The Roar
The Roar

Hugh Clarke

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Joined December 2014

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"When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you' re great at something, they'll tell you."

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This is a bit rough for one of the greatest players and best ambassadors in his own right, David. There are countless matches, especially recently, where Nadal has gone down in 5 sets, or taken his loss completely.

Lost to Lucas Pouille at US ’16 in 5 sets. Lost to Fed AO ’17 in 5 sets. Lost to Gilles Muller Wimby ’17 5 sets. Lost to Verdasco AO ’16 five sets. THAT final with Djoker that he lost AO 2012, five gruelling sets.

So to call him a tanker, or suspect he may be a tanker is a fantastic example of the armchair critic who doesn’t understand the physical toll professional sports accrue on the body, especially with Nadal’s style. He is probably one of the greatest fighters the sport has produced, along with Connors and Hewitt, and he gives more effort per match than any player out there.

His time-wasting shenanigans are another thing, and mostly the fault of the ATP not reigning this in years ago. He has got away with murder on this for sure, because the ATP wasn’t prepared for the problem when surfaces started to slow, rallies got longer, and play more defensive and taxing. Of course the best action now is to stop the rot, make a line in the sand and move on, rafa will adjust accordingly, along with every other player. Ultimately, the decision to play ten feet behind the baseline for 30 shots is a tactical error and thus should be penalised with time violations, perhaps the shot clock is the ATP’s way of curbing this. We will see.

Tennis has been all the better for having Nadal. He is a drawcard and second only to federer in viewers he pulls in, time-wasting or not.

The Nadal exit doesn't pass the smell test

Agree with I ate pies. This really didn’t warrant an article. And I think you answered your own question throughout – yes, Australia does only have a passing interest in tennis. We have one of the most saturated sports markets in the world, how is this surprising? I’d say there are very few countries in the world that DON’T have a passing interest in the sport.

Call me by my name: Hyeon Chung, Channel Seven and the Australian Open

I’m not so sure why they have done this. The move to 32 seeds has allowed the best players to progress more often, and it’s one of the reasons we have seen such an incredible and storied rivalry amongst the top players. Moving to 16 seeds can absolutely kill a tournament financially, too.

Last year Roger Federer was the 17th seed, instead of the incredible final we got, we could have had Federer play Nadal first round, I can’t see how a tournament organiser, or a fan, would want that? You would have lost massive amounts of TV viewership. The tournament last year was a dream come true for organisers and fans – the two biggest draw cards playing in the biggest match.

Men’s tennis especially has been in a golden age with the big four and Wawrinka. These players have produced some of the most memorable matches in history, and part of that excitement stems from the fact that when it’s 4-4 in the fifth set, it’s the final, it’s important, the stakes are raised. That feeds part of the excitement when there is more on the line.

The move to 16 seeds could kill the interest in tennis. Just look at last year’s US open final, where Kevin Anderson made the final through a (relatively) weak draw with Murray and Djokovic out, and Federer losing earlier. TV numbers were down and in all honesty, the final was a straight-sets bore.

Having top players face off earlier is a lose-lose situation for fans and the sport alike, in my opinion. We shall see what it brings.

Seeds sown will dramatically alter grand slam rankings from 2019

Thanks Jonno – you are just confirming what I am saying. Jordan is the considered the greatest basketball because he was great everywhere, but not necessarily number 1 in every category every year. Federer made five french finals and has won the french once, that is incredible but he’s not the best of his era on clay, but he is the overall best of his era. Perhaps read Rex’s original comment again to see why I made the comparison.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

I know, that’s my point, he was a great defender but not the very best in the league. Federer is great on clay, has been the second best of his generation.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

well if you emphasise endurance then he certainly enters the equation. How much skill does distance running take? For example, can a naturally talented runner start at 16 and become a world champion?

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

I acknowledged bradman’s statistical greatness, it is number one by far for domination in any sport, and his effect on the country was noted enough to be talked about. He is similar to Gretzky for me, in that he is not in a truly international competition with as big a talent pool as tennis or athletics. As I mentioned in the first few sentences, no one will ever agree, but in my mind Federer has the best case.
– global sport
– influence on the game and sport in general
– statistical greatness
– involves an incredible mix of mental and physical traits.
– highly skilled, you cannot be a good professional tennis player without 15+ years of training

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

Ok, but that’s like saying Michael Jordan is not the best basketballer because he wasn’t the best on defence in the NBA, or number one in rebounds. You must look at an overall scope of the sport.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

Thanks for your reply John. Laver is no doubt one of the greats and would have amassed 20+ slams had he not gone pro. It is one of those sports that has changed a lot due to governing bodies, equipment, and obviously media more recently. Comparing eras is hard but for my mind Federer has done enough with the racquet and the way he carries himself and plays to put himself just over the pancho gonzalez’s and laver’s of tennis. I know Laver is too humble to call himself the greatest, but he does acknowledge fed as the best of his era at least.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

