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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just watched some old matches/ videos and there were some things that really intrested me:

1. Djokovic and Nadal in their youth were miles ahead of today's youngsters. None of the youngsters today have the same determination and belief. Add Murray to the mix and current young players look beyond average. Djokovic and Nadal had the courage to bring it when it mattered.


2. The most impressive thing about Nadal was that even though he was being outplayed, he would still not stop. Being a son of psychiatrist I can tell you that how important his celebrations actually are. With one over the top vamos he could make himself believe he was still not out, convey the same to his opposition and to the crowd. An excellent method to keep yourself believing.


3. On the contrary, from what I saw I get the impression that Federer relied too much on his level of play usually. More dependent on instincts than drawn out plans. Unlike Nadal and Djokovic he never gave the vibe that he was out to battle.
He absolutely loved it when he was on top. But was awkward when someone else caught fire.From personal POV, I felt he was too self aware at times and had actually bought in the media hype that he was invincible ( That failed tweener at AO 2005 semifinal is painful to watch) .Though he never showed it he probably loved the media attention.



4. JUST [email protected] how djokovic's behaviour changed.If I thought kyrgios was bad then Young djokovic is certainly up there. Not to mention he was very brilliant with his imitations,esp the Nadal ones.Also that Federer's outburst at his family :lol:



5. Unlike what some believe I think none of the post 2008 years come even close to Nadal's 2007-8 level. I get the matchup disadvantage and all but losing the way fed did was painful. Nadal at times actually almost returned from the stands. Oh he did use to take an awfull lot of time to serve.(and still does).


6 .In my 5 years of watching tennis I have never seen anything like AO 2009 final. I was literally staring blankly at my screen after some rallies. There was this unexplainable majesty in federer that day and a strange but tangible aggression in rafa's defence and attitude. The first 3-4 sets were of the highest quality.

Can somebody please suggest me similar matches of around 2005 -2010, My brother has a collection of about 60 matches of those years but I wont have that much time! Videos of those years (of top players only) will be greatly appreciated!
 

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I'm happy to read someone who's just genuinely interested in watching tennis and agree with most of what you say.

Yes, Federer was too much self-aware in his early years, even before becoming a great and in the first years when he was a great (and in that latter period it was perfectly understandable considering how he toyed with all of the players except Nadal). Roger said himself that he used to underrate his opponents'abilities in his early years, but then he changed ... which some MTFers seemingly haven't noticed :rolleyes:

Djokovic has changed a lot for sure but I wouldn't say he was as arrogant and showing off as Kyrgios. I was definitely shocked by his fighting abilities in his early years. And also the way his level changed a lot inside one game, I mean playing bad during a game and just suddenly regrouping facing breakpoint or an important moment. Or to break back serve. I might suggest you an interesting match on that topic, that was the match against Baghdatis in Wimbledon 2007. He very often reproduced the same schemes/attitudes in 2010, when his serve was off and he often had to save breakpoints. I also think that bad serving period helped him a lot to improve his returning abilities as well, which helped him tremendously the next year in 2011 when he was at full strength. Another classic of that period is the Djoko-Nadal Hamburg semifinal in 2008. For Djoko-Fed, some matches might be very interesting to watch again, I think of Montreal 2007 and Dubai 2007 for instance.

As for the level of the AO 2009 final, it was very good but I think the Wimbledon 2007 final was at a superior level (at least first 4 sets), anyway I think it's the best Wimbledon final from the post-serve and volley period. I hope you've watched the AO 2005 semifinal between Fed and Safin as well and the Roma 2006 final. And the AO 2009 semifinal Nadal-Verdasco if you were impressed by the final.

For the best Fed's level, I personally highly remember the Madrid 2006 final against Gonzalez. Also the WTF 2006 final against Blake for the backhand.

And of course you should watch the Nalbandian from Madrid and Paris 2007. And Gonzo-Haas in the AO 2007 just for the pleasure of watching a player incredibly "in the zone".

