I forgot his name…

mat4 Says:

… who’s the hater…


mat4 Says:

@King Federer:

Then, what is a stereotype? Is it a stereo device of some kind?

skeezerweezer Says:

Marantz, diamond needle.

mat4 Says:


Some suggestions for you here:

Ajet Says:

now that federer is clearly past his prime; nadal even though still dangerous but a lot more content after winning the back to back slams on clay, grass and hard on deco turf, and has just cooled down a bit; last year’s performance by rafa on clay being clearly subpar, djoker took good advantage of it! The hungry burning eyes of nadal has not been seen since 2010 WTF! moreover, there’s not a slam winner except JMDP in this ridiculous era of chokers/injured unlike during fed’s hey days when there were players like safin, hewitt, ferrero, roddick, moya each of whom were in their prime(all are slam winners); then ther were other great players like agassi, guga etc. with whom fed had to deal with! for example, a declined guga was stil good enough to blow away federer in RG 04, that tells a lot about how weak the competeititon was; then at the start of his career fed had guys like sampras, agassi, rafter, ivanisevic etc. to deal with! fed played against a whole pack of slam winners, had to stave off players like a prime agassi to rise to the top in 2003(which he promptly did by routing agassi in style)! then there were also no dearth of slam finalists with whom fed had to contend with to establish his prominence! those days there were competeive players like nalbandian, coria, young ferrer, young gonzo, baghdatis, tomy haas, blake etc. who were more than capable of springing a surprise or two against the best of players at slams, unlike the guys today who are master at rolling down for djoker to walk over them; it’s a testimony to fed’s consistency and brilliance and sheer supremacy that fed went unchallenged against these guys. and absolutley dangerous guys like davydenko were federer’s b@#$% during his prime, the same davydenko who has shown that he could kick @$$ of nadal and delpo like crazy on HCs even now! there were also quite competitive guys like philippousis, richard gasquet and the guy who beat fed in first round in 2002 wimby who made for a tough competition.

so looking at the set of slam winners like safin, hewitt, ferrero, guga, agassi, rafter, ivanisevic, pete, moya, roddick, a blind person can easily guess who faced tougher competition at the beginning of career: fed or djoker?? add to this the fact that the guys like safin, hewitt, roddick, agassi etc. were quite active and young and consistent during the days when fed was trying to establish the prominence makes it clear that fed actaully had to tame the real players to establish his vice grip over top rankings betwen 2003-05! then guys like nadal has entered into scene as soon as 2004 and were showing signs that fed has him to deal with as well at some point of time! and fed dealt well with rafa during the days when he was unbeatable on clay (proof nadal established 81 match inning record on clay!). so dunno what people’re talkin about when they say weak era of fed! and we all know that hewitt, nalbandian were like nemesis to federer, he had to actually turn the table on them to have chances of challenging for the top, and fed promptly did so! overcoming nemeses is no easy thing to do! then guys like moya, guga were also quite competitive at least until 2004, 2005 and nobody could write them off so long as they hold a racquet, them being slam champions! then add to this list the galaxy of talented players like haas, ferrer, gonzo, gasquet, mario ancic, baggy whom fed had to deal with at some point or other during his formative and heydays! and there were more ones like blake, davydenko, ferrer, coria etc. who made the era much tougher than fed’s detractors’d admit! heck, even fed era player ljubicic could beat nadal in 2010! and there were also guys like soderling and berdych who always threatened fed even then, but couldn’t really do anything as fed was in his prime! now, n wnder they’re picking up a win or two against a depleted federer, and that appears so unbelieveable and appealing to the weak era theoreticians! it’s funny!

but these days where’re the grand slam winners in comparison to federer’s days?? who except fed, rafa, djoker, delpo is a slam winner left actually(the only other guy roddick is so far from his prime that we cannot even mention him as relevant today)! compare this to the era from 2001-2007 and you’d see the obvious difference that how fully worthy and respectful competetion was during those days the with the field having winners rather than chokers! these days in fact, i feel matches are being decided by who’s playing worse rather than who’s playing better with all the tentative and boring defensive tennis! but the case was wonderfuly different in fed’s day! whoever startin from fed to any one of his rival guys that i mentioned above , won matches basing on fantastic aggressive tennis! that shows how the level of tennis has dropped!

so many guys like blake, davydenko, gonzo, ferrer, gasquet who used to be so competitive and have shown to cause so much problems even for the nadals/delpos/djokers at one point are now almost gone into submission! so who’s djoker/nadal really dealing with??? the legendary tsonga/isner/tipsy?? ok, gimme a break!!!

and which ordinary players fed dealt with during his formation days and days of initial dominance??? pete/agasi/guga/moya/safin/hewitt/ferrero/roddick/rafter/goran etc!!! how really unknown namesand mediocre players! ;)
and the other even more ordinary guys which fed tamed like ferrer/gonzo/haas/davydenko/gasquet/naby/coria/baggy/ancic/blake etc. all being in their youth and at their peak??? even soderling and berdych were playing not bad in fedeerer’s peak days! so now, where’s the competition that fed faced?? wait, just i showed you right now, no?? ;)


skeezerweezer Says:

@7:48 that was just another sarcastic dry humor posts of yours, right? ;)

Superhuman Says:

Fed played in strong era, really, you consider players like safin, hewitt, ferrero, guga. bagdathis strong players? LoL !!! If Fed was so great why it took him so long to win his first GS at age 24. I tell you why, because he couldn’t do anything in the strong era of Sampras and Aggasi. Nadal won his first GS at age 19 and Novak at 20 during the Fed’s era. I rest my case!

stu Says:

The reason some of the people in your long list (hewitt, ferrero, guga, agassi, rafter, ivanisevic, pete, moya, roddick) were Slam winners was _because_ it was a weak era. Just because they won Slams doesn’t make their era strong.

serbian hammer Says:

Strong era,weak era,what’s the difference as long as Djokovic packing slams,one after another.This guy King Federer says that this is a weak era,and his favorite player is playing some great tennis 2011 ,12,maybe better than ever he says that himself.We have at least 15 players who have talent to be n1 in any previous era,Nadal and Federer have past their prime,how?i beleve that a true fan of Fedal wouldnt say such thing ever.But a title is a title,and there will be many for Djokovic then,in his ‘weak era’.

serbian hammer Says:

Ajet,dont worry Fed was in strong era always.Dont get offended if i say Djokovic will dominate Federer and the rest for at least two or three years,maybe more.Since Federer is so weak ,its easy now for Djoker right?12-18 gs titles for Djoker would be just fine,he is not to greedy.

mat4 Says:


It even wasn’t sarcastic. Just humour. This argument has been repeated one bilion times (I repeated it 47 times at least).

Fed — and Rafa’s, in the period 2007-10 — was so outrageous, demoralizing that a lot of players never blossomed, never fulfilled their potentials: Roddick, Safin, Nalbandian (there were others reasons), Davydenko, Berdych, Ferrer (in another way), and finally Murray.

I think that there would have never been a Djokoboss had Fed won the USO semi in 2010. He would have stayed stucked at one, two slams at best.

mat4 Says:

… Fed’s — and Rafa’s, in the period 2007-10 — DOMINATION…

mat4 Says:


Sorry, but could you sum up your post for me in 25 words max?

Ajet Says:


believe me, djoker’s era is far weaker than fed’s! nobody except fed/rafa/djoker himself/delpo are being expected to be slam contenders contrary to the long list of champions in fed’s era. that’s strong era!

add to that the list of the talented guys playing, i have given above, it’s ridiculous already! very strong era of fed!

djoker’s era looks much weaker!

but as serbian hammer says, nobody’s gonna care which era djoker’s playing so long as he’s packing slams in his bag!

stu Says:

Ajet, clearly you didn’t read my post before responding.

Superhuman Says:

Correction, Fed won his first GS at age 22 which is still considered relatively late.

skeezerweezer Says:


Re; 11:48

Wait…wasn’t Fed in that era also?

