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.

Posted in Uncategorized.

148 Comments

  1. Interesting post.
    1 – May be you could add not only the twelves GS won, but every GS won by each of the big four. As it is an AVERAGE it shouldn’t bother. I think it would be more precise than “only” the twelve one.
    2 – Doing the same BUT FOR EVERY FINAL LOST in a GS by each of the Big4.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s the second table.

    [Reply]

  2. Title after the age of 30 years (7 GS Titles minimum):

    ROGER FEDERER – 25 (3 Slams)
    ANDRE AGASSI – 15 (3)
    JIMMY CONNORS – 14 (2)
    IVAN LENDL – 8
    JOHN MCENROE – 5
    RAFAEL NADAL – 4 (1)
    PETE SAMPRAS – 1 (1)
    NOVAK DJOKOVIC – 1

    OPEN ERA SINGLES ONLY

    [Reply]

    Eren Reply:

    ROGER FEDERER – 25 (3 Slams)

    Yeah ok Fed won Wimbledon 2012 and 2017 and AO 2017. Silly question, but what does the 25 mean?

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    25 are the Number of Titles he won AFTER his 30th Birthday.
    It shows who in later years still won titles and how much. .

    [Reply]

  3. Hi Ru-an, as you know I am a FedFan and that has a lot to do with the class and grace Roger commands both on the court and off. Novak – although his tennis skills are world class – his class and grace has been at times lacking. For example he once yelled out in Serbian – after winning a second set tiebreaker over Dimitrov – “you will all now suck my d***ck”. You are an ex professional player. Would you ever had yelled such a thing? I appreciate all your facts and statistics, and you are 100% bang on to suggest Federer gets a) easier draws b) better media attention and coverage and c) better court assignments but at the end of the day – not only is he a tennis phenom (almost 37 and has won 2/3 slams this year??) but he is just more LIKEABLE. And that at the end of the day is why most people will always cheer for Roger over Novak (and Rafa over Novak). We aren’t robots. We appreciate more than just tennis skill. Tennis for most people is also about class and grace. And unfortunately that is where Novak truly lacks. And also why he makes a fraction of what Roger and Nadal make in endorsements. You might be interested in the below New Yorker article. I found it an unbiased western world viewpoint – albeit a few years back.

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/09/02/the-third-man-8

    [Reply]

    cornel Reply:

    That ” you will now suck my dick” is a direct translation. It was indepth discussed on reddit (r/tennis). According to Serbian redditors it means something much less bad.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good to have that cleared up then 👍 Thanks, Cornel.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    You are of course entitled to your opinion. But then so are those of us who have seen many examples of Federer’s arrogance and less than gracious behaviour and comments when he loses a match. Crying at the AO Open when he lost to Nadal, thus taking every bit of attention from the winner? ‘This is killing me’. His disgraceful comments when a younger Djokovic beat him in a USO semi final? Did you not see him refuse to move from the higher ranked player’s chair, tell the umpire ‘don’t talk to me’, the irritable throwing of papers to the floor, even the smashing of an occasional racquet? Not mention his praise of the poorly behaved crowd at the USO 2015. I won’t go on – there are many other instances of Perfect Roger behaving in a less than ‘classy and graceful’ manner, yet because of who he is, this is ignored by his fans. He is not an angel, whatever they like to think.

    Despite what Djokovic may or may not have said in the heat of the moment on court, I have NEVER heard him say a bad word about another player, or try to make excuses in his press conferences or interviews. He invariably heaps praise on his opponents, Federer in particular, and is a gracious loser. Did you see the long ovation he received at the 2015 FO? Was this for a ‘graceless and classless’ player? How anybody can accuse him of having no class or grace is utterly beyond me.

    Some fans like to see a player who loves himself and resembles a ballet dancer. Others prefer the one who fights like a gladiator, shows emotion and leaves his blood on the court. I agree with Ru-an’s view of the 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.’

    Many people also wholeheartedly disagree with the statement that ‘Federer is just more LIKEABLE’. That is just your opinion – which you are entitled to, and obviously Fed fans will say this. But to state that as an incontravertible fact is not right. Many others feel he is a fake – the embodiment of a poor loser, an expert in the art of ‘humble-bragging’, (which he is doing a lot lately now, as he isn’t losing since his miracle resurrection), and has shown himself to be arrogant in both speech and manner. This does not make him ‘just more likeable’. Quite the reverse for those who simply DON’T like him. Each to their own.

