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Federer's 2006 domination revisited

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Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:09 am

It's very difficult to gauge a player's domination over the years as the opposition changes drastically and it's almost impossible to know whether domination is down to the player level or his opposition as it is of course down to both.

So I have thought about looking at how a player fares not only against his main rivals but also the rest of the field. I do believe the rest of the field is in constant progress thanks to harder training and technology so that a player now would beat  a top 10 player in the 1920s more easily than a top 10 player in the 1980s and would find even harder to beat a top 10 2014 player. I don't think any professional player would disagree with the above. However, for the sake of making a clear demonstration here, I am going to ignore the fact that Federer is now facing a tougher field than in 2006.

I am simply using the matches he played, the score and how easy he won his matches in 2006 and how he has fared so far in 2014 where it seems his back allows him to play more freely.

So to gauge how he fares against the competition I chose some paramaters. They can be subjective but they are applied equally to 2006 and 2014. I m happy to play with different coefficient to see if it changes much.

I use his opponent's ranking as a factor and then I multiply his opponent's ranking with how close was the match:
- 0 point is a clean win: no TB, No set loss and a win
- 1 point for getting to a TB (or more),  
- 2 points for losing a set or more and
- 4 points for losing the match.

Example: - Fed beats player ranked 100 62 63  or Nadal 62 63 he gets 0 points.
             - He loses a set to player ranked 50: 50*2 = 100

So the more he beats the opposition easily, the less points he accumulates, the more obvious his domination. And then of course you divide by the number of matches played.....as 2014 is not over yet.

Here are the results based on all his matches in 2006 and 2014 (0ver 150 matches in total so hardly down to luck):

2006:  56!!!!
2014: 28.7!!!
The smaller number shows a greater domination.

So yes though he has lost more matches in 2014 than 2006  on average he does better against the rest of the field than in 2006 (despite the rest of the field being better than in 2006!!!). This could prove the matches he loses are down to a few better players giving him trouble which were too young in 2006 for instance.

I have the stats in spreadsheets If someone wishes top access them.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:20 am

Hah, this does look intriguing. Will defo look at this in more detail though not until I am back from vacation.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:44 am

summerblues wrote:Hah, this does look intriguing.  Will defo look at this in more detail though not until I am back from vacation.

Please do. As I said the parameters (0, 1, 2, 4) might not be perfect but they say something. I will check what 2007 gets us to this evening.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:13 pm

Ok, I have done 2007: 36 is the result! So better domination than in 2006....but not as good as 2014!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:27 pm

Excellent bit of research, T.
Not that I needed any convincing...we had a similar thread even during the v2 days, I think.
This one looks more at domination rather than decline, which is an interesting new angle.

Now you have ruined SB's holiday Winking

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:46 pm

Thanks NITB. Have a safe trip home.

I should tweak a bit the results of 2006 ...There are 2 results which really affect Federer's domination score:

Takao Suzuki (JPN) ranked: 1,078 W 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3)
Mohammad Ghareeb (KUW) ranked: 488 W 7-6(5), 6-4

So if I take them out to be a bit fair the average is 29.3 much closer to the 2014 score ....but certainly not better.

I know that FK and others keep saying that : "Federer would never lose a set to a top 100 or 1000 in his hey days or would never lose to a top 20.." etc..

But the reality is otherwise.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:23 pm

The rest of the field is not better than 2006, that's the first problem statement (and made as if it is a fact).  Secondly, he has lost more tournaments than 2006, and especially where it matters most... the slams.  He is 0-3 in 2014.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:19 pm

Tenez wrote:Ok, I have done 2007: 36 is the result! So better domination than in 2006....but not as good as 2014!

Hi T, came back this week from my holidays but i picked up some of this debate. I guess you already know how i think about it: to a certain extend he improved his game: he probably broadened the variation of his game even more after the domination years (short back swing BH, spinny FH, dropshot) and in 2011/2012 we saw a serie of matches which easily could be considered as his best tennis. BUT; this improved variation can't make up for his declined body fitness. I only have seen the final in Toronto recently but that one one told the whole story for me. He does not have the explosiveness, agilty and speed to produce his best shots from the baseline. He did well at the net but it came across as plan B. While in 2006: no matter how fast the court was, how hard his opponant hit: he dominated from the baseline.

Back to this topic: first of all: forget 2007. I know you know that 2007 was easily the worst of his domination years, in terms of the level he played.
As for 2006: yes, he did lose a couple of sets he shouldn't have, but that was part of his domination! He knew he would win the match anyway.  (hence all those bagels in the third), that's completely different nowadays, he has to win it as fast as possible otherwise he'll be in trouble against most of the top 25 players. Also keep in mind that 2006 was an extremely busy year for him, he ALWAYS played the final, so it's not so strange he was usually a little rusty the early rounds of the next tournament.
So imo you can't compare these stats, because the mindset is so different now.

