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Calibandar

Tennis Volume 6

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I share your sentiment.

I must have missed the part when the general public realised what assholes they were to other athletes. I remember our coxless pair  (great guys btw) being called retarded on the front page of some of our "newspaper" for their poor result in the heats, Ivana Maksimović-Andjušić getting all kind of crap thrown her way for not winning the medal, Velimir Stjepanović being treated like crap for not qualifying for the finals in his events etc.

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40 minutes ago, baxus said:

I share your sentiment.

I must have missed the part when the general public realised what assholes they were to other athletes. I remember our coxless pair  (great guys btw) being called retarded on the front page of some of our "newspaper" for their poor result in the heats, Ivana Maksimović-Andjušić getting all kind of crap thrown her way for not winning the medal, Velimir Stjepanović being treated like crap for not qualifying for the finals in his events etc.

LOL, well, we at least found it a bit more tasteless to attack others once His Majesty lost :) 

That said, beside having the same prize fund from Ministry of Sport, how we treat our Paralympians is truly disgraceful.

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2 hours ago, Risto said:

LOL, well, we at least found it a bit more tasteless to attack others once His Majesty lost :) 

As I said, I haven't noticed that at all. Other athletes were treated like crap for not living up to general public's expectations, as unrealistic as they were.

Anyway, there's no point in derailing this thread any further.

To get back on topic, I'd like to see Djokovic become the tennis player with the most Grand Slam titles. And I'll love to see him retire in a few years time.

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I'm guessing this is a general tennis thread.

Any canadian here? My country is about to take yo' racquets in Davis Cup today (Chile).

:D

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On 9/15/2016 at 2:30 PM, baxus said:

To get back on topic, I'd like to see Djokovic become the tennis player with the most Grand Slam titles. And I'll love to see him retire in a few years time.

Well, according to his father, people in 34 (ahem, ahem, Federer) should not be playing :) But, I am sure, we will have the changing of the tune when his boy will be in question.

IDK, regardless of the numbers and records, the style, elegance and easiness Federer plays proves that there can be no other king to what is considered a "gentlemen's sport".

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On 16/9/2016 at 3:03 PM, Risto said:

Well, according to his father, people in 34 (ahem, ahem, Federer) should not be playing :) But, I am sure, we will have the changing of the tune when his boy will be in question.

IDK, regardless of the numbers and records, the style, elegance and easiness Federer plays proves that there can be no other king to what is considered a "gentlemen's sport".

When you are fit to play and your style of play is not physically demanding (say, for example, my countryman Fernando Gonzalez) you can go past 30 with ease. I agree, Fed is on the limit here, and he's clearly modifying his game to win faster. Tommy Haas was top 20 with 34 years old; Ivo Karlovic has been up and down lately but at his 36 years old he has even won an ATP this year. Fabrice Santoro went on until 37 I think and won an ATP at 36 (Newport I believe). Ivo rely on his serve; Santoro's game wasn't physical (many still wonder what kind of sorcery was his style of play :P ); Tommy is an all around player but he finishes on the net alot. Fed can still go a year. He'll go on until he feels he can't keep up in competition against top 20s. So far, he still can.

Long live Roger.

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13 hours ago, King Merrett I Frey said:

When you are fit to play and your style of play is not physically demanding (say, for example, my countryman Fernando Gonzalez) you can go past 30 with ease. I agree, Fed is on the limit here, and he's clearly modifying his game to win faster. Tommy Haas was top 20 with 34 years old; Ivo Karlovic has been up and down lately but at his 36 years old he has even won an ATP this year. Fabrice Santoro went on until 37 I think and won an ATP at 36 (Newport I believe). Ivo rely on his serve; Santoro's game wasn't physical (many still wonder what kind of sorcery was his style of play :P ); Tommy is an all around player but he finishes on the net alot. Fed can still go a year. He'll go on until he feels he can't keep up in competition against top 20s. So far, he still can.

Long live Roger.

Federer should retire. He's achieved everything he can and he's just going to get progressively worse. There's no point in him continuing now that his body is starting to be more and more fragile as he gets older. Instead of ending his season he should've retired altogether, but of course he's going to try a comeback next year and then say "Fuck it, I'm too old for this bs."

