Most people around these parts are of the opinion that Roger Federer is not as good as he used to be.
Do the statistics support this assumption?
The same semi final streak Federer began in 2004 remains going, and he reaches the semi finals of slams about as easily as he used to. 2009 he had some 5 setters, but not really any different to the 5 setter vs Tommy Farce in 2006 AO.
Since winning his first grand scam in 2003 Wimbledon, Federer has failed to reach the finals of a grand slam tournament 5 times. Only one of those losses came during the 2008-2010 period. The remaining 4 times were during his so called prime years 2003-2007.
Some people claim Federer peak was to 2006, and the aging process started in 2007. Others like to say that being a 3 slam year, 2007 was still peak Federer.
In my opinion, the first time I felt Roger looked aged was 2009 AO. He looked a step slower on that fast surface. But in 2009 USO and 2010 AO he seems to be as fast as he used to be. Some argue what he lacks in shot making he has gained in old man experience factor. He showed a lot of that to close out set 3 to Mugray in AO.
Some would say Rogers record outside of slams indicates he sucks more now, which started in 2007 where he began losing to all sorts of clowns outside of GS events.
This is a hotly contested point, but in my opinion, since losing to Shandi Dick Todd before 2007 AO, Roger has been tanking matches outside of grand slams, and more lately, possibly to avoid Rafael Nadal. Whether hes scared of him, or whether he wants to keep the
h2h respectable,I believe this is the case. I am not saying that every time he has lost outside of slams he tanked, or that he planned to do it, but matches like Wawrinka 2009, I just can't accept that he tried very hard or that he bought his A game.
In my opinion you have to look to the slams to get an answer to the question..and the results are about the same in terms of tournaments won. Old man Roger reaches more slam finals, but peak Federer won slightly more slams. Depending on whether you start in 2003 Wimbledon or 2004 AO you can tweak the stats to slightly make Fed look better or worse in comparing peak Fed to Old man Fed.
Okay, Federer is not the shotmaker he used to be. He doesn't quite have the freak level of stamina he used to (still by far and away the best on tour though), and he is prone to losing outside of slams, and even in slam finals slightly more than he used to. But I also think that aging old man Federer has become the most consistant tennis player of all time, and if it wasn't for the Mono Nuclear Osis of 2008, we would be looking at a conescutive GS finals record to rival his semi streak.
But at the end of the day, whos better, peak Fed, or old man Fed?
I'll go with old man Fed