Federer's Watershed Moment? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Federer's Watershed Moment?

joshabner5
08-25-2007, 10:16 PM
Hi all,

First, I suppose I'll welcome myself to the board. I have followed the postings for several months, ever since I discovered Men's Tennis Forums, but I've never actually posted something myself. I hope this is an appropriate manner in which to do so.

First, a very small bit about myself. I am a huge Federer fan, but by no means a "Fedtard," and I am not sure exactly what I think about Nadal. I vacillate between having tremendous respect for his game and grit, and being put off by his fist-pumping histrionics and annoying tendency to deny Federer the Grand Slam. I appreciate the rivalry, of course, but I do think Nadal has yet to prove himself on hard courts (to me, two straight quarterfinals in the hard court slams is not enough). Djokovic may be an up-and-comer, but let's see him win a Slam or at least reach a Slam final before we crown a triumvirate.

I live in Manhattan, so everyone's talking tennis here and I'm hugely excited for the U.S. Open. Hoping to make it out this year.

I've doing a lot of thinking about Federer and his place in history. I know the greatest of all time (GOAT) debate rages on here from time to time, and I'm fascinated by that topic. Is Federer the GOAT? I think he has a bit more work to do, but he could make a case with a straight face right now. Nine straight Slam finals, eleven Slams overall, five straight Wimbledons, and, possibly, four straight U.S. Opens. Nadal has been a thorn in his side on clay, but Federer has still managed to reach two straight French finals (and to reach the semis in 2005), while Pete was inept on clay. Also, Pete never won as many as three slams in one year, and Roger has a chance to do it for the third time in four years. It's been an amazing run, a Borg-ian run I suppose.

Obviously, there have been cracks in the armor this year, really for the first time since the Slam binge began nearly four years ago. The desultory performance in the French final, the marathon Wimbledon final. I have found myself wondering many times if those results were due to Nadal's improvement, Federer's falling off, or a combination. Even if Nadal is getting better, that can't explain Federer's losses to Canas, Volandri, etc. Yet, despite the far from perfect season, here we sit on the cusp of the U.S. Open, and this man is poised to win his third Slam of the season -- again.

I guess I'm wondering (sorry for the long post, but getting the hang of this) if anyone else sees this particular tournament as a watershed moment for Federer. If he loses it, and especially if he loses to Nadal or Djokovic, there might be a new sheriff in town. Also, he'll still be three Slams away from tying Sampras' record, and he's 26. Win, especially in dominating fashion, and he has twelve in his pocket and another hard court slam four months from now. In a way, Nadal has been like a barbarian at the gate, and Federer has been holding the gate closed by the barest of margins. Win, and Federer's still the man without question. Lose, and there are a lot of questions. Also, win, and I put his odds of breaking Sampras' record at 75%. If he loses, I still say it's over half, but it's much less of a sure thing.

I know I'll be staying tuned. Thanks for having me onto the board.

Rogiman
08-25-2007, 10:30 PM
Chances I will be proven wrong, as usual, but my take is that the importance related to this particular Slam in the context of his career is exaggerated, in the sense that he's not going to be as dominant as he's been from now on, whether he wins this tourney or not.

My guess is that 2007 for Federer is what 1997 was for Pete: His last great great season. I believe he'll win more Slams, and flashes of brilliance a-la Sampras at Wimbly 99 are to be expected, but I'm not sure he'll win multiple Slams in one season again (4 years like these is insane already).

He's put himself in a good position to overtake Sampras' Slam total, in that sense this year's USO could be crucial perhaps.

Caio_Brasil
08-25-2007, 10:51 PM
Welcome :wavey:

Sunset of Age
08-25-2007, 10:54 PM
Welcome, joshabner5, and thanks for your elaborate introduction. Interesting thoughts. Hope to read more of your posts soon! :wavey:

MatchFederer
08-25-2007, 11:00 PM
... WELCOME!