Djokovic will probably follow him soon, I don't think he'll keep up this level for much longer and he's past his prime already.

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I was out last week so didn't have a chance to comment yet, but a couple of things surprised me at the US Open:

  • Nishikori beating Murray was a big one. That was a match in which two fit players went at it, hard and long, and I was very positively surprised to see Nishikori win that for once. I've seen him lose so many matches against Djokovic at Masters and Slams the last two years. Of course in the end he fell to Wawrinka but he played a very good tournament. As for Murray, he was fine until he lost to Kei. He would have been a very tough opponent for Stan or Djokovic as well.
  • Stan the Man performed a minor miracle here by playing so well, certainly nothing indicated this would happen. Beating Del Potro in the quarter finals was big. Beating Nishikori in the semi at least as big. Beating the Djoker is just fantastic work from him. I was watching that first set and thought "oh no, here we go". I had already seen Monfils cop out very easily to Djokovic in the semi in a quite embarrassing performance, and wanted Stan to do so much better. Still he got that first set to a tie break and it just seems his game has the right amount of agression and solidity to unsettle even the best defender in tennis. Because if Djokovic showed anyhthing, it's how well rounded he is, and how supremely athletic he is.
  • Nadal vs Pouille was a classic. What a superb match. Nadal actually continues to look really good but Pouille played out of his mind, evidenced by how devasted he was when he later had to play Monfils and didn't do shit.

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On 14-9-2016 at 8:23 AM, baxus said:

I don't think Federer or Nadal are going to win any more Grand Slams. To be honest, I would be very surprised to see Nadal in the Grand Slam finals again. At 35, Federer is getting old (by pro athlete's standards, of course), and with this injury he might take a while before getting back into shape. As far as Nadal is concerned, the thing everyone predicted would happen is happening right now - his style of play took its toll on his body and he just can't keep playing at the level he maintained for quite a long time.

Djokovic winning 6 more slams got more difficult after his losses at Wimbledon and US Open this year but it's still not impossible. It would be funny to see that record taken from Federer.

I wouldn't say either Nadal or Federer are unlikely to win another Slam at all.

Look, Djokovic has utterly dominated for years and years now. The last two especially. If he continued to be such a dominant force then I can see Nadal or Fed never win one again. If it's more the Djokovic of the last few months, a very good player who can actually be beaten through great effort, and that is a Djokovic I prefer, then I can see Nishikori, Stan, Del Potro, Murray, Federer or Nadal win some slams here and there.

I don't think Federer is past it yet, but maybe I am wrong, we need to wait and see. He's not as good as he once was, obviously, but maybe he doesn't need to be. Murray is a great player but he is beatable, by Federer especially, and by Nadal as well. Nadal is clearly much better in 2016 and he knows it.

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3 hours ago, Criston of House Shapper said:

Federer should retire. He's achieved everything he can and he's just going to get progressively worse. There's no point in him continuing now that his body is starting to be more and more fragile as he gets older. Instead of ending his season he should've retired altogether, but of course he's going to try a comeback next year and then say "Fuck it, I'm too old for this bs."

Djokovic will probably follow him soon, I don't think he'll keep up this level for much longer and he's past his prime already.

Federer has said he can still go on. As I said, he's modifying his style of play to this end.

The sure thing is in two years the rankings will suffer an earthquake. Many of the top 100 are nearly their 30's or over it.

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4 hours ago, Criston of House Shapper said:

Federer should retire. He's achieved everything he can and he's just going to get progressively worse. There's no point in him continuing now that his body is starting to be more and more fragile as he gets older. Instead of ending his season he should've retired altogether, but of course he's going to try a comeback next year and then say "Fuck it, I'm too old for this bs."

Djokovic will probably follow him soon, I don't think he'll keep up this level for much longer and he's past his prime already.

I do think Federer retiring now would be premature. Premature for a couple of reasons actually, one of them being that he still loves to play tennis at the highest level and is very obviously still capable of doing that. Another reason will be that he feels he has some unfinished business; I think if he felt in his body that he was breaking down or not able to keep up, he would grudgingly retire, but outside of Djokovic nobody is outplaying him even at age 34. Another point is that he has the sort of effortless highly skilled sort of game ( which so few players still have in this era) that will allow him to grow old on the court gracefully. I think winning slams will be hard for him because of the best of five element, but I can definitely see him win Masters tournaments still if his form is great. Finally I think he wants to continue because he himself feels he can still be the best or among the top 4 for two more seasons. 