Ajet Says:


I don’t expect a prime djoker to do anything extraordinary in fed’s era of 2001-07, but i certainly expect a prime fed(assuming fed gets back his elements) to tame the tour in this era! in fact, it’d be a lot easier for fed to tame these guys than the guys whom he faced when he was coming up on tour!

i would never bet in favour of a djoker-11(AO) if he faces safin-AO 05! and i’d never even consider betting on djoker-11 USO version if he faces the sampras thrasher marat safin of USO! i would also not bet djoker-11 to beat roddick-09 or roddick-04 at wimby! nor would i ever bet on djoker-11 to even be close to guga which thrashed fed at RG 04(let alone prime guga!)! he made fed look like a kid that day at RG! fed in 2008 was much below his best, that’s why rafa routed him! but a fed who was playing at peak in that RG 04 actually got schooled by guga!

and i also don’t believe at all that a prime djoker can beat a prime moya/ferrero on RG clay! and knowing the way, hewitt was at one point, and the way he thrashed sampras, i heavily doubt this djoker taking down that hewitt easily! that hewitt actually was beating fed consistently until he got injured! and we all know that the nalby which used to beat the crap out of fed at slams in 2003 could do much worse to this djoker, to be honest! in fact, if anything prevented fed from winning at least 2 slams in 2003, it was nalby!

so you can see what i read and what not in your post! ;)

you know what, actually the hewitts/safins/roddicks/moyas/ferreros are not as bad as you would like all of us to believe! they’re much better than you could ever realise!

Ajet Says:

and overall, the kind of boring defensive tennis is going on these days, it’s not even close to the aggressive tenns during those times! frankly, the level of fitness only has gone up superficially looking, but the sheer quality of play has gone down. it’s all physical style now! sad sad!

jane Says:

Basically a prime Djoker can’t beat a prime Federer, Nadal, Roddick, Guga, Safin, Murray, Moya, Ferrero, and probably not a prime Hewitt or Nalby either. Thus, it sounds rather like a prime Nole can’t beat many other top players in their primes in your opinion Ajet.

I am not so sure about that? He is the only guy to transcend the Fedal duopoly so far; I am speaking in terms of rising to number 1. He broke up the domination of two of the best players of all time! And he continues to do well this season. Many other players before him, from 2004-11, tried to break up that mono-duopoly of Fedal. However, no one could get through Fed except Rafa, and then no one could get through the two of them except Nole – not consistently enough to win slams/masters and rise to number 1 in the world. The last number 1 besides Fedal and before Nole did it was Roddick and he was number 1 for a few months (USO 03-AO 04 roughly).

Some pundits have claimed and even traced (in graphs) why this is a absolute golden era in tennis in its pursuit of perfection and professionalism amongst the top players. I love the tennis now; I have watched since Mac/Lendl and especially Agassi/Sampras. It’s amazing to watch these guys, what athletes, what shot-making. It’s beautiful tennis! I would like to see a little more volleying but otherwise, wow! I am not complaining. :)

I also like Rocket Rod’s list of past & present greats:

mat4 Says:

Hi, jane:

great links.

Ben Pronin Says:

Ajet, jeez, really?

You’re not even comparing players at their primes, you’re just using their best performances at particular events. In that case, no one in their primes beats AO-11 Djokovic or Miami-IW-11 Djokovic. I mean cmon, this sounds ridiculous.

What would you expect Moya, Hewitt, or Ferrero or even Nalbandian to hurt Djokovic with? Isn’t Murray technically in his prime right now with a losing record to the currently prime Djokovic? Wasn’t a young pre-prime Djokovic able to beat a prime Federer back in 07, and almost beat him at the US Open if not for one of the worst choke jobs ever?

Despite Roddick’s inexplicable h2h against Djokovic, what does he really hurt Djokovic with? His serve? Djokovic returns better than anyone. Forehand? Comes and goes. Backhand? Awful.

Nadal is still technically in his prime, even if he’s mentally fatigued. But his game will always match up poorly with Djokovic’s, especially on hard court as it always has. Remember Djokovic snapped Nadal’s ridiculous winning streak back in 08 when Nadal won everything in sight.

Safin is a special case. He definitely has a game that matches up well with Djokovic’s, but he’s so mentally unstable how could you expect him to win against the ice-in-his-veins Djokovic? And I feel that Guga, who’s backhand is sturdier than Federer’s, would give Djokovic a lot of trouble on clay, but no where else.

At the end of the day, you haven’t given any reasons for you claims.

mat4 Says:

Hi, Ben.

Last time they met, Novak easily dismissed Andy R. But Andy already was in a crisis. Andy had a stretch of three wins after Novak changed his racquet, in 2009. It hurt his serve and his forehand, and it basically changed his game.

courbon Says:

McEnroe,Pete Cash,Becker and many more legends saying that this is very strong era…but Ajet and King Federer (really original name….) saying opposite.Hmmmm…
Nobody is saying that Federer era was weak (maybe some guys, but most real fans don’t ) but you are the one one trying to show Nole as a weak champion in weak era.Ridicilous!Listen to yourself.And, as serbian hammer pointed out Mr.Ajet-You keep saying that Federer is at his best now, but this is a weak era?Come down dear,come down…
P.S.I’m typical Novaks fan-Serbian (+ some Polish blood,livinng in London for 20years,now moving to France to live-confusing enough?) but I admire Federer,love Nadal and respect Murray…How about that?

Ajet Says:


you know, i don’t give federer a chance against guga on RG, to be honest! what to speak of nole! in fact, i am very sure if a player like guga had been there from 2005-08, he’d have saved federer the humiliation of losing to nadal so many times by taking him out earlier! ;)

and so far as, federer’s concerned, he’s LUCKY that Nalby or Safin really could never be consistent, ask yourself: do you really believe federer’d have been able to master them if they were not injury prone/unfocussed?? my personal view, federer would’ve only won about 55% of matches against safin/nalby if they really were to play as per their potential! it’d never have been like fed continuosly and nonstop beating safin/nalby like he actually did, thanks to safin and nalby’s bad luck! And if i don’t thik federer was good enough to beat them more than 55% of times, then i dunno how can i give more chances then fed against a real safin/nalby!!! and if fed doesnt win more than 55% matches against them, i dunno how i can see djoker winning more than 40-45% of matches vs these two!

then speaking of moya & ferrero, i’ve to say that they were unlucky that the courts weren’t homogenised like now, or else it’d have given them far more excellent results overall! and these guys unfortunately had to play in the then fast wimby courts, thus so much needed to be done by them to adjust when the season shifted from clay to grass, unlike today’s guys who basically find it so easy to adjust! there’s a reason why fed and rafa has reached so many consecutive rg-wimby finals and djoker and even murray has made so many wimby/fo semis in a row! not the best have even manged to adjust to reach so deep in fo-wimby in the history of tennis! but now it’s clearly possible thanks to court!

and btw, there’s nothing wrong in saying that djoker imo isn’t worse on clay then ferrero/moya! am not saying djoker’d not beat them on other surfaces, but i definitely would bet my money on moya/ferrero to win their matches against djoker on clay more often than not!

and if you ask me, fed even cannot be said that much better than moya/ferrero on clay either, considering the difference in nature of diffeent surfaces, due to which they were in such disadvantage! but the homogenity of surfaces has aided fed in reaching so many FO finals and has aided rafa in reaching so many Wimby finals and has equally helped your guy in consistentky reaching semis year after year at rg-wimby, that’s no freaking secret to anybody!!

