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Is Fed mentally not the strongest?

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Post by Jeremy_Kyle Tue 15 Sep 2015, 11:20 am

First topic message reminder :

As a Fed fan, I think it's correct to give the man his due, but also to criticize him if there is an objectve weakness in his game.

Now the two big finals made me wonder a lot on this issue. Wimbledon; Fed played unreal tennis against Murray and before that match, in all tournament serve was on fire, on par with the very best years. In the final: serve misfiring, few aces and easy winner. Overall Fed looked somewhat tight, fh and bh didn't flow as freely.

US final: again the serve let him down causing the loss of the first set. Many many opportunities wasted in the third and never able to capitalize when Djokovic dropped his level to get that important lead 2 sets to one. Overall Fed looked uncomfortably tight during these two finals, naver able to relax enough to let the fh flow and dictate.

Obviously , this is not the prime Federer of 2004-2007, whose edge was so vast during those years that he was able to possibly hide such weakness. On the other hand this is a player that at 34 can compete at the very top. Nadal and Djokovic certainly seems to have shown more mental fortitude on the most important matches, even when there was seemingly no edge between them.
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Post by TheMessi Wed 16 Sep 2015, 2:05 pm

HM Murdock wrote:But relying on speed and relying on fitness are different things entirely. I think it's a stretch to say that the player who is a stone lighter and is doing less running is relying on fitness.
Not really. Djoko became that quick after improving his fitness. And he is not doing much less running but he knows he can outrun anybody. Djoko mains force is that he can run a lot but more importantly he can force others to do the running with him. He had on average ran more than twice as much as fed on his way to the final cause he can. Fed simply can't. Speed and relying on fitness are very much linked.

And, to check I understand your argument, you're saying that Federer is having to run further because Djokovic is sending him to the corners, but it's Djokovic who is the one doing the retrieving?
As I said they Djoko is also running, just fractionally less. The difference is the more both run the more the one with less margins is going to suffer. I think that should be basic knowledge for any tennis/sport fan.

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Post by temporary21 Wed 16 Sep 2015, 2:42 pm

LuvSports! wrote:
temporary21 wrote:Energy friendly? Pusher? Novak no guts because he lost one slam match this year?
Cant compare the mental strength of a pusher to a risk taker?
No tennis fan would ever write such tripe...

Mental strength is NOT confidence, you can be mentally strong and still lose a match badly.
Mental strength is being able to think clearly and do what you want to do under extreme pressure, its the ability to not hand your opponent the win.

Confidence is your conviction to executing the shot, and comes not from "luck" or a "gimmick" or a good match up, that comes from hard word, reams of it, work thats not given anything like the respect it deserves because it isnt always pretty.

Fed might not do much running on his serve, but against the other best theyre clever enough to pull him side to side on theirs. Thats because theres different styles of attack and theyre good enough to use them

Mental strength is the ability not to give it away and stay true to your game plan. Confidence goes out and wins it


If you are feeling confident, you may go for extra riskier shots. Doesn't that take more mental strength to attack?
Confidence makes the mind feel better, but how many times have we seen guys confident as anything blow it by overpressing when it matters? Thats because their opponent is mentally better than them.

Going on the attack when it matters is EXACTLY what Novak does, he forced Roger out of most of those bp's he faced, and thats takes huge guts to have the conviction to do, Federer didnt have it. That doesnt mean suiciding into the net or throwing his arms at anything, he put pace on the ball, kept a length and didnt give up the impetus in the rally.

This ridiculous notion that theres Federers attack, and everything else is a pusher is a huge insult and displays an innate lack of what tennis is about.
EDIT: Im not suggesting thats you, but weve a couple of people who always seem to think that way.

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Post by LuvSports! Wed 16 Sep 2015, 3:03 pm

Born Slippy wrote:@ LS - going for riskier shots doesn't necessarily require courage. In fact, its often going to be because the player lacks belief that he will be good enough to beat the opponent by standard tactics.

Well it also depends on which way you look at it. 
One shot we v rarely see from Djoko is the bhdtl. He did it for fun in 2011 and players like Nishi go for it all he time. 
To hit a shot dtl over the highest part of the net, changing the direction of the ball is courageous imo. If you know you can't outrally someone more often than not, it takes mental strength to really go for that risk, something others don't always need to do as they can afford to grind and be patient.

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Post by LuvSports! Wed 16 Sep 2015, 3:14 pm

temporary21 wrote:
LuvSports! wrote:
temporary21 wrote:Energy friendly? Pusher? Novak no guts because he lost one slam match this year?
Cant compare the mental strength of a pusher to a risk taker?
No tennis fan would ever write such tripe...

Mental strength is NOT confidence, you can be mentally strong and still lose a match badly.
Mental strength is being able to think clearly and do what you want to do under extreme pressure, its the ability to not hand your opponent the win.

Confidence is your conviction to executing the shot, and comes not from "luck" or a "gimmick" or a good match up, that comes from hard word, reams of it, work thats not given anything like the respect it deserves because it isnt always pretty.

Fed might not do much running on his serve, but against the other best theyre clever enough to pull him side to side on theirs. Thats because theres different styles of attack and theyre good enough to use them

Mental strength is the ability not to give it away and stay true to your game plan. Confidence goes out and wins it


If you are feeling confident, you may go for extra riskier shots. Doesn't that take more mental strength to attack?
Confidence makes the mind feel better, but how many times have we seen guys confident as anything blow it by overpressing when it matters? Thats because their opponent is mentally better than them.

Going on the attack when it matters is EXACTLY what Novak does, he forced Roger out of most of those bp's he faced, and thats takes huge guts to have the conviction to do, Federer didnt have it. That doesnt mean suiciding into the net or throwing his arms at anything, he put pace on the ball, kept a length and didnt give up the impetus in the rally.

This ridiculous notion that theres Federers attack, and everything else is a pusher is a huge insult and displays an innate lack of what tennis is about.
EDIT: Im not suggesting thats you, but weve a couple of people who always seem to think that way.

