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Federer's 2006 domination revisited

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:04 pm

gallery play wrote:

As I explained GP this graph is irrelevant as it says what age a player is likely to win slams not what age he is playing best.

In fact the only relevant piece is the fact that since the sport became more physical in the last 7 years, the average age is going up. But nonetheless, in tennis where competition has been tougher year in year out and a sport which is played against an opposition, too many factors can make a player decline before his peak. No different to what happened to Federer with the arrival of Nadal. This has happened to all past champions (Borg, Mc, Lendl, Connors, etc....).

And the graph is also very telling in teh beginning in fact pre  open era! Cause there it is a circus of player with little added competition. So there we can see that with technology partly unchanged and players partly unchanged (much less competition) their prime time for winning slams is past 30!

Its the arrival of constant growing competition which shortens the domination of players.


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:09 pm

It is proving 100% that age matters and that the peak of slam wins is 23-27 years of age, and has been for the last three or more decades.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:19 pm

gallery play wrote:There's a list of the 100 m sprint records since the eighties. And the age the runner had when he broke the record.

Speaks for itself, just like the graph of the average age slam winner in my previous post.
I read that even chess players peak at 31!
Those are facts, not opinions. I could post many more stat facts like these but i guess i made my point

Why is this list more relevant than Bubka's record, carl Lewis, Linford Christie, Gebrelassie and TDF winners and so many others? Besides, this is purely athletic performance. Between 23 and 30 a sprinter hoovers within 2 10th of a second over 100m......So hardly lose any real and relevant speed.....but a tennis player gains so much in timing and shot selection, anticipation etc...

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:21 pm

Ok, one more stat. This one will surprise you T.

Here's a list of tour de france winners, including the age when they won:


2014Nibali29
2013Froome28
2012wiggins32
2011Evans34
2010Schleck25
2009Contador26
2008Sastre33
2007Contador24
2006Pereiro30
2005Armstrong34
2004Armstrong33
2003Armstrong32
2002Armstrong31
2001Armstrong30
2000Armstrong29
1999Armstrong28
1998pantani28
1997ulrich24
1996Riis32
1995Indurain31
1994Indurain30
1993Indurain29
1992Indurain28
1991Indurain27
1990Lemond29
1989lemond28
1988Delgado28
1987Roch28
1986Lemond25
1985Hinault31
1984Fignon24
1983Fignon23
1982Hinault28
1981Hinault27
1980Zoetemelk34
Average age28,9

And this is a sport based on stamina and not speed and agility like tennis. A athlete can improve his endurance up to well in his thirties but as you can see with the average age of TDF winners, the average peak is before 30. 

Like i said many times before, even if Federer improved his range of shots (which he probably did), at the end of the day he misses his 25-29 body.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:27 pm

No it does not surprise me at all. 29 as average is what I expect indeed in terms of pure physical performance. And it contradicts your earlier slams winner graphs. I don;t think a player peaks past 30. I just think he plateaus between 28-32....and in fact in tennis with the exposure of learning v new players, better timing, and anticipation, a tennis player can actually be better at 31-32 than 28 even.


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:29 pm

The graph he showed, and the one I did, shows that it plateaus between 23 and 27 by overwhelming averages.
And that's me done with this debate.  The facts are all there for people to make up their minds.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:33 pm

Also GP, bear in mind that those age you provide at rounded to the birthday date but of course on average they are likely to be 0.5 extra older. So the average is likely to be 29.4 more than 28.9.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:38 pm

FedererKing wrote:The graph he showed, and the one I did, shows that it plateaus between 23 and 27 by overwhelming averages.
And that's me done with this debate.  The facts are all there for people to make up their minds.

Yes no worries. you were done before this debate started cause you do not want to see the other aspects of tennis but more so the fact that Federer could be beaten at his so called best.

The fact however is that Nadal had Federer's number since 2004!...before even Fed peaked!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:47 pm

Tenez wrote:Also GP, bear in mind that those age you provide at rounded to the birthday date but of course on average they are likely to be 0.5 extra older. So the average is likely to be 29.4 more than 28.9.
But T, Cycling is probably the very sport where you'll find an average like that. You know that.
Put more  explosiveness in account (like one needs in tennis) like swimming or gymnastics and you'll get average around 20-22.

Football players peak? probably 27. 33 is very old.

Maybe tommorrow i'll search for some new stats. For now: goodnight. This old man needs rest Winking

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:03 pm

gallery play wrote:
Tenez wrote:Also GP, bear in mind that those age you provide at rounded to the birthday date but of course on average they are likely to be 0.5 extra older. So the average is likely to be 29.4 more than 28.9.
But T, Cycling is probably the very sport where you'll find an average like that. You know that.
Put more  explosiveness in account (like one needs in tennis) like swimming or gymnastics and you'll get average around 20-22.
But your own graph says that pre open era before people started to rush into the sport the average for winning slams was over 30....In tennis timing is much more important than explosiveness.

