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Is our Great Era really debunked?- point by point dissection

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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 8:55 pm

Hello all Smile
Some of you may have noticed Tenez wrote an article recently about the 'great era debunked.' Here I have taken the opportunity to write a 'counter article' aiming to disprove his points. I am not trying to insult Tenez, just disprove the points he has made.

These are 4 points, going in ascending order of importance of seriousness (with a context for people who don't know what's going on):

Context: In Tenez's article Tenez gave stats showing how the rallies have become more slower and also pointed out that there are more shots per rallies these days. These days apparently its about 'grinding' and in 2006 more about 'talent.' As a conclusion it was implied that 2006 should be seen in better respect compared to 2011.

POINT NUMBER 1:
Firstly Tenez unfortunately could only compare a few points in the respective matches. A completely full-proof
research would have been to record every single point but this was not realistically possible.

POINT NUMBER 2:
Another unfortunate shortcoming is that the matches used were played by very different players. Federer and Blake will always have shorter points and faster rallies than Nadal-Djokovic- whichever surface you play on!

POINT NUMBER 3;
Who decided that if the matches are played with longer rallies it meant that the people playing were 'less talented.' The awesome defensive skill shown by Nadal and Djokovic in the US Open final were immense- clearly this should also be recognised as talent???

POINT NUMBER 4- MY MAIN POINT:
My main point. Even if my first 3 points were wrong Tenez's theory would still be incorrect.
Let's say that next year the top 10 all suffered injuries for 1 year. Then let's say all the courts were speeded up a lot so it was super-fast. The finalists could then Wawrinka-Monfils- who could get to finals of Grand Slams by playing similar levels as in 2011- but the competition would be less. Tenez could then do a similar article showing how the quality has risen between 2011 and 2012 as the rallies are now faster- which it would be. However as neither Monfils or Wawrinka are currently not in the Top 10- and are not that young either- we can firmly say that 2012 would not have been better quality than 2011. Of course I am not saying that this was the case by any means in 2006, the quality might have been better, but the fact of the matter is Tenez's analysis would not hold water- whatever the facts and the circumstances.


BONUS POINT- DIFFERENT SET SKILLS NEEDED IN 2006?
This point for me is often the most misleading. After the stats were shown many posters jumped to the conclusion that to prosper on 2006 you need different skills -aka more attacking. However in 2006 neither murray, nadal or djokovic were at their prime. Nadal had not yet adjusted to HC while the likes of murray and djokovic were too young. I would like to point out that federer lost to henman when he was not at his prime so no one can claim that this is irrelevant.
I feel, as would many others, that if the current top 4 were all at their prime in 2006, they would be the top
4. Then we could have a nadal djokovic semi-final which would show long rallies and longer points than fed-Blake in 2006 in the same tournament. Therefore I believe this theory of different skills needed is completely wrong.

Thanks for reading Hug and leaver your comments if you agree/disagree with any points I have made.
Thanks Smile


Last edited by amritia3ee on Wed 28 Dec 2011, 10:58 am; edited 7 times in total
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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 8:59 pm

It would be good if Tenez himself could come and counter these points I have made.


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Post by djlovesyou Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:26 pm

The conclusion in that article stated that the 2006 era should not be thought of as inferior to 2011 (as many posters think) but as equal but with a different skill-set involved.

Congratulations on not insulting him in the article though, must have been tough for you.

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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:31 pm

djlovesyou wrote:The conclusion in that article stated that the 2006 era should not be thought of as inferior to 2011 (as many posters think) but as equal but with a different skill-set involved.

Congratulations on not insulting him in the article though, must have been tough for you.
Merry Xmas, dj, thanks for the snide comment- really helpful that IMHO. boxing furious


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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:32 pm

It's probably just you and me left on Xmas eve amritia (the family's watching Eastenders or something equally uninteresting, which I refuse to join in). (Edit - and dj!)

Some key quotes for me in the original article (can you put in a link to it, for reference) were
1. 'highlighted how the game and conditions have changed'
2. 'amazing retrieving skills that were unseen up to 2006'
3. 'skills needed now are just different BUT not better than then' (but not stated as worse either - just different.)

