Roger Federer

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by '78, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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  2. Gatorraid81

    Gatorraid81 Well-Known Member
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    Tennis talk, definitely not football season. Lol
    Your right, he's probably thought of as the best though.
     
  3. Gator98MD

    Gator98MD Senior Member

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    Probably? The dude has 19 majors, it isn't even close
     
  4. maheo30

    maheo30 Theonomist Gator
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    He is the best of his era. To say he is the best ever is moronic as the equipment has changed too dramatically over the years to compare him to Conner or Mac. Also, he isn't even top 5 clay courters all time. Tennis is a unique game. There isn't a single best ever.
     
  5. Alumni Guy

    Alumni Guy Newbie

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    He's also a classy guy. No one ever speaks poorly of him.
     
  6. Captain Sasquatch

    Captain Sasquatch Mr. SQ, the Sashole

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    Didn't lose a set the whole tournament. Incredible.
     
  7. NVGator

    NVGator Member
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    Wouldn't this apply to every sport ever played? Therefore, you'd conclude that there isn't a GOAT in any sport?
     
  8. GatorJ

    GatorJ Hopeful
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    Yep. He's the GOAT.
     
  9. gator1946

    gator1946 Senior Member
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    I just heard a bunch of former greats, more than a few who never played anything but a wood racquet, declaring him the hands down GOAT.
     
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  10. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    PEDs, the sport is overrun with the stuff.
     
  11. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    You've painted yourself in a corner with that argument.

    1) Federer's 19 Grand Slam titles didn't come against guys using wood racquets. They came against the best equipped of the modern era.
    2) Connors or McEnroe? You'll find no bigger fan of either, but they're in the next tier.
    3) Not the best clay courter? True, the best on clay is Nadal and yet his 15 Grand Slams, 10 of which came at Roland Garros, can't carry the argument far enough. Great player? Undoubtedly. GOAT? No, I'd almost put Borg, with six French and five Wimbledons when he walked away from the game at age 26, in front of him.

    The five men who've won a career Grand Slam.

    1) Federer
    2) Nadal
    3) Laver
    4) Djokovic
    5) Agassi

    Laver, as great as we was for his era, would be no match Federer's power, quickness ability to move the opponent laterally or (esp) his deft play at the net. Djokovic? Forget it.

    Nadal, who owns the head to head with Federer, is the only one from that group who you can make a legitimate argument for, and he's not quite there.
     
  12. FireFoley

    FireFoley Senior Member

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    It is really impossible to compare eras in tennis b/c of all the changes, be it equipment, physical training etc., but we can all agree that Fed is one of if not the best of all time. But for my money I am going to slightly disagree with you about Laver. To me, the Rocket would more than hold his own against Federer or any other player when put on a level comparison surface. He won the real Grand Slam twice and no one has done it since. He has the best hands and feel that I have ever seen followed very closely by Johnny Mac. the problem with today's game is that it is 99.9% power even with a guy like Fed. But within today's game, Fed does have by far the greatest variety and best hands out there. But in the end, I still have to give the nod to the Rocket!
     
  13. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    Advantage, Mr. Federer!

     
  14. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    If you want to have a discussion about the GOAT, you need a fundamental understanding of tennis in general and the history. Yes racquets changed, but strings had a bigger effect. The most important changes came in way of balls and courts. Tennis used to be a very dynamic game in terms of surfaces. Grass was very fast, and clay was very slow. Wimbledon changed grass types in 2002. About the same time, the French stopped watering the courts as much. Balls at Wimbledon were made to play slower and balls at the French were made to play faster. Grit was added to the US and Australian Open to play a little slower.

    So what happened? Tennis evolved. Graphite racquets and natural gut strings paved the way to more power potential. With it came bigger stronger athletes. The Sampras's, Becker's, and Ivanisevic's of the world started dropping bombs. The tennis world made changes because well, tennis was getting boring. Each era had some catalyst of change. Amateurism yielding to the pros, wood to graphite, ball and court changes, and of course poly strings.

    So who is the Goat? Well no one really, because in tennis there are too many definitions.

    I've heard some argue for John McEnroe. He was afterall ranked #1 in singles and doubles for a number of weeks in the early 80's. How many times has Federer or any other current playing even bothered to play both? Why is this such a good argument? Singles and doubles are vastly different games. Could current players be successful at doubles? Absolutely, but could they keep up their physical performance at a high level in both? Probably not.

    The case for Laver. He missed 6 years of grand slam events because he was a professional. He won 11 Grand Slam singles titles, 6 GS doubles titles, and 3 GS mixed doubles titles. He turned pro at 24 y/o giving up his prime athletic ability in trying to win GS's. He likely would've won 2 or more a year. He was that good. Oh, and he won 8 Pro GS events.

    The case for Sampras. He was by far the best player in arguably the best era of men's tennis. He never won the French, but possible could have given the changes in balls and court surfaces in recent years.