Yes, and he won the french open once and made the finals on five other occasions. His clay record is incredible despite competing with the most dominant player on clay in the history of the game. In any other era he is a 5x french champion.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

Personally, for me Federer is the only player to be able to play well from literally everywhere on the court. First serve, top 5, second serve top 5, forehand the best or top 2, even his backhand now is one of the best on tour with its variety. Volleys? top 3 on tour. the best smash and best backhand smash. Intangibles are off the charts, he invents shots seemingly every match. He doesn’t have the clear best anything except for perhaps his forehand, but he is amazing literally all over the court. Nadal doesn’t serve that well, novak doesn’t play well at the net, pete had a weak backhand, andre couldn’t serve well or volley well. He is the first player to be so complete in my opinion.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

Your average tennis fan jumps on this stat without really understanding how much the surface effects results, especially when it’s someone as good as nadal. Look at it this way, Federer has been good enough to make 15 clay finals and play nadal whereas he has only had 3 chances on grass against nadal. Reverse that and play 3 matches on clay, and 15 on grass and now the h2h is completely the opposite. When determining how good a player is it’s a terrible metric.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

A fair comment northerner, but gun to the head you have to pick one, who do you choose?

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

yes but physicality in the sense of power and strength and perhaps line speed, but very little endurance, and agility, and coordination and balance compard to tennis – my argument is tennis has such a rounded requirement of athletic traits. Golf I say is mentally probably the toughest, but lacks the physical side. Tennis is incredibly mentally tough and demands a lot of someone physically.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

I get that – I just googled the definition and they are interchangeable, but I understand you are talking from a raw athleticism perspective, in which case those you mentioned and Usain bolt are in a class of their own.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

the 10 consecutive finals were from wimby 05 until the 2007 US, not 2009.

Federer is the greatest athlete of all time

What is always incredible to me is how he often out-aces the biggest servers on tour. His return is under appreciated (most parts of his game are!) but his serve is lethal in the hardest of ways. It’s not speed but variety and precision that gets you. Even his second serves are well placed to cramp the big man and void him of space to swing, every spot is hit with spin and control and a variety of pace. A true masterclass from a man at the peak of his powers

'La Decima' is in reach: Three talking points from Roger Federer's record 8th Wimbledon victory

As I said in Kate Smart’s article on the same issue, Davis Cup has fallen away over the years as prize money for other tournaments gets bigger, and the top dogs don’t always play. You can hardly blame them, in a season which is 11 grinding months long, do you play first round davis cup, possibly two five-setters in 3 days, when there is little points or prize money on offer, and when there is a chance you lose next round? The bodies of the top players are already too overworked with the current schedule – a change to three sets is a no-risk chance to see if they can attract more of the top guys more regularly. A great move with little to lose given it is falling away for the top guys. Leave the final best of five – then you still get your classic and traditional matches at the end when it really matters.

Three-set Davis Cup is a terrible idea

Whilst grand slam tennis enjoys ever-increasing popularity with all the big guys playing, Davis Cup languishes as a second-rate, high-risk investment. Top guys don’t want to play five-sets in the first round of a Davis Cup when there are precious few weeks of break in an 11-month season. Without enough points on offer, it simply needs some sort of change. Changing the first few rounds to best-of-three I think is fine for a trial period – they have little to lose given it is losing focus as a premier tennis event. Best of three will help draw your Federer’s and Nadal’s to the first and second round play offs. Adapt or die, tradition needs to change with the times sometimes – keep the davis cup final best of five, but for now, with the schedule and all, I think this will be a positive change.

Long live five-set tennis

I think Federer played exceptionally well that game – and that tiebreaker Kyrgios went for second serve aces. He’s already tried multiple SABR like returns, a through the legs winner. I don’t call that nervous as hell at all.

Kyrgios is not the hero we want, but the hero we need

I think he is already there

Kyrgios is not the hero we want, but the hero we need

also, madrid is not nearly as exhausting as a monte carlo with its altitude and quick conditions.

Federer's incredible path back to No.1

now? perhaps not, post wimbledon if he is there he most definitely will. Athletes of his calibre are incredibly competitive no matter what they say to media – regaining world number 1 is unequivocally the hardest thing in tennis, harder than winning a slam. It would be a massive feather in his cap to take number 1 with Djok/Rafa/Murray all 5 years his junior.

Federer's incredible path back to No.1

The more it becomes possible the more he will likely take wild cards into extra events towards the end of the year, IMO.

Federer's incredible path back to No.1

Yes massive task indeed, but Murray’s back end is exhausting, he finished with beijing, shanghai, vienna, paris and london wins all in a row! That is nearly impossible for him to replicate. Federer post wimbledon will be adding points with every match he plays – Murray will be protected right through till October even with a poor french/wimby given this finish to the season.

Remember not every tournament counts – its only the four slams, your best 8 masters and then 6 500’s/250s. Already he has a slam, a masters (at least quarter in miami) and you would have to think if he is healthy a solid US masters showing in july/august. 250/500 will be stuttgart/halle/basel best chances.

Federer's incredible path back to No.1