I know you haven't forgotten about 2006 (we were already chatting back then) but just look at the 2006 stats. You just cannot compare 2014 with the most impressive year any player has ever played: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Roger_Federer_tennis_season.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:35 pm

gallery play wrote:
Tenez wrote:Ok, I have done 2007: 36 is the result! So better domination than in 2006....but not as good as 2014!

Hi T, came back this week from my holidays but i picked up some of this debate. I guess you already know how i think about it: to a certain extend he improved his game: he probably broadened the variation of his game even more after the domination years (short back swing BH, spinny FH, dropshot) and in 2011/2012 we saw a serie of matches which easily could be considered as his best tennis. BUT; this improved variation can't make up for his declined body fitness. I only have seen the final in Toronto recently but that one one told the whole story for me. He does not have the explosiveness, agilty and speed to produce his best shots from the baseline. He did well at the net but it came across as plan B. While in 2006: no matter how fast the court was, how hard his opponant hit: he dominated from the baseline.

Back to this topic: first of all: forget 2007. I know you know that 2007 was easily the worst of his domination years, in terms of the level he played.
As for 2006: yes, he did lose a couple of sets he shouldn't have, but that was part of his domination! He knew he would win the match anyway.  (hence all those bagels in the third), that's completely different nowadays, he has to win it as fast as possible otherwise he'll be in trouble against most of the top 25 players. Also keep in mind that 2006 was an extremely busy year for him, he ALWAYS played the final, so it's not so strange he was usually a little rusty the early rounds of the next tournament.
So imo you can't compare these stats, because the mindset is so different now.

I know you haven't forgotten about 2006 (we were already chatting back then) but just look at the 2006 stats. You just cannot compare 2014 with the most impressive year any player has ever played: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Roger_Federer_tennis_season.

Hi GP

I do not deny that his domination was more impressive in 2006 with 2014 but what you see in 2006 that might not be apparent is that he was not dominating as much as one thinks. Losing sets to young tursinov, Rochus, Santoro, Almagro, Clement, Kiefer, Bagdhatis, etc...getting to tie breaks to real unknown etc...show that it was not pure cruising. This is what I would like to highlight here. And those close matches would be much harder today as every single match is much more physical as he himself says it.

That is in my view the main point. Had the opposition be as fit as today then he simply could not have lined up as many wins as he did then...quite a few of those close matches he had could have turned into losses.

I disagree with your take on the Toronto final. He was certainly like a rabbit in the headlights. Just not used to the conditions. You also seem to dismiss that Federer already struggled handling pacy balls....from Safin. Safin could trouble Federer having half of Tsonga footwork. That says a lot. I am sure that Federer will handle Tsonga fine next time...while back in 2005/6 Safinalready without being very mobile was causing Federer some trouble.

To me when I look at the matches where Federer just about sneaked through in 2006, it tells me he would have struggled much more against today opposition, especially with slower conds than 2006.

What do you make of his already close matches v asthmatic Djoko then? Don't they tell the whole story?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:01 pm

FedererKing wrote:The rest of the field is not better than 2006, that's the first problem statement (and made as if it is a fact).
It's your statements which have no fun foundation. Every single tennis on tour would agree that it's getting tougher by the year.


Secondly, he has lost more tournaments than 2006, and especially where it matters most... the slams.  He is 0-3 in 2014.
Another statement which looks at Federer only and disregard who is on the other side. According to you Federer was lucky that Hewitt was declining and getting injured cause he had Fed's number before that. erm 

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:38 pm

Tenez wrote:

I do not deny that his domination was more impressive in 2006 with 2014 but what you see in 2006 that might not be apparent is that he was not dominating as much as one thinks. Losing sets to young tursinov, Rochus, Santoro, Almagro, Clement, Kiefer, Bagdhatis, etc...getting to tie breaks to real unknown etc...show that it was not pure cruising. This is what I would like to highlight here. And those close matches would be much harder today as every single match is much more physical as he himself says it.

To me when I look at the matches where Federer just about sneaked through in 2006, it tells me he would have struggled much more against today opposition, especially with slower conds than 2006.

What do you make of his already close matches v asthmatic Djoko then? Don't they tell the whole story?
 
I think most of it was cruising. Those lost sets don't prove anything because of the reasons i mentioned. If it wasn't cruising he never would have won so often the last set. He could easily lift his game when it mattered. He only came up short on clay against Nadal but against everyone else he either won easy (usually by the time he got past the quaters) or he simply woke up when he had to. To me there's no better proof of how much in control he actually was.

