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The real Tennis thread.

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BullsFan22 said:
I find Federer much more charismatic and likeable. Djokovic will always get less fan support when playing Federer. It was evident back in the days of the US Open matches when they met every year from 2007 to 2011, and again in 2015, and it's been evident at Wimbledon as well, from 2012, 2014, 2015 and again in this final. Far more support for Federer. Djokovic with his impersonations of other players and his playfulness early on in his career was funny and liked by the fans, but over the years his demeanor and his parents attitude on and off the court turned people off. He's kind of mellowed out in recent years, but now it's the robotic nature of his game that's turning people off. I am not afraid to say it but despite being from Belgrade, I am not a Djokovic fan. I would love to be a big Djokovic fan, being from the same city, but he and his teams attitude over the years has me turned the other way, still.
Djokovic settled down a long time ago imo. He came onto the scene when Fedal was already the super hyped rivalry and everyone had already picked their side in that matchup. Both were sponsored by Nike at the time, so they marketed the absolute crap out of that.

Djokovic was kind of the third wheel who didn't fit in. Add in a game style that's just harder to appreciate for casual fans and you get a big difference quickly. By the time he calmed down a bit the damage was done. At that point I think he could've acted more like a rebel or even villain but that was never his style either.

That being said, with the Big 3 I think the tennis fandom has taken a big turn for the worse imo. I feel tournaments now matter less at face value cause everything is somehow about a record chase between the Big 3, and over the years I think that Nadal and especially Djokovic haven't gotten the respect they deserve.
 
Red Rick said:
BullsFan22 said:
I find Federer much more charismatic and likeable. Djokovic will always get less fan support when playing Federer. It was evident back in the days of the US Open matches when they met every year from 2007 to 2011, and again in 2015, and it's been evident at Wimbledon as well, from 2012, 2014, 2015 and again in this final. Far more support for Federer. Djokovic with his impersonations of other players and his playfulness early on in his career was funny and liked by the fans, but over the years his demeanor and his parents attitude on and off the court turned people off. He's kind of mellowed out in recent years, but now it's the robotic nature of his game that's turning people off. I am not afraid to say it but despite being from Belgrade, I am not a Djokovic fan. I would love to be a big Djokovic fan, being from the same city, but he and his teams attitude over the years has me turned the other way, still.
Djokovic settled down a long time ago imo. He came onto the scene when Fedal was already the super hyped rivalry and everyone had already picked their side in that matchup. Both were sponsored by Nike at the time, so they marketed the absolute crap out of that.

Djokovic was kind of the third wheel who didn't fit in. Add in a game style that's just harder to appreciate for casual fans and you get a big difference quickly. By the time he calmed down a bit the damage was done. At that point I think he could've acted more like a rebel or even villain but that was never his style either.

That being said, with the Big 3 I think the tennis fandom has taken a big turn for the worse imo. I feel tournaments now matter less at face value cause everything is somehow about a record chase between the Big 3, and over the years I think that Nadal and especially Djokovic haven't gotten the respect they deserve.
I've always liked Đoković, but never liked the euphoria following him.
It was a kind of extension of the nineties propaganda we've been exposed to here, with the family element added.
Once they've realized his fame will last (far) more than one summer and let him do his thing, everything settled down and became more relaxed.
I mean, the prime time news were starting with reports about his matches... just like it was the case after sport sanctions were lifted, and basketball, volleyball, water polo... teams continued winning medals. That was the way to homogenize and instrumentalize people and instil the false feeling of self-respect.
I've become allergic to that, and when I sensed the same was happening again, I just couldn't tolerate it.
 
This was such an important match in the overall GOAT scheme of things; up there with the Australian Open in 2017. Just think...21, 18, 15...it is pretty much all over. 20, 18, 16...Djokovic is now with a real chance to catch/surpass them both. Just 12 months ago it was 20, 17, 13.

Federer will be wondering (like the rest of us): "Just where is this next generation?"
 
Red Rick said:
BullsFan22 said:
I find Federer much more charismatic and likeable. Djokovic will always get less fan support when playing Federer. It was evident back in the days of the US Open matches when they met every year from 2007 to 2011, and again in 2015, and it's been evident at Wimbledon as well, from 2012, 2014, 2015 and again in this final. Far more support for Federer. Djokovic with his impersonations of other players and his playfulness early on in his career was funny and liked by the fans, but over the years his demeanor and his parents attitude on and off the court turned people off. He's kind of mellowed out in recent years, but now it's the robotic nature of his game that's turning people off. I am not afraid to say it but despite being from Belgrade, I am not a Djokovic fan. I would love to be a big Djokovic fan, being from the same city, but he and his teams attitude over the years has me turned the other way, still.
Djokovic settled down a long time ago imo. He came onto the scene when Fedal was already the super hyped rivalry and everyone had already picked their side in that matchup. Both were sponsored by Nike at the time, so they marketed the absolute crap out of that.

