Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

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Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by lags72 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 3:13 pm

Back in September 2013, Roger Federer was offered some very clear advice by London’s Evening Standard. It came just after he was knocked out of both Wimbledon and the USO rather earlier than was normal, and (in both cases) in a rather surprising manner.

Perhaps Federer doesn’t get to see the Evening Standard on his global travels. Either way, he failed to heed the advice and instead chose not to retire but to plod on wearily, trying his luck on the Tour, even though 2013 had  - by his normal benchmarks - turned into something of an ‘annus horribilus’.

And what, exactly, was the impact of Federer’s refusal to go quietly, as per the ES article ..... ? Well, it was certainly significant, that’s for sure. But perhaps not quite in the way that the writer (whose identity - happily for him/her - is not revealed in the archived piece) might have expected. In fact, from the start of the 2014 season until today, the key consequences can be summarised as follows :

- an additional 19 Titles
- an additional 3 Slams
- an additional US$35.5m prize money (undoubtedly the least of Federer’s priorities)

Over the five year period - during which the ES felt he should have been enjoying his retirement - Federer’s ranking did drop outside the top ten for a few months (alarmingly, to as low as 17), but it has since returned to (a more respectable) No. 2.

In all fairness, the ES was far from alone in suggesting in recent years, that Federer’s ability to compete at the very highest level is simply no longer there. But I’m not sure how many ‘pundits’ were quite so convinced that a once-mercurial career had already come to an end :

The reactions are slipping, the limbs are stiffening, the mind is tiring. Unworthy opponents are already earning their pensions in after-dinner engagements to talk about the day they scalped a great. But the great goes fighting on because fighting is all he has ever known. “I want to play better. I know I can,” said Federer this week.
We don’t doubt the first point.

But let’s be blunt. Federer is 32, he is done for, he should retire”


and also this ........

Now Djokovic and Murray are at their peaks and Nadal is simmering, his career somewhere around the point that Federer’s was at three years ago. As they blaze on, Federer’s candle is guttering.

There is no nice way to say this — it is time the greatest tennis player in history hung up his sweatbands. He will be feted all the way into retirement. But there is no point delaying any longer.”


I guess what the comments prove is that those who muse upon sport, who write about and merely watch it, don’t always have the same knowledge, clarity of thought or perception as the best of those who practise it.



For the article itself, see here

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/sport-comment/roger-federer-must-say-farewell-to-tennis-now-to-avoid-damaging-his-legend-8799203.html

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by Mochyn du on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:11 pm

In fairness Federer has benefited quite a lot from the other three being somewhat incapacitated although his victory over Nadal last year was key to his standing as the greatest. It's a bit depressing that the same names keep winning everything though. However I wouldn't want to see the day Nadal overtakes him on slam count so am happy he's keeping it to a gap of four at the moment.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by reckoner on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 4:35 pm

Nice post @lags, as you say there was a rash of such articles at the time from "experts".

Happily the Torygraph posted an apology after Fed won AO 2018 :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2018/01/29/dear-roger-federer-apology-ever-writing/

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by Henman Bill on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 7:06 pm

The evening standard article might have actually still looked reasonable at the end of 2016.

I myself in 2016 predicted correctly that Roger Federer would win the next two Australian Opens, - quite obvious really - however someone must have hacked into the forum and deleted this prediction, as I can't seem to find it now.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by lags72 on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 7:44 pm

Henman Bill wrote:The evening standard article might have actually still looked reasonable at the end of 2016.

...............................


I can certainly relate to what you say here HB. And yes, I know it’s easy to mock a journo, with the benefit of hindsight, and when their assessment at a particular point in time is shown to be so detached from reality in light of subsequent events.

But the point of my post, in part, was to emphasise that the writer wasn’t even prepared to give Federer any hope of being able to ‘turn things around’, as it were. Instead, he was quick to write his tennis obituary (and with some gusto, it would seem .....)

The very next year - 2014 - Federer did indeed turn things around - and pretty impressively too. With 5 titles, and - best of all - a 73-12 W/L ratio. In later years, he worked his way further towards the top, coming very close in Slams, where it would need a peak Djokovic to stop him in Wimbledon & USO Finals.

