Tennis

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Tonton said:
Federer is not "re surging". Great champion, he'd in his Contador '14 or '15 stage. Can he pull one more? He's surpassed, but he's crafty and respected. Players are star-struck when playing him. They don't play at their level. He's declining, not re surging.
Fed is older than contador is now let alone Contador of 3 years ago. In a sport where youth is far more important and age is a bigger issue.
 
The Hitch said:
Tonton said:
Federer is not "re surging". Great champion, he'd in his Contador '14 or '15 stage. Can he pull one more? He's surpassed, but he's crafty and respected. Players are star-struck when playing him. They don't play at their level. He's declining, not re surging.
Fed is older than contador is now let alone Contador of 3 years ago. In a sport where youth is far more important and age is a bigger issue.
Problem is there are extremely few young talented tennis players. Almost all are above 30 because the generation below is so poor, so the gap between young and old is much less.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Pantani Attacks said:
SeriousSam said:
Pantani Attacks said:
Federer straight sets Raonic. Never ever looked troubled. With Murray and Novak gone it's all but a formality now. Someone said that it's more likely than not that Federer holds 3 grand slams by the end of the year and you'd have to agree. God knows what sh*t he's been putting in himself to get back to his peak years. Of course Tennis fans are the dumbest sports fans in existence and don't suspect a thing.
What's also dumb is attributing any observed variation in performance to variation in doping.
That variation being colossal. Had Roger been still up there with Murray and Novak recently I'd be less sceptical. Granted he has had some injuries and has been beaten by Novak, a guy clearly doped to the gills in recent years, his performances this year have been nothing short of immaculate and not too far away from his past prime. I fail to believe it's just good fortune and some better coaching and fitness management that's doing this...Federer was always the epitome of professional. The fact is the man goes from not winning a slam since '12 to winning one in one of his greatest individual performances ever, all but winning another Wimbledon and the red hot favourite for the US Open already...all at 35.

Something definitely has changed, and it's something drastic.
The difference between winning a slam and not winning a slam doesn't require any substantial differences in performance. By looking only at whether he wins a slam or not you throw away a lot of information. Let's look at his slam record since Wimbly 2012

He's made it to the QF 3 times since
To the SF 5 times since
And to the final 3 times since

He's lost these 3 finals to Djokovic . But imagine if Djokovic hadn't been the all conquering destroyer he was but the current version. Fed may well have won them. In the semis, he's also lost repeatedly to Djokvic, but also to Nadal a few other players that have repeatedly shown they can beat the big 4 on a good day.

What we're seeing this year is very much consistent with Federer having a relatively minor upswing in performance and confidence, but Djokovic and Murray not playing at the level they've played at previously.

Given that availability, risk and reward of doping are relatively constant over time. I don't think much of the year to year variation in performance we see in any sport is due to variation in doping. There are transformations (Froome, Djokovic) that make it pretty clear when it happens but other than that, I don't think there's much evidence there.
 
May 11, 2009
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I think Federer continuing to perform at such a high level at age 35 should invite speculation and questions. That being said I would agree with what Serious Sam said above and I'm not sure he is playing all that differently than he has been over the past several seasons. In a number of grand slams in recent years Federer would have a good run through most of the tournaments only to get blown off the court and essentially overpowered when he went up against Djokovic, Nadal, and even the transformed Wawrinka.

I think there is some validity to the argument that Federer benefited from the time off and fully recovering from the injury. He has also been lucky to avoid all of the players who trounced him in recent years (particularly Djokovic).
 
May 11, 2009
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Zebadeedee said:
The biggest joke is 37 years old Venus Williams, propped up by her four TUEs for otherwise banned substances - the ones we know about, anyway.
I don't understand why more questions aren't being asked about Venus. She has essentially been a non factor in the major tournaments for a long time now and suddenly she has made her second major final of the year? The U.S. television coverage is frustrating to watch, they are in full adulation mode and there is no chance we are going to hear any legitimate questions from these people.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Sports journalism is just hitting an all time low.
We shouldn't be calling them journalists in the first place, when they are, literally, fans with typewriters, PR agents.
 
