Roger Federer

A forum to discuss all things Roger Federer, not relating to specific matches.

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166 Comments on Roger Federer

  1. I think its been a long drawn out hypothetical discussion , at least Joe has tried to use objective evidence .Maybe best summed up as Weak era argument = weak argument.

    • Nicely summed up, Al, and thanks for the recognition that I’ve tried to appeal to objective evidence to adjudicate an obviously contentious debate.

      In sympathy to the “weak-era” advocates, it’s difficult to appeal to objective evidence when there’s so little to support their position.

      What they’re mostly left with is unsupported subjective opinion.

    • Those were some really nice, good quality comments from Joe and Lucky. I can’t say they were totally ‘objective’, neither do I think that’s achievable. Considering the fact that their favourite players are all time great rivals : Federer and Nadal, and the degree of detachment, dispassion and neutrality one must have in order to participate in such a complex debate, I think they’ve done a very good job and were as ‘objective’ as possible one can be in such context.
      Unsurprisingly, I relate a bit more to Joe’s view. At the same time, I am sure if I were a Nadal fan, Lucky’s arguments would have been closer to me.
      It’s nice to see these comments here. It takes a lot of character to keep it cool and strive to be objective.

      • Thank you Eugene. My comments were in no way trying to diminish Fed’s achievements; like most people would say, you can’t choose your opponents. But, at the same time as a Rafa fan, I must say both Rafa and Djoko are unfortunate to have each other during their prime and peak and have to fight tooth and nail esp at the slams. Had one of them being born in another era, and replaced by someone less formidable, chances of them achieving more than what they achieved now would be much higher. They met each other 10 times at the slams from 2008 onwards, and it’s close at 6-4, with Rafa having a slight edge, but 2 of those times that Rafa won was before Djoko v2 appeared( ie prior to 2011).

        I would say Fed faced much tougher competition during 2008-2012, when he had to deal with two other ATGs in the making, I don’t think we can deny that. As I’d said earlier on, Fed had proven his worth by winning five slams during this tough era, the same number of slams Djoko won in the same period. Djoko of course went on to win another seven slams from 2013 to 2016; whilst Rafa managed three, the same number as Stan in that period.

      • Thanks, Eugene. Of course you’re right that no one can be totally objective. All we can do is try to set our biases aside as best we can.

  2. Based on recent comments by Lucky and Hawkeye, it seems that at least some defenders of the “weak-era” hypothesis have in mind a significantly more detailed hypothetical than the one I was discussing, namely this:

    “If prime-age Nadal had played during the weak-era, *and* there was no other ATG such as Federer around, *and* he enjoyed much better health than he did in any later four year period, then Rafa would have more slams than he does now.”

    Clearly, this hypothetical makes an additional assumption that Rafa would have enjoyed much more robust health had his prime age occurred in an earlier era. Unfortunately for “weak-era” partisans, this is a perfect example of a tendentious or biased assumption. Again, there is no reason to make it and it should be obvious that it goes well beyond the core “weak-era” claim.

    In fact, in the real world Nadal was injured quite a bit even against the “weak era” competition that he actually faced, missing 2 slams in 2004 and 1 in 2006. By comparison, my assumption above -that prime-age Nadal would have missed only 2 slams due to injury had he played from 2004-07, is actually generous.

    • Joe, you forget to take in different playing conditions and Competition, there’s no prime time Djoko during 2004-2007 to give Rafa major headaches, that you couldn’t deny!

      There’s no Djoko at the AO to push Rafa for six hours in a match, resulting in him injuring his knees; there’s no Verdasco during 2004-2007 to push Rafa to the limit either.

      Rafa suffered stressed fracture to his ankle in 2004 that he missed the FO/Wim. Fed also had his foot injury during 2005, if I’m not wrong and that’s why he skipped certain events.

      There’s no coincidence that Fed won only 5 slams during 2008-2012, when he had to face both Rafa and Djoko in their prime, whilst Fed himself was also in his prime for most of that period; compare that to 2004-2007 when he did not face a prime Rafa and Djoko.

      • Lucky, I’ve already assumed that Nadal would have an extra 3 slams for his 3 losses to Djokovic in slam finals from 2010-13! What more do you want?

        The whole point is that you simply can’t assume more than that. It’s too complicated and unclear what would have happened, particularly when you start assuming away injuries.

        You do realize that Nadal has *never* gone a four year period without missing a slam due to injury, right? He has always been an injury-prone player, something that has nothing to do with any strong or weak era. It’s absurd to think that all of his injuries are due to his rivalry with Novak.

        I haven’t discussed Fed’s record apart from 2004-07 simply because it’s not really relevant to the discussion. In my view, 2008-12 is a poor period to consider, because it mostly occurs after Fed’s decline due to age (from RG 2010 onwards). That has nothing to do with his losses to Rafa in 2008-09, which he lost and Nadal won fair and square. Rather, the objective evidence of his (slight but significant) decline is that Federer started losing to lesser players in 2010 (Berdych, Tsonga, etc.), after beating them consistently for the previous six years. Fed was no longer prime from that period onwards, though with the larger racquet he has been able to improve significantly on his 2010-13 form.

        • Joe, you truly missed the point! Without Djoko, Rafa won’t injure his knees in 2012; and, their four hour match at Madrid 2009 SF had resulted in both losing early at the FO that year and Rafa’s knees gave way to injury and had to miss Wimbledon. Without Djoko,Rafa would have his life easier, injury wise too, and who knows how much more a fit and healthy Rafa would win?

        • Fed wasn’t in his prime when he’s 28? It’s more like players the likes of Berdych and Sod had reached their peak too! It’s not only about Fed or the big four, other top ten players also have their peak and prime too! Both Sod and Berdych reached their slam finals after beating Fed, and Berdych also beat Djoko in the SF to reach the Wimbledon final.

  3. Not forgetting too that Fed did beat Sod at the USO that same year, so Fed wasn’t off his prime! How convenient for you to explain away Fed’s losses by saying he’s no longer in his prime!

  4. 1. There was a “weak era”. Should Federer’s slam wins during that time be somehow devalued? That’s utter nonsense! He got lucky, yes. Does not matter and does not prove he wouldn’t have won his slams against better (ie more consistent) competition.

    2. Rafa is more injury prone than Djokovic or Federer, although both of them have their problems. All tennis players do. Rafa gets more attention because injury or no, he’s STILL a top player. Other players get injured and they slide way down the rankings. Rafa has never quite slid out of the top 10 since he was 18. Rafa’s injuries began before Djokovic entered his “invincible” period. Some of them probably stem from his congenital foot problem which first surfaced in 2004 although it was not diagnosed until early 2006. Others may be due to his big muscle, low fat body type. This puts tremendous strain on tendons and joints. He’s far from the only player with chronic injury problems, just the one with the highest profile.

    3. If you measure greatness by slam wins then Fed’s the GOAT. For now. “All time” hasn’t happened yet and never will this side of Judgement Day, but if some folks want to declare it has I’ll leave ’em to it.

