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Roger Federer | Page 2 | Gatorchatter

Roger Federer

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

  1. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    Depth = thickness. Aren't we talking about the same thing? I think we are.

    Age 62. Last NTRP rating = 2009. Am I still 5.0? Let's you and me go out and hit.
     
  2. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'm just a lowly 4.0 who likes to tinker on racquets and have a beer at the end of social match. You probably could beat me pretty easy if you were ever a 5.0. But that doesn't mean you're a 5.0. In fact there aren't any 5.0's I've met over the age of 50 and that includes two who've played for FSU. There used to be a pro here who would probably qualify as a strong 5.0 that's close to 50, but he actually qualified for the US Open so I'd call that an outlier. So if you were a 5.0 at 54 you did pretty well, if you were in a legit region. But hey, congrats on acting like Sas.

    How about you go find a local 5.0 and if you can get 2 games a set, you let me know.
     
  3. Swamp Queen

    Swamp Queen Mrs. Sasquatch
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    :ohboy:
     
  4. MidwestChomp

    MidwestChomp Fun was the goal and we hit the bullseye
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    Who knew we had such tennis experts at Gator Chatter? This board keeps the surprises coming.
     
  5. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    If it makes you feel any better, I haven't picked up a racquet in a couple years. Haven't even wanted to. Who knows, you might even kick my ass. I've got no axe to grind. Peace, my friend.
     
  6. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    No axe. I don't do USTA anymore because of the whole rating garbage and sandbagging and such. But honestly, if you were a 5.0 at 54, that's good stuff because that's better than the Div 1 guys I know. Did you play juniors? Did you have a shot to play college?
     
  7. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    Didn't take up the game till 27. Nothing fancy. Lessons from Bonnie Gadusek's former coach, Jim Rosenthal (who converted me to two-fisted backhand), Tim Heckler (former USPTA CEO) and Phil Green at the Safety Harbor Spa. I played USTA leagues and a ton of club matches. Mainly, I just loved the game and played and played. I have the effed up spine to prove it.
     
  8. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    Sucks about the spine. I started getting tennis elbow and that's how I got to tinkering with customization and learning about frames and strings etc. Haven't had tennis elbow since.
     
  9. Maxxodd

    Maxxodd Well-Known Member
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    Interesting arguments. I'm of the mind that Fed is the GOAT. He's arguably the second best clay court player of all time. He just happened to be a contemporary of the greatest clay court player of all time (Nadal). He's won the most grand slams (19 and counting), spent the most amount of weeks as #1 (and it will be a little surprising if he doesn't add to that later this year), has the greatest streak of reaching grand slam finals, semi-finals, quarter-finals ever, won the most year end championships (6), and has probably the best all court game ever.

    I simply don't understand the argument about Sampras. We saw that play out in 2001 (before the grass was changed to a slower rye) with Federer beating him on the fast grass courts of Wimbledon playing serve and volley tennis. Yes, Sampras was 30, but Fed was still figuring out his game and wasn't anywhere near his peak. I'd give Sampras the edge with the first serve (but not by much). They are probably even in volley skills and mental game. Every other department you'd have to say Federer is better (Forehand, backhand, movement, overhead, improvisation). Sampras wouldn't have any chance against him on clay or the Australian. They'd be close at the US Open. Federer has shown time and again that he is able to blunt the power of the big servers better than any of his contemporaries. Having said that, I don't put Sampras in the category of power servers (Ivanisevic, Isner, Karlovic, Raonic, etc). I think his serve is more akin to Fed's. Amazing placement with excellent speed. I'd say that Federer has played against multiple generations of players better than the ones that Sampras played against.

    The other thing I don't understand is the arguments about weak era. Its a zero sum game. Everyone tries to say that he played against players with few grand slams. The more you win, the less slams are available for the other guys to win. Had Federer not been so great, Safin, Rodick, Agassi, Hewitt, etc would have had many more slams. I think Safin is at least as talented and physically gifted as Djokovic, Murray, Nadal, or any of the current players.

    The only reasonable argument that I'm conflicted about is his head to head record against Nadal. I understand the thought that you can't be the best ever if your not the greatest of your generation. I think the records are skewed because of how good Federer is on clay. He's been good enough to get to the finals of most clay court tournaments he's played only to find Nadal on the other side of the net. On the other hand, Nadal has not been good enough to meet Federer in the finals of as many non clay court events. Federer has the upper hand in the head to head on hard courts, grass, and indoor carpet. He only has a losing record on clay. Certainly clay is not an inferior surface. But it makes up only about 20% of the ATP tournament season while they have met more than 40% of the time on clay.

    Yes, technology has changed and its impossible to know how players of former era could have utilized the modern stiffness of graphite or the increased spin of polyester or would have fared with modern conditioning and diet regimens, but what I am pretty confident about is that the athletes are better, and the pool of talent is deeper. These days there are guys 6'6" (Sasha Zverev) that move as well as the guys who were 6'0" and under from previous eras but pack nuclear groundstrokes and atomic serves.