Now, if you concentrate on those points, it perhaps reads in a different light.
Certainly I think the game and conditions have changed in the last 5 years, with courts overall somewhat slower and the game now less about shot-making and more about retrieving. The 'oohs and 'ahhs' from the crowd (and myself watching on TV) during the USO final were much more of the 'how did he get to that ball' rather than 'how did he hit that shot'.
I enjoyed watching it, but when I see 2 players exhausted after 3 sets and the outcome decided by the last man standing, I'm not sure I want to see the game develop that way overall.

No two people are going to agree on a definition of 'talent'. On another thread the speed of processing in the brain was mentioned, in which case talent might just literally be being born lucky, with a brain pre-wired for tennis. But for me, I can't quite bring myself to think of strength or stamina as a talent, and I wouldn't want too many matches determined solely on that basis. Having said that, it is a sport and fitness absolutely should play a factor.
I ws reading in Rafa's book today that he thought he won the 2008 Wimby final because Fed ran out of steam at the end (only hanging on in the 5th set by virtue of his serve). If that's true, then fair enough - that's an important part of sport.

That, hopefully, covers points 3 and 4.
As for your other points -
Point 1 - I think the number of shots in the sample was probably enough to be indictative of the match as a whole, so I disagree with you there.
Point 2 - Agreed, although later Tenez stated he was simply comparing those 2 matches and not trying to extrapolate too much from that.

The original article was not to say that the current era is weak, just that 2003-2006 was not weak either - they were just different and that not everyone prefers it as it is now or thinks this is the 'strongest' ever era - some do, some don't.

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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:33 pm

djlovesyou wrote:The conclusion in that article stated that the 2006 era should not be thought of as inferior to 2011 (as many posters think) but as equal but with a different skill-set involved.

Congratulations on not insulting him in the article though, must have been tough for you.
It was pointed out in the comments later on that 2006 was more for 'talent' and nowadays for just well-trained athletes.
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Post by sportslover Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:34 pm

Well done amritia no doubt he wii be doing similar article(s) apologising for what he has said about you and many others on this forum.

But don 't hold your breath waiting!

Merry Xmas.


Last edited by sportslover on Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:36 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:It's probably just you and me left on Xmas eve amritia (the family's watching Eastenders or something equally uninteresting, which I refuse to join in). (Edit - and dj!)

Some key quotes for me in the original article (can you put in a link to it, for reference) were
1. 'highlighted how the game and conditions have changed'
2. 'amazing retrieving skills that were unseen up to 2006'
3. 'skills needed now are just different BUT not better than then' (but not stated as worse either - just different.)

Now, if you concentrate on those points, it perhaps reads in a different light.
Certainly I think the game and conditions have changed in the last 5 years, with courts overall somewhat slower and the game now less about shot-making and more about retrieving. The 'oohs and 'ahhs' from the crowd (and myself watching on TV) during the USO final were much more of the 'how did he get to that ball' rather than 'how did he hit that shot'.
I enjoyed watching it, but when I see 2 players exhausted after 3 sets and the outcome decided by the last man standing, I'm not sure I want to see the game develop that way overall.

No two people are going to agree on a definition of 'talent'. On another thread the speed of processing in the brain was mentioned, in which case talent might just literally be being born lucky, with a brain pre-wired for tennis. But for me, I can't quite bring myself to think of strength or stamina as a talent, and I wouldn't want too many matches determined solely on that basis. Having said that, it is a sport and fitness absolutely should play a factor.
I ws reading in Rafa's book today that he thought he won the 2008 Wimby final because Fed ran out of steam at the end (only hanging on in the 5th set by virtue of his serve). If that's true, then fair enough - that's an important part of sport.

That, hopefully, covers points 3 and 4.
As for your other points -
Point 1 - I think the number of shots in the sample was probably enough to be indictative of the match as a whole, so I disagree with you there.
Point 2 - Agreed, although later Tenez stated he was simply comparing those 2 matches and not trying to extrapolate too much from that.

