Becker: “2006 was Even Better than 2015”

 


There was an interesting twist after Djokovic defeated Federer 6-3, 6-4 Sunday to win the World Tour Finals and cap off his season in style. Boris Becker made the above tweet claiming that Federer is the GOAT and that Federer’s 2006 season was even better than the season Djokovic chalked up this year.

If you read my previous post you will also remember that I said Djokovic’s 2015 season is now officially better than Federer’s 2006 season. That is of course just my opinion. But for interest sake let’s compare the two seasons. I couldn’t find a proper comparison anywhere online so I took the liberty of making one myself:

Federer 2006 Djokovic 2015
3 Slam titles 3
1 Slam Finals 1
1 World Tour Finals Titles 1
4 Masters 1000 Ttitles 6(Record)
1 ATP 500 Titles 1
3 ATP 250 Titles 0
92-5(94.84%) Win/Loss Record 82-6(93.18%)
19 Wins Over Top 10 Opponents 31(Record)
17 Tournaments Played 16
12 Titles 11
16 Finals 15
11 Consecutive Finals 15(Record)
63.7 Avg. Rank of Opponent 36.2
16.9 Avg. Rank of Opponent in Finals 4.8
15495 ATP Points Total 16585(Record)
$8,343,885 Prize money(for interest sake) $21,646,145(Record)

As you can see it is very close. Why did I say Djokovic’s season if officially better? One, the two more Masters Series titles. Two, the 9 more wins over top 10 opponents. Three, the ATP points total(Federer’s points have been adjusted for 2015).

Number three may be the most telling stat because it shows that even though Djokovic played one fewer event than Federer he still has more than a 1000 point lead over him. The reason Federer played only one more event than Djokovic but 10 more matches is because in 2006 the seeds still had to play 6 matches to win a Masters, as opposed to 5 today.

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The finals were also best of five sets, not three sets like it is currently. So even though the number of matches you play must count for something the main thing is the win-loss percentage and the importance of the matches that you won.

As far as the win-loss percentages go there is nothing in it, but there is quite a lot in it when it comes to the importance of the matches won as evidenced by the 2 more Masters won by Djokovic and the 9 more wins over top 10 opponents.

If you want to argue that the best of five-set finals they played at Masters and the Masters Cup in 2006 gives Federer an advantage then I submit to you that Djokovic is both fitter and better at five-set matches than Federer was in 2006. He would arguably have won the Montreal and Cincy finals as well if they were best of five.

So yes, my honest opinion is that 2015 was better than 2006 if you go by the numbers alone. Then there is, of course, the competition to consider about which there will never be a consensus among tennis fans depending on which fanbase you are from.

If you want to make an argument that Federer’s era was stronger then I can easily make a counter argument that he kept losing to the only guy who was truly a good player. There were no really good players behind Nadal.

After Nadal, the top 5 were filled up by Roddick, Hewitt, and Davydenko. Currently, it is Murray, Federer, Wawrinka, and Nadal. That translates to 17-35 in slam titles won a difference of 18 slam titles in the two groups.

Anyway like I said it is pretty subjective so I will let the Fed supporters off the hook there and just look purely at the numbers, and going by that I have to go with Djokovic.

  • What About What Becker Said, You Say

No one fucks with Fed’s mind better than Becker. Lol Remember what he said after Wimby? ‘Yeah Novak rekt you there but you’re the GOAT man don’t worry.’ And then the SABR comments?! ‘Dont you pull off that shit on us.’

Becker knows perfectly when to apply cold showers and when to apply hot showers. When Fed is in ruins praise him, when he’s elated bring him down – thus keeping him always in a mediocre emotional state which in turn does not translate into proper motivation and willpower.

Sly fox this Becker. Nole fans need to relax this is most likely all part of the plan to usurp the GOAT throne.

At first I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Becker’s tweet. I thought he was just being classy, but then I read the above post by someone on Men’s Tennis Forums and I remembered that Becker is not exactly known for his classiness. Not by Fedfans anyway.

Becker is thoroughly under the skin of Fedfans and after reading the above post I had to admit this guy had a point. Remember Becker said after the 2014 Wimbledon final that Federer is the GOAT. I even made a post about it.

