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Roger Federer to Retire - Official

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 15 Sep 2022, 2:26 pm

Roger Federer has announced that the Laver Cup in London next week will be his last ATP event.

So this is finally the end for the great Swiss superstar. Has he been, and will he remain, the best-loved player of all time?

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 15 Sep 2022, 2:38 pm

For me he's the greatest player the sport has ever seen, the way he played was brilliant to watch and that is just as important as having the records. I think it was the Wimbledon semi final in 2003 that I first stood up and took notice of the talent, he dismantled Roddick that day without breaking sweat and there's the latter years renaissance winning three more slam titles.

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 15 Sep 2022, 2:49 pm

“The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour.”

Sounds like he's open to exhibitions, senior tours etc.

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 15 Sep 2022, 2:52 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:I think it was the Wimbledon semi final in 2003 that I first stood up and took notice of the talent, he dismantled Roddick that day without breaking sweat .

Funny I often remember that match. I literally thought of it this week.

There is one shot that stays with me where he had to come into the net and hit from close to the net quite low and managed to hit a topspin winner.

Before the match the two players were about equal in stature and you might have expected it to be closer. Federer had not only never won a slam, he hadn't even been close that often.

At the end of 2003 Federer was still in a close battle with Roddick and Ferrero for no 1 but in the Wimbledon semi final of 2003 he actually showed us an early look of the 2004-2007 Federer. There was also such a performance against Pete Sampras in 2001 where he showed his future potential. He just wasn't ready to do it consistently until 2004. It was the Australian Open 2004 when he really became the best player at that time.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Thu 15 Sep 2022, 2:58 pm

Whether he's the greatest, is a matter of opinion and one I don't really care about.
He's been one of the 3 most outstanding players the game has ever seen.
And IMO, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are basically intertwined together.
To judge one, you must consider them all as one.
It's a sad day for the sport.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 15 Sep 2022, 3:01 pm

Many will recall an American sports-page article entitled Roger Federer as Religious Experience.

And I think it's not too blasphemous or overbearing to suggest that, for some, Rog was god-like. You can imagine, say, an unhappy, fairly-friendless person revering him.

For them, there was this wonderful player showcasing the most glorious talent, winning nearly all the time (think 2004-07) and doing it all sportingly, effortlessly and, seemingly, endlessly.

Then along comes Rafa - snarling, sweaty, intense - and able to beat the unbeatable. The rivalry would only add to the legend - the defeats (Wimbledon 08, Melbourne 09) almost as memorable as the great victories.

Chuck Djoko, and to an extent Murray, into the mix and you had a trio or quartet for the ages - each pushing the other to great heights.

We are all lucky to have lived thru this era. Alas, all good things come to an end.


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Post by Henman Bill Thu 15 Sep 2022, 3:02 pm

Best Federer matches

2001 Sampras Wimbledon about R4 I think
2003 Wimbledon Roddick SF
2004 US Open vs Agassi F
2006 or 2005 Rome F against Rafa (lost)
About 2007 or so Roddick Australian Open
2008 Wimbledon F vs Rafa (lost)
2009 Australian Open F vs Rafa (lost)
2009 French Open SF vs Del Potro
2009 US Open SF vs Djokovic - hot dog winner and won in straight sets
About 2009/2010 beating Rafa at the world tour finals in group stage with a 6-0 set
2011 French Semi final vs Djokovic
2012 Wimbledon final vs Murray
2017 Australian Open final vs Rafa

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Post by Atila Thu 15 Sep 2022, 3:11 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:For me he's the greatest player the sport has ever seen, the way he played was brilliant to watch and that is just as important as having the records. I think it was the Wimbledon semi final in 2003 that I first stood up and took notice of the talent, he dismantled Roddick that day without breaking sweat and there's the latter years renaissance winning three more slam titles.
Good post Soul. It describes the way I feel about Federer. He won't have the records, but he won enough and his style of play makes him the greatest for me.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 15 Sep 2022, 3:12 pm

I'd chuck in his semi final win over Murray at Wimbledon 2015, not his greatest all round performance but gave up just a single break point to one of the finest returners ever.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 15 Sep 2022, 3:13 pm

HB
Lucky enough to see the famous Sampras match in 01 and also the O2 6-0 demolition.