The original article was not to say that the current era is weak, just that 2003-2006 was not weak either - they were just different and that not everyone prefers it as it is now or thinks this is the 'strongest' ever era - some do, some don't.
Thankyou, some very good points raised there Hug

However I do not feel you have dealt with point number 4. In that scenario we can assume 2011 would be better quality than 2012. Although this does not necessarily reflect 2006/2011 the points could still be applied.
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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:39 pm

And to back up point number 4, my poll about comparing the Top 4, which people though was pointless as it was obvious, also shows something does it not.
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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:41 pm

sportslover wrote:Well done amritia no doubt he wii be doing similar article(s) apologising for what he has said about you and many others on this forum.

But don 't hold your breath waiting!

Merry Xmas.
Merry Xmas sportslover Hug
Were you being sarcastic? lol i dont think Tenez will apologise for calling me armpit and other names- Smile im not going to hold my breath waiting thats for sure!
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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:45 pm

Hmmm, point 4 sort of illustrates a hypothetical argument, which is correct, but which no-one has actually made.
The overall standard of tennis will always be higher 5 years later on. That's just the way the game develops. It's one reason why I don't care much for weak/strong era comparisons (even assuming one can define an era. Why 2003 - 2006, why not 2004 - 2008? Or June 2001 - Sept 2005?) - there's so many variables (strings, rackets, courts, balls, training techniques etc.) as to make such comparisons almost futile.

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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 9:48 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:Hmmm, point 4 sort of illustrates a hypothetical argument, which is correct, but which no-one has actually made.
The overall standard of tennis will always be higher 5 years later on. That's just the way the game develops. It's one reason why I don't care much for weak/strong era comparisons (even assuming one can define an era. Why 2003 - 2006, why not 2004 - 2008? Or June 2001 - Sept 2005?) - there's so many variables (strings, rackets, courts, balls, training techniques etc.) as to make such comparisons almost futile.
I do not necessarily think this is true!
For example if Federer decides to retire and Djokovic's game collapses then Nadal will have to do much less to win Grand Slams in 2012. So I don't believe the play would have improved. Smile
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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 24 Dec 2011, 10:08 pm

Ah, but that's just one year, not 5 years. Anyway, got to go. MX as the youngsters text these days.

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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 10:24 pm

Merry Xmas Julius Hug
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Post by bogbrush Sat 24 Dec 2011, 11:28 pm

You've not actually disproved anything, just laid out some opinions of your own with a hypotheical thrown in as the main point.

Opinions are fine, but they're not proof.
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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 11:33 pm

Well yes, the hypothetical point shows that Tenez cannot use his research for proof that level of play in 2006 was better or players were 'more talented' as he put it.


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Post by bogbrush Sat 24 Dec 2011, 11:35 pm

Eh?
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Post by amritia3ee Sat 24 Dec 2011, 11:39 pm

bogbrush wrote:Eh?
Sorry, I've corrected the typo.
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Post by amritia3ee Mon 26 Dec 2011, 1:18 pm

BONUS POINT- DIFFERENT SET SKILLS NEEDED IN 2006?
This point for me is often the most misleading. After the stats were shown many posters jumped to the conclusion that to prosper on 2006 you need different skills -aka more attacking. However in 2006 neither murray, nadal or djokovic were at their prime. Nadal had not yet adjusted to HC while the likes of murray and djokovic were too young. I would like to point out that federer lost to henman when he was not at his prime so no one can claim that this is irrelevant.
I feel, as would many others, that if the current top 4 were all at their prime in 2006, they would be the top
4. Then we could have a nadal djokovic semi-final which would show long rallies and longer points than fed-Blake in 2006 in the same tournament. Therefore I believe this theory of different skills needed is completely wrong.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 28 Dec 2011, 7:37 am

Just a thought. If this 'era' is worse than say 2006 (I disagree and think it is much of a muchness) then why did Federer have a slamless year in 2011? After all many of his fans are predicting big things for him next year so they evidently don't think he is a spent force so why no slam and only one slam final?
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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 11:06 am

