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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

September 29th, 2006

Record-crushing Federer Won’t Match Pete’s No. 1s

by Richard Vach



The year is not yet over, and Roger Federer has clinched his third straight year-end No. 1 ranking, putting yet another tennis record in his sights — the next record of greatness besides Pete Sampras’ 14 Grand Slam wins, and a record also held by the American.

If the Swiss dominates again in 2007, it would be four year-end top finishes, tying Ivan Lendl (1985-87,’89) and John McEnroe (1981-84). Jimmy Connors finished in the top spot five consecutive times (1974-78), and Sampras holds the all-time mark with six consecutive finishes (1993-98).

Can Federer do it, six year-end No. 1s in a row, in this Sega-tennis high-tech rocket era of injures?

No.

And no disrespect.

Federer will top Sampras’ Slam mark, but the chances of him maintaining his dominance while staying uninjured for another three years is highly unlikely.

The way Federer wisely cares for his body between major events, resting after Slams (and tanking out of Masters Series events when he needs additional rest), it isn’t such a stretch to think that Sampras’ record of six year-ends in a row might not be out of reach. But Pete was a freak of nature who rarely succumbed to major injuries until his final years.

But health issues aside, who will be the next Rafael Nadal-type to step to the Swiss in 2007? There has to be some greater competition out there somewhere. Richard Gasquet? Marcos Baghdatis? Federer’s new buddy Tiger Woods switching sports? Can someone, for lack of a better term, get good?

David Nalbandian and Ivan Ljubicic have threatened over the last 12 months, but can’t seem to find that champion-type consistency. Former No. 1s Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt have battled with their confidence, while former-former No. 1s (seems like such a long time ago) Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya have little left in the tank.

Speaking of rivals, or lack of, has Federer coasted somewhat over the last two years? Besides Nadal, have his challengers for the most part spun their wheels trying to find their own games, much less challenge his?

When it comes to the Roger vs. Pete debate, you also have to take into consideration the competition, or lack of, as Moya said earlier this week.

“Things were different in the ’90s,” the Spaniard reminisced. “There were quite a few great players like Sampras, (Boris) Becker, (Andre) Agassi, (Patrick) Rafter with virtually the same kind of skills. They were all in the same league. But today, there’s a big gap between the top two-three players and the rest. See Federer and Nadal. There is hardly anyone who can come close to them. (Sampras) was a class apart. Federer and Nadal are good, but not in his league.”

This from a player who played both Sampras and Federer. Actually, this from a player who beat Sampras, on hardcourt yet, at the Masters Cup. Then again, maybe you want to say the greatest player is the one you took out — then you can tell your kids, rather than telling them the greatest player was that Swiss guy you were 0-6 against.

Sampras himself concedes Federer his Slam record — of course throwing in the lack-of-competition jibe.

“It’s not a question of if he’ll break my record, but when he’ll break my record,” said Sampras of his 14-Slam mark. “I see a lot of good players out there facing him, but no great players.”

The 14 Slams, probably, but the six-consecutive year-end No. 1s? Let’s talk in around two years, if it’s still an issue.

To this point in time, no one even thought the Sampras year-end record could ever be touched. At the end of 1998, knowing that the all-time record sixth was in reach, and with Marcelo Rios breathing down his neck at No. 2 on the rankings, Sampras went on a European tear the likes that had not been seen before or since by a top American.

After the US Open in ‘98 Sampras played six events in eight weeks before the year-end championship — including Basel, Vienna, Lyon, Stuttgart-indoor, Paris-indoor, Stockholm — before reaching the semis at the year-end championship, finally clinching the year-end top rank when Rios withdrew after one match with injury. Talk about an effort.

Federer seems to be mowing down Sampras records left and right — but many of Pete’s accomplishments continue to amaze. Especially after the U.S. Davis Cup team was again bogged down in clay last week in Russia, the year 1996 was oft mentioned — the year Sampras almost single-handedly beat the Russians on clay in Moscow, winning two singles and the doubles to claim the U.S.’s last (and possibly for a long while) Davis Cup title.

For those already proclaiming Federer the all-time greatest (and there are more than a few), the Swiss has yet to equal Pete’s Slam mark, his year-end No. 1 mark, or win the Davis Cup. And for those wishing that Rog’s and Pete’s careers did more than barely overlap, don’t worry — Federer will still be going head-to-head against Sampras’ records for years to come.

