The GOAT Debate Is a Fairytale Used to Promote Tennis

First of all, before some people get their knickers in a twist because I often talk about the GOAT, let me make it clear that I always said I don’t really believe in a GOAT but that I liked the debate and speculation.

Now I’m not even sure about that part anymore. Why? Because it has become clearer than ever to me that the GOAT argument is used as a phony marketing tool and that there are far too many variables to determine a GOAT, some of which I will look at in this post. Other variables have also become apparent to me at this Wimbledon like the biased scheduling and the influence of the media which is considerable.

But let’s start with the following:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge(source)

I’ve posted tables before which showed that Djokovic gets the toughest draws and face the stiffest competition and the above confirms this fact. It also shows that Federer had the weakest competition of the big four throughout his career.

So not surprisingly, Federer has won the most slams. Some of the most striking facts are that Djokovic won only one of his slams without facing a big 4 member in the final while Federer won 12 slams without facing a big 4 member in the final. Federer has also won 11 slams without facing any big 4 member at all while Djokovic had to beat at least one big 4 member in all the slams he won.

Again, before Fedfans get their knickers in a twist, I am not posting these facts to prove that Djokovic is better than Federer. You can only beat who is in front of you. The reason I am posting this is to show some of the many reasons why a GOAT can never be determined.

As you can see, the number of grand slams won is almost directly proportional to the stiffness of competition faced. How can you possibly say Federer is the GOAT when his slam titles almost dried up when Nadal and Djokovic came of age? Clearly, Nadal and Djokovic had far tougher competition than Federer had.

As the clay court GOAT, Nadal always had clay to rely on as his safe haven on tour where he could make his head-to-heads look impressive and improve his stats like the average ranking of opponent beaten in slam finals. Djokovic didn’t have that luxury which makes his achievements even more impressive.

Again, the idea is not to make it seem like one player’s achievements are greater than the other. The point is that if you take everything into account there is nothing to choose between the big three and you cannot with any certainty claim that one is the GOAT. Each player has their strengths and weaknesses.

Federer is the talented one who currently has the most slam titles. Nadal is the great fighter and clay court GOAT. Djokovic is the most complete if you include the mental aspect and has the highest peak level. They are all incredible players and it is unlikely that any of them will ever be officially crowned the GOAT.

How do you make such a determination with all the variables involved and who has the authority to make it? I hear even some of the all-time greats often call someone a GOAT, mostly Federer. These people work as commentators and calling someone the GOAT sounds sensational and promotes the sport.

But they have no real evidence to back up their claims. There are many more variables than what I touched on in this post. For instance the biased scheduling we saw at Wimbledon but far more importantly the influence of the mainstream media. By always promoting Federer as the embodiment of all that is good and noble and victimizing Djokovic as the villain they influence the way Federer and Djokovic are perceived and treated as a result.

The media has enormous power and in politics, the powerful use it for instance to win elections and to make people vote against their own interests. It is the ultimate brainwashing tool and very easy to fall for if you are not inclined to think for yourself and hold a certain skepticism for everything you hear in the mainstream media.

Anyway, the media is just one other factor that I wanted to include because it is part of a rigged system whether in sport, politics, or whatever the case may be. I never talked about it before but I saw how enormously influential it is in American politics and thought it is an underrated and overlooked influence in tennis.

But I will leave it at that. There are many more reasons that a GOAT can’t be determined but I think these should suffice. The opposition these guys faced to win their slams are enough to prove that a GOAT can’t be determined.

Let me know what you think.

Federer Wins Record 8th Wimbledon Title in Blowout Final

I said I wouldn’t make another post about this Wimbledon because of their biased scheduling but you know me, I can’t stay angry for long. Congrats to Federer for finally breaking the record for the most Wimbledon title as he surpasses the record he held with Sampras.

Today he defeated Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 to achieve this incredible record. Unfortunately, the final was even more one-sided than I predicted. After Djokovic lost I said Federer would win the title without dropping a set but I expected a better fight from Cilic in the final.

The key moment came very early in the match. Cilic started very well after a shaky opening service game and had a break point on Federer’s serve at 2-2 and 40-30 but missed a return off a second serve from Federer right into the net. Absolutely unforgivable.

I was waiting for Cilic to choke from the beginning because he was always a bit of a choker to me and it happened in no time. When you get a second serve on break point you at the absolute least make the other guy play. But by making an unforced error on that return he showed Federer weakness right away and from there on it was one-way traffic.

I felt it was the boring no-contest final Wimbledon deserved after their biased scheduling. It was a bit of a disaster to be honest because Cilic even started crying at one point. Can you imagine? What a tragic way for Federer to achieve such an incredible milestone.

The whole thing had the feeling of a setup about it like Federer was handed the 8th title on a silver platter. I said in my last post that it is actually quite sad that if Federer wins his 8th title under these conditions but I didn’t think it would be this much on anti-climax and I can’t help but feel like it was bad karma.

But they got the winner and the storyline they wanted so I’m sure Wimbledon is not too unhappy, even though it was the most one-sided Wimbledon final since 2002. It was not unlike the French Open where Nadal didn’t drop a set on his way to the title and then the final was a one-sided blowout.

But this was the first time Federer didn’t drop a set on his way to the title whereas Nadal had done it before at the French. I wonder where are the Fedfans who kept using Federer’s terminal decline as an excuse for his string of devastating losses to Djokovic in 2014-16 now.

Clearly, Federer is playing as well as if not better than ever which I have stated all along and which Fedfans have vehemently argued against. They just could not deal with the fact that Djokovic at his best is simply a better player than Federer as evidenced by his unmatched dominance from 2014-2016.