I feel the latter half of 2016 was a somewhat different scenario simply because Federer was by then not only ancient in tour tennis terms - but also significantly affected by injury, with absolutely no clear indication as to how he would perform on his eventual return after the longest layoff, by far, of his career to date.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by No name Bertie on Thu 01 Feb 2018, 10:40 pm

Someone mentioned that Federer has never had a significant tennis related injury - the main issues he has had are a) mononucleosis and its aftermath (something that apparently ended the career of Soderling.  b) a back injury from lifting his kids out of the bath.

Someone needs to study the ergonomics of Federer - his playing style seems to have left his body with no ill-effects unlike ... Murray, Nadal, Djokovic, Wawrinka, Nishikori, Del Potro, Raonic ...

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by sirfredperry on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 11:46 am

NNB- The bathtub incident resulted in a knee injury. The back was a problem in 2013 (hence the "low" ranking of 6th that year and "only" 45 wins) and the back probs surfaced briefly in the summer of 2017.
   But, yes, he's been fortunately free of serious injury. As for the earlier calls for retirement, in some cases writers quite genuinely don't want to see the greats becoming mere mortals.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by summerblues on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 3:14 pm

Fed has had on-and-off back issues throughout his career.  Obviously it cannot be too horrible as 20 slams is ok-ish, but still.  For what it is worth, he was excused from the Swiss military service on account of bad back.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by summerblues on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 3:28 pm

A lot of people were writing Fed off a couple of years back.  It is not all that surprising - he was getting older and going down the rankings.  Not many people would have expected that as he would continue getting older still he would start going up the rankings again.

This post from late 2015 stuck in my mind:

temporary21 wrote:In three years novak could consign everything Federers done to obscurity. I imagine that's why such s big deal is made of this. You guys are right to be very worried

Looked somewhat over-the-top even then, but it sure looks off now. Fed at 20 slams and #2 in the world, with a shot at #1. Not too bad. And Novak... well.... ....who is Novak?

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by No name Bertie on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 3:33 pm

sirfredperry wrote:NNB- The bathtub incident resulted in a knee injury. The back was a problem in 2013 (hence the "low" ranking of 6th that year and "only" 45 wins) and the back probs surfaced briefly in the summer of 2017.
   But, yes, he's been fortunately free of serious injury. As for the earlier calls for retirement, in some cases writers quite genuinely don't want to see the greats becoming mere mortals.
Okay thanks for that SFP - so I assume the back issues he has had were tennis related (rather than due to lifting weights) (?). In general one doesn't associate back issues with a tennis related chronic issue (?) - it's is normally the joints (elbows, wrists, knees, hips).

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by summerblues on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 3:41 pm

Mochyn du wrote:In fairness Federer has benefited quite a lot from the other three being somewhat incapacitated
I would say he obviously benefited from Nole being off his best.  But Rafa?  2017 was one of Rafa's best years.  If anything, Rafa was always a worse match-up for Roger than Nole.  I felt almost certain before AO17 final that Fed would lose.  And Andy was never causing well playing Fed much trouble in slams, so him being or not being around does not make that much difference.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 3:57 pm

No name Bertie wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:NNB- The bathtub incident resulted in a knee injury. The back was a problem in 2013 (hence the "low" ranking of 6th that year and "only" 45 wins) and the back probs surfaced briefly in the summer of 2017.
   But, yes, he's been fortunately free of serious injury. As for the earlier calls for retirement, in some cases writers quite genuinely don't want to see the greats becoming mere mortals.
Okay thanks for that SFP - so I assume the back issues he has had were tennis related (rather than due to lifting weights) (?).  In general one doesn't associate back issues with a tennis related chronic issue (?) - it's is normally the joints (elbows, wrists, knees, hips).

Back issues forced Lendl to retire.
Fed was excused Swiss National Service, being deemed 'unfit' due to a back issue (although I suspect that any minor issue may cause people to be 'unfit for military duty' - Warwinka didn't do it either, as far as I know).

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 5:50 pm

Admiral Lord Nelson was considered fit for military duty despite having only one good eye and one arm. Mind you, I don't remember him winning many Grand Slams.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by lags72 on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 6:25 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Admiral Lord Nelson was considered fit for military duty despite having only one good eye and one arm. Mind you, I don't remember him winning many Grand Slams.

I reckon he could have done, in better circumstances.