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sniper said:
Sports journalism is just hitting an all time low.
We shouldn't be calling them journalists in the first place, when they are, literally, fans with typewriters, PR agents.
Ask a question, and be burned at the stake. It like putting a bullet in your head professionally. Tennis revolves way too much about blind fandom than about tennis itself.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Red Rick said:
sniper said:
Sports journalism is just hitting an all time low.
We shouldn't be calling them journalists in the first place, when they are, literally, fans with typewriters, PR agents.
Ask a question, and be burned at the stake. It like putting a bullet in your head professionally. Tennis revolves way too much about blind fandom than about tennis itself.
true.

Syed, done with cycling, now dipping his pen into tennis.
https://twitter.com/mocycling/status/886205074401316869
Cringeworthy doesn't quite describe it.
 
Jan 31, 2016
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Ahhh the classic refrain: when it's someone who beats your idol, superdoper. When it's the king cheat himself, excuses excuses excuses. Nadal and Federer are worse than Armstrong.
 
May 29, 2010
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Journalism

"Don't ask how Roger Federer keeps winning -- just enjoy the show"
http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/20052955/wimbledon-ageless-roger-federer-sweeps-final-continues-disappoint-waiting-falter


"Has Federer slowed down? Why hasn't he slowed down? Shouldn't he, at 35, be slowing down? When will he slow down?

But the question really should be -- after watching the 18-time Grand Slam champion return from a six-month break to capture his fifth Australian Open title and win four of the six tournaments he has played in so far this year -- why are we asking these questions?"
 
Re:

PEDerer said:
Ahhh the classic refrain: when it's someone who beats your idol, superdoper. When it's the king cheat himself, excuses excuses excuses. Nadal and Federer are worse than Armstrong.
Unless I'm mistaken I think both Nadal and Federer are being called out and no excuses are being made.
 
The ESPN article does have a point, though. Major pro sports is just a show at the end of the day and it should be treated as such. You are either entertained or you aren't.

Arguing about drug use, politics, and corruption is pointless because it's all part of the entertainment package.
 
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Blakeslee said:
Zebadeedee said:
The biggest joke is 37 years old Venus Williams, propped up by her four TUEs for otherwise banned substances - the ones we know about, anyway.
I don't understand why more questions aren't being asked about Venus. She has essentially been a non factor in the major tournaments for a long time now and suddenly she has made her second major final of the year? The U.S. television coverage is frustrating to watch, they are in full adulation mode and there is no chance we are going to hear any legitimate questions from these people.
Navratilova says she is playing better than in her early 20's. The difference is fitness - before she could never get to the ball but now she's getting to it with time to spare.
 
Aug 26, 2014
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SeriousSam said:
Pantani Attacks said:
SeriousSam said:
Pantani Attacks said:
Federer straight sets Raonic. Never ever looked troubled. With Murray and Novak gone it's all but a formality now. Someone said that it's more likely than not that Federer holds 3 grand slams by the end of the year and you'd have to agree. God knows what sh*t he's been putting in himself to get back to his peak years. Of course Tennis fans are the dumbest sports fans in existence and don't suspect a thing.
What's also dumb is attributing any observed variation in performance to variation in doping.
That variation being colossal. Had Roger been still up there with Murray and Novak recently I'd be less sceptical. Granted he has had some injuries and has been beaten by Novak, a guy clearly doped to the gills in recent years, his performances this year have been nothing short of immaculate and not too far away from his past prime. I fail to believe it's just good fortune and some better coaching and fitness management that's doing this...Federer was always the epitome of professional. The fact is the man goes from not winning a slam since '12 to winning one in one of his greatest individual performances ever, all but winning another Wimbledon and the red hot favourite for the US Open already...all at 35.

Something definitely has changed, and it's something drastic.
The difference between winning a slam and not winning a slam doesn't require any substantial differences in performance. By looking only at whether he wins a slam or not you throw away a lot of information. Let's look at his slam record since Wimbly 2012

He's made it to the QF 3 times since
To the SF 5 times since
And to the final 3 times since

He's lost these 3 finals to Djokovic . But imagine if Djokovic hadn't been the all conquering destroyer he was but the current version. Fed may well have won them. In the semis, he's also lost repeatedly to Djokvic, but also to Nadal a few other players that have repeatedly shown they can beat the big 4 on a good day.