    I play at a 4.5 level without having picked up a racquet in about a year. I've followed tennis since the late 80s. I cant' say I've seen Laver, Emerson or any of the pre open era play, but I can say very confidently that Federer is the greatest I've ever seen.
     
    #29 Maxxodd, Jul 18, 2017 at 12:58 AM
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017 at 1:19 AM
  10. oxking

    oxking Pops
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    Impressive win for Federer but I was appalled at his opponent bawling in the middle of the match. I thought, get a grip young man. Then he ends up with the loser's limp. I wished it had of been Federer and Nadal.
     
  11. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    No way in hell he's the 2nd best clay courter of all time. It's not arguable at all. Give me Borg or Lendel. How about Kuerten or Muster? Bruguera, Moya, Courrier, or Wilander? Federer would have zero FO titles if he played on the slower clay of the Sampras era. Not saying he's not good on clay, but second all-time? No, just no.
     
  12. '78

    '78 Dazed and Confused
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    It's pretty amusing to observe the number of times you called me out for supposedly not reading your posts, only to watch you attempt here to put words into another poster's keyboard because you didn't take the time to read their post more carefully. Nowhere did he say Federer was the second best clay courter alltime. He pointed out Federer consistently had made it to the finals of the clay events he entered, including the French, only to find Nadal on the other side of the court most of the time. All of that's true. He's making the case for Federer being the greatest player period based on the number of GS titles as well as his overall versatility, as opposed to a clay court ranking only. He's a serve-and-volleyer. I find it amazing that he's accomplished what he has on clay.

    I'll go so far as to say Federer belongs in the discussion of the great clay courters even if it wasn't his best surface, not by a long shot. He certainly deserves mention above several of the guys you mentioned, notably Lendl, Muster and Courier.
     
  13. GatorStud

    GatorStud Wait 'till Next Year
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    78 [​IMG] Alc


    Good takes overall guys... entertaining :lol3:
     
  14. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    I'll take your answer off the air.
     
  15. Maxxodd

    Maxxodd Well-Known Member
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    Fed has been to 5 french open finals and won once. The times he didn't win, he lost to Nadal (every time) and almost certainly would have 5 french open championships had he not played in the same era as the best dirt baller of all time. The only two guys to have been to more finals are Nadal himself and Borg (6 times). I'm not saying that he's the second best clay courter, but its not an unreasonable argument. In his prime, Federer was a great (not good) clay court player. He's beaten Nadal on clay before and has several clay court championships. I think he would destroy most of the guys you mentioned (Muster, Brugera who I thought was amazing in his time, Moya for sure, Courier, Wilander). He split several matches with Kuerten who I think is the only guy from that list that would be able to match him. Guga could have had more championships if his body (hip) didn't fail him. Its impossible to compare Federer to Borg. I'd give the big nod to Borg based on his clay accomplishments, but if I had to bet on one match between the two of them played in both their primes, I'd bet the house on Federer. Times have changed and the game has evolved. The very elite players have no weaknesses which wasn't the case 20 years ago. Remember when Borg tried to make a comeback? Few do because of how outclassed he was on the court and it didn't last.
     
  16. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    It's the problem with all of these what if's. Federer's luck at the FO didn't begin until about 2005, which is way beyond the speeding up of the court and the balls. I have no problem with Nadal as number 1 because it's clear that he has the game for the older courts as well. I just don't see Federer grinding it out on the old clay courts. He would either have to serve and volley/chip n charge, take the ball on the rise, or out consistency these guys. Serve and volley is just not a good tactic on clay. He's not Agassi so he couldn't just plant himself on the baseline. And he's just not a consistent enough ball striker to last with those guys.

    Could you imagine Bruguera with poly strings? Or what Borg could do with the modern technology. I get the Fed love, but his clay success is on the faster/drier courts with faster playing balls.

    I also find your comment about him not being the best of his generation very curious. I've had that conversation before as well. Nadal owned him for a long time. Another idea that gets scoffed at a lot is PED use. I think Fed's longevity is very curious. Not compared to his contemporaries, but his predecessors. Take a look at longevity and compare it to the cycling PED epidemic. I think all the top players are doping to one extent or another. I mean how often do you see amazing tennis in a 5th set? That didn't occur in the Sampras and prior eras.
     
  17. Maxxodd

    Maxxodd Well-Known Member
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    I don't buy the whole clay being faster now than it was previously. See http://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2013/04/08/the-mirage-of-surface-speed-convergence/

    I think Fed actually is the only other guy who could plant himself on the baseline and strike half volley after half volley as consistently or more than Agassi. Its part of what he's known for. Would he? Not back then. He stood further back then he does now (he's usually inside the baseline these days). I'm sure modern tech would have benefited all those guys, but who knows if they could have held up. Polyester is amazing, but its stiff and wreaks havoc on some people's elbows and shoulders. I'm not entirely sure Brugera or Borg for that matter were built for its use not to mention Brugera's extreme strokes. Modern lighter racquets would have helped them though. Graphite racquets from the 90s were a fair amount heavier than the racquets players use these days. I can't really comment on the addition of lead tape and pro modifications.