You could, arguably, chuck in the 2019 semi at Wimbledon against Rafa. To think one decent serve at MP in the final would have given Rog the icing on the cake - beating Rafa and Novak in succession.

Interesting - and I go along with the choices - to see some defeats among the most memorable encounters. It's not always the victories that define a player. (McEnroe says some people still think he won the famous tiebreak final against Borg at Wimbledon in 1980)

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Post by No name Bertie Thu 15 Sep 2022, 3:39 pm

Roger Federer arrival and rise to dominance seemed to have occurred during a period when serve and volley was on the decline and baselining was on the rise.  I remember people calling Federer a baseliner but I think he was much more than that.  

Then arose Nadal and the Federer - Nadal rivalry.  It looked like 2009 was going to be a pivotal year, a changing of the guard, but Nadal began to suffer physical or mechanical issues with his body.  

Then arose Djokovic and Murray and this heralded the big four era.   2016 was a pivotal year which essentially saw Djokovic going AWOL (elbow  + ...) and Murray (hip) after stunning first half of the year performances from both of them.  

Then we had the 2017 resurgence of Nadal and Federer and later the return of Djokovic. With Murray's hip operation it became the big three era and that big three era was backdated to exclude the importance of the Scotsman.

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Post by dummy_half Thu 15 Sep 2022, 4:41 pm

It's obviously been coming for a little while, but this is now officially the end of the era of the big 3.

Objectively, you can make a case for Djokovic and Nadal being 'better', but Roger achieved what he did with so much style that there is merit in the argument that subjectively he's the greatest. If he'd had a slightly better record at winning tight matches there'd be no argument - lost from Championship point v Novak at 2019 Wimbledon and match point in both 2010 and 2011 USO semi finals to Novak and 2005 AO to Safin, so could easily have won 3 or 4 more slams plus knocked a couple off Novak's tally.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 15 Sep 2022, 4:54 pm

sirfredperry wrote:You can imagine, say, an unhappy, fairly-friendless person revering him.

Nice way to have a go at a few Fed fans! Laugh

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 15 Sep 2022, 4:59 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:You can imagine, say, an unhappy, fairly-friendless person revering him.

Nice way to have a go at a few Fed fans! Laugh

Whoops. Certainly didn't intend to be offensive.

Moving on, it was not so much what he achieved as the way he played. If you can get on to Twitter and search for @jon_wertheim, this guy Wertheim has posted a tribute to Rog that's heartfelt and a really good read.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Thu 15 Sep 2022, 6:13 pm

Federer was always the most majestic to watch - the player who most often made you go "How did he do that?!" Or perhaps more accurately "How did he think of doing that?!"

The fact that he kept beating Agassi, Henman and Murray was always a bit annoying, though.

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 15 Sep 2022, 6:27 pm

sirfredperry wrote:HB
Lucky enough to see the famous Sampras match in 01 and also the O2 6-0 demolition.


I was there for the O2 one as well. It was spectacular. Just kept thinking his level has to drop at some point and it never did - I think it was 59 minutes. Pretty amazing performance.

I saw Federer play about 6 or 10 times. Around 5 times at the WTF where he tended to win and once at the French Open where he lost in the semi final and a couple at Indian Wells SF and was also there for the doubles.

Don't think I saw him play at Wimbledon. I got a ticket for centre court in 2005 and I got Roddick and Hewitt and Federer was on court one. After that I tended to go outside courts if I went at all.

I got tickets for the WTF final one year and he beat Tsonga. He was still the best player indoor in the years when I was going, it was only later on that Novak started to do well there.

