Roger Federer is not the GOAT

Butcher32

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This is not an intended troll....for serious discussions only.Ok i have a few points to make here .

1.The weak generation argument - this is well supported by the fact that from 2004-2007 his main rivals were hewitt and roddick who had 3 slams between them, prior to Roger joining the party.Its almost a fact that other than Roddick serve, none of them had any weapons which could hurt Roger.Other players include Agassi, Safin and Henman who were nothing but battlers.Seriously, show me one good argument to support Rogers generation and what weapons should hewitt or agassi or roddick should have used to hurt Roger?

2.The decline came with the rise of the new generation .Now Nadals been pushing Roger over even during his peak years.He almost beat him on grass in 2007 and beat him on hardcourts during his prime.Roger did not beat rafa on clay in his prime, didnt even come CLOSE! in 2007 you could see signs that the new generation with bigger weapons is ready to challenge Roger.In 2008 Novak knocked off Roger and then started Rogers downfall..monorer/olderer you name it.When the fact is 26 is the peak age, he should have been able to keep up with his body, which is nowhere near as battered as Nadal at 26 (he turned pro at 16 remember).4 years of dominating minnows and thats it? wow, some GOAT he is.


Finally i would like to say, Novak and Rafa has much bigger weapons which can challenge Roger.This is undeniable.I have repeated said, name a GOAT contender who was owned by his nearest rival? Roger if he keeps playing will make things worse, Novak might end up having 30 wins against him.He was the great player who dominated 2004-2007, won everything in sight but as soon someone took it upto him he folded.

He is not the GOAT, by any stretch of imagination
 

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imadodgyumpire

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#3
I have repeated said, name a GOAT contender who was owned by his nearest rival?
In any sport? Alain Prost.

He is not the GOAT, by any stretch of imagination
Then who is? Could it be that in tennis, due to the nature of the game and the industry, that the GOAT isn't/can't be a dominate or as obvious as in other sports/industries?
 
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#10
I agree that Federer is not the GOAT. I don't think there is a GOAT in mens tennis. I think he and Laver sit at the top and that it's too hard to split them as their eras were so different.

He's certainly IMO though the greatest of the last say 20 years. 16 grand slams, plus all the finals and semi finals, plus 6 tour finals championships, most consecutive weeks at number 1 etc speaks for itself. Nadal could surpass him though it'll be very hard for him, Djokovic I don't think will be able to. The arguments in the OP are poor. The weak era is a bad argument because any highly dominant year makes everyone else look comparatively weak. Federer had 4 of them in a row and had a big edge over everyone in his generation. That makes it look weak, but on the other hand, if you are the GOAT you would make everyone else look weak. Who knows how peak Safin and Roddick and Nalbandian and Davydenko and Hewitt would have done in other generations? It's all guess work.

The argument that Nadal and Djokovic have now been able to get on top of him because they have bigger weapons than Federer's contemporaries is ridiculous. There are plenty of players from Federer's generation with weapons equal to or greater than Nadal and Djokovic and others with more shot making ability. Greatness is largely between the ears. It took a new generation of players to break his dominance. This is always the case with the greatest players. That or injury.
 

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Surkin

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#12
Agree Federer is not the GOAT.

Nadal has to be close though. Look at his record against his two main rivals in Grand Slam matches which at the end of the day is all that really counts.

Nadal leads Federer 8-2 in Grand Slam matches. Both loses at Wimbeldon in 4 sets and 5 sets respectively when Federer was in his absolute prime and on his surface of choice whilst Nadal was still very new to the surface.

Nadal also leads Djokovic 6-3 in Grand Slam H2H despite losing the previous 3 prior to the French Open.

Rod Laver is the GOAT at this stage. Winning the Grand Slam 7 years apart is a phenomenal achievement and he would undoubtably have won more had much of his career been lost due to the professional rules.
 
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#13
If you add the equivalents of the slams on the professional tour Laver would have something like 20 slams and Rosewall I think a couple more. But in that day the concept of the 'slams' didn't really exist in the same way as they do now. No one cared as much about the number of grand slam titles...and I don't think that obsession really started until after Sampras broke Emerson's record (most likely because despite the fact Emerson had the record, no one ever thought he was even close to the greatest tennis player of all time.).