Djokovic was kind of the third wheel who didn't fit in. Add in a game style that's just harder to appreciate for casual fans and you get a big difference quickly. By the time he calmed down a bit the damage was done. At that point I think he could've acted more like a rebel or even villain but that was never his style either.

That being said, with the Big 3 I think the tennis fandom has taken a big turn for the worse imo. I feel tournaments now matter less at face value cause everything is somehow about a record chase between the Big 3, and over the years I think that Nadal and especially Djokovic haven't gotten the respect they deserve.
I agree that Djokovic and Nadal haven't gotten the respect they deserved. Largely because of the cult of Federer and a generation of people that cheer for the winner, and since Fed was the winner first, cheer for Federer.

If Djokovic had started in 2003 and Fed in 2008, half of them would cheer for Djokovic. Even though I admit Federer's "grace" when playing is part of the reason people are attached to him.

Djokovic seems like the biggest *** out of the three to me, especially the way he and Becker reacted to the doping question a few years ago. But I also think he's the best out of the 3, most flawless game, most dominant period, better than fed on clay.
Nadal and Djokovic also suffered from having to face prime Fed from a young age and eachother all the time plus Murray. Fed had those 4 years where he raked up half his titles when before Nadal could do anything on grass or hard and Djokovic hadn't yet emerged.
 
Re:

gregrowlerson said:
This was such an important match in the overall GOAT scheme of things; up there with the Australian Open in 2017. Just think...21, 18, 15...it is pretty much all over. 20, 18, 16...Djokovic is now with a real chance to catch/surpass them both. Just 12 months ago it was 20, 17, 13.

Federer will be wondering (like the rest of us): "Just where is this next generation?"
Prediction no one wants to make, but I'll make it. I think Fed will win Wimbledon next year.

Djokovic is looking older to me at 32 (yesterday) than Federer at 38. Djokovic had those cardio issues early, whatever problems he had 2 years ago, that cause him to totally collapse and even though he's back, this isn't the Djokovic of 2014-16 or 2011.

I think he's struggling a little physically and its taking everything out of him to keep up to the level that allows him to scrape a wimbledon against a Fed who just played Nadal for 3 hours on Friday.
 
The Hitch said:
Red Rick said:
BullsFan22 said:
I find Federer much more charismatic and likeable. Djokovic will always get less fan support when playing Federer. It was evident back in the days of the US Open matches when they met every year from 2007 to 2011, and again in 2015, and it's been evident at Wimbledon as well, from 2012, 2014, 2015 and again in this final. Far more support for Federer. Djokovic with his impersonations of other players and his playfulness early on in his career was funny and liked by the fans, but over the years his demeanor and his parents attitude on and off the court turned people off. He's kind of mellowed out in recent years, but now it's the robotic nature of his game that's turning people off. I am not afraid to say it but despite being from Belgrade, I am not a Djokovic fan. I would love to be a big Djokovic fan, being from the same city, but he and his teams attitude over the years has me turned the other way, still.
Djokovic settled down a long time ago imo. He came onto the scene when Fedal was already the super hyped rivalry and everyone had already picked their side in that matchup. Both were sponsored by Nike at the time, so they marketed the absolute crap out of that.

Djokovic was kind of the third wheel who didn't fit in. Add in a game style that's just harder to appreciate for casual fans and you get a big difference quickly. By the time he calmed down a bit the damage was done. At that point I think he could've acted more like a rebel or even villain but that was never his style either.

That being said, with the Big 3 I think the tennis fandom has taken a big turn for the worse imo. I feel tournaments now matter less at face value cause everything is somehow about a record chase between the Big 3, and over the years I think that Nadal and especially Djokovic haven't gotten the respect they deserve.
I agree that Djokovic and Nadal haven't gotten the respect they deserved. Largely because of the cult of Federer and a generation of people that cheer for the winner, and since Fed was the winner first, cheer for Federer.

If Djokovic had started in 2003 and Fed in 2008, half of them would cheer for Djokovic. Even though I admit Federer's "grace" when playing is part of the reason people are attached to him.

