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Federer's schedule- skipping clay...

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Post by TRuffin Thu 17 Dec 2015, 8:54 pm

except for French Open.. wow- I guess the first real acknowledgment of age and reducing where he plays.

Also, make it hard to stay in top 3 I would think.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 18 Dec 2015, 1:06 am

I think Fed is being smart - just concentrate on HCs and grass, his two best surfaces. I think he wants to plays more and wins more on the HCs to retain or gain more points. If he can get to no.2 which is possible given the small gap between him and Murray, and Murray is taking Feb off, Fed can then avoid meeting Novak until the final.

Its Novak that Fed want to avoid until the final so getting to no.2 will guarantee that. There's no point in slugging it out on clay when there's Novak plus Nadal.

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Post by summerblues Fri 18 Dec 2015, 2:09 am

Well, Fed is not so young anymore, is he? His comments since right after the USO have made me think that he is starting to contemplate retirement more seriously. I imagine if he ends up getting some surprise wins he may stick around longer, but I think we are at the stage where he can choose to quit almost anytime, even out of the blue.

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Post by lags72 Fri 18 Dec 2015, 2:01 pm

summerblues, I fully agree that he is finally - and seriously - contemplating a likely retirement date ; but I'm really not so sure that he would "quit almost anytime, even out of the blue"

I say this because, IMO, such a sudden departure would be totally alien to his fundamental character and mindset (not that I'm privy to his private thoughts .....!)

Federer has always been a highly organised, focused and very methodical individual as we know. There is very little, if any (??), history of him making statements/announcements about his own plans that later turn out to be totally false, or even slightly misleading. And his most recent comments about 2016 and beyond seem to indicate that retirement might still be a little way off......

http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/id/14371213/roger-federer-no-plans-retire-rio-olympics

Also interesting to see in that piece that he still 'suffers' from nerves on court - even as someone who has more playing experience than perhaps anyone else currently on the Tour :

"In normal matches, maybe a quarterfinal match or first-round match, I don't get so worked up so much any more, where I have knots in my tummy," he added. "But I do still get nervous, I still care very dearly and still have the fire. I think that will never go away until the day is there where I retire and everything drops away."

All that said, if Federer's quality of play were to decline dramatically, then I certainly think all bets are off wrt retirement. I actually felt that the time was right for retirement a couple of years ago ; but I hadn't banked on his ability to remain so motivated after so many career matches, as evidenced by his performance during this past 2015 season, with some top titles, three major final appearances and victories over all the top guys.

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Post by TRuffin Fri 18 Dec 2015, 5:10 pm

Belovedluckyboy wrote:I think Fed is being smart - just concentrate on HCs and grass, his two best surfaces.  I think he wants to plays more and wins more on the HCs to retain or gain more points.  If he can get to no.2 which is possible given the small gap between him and Murray, and Murray is taking Feb off, Fed can then avoid meeting Novak until the final.  

Its Novak that Fed want to avoid until the final so getting to no.2 will guarantee that.  There's no point in slugging it out on clay when there's Novak plus Nadal.  


Fed can't get to #2 by the AO, so he would have to regain it there.... then maybe he holds it through Dubai and Rotterdam, IW- but then he skips Miami and 3 clay Masters. No way he can go into French at #2 or even #3 doing that, and other than showing up for the French for the sake of it- he's all but conceding any chance of winning that. It would be unheard or, I don't even think Nadal could, just show up and win it with no match toughness. I think Federer is confident he can win on grass and the faster courts regardless of top 2-3 ranking.. as long as he's #4 it doesn't change much anyway- so this seems to be an all in of saving his body for Wimbledon,, then having reserve for the packed Olympic,US Open stretch.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 18 Dec 2015, 5:31 pm

Interesting schedule, I can't remember the last time I saw someone play so many 250/500s while skipping so many masters (4). It looks to me like he is just playing the tournaments he likes, and the ones he wants to win.

Stuttgart after the French Open? Surely that will get scrubbed if he makes the FO final, or maybe the semi. Stuttgart tournament director will be cheering on Roger's opponents with a passion throughout the FO.