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 15 Sep 2022, 6:31 pm

Will be interesting to see the black market ticket prices for his last match! I bet any tickets left for the tournament were sold out shortly after the announcement.

For the O2 match with the 6-0 set, what I did is wait until the announcement of matches for the previous day or session from which you could probably guess that Federer - Nadal would be in a certain session (although it wasn't known for an absolute fact) and then quickly buy. I think there was a window of minutes only to be able to buy tickets for an almost guaranteed Federer - Nadal match.

Not sure if you did that as well or if you bought it weeks in advance and it was just luck of the draw.

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Post by Henman Bill Thu 15 Sep 2022, 7:55 pm

Final head to heads

Federer 23 - 27 Djokovic
Federer 16 - 24 Nadal
Federer 14 - 11 Murray

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Post by lags72 Thu 15 Sep 2022, 10:42 pm

I had been harbouring (faint) hopes that we might see Roger on court one last time at the Aussie Open, then at Wimbledon, and maybe a limited selection of other events in between. Sadly it is not to be, and this decision is clearly the right one. Nobody - least of all the man himself - would have enjoyed a series of potential R1 exits as a prelude to retirement.

Statistics, records, and results are obviously the conventional measures by which we assess sporting achievement - but statistics are quite different from emotions. And what I will remember most of all about Roger Federer is the emotion he generated in me : in simple terms, he provided the best, the most thrilling, of my tennis memories and I find it hard to imagine that any other player will truly compensate for the loss.

Farewell Roger : you are the most talented, most skilful, and most exciting player I ever saw. Thanks for so many good times. Enjoy your retirement !

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 16 Sep 2022, 7:07 am

lags - Lovely tribute.

We must add Federer's name to the list of those who transcended their sport. You didn't have to follow tennis to be acquainted with Roger. He was front-page news as well as back-page news.

Even those with no interest in any sport knew who he was. How many have fallen into this category over the years? Certainly Ali and some of the great heavyweights, Pele, Bobby Charlton, Maradona, Ian Botham, Don Bradman, Babe Ruth. No doubt there are some legends I've missed out.

Roger has, at least, hinted that we can expect to see him on the exhibition/senior circuit. It's not inconceivable that there will be more Rog-Rafa matches to enjoy.




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Post by sirfredperry Fri 16 Sep 2022, 7:30 am

Interesting that Federer has said that his most important point was his winner at BP down against Tommy Haas at the French in 2009.

I was totally tied up at work and unable to check the scores until logging on to find, to my horror, that our boy was two sets down and 3-4, 30-40.

Rog was under enormous pressure. Soderling had shocked everyone by beating Rafa, paving the way for Federer to finally take the French crown.

You sensed that it was now or never for the Swiss. But here he was on the brink of defeat. A smooth-as-you-like inside-out forehand saved that BP v Haas and even though there was a long way to go you sensed Rog would come thru.

Ah, the agonies you go through for sport - a pastime that is trivial and, in the scheme of things, unimportant but one to which we give our hearts and souls.

Millions gave those hearts and souls to Federer. They shared his triumphs, felt his defeats sharply and lived every point with him.

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Post by alfie Fri 16 Sep 2022, 7:46 am

Sad to see his great career come to an end - but even Roger had to bow to the ravages of time eventually I suppose...would have been nice to have had a farewell Wimbledon but alas not to be.

His raw figures may have ended a little shy of Rafa's and Djokovic's - and those two are unquestionably giants of the game anyway ; but for me Federer was the best of them. Subjective , yes so no quarrel with anyone who disagrees.

Tennis will miss him.

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 16 Sep 2022, 11:35 am

sirfredperry wrote:..... We must add Federer's name to the list of those who transcended their sport....
Since its inception in 2000, Roger Federer has won five and tennis players have won eleven (Fed x 5; Nadal x 2; Dojo x 4) of the Sportsman of the Year awards dished out by "Laureaus".  I don't know if this Laureaus award is important but Roger Federer has won the most - and eleven were either awarded to him or those that achieved success in competing against him.  So effectively eleven of these awards had a direct or moderately direct link to him.

