Are Federer's challengers just not good enough? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

Aside from Nadal who does do alot to try and beat Federer and get to his level who else is there in todays game that is actually good enough to get to Federer's level or challenge him?

Look at the 90s... Sampras was a legend, and IMO Federer is even better, but Sampras had real opponents... the likes of Pat Rafter, Goran Ivanisevic, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Jim Courier were all at their best during Sampras' time as number 1. Federer has only had 1 real opponent IMO in his 3 years of domination and that has been Nadal... who is simply a great clay court player.

Sure Safin gave 1 tournament, but who else on the hard courts has really been able to challenge Federer? Part of it is due to his greatness I agree, but part of it is because the opponents in the latter stages are just not good enough. They are scared of Federer and instead of finding ways to beat him they hope to beat him. Even if he was getting old it was never the case for Andre Agassi who at least tried to beat Federer, but was just not young enough anymore to do so. The worst thing to do against Fed is sit back and let him control rallies and yet everyone seems to accept defeat by doing this. Players like Gonzalez at least try I suppose by attacking and Safin too when in form. Roddick is a waste because his form of attacking is coming to net on mid-court balls which isnt good enough.

So my question remains... Is Federer just so good, so many levels better than every other tennis player we have ever seen (10 GS in 3.5 years)? Or are his challengers to these titles just not good enough?

All Italian Players

Especially Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini

Juan Martin Del Potro

Roger Federer

Thomas Berdych

Fernando Verdasco
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:18 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

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The worst thing to do against Fed is sit back and let him control rallies and yet everyone seems to accept defeat by doing this. Players like Gonzalez at least try I suppose by attacking and Safin too when in form. Roddick is a waste because his form of attacking is coming to net on mid-court balls which isnt good enough.

So my question remains... Is Federer just so good, so many levels better than every other tennis player we have ever seen (10 GS in 3.5 years)? Or are his challengers to these titles just not good enough?

The way Nadal beats him is by letting Fed control rallies and waiting for a mistake. Safin has beat him a couple times by attacking, but he really just got lucky with extremely good days.

Nadal should run a clinic in between tournaments to teach the other players his patented fedkillashot to fed's bh, then he could reach #1 as we watch Fed's BH completely breakdown against every opponent and start to lose matches. That's the only possibility for exciting tournaments.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:19 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

Not so many levels but one level, and that is very rare. Eveybody feels that the guy has invented a new echelon beyond pro-level: the Fed level. In motorbike he would be a 500 cm2 compared to 250 cm2. Against Gonzo you clearly felt he had an extra gear in case. When he's pissed off or some journalists have hyped an opponent like Agassi a few years ago or Roddick in AO this year, he just picks up his A game to make the point and show who's the boss. I'm not sure past greats had this capacity to elevate their game so easily. Pete had that with his serve. Maybe Borg for a couple of years...

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

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Not so many levels but one level, and that is very rare. Eveybody feels that the guy has invented a new echelon beyond pro-level: the Fed level. In motorbike he would be a 500 cm2 compared to 250 cm2. Against Gonzo you clearly felt he had an extra gear in case. When he's pissed off or some journalists have hyped an opponent like Agassi a few years ago or Roddick in AO this year, he just picks up his A game to make the point and show who's the boss. I'm not sure past greats had this capacity to elevate their game so easily. Pete had that with his serve. Maybe Borg for a couple of years...
Of course Fed is possibly the best tennis player ever, but it would be like saying he is just another 2 gears up on Sampras if we say these things.

Im not sure if Federer is just this out of the world because he is just this superhuman tennis robot or if he just doesnt have the opponents that the likes of Sampras had.

Nadal defends, but he plays a smart game, heavy top spin to Federer's high backhand makes it difficult for Federer and Nadal is also good enough to grind out points unlike nearly every other player in this world... which brings me back to this point of whether or not there are enough challengers to Fed.

All Italian Players

Especially Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini

Juan Martin Del Potro

Roger Federer

Thomas Berdych

Fernando Verdasco
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:34 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

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Of course Fed is possibly the best tennis player ever, but it would be like saying he is just another 2 gears up on Sampras if we say these things.

Im not sure if Federer is just this out of the world because he is just this superhuman tennis robot or if he just doesnt have the opponents that the likes of Sampras had.

Nadal defends, but he plays a smart game, heavy top spin to Federer's high backhand makes it difficult for Federer and Nadal is also good enough to grind out points unlike nearly every other player in this world... which brings me back to this point of whether or not there are enough challengers to Fed.
At the moment no. He's simply better than the rest, plus he's got a huge versatility in a time of uniformity in the game.
HE would have been more challenged in the past regarding the game purely (not the athleticism/professionnalism)

Here is what Blake says about him on si.com:

SI.com: Is it a weird time in men's tennis?