As for Djokovic, I certainly do not think he is past his prime, and see him play for many years yet. He's 29 years old.

Let's look at the ages of the top players in the 2017 year:

Djokovic: 30

Murray: 30

Nadal: 31

Federer: 35

Wawrinka: 32 ( bit of a late bloomer isn't he)

Del Potro: 28

Nishikori: 27

Raonic: 26

Outside of Federer all of these top guys have a few years left, all depending on injury. 

If anything ushers in a new era it's the young range of top talents. Americans have high hopes for Fritz, Tiafoe, Opelka, Donaldson. Kuznetsov, Zverev, Kyrgios, just to name a few names.

Edited by Calibandar

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18 hours ago, Calibandar said:

I wouldn't say either Nadal or Federer are unlikely to win another Slam at all.

Look, Djokovic has utterly dominated for years and years now. The last two especially. If he continued to be such a dominant force then I can see Nadal or Fed never win one again. If it's more the Djokovic of the last few months, a very good player who can actually be beaten through great effort, and that is a Djokovic I prefer, then I can see Nishikori, Stan, Del Potro, Murray, Federer or Nadal win some slams here and there.

I don't think Federer is past it yet, but maybe I am wrong, we need to wait and see. He's not as good as he once was, obviously, but maybe he doesn't need to be. Murray is a great player but he is beatable, by Federer especially, and by Nadal as well. Nadal is clearly much better in 2016 and he knows it.

I stand by what I said on Federer and Nadal.

Nadal is almost spent physically, he can't get back into the rhythm for a couple of years now because of injuries. His last Grand Slam title is 2014 Roland Garros, and he hasn't really showed much outside of Grand Slams either.

Federer can still play, can still get some decent results but to see him win another slam would be a surprise, at his age and with other players rising their level.

The fact that Nishikori, Stan, Del Potro and Murray are on the tour now only makes it more difficult for Federer and Nadal to win another Slam, since there are now more than 3 athletes playing at a very high level. There is no more cruising to the semifinals (or even the final) for the "Big 3". Seeing Federer win 7 best-of-five sets matches in a fortnight at the age of 35 would make a great plot for a movie but it's not really likely. Even if he was as "lucky" as Djokovic was in this year's US Open to have a few opponents withdraw due to injuries, I'm not sure that would make that much difference if he faced Djokovic or Murray in the finals.

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22 hours ago, King Merrett I Frey said:

Federer has said he can still go on. As I said, he's modifying his style of play to this end.

The sure thing is in two years the rankings will suffer an earthquake. Many of the top 100 are nearly their 30's or over it.

I say I'm going to win 30 Grand Slam titles. Saying so doesn't make it true. He needed a break, which is why he took one, and I think it will be difficult to get into the right mindset again after half a year.

21 hours ago, Calibandar said:

I do think Federer retiring now would be premature. Premature for a couple of reasons actually, one of them being that he still loves to play tennis at the highest level and is very obviously still capable of doing that. Another reason will be that he feels he has some unfinished business; I think if he felt in his body that he was breaking down or not able to keep up, he would grudgingly retire, but outside of Djokovic nobody is outplaying him even at age 34. Another point is that he has the sort of effortless highly skilled sort of game ( which so few players still have in this era) that will allow him to grow old on the court gracefully. I think winning slams will be hard for him because of the best of five element, but I can definitely see him win Masters tournaments still if his form is great. Finally I think he wants to continue because he himself feels he can still be the best or among the top 4 for two more seasons. 

As for Djokovic, I certainly do not think he is past his prime, and see him play for many years yet. He's 29 years old.

Let's look at the ages of the top players in the 2017 year:

Djokovic: 30

Murray: 30

Nadal: 31

Federer: 35

Wawrinka: 32 ( bit of a late bloomer isn't he)

Del Potro: 28

Nishikori: 27

Raonic: 26

Outside of Federer all of these top guys have a few years left, all depending on injury. 

If anything ushers in a new era it's the young range of top talents. Americans have high hopes for Fritz, Tiafoe, Opelka, Donaldson. Kuznetsov, Zverev, Kyrgios, just to name a few names.