Djokovic seems like the biggest *** out of the three to me, especially the way he and Becker reacted to the doping question a few years ago. But I also think he's the best out of the 3, most flawless game, most dominant period, better than fed on clay.
Nadal and Djokovic also suffered from having to face prime Fed from a young age and eachother all the time plus Murray. Fed had those 4 years where he raked up half his titles when before Nadal could do anything on grass or hard and Djokovic hadn't yet emerged.
I think Federer benefitted a lot from American fans and sponsors flocking behind him once Roddick kept losing to him. That Wimbledon - USO stretch in 2004 was so huge. Nobody had won 3 Slams since Wilander, and that USO was the start of Roddick's downfall where he fired his coach and started playing a much less aggressive game he wasn't suited to.
 
The match was closer than expected and way closer than 2014/2015, Federer as usual gave away break points that could have won him the match here and there (and also match points) but Djokovic wasn't the rubber wall we were used to see, he made a lot of errors (I think almost as many as Federer, something unusual for him), he had a big blackout in the second set and confirmed what I thought already last fall about the fact that his ability to step up physically at the end of a tournament and in a long match that gave him a big edge in the 2014/2015 window of dominance on the circuit looks gone, this spring he tried to go easy to save energy and focus on slams but another step of decline compared to 2014/2015 likely happened.
 
Re:

Nirvana said:
The match was closer than expected and way closer than 2014/2015, Federer as usual gave away break points that could have won him the match here and there (and also match points) but Djokovic wasn't the rubber wall we were used to see, he made a lot of errors (I think almost as many as Federer, something unusual for him), he had a big blackout in the second set and confirmed what I thought already last fall about the fact that his ability to step up physically at the end of a tournament and in a long match that gave him a big edge in the 2014/2015 window of dominance on the circuit looks gone, this spring he tried to go easy to save energy and focus on slams but another step of decline compared to 2014/2015 likely happened.
I was especially surprised by how poorly Djokovic was returning Federer's serve, especially if you consider that Federer's serving speeds are noticably lower than they're used to be and I think he only broke 200kph once or twice in 5 hours yesterday.

I think Federer's high level startled Djokovic, making him play worse in return. Another big point is Federer's backhand is much less prone to breaking down since he switched to a bigger one. He's much better at these half blocked swings where he doesn't really come over the top with wrist action, and this has improved his return on that side as well.

In the end, Federer did everything right, and he did better than I expected on serve, on return, and from the baseline, and he still snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

It's no surprise to me that all of the Big 3 aren't as good as they used to be, but as long as they decline at similar rates matches can still be far beyond anything other players produce. And I do wonder if finals like these aren't incredibly intimidating for younger players.
 
I think Federer is - in some ways - a better player than he was 10 years ago. Even if his forehand is not as sharp (flat) as it used to be, he has improved his backhand and his net play to the point where he's probably the best ever in front of the net. Tactically he is also a smarter player now than he used to be - partly because his degrading physique has forced him to use tactics to overcome obstacles. Take yesterday as an example, where he did a very good job using his sliced backhand to open up opportunities for his forehand. Lastly, it is also my impression that Federer makes fewer unprovoked errors than he used to, maybe because of the bigger racquet.

I think he's a more well-rounded player with a slightly bigger arsenal of weapons now than he had before.
 
In an hypothetical match against themselves in 2011 (that IMHO was the year with the best combined level including also the pre back surgery version of Murray that was able to fight on par and beat them) everyone of the big three will be literally smashed because of the incredible dip in physical level they had since then. Yeah probably they are continuously trying to improve a bit here and there technically but the fact they run at half speed, they can't sustain long rallies without making an error and often they literally stop and let go the opponent winner is enough to loose comfortably against their prime counterparts.
 
Re:

Nirvana said:
In an hypothetical match against themselves in 2011 (that IMHO was the year with the best combined level including also the pre back surgery version of Murray that was able to fight on par and beat them) everyone of the big three will be literally smashed because of the incredible dip in physical level they had since then. Yeah probably they are continuously trying to improve a bit here and there technically but the fact they run at half speed, they can't sustain long rallies without making an error and often they literally stop and let go the opponent winner is enough to loose comfortably against their prime counterparts.
You don't think you're exaggerating just a tiny bit?
 