Back then I thought Becker was just being nice. But then he began with what seemed almost like mind games. First it was his new book where he said that Federer and Djokovic don’t really like each other and that Federer could not possibly be as nice as he seems.

And then it was the SABR thing where Becker said it is almost disrespectful from Federer and that in his day they would not have allowed it. But let’s not forget that things get sensationalized by the media and that maybe Becker did not have any intention of getting under Federer’s skin in either of those situations.

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That said, it certainly seemed to get under the skins of Fedfans on social media. I’m not going to sensationalize anything here. I will let you decide for yourself if Becker had a hidden agenda. As far as I’m concerned he may well have meant everything he said without an ulterior motive.

Then again, he did also say that the game lacks characters and maybe he is just trying to make things a little more interesting in this boring PR era. If that is indeed the case then I am all for it. Some controversy is always entertaining.

Whether Becker was trying to get under Federer’s skin or not, after all the defeats to Djokovic in big matches, he probably has regardless. Federer’s response to what Becker said suggest a certain amount of irritation as well.

So whether Becker meant it or not, I think by now he is well under Federer’s skin. So while I’m not going to say the post I quoted is a fact I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it is the case. It just seems like a plausible theory.

If it is indeed the case then Becker must be some kind of genius. An evil genius Fedfans would argue, but a genius nonetheless. It does appear to me like Becker is playing some kind of mind game with Federer and that Federer is taking the bait.

  • The Nadal Camp Used the Same Tactic Against Federer

Federer also appears to me like the kind of person who would be susceptible to that kind of mind games. He was always the one playing the mind games and now someone is turning the tables on him. How dare they!

In some ways, he takes himself very seriously and like I said what Becker says seems to irritate him a lot judging by his responses.

On the flip side, when Becker compliments him he probably feels flattered. That’s just who Federer is. He loves to be praised and hates to be criticized. As far as I can tell Becker knows this and may be consciously using that against him.

And if that is true, whether you like it or not, Becker is a pretty damn smart guy. One thing that can’t be denied is that it has worked for Djokovic. It seems that Becker is taking praise of Federer to a whole new level now. Not only is he calling Federer the GOAT but he is now saying that 2006 was better than 2015, even though the numbers tell a different story.

So instead of allowing Federer to be in complete ruins after yet another crushing moment against Djokovic he throws him and his fans a bone to keep them afloat. Just enough so that Federer doesn’t become really mad and motivated to turn things around.

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We can’t be certain if this theory is true. Only Becker and the Djokovic camp would know for sure. But it certainly seems plausible. Becker may be taking advantage of Federer’s biggest weakness, which is his vanity.

We have seen how Nadal and his uncle has done it in the past by always praising Federer as the GOAT after Nadal gave him another crushing defeat. That way Federer never got so mad that he actually decided to change something.

The Nadal camp just kept him afloat by stroking his ego and Federer in return kept brining the same old tactics to the court against Nadal without adapting, which lead to more crushing losses and his main rival owning him at the end of the day. It was a great arrangement for the Nadal camp and a smart one at that(for that I give uncle Toni the credit).

Well, I think I have said enough about this issue. Let me know if you have anything to add.

  • Update

When I finished my post last night in the early morning hours two Djoker fans on Twitter, Cindy and JANE, informed me about two more stats namely the average rank of opponents and the average rank of opponents in finals which I since added to the table.

I found these stats to be very interesting and revealing so thank you to them. These stats clearly indicate that Djokovic’s competition was much stronger than Federer’s in 2006. Not only did his top rivals have 18 more slam titles under their belt but he played against much higher ranked competition.

I also added the records in brackets for Djokovic. With those two things added to the table, I realized truly for the first time what a ridiculous season this was. It almost dwarfs Federer’s 2006 season. And that only makes Becker’s comments that much more revealing…

  • Technical Issue

I see many people who register requesting their passwords after being unable to log in. I assume people are just forgetting their passwords because Charlie commented recently without a problem, but if you are having problems logging in and commenting just drop me a line through the contact form.

The is in your court.

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17 Comments

  1. 2015:

    Beat Nadal at the French
    Beat Federer at Wimbledon

    In the space of a month. Let that sink in.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That is a great point, JCP. He beat the clay GOAT and the grass GOAT on their best surfaces in a space of a month. Another reason why 2015 is better.