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Post by naxroy Fri 16 Sep 2022, 12:21 pm

Thank you Roger, you gave us all so much joy. Greatest tennis player ever.

I, as a Nadal fan, can only say you will always be number one.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 16 Sep 2022, 12:36 pm

Well worth scouring the Press and Google News to read the tributes to Rog's sparkling career.

There are some excellent, and heartfelt, pieces available. Some may disagree on the question of just who is the GOAT but all concur that Federer played the game with flair, grace and ballet-like footwork.

Often in sport, the most graceful, the most gifted, the most talented do not necessarily reach the top. You have to chuck dedication, fitness and sheer bloody-minded determination into the mix to get a great champion.

All these attributes seemed to come together for Federer. But it didn't happen all at once. Rog was not winning Slams as a teenager or becoming number one before he was 20 - as Alcaraz has.

Initially people were telling him he was playing beautiful tennis. But they were also asking him, successively, why are you not winning tournaments/in the top 10/winning Slams/getting to number one?

By Jan 2004 all these targets had been reached and the floodgates opened. To add to the excitement, along came, first, Rafa, then Novak to push Roger, themselves and the sport to new heights.

It's all over, now. But it's been a hell of a ride.

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri 16 Sep 2022, 12:51 pm

A hell of a lot of tennis fans will be looking for a new favourite player now, that's for sure. Hell, a lot of sports fans will be looking for a new favourite overall sportsperson, come to think of it.

I'm very nostalgic for that roughly eighteen month spell from the Summer of 2003 to the end of 2004. Good, fun times in life where I had loads of time to watch sport and when Federer's immense promise started to finally blossom and transform into dominance of the tour. When it came to that free-swinging version of Federer with his baggy shirts and long hair, I was a proper fanboy at the time. Obviously his dominance carried on for three years beyond that, but in those early days you knew you really were watching something special and so wonderfully different to most other players, even though I was a kid myself.

As I said in another thread not too long ago, he did transcend the sport in a way almost nobody else has, and his name did become synonymous with brilliance, dominance and glory in a way that Nadal's or Djokovic's never quite have. Sure, Federer had the complexion for the election as they say, and a lot of incidentals going for him which lent themselves well to him becoming a marketable global superstar - but that didn't win him all those titles year after year. Boy oh boy did he back it up on the court.

I'm very selective when using terms like 'legend', 'end of an era' and so on, but in this case they seem almost insufficient. We're not guaranteed to see Federer's like again, which is a sobering thought.

Astonishing sporting icon. I'm sure he'll enjoy his retirement.


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Post by sirfredperry Fri 16 Sep 2022, 1:29 pm

Very nice piece by 88Chris05 above.

Am still wading thru all the media tributes. This is a particularly good one from Sports Illustrated.

https://www.si.com/tennis/2022/09/15/roger-federer-retirement-2022-wertheim

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Post by lags72 Fri 16 Sep 2022, 1:30 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Well worth scouring the Press and Google News to read the tributes to Rog's sparkling career.

………………...



Indeed : a veritable flood of tributes continues  (including those from true sporting superstars in their own right, such as Lionel Messi). It is noteworthy that the language and tone seem quite different from what we are accustomed to hearing in the wake of past retirements of athletes.

So the chapter of Federer-related tennis statistics will see no further additions ; but these ongoing tributes surely reflect the fact that - for so many of his admirers around the world - Federer created feelings of joy and respect that will forever transcend anything to be found in the record books.


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Post by MrInvisible Fri 16 Sep 2022, 1:43 pm

No offence to her majesty but I'm in mourning on Federer's retirement more than anything else right now! Too many highlights to choose from but mine probably would be...

His first slam win, Wimbledon 2003, when he serve and volleyed behind both first and second serve to win the title.
The time he bageled Hewitt in a slam final - think it was in 2004?
The spectacular comeback to the tour winning Aus Open 2017 after being away with injury.