    The case for Borg has already been made. Great player.

    The case for Federer has been made. The case against Federer is that he earned the bulk of his GS's in one of the weakest eras of men's Tennis. 13. Had he played his prime years in the Sampras era he would have had trouble winning the serving exhibitions on grass and hard courts, and never would have won on the slower more demanding clay. He's a great player no doubt, but you can't just call him the Goat because he beat up on the likes of Roddick and worse.

    Sampras was my favorite, but if I had to pick a GOAT I'd have to say Laver and possibly McEnroe (who I can't stand) as a 2nd. There is just something about being able to be the best at both singles and doubles. McEnroe's GS titles 7 singles, 9 doubles and a mixed title. And winning at mixed is important, because even though it is doubles, it's a completely different game.

    I get all the love for Fed. You are watching gracious competitors paying respects, but at the end of the day it's just talk.

    I talked about the events that caused the changing of eras. Well there is a PED problem in tennis. It doesn't take a genius to figure out. Look at how Nadal is breaking down, but others who are older are thriving past 30. Do I think Federer dopes? Yes, but I think most top players do. If I had to guess it started after cycling started it. If you've steadily watched the sport since the 80's, you can see it. I don't think Sampras doped, but I'd bet that Agassi did. The problem is that in Tennis, no one really wants to know.

    The woman's game is another conversation.
     
  15. Since65

    Since65 Senior Member

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    Given your eloquent summary of the men's game I would be interested in your thoughts on the women's game and Serena's place in history. Clearly there are many who have anointed her the GOAT but without considering many of the details and nuance that you just applied to the discussion of Federer. Feel free to weigh in on that subject if you have the time sometime!
     
  16. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    I'll give a quick and dirty for you. I think you have a very small pool of players: Serena, Graf, and Seles. Court got slaughtered by an aging Riggs, which shows the weakness of her era. Althea Gibson is interesting, but her advantage was her physical prowess in a weak era, not sure her skill would be up to par. Billy Jean was good, but more of an icon than a competitor for the title of Goat. Navratilova and Evert deserve a mention as well.

    I'll eliminate Evert. She had a lot of success and was one of the best clay court players, but I don't think she could adapt to the physical rigors of the game.

    Navratilova is probably the GOAT from a McEnroe perspective: 18 singles, 31 doubles, 10 mixed. Having achieved the #1 ranking in both. She was athletic enough to hang in today's game and could handle power.

    Steffi Graf is as good of an athlete as you can find in the women's game. I've heard stories that she could have made the Olympics for Germany as a sprinter. 23 GS singles titles and one doubles GS title. 1988 was one of the best years in the history of the game. She won all 4 GS's and a gold medal. Also the year of her sole doubles GS title.

    Seles was a ridiculous talent who amassed 8 GS titles before her stabbing. She only won one more. She may have been a no brainer if she had never been stabbed, but we'll never know.

    Serena's exploits are well known. Just a ridiculous player. 23 GS singles titles, 14 GS doubles titles, and 2 mixed GS titles. Her game is predicated by overpowering her opponents. Mansized serve.

    If you go by the best all around player, I'd say Navratilova. Serena's double game is just power. Navratilova has all the shots and tactics, and she could handle the pace.

    Best singles player it's just another argument. Graf is the best athlete and had a BH slice that would neutralize Serena's groundstrokes. I think in their prime's Graf beats Serena and Seles beats them both. You can't tell if Seles would of had the staying power or Graf or Serena, but she did burn bright before the stabbing. Another difference between Seles and Serena is the type of power they have. Serena hits more topspin than Seles did. Seles was killer off both sides and those flat shots ripped through the court. Seles was also more consistent than Serena. Graf on the other hand was the most consistent. So if I had to rank in their prime, I'd say Seles, Graf, Serena. If you account for longevity: I'd say Graf 1a Serena 1b, Seles.

    I'd give the nod to Navratilova, because I value doubles in the grand scheme of things. It's all very tight though.

    I will say this as well. PEDs are not exclusive to the men's game, which is a reason I don't like the Serena GOAT argument as much.
     
  17. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    Mac had notoriously soft hands at the net and the closed-stance serve from the left side would kick wide to the returner's backhand side, making it esp difficult to get anything on the ball from the ad court. That made him an effective doubles player as well as singles player. However, Mac's groundstrokes, esp the forehand, lacked the power or depth of Federer (or Agassi for that matter), which is why he faded as the new generation of hard-hitting players hit the tour in the mid- to late '80s. A tremendously versatile player? Yes. The best? No.

    As far as Sampras versus Federer, I give that edge to Federer. Sampras, benefiting in part from the faster hard-court surface of the '90s, had the bigger serve and forehand. Federer was a bit quicker and played the angles better. He was also a more fit player. Sampras tended to wilt in the heat.