I don't believe that this upcoming US Open will be Roger's watershed moment, he is the favourite but of course there is a chance that somebody else will it. He has already won 2 grand slams this year and so he will have had a great year regardless.. however. I think if he fails to win the US Open AND the next Australian open then the implications are much more profound, I also think that his performance at the end of year TMC could be very telling. If Federer failed to win TWO hard court slams then that would be a cause for concern with regards to his potency at the GS events... especially seeing as he had won the last 4 HC slams.

onewoman74
08-25-2007, 11:13 PM
Hi all,

First, I suppose I'll welcome myself to the board. I have followed the postings for several months, ever since I discovered Men's Tennis Forums, but I've never actually posted something myself. I hope this is an appropriate manner in which to do so.

First, a very small bit about myself. I am a huge Federer fan, but by no means a "Fedtard," and I am not sure exactly what I think about Nadal. I vacillate between having tremendous respect for his game and grit, and being put off by his fist-pumping histrionics and annoying tendency to deny Federer the Grand Slam. I appreciate the rivalry, of course, but I do think Nadal has yet to prove himself on hard courts (to me, two straight quarterfinals in the hard court slams is not enough). Djokovic may be an up-and-comer, but let's see him win a Slam or at least reach a Slam final before we crown a triumvirate.

I live in Manhattan, so everyone's talking tennis here and I'm hugely excited for the U.S. Open. Hoping to make it out this year.

I've doing a lot of thinking about Federer and his place in history. I know the greatest of all time (GOAT) debate rages on here from time to time, and I'm fascinated by that topic. Is Federer the GOAT? I think he has a bit more work to do, but he could make a case with a straight face right now. Nine straight Slam finals, eleven Slams overall, five straight Wimbledons, and, possibly, four straight U.S. Opens. Nadal has been a thorn in his side on clay, but Federer has still managed to reach two straight French finals (and to reach the semis in 2005), while Pete was inept on clay. Also, Pete never won as many as three slams in one year, and Roger has a chance to do it for the third time in four years. It's been an amazing run, a Borg-ian run I suppose.

Obviously, there have been cracks in the armor this year, really for the first time since the Slam binge began nearly four years ago. The desultory performance in the French final, the marathon Wimbledon final. I have found myself wondering many times if those results were due to Nadal's improvement, Federer's falling off, or a combination. Even if Nadal is getting better, that can't explain Federer's losses to Canas, Volandri, etc. Yet, despite the far from perfect season, here we sit on the cusp of the U.S. Open, and this man is poised to win his third Slam of the season -- again.

I guess I'm wondering (sorry for the long post, but getting the hang of this) if anyone else sees this particular tournament as a watershed moment for Federer. If he loses it, and especially if he loses to Nadal or Djokovic, there might be a new sheriff in town. Also, he'll still be three Slams away from tying Sampras' record, and he's 26. Win, especially in dominating fashion, and he has twelve in his pocket and another hard court slam four months from now. In a way, Nadal has been like a barbarian at the gate, and Federer has been holding the gate closed by the barest of margins. Win, and Federer's still the man without question. Lose, and there are a lot of questions. Also, win, and I put his odds of breaking Sampras' record at 75%. If he loses, I still say it's over half, but it's much less of a sure thing.

I know I'll be staying tuned. Thanks for having me onto the board.

I'm a fellow Manhattanite(uptown)...welcome to the board. :wavey:

joshabner5
08-25-2007, 11:16 PM
Thanks to all for the welcomes!

It is interesting to ponder exactly how close Federer is to the precipice. Still, though, even if he never won again...what a run.

So do you guys think he's top three in the GOAT conversation? I think it's (in no particular order) him, Sampras, and Borg. I know Laver has the two calendar slams and all, but I can't help but discount him given that he straddled the non-Open and Open eras and that he's a tiny little guy who would surely get whupped today (or in Borg's or Sampras' era).

Sunset of Age
08-25-2007, 11:29 PM
Thanks to all for the welcomes!

:D

So do you guys think he's top three in the GOAT conversation? I think it's (in no particular order) him, Sampras, and Borg.

Yep, I do, and I agree with you - that Sampras and Borg are the other ones with a true claim to that title.
But as some others have stated already, this whole GOAT discussion isn't really leading us anywhere - the state of the circumstances, formats, materials etc. in the current era are hardly comparable with those back in, for instance, Laver's time, so I don't think it'll lead anywhere.

Unless Feds indeed manages to win RG in both 2008 and 2009, piling up two Calender Grand Slams, making some 20 GS's, etc. But in all honesty, I don't see that happening. Not that that makes his run any less, BTW. :cool:

Purple Rainbow
08-25-2007, 11:47 PM
Welcome aboard, mate!