Re:

gunara said:
Yeah, Hewitt is quite good comparison.
But to think she is only one slam better than Barty and Ostapenko.... She also need to shake off the habit of being knocked out early in tournaments, she's no Myskina or Safina to do that
I don't think she's really knocked out early in tournaments that much. She's had some tough loses in grand slam finals and premier finals (equivalent to the masters series events on the men's side) but she doesn't often lose in early rounds. The times she has, she's had a tough draw like facing Sharapova at the US Open two years ago. The 2015 Roland Garros was another that came to mind, as she was the defending finalist. The finals loses she's had in slams have all been very close, very winnable. She effectively choked. Last year she beat Stephens in RG, doing to Stephens what has been done to her, coming from behind to win. It's not crazy to say that she should be 4-0 in slams finals right now, plus the tight quarterfinal loss to Konta in Wimbledon two years ago, the loss to Pennetta the eventual champ in New York in 2015, the loss to Serena at Aus this year and the loss to Bouchard in 2014 semis at Wimbledon.

Her issue is that she's had trouble closing out big matches deep in big tournaments, no matter the opponent or their style. It was great that she won so comfortably on Saturday, but perhaps another big title after a tough three set match would actually be even better.
 
Re:

Red Rick said:
Fed isn't more rounded than ever. The decline in movement alone makes sure of that. The slice is nothing new, he's abused that ever since he got on the Tour.
I know he used to slice a lot (perhaps even more before), but back in the day it was more of a fall-back-strategy because his topspin backhand was so unstable. Using it in an agressive manner like he did yesterday is a new thing.
 
Re:

Cance > TheRest said:
I think Federer is - in some ways - a better player than he was 10 years ago. Even if his forehand is not as sharp (flat) as it used to be, he has improved his backhand and his net play to the point where he's probably the best ever in front of the net. Tactically he is also a smarter player now than he used to be - partly because his degrading physique has forced him to use tactics to overcome obstacles. Take yesterday as an example, where he did a very good job using his sliced backhand to open up opportunities for his forehand. Lastly, it is also my impression that Federer makes fewer unprovoked errors than he used to, maybe because of the bigger racquet.

I think he's a more well-rounded player with a slightly bigger arsenal of weapons now than he had before.
Federer isn't a better player than he was 10 years ago. Every time he hit his backhand against Djokovic I felt like was going to miss. Everything he does is slower, but that is more than understandable, he is almost 38. His serve at wimbledon has really helped him a lot, but everything else is not as good as it was. Go back and look at how well he moved.

Djokovic isn't as good as he was from 2011-2015, but both are good enough to still win these slams. It's a combination of many things, including a poor 'rest of the pack.'
 
Re: Re:

Red Rick said:
Nirvana said:
The match was closer than expected and way closer than 2014/2015, Federer as usual gave away break points that could have won him the match here and there (and also match points) but Djokovic wasn't the rubber wall we were used to see, he made a lot of errors (I think almost as many as Federer, something unusual for him), he had a big blackout in the second set and confirmed what I thought already last fall about the fact that his ability to step up physically at the end of a tournament and in a long match that gave him a big edge in the 2014/2015 window of dominance on the circuit looks gone, this spring he tried to go easy to save energy and focus on slams but another step of decline compared to 2014/2015 likely happened.
I was especially surprised by how poorly Djokovic was returning Federer's serve, especially if you consider that Federer's serving speeds are noticably lower than they're used to be and I think he only broke 200kph once or twice in 5 hours yesterday.

I think Federer's high level startled Djokovic, making him play worse in return. Another big point is Federer's backhand is much less prone to breaking down since he switched to a bigger one. He's much better at these half blocked swings where he doesn't really come over the top with wrist action, and this has improved his return on that side as well.

In the end, Federer did everything right, and he did better than I expected on serve, on return, and from the baseline, and he still snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

It's no surprise to me that all of the Big 3 aren't as good as they used to be, but as long as they decline at similar rates matches can still be far beyond anything other players produce. And I do wonder if finals like these aren't incredibly intimidating for younger players.

Federer was the overall better player today but he simply choked. He had break points already midway through the first set, didn't convert. Had a mini break in the first set tiebreak, couldn't hold it. Third set tiebreak his first serve and forehand went away and obviously the 8-7 game where he had two match points he was tentative. The first one especially, the forehand missed wide and you just knew that if it got to deuce the advantage was for Djokovic. Honestly Federer held it well mentally after that, but again, he had break points at 10-10 and 11-11 and couldn't convert. Once they were in the tiebreak, he was always going to be against it. He seemed to cruise on serve many many games but the most important points he couldn't buy a first serve. That said, he was two points form defeat 5 times in the fifth. All in all a huge opportunity missed. Patrick McEnroe commented as Federer was getting ready to serve it out at 8-7 that this was quite possibly the biggest game of Federer's career, and I thought so as well. Get to 21 and Nadal and Djokovic still have work to do to catch and pass him. Now it's much more up in the air, though Nadal hasn't won a slam outside of RG for a while.
 