    4. Roger is not “greater” than Rafa on clay. That’s absurd. Rafa is not “greater” than Roger on grass or hard court indoors. Equally absurd. On outdoor hard court over the course of their careers I’d say they’re roughly equal. Rafa’s a much better wind player.

    5. If Djokovic returns to form in the coming year he’s going to be a big part of the conversation.

    • Point 2) – Rafa had his injuries before Djoko v2 but, they had a ‘battle’ at Madrid 2009 that lasted 4 hours for a BO3 sets match, when Rafa’s knees were already in bad shape(Rafa insisted on playing at Madrid with already bad knees because that’s the first year where they made Madrid a clay event replacing Hamburg).

      Point 4) don’t think anyone said Fed > Rafa on clay; neither about Rafa > Fed on grass and indoor HCs; don’t know where you get that from.

      Fed had more outdoor HC titles, more HC slams titles; I don’t know why they (Fedal) are equal. It’s only that in their H2H that Rafa had more outdoor HC wins over Fed.

    • I’ve claimed that GOAT depends on overall performance in the biggest tournaments, which includes WTF, the largest tournament in terms of points after the slams. Certainly one cannot exclude WTF on Rafa’s half just because he’s never won the tournament. Indoor tennis is part of the tennis calendar and must be considered in any GOAT comparison.

      I would never say Fed is better than Rafa on clay. Objectively (measured by titles and win-loss pct.), no one has ever been nearly as good on any one surface as Rafa is on clay.

      No way that Fed and Rafa are equal on outdoor HC. Fed has far more big titles: 10 vs. 4 slams and about 24 vs. 8 Masters 1000s. It’s not even close. Ditto for grass and indoor HC.

      • Yeah, WTF and Masters 1000 should be considered , and all surfaces, but indoor these days doesn’t just mean HC, retractable roof becoming a feature on many outdoor tournaments. Some people say Federer might not have won Wimby in 2012 but for the roof being closed.

  5. I agree winning Slams is the main benchmark for GOAT.At least it’s a consistent way of doing it ,and I wouldn’t even devalue the ‘lesser’ ones like the AO used to be.

  6. I didn’t follow this conversation at the beginning and there is a lot to read but I have 2 say that Joe Smith is doing a good job, well done.

    I wish I could read all the comments but this time of the year is quite engaging.

    Please if anyone sees “Native” tell her I said hi, tell her I miss her, tell her I L__E😂😂😂 her(LIKE “OV”😂).

    I miss tennis, I miss everyone, I miss my darling.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  7. From the often preached “objective” ELO analyis comparing past and current players….

    (P.S. Don’t shoot the messenger)

    Takeaways:
    – Roger is one of the best of all time.
    – Delpo and Murray are greater than Safin, Hewitt, Roddick
    – Only ONE player from the Weak Era in the Top 15 (Federer) compared to FIVE from the Golden Era, TTHREE from the 70s-era (Borg, Connors, Vilas), THREE from the 80s-era (Lendl, Wilander and Edberg), and THREE from the 90s-era (Sampras, Agassi, Becker)

    http://www.tennisabstract.com/blog/2015/09/18/the-case-for-novak-djokovic-and-roger-federer-and-rafael-nadal/

    Player Year Elo
    Novak Djokovic 2015 2525
    Roger Federer 2007 2524
    Bjorn Borg 1980 2519
    John McEnroe 1985 2496
    Rafael Nadal 2013 2489
    Ivan Lendl 1986 2458
    Andy Murray 2009 2388
    Jimmy Connors 1979 2384
    Boris Becker 1990 2383
    Pete Sampras 1994 2376
    Andre Agassi 1995 2355
    Mats Wilander 1984 2355
    Juan Martin del Potro 2009 2352
    Stefan Edberg 1988 2346
    Guillermo Vilas 1978 2325

    • And when Sackmann adjusts for difficulty of draw, we get…

      1. Nadal
      2. Federer
      3. Djokovic
      4. Sampras
      5. Borg
      6. Lendl
      7. Wilander
      8. McEnroe
      9. Agassi
      10. Connors

      Just one from the Weak Era, four from the Golden Era and Rafa the Greatest of All Time (according to ELO).

      For me, I agree. However, I respect the opinions of others who feel that Federer is the best, or Sampras or Laver for that matter (except those that try to say a great player is only great on clay. #SAD).

    • A few comments, many of which echo the comments made by “Pseudospin” in the comments section:

      First, ELO is only as defensible as the assumptions made about its various constants, such as K-factor. It does (IMO) a tolerably good job of serving as a proxy for the greatest year ever. Djokovic 2015 and Federer 2007 make sense at or near the top.

      Second, it is not clear that ELO is of any use in comparing across eras. As Pseudospin says,

      “[T]he problem with elo comparisons across eras is simply that, not only can you add a constant offset to everyone’s ratings and not change anything, you can also add any function of time to the ratings and not change anything.

      So right off the bat elo just cannot tell if average standards are changing over time. Since standards almost certainly are changing you ought to add something, but I couldn’t tell you what it should be.

      What you’re really comparing is some level of dominance across eras, but even that concept has problems. If you have changing numbers of players/matches in your model then the spread of elo ratings also changes – you have to decide who the ‘average’ player is, or some sort of reference player, again I couldn’t tell you how to do that in an unbiased way.”

      As far as I can tell, Sackman doesn’t disagree with these observations.

      Third, and most fundamentally, insofar as ELO measures individual performances as opposed to tournament wins, it offers a totally misguided approach to measuring tennis greatness, which is about winning big titles.

      Again, the GOAT debate should be settled with reference to overall tournament performance. I’ve already provided a comparison between Fed, Nadal, Djokovic and Sampras, which shows Fed with a 9-10 slam-equivalent lead when we count WTF. Limiting ourselves to Fed and Nadal and just titles (not finals), the numbers are as follows:

      AO: Fed 5, Rafa 1
      RG: Rafa 10, Fed 1
      Wimby: Fed 7, Rafa 2
      USO Fed 5, Rafa 3
      WTF: Fed 6, Rafa 0
      Masters 1000s: Rafa 30, Fed 27

      You criticize me for saying Rafa is GOAT only on clay. Yet, in the biggest tournaments not played on clay, there is really no comparison between the two:

      Outdoor HC. Slams: Fed 10 Rafa 4. Masters 1000s: Fed 24 Rafa 8
      Grass. Slams: Fed 7 Rafa 2
      Indoor HC. WTF: Fed 6 Rafa 0
      Clay. Slams: Rafa 10 Fed 1. Masters 1000s: Rafa 22 Fed 2

      I don’t know how you begin to explain these numbers away.

      • “You criticize me for saying Rafa is GOAT only on clay.”

        Do you really misunderstand what I said or do you intentionally distort it?

        Show me where I criticized you for that specifically and then we can start to have a mutually respectful discussion.

        Otherwise, we’re done here.

        • I am not trying to be unfair but most of your points make no sense.

          I didn’t follow this conversation at the beginning but don’t quit now, you can politely disagree.

          Honestly while I disagree with some of your comments, this conversation is kind of cool, please continue.

