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Last Hurrah's

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Last Hurrah's

Post by legendkillar on Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:34 am

If I asked you to think about an athlete's finest moment, where in the their career do you think you'd end up? The beginning? Middle? Or end? Boxing is the ultimate comeback sport. I don't think any sport has as many Cinderella stories as Boxing. Look at Ali. His most memorable greatest fights fall in the latter part of his career. The Frazier fights, Foreman. Sugar Ray Leonard too. Hagler, Hearns. However, other sports have that rare Cinderella moment. Golf with Nicklaus in 1986 and even with Watson in 2009 which would've been the most remarkable sporting story ever. Redgrave's 5th Gold Medal probably the most remembered of his 5. Zidane's most magical moments on the pitch it would be fair to say happened at the latter part of his career.

Which is why I think Federer's current 2017 - onwards journey could be more defining than that period of 2004-07 of sheer dominance. Purely because of the unexpected nature of it, his level of performances. When that iconic moment in 2001 happened at Wimbledon, it was a passing of the torch. I am sure when the Slam victories didn't happen immediately, Sampras end of 2002 probably thought his haul was safe. 2003 marked the beginning of a new dawn. The Federer Express just departed the station and has done again after a brief termination in the middle of the track.

When I think about those tears, the magnitude of what he continues to achieve is not quite setting in. As a fan I am enjoying this last hurrah. He must be enjoying this more as his fans are. No-one expects this and there is no pressure. Freedom. I always remember Agassi's last hurrah and I was swept up in it as I never imagined he would achieve what he did following his 1997 meltdown.

I am sure even the sporting world is enjoying this last hurrah. It's not just the individual records he is breaking, but how he is pushing the boundaries of the sport further beyond the reach of stars. I am thinking that when it's all said and done, when the clock strikes midnight, the bell tolls, the last leaf of the mighty oak hits the ground, this era of his career is the one I'll remember the most.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:47 am

legendkillar wrote:... I am thinking that when it's all said and done, when the clock strikes midnight, the bell tolls, the last leaf of the mighty oak hits the ground, this era of his career is the one I'll remember the most.
Frankly you are not saying much here. Winking

Who does he really compare with? no-one. Some are getting close in other sports...but in such a competitive sport and not with those arms! Other athletes are all physically supersized. He is doing it with 100% talent....and hard healthy work. More than what he achieved, it;s the way he achieved it.

From what I saw Michael Jordan or Ali are closest but none of those guys played in a such competitive environment.

Federer is the lightweight beating Ali!

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by legendkillar on Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:53 am

Tenez wrote:
legendkillar wrote:... I am thinking that when it's all said and done, when the clock strikes midnight, the bell tolls, the last leaf of the mighty oak hits the ground, this era of his career is the one I'll remember the most.
Frankly you are not saying much here. Winking

Who does he really compare with? no-one. Some are getting close in other sports...but in such a competitive sport and not with those arms! Other athletes are all physically supersized. He is doing it with 100% talent....and hard healthy work. More than what he achieved, it;s the way he achieved it.

From what I saw Michael Jordan or Ali are closest but none of those guy played in a such competitive environment.

Federer is the lightweight beating Ali!

It's going with the human nature element. Nicklaus always states people remember the 86 Masters more than any other of the 17 Majors he won. I am saying for me, this part of Federer's career will be one I instantly remember. smiley

Won't disagree with any of the last parts of your statement. Been in conversation with a fellow OTFer in stating for me Federer is the greatest athlete in sport I've seen.

Look at the important Slam thread. Everyone more or less has AO17 in there Winking

I do feel this stage of his career will carry the more fonder memories for many out there.

I have an issue with sports such as Basketball, NFL, NHL, MLB. Don't have the global reach of other sports.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:59 am

legendkillar wrote:...

I have an issue with sports such as Basketball, NFL, NHL, MLB. Don't have the global reach of other sports.
Agree. Football being the most popular sport on earth must be also the most competitive.