I have to disagree with you about the importance of this tournament fo Federer.
Federers watershed tournament this year was Roland Garros. Had he won that, the GOAT debate would have been settled. The second most significant event was of course Wimbledon, with Federer tying Borgs record.
A US Open win, brilliant as it may be to win it 4 straight times, would in the greater scheme of things be just another step towards number 15.

I really hope Roger wins, though!

scoobs
08-26-2007, 12:10 AM
I expect a relatively slow decline from the great heights of the last few years for Mr Federer - he has proven especially invincible at Slams since 2004, only losing to Kuerten, Safin and Nadal.

I think if he should not win the title, it's not the end of his hopes of passing Sampras at all. I think given his abilities and how tough he has proven to knock over at the Slams, he should still be able to pick up another 4 in the next 3 or 4 years. I see him continuing to be in the mix for slams, assuming he's healthy for that long - I don't see a sudden decline in his level which means suddenly he's struggling to get to the latter stages as his likely fate. He will start losing at slams more frequently soon - it's inevitable - but he should win at least one and probably two next year, I believe.

I guess we'll see. It seems strange to be talking about his fall from grace at the point where he's overwhelming favourite to add his 3rd slam of the season for the third season of his career.

For all the talk of Federer's decline from dominance this year, by the US Open 2006 he had lost 5 times (Nadal - Dubai, Nadal - Monte Carlo, Nadal - Rome, Nadal - Roland Garros, Murray - Cincinnati) and didn't lose another match all year.

By the US Open 2007, he has, so far, still only lost 6 matches (Canas - Indian Wells, Canas - Dubai, Nadal - Monte Carlo, Volandri - Rome, Nadal - Roland Garros, Djokovic - Montreal)

Suppose he doesn't lose another match all year again? Is 2007 really going to look much less dominant than 2006, viewed in retrospect?

MatchFederer
08-26-2007, 12:12 AM
So do you guys think he's top three in the GOAT conversation? I think it's (in no particular order) him, Sampras, and Borg. I know Laver has the two calendar slams and all, but I can't help but discount him given that he straddled the non-Open and Open eras and that he's a tiny little guy who would surely get whupped today (or in Borg's or Sampras' era).

Laver was able to hang with Borg at the age of 37.

LeChuck
08-26-2007, 12:27 AM
Laver was able to hang with Borg at the age of 37.

Yeah it was sensational that Laver beat Borg on clay only a few months before the Swede won his first French Open title in 1974, pushed him close in matches in later years, and stuck around in the top 10 at 37 years of age. The guy must have been an absolute phenomenon.

Sunset of Age
08-26-2007, 12:38 AM
Laver was able to hang with Borg at the age of 37.

Yep, but as I pointed out already - the circumstances were completely different from the situation as it is nowadays. Not meant to downgrade Laver's accomplishment in any way, BTW.

Merton
08-26-2007, 01:32 AM
No its not, winning here would mean winning 3 slams in a year for three years, something very unlikely to be matched by anybody else, but we have to wait until the end of his career to have the discussion about his place in history.

MatchFederer
08-26-2007, 01:36 AM
Yep, but as I pointed out already - the circumstances were completely different from the situation as it is nowadays. Not meant to downgrade Laver's accomplishment in any way, BTW.

Yes I do agree, however... If Borg is one of the 3 who some people think could be plausably considered as the GOAT then the fact that Laver played Borg close and hard and even managed to beat him in the late late twilight of his career, speaks volumes. It alone proves that Laver was an incredible player and that he would have still probably flourished in Borgs era, although it is impossible to say that with any great deal of certainty. The fact remains that Laver gave Borg a hard time as an old man in tennis terms, this in tandem with the fact that he has 11 GS titles to his name including 2 calender year slams should in my opinion be evidence enough to add Laver as a 4th possible GOAT player.

However what makes the water muddier is how to distinguish what GOAT means. If one accepts that GOAT is mutually exclusive to BOAT (Best of alltime) then there is ABSOLUTELY NO doubt that Laver should be in the running for GOAT.:)

MatchFederer
08-26-2007, 01:40 AM
Yeah it was sensational that Laver beat Borg on clay only a few months before the Swede won his first French Open title in 1974, pushed him close in matches in later years, and stuck around in the top 10 at 37 years of age. The guy must have been an absolute phenomenon.