and now, let’s focus on roddick! well, it is what it is! the guys’s reached so many wimby finals and almost beat federer in wimby final! and all the finals that he lost also ws to federer, with whom i have seen him having problem due to maych-up! in fact, for showing what a bad match-up can do to a guy’s prospects, young tennis players/enthusiasts could be shown federer-roddick videos as the standard example! i mean, has anybody matched up any worse in history against his biggest rival than roddick matches up with federer?? I doubt it! despite that, roddick coulda beaten fed, but for one bad shot he lost! then another wimby final comes to min: the federer vs roddick 2004! the way roddick was playing in that match, i think fed was saved from being down two sets to roddick by the rain! that was a very bad rain interruption for roddick and it gave federerunbelieveable momentumand the same time, it destroyed roddick’s momentum! and if roddick was up 2-0 in that match, i am sure fed would have lost that match! and to be honest, just coz djoker beat nadal who was mortally messed up in his mind while facing djoker in wimby, i canot sudenly forget roddick’s grasss credentials and the fact that he has reached 3 wimby finals and lost to none other than federer! so you may as well see why i can’t be held guilty of betting on roddick 2004/09 in place of djoker in wimby!

and speaking of hewitt, is there really a need to explain that hewitt was capable of beating fed? i mean, am sure you know how hewitt used to dominate fed until he was plagued by injury! the federr whom hewit beat in davis cup 2003 was actually playing far better than the federer of 2008-11, b ut the competeition was obviously tougher and that understandably denied federer more slams! ironically though the fed of 2008-11 was much more dominant and consistent against a lesser field and appeared more impressive than he actually was!

you know, i have actually witnessed how mono damaged federer’s momentum and made him vulnerable! similarly i have also seen how unfortunate things in different forms continued to happen with nalby/hewitt/safin/moya/ferrero/guga!

i have no shame in accepting that federer has been lucky due to the fact that the guys like roddick/safin/nalby/guga could never fulfill their true potential by the various factors/incidents that happened to them!
thus, here you see, how much luck has aided federer in notching up slams! does anybody really believe fed reach 16 slams or pete reach 14 slams without any luck??? not me at least!

similarly i also have no reason to believe that djoker’s been even luckier than fed, considring the lesser level of competition tha ha has right now and is also undoubtedly reaping the rewards of federer being past his prime or nadal not playing in wimby/fo like he did in 2007/08! in 2007, nadal almost beat a real prime federer! he was playing that good! and nadal’s clay court exploits need no mention to show that djoker’s no match to prime nadal on clay! and on grass also nadal’s undoubtedly superior! HC is differen story, but i don’t believe djoker would beat prime nadal on grass/clay in a slam. and peak federer’s a far bloodier beast than nadal on grass and far better than nadal on AO/USO! so i think, i needn’t explain if i have to choose between prime fed and prime nole, and for what reason!

so considering this, i stand firmly on the posititon that if all those guys playing in fed’s era fulfilled their true potential, then fed would first of all have never reached 16 slams, in fact he would no way cross 10-12 slams! luck indeed aided federer!

and it’s clear that djoker has been even luckier, considering my explanation of the real situation!

in fact, there must be no shame in admitting your guys’s lucky, where he really has proven to be so in all respects1 fed has been lucky due th aforementioned reasons, and djoker is even luckier!

ok guys, take care!

Ajet Says:


have you actually seen nalby playing at his best or just talking to make yourself feel better??? nalbandian at best can tear safin to shreads and infact has kicked fed’s @$$ at least twice in slams and once in YEC. thus, so far as i remember, he has actually won more best of 5 matches against fed amongst all the abovementioned guys except nadal/djoker!
nalby has beaten fed in 3 best of 5 matches and djoker has in 4 best of 5 mathces, so you can see taking out your tinted glasses and see what is truth!

and well, courbon, no disrespect to djokovic, but when people say fed played in weaker era than djoker, it’s to be brought out here as to what’s fact really! you may not be saying fed won in weaker era, but others do! it’s for them! but for you i’d say, it doesn’t matter these days what era you play, it’s ultimately the slams that matter! fed has got 16, that’s why he’s above rest, at least for the time being. and the more slam djoker wins, the more he gets to the top! simpe as that!

if people don;t bring up fed playing in weak era excuse, then others would also stop bringing up djoker playing in ”even weaker era” theory!


btw, in my previous post it should be ”similarly i also have no reason to not believe that djoker’s been even luckier than fed”

Ajet Says:


i think either you missed something or you’re kidding me if you say i am saying that fed’s at his best now! fed’s been past his prme since 2007, i have said it not once but 100 times!

and if you don’t know mening of ajet, then google it. you’ll know what ajet means. it’s an indian language word. it means ”unbeaten’.

skeezerweezer Says:

Posters imho when talking about GOAT status or weak era’s etc, get lost in the “what they are doing now” or “what have you done for me lately” SYNDROME. It’s easy to see when there fav starts winning titles. That is fine but don’t get it mixed up with the players “body of work” over there respective career, up till now.

wrt Fed, he is had played AND won GS titles through 2 eras…….

mat4 Says:


In a interview for L’Équipe Marian Vajda last week has revealed that Nole’s only objective this year was the FO.

“Il n’est pas là où il était l’an dernier c’est sûr. Pour Dubaï ? Il avait perdu contre qui déjà ? Ah oui Murray… C’est vrai qu’il n’était pas tout à fait là bas. Je me dis qu’on s’était mal préparé, mais Novak avait totalement coupé deux semaines après l’Open d’Australie. Mentalement ce n’était pas ça. Je vais vous dire, Novak ne pense qu’à Roland Garros. Bien sûr qu’on voudrait faire comme en 2011 et tout. Si on l’a fait, on peut le refaire. Mais ce n’est pas le cas. Un, parce que vraiment tout avait souri en 2011. Et surtout parce que maintenant ce sont les tournois du Grand Chelem qui comptent.”

stu Says:

mat4, Bodo is a two-faced, fair-weather ATP #1 fan. he’s said some extremely insulting things about Nole in the past, and now this. the comments on his articles are usually more interesting than the articles themselves…

mat4 Says:


It is a good article. Bodo has a job to do, five articles a week… It is easier for Flink to write his column at TC (, because he doesn’t write so often. There have been some changes at and I feel that there is a lot of pressure on its stuff.

I would really liked for Tignor to write Novak’s biography one day. Tignor is the Michelangelo of tennis journalism.

Brando Says:

I agree with stu. Bodo is like most writers- they kiss the behind of whoever is no1. Right now it’s nole, so they kiss his behind.

Danica Says:

Well, interesting re:weak/strong .
Nole beat Federer in 2007 remember? Rogers Cup no less. Beat #3 (Roddick), #2 (Rafa), #1 (Roger). That’s the year, or one of, Federer was “on his prime”. Clearly, Nole could have won the USO (Federer in finals) had it not been for his inexperience. Federer said it so himself. Then, there was the AO in 2008. and so on… Are you serious when suggessting Nole couldn’t beat someone like Ivanisevic?! In their primes? The fact is that today we speak of “Fed era” players as talented, but so will someone tomorrow say that this era was full of talent in Rafa/Nole/DelPo/Berdych/Tsonga/Cilic/Dolgo… There is sitll time for some of these guys to show their talent and capabilities. Not being able to win a major doesn’t mean the player is bed, or that the era is weak. There’s a bunch of one slam wonders in that “strong era”.

jane Says:

Danica, “but so will someone tomorrow say that this era was full of talent in Rafa/Nole/DelPo/Berdych/Tsonga/Cilic/Dolgo”

Many are already saying this is one of the greatest eras in tennis – see my first link at 3:21 pm today.

mat4, interesting: will read it later as am on the run.

ajet, that’s one way of looking at it but it still seems like you downgrade Nole’s qualities and accomplishments. Perhaps it’s simply the reverse as when people say Fed played in a weak era. Many could and would argue that Tsonga, Delpo, and Murray would all hold multiple slams were it not for Nadal, Fed and now Nole. After all, Nole has stopped the Tsonga train twice. Many would say players like Monfils or Gasquet might’ve even nabbed a slam in another era. The same arguments can be made of this era.

Back and forth, round and round.

All eras have their strengths and weaknesses but some rivalries rise to the fore stand out and define eras. Right now the top three or four have continally pushed and elevated each other making this a very special time for tennis players and history. In my opinion, of course.