Anyway, if you've watched some matches from that period again, at least you know how wrong are those people (both anti and pro-Fed) who believed that Federer in this year's Wimbledon semifinal played at a similar level as he used to play. He serves better now than in that period and especially in this match against Murray, but the rest of his game and especially the forehand are far from his level at his best. This Murray match has been vastly overrated just because Federer served at an incredible level and there was a good period at the end of the second set.
 

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6 .In my 5 years of watching tennis I have never seen anything like AO 2009 final. I was literally staring blankly at my screen after some rallies. There was this unexplainable majesty in federer that day and a strange but tangible aggression in rafa's defence and attitude. The first 3-4 sets were of the highest quality.
That AO 09 final was a great match to watch. Such tension. I was actually in Australia at the time, but in Sydney. They had a big screen set up by the water for the public to watch. I watched the first set outside, then ran home. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Federer trying to redeem himself from the 08 Wimbledon epic, and being in control most of the match and somehow choking yet again to his nemesis. Tears of resignation. Great television
 

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Regarding Nadal, thats the biggest reason im a fan. He fights like no one ive ever seen. Now in contrast. Look at a younger player like Raonic. I see no desire. He could as easily be playing at a country club on a sunday afternoon. As much as he is in a slam.

I want to see my players want that title badly. And im not seeing half that desire in todays young players. Which is why theyre underachieving imo.
 
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Well Federer's first meeting with Nadal is always a nice watch (Miami 2004) - where Nadal won. And Nadal also stood near the baseline to return serve! :eek: Federer underestimated Nadal's speed and athleticism, one of the points in the first minute of highlights is quite remarkable.


Other mentions. Wimbledon 2009 F - Roddick played his heart out but missed out narrowly
 

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No one mentioning Wimbledon Final 2008? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I'm happy to read someone who's just genuinely interested in watching tennis and agree with most of what you say.

Yes, Federer was too much self-aware in his early years, even before becoming a great and in the first years when he was a great (and in that latter period it was perfectly understandable considering how he toyed with all of the players except Nadal). Roger said himself that he used to underrate his opponents'abilities in his early years, but then he changed ... which some MTFers seemingly haven't noticed :rolleyes:

Djokovic has changed a lot for sure but I wouldn't say he was as arrogant and showing off as Kyrgios. I was definitely shocked by his fighting abilities in his early years. And also the way his level changed a lot inside one game, I mean playing bad during a game and just suddenly regrouping facing breakpoint or an important moment. Or to break back serve. I might suggest you an interesting match on that topic, that was the match against Baghdatis in Wimbledon 2007. He very often reproduced the same schemes/attitudes in 2010, when his serve was off and he often had to save breakpoints. I also think that bad serving period helped him a lot to improve his returning abilities as well, which helped him tremendously the next year in 2011 when he was at full strength. Another classic of that period is the Djoko-Nadal Hamburg semifinal in 2008. For Djoko-Fed, some matches might be very interesting to watch again, I think of Montreal 2007 and Dubai 2007 for instance.

As for the level of the AO 2009 final, it was very good but I think the Wimbledon 2007 final was at a superior level (at least first 4 sets), anyway I think it's the best Wimbledon final from the post-serve and volley period. I hope you've watched the AO 2005 semifinal between Fed and Safin as well and the Roma 2006 final. And the AO 2009 semifinal Nadal-Verdasco if you were impressed by the final.

For the best Fed's level, I personally highly remember the Madrid 2006 final against Gonzalez. Also the WTF 2006 final against Blake for the backhand.

And of course you should watch the Nalbandian from Madrid and Paris 2007. And Gonzo-Haas in the AO 2007 just for the pleasure of watching a player incredibly "in the zone".