The Hitch said:
Red Rick said:
BullsFan22 said:
I find Federer much more charismatic and likeable. Djokovic will always get less fan support when playing Federer. It was evident back in the days of the US Open matches when they met every year from 2007 to 2011, and again in 2015, and it's been evident at Wimbledon as well, from 2012, 2014, 2015 and again in this final. Far more support for Federer. Djokovic with his impersonations of other players and his playfulness early on in his career was funny and liked by the fans, but over the years his demeanor and his parents attitude on and off the court turned people off. He's kind of mellowed out in recent years, but now it's the robotic nature of his game that's turning people off. I am not afraid to say it but despite being from Belgrade, I am not a Djokovic fan. I would love to be a big Djokovic fan, being from the same city, but he and his teams attitude over the years has me turned the other way, still.
Djokovic settled down a long time ago imo. He came onto the scene when Fedal was already the super hyped rivalry and everyone had already picked their side in that matchup. Both were sponsored by Nike at the time, so they marketed the absolute crap out of that.

Djokovic was kind of the third wheel who didn't fit in. Add in a game style that's just harder to appreciate for casual fans and you get a big difference quickly. By the time he calmed down a bit the damage was done. At that point I think he could've acted more like a rebel or even villain but that was never his style either.

That being said, with the Big 3 I think the tennis fandom has taken a big turn for the worse imo. I feel tournaments now matter less at face value cause everything is somehow about a record chase between the Big 3, and over the years I think that Nadal and especially Djokovic haven't gotten the respect they deserve.
I agree that Djokovic and Nadal haven't gotten the respect they deserved. Largely because of the cult of Federer and a generation of people that cheer for the winner, and since Fed was the winner first, cheer for Federer.

If Djokovic had started in 2003 and Fed in 2008, half of them would cheer for Djokovic. Even though I admit Federer's "grace" when playing is part of the reason people are attached to him.

Djokovic seems like the biggest *** out of the three to me, especially the way he and Becker reacted to the doping question a few years ago. But I also think he's the best out of the 3, most flawless game, most dominant period, better than fed on clay.
Nadal and Djokovic also suffered from having to face prime Fed from a young age and eachother all the time plus Murray. Fed had those 4 years where he raked up half his titles when before Nadal could do anything on grass or hard and Djokovic hadn't yet emerged.

Federer racked up the titles between 2003 and 2008 (13!!!) because of, as you said, Nadal and especially Djokovic not hitting their stride. Nadal was already dominating on the clay and made three straight wimbledon's and won in 2008. Djokovic won in Australia but then had those physical issues that he worked out and by 2011 he was the one dominating. By then though, Federer was past his prime. When he won in Wimbledon in 2012, that was huge, because since the Australian 2010 he hadn't won a slam, Djokovic and Nadal were cleaning up all the slams. It was also big (for Djokovic and Nadal) that in back to back US Opens 2010/2011, Federer had match points (sound familiar?) against Djokovic in the fifth set but couldn't close it out. Federer would have had a shot against Nadal, particularly in 2011, as Nadal wasn't as good as he was in 2010. Then obviously the slams in 2014 and 2015 where Federer and Djokovic met in finals, with Djokovic winning all of them.

The other reason Fed was dominant is because his generation (Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, Ferrero, Davydenko and even Haas to an extent, though he is three years older) didn't come through. A lot more was expected of Safin, but the guy didn't take things seriously enough and then when he started to, and he challenged Federer in 2004 and 2005, including beating Fed in 2005 en route to the Aus title, he got injured and never fully recovered. That was one huge obstacle out of the way, at least on hard courts. Hewitt and Roddick probably overachieved, particularly Hewitt. Nalbandian was an underachiever and his shape was always a question mark. His allround game always troubled Federer but he choked against other guys (against Roddick, Baghdatis...). Ferrero was a threat up to 25 but he too had injury and sickness problems. Then you had the what ifs stories with Mario Ancic and Robin Soderling, the guys between Federer and Djokovic Nadal. Wawrinka took that mantle and Murray as well, at least for a couple GS, likewise Cilic and Del Potro who got on a roll in each of their titles. But

Federer's contemporaries like Safin really could have halted Fed's progress. Safin should have had 5-6 slams, at least, given his massive potential, but he missed opportunities in 2001-2003, due to his attitude and injuries. Hit his peak in 2005, but then had a career changing injury and was never the same, though he did beat Djokovic in Wimbledon on his way to the semis (losing to Federer).

It's actually fascinating to me how various storylines developed in tennis and how things could have been so different. Every player has had multiple missed opportunities but they've all had fortunate openings. Maybe when it's all said and done, things will even out.
 
Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
Cance > TheRest said:
I think Federer is - in some ways - a better player than he was 10 years ago. Even if his forehand is not as sharp (flat) as it used to be, he has improved his backhand and his net play to the point where he's probably the best ever in front of the net. Tactically he is also a smarter player now than he used to be - partly because his degrading physique has forced him to use tactics to overcome obstacles. Take yesterday as an example, where he did a very good job using his sliced backhand to open up opportunities for his forehand. Lastly, it is also my impression that Federer makes fewer unprovoked errors than he used to, maybe because of the bigger racquet.

I think he's a more well-rounded player with a slightly bigger arsenal of weapons now than he had before.
Federer isn't a better player than he was 10 years ago. Every time he hit his backhand against Djokovic I felt like was going to miss. Everything he does is slower, but that is more than understandable, he is almost 38. His serve at wimbledon has really helped him a lot, but everything else is not as good as it was. Go back and look at how well he moved.

Djokovic isn't as good as he was from 2011-2015, but both are good enough to still win these slams. It's a combination of many things, including a poor 'rest of the pack.'
I've seen my fair share of Federer's matches and this is the impression that I've inferred.

That he moves slower is just how it is. But I cannot understand why you find his backhand worse than it was in his physical prime. One of the reasons, he's had such a stranglehold on Nadal since the beginning of 2017 is that his backhand is no longer a liability that Nadal can cross to for easy points. Granted, Nadal does not put as much topspin on the forehand shots now as he used to but he has undoubtedly lost some of his tactical edge on Federer because Federer's backhand is better now.

I also find his net-play gorgeous and as good as ever, while perhaps his serve has been a slightly underwhelming in this year's Wimbledon.
 
Hewitt got injured and passed by when tennis adjusted to poly strings and courts slowed down.

Roddick didn't overachieve in the slightest. He made the disastrous error to fire his coach when he was playing his best tennis and had some of the most unclutch losses I've ever seen. After that he started playing a more passive style that just did not work at all with his game
 
Re: Re:

tobydawq said:
Nirvana said:
In an hypothetical match against themselves in 2011 (that IMHO was the year with the best combined level including also the pre back surgery version of Murray that was able to fight on par and beat them) everyone of the big three will be literally smashed because of the incredible dip in physical level they had since then. Yeah probably they are continuously trying to improve a bit here and there technically but the fact they run at half speed, they can't sustain long rallies without making an error and often they literally stop and let go the opponent winner is enough to loose comfortably against their prime counterparts.
You don't think you're exaggerating just a tiny bit?
No, the difference in the performances of the big three is incredible compared to 8/10 years ago when you focus on physical level, probably the really low level of the tour nowadays covers that because in that field they are still able to win the big tournaments but when you watch old matches between them is evident if you look at how they used to run, the point they were able to save, the length of the rallies they were able to sustain.
 
BullsFan22 said:
The Hitch said:
Red Rick said:
BullsFan22 said:
I find Federer much more charismatic and likeable. Djokovic will always get less fan support when playing Federer. It was evident back in the days of the US Open matches when they met every year from 2007 to 2011, and again in 2015, and it's been evident at Wimbledon as well, from 2012, 2014, 2015 and again in this final. Far more support for Federer. Djokovic with his impersonations of other players and his playfulness early on in his career was funny and liked by the fans, but over the years his demeanor and his parents attitude on and off the court turned people off. He's kind of mellowed out in recent years, but now it's the robotic nature of his game that's turning people off. I am not afraid to say it but despite being from Belgrade, I am not a Djokovic fan. I would love to be a big Djokovic fan, being from the same city, but he and his teams attitude over the years has me turned the other way, still.
Djokovic settled down a long time ago imo. He came onto the scene when Fedal was already the super hyped rivalry and everyone had already picked their side in that matchup. Both were sponsored by Nike at the time, so they marketed the absolute crap out of that.

Djokovic was kind of the third wheel who didn't fit in. Add in a game style that's just harder to appreciate for casual fans and you get a big difference quickly. By the time he calmed down a bit the damage was done. At that point I think he could've acted more like a rebel or even villain but that was never his style either.

That being said, with the Big 3 I think the tennis fandom has taken a big turn for the worse imo. I feel tournaments now matter less at face value cause everything is somehow about a record chase between the Big 3, and over the years I think that Nadal and especially Djokovic haven't gotten the respect they deserve.
I agree that Djokovic and Nadal haven't gotten the respect they deserved. Largely because of the cult of Federer and a generation of people that cheer for the winner, and since Fed was the winner first, cheer for Federer.