Danica Says:

I am sorry, I forgot to mention Murray…

stu Says:

mat4, completely agree re. Tignor. He writes the best articles about Nole coz he’s been a fan of his game from the start. And for a more light hearted yet perceptive take, James LaRosa!

mat4 Says:


Don’t worry. It is so understandable.

jane Says:

I read the link mat4. Bodo’s point about Nole’s leadership and discipline seem true. There’s been shifts in Nole’s demeanour for sure, yet he keeps that fun side. I liked this quote:

“Great players, especially those still on an upward arc, aren’t always so clear-eyed and rational about their mission. And when you factor in Djokovic’s healthy dose of natural aggression, his playfulness, his general willingness to express his emotions, and even his cultural background (in general, the Serbs are a passionate people), you begin to understand that this guy is a little bit unusual—something for which I don’t think he gets nearly as much credit as he deserves.”

Daniel Says:

You know Djoko is in for greatness as well, when a players start constructing his own records: I think Jane posted this stat that he is the youngest to reach all Slam semis, last year streak, 3 Miami’s already, losing only to Agassi, his latest run in finals, with only one lost to Murray in a retirement (will see how long this goes, but I won’t bet against him in a final this year, not even against Fed on clay or grass, ok, maybe grass…

The fan in me wants Fed to get back to number one for a few weeks and win Wimbledon, if possible, finish year end #1 to tie Pete, but the fact is, we will go all this year, until US Open, comparing Djoko’s year to last year, saying, but now he will have to defend this and that. So far he won the 2 biggest tourneys of the year beating heavy competition along the way. Just proves that nothing has changed in his game or mental state. What did change is that Fed got stronger and so did Murray, even that he didn’t got that BIG win which he is due for. Nadal is set to prove himself once again, this clay season for him will be do or die, specially if Djoko win RG.

jane Says:

Cheers Daniel. I can understand why you want Fed to get that record; it’s still to play for too. He’s certainly upped his level in the last 6 months or more. I know people talk of his decline, which I think is perhaps most evident in his concentrations lapses, but there is no doubt he is still playing great tennis. For your sake, and a few other Fed fans (like Kimmi for example), I hope he gets it, but only if Nole gets number 1 right back and then Murray after. ;) If only life were like that.

King Federer Says:

federer is 6years older than nole and the H2H is still in fed’s favor. Atleast nadal fans got H2H, it is a joke seeing nole fans claim this is a golden era.

Fed 0f 2006 against djokovic of 2011 will win matches against him @paris, new york and london – 2 times or london/shanghai – depending on where the WTF is held.

only match djokovic might win is melbourne. i say might because, even in his best year djokovic retired 2 times – once in a davis cup semis when your country is defending the championship. djokovic fans are so deluded about his “abilities” it is sad. yes he has performed better than fedal for an year, but this guy is nowhere even rafa’s records forget federer.

i suppose hrbaty fans had a riot when hrbaty led the atp race for a month in 2005. i am sure they must have accused fed of playing with a weaker competition where he won 3 slams in 2004. i am sure according to dominik hrbaty’s fans, january 2005 was the most “golden era” ever.

you can keep touting your opinions [ which are like @h0les – everyone has one and all of them stink] on who is great. but numbers show only one guy is the King of Tennis Universe – the one that started in 1968, not the one that djokovic fans see – which started only jan 2011.

get your heads out of the clowns @$$ and see the truth. Even djokovic will bitch slap you, if you tell him he is greater than fedal. but as i keep repeating, stupidity has no cure.

jane Says:

First quarter grades for the players (mens and ladies) via ESPN:

courbon Says:

No,I did not know about word ‘Ajet’.You learn something every day…but you got my point,yeah?How can you compare era?Too difficult..

mat4 Says:


I like to read Flink’s articles too, but, yes, Tignor is an exceptional stylist. He used once the word “ominous” in an idiosyncratic sense to describe Nole’s game, now everybody else repeat this adjective.

But I think you are a bit severe about Bodo. I still remember his first article about Djoko, six years ago, when he already predicted he could become the no 1.

michael Says:

king federer and ajet,

you guys really need a lesson in logic…strong era is IYHO when you have a lot of one slam wonders or one slam finalist and a weak era is when you have two best ever playing at the moment out of three best ever ( nadal fed and sampras)……so if sampras was now playing would you still consider it a weak era? “hey you need ivanisevic ancic bluelagoonovic boygeorgevic austin powerovich in order to consider it a strong era”…i now you guys like federer bu…gehzzzzz

serbian hammer Says:

Ajet and King fed,its nice that you are trying to diminish Djokovic achivements and that way save your idols legacy,that is how chicken shit do it,and real man congratulate better player.Nobody said that Djokovic will be better results wise in his carier than Federer or Nadal,its posible lets wait and see,but as i said he has dominated two of the most respected,successful and dominant players in open era,he didnt just beat them he dominated them winning 11 out of 12 last matches they are played.He had i beleve the greatest year in tennis history considering who tried to stop him,he won epic matches against both of these legends,and will continue to beat then over and over again.But i cant understand loser coments that you wrote there,about your favorite players,you stop believe in them and now you make Federer and Nadal look bad just to make Djokovic domination look bad.You are writing about some ‘primes’ and how Federer in ‘prime’ would do more,but you forget that the courts and technology of the racquets changed now,and that Federer from 2004-2007 wouldnt be in top 5,let alone top 3 where he is now.I would like to see that fast courts back,because Djokovic would play even better on them because he can take the ball early and its well suited for his game.Federer is playing better than ever,Nadal is in great shape,just to get his confidence back,and Djokovic just dominates, what more could we ask for,but as i said there always have to be someone like you two to talk shit.

michael Says:

serbian hammer ,

you just don’t get it do you mate…you need ivanisevic ancic bluelagoonovic boygeorgevic austin powerovich in order to consider it a strong era…not some chump like nadal or some federerdovich… btw isn’t federer their guy to begin with?…just asking

mat4 Says:

My two cents.

You can’t compare players from different eras. That’s as simple as that. But you can compare their relative domination over their contemporaries.

So I can write that Roger is, without doubts, the greatest player of the last thirty years, but there are no doubts either, for me, that Novak at his best is as good as Roger on hard and on clay too.

I have a little debate with Skeezer about that, but I honestly believe that Roger has, tennis wise, a lot of influence, impact on the current evolution of Djoko’s game, from the serve to the transition game. Just look at the first set Djokovic – Ferrer.

Novak has already done a lot for Roger’s legacy, but I feel he will show that Roger’s way, his style, was the right way to play tennis, that it wasn’t idiosyncratic.

Do not understimate Djokovic: this boy is absolutely exceptional, just like Rafa and Fed are, but in a different way. He wants his place in tennis history books. He wants to be remembered not only for his results, but his game too. Maybe he won’t even win 10 GS, but he will find a way to get there, just like he found a way to almost destroy Rafa and to overcome Fed.

And yes, we are in a golden era of tennis, with three unbelievable champions.

King Federer Says:

mat4 @ 602: fair enough. We will see what djokovic achieves. i am glad you are not one of those dumb@$$es who thinks djokovic is in the same league as fedal.

He is on the path to that GOAT league. We will see if he will get there. The raf@tards wanted to claim Goathood using H2H, but look what happened. Djokovic beat up rafa real bad. even worse than rafa did to fed. Who knows what tomorrow brings. Nole might win nole-slam and go on to win 20slams or he might finish with < 10 slams or he might not win another slam.

Lets hope nole fans dont keep “coming” to conclusions prematurely. As in love-making, patience is of essence.

as for dumbfu(k$ like serbian hammer – you satisfy the nole fan stereotype. a serbian who has got zilch numbers and assumes tennis started with nole’s 1st match. i have no time for mor0ns like you.

mat4 Says:

@Federer King:

BTW, you could be a bit more polite. serbianhammer has a lot of good points. Argue. Make fun of. Don’t offend.

You could use jane, Margot, alison, kimmi, Kimberly, Eric, Daniel, Wog Boy, sar, Ben as examples. Even that old Fed fan Skeezer, who has forget more about tennis that most of us will ever learn.

mat4 Says:

And I forgot Grendel, the Dostoievsky of Tennis-x.