Well in 2011 he had to face Djokovic and Nadal both pretty much at their prime. That makes it much harder for him to win a slam, he can do it, but it will be very difficult.
Some are saying: 'The conclusion in that article stated that the 2006 era should not be thought of as inferior to 2011 (as many posters think) but as equal but with a different skill-set involved.'
That is a load of nonsense. As I said in point 5 if nadal, djokovic and Murray were at their prime they would be in te Top 4 with Roger. Then the play in 2006 would take longer as these 3 are baseline players. So the 'set skills' needed theory is nonsense- it's not a coincidence that he won grand slams easier when he faced Gonzalez and Baghdatis in the finals, compared to Nadal and Djokovic.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 28 Dec 2011, 11:26 am

I agree amritia. In any case to say Federer is the GOAT (which I'd say he was) and find he goes through a year without winning a slam tells me how strong this era is.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 28 Dec 2011, 11:31 am

amritia - are you prepared to say the same about 2008, when clearly neither Djoko, Fed nor Murray were at their prime? In fact, Djoko was not at his prime until 2011, and Murray has less GS titles than Gaston Gaudio, so was 2010 a weak year, with just Fed and Nadal challenging for slams - like 2006?

If Connors, Borg and McEnroe were at their prime now, they would get nowhere, does that make the late 70s/early 80s weak?

Would you accept that Nadal won his first 4 or 5 slams in a 'weak era' and also had the huge benefit of learning how to play on HC and grass in a 'weak era', thereby gaining confidence and matches on those surfaces, which he would not have otherwise have got?

Is playing Soderling and Berdych in GS finals an indication of a 'weak era'?

Is playing Chris Lewis in a GS final, or Roscoe Tanner, or Vladimir Voltchkov in a semi, an indication of a 'weak era'?

Is a 17 year old Boris Becker, unseeded, playing Kevin Curran in a GS final an indication of a 'weak era'.

Or Michael Chang being World No 2. for months (years?), as Sampras' main rival?

Perhaps, in the interests of fairness, you could list each year from 1969 onwards, with marks out of 10, for 'strong'.


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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 12:18 pm

To win his slams, Nadal had to face Roger Federer, arguably the GOAT, numerous times, or people who beat the apparent GOAT. That's not easy. Smile
And by peak I meant when you were playing good tennis for federer 2003+.

Let's be honest if you asked federer who would he prefer to be playing in grand slam finals out of Nadal/Djokovic vs bagdatis/Gonzalez/roddick we know who he would choose. Anyway this is slightly off/topic.

Julius, Do you believe in the 'different skills set theory? My 5th point shows that's a flawed theory.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 28 Dec 2011, 12:56 pm

I disagree on your 5th point because it relies on time travel Smile
(Although you are saying that Nadal has had to learn a different set of skills, so that's a bit self-contradictory)
You can't put current players 5 years back without taking away changes in courts, surfaces, balls, strings, training & medical techniques etc. and they way they learnt the game.
In 5 or 10 years time there will be a crop of players that make Djoko, Fed and Nadal look ordinary.

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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 1:02 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
In 5 or 10 years time there will be a crop of players that make Djoko, Fed and Nadal look ordinary.
Will there? Maybe, maybe not.
I don't buy into this always-improving theory. Sad
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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 1:07 pm

Let me put it this way:
Who's would federer prefer to play in a grand slam (let's say Aus) final:
-nadal or djokovic at their prime
-roddick/Baghdatis/Gonzalez at their best.

Federer himself backs what I'm saying in this article: the current era now is stronger than he has ever faced- irrelevant of string/racquet change. Federer has a point, he knows what he is saying.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 28 Dec 2011, 1:19 pm

amritia3ee wrote:Let me put it this way:
Who's would federer prefer to play in a grand slam (let's say Aus) final:
-nadal or djokovic at their prime
-roddick/Baghdatis/Gonzalez at their best.

Federer himself backs what I'm saying in this article: the current era now is stronger than he has ever faced- irrelevant of string/racquet change. Federer has a point, he knows what he is saying.