Clearly you see Stan, Tsonga, Cilic, improving now that they are getting older and Soon Rao, Dimi all will improve too. SO this 23-25 is actually a liability nowadays that technology has been stable for the last 10 years.



Maybe tommorrow i'll search for some new stats. For now: goodnight. This old man needs rest Winking
Good one!  Winking I need rest too. I had a round trip today to Amsterdam with a 6am flight....and am knackered.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:18 am

I don't know how this debate descended/got side-tracked to charts and graphs of physical performances; pushing in that direction only shows lack of understanding of tennis.

Let's not forget we are talking about Federer being a better tennis player now than in 2006.
Better, fitter, stronger.

Also, the change tennis underwent blurring the distinction between talent, age and fitness. And how that change affected Federer and his generation, even more so, how the latest wave of change is now challenging the generation that challenged Federer's generation.

Fascinating stage in tennis evolution in which Federer stands out again.

The only advantage he had in 2006 was that he was physically fresher, as the tennis he had played up to then was different and less demanding on the body.

Federer is not some poor, struggling grandad having his last hurrah tripping over his walking stick singing "give peace (S&V) a chance"....quite the opposite!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by noleisthebest on Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:46 pm

Federer's increase of racquet size is another proof of much tennis has changed:


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:37 pm

Easier racquet...all is said, they can swing more freely with them....and when handling a Nadal zippy spiny ball...it certainly helps

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:02 am


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:57 am

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

I like the stats you put together and they are interesting.  I agree they show on a set-by-set basis, 2014 is not as far behind 2006 as I would have initially guessed (well, they even suggest that 2014 is better than 2006).

That said, this is only one of many possible angles from which one can compare Fed's 2006 and 2014.  If stats like this were popping up on every corner of 2006 vs 2014 comparisons, I would be more willing to consider that Fed may be as good - or at least close to it - as in 2006.  However, most 2006 vs 2014 statistical comparisons will make 2006 look far better than 2014, so to me your numbers represent more an aberration.  They are interesting, and I am sure I will remember and keep them in mind, but they are not convincing enough in the bigger picture of the overall argument.

For comparison, I did a similar analysis (though admittedly one that is easier to make and requires less effort) and I was looking only at wins and losses.  For every match Fed wins, he gets zero points.  For every match he loses, he gets 1 point multiplied by the ranking of the opponent.  For example, a loss to player ranked #10 will give 10 points.  So, this is quite similar to what you were doing.  Here I get these numbers (again - lower number means bigger dominance):

2006 - 0.3
2014 - 2.9

Here, 2006 looks far far more dominant.

How to reconcile the two?  On one hand, your numbers show that in terms of set-by-set data, 2014 looks better than 2006, while in terms of match-by-match data, 2006 looks far superior.

Who knows, there could be many explanations.  One possibility is that in 2006 he was a bit luckier in turning close matches into wins.  However, I am more inclined to agree with GP's interpretation that in 2006 he was cruising much more than in 2014 - matches that looked close in terms of raw score were not nearly as close as that in reality - in the end he would always step up when needed.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:47 am

Tenez wrote:As I explained GP this graph is irrelevant as it says what age a player is likely to win slams not what age he is playing best.
You did not "explain", you "hypothesized" smiley

At first glance, the graph definitely looks very relevant.  It is certainly reasonable to assume that if players tend to win slams around age 25-27, then that is also the age when they tend to play best.  While the two are not the same, unless strong evidence is presented to the contrary, it seems only reasonable to assume the two more-or-less coincide.

There are possible explanations that could make the two ages (i.e., age when players win and age when they play best) differ.  Some of them have been tried already:

First, in theory at least, tennis could be improving over time so quickly that players stop winning after 27 - even though they are still improving - because the rest of the field overtakes them.  This is almost certainly wrong.  We looked at comparison vs 100m sprint where your own example did not come close to meeting this criterion.  In reality, it just pretty much never happens like that in any sport.  They improve over time, but not fast enough.

Second, tennis is now more of an endurance sport, so the peak age is later.  It is probably true that peak age is later than it used to be, but certainly not above 30.  You mentioned a number of times that in endurance sports athletes peak at 30+, and you mentioned cycling as an example.  As GP showed, even in cycling, most success is attained before age 30.  Tennis has become more endurance based than in the past, but is not as endurance specific as cycling.  So, intuitively, one can expect to see peak tennis age to have increased, but not above where cycling is.  Indeed, this does seem to be consistent with what we are seeing.  Players do win slams later, but not many win them after 30.  Average age of top 10 (and also top 20) tennis players is about 28 years - higher than it used to be but lower than average age of Tour De France winners.

