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Post by Guest82 on Tue 22 Mar 2016, 2:04 pm

First topic message reminder :

Draw is out. Projected quarter finals are
Djokovic v Berdych
Federer v Ferrer
Wawrinka v Nadal
Murray v Nishikori

Del Potro playing Pella in the first round...if he wins that then it is Federer.
Kyle Edmund playing Vesely....if he wins that then it is Djokovic.

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Post by It Must Be Love on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 2:52 pm

socal1976 wrote:Wow, IMBL you are really bringing out the needle to stick it to the weak era skeptics.
"Oh no Socal, this is so totally different to the weak era thing. All I'm saying is that the competition for Djokovic is slightly easier now than it was before because the 'younger' generation below 28 who should be at their prime or close to their prime appear to have not many all time greats. That's totally different from the arguments you and Amri were making about the mid-naughties because um...errr..umm..errr, WELL look we didn't use the actual words 'weak era' did we ??"

Crickets. To be fair to Caledonian Craig, he disagreed from the start, and admitted that the argument now is basically the same. Legendkiller to be fair atleast addressed it head on, but did what I quoted above. The rest have done the Houdini, there are professional magicians who are green with jealousy of such incredible disappearing acts.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 3:32 pm

I have never went in for weak era as a term but nobody can deny there are fluctuations in depth of quality and standard of quality at times. Djokovic now is benefiting and before him Federer benefited in the first half of the 2000s. Before that it could be argued that Sampras benefited from such a dip. It happens and you cannot downplay achievements by those that benefited as the players can only beat what they have in front of them.
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Post by It Must Be Love on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 3:39 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:nobody can deny there are fluctuations in depth of quality and standard of quality at times.

Yes, I remember how there's always been such a nice friendly consensus on this issue, and people used to laud this 'wacky conspiracy theory' as something no one could deny. OK Wink

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 3:43 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:nobody can deny there are fluctuations in depth of quality and standard of quality at times.

Yes, I remember how there's always been such a nice friendly consensus on this issue, and people used to laud this 'wacky conspiracy theory' as something no one could deny. OK Wink

I think it is the use of weak era terminology that many had a problem with. I don't think I have ever disagreed about fluctuations in quality/depth though. Nothing is uniform. I suppose the problem with the use of weak era was it is so hard to prove and so much to consider that it really is impossible to prove and also what exactly constitutes an era?
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Post by It Must Be Love on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 3:50 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
I think it is the use of weak era terminology that many had a problem with.
I didn't like that term as well, it gave some impression that one day tennis was awful and the next it was awful.
But I don't think the label or name is that relevant, as Socal said it was just used as a label as it was catchy; the substance of the discussion is what is more important- and let's not pretend that people just had a problem with just the terminology- they were apoplectic at the very idea of what it meant.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 3:58 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
I think it is the use of weak era terminology that many had a problem with.
I didn't like that term as well, it gave some impression that one day tennis was awful and the next it was awful.
But I don't think the label or name is that relevant, as Socal said it was just used as a label as it was catchy; the substance of the discussion is what is more important- and let's not pretend that people just had a problem with just the terminology- they were apoplectic at the very idea of what it meant.

Oh yes I do agree so there were errors on both sides of the argument. On one side the error was the use of 'weak era' which was not accurate but on the other side the error is trying to argue that these fluctuations in quality and depth etc did not exist (again though that is open to interpretation in my opinion as some will still disagree any fluctuations at certain times).
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Post by HM Murdock on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 4:05 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:they were apoplectic at the very idea of what it meant.
Although you've argued frequently for its existence, I think you've always been rather coy about what it meant.

What do you think the weak era means? As in, what conclusions do we draw from it?

Could you also confirm if 2010 was a weak era in which Nadal won 3 slams with only two of his twenty one matches featuring opponents who were former slam winners (a 1 slam Djokovic and #33 seed 2 slam Lleyton Hewitt)?