It's logical he had difficulties to face the best new talent, but still, when it mattered most he beat Nole. And BTW: in 2006 he lost a set to Djokovic on clay but it wasn't that close. A few months later it was quite a one way traffic on HC.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:38 pm

I think the physicality of current era is the main/only problem and challenge for Federer and has to be taken onto account when comparing his early and current domination.

I am not sure 2006/7 Fed would have been in Toronto and Cincy finals of 2014.

Even against Murray, there was a stretch of play where Murray was injecting some real muscle in his shots trying to break Fed's timing, and he nearly did it, but he was unphased and kept playing his game.

I was actually surprised with Murray's variety of approaches in that match.
He tried everything.

First, it was his trademark counterpunching hoping to draw errors -  but that didn't work against fast and confident Federer.
Then, he went for all out aggression and that brought him the lead in the 2nd set.
However, as that is not his natural game, he could not sustain it and Federer quickly pounced back recovering the breaks.
The thing that was great was like in his injury free performances, the match was always on Fed's racquet, he kept striking the ball cleanly and fast.

And in the last option Murray was actually quite good as he was mixing up the pace of his shots and sending some real fast ones with no apparent pattern, but even that failed.
You could see it took Federer by surprise.

I hope Fed wins Cincy and goes to USO full of confidence. He is beginning to get some of that locker-room aura back I think.

He made an interesting comment yesterday:

"I play the same speed at all times. If you start hurrying, then you might get broken."

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:14 am

noleisthebest wrote:I think the physicality of current era is the main/only problem and challenge for Federer and has to be taken onto account when comparing his early and current domination.
Tell me how does physicality affect the returning game? Fed's returns have become drastically poor in comparison to 04-07 even upto 2010. The courts have been slowed down, balls are bigger and slower, racquet he uses has a bigger frame.. everything is there to assist a better returns than he was able to do it earlier. And yet he struggles at his return games more than ever. 



nitb wrote:I am not sure 2006/7 Fed would have been in Toronto and Cincy finals of 2014.



Ohh come on nitb. 2006 Fed was winning everything that there was available. The current Fed struggles to put away Ferrer, Pospisil.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:16 am

Tenez has become a weak era theorist. Fed was poor back then, but was winning simply because the field itself was weak. The current era is the golden era and hence Fed, though himself improved a good degree, still struggles.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:27 am

Rotla, you are right!

that was a physically weak era, players didn't use blood doping, talent was enough, they didn't need to be so physically strong like now.

You can thank Nadal for this "strong" era.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:40 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Tell me how does physicality affect the returning game? Fed's returns have become drastically poor in comparison to 04-07 even upto 2010. The courts have been slowed down, balls are bigger and slower, racquet he uses has a bigger frame.. everything is there to assist a better returns than he was able to do it earlier. And yet he struggles at his return games more than ever. 

I am not sure if you noticed but Fed is the only player who can break the biggest (Rao's) serve with ease. It did that on grass and here on fast HC. Even Djoko struggles with Rao's serve.

the only reason, imo, he messed up his Toronto final was down to sudden change of conds for him. In 2006 or 7 he lost a set 62 to Gasquet....so losing 2 sets to an in form Tsonga is not so dramatic.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:46 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Tenez has become a weak era theorist. Fed was poor back then, but was winning simply because the field itself was weak. The current era is the golden era and hence Fed, though himself improved a good degree, still struggles.

It certainly was a "physically" poor era in comparison with today's. Do you deny this? Roddick said he put on over 10 pounds in muscles alone since mid 00s and he says all players had to do so the same....and despite that they now last much longer than then.

Like FK, you cannot compare the way slams were won in mid 00s with the way slams were won since nadal, Djoko and Murray aarived onto the scene.

So yes it was then a physically poor era, comparatively of course,....even if talent wise they were better than Nadal, Murray and Djoko. Talent unfortunately is a much lesser entity nowadays....as federer himself says.

The fact that Federer mananged to adapt his game and now being even able to attack with SVing when no-one else can is just tremendous.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:26 am

Yesterday was apparently the 4th 30 over final of the season!

It says quite a bit about peaking at 23-25!!!!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:10 pm

Tenez wrote:
raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Tell me how does physicality affect the returning game? Fed's returns have become drastically poor in comparison to 04-07 even upto 2010. The courts have been slowed down, balls are bigger and slower, racquet he uses has a bigger frame.. everything is there to assist a better returns than he was able to do it earlier. And yet he struggles at his return games more than ever. 