Third, as tennis changed to a more physical sport, players such as Federer found it harder to succeed not because they declined but because conditions conspired against them.  This line of reasoning could in theory work, but not alone.  There would need to be additional evidence showing Fed did not decline, change in conditions alone implies nothing.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:55 am

noleisthebest wrote:Federer's increase of racquet size is another proof of much tennis has changed:
Fed's results are worse now than they used to be.  Conditions are also less favorable to him than they used to be.  So what?  This does not say anything about whether or not he declined.  It is very possible (in fact, almost certain) that both he declined and conditions became less favorable to his play.

In order to provide plausible evidence that he not decline you need to do much more than just say that conditions moved against him.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:20 am

summerblues wrote:
How to reconcile the two?  On one hand, your numbers show that in terms of set-by-set data, 2014 looks better than 2006, while in terms of match-by-match data, 2006 looks far superior.

Who knows, there could be many explanations.  One possibility is that in 2006 he was a bit luckier in turning close matches into wins.  However, I am more inclined to agree with GP's interpretation that in 2006 he was cruising much more than in 2014 - matches that looked close in terms of raw score were not nearly as close as that in reality - in the end he would always step up when needed.

We cannot reconcile them cause one is simply more precise than the others. The coefficient might be subjective but one would have to give Losses a much worse value to compensate for the wins...and knowing how close winning and losing can be at times it might not be too fair. However 56 means that Federer dominated too....it just says he dominated a bit less than we think, or at least thought it did.

Who knows, there could be many explanations.  One possibility is that in 2006 he was a bit luckier in turning close matches into wins.  However, I am more inclined to agree with GP's interpretation that in 2006 he was cruising much more than in 2014 - matches that looked close in terms of raw score were not nearly as close as that in reality - in the end he would always step up when needed.
Exactly what those stats do not say. Yes he was winning much more but not cruising, especially considering who he was facing ....that at least you cannot deny.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:26 am

The stats don't lie but i can understand Tenez view: peak of succes is something different than a personal peak. So eventually you can only go back to comparing live action, whatever stance you choose it remains very subjective.

That said: comparing those moments in time to me its is clear he can't handle the pace as well as he once did. In fact: handling pace was his foremost weapon. Everyone can see in the clips that the balls are not coming faster at him than f.i. Davydenko's balls.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:18 pm

summerblues wrote:First, in theory at least, tennis could be improving over time so quickly that players stop winning after 27 - even though they are still improving - because the rest of the field overtakes them.  This is almost certainly wrong.  We looked at comparison vs 100m sprint where your own example did not come close to meeting this criterion.  In reality, it just pretty much never happens like that in any sport.  They improve over time, but not fast enough.

Well there you go. In fact this graph perfectly support my case. How do you explain the very telling first part of the graph, pre-open era? Why the average then was over 30?

If you look at a case by case in that open era, it is extremely telling.
1 - Connors started to win less slams when Borg arrived.
2- Borg did not start to lose because of age. He started to lose to a new player arriving on the scene: McEnroe who took Slams from him. Without Mc Borg woudl have won 3 more slams. He also started to struggle v 20 Lendl on clay. Things were changing fast.
3 - McEnroe dominant year was 84, certainly considered his peak year....but coudl not win a single slam after. How come? Very easy again, Becker and Edberg arrived and exposed McEnroe's "push and careess" technique he developped with his wooden racquet. Wilander and others arrived too slashing his chances to win slams. Becker, Wilander and Edberg were very young and did not wait for McEnroe to decline to beat him. We know now that they were in fact too young beat him on the "physical" advantage but beat him cause they had more power. Lendl who had a very modern game (serve and big FH) did not decline nearly as quickly as McEnroe. In fact he did the most of his better fitness past 26.

I am going to skip those in betwen and go to our times. Whhat did prevent Federer to win slam past 2006? No-one.....bar Nadal! So again is that age decline for Fed or is it Nadal? Who came up with a new fitness, a new strategy? Without Nadal Federer woudl have won 2 calender slams at least and 10 extra slams? Who stopped nadal winning more slams in 2011? age or a new player?

So you can see clearly that on a case per case, sport, especially tennis (due to new technology and how a player can influence how another player play), the decline in winning slams comes from the opposition and not age!. Can you deny that on those concrete cases we have in front on us?


Second, tennis is now more of an endurance sport, so the peak age is later.  It is probably true that peak age is later than it used to be, but certainly not above 30.  You mentioned a number of times that in endurance sports athletes peak at 30+, and you mentioned cycling as an example.  As GP showed, even in cycling, most success is attained before age 30.  Tennis has become more endurance based than in the past, but is not as endurance specific as cycling.  So, intuitively, one can expect to see peak tennis age to have increased, but not above where cycling is.  Indeed, this does seem to be consistent with what we are seeing.  Players do win slams later, but not many win them after 30.  Average age of top 10 (and also top 20) tennis players is about 28 years - higher than it used to be but lower than average age of Tour De France winners.
Well I did not say a tennis player peaks post 30 yet. To me 28-33 is about right maybe 34 even though that is most unlikely as the fact tennis is about playing many matches a week but varies so much from players cause motivation is a huge factor. Some might get mentally tired to play after 30, not keen to face the new challenges, the travelling and losses to the new generation (Safin for instance).