I think the FO final was a good illustration. Djoko couldn't handle Stan's power. His insane retrieval game couldn't contain Stan's aggression. As a result he hit a lot more errors than winners as he tried to be more aggressive. Stan hit 60+ winners (twice as much as DJoko) to a similar amount of errors despite going for it a lot more. 
People say Djoko played within himself, as in perhaps he got the job done through what he does best and didn't need to resort to what he did in the FO final, 
I think Djoko can handle Feds' lessened power and made the court shrink, something he couldn't do vs Stan.

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Post by TheMessi Wed 16 Sep 2015, 3:33 pm

LuvSports! wrote:.... As a result he hit a lot more errors than winners as he tried to be more aggressive. Stan hit 60+ winners (twice as much as DJoko) to a similar amount of errors despite going for it a lot more. 
People say Djoko played within himself, as in perhaps he got the job done through what he does best and didn't need to resort to what he did in the FO final, 
I think Djoko can handle Feds' lessened power and made the court shrink, something he couldn't do vs Stan.
Exactly. Something we have seen a lot with Nadal and Murray too when both trying to finish the point v Djokovic.

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 16 Sep 2015, 3:50 pm

TheMessi wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:But relying on speed and relying on fitness are different things entirely. I think it's a stretch to say that the player who is a stone lighter and is doing less running is relying on fitness.
Not really. Djoko became that quick after improving his fitness. And he is not doing much less running but he knows he can outrun anybody. Djoko mains force is that he can run a lot but more importantly he can force others to do the running with him. He had on average ran more than twice as much as fed on his way to the final cause he can. Fed simply can't. Speed and relying on fitness are very much linked.
Look how oblique you are having to become.

Djokovic is running less than Federer because he is quicker. But because he got quicker when he got fitter, that's relying on fitness.

I'm going to hazard a guess though, that when Federer claims he is moving so well because he got a good training block in, that's OK.

Or when he declared last year:

"I don’t want to say this in a cocky way but I believe I worked the hardest from the top eight in the off-season. Many guys went off to play exhibitions, or were in the Davis Cup. I had time, I put my head down and worked and I did it without any setbacks."

I'm guessing that sort of fitness work is OK too?

Your problem is boiling down the fact that a player has attributes in which he is superior to Federer and these are helping him win.

TheMessi wrote:As I said they Djoko is also running, just fractionally less. The difference is the more both run the more the one with less margins is going to suffer. I think that should be basic knowledge for any tennis/sport fan.
I wouldn't disagree in the slightest.

The problem is that you take this self-evident fact and mutate it to the conclusion that the player who is doing less running and is able to win by playing higher margins does not have talent or mental strength.

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Post by kingraf Wed 16 Sep 2015, 3:58 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:In relation to the debate on mental strength and risky shots. I know this is another sport, but Willis made this point on David Gower:

"It takes an enormous amount of mental strength to keep playing risky shots when under pressure when others would point out that it's a weakness in your game. I think David showed massive mental strength to play shots when the risk was there to nick off to the slips or caught behind"

I'd agree if there was a reward behind what Gower was doing. There's no reward in wafting outside of stump. Even if it hits the middle, it's a nothing shot.
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Post by It Must Be Love Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:05 pm

TheMessi wrote:
LuvSports! wrote:.... As a result he hit a lot more errors than winners as he tried to be more aggressive. Stan hit 60+ winners (twice as much as DJoko) to a similar amount of errors despite going for it a lot more. 
People say Djoko played within himself, as in perhaps he got the job done through what he does best and didn't need to resort to what he did in the FO final, 
I think Djoko can handle Feds' lessened power and made the court shrink, something he couldn't do vs Stan.
Exactly. Something we have seen a lot with Nadal and Murray too when both trying to finish the point v Djokovic.
LS, T; from what I saw in the bigger points Federer tended to play more defensively with the backhand slice. What people including Federer fans are pointing out here is the propensity for Federer in the bigger points to not perform to a usual level. From what I saw it wasn't because Federer went for too much in the key points, if not anything it was the opposite.

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Post by temporary21 Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:06 pm

Gower wasnt mentally weak at all, he was a strong willed guy who commited to his playstyle. His problem was that he never played to the match situation, he didnt choke his wicket away.

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Post by LuvSports! Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:08 pm

All I am saying is that Djoko's fitness and insane court coverage enhance his "mental strength". I haven't talked said about feds on bp's.

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Post by kingraf Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:10 pm

temporary21 wrote:Gower wasnt mentally weak at all, he was a strong willed guy who commited to his playstyle. His problem was that he never played to the match situation, he didnt choke his wicket away.

I didn't say he was mwntally weak. I just said there's nothing brave about wafting a nothing shot to the slips. Gower, much like his spiritual aesthetic successor, Ian Bell and probably Ian Bell get a bit of credit for looking good until they do something intolerably stupid
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Post by temporary21 Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:12 pm

So what weve concluded is that the most physically fit player in a physically demanding sport has an advantage? Erm crazy stuff.

That being confident gives you a mental edge? No way!

There is however an innate mental strength, a test of character, that someone has even when they arent that confident or playing well, something 2008-2010 Novak showed all the time. Other very confident players still choke, because they dont have that.

What were now being led to believe is that makes the player who deservedly got this advantage, a LESSER PLAYER and should be derided for it? That is he didnt have this he would be a mental midget? That any fast player isnt allowed to play well...

Perhaps then I shouldn't suggest that Novak is just as good at tennis, a game with multiple strategies, as Federer is, because hes a lot better in certain aspects, less people commit harry karry.

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Post by temporary21 Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:14 pm

I shous say Im not having a go at any one person here. Its just you see this nearly cultish mindset ALL over fb and youtube and sometimes even here, and it can get really frustrating

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Post by LuvSports! Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:18 pm

Misconstruing my points.....

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:27 pm

LuvSports! wrote:All I am saying is that Djoko's fitness and insane court coverage enhance his "mental strength".
Exactly right.

I think experience has also added to his resilience.