There are many things you can look at when assessing a players greatness and head to head records only one of them. Nadal has a losing head to head with Davydenko for example. It doesn't mean anything other than that's been a tough match up for him. Tennis is played ultimately against the field and what matters most is winning titles in the best fields. Overall this gets reflected in the rankings, which are so important in tennis. Bringing up Nadal's head to head with Federer in slams is a significant point but what it also doesn't tell you is that when Federer was making the French Open final every year to lose to Nadal, Nadal wasn't making the finals at the US or Australian Opens which Federer was winning. This is why tournament results and rankings matter more. No serious tennis analyst would rate Nadal as a greater tennis player than Federer yet. But if he keeps accumulating slams over the next 2-3 years he'll probably get into that GOAT conversation along with Federer, Laver, Sampras and Tilden. At the moment I think it's fair to say that if he retired tomorrow he'd be just out of it - in the next level down along with the likes of Rosewall, Borg, Lendl and Connors.
 
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#14
Here's a bit of trivia...Nadal just won a record 7th French Open. But he's still got a way to go to break the overall record of French majors.

If you include the French Pro then Rosewall won 10 majors in Paris between 1953 and 1968 (6 on clay at RG and 4 on indoor wood at another venue...polar opposite surfaces). No one gets near him for longevity, another measure of greatness (his last major was the Australian Open in 1972, aged 37).

And in another sign that the number of majors didn't mean everything back then, Rosewall stopped playing at the French after 1969 in order to prioritise Wimbledon, which he had never, and did never win (but made the final of in 1970 and 1974). He would have been a better chance of winning the French.
 

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#15
Two ways you can look at it.

If the objective of determining the GOAT is to beat the rest of the field most times, then Federer is the GOAT.

If the objective of determining the GOAT is to pick one player to play for your life against any other player in history, in a best of 3 match series on all the 3 main outdoor surfaces, then I would install Sampras as the GOAT.

Under the first objective, most slams is the main criteria. Under the second objective, head to head is the main criteria.

Federer may have the most slams, but pitted against Nadal in a 3 match series, one on grass, one on clay and one on hard, who here would be willing to have Federer play for your life? I'm tipping no one because none of us want to die. So on the one hand, alot of people claim Federer to be the GOAT, yet on the other, not many would want Federer to play for their life against Nadal. The GOAT should beat consistently any player to have ever played the game, so how then can Federer be the greatest of all time when in the space of 5 years Nadal has beat him in most of their big matches, and just as importantly, on all the main surfaces. This is something I just can't get over when contemplating the GOAT.

In my opinion, Sampras is the GOAT. Laver would have claims too but I never saw him play. Sampras may not have as many slams, but he is second on the all time list and he dominated his major rivals. He did lose matches to players he shouldn't have from time to time, but often he would get them back the next time, eg Safan. He was dominated by Hewitt but by that stage he was well past his best. The only question mark about Sampras is that he didn't win the FO. But that's not to say he couldn't win 2 out of 3 against any player in history.

People say now that with the homogenisation of courts, Sampras would get slaughtered against Nadal and Djok. I disagree. Pete was an exceptional player with the best first and second serve in the history of the game. He also had the perfect physique for the sport, had a good reach and was mentally strong. Thanks to his serve he was good at the net, or was made to look good at the net, had a big attacking forehand and his ground strokes at the back of the court were solid without being the best I've seen. He would have succeeded well in any era in tennis, that I have no doubt. Even if he had played today, he would have been bought up to play in today's court conditions, which would have meant honing his groundstrokes, acclimatised to today's ball and racquest technology, and would have had access to today's training techniques and IP that Nadal and Djok have benefitted from. Plus he would have been fitter so he could last the distance against those players.

This is just my opinion of course but to win the second most slams in history, 7 of them at the most important slam and have the edge over all your major rivals when you and your rivals were a contender, plus being the longest serving number 1, it's hard to go past Sampras. Again, IMO.