Ajet Says:

”courbon Says:
No,I did not know about word ‘Ajet’.You learn something every day…but you got my point,yeah?How can you compare era?Too difficult”

Good point, now only if other nole fans could understand the last two sentences of yours, then I’d not be defendin the era of fed!

”serbian hammer:

that is how chicken shit do it”

well, you eat food or sh#t to make comments like this?

”You are writing about some ‘primes’ and how Federer in ‘prime’ would do more,but you forget that the courts and technology of the racquets changed now,and that Federer from 2004-2007 wouldnt be in top 5,let alone top 3 where he is now.I would like to see that fast courts back,because Djokovic would play even better on them because he can take the ball early and its well suited for his game.Federer is playing better than ever”

have you watched the same tennis oothers watched or virtua tennis? before making these baseless assumptions, you may as well like to recall that djoker was in is prime year in 2011, yet it was fed who ultimately demolished him at RG! and again in his prime year, djokovic had to give everything and more just to survive against fed at USO! if not for fed’s drop of level in play and mental lapses that has so obviously crept into his game, fed would actually have beaten djoker in not than 4 sets. anybody who has seen and knows and understands tennis and has observed a prime federer with unbiased eyes gets to know that nobody in this federer era can come back against prime fed from 2 sets down and beat him! and in fact everybody acknowledges that federer’s level has dropped enough for him to not be able to surpass these younger guys, fed as lost speed, reflexes, timing, sting in shots, and concentration! but as fed’s so great a player, that’s why he’s stil so competitive! dude, let djoker get to 30 years first and then we’ll see how he plays, then only we can compare!

and speaking of the courts aididng federer more, i gotta tell you that every great player now, retired tennis player and many experts(eve djoker himself) tends to agree that the slow courts help him and not federer! federer is the ultra-aggressive tennis player! if only the courts were as fast as they’re in older days, federer’s natural aggressivenes would have paid him much higher dividends than the likes o nadal/djoker! we need to go no father than cincy/WTF to see how ineffective becomes the games of guys like nadal and djoker when the court’s bounce is less and speed is reasonable(needn’t be even fast!), the kind of shellacking that fed has given to djoker and nadal makes everybody feel that much surer that actually the slower pace and higher bounce are playing right into the strengths of nadal/djoker and they’re making the max out of it! not a theory, but truth!

and not for nothing the great layers say that fderer at his best is still better than all the guys that he played in his career! that’s enough comoliment for him!

and jane:

actually, you’re not only fair, but also intelligent! and can’t agree any more than when you say thst every era has its strengths and weaknesses! and i wished other fans could leave it at that and not call federer’s era weaker and stuff for me or anybody else being forced to go on the defensive against such snide remarks claiming as if fed was the only one who benefitted from playing in the so-called weak era of his, whereas the fact is far from it!

and for you, courbon and other fair nole fans I gotta say. I really don’t have to waste so much energy explaining which era is what if people didn’t utter that fed played in weaker era! in fact, take just one federer away, and roddick, hewitt and safin would have been so much more successful that it would not be a joke if you consider it seriously! And baggy, philipoussis were also denied slams by federer, you can see it for yourself!
a dn btw, is there any point in saying this or that is a strong era or weak era, so long as your guy’s clearing the slams? I think not! but some djoker fans seem to think otherwise!

they’ve to call federer’s era weak to feel better, not me! it would be another thing if i was the guilty one and had started my conversation demeaning djoker’s competition and/or glorifying fed to unacceptable proportions! but i get no joy on doing so, frankly speaking! i didn’t start the offensive, others did! so you’ve to doubt them and not me!
anyway, you’re graceful as always and i also try to be as fair as is humanely possible for me!

finally for you jane:

i won’t nor ever have denigrated anybody so long as others haven’t demeaned my guy or his peers liek safin/hewitt/nalby/roddick! And all that matters is you win or not, one can objectively speaking only attach maximum importance to how much slams a guy won, everything else issecondary! you won’t hear me saying that djoker won three/four slams this year(assuming he does it) coz he played against weaker competetion, that’s not my style ot nature! but don’t be surprisd if some djoekr fans get too ecstasic over it and start talking how much better djoekr’s than fed and how much more credit he need to given for winning his slasm in this supposedly stronest era! if they thrust upon us the ignominy if dismissing fed’s competetioj, what else can we fed fans do except defending???

in fact one would think that others would sympathise with fed fans as they’re obviously surviving on scrapes now with nadal and djoker taking the real share for two years in a row, but no, some people have to knock fed and his competition to feel better! in that case, no option left except attack, attack and attack more, to defend yourself!

Ajet Says:

in the previous post, it should be read as ”and not for nothing the great players say that federer at his best is still better than all the guys that he played in his career! that’s enough compliment for him!”

Ajet Says:

hmm, actually this has to be considered the strongest era in michael’s logic as federer is now called olderer and mocked at while the bull has become bulldozed!

and to be frank, it’s no way denigrating to djoker to say that nadal’s better than him on grass/clay(i’ve already conceded that djoker’s better on all types of HCs than nadal)! nor is it called ”demeaning” to say the obvious which is that the level of a peak federer is definitely better than the level of a peak djoker(on grass, on hard or on clay)! djoker is closest to fed only in HCs, and that’s about it! if truth hurts you, so be it! it can’t change!

Ajet Says:

“hey you need ivanisevic ancic bluelagoonovic boygeorgevic austin powerovich in order to consider it a strong era”…

michael is a fantastic spinner, lol ;)

and speaking of golden era:

there was the era when laver, rosewall and other legends;
there was the era of borg, connors, mcenroe, vilas etc etc where unconutable legends played;
then came the era of lendl, edberg, becker & co., not an ordniary era by miles;
then came the era of pete, agassi, guga, rafter, and that 4 times slam winner etc etc american guy whose name i can’t recollect;
then came the era of 2000s having fed, nadal, active agasssi, hewitt, safin, roddick etc!

so tel me, were other eras of merely clay/wood, and only djokovic era(that started post-2010) of gold???

i simply think not, despite what others may tend to believe!

Ajet Says:

not to mention that in no era the players of a relatively former era didn’t suddenly vanish!

mat4 Says:


25 words max, please.

I managed to read three lines, but I got really tired just looking at the length of your post.

mat4 Says:

So, who’s the goat? who’s the sheep? We already know Dolgopolov is the dog, and there have been rumours Rafa is the bull.

serbian hammer Says:

Ajet you call 4 set victory,one of the toughest matches in Federer’s carier a demolition of Djokovic.It was an epic match between two great players,not a demolition.Djokovic vs Federer in Abu Dhabi exibition tournament would be demolition,or Federer vs Nadal wtf 2011,not French open.Yes its true that Federer and Djokovic always play hard fought matches,but so are Djokovic and Nadal.Name me one match in the last two years that was easy for Djokovic against Nadal,but he always show his will and defience and find a way to win.Its the same when all top players meet in a slam,its always difficult.Federer would have beaten Djokovic in 4 sets on us open,but if you watched the match you could see he had no chance afther the end of the second until fifth set.He lost 3rd and 4th 6:3 6:2,and he should have won in 4 sets?’nobody in this federer era can come back against prime fed from 2 sets down and beat him’,remember Nalbandian in 2005,Tennis Masters Cup,does it ring a bell?Federer then should be ‘prime’ enough for you.Again,does it realy matter what people like you are saying,if you want to beleve that ‘prime’Fed is unbeatable you can,i personaly beleve that Federer is better player now then he was before even if he’s 30 years old,i think that many Fed fans would agree on this,he himself said that.And im not just saying to justify Djokovic dominance,but because its my opinion.And yes you have to be chicken shit not to see that.Times are changing,Djokovic made adjustments,became better player,beleved more that he can win,and finaly he did.Federer is still a force to be recon with and im glad for him,but as long as Djokovic winning slams i wont mind about his h2h against Fed,he has plenty of time to turn it around,its just 5:4 at slams,and 14:10 in other matchups,reachable,very reachable.

skeezerweezer Says:


that be Fed. ;)

mat4 Says:

Hi, Skeezer.