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Post by socal1976 on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 4:08 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
It Must Be Love wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
I think it is the use of weak era terminology that many had a problem with.
I didn't like that term as well, it gave some impression that one day tennis was awful and the next it was awful.
But I don't think the label or name is that relevant, as Socal said it was just used as a label as it was catchy; the substance of the discussion is what is more important- and let's not pretend that people just had a problem with just the terminology- they were apoplectic at the very idea of what it meant.

Oh yes I do agree so there were errors on both sides of the argument. On one side the error was the use of 'weak era' which was not accurate but on the other side the error is trying to argue that these fluctuations in quality and depth etc did not exist (again though that is open to interpretation in my opinion as some will still disagree any fluctuations at certain times).

CC, nothing can't be analyzed or discussed. That is what I took exception to this idea that Fed's competition must be considered as strong as any when they obviously were not in the 04-07 period. The weak era terminology again was a catchall, even when I would argue it, I would always be careful to say that it is never easy to dominate the ATP tour. However based on the number of great players you face sometimes can be harder than other. So I think there has been a consensus of sort reached among many on the topic.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 4:09 pm

I do think I once said that it is not worth debating about as over the course of time things even out. Of the current crop of all-time greats Roger, Rafa and Novak have all had spells where they have dominated slams when fluctuations were there so there is no point in trying to use them to denigrate one players achievements. That is my take on it.
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Post by socal1976 on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 4:11 pm

I am going out on a limb. Novak has a stiff back he took an MTO for against Berdych. His serve bothered him a great deal against Thiem. With Novak serving like that Thiem should have taken him out. (9 double faults in two sets) I am taking Goffin in three sets for the upset.

Kei over le monf in two sets.

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Post by socal1976 on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 4:11 pm

Novak is ripe for the taking is anyone going to be able to top the C- game he has shown this tournament, I think Goffin will.

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Post by It Must Be Love on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 4:15 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
It Must Be Love wrote:they were apoplectic at the very idea of what it meant.
Although you've argued frequently for its existence, I think you've always been rather coy about what it meant.

What do you think the weak era means? As in, what conclusions do we draw from it?

Could you also confirm if 2010 was a weak era in which Nadal won 3 slams with only two of his twenty one matches featuring opponents who were former slam winners (a 1 slam Djokovic and #33 seed 2 slam Lleyton Hewitt)?
As I said I don't like the term and didn't use it, however it was catchy so it caught on. It meant there was fluctuation in competition, the idea of which sent people apoplectic.

The slams Nadal won in 2010, the French Open and Wimbledon in particular, were the one with lowest competition. USO 2010 was harder with Djokovic playing some great tennis, in fact I think the great display in USO 2010 was a catalyst to give Djokovic the confidence to push on in 2011.
But let's not make the false equivalence, 12/14 of his slams he had to beat Djokovic/Federer/both aged between 23-29.

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Post by HM Murdock on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 4:32 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:But let's not make the false equivalence, 12/14 of his slams he had to beat Djokovic/Federer/both aged between 23-29.
That's a remarkable statistic but I'm still not sure what we are to do with it.

Is the implication that if Federer had faced the 23-29 year old Djokovic and Nadal back in 2004 - 2007, then he wouldn't have won as many slams?

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Post by temporary21 on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 4:41 pm

I think the overarching point thats trying to be made, and has been by them for a while, is to understand that if Novaks competition is considered low now, then it should be OK to argue about the competition that was had in 2004-2007.

I dont think theres any means to hypothesise slams, I think they just want to address that inconsistncy

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Post by Jahu on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 5:06 pm

Korgi again with Umpire, hits the ball over the public, gets a warning, says to Umpire if it was Nadal it would be nothing, tennis is ruined etc etc.