And for me, seeing him live twice - once at beginning of his career in a minor European indoor tournament, before I'd even heard of him and another time at World Tour Finals in London. I count myself very lucky to have had those opportunities to witness a genius at work.

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Post by lags72 Fri 16 Sep 2022, 2:08 pm

@ Mr Invisible : there really are SO many memorable episodes that it’s hard to narrow them down !

One of the most epic is perhaps the 2011 Roland Garros SF v Djokovic ; the match which finally interrupted Djoko’s seemingly interminable run of victories. Fast foward to 13:00 for the closing points and some very distinctive commentary (“Look at that !”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yil9PpIr1DA

Another classic (for me) is actually not against any of the ‘giant’ names : his encounter with Juan Monaco, USO 2011, also a SF match, was the epitome of free-flowing, controlled easy power …… and overall near-perfect hardcourt tennis.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 16 Sep 2022, 10:16 pm

lags72 wrote:@ Mr Invisible : there really are SO many memorable episodes that it’s hard to narrow them down !

One of the most epic is perhaps the 2011 Roland Garros SF v Djokovic ; the match which finally interrupted Djoko’s seemingly interminable run of victories. Fast foward to 13:00 for the closing points and some very distinctive commentary (“Look at that !”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yil9PpIr1DA


Go to 13.35 to see the commentator betraying his allegiances by just shouting "yes" when Federer hits a winner (at about 13.40, but go to 13.35 to see point develop).

I had this feeling a few times in his career that commentators leaned pro Federer and you could sort of tell.

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Post by JuliusHMarx Fri 16 Sep 2022, 11:19 pm

Worth considering why they were pro Federer.

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri 16 Sep 2022, 11:26 pm

Don't think it's been mentioned here, but one Federer moment which always sticks in my mind was the way he mugged Murray of the second set in the 2012 Wimbledon final, seemingly out of nowhere.

Federer had obviously lost the first set and was struggling in the second, facing break points and struggling to contain Murray. Then from 5-6, 0-30 down he strung together four incredible points of power, guile and deftness to break for the first time and steal the set against the run of play. In the space of a couple of minutes or so he managed to swing the whole momentum of the match in his favour, and he never looked like losing it from that moment on.

Just one of those little bursts of magic he was capable of, with every point being so different. The full range of his greatness, done at such a vital moment. Poor Murray didn't know what had hit him.
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Post by Henman Bill Fri 16 Sep 2022, 11:39 pm

That was the day Federer won the head to head with Murray - up until that point Murray had usually led the head to head, but that day Federer went 3-0 up in slam finals and it was their last slam final I think.

To be fair Murray absolutely destroyed Federer not that much later in the Olympics final on the same court. One of his best ever performances.

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 16 Sep 2022, 11:41 pm

Have been watching some highlights and Federer hit some amazing flat hard backhands in 2003-2006, many down the line. He wasn´t going for them as much when I started watching him more regularly (2008-2009) and he tended to slice it. Maybe his backhand got more consistent later on (?) but there were some crackers in early years. Just watched back when he beat Blake and some amazing shots.

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Post by lags72 Sat 17 Sep 2022, 12:19 pm

Henman Bill wrote:…………… Maybe his backhand got more consistent later on (?) but there were some crackers in early years. Just watched back when he beat Blake and some amazing shots.


Oh the backhand definitely became more reliable over time, no doubt at all about that.

Federer himself had always been very aware that his b/h needed some work, and (once he felt happy with the level of improvement achieved) would later openly discuss the issue. I distinctly recall him joking - but with the aim of making a serious point - about how much gratitude he owed to all the players whose strategy had been to constantly target his b/h as a weak point. His line of thought was that by being ‘forced’ into using the b/h rather more than he wanted, it inevitably made it stronger, and far more resilient,  through the years.

