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Discussion Starter #1
A thrilling match and a turning point in Federer's career. He went into the season-ending tournament as the Wimbledon champ and with a very slim chance of finishing the year as #1. But he was drawn in a very tough group stacked with bogey players: Agassi (against whom he had a 0-3 H2H), Nalbandian (against whom he had a 0-5 H2H) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (against whom he had a 2-3 H2H).

Somehow Federer started this match as an undercooked talent (despite the Wimbledon win), and one of many players who could go on to greatness, and he finished it as the Roger Federer we have known ever since. The rest of the tournament is the stuff of legend.

The #1 spot would have to wait for the AO in the new year, but once he got it of course, he held it for over 5 years. Tennis was changed.

As for Agassi, he had not played since the USO due to charity work and the birth of his second child. He'd had a good season, winning the AO and various other tournaments and becoming the oldest ever #1 at the time at 33 years of age (a record to be surpassed by Federer 15 years later).

The tennis is fast and a little bit raw in places, but it displays the outstanding ability of both players. Hardcourt tennis as it should be: full of hazard and drama and pace and inspiration:

 

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Wow I know Federer struggled against Nalbandian and Agassi in the early years, never realised it took until this tournament for him to turn it around and beat either of them for the first time, he really was a late bloomer compared to many ATGs
 

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Agassi had such easy power on the return, great attacking tennis from both, nice speed and variety
 

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Poor game from Andre at 3-4 in the third, followed by amazing returning and a breakback against a Federer going for it too much on the serve at 5-3
 

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Great match,a nervy one at times from both but with great hitting. Some things ive noticed, you can tell Federer had alot of respect for the depth and power of Agassi's return based on how many service errors he was making, also Agassi could still outdo Federer at the baseline at this point so Federer needed to make good use of his net skills and he did ;)
 

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Will watch this one later.

I see Murray Gasquet Wimbledon 2008 4th round is finally on YT in full. Can't quite remember etiquette of selection but can I request that be put in the list for a future Monday?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Will watch this one later.

I see Murray Gasquet Wimbledon 2008 4th round is finally on YT in full. Can't quite remember etiquette of selection but can I request that be put in the list for a future Monday?
Good call, let's do it this Monday (25th).

Regarding the etiquette of selection:

Basically I want to include all suggestions, with the only condition being that the full match is available for free online. I'm trying to space out the matches such that we cover a variety of players and eras, i.e. trying to sculpt the series into a nice shape. I'm also determined to be fair to all players. We've now covered Agassi in losing matches twice. The next time he features, I'll make sure it's in victory.
 

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Yes, very important match for Roger this one

Really turned into JesusFed in this match. I consider TMC 03-Dubai 07 as Fed's absolute peak form
 

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Masters's Jim McIngvale , the Mattress Mack 😄

English link is dead but it is in French.


 

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honestly I was just as impressed by Agassi as by Roger here, Andre had great returns and hit deep in this match always pressuring, and even when he made mistakes it was often with the right play just poor execution. This forced Roger to make more errors himself, and thus a need to raise his level to the occasion, he did feel like the underdog for alot of the match.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
he did feel like the underdog for a lot of the match.
Yes, and he also had a voluble pro-Agassi crowd to contend with.

People forget how little support Fed had early in his career. There's no special reason why an American or an Italian or a Chinese person should like a spotty, pony-tailed player from Switzerland. Fed earned that respect, and eventually adulation, with his tennis.
 

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honestly I was just as impressed by Agassi as by Roger here, Andre had great returns and hit deep in this match always pressuring, and even when he made mistakes it was often with the right play just poor execution. This forced Roger to make more errors himself, and thus a need to raise his level to the occasion, he did feel like the underdog for alot of the match.
Agassi had a fantastic level into his mid 30s, was still reaching slam finals ar 35 which was pretty much unheard of compared to now so I imagine that was a big inspiration for Fed when he hit that age.
 

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Yes, and he also had a voluble pro-Agassi crowd to contend with.

People forget how little support Fed had early in his career. There's no special reason why an American or an Italian or a Chinese person should like a spotty, pony-tailed player from Switzerland. Fed earned that respect, and eventually adulation, with his tennis.

And already the GOAT status well before equaling or exceeding the 14 slams of Sampras (or its 286 weeks number one), a bit like Laver and Borg have never really been ruled out "only" at 11 slams.

 

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Wow I know Federer struggled against Nalbandian and Agassi in the early years, never realised it took until this tournament for him to turn it around and beat either of them for the first time, he really was a late bloomer compared to many ATGs
Dafuq? I'm surprised a strong Fed fan doesn't know this.

You're the one with the YT channel, right?

Anyway, I remember there was a huge missed call in this match when an Agassi winner was called out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The final of that tournament is maybe Federer's best performance on hard court ever.
Yeah, it was special.

Other contenders, off the top of my head:

vs Hewitt, USO 2004
vs Blake, MC 2006
vs Delpo, AO 2009
vs Nadal, WTF 2011
vs Djokovic, Cincinnati 2012
vs Murray, WTF 2014
 

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Fed usually had his most free flowing performances off slams.

Some people thrive in the slam environment and let rip (Rafa), others are just wired a lil different.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Fed usually had his most free flowing performances off slams.

Some people thrive in the slam environment and let rip (Rafa), others are just wired a lil different.
That's not really true.

Some of Fed's most free-flowing tennis came at slams. Again, off the top of my head:

vs Roddick, W 2003
vs Hewitt, USO 2004
vs Bjorkman, W 2006
vs Roddick, AO 2007
vs Delpo, AO 2009
vs Djokovic, RG 2011
vs Murray, W 2015
 
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