Who would McEnroe prefer to play in a grand slam final:
- Bjorn Borg
- Chris Lewis

Who would Sampras prefer to play in a grand slam final:
- Agassi
- Pioline

What conclusions would you draw from that?

Federer himself backs what I'm saying as well - the game overall simply keeps improving - always has done.

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Post by laverfan Wed 28 Dec 2011, 2:15 pm

amritia3ee wrote:I don't buy into this always-improving theory. Sad

Yes, Nadal in 2005/06 did not make HC slam finals, but did in 2009/10. Do you still think Djokovic 2011 is not an improved version of Djokovic 2008?

Just talk to Bogomolov Jr. or Gulbis or Verdasco. OK

amritia3ee wrote:Federer himself backs what I'm saying in this article: the current era now is stronger than he has ever faced- irrelevant of string/racquet change. Federer has a point, he knows what he is saying.

Murray says the same thing. Djokovic says the same. Nadal says the same, Amritia3ee also says so, so is it true?

Do you think any player would say the era they play in/played in is not strong? Laugh

Federer is still playing in the Top 4, so he should call it strong, whatever that means, right?


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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 2:29 pm

Firstly, some players get worse and some improve. While Djokovic has got better, roddick has got worse.

For your second point: many journalists have argued that this era is currently very strong, as have many players and fans.
You can see why the likes of Murray and Djokovic would say the current era is great, but why would federer say that his current competition is the hardest it has been for him.
In fact would it not be better for him to say the opposite and say 2006 was a higher level?
I was reading some articles, there's some good ones in the Times and Independent, and they were saying that this was one of the strongest eras ever but whether it was THE strongest divided opinion, eg some argued that the 80's were as good if not better.

Nowhere in this article was the time between 2003-2007 even considered as even possibly the strongest era.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Wed 28 Dec 2011, 2:57 pm

If we look at various things such as the 2006 top four then quality and quantity-wise 2011 is far stronger. If we are to look at today's up and coming players compared to 2006's up and coming players then 2006 was stronger as we had Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic on their way up whereas today we have Dolgopolov and Raonic - no contest on that front. However, the upper echelons is where these tournaments and slams are won and the fact that Federer's slam wins were non-existent this year tells me that this era is tougher as those at the top ave proved just too tough for him to beat.
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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 3:15 pm

Great analysis CC clap clap
Must say this debate has been debated well so far! Even though I am not on their side I feel the likes of julius and laver have raised some very valid points:)

However CC's comment sums it up perfectly. Moreover fed himself supports our/this argument- though arguably he would benefited more if he had said, 'I have nadal tomorrow in a GS final, phew! Thank goodness I don't have roddick/Baghdatis/Gonzalez,' rather than saying what CC said above ^^.
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Post by break_in_the_fifth Wed 28 Dec 2011, 3:16 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:If we look at various things such as the 2006 top four then quality and quantity-wise 2011 is far stronger. If we are to look at today's up and coming players compared to 2006's up and coming players then 2006 was stronger as we had Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic on their way up whereas today we have Dolgopolov and Raonic - no contest on that front. However, the upper echelons is where these tournaments and slams are won and the fact that Federer's slam wins were non-existent this year tells me that this era is tougher as those at the top ave proved just too tough for him to beat.

The fact that Fed didn't win any slams this year doesn't really say anything. AO was a close 3 set match, he lost at Wimbledon due to bad play, he for once stopped someone elses calendar slam at RG and at the US open Djokovic wasn't too tough for him; he only won that match because someone had to. He didn't dominate or show his blatant superiority to Fed there at all.

As for the quality of those years who cares if the guys were inconsistent. That says nothing. What does it matter if you play a different random guy every semi or final as long as they are playing well at the time. The way people go on about the big 4 you'd think that no one else who'd made it that far in a grand slam even knew what they were doing. Who's really more dangerous, a big hitter on fire or Nadal with 'low motivation' or a reserved Murray.

