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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
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    707

    How did Roger Federer even become #1 ?

    Sure it's human nature to kick someone when they're down. After Federer's loss at the French this year, people were already talking about Nadal replacing him at the top. It was amazing to hear people say they were convinced Nadal would also win Wimbledon. I thought for sure, Roger would step it up and demonstrate that at least Wimbledon was his house but alas, it was not meant to be.

    What I thought was very interesting during their Wimbledon Match which is being considered one of the best Final's Match in Wimbledon history. For me, it was a disaster to witness the man who has been proclaimed as probably the best Tennis Player of all time, fall apart in the first two sets. Nadal destroyed him in Sets 1 & 2. Roger found a way to fight back and win 3 & 4 but Champions of that caliber should have put the pedal to the metal in the 5th Set which Federer did not.

    For those of you that watched this Match, did you happen to notice how many times Federer pulled up on his forehand shots when he had an opening?
    How many times Federer tentatively charged the net only to see Nadal's passing shot go by him yet another time? How many times during the match Federer failed to hit the corners but yet elected to return his ground strokes directly back to Nadal? How many times Federer served wide to the deuce court which is Nadal's backhand wing that also happens to be one of his most potent shot returns? And the uncharacteristic number of unforced errors Federer committed which btw, one must take into consideration that at the level these guys play and the incredible pace the ball is traveling, almost every shot is coming at you is so difficult to deal with that to consider any error unforced is questionable.

    But the one most obvious factor about that Wimbledon match was the seemingly lackluster approach Federer had throughout the entire match when compared to Nadal, who played each point as if his life depended on winning that very point at any given moment.

    Personally I was disappointed in Roger Federer's tactics throughout the match and impressed with Rafael Nadal's tactics & tenacious determination not to succumb to the idea that beating Federer in the Finals of Wimbledon is an unattainable feat that one should simply appreciate that fact you made it to the Finals as your Crowning Glory.

    My point here is not to join the bandwagon of Federer doubters but to point out, that even the greatest have their moments when it's just hard to get up for the task at hand however this wasn't just another match for Mr. Federer to win or lose. These two combatants faced each other in the finals of the French & Wimbledon over the past few years and seemingly establishing that Clay was Nadal's surface and Grass was Federer's. However in order for anyone to credibly speak of Roger Federer as the greatest of all times, he needed to not only add the French Open to his resume but beating Nadal in the Finals in doing so. Then moving on the Wimbledon 2008, Roger had tied Borg's 5 straight Wimbledon titles and this win would have broken that record and if that were not enough to contend with, Nadal winning Wimbledon beating Federer on what was clearly considered his house would ultimately change the conversation regarding the best ever for ever.

    So can we still argue Roger Federer as being the GOAT? It is conceivable that the conversation can now change to Rafael Nadal possibly being the GOAT should he go on to not only win US Open 2008 but also follow that up with a Masters Championship Win to add to his Gold Medal leaving the only surface he needs to add to his mantel is the Australian Open?

    Well kids, the only answer to that question is [u]No{/u] and I merely point to one undeniable fact to date that Rafael Nadal has a grand total of 5 Major Championships whereas Mr. Federer is still only two behind the great Pete Sampras, having 12 Slam Titles to date. But if for those not easily swayed by accomplishments alone, then I would say, once Roger puts a French Title in his briefcase, he will then join those few who have won on all surfaces, which is really only Andre Agassi, since the others who won all four weren't on different surfaces. Andre Agassi is the only Champion who has won all four since they've been on distinctly different playing surfaces. I fully believe it will be more difficult for Nadal to win the Aussy Open given how the ball reacts to the rubber surface they play on.

    Nadal hasn't even come close to winning in Australia whereas Federer has been in the Finals of the French three times unfortunately for him, he's faced the same player each time. So we can only look at each of these great Players and imagine what level Tennis will rise to in the future. Most likely at this very moment there's some young kid possibly hitting with his Dad or against a wall somewhere or up against the side of a house, who might just break all of the current records we now stand in awe of.

    Yes, it's not and it is easy to speak of Roger Federer in past tense given his greatness seems to be thwarted by Nadal who has a 12 - 6 match lead against Federer in Major competitions. Roger Federer, who many consider the greatest player to ever play the game is actually shadowed by Nadal's explosive style and will to win. The term, "Changing of the Guard" was repeated many times during the French & Wimbledon Finals. I fully believe Federer will reclaim his throne at Wimbledon next year if he approaches the match (should it be against Nadal) as if he has something to prove and not as, "Hey I'm Roger Federer and I can turn it on at anytime even if I'm down in a Match". Nadal has shown him that the time to turn it on is at the moment the Umpire calls, "Play".
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    23
    I think, no disrespect, but you sound like a typical Roger fan--you don't want to give credit where it's due. Roger did not lose that match--Rafa won it. I have heard Roger Federer fans make every excuse in the book for Federer's loss. He wasn't feeling well, he played poorly-- unlike himself. If Federer had won the match, no such excuses would be made.

