Are Federer's challengers just not good enough? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Are Federer's challengers just not good enough?

Champion number 1
02-02-2007, 12:09 PM
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?

fooolingu
02-02-2007, 12:18 PM
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.

TheMightyFed
02-02-2007, 12:19 PM
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...

Champion number 1
02-02-2007, 12:24 PM
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.

TheMightyFed
02-02-2007, 12:34 PM
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.

Ariadne
02-02-2007, 12:38 PM
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.

kobulingam
02-02-2007, 12:47 PM
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.

kobulingam
02-02-2007, 12:49 PM
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.

TheMightyFed
02-02-2007, 12:50 PM
Try playing with Plantar Fascitis.

Who's that ? Another guy from Cyprus ? ;)

rosamunda
02-02-2007, 01:31 PM
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.

Peacemaster
02-02-2007, 01:39 PM
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.

nobama
02-02-2007, 02:20 PM
:yawn: Shouldn't this be merged with the 5 billion other threads on this subject.

Champion number 1
02-02-2007, 02:33 PM
:yawn: Shouldn't this be merged with the 5 billion other threads on this subject.

Sorry I dont come to this section much.

coral
02-02-2007, 02:45 PM
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.

r2473
02-02-2007, 03:31 PM
I offered to play him and he won't even talk to me. What does that tell you?

Howard
02-02-2007, 03:57 PM
People tend to focus on Federer’s strokes and athletic ability, but he’s also extremely tough mentally. That’s not to say that he never chokes (everyone does), it’s just that he somehow pulls out most of the close ones, sometimes on sheer will and determination. Also, we’ve seen matches when he wasn’t playing very well and had to fall back on his defensive capabilities.

A tennis player is a total package, offense, defense, athleticism and mental toughness. Combined, Fed just has a higher total than his competition, and possibly higher than anyone who’s ever played the game.

Edith09
02-02-2007, 04:21 PM
Well, I don´t think that the other players are so bad.Federer is simply at least 2 levels higher. But sometimes seems to me that some players just give up before match.

deliveryman
02-02-2007, 10:28 PM
If Federer didn't exist:

Roddick would have about 4-5 Grandslams by now.
Hewitt would also have around 3-4.
Marat would have around 3 as well.
Nadal would probably have around 3.

It's not that his competition is any worst (in fact I think it's better), I just think Roger has taken tennis to a level, never ever witnessed before, and he's just making everyone look average.

I truly believe if Federer played in the Sampras era, that Pete would of been lucky to win more than 5 GrandSlams.

missbungle
02-03-2007, 01:29 AM
I think today's players are at least as talented as those from the 90's, but I think there was more variety of playing styles in the past than today. In the 90's you had the full spectrum of playing styles in the top ten, from Nadal-style defensive players to power serve-and-volleyers. Today nearly everyone at the top is an aggressive baseliner.

I think if Federer played in the 90's he'd definitely still be number 1, win tons of slams, etc., but he might sustain a few more losses on faster surfaces to guys like Krajicek who could serve-and-volley Federer off the court the way that Roddick almost did in Shanghai.

UncleZeke
02-03-2007, 03:00 AM
at this point in time, only Rafa on clay..

jcempire
02-03-2007, 03:08 AM
<The way Nadal beats him is by letting Fed control rallies and waiting for a mistake.>

Of course, That's only way to beat him.

jcempire
02-03-2007, 03:12 AM
<Today nearly everyone at the top is an aggressive baseliner.>

I totally agree with you, But Andy Muarry is a different guy who I expect to come out there and beat Roger later on.

Now, You only have to find a diff. guy to beat him. If you are an aggressive baseliner as James or Gonzo, you would never to beat Roger. You have to be diff. to win the Match. If you just copy him, You have no chance to beat him, obvious not

R.Federer
02-03-2007, 06:28 AM
If Federer didn't exist:

Roddick would have about 4-5 Grandslams by now.
Hewitt would also have around 3-4.
Marat would have around 3 as well.
Nadal would probably have around 3.

These add up to 13-15 slams, but Federer has only 10.

DrJules
02-03-2007, 03:22 PM
These add up to 13-15 slams, but Federer has only 10.

Remmember Safin and Hewitt already have 2 each and Nadal 1.

Andre'sNo1Fan
02-03-2007, 03:39 PM
Remmember Safin and Hewitt already have 2 each and Nadal 1.
Nadal has 2 :)

TheBoiledEgg
02-03-2007, 05:34 PM
Fed is so nice to all the players they just bow down and say here you are :lol:

brent-o
02-04-2007, 12:09 AM
Yes, I believe his competitors just aren't good enough. That's not to say he isn't a world-class player. Not to take anything away from him. But people might actually stand a chance of beating him if they were consistent enough to actually reach the final to face him. Think about it. If Federer weren't around (and Nadal not at number 2), we'd practically have a revolving door number 1 spot (somebody being number 1 this week, it passing to someone else the next).

mangoes
02-04-2007, 12:20 AM
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?

I think it is the fact that Roger is better than most tennis players we have seen in the last couple of years. If we remove Roger from the equation and just look at the guys from no. 2 down, I'd have a hard time calling them the weaker bunch of guys in comparison to those chaps from Sampras' era.

Sampras didn't care about dominating on the level that Roger now dominates. GS were the important tournaments for Sampras followed by the Masters series.

If we were to put Roger into the Sampras generation, the only player I don't see Roger dominating is Sampras......... In terms of Andre, I'd put him in the same bracket as Safin - on a good day, he can knock Roger out.

It's funny because I remember similar questions being asked during the Sampras era........ Quite frankly, I've noticed that it's those reeking of jealousy or a dislike for Roger that insult guys like Hewitt, Andy and Safin by calling them weak players just so a jab can be taken at Roger.

I wasn't the biggest Sampras fan. I wanted to see Andre win more of the Sampras/Agassi encounters. Nevertheless, if I remove my emotions from the subject matter of who was the greatest tennis player, I really must credit Sampras as the greatest tennis player to date......... It would be cheap of me to point out, for example, that he had beaten most of his competitors before even beginning matches. While that fact is true, Sampras still was the better player at the end of the day. Furthermore, such fear in the locker room is earned, not received freely. I loved it every time Sampras loss a match. But, credit still must be given to Sampras as a tennis player. I think it's petty that people can't acknowledge that Roger really is a hell of a talent instead of looking for BS reasons as to why Roger is getting "lucky".

ExcaliburII
02-04-2007, 12:27 AM
Nalbandian in training and good form can beat federer. I think he is a good opponent for Roger.

Howard
02-04-2007, 12:37 AM
2000 US Open final: Safin def. Sampras 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
2001 US Open final: Hewitt def. Sampras 7-6, 6-1, 6-1

Granted, this was a little past Sampras’ prime, but he did make it to the finals. So where was all that stellar competition?

nobama
02-04-2007, 01:28 AM
Were people complaining about a weak field/tour in 2003 when each of the 4 slams had a different champion?

Mimi
02-05-2007, 07:50 AM
i think its mainly because he is too good:cool:

FedFan_2007
02-05-2007, 08:10 AM
Roger is too good - he only needs to win the FO final to put the final cherry on top. I think he'll do it - I also don't think Nadal will even make it to the final.

CmonAussie
02-05-2007, 09:26 AM
If Federer didn't exist:

Roddick would have about 4-5 Grandslams by now.
Hewitt would also have around 3-4.
Marat would have around 3 as well.
Nadal would probably have around 3.

It's not that his competition is any worst (in fact I think it's better), I just think Roger has taken tennis to a level, never ever witnessed before, and he's just making everyone look average.

I truly believe if Federer played in the Sampras era, that Pete would of been lucky to win more than 5 GrandSlams.

:wavey:
Hewitt would have 5-7 Slams if it weren`t for Federer;)
*
2004 AO: Hewitt lost to eventual champion FED
2004 Wimby: Hewitt lost to eventual champion FED
2004 USO: Hewitt was on 16-match winning streak & reached the finals without dropping a set [best form of his life] & got smashed by FED
2005 Wimby: Hewitt lost SFs to FED ><...
2005 USO: Hewitt lost SFs to FED [this match was close;) ].

Federer&Hingis
02-05-2007, 10:25 AM
Nooo.

Federer makes his challengers look like not good enough