Of course when you have 10+ GS, Umpire lets you off, you dipstick, earn it.
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Post by It Must Be Love on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 5:22 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
It Must Be Love wrote:But let's not make the false equivalence, 12/14 of his slams he had to beat Djokovic/Federer/both aged between 23-29.
That's a remarkable statistic but I'm still not sure what we are to do with it.

Is the implication that if Federer had faced the 23-29 year old Djokovic and Nadal back in 2004 - 2007, then he wouldn't have won as many slams?
That's just one statistic, the overall point I was making is how people went crazy at the idea competition can fluctuate, and now when people make the same observation about how the lack of all time greats in the current generation of players between 23-27 means Djokovic as it easier- you don't hear a thing from these principled people.
As for what you do with that statistic, you can interpret things how you like ? Your implication is very specific, this is a statistic you could use in a number of debates or discussions, and yes it would be reasonable to bring up that statistic in that scenario.

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Post by temporary21 on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 8:46 pm

Explosive opening from both. We might have a shot making showdown here

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Post by LuvSports! on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 9:42 pm

3rd set.

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Post by LuvSports! on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 10:03 pm

Nishi up a break.

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Post by Jahu on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 10:04 pm

Ninja slicing & dicing.

Monf tired from heat.
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Post by Jahu on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 10:19 pm

What a game, Monf breaks back.
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Post by Jahu on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 10:28 pm

What a choke from Ninja on this serve, 3MP for Monf.
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Post by Jahu on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 10:35 pm

Now Monf loses 4-5 MPs.

5:5.
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Post by LuvSports! on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 10:59 pm

Kei through!

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Post by Jahu on Thu 31 Mar 2016, 10:59 pm

Kei prevails on TB, great match.
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Post by socal1976 on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 12:00 am

Incredible match, one of the best three setters I have ever seen. Kei saves 4 match points to get through in the tiebreaker after losing his break advantage in the third. Kei was real smart at the end of the match, as Monfils fell back behind the baseline Kei started to move in and actually pulled quite a few S and Vs out of his bag. I don't understand Monfils when he was standing up on the baseline he was bossing the match. But in sets two and three he fell back to his default court position way behind the baseline. He has to force himself up onto the baseline.

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Post by Jahu on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 12:13 am

Come on Milo, crush this monkey.
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Post by laverfan on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 2:03 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:I don't think I have ever disagreed about fluctuations in quality/depth though. Nothing is uniform.

And what is your suggested method of measuring such fluctuations? Is a quantitative measure even possible? Is a qualitative one possible? This lack of uniformity is subject to subjective interpretations. Weak and strong are meaningless terms.

It Must be Love wrote:The rest have done the Houdini, there are professional magicians who are green with jealousy of such incredible disappearing acts.

You are doing the same. By comparing Goffin and Federer. If Safin had his head straight, he would have a better CV. Kyrgios is the same now, as was Tomic a few years ago. If Soderling was not mentally the same as Safin, he would some slams, a la Wawrinka, Murray, Hewitt, et al. . And these are what-ifs.

The primary objection to such era comparisons, is

a. no rigid definition of an era is possible, hence fluctuations cannot be measured during an unknown and undefined variable.
b. there is no method except subjective interpretations, of an apple being better than orange, to rely on such irrelevant juxtapositions.

Can you compare Federer to McEnroe, or Borg to Nadal?

If you say yes, define all criteria, and we can debate such a list. If you say no, there is no basis for a debate.

Let Djokovic C- or A+ win against the competition that is here and now. Enjoy the sport!

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Post by It Must Be Love on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 2:22 am

laverfan wrote:
a. no rigid definition of an era is possible, hence fluctuations cannot be measured during an unknown and undefined variable.
I've said I don't use 'era', for that reason- it gives an impression that overnight a time period finishes and suddenly there's a big change. In reality it can always be fluctuating, you could have a star 23yo player up their game and become very tough to beat over the space of a few months, or you could have things relatively steady over a number of years.

laverfan wrote:
b. there is no method except subjective interpretations, of an apple being better than orange, to rely on such irrelevant juxtapositions.