When Djokovic chalked up the most dominant season in 2015 and completed the personal slam in 2016 I knew he had done something that no one could ever take away from him and which not even Federer would ever achieve. But at least by winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year Federer achieved some pretty good things himself.

I mean it’s hardly believable, to be honest, that after 5 years of winning his last slam and a 6-month break that he came back to win the Australian Open and Wimbledon in the fashion that he did but in the absence of evidence you have to assume it was done without resorting to anything illegal.

Federer is now 36 which is ancient in tennis and it seems he just keeps getting better and better. The fact that he won Wimbledon is also similar to Nadal winning the French Open in the sense that to me Federer was already the greatest on grass ever and that winning another title didn’t really prove anything new to me.

It sure is the perfect plot. I’m not going to deny that. But if I was Federer I would rather have won the title by defeating Djokovic along the way or at least one of Nadal or Murray. But Djokovic is the guy who defeated Federer in his last two Wimbledon finals. That said, I’m kinda glad Wimbledon screwed Djokovic with the schedule because he was obviously not healthy and I would have hated for him to lose to Federer if he wasn’t 100% healthy.

Federer can have his ’empty’ victory. Djokovic still leads the head-to-head(23-22), the head-to-head in slam finals(3-1), and the head-to-head in slams(9-6). The outcomes of the French Open and Wimbledon just shows you how badly tennis needs a healthy Djokovic. Without him abusing Federer and Nadal these two would literally dominate the sport with no interference from anyone, least of all the tournament organizers and mainstream media.

So hopefully, Djokovic will be healthy again soon but he has set himself back pretty badly with his poor scheduling and I don’t expect him to be ready or healthy for the US Open yet so we will probably have to endure some more boring dominance from Federer and Nadal until then.

But once Djokovic is healthy again I can see him, Agassi, and Ancic doing a lot of damage together because I think the Agassi partnership has, even more, potential than the Becker one.

Let me know what you think.

  • Highlights

Djokovic Retires from Rigged Wimbledon

So Djokovic had to retire in his match against Berdych after trailing 7-6(2), 2-0 due to his old arm injury after having to play two days in a row when Wimbledon could have let him play on Center Court on Monday.

First of all, I have lost interest in this tournament after the biased behavior of the organizers. This will be my final blog post about the 2017 Rigged Championships unless Federer loses which is highly unlikely. It is more likely that he will win Wimbledon without dropping a set.

I don’t feel like a tournament which favors certain players over others with their scheduling deserves another post from me unless it is to celebrate their failure to get what they want. They already failed to get one of their favorites past the quarterfinals when Murray lost to Querrey which was great but if Federer wins the tournament they would still have gotten their way.

Federer winning a record 8th Wimbledon title is what they want to see and now they have helped to eliminate his nemesis through ridiculous scheduling. Djokovic was in pain from the start and hardly moved out of second gear. When he lost the first set it was obvious he wasn’t going to complete the match.

It was the old arm injury that never properly healed after he completed the personal slam. Djokovic is just as responsible for his retirement as Wimbledon but it doesn’t excuse Wimbledon’s pathetic behavior in any way. It was obvious to anyone who knows something about tennis that he never properly recovered from the historical 2015-16 run.

He was burned out and never gave his body the rest that it was constantly calling for. If Djokovic had taken the entire last year off and used a protective ranking he would be in a better position than he is now. In the last year, he achieved very little on the court and only made his arm worse.

I already realized Djokovic was doomed at the beginning of the clay court season. In hindsight, Djokovic should have shut it down post US Open last year. But he also kept making mistakes like playing Acapulco instead of sticking to his original schedule. At the beginning of the clay court season, I was already very concerned because I knew he was taking more risks by playing.

I knew at any time during the clay court or grass court seasons the injury can come back. So I was never very optimistic about him playing the clay or grass court seasons but you are going to try to hope for the best after he decided to keep going. And sure enough, the arm came back to haunt him at the worst possible time.

Just as it looked like he was finding form again and before he would face Federer in the Wimbledon semis. But he probably wouldn’t have beaten Federer if he was 100% healthy anyway. So unknowingly Wimbledon may have done him a favor with the schedule. He wouldn’t have wanted to give Federer the satisfaction of beating him if he wasn’t at his best.

But again, that doesn’t excuse Wimbledon in any way. They made it clear who they want to help win the tournament. It’s like they realized Federer can’t beat Djokovic so they had to give him a little extra help to achieve the most profitable and sensational plot. It is actually quite sad that he may win his record 8th Wimbledon title under these conditions.

It reminds me of the changed court speed in Melbourne this year that helped shape the perfect script for Federer to win his 18th slam. This kind of bias from the capitalist model is just one of a million reasons that a GOAT can’t be determined. Djokovic is seen as the outsider so he doesn’t get the kind of assistance Federer gets.

I don’t care about slam titles for determining the GOAT anymore. Not as much as most people anyway. Deciding on GOAT is now an entirely personal thing for me. When people call Federer the GOAT that is just part of the mainstream sensationalism that makes ignorant tennis fans feel like they are supporting the best and that therefore their lives are somehow more meaningful.

Our whole society is based on a lie. And that lie is that some of us are superior to others. The same rigged system that exists in sport exist in politics and it is slowly but surely destroying us. It is this whole idea of superiority due to race, religion, country, gender, sexual orientation or whatever the case may be. The capitalist system is a rigged system based on inequality. And in the meantime, we are destroying the very planet we live on.

I don’t want this to be a political discussion but tennis is a part of this whole system. It’s not a fair system based on equality.