The main point here is that unlike cycling tennis involves so much more. Experience, anticipation and timing which clearly improve after 30 (even Lendl said that). It would not be surprising at all if a player could produce his best tennis after 30.

Third, as tennis changed to a more physical sport, players such as Federer found it harder to succeed not because they declined but because conditions conspired against them.  This line of reasoning could in theory work, but not alone. There would need to be additional evidence showing Fed did not decline, change in conditions alone implies nothing
Why?

At the end of the day you both are simply denying that Federer started to lose in 2005 versus Nadal. Fed did not wait to decline to find an opponent who could beat him more often than not.

I would like an answer from both of you on this very last -unavoidable - point!


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:29 pm

gallery play wrote:The stats don't lie but i can understand Tenez view: peak of succes is something different than a personal peak. So eventually you can only go back to comparing live action, whatever stance you choose it remains very subjective.
Yes but we are given clues by those stats. Stats don't lie I agree and as I mentioned, those stats show many many things. I agree it shows that right in the open era and up to recently a player had more chance to win slams while young....and I explained why:
1 - Essentially new tech
2 - huge arrival of new players making the game more competitive year in year out.

But those stats say also that before the change of competition and arrival of tons of new players, over 30 was when players had more chance to win slams and now it's getting much harder for youngsters to win slams since the sport became more physical. So yes I agree Stats do not lie.


That said: comparing those moments in time to me its is clear he can't handle the pace as well as he once did. In fact: handling pace was his foremost weapon. Everyone can see in the clips that the balls are not coming faster at him than f.i. Davydenko's balls.
I am afraid I have to disagree there as well. Fed struggled to hit Nadal's ball in 2005 already. It's not the pace that was the challenge as much as the spin now played by many more players. Plus fed already was challenged by pace before 2005 by guys like Safin, or even Berdych when he lost in the Olympics cause the ball was too fast.

I see it different now, he times the ball better, of that I am pretty sure, and it very obvious. Did you see the clip earlier in IW where he hits 2 volleys in less than 30millisecond? If you can do that, you can handle most pace.

The reason fed loses is the reason he lost v Hewitt before 2004. Just that nowadays he is facing a few super-Hewitts!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:35 pm

BTW GP....How old was ALi when he played his best match ever and won against all odds versus Foreman thanks to his amazing reflexes?  Winking 

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:00 pm

tenez wrote:Yes but we are given clues by those stats. Stats don't lie I agree and as I mentioned, those stats show many many things. I agree it shows that right in the open era and up to recently a player had more chance to win slams while young....and I explained why:
1 - Essentially new tech
2 - huge arrival of new players making the game more competitive year in year out.

But those stats say also that before the change of competition and arrival of tons of new players, over 30 was when players had more chance to win slams and now it's getting much harder for youngsters to win slams since the sport became more physical. So yes I agree Stats do not lie.

The stats are actually very much against your opinion. Maybe it's now harder for a 22 year old to win a slam than in the eighties/nineties, but it also still almost impossible for a 30+ player to win a slam.
Don't steal my argument will you? Winking 

Tenez wrote:I am afraid I have to disagree there as well. Fed struggled to hit Nadal's ball in 2005 already. It's not the pace that was the challenge as much as the spin now played by many more players. Plus fed already was challenged by pace before 2005 by guys like Safin, or even Berdych when he lost in the Olympics cause the ball was too fast.
Yes, Fed always have struggled with Nadal's spin, but no one still hits with more spin than NAdal did from day one. Federer does not lose to Tsonga because of the spin
You found 2 players Federer lost a match against. That's not a proof is it? Those loses are very rare. Federer owned Berdych big time those days, and Safin actually too. Federer was basically impossible to beat for a hardhitter. (check his 2004-2007 h2h's against the hardhitters)

Tenez wrote:I see it different now, he times the ball better, of that I am pretty sure, and it very obvious. Did you see the clip earlier in IW where he hits 2 volleys in less than 30millisecond? If you can do that, you can handle most pace.
I'm not talking about netplay. Tennis is a baseline game anyway. Federer can nowadays often not keep his position against a firm hitting baseliner. He at least a yard further back compared with his hay days. The timing may have improved but it becomes useless as soon as the feet are too late.

Tenez wrote:BTW GP....How old was ALi when he played his best match ever and won against all odds versus Foreman thanks to his amazing reflexes?
32. not his 'best' match, his most heroic though. 
And not thanks to his reflexes, but thanks to his heart. He had the guts to make to bull angry first, then making him tired and eventually  had the technique to finish it off.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:09 pm

Boxing also doesn't require much movement from legs.  Usain Bolt is 28 and has only just managed to drop below 10 seconds this season.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:19 pm

FedererKing wrote:Boxing also doesn't require much movement from legs.  Usain Bolt is 28 and has only just managed to drop below 10 seconds this season.
Bolt runs a tight line after his compatriots got caught up in doping scandals.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:20 pm

That's not really a rebuttal to what I said.