Richard Vach, Tennis-X.com senior writer, can currently be seen on The Tennis Channel’s “Tennis Insiders: Super Insiders” episodes, and was recently awarded “Best Hard News” story for 2005 by the United States Tennis Writers Association.



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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 10:58 PM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

Why the need for worship??


Quote:
Originally Posted by angiel View Post
Federer will top Sampras’ Slam mark, but the chances of him maintaining his dominance while staying uninjured for another three years is highly unlikely.
I think it's rather silly to expect Roger to lose his no. 1 spot due to injury. I also don't think Roger will hold on to the no. 1 for another 3 years. That will be hard to do considering the youngsters waiting in the wings combined with the natural decrease in his level of play.

Nevertheless, Roger would have had an excellent career and that's the important thing. If it floats your boat, Angiel, to think that Roger not being no. 1 for six years, somehow, leaves him as an underachiever, then keep telling yourself that over and over until you have the big O!



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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 11:00 PM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

another tennis dinosaur... tennis moved on, a couple of Sampras last slam finals were crushing easy defeats to the likes of Hewitt and Safin... players Fed has since done the same to in slam finals.
im not saying Fed has had greater opposition than sampy had, so far...
but he has still been the best of the new era of tennis with alot of depth, and took out Pete himself at centre court in 2001.

some folks need to be ready for the day Fed upsets them and sweeps all records, simple as that

some ppl act like the Fed v Rafa atp tour show has been happening for 5 or 6 years, really
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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 11:02 PM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

I actually can't imagine Federer losing the number one spot in the next few years...
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 11:02 PM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangoes
I think it's rather silly to expect Roger to lose his no. 1 spot due to injury.
perhaps it was wishful thinking from this latest member of the fed fan club
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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 11:02 PM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

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Originally Posted by angiel View Post
The way Federer wisely cares for his body between major events, resting after Slams (and tanking out of Masters Series events when he needs additional rest)


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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 11:35 PM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

Quote:
The way Federer wisely cares for his body between major events, resting after Slams (and tanking out of Masters Series events when he needs additional rest),
Fed DOES seem to do a lot of tanking in TMS events. Take a look at this:

2005 IW---Win
2005 Miami----Win
2005 Monte Carlo----QF loss in 3rd set TB'er
2005 Hamburg----Win
2005 Cincy----Win
2006 IW---Win
2006 Miami---Win
2006 Monte Carlo---Runner up
2006 Roma---Runner up
2006 Canada---Win
2006 Cincy---R.2 defeat

56-4 in his last 11 TMS events. Clearly he is doing a lot of tanking when he needs it.
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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 11:46 PM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

Old news. Most people have already figured out that Federer blew his chances to match Pete's record in 2003.

Last edited by Skyward; 09-30-2006 at 03:31 AM.
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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-29-2006, 11:59 PM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

Roger will beat Pete's marks, unfortunately. Both in # of slams and # of years at the top.
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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-30-2006, 12:02 AM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

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post #11 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-30-2006, 12:38 AM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

Glenn , I doubt he will stay # 1 for 4 more years .

Nadal is right up his ass .
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post #12 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-30-2006, 12:57 AM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

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Glenn , I doubt he will stay # 1 for 4 more years .

Nadal is right up his ass .
yeah right up his ass with a few thousand points behind.
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post #13 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-30-2006, 01:16 AM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

I don't see Fed's losing his number one spot in the next few years.
Other than that thing at cincy, he generally takes good care of himself and pays attention to his body.

Plus even though Nadal is the only one who can actually win a match over him, I can't see Nadal actually getting to the number one spot because he is great on clay but only good on every other surface. Roger on the other hand is great on pretty much every surface. And many people have won matches against Nadal, while less than a handful have won matches over Federer since he began his dominance.

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post #14 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-30-2006, 01:21 AM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

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Glenn , I doubt he will stay # 1 for 4 more years .

Nadal is right up his ass .
You're also making a lot of assumptions about Nadal He'd have to also keep being "right up his ass"



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post #15 of 74 (permalink) Old 09-30-2006, 01:41 AM
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Re: Record-crushing Federer won't match Pete's No. 1s

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You're also making a lot of assumptions about Nadal He'd have to also keep being "right up his ass"
I wouldn't call someone who has to close the gap of a few thousand points which will likely increase this fall as someone right up Roger's ass.
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