I was ill of the goat logorhea on the other thread.

Since it is not interesting anymore (there are too many domestic animals around) I proposed to argue about the GOATEST now.

Ben Pronin Says:

Why would Nalbandian rip Safin to shreds?

Federer lucky? Perhaps. But here’s the thing, we can spend years discussing what if this guy wasn’t a head case and what if that guy had more focus and so on. But the reality is they were injury prone, they were head cases, they didn’t put in their best effort all the time. Federer did. That’s why he is where he is. Nadal, too. And now Djokovic, who a few years ago it was rumored that he simply didn’t work that hard compared to the other top players. That clearly isn’t the case anymore.

I’m not sure why Moya is getting so much credit. He was a good player, nothing great though. A better clay court player than Federer? He’s not even close to Federer’s league.

Just because Kuerten beat Federer at RG once doesn’t mean he’s forever better than him. Take away Nadal and Federer is currently the greatest clay court player of all time with, what, 6 French Open titles? He reached 5 straight finals there, a record not even Borg or Nadal can claim. The fact that all the surfaces are similar has almost nothing to do with clay, the one surface that has been pretty much unchanged. It’s the hard and grass courts that have been slowed down.

When Federer was dominating, people yelled weak era. Now Djokovic is dominating and we’re hearing the same thing. The fact of the matter is tennis is getting deeper and deeper each year. I watched Robbie Ginepri beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first round of the US Open 6 or 7 years ago. GGL legitimately had no idea how to play tennis, it was embarrassing. And just a few weeks ago he upset Murray. Is it because he’s from Federer’s generation? No, it’s because everyone is getting better.

One thing, though. I agree that Federer is a better player from a pure tennis standpoint, but his mental lapses are far worse than they ever were in his peak years. I think Connors said it sometime last year that with all the experience you acquire as a top player, it’s almost a double edged sword in your later years due to the fact that you know how quickly it can all slip away. A 25 year old Federer has no idea he can blow 2 match points after being up 2 sets to love in a grand slam semi. A 30 year old Federer knows all too well that’s it’s possible.

mat4 Says:


I could just add a few points to your argumentation.

I have been watching tennis for years, with a lapse of a few years only, but IMHO I’ve never seen three champions like the top three we have now.

What make them special? A few points:

1) a complete, well rounded game, from the baseline to the net and from the backhand to the FH dropshot;

2) a will to dominate, that is exceptional in all three, and that makes them

3) improve every year, and evolve with the new technology, the changes of balls, surfaces, and a renewed opposition;

4) their incredible strength, speed and elasticity,

5) the results they have achieved, not only in slams, but in MS too, and the level of domination over the rest of the field, which is unprecedented.

Ben Pronin Says:

Can anyone dispute that Federer is a great fast court player? Can anyone dispute his results on clay?

Was Miami always a slow surface or was this a recent change? Because the fact of the matter is that Federer was the last player to win back-to-back titles there until Djokovic.

The thing is, we can blame the technology and the surface and all that, but I honestly blame Federer. He’s the first player who set out to dominate every single tournament and every single surface with such tremendous success. I really don’t think Nadal would have a title outside of clay if not for Federer. And Djokovic, who has a natural all court game, could easily just stick to hard courts and be wary of clay and especially grass. Instead, he beats Nadal in back-to-back finals on clay. Reaches multiple semis at RG, and even wins Wimbledon with 2 previous grass court finals. Even Murray, who hasn’t had the same kind of success, still trains extremely hard to improve on clay, where he’s not as comfortable. A guy like Soderling reached back-to-back RG finals, knocking out the 2 best clay court players of this generation in the process. Del Potro is another guy who’s slowly improving on all surfaces, having his best ever run at Wimbledon last year.

Tennis is at it’s highest level right now. That’s why it’s so damn hard to compare eras. Compare Djokovic’s forehand now to Agassi’s forehand 10 years ago. No knock on Agassi, but the angles that can be generated now were unheard of as recent as 2002.

Ajet Says:

”And yes you have to be chicken shit not to see that.”

too much of thinking of chicken sh#t makes you dumb, i can see that! how else to explain otherwise, your favourite chicken sh#t opinion that this fed is better than fed of 2004-07!!!

”as long as Djokovic winning slams i wont mind about his h2h against Fed,he has plenty of time to turn it around,its just 5:4 at slams,and 14:10 in other matchups,reachable,very reachable”

in fact i also don’t mind djoker winning slams till he stops nadal! and of course, it’s very reachable for a 6 years younger djoker to reach the aim of betterin his h2h against fed, now that fed’s no more what he was, though when he’s on, he still can wipe the floor with anybody! everybody knows it! but only bad thing is fed is much more inconsistent than he was when young, much-more error prone, his shots are much less piercing, his coverage is much reduced, speed and reflex compromised than they were at his prime!

but again, it’s understandable! history shows that a younger player will ultimately gain advantage over the half-generation older guy in tennis! nothing new in it!

and some djoker fans are doing the same mistake as some nadal fans/fed fans(particularly the hammering ones!) did at a point of time; nadal fans in the sense that they just seeing a few results started declaring nadal as an equal of fed and started dreamming that nadal would just run away with the greaterness tag in little time from fed, and fed fans too thought looking at a few results of fed superficially that he’s that much better than sampras and stuff and therefore surpassing pete they started imagining would just be a cakewalk for fed! but boy, were they wrong, both the fed as well as rafa fans!!

so let’s look at things in perspective and not get blown away in the direction of the wind! you know, I’ve already included novak djokovic in my top-20 all time tennis player list, and he’s on his way to better his position!

nobody’s saying djoker is ordinary, no, IMHO he’s a great player, but when comparing to fed, he’s still that much far behind, to be honest! Even nadal looks ordinary in comparison to fed, what to speak of djoker! And part of the reason fed was able to dominate so completely wasbecause federer has the most complete game. Nobody is so good in so many things, federer’s speciality is he’s either standard or sublime in almost each and every aspect of the game. That’s why it took the world 4 years to come even come close to federer. And fed dominated season from start to end, not fizzling out after winning just the slam-stretch, but slams, beginning of the year tournaments, as well as the year end tournament!it’s and it was possible for fed to do this coz he’s a complete player, whose playing style is closest to ideal; his playing style is not only far superior , but also far more efficient and far more capable of weathering through the wear and tear of the season! So no question of my mentioning djoker in the same breadth as fed! There’s a reason why he’s federer! Djoker has to continue his dominance of the tour for some years, and that too from AO upto YEC! Fed dominated absolutely from 2004-07,and relatively thereafter until 2010 beginning! And nadal too has kept winning slams for now 7 years in a row and dominated completely the slams in 2010 and 2008! Game level apart(fed’s being superior to djoker on every surface and nadal’s bein superior to djoker’s on clay and even grass), that’s the kind of consistency djoker needs to show for making me believe that, yes, this guy’s in the same league as fedal! But until that,I’m not agreeing!

Daniel Says:

The thing with this 30 years old Fed, is the forehand. WHen he was younger and in his prime, if the ball landed in his forehand, you could see that the point will be over in the next four strokes, for him. He just wen for every shot on that wing. It’s like him getting older and having some defeats along the way, cost him some boldness. Nothing surpass the confidence of youth, not even experience. That’s my take.

may be courts slowness have major impact, because the only time you really see him playing like his 2004-07 years is in WTF where the point ends after the ball land in his forehand, no wonder he won last 2 and with some excelent wins over Nadal.
He is playing

Daniel Says:


Your last paragraph on your 12:25 pm post sums it all to me, exactly how I feel. The baggage you get during the years, can come back to hunt you.

Imagine the next Nadal x Djoko match, if suddenly Nadal is winning and he hit a mis shot like that backhand passing when 30-15 4-2 in AO 2011?! Even he, with his sublime mental state will crumble.