    • Here’s the comment of yours to which I was referring, Hawk:

      “For me, I agree. However, I respect the opinions of others who feel that Federer is the best, or Sampras or Laver for that matter (except those that try to say a great player is only great on clay. #SAD).”

      You now protest that I misinterpreted that statement as follows:

      “You criticize me for saying Rafa is GOAT only on clay.”

      I don’t intentionally try to misrepresent your words or to twist their meaning, but I honestly don’t see a huge difference here. As I see things, you often protest that I misrepresent you, when I am referring to something that went by very quickly and sometimes nastily, in a parentheses or hashtag, as is the case here.

      However, clarifying my position on Nadal, here are some things I believe:

      1. Nadal is an all-time great player, easily top 5 and probably top 3 (judged primarily on his results in the biggest tournaments).
      2. He is great on all surfaces.
      3. He is not a great indoor player.
      4. His many clay slams and masters 1000s should not be devalued in any way: they count just as much as any other slam/masters.
      5. In terms of GOAT, Nadal sits roughly equal 2-4, along with Novak and Sampras, for reasons I’ve already enumerated.
      6. Nadal’s claim to GOAT rests very heavily on his performance on clay, more so than any other plausible GOAT contender’s claim rests on any one surface. (Closely related, Nadal is far more dominant on clay than any other great player has ever been on one surface).
      7. Nadal’s inability to win a WTF or indoor masters title is a significant hole in his claim to being GOAT.
      8. Fed is clear GOAT (for now), based on the same criterion mentioned in (1). Again, he leads by roughly 9-10 slam-equivalents over his nearest rivals.

      For me, respecting others opinions has nothing to do with whether one thinks those opinions are true or even close to being true. Rather, it has to do with being respectful toward them, not ridiculing them or the person who espouses them. Being respectful is compatible with trying to show, as best and fairly as one can, that those other opinions are mistaken, perhaps badly so.

      By the above measure, I think I do a pretty good job at respecting others opinions, even those I totally disagree with. These include, e.g., your and Lucky’s views about Nadal being GOAT, and Stanley’s views about God.

      • No you don’t.
        You are waaaaaaaaaaaay off when it comes to God but my prayer is that sooner rather than later you will see the truth but more importantly receive the truth which will save your soul.

        God’s love, grace, mercy and so much more is available to you and to all.
        So much to say but I am done explaining because I have done what I can.

        • Well, that was a rhetorical way of saying I don’t see any relevant difference. Obviously the two statements contain different words, but I thought mine was a passable paraphrase.

          If you’re interested in a genuine discussion, why not just tell me what the difference that I’m missing is and let’s go from there? I tried to clarify my position, so perhaps once you read further you’ll find that any misunderstanding has been cleared up.

      • But excuse me, when did I say anything about Rafa being the ‘GOAT’?? Show me where I said or called Rafa the ‘GOAT’.

        Joe, please DO NOT include me in this conversation, you as usual, always make wrong assumption about me; this is not the first time and I’m afraid it won’t be the last! Please don’t quote my name when you are in this ‘Goat’ talk, for I never claim that Rafa is ‘Goat’!

        • Sincere apologies, Lucky. Allow me to substitute: Lucky thinks that 2004-07 was a “weak era” in some sense that bears on the GOAT debate.

          I would refer you to 1-8 in my post of 10:06pm and ask whether there is any point you disagree with.

          • Joe, my discussion about the ‘weak era’ has got nothing to do with ‘Goat’ discussion. I’m not interested in the ‘Goat’ discussion, please count me out of this.

            I’m only interested in saying that the era now is one of the toughest if not the toughest, with three ATGs playing at the same time. I don’t care too much about this ELO or whatever; but even with mere observation, one can see how tough it is in this era to win a slam, having to go through one or two or even three ATGs to win one.

            To me Djoko among the three ATGs has it the toughest, followed by Rafa.

            • I agree that Novak has had it toughest, in terms of competition, over the last 6-7 years. But that’s not something that you get on “mere observation.” Rather, the evidence shows that when Novak has lost at a slam (before the last 18 months), it has almost always been to one of the other big four.

              As I’ve shown, that is not true of Nadal; therefore, one cannot simply assume that playing in a “tough era,” (defined, perhaps, as one that has three ATG’s) is the main reason Nadal hasn’t won more slams. He has often lost at slams to players outside the big four, and he’s missed many slams due to injury. There’s no reason to think those things wouldn’t also have been true had he been in his prime during 2003-07.

            • More generalizing without analysis.

              Rafa lost early rounds at Wimby once he could no longer bend his knees low enough after having made five straight wimby finals entered.

              Other times from 2014-16 when he had anxiety disorder developed later in his career for several reasons.

              Injured vs Soderling at FO.

              But had he been at his peak as Federer was during the weak era, he would have added to his slam count at federers expense.

              You’re a broken record joe smith.

              ELO article was bang on and you obviously realize it spending so much effort trying to diminish it.

              The GOAT debate is not as straight forward as Fed extreme fans would want all to believe.

            • Here’s a fact that I assume you’re not challenging:
              “[Nadal] has often lost at slams to players outside the big four, and he’s missed many slams due to injury.”

              Here’s the key claim of mine that (as far I as I can tell) you’ve yet to engage with:

              “There’s no reason to think those things wouldn’t also have been true had [Nadal] been in his prime during 2003-07.”

              You and Lucky have given plenty of detailed analysis as to why, exactly, Nadal lost this or that match, or why he was injured at this or that time.

              My point is that we simply don’t know what would have happened had Nadal been in his prime age five years earlier. It’s tendentious to assume he would have enjoyed better health, or that he would have performed better against lesser players.

            • I’m challenging your implied significance and (what I suspect is intentional) lack of context with your statement (but you’ve conveniently ignored my question below).

              Tell me, Joe Smith, how would you rate Federer amongst the all time greats on clay in slams? No one said he’d enjoy better health, simply that he likely wouldn’t have been pushed physically and certainly for the first three slams, when younger, physical problems never significantly caused him problems at slams between 2004-08 (other than ’04 French).

              WTF wouldn’t he have performed better against lesser players when his health was better and lesser players wouldn’t push him as hard?

      • Tell you the difference??? But then there would be no path to self discovery Joe Smith.

        Let’s try going at it from another angle then.

        Who is your Top 8 all time greats on clay Joe Smith?

        And same question for grass and hard courts please.

  8. This GOAT discussion is incredible really.So many times people tend to forget that due to his congenital foot problem,Rafa wears specially made insoles for his feet leading to more pressure on his knee tendons,which consequently leads to knee injuries. Hadn’t Rafa the number of injuries he had because of that(just remember the left knee injury in 2012, that hampered him so much,between many others),he would probably be around the 20 GS mark,that’s for sure.
    I wonder what some people would bring if that was the scenario right now.

    • Totally hypothetical you can say the same for Roger about his back at certain periods in his career. If Roger’s back doesn’t hurt him basically all of 2013, a year after he almost finished the season at #1 and won Wimbledon, could he have possibly won another Wimbledon? And even more so, what if he wasn’t dinged up at this year’s US Open? If he had been healthy and played Rafa in the semis, he surely would have been favored given their hard court meetings this season.