In his ‘comeback’ season of 2017, Fed’s b/h stood up well, beginning with the memorable AO Final 5 setter classic in which he triumphed over Rafa, after impressively taking all of the last five games in the decider. He would go on to beat Rafa in each of their encounters that year (making four victories in a row) and the Federer b/h - together with his new, bigger racquet - played a significant part in those successes.

PS have just re-read this thread’s opening post by sfp …… and am taking the opportunity to answer the core question : YES ….. Federer has been, and will remain, “the best-loved player of all time”.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 17 Sep 2022, 4:38 pm

Plenty of "amazing shot compilations" on sites such as YouTube.

Naturally, the cut/slice/smash off Roddick's own smash regularly features, with a rueful Roddick playfully throwing his racquet at Rog. (Just how many Slams would Roddick have won if it had not been for Federer? couple of Wimbledons at least, one reckons).

No doubt fans will also single out the astonishing running-backwards BH lob to win the point against Agassi.

Tickets, by the way, have reached ridiculous multi-thousand pound levels for the Laver Cup since the retirement announcement. Reckon any lucky tourist can get the chance to say goodbye to the Queen and to Rog as well.

Laver would probably have been coming anyway but you feel that he'll definitely be there now, health-permitting. (Court mourning will probably prohibit the new Princess of Wales from attending, though)

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Post by lags72 Sat 17 Sep 2022, 5:24 pm

The opening words of Nadal’s heartfelt tribute were requoted in an excellent piece yesterday by Oliver Brown, Chief Sports Writer, Daily Telegraph :

I wish this day would never have come”, Nadal said. “It’s a sad day for me personally, and for sports around the world.

The article goes on ……..

They will be poignantly reunited at next week’s Laver Cup, the competition that Federer helped create in his idol’s honour.

But this is one occasion that will, quite rightly, be redrawn as a Federer tribute show. He might take his leave behind Nadal and Djokovic in the slam stakes, but nobody has implanted themselves more indelibly in the public consciousness. In less cultivated hands, tennis can be a game of attrition. Federer made it one of wonder. His is a contribution that extends far outside the tramlines he graced. For he was, quite simply, sport’s ultimate sophisticate”

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 18 Sep 2022, 7:49 am

Oliver Brown's words echoed those of a number of, often cynical, sports writers.

Some realised they were being gushing, but carried on anyway, as they felt the sentiments they were expressing were fitting.

One or two writers really hit the nail on the head by saying that Federer did not so much as play, as PERFORM. Others mentioned just how good a Federer display felt to spectators.

As such, scribes and fans alike have reckoned that the style and grace of the player and those feel-good emotions experienced by those following him and the sport in general, set Federer apart from "normal" champions.

For once, the epithet "we won't see his like again" his apt.

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Post by lags72 Sun 18 Sep 2022, 10:40 am

So many column inches across global media on the retirement ……….though hardly surprising I guess.

Another good tennis writer through the years is Greg Baum. This piece appeared in Sydney Morning Herald (amongst other papers) and is accessible as a freebie rather than requiring the usual payment :

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/federer-the-best-of-the-best-takes-his-rest-20220916-p5biog.html

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 18 Sep 2022, 12:03 pm

lags72 wrote:So many column inches across global media on the retirement ……….

Roger Federer provided employment for many a sports journalist / reporter and filled up the sports sections for newspaper editors and media stations.  They should be grateful or are just taking an opportunity to make hay while the sun shines before the sunset.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 18 Sep 2022, 12:56 pm

To be fair the news was inevitable considering Roger's knee condition and his age.

Roger's career has been staggering in many ways. Staggering success in slams, longevity, domination at Wimbledon and much repeated success at the Australian Open and US Open. An incredible win % over his career, an incredible amount of ATP match wins which is only bettered by Jimmy Connors. Up until a couple of years or so ago it looked odds on he'd end up retiring with the most slam wins total that would go unbeaten and much of the tennis world will earmark him as aesthetically the greatest player of all-time.