You learn nothing from losing, only how to lose more and new ways!:)

mat4 Says:


There is really no need to offend Ajet. Then, try to sort out your thoughts a bit.

What is a serbian hammer, btw? Like romanian cars, german humour, russian roads?

Skeezerweezer Says:

Yeah great stuff @12:25

Ajet Says:

”I really don’t think Nadal would have a title outside of clay if not for Federer.”

can you please elaborate Ben how’s it? i mean if fed wasn’t there, you think nadal won’t be able to beat the remaining guys anywhere outside clay? not even in wimbledon? not in aussie? listen, you’re taking something at least away from nadal, if not all! nadal was born to play tennis, he would do it irrespective of whether fed was there or not! nadal was great, people doubted it, nadal dispelled that doubt, that’s all! that’s not to say that tennis without fed would be anywhere nearly as exciting as it is, but in fact, in the absence of fed, nadal would have won even more wimbies and WTFs and stuff! and nadal is more than capable of dealing with guys like safin, hewitt, roddick, form time to time at least, if not always! I don’t see how a player with nadal’s talent could have been stopped from not wining more titles if fed wasn’t there! and btw, nobody can make you great, greatness is innate! nadal is born great, and he would have been even more successful in federer’s absence!



another point is guga is better than federer on clay, and imo he’d indeed beat much more times on clay and especially at RG than the other way round! and well, in nadal’s absence, it would have become only obvious that federer didn’t have a genuine challenger on clay!

fed in fact had to deal with only nadal for most part and didn’t have to face even djoker, that shows how lucky fed’s to reach so many RGs in a row! players like guga imp are simply better claycourters than federer, that’s about it! the level of guga’s game on RG during his heydays makes me believe it for sure, when i compare it to the way fed performed on clay over the years! even jim courier could pose many problems to fed! fed, after all is said and done, imo is a predominantly agressive player, and his game doesn’t come as naturally on clay as it comes on the rest of the surfaces. guga is a natural clay master, that’s why i’m sure guga would beat fed on RG much more often than fed could beat guga! on clay fed woulda won a few matches vs guga, but guga woulda won lot more!

fed imo is indeed lucky not to have faced any decent clay courter capable of beating him at RG except nadal fro so many years. but now that djoker’s improved, he may expose fed’s weakness on clay, if everything goes right! and djoker’s game is not in guga’s level either, on clay!

Ajet Says:


Apart from the two points of difference as stated in my above post, i gotta say your last two posts are really good and make a lot of sense!
i liked them, especially your 12.25 post was just briliant stuff!

Ajet Says:

the 1.10 pm post of mat4 about the speciality of fed, rafa and djoko is also quite good; it has put things in a much correct perspective!

serbian hammer Says:

‘in fact i also don’t mind djoker winning slams till he stops Nadal’,why do you want Nadal to be stoped?Because he can get to 16 slams and finaly become more successful player in best of 3 than Fed.That is what i am talking about,’chicken shit’wasnt ment just for you,but for all the others who think that way,or should i be more polite and call you a coward.You see,when you support a player you dont wish other player to fail,you should wish your player to succeed.Federer should find solution for Nadal,no one else should win for him,and for the first time in a long time i started to see some improvement with Federer game when he is playing Nadal in Indian Wells.He moved much better,although it was close to swing in Nadal’s favor,Fed hang in there,used his bachand more and won.He finaly showed some fight when playing Nadal.That was one of the reasons why i said that he is playing great tennis,and is maybe even better than before,he was exceptional these couple of months.But lets back to the point,when Djokovic lose to a certain player,only thing that i want to see is him play that player again and beat him.Make his revenge.I dont want other players to stop that player to reach Djokovic,i just want to see Djokovic battle him with all he got.Win or lose,fighting with all you got is what matters.Something that Federer didnt have before,when he faced Nadal.Its not about matchup that bothers Federer when he face Nadal or Djokovic,its lack of fight.He play that kind of tennis,easygoing,its great but wont work against sheer ferocity.Brain,body and intensity is one of the things that make Djokovic and Nadal champions.Federer got every shot,but he never had that defiance,at least until recently.I just hope its not to late for him to learn it.Everyone should fight their own battle,face their fears.Djokovic was in the same position before,but he overcome them both.Nadal matured mentaly sooner than Djokovic,that is one of the reasons for his success,but now he is bothered with Djokovic game the same way Federer is bothered with his game,and still he choose not to change anything.Will Djokovic ever be successful as those two i dont know,but i know one thing he overcome adversity better than they ever did.

mat4 Says:

Ben’s posts do always make sense.

Mine don’t.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Aww mat4 don’t say that. You got good stuff now and then ;)
Blog on.

Ajet Says:


i don’t want nadal to cross fed’s tally, that’s all that’s to it! and why should I? everything is fair in love and war! fed shold remian at the top, nomatter how! and take your hammer and keep slamming your own balls to strengthen them bravetard! bye bye! and yeah, stop thinking and messing up yourself with chicken sh#t all day long! you already stink, yuck!

Ajet Says:

”Federer got every shot,but he never had that defiance,at least until recently.”

Eating too much of chicken sh#t has messed up your brain and now you’re coming with comments dissing federer’s defiance! this shows why people should neither eat nor think chicken sh#t like you do all day long!

mat4 Says:


I got it right once, last year. When I wrote that there was no way Federer could beat Djoko in the semi of the French.

Then, I wrote on a French site that Rafa could beat Fed in Wimby just in dreams.

One of my masterpieces was: “Gulbis. Remember this name.”

Another one: “Rafa can’t beat Nole in the USO final (it was in 2010).”

And yet another: “Del Potro? You must be kidding me!” back in 2009.

I was adamant that Safin would be the player of this decade, back in 2002.

serbian hammer Says:

Ajet,it that all you got to say,it wont change the fact that you are,you know,CS.And at least i have balls,doubt hammer would work on yours, you probably couldn’t find them.

Steve 27 Says:

He reached 5 straight finals there, a record not even Borg or Nadal can claim.
You mean 5 straight semifinals in FO

skeezerweezer Says:

^ 6 appearances in the FO semi’s or better ( to finals ), 4 straight finals or better( 1 title ). Actually he did make it to 5 finals, just not straight. Not bad for not his favorite surface…….

@mat4 lol….those were some awesome quotes by you…I probably have worse ……I though Rafa with his game would never win Wimby,….ever! Had nothing to do with beating Fed or not, just he did not have the technical skills to play on the Grass imho. Well, the surface has changed, but still, was I wrong???…eeerrrr…he’s done it TWICE!

Ajet Says:

hammer aka CS:

those who’ve balls never hammer them, that’s why i told you to do: you’ve no balls, so no harm if you hammer, lol! too bad your CS brain doesn’t get it! and btw stop eating CS, will ya!

Ben Pronin Says:

Ajet, I’m so confused. So Federer had no real competition on clay besides Nadal? But didn’t Federer beat Moya at RG at least once, quite handily, too? He didn’t have Djokovic in his prime… yet he took out Djokovic last year in one of the best matches maybe ever.

Kuerten, I don’t know. I haven’t seen enough of his matches to make a clear-cut statement and I don’t want to undermine him, but how can you discredit Federer like that? I agree, he’s a naturally aggressive player, a naturally aggressive player who’s won the French Open and made the final 4 other times only losing to the greatest clay court player of all time. And if not for last year’s choke job, he may have 2 French Open titles right now. Jim Courier beating Federer at the French (or anywhere, for that matter)? Be reasonable, please.

About Nadal not winning outside of clay. Again, I’m not trying to undermine him, I’m just saying that Federer inspired/forced Nadal to expand his game and become an all court player. If Nadal wins 2/3 clay Masters and the French, he’s probably going to be number 1 in any previous era. What did that get him during the Federer era? About a 4000 point deficit to the number 1 player.

I remember back in 06 or 07 reading a quote from Nadal when he was talking to his agent. He said that he was number 1 in the world. His agent asked him “what about Federer?” Nadal replied: Federer is from another world.