Also, Bolt hasn't beaten his records set in 2009.  Clearly age again.  I mean. it's not like the argument of surfaces or opposition can come into that.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:50 pm

gallery play wrote:The stats are actually very much against your opinion. Maybe it's now harder for a 22 year old to win a slam than in the eighties/nineties, but it also still almost impossible for a 30+ player to win a slam.
Don't steal my argument will you? Winking 
You noticed the graph has a pre-open era too....which contradicts your argument too. And I explained enough times why obvisouly 23-25 was the right age to win slams in at the beginning of the open era.

Yes, Fed always have struggled with Nadal's spin, but no one still hits with more spin than NAdal did from day one. Federer does not lose to Tsonga because of the spin
You found 2 players Federer lost a match against. That's not a proof is it? Those loses are very rare. Federer owned Berdych big time those days, and Safin actually too. Federer was basically impossible to beat for a hardhitter. (check his 2004-2007 h2h's against the hardhitters)
I have answered that too. very young Berdych beat Federer at the 2004 Olympics cause the conds suddenly got  faster than the beginning of the tournament. This is what fed says about it, not me. he said he coudl not handle the fast pace and Berdych shots. Fed had struggle handling Safin pace too as times. Tsonga was also owned by Murray and Djoko....yet both lost to him in Toronto. And Tsonga was a much better version of Safin in Toronto. So I think there is not much to read about this Toronto final.

And Finally, it was not Nadal alone. Fed was also losing 6/2 in his H2H v Murray in their first 8 encounters!!!! WIth Fed winning teh first set and losing the last 2 in 3 of those 6 losses. So clearly Murray hammering Fed's BH and fed maybe tiring as well. The new generation of players were on their way! Murray started to cause Fed problem before Fed declined, don't you agree?

I'm not talking about netplay. Tennis is a baseline game anyway. Federer can nowadays often not keep his position against a firm hitting baseliner. He at least a yard further back compared with his hay days. The timing may have improved but it becomes useless as soon as the feet are too late.
Correct, a baseline game which he struggled with as he was essentially a SVer at first. Guys like Nalby and Hewitt cause him enough trouble in his youth. He managed to end up beating them more often but when Nadal, Murray and Djoko started to get twice as fit as Hewitt....it was always going to be a tough ask for Federer. It's not that complicated after all. Some came with better fitness and more weapons than Hewitt...and forced Federer in changing his game yet again!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:29 am

tenez wrote:Fed was also losing 6/2 in his H2H v Murray in their first 8 encounters!!!! WIth Fed winning teh first set and losing the last 2 in 3 of those 6 losses. So clearly Murray hammering Fed's BH and fed maybe tiring as well. The new generation of players were on their way! Murray started to cause Fed problem before Fed declined, don't you agree?
To be precize: The serie of loses against Murray was mostly set in 2008. That was definitly a year of decline.(mind you: this is a debate about 2006)

tenez wrote:he was essentially a SVer at first.
Are you sure? On grass: yes, but not on other surfaces.
From 2002:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZPdIXIHZQI
or 1998:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmjrqbO78Tw

Overall he did not change much in the way he plays the game. He has always been an aggressive baseliner. In fact: He now plays more S&V than he did as a young player, he's forced to do so, like you said.

Look, i'm also in awe he's still a top 3 player. I never would have predicted that 5 years ago. Actually, i thought he would have been retired by now. But i'm not giving in on you, purely based on how i see him play now: he's not the same player. And let's be fair: he's a bit helped by the bad results of the main contenders this year. The roadrunners certainly are not having their best year.

And another thing about the Original Post: in 2006 all MS and atp500 tournaments he played were basically preparation tournaments for the GS, hence a few lost sets against lower ranked players. That he won most of tournaments anyway shows how good he was but imo he's now entering the smaller tournaments with more focus than he did back then. He now plays like every title he wins could the last one. That's why he chose to play Cinci this year. Winning slams is not on top of his to do list. It would be a huge bonus but he knows it's probably too much to ask for.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:24 pm

gallery play wrote:To be precize: The serie of loses against Murray was mostly set in 2008. That was definitly a year of decline.(mind you: this is a debate about 2006)
. Well for someone who started to decline in 2008, he did well to make up for lost ground since against a player (MUrray) who keeps getting closer to his own peak (according to your criteria).

Look, i'm also in awe he's still a top 3 player. I never would have predicted that 5 years ago. Actually, i thought he would have been retired by now. But i'm not giving in on you, purely based on how i see him play now: he's not the same player. And let's be fair: he's a bit helped by the bad results of the main contenders this year. The roadrunners certainly are not having their best year.
Yes I certainly agree that the RRunners are having a bad time and not saying that Fed can beat them now. He is just keeping up with them. Had he stayed at the 2006 level, he would have been thrashed by them nowadays, especially on those slower surfaces. His BH was already his downfall. They just had to plug it in to guarantee a win in the long run.