If Djokovic had started in 2003 and Fed in 2008, half of them would cheer for Djokovic. Even though I admit Federer's "grace" when playing is part of the reason people are attached to him.

Djokovic seems like the biggest *** out of the three to me, especially the way he and Becker reacted to the doping question a few years ago. But I also think he's the best out of the 3, most flawless game, most dominant period, better than fed on clay.
Nadal and Djokovic also suffered from having to face prime Fed from a young age and eachother all the time plus Murray. Fed had those 4 years where he raked up half his titles when before Nadal could do anything on grass or hard and Djokovic hadn't yet emerged.

Federer racked up the titles between 2003 and 2008 (13!!!) because of, as you said, Nadal and especially Djokovic not hitting their stride. Nadal was already dominating on the clay and made three straight wimbledon's and won in 2008. Djokovic won in Australia but then had those physical issues that he worked out and by 2011 he was the one dominating. By then though, Federer was past his prime. When he won in Wimbledon in 2012, that was huge, because since the Australian 2010 he hadn't won a slam, Djokovic and Nadal were cleaning up all the slams. It was also big (for Djokovic and Nadal) that in back to back US Opens 2010/2011, Federer had match points (sound familiar?) against Djokovic in the fifth set but couldn't close it out. Federer would have had a shot against Nadal, particularly in 2011, as Nadal wasn't as good as he was in 2010. Then obviously the slams in 2014 and 2015 where Federer and Djokovic met in finals, with Djokovic winning all of them.

The other reason Fed was dominant is because his generation (Safin, Hewitt, Roddick, Nalbandian, Ferrero, Davydenko and even Haas to an extent, though he is three years older) didn't come through. A lot more was expected of Safin, but the guy didn't take things seriously enough and then when he started to, and he challenged Federer in 2004 and 2005, including beating Fed in 2005 en route to the Aus title, he got injured and never fully recovered. That was one huge obstacle out of the way, at least on hard courts. Hewitt and Roddick probably overachieved, particularly Hewitt. Nalbandian was an underachiever and his shape was always a question mark. His allround game always troubled Federer but he choked against other guys (against Roddick, Baghdatis...). Ferrero was a threat up to 25 but he too had injury and sickness problems. Then you had the what ifs stories with Mario Ancic and Robin Soderling, the guys between Federer and Djokovic Nadal. Wawrinka took that mantle and Murray as well, at least for a couple GS, likewise Cilic and Del Potro who got on a roll in each of their titles. But

Federer's contemporaries like Safin really could have halted Fed's progress. Safin should have had 5-6 slams, at least, given his massive potential, but he missed opportunities in 2001-2003, due to his attitude and injuries. Hit his peak in 2005, but then had a career changing injury and was never the same, though he did beat Djokovic in Wimbledon on his way to the semis (losing to Federer).

It's actually fascinating to me how various storylines developed in tennis and how things could have been so different. Every player has had multiple missed opportunities but they've all had fortunate openings. Maybe when it's all said and done, things will even out.
I don't think Federer was past his peak in 2011. 29-30 years old. It was just a year after Australian open Federer destroyed murray and a year before he also outplayed a very strong murray at Wimbledon with the fans against him for the first time ever.

I heard a lot of commentators say that fed improved his game to stay with nadal djokovic. As you say he had match points against djokovic in the US two years in a row, beat djoker at rg in the game that broke the streak, the only big defeat djokovic had all year.
Nadal 2008-13, and djokovic 2011-2016*just reached an otherworldly level imo. Even Federer couldn't keep up. Feds kept it longer than djokovic so far and nadal seems to have cracked outside of rg more or less with occasional finals and two us titles in almost a decade
 
It all depends on how you define a players peak, and especially with match to match fluctuations it gets weird. Especially when players make tactical adaptations and because the top level doesn't decline so much as it gets less consistent.

Typically players serve and return games will also peak at different ages, with return game peaking before the serve game.
 
Well, I think your mid 20's are likely to be your peak physical years. Perhaps 22-28, maybe 29, but once you hit 30 in tennis, you are past it, physically. Not saying that you'll drastically fall off, but you are not expected to be at your best, unless of course you didn't keep yourself in good enough shape earlier in your career. You have guys like Wawrinka who was lurking since he was 23 and even before that he had some good wins but never kept in good enough physical shape to last and be consistent, plus his mental toughness was also questioned. He had the skills, but his first quarterfinal in a major wasn't until he was 25, his first semifinal was in 2013 at 28 at the US Open and then a few months later he won his first slam in Australia at almost 29. Then he was a tough out at many of the majors and ended up winning two more at 30 and 31.