    I have no idea about PEDs. I'd like to think that most of them aren't doping. I know for sure that they condition themselves 100 times better than they did 20 years ago. The top guys make so much money these days that they have whole conditioning teams and scrutinize every aspect to eek out every last ounce of performance. Their diets are pretty meticulous as well. Heck Djoker was sleeping in a Hyperbaric chamber for a while (don't know if he still does).
     
  18. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    Interesting article. I confess I skimmed it, but I get the gist. I can only tell you from watching a ton of tennis during that time span that toward the end of Sampras's career it was all they could talk about. If you're a 4.5 then you have played enough to have seen the difference between a well soaked court and a dust bowl. I've played on some clay courts that get pretty damn close to hard court speeds. I've also played on courts that feel like a sponge. So it's very easy to change the speed of clay. It wasn't too long ago (maybe last years FO), when the announcers were reminiscing about the old days and one of the things they mentioned was lack of watering at the FO. The conversation mentioned that they would nearly flood the courts the night before. So it may be anecdotal and it may just be things that announcers say to fill dead air. As for the differential in aces, I notice returners sitting further back on clay. Maybe it's the unpredictable bounces or habit, but it's something I have noticed.

    I don't buy that the changes in nutrition and exercise have doubled career spans. If you read Sampras's book, he talks about the vomit match and basically said he went off diet the night before. They ate extremely well and many had personal trainers as part of their staff, which he chronicals. Not that there aren't further advances, but to double the life of a career, we haven't come that far. Now going back to the Borg days when people played singles and doubles, I can see them getting burned out.

    Concerning the racquet tech. Remember that no pro uses a racquet off the shelf. So Nadal's light as shyt Babolat is just a custom racquet with a paint job. Del Potro is still rumored to use the Wilson Pro Stock version of the pro staff 6.1. Many of the Head sponsored athletes use the Prestige Pro Stock model or the Pro Tour pro stock model. Read up on recoil weight and you'll see why they can string up Poly at higher tensions. Sampras had weight added at 3 and 9 for better twist weight because he volleyed so much as part of his game. The newer generation is polarizing their weights at 12 and at the butt cap. Makes for a less stable racquet, but you have the opportunity to increase your recoil weight and used tighter poly, which can create more spin with good racquet head speed. They are less stable, but some of that is mitigated by the larger frames. Most use a 97 or 100 sqin racquet, Sampras used an 85.
     
  19. Maxxodd

    Maxxodd Well-Known Member
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    I've actually never played on the crushed brick. I've played on green clay (Har-Tru), hard and grass. I'm of the understanding that Har-Tru isn't really much like red clay. I've heard it's much, much faster with lower bounces. There just aren't that many red clay courts here in the states.

    I always hated the Sampras prostaff midsize. It always felt like hitting with a piece of compressed wood. Having said that I played for several years with the pro-staff mid-plus and thought it played entirely different. I have never experimented with adding lead tape. Honestly, I don't think any rec player has any business adding lead tape. Just like the guy who has only gone skiing a few times doesn't need to buy a $1000 snowboard. Its isn't going to help your game as much as just practicing more.

    Its funny about the racquet tech though. Sampras resisted changing racquets long after the technology had relegated his mid-size pro-staff antiquated. Federer did for a while. Others were using 97-100 sq in frames with larger sweet spots. He finally moved to a larger frame like his contemporaries and has really benefitted from it. It seems to bring him more easy power and less shanks off the backhand. I do think the strings are the biggest change though. When I used to play growing up, most rallies were played with the ball waist to chest high. Now, rallies are played with the ball bouncing (because of the increased spin) chest to head high. That in and of itself makes it hard to compare generations. There simply is no way a guy with a continental forehand (or backhand) could compete, so you'd have to imagine McEnroe, Edberg, etc with entirely different grips and swing paths.
     
  20. alcoholica

    alcoholica Well-Known Member

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    I've never played on red clay, but the har-tru can have a ton of variation. I good sub-surface irrigated court, you can literally feel the give. Noticable difference with the bounce. Most places really skimp on the water.

    Lead tape can really help out rec players, just most don't know how to use it. It doesn't take much, but you can really change the dynamics of the racquet. I first started just to match my backup racquet to the same spec. Then I started reading more about it and trying different things. You're right though, 99% of them will just make things worse.

    I really love the PS85's when you hit the sweet spot, but it takes too much skill to really use. It really makes you appreciate the skill those guys had.

    Sampras wrote about how stubborn he was and just never made the switch. If he had played with a 95, he would've had a better showing at the FO, but not sure if he could've broken through. Would've needed some luck.

    Something I would've loved to see is Edberg hit a BH slice off a heavy topspin on the rise in today's game. But yeah, the different eras issue.
     

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