To me 2010/2011 and some of 2012 were some of his best display. Most complete player.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOLrAYaLZ4Q That is probably one of his best match ever....against a player similar to those he played in 2006. Beautiful aggressive play from BH and FH, great depth, etc....and could/should have beaten Djoko in 2011....again had he not been drained by the RRunner. There was no-one in 2006 bar Nadal who could last as much as Djoko. And that makes a huge difference.


And another thing about the Original Post: in 2006 all MS and atp500 tournaments he played were basically preparation tournaments for the GS, hence a few lost sets against lower ranked players. That he won most of tournaments anyway shows how good he was but imo he's now entering the smaller tournaments with more focus than he did back then. He now plays like every title he wins could the last one. That's why he chose to play Cinci this year. Winning slams is not on top of his to do list. It would be a huge bonus but he knows it's probably too much to ask for.
I am not convinced by that to be frank. Back then he was setting records right and left it was about winning everything, especially since there was no RRuners and a match was less taxing. . His close fights actually showed that he did not want to lose. He almost pulled out of Cinci to preserve his chance to the USO...but sure when he saw he was ok and the other tiring players were out of the draw he gave it a chance. I think he wants the slams as much as before. I can't see him being excited about a 1000 or 250.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:53 pm

tenez wrote:Well for someone who started to decline in 2008

Didn't say that, i said 2008 was a year of decline. He came back strong in 2009.

tenez wrote:To me 2010/2011 and some of 2012 were some of his best display.
2012 not really, but 2010/2011: i agree! But we're now in 2014..

tenez wrote:I can't see him being excited about a 1000 or 250
Well, he looked happy as a clam when he held the title in Cinci.
Sure, a slam would be the ultimate fulfilment but he has to be realistic too. That said, with the absence of Nadal and not so good form of many top players, things are different in NY.

Still, to me he's second favorite but against Djoko in the final...20% chance

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:51 pm

gallery play wrote:
2012 not really, but 2010/2011: i agree! But we're now in 2014..
In 2012 he had back problems...clearly. I noticed very clearly a change during that FO first round v that german guy (and aparently he grabbed it during Blue clay in madrid) . he carried it over to Wimbledon but was lucky enough to fix it in time for the final rounds. Look at the way he crushes Djoko in Cincy there as well (60) . His back was certainly affecting his preparation but his tennis at times was really impressive. That is why I think 2012 could have been one of his best year too.

So do you agree that he played better or as well in 2010/11 than 2006?

And yes I am not saying he is going to peak now at 33 cause his recovery time is really going to affect all his chances of winning from now. But I am very convinced he is a more complete player now than in 2006 where he was a bit clueless if his 2 to 3 shots rallies strategy was not working.

Well, he looked happy as a clam when he held the title in Cinci.
Sure, a slam would be the ultimate fulfilment but he has to be realistic too. That said, with the absence of Nadal and not so good form of many top players, things are different in NY. Still, to me he's second favorite but against Djoko in the final...20% chance

I think he will do better than Wimby.....if he gets to the final v Djoko.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by gallery play on Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:13 pm

tenez wrote:So do you agree that he played better or as well in 2010/11 than 2006?
Some parts: yes definitly.
AO 2010, one of his best slam wins, if not his best in terms of quality.
WTF 2010, 2011, as good as he can play
RG 2011, very good, despite that stupid final
Paris 2011, his best MS win i can imagine. (although overlooked by many).

But again, we're now talking about 2014. 

tenez wrote:if he gets to the final v Djoko.
hmm, i do not look forward to that match

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:03 pm

Well we are not as miles apart as we think then. I am not saying that Fed is playing better now than in 2011. A lot will be down to how he can use his new racquet.

I still think there is something left in the old man...and his loss of mobility and reflexes when fresh....as not as visible as some of you say.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Daniel on Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:18 pm

He did start to decline in 2008.  His dominance dropped away that year and it never came back.  He  never won virtually everything like 05-07.  Mono very likely accelerated it, but it was coming sooner or later regardless.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:27 pm

Who should we believe? FK or Federer and Sampras?

Q. After the rain delay there were some moments in that match where you were moving at a very high level. When you analyze your longevity, your 60th major, your movement, how those things tie together...

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's been good for a while now. I think especially now it's been really excellent the last three matches here at the US Open. I feel very explosive, quick. Like you say, the coordination is there, as well. I feel like I've gotten used to the hard courts by now. It's really working well. I'm very pleased. Today conditions were much more humid so you could feel a little flat out there, but that wasn't the case. I was able to power through that. Yeah, I mean, I'm happy I wake up every day and I'm ready to go. It's also great to see Robredo fit like a fiddle at the end last night. I thought that was impressive, too. He's my age, too. I think when you keep yourself in shape and train the right way, that's how you do it. Then actually it's not such a surprise for yourself. But I'm clearly happy about it because it's become a game of movement. If you don't move very well you can't dig out a few shots. It's just not going to work out in the long run.

