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View Poll Results: Do you agree with Pete?

No. I think Federer's decline is a fact and he's not winning any major in the future. 38 17.35%
I kinda agree... He's in a great moment, but the other 2 guys are too good. No more slams for Feddy 45 20.55%
I totally agree. Fed's still playing great tennis and he'll probably win another major 104 47.49%
Hello. I'm Rod Laver and my records are intact. Suck it losers. 32 14.61%
Voters: 219. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-24-2012, 01:11 AM   #496
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
They are better players, overall, no doubt. Are their peak levels superior? Very debatable.

Even now, weird as it may sound, I'd say Tsonga at his very best is probably better than Nadal and Djokovic. If he played like he did in the last 3 sets vs Federer at Wimbledon or the A0 match vs Nadal all the time, he'd probably be #1. In fact, I think he would.

What makes Nadal and Djokovic so great is not an exceptional peak level superior to the rest of the field, it's their ability to be consistently great. You never see them play below par in the big stages.
It may be debatable but let's look at some facts...Safin at his best barely beat Federer. Nadal at his very best made it hard for Roger to win GAMES.

Nadal and Djokovic are of course more consistent but you are selling them short to make it only about consistency yet to take once in a lifetime performances from the others (which usually didn't blow Roger out...certainly not like Nadal has and not even as Djokovic has beaten him)
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:12 AM   #497
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
I think the reason why some perceive Federer's generation as weak is because everyone (among the best players) bar Federer and Roddick had so many injury issues that they could never fulfill their potential.

But it was definitely a super-talented generation; just watch some of the Federer vs Nalbandian matches or Federer vs Safin from Masters Cup 2004 and AO 2005 and then tell me it was a weak generation.

I reckon in hindsight the Djokovic generation will also be looked upon as weak by some. His two main rivals are Federer who's 31 and Nadal who peak much earlier. The second and third best players of his generation/age group - Del Potro and Murray - have failed to challenge consistently for one reason or another: injuries in Juan's case, failure to take that last step in big tournaments for Murray.

I reckon in 5-10 years people will probably be attacking the Djokovic generation as well, as they do now with Federer's. It's tough to include Nadal in a generation: he's almost the same age as Djokovic but he peaked so much earlier (and in theory will decline/burn out earlier as well).
A truly great player, plays great tennis on a consistant basis and does not get injured often. Nalbandian, Safin and Hewitt could play great tennis every now and then but the fact is Roddick has one slam, Safin had two, Hewitt had two, Nalbandian has none. Combined they have less than half of what Sampras has, never mind what Roger has. Today you have a still great Roger, a great Nadal and a great Novak. Del Potro has a slam, but seems injury prone, Murray is a head case.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:13 AM   #498
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
They are better players, overall, no doubt. Are their peak levels superior? Very debatable.

Even now, weird as it may sound, I'd say Tsonga at his very best is probably better than Nadal and Djokovic. If he played like he did in the last 3 sets vs Federer at Wimbledon or the A0 match vs Nadal all the time, he'd probably be #1. In fact, I think he would.

What makes Nadal and Djokovic so great is not an exceptional peak level superior to the rest of the field, it's their ability to be consistently great. You never see them play below par in the big stages.
The problem is that kind of level is not sustainable. You can't serve bombs and paint the lines in every match.

My main problem with guys like Tsonga, Berdych etc is that they lack plan B. Whenever their high risk ballbashing game isn't working, they are vulnerable to any top 30 player due to the outbreaks of unforced errors when they have an "off day". Thus their inconsistency.

Whenever guys like Nadal, Djokovic are having an "off day" they can fall back on their defense and grind out their matches. Tsonga/Berdych/Sodering live and die by the sword so to speak. Their best is unplayble, but their worst is utterly horrendous.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:14 AM   #499
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by SheepleBuster View Post
....My main problem is with Novak. He is a great player. But he is a couple of classes below Roger and Rafa. Roger should have beaten him at the U.S. Open for two straight years. The young Roger would not have choked those match points. Let's get real....
I just don't see how a careful observer of tennis can say the above with such confidence. Tennis at that level, in those matches and during those points is mental. And there was too much going on there to simply say that a half-step faster Federer would have taken those points. I was there at last year's semi and could see how pissed -- even disgusted -- Federer was at Djokovic's go-for-broke forehand on the first match point. And the arm-raising for the crowd. I remember saying to my friend, "What's up with that face? He better not lose his focus...."

....
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:26 AM   #500
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by tribalfusion View Post
It may be debatable but let's look at some facts...Safin at his best barely beat Federer. Nadal at his very best made it hard for Roger to win GAMES.

Nadal and Djokovic are of course more consistent but you are selling them short to make it only about consistency yet to take once in a lifetime performances from the others (which usually didn't blow Roger out...certainly not like Nadal has and not even as Djokovic has beaten him)
That assumes that Federer was playing the same level, which is not the case.

Federer was imperial in AO 2005; it was surely one of his best ever Grand Slam tournaments in terms of level. He was just blowing everyone off easily, including Agassi who was dismissed in easy 3 sets in the quarters. He had something like 25-30 matches unbeaten. I don't remember the bookies odds, but only very optimistic Safin fans believed he could even trouble Roger in that semi.

FO 2008 on the other hand was one of the least convincing marches to the final from Federer, it was basically his aura that got him there despite not playing even near to his best.

It is not without reason that many regard Federer vs Safin of AO 05 as one of the best matches in tennis history, it was sublime quality from both. It was the real final of that tournament, no doubt Federer would have easily crushed Hewitt in the final had he made it.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:28 AM   #501
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by Topspindoctor View Post
The problem is that kind of level is not sustainable. You can't serve bombs and paint the lines in every match.

My main problem with guys like Tsonga, Berdych etc is that they lack plan B. Whenever their high risk ballbashing game isn't working, they are vulnerable to any top 30 player due to the outbreaks of unforced errors when they have an "off day". Thus their inconsistency.

Whenever guys like Nadal, Djokovic are having an "off day" they can fall back on their defense and grind out their matches. Tsonga/Berdych/Sodering live and die by the sword so to speak. Their best is unplayble, but their worst is utterly horrendous.
Absolutely. That's why Djokovic and Nadal are far better players overall.

That said, those guys - Tsonga, Berdych... - would probably have more success than they have so far if they lived in an era of faster surfaces.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:32 AM   #502
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by thrust View Post
A truly great player, plays great tennis on a consistant basis and does not get injured often. Nalbandian, Safin and Hewitt could play great tennis every now and then but the fact is Roddick has one slam, Safin had two, Hewitt had two, Nalbandian has none. Combined they have less than half of what Sampras has, never mind what Roger has. Today you have a still great Roger, a great Nadal and a great Novak. Del Potro has a slam, but seems injury prone, Murray is a head case.
Bullshit. Injuries are mostly down to luck. Had Federer or Nadal suffered a career-threatening injury right after they won their first Slam title (or even before), today we'd be wondering about what could have been instead of praising them as legends of the game.

There have been multiple cases of extraordinary athletes being derailed by injuries, it's just something that is out of your control most times. Some are just more fortunate that others in that regard; believe it or not, luck does play a part in sports as well.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:36 AM   #503
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

There is a difference between a freak, unexpected injury and an injury derived from gamestyle, poor technique, lack of fitness etc.

Safin's and Nalbandian's injures weren't freak or unlucky. They happened because they failed to put in the hours into their fitness.

Olderer and Nadal sacrificed their lives for the sport. Safin and Nalbandian chose to whore around. It's disrepectful to say they were more "lucky" when they actually put their heart and soul into tennis.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:36 AM   #504
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
That assumes that Federer was playing the same level, which is not the case.

Federer was imperial in AO 2005; it was surely one of his best ever Grand Slam tournaments in terms of level. He was just blowing everyone off easily, including Agassi who was dismissed in easy 3 sets in the quarters. He had something like 25-30 matches unbeaten. I don't remember the bookies odds, but only very optimistic Safin fans believed he could even trouble Roger in that semi.

FO 2008 on the other hand was one of the least convincing marches to the final from Federer, it was basically his aura that got him there despite not playing even near to his best.

It is not without reason that many regard Federer vs Safin of AO 05 as one of the best matches in tennis history, it was sublime quality from both. It was the real final of that tournament, no doubt Federer would have easily crushed Hewitt in the final had he made it.
There is a problem here though Mark. Nadal at his best can actually shut Roger down on clay such that of course it won't be a great match to watch. It is impressive to see the extent of it though and that was my point if we are talking top level games.

Safin at his best could certainly not shut Roger down on any surface. He had no easy victory over Roger. EVER.

Big difference.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:39 AM   #505
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by Topspindoctor View Post

Safin's and Nalbandian's injures weren't freak or unlucky. They happened because they failed to put in the hours into their fitness.

Olderer and Nadal sacrificed their lives for the sport. Safin and Nalbandian chose to whore around. It's disrepectful to say they were more "lucky" when they actually put their heart and soul into tennis.
There is a lot of truth to this and perhaps we should regard this kind of concentration/focus as talent as well.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:42 AM   #506
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by tribalfusion View Post
There is a problem here though Mark. Nadal at his best can actually shut Roger down on clay such that of course it won't be a great match to watch. It is impressive to see the extent of it though and that was my point if we are talking top level games.

Safin at his best could certainly not shut Roger down on any surface. He had no easy victory over Roger. EVER.

Big difference.
Yes, he can. But can he shut down Roger at his best? I think it's safe to assume that, for his standards, Federer wasn't in great form in the spring of 2008.

I do concede though that, on clay, Nadal at his best is surely better than Safin at his best, and most other players in history as well.

Not sure it's the same on other surfaces though.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:46 AM   #507
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Sampras is correct. Don't argue with someone who has 14 slams.
+ Wilander's 7 = 21.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:46 AM   #508
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by Topspindoctor View Post
There is a difference between a freak, unexpected injury and an injury derived from gamestyle, poor technique, lack of fitness etc.

Safin's and Nalbandian's injures weren't freak or unlucky. They happened because they failed to put in the hours into their fitness.

Olderer and Nadal sacrificed their lives for the sport. Safin and Nalbandian chose to whore around. It's disrepectful to say they were more "lucky" when they actually put their heart and soul into tennis.
There's an element of true to this, but some players get injured despite putting him all the hardowork. Look at Hewitt, who had his career completely derailed by injuries despite being one of the hardest workers and fittest players around.

Or even your favorite hate subject Del Potro, who got a nasty wrist injury after winning his first Slam.

It can happen; sometimes even all the fitness work in the world can't help you. There's no shortage of extraordinary athletes who had their careers cut short by injuries.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:49 AM   #509
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by tribalfusion View Post
It may be debatable but let's look at some facts...Safin at his best barely beat Federer. Nadal at his very best made it hard for Roger to win GAMES.

Nadal and Djokovic are of course more consistent but you are selling them short to make it only about consistency yet to take once in a lifetime performances from the others (which usually didn't blow Roger out...certainly not like Nadal has and not even as Djokovic has beaten him)
dawg get real the only times Nadal has made it 'hard for Roger to win games' were when Roger was far past his prime. and 08 Roland Garros is in fact past Federer's prime.... get real man
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:49 AM   #510
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Default Re: Sampras: "I don't see any decline in Federer" Do you agree?

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Originally Posted by Mark Lenders View Post
Yes, he can. But can he shut down Roger at his best? I think it's safe to assume that, for his standards, Federer wasn't in great form in the spring of 2008.

I do concede though that, on clay, Nadal at his best is surely better than Safin at his best, and most other players in history as well.

Not sure it's the same on other surfaces though.

My guess is that it wouldn't much have mattered how Federer felt going into the 2008 FO, he was going to get a beating from that Nadal on clay. I am not sure about the other surfaces either necessarily but along with the consistency, that's more than enough for me.

I don't think we are disagreeing on much at this point though...thanks for the civil conversation.
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