What we're seeing this year is very much consistent with Federer having a relatively minor upswing in performance and confidence, but Djokovic and Murray not playing at the level they've played at previously.

Given that availability, risk and reward of doping are relatively constant over time. I don't think much of the year to year variation in performance we see in any sport is due to variation in doping. There are transformations (Froome, Djokovic) that make it pretty clear when it happens but other than that, I don't think there's much evidence there.
I'm by no means a believer, but I agree Federer's game hasn't change drastically. He's always been a brilliant anticipator and shot-maker, which has made his an economy of effort kind of game. Probably saved his body both injury and wear and tear more than some of the more pure power baseline sluggers out there. Added to his longevity, and also means what differentiates is still not raw power, but intellligence and accuracy.

Which is not to say that he is a pattern card of clean sport. I'm sure drugs would benefit his game as well as it would anyone's. But he is much lower down my very very very long list of 'dubious sportsmen' than some of his contemporaries even given his age.

Then again, in an industry simply awash with cash, dodgy drs, crapola governance, corruption and collusion, who the hell believes in anyone anymore?
 
Oct 16, 2010
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I think ITF have realized a few years ago already that not enough new charismatic players are breaking through.
So there's an urgent need to keep Nadal and Federer at their best.
Imagine a Wimbledon final between Cilic and Berdych.
Lol.
 
Aug 26, 2014
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sniper said:
I think ITF have realized a few years ago already that not enough new charismatic players are breaking through.
So there's an urgent need to keep Nadal and Federer at their best.
Imagine a Wimbledon final between Cilic and Berdych.
Lol.
Isn't that the problem with a lot of sport in general though? The more the money floods in, the greater the need for management control of the 'assets', the more forced and on message it all becomes. The individuals and characters - difficult to control, potential to do and say their own things - are crushed out by sheer boredom and rigidity. Anyone who's more inclined to genius, flare, disobedience - the fun mavericks - get subsumed by the Pete Sampras' of the world.

Esp. in our uber PC times. can you imagine the likes of Ilie Năstase going down well?

And yet, what the fans love to watch is fire and spirit, the romance of the underdog. You just don't get that if everything seems like players are mere tools in some ubermensch masterplan.
 
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sniper said:
I think ITF have realized a few years ago already that not enough new charismatic players are breaking through.
So there's an urgent need to keep Nadal and Federer at their best.
Imagine a Wimbledon final between Cilic and Berdych.
Lol.

Nothing wrong with Cilic, he's a well liked guy by his fellow players and apart from the 4 month ban (reduced), he's really done nothing wrong. Yes, he's generally a very emotionless player (don't let the final on Sunday fool you) and he's got a predictable power game, but he's not a player that the ITF, the ATP and their tournaments (GS included) would dismiss. Berdych has turned a page over the past few years. He's not the petulant whiner that he was before, and he too has a predictable power game, but a final between them wouldn't have been the worst lineup in tennis history.

That said, no doubt that the ATP is hoping that Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray (not sure about him, apart from the much improved interest from the British public) and even Wawrinka stay competitive for a few more years. The ATP has also pushed for the 'next Generation' of players and hoping that they can break through and win titles. Zverev, Coric, the new Russian brigade of Khachanov, Medvedev and Rublev, and others need to keep improving and make inroads. The big disappointments are the ones below the top 5...Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, Kyrgios (his attitude is deplorable)...and the old guard...Tsonga, Gasquet, Monfils, Berdych (yes, him again)....haven't won big titles in a while. Zverev broke through this spring winning a masters tournament on clay, beating Djokovic in the final, but the other ones haven't made the next level. The old guard has lived in the shadow of the top 3 or 4 guys, but really, one or two of them should have won a slam by now. It's mental strength with them.

Anyway, I kind of steered away from doping talk here...
 
Well, well. More match-fixing controversies at Wimbledon.

Link

The most obvious targets are Djokovic, Murray, Cilic, and Venus Williams. No chance they go after Murray (and it was the least suspicious of the bunch).

It makes you wonder, though, how many of these matches are being scripted.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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BullsFan22 said:
sniper said:
I think ITF have realized a few years ago already that not enough new charismatic players are breaking through.
So there's an urgent need to keep Nadal and Federer at their best.
Imagine a Wimbledon final between Cilic and Berdych.
Lol.