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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 3:20 pm

To answer your question breakinthefifth:
I think federer would rather play a on-fire Gonzalez/Baghdatis rather than nadal or djikovic.
I hope that answers youre question.
If you really want I can bring out the H2H stats for proof...
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Post by break_in_the_fifth Wed 28 Dec 2011, 3:29 pm

Well we saw what he could do to a Nadal with low motivation at WTF. I think Feds game beats Djoko's as its no coincidence he took the first 2 sets at both FO and USO this year. It's only if it slips he's in trouble. Gonzalez/Bagdhatis really any worse than Soderling/Berdych? Fed easily beats a low motivated Djokovic as well if motivation ever becomes a problem for him.

The Fed that played Roddick in the AO 2007 semi, the same one that doesn't spray shots randomly handles Nadal or Djokovic. The only reason they'd be tougher for him than an on fire gonzalez is changes to the game highlighting a different skill set.

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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 4:01 pm

break_in_the_fifth wrote:The only reason they'd be tougher for him than an on fire gonzalez is changes to the game highlighting a different skill set.
Wait, are you being serious...? Blake, Ljubicic and Roddick had a combined 1-19 H2H vs Federer. Nadal equalled that the first time they played in 2004 miami, on a fast hardcourt. Remember outdoor H2h record between nadal and federer is 4-1 to rafa. Fed's only win coming i believe in 2005, when nadal was a teenager.

And if you're gonna say that Nadal didn't reach a Grand Slam final on HC in the 2003-2007 period- I can inform you that Fed lost to Henman when he was 21- but then he improved and started playing better. Nadal only adjusted to HC really 2008+, very patchy before that although he did get some good results.
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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 4:06 pm

I still think break-inthe-fifth is being sarcastic and making me look stupid by explaining the obvious.
The only time Fed had a equal H2H with Nadal was 0-0 and 1-1. Nadal is 4-1 on outdoor hard. Nadal won their first match in Miami 2004 on a fast hardcourt.. i could keep on going...
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Post by break_in_the_fifth Wed 28 Dec 2011, 4:15 pm

Federer was a superior player to Roddick and a bad matchup. Roddick has got worse, his serve slowed a fair bit as well as being additionally nullified by conditions and his groundstrokes aren't what they were. I'd like to see Nadal and Djokovic deal with Roddick from back in the day in those conditions. I don't think the outcome is as certain as you think.

The combined H2H of the new players you've mentioned could still be put down to a different skill set and Fed being so far ahead within that skill set. It's convenient to say exactly when Nadal adjusted to HC, i.e 2008+ but I would say it was even sooner if he beat Fed at his prime as early as 2004 especially as Fed was the don of this surface. I'd say beating Fed on hard at that time takes some doing and certainly not possible for someone who wasn't adjusted to the surface.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 28 Dec 2011, 4:51 pm

amritia3ee wrote:Nowhere in this article was the time between 2003-2007 even considered as even possibly the strongest era.

Why not include 2008 - 2010? It's only in 2011 that Djoko has improved and won slams apart from a single slam in 2008.
At the end of 2010, was Djoko considered a great player, with a single slam? And let's not forget that Murray has never come close to actually winning a slam (more's the pity) - not even won 1 set in a final. Yet he can get to GS semis comfortably. Which illustrates what - that there is no strength in depth in 2011?

In an so-called 'era' there are between 1 and 3 real, regular GS challengers. Mainly 2. Even Borg, McEnroe and Connors - there was never a time when all three really regularly challenged. In 2011 there were 3 challengers. In 2010 there were 2. In 2006 there were 2. Nadal has possibly been fortunate up to the end of 2010 in that he only really has to concentrate on beating one player - Fed. Fed has had to deal with Agassi, Nadal, Roddick, Safin and Hewitt.

You cant argue downgrade Fed because he only had to beat Gonzales etc, but then upgrade Nadal because he had to beat the guy you've just downgraded. That doesn't make logical sense.