Q. You come into the tournament with a title win and a slam final. How do you think the Roger Federer of this year would fare against the Federer of 2004 through 2007?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I hope I'm a better player today. Geez, so much time has gone by and I've practiced so hard over the years that I feel I have more power on my serve. I volley better now, I guess. I've gotten to understand, you know, so many things over those years. But the thing back then is I was so unbelievably confident. I was coming through stretches where I wouldn't lose against top 10 players. I wouldn't lose finals. That I did for such a long time, I didn't remember losing -- how it happened or how it would work. I had an unbelievable winner mentality. Not that I don't have it today, but I haven't won as much as I did back then. I think that could make a difference. Otherwise I'm very pleased with how things are going this year.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:32 pm

Excellent find, T!
The last paragraph says it all...unless Fed's gone so senile with age he doesn't know what he's talking about Winking


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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:37 pm

Also that sentence about tennis becoming the game of movement, there is so much in it.
Legs have always been important in tennis, now they seem to be everything...
The mechanics of time and space in tennis have changed so much in the last 10 years.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:41 pm

noleisthebest wrote:Also that sentence about tennis becoming the game of movement, there is so much in it.
Legs have always been important in tennis, now they seem to be everything...
The mechanics of time and space in tennis have changed so much in the last 10 years.

yes.....the time it took for the new generation de get the most of those new strings which arrived in 1997 with Guga!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by noleisthebest on Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:44 pm

....where will it all end, though?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:51 pm

Bottom line is that at 33 Federer is still providing a woowww factor thanks to the super tough physical challenge he has been facing.

Had tennis been stuck in early 2000 era, he would have been playing like a ballet dancer and bagged in 30 slams effortlessly. ....

...THOUGH to be fair those strings contributed a lot to his huge confidence wave. before 2003 he was quite erratic with lots of hit and hope but those strings adopted in 2002 gave him the confidence to hit more shots safely. However his game had already been learnt with nat gut and therefore could not get the most of them like Djoko and Nadal.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by noleisthebest on Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:30 am

Tenez wrote:Bottom line is that at 33 Federer is still providing a woowww factor thanks to the super tough physical challenge he has been facing.
Had tennis been stuck in early 2000 era, he would have been playing like a ballet dancer and bagged in 30 slams effortlessly. ....
...THOUGH to be fair those strings contributed a lot to his huge confidence wave. before 2003 he was quite erratic with lots of hit and hope but those strings adopted in 2002 gave him the confidence to hit more shots safely. However his game had already been learnt with nat gut and therefore could not get the most of them like Djoko and Nadal.

There was so much wowwww last night, it was mind-blowong!
With the little help of Edberg and the bigger frame, Federer has taken his own tennis to a new, unchartered Concorde heights.

It's simply awesome!

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:01 am

gallery play wrote:The stats don't lie but i can understand Tenez view: peak of succes is something different than a personal peak. So eventually you can only go back to comparing live action, whatever stance you choose it remains very subjective.
Yes, and what makes it more difficult in tennis compared to say athletics is that the performance is not directly measurable.

We can compare live action, which in theory is the only right comparison as you say but in practice it is very prone to subjective interpretation.

Or we can derive conclusions from measurable data, which has the advantage of being less prone to such subjectivity, but also the disadvantage of being only indirect (as in looking at TdF winners ages, or 100m sprinters, or Fed's serve speed or his ace count etc etc).

Which, all in all, is great because it allows debates such as this one to live on.  If it were all measurable, Tenez would have long ago had to admit he was wrong Winking

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:13 am

Tenez wrote:Well we are not as miles apart as we think then.
I also think that - while we do differ - we probably do not differ quite as much as this discussion suggests.

There are a few areas where I think we just talk about slightly different thing when we compare Fed now vs Fed 2006.

You seem to mostly focus on his peak vs peak performance, whereas I (and perhaps most posters on my side of the discussion) look more at his average vs average performance.

So, for example if some of his results are poorer due to slower recovery, you are more likely to say "he is as good as ever but takes longer to recover" whereas I would say of the same thing "he is not as good as before", even though we both may mean the same thing.