Now this is a bit silly. Before Tsonga vs Nishi at the Aus Open, some commentators were discussing- Who has a better forehand out of the two. Of course it's subjective, one can't prove it's Tsonga or Nishi; but the idea we can't have an opinion on something is ludicrous.

laverfan wrote:
Let Djokovic C- or A+ win against the competition that is here and now. Enjoy the sport!
I would enjoy it more if Djokovic was really challenged, and even HM who is a Djokovic fan has said the same.

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Post by laverfan on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 2:48 am

It Must Be Love wrote:
laverfan wrote:
b. there is no method except subjective interpretations, of an apple being better than orange, to rely on such irrelevant juxtapositions.

Now this is a bit silly. Before Tsonga vs Nishi at the Aus Open, some commentators were discussing- Who has a better forehand out of the two. Of course it's subjective, one can't prove it's Tsonga or Nishi; but the idea we can't have an opinion on something is ludicrous.

Opinions are just that. Both have forehands which are very effective. I prefer (subjective) Monfils's FH, till he goes mental walk-about. I find Tsonga's FH is not as fluid as Monfils's . Everyone can/does have opinions. Recall McEnroe anointing GOATs during every match. He also has/had an opinion.

It Must Be Love wrote:
laverfan wrote:
Let Djokovic C- or A+ win against the competition that is here and now. Enjoy the sport!
I would enjoy it more if Djokovic was really challenged, and even HM who is a Djokovic fan has said the same.

He is challenged, but he makes his wins look easy (Federer on Grass, Nadal on Clay in their prime years), despite having given away 14 BPs or a 100 (v Simon at AO). Federer and Nadal could beat him earlier, but now they cannot. Does that mean Djokovic cannot be beaten? Nishikori did that at USO, Federer did it a couple of times last year. Is this any less competition? How do you reach such a conclusion?

The definition of an era is only possible in the context of a great player and their dominance. Borg, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, ... If you have a peer in the same time period where they can beat each other, the misinterpretation is that it is a 'strong' era (e.g. Sampras v Agassi). If you do not, it makes an era 'weak' (from a Wee Keira theorists') point of view. This is how Federer v Hewitt/Safin/Nalbandian/Ljubicic/Blake is seen by such proponents. Get Nadal/Djokovic/Murray in the mix and now you have the ingredients of a 'strong' era, if you want to believe McEnroe.

The era discussions taint the sport, IMVHO. Journalists and commentators and spectators have stories to write, tell or witness. Each is very qualitative. I consider Pancho v Pasarell (never won a slam, IIRC) as the greatest tennis match ever played, not Federer v Nadal W 2008. It is my opinion, like McEnroe. If you beat your opponent at 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, is it a strong era or a weak one?

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Post by laverfan on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 2:50 am

Jahu wrote:Come on Milo, crush this monkey.

I wish they could play as well as this monkey who just beat Raonic. Wink. Kyrgios is as loco as Tomic or Monfils or Braasch.

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Post by socal1976 on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 4:54 am

I would enjoy it more if Djokovic was really challenged, and even HM who is a Djokovic fan has said the same. IMBL

Not me, I could care less if Novak has no challenge and mops up on a weak period at the end of his career just like Roger did in the early middle of his. I think he has earned the right after what 100 matches against what pretty much everyone said was the two GOATs. Rog on the fast court, Rafa on clay and hardcourt. If Djokovic wins back to back CYGS with an Olympic gold you thinking Ill be crying?

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Post by socal1976 on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 4:58 am

Great performance by Kyrgios, wow! all I have to say is wow. He tried Sabre move on Raonic's first serve! He hit a second serve at 5-4 in the breaker 127 just inside the line are you kidding me, who the feck does this kid think he is the freaking messiah?

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Post by Belovedluckyboy on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 5:32 am

Kygrios wont be playing this way once he becomes a more established player, when he has more to lose.