      • Benny, really? You’re forgetting how close the AO final was and that’s on fast HC! The USO was on slower court; with or without back issue, Fed won’t be winning the USO because Rafa won’t be disadvantaged by having one less day of rest. Also, there’s no one to trouble him right up to the SF, whilst Fed had Delpo to deal with. It’s like Rafa having Dimi to deal with at the AO. I say, Rafa would beat Fed at the USO should they meet, too bad they didn’t as Fed wasnt good enough to make it.

        • What happened when Fed played Rafa on slow hard courts in March? Don’t act like Rafa would’ve been the clear favorite against a healthy Fed at NY or even the favorite.

          • You’re right Benny,it’s hypothetical,but it’s a strong hypothesis and I believe he would be there. For sure Fed always had back issues along his career but you can’t really compare that to the huge amount of injury letdowns Rafa had during his career,since the early beggining of it,always producing stunning comebacks to the top of the sport.
            About the US Open,well the courts were playing slowly as we know and that doesn’t really play into Fed hands,so it’s not a given that Fed would defeat Rafa there.

            • Every time I read about injuries and assuming how many more slams a player would have won if he was healthy, I feel something is wrong in this approach. I think is not fair to claim that Rafa would have won more slams than Federer if he stayed healthy during his career. Of course, that might have been the truth by all means.
              But that’s not my point. Why I say is unfair? In my opinion if Rafa’s tennis was less ‘physical’ and more aggressive he would have got injured less during his career. But that wouldn’t be real Rafa that we know. He’s unique, you people appreciate him because he is the player who gives everything and beyond in a short period of time and then an injury is almost unavoidable. All those wins/amazing moments when he sacrifices to lift the trophies have a cost, they don’t come for free. And even if Rafa was injury free, which I think is almost impossible for anyone playing that kind of tennis, you have to consider mental fatigue. My point is all players need and take breaks from tennis from various reasons, no matter how much they love tennis.
              Fed is not ‘luckier’ than Rafa or Djoko for being less injury prone (I know nobody claimed that). That’s he’s style of play. Longevity is part of being great. It’s just that Rafa’s and Fed’s greatness ingredients are in different proportions and that’s absolutely normal.

            • Eugene, respectfully, a large part of Rafa’s injury are directly related to his birth defect in his foot exacerbated by his playing every point like it was his last.

              That said, woulda shoulda because of injury doesn’t factor into it for me. Competition does (again, for me).

            • I share your point of view Hawkeye. I don’t see it as unfair,everything is debatable in sport and all I said is hypothetical,no doubt of it.
              Fed also had many problems due to his bad back in some tournaments and he could have won more tournaments without that problem,probably.
              For sure styles of play are extremely important and play a huge role on the injuries that players suffer.

          • Come on Benny, you want to compare BO3 to BO5??

            Why a fresher Fed at AO struggled to beat Rafa but not at IW/Miami? Can’t you see Fed couldn’t play as well in BO5 esp vs Rafa?

            I can tell you that Fed being healthy at USO would still struggle, against Delpo and Rafa especially. Rafa was tough to beat at the slams all year, even at Wimbledon; Fed had to skip the clay season in order to do well at Wimbledon.

            Fed himself knew very well that he couldn’t play all the slams and still expect to win a few of them, so he had to concentrate his efforts on those he had better chances of winning. I think he’s more realistic than many of his fans here!

            • Fed had to overcome mental hurdle at AO. Once he did that, the rest of their matches weren’t close, very different from previously. Even at 2015 Basel, Rafa managed to win a set.

              Maybe 2018 Nadal will improve, or maybe Fed will decline, but as of right now Fed seems to have a clear advantage off clay, whether over 3 or 5 sets.

            • Hahahahahahaha, the ‘mental’ component was never a factor between the two.

              Was it mental when Rafa aged 17-19, won the first 6 of 7 vs a more mature 22-24 yr old Fed (including 2-1 on hard court)?

              Whatever helps you survive Joe Smith.

              Delusional wishful revisionism is hilarious.

      • Also, Fed didn’t miss any slam until last and this season, unlike Rafa who had to miss many; you want to compare their injury records?? I’ll say it’s more likely that Rafa would win more slams if not for his injuries, than Fed doing so.

        • Unlike Rafa, Fed rarely loses before the first week at any of those slams. You don’t know that Rafa wins at a lot or any of the slams he missed. That’s why they are hypotheticals. I wasn’t saying Fed would’ve won the slams he missed or won slams he wasn’t 100% while playing. I’m just saying he could have. We just don’t know. I just think it makes it a faulty argument when you use hypotheticals to back your side.

          • We also have to take into consideration the injuries he suffered during Grand Slams.
            At the AO,in both 2011 and 2011 editions,he suffered muscle ruptures during his QF matches, against Ferrer and Murray,respectively.
            And I’m not even gonna mention his physical state at the 2014 final against Stan.

          • Fed did, after 2012 – R4 USO2013, R4 FO2014, R3 AO2015 for examples.

            Rafa lost early at slams only at Wimbledon after 2011, and his rare loss at FO, in 2009 (injury related). It’s after 2014 that he went into a slump for two years (confidence related) before his amazing 2017.

          • Rafa has won slightly over one third of the slams he’s played, starting at 17. (Wimbly 2003) Roger won slightly over a quarter of the slams he’s played. (I counted RG 2016 as “played” but Rafa retired after the 2nd round due to injury.) He was playing well at the time and had an excellent chance of winning that one. Injuries have certainly cost Rafa slams but that’s the sport, as he says. Plenty of other players get injured a lot. How many slams would JMDP have won? Raonic, Nishikori, Tsonga, Monfils. How long have they played without injuries? Isner? Guy can’t play slams. He can beat anyone in the draw on his day but he can’t string together best of 5 matches. How about Kyrgios? Guy’s got mental problems, yes, but he’s also got physical problems at 22!

          • Rafa rarely lost in first week of the slams too, from 2008 to 2012FO, except at FO2009 (lost in R4), and that’s a good 4 to 4 and a half years during stiff competition!

            I don’t see where Benny got his info, it’s as if Rafa lost in first week of slams often, when in fact he didn’t. He only lost early at Wimbledon from 2012 onwards. After 2012, he won FO in 2013-2014; won USO in 2013 ( didn’t play in 2014), reached final of AO in 2014 (didn’t play in 2013), so he was stopped mainly by injuries and had to miss some slams (at AO and USO). So, other than Wimbledon, Rafa had either won or reached the finals of the other three slams when he played them.

            In fact he had done well at the slams:

            SF AO and USO2008; Winner FO/Wimbledon 2008
            Winner FO, R4 FO and SF USO in 2009, didn’t play Wimbledon
            QF AO, Winner at FO/Wimbledon/USO2010
            QF AO, Winner at FO, Finalist at Wimbledon/USO 2011

            Finalist AO, Winner at FO, R2 at Wimbledon, didn’t play at USO in 2012;
            Winner at FO and USO, R1 at Wimbledon, didn’t play at AO in 2013;
            Finalist AO and Winner at FO, R4 at Wimbledon, didn’t play at USO in 2014.

