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Federer’s Fabulous Fifteen

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Susannah Dingley
579307.  Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:04 pm Reply with quote

  1. Wimbledon (2003)
  2. Australian Open (2004)
  3. Wimbledon (2004)
  4. US Open (2004)
  5. Wimbledon (2005)
  6. US Open (2005)
  7. Australian Open (2006)
  8. Wimbledon (2006)
  9. US Open (2006)
  10. Australian Open (2007)
  11. Wimbledon (2007)
  12. US Open (2007)
  13. US Open (2008)
  14. French Open (2009)
  15. Wimbledon (2009)

This is the Grand Slam record of Roger Federer, born 1981 in Basel, Switzerland.

With 15 Grand Slam titles now – more than anyone else has ever achieved in tennis – surely he must be reckoned as the best tennis player of all time.

Last edited by Susannah Dingley on Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:05 pm; edited 2 times in total

579308.  Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:10 pm Reply with quote

But he does look smug about it.

579419.  Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:19 pm Reply with quote

He also looks like Quentin Tarantino.

579531.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:28 am Reply with quote

Have to admit I've admired him as a player for quite some time and think he's a far more rounded player than Nadal.

As to whether he's the greatest ever, I think it's probably safe to say that at his prime he could beat anyone from tennis history, but you have to wonder whether the likes of Lever and Borg might have been more of a challenge if they had the benefits of modern training techniques and regimes.

I also think that Lendl might have been an even greater player had he had the modern coaching you see today which help concentrate on the mental strength as well as physical abilities, because I've always though he was one of the greatest underachievers (despite the 8 grandlams he held).

579594.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:02 am Reply with quote

Rod Laver was excluded from the Grand Slam tournaments for six years because he turned professional after his Grand Slam (i.e. the winning of all four major tournaments) in 1962. Since he won another Grand Slam in 1969 - the first year that all four of the majors were open to professionals - I think it's fair to assume that he'd have won many more than he did.

The only major tournament for professionals in the intervening era was the US Pro Championships at Longwood near Boston MA. Laver won that tournament in five of the six relevant years - and lost in the final to Ken Rosewall the other time.

As for Borg, he was never going to win a Grand Slam because he didn't choose to go to Australia (he played the tournament only once, when he was 17).

579629.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:44 am Reply with quote

Permission to have rant.



Anyone else agree?

My view on the topic though: On paper, Federer cerainly does look like (one of) the greatest players.

579889.  Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:32 pm Reply with quote

IronMonkey wrote:

I remember the same thing happened after 9/11. I was very upset because there were no children's programmes on television.
Now, of course, I don't notice when "special events" intrude on other programming, because I don't watch the other programming at all.

Back to the topic: I still maintain that Federer looks like Tarantino.

579980.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:32 am Reply with quote

I think Goran Ivanisevic is one of the best players ever, with an absolutely cracking serve, and would have had more wins had he not always tended to come up against Sampras in the finals. His wildcard win at Wimbledon, after severla years of injury problems, was awesome.

He also helped Federer to become more proficient at playing against left-handers by training with him, which helped him to beat Nadal on occasions they met.

580053.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:14 am Reply with quote

I think the difference with Federer and other great players is his adaptability. He can find strengths in his game against any style of oponent and doesn't rely on a few major game plans himself. He is also outstandingly focussed, moreso than any other sportsperson I've seen.

In the final when he sacrificed a match point to allow the game to go all square so that he could regroup and take two games (the winning two) he showed why he's probably the greatest (IMHO).

That level of focus, judgement and ability to be rational at key points is audacious. He may not be the best technical player, but I do think he's the best actual player - regardless of numbers of titles and who may have done what, when.

There was also a failed return he tried, from a bomber of a serve from Roddick, where he tried to play a sliced drop shot against a serve that was over 130mph - to even try this is unbelievable. He lost the point and ball fell just out but the fact that he even went for this left me gobsmacked!

580086.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:06 am Reply with quote

Ivanisevic was a decent player, but I don't think I'd rank him as one of the best, simply because he had a major strength in one aspect of the game and was so-so in others. It doesn't take away from what he achieved, but at his prime, facing other in their prime, I don't think he'd make the top 10.

I agree with what was said about Federer, he is a much more all round player and a very clever one as well, which is why I think in his prime, playing others in their prime, he's likely to be number 1.

Susannah Dingley
580117.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:53 am Reply with quote

I think Federer’s phenomenal fitness is also a key to his success. He has incredible stamina to go through an entire match, not just a handful of games or sets. I had expected Sunday’s match to be a battle of the big serves – and so it turned out, with something like 80 aces being hit in the match – but once a match beomes 6-6 in the decider, it’s no longer a battle of skills but a battle of fitness, not so much who can outplay each other as whose opponent is the first to succumb to the ravages of physical exhaustion. On Sunday, it proved to be Andy Roddick who was the first to be forced by tiredness into making those crucial unforced errors that handed his oppenent the match – errors he would have easily avoided had he only been less tired.

At the moment, I think only Rafael Nadal is fitter than Federer (among players in the top ten) – if because he’s much younger. In the 2008 Wimbledon final, Nadal’s superior fitness accounted for Federer in the decider. The Swiss had been outplayed in the first two sets but had shown enough resilience to fight back to 2-2; in the fifth set, however, he could not match Nadal’s fitness and was first to crack up.

Federer does not get taken to five sets very often, so he does rely mostly on his skills to win matches. Failing that, he has his fitness and stamina to rely on as backup.

580156.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:50 am Reply with quote

Fitness wise Murray is now up there but I think what won for Federer was mental fitness as much as physical fitness. This could be seen in his post match interview, he was still in the game even then, still playeing, not yet detached. Complete and utter focus.

The only thing that betrays him are those little glances to the right he does when facing a serve- just movements of the eye really but thay are his only obvious flaws in concentration

580195.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:51 am Reply with quote

Ivanišević's Wimbledon championship in 2001 is a bit of an odd one. Much as it was a good story for a competitor who had only gotten into the championship on a wild card to win it, and much as Goran was a popular figure, he'd have to be considered somewhat lucky to have won it.

That was actually the year that Tim Henman should have won the tournament - he'd knocked out Federer, who had in turn knocked out Sampras, so it was there for the taking. And had it not rained when Henman was two sets to one up on the Croat, he might well have gone on to win the tournament.

Can there actually be one greatest player any more, if there ever could? Grass court tennis and clay court tennis are such different games that few players will excel at both - Sampras never won in France, and Federer has done so only once. Conversely, there are European and South American clay court players who don't even come to Wimbledon, so little experience of playing on grass do they have.

580371.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:27 pm Reply with quote

The reason why I'd still put Federer up there as the best player overall despite only winning one clay grand slam is that when you look at his game history, it is the last type of court he managed to start succeeding at (he was often knocked out in the first round), and he was runner up at least twice when Nadal was obviously the specialist on that court (you could argue for a third time last year, but I think he was off his game which made Nadal look more rounded).

580581.  Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:51 pm Reply with quote

Using that argument though, could not we argue for Björn Borg? He won the French Open six times and Wimbledon five times - so clearly he could play on both grass and clay.

He opted out of Australia because he considered it too far to travel and he never won the US Open, although he was runner up four times (twice to Connors and twice to McEnroe).

Then again, Jimmy Connors holds the unique distinction of having won the US Open on grass, on clay, and on hard courts (it was a grass court tournament until 1974, then clay for three years, and then hard court since 1978).


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