Nothing wrong with Cilic, he's a well liked guy by his fellow players and apart from the 4 month ban (reduced), he's really done nothing wrong. Yes, he's generally a very emotionless player (don't let the final on Sunday fool you) and he's got a predictable power game, but he's not a player that the ITF, the ATP and their tournaments (GS included) would dismiss. Berdych has turned a page over the past few years. He's not the petulant whiner that he was before, and he too has a predictable power game, but a final between them wouldn't have been the worst lineup in tennis history.

That said, no doubt that the ATP is hoping that Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray (not sure about him, apart from the much improved interest from the British public) and even Wawrinka stay competitive for a few more years. The ATP has also pushed for the 'next Generation' of players and hoping that they can break through and win titles. Zverev, Coric, the new Russian brigade of Khachanov, Medvedev and Rublev, and others need to keep improving and make inroads. The big disappointments are the ones below the top 5...Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, Kyrgios (his attitude is deplorable)...and the old guard...Tsonga, Gasquet, Monfils, Berdych (yes, him again)....haven't won big titles in a while. Zverev broke through this spring winning a masters tournament on clay, beating Djokovic in the final, but the other ones haven't made the next level. The old guard has lived in the shadow of the top 3 or 4 guys, but really, one or two of them should have won a slam by now. It's mental strength with them.

Anyway, I kind of steered away from doping talk here...
good analysis.

yeah. I mean Sampras was emotionless, too.
But I loved watching him. What an athlete.

Gasquet, definitely top 4 in terms of sheer talent, imo, and I like his character.
But lacks the physique.

As for the matchfixing, I think it's a case of tip of the iceberg.
I remember Djoker saying one day that he'd heard rumors about match fixing, and another day he was suddenly downplaying it as if it wasn't really a problem.
I thought that was weird.
 
Re: Re:

sniper said:
BullsFan22 said:
sniper said:
I think ITF have realized a few years ago already that not enough new charismatic players are breaking through.
So there's an urgent need to keep Nadal and Federer at their best.
Imagine a Wimbledon final between Cilic and Berdych.
Lol.

Nothing wrong with Cilic, he's a well liked guy by his fellow players and apart from the 4 month ban (reduced), he's really done nothing wrong. Yes, he's generally a very emotionless player (don't let the final on Sunday fool you) and he's got a predictable power game, but he's not a player that the ITF, the ATP and their tournaments (GS included) would dismiss. Berdych has turned a page over the past few years. He's not the petulant whiner that he was before, and he too has a predictable power game, but a final between them wouldn't have been the worst lineup in tennis history.

That said, no doubt that the ATP is hoping that Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray (not sure about him, apart from the much improved interest from the British public) and even Wawrinka stay competitive for a few more years. The ATP has also pushed for the 'next Generation' of players and hoping that they can break through and win titles. Zverev, Coric, the new Russian brigade of Khachanov, Medvedev and Rublev, and others need to keep improving and make inroads. The big disappointments are the ones below the top 5...Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, Kyrgios (his attitude is deplorable)...and the old guard...Tsonga, Gasquet, Monfils, Berdych (yes, him again)....haven't won big titles in a while. Zverev broke through this spring winning a masters tournament on clay, beating Djokovic in the final, but the other ones haven't made the next level. The old guard has lived in the shadow of the top 3 or 4 guys, but really, one or two of them should have won a slam by now. It's mental strength with them.

Anyway, I kind of steered away from doping talk here...
good analysis.

yeah. I mean Sampras was emotionless, too.
But I loved watching him. What an athlete.

Gasquet, definitely top 4 in terms of sheer talent, imo, and I like his character.
But lacks the physique.

As for the matchfixing, I think it's a case of tip of the iceberg.
I remember Djoker saying one day that he'd heard rumors about match fixing, and another day he was suddenly downplaying it as if it wasn't really a problem.
I thought that was weird.
I am guessing that most professional players would be able to pick out which matches are fixed or at least are suspicious. No doubt about that. Novak has been a professional since 2005 and has played in all kinds of matches. I am sure he knows a fixed match when he sees it.

As always though, most of match fixing cases are publicized if it's at a challenger or futures event.
 

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