Re: The Federer Decline Thread (Federer will drop to number 4 next year)
From the Connors era on (i.e. ignoring Laver, Rosewall and the greats who came before them when eras were so different making things difficult to compare) the most amount of slams that anyone won between the age of 0-25 is 11 (Federer tied with Borg), the most amount of Slams that anyone won between the age of 26-30 is 6 (Federer tied with Lendl) and the most amount of Slams won from age 31 onwards is 2 (Connors). The arc of tennis careers do not all peak at the same time but I think from 0-25 most tennis players are at their physical peak, from 26-30 is the post-peak period, while anything from 31 on is considered a bonus since many tennis players have already retired by that age or are lucky to win slams at that age. It's specious to criticize Federer for not winning as much from 2008 on as proof that he was "overrated" and benefited from weak competition, when Federer not only is tied with Borg for most dominant peak but also tied with Lendl for most dominant post-peak of any tennis player. The simple fact is that tennis players do not win as often as they get older. It is unreasonable to say that because Federer did not win as often from 2008 on that should be regarded as proof that he wasn't really that good from 2003-2007. On the contrary, the fact that Federer has won 6 Slams during his post-peak (and is ranked #1 at 31 years of age) in what many consider one of the toughest eras ever should be considered as supporting evidence of how good he was during his peak. If Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are so great, why has the old man won the most slams between age 26-30 (tied with Lendl) than anyone else from the Connors era onwards? If Federer really was not that good why has he won so much at such an advanced age while clearly playing inferior to his level between 2003-2007? It is interesting to note that since Nadal won his first Slam in 2005 at Roland Garros, Federer has won 13 Slams while Nadal has won only 11. Since Aussie 2008, Nole has won 5 Slams while Federer has won 5. Even as he ages, Federer has been able to keep up with the young guys in their prime.
People like to belittle Federer's competition but it is interesting that past his prime Roddick has been able to beat Djokovic and Murray at Grand Slams during this "glory era" between 2008-2012; past his prime Safin beat Nole at Wimbledon during this era; Gonzalez beat Murray at the French; Tommy Haas beat Djokovic at Wimbledon. Guys who were years removed from their best tennis were still good enough to beat this era's greats while Djokovic and Murray were in their prime. Let us remember that it was 29 year old Federer that beat supreme Djokovic at Roland Garros ending his 43 match winning streak after Djokovic had been thrashing Nadal during the clay season. Furthermore, Federer at 30 years of age just beat #1 seed Djokovic and #4 seed Murray at Wimbledon. Let us also keep in mind that conditions (court surfaces, tennis balls) have slowed the game considerably and that post-peak Federer has been able to have this remarkable success in conditions that favour defensive-minded players more than at any time in tennis history. If anything, Federer's accomplishments from 2008 on are evidence of his greatness not the opposite.
Last edited by fed4ever; 08-17-2012 at 08:12 PM.