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 16 Sep 2015, 4:36 pm

temporary21 wrote:So what weve concluded is that the most physically fit player in a physically demanding sport has an advantage? Erm crazy stuff.
It's not even that he is necessarily more fit. Look at the weights of the players:

Djokovic: 172 lb
Federer: 187 lb
Murray: 185 lb
Nadal: 188 lb

Djoko is pretty much a stone lighter than his rivals. He uses less energy even when he is sitting still, let alone running round a tennis court.

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Post by socal1976 Wed 16 Sep 2015, 5:55 pm

TheMessi wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:
TheMessi wrote:This is why 99% of the crowd is behind him, they can see he producing the most energy friendly game. Unfortunately, the added risk weighs a lot on one's mind.

You cannot compare the mental strength of a retriever relying on his fitness with the one of an attacker relying on risky shots.
US Open final - distance covered
Djokovic: 10,744 ft
Federer: 10,962 ft

Wimbledon final
Djokovic: 2967m
Federer: 3172m

Wimbledon semi final
Murray: 1972m
Federer: 2098m

Wimbledon Quarter final
Simon: 1716m
Federer: 1749m

Wimbledon 4th round
Bautista Agut: 1585m
Federer: 1673m

So why is the one playing the most energy friendly game covering more distance than his opponents?

Why are the ones "relying on retrieving" not running as far?

Why is the player who weighs a stone more than his opponent and is covering more distance, not the one playing in a way that relies on fitness?
I am well aware of those stats HMH. The reason is Djoko can dictate the game cause he gets on the ball quicker than Fed and his DHBH can send federer to corners. And this is exactly why he is rushed to shorten rallies even more.

After 3 sets with Djokovic, Fed had covered twice as many miles than versus Stan or Gasquet's match. Those stats confirm why fed has to shorten rallies and take the risk.  

So Djokovic's superior up the line backhand makes Federer cover the whole court and run more yet it is Djokovic who wins because he plays it safe and runs all day? I mean earlier you were talking about how Djokovic's fitness is what Fed fears and knowing he can't run as much he has to pull the trigger faster. Now apparently its the fact that Federer can't live with Djokovic's backhand and early ball striking that results in Fed's desperation.

Great stats by Murdoch, I mean Novak never gets any credit for how generally efficiently he plays. And how much his ability to go up the lines and take the ball earlier forces his opponents to run. Instead we only hear about swashbuckling Federer and Djokovic as the super fast and fit guy who retrieves everything.

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Post by socal1976 Wed 16 Sep 2015, 6:04 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:
TheMessi wrote:
LuvSports! wrote:.... As a result he hit a lot more errors than winners as he tried to be more aggressive. Stan hit 60+ winners (twice as much as DJoko) to a similar amount of errors despite going for it a lot more. 
People say Djoko played within himself, as in perhaps he got the job done through what he does best and didn't need to resort to what he did in the FO final, 
I think Djoko can handle Feds' lessened power and made the court shrink, something he couldn't do vs Stan.
Exactly. Something we have seen a lot with Nadal and Murray too when both trying to finish the point v Djokovic.
LS, T; from what I saw in the bigger points Federer tended to play more defensively with the backhand slice. What people including Federer fans are pointing out here is the propensity for Federer in the bigger points to not perform to a usual level. From what I saw it wasn't because Federer went for too much in the key points, if not anything it was the opposite.

Yes again IMBL it is bizarre because I saw Fed being super aggressive throughout this tournament and the hardcourt warmup in Cincy. But when it came to BP against Djokovic in this final he turned into a completely passive grinder. But yet it is portrayed that Fed is all out all action player going for a swashbuckling high risk style. I agree with that but he seemingly reverts to a very passive approach on BP. He didn't lose those BPs because he went for it so much, he lost them because he didn't go for it. What is also interesting is that Djokovic on BP or matchpoint seems to go the opposite where he almost gets super aggressive while he tends to be willing to rally more on the regular points. Djokovic was extremely aggressive on the BPs, almost like he was liberated from the fear of losing and just let go. Usually this works for him but a lot of times it bites him like the double fault on matchpoint or conversely the Shot against Fed at the USO.


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Post by TheMessi Wed 16 Sep 2015, 6:16 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
I wouldn't disagree in the slightest.

The problem is that you take this self-evident fact and mutate it to the conclusion that the player who is doing less running and is able to win by playing higher margins does not have talent or mental strength.
I wish we could have an honest discussion here. By making me say things like Djoko has no talent or no mental strength you are dragging the discussion down to a fan war. It's all relative here. Professional wanting to win slams usually want to minimise the impact of talent and mental strength which are factors down to the "form of the day". Djoko, Nadal and Murray have been extremely consistent reaching the business end of tournaments thanks to minimising the use of those variables. And they do that by being super fit. Federer or Stan are players relying on shot making ability. This is why the crowd is largely behind them when they play. Stan's talent is more edgy and brittles. Federer has been able to deliver it under the highest pressure for many years.

I read a lot here about Fed's mental weakness but I have not read yet anyone explaining why Djoko was not so strong mentally before he turned super fit in 2011 and why Nadal is suddenly mentally average since his fitness dropped. All in relative terms of course.

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Post by TheMessi Wed 16 Sep 2015, 6:24 pm

It Must Be Love wrote:
TheMessi wrote:
LuvSports! wrote:.... As a result he hit a lot more errors than winners as he tried to be more aggressive. Stan hit 60+ winners (twice as much as DJoko) to a similar amount of errors despite going for it a lot more. 
People say Djoko played within himself, as in perhaps he got the job done through what he does best and didn't need to resort to what he did in the FO final, 
I think Djoko can handle Feds' lessened power and made the court shrink, something he couldn't do vs Stan.
Exactly. Something we have seen a lot with Nadal and Murray too when both trying to finish the point v Djokovic.
LS, T; from what I saw in the bigger points Federer tended to play more defensively with the backhand slice. What people including Federer fans are pointing out here is the propensity for Federer in the bigger points to not perform to a usual level. From what I saw it wasn't because Federer went for too much in the key points, if not anything it was the opposite.