It’s a simple case of rivals making each other better. Federer added shots to his arsenal because of Nadal, and now because of Djokovic. Nadal has never stopped experimenting with his game. And it’s evident that Djokovic has added several shots to his game that has helped him ascend to the top of the sport. And now Murray added Lendl to his team to help him improve his forehand and second serve. Would he have needed to do this against Hewitt? Probably not.

Wog boy Says:


“It’s a simple case of rivals making each other better.”

That is exactly right. Novak said last year that he has to thanks Federer and Nadal for beeing the player he is. He had to keep imroving his game amd still has. They made him better player. Ofcourse, one has to have certain qualities to be able to do that, not everyone can.

Danica Says:

Exactly Wog boy, I was just about to say same thing. These rivalries are exceptional for tennis literally forcing players to work more and experiment more.

your quotes all had validity. But, that’s the beaty of the sport – it’s so unpredictable :)). I was also rooting for Gulbis to make a name for himself. Unfortunately, he seems not to be motivated enough (kinda reminds me of Safin, another wasted talent).

Ben Pronin Says:

Safin won 2 slams and reached number 1. Gulbis is barely above the 500 mark for career matches. You cannot reasonably compare the two with regards to motivation.

jane Says:

Muzza’s also aiming for number 1: “‘At the start of last week everyone was asking me if Roger is about to go back to world No 1, and if he was in his best ever form, yet I am possibly only one good tournament away from overtaking him,, said Murray. ‘My goal this year is still to be world No 1, and to do that you’ve got to win Slams, so the two of them go together. The aim now is to peak for the French Open. A few years ago when I reached the quarters there I felt that was a good result but now I am more confident.”

It will be interesting to see how Andy does n clay; he has done well at Monte Carlo before, reaching the semis in 2009 and again last year, where he took a set off Rafa 6-2. He’s been consistent at Madrid too, reaching the QFs usually, whereas Rome was his weakest event until last year. He also improved at the FO going from QFs in 2009 to SFs last year. Personally I still feel his best surfaces are grass and hard court, and the results seem to reflect that, but he can do well on clay too. He could pass Fed; it’s not impossible. There is less than a 1000 points between them.

mat4, I watched that set – I thought Nole’s first couple service games, but especially his last one, wherein he won three points at net and one with an ace, were the best. The middle of the set was good but not quite as exciting. Very clean set of tennis though, great serving, not much energy expended, which against Ferrer is a good thing.

King Federer Says:

Here is a good way to look at players from different eras.

Say X and Y play 10 matches against each other @ their hypothetical peak [2004-07 fed, 08-11 rafa, 11-12 nole, 94-97 sampras and so on] each of the slams and another 10 matches on indoor hard court (Year enders). which player would win how many.

With X and Y as fed and rafa – i will say 5-5 @ melbourne, 1-9 @ french, 7-3 @ wimbledon, 7-3 @ USO and 9-1 @ YEC – 29-21 to the fed.

with X and Y as fed and nole, 4-6 @ ozzie, 6-4 @ french, 7-3 @ grass, 6-4 @USO and 8-2 @ indoor hard. = 31-19 to fed.

fed and sampras – 8-2 @ oz, 10-0 @ french, 5-5 @ wimbledon, 6-4 @ uso and 6-4 @ indoor hard = 35-15 fed.

now do it for your champs, if you are intrested.

stu Says:

And of course there’s no way personal bias could affect the analysis above.

King Federer Says:

stuPID :

every comment every one makes has personal bias. there are NO saints in this world.

i guess papa and mama thought you were too “special” and forgot to tell you that there is no santa either.

mat4 Says:


You are quite right about that first set. Nole still hesitate to follow good shots to the net, and he obviously has a lot of work to do there. But he see the best sequences of this first set against Ferrer as something Nole has to aim for.

BTW, I have a very interesting exchange of viewpoints about the evolution of the game with TF76 on the other thread, and I’d like to you to write your take. Especially since Skeezer is on his side, and I need an ally.

Grendel didn’t post a long time already. Do you know why? Has he left this blog?

@King Federer:

Some time ago I wrote about chess ratings applied on tennis. Just perform a search, and you will find here ratings for last year, and a link for ratings since the beginning of the open era. You will find them interesting.

jane Says:

mat4, I’ll have a look at the other thread, but I don’t know as much as you guys about technical aspects. Still, I will see if I can come up with two cents worth.

Not sure where grendel’s been but he does take a hiatus from time to time and then he pops back up. Maybe he’ll do that again during the clay season or something.

skeezerweezer Says:


Yes you are right I side TF76 on the topic we are talking about. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect yours. In the end if we have an open mind we both may learn something form each other. As an example, none of us has mentioned the evolvement of grips, and why did the Continental grip go away? Speed and Bounce.
( as an example, if the current playing surfaces were made in such a way that the ball never bounced above your knee, you would see a resurgence of the grip, no doubt. Oh and hey, they can be made to ABSORB the bounce, like the old Wimby grass did.

I have discussed the ” Courts’ all the same ” at length before and the reasons why. I do not have the energy at the moment to go all over it again. One thing for sure, Wimbledon playing conditions HAVE changed since 2001, and more significantly the bounce, and if you care to do some hard research you will find this is true. Old grass “ABSORBED”( mentioned before ) the bounce and the ball never went above the players knees. (Give me a Clay Courter who uses the full western grip EVER winning WImby prior to 2001 in the open era?)

Sure the equipment technologies and the players nowadays are physically stronger no doubt. But my opinion still stands on the major contributor is the speed and bounce of the current tour to be more the same and not more not.

El Mago Says:

King Federer :

That’s an interesting way to look at different eras. Needless to say, I like your list.

Federer’s body of work will take some effort to beat. His resume is not just about winning, but winning so with a game that is the stuff of genius. The word GENIUS rests more comfortably on Federer than any other player in tennis history.

El Mago Says:

King Federer :

That’s an interesting way to look at different eras. Needless to say, I like your list.

Federer’s body of work will take some effort to beat. His resume is not just about winning, but winning so with a game that is the stuff of genius. The word GENIUS rests more comfortably on Federer than any other player in tennis history.

mat4 Says:


In my experience, when intelligent people argue about something else than politics, they usually all have a point and detain a part of the truth.

In the course of the arguing, I agreed that slowing the surfaces was a factor, and TF76 that it wasn’t the only element. But we continued for the pleasure to recall some old memories, to write about some greats of the past that we admired. It is an occasion to learn, too. In the seventies and eighties there was much less tennis on TV. I watched mainly RG, Wimbledon, Rome, MC. TF76 watched more tennis in the States. It was a completely different culture.

And, for me, it is an occasion to learn about some technical aspects, facets I am not familiar with. Last time I played was… 25 years ago. My son plays tennis now, and I learn watching him work with his coach, but TF76’s, or yours, input are valuable. It broadens my knowledge.

Finally, after some years on this blog, I do know that our chats, whatever the topic, will remain friendly.

mat4 Says:

BTW, yesterday my son won a five setter against the practice wall, pulling off a great comeback in the fifth from 5-1. Don’t need to mention that I was delighted.

Ajet Says:

”mat4 Says:
BTW, yesterday my son won a five setter against the practice wall, pulling off a great comeback in the fifth from 5-1. Don’t need to mention that I was delighted.”

WOW, CONGRATS mat4!!! Wish I’ve also a tennis-playing son like that in the coming time! But to be honest, does your son play really well?? Do you see him becoming a national/international level professional?? Interesting! I love tennis!

skeezerweezer Says:


You know that belongs in Ripleys Believe it or Not!,
As no one has ever beaten the practice wall ;)

mat4 Says:


He said that at the beginning of the fifth, he was very tired but at 5-1 he suddenly felt much fresher and pull out the upset. I’ve got to add, though, that he played by the Caracas rules.

skeezerweezer Says:


Top story: Berrettini Survives 5-Set Battle With Alcaraz, Nadal Advances At Australian Open; Medvedev Tonight