I am not sure if you noticed but Fed is the only player who can break the biggest (Rao's) serve with ease. It did that on grass and here on fast HC. Even Djoko struggles with Rao's serve.

the only reason, imo, he messed up his Toronto final was down to sudden change of conds for him. In 2006 or 7 he lost a set 62 to Gasquet....so losing 2 sets to an in form Tsonga is not so dramatic.
I'm not talking about 1-2 odd matches, but in general. A losing stat showing 6-2 to Gasquet doesn't mean Fed returned poor. There could be other factors for this set loss. That's why I'm not picking matches to suit my arguments.

 There were big servers back then and even now. But earlier there were almost next to none against whom Fed was struggling even to make enough returns. This Fed has problems making meaningful returns against many players. If there were any stat showing % of successful of returns made, I'm sure it would show a downward slope with time. More so if that showed % on FH and BH wings. Fed BH returns have become quite poor in comparison.  Its so noticeable in his matches.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:38 pm

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:
Tenez wrote:
raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:Tell me how does physicality affect the returning game? Fed's returns have become drastically poor in comparison to 04-07 even upto 2010. The courts have been slowed down, balls are bigger and slower, racquet he uses has a bigger frame.. everything is there to assist a better returns than he was able to do it earlier. And yet he struggles at his return games more than ever. 

I am not sure if you noticed but Fed is the only player who can break the biggest (Rao's) serve with ease. It did that on grass and here on fast HC. Even Djoko struggles with Rao's serve.

the only reason, imo, he messed up his Toronto final was down to sudden change of conds for him. In 2006 or 7 he lost a set 62 to Gasquet....so losing 2 sets to an in form Tsonga is not so dramatic.
I'm not talking about 1-2 odd matches, but in general. A losing stat showing 6-2 to Gasquet doesn't mean Fed returned poor. There could be other factors for this set loss. That's why I'm not picking matches to suit my arguments.

 There were big servers back then and even now. But earlier there were almost next to none against whom Fed was struggling even to make enough returns. This Fed has problems making meaningful returns against many players. If there were any stat showing % of successful of returns made, I'm sure it would show a downward slope with time. More so if that showed % on FH and BH wings. Fed BH returns have become quite poor in comparison.  Its so noticeable in his matches.

But he is still one of the most consistent player on tour. I think his back issues will flare up there and again. I am pretty sure that some of his earlier year-to-spring results were down to back not being 100% yet. And if you return Rao's serve better than anyone else then his returning MUST be excellent. If you can do rao, you should be able to do anyone else. His volleys and retruning showed to me the last 2 weeks that they are as good as ever.....and if they were not, it would certainly not be something you and I would be able to see with a naked eye.

I can spot when fed's movement drops, I have been showing enough evidence over the last 5 years and as far as I remember I was never wrong. Remember last year already you thought it was age while I kept saying it was injury.....yet he has said and proven it was his back and not his age which hampered him. But seeing a drop in reflexes? from the age of 27 to 33? no way. First because anticipation improves still after a long time...so reading the game gets better. It applies to volleys, returning and so on.

I could see this year some sets where he felt stiff...and/or tired and that's the reason he lost some of them(v Stan, Hewitt, maybe v Nadal too). But I can see when he is on he is as good as in-form 2010-2012 and better than 2006, certainly more complete with a much better timing for those spinny balls, and that is essential to survive nowadays.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:18 pm

I find the talk of Federer's decline based purely on his results strange.

Just because he is not winning three slams a year doesn't mean he is declining.

Look at Nole, is he declining or a worse player than in 2011? 
Far from it. He played the best match/tennis of career in this Wimbledon final. Yet he lost early in Toronto and Cincy.


It is hard to dominate in this physical era. Even for the most physical of them all - Nadal.
Does this mean he is a worse player than in 2010?

Or take Stan for example.
How come he was able to win AO at 28, well past FK suggested 23-25 age peak?

Would be good to get a comprehensive answer, rather than another question for a change.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:39 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
How come he was able to win AO at 28, well past FK suggested 23-25 age peak?

Would be good to get a comprehensive answer, rather than another question for a change.

Exactly. There could be some debate about whether tennis peaking is 2 years before OR after 30..but certainly not at 23-25.


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:30 pm

For those who like stats and digits:
http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2014/08/33/Cincinnati-Brain-Game-Federer-Forward-Progress.aspx

I found this paragraph interesting:

"Running Less
Federer’s committed, forward-moving game style is also a bonus for his legs, especially in the coming weeks as he chases a sixth US Open hardcourt title. Federer only ran 1644 metres for the match with his prominent north-south strategy, while Ferrer ran 2081 metres, mainly going east-west. Federer dominated points won that lasted four shots or less (54 to 38), while losing the majority of points that lasted between five and nine shots (28 to 31), and points lasting longer than nine shots (3 to 8)."