You also have Agassi who won 5 of his 8 majors after 29, but he had been around for over a decade, making deep runs at all 4 slams. It was a matter of getting his personal life in order and also caring enough to go to Australia and actually play that tournament. His debut in Australia was in 1995 and he ended up winning the tournament. Agassi probably wasted a number of really good years of winning that tournament. He for sure could have had double digits in slams had he taken things a bit more seriously. Point is, yes, physical peak vs peaking in results. Physical peaks tend to bring out the best results for the majority of players. We also have to consider that Federer had a bout of mononucleosis in 2008. It obviously wasn't as bad as Ancic or Soderling, both had to retire due to long bouts with that illness, but I think it played a role in his tennis, despite winning the US open and making the final in two other majors. I think if we extend his peak it probably goes to 2012 Wimbledon. He was almost 31. Murray and Djokovic were at their peak and Nadal was pretty close as well. Federer beat Djokovic in the semis and Murray in the final that year. But outliers such as the last three majors he's won (Australia and Wimbledon in 2017) and Australia in 2018, are just that, outliers.

It's a pity that Federer isn't 5-6 years younger. It would be even more fascinating to think how they'd match up. If people say that it's not fair to compare the Djokovic in his early 20's going against a primer Federer, then it's not fair to compare a Federer of 2014-2019 against Djokovic who was much closer to his prime (or in it still 2014-2015).
 
Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
gunara said:
Yeah, Hewitt is quite good comparison.
But to think she is only one slam better than Barty and Ostapenko.... She also need to shake off the habit of being knocked out early in tournaments, she's no Myskina or Safina to do that
I don't think she's really knocked out early in tournaments that much. She's had some tough loses in grand slam finals and premier finals (equivalent to the masters series events on the men's side) but she doesn't often lose in early rounds. The times she has, she's had a tough draw like facing Sharapova at the US Open two years ago. The 2015 Roland Garros was another that came to mind, as she was the defending finalist. The finals loses she's had in slams have all been very close, very winnable. She effectively choked. Last year she beat Stephens in RG, doing to Stephens what has been done to her, coming from behind to win. It's not crazy to say that she should be 4-0 in slams finals right now, plus the tight quarterfinal loss to Konta in Wimbledon two years ago, the loss to Pennetta the eventual champ in New York in 2015, the loss to Serena at Aus this year and the loss to Bouchard in 2014 semis at Wimbledon.

Her issue is that she's had trouble closing out big matches deep in big tournaments, no matter the opponent or their style. It was great that she won so comfortably on Saturday, but perhaps another big title after a tough three set match would actually be even better.
Just remembered that this was actually her 5th slam final, not 4th, meaning not inconceivable that she could be 5-0 in slams.
 
Re: Re:

BullsFan22 said:
BullsFan22 said:
gunara said:
Yeah, Hewitt is quite good comparison.
But to think she is only one slam better than Barty and Ostapenko.... She also need to shake off the habit of being knocked out early in tournaments, she's no Myskina or Safina to do that
I don't think she's really knocked out early in tournaments that much. She's had some tough loses in grand slam finals and premier finals (equivalent to the masters series events on the men's side) but she doesn't often lose in early rounds. The times she has, she's had a tough draw like facing Sharapova at the US Open two years ago. The 2015 Roland Garros was another that came to mind, as she was the defending finalist. The finals loses she's had in slams have all been very close, very winnable. She effectively choked. Last year she beat Stephens in RG, doing to Stephens what has been done to her, coming from behind to win. It's not crazy to say that she should be 4-0 in slams finals right now, plus the tight quarterfinal loss to Konta in Wimbledon two years ago, the loss to Pennetta the eventual champ in New York in 2015, the loss to Serena at Aus this year and the loss to Bouchard in 2014 semis at Wimbledon.

Her issue is that she's had trouble closing out big matches deep in big tournaments, no matter the opponent or their style. It was great that she won so comfortably on Saturday, but perhaps another big title after a tough three set match would actually be even better.
Just remembered that this was actually her 5th slam final, not 4th, meaning not inconceivable that she could be 5-0 in slams.
Come on man. I'm a big fan of Simona, but she has never been a really dominating player, and a 2-3 GS final record now is about where she should be at. Look at some of the players who haven't won a slam yet. Pliskova is the first who comes to mind. Hasn't won one, yet has been consistently top ten for a number of years. They aren't easy to win (the big three and Serena distort this a little bit).

Hopefully Halep can stay injury free and win at least a couple more.
 
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