            It’s only at Wimbledon that he lost early during 2012-2014, and it’s during 2015-2016 that he lost early at the slams more often.

    • I agree with Gaviria, that Rafa would be approaching the 20 slams mark had he not had his injuries, esp during his peak years from 2009 to 2014.

        • To think that Rafa trailed Fed by only three slams, that’s simply unbelievable given his injury woes. Djoko without injury issues managed 12; even if we exclude Rafa’s three FOs from 2005-2007, Rafa still has 13 (1 more than Djoko) despite all his injuries. Both Rafa and Djoko were competitive since reaching their 20s, with Rafa having a slump from 2015-2016 as he approached his 30s. We’ll see how Djoko does when he’s back, whether he’s still going strong when he starts his 30s.

          • Despite Rafa is a tremendous underachiever in Slams,that number is amazing for a player that has been sidelined so many times with major injuries.
            Djoko’s playstyle is not that easy on the body as many people believe,the thing is that he’s extremely flexible and with that he relieves the tension on the joints,which plays a major role in avoiding injuries.
            I believe that if he’s fully healed,it’s only up to him. If he is able to comeback with the hunger and the will,for sure he’s gonna get on track for the winning ways on the big stages again.

            P.S.-Right now I’m praying for Rafa’s knee to be ready to go for Australia 🙏

            • I would never say Rafa is an underachiever at slams. He’s obviously not at RG. And at the others, I’d say his count (six), along with no WTF titles, is commensurate with his ability on non-clay surfaces, placing him roughly in the top 10 of all time off clay.

            • In slams, I would put Roger 2nd on grass, 3rd on HC and 7th on clay among the ATGs/

              Roger is below average among the ATGs on clay in my opinion.

  9. I believe all three of them – Fed, Rafa, Djoko – are blessed with different talents. Djoko seems very well balanced at both wings, and he was trained in his flexibility from young.

    Rafa is naturally very competitive and physically gifted and only he could hit with his kind of topspin so consistently without breaking his arm. I know Sock could hit with high topspin too but his wasn’t like Rafa’s whip lash motion. Rafa was also gifted with a good tennis brain.

    Fed has his great serve, I think his hand/eye coordination is excellent; all three of them come with great athleticism – great movement and footwork, great racket skills etc.

    • Couldn’t summarize it better. At their best, they’re absolute tennis machines,we are so blessed to live in Fedalovic era,they’re out of this world!

  10. I do feel Djoko had to try very hard to catch up and then keep up with Fedal. He might have pushed his body too hard but he had achieved so much in the last six years, I think he won’t regret it.

    I also feel that Rafa without his foot issue, would be able to sustain his style of play, despite people doubting his longevity all along.

    • Yeah,it was so hard for Djoko to be able to pose a major threat to Fedal,he was losing quick and straight to them on his early days,having some devastating losses at Grand Slams,despite playing very good tennis. When he finally reached a higher level of tennis he was able to fight with them,and we know how the H2H between him and Fedal evolved after that.
      Dominating the tennis world for such a long time has taken is toll on Djoko’s body for sure. However,I also think he as lost his motivation,maybe because with the lack of competition,he got tired of winning. Well,he also said that when he completed the Career Grand Slam,his shoulder was already bothering him.
      We will find out very soon if he’s able to reagroup and be back to his winning days.
      You know,it’s so hard to predict what would have happened hadn’t Rafa the foot problem. We can’t forget that Rafa also had back,shoulder and wrist injuries that are not directly related to his foot problem. Fortunately,Rafa was able to overcome that foot problem,which almost put a premature end to his career and I feel that we should be grateful that he had a fantastic career,despite everything he has been trough.

      • IMO, Djoko wasn’t losing motivation because of no competition or he’s winning everything ( I doubt he had no competition when he had to fight tooth and nail vs Stan or Fed at the slams even when Rafa was injured or losing confidence); to me it’s his injury issues that made him lost motivation after winning the FO.

        I think watching Fedal winning almost everything (minus the WTF) in 2017 was motivation enough for Djoko to get started again; I believe he didn’t want to end his career with 12 slams and with injury when his great rivals are still winning slams in their 30s.

        • I think Djoko’s problems are mostly mental.

          Too much fedfan rejection. He’s not a machine like Lendl was.

          He bristled his whole career with fan rejection. What great player wouldn’t after achieving so much (besides Lendl). Must have bothered him too but he never let it show on court.

        • Djoko had tough battles with Fed,especially at Wimbledon,where they played very close matches,but he found the way to beat him most of the times.
          Wawrinka is a nightmare matchup for Djoko,especially at Slams. However,he was absolutely untouchable for the rest of the tour.
          Becker said that after winning the FO,Djoko lost the commitment a bit. It’s like he was totally empty after winning the tournament he was chasing for such a long time and he couldn’t redefine a new goal for his career.

          • Kind of what I thought re Djokovic, and it’s normal, after so much effort for so long. Few like Rafa, for whom winning a match is goal enough.

      • Well, shoulder, back, knee, elbow, ankle, wrist and hip injuries are all common among the players; I doubt Rafa’s was more serious than that suffered by other players now and then, except his knee (and foot) issue of course. It’s his congenital foot issue that’s a more serious issue that led to his subsequent persistent knee issues.

        It’s a miracle that Rafa’s topspin FH has not given him any major shoulder issue, that shows us how strong he is physically.

    • I don’t disagree with what Soderling said, although we don’t really know what the h2h would be in case they met 10 times at their peak level. Could be 5-5, 4-6, 6-4. Again, I don’t disagree.

      If we were to factor that into GOAT debate, in my opinion Fed’s LONGEVITY and COSISTENCY is more impressive than Novak’s presumed superior peak level.

        • I agree and I said it many times. Peak level is just one of many variables to consider when debating about the GOAT concept, which is very complex.
          The term ‘peak level’ is also complicated. For example Federer was not mentally as strong (especially against Nadal) during his considered ‘peak’ as he was during the most of this season. People talk about racket size, but I think his mental toughness was at least equally important in maintaining this level. I believe FED’s tennis was never perfect, and always lacked one ingredient or the other. Now the main problem is age and the ability to sustain a high physical activity level on the court. He is mature and less agitated within when playing Rafa. Maybe Ljubicic might have something to do with it.
          I am not defending Fed for being mentally weaker vs Nadal during their early matches. It is part of the game in the same way his health & longevity is. Fair.

          • Well Rafa build up a pretty hefty h2h well before any ‘mental’ problem Fed had with Rafa.

            I wasn’t referring to GOAT or matchups anyways.

            Just peak level.

            In my opinion, Nole’s peak was better than Rafa’s which was better than Fed’s.

      • Tennis evolves, and players age. Federer showed last year what he can do at 35-36. Had he adopted the larger racquet at 26, he would probably have 25+ slams. All this about peak Novak being better is dubious IMO, but in any case mostly a reflection of the fact that he is 6 years younger, an eternity in tennis once the older player is in his mid-30s.

        • He did at 35-36 what he did from 2004-07. More accurately, what the field didn’t.