I have not checked every point but that is certainly not what I remember on top of my head. Starting with the MPs wasted at Rome 06 where he tries to pull a FH winner just clipping the net....till last Final where I remember him pulling a very aggressive FH long in his first SPs. Or simply look at Cincy to see how aggressive Fed was on the key points. So I am afraid I have to disagree once again. However, if he knows too well that ideally he woudl be rallying and trying to get an UEs from his opponent if he coudl run as much.....exactly what Djoko, Murray and Nadal have been doing. Once you are in the lead, it's much easier to pull winners....like we saw in Cincy.

Problem with Fed in last Sunday is that he was never in the lead (essentially down to poor serving %age in the first set) and that prevented him to go even more all out.

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Post by socal1976 Wed 16 Sep 2015, 6:36 pm

TheMessi wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:
I wouldn't disagree in the slightest.

The problem is that you take this self-evident fact and mutate it to the conclusion that the player who is doing less running and is able to win by playing higher margins does not have talent or mental strength.
I wish we could have an honest discussion here. By making me say things like Djoko has no talent or no mental strength you are dragging the discussion down to a fan war. It's all relative here. Professional wanting to win slams usually want to minimise the impact of talent and mental strength which are factors down to the "form of the day". Djoko, Nadal and Murray have been extremely consistent reaching the business end of tournaments thanks to minimising the use of those variables. And they do that by being super fit. Federer or Stan are players relying on shot making ability. This is why the crowd is largely behind them when they play. Stan's talent is more edgy and brittles. Federer has been able to deliver it under the highest pressure for many years.

I read a lot here about Fed's mental weakness but I have not read yet anyone explaining why Djoko was not so strong mentally before he turned super fit in 2011 and why Nadal is suddenly mentally average since his fitness dropped. All in relative terms of course.

Actually I would posit that Novak in 09 and 10 was as mentally strong or even more mentally strong than he is today. You try finishing in the top 3 of the ATP with a WTA serve that is more likely by a large margin to result in a double fault than an ace. The main, main reason he didn't have very much success in 09 and 10 was not lack of fitness or mental strength. The main reason was that he changed his serve and it gave him a major case of the yips, then by the time he fired the coach responsible and changed back to his old technique he had lost 18 to 24 months. If anything the fact that he finished in the top 3 with my granny's serve in those two seasons should tell you how good his mental toughness and the rest of his game was and is.

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Post by Guest Wed 16 Sep 2015, 7:25 pm

kingraf wrote:
temporary21 wrote:Gower wasnt mentally weak at all, he was a strong willed guy who commited to his playstyle. His problem was that he never played to the match situation, he didnt choke his wicket away.

I didn't say he was mwntally weak. I just said there's nothing brave about wafting a nothing shot to the slips. Gower, much like his spiritual aesthetic successor, Ian Bell and probably Ian Bell get a bit of credit for looking good until they do something intolerably stupid

Why is it not brave? The whole point of the statement from Willis was more in line with "live by the sword, die by the sword" 

If you turn it on its head, it can be seen as a technical or mental error, but still play in the manner you wish to even if the result is not always the favoured one to me shows a degree of mental strength. If he kept edging to the slips, yes it is stupidity.

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Post by Born Slippy Wed 16 Sep 2015, 7:34 pm

Wasn't Novak a mental beast in 09-10? My recollection was of him constantly playing awful tennis but dragging victories from nowhere by being teak tough at the crucial moments in matches.

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 16 Sep 2015, 8:12 pm

TheMessi wrote:I wish we could have an honest discussion here. By making me say things like Djoko has no talent or no mental strength you are dragging the discussion down to a fan war. It's all relative here. Professional wanting to win slams usually want to minimise the impact of talent and mental strength which are factors down to the "form of the day". Djoko, Nadal and Murray have been extremely consistent reaching the business end of tournaments thanks to minimising the use of those variables. And they do that by being super fit. Federer or Stan are players relying on shot making ability. This is why the crowd is largely behind them when they play. Stan's talent is more edgy and brittles. Federer has been able to deliver it under the highest pressure for many years.
I've got no interest in a fan war. I really have no desire for people to declare Djoko the best player ever because I don't even think that myself.

But you're a shot-making fundamentalist!  Wink You believe talent resides solely in shot-making. Any other component of the game - defence, movement, agility, speed is not talent to you.

Gilles Simon spoke well about talent a few months ago:

Me, I have zero hands but I have enormous talent. There are simply different talents, some more obvious than others. What's talent? When Richard (Gasquet) sends a backhand ten miles from the corner of the stands, they say talent. They're right. But when Rafa (Nadal) does the same with a forehand, they say it's strength, it's physical. Everyone agrees on Federer's talent, but Djokovic, pffft, they have trouble ... He has no great shot. Except you serve at him 275 kph and he takes it every time in the middle of the racquet. That's an incredible talent. If you ask Jan (De Witt, his coach) who has the most talent, Roger or Novak, he'll hesitate.

"Television distorts perceptions. People don't see what's so special about Kei Nishikori. He has the best two-handed backhand I've ever seen. He finds incredible angles but that doesn't make an impression. I often use the example of Mika (Llodra). He has an amazing volley and touch but he can't hit a correct forehand. Is he gifted? Safin had a patent on talent all his career, but when it came to hands, he was like me ... Ernests Gulbis, the same. He's talented, full stop. If he loses, it's because he doesn't feel like playing.

What sticks in your craw is that tennis' best shot maker (Federer) can be beaten by people less talented at making shots.

But what do you think other players are supposed to do? Just watch beautiful shots fly by and not make every effort to retrieve them? Not make themselves as fit as possible so they can play their own best level for as long as possible?

You made the point earlier that Federer had to get himself fitter to turn around his h2hs with Nalbandian and Hewitt. He's also worked hard on his fitness in the last two offseasons. Why is it OK for Federer to use a fitness as a way of making himself as good as he can be but not for Nadal and Djoko?

You demean Federer's ability with your stance. If he is so challenged by talentless players who have nothing but fitness, it doesn't say much for his talent because Federer is no slouch in the fitness and movement department.