    [Reply]

  2. And there was a nice symmetry at the end of the season at the WTF to tie the head to head with Nadal in the semis and Roger in the final.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah, you’d think he will easily end with winning records against these two all-time greats.

    [Reply]

  3. And overcoming great players of such vastly different styles of play, just great range and versalitity to Djokovic’s game.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. I updated the table again and added some more stuff if you haven’t seen it yet. The average rank of Djokovic’s opponents in finals and outside of it is another telling stat. His competition was definitely stronger.

    [Reply]

  4. Hi Ru-an, I have read very carefully your two last posts and I have some of my own opinions about it. Generally, I tend to agree with almost everything you have said: Djokovic is in great form, both physically and technically. However, I think it is hard to almost demand that Federer had won one of the big titles against Djokovic this year. By doing that, you are implying that Federer is also in his prime (which clearly he is not), you are forgetting this is the best season of Djokovic and, of course, you are forgetting Federer is 34 now (that is, not in his best shape, physically or mentally speaking – the guy has dominated for years and have played 1300 matches, somewhat very demanding in those aspects). Another issue, comparing years is very difficult, and some of the arguments are rather weak. You speak as beating Nadal and Federer today has the same meaning as it was 5 years ago, which obviously it is not (Nadal in his worst season ever and Federer in his careers twilight). Well, I will not extend myself too much, but what I wanted to say is that we should not attack other legends to highlight another one. Everyone has his preferences, but we should respect great champions like Federer, Nadal or Djokovic. They are just in different stages of their careers, and congratulations to Djokovic’s best season! In time, Federer didn’t say after Djokovic’s title that he had handed him the win because of his own 31 unforced errors: different styles at least. Cheers!

    [Reply]

    Ferreira Reply:

    Forgot to say I think speaking Becker’s mind games had an impact on the results of Fed x Djok is a little bit to Djok’s great achievements. Cya!

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    Ferreira Reply:

    a litte bit tough**

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No idea what this means.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I understand that Fedfans are extremely frustrated at this point, but there is no need to put words in my mouth. I hardly said or did any of the things you accuse me of. If anything I said it is amazing what Federer is still doing at his age. I never demanded that Federer should win the big titles.

    That is a flat out lie. You sound extremely defensive. If you read my post I made it clear that is is very difficult to compare years which is why I said if we go by NUMBERS alone then Djokovic’s year is better. In my mind, there is no doubt whatsoever that he had a better year and better competition but, of course, you are entitled to your opinion.

    Now, since you call my arguments comparing years weak, do specify which ones you are talking about and at least provide ones of your own which you think are strong. I respect Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal more than you probably and I can’t say that I like it when people come here sounding like they are destroyed and then falsely accuse me.

    This is not what I am here for. I do this for free and I am not here to take abuse from anyone.

    [Reply]

  5. I agree that Novak’s 2015 is better than Fed’s 2006, or any of Fed’s 3-slam years. Not only Novak 2015, also Novak 2011. As you pointed out and as your numbers show, the level of competition is much tougher during Novak’s years.

    Novak’s 2015 numbers are really compelling. But what those numbers don’t take into account is Novak’s mental strength. Playing against Fed in a GS final is as great a challenge as there is and has been in the last decade or so. But to play against Fed AND most of the crowd in a GS final is probably the greatest challenge any tennis player can have. I doubt Fed encountered even a tenth of this kind of challenge in his 3-slam seasons.

    Novak’s 2015 numbers stand above all else’. But his mental strength throughout the year makes it a no-brainer.

    Except for some fed worshippers, of course.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Extremely well said, Jun. Why don’t people like you comment more often on my blog? I couldn’t put it any better myself. The USO final win stands head and shoulders above the rest because it showed unreal mental strength. And of course playing Federer in slam finals is the ultimate test.

    Now Fedfans want to discredit it by saying Federer is not in his prime anymore. And yet, had Federer won those matches they would have no problem agreeing that he is still playing at prime level.

    They completely negate the role Djokovic played in these finals. Take into account the role the crowd played and beating this Federer is harder than beating him in his prime. But of course, they conveniently omit that little detail too.