          Fed was six years younger in his career also, as were all players. You must have missed the point of what peak career level means. At least I hope you did (but probably just your usual MO).

        • So, according to Joe Smith, while “we simply don’t know what would have happened had Nadal been in his prime age five years earlier,” we can assume that “Had he (Federer) adopted the larger racquet at 26, he would probably have 25+ slams.”

          Ah, at least you’re consistent with not being consistent with your “reasoning” regardless of the player.

          • The first sentence you quote of mine is true: We simply don’t know what would have happened had Nadal been prime age during 2003-07. However, I’ve provided two pieces of evidence that the slam difference between him and Federer wouldn’t be any different than it currently is:

            1. Nadal has lost often to lesser players throughout his career.
            2. He has missed many slams to injury throughout his career.

            That’s enough to undermine any significance the “weak era” hypothesis might have for the GOAT debate. Federer remains the clear GOAT, based on the performance numbers I’ve already provided.

            Regarding my second statement (what would have happened had Fed changed to a larger racquet 10 years earlier), that’s my opinion, which of course may be wrong. Note that I’ve (once again) provided evidence that my opinion is correct, namely, Federer’s superior performance from 2014-17 as compared to 2010-13, the opposite of what one would expect as a player moves into his mid-30s.

            What’s the difference? Nothing whatsoever hangs on my opinion about Fed’s racquet. I could be totally wrong and he would still be clear GOAT. On the other hand, the GOAT-related significance of Fed benefiting from a “weak era” hangs on a dubious claim that Nadal would have performed significantly better in a very complex set of hypothetical circumstances.

            • You need to look up the word “evidence”. It’s not what you think it is.

              1. and 2. are patently false. “Throughout his career” is inaccurate at best, intentionally misleading at worse. It’s already been competently refuted but you don’t listen which is why it’s a waste of time debating with Joe Smith. You just say the same thing over with no regard to the counterpoints made on your inaccurate claims.

              Both points are your opinion and the rules you apply to forming those opinions aer biased to your preformed conclusion.

              Rafa’s the GOAT. Regardless of who one thinks it is, their opinion is diminished when they try to say that player is the “clear” GOAT – quite telling.

            • Please refer to me any counter points you have made to 1 and 2 above.

              I showed quite clearly that at slams Nadal has lost often to weaker players -which I defined as players who had not yet won a slam. Neither you nor anyone else here has even tried to undermine that claim. If you have an alternative unbiased definition of “weaker player,” please supply it.

              That Nadal has missed many slams due to injury is not in dispute; not sure why you would say it is false.

              “Clear” GOAT is a reference to the fact that Fed has a 9-10 slam equivalent lead, based on titles and finals in the biggest tournaments (slams + WTF), on his three next rivals (Rafa, Sampras, Novak).

              What part of any of any of the above do you find difficult to understand?

  11. 19, 16, 12 When push comes to shove is all that counts, whether peak Nole is better than peak Federer, is something i doubt Federer or his fans care about, he holds the GS record, then Rafa, then Novak, it can be twisted any way people want, dipped in sugar, but in the end GS count is the most important thing and all that really matters in the end, no harm or foul just my two cents ….

  12. Just wondering,how many Slams would Djokovic have by now if he hadn’t had the slump last year and how much of a factor has that been on Nadal’s new- found confidence?

    • AL, I think that slump had a reason. It’s mental & physical erosion. So, no slump would imply less trophies, less slams won during previous years and a couple more during last 2 years. My answer is about same number of slams. My opinion. Everything has a cause and an effect.

    • Probably at least 16 IMO but that’s somewhat moot because he’s human.

      IMO he could have sustained it longer if he wasn’t mass disliked so much for threatening Federer’s legacy. So much fan disrespect and definitely Djokovic’s achilles heel IMO. Quite obvious actually.

      I really don’t think it would have much effect on Rafa’s confidence, but it may have cost him the USO. Rafa’s confidence still isn’t back to where it was prior to 2014 but it’s much better than when he was losing to guys like Fognini and Pouille. Those losses were purely due to Rafa’s admitted anxiety disorder during a period when his forehand was, as he described it, ‘vulgar’ and he said he had a ‘mental problema’. He could no longer hit the ball deep and many easy shots were dumped into the net. His tennis was downright ugly to watch for almost two years.

      He still played shite vs Fed most of the year hitting the ball too short.

      I don’t think that Fedal have played close to their respective best against each other since 2012 AO.

    • No need to wonder, fact is Djoko couldn’t sustain his dominance anymore, he having to push his body to the limit to be where he is and so has to pay the price.

      Everyone of the big four are doing that, Fed too and that’s why Fed also had his injury issues during 2008/2009, 2013; Murray too with his back and then hip injuries.

  13. You could also argue the same about Rafa, would Novak have won RG without Rafas slump ? and Federer regressing in between, would Federer have won AO and W without Novak slumping, sport doesnt care about wouldves, couldves, shouldves, Rafa and Roger might have taken advantage of Novak being off colour, but sport is about staying fit and healthy, and taking advantage of your rivals disadvantages, really doubt Federer or Nadal actually care squat, the both have won another 2 GS this year , its that simple ….

    • Alison well said 😉 It usually averages down. All of them could’ve lose 2-3 slams and could’ve won 2-3 more… it’s about there what we have now.
      Listen guys, every time we have any doubt on any topic, let’s call Alison. She has a very clear and direct approach. Why over analyzing?

    • I haven’t been following this conversation but I like this “sport doesnt care about wouldves, couldves, shouldves” that was really nice.

  14. Even JMac agrees that peak Pete beats Peak Roger on grass,,,,

    “I think if they played 10 times on grass, both at their peak, then Pete would win six or seven times,” said McEnroe. “He had the greatest, most difficult serve in the history of tennis.”

    Seems that PLAYERS are interested in more than slam count despite what fans may claim.

    • It’s hard to tell,I think they could be pretty much even playing peak vs peak.
      Despite the fact that Sampras has two first serves, which makes him extremely hard to break,he’s not even close to Fed when it comes to return on grass.
      We can’t also forget that Fed also has a phenomenal game constructed around his service,so it will take a huge effort from Sampras to break him at his peak level on grass.

      • On fast grass, I doubt the ROS was that important. Sampras would win based on both his first and second serves, but of course Fed would have his chances too. I think it’s 60-40 Sampras-Fed. On slower grass I think Fed would have the upper hand most of the times, so it’s the other way round – Fed 60 vs Sampras 40.

        • Agree with LS. Slower grass, advantage Fed.

          Traditional fast grass, Pete wins more often than not.

          What I loved about Pete was his mental strength. He rarely let pressure affect his play. And it’s the mental aspect of the game that separates the best from the rest.

          With all of his immense physical talent, Rafa simply played like the rest (sometimes even worse) for the majority of 2014-16 when he lost his mental strength because of anxiety.

        • Very well said Lucky,I completely forgot to specify the types of grass and how the matchup would change given the surface speed. You spotted it on in a very accurate way,as always 🙂

            • Speculation again, how good Federer would have been on fast Nineties grass .Sampras had a big advantage there, but Federer is also pretty hot on that type of court, and much better on slower ones.
              Its not an easy comparison, since they only ever played one match .