Anyway, if you've watched some matches from that period again, at least you know how wrong are those people (both anti and pro-Fed) who believed that Federer in this year's Wimbledon semifinal played at a similar level as he used to play. He serves better now than in that period and especially in this match against Murray, but the rest of his game and especially the forehand are far from his level at his best. This Murray match has been vastly overrated just because Federer served at an incredible level and there was a good period a
t the end of the second set.
Thanks! I will watch them next weekend!
As for Novak's behaviour I guess every young player needs to learn how to carry himself. Novak has realized that with his success and fame being a responsible role model has become his duty.

As for federer I read a brilliant post today that hinted he changed his playing style a bit to cope with age. His performance against Murray was still great. But this forum is unique in the sense that rather than glorify the past it tends to downplay it a bit. I believe that Novak, Fed, Rafa should be respected for achieving such high level of play. We need to accept that each have claim of achieving a greater level.
However after that it's just personal POV.

Murray strikes me as someone who has great potential as them but somehow fails to break the ceiling.

EDIT: Yes I do agree that federer did not play at his very best against andy. It was good but his forehand wasn't on . However he did serve with ruthless precision.
 

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you're welcome traveller, I love your attitude towards tennis :D : as for Murray I think of the Madrid 2008 semifinal against Federer which I also nicely remember ;)

No one mentioning Wimbledon Final 2008? :confused:
it was also great, and had greater drama than the Wimbledon 2007 final, but as for the level of play I think the first 4 sets of the 2007 final were superior.

This match was a revealing for me as far as Nadal is concerned : he really stroke me there by the level of his game on a surface which was not supposedly suited for him. And Fed played well from the start, in 2008 his first two sets were not good.

And it was after this 2007 final during the ceremony that Federer said that "he had to hurry before this guy wins everything", which was a striking acknowledgment and huge mark of respect from Fed, not common in his mouth either because he doesn't give easy praise as Djokovic does for instance.

For me and maybe for Federer as well, this Wimbledon 2007 final was the real revealing for Nadal outside clay I mean, during the Wimbledon 2008 final I was not surprised anymore (and I was disappointed by Fed's game as well)
 

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Fed actually had issues with his temper in his youngster years and early career, he changed a lot and even kind of became a boring guy on the court, this is probably the most underrated thing about Fed rise, take a parallel universe and he's a "headcase" in history like many others? :D
 

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Duong pretty much said it all.

If you really want to watch older matches I'd suggest watching Nalbandian at Paris and Madrid 2007. He was absolutely amazing. He blew off the courts all three top divas (Fed, Nole and Rafa). WTF 2005 when he played a prime Fed and somehow pulled it off.

I tried to suggest something different. You can find these matches on you tube.
 

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I just watched some old matches/ videos and there were some things that really intrested me:

1. Djokovic and Nadal in their youth were miles ahead of today's youngsters. None of the youngsters today have the same determination and belief. Add Murray to the mix and current young players look beyond average. Djokovic and Nadal had the courage to bring it when it mattered.


2. The most impressive thing about Nadal was that even though he was being outplayed, he would still not stop. Being a son of psychiatrist I can tell you that how important his celebrations actually are. With one over the top vamos he could make himself believe he was still not out, convey the same to his opposition and to the crowd. An excellent method to keep yourself believing.


3. On the contrary, from what I saw I get the impression that Federer relied too much on his level of play usually. More dependent on instincts than drawn out plans. Unlike Nadal and Djokovic he never gave the vibe that he was out to battle.
He absolutely loved it when he was on top. But was awkward when someone else caught fire.From personal POV, I felt he was too self aware at times and had actually bought in the media hype that he was invincible ( That failed tweener at AO 2005 semifinal is painful to watch) .Though he never showed it he probably loved the media attention.



4. JUST [email protected] how djokovic's behaviour changed.If I thought kyrgios was bad then Young djokovic is certainly up there. Not to mention he was very brilliant with his imitations,esp the Nadal ones.Also that Federer's outburst at his family :lol:



5. Unlike what some believe I think none of the post 2008 years come even close to Nadal's 2007-8 level. I get the matchup disadvantage and all but losing the way fed did was painful. Nadal at times actually almost returned from the stands. Oh he did use to take an awfull lot of time to serve.(and still does).