That said, I am fairly certain that even his peak performances are not quite what they used to be, but I agree that the gap in peak-vs-peak performances is not as big as the gap between his average-vs-average performance.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:22 am

Tenez, you were earlier looking at the average age of semifinalists in Toronto and Cincy.  I did the same for this year's slams:

AO - 29y4m (Fed, Stan, Berd, Rafa)
RG - 27y (Rafa, Andy, Nole, Gulbis)
W - 26y8m (Fed, Nole, Rao, Dimi )
USO - 27y9m (Fed, Nole, Nishi, Cilic)

overall - 27y8m

This is very much in line with the average age of the current top 10, or top 20.  Which suggests that while the peak age has gone up from the more traditional 24-25 years, it is not anywhere near 33 years.  In fact, Fed is the only 30+ year player in this year's slam SFs.  All of the other ones were under 29.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:50 pm

summerblues wrote: Or we can derive conclusions from measurable data, which has the advantage of being less prone to such subjectivity, but also the disadvantage of being only indirect (as in looking at TdF winners ages, or 100m sprinters, or Fed's serve speed or his ace count etc etc).
But that is very limitating as it does not take into consideration the striking of the ball, timing, strategy, experience (both based on age and playing same players), so crucial in tennis.

Problem is that we are completely disregarding the evolution of the rest of the field. I remember having watched matched between Fed v Safin in 2005/06 and thought that was by far the best tennis played ever...but then having that sensation so many times since. Well I should maybe not say "best" but "most impressive". And it has constantly been so year in year out for the last 7 years......in fact since tennis was invented. Why would the game have stopped getting tougher in 2006? This is clearly a very measurable thing. It's so obvious from the naked eye.

In 2006 a bad day like Federer had v Monfils woudl not have been noticed. He coudl have lost a set v Kiefer (like he did many times) or Lopez, Ferrero, etc... but today if you are not 100% versus guys like Monfils, you are certainly going to be in trouble.

 If it were all measurable, Tenez would have long ago had to admit he was wrong Winking
You mean Tenez, Wilander, Federer, Sampras Djokovic, Nadal, and in short anybody who plays tennis at a professional level?

Only fans think the game declines with the player....those on "site" know the game keeps moving on....very quickly in fact....cause unlike racing or TDF, they are many aspects of teh game to improve.

Despite his back surgery earlier, Murray had never played as well v Djoko. Murray has now a BH and FH.....he only had a BH before, for example.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:59 pm

Tenez wrote:This is clearly a very measurable thing. It's so obvious from the naked eye.
As long as you do not plan to "measure" with the naked eye. smiley

Tenez wrote:Only fans think the game declines with the player....those on "site" know the game keeps moving on....very quickly in fact...
The game in general does keep moving on and improving - but not nearly as quickly as you think.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by Tenez on Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:15 pm

summerblues wrote:
Tenez wrote:This is clearly a very measurable thing. It's so obvious from the naked eye.
As long as you do not plan to "measure" with the naked eye. smiley

Tenez wrote:Only fans think the game declines with the player....those on "site" know the game keeps moving on....very quickly in fact...
The game in general does keep moving on and improving - but not nearly as quickly as you think.

It takes one player to move it up quickly. Federer improved the game 10 folds from 2003/2005, Nadal in 2005 had already found the key to Fed's game, Djoko in 2008 was already better than Nadal bar on clay. Then Murray, Nadal and Djoko kept pushing the game up physically. Then you have guys like Karlo, Rao pushing the returning up, Monfils Cilic, Tsonga making the game much tougher as they have also improved considerably since 2006....everybody benefits from everybody improvements. This is why it moves quickly.  

Look at this match. Theyr are hardly moving side to side. Safin moves like a tree yet he is called a "physical beast" by the commentators.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:46 pm

noleisthebest wrote:You are wrong beause you keep ignoring the opposition.
Nole was simply outplayed by Nishi.

Just like Monf outplayed Fed in the first two sets the other day.
I am not ignoring the opposition, but I am also not bestowing it with virtues it does not possess.

Of course Nole was outplayed by Nishi, but it takes two to tango.  Are you saying that this was Nole at his best being outplayed by an even better opponent?  If so, you need to find a convincing reason for it, not just state it as a fact.

Agree, Nishi was playing very well, but that does not mean I cannot also see that - even taking that into account - Nole could have played better, and in many matches past, played better?

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by noleisthebest on Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:49 pm

summerblues wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:You are wrong beause you keep ignoring the opposition.
Nole was simply outplayed by Nishi.

Just like Monf outplayed Fed in the first two sets the other day.
I am not ignoring the opposition, but I am also not bestowing it with virtues it does not possess.

Of course Nole was outplayed by Nishi, but it takes two to tango.  Are you saying that this was Nole at his best being outplayed by an even better opponent?  If so, you need to find a convincing reason for it, not just state it as a fact.

Agree, Nishi was playing very well, but that does not mean I cannot also see that - even taking that into account - Nole could have played better, and in many matches past, played better?

Nole could not have played better...maybe in the night session.
Nishi made him look slow, and I have only seen Fed being able to do that to him.

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Re: Federer's 2006 domination revisited

Post by summerblues on Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:52 pm

noleisthebest wrote:Nole could not have played better...
Then we have a disagreement, but I do not know what to do about it - you see it one way, to me it seems pretty obvious the other way.

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