If the rest of the ATP is so poor that untalented players can notch up double digit slams and 100s of weeks at #1, then Federer's dominance doesn't mean much either.

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 16 Sep 2015, 8:12 pm

Double post

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Post by temporary21 Wed 16 Sep 2015, 8:25 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
TheMessi wrote:I wish we could have an honest discussion here. By making me say things like Djoko has no talent or no mental strength you are dragging the discussion down to a fan war. It's all relative here. Professional wanting to win slams usually want to minimise the impact of talent and mental strength which are factors down to the "form of the day". Djoko, Nadal and Murray have been extremely consistent reaching the business end of tournaments thanks to minimising the use of those variables. And they do that by being super fit. Federer or Stan are players relying on shot making ability. This is why the crowd is largely behind them when they play. Stan's talent is more edgy and brittles. Federer has been able to deliver it under the highest pressure for many years.
I've got no interest in a fan war. I really have no desire for people to declare Djoko the best player ever because I don't even think that myself.

But you're a shot-making fundamentalist!  Wink You believe talent resides solely in shot-making. Any other component of the game - defence, movement, agility, speed is not talent to you.

Gilles Simon spoke well about talent a few months ago:

Me, I have zero hands but I have enormous talent. There are simply different talents, some more obvious than others. What's talent? When Richard (Gasquet) sends a backhand ten miles from the corner of the stands, they say talent. They're right. But when Rafa (Nadal) does the same with a forehand, they say it's strength, it's physical. Everyone agrees on Federer's talent, but Djokovic, pffft, they have trouble ... He has no great shot. Except you serve at him 275 kph and he takes it every time in the middle of the racquet. That's an incredible talent. If you ask Jan (De Witt, his coach) who has the most talent, Roger or Novak, he'll hesitate.

"Television distorts perceptions. People don't see what's so special about Kei Nishikori. He has the best two-handed backhand I've ever seen. He finds incredible angles but that doesn't make an impression. I often use the example of Mika (Llodra). He has an amazing volley and touch but he can't hit a correct forehand. Is he gifted? Safin had a patent on talent all his career, but when it came to hands, he was like me ... Ernests Gulbis, the same. He's talented, full stop. If he loses, it's because he doesn't feel like playing.

What sticks in your craw is that tennis' best shot maker (Federer) can be beaten by people less talented at making shots.

But what do you think other players are supposed to do? Just watch beautiful shots fly by and not make every effort to retrieve them? Not make themselves as fit as possible so they can play their own best level for as long as possible?

You made the point earlier that Federer had to get himself fitter to turn around his h2hs with Nalbandian and Hewitt. He's also worked hard on his fitness in the last two offseasons. Why is it OK for Federer to use a fitness as a way of making himself as good as he can be but not for Nadal and Djoko?

You demean Federer's ability with your stance. If he is so challenged by talentless players who have nothing but fitness, it doesn't say much for his talent because Federer is no slouch in the fitness and movement department.

If the rest of the ATP is so poor that untalented players can notch up double digit slams and 100s of weeks at #1, then Federer's dominance doesn't mean much either.
Worth the double post, that is exactly spot on. This is sport not Pride and Prejudice. Guts, ability to fight , physical fitness and looking for weakness are talented traits.
Fed has them all, but hes been shaded in the "uglier" bits by 2 guys, which makes them his match. The reason many cant accept this is because they have a propped up view of Roger like hes some holy figure. In reality hes at the top table but fairly closely matched overall by the other 2. who do it a different way.

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Post by TheMessi Wed 16 Sep 2015, 9:24 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
You made the point earlier that Federer had to get himself fitter to turn around his h2hs with Nalbandian and Hewitt. He's also worked hard on his fitness in the last two offseasons. Why is it OK for Federer to use a fitness as a way of making himself as good as he can be but not for Nadal and Djoko?
Well again it's all relative. To express some talent in a sport like tennis one needs a minimum fitness. Recently this race to fitness has reached absurd proportion. And if it was not Federer or more recently Stan, Slam finals would simply have been a battle of the fittest between Murray, Djoko and Nadal over the last 7 years. I don;t think this what amateur tennis players and spectators have got interested in this sport in the first place. And this is also why Djoko fails to warm up to 90% of the crowd. I really enjoy the eternal battle of talent versus fitness....but I more recently Fitness has won way too often. Had fed converted those key BPs and turned the match around woudl we not be discussing this. But I am just stressing here that mental strength cannot be discussed in the same terms for someone having to go for risky shots and someone who is clearly trying to lengthen the rallies. It's 2 very different mental and physical approach.

You demean Federer's ability with your stance. If he is so challenged by talentless players who have nothing but fitness, it doesn't say much for his talent because Federer is no slouch in the fitness and movement department.
You can't help but caricature the debate again. Fed is no slouch but it is certainly a different challenge physically AND therefore mentally to have to deal against a Djoko in B05. A few players, even a 33yo Lopez can take a set of Djoko. The real challenge is beating him over 3 or 5.

It is no hazard that Fed has been doing much better recently in B03 v Djoko, in particular on fast surface where rallies can be shorten. This stat alone confirms all the points LS and I have made here. Can we say that Djoko is more more fragile mentally in Bo3 when facing Federer?

If the rest of the ATP is so poor that untalented players can notch up double digit slams and 100s of weeks at #1, then Federer's dominance doesn't mean much either.
Or it just says that Djoko is bloody fit. Like nadal used to be. Nothing more, nothing less. But winning doesn;t mean you are good at everything. Should the ATP provide smaller and faster balls, Karlovic would be number one but that won't make Karlo, the best mentally, the fittest and the most talented player.

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Post by HM Murdock Wed 16 Sep 2015, 10:48 pm

TheMessi wrote:Fed is no slouch but it is certainly a different challenge physically AND therefore mentally to have to deal against a Djoko in B05. A few players, even a 33yo Lopez can take a set of Djoko. The real challenge is beating him over 3 or 5.