Maradona, Messi distinguish themselves there...Maradona...quite a bit more than the other for me.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by Daniel on Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:08 am

Team sports can't be compared that easy.  Put some of the great players in different teams where they aren't being supplied with good balls and see how well they do.  Frankly, I rate Ronaldinho better than Messi.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by barrystar on Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:39 am

Agree with LK - and AO17 is in my view Fed's masterpiece: (a) unexpected (b) a very dramatic match with ups and downs including a comeback from a break down in the final set (c) the quality of the tennis from both men in that final set, which was backed up by their ending the year as #1 & #2 (d) beating his nemesis in a Slam for the first time in nearly 10 years.

It was a beautiful dramatic surprise which gave validation to the stack of numbers that passed before it - he stomped on the wee Keira brigade, and continues to do so with his slams and run of wins vs. Nadal who is also playing fantastic tennis.

Fed could win 4-5 more (he won't), but it is unimaginable that any will top AO17.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:51 am

barrystar wrote:...Fed could win 4-5 more (he won't), but it is unimaginable that any will top AO17.

Djokovic at Wimbeldon this year....would do nicely....but as said even better fed beating Nadal at the FO.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by bogbrush on Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:44 pm

There's no question, this is the most magical period. None of us could have dared hope for this, but now he's doing it I'm very much hoping for Wimbledon and #1.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:50 pm

It’s like life...you can’t pick a stage of it and say it was “the best”.
They all are beautiful in their own way.

Same with a tennis career.

It should get better and richer, because in itself it contains all previous stages which transform into new deeper forms.

Like proverbial wine - the older the better.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by legendkillar on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:03 pm

Tenez wrote:
legendkillar wrote:...

I have an issue with sports such as Basketball, NFL, NHL, MLB. Don't have the global reach of other sports.
Agree. Football being the most popular sport on earth must be also the most competitive.

Maradona, Messi distinguish themselves there...Maradona...quite a bit more than the other for me.

The Maradona and Messi debate has always been one of interest for me. Maradona seemingly took an average side in 1986 and drove them to World Cup success and frankly he also did it with an average Napoli. 

Now Messi internationally has struggled. I don't think because of lack of ability or inspirational, but I do believe the quality of 'teams' are much stronger now than back in the 80's. However, Ronaldo was seemingly heading for a similar position in that debate until he led Portgual to the Euro's in 2016. 

Team sports granted always difficult to compare with individuals, but as you said some can be the difference maker and game changer if you will. Look at Le Tisser. Virtually kept Southampton a PL team for near 12 years.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by legendkillar on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:06 pm

barrystar wrote:Agree with LK - and AO17 is in my view Fed's masterpiece: (a) unexpected (b) a very dramatic match with ups and downs including a comeback from a break down in the final set (c) the quality of the tennis from both men in that final set, which was backed up by their ending the year as #1 & #2 (d) beating his nemesis in a Slam for the first time in nearly 10 years.

It was a beautiful dramatic surprise which gave validation to the stack of numbers that passed before it - he stomped on the wee Keira brigade, and continues to do so with his slams and run of wins vs. Nadal who is also playing fantastic tennis.

Fed could win 4-5 more (he won't), but it is unimaginable that any will top AO17.

And I think following that 2016 end of year dash Murray did had me thinking there's no way he could compete against marathon machines like that... Until their bodies gave way Winking

Like you it's the unexpected factor. Many here did feel it could be possible with some rather favourable circumstances. 

In that final I have to say I thought he stuffed it when losing the 4th. He did say that 5th set was the best set of tennis he ever played. Lends more to Tenez's whacky theory of "Better with age" Winking

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by Tenez on Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:16 pm

Well I certainly don;t think players improve after 35. Things can still improve such as shot selection, experience, timing even but teh physical side, especially nowadays, makes then too vulnerable and affects the player's potential.

But yeah, the point I made 10 years ago almost that players peak after 26/27 is certainly difficult to refute nowadays.

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Re: Last Hurrah's

Post by barrystar on Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:01 pm

@tenez

Do you think that the overall standard on tour inexorably increases - they always say that players continually strive to improve or risk standing still?

Maybe even if the general standard improves, with those at the very top does the standard go up and down a bit?

Any views on particularly strong years?

If one looks back over more recent years 2011 saw a pretty high standard, with the top guys pushing each other very hard for much of it - usually 3/4 were on pretty decent form.

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