6 .In my 5 years of watching tennis I have never seen anything like AO 2009 final. I was literally staring blankly at my screen after some rallies. There was this unexplainable majesty in federer that day and a strange but tangible aggression in rafa's defence and attitude. The first 3-4 sets were of the highest quality.

Can somebody please suggest me similar matches of around 2005 -2010, My brother has a collection of about 60 matches of those years but I wont have that much time! Videos of those years (of top players only) will be greatly appreciated!
Great post, I absolutely agree with the first point. Djokovic and Nadal were complete players since 2007 and 2005 respectively, then they got even better, but even this level was miles away from today's youngsters. Nadal is a mental freak, he broke Federer mentally many times, sure there's a matchup issue, but it was staggering to see the mighty Fed losing to Nadal after playing so well the matches before and even in their match. He thrived on the close moments and he came as a winner from almost all of them.

Agree with Fed as well, he was the maestro, the GOAT candidate since 2006 and he's a great guy for the journalists because he can speak many languages. However, how high he had been praised, then the fall was again very painful. That Djokovic loss at AO 2008 was so unexpected, it's uncanny to hear the commentators saying: "Federer's gone, Federer's gone, can you believe it?" He fell down that year so hard, that even he won a slam and made 3 slam finals that year his 2008 season was considered as a disaster. This crisis peaked in Miami with his racquet braking, you could see how broken he was. Stunning from him to dig out though, he won RG 2009 just by will.

Nadal's 2008 level on clay and grass has been his best level, 2007 was great as well (especially at Wimbledon, his second best level), but something was missing on other surfaces. He's produced amazing tennis in many tournaments on hc (AO 2009 and 2012, USO 2010, 2011 and 2013), but it's interesting that he showed this level consistently only in US Open 2013 series. It just shows how he peaks for slams.

As for AO 2009, it was spectacular. Federer was good enough to fight with Nadal in the rallies for such a long time, but uncharacteristically his serve took him down. And Nadal beat him mentally as well, so many points in crucial situations in the first and the third set went his way. It was such an important match. Till this match, Fed hadn't been beaten by Nadal at hc slams, since then, Nadal knew he can win other slams as well.

Matches I'd like to suggest are: Mathieu-Nadal at RG 2006 (one player playing so above his normal level), Agassi-Blake at US Open 2005 (two home favorites battling each other in a cracker), Murray-Del Potro at US Open 2008, Del Potro-Koellerer at US Open 2009 (just for the lolz, Koellerer was insane), Gasquet-Roddick or Murray-Gasquet at Wimbledon (Gasquet not playing 20 meters behind the baseline is a treat), Soderking-Fed and Nadal at RG 2009 and 2010 just for the comparison, Federer-Haas AO 2006 only 3rd and 4th set to show how much better player Haas was.
 

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well I find it funny that people in this thread highly mentioned 3 matches where Fed was diminished although it's something which has very rarely happened but precisely people have chosen those matches :lol: then for someone who didn't follow tennis in that time I have to explain that :

- against Nadal Miami 2004 : Federer had flu, Nadal played great yes for a less than 18-years old, was surprising and interesting, but Federer clearly did not feel well, losing 63 63 ... next year when Nadal led 2 sets to love was different

- against Djokovic AO 2008 : I personally don't buy the "mono-Federer" for the whole 2008 year, but for the Australian open, it was clear from his match against Tipsarevic and even in the following matches (where Berdych and Blake fortunately made bad matches) that there was something strange, that he was weak physically. It was explained a few weeks later that he had caught mono in the month before the Aus open, had had flu without understanding why and not practiced well before the tournament because of that. Then again Djokovic played great in that AO 2008 and it's not sure at all that Fed would have won if he had not had mono, but still he was very clearly diminished. By the way Federer himself always said that mono was gone a few weeks later : he was lucky indeed. Probably he still wasn't great in Indian Wells where he was crushed by Fish and Miami where he was beaten by Roddick, but later I do think he was OK hence why he played a great Wimbledon final.