Roger can retire with his head held very high. What a career.
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Post by theslosty Wed 21 Sep 2022, 9:52 pm

Just an absolute genius in every sense of the word. He's the reason I took to playing and watching the game as a youngster.

Really he's effectively been retired for nearly three years now but it's still sad to hear that his brilliant career is finally over. It's a shame because I always thought he would get more of a swansong maybe playing a final tournament on Wimbledon or Basel perhaps. But it sounds like his knees have given up on him and given him little choice.

For me I won't remember him by how many titles or slams he won but the number of times he took my breath away with so many moments of brilliance. Often I found myself incredulous at how he even thought of playing certain shots, never mind executing them and surely that is the sign of true genius. I've never tired of watching him, everything was so smooth and he must have the most aesthetic game of any player in history. My favourite shot in particular was his 'liquid whip' forehand which he dominated with with his 90sq in Wilson racket in the 2000s. He may have picked up a couple more slams if he'd switched to the bigger racket earlier as it definitely made his backhand more solid but in his prime I found his game even more spectacular with the smaller racket. Even his infamous backhand shanks were a bit akin to a finely tuned Swiss watch whereby if just one small component was slightly misplaced the entire thing would completely explode.

It sounds so strange to say but there was a lot of heartbreak for such a successful player. I didn't really start watching tennis until 2008 and that Wimbledon final against Nadal so I missed the previous years when he was at his most athletic and made for an awesome blend of speed elegance and power. Some of those rough losses against Nadal were avenged in the twilight years of his career but the 2019 Wimbledon final defeat to Djokovic remains sore. Obviously the manner of the defeat having had match points and probably being the better player for most of the contest but also to conquer Nadal and Novak back to back would have been a fitting way to crown off a 20 year career.

He's eventually lost out in the slam count and objectively his case as the GOAT is a bit weaker than it was a few years ago. But it will remain subjective for many and for me I just think he is the greatest fast court player of all time, Nadal obviously the greatest ever on clay and Novak probably the best all-rounder. If in an alternate universe we could have seen 2000s Fed vs 2010s Djokovic I reckon those matches would have been pretty incredible.

He's not just one of the greatest tennis players of all time but one of the greatest athletes of all time. As has been said above, we won't see his like again.
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Post by Henman Bill Thu 22 Sep 2022, 1:50 am

So Roger has requested to play only doubles on Friday, no singles. Won´t be involved on Saturday or Sunday. Not sure if he will stick around Saturday or Sunday or get more of a send off on Friday.

I read that this means his last singles match was against Hurkacz against Wimbledon in the QF last year.


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Post by sirfredperry Thu 22 Sep 2022, 7:36 am

Yes, it looks like Rog's ageing body was not up to even one last singles hurrah in London.

Some nice words by thelosty above. For once the superlatives often trotted out by many about such and such a sportsman are apt.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 23 Sep 2022, 2:17 pm

Congrats to Federer on an unbelievable career. For me his stand out achievements

20 slams (goes without saying how good that is)
His consecutive weeks at world number one were remarkable
8 wimbledon titles
Great performer across the slams and at tour finals indoors
Phenomenal natural ability and one of the great serves in the game
Winning wimbledon and us open 5 times in a row very impressive
His epic matches with Nadal and Djokovic provided great memories

For me what makes him fall just shy of Djokovic and Nadal in greatness

Only winning the one French open and doing so getting an easier route that year avoiding his main rivals
Never defeating Nadal at the French despite so many attempts (Nadal beat him in Wimbledon and on hard court slams)
In probably the 4 best grand slam finals i recall him playing in, 2008 wimbledon, Oz 2009, Wimbledon 2014 and wimbledon 2019, he lost all those matches
Losing to Djokovic in all 3 wimbledon finals he played him in on his best surface
The really odd one that I cant understand is he won 5 US opens in a row up to 2009 and then never won it again, such a strange one that. Reminds me of Nadal being so good at Wimbledon from 2006-2011 and then never won it again.
I do also think the level of competition was lower between 2003-2007 but he could only beat what was in front of him at the time

Overall he has been phenomenal for the game of tennis and his achievements are remarkable. He will be hugely missed and I think the big 3 we are unlikely to see the likes of again.