    I think as you look back the 1989-1995 and 2003-2007 periods were possibly the best for men's tennis. The earlier period saw Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang coming out of the USTA ranks, pitted against Becker, Edberg, Lendl and Wilander overseas. As those players aged and young players like Federer, Nadal, Roddick and Djokovic entered in the early 2000s, the depth of the men's game grew. It's not the same now, which is how Federer at nearly 36 was able to dominate Wimbledon the way he did.

    I disagree somewhat on the impact of strings versus racquet bodies. The introduction of wide-body graphites in the '80s in my opinion had the bigger impact on power. I personally never used gut strings but I also never had my racquet strung to the ultra-low tension some players used. The ball would trampoline off it too much. I preferred a higher tension and a fine synthetic string in order to balance control with power. You'd go through strings a lot faster, but it was better.
     
    #17 '78, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  18. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    If Federer played in the prime of the Sampras Era. Sampras is obviously better. Federer doesn't have the strength to handle a Sampras or a Becker for that fact, which is what I stated before and why I said you can't have a GOAT. As for Sampras wilting in the heat, they all did. PED's have helped today's players with that.

    If you don't believe strings have had a bigger impact then you don't/haven't played a dynamic level of tennis. Very few high level players strung gut low. The only pro I can think of is Petr Korda. Sampras strung his into 80's I believe on an 85 sq in racquet, which is insane. The new poly strings are typically strung about 10 lbs lower than older strings because they aren't soft and don't stretch the same. The new poly strings do nothing if you can't create racquet head speed. As far of going through strings faster, that is largely a myth. You aren't supposed to wait for your strings to break. I doubt you personally could break a set of poly strings, but they will lose tension and need replacing.

    Also pros don't use widebody racquets. Even the POG oversized that Chang and Agassi uses is only about 20mm thick more or less. Old country club grandma's use widebody racquets. Also the evolution of the racquet took many years, which began in the 70's for the most part. But it wasn't until the 80's that things really took off with the POG and the PS85. Strings on the other hand have revolutionized the game over night. The angles you talk about with Federer are not really attainable without poly strings. The RPMs that Rafa puts on the ball, not attainable w/o poly. The poly strings have allowed the racquets to reach their potential. If you think the "widebody" racquets were a bigger deal than poly strings then you don't have the game to tell the difference.
     
  19. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    You're misinterpreting my post. First of all, wide body refers to head depth and rigidity, not size. Yes, some players like Connors went to a larger head to extend their career, but rigidness was what impacted power.

    Did strings matter? Of course they did. Even you admitted in your reply that most touring pros go with high tension, which negates the power put forth by the more rigid head.

    And nowhere did I infer that gut was still popular. It's been 27 years since I worked for the USPTA, but I've remained an active player (5.0 player -- I won't win many points against a touring pro, but I can hit with him) and am abundantly aware of the trend in strings, including the fact that higher gauge gives you more feel and wears out quicker. Yours don't? Then the people who string your racquets are using low-gauge crap for endurance.

    Becker besting Federer? At what, not paying taxes? Becker was an inconsistent stiff who happened to win Wimbledon when the chief competition was Roscoe Tanner. I've never known a player who could be more easily broken mentally than Boom Boom Becker.
     
  20. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    You did not read my post. Widebody refer to the thickness of the frame. Connors went to a widebody racquet because he got old. The younger guys used thin beam racquets, even after this "widebody" craze you said revolutionized the game. If the frame mattered so much, why are there multiple string bed options? Because the strings do the bulk of the work. rigidity is only one factor. There are numerous factors, but mass is the driving factor. These pros don't use anything similar to your racquet or mine. It is customized with 4 weights in mind: static, swing, twist and recoil. And that all has to do with well placed mass.

    I also said that players USED to string their racquets higher. Not so much anymore. Poly will tear your arm up at higher tensions. And yes, many pros still use gut today. It's called a hybrid string job. Most pros will put poly on the mains and either gut or a multi on the crosses. Federer uses gut on the mains because he needs more power and he tries to get to the net when possible, so the extra feel helps.

    As for my strings, when did I say that they don't wear out? I said that even if they don't break, they'll lose tension, which means you need to restring. Meaning, you shouldn't wait for your strings to break.

    You're a 5.0? How old are you? Do you still play in sanctioned tournaments? I ask because a lot of people overestimate their skill or their local league sucks. We had a 4.0 in G'ville who is now a 4.5, that would play guys that would come to UF and say that they played juniors and they were a 5.0. This 4.0 would beat them every time. He's a weaker 4.5 by the way. Most of the competitive club pros are barely 5.0's and get bumped down to 4.5 routinely. Two former Div 1 players are just good 4.5's. One is almost 50 the other almost 60. So are you really a 5.0? BTW, These senior tour guys like McEnroe and company are 5.5 and 6.0 players. The average D1 player is probably somwhere between a 5.0 and a 5.5.
     

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