- against Nalbandian WTF 2005 Federer was coming back from an ankle injury which had kept him out for 6 weeks (withdrawing from Madrid and Paris). There again he reached the final and Nalbandian was great and it was a tight 5-setter match but still when he lost 6-1 6-2 after leading 2 sets to love (two tight sets 76 76), he clearly looked weak, it was not something you'd expect in that time since it was not Olderer yet but rather peak one. Nalbandian defeated him fair and square in his God-period in Madrid and Paris 2007 but that WTF 2005 was different (although Nalby did play very well indeed)

I mean one'd suffer to find other matches where Federer had the physical excuse, but those 3 matches precisely are the ones ! :lol:

Matches I'd like to suggest are: Mathieu-Nadal at RG 2006 (one player playing so above his normal level), Agassi-Blake at US Open 2005 (two home favorites battling each other in a cracker), Murray-Del Potro at US Open 2008, Del Potro-Koellerer at US Open 2009 (just for the lolz, Koellerer was insane), Gasquet-Roddick or Murray-Gasquet at Wimbledon (Gasquet not playing 20 meters behind the baseline is a treat), Soderking-Fed and Nadal at RG 2009 and 2010 just for the comparison, Federer-Haas AO 2006 only 3rd and 4th set to show how much better player Haas was.
good list, also for Gasquet of course his matches against Fed and Nadal in Monte-Carlo 2005.

I didn't talk about 2009 because there were so so many great matches during that year the list would be very long : Fed-Del Po in the US Open, Fedgod-Djoko in Cinci (one of his greatest matches), Davydenko-Nadal in Shanghai and against Fed in the WTF, of course Nadal-Djoko in Madrid, etc etc ... it was a sensational year (even if it was a bad Djoko's year there was also a great match by him against Federer in Basel)
 

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I think you will enjoy the 2005 Rome final between Rafa Nadal and Guillermo Coria very much. Coria is called "El Mago"...He truly was a magician on clay. :D
 

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I just watched some old matches/ videos and there were some things that really intrested me:

1. Djokovic and Nadal in their youth were miles ahead of today's youngsters. None of the youngsters today have the same determination and belief.
This is absolutely true, but I think it is a bit unfair to the youngsters of today to be compared to two of the greatest players of all time.

Let us remember that they were ranked 2 and 3 as teenagers, passing experienced, good players, some with grand slam titles, like Ferrero, Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, Nalbandian, Blake...

In fact it is more surprising to me the ease with which these two teenagers could dominate the entire field, with the exception of one (unique) player.

What chance can today's inexperienced youngsters have, if the top dogs of that era were beaten into submission by these players in their teenage years?

I think today's youngsters are doing just fine: but we have been spoiled by watching three of the best players ever to lift a racquet for years... So we think of their level as normal...It isn't.
 

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This is absolutely true, but I think it is a bit unfair to the youngsters of today to be compared to two of the greatest players of all time.

Let us remember that they were ranked 2 and 3 as teenagers, passing experienced, good players, some with grand slam titles, like Ferrero, Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, Nalbandian, Blake...

In fact it is more surprising to me the ease with which these two teenagers could dominate the entire field, with the exception of one (unique) player.

What chance can today's inexperienced youngsters have, if the top dogs of that era were beaten into submission by these players in their teenage years?

I think today's youngsters are doing just fine: but we have been spoiled by watching three of the best players ever to lift a racquet for years... So we think of their level as normal...It isn't.
you're right that Nadal and Djokovic are absolutely exceptional,

but still in the past, there were regularly youngsters emerging strong, not even speaking of McEnroe or Becker, for instance I remember Medvedev or Kuerten ... or nearer from us Berdych or Gasquet or even Cilic.