From my experience, running north-south on a tennis court is a lot more cardio exhausting than east-west.
S&V-ing tennis is tough in more than one way, especially in this era where base-line east-west runners can last a long time and have strings that allow them to hit the ball safely (I think much more safely than in the 80s).

That makes Fed's S&V tennis he has displayed in Toronto/Cincy even more impressive.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:47 pm

The thing you have to contend with, Tenez, is this... if age doesn't matter at 33, why are the no Slam winners in the modern era winning at that age. And why do ALL greats lose more in their 30s compared to 20s?

I'm afraid age does matter.  And Federer of 2006 was far superior to this one.

We will see what Nadal and Djok do at 32/33....

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:51 pm

Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:
How come he was able to win AO at 28, well past FK suggested 23-25 age peak?

Would be good to get a comprehensive answer, rather than another question for a change.

Exactly. There could be some debate about whether tennis peaking is 2 years before OR after 30..but certainly not at 23-25.  


Perhaps because one match does not mean anything as a whole?  And perhaps because prime and peak are different concepts.  Peak can be up to late 20s, but prime is scientifically proven to be mid 20s or earlier.  No great tennis player wins more in their 30s.

Not a single one.  Ever.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:58 pm

noleisthebest wrote:
From my experience, running north-south on a tennis court is a lot more cardio exhausting than east-west.
S&V-ing tennis is tough in  more than one way, especially in this era where base-line east-west runners can last a long time and have strings that allow them to hit the ball safely (I think much more safely than in the 80s).

That makes Fed's S&V tennis he has displayed in Toronto/Cincy even more impressive.

It's actually true. Or at least it was true. Going forward means really pushing on both legs at once to be as quick and as close to the net as possible....to close possible angles. However the baseline game has changed over the years and it is not really tiring as angled shots ask for the extra steps that were not needed in the 90s. those extra steps right and left are really physically killing... and asphyxiating.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:19 pm

FedererKing wrote:The thing you have to contend with, Tenez, is this... if age doesn't matter at 33, why are the no Slam winners in the modern era winning at that age. And why do ALL greats lose more in their 30s compared to 20s?

I'm afraid age does matter.  And Federer of 2006 was far superior to this one.

We will see what Nadal and Djok do at 32/33....

Another statement without any base. Once again, looking at Federer but not who and how they were playing then.

His domination was far superior ....except against a very young Nadal....and frankly he was lucky Djoko and Murray were real young too. As soo as they matured a bit.....the story was different....so does it not make you sad that your "peak" Federer was already struggling v young Nadal and Djoko?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by raiders_of_the_lost_ark on Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:09 am

tenez wrote:And if you return Rao's serve better than anyone else then his returning MUST be excellent. If you can do rao, you should be able to do anyone else. His volleys and retruning showed to me the last 2 weeks that they are as good as ever.....and if they were not, it would certainly not be something you and I would be able to see with a naked eye. 

You point is based on an assumption. You have assumed that Raonic serves better than anyone and so just because he handles Ronic's serves his returning must be absolutely fine. Same as If A beats B and the B beats C then A will definitely beat C. Tennis doesn't work like that,  or does it?

If you can't see Fed's returning % have gone down with time, I don't know how many of his matches do have been watching. I don't have any stat to prove it, its just from memory.

His UEs have drastically increased both on FH and BH, especially BH.
Back issues, longer recovery time, fatigue.. they are all summed up as ageing. I can't convince you of course, if you can't see it, I'll leave it right there.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:10 am

FedererKing wrote:
Tenez wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:
How come he was able to win AO at 28, well past FK suggested 23-25 age peak?

Would be good to get a comprehensive answer, rather than another question for a change.

Exactly. There could be some debate about whether tennis peaking is 2 years before OR after 30..but certainly not at 23-25.  


Perhaps because one match does not mean anything as a whole?  And perhaps because prime and peak are different concepts.  Peak can be up to late 20s, but prime is scientifically proven to be mid 20s or earlier.  No great tennis player wins more in their 30s.

Not a single one.  Ever.

So what's the difference between prime and peak?

You are mixing domination and peaking!!!! Can you at least understand the difference? Federer's domination ended with Nadal's arrival! regardless of Fed's peaking or not.

Fed started to lose slams because of Nadal and not peak form. Same happened for all previous champions....and same has happened for Nadal in 2011 and same will happen to Djoko!

What is so difficult to understand there?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:19 am

raiders_of_the_lost_ark wrote:You point is based on an assumption. You have assumed that Raonic serves better than anyone and so just because he handles Ronic's serves his returning must be absolutely fine. Same as If A beats B and the B beats C then A will definitely beat C. Tennis doesn't work like that,  or does it?
Well yes if you return the fastest serve on tour, you sure can return slower ones.