I dont think the big four, when they're just upstarts, were any less fearless than Kygrios. They are gutsy whether they're just upstarts or at their peak. We have to see will Kygrios remain as gutsy when he matures and has more to lose.

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Post by summerblues on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 8:40 am

Finally a tournament where Novak is the oldest semifinalist, rather than the youngest.

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Post by Born Slippy on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 9:56 am

summerblues wrote:Finally a tournament where Novak is the oldest semifinalist, rather than the youngest.

Good spot. I can't see him losing to any of the remaining players on the Miami court to be honest but am really hoping its Kyrgios in the final.

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Post by HM Murdock on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 10:05 am

summerblues wrote:Finally a tournament where Novak is the oldest semifinalist, rather than the youngest.
Yes, there does feel like the beginnings of change. Early days yet but the fact there are a number of players progressing is promising.

I don't think the younger players are close to usurping Djokovic yet but I think the likes of Berdych, Ferrer, Tsonga etc should be looking over the shoulders.

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Post by LuvSports! on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 11:47 am

About bloody time too!
Ferrer and Berdych need to bugger off.

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Post by laverfan on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 2:07 pm

LuvSports! wrote:About bloody time too!
Ferrer and Berdych need to bugger off.

Let them enjoy the twilight before walking off in sunset. Wink Remember old shoes when you bought them new. Run


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Post by LuvSports! on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 3:48 pm

Ok, using your shoe metaphor, I don't like these shoes! I would never buy these shoes! I don't say, "hey i put some new shoes on and suddenly everything is right," - bleeeuughh.

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Post by temporary21 on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 4:00 pm

I'm all in on Japan. Let's break the duck nishi!

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Post by Haddie-nuff on Fri 01 Apr 2016, 7:09 pm

Win or lose this match but Goffin is showing how to take your game to Novak and make him play you rather than you play him.
Good start if he can only keep it up.
makes a change to see Novak on he ropes

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Post by laverfan on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 4:19 am

Kyrgios was disappointing today. Can Nishikori win or make Djokovic work for a win?

Based on his match against La Monf and Kyrgios, it looks bleak for the Ninja. Djokovic is ripe for the 'taking' (to quote SoCal).

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Post by socal1976 on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 7:29 am

Incredible stat Novak has now for the second time this year already won twenty straight sets. The gap has never been bigger in my viewing memory between the number one and everyone else. He wins Sunday he becomes the all time leader in Masters with 28. He is shooting up the all time charts in wins against top ten percentage. I think he is second all time. I mean Novak played like crap against a quality Goffin and he still couldn't win a set.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 10:05 am

laverfan wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:I don't think I have ever disagreed about fluctuations in quality/depth though. Nothing is uniform.

And what is your suggested method of measuring such fluctuations? Is a quantitative measure even possible? Is a qualitative one possible? This lack of uniformity is subject to subjective interpretations. Weak and strong are meaningless terms.

It Must be Love wrote:The rest have done the Houdini, there are professional magicians who are green with jealousy of such incredible disappearing acts.

You are doing the same. By comparing Goffin and Federer. If Safin had his head straight, he would have a better CV. Kyrgios is the same now, as was Tomic a few years ago. If Soderling was not mentally the same as Safin, he would some slams, a la Wawrinka, Murray, Hewitt, et al. . And these are what-ifs.

The primary objection to such era comparisons, is

a. no rigid definition of an era is possible, hence fluctuations cannot be measured during an unknown and undefined variable.
b. there is no method except subjective interpretations, of an apple being better than orange, to rely on such irrelevant juxtapositions.

Can you compare Federer to McEnroe, or Borg to Nadal?

If you say yes, define all criteria, and we can debate such a list. If you say no, there is no basis for a debate.

Let Djokovic C- or A+ win against the competition that is here and now. Enjoy the sport!