Absolutely, it will be interesting to see if Federer can deal with any up and coming superstars by the time he is in his mid thirties... though we may never see that. I know it doesn't work like that as such, but one cannot deny that Lavers showings against Borg in his late career were impressive.:)

Federerhingis
08-26-2007, 08:08 AM
I'm a fellow Manhattanite(uptown)...welcome to the board. :wavey:

Hehe nobody could possibly live any more uptown than me. In that case they would be living in the Bronx. :tape: Inwood Heights baby (wait let me not be so loud); Inwood Heights used to be nice and calm not so anymore. hehe :D

Welcome Joshabner :wavey:

Action Jackson
08-26-2007, 08:12 AM
Too early to tell.

LeChuck
08-26-2007, 09:16 AM
Absolutely, it will be interesting to see if Federer can deal with any up and coming superstars by the time he is in his mid thirties... though we may never see that. I know it doesn't work like that as such, but one cannot deny that Lavers showings against Borg in his late career were impressive.:)

I completely agree. What was also amazing about Laver, was the fact that he compiled the most successful and dominate seasons ever in each of the amateur tour (1962), pro tour (1967) and open era (1969). His weakest surface was clay, yet he still won pretty much every important tournament on it. Plus many people think that the surface of grass completely dominated the schedule in those days, but that isn't true, and he regularly won the biggest tournaments available to him on both hard and carpet.

bayvalle
08-26-2007, 10:06 AM
We have seen Roger's performance soar and plummet (by his standard). But I believe we have yet to see the best of him. Could he be saving it for the last? This must be his "watershed" moment - the last match of his life, his Swan Song to the fans. Would that last be coming soon? In any case, whether or not he ends up with just 11 GS, he will always be the GOAT (or, as one poster it, the BOAT) to his millions of fans.

Welcome aboard. Been writin', right?

groundstroke
08-26-2007, 10:16 AM
Yeah, this is an important title, but I think Federer will win it.

stebs
08-26-2007, 07:16 PM
Too early to tell.

It will be too early to tell until Federer retires and we can look in retropsect.

Predictions can be good fun but realistically those who get it right with things like this are more lucky than anything else, there is no way of telling further than taking what stats you can but stats are not everything and moulds can be broken.

turkjey5
08-26-2007, 07:26 PM
I think if he wins this tournament he has an outside chance of tying Pete's record, if he loses it he has no chance. Pete was unusual in that he could serve his way to grandslam victories in his late 20s and early 30s; Fed won't be able to do that and he's already running out of steam.

CmonAussie
08-26-2007, 08:08 PM
Hi all,

I guess I'm wondering (sorry for the long post, but getting the hang of this) if anyone else sees this particular tournament as a watershed moment for Federer. If he loses it, and especially if he loses to Nadal or Djokovic, there might be a new sheriff in town. Also, he'll still be three Slams away from tying Sampras' record, and he's 26. Win, especially in dominating fashion, and he has twelve in his pocket and another hard court slam four months from now. In a way, Nadal has been like a barbarian at the gate, and Federer has been holding the gate closed by the barest of margins. Win, and Federer's still the man without question. Lose, and there are a lot of questions. Also, win, and I put his odds of breaking Sampras' record at 75%. If he loses, I still say it's over half, but it's much less of a sure thing.

I know I'll be staying tuned. Thanks for having me onto the board.



:wavey: :cool:
Welcome:D
I partly argee with you, in that this USO could determine FED`s overall Slam count & degree of continued domination, but either way I still expect Roger to surely pass Pete`s record;)

2-scenarios
(A)~FED wins this USO is basically dominant style (a couple of 4-setters perhaps)..
>> Roger would once again crush the hopes of his nearest challengers & go on to win possibly around 20-Slams:eek:

(B)~DJOKO or RAFA win the USO by defeating Roger in the final..
>> FED`s aura of invincibility (esp on fast surfaces) is dimished just slightly, so he losses a little confidence, yet Roger still ends up with 15-16 Slams:cool: