Federer : The Mother Of All Quests : 20 Slams And 100 Titles. - Page 7 - MensTennisForums.com

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Old 02-20-2012, 04:29 PM   #91
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

Quote:
Originally Posted by masterclass View Post
So what's the common link to play declining gracefully or little, and not precipitously?

I think the players who generally lasted longest are recognized as having outstanding footwork and desire to keep competing, along with the ability to stay relatively healthy.

Arthur Ashe rated Ken Rosewall and Richard "Pancho" Gonzales as having the best footwork in his day.
Ken Rosewall won his last title at the age of 43 in 1977. 3 weeks earlier he lost in the finals of the Sydney Indoors to Jimmy Connors.

Richard Gonzales: Tony Trabert, who disliked Gonzales intensely, still had this to say about him: "Gonzales is the greatest natural athlete tennis has ever known. The way he can move that 6-foot-2-inch frame of his around the court is almost unbelievable. He's just like a big cat...". Gonzales won his last title 3 months short of 44 years old in 1972.

Jimmy Connors' footwork and setup preparation are one of the greatest all time.
He won his last two tournaments at the age of 37, and went to the semifinal in the US Open at age 39.

Bjorn Borg Borg had outstanding footwork and speed and was one of the smoothest players ever to run on the court. But he didn't have the desire to continue playing beyond the age of 26. I include him here as perhaps the best example of someone with superb footwork and athletic ability who did not have longevity due to lack of desire to compete further. One needs both.

Andre Agassi Great footwork and preparation (similar to Connors), even though he didn't have the best speed. Won his last slam about 3 months short of his 33rd birthday (record still stands) and won his last tournament at age 35.

*Roger Federer is acknowledged as having one of the finest, most graceful (most efficient with little effort) footwork ever.
In my opinion, he is most similar to Mr. Gonzales in that respect.
Approaching age 31, after winning Rotterdam 2012, he stated he has the desire to compete several more years.

*Still active

Respectfully,
masterclass
Yeah good post. Made me feel a little more hopeful. But I still think 100 titles is out of the question.
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:53 PM   #92
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

of course its a stretch. that is why it might be worth achieving.

that could be a nice goal to have out in front.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:11 PM   #93
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

Soon I expect to see the poll: Which one is easier, Federer reaching #1 again, or him winning 100 titles?

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Old 02-20-2012, 05:14 PM   #94
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

#1 will be difficult. additional slams will be difficult.

reaching 100 titles may be a nice goal since he wants to keep playing for a long time. it will be a good away to stay in the top 10 for one thing.

and of course if that is all you have even known then it is hard to go do something else.

look at all those oldies now trying to play seniors tennis. even lendl had to find his way back into the sport.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:15 PM   #95
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

Quote:
Originally Posted by masterclass View Post
So what's the common link to play declining gracefully or little, and not precipitously?

I think the players who generally lasted longest are recognized as having outstanding footwork and desire to keep competing, along with the ability to stay relatively healthy.
There's another point which helps lasting long imo is having quite a "symmetric game" on the forehand and backhand, which helps playing great with less need for movement.

In a context where usually backhand is the players' weakest shot, it's quite the same as saying having a very good backhand.

Rosewall, Agassi and Connors had that, Lendl also had quite a good backhand, Federer less, and he has much used turning around his backhand to win. That looks even more important in modern time imo because the courts are slow then grinders are rewarded, then players who have no weak side are rewarded, then backhands in general have never been as good as now imo.

Then I don't think he has the best points to win for a very long time like these players (although having a great serve also helps because usually players don't lose their serve with age, except if they have problems with their back or shoulder).

But it's another topic than the one about his retirement : he may keep on playing with a light schedule and a bad ranking
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:28 PM   #96
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

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Originally Posted by duong View Post
There's another point which helps lasting long imo is having quite a "symmetric game" on the forehand and backhand, which helps playing great with less need for movement.

In a context where usually backhand is the players' weakest shot, it's quite the same as saying having a very good backhand.

Rosewall, Agassi and Connors had that, Lendl also had quite a good backhand, Federer less, and he has much used turning around his backhand to win. That looks even more important in modern time imo because the courts are slow then grinders are rewarded, then players who have no weak side are rewarded, then backhands in general have never been as good as now imo.

Then I don't think he has the best points to win for a very long time like these players (although having a great serve also helps because usually players don't lose their serve with age, except if they have problems with their back or shoulder).

But it's another topic than the one about his retirement : he may keep on playing with a light schedule and a bad ranking
Good point. One can look at it another way as well. Most 1 handed back-hand players, most "asymmetric" players with stronger forehands, and most all-courters need great footwork to have any chance to succeed on tour, and Federer is exactly an asymmetric 1 handed back-hand all-courter. The question is whether his great footwork and movement trumps his asymmetric tendencies and will preserve his longevity. I think more telling for him may be is service motion and how it affects his back over time. It's very fluid, but he really puts a lot of torque on it when serving his high American Twist kick serves.

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:10 PM   #97
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

his game is built around 4 things:

1. his serve
2. his forehand
3. his movement
4. his ability to close out the points at the net

he can easily compensate for his diminished movement down the road by putting greater focus and time on the other 3.

and dont forget that he has the best slice on the planet. he can drop it over the net or he can knife it through the court.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:31 AM   #98
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

Few players retire because they feel like it, Sampras last 2-3 years he looked exhausting and very old and when he retired at Feds age he was clearly mentaly and physically exhausted for anyone watching him play.

If you take a look at players like Edberg, Mcenroe, Becker, Lendl and Wilander they just werent competitive anymore at this age and I am not talking about them losing to Pete Sampras and Agassi at 30+ like Federer is losing 7 out of 12 matches last year to either Djokovic or Nadal. They were losing to journeymen right and left, struggling in early rounds and fighting to even get close to winning a title. Not like Federer beeing almost there in SFs and Fs every week, they just couldnt see the end of the tunnel.

All players except Borg felt forced to retire because they just couldnt compete anymore, they couldnt see themselves lifting another slam tournament or even master series. These are highly competitive people who lived all their life for tennis and probably fear having a pointless pastcareer life without tennis, imagine what would someone like Federer do without big crowds lifting his ego when they stand applauding some artistic shot improvised by him or the dream of another big title, did you see him all emotional winning Basel and Paris TMS last year?

Seriously, I dont understand what you are talking about saying Federer will retire 2012-2013 or maximum 2014, he isnt struggling to win early rounds lika Sampras 2001-2002 or all others mentioned the years before they retired, he doesnt look to be physically and mentally wasted, tennis seems to be effortless for Federer and something fun and the only playground for his creative genius. Federer is going to be pushed into retirement by some outside force and not free will, he wont feel comfortable watching Nadal on television trying to catch up to his 16 slams. I am quite sure he will be playing in 2016, anything more than that depends on circumstance and future events we cant predict at the moment.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:56 AM   #99
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

excellent post by sexybeast. i approve that post.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:16 AM   #100
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

Take a look at all great players last 2 years, not their age but what they accomplished! All of them were forced out of tennis because they couldnt compete anymore.

Sampras was ranked outside top 10 his last 2 years and so was Edberg, Wilander, Mcenroe, Lendl, Connors, Laver and Becker. Look at how many titles they won their last 2 years, Sampras and Edberg 1, Becker at 32-33 with 0 titles, Wilander with 0 titles for almost half a decade, Mcenroe with 0 titles his last 2 years, Lendl with 2 titles his last 2 years. Becker and Mcenroe were quite horrible their last 2 years and were going for 33, they were no where close to Federer's level at 30 and still struggled to get one last one at the age of 33.

Look at slam results, Sampras geting 2/8 times past R16, Edbeg 0/8 slams past R16, Mcenroe 2/8 times past R16, Wilander 0/8, Becker 0/8, Lendl 0/8.

Federer has been to 5 SFs in his last 6 Grand slams and been to 30+ straight QFs, you seriously expect he got another 2 years to play when he is clearly the 3rd best player in the world at 30 and winning 4-5 tournaments every year?

Let me remind you how top players end their careers, they end their careers struggling in early rounds fighting to get past early rounds in every tournament and living by the dream of winning that last big one. Only Ivanisevic and Sampras actually were able to do it, but everyone lives by that dream the latest years when they are ranked outside top 20 and want to improve their career resume with just one last slam just they cant even see the light at the end of the tunnel because they barely get to QFs in slams.

Still many here think Federer will just suddenly retire when he feels like it at nr3 in the world, you dont think he has one competitive bone in his body? You see signs he doesnt care anymore and doesnt enjoy tennis? Is he struggling with injuries and playing with pain killing medicine like Agassi and Sampras during their last years on tour?
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:29 AM   #101
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

impressive post.

also add to that the fact that fed has consistently expressed his desire to play for a long time. i also believe he will start making some adjustments once the movement is significantly diminished.

he had nole on the ropes at the u.s. open. he should have won that match. he had finished off tsonga at wimbledon. somehow he went on a little mental vacation right in the middle of that match. he lost his concentration.

i think he has figured out a way to keep his fitness and his level of play high. its because he wants to hang around for a long time.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:54 AM   #102
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

Further analysis how players were ranked and at their W/L stats and slam stats at year they turned 30 and how many more years they played:

Federer at 30:


Ranked 3rd in the world, 4 titles (including TMC), 1 slam final, 2 slam SFs and 1 slam QF, W-L 64-12

Sampras at 30:

Ended ranked 10th, 0 titles, 1 slam final and 3 early round losses, W-L 35-16

Played for another year.

Edberg at 30


Ranked 14th, early round losses in all slams for some years now, 0 titles, 46-26

Last year of his career (had no success in his last 4 years).

Becker at 30


Ranked 37th, 0 titles and finals, 1 Wimbledon QF and no other slam wins, 15-11.

Still played for another 2 years despite this awful year at ultrafast decline.


Lendl at 30


Ranked 3rd, 5 titles, won 1 slam, 1 SF and 1 slam QF, 54-12

Most similar to Federer? Played for another 4 years, I think Lendl was still not really on Feds level this year because top opponents in early 90s were not on peak-Nadal and Djokovic level.

Connors at 30


Epic year after beeing dominated all his late 20s by Mcenroe and Borg, won Wimbledon and Usopen and 7 titles, 78-11.

Ofcourse this does not give the whole picture, this was one odd year for Connors, who didnt win slams in any other year between 79-81. Borg had ended his career and Mcenroe was in the cloud. I bet if Nadal stopped playing tennis and Djokovic went into existential crisis Federer would have a Connors 82 year winning 2 slams and 7 titles.

Played for another 10 years....

Agassi at 30

Ranked 8th, 1 title and that was AO, SF in Wimbledon and early round loses in other 2 slams, Agassi was clearly not on Feds and Connors level at 30 but was given incredible draws in his last AOs, Schuettler, Kafelnikov and Clement in finals?

Played for another 6 years.


Conclusion: Federer should have a longevity atleast as long as Lendl's (another 4 years) but probably closer to Agassi's at 6 years but it is highly possible he could be looking to match Connors close to 10 years.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:01 AM   #103
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

It should be mentioned Connors won 20 titles past 30, so if Federer wants to get 29 more he would have to do something beyond incredible and win more titles than the marathon man Connors who went around the world and played in really small venues, something Federer just wouldnt do. Laver won 42 titles past 30 but that was clearly another era and Laver played alot of very small venues aswell.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:04 AM   #104
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

andres gomez won the french open at 31. not likely to happen often but it does show that you can do well in your 30`s.
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:08 AM   #105
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Default Re: The King of 100 Titles : The Great Swiss Assassin

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andres gomez won the french open at 31. not likely to happen often but it does show that you can do well in your 30`s.
Yeah, if Djokovic and Nadal somehow like in 2009 were to be eliminated before SF in RG I bet Federer would once again be the favorite to win the title, at the time Gomez won the title against a very, very young Agassi in the final there was no dominant force on clay. 17 year old Chang had won the tournament the year before, where chaos reigns anything can happen.
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