Federer is still pretty good, but rapidly declining, which means he won't be able to keep this up. He had a good run, but now he has to admit that it's over. He has no unfinished business whatsoever, he can look back at his career proudly and has achieved everything except an Olympic Gold Medal in the singles event. There is no way he will achieve that, so there's no reason to continue.

Djokovic peaked in the last couple of years but will now go the same trajectory Federer did some time ago, which means his dominance will slowly but surely be over. Arguably, the last few months have shown some weakness, and that will continue, ending his career in about 3-5 years.

You are right about the young talents, they will soon overpower the old guys and start a new era of tennis. I think we could see a domino effect, where the top players of nowadays will retire one after the other once the young ones start winning some slams.

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24 minutes ago, Criston of House Shapper said:

I say I'm going to win 30 Grand Slam titles. Saying so doesn't make it true. He needed a break, which is why he took one, and I think it will be difficult to get into the right mindset again after half a year.

 

I don't get your response here. Maybe you should go to my first post, in which I pose the idea of him modifying his playing to a more agressive stance to not burn his energy in the early rounds of tourneys. That's a clear indicator of the man pushing forward. 

I feel Fed is trying to prove himself he still can grasp another slam or major title. That's his motivation. He knows he isn't top notch as before but he still can take most of the top 100, which is pretty much awesome at his age. 

Any ways, I do think that 2017 is his last active professional year. 

 

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4 hours ago, King Merrett I Frey said:

I don't get your response here. Maybe you should go to my first post, in which I pose the idea of him modifying his playing to a more agressive stance to not burn his energy in the early rounds of tourneys. That's a clear indicator of the man pushing forward. 

I feel Fed is trying to prove himself he still can grasp another slam or major title. That's his motivation. He knows he isn't top notch as before but he still can take most of the top 100, which is pretty much awesome at his age. 

 

Yup. He thinks he still has a chance and I am not disagreeing with him.

Furthermore he loves playing the game so much and he sees that he is still competing at the highest level even if he isn't as good anymore as he was 10 years ago.

Barring injuries though, I think he will continue for at least two more years until the end of 2018, and quite possibly 3 more years until end of 2019.

5 hours ago, Criston of House Shapper said:

I say I'm going to win 30 Grand Slam titles. Saying so doesn't make it true. He needed a break, which is why he took one, and I think it will be difficult to get into the right mindset again after half a year.

Federer is still pretty good, but rapidly declining, which means he won't be able to keep this up. He had a good run, but now he has to admit that it's over. He has no unfinished business whatsoever, he can look back at his career proudly and has achieved everything except an Olympic Gold Medal in the singles event. There is no way he will achieve that, so there's no reason to continue.

Djokovic peaked in the last couple of years but will now go the same trajectory Federer did some time ago, which means his dominance will slowly but surely be over. Arguably, the last few months have shown some weakness, and that will continue, ending his career in about 3-5 years.

You are right about the young talents, they will soon overpower the old guys and start a new era of tennis. I think we could see a domino effect, where the top players of nowadays will retire one after the other once the young ones start winning some slams.

Federer has said he took the rest of the year of to recover and get his injured knee and any remaining back issues sorted, on the explicit advice of his doctors. Specifically they told him that if he ever hoped to play pain free again, he should now rest. To me that is someone who is out recovering from an injury, not someone who deliberately took a leave of absence because he needed a break from the game. That is not the case at all as far as we know.

I'm also not sure he is "rapidly declining". In the last 3 years he's made some modifications to his game that had professional commentators repeatedly say "Federer has never moved better". Now, the game has changed, and I don't believe that when he comes back he will be moving better than ever, personally. But I do think that outside of counterpunchers who get back every ball he hits, like Djokovic and even Murray, no one else presents an insurmountable hurdle for Fed even now.

But I will agree it's been quite a while since we've seen a super Federer. He did have a few such massive games in 2015, beating Djokovic in straight sets etc.

I'm not convinced Djokovic is starting a decline btw. 

Edited by Calibandar

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1 hour ago, Calibandar said:

I'm not convinced Djokovic is starting a decline btw. 