As for Nadal's 4-1 outdoor HC H2H vs Fed. One of them has 2 outdoor HC slams, the other has 9. This is despite Nadal challenging Fed in most of those GS and not winning (i.e. he was in the tournament but not even getting through to the final). It's a classic illustration of why H2H fails to show who is the greater player and indeed why H2H can have little relevance in some situations. No-one would argue Nadal is a greater outdoor HC player, when it comes to USO and AO titles and Masters titles. But he's a great match-up vs Fed.

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Post by laverfan Wed 28 Dec 2011, 4:58 pm

Every match is different. The H2H is just a count over a period of time. Anyone remember Nalbandian @TMC 2005 or Madrid/Paris 2007?

We talk about Murray bagelling Nadal, but Nalbandian also bagelled Nadal in Paris 2007.

If Nadal had already adjusted to HCs (in 2004 as Bit5 points out), that adjustment was invisible in 2005, 2006 against the likes of Blake.

Soderling has his lone victory against Federer at FO 2010. It is a big victory, despite the 16-1 h2h. OK


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Post by laverfan Wed 28 Dec 2011, 5:06 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:You cant argue downgrade Fed because he only had to beat Gonzales etc, but then upgrade Nadal because he had to beat the guy you've just downgraded.

To reinforce what JHM is saying....

Gonzo has a 1-12 h2h against Federer, but a 3-7 against Nadal.

Guess who beat Nadal after Nadal had beaten Federer in Miami 2004., it was Gonzo, the same player Nadal beat in 2008 Beijing for the OG.

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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 5:13 pm

In 2010 US Open I do believe Murray and federer were the two favourites, with nadal and Djokovic just behind.
As for nadal's competition for his slams, he had to beat federer numerous times. By agreeing with federer in saying the current era is stronger than in 2006, I still say federer is a GREAT player, no doubt. Beating fed on any surface in grand slams is tough, whatever the fed hatahs say Smile
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Post by laverfan Wed 28 Dec 2011, 5:19 pm

This is not about Federer's greatness/GOATness, but about 2006 being somehow weaker than 2010-2011.

The journalistic desire to make a specific era look better than others, to some extent to promote themselves, is gross injustice to players in the era being called 'weaker'.

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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 5:26 pm

The journalists are right; when they make lists showing the greatest eras they include 2008-2011 in their list but never have I seen 2003-2006 mentioned.

It's not injustice to anyone it's simply true. Fed himself says so; surely he would gain more by lying and pretending that there was more competition to him in 2006 compared to now.
If this year if he faced the likes of bagdatis and Blake at their prime in grand slams he would beat them (anyone who disagrees is a deluded fed hatah, of course the great federer would beat these players), however he has struggled against nadal and Djokovic. That says it all.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 28 Dec 2011, 5:31 pm

amritia3ee wrote:In 2010 US Open I do believe Murray and federer were the two favourites, with nadal and Djokovic just behind.
As for nadal's competition for his slams, he had to beat federer numerous times. By agreeing with federer in saying the current era is stronger than in 2006, I still say federer is a GREAT player, no doubt. Beating fed on any surface in grand slams is tough, whatever the fed hatahs say Smile

Being the favourite going into a tournament and actually proving to be worthy of that, is something that has eluded Murray. Much as I've willed him to win a GS, I don't think he contributes much to the strength of the era debate, especially wrt the GS. He's simply never got that close to winning one. Cedric Pioline was a 2-time GS finalist and I don't see anyone calling him a great.

I'm not quite sure why you say Fed is great, since you regard him as a weak era champion who only beat average players in GS finals and who is beaten at will by Nadal. The only reason I can think of for you to say that Fed is great is that to do otherwise woudl reflect badly on Nadal (i.e. if Fed was not great, then 2008-2010 would be weak and Nadal would also be a weak era champion) and you really don't want to do that!

Are you really saying that in 2008-2010 the presence of Murray and a sub-prime Djoko, who managed one slam between them, somehow makes it as a 'strong' era?

