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post #31 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:22 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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If by "better than both" you were judging their peak game, Murray can't touch Safin. Safin and Hewitt had to deal with prime Fed. Hewitt was clealy hurt by that, if not he would have a few more slams or TMC. They also played when surfaces were different.
Yeah, Murray played prime Federer as well. The difference is that he actually earned a few wins, despite being a shadow of the player he is now.

Let's be clear. Federer's decline has been overstated. People were arguing that he was past his peak by the age of 25, simply because he started to lose because the top players improved.

And don't even get me started on how overrated Safin is.

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post #32 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:24 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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This is complete BS. Odds are Murray would never have even sniffed a Slam if he was peaking at the same time as Federer. If anything, Murray has it much easier now without such a dominant force around to take him to the cleaners (Hewitt's case) time and time again.
Murray was competing with and beating some of the best players of the previous era when he was 18/19.

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post #33 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:27 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

Safin and Hewitt had their success in times where there were less dominant players yes, but you have to take into account that conditions and diversity of surfaces were totally different at that point. If today's players played on surfaces like that there might have been a few more upsets the last couple of years, whereas Safin and Hewitt themselves would be hampered playing on today's surfaces.

At the end of the day comparing eras is tough. This era makes it harder to win a slam, but far easier to dominate if you CAN win due to the lack of diversity there used to be.

A second slam and #1 for Murray will take him past Safin and Hewitt. Hewitt is probably the most similar past player to Andy I can recall.

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post #34 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:31 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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Murray was competing with and beating some of the best players of the previous era when he was 18/19.
And? He was also routinely getting taken to the cleaners by post-prime Federer at Slams and only managed to eek out a Slam win over him a few days ago when, by any unbiased observation, Federer isn't even remotely close to the heights he reached in his prime.

Murray is much luckier with the era he peaked at than Safin and Hewitt were. All the rivals Murray has to face put together are not such an iron walls to the Slam gates as a prime Federer was.

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post #35 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:31 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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Safin and Hewitt had their success in times where there were less dominant players yes, but you have to take into account that conditions and diversity of surfaces were totally different at that point. If today's players played on surfaces like that there might have been a few more upsets the last couple of years, whereas Safin and Hewitt themselves would be hampered playing on today's surfaces.

At the end of the day comparing eras is tough. This era makes it harder to win a slam, but far easier to dominate if you CAN win due to the lack of diversity there used to be.

A second slam and #1 for Murray will take him past Safin and Hewitt. Hewitt is probably the most similar past player to Andy I can recall.
I think Andy is an evolved version of Hewitt. Similar strengths, but he is more athletic and has more weapons.

The issue of surfaces is the one thing that prevents a proper comparison of the two eras.

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post #36 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:33 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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And? He was also routinely getting taken to the cleaners by post-prime Federer at Slams and only managed to eek out a Slam win over him a few days ago when, by any unbiased observation, Federer isn't even remotely close to the heights he reached in his prime.

Murray is much luckier with the era he peaked at than Safin and Hewitt were. All the rivals Murray has to face put together are not such an iron walls to the Slam gates as a prime Federer was.
Is 28 years old "post-prime"? I'm sorry, but that's nonsense. No reasonable person who saw the 2008 USO final and 2010 AO final could say that Federer wasn't peaking in those matches. He was phenomenal in both.

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post #37 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:35 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

I have said it before, but I think in 20 years we are going to look back and realise that the top players of the post-Federer era have won a lot more slams than the top players of the pre-Federer era. Therefore comparing number of titles is going to be a lot less effective way of comparing players.

Surface homogenisation is a big deal. Being a genuine contender at 3 or 4 slams a year is hugely different to being a genuine contender at 2, and it's going to start being reflected in the slam count.
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post #38 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:36 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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Is 28 years old "post-prime"? I'm sorry, but that's nonsense. No reasonable person who saw the 2008 USO final and 2010 AO final could say that Federer wasn't peaking in those matches. He was phenomenal in both.
Well 2008 was probably where he started to decline from his unbelievably high peak as guys like Fish, Simon, Karlovic and even Blake beat him.

The first signs I saw that he wasn't the player of 04-07 were at the 09 USO final as Fed used to eat big hitters/ballbashers alive yet he was shanking Delpo's missiles.

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post #39 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:38 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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Is 28 years old "post-prime"? I'm sorry, but that's nonsense. No reasonable person who saw the 2008 USO final and 2010 AO final could say that Federer wasn't peaking in those matches. He was phenomenal in both.
2008-2010 wasn't post prime, it was just Federer coming back to Earth after 4 years of stratospheric play. Not as consistently great as he was before, but still more than good enough to handle anyone apart from Nadal at Slams. It was in 2010 that he had a noticeable physical decline.

The point is though that you make it sound as if Hewitt and Safin were luckier than Murray with the era they peaked in, which is beyond absurd. If Murray's peak had coincided with Federer's like theirs did, odds are Murray would have never even sniffed a Slam.

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post #40 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:39 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

He already has in my book.

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post #41 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:41 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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Well 2008 was probably where he started to decline from his unbelievably high peak as guys like Fish, Simon, Karlovic and even Blake beat him.

The first signs I saw that he wasn't the player of 04-07 were at the 09 USO final as Fed used to eat big hitters/ballbashers alive yet he was shanking Delpo's missiles.
I think that 09 final was an anomaly, since he generally played at a very high level that season.

Federer's decline has been slower than some people like to admit. Two factors led to Federer being less successful: the players improved and the surfaces became slower. Any decline in Federer's game was relatively small until much more recently.

People were far too quick to claim that Federer was past his prime. That kind of talk began as early as the first half of 2007, when he lost to Canas. It was absurd.

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post #42 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:43 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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2008-2010 wasn't post prime, it was just Federer coming back to Earth after 4 years of stratospheric play. Not as consistently great as he was before, but still more than good enough to handle anyone apart from Nadal at Slams. It was in 2010 that he had a noticeable physical decline.

The point is though that you make it sound as if Hewitt and Safin were luckier than Murray with the era they peaked in, which is beyond absurd. If Murray's peak had coincided with Federer's like theirs did, odds are Murray would have never even sniffed a Slam.
They were luckier because the top of the game was not as strong.

OK, let's look at this qualitatively. Name some things that Hewitt, in his prime, did better than Murray.

Safin is much harder to compare, since he was so much more erratic.

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post #43 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:48 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

Federer's decline began around 2010. Anything before that can be attributed to form fluctuation.

Safin and Hewitt peaked in conditions where upsets were much more prone to occur. Nowadays it's extremely difficult to beat a top 5 player even on a "hot" day because the conditions are simply too slow and conducive to defense.

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post #44 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:51 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

The courts are very different now, they are slower. Murray wouldn't play the way he does now if he was playing back then. I still think he would have been successful, but his gamestyle isnt so suited to lightening quick courts. why? because big serving, S+V, and 1-2 punch tennis is not something that is natural for Andy and it certainly isnt unique, loads of guys in 90/s early 2000's played that way.

So it truly is difficult to say just HOW successful Andy would have been in another era.

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post #45 of 117 (permalink) Old 01-26-2013, 11:51 PM
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Re: What Murray needs to surpass Safin and Hewitt?

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Federer's decline began around 2010. Anything before that can be attributed to form fluctuation.
I'd agree with that. Although, I don't think his ability has fallen off the proverbial cliff, unlike some.

Half a step slower, struggles a bit more physically, few back problems, too.

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