    That might be your point, but I have to say this. I am not someone who supports someone because they're winning. Many of Federers fans are that way. I was a supporter of Nadal and Roddick since the beginning of their potential. I am not a fan of Federer and don't think I'll ever be.
    That said: I think Federer is down, but it's mostly mental. However, let's be realistic. He's 27. In real life that's not old, but most tennis players retire at 30-33. Federer has five more years to make a go at it. It might seem like a lot of time, but if the 2008 U.S. Open showed us anything, it's that the next generation of male tennis players have strong potential and are hungry and ambitious. Guys like Del Potro and the rest of them can make the next five years of Federer's career difficult.

    As far as federer's fall from grace, it wasn't a matter of if, but when. He couldn't have go on winning forever. Please give Nadal credit, because most people said he could only play on clay. He defeated federer on his best surface on the biggest occasion. He got to the semi-finals of the U.S.Open this year--the highest level he has ever reached. People are saying he can't conquer hardcourt because it's too fast. Next year, he just might surprise us. Young Rafa is a fast learner.
    My point here is not to join the bandwagon of Federer doubters but to point out, that even the greatest have their moments when it's just hard to get up for the task at hand however this wasn't just another match for Mr. Federer to win or lose.
    P.S. I think your posts are a bit too long. The length can discourage people from reading them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    707
    Last point first, yes and when people like you begin to reply, I will contain myself a bit more so thank you However since I felt I was the only person here, I guess I just talked to myself.

    Yes I like FedEx but I'm also amazed by Rafa, Joko and Murray. Sorry not a Roddick fan but I can't beat him so I respect his abilities. And I don't think a Federer / Murray Final means a lock for Roger even. So we'll see ...

    I would have loved for Roger to amass the accomplishments expected of him so we could finally seal & stamp the never ending conversation of who is the GOAT.
    The only acceptable loss is when your opponent was better than you on that given day.
    It is never acceptable to lose when your opponent was not.

  4. #4
    why don't we take an educated look at the "greatest match of all time" the 08 wimbledon final and at the same time refer to some of their previous meetings... note to other posters i am a Roger fan...this years final was an amazing match, i agree Nadal came out for the word go ready to play, in true Nadal form, running laps around the court, pumping his knees, he's more like the bull than the matador... roger on the other hand is the matador, he is cool, calm, collect, he realizes that he can't beat nadal with brute strength, but rather with smart play and striking as soon as he senses weakness...at wimbledon he's done so in the past, but let's just look at how the bull evolved this year, while the matador maybe lost a step (he is five years Nadal's senior). he came into wimbledon without a grandslam under his belt, which is the first time that happened since the first time he won it... he also lost in straights to nadal at the french... however this isn't a testament as much to roger slipping as it is to rafa stepping it up.. his game is more complete, on grass he adapts, flattening out hi shots and serving is now a weapon, let's not mention imporoved net game... he's no longer just a scrambling clay courter, he has found the ability to turn defense to offense better than anyone since, well, federer...
    the field has caught up with the man, remember huge servers "ruled the tour" and we all thought it would change the game...well the game caught up, 15yrs ago only a handful of guys could serve 130 plus, now the top 100 is stacked with guys with big serves... all i'm saying is it's tough to be a frontrunner, until this year roger was the best on any surface except for clay, now there is some doubt, while i still feel he is superior to Nadal, Rafa did win that match, Roger did not lose it (there is another argument that fading light doesn't favor roger's game as his shots are more precise, lower margin for error, smaller racquet face (90 in compared to 100 in) but i don't really buy it, although try playing a match at 9 o'clock at night with no artificial light and see how well you do, this argument was also brought up when roger lost in the fifth set of the 06 french open final).
    the title of the original post got me the most... what are you a casual observer??? even my girlfriend who has never played tennis knows that Roger is one of the greatest of all time....oh and the US OPEN 08 final...he will be back to No.1 i guarantee... just like he knew he needed to win at flushing...
    look out for roger in 09... if he's gonna win the french this will be his year and it will be up to rafa to stop him but ithink roger will return to his usual of at least 3 grand slam titles and you can quote me on that...

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