Cincinatti a surprise for me. I would have thought a week off after 2/3 Olympic events would make more sense. Still, maybe that's in reality another 50/50 depending on how deep he goes at the Olympics. (Also, I kind of imagined at this stage in his career he might be more interested in taking another week in Rio to enjoy Rio, go to some parties, and stick around for the athletics events and hanging out with Usain Bolt or something. That's what I'd do, anyway. Life can't be all work.)

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Fri 18 Dec 2015, 11:15 pm

Of course he wants to win on grass but then why so many HC events then? Clearly to sustain his rankings not only for Wimbledon but for the Olympics and USO too. He didnt win many points on clay anyway, just about 1310 points last year including the FO, so he may want to win points elsewhere on the HCs.

As long as he does well to stay inside top 4, he should have a good ranking at Wimbledon based on his very solid results on grass in 2014 and 2015.

He may even snatch the no.2 ranking from Murray before the grass season starts, as he can gain points at AO and Rotterdam whilst Murray has to win AO to gain points and may even lose points there, and hes not playing until March.

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Post by TRuffin Sat 19 Dec 2015, 5:32 pm

I just heard no ATP points for Olympics this year... interesting.


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Post by Henman Bill Mon 21 Dec 2015, 12:44 am

Wow, I actually think 1500 points for the winner of the Olympics would be right, not zero!

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 21 Dec 2015, 12:44 am

This could in theory create a situation where the year end no 1 is not the person who really deserves it, if it is a close race and the no 2 won the Olympics, for example.

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Post by TRuffin Mon 21 Dec 2015, 6:23 pm

Henman Bill wrote:This could in theory create a situation where the year end no 1 is not the person who really deserves it, if it is a close race and the no 2 won the Olympics, for example.

I can see it the other way though. The Olympics is not part of the normal ATP tour. It may be important to some players for various reasons, playing for their country, the glory you get from the citizens of your country, personal resume,etc.... but it's not actually part of their Professional tour. which some don't realize is a business pure and simple. Just like the Olympic basketball tournament doesn't get any credit from the NBA, baseball players don't get any MLB credit, etc, etc.

For the ATP- the race to #1 is a race created by the owners of the tour- the tournament owners. The ATP has a schedule of tournaments that count towards that prize, and the player who does the best or earns the most points playing any combination of those tournaments is #1. The Majors are an independent tournament folded into the ATP for obvious reasons as the whole sport is built around them.

I can see the argument that just because an -admittedly high profile- event pops up every few years that tennis players are invited to play- there is no reason why that should have an impact of the normal points awarded for the ATP tournments.

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 21 Dec 2015, 7:35 pm

Apparently the points have been withdrawn due to a disagreement between the ATP and ITF over financial compensation for tournaments affected by the Olympics.

Whilst Truffin's point is valid, I'm not sure it's actually a counter to HB's viewpoint. If two players are close for number 1, I would regard the winner of the Olympics as the true number 1 for the year. There's no more reason to take away ranking points for the Olympics than there is for the Davis Cup or one of the slams - all are ITF events. It's a move designed to put pressure on the ITF to cough up some cash.

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Post by temporary21 Mon 21 Dec 2015, 9:51 pm

With no atp points I can see a big number of guys missing this one and opting for rest or points elsewhere

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Post by TRuffin Mon 21 Dec 2015, 10:11 pm

Born Slippy wrote:Apparently the points have been withdrawn due to a disagreement between the ATP and ITF over financial compensation for tournaments affected by the Olympics.

Whilst Truffin's point is valid, I'm not sure it's actually a counter to HB's viewpoint. If two players are close for number 1, I would regard the winner of the Olympics as the true number 1 for the year. There's no more reason to take away ranking points for the Olympics than there is for the Davis Cup or one of the slams - all are ITF events. It's a move designed to put pressure on the ITF to cough up some cash.