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Post by Henman Bill Sat 24 Sep 2022, 1:57 am

In the end, there is so little in it, but it looks like Federer was the third best of his generation, which is curious statement for someone who was anointed as GOAT after his 14th and 15th slam, and then went down the pecking order after getting to 20!

Federer would probably have had a superior career to Nadal had he only converted perhaps two of his defeats into wins. You would ideally be looking for
A a win at the FO in 2006 or 2007 for the calendar year grand slam
and
B either Wimbledon 08 or Australia 09 as those were the two classic 5-set matches in the middle of the rivalry

And Federer might have had the superior career to Djokovic had he just converted all the match points he had, maybe even just converting match points on his own serve!

It´s even possible that who comes out top statistically could just be down to chance. Perhaps in Federer´s first match point loss against Djokovic in 2010 someone in the crowd shouted out, or there was a gust of wind, and without that Federer would have won and from there not been so tense in the match points in the other matches, and won them as well.

Somewhat fanciful that I think though.

More likely, Djokovic was the mentally stronger player, after all I also recall him saving four match points against Tsonga and winning and showing some absolute steel to win matches like the 2012 Australian Open, where he also beat Murray 7-5 in the fifth in the semi final with a ballsy down the line winner. At the end of the day, Novak played four slam matches against Federer that went the full distance to the deciding 5th set (I think 2 US semis and 2 W finals) and won all of them, I think they were all 6-4 or 7-5 so it was about mental strength at the end. If we exclude what happened after matches 4-4 in the 5th, then Federer may be slightly ahead.

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Post by Henman Bill Sat 24 Sep 2022, 2:25 am

This is not going to be an original thought, but there is another more persuasive argument that whoever is the statistical GOAT (or greatest of the era) could just come down to chance.

Imagine if there had been 2 clay slams. Rafa might have about 10 more slams than anyone else.

Now imagine that clay had never been used as a surface for tennis, and the French Open had been a fast indoor tournament. Federer might have about 8 slams more than anyone else.

Other things like size and type of balls or rackets, or even if you imagine a slightly higher or lower net or size of the court, could have made enough of a difference.

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Post by theslosty Sat 24 Sep 2022, 9:04 am

Henman Bill wrote:This is not going to be an original thought, but there is another more persuasive argument that whoever is the statistical GOAT (or greatest of the era) could just come down to chance.

Imagine if there had been 2 clay slams. Rafa might have about 10 more slams than anyone else.

Now imagine that clay had never been used as a surface for tennis, and the French Open had been a fast indoor tournament. Federer might have about 8 slams more than anyone else.

Other things like size and type of balls or rackets, or even if you imagine a slightly higher or lower net or size of the court, could have made enough of a difference.

Agree with this which is why I'm content to name each of the 3 as GOATs on their own respective preferred surfaces. Even if these 3 just played 10-15 years earlier when courts were quicker Federer may have ended up with a few more slams over the other two.

The counter-argument to that is that great players can and will adapt their game to whatever the tour demands of them. I think that's true to an extent and Nadal and Novak would be able to modify their technique and tactics but fundamentally Federer, especially with his serve, would still be best placed to dominate on a faster tour.
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Post by JuliusHMarx Sat 24 Sep 2022, 11:25 am

Henman Bill wrote:This is not going to be an original thought, but there is another more persuasive argument that whoever is the statistical GOAT (or greatest of the era) could just come down to chance.

Imagine if there had been 2 clay slams. Rafa might have about 10 more slams than anyone else.

Now imagine that clay had never been used as a surface for tennis, and the French Open had been a fast indoor tournament. Federer might have about 8 slams more than anyone else.

Other things like size and type of balls or rackets, or even if you imagine a slightly higher or lower net or size of the court, could have made enough of a difference.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can...

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