It is no hazard that Fed has been doing much better recently in B03 v Djoko, in particular on fast surface where rallies can be shorten.  This stat alone confirms all the points LS and I have made here. Can we say that Djoko is more more fragile mentally in Bo3 when facing Federer?
What point do you think you are arguing? I've agreed with the points LS made and my first comment (first response in this thread) said that it's easier to be "mentally tough" when you know you are fitter than your opponent.

I'm disagreeing with your bizarre claim that a player can get double digit slams and hundreds of weeks at #1 without talent.

And you say I'm caricaturing your position but then a few lines later you put Djokovic's success down to him being:
bloody fit. Like nadal used to be. Nothing more, nothing less.

But there's not a lot of point discussing further. We are speaking a different language.

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Post by LuvSports! Wed 16 Sep 2015, 10:51 pm

I speak a little big of pig's latin.

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Post by paulcz Wed 16 Sep 2015, 10:58 pm

HMM,

It is still round and round with Tenez. He is just a stubborn type of fan  obsessed by Federer. Btw the second group, which is not any better are Nadal-esque squadra. A lot of discussions with Ten end up just by his  lamenting with Ifs, like if Fed played DBHB, if he  was younger, if Djokovic hadn’t such a fitness, then he would win. The second ending of our discussion is that Nole’s shots are ugly, he won just due to his fitness  and that he will not remembered as a shot maker. It is a tearful childish approach for posting on forums and he should focus really on the game and not write the same repetitive twaddle. I have already started to stop the kind of discussion, which leads nowhere,  but his effort to raise Federer at all costs is really comical and embarrassing. Ten, something for you to think about. Too many people are disappointed with your posting.  

Ten, we all know that only talented player is Federer, who is unfortunately very soon tired when he loses a match. If he loses in  BO3 then a court surface is not enough fast or  balls are not enough hard. If the balls are ok, then Djokovic will not be rememberd as a shotmaker or Djokovic should be born earlier or Fed shouldnt start playing  SHBH.

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Post by temporary21 Thu 17 Sep 2015, 12:13 am

Tenez?

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Post by It Must Be Love Thu 17 Sep 2015, 12:53 am

socal1976 wrote:

Yes again IMBL it is bizarre because I saw Fed being super aggressive throughout this tournament and the hardcourt warmup in Cincy. But when it came to BP against Djokovic in this final he turned into a completely passive grinder. But yet it is portrayed that Fed is all out all action player going for a swashbuckling high risk style. I agree with that but he seemingly reverts to a very passive approach on BP. He didn't lose those BPs because he went for it so much, he lost them because he didn't go for it. What is also interesting is that Djokovic on BP or matchpoint seems to go the opposite where he almost gets super aggressive while he tends to be willing to rally more on the regular points. Djokovic was extremely aggressive on the BPs, almost like he was liberated from the fear of losing and just let go. Usually this works for him but a lot of times it bites him like the double fault on matchpoint or conversely the Shot against Fed at the USO.


One thing you have to give Djokovic huge credit for is the way he can change direction of the ball, especially on his backhand. Nadal in interviews spoke in the past about how it makes Djokovic so dangerous, a rally could be following a specific pattern, and then out of nothing Djokovic can switch up the direction effortlessly and do it reliably too.

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Post by It Must Be Love Thu 17 Sep 2015, 12:55 am

paulcz wrote:
Ten, we all know that only talented player is Federer, who is unfortunately very soon tired when he loses a match. If he loses in  BO3 then a court surface is not enough fast or  balls are not enough hard. If the balls are ok, then Djokovic will not be rememberd as a shotmaker or Djokovic should be born earlier or Fed shouldnt start playing  SHBH.
Yes, apparently Federer got tired in the first set itself against Nadal once, 7 games into the French Open final 2011. Incredible he can even last 2 hours to be honest, miraculous that he can win BO5 matches.

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Post by temporary21 Thu 17 Sep 2015, 1:11 am

He basically Hulk Hogan. Hes never allowed to lose clean

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 17 Sep 2015, 2:05 am

I think Federer is mentally strong compared to most players. He is miles better than some. He is mentally stronger than me, or you probably. But just not quite as good as Nadal or Djokovic.

I think the 5 set record of Federer is poor. He won a few but only against players he had no business being down against in the first place, with a few exceptions (down 2-1 DelP FO in big game). His record against Djokovic and Nadal in matches that actually went to 5 sets is very poor. To me that's mental. But it could be physical.

I think the BP argument is a better one though. Tenez used to argue Federer was tired at the end of a game and rested at the start but that doesn't wash to me when you see him dump the BP into the net and with the very next point play like a champion then miss another BP, and the pattern goes on.

Interesting point from Barrystar about the ad court being harder for Federer as a returner. Might be something in it but I'm not convinced. A lot of those points are not decided inn the first few shots but go into mid length rallies in the middle of the court. In theory you could look at the % of points a player won in the ad and deuce court to try and answer that one.

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 17 Sep 2015, 2:07 am

However Federer's clutch play on his own serve is much better.

If I had to guess I'd say he wins a greater % of points on his own serve when they are BPs than when they are not.

As a receiver it seems the opposite, he seems to win a bit lower % of points if they are BPs than all return points.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu 17 Sep 2015, 6:25 am

Not true that Novak hasn't faced more BPs in a match. His USO2010 final vs Rafa, he had at least faced 25 BPs and Rafa converted 5 of them; that's how good Novak was saving BPs.

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Post by socal1976 Thu 17 Sep 2015, 6:46 am

TheMessi wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:
You made the point earlier that Federer had to get himself fitter to turn around his h2hs with Nalbandian and Hewitt. He's also worked hard on his fitness in the last two offseasons. Why is it OK for Federer to use a fitness as a way of making himself as good as he can be but not for Nadal and Djoko?
Well again it's all relative. To express some talent in a sport like tennis one needs a minimum fitness. Recently this race to fitness has reached absurd proportion.  And if it was not Federer or more recently Stan, Slam finals  would simply have been a battle of the fittest between Murray, Djoko and Nadal over the last 7 years.  I don;t think this what amateur tennis players and spectators have got interested in this sport in the first place. And this is also why Djoko fails to warm up to 90% of the crowd. I really enjoy the eternal battle of talent versus fitness....but I more recently Fitness has won way too often. Had fed converted those key BPs and turned the match around woudl we not be discussing this. But I am just stressing here that mental strength cannot be discussed in the same terms for someone having to go for risky shots and someone who is clearly trying to lengthen the rallies. It's 2 very different mental and physical approach.