And just on the slam count, Sampras probably thought he had done enough when he won his 14th. If he had known then that a guy would come along and just 8 years later break it, he may have worked harder to win more when he was at his prime. My point is, Federer had the advantage of Sampras' record as his target, Sampras did not have Federer's record as his target. This of course does apply to any multiple slam winner in history.

Back to Federer, unfortunately the longer he keeps playing the wider the Nadal v Federer head to head record will get. Call it mental, mismatch issues or whatever you want, the fact he has let his biggest rival get such a jump on him will hurt his claims to being the greatest of all time, even moreso if Nadal or Djok get close to 16 slams.
 

Rabbit of Caerbannog

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#16
Sampras > Nadal in a best of 3 series
Nadal > Federer in a best of 3 series
Federer > Sampras in a best of 3 series

In my opinion, of course. So who's better now? This is why match-up games and other subjective claims (e.g. strength or weakness of certain eras) shouldn't be used to determine greatness. Objective facts, records and achievements are clearly the way to go.
 
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#17
What happens if Sampras has to play for your life against Richard Krajicek?

For the record I'd back peak Federer on grass and on a hard court over peak Nadal. Assuming the courts are typical of those surfaces. On a fast, low bouncing grass surface like was typical at Wimbledon until about 2005/6 I think Federer would win easily. And Federer's record on hard courts is much better than Nadal's. I'd favour him on a US Open hard court at their peaks but maybe the Australian Open surface would be different. It really depends. With Sampras vs Fed, well Federer gets the clay match easily...hard and grass would be tough to call, though keep in mind Federer beat Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001. I think it'd be hard to go past Federer in this scenario.

That isn't a real criteria though. It's completely subjective.
 

jod23

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#18
Id back prime Federer to beat anyone. In his prime he was quite simply unstoppable. I guess if Nadal gets to 16 then we can discuss again.
 

Rabbit of Caerbannog

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#19
For the record I'd back peak Federer on grass and on a hard court over peak Nadal. Assuming the courts are typical of those surfaces.
Had Nadal defeating Federer because I'm so accustomed to them playing each other on the surfaces of today. If they compete on grass and hard courts that play as they traditionally should, I'd back Federer without a second thought.
 

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#20
the excuses are coming out. quite pathetic really when you think of it. the same sort of excuses and sore losing we have become accustomed to expect with roger.
 

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#22
Federer is the GOAT right now but Nadal has a huge chance to pass him and most likely will because he was too proud to hit a backhand with 2 hands over his entire career even now his power is fading.

When he cracks those 1 handers all over the place you just gotta facepalm.
 

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#23
Federer took a long time to finally get a win on the board, he used to choke in his early years. He's been a modern day great and 16 major titles is a great effort, but you do have to consider the opposition in those wins... Roddick x 4, Nadal x 2, Murray x 2, Hewitt x 1, Philippoussis x 1, Safin x 1, Agassi x 1, Baghdatis x 1, González x 1, Djokovic x 1, Söderling x 1 Now really the biggest wins were against Nadal, the others were in the bag. The win against Agassi was near the end of his career and the win against Djokovic was at the beginning of his. Compare that to Nadal who has won... Federer x 6, Djokovic x 2, Puerta x 1, Söderling x 1 and Berdych x 1 and I think it's clear who the better player is considering Nadal has had 8 wins against opponents basically ranked 1, 2 or 3. Sure Nadal has 5 more to reach Federers number of 16, but if he plays for another 4 years he could well make it. Nadal has been ahead of Federer if you compare titles with age. I guess Djokovic is Nadals main hurdle now, but Djokovic doesn't have the same invincibility he had last year.

Sampras was a great player, but he also had a lot of wins against players not ranked 1, 2 or 3.
 

Papa Juggs

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#25
Yes his record does speak for itself.

If Rafa wins a few of the next wimbledons though that will change and that's very possible given the age comparison.

Rafa is almost certain to be GOAT but not yet.

2 hand on the backhand, no shame in it, the shot has destroyed the Fed many times.
 
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