Blake: Yeah. Even when Pete Sampras dominated, he wasn't consistently winning three Slams a year like Roger. It's strange because people outside tennis don't always get it. They say, "You're No. 6? Only a few spots and you'll be No. 1." I don't think you understand the guy ahead of me. What he's doing is just incredible. It's like the years of frustration for the other teams when Michael Jordan was in the NBA.

SI.com: What do you do?

Blake: When someone's dominating, it can change on one match. Look at Björn Borg and John McEnroe, who were so dominant and faltered so quickly -- not that Roger will have the same kind of vices. But you never know. Rafael Nadal had his number for a little while. Maybe Federer loses some confidence and comes back to the pack. But it's nothing where the rest of us can make a few adjustments and we're right there. This is tough to say as a competitor but, honestly, he's head and shoulders above the field right now.

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:38 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

Federer dominates the game not because his peers are not fantastic, powerful players, but because he is just that good. A person's merit need not always be relatively judged to legitimize their mark in a field. Rarely, one's skill or ability is so superior and impressive that it must be acknowledged in absolute terms. And, it's certainly not all-important, but I do put some stock in that match after match, actual experts (as opposed to us armchair ones) and commentators, alike, ooze with awe and respect for Federer -- and consistently state they believe he is the greatest the game has ever seen.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:47 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

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Originally Posted by fooolingu View Post
The way Nadal beats him is by letting Fed control rallies and waiting for a mistake. Safin has beat him a couple times by attacking, but he really just got lucky with extremely good days.

Nadal should run a clinic in between tournaments to teach the other players his patented fedkillashot to fed's bh, then he could reach #1 as we watch Fed's BH completely breakdown against every opponent and start to lose matches. That's the only possibility for exciting tournaments.

Safin beat him at the AO because Fed had more injuries than Safin. Try playing with Plantar Fascitis.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:49 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

Sampras lost too many times during the year, thus allowing many others to win tournaments. This is why it seemed like his era was more competitive.

Imagine if Fed had lost to Roddick at all slams. Roddick would have what, 4 slams?

Sampras was also lucky to have an older player with many slams overlap his era (Boris Becker). Sampras got to beat up on this oldie, thus making those Wimbledons seem like a bigger achievement. Too bad Sampras didn't stick around for Fed to beat up on him.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 12:50 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

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Originally Posted by kobulingam View Post
Try playing with Plantar Fascitis.
Who's that ? Another guy from Cyprus ?

"I asked a bloke in the front row if he liked the serve-and-volley stuff," said Rafter. "He said he did but asked if he was going to get to see any rallies. 'Not today, mate,' I told him."
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 01:31 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

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Federer dominates the game not because his peers are not fantastic, powerful players, but because he is just that good. A person's merit need not always be relatively judged to legitimize their mark in a field. Rarely, one's skill or ability is so superior and impressive that it must be acknowledged in absolute terms. And, it's certainly not all-important, but I do put some stock in that match after match, actual experts (as opposed to us armchair ones) and commentators, alike, ooze with awe and respect for Federer -- and consistently state they believe he is the greatest the game has ever seen.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. Federer's game stands alone and is a remarkable thing in itself, irrespective of the competition or lack thereof. I've watched tennis for so many years and seen so many players come and go, and I've never seen anyone come close to the quality of his game. And I'm saying that not BECAUSE I'm a fan - it's actually WHY I became a fan.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 01:39 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

Fewer star players, yes (and that's partly due to him).

Depth? No question: Federer has to deal with much greater depth than Sampras ever did. Some of the players Pete had to play against in smaller tournies were laughable. I'm trying to remember a few names, but I can't - that's how laughable they were.

Verily, the Eyes of Nadal shall gore thy soul...
...but the Hand of Federer shall smite thee.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 02:20 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

Shouldn't this be merged with the 5 billion other threads on this subject.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

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Shouldn't this be merged with the 5 billion other threads on this subject.
Sorry I dont come to this section much.

All Italian Players

Especially Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini

Juan Martin Del Potro

Roger Federer

Thomas Berdych

Fernando Verdasco
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 02:45 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

So much talk about Feder's `aura' and I think it's a direct result of his talent and achievements but I also believe many players think subconsciously they are beaten before they even walk on court.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 03:31 PM
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Re: Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

I offered to play him and he won't even talk to me. What does that tell you?
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