If you can't see Fed's returning % have gone down with time, I don't know how many of his matches do have been watching. I don't have any stat to prove it, its just from memory.
I clearly see a drop in his returning when he has back issues...I do not otherwise. If fact he was returning very well v Murray, Ferrer, Rao, Lopez (a very good server too). I don't think you can see with a naked eye a drop in Fed's reflex. They are still just too quick. Plus he has developed a better feel for where the server is going to serve over the years.
He coudl not return well in that WImby final....not sure why.....but besides that, this year I thought he returned very well.

His UEs have drastically increased both on FH and BH, especially BH.
I don;t think many will agree with this. His BH was tremendous this week.

Back issues, longer recovery time, fatigue.. they are all summed up as ageing. I can't convince you of course, if you can't see it, I'll leave it right there.
he did not have any of that in 2006 yet he was losing to Nadal and soon to Djoko and Murray.

The fact is despite Murray, Nadal and Djoko huge progress since 2006 he is still having the same chance of winning and losing than in 2007. So clearly despite all those physical negatives you describe he must be doing something right!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:13 pm

I think Fed has just started to gather his winning momentum in Cinci. His ball-striking was excellent, resulting in some 1st class tennis against top opponents and I expect it to get even better at USO as he will have definitely gained confidence.
I am pretty sure he'll get a nice draw, too.

All in all, it's a real shame some of his fans can't appreciate how good he is atm.
S&V-ing in these playing conditions (and winning) is phenomenal!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by truffin1 on Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:21 pm

Even more impressive is he said after the final that he almost pulled out of cinci from the muscle pain he was feeling in and after Toronto- Played trhougj it and said it got better. If his body can recover well over next few days- he should really be 5 set ready from a stamina standpoint.

Let's remember though- two years ago he became the 1st player in history to win a masters 1000 without being broken oncen and dominated djokovic in the final. Then went out in quarters at us open. Everything is lined up great for him to make a serious run this year, but there will still be some serious quality on the other side of the net.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:23 pm

It's simple.  If a player is gifted and in their prime, and has bottle.. they will be a great.  Or are very likely to be one. Their peak years are extremely likely to fall within the time their bodies are in their biological prime.  21-26, or thereabouts.  After that, it's down hill.  They may still be able to win the odd tournament here, and the odd Slam, but they will never have the consistency or the overall game they once had.

All available statistics back this up.  No player in the modern era comes close to winning a Slam at age 40.  As the years roll on past 26/27, their game gets worse and worse until they can no longer compete at the top levels.  Federer's peak came to an end largely due to mono, which also coincided with the tail end of his prime.  2008. After that he was in a transition phase.  And now he's at the end phase.  As every single player will be, and has been.

A bad back is a symptom of aging.  Things that once healed rapidly, will no longer heal rapidly.

Nadal is also feeling the effects of aging.  He has lost some of his speed, and being a 1 dimensional player, that's showing up on grass.  But it won't be long before it becomes apparent on clay, as well.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:11 pm

truffin1 wrote:Even more impressive is he said after the final that he almost pulled out of cinci from the muscle pain he was feeling in and after Toronto-    Played trhougj it and said it got better.  If his body can recover well over next few days- he should really be 5 set ready from a stamina standpoint.

Let's remember though- two years ago he became the 1st player in history to win a masters 1000 without being broken oncen and dominated djokovic in the final.  Then went out in quarters at us open.   Everything is lined up great for him to make a serious run this year, but there will still be some serious quality on the other side of the net.

That's the problem! PLayer who will make sure they take the edge out by making him run no end. At least now he feels confident he can win points without having to run the extra mile.....but it is a very risky business.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:38 pm

FedererKing wrote:It's simple.  If a player is gifted and in their prime, and has bottle.. they will be a great.
Eh..no. First assumption, first wrong. Stepanek is a great player and could have been a great in other times...but it happens that there is currently 20 or 50 players better or more efficient than him. You are again dismissing the opposition. Federer without Nadal woudl have won 25GS, without Djoko probably 5 more, without Murray maybe one more....A great has opposition. It;s not down to him alone. Connors without Borg woudl have won 10+ titles, Borg woudl have won 6 Wimbies in a row and a few USOs if it was not for Mc. McEnroe without the new generation could have carried on a few more years, etc..etc...

When will you understand that teh opposition has a say.....way before a player can actually mature? peak Fed was beaten by young 19yo Nadal on clay!21-26, or thereabouts. 

Their peak years are extremely likely to fall within the time their bodies are in their biological prime. 
Very wrong again. Fitness is one factor. Stamina for instance is max at 30+ as proven by TDF winners and other marathonians. But more importantly, tennis is not about fitness only. It's about timing, shot selection, exposure and all that improves a lot with time. Like a young player makes huge progress from 17 to 22, he makes also huge progress after! they will all tell you that! The reason they might win less after that peak time is because the opposition also progresses.