The tour as a business is built around and sprung up from the Majors which is governed by the ITF- those are tournaments that the sport is based on and of great historical importance- it's hardly the same not giving points for a Major as for an Olympics that has no real history with tennis, wasn't even an Olympic sport for a long time, and until recently- the greats of the game barely cared about.

The Davis Cup has vast more historical importance for Tennis than the Olympics does as well though clearly it's diminished now compared to the past-- but it doesn't reward a ton of points anyway.

Olympics are nice, but I don't see how it really affects the tour race in the overall scheme of things.

If it came down to a close race of 1 or 2- I would look at the whole picture.. If #2 won the Olympics but #1 won more Majors, or more Masters and the WTF- I'd still give him the edge.

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Post by Born Slippy Tue 22 Dec 2015, 10:10 am

Of course one would look at the whole picture. My assumption, given that the players will be relatively close on points is that the rest of their achievements would be about on par. However, I would regard the Olympics as at least on a par with WTF (which I would argue holds little interest for many of the players). If both won 2 slams and the number 2 won the Olympics, it would need a clear gap in other events for me to regard the rankings as justified for the year.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 22 Dec 2015, 2:59 pm

To me it is a wise move. The clay court season is surely the most physically demanding due to the nature of the surface and how protruded the matches can become - not ideal when you are approaching your mid thirties. Federer has to prioritize sometime and I think his main aim is still winning slams or challenging strongly for them and this move will leave him fresh for Wimbledon. As for the rankings well his days of chasing the world No.1 slot is long gone so for me does it truly matter if he is ranked 2,3,4 or even 5? I doubt it.
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Post by bogbrush Wed 23 Dec 2015, 2:05 pm

Firstly, delighted to hear no ATP points for the Olympics. It is not a part of the sport, it's a part of the Olympics.

Second, excellent move for Federer and makes it more likely that we might see him for a few seasons yet. It's totally pointless him signing up to chase balls around endlessly against far younger guys.
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Post by lags72 Wed 23 Dec 2015, 11:41 pm

Tennis at the Olympics has been hyped a lot in recent years but I personally wouldn't care a jot if it was scrapped as part of 'The Games'. The sport of tennis already has its own well-established flagship events which represent the more meaningful benchmarks & measurements of supremacy and true status.

Sure, I was pleased when Andy M won his gold medal - but only in the sense that I like to see any British sports men & women do well. His main achievements, for me, will always be his Slam & Masters wins - and hopefully, the WTF too, once at least. Those are the events that deserve the big ranking points.

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Post by Born Slippy Thu 24 Dec 2015, 8:45 am

The issue is though that the players don't agree. Clearly, the WTF isn't that important to them - see some of the performances over the last couple of years (or indeed the regular drop-outs that used to occur before the ATP clamped down on that). In contrast, the top guys really want to win the Olympics.

I couldn't care if Murray never wins the WTF. It clearly isn't that important to him. Obviously, the focus this year is winning a slam but, if he doesn't do that, then the Olympic gold will be very much the next most important tournament. The rankings should rope fly represent that.

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Post by Guest Thu 24 Dec 2015, 9:02 am

Will the god forsaken IPTL add to a player's CV?

Federer and Murray have one Wink

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Post by Born Slippy Thu 24 Dec 2015, 9:44 am

Did Murray's team win this year? I don't think it's been mentioned on here but I think it was a good confidence builder for him to beat Fed - even in an exhibition.

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Post by Guest Thu 24 Dec 2015, 9:49 am

Apparently they have. The Slammers beat the Aces I think?

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Post by YvonneT Thu 24 Dec 2015, 1:48 pm

I'm a bit conflicted on the Olympics and it's position in tennis.

It has indeed not much of a history in the sport, and has not attracted the focus of the top players until now. However, going down that line, it's not that long ago since the Australian Open also didn't attract the top players but we don't discount it now because it is obviously as hotly contested as the other slams.

H M Murdock has previously brought up the convoluted qualification rules re participants from one country and Fed/Davis Cup participation, and that is indeed a drawback, though evidently some players will jump through these hoops to get to the Olympics (e.g. Sharapova has to be really keen on something to actually turn out at Fed Cup).