You demean Federer's ability with your stance. If he is so challenged by talentless players who have nothing but fitness, it doesn't say much for his talent because Federer is no slouch in the fitness and movement department.
You can't help but caricature the debate again. Fed is no slouch but it is certainly a different challenge physically AND therefore mentally to have to deal against a Djoko in B05. A few players, even a 33yo Lopez can take a set of Djoko. The real challenge is beating him over 3 or 5.

It is no hazard that Fed has been doing much better recently in B03 v Djoko, in particular on fast surface where rallies can be shorten.  This stat alone confirms all the points LS and I have made here. Can we say that Djoko is more more fragile mentally in Bo3 when facing Federer?

If the rest of the ATP is so poor that untalented players can notch up double digit slams and 100s of weeks at #1, then Federer's dominance doesn't mean much either.
Or it just says that Djoko is bloody fit. Like nadal used to be. Nothing more, nothing less. But winning doesn;t mean you are good at everything. Should the ATP provide smaller and faster balls, Karlovic would be number one but that won't make Karlo, the best mentally, the fittest and the most talented player.


The crucial thing here is fed has a better record against Djokovic in best of three on a fast surface. I am assuming you remember his loss to Novak at IW and I doubt anyone would make him a favorite at Rome or Monaco or Miami. I mean it is so simplistic to put down every Fed loss to fed getting tired because he is old or losing because he has to go for too much. I mean your arguments aren't even internally consistent. I mean Djokovic and Nadal win on fitness? Most matches are over three sets and do you know the vast majority of them Nadal and Djokovic win the first set. So are you claiming that players including Federer get tired in a set or half a set? I mean was Federer tired when he lost the first set here or at wimbeldon? I am Djokovic fan but I first defended Nadal on this point. By the way Federer fans have been saying he is getting tired and losing because he is old since 09 at the very least if not before. I mean I guess if you keep making the same guess like the guy who marks B all the time down the column on the exam you are bound to be right eventually.

The fact is fitness plays a role in a relatively small number of matches and at the least you could admit that Djokovic and Nadal beat 99 percent of the tour from the first ball and fitness doesn't have anything to do with it. And I always laugh when they make these arguments about Federer I don't buy it at all. He is one of the fittest and fastest players out there even now, and he plays basically 90 percent short points. This is the same issue I had with the people making this argument six years ago or more now when Fed was the same age Djokovic is now. They will analyze any match or stat to prove the hypothesis that Fed loses to Nadal and Djokovic because he gets tired, not because one of those two on that day just was a better tennis player in totality. If Fed wins in short match, that proves their point. If Fed loses in a short match that proves their point. If Fed loses in a long match that proves their point. If Fed wins in a long match somehow they will even spin that to fit their fitness point.

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Post by socal1976 Thu 17 Sep 2015, 6:54 am

Here I will do it for you Messi, I have heard these arguments so many times:

Hypo: Fed loses to Djoko

6-3, 6-1

Party line: He was going for too much because he knew if it went to a third set or if he played too many rallies he would lose. Plus he was tired from the match in the previous round

Hypo: Fed wins 6-3,6-1

Party line: See when the match is short and Fed isn't tired how much better he is than Djokovic, if conditions were faster Fed's shotmaking would carry the day like it did here today.

Fed loses 7-6 in the 5th set: You see he just got tired after 5 sets and the countless running against the grinder Djokovic.

Fed wins 7-6 in the 5th set: well he doesn't really beat Nadal and Djoko in many 5 setters in recent years so this one I can't predict as easily because it has never happened. But even if he loses by one point on the last ball and he loses 20 BPs you know it will be put down to exhaustion due to age and slow conditions. The narrative is like a doctor who prescribes the same pill for every ailment.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 17 Sep 2015, 8:31 am

temporary21 wrote:Tenez?

Yeah, TheMessi is Tenez - I've known that for quite a while.

We need him on here to remind us every now and then that running quickly is something frowned upon by tennis purists.

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Post by Guest Thu 17 Sep 2015, 9:24 am

Well debates take all shapes and sizes Wink

Everything is frowned on. Djokovic winning everything, Nadal getting TV's on big points, Federer being knackered by the time he reaches a Slam final, Murray in general when he loses.

I will find a positive. Very Happy

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Post by TheMessi Thu 17 Sep 2015, 9:31 am

[quote="socal1976"]The crucial thing here is fed has a better record against Djokovic in best of three on a fast surface. I am assuming you remember his loss to Novak at IW and I doubt anyone would make him a favorite at Rome or Monaco or Miami.[quote] At least Soc you try to respond to my points so I will respond. IW is indeed one of the slowest HC surface. I am sure you are aware of that. Fed had beaten Djokovic in Shanghai and Dubai a few weeks before. So this again woudl confirms my point.

I mean it is so simplistic to put down every Fed loss to fed getting tired because he is old or losing because he has to go for too much. I mean your arguments aren't even internally consistent. I mean Djokovic and Nadal win on fitness? Most matches are over three sets and do you know the vast majority of them Nadal and Djokovic win the first set. So are you claiming that players including Federer get tired in a set or half a set? I mean was Federer tired when he lost the first set here or at wimbeldon? I am Djokovic fan but I first defended Nadal on this point. By the way Federer fans have been saying he is getting tired and losing because he is old since 09 at the very least if not before. I mean I guess if you keep making the same guess like the guy who marks B all the time down the column on the exam you are bound to be right eventually.
I am not saying it is about getting tired, it's more like the fear of getting tired....as clearly it was visible in the end of the 3rd set in Wimbledon and USO. That adds pressure on all BPs. Fed used to be a very fit player when compared to his generation. he woudl still be very fit if compared to the player of his generation. For some reasons he never caught up with the likes of Nadal, Djoko and Murray. In fact no-one else did...so far as I can see guys like Coric and others will.