            • That one match doesn’t even enter into it for me. Doubt that it does for lucky either.

              It’s all speculation including your own. Only fedfans recognize speculation in others but not in themselves like they think GOAT is somehow an absolute. No different than most religions I suppose so it really should come as no surprise.

            • Because Sampras.

              Best fast court player indoors perhaps. Outdoors debatable.

              I’d still take Pistol Pete overall in fast conditions. He played more matches on faster courts than Federer.

            • How is Fed the best fast court player of all time when we have Sampras winning 7 Wimbledon on fast grass, 5 USO on fast outdoor HCs, and many indoor titles including winning on carpet surfaces?

        • Al, this is precisely the sort of “debate” that Lucky and Hawkeye love. Very little hard evidence, mostly speculative opinion.

          Who was better on grass, Sampras or Federer? Well, we have two objective pieces of evidence. One is grass titles/finals. The other is H2H. Both pieces of evidence favour Federer.

          He has one more wimby title (8-7), plus 3 finals (Sampras never lost a wimby final). He also has 9 other grass titles, versus 3 for Sampras. The H2H is 1-0 in Fed’s favour, not enough of a sample to draw much of a conclusion.

          Would Fed have done better on faster grass? Would Sampras have done worse on slower? Who knows? For what it’s worth, my opinion is that a faster surface favours both players (against the field), primarily because of their serve. That suggests that Federer may have won more Wimby titles had he played 10 years earlier, Sampras less had he played 10 years later.

          • Your “hard” evidence is selectively taken out of context with endless strawman arguments thrown in to support preformed conclusions. I doubt that you’ve ever changed your mind on anything on a tennis forum from any debate from anyonwe on a tennis forum, so your criticisms are empty (just like your “hard evidence”).

            In Wimby finals, Sampras beat:
            – 7 time finalist and 3 time Champion Boris Becker
            – twice 3 time finalist and Former Champion Ivanesevic
            – two time finalist and former Champion Agassi
            – two time finalist Rafter
            – four time slam winner Courier
            – and Pioline

            Federer beat:
            – Three time finalist and punching bag Roddick in three finals
            – a 19 and 20 yr old future GOAT (who is only average off clay according to Joe Smith)
            – two time champion and three time finalist Murray (but it was indoor tennis)
            – Cilic
            – Philloppoussis

            Anyone with some objectivity can see that Sampras’ Wimby career performance was more impressive. On a faster grass court than Federer.

            • Easy to beat Agassi on a fast grass court though.No coincidence Agassi usually beat Sampras on higher bouncing surfaces.

            • “Big” Al believing what he needs to believe LOL.

              So “easy to beat” that it took No. 1 Sampras five sets to do so in 1993.

              Hilarious!

              #ThankYouComeAgain
              #Next

          • I doubt Sampras would do worse than Fed on slower grass vs the field. I mean Sampras’ serves are hard to deal with, whether it’s slow or fast grass. Sampras has an excellent game on grass, he can S&V and can also play from the baseline. I doubt he couldn’t win as many slams at Wimbledon as Fed did, on slow grass. He would win against Roddick, Phillipousis, Tsonga, Berdych, and get at least a win or two each vs the trio of Rafa, Djoko and Murray.

          • I would say Sampras would win more Wimbledon titles had he played 10 years later, for he won’t be losing to Tsonga and Berdych at Wimbledon, while beating Philippoussis, Roddick, young Rafa, Djoko and Murray. I can’t say that Fed won’t lose to Goran or Krajcek though on fast grass.

    • Yeah Hawkeye, actually the biased ones here are the Fed fans! Yet they’re calling the Rafa fans biased!

      How on earth Fed is better than Sampras on fast grass, when Sampras has 7 Wimbledon on fast grass and Fed nil? Whichever way they the Fed fans argued about it, it doesn’t make sense as they can only speculate whilst Sampras having 7 Wimbledon titles on fast grass is a fact! Not forgetting Fed lost to Henman after beating Sampras in 2001!

      • They don’t have to make sense Lucky. if they did, they might learn something that challenged their preformed conclusion.

        Ignorance is bliss apparently.

  15. Its fun to speculate about no question, but then again i doubt Pete or Roger even care, Pete had an amazing career but its over now, Rogers still having an amazing career, granted GS are not the be all and end all when it comes to tennis, however they are the most important factor, i love Murray and i believe he has more Masters 1000 titles than Pete (correct me if im wrong) , but Murray has 3 GS to 14 that Pete won, so i think the latter can still sleep easily in his bed with his career achievements, just saying ….

    • Of course slams are more important because they’re more difficult to win, I mean BO5 vs BO3 and seven matches vs five matches; four chances a year vs eight of nine chances a year.

      If Murray has 14 slams than he may be having a better career than Sampras as he has more Masters titles; 3 slams vs 14? No comparison. It’ll be interesting to see whether Djoko is going to surpass Sampras; two more slams he’ll tie with Sampras, three more then he’ll have a better career than Sampras – 15 slams vs 14; more Masters, same number of WTFs. He only lose out to Sampras for YE no.1 and weeks at number one (which I think he may not match Sampras).

      • That’s a big differentiator between Murray and Wawrinka. Both have three slams, Wawrinka on three surfaces compared to Murray lacking an RG title.

        However, performance at Masters events easily separates the two. As it stands today, Murray will no doubt be considered the better player. Both players are better than Weak Era former No. 1 players Safin, Roddick and Hewitt.

    • No one can say what the players themselves think – not sure how that factors in? Saying slams are most important is like saying the sky is blue – who’s going to disagree?

      That said, Fed has brought up Connors record of 109 titles many times and something he’s kept his eye on (and no doubt partially what motivates him IMO). He’s but 14 behind and has won 13 in the past two years so it’s quite a stretch still (but not completely out of reach).

      Not sure why it matters that slams are most important to this discussion….

      That said, world peace is more important than slams…. Just saying?

      • Slams are not the be-all and end-all, of course. That’s one reason I’ve brought up WTF, which is usually ignored. But slams > WTF > masters 1000s as far as the GOAT debate goes.

        And yes, world peace trumps them all.

        • No again you are confusing opinion with reality.

          You would be in the minority to think that WTF played once a year trumps Masters events as far as GOAT debate is concerned.

          It actually never comes up when great players both past and present weigh in on GOAT, as opposed to competition faced and h2h which quite commonly comes up.

          #JoesWorld

          • Quite convenient for a Rafa fan to exclude a tournament that he’s never won from the GOAT debate, especially when that tournament is worth more than any other bar slams.

            I guess it’s why you have to say that indoor tennis is practically another sport. To the contrary, it’s the version of tennis that most rewards pure tennis ability.

            Every player worth considering for GOAT in the open era has managed to win at least one tour finals, played indoors since 1970. Except Rafael Nadal.

            • My mistake: according to wiki it was played outdoors in 1974 and 2003-04 (Fed titles). Otherwise it’s always been indoors.