(I do raise specific points/questions, but don't seem to get specific replies)

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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 5:51 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
amritia3ee wrote:In 2010 US Open I do believe Murray and federer were the two favourites, with nadal and Djokovic just behind.
As for nadal's competition for his slams, he had to beat federer numerous times. By agreeing with federer in saying the current era is stronger than in 2006, I still say federer is a GREAT player, no doubt. Beating fed on any surface in grand slams is tough, whatever the fed hatahs say Smile

Being the favourite going into a tournament and actually proving to be worthy of that, is something that has eluded Murray. Much as I've willed him to win a GS, I don't think he contributes much to the strength of the era debate, especially wrt the GS. He's simply never got that close to winning one. Cedric Pioline was a 2-time GS finalist and I don't see anyone calling him a great.

I'm not quite sure why you say Fed is great, since you regard him as a weak era champion who only beat average players in GS finals and who is beaten at will by Nadal. The only reason I can think of for you to say that Fed is great is that to do otherwise woudl reflect badly on Nadal (i.e. if Fed was not great, then 2008-2010 would be weak and Nadal would also be a weak era champion) and you really don't want to do that!

Are you really saying that in 2008-2010 the presence of Murray and a sub-prime Djoko, who managed one slam between them, somehow makes it as a 'strong' era?

(I do raise specific points/questions, but don't seem to get specific replies)

Firstly let me deal with what i think of 2008-2010 era:
-A prime Nadal who can compete for Grand Slams who can compete in ALL grand slams rather than 1 (2007 wimby being the only time before that)
-Federer- the potential GOAT- playing some fantastic tennis- Aus 2010 was one example
-Murray- you have greatly underestminated Murray here- anyone with a positive H2H vs Federer after 14 matches is definitely a superb tennis player- he beat Federer 7 more times than blake, ljubicic, roddick put together.
Djokovic- a very good player already; not as good as in 2011 though.

Secondly- what i think of Fed-
I do not think HE is a WEAK player- just the people who he beat 2003-2006 outside clay weren't very strong. i still think he is a great player.
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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 5:58 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote: you regard him as a weak era champion who only beat average players in GS finals and who is beaten at will by Nadal.
Very harsh analysis IMHO- he has beaten him a few times on indoor hardcourt.
P.S. i'm only joking- of course hes also beaten him in Wimby a few times.


Last edited by amritia3ee on Wed 28 Dec 2011, 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 28 Dec 2011, 6:20 pm

We'll have to disagree on Murray. Much as I have wanted him to win a GS, he never looks like doing it. Stich has a +ve H2H vs. Sampras and a Wimby title, but he's never regarded as great. Like Murray, I don't think Stich could be used as an example of how strong an era is.
I would suggest, unless Murray can win a GS, that Roddick will be remembered as a better player than Murray - rightly so at this point in time. Same for Safin and Hewitt. In fact, up end of to 2010, Roddick was right up there with Djoko with one slam each, some Masters and some other GS finals and Safin and Hewitt had a better record than Djoko pre-2011.
Safin, Hewitt and Roddick have all proved they have what it takes to win a slam and be World No.1. Murray hasn't.
And yet there was Murray, at No 2 in the world in 2009 - was he better than Nadal was at No 2 in 2006?

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Post by JuliusHMarx Wed 28 Dec 2011, 6:26 pm

amritia3ee wrote:
JuliusHMarx wrote: you regard him as a weak era champion who only beat average players in GS finals and who is beaten at will by Nadal.
Very harsh analysis IMHO- he has beaten him a few times on indoor hardcourt.

Yeah, and Wimby finals too, but Sahara Stallion has posted many times saying that any and all matches not on clay are irrelevant and invalid Smile

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Post by amritia3ee Wed 28 Dec 2011, 6:27 pm

Well this is one clear fact where we disagree- and with this we can conclude the argument:
-You think Roddick is better than Murray
-I think murray is better than Roddick.

If Roddick at his best is better, then you are RIGHT, let's say, as he played Federer in many Grand Slam finals.
But if MURRAY at his best is better then I am right and this era is BETTER, as if a player who has only reached 2 GS finals is better than another player who has reached many more in another era; the COMPETITION must have been harder for murray
.

So there we go guys:
What do you think- after weeks of debating it's all come down to this:
Murray (amritia3ee) vs Roddick (Julius)
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