The fact is fitness plays a role in a relatively small number of matches and at the least you could admit that Djokovic and Nadal beat 99 percent of the tour from the first ball and fitness doesn't have anything to do with it.
I think that is so far from the truth. Fitness plays a huge role in every match. Djoko woudl not have passed Dolgo at Cincy without it, and there are plenty other examples. How many slams Nadal and Djoko have won which included a key 4 or 5 setter on the way to winning the tournament? And again the fitter player won those longer matches. Federer went through his 20 somthing consecutive semi hardly losing a set...and showed that again this year at Wimby and USO...being 34. Besides as I have said before a couple of long rallies are enough to destroy the edge a player relying on his sharpness. It is a very clear tactic used by Djokovic at the beginning of a TB....knowing the player will not have a 90s break till the end of the long game.

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Post by TheMessi Thu 17 Sep 2015, 9:33 am

I suggest people watch again the Djoko Fed USO semi 2011 to see who is mentally tougher. The winner is Djokovic, we know that. But look at the key moments of the match. To me it is quite obvious who is mentally stronger.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 17 Sep 2015, 9:48 am

legendkillarV2 wrote:Well debates take all shapes and sizes Wink

Everything is frowned on. Djokovic winning everything, Nadal getting TV's on big points, Federer being knackered by the time he reaches a Slam final, Murray in general when he loses.

I will find a positive. Very Happy

There are many aspects to tennis lk. The more of them you can appreciate, the more positives you will find. For example, if a player works hard in the gym to overcome other weaknesses in his game and as a result moves from, say, 100 to 35 in the world, is that not something to be appreciated and applauded?
Of if he goes to a sports psychologist to improve his mental frailty on key points, is that not a positive worthy of appreciation?

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 17 Sep 2015, 10:01 am

TheMessi wrote:I suggest people watch again the Djoko Fed USO semi 2011 to see who is mentally tougher. The winner is Djokovic, we know that. But look at the key moments of the match. To me it is quite obvious who is mentally stronger.
Let me guess - is it the one who couldn't take 2 MPs on his own serve and then double faulted on break point?

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Post by TheMessi Thu 17 Sep 2015, 10:04 am

HM Murdock wrote:
TheMessi wrote:I suggest people watch again the Djoko Fed USO semi 2011 to see who is mentally tougher. The winner is Djokovic, we know that. But look at the key moments of the match. To me it is quite obvious who is mentally stronger.
Let me guess - is it the one who couldn't take 2 MPs on his own serve and then double faulted on break point?
Exactly. I wanted to give you a head start. Now watch it from beginning with an open-mind.


Last edited by TheMessi on Thu 17 Sep 2015, 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 17 Sep 2015, 10:08 am

Ah - the old 'open-mind' argument. "If you disagree with me it's because you are close-minded'. There really is no way to debate that, as it treats other posters with a closed mind.

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 17 Sep 2015, 10:57 am

TheMessi wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:
TheMessi wrote:I suggest people watch again the Djoko Fed USO semi 2011 to see who is mentally tougher. The winner is Djokovic, we know that. But look at the key moments of the match. To me it is quite obvious who is mentally stronger.
Let me guess - is it the one who couldn't take 2 MPs on his own serve and then double faulted on break point?
Exactly. I wanted to give you a head start. Now watch it from beginning with an open-mind.
Wow, you're right.

Federer was the one going for his shots. His 49 winners was much better than Djokovic's 48 winners.

And Djokovic's grinding clearly took its toll. I mean, OK, Federer was fit and healthy enough to break to love in the 8th game of the 5th set.

But he was so exhausted by the 9th game that he couldn't win those grinding rallies of 1, 2 and 5 shots that came after he reached match point.

I wish I'd opened my mind sooner!

HM Murdock

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Post by Guest Thu 17 Sep 2015, 10:58 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:Well debates take all shapes and sizes Wink

Everything is frowned on. Djokovic winning everything, Nadal getting TV's on big points, Federer being knackered by the time he reaches a Slam final, Murray in general when he loses.

I will find a positive. Very Happy

There are many aspects to tennis lk. The more of them you can appreciate, the more positives you will find. For example, if a player works hard in the gym to overcome other weaknesses in his game and as a result moves from, say, 100 to 35 in the world, is that not something to be appreciated and applauded?
Of if he goes to a sports psychologist to improve his mental frailty on key points, is that not a positive worthy of appreciation?

Oh I agree, for me it is to be respected than appreciated as the latter suggests enjoying it Wink

I am a bit of relic enjoying the 80's and never moving forward from it I guess.

The pro's deserve some respect for the dedication to their craft. I find appreciation for those who don't get it at their prime of their careers tend to afterwards when the next generation fail to excite/deliver.

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Post by It Must Be Love Thu 17 Sep 2015, 12:16 pm

HM Murdock wrote:
TheMessi wrote:
HM Murdock wrote:
TheMessi wrote:I suggest people watch again the Djoko Fed USO semi 2011 to see who is mentally tougher. The winner is Djokovic, we know that. But look at the key moments of the match. To me it is quite obvious who is mentally stronger.
Let me guess - is it the one who couldn't take 2 MPs on his own serve and then double faulted on break point?
Exactly. I wanted to give you a head start. Now watch it from beginning with an open-mind.
Wow, you're right.

Federer was the one going for his shots. His 49 winners was much better than Djokovic's 48 winners.

And Djokovic's grinding clearly took its toll. I mean, OK, Federer was fit and healthy enough to break to love in the 8th game of the 5th set.

But he was so exhausted by the 9th game that he couldn't win those grinding rallies of 1, 2 and 5 shots that came after he reached match point.

I wish I'd opened my mind sooner!
This is a great post, but you're only beating Tenez here because of your long posts. If you had kept your posts to one sentence only Tenez wouldn't have been fatigued reading it and then he would have been destroying you.


Last edited by It Must Be Love on Thu 17 Sep 2015, 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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