All available statistics back this up. 
No they don;t. Stats for one player does not tell you what the opposition is made off. Stats for TDF winners tell you that stamina is best at 29 or more! So just there you are wrong about fitness stats. And considering that tennis is more and more about stamina it may explain the few recent results with older players.

No player in the modern era comes close to winning a Slam at age 40. 
Right! at least a true statement but I am not sure it's really relevant.

As the years roll on past 26/27, their game gets worse and worse until they can no longer compete at the top levels.  Federer's peak came to an end largely due to mono, which also coincided with the tail end of his prime.  2008. After that he was in a transition phase.  And now he's at the end phase.  As every single player will be, and has been.
More non sense I am afraid.

A bad back is a symptom of aging.   Things that once healed rapidly, will no longer heal rapidly.
You know he had back problems in 2003 during his first WImby don't you? he was 22/23 then....so maybe you right....beginning of his decline!  Doh 

Nadal is also feeling the effects of aging.  He has lost some of his speed, and being a 1 dimensional player, that's showing up on grass.  But it won't be long before it becomes apparent on clay, as well.
he might be showing the effect of abuse but not age. And anybody will tell you that his best display ever was 2013 at 27 not 22-25. And I am not sure we are done with him....though for him certainly age might be an issue as he never based his game on shotmaking and guile but just power.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:48 pm

The best example is actually Agassi. How many times was he stopped in his slam quest by Pete? Pete goes and Agassi becomes a "Great" and win 3 slams at 30+..and his last one at 33! Already can you see a trend there!

Do you realise that Agassi won 6 of his 8 slams at 29+!!!! This very simple example tells you that:

1 - Winning slams is not down to the player only but his opposition
2 - One can produce his best tennis at 30!


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by luvsports! on Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:25 pm

I don't completely agree with you Tenez but I do commend you for elucidating the "peak" years argument as it does vacillate somewhat and it depends on the player imo.

Are you saying that Stepanek, LLodra & paes etc would have been much more successful in say the peak of the S&V years at their precise ages right now or at least post 30?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:15 pm

Look, as I said, it's a scientific fact that age matters.  And it's a fact ot matters to tennis.  It's all there in the stats, and on TV.  It's also common sense.

McEnroe was one of the all time greats and won nothing past his prime.  Most players are the same.  Federer is 33 and I ask you again how many players at his age have won a slam?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:00 pm

luvsports! wrote:I don't completely agree with you Tenez but I do commend you for elucidating the "peak" years argument as it does vacillate somewhat and it depends on the player imo.

Are you saying that Stepanek, LLodra & paes etc would have been much more successful in say the peak of the S&V years at their precise ages right now or at least post 30?
The point I was making about Step had nothing to do with peaking. I wanted to say that they would have been "greats" had they played at McEnroe time (though one has to consider the material they would have played then and more importantly the level they would have trained then, lower than now meant they woudl not have reached the level they play at). So the point I was making is that it's not how good a player is but how good a player is compared to his opposition!.

Fed was excellent in 2006 and would have been excellent up to now, doubling his slam number had he kept on playing with all the 2006 players!!!!no-one in the 2006 list of players he was facing stopped him then and none of those guys would  stop him now.....except those who were really young and have progressed since. Is not that a simple and true fact that some do not want to see?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:05 pm

FedererKing wrote:Look, as I said, it's a scientific fact that age matters.  And it's a fact ot matters to tennis.  It's all there in the stats, and on TV.  It's also common sense.

McEnroe was one of the all time greats and won nothing past his prime.  Most players are the same.  Federer is 33 and I ask you again how many players at his age have won a slam?

Clearly you do not WANT to understand that it is not all down to the player but as much to his opposition. That's after all not my problem...but yours!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:30 pm

A good exercise for you FK. It requires your honest input! Put in front of every 2006 player Fed faced below whether Fed would lose to them now, and for those who do not play anymore would they still beat Fed now had they kept on playing?