            • “Every player worth considering for GOAT in the open era has managed to win at least one tour finals”

              peRFectly said – you just lost any last shred of claimed objectivity.

              Thank you.

            • So? If Rafa has 24 slams and zero WTF, and Fed 19 slams and 6 WTF, so who’s the Goat(if there’s such a thing as Goat in tennis)?

            • No loss of objectivity, Hawk. It’s clear from what I said that I think Rafa is worthy of GOAT consideration; it’s just that his inability to win a single WTF is a big hole in his resume. At this point, winning one WTF title would help his GOAT case more than winning another RG title.

              Lucky, your hypothetical shows nothing. A more useful one might be this. Two players have identical records except for the fact that one has six WTF titles, the other has zero. Which player has had the better overall career?

              If you think WTF counts for something (the only sane position), then my proposal is reasonable: count it commensurate with its current points total, which makes it the most important tournament after the slams.

            • Joe Smith, isn’t it obvious that if two players have the same number of slams, then their Masters titles, WTF titles count for something, but what if one has one more slam than the other but with fewer other titles?

              Are you going to argue till death who then has a better career??

            • Yes, Lucky, it is obvious. To be clear, what’s obvious is that WTF titles count for something -quite a lot, in fact- in any debate about how good a given player’s overall career is.

              Of course, in the Federer-Nadal debate, Federer has 3 more slams AND leads 6-0 in the WTF. So you think it would be a fairly easy comparison, and I realize you don’t want to weigh in on it.

              However, Hawkeye (above) has suggested that WTF titles don’t count for anything in the GOAT debate. Based on what you’ve said, I take it you’d agree that his position is obviously wrong.

            • Joe Smith, as I said, the Masters and WTF and even the 500s would come into the picture only if two players tied at the number of slams won; it just goes down the list, there’s nothing special about counting in the WTF when we’re also counting in the Masters.

              Again the measure is always the slams, at least presently, until it changes in the future. My question is what if one has one more slam than the other? Do the masters and WTF count anymore?? And what more, when he also has more Masters?

            • ” It’s clear from what I said that I think Rafa is worthy of GOAT consideration; it’s just that his inability to win a single WTF is a big hole in his resume.”

              does not equate with…

              ““Every player worth considering for GOAT in the open era has managed to win at least one tour finals””

              [moderation is near]

            • “However, Hawkeye (above) has suggested that WTF titles don’t count for anything in the GOAT debate. ”

              Where? Show me.

              Stop putting words in my mout

            • 2017 provides a useful comparison to the present debate about GOAT. Every Rafa fan here thinks Rafa had a better year than Federer did in 2017. I agree. Why do we all think this? Because Rafa gained about 1000 more points. Points gained, of course, are a reflection of performance in tournaments, which is all that matters in the end. I’ve provided quotes by Rafa previously that recognize this fact.

              When we make a serious GOAT (or any comparative) assessment, we must count all major tournaments. If necessary, we should count lesser tournaments. In the GOAT debate, this means counting WTF and masters, along with slams. How much should the former count?

              While reasonable people may disagree, a good first approximation is to count those tournaments in line with their current point distribution, which is precisely what I did above.

              Regarding WTF specifically, there is no reason to count it only in the event of a tie in slam titles. Rather, a serious tally will count all major titles (sometimes referred to as “big” titles), along with finals. That’s what I’ve tried to do above.

              Again, Federer comes out well ahead if we count slams and WTF, with Rafa, Novak, and Sampras roughly tied for 2nd-4th. If we count Masters 1000s and finals (as we should), Rafa and Novak get marginally closer to Fed (about 8 slam equivalents behind), while Sampras falls back into a clear 4th.

  16. Id agree with that reasoning.Federers serve was as effective as Sampras’s.He’s won most of his titles on a surface on which Sampras would struggle more.
    It’s funny how the Nadal fans seem also to be the Sampras ones.

    • Nah, don’t like Sampras game so not a fan.

      How many titles Fed won on fast grass?? How many Sampras had won? I thought that’s quite obvious? Yet we hear the biased Fed fans saying Fed > Sampras even on fast grass???

      • Fed never had the luxury of playing on fast grass .Why would it annoy you that Fed might be better than Sampras, if you’re not a fan?

        • Fed grew up to play on fast grass, he never had a chance to play on them?? He was Wimbledon junior champion when he’s 17, ie during the 1990s, so he did play on fast grass.

          Why would it annoy me? It’s not about Sampras, it’s about the biased Fed fans that annoyed me, it’s just that simple. I see Sampras vs Fed on fast grass as an unbiased non fan of either, unlike some of you who are biased Fed fans.

          • Please, Lucky. Your bias against Fed shows through in virtually everything you post about him.

            In any case, it’s clear what Al is saying: Federer never played on the fast grass in his prime. Surely you can agree with that? If faster surfaces suit him, it stands to reason that -other things equal- he would have done even better had he been able to play in his prime on the faster grass wimby courts.

            • Joe, Big Al said that Fed didn’t have the luxury to play on fast grass, and that’s nonsense because Fed did play on fast grass! You’re the one being biased here, not me, biased FOR Fed all the time.

              Do you know how biased you are? You said Fed may be better than Sampras on fast grass and Sampras not as good as Fed on slower grass, where’s your proof? Fed beat an aging down the hill Sampras in 2001, but, Fed lost to Henman in the next round! It’s not like Fed went on to win the title, how then can you assume that he may be even better on fast grass than on slower grass?

              Fact is he couldn’t win a Wimbledon on fast grass but Sampras did win, and won 7 titles on fast grass! You guys are being ridiculously biased, by saying Fed may be better than Sampras on fast grass!

            • Not to mention Sampras won five USO on quick HCs, whilst Fed won his on already slower HCs, why is Fed better than Sampras on fast courts?

            • I never said Fed was better than Sampras on fast surfaces,but there’s a very good case for saying it.Obviuosly I meant he never got to compete for Wimbledon titles on fast grass .
              At least I’m unbiased enough to say the two players would be very close.

            • As Joe Smith says, we can never know how Federer would play on grass – pure speculation.

              Oh wait, I forgot, it’s only speculation when it’s about how Rafa would have done during the Weak Era.

              Federazzi rule constructs require delusional biased thinking. Hard to keep track of otherwise.

            • You misunderstood me, Lucky. I never said that Federer was better than Sampras on fast grass. I think they are too close to make any hypothetical assessment of that sort, and my assessment was limited to comparing their respective achievements in grass tournaments.

              What I did say was that *both* Sampras and Federer probably are stronger, against the field, on faster surfaces than slow -including grass. If that is correct, then Sampras enjoyed a slight advantage of playing in his prime on faster grass, whereas Fed has been at a slight disadvantage in playing most of his career on slower grass.

    • “It’s funny how the Nadal fans seem also to be the Sampras ones.”

      Another peRFect strawman. Shows how little you know about posters here.

    • Not me, never liked Pete, although I have to admit he was a lot more than a serve-bot and he WAS awfully good at winning Wimbledon. And being #1 for six years straight is quite an achievement. But he wasn’t that good on clay.

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