But IIRC the ‘one good eye and one arm’ led to a lot of reluctant withdrawals, keen though he was to play.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by lags72 on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 6:29 pm

summerblues wrote:A lot of people were writing Fed off a couple of years back.  It is not all that surprising - he was getting older and going down the rankings.  Not many people would have expected that as he would continue getting older still he would start going up the rankings again.

This post from late 2015 stuck in my mind:

temporary21 wrote:In three years novak could consign everything Federers done to obscurity. I imagine that's why such s big deal is made of this. You guys are right to be very worried

Looked somewhat over-the-top even then, but it sure looks off now.  Fed at 20 slams and #2 in the world, with a shot at #1.  Not too bad.  And Novak... well.... ....who is Novak?

Do we put temporary21’s insightful prediction in the category of those ‘chilling warnings’ that were so frequently, and enthusiastically, issued by the anti-Fed brigade back in the old days ......... chin

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by No name Bertie on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 7:02 pm

I think temporary21's comment needs to be placed into the context in which it was made - perhaps there was some to-and-fro banter?   I note that temporary21 hasn't posted in a while and if he happens to be now a silent reader - I wish him all the best.  He mentioned that he suffered from time to time with severe depression - an illness I have had direct experience in - in seeing someone suffer from it and being powerless to help them.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by JuliusHMarx on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 7:22 pm

lags72 wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:Admiral Lord Nelson was considered fit for military duty despite having only one good eye and one arm. Mind you, I don't remember him winning many Grand Slams.

I reckon he could have done, in better circumstances.

But IIRC the ‘one good eye and one arm’ led to a lot of reluctant withdrawals...

...according to Lady Hamilton.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by lags72 on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 8:24 pm

I set up that one nicely for you JHM Cool

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by lags72 on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 8:42 pm

No name Bertie wrote:I think temporary21's comment needs to be placed into the context in which it was made - perhaps there was some to-and-fro banter?   I note that temporary21 hasn't posted in a while and if he happens to be now a silent reader - I wish him all the best.  He mentioned that he suffered from time to time with severe depression - an illness I have had direct experience in - in seeing someone suffer from it and being powerless to help them.

I hear what you say NNB. You make a very valid point on the matter of depression, and I absolutely share your sentiments where such extremely difficult issues are concerned.

The over-the-top comment about Federer  - albeit a little silly rather than malicious  - is a different matter altogether. I cannot recall the ‘specific ‘context’ of the comment or whether there was, or was not, any ‘to-and-fro banter’ involved, as you suggest. What I DO know is that such comments were not isolated, and temporary21 could be unnecessarily aggressive in his attitude, both to other posters, and when discussing specific players. He was also happy to threaten me by PM (not that I took any notice whatsoever) and - to my mind - did significant damage to the spirit of the forum (and I would assert, in the eyes of many) by moderating/deleting comments purely on the basis of personal bias or disapproval. This is all water under the bridge now but I feel worth mentioning, in the interests of balance, re your own post.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by No name Bertie on Sat 03 Feb 2018, 8:53 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Admiral Lord Nelson was considered fit for military duty despite having only one good eye and one arm. Mind you, I don't remember him winning many Grand Slams.
Apparently he was a great wrestler. You should have seen his full nelson.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by summerblues on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:27 am

sirfredperry wrote:Admiral Lord Nelson was considered fit for military duty despite having only one good eye and one arm. Mind you, I don't remember him winning many Grand Slams.
That just tells you how much tougher today's armed forces are.  Lord Nelson - with his one eye/one arm combo - was good enough back in his day.  Today, even a 20 GS champ is not good enough for the Swiss army.

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Re: Federer pays heavily after ignoring sage words of the Evening Standard

Post by summerblues on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 12:37 am

No name Bertie wrote:I think temporary21's comment needs to be placed into the context in which it was made - perhaps there was some to-and-fro banter?
Well obviously there was some context to it.  Nobody logs in to this forum just to write something like that.  Also, it was obviously written while Nole was winning everything left and right. Still, I thought it was rather OTT even in that context.

I imagine the Evening Standard article would also have context.  It was written while Fed was not winning much and the writer probably needed to attract audience with some click-bait exaggeration, so they wrote what they did.  Does not mean it is not amusing to re-read it now.

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