Just because fluctuations cannot be measured does not mean they cannot exist because it is clear they do. It isn't rocket science that things have dipped a bit in the last six months to a year rather than when Federer, Nadal and Murray were all in far better form and snapping at the heels and even beating Djokovic. And by the way I am not talking eras but to say there is a uniform standard in tennis that carries on at one level throughout the history of tennis is plain daft. To me tennis is like life wherein we all have our good spells when we are on top of the world mentally and then we have down times when depressed and sad.
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Post by laverfan on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 3:01 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Just because fluctuations cannot be measured does not mean they cannot exist because it is clear they do. It isn't rocket science that things have dipped a bit in the last six months to a year rather than when Federer, Nadal and Murray were all in far better form and snapping at the heels and even beating Djokovic. And by the way I am not talking eras but to say there is a uniform standard in tennis that carries on at one level throughout the history of tennis is plain daft. To me tennis is like life wherein we all have our good spells when we are on top of the world mentally and then we have down times when depressed and sad.

I have no issues with such fluctuations or the existence, but when posters can put measurements in place to use qualitative terms like better or worse, this is a/the problem area.

Djokovic's competition is what it is, Goffin may be injured, Monfils should have won against Nishikori. Spectators see only a minuscule world of Tennis, which is a match. Even the definition of uniform can be debated, unless rigid criteria can be defined to say this is what uniform is.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 3:10 pm

laverfan wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Just because fluctuations cannot be measured does not mean they cannot exist because it is clear they do. It isn't rocket science that things have dipped a bit in the last six months to a year rather than when Federer, Nadal and Murray were all in far better form and snapping at the heels and even beating Djokovic. And by the way I am not talking eras but to say there is a uniform standard in tennis that carries on at one level throughout the history of tennis is plain daft. To me tennis is like life wherein we all have our good spells when we are on top of the world mentally and then we have down times when depressed and sad.

I have no issues with such fluctuations or the existence, but when posters can put measurements in place to use qualitative terms like better or worse, this is a/the problem area.

Djokovic's competition is what it is, Goffin may be injured, Monfils should have won against Nishikori. Spectators see only a minuscule world of Tennis, which is a match. Even the definition of uniform can be debated, unless rigid criteria can be defined to say this is what uniform is.

Of course.

All I am saying is these fluctuations are there so we agree. Also I have said earlier that Federer (early 2000s) and Djokovic (now) can only beat the players in front of them at the given time so nobody can say player A benefited or player B benifited more. I believe that over one's career fluctuations will occur but to say one player benefits more than another in unfair and too tough to call so not really worth debating over.
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Post by socal1976 on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 7:26 pm

Actually it is quite worth debating. For example, I think Lendl deserves more credibility over just his objective numbers because he never had a shortage of great players at or near peak to contend with. Sampras benefitted to a much lesser extent than Federer did. Andre actually probably benefitted the most next to Federer from the weak era. But Mac never contented with a weak era, neither did Becker, neither did Lendl. And so far Djokovic probably has had a year or so of weaker competition after having incredibly tough competition for the previous 8 or 9 years. So to catch Fed in weak era inflation he would have to continue like this for another 2-3 years.

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Post by socal1976 on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 7:27 pm

The two guys who really did benefit though from the weak era were guys like Hewitt and Roddick who would never win any slams if they came around 5 years later.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 7:47 pm

But you see socal you start your hypothesis with 'I think'. That is all it is really theory and something that you could tie yourself in knots with trying to obstract any proof. It really is not worth the bother as one man's opinion is not the same as another. And then we come back to the old chestnut - what is an era? Six months? A year? Two years? Three years or is it a differing span of time? And then we move into how to prove players were at their absolute peak and at what time it coincides with other players of that time and their peaks? Also we have to consider if the dominant players at that time were at their peak or not? Also what was the strength in depth like compared to strength in depth at other times? Brain numbing and far too intricate to prove.
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