David Nalbandian (ARG)
Andy Roddick (USA)
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)
Rafael Nadal (ESP)
James Blake (USA)
Tomas Zib (CZE)
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
David Ferrer (ESP)
Paradorn Srichaphan (THA)
Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)
Nicolas Massu (CHI)
Robin Soderling (SWE)
Robby Ginepri (USA)
Viktor Troicki (SRB)
Wesley Moodie (RSA)
Takao Suzuki (JPN)
Benjamin Becker (GER)
Tim Henman (GBR)
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)
Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Jimmy Wang (TPE)
Vincent Spadea (USA)
Marc Gicquel (FRA)
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Andy Murray (GBR)
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)
Sebastien Grosjean (FRA)
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
Xavier Malisse (BEL)
Richard Gasquet (FRA)
Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Mario Ancic (CRO)
Jonas Bjorkman (SWE)
Rohan Bopanna (IND)
Tommy Haas (GER)
Diego Hartfield (ARG)
Alejandro Falla (COL)
Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG)
Potito Starace (ITA)
Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Nicolas Almagro (ESP)
Alberto Martin (ESP)
Benjamin Balleret (MON)
David Ferrer (ESP)
Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)
Arnaud Clement (FRA)
Tommy Haas (GER)
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)
James Blake (USA)
David Ferrer (ESP)
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)
Olivier Rochus (BEL)
Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)
Paradorn Srichaphan (THA)
James Blake (USA)
Stan Wawrinka (SUI)
Mohammad Ghareeb (KUW)
Robin Vik (CZE)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)
Denis Istomin (UZB)
Florian Mayer (GER)
Max Mirnyi (BLR)
Tommy Haas (GER)
Nicolas Kiefer (GER)
Ivo Minar (CZE)
Fabrice Santoro (FRA)
Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
Tommy Haas (GER)
Gael Monfils (FRA)

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:52 pm

I think the problem at the bottom of this discussion is not grasping how the game has changed, esp post 2010.
I'd like to hear from those who disagree with the OP if they think Nole of 2014 is better or worse than Nole of 2011?
And of course why.


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by luvsports! on Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:12 pm

Personally I think he doesn't have that physical superiority that he had in 2011/aus '12. His dropped or Nadal's rose.
He was just super confident for so long that mentally he was better than everyone as well.
He didn't need to make the "improvements" that he has because the other parts of his game weren't getting it done and the fact he had hit the physical ceiling in aus '12 and wanted to go about it a different way.
For me Nole '11 wins.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:04 am

Nole had a long winning streak in 2011 but more than anybody he had very close losses in fact all along. So his domination that first part of the year is actually misleading.

So if Nole reached his peak at 2012, Federer is the one who beat him there in teh FO, so Fed at 30 beats peak Djoko....interesting.

The fact is even Djoko said he made tremendous progress since 2011.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:32 am

I have no intention of going to that much trouble, when all I need to do is look at the number of Slam champions by ages 20-40.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:33 am

luvsports! wrote:Personally I think he doesn't have that physical superiority that he had in 2011/aus '12. His dropped or Nadal's rose.
He was just super confident for so long that mentally he was better than everyone as well.
He didn't need to make the "improvements" that he has because the other parts of his game weren't getting it done and the fact he had hit the physical ceiling in aus '12 and wanted to go about it a different way.
For me Nole '11 wins.

I can assure you that Nole 2011 would have lost convincingly to his 2014 version in this Wimbledon final.

In fact, as Nole fan I was relieved when Tsonga cleared the path for him to the 2011 final by beating Federer in the quarters.
I am not sure he would have been able to do it himself in the semis, esp after the
RG SF loss.

The fact he was able to beat Federer in 2014 gives you an idea how much better he has become, despite Federer not playing his best tennis. Nole was really good in that match.

As for hitting the physical ceiling and wanting to do it the other way, not sure I'd agree with that either, although there is some truth in it as he can't have wanted to go through that experience again.
You don't change the winning formula. Just look at Nadal.

The real reason is the rest of the field was catching up fast. 2014 is the proof of it. Every time a player distinguishes himself, the rest look for ways to beat him. That's how the game moves on and changes.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:54 am

A little anecdote from yesterday's club night showing how even on that level the game "evolves" and reaches new highs!

There is this Polish guy, full of character, who finds it difficult to contain himself esp when he losing. We are all now familiar with a few choice Polish words...

Last night he outdid his wildest self by yelling out: "I've just hit a smash drop-shot!"

I was a few courts away serving and couldn't stop laughing for a long time.

There you go!
A smash drop-shot, top that...sky is the limit! Winking

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:03 am



Notice the huge fall-off at 31, so that by 32, no player is winning a Slam.  Also notice that the vast majority are winning slams during their biological prime.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by ... on Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:35 am

Here's a question for FK & the rest:

how would have Fed 2006 fared in 2014 Wimbledon final?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:37 am

FedererKing wrote:I have no intention of going to that much trouble, when all I need to do is look at the number of Slam champions by ages 20-40.
Nice way to prevent further embarassing.

Your graph above says a player has more chance to win slams by 24 but does not say their game is best at that age.
And you can see already that if you take the last 3 years.....the trend of winning slams is closer to 27-29 than 24/25......at a time physique and fitness is more important than ever so recent data completely throw away your graph!!!

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