    No worries, it only comes back to hurt them by failing to give the proper credit because next time they will still believe their man is supposed to win only to get crushed again. It’s quite an entertaining sight really. I hope they never learn.

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    I do agree with you Ru-an to a certain extent. Whilst I still believe that Federer is not quite as good as he was in his prime, or at least not consistently. However, like any aging player, he has the capacity for these great runs, and during them he is probably playing something roughly approximating his prime level. Look what he did to Murray at Wimbledon, giving one of the best returners in the game one BP all match and beating him in straight sets! Or Wawrinka at the US Open (albeit Wawrinka didn’t play well in that one by your own admission). So I do agree that when he is on his best form (i.e. when he is reaching major finals), it roughly approximates his prime level, he just doesn’t play like that ALL the time like he used to. But certainly some of his play against Djokovic, Murray and others this year has just been brilliant for a 34 year old. I still get goosebumps thinking about that backhand flick passing shot at 0-15 on Murray’s serve in the last game of their match at Wimbledon this year. So ignore the sour grapes Ru-an, and enjoy and reflect on your man’s great year.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Charlie, and same to you. Federer had a great year and only a spoilt brat would be dissatisfied with it at his age. An unbelievable year really. Had it not been for Djokovic it would have been another 2-slam year for him and a WTF to cap it off. I think he is still playing very close to peak level, but the competition is just stronger now.

    Djokovic in particular because he is the one stopping Federer from winning the big titles. But Djokovic is playing a higher level than Federer did in his peak so that’s hardly a good measuring stick for his form.

    [Reply]

    universal123 Reply:

    Yeah, good play from Novak all year, and I am proud as a Federer fan that he got three wins against Novak, the most of any player IIRC. Obviously none of those matches were massively important but Federer has probably on balance been the most successful against Djokovic this year. The thing is he is so good that he doesn’t really have any rivals at the moment, just like Federer in his prime, at least up until 2008. It was considered that he had challengers, but no rivals who he played against on an even footing. Even Nadal failed to have a hold over Federer off clay until 2008. The same is true of Djokovic. Last year he was merely the best of a small group of rivals including him, Federer, Djokovic and Nadal, plus a few others occasionally. Now he has simply blasted past all of his former rivals, just as Federer was able to put his early career troubles with Agassi, Henman, Nalbandian, Hewitt etc behind him and go on to rack up grand slam after grand slam. There is absolutely no reason why Djokovic can’t average at least two slams per year for at least the next 2-3 years (after that we don’t know if a good young player will have come onto the scene).

    As for Federer, as you say his year was more than what could be expected from him. Every single one of his contemporaries is either injured (Haas etc), nowhere near the top 10 (Hewitt etc) or retired (Roddick etc), with the exception of Ferrer, and even he seems to be declining now. I always felt a little bit sorry for Ferrer, he seems like the sort of player who would have been successful in an earlier era, perhaps winning 2-3 slams, before modern polyester strings allowed massive groundstrokes to be hit with sharper angles more accurately than ever before, but at the present time a player without sufficient finishing power to hit winners consistently has no chance of being world no.1. Djokovic was forced to develop his aggressive game in order to reach that position, as was Nadal.

    Good summary of the year, but just wondering if you are planning any more posts before the start of the next season?

    That actually brought me to an idea. Based on 2015 form, what is your opinion on the perfect player? For me it would be something like this:

    Forehand: Federer
    Backhand: Djokovic (overall), Wawrinka (1HBH)
    Serve: Karlovic (who else lol)
    Return: Djokovic
    All around net game (FH and BH volleys, half-volleys and overheads): Federer
    Movement: Djokovic/Murray (probably Djokovic)
    Mental Toughness: Djokovic

    A few others just for fun:
    Best trick shots: Federer
    Best sportsmanship: Djokovic
    Best player for a single match: Wawrinka (FO Final)
    Strangest match: Djokovic vs Karlovic (Doha)

    Interested to hear your thoughts on this, feel free to add more categories if you can think of any :-)

    Charlie

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Charlie, I thought about a post over the weekend about the year of 2015 but didn’t get around to it. I will definitely make at least one more post before the end of the year. Now that you mention it, I’m already well past my blog’s best stats for a year and many people have registered for my blog lately so I will try to make a post soon. Thanks for checking in.

    [Reply]

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