That said, of course the period is different, and as for the 1995-1998 generations, they look promising. The generations before them (even after Del Po-Cilic-Gulbis-Dolgo's 1988) were exceptionally poor though.
 

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I'm happy duong mentionned the match of Hamburg between Nadal and Djokovic. In my eyes, this is one of their best matchs. Djokovic started this match so strong, but Nadal was just too good.
This match, then the SF at RG, and the superb final at the Queens (one of their best in pure quality) the same years destroyed Djokovic's confidence though he was rising after his first GS. Djokovic was so solid until Wimbledon, then just lost the plot during 2.5 years. Nadal destroyed him mentally. At that time, he was the better player, at least on clay and grass.
The way how Djokovic managed to come back and to deal with Nadal in 2011 is very impressive in that regard.

Overall, I think that the 2005-2010 was a more exciting period, and quality-wise a better period for tennis. There are so many classics in those years. Can we tell the same for the most recent years?
 

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I'm happy duong mentionned the match of Hamburg between Nadal and Djokovic. In my eyes, this is one of their best matchs. Djokovic started this match so strong, but Nadal was just too good.
This match, then the SF at RG, and the superb final at the Queens (one of their best in pure quality) the same years destroyed Djokovic's confidence though he was rising after his first GS. Djokovic was so solid until Wimbledon, then just lost the plot during 2.5 years. Nadal destroyed him mentally. At that time, he was the better player, at least on clay and grass.
The way how Djokovic managed to come back and to deal with Nadal in 2011 is very impressive in that regard.
yes I remember during that Hamburg match the French commenator kept on saying he thought Djokovic would become number 1 very soon ... I absolutely agree that Nadal (and partly Federer later) killed his huge confidence of that moment
 

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Well Federer's first meeting with Nadal is always a nice watch (Miami 2004) - where Nadal won. And Nadal also stood near the baseline to return serve! :eek: Federer underestimated Nadal's speed and athleticism, one of the points in the first minute of highlights is quite remarkable.


Other mentions. Wimbledon 2009 F - Roddick played his heart out but missed out narrowly
what a great example

people make a lot of excuses for today's young players but honestly they are just lacking in many departments - from their belief to their movement/physical to their talent

I don't think I've seen any young player in the last like 5 years play as well as Novak and Nadal did when coming out on tour
 

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I'm happy duong mentionned the match of Hamburg between Nadal and Djokovic. In my eyes, this is one of their best matchs. Djokovic started this match so strong, but Nadal was just too good.
This match, then the SF at RG, and the superb final at the Queens (one of their best in pure quality) the same years destroyed Djokovic's confidence though he was rising after his first GS. Djokovic was so solid until Wimbledon, then just lost the plot during 2.5 years. Nadal destroyed him mentally. At that time, he was the better player, at least on clay and grass.
The way how Djokovic managed to come back and to deal with Nadal in 2011 is very impressive in that regard.

Overall, I think that the 2005-2010 was a more exciting period, and quality-wise a better period for tennis. There are so many classics in those years. Can we tell the same for the most recent years?
for sure 2005-2009 was an awesome period of tennis. the last few years have been ehhh. I think it obviously really helped having Roger extremely strong in his late 20s and then obviously a great batch of 'in prime' players in Murray, Del Potro, Djokovic, Nadal. I will admit that its a rare thing to have that good of a batch BUT at the same time I would say that the batch 2010-present has been especially bad
 

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for sure 2005-2009 was an awesome period of tennis. the last few years have been ehhh. I think it obviously really helped having Roger extremely strong in his late 20s and then obviously a great batch of 'in prime' players in Murray, Del Potro, Djokovic, Nadal. I will admit that its a rare thing to have that good of a batch BUT at the same time I would say that the batch 2010-present has been especially bad
I guess a bad era is always unevitable after a really good one:sad:
Since the AO R4 Djokovic-Wawrinka and RG SF Djokovic-Nadal in 2013, I would not say that there have been any classic matches to match the 2005-2010 era classics
 
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