Without the ranking points, it will be interesting to see how some of the guys (and gals, if same applies to WTA) below the top tier treat the Olympics. Is there is incentive to play with no prize money, no points and likely no medal - perhaps just the lure of being part of it is enough, though maybe only once.

One thing that does put me off rating Olympics highly is that a gold medal at any event is treated the same and yet clearly the level of competition is not the same in mixed doubles (a 16 team practically invitation tournament with a match tie-break instead of deciding set) than singles, although admittedly the men's and women's doubles fields are usually very strong.

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Post by YvonneT Thu 24 Dec 2015, 1:55 pm

The one thing that does irk me about Federer's schedules, which is generally very clever and focussed on his strengths, is the Davis Cup. Not so much that he's not playing it, againly understandable and very sensible, but that he's not playing it after turning out for the play-off to keep Switzerland in the world group. I know some of that is due to the Olympic qualification rules, but to me, it is more countries being kept in the world group by players who then don't turn out that diminishes the competition than simply that the top players don't always play. Switzerland without Federer and Wawrinka just shouldn't be there. Of course, things change along the year, so Canada for example had a strong team last year then lost their top players due to injury - but to keep a country up with no intention of playing is a bit annoying (I'm fully aware it might happen with GB this year, if Murray only plays R1 - so would be quite happy for Japan & Nishikori to advance).

Also, is this site always really, really slow now or is it just me? (another also, Merry Christmas to all the tennis posters on here!)

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Post by bogbrush Fri 25 Dec 2015, 11:57 pm

Don't get me started on Davis a Cup. That's a complete irrelevance. Recent years have seen the top guys virtually hand it round as they get one and don't bother.

It was nice for Murray to join the club but just as with Federers last year, massively asterisked.
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Post by kingraf Sun 27 Dec 2015, 12:58 pm

TRuffin wrote:
Henman Bill wrote:This could in theory create a situation where the year end no 1 is not the person who really deserves it, if it is a close race and the no 2 won the Olympics, for example.
Just like the Olympic basketball tournament doesn't get any credit from the NBA, baseball players don't get any MLB credit, etc, etc.

Absolutely not the same thing.
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Post by coolpixel Sun 27 Dec 2015, 1:45 pm

Very good schedule for those of us who follow his game. Rankings and wins are frankly irrelevant at this stage Of his career. We get to see him on court for possibly a longer span of time and that's important.

The man still remains a sold-out-stadium player, possibly the only one in the current set of players and is fast becoming a statesman with the kind of presence that I do not recall anyone else having.

We want to see him for longer and any schedule that permits that, is good.

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Post by LuvSports! Mon 28 Dec 2015, 1:02 am

The only downside to this is that if Feds doesn't do that well over the rest of the field, he could drop out of top 4 during the clay stretch which would make it harder for him in tournaments.

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Post by TRuffin Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:28 pm

LuvSports! wrote:The only downside to this is that if Feds doesn't do that well over the rest of the field, he could drop out of top 4 during the clay stretch which would make it harder for him in tournaments.

Flexible though- he can always add in Rome or another tourney if he needs the points.

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Post by bogbrush Mon 04 Jan 2016, 2:06 pm

TRuffin wrote:
LuvSports! wrote:The only downside to this is that if Feds doesn't do that well over the rest of the field, he could drop out of top 4 during the clay stretch which would make it harder for him in tournaments.

Flexible though- he can always add in Rome or another tourney if he needs the points.
Not sure it really matters, it's only the same couple of players he really needs to worry about. Until there's any depth in the mens game a top player only benefits from #2 by staying out of the way of the one guy he figures he'd probably have to beat anyway.
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Post by TRuffin Mon 04 Jan 2016, 8:54 pm

Luthi Said in interview that fed will add a clay tourney.


"Anyone who thinks that Roger is travelling to Paris with no ambitions is mistaken," he said. "He will play another clay-court tournament, but which one is not known. Roger does not like to withdraw from tournaments because of the fans—to add one, however, is not a problem."


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