Well, this is just my personal opinion, maybe he will be stronger than ever next year, but I personally feel like his best days are done and we'll see whether that is the case. The only thing we know is he hasn't been playing particularly well lately, by his own standards.

What I meant in regards to Federer's break was that his body clearly couldn't keep up with the strain he put on it and that's why he took a break. This is a concern. Before this season I believed that Federer should keep playing as long as he is a) healthy and b ) in the Top Ten, but one of these conditions is no longer there. For someone who has been playing throughout his entire career without any longer injury breaks, it could be quite difficult for him to come back. We just don't know how he will recover from it, I could see anything from total disaster to total dominance for a few months followed by him flaming out. I tend to believe the former will happen, but either way leads to him retiring next year.

Once again, this is just my opinion, and maybe Federer will rise to number 1 again and take another 17 Grand Slams, who knows, I would be happy about that, but this is just how I believe things will turn out.

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So, disappointed that GB went out, but also really happy for Delpo. He's beaten Murray, Nadal, Stan and Novak now in the last 3 months. Wow. It's better to go out having played strongly against a superior side than to have let yourself down.

As for Federer, time will tell. I don't think he's going to suddenly drop off the fitness scale unless he's injured again. I think he could pull off another Grand Slam, particularly if he plays his best tennis. @Criston of House Shapper said ''there's no reason to continue'', but I think that's a severe misunderstanding of Federer's mentality. Sure, he's an extremely competitive player (obviously) and he will almost certainly find it hard to not be at the top any more, but I think he's made it abundantly clear in multiple interviews - as well as in his general attitude - that the love of the sport comes first. He is actively trying to extend his career as much as possible (lucky us), regardless of whether or not he wins. 

Novak's on the wane I feel, but that doesn't mean he won't still dominate at times. This latter half of the season has been tough for him, but he could very well have a very strong 2017 campaign despite that. Will be interesting to see who the slam winners in coming years are.

Nadal is in much the same boat as Federer I think, capable of stealing another slam or two - but it really depends on the conditions aligning a bit. He's still young enough of course - just look at Stan's career. If his wrist holds up and he gets some real practice at the top level in, who knows? 

As it is though, Murray and Novak have got to be the favourites for most upcoming slams in 2017. They're the only two playing consistently atm. But I really hope Nadal and Fed get another one or two each.

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I have an impression that Federer hopes to make a Sampras style exit, which means grabbing just one more major title (preferably at Wimbledon I guess) and then retiring immediately after. I would very much like to see that happen. He deserves to go on a very high note.

As for Djoko, I believe he is going to find himself under the consantly rising pressure next year. Delpo's comeback, Stan's great performance in the most important matches, Murray's stability, new talents' possible appearance, it will all weight on him. It doesn't mean he won't grab another few Grand Slam titles of course. But I don't think he will be as dominant as in the past few years.

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14 hours ago, Criston of House Shapper said:

 

What I meant in regards to Federer's break was that his body clearly couldn't keep up with the strain he put on it and that's why he took a break. This is a concern. Before this season I believed that Federer should keep playing as long as he is a) healthy and b ) in the Top Ten, but one of these conditions is no longer there. For someone who has been playing throughout his entire career without any longer injury breaks, it could be quite difficult for him to come back. We just don't know how he will recover from it, I could see anything from total disaster to total dominance for a few months followed by him flaming out. I tend to believe the former will happen, but either way leads to him retiring next year.

 

It is a concern, certainly, for him as well.

If he gets back to normal fitness though, which is the plan, I would expect him to still be top 4 next season.

Mostly I don't really care whether he wins another slam or not, and I certainly don't expect him to lead the field and become no.1 

What I do care about is seeing some fantastic games from him next year.

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52 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

It is a concern, certainly, for him as well.

If he gets back to normal fitness though, which is the plan, I would expect him to still be top 4 next season.

Mostly I don't really care whether he wins another slam or not, and I certainly don't expect him to lead the field and become no.1 

What I do care about is seeing some fantastic games from him next year.

He should definitely have some fantastic matches left in him.

The worst part of Federer and Nadal's massive drop in form is that we don't have as many of those absolutely magnificent matches as we did from the "Big 3" a few years ago. Murray and Wawrinka, though they do win trophies, just don't make up for that.

Edited by baxus

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