    He has not had to endure the years of criticism, vilification, constant sniping and goading by the media and as you can plainly see, the hardest draws overall during his career. Even when Djokovic was the number one player in the world this criticism and negativity never let up, ‘Why does nobody love Novak?’ ‘The Unloved Champ’ and other sensationalist headlines abounded. And his achievements such as holding all four GS at once were quickly glossed over and barely acknowledged. Yet has Djokovic ever hit back or spoken out about any of this? No, and that’s what I call ‘class and grace’.

    I wonder how Federer would have reacted in the face of constant negativity and virtual abuse? If he had not been fortunate enough to be adopted as the media darling, the ATP/sponsors’ cash cow and the fans’ dream boy, would he have enjoyed such a stellar and stainfree reputation? He has never been criticised publicly for anything, so we will never know. How easy it must be to appear perfect when one’s perfection is never challenged.

    One can’t deny his talent, but to invest him with the characteristics of a demi-god seems to indicate tunnel vision on the part of his fans. But that’s fandom I suppose – we ‘others’ have got used to it.

    [Reply]

    Gilbert Reply:

    But why is Federer so popular around the globe? For me it do not make any sense at all.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    When did infatuation or obsession ever make any sense? It’s probably partly due to the fact that yes, he began to win everything, morphed from a gawky unattractive teenager into a suave, well groomed, articulate and some would say handsome athlete – then the intense rivalry between ‘Beauty and The Beast’ (Nadal) took hold, so people could obsess over one or the other. Then as Ru-an says, the media and establishment saw their chance to promote him as everything that was good and noble, which gave fans the go-ahead to give him over the years a kind of rock star adulation. It seems almost like a cult, a sect, a religion – he can do no wrong. His followers worship him blindly. I don’t even know if it has much to do with actual tennis in some cases, though obviously some are true tennis fans who happen to adore him. Ru-an could explain it better, in fact I think he has in the past. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt the fans sincerity, but sometimes it does seem like a kind of mass hysteria. You HAVE to love Federer, otherwise you are the odd one out, the one who doesn’t recognise his god-like qualities and that makes you a lesser person. What do you always hear supposedly neutral commentators say? ‘Everybody loves Federer’, ‘Isn’t he wonderful? ‘The Maestro’, ‘The greatest player who ever lifted a racquet’. They don’t even see anything unusual in his miracle resurrection this year, but say ‘He’s a different player’, ‘he has turned back the clock by 10 years’ or ‘he’s playing like a 20 year old’ without a trace of irony, while non – worshippers are saying ‘WTF??’ Does anybody ever criticise him? No. Same with the media. So you feel almost guilty if you don’t care for him, and wonder if there is something wrong with you that you don’t ‘get’ him. To be honest, I sometimes wish I could be a Fed fan – it would be much easier to run with the herd and not for ever have to defend and despair when your personal favourite player gets nothing but negativity and in some cases utter unreasonable and vitriolic hatred (not here, thanks to Ru-an). I don’t hate him – save that for really evil people who deserve it, not tennis players – but I don’t like or admire him, and don’t care for his style of play. But I know I’m in the minority. He got to the party first, acquired a huge and loyal fan base and massive establishment and media support, and is apparently not going anywhere. Making sense doesn’t come into it, it is what it is.

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    What one can do to hope except that he maybe loses. Nevertheless, this is not sufficient. This is easy (simple) not enough. Or?

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Not much we can do except tough it out, Gilbert. X_X

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Very well said again! Your English is definitely better than mine :-P

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Thank you kindly. I don’t know where you come from but your English seems fine to me! :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I come from South Africa and grew up with Afrikaans as my first language. Sure my English is fine, but there is still something missing compared to folks that are really fluent in English. I think it’s getting better though as I study and read.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    That’s interesting. Well your English is a million times better than my Afrikaans! Kudos to you for putting yourself out there and writing a blog. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha, I bet. Thanks 🙏

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    And you think I say it better than you? Nonsense! This is perfect.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Thank you again! :-bd I think you are far more knowledgeable about tennis in general than I am. I just remembered an article you wrote from some time back, where you analysed the ‘why’ of the cult-like devotion of a certain section of Fed’s followers. It made a lot of sense and was really thought provoking. It may have been after the 2015 USO, but it stuck in my mind.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I would hope that if you come to read my blog that I am more knowledgeable about tennis than you ;-) And thanks!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It was priceless when Federer kept sitting in Djokovic’s chair at the WTF in 2015 and then Djokovic owned him in the final. Federer looked totally entitled and full of himself but Djokovic brought him down to earth HARD =))

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Yes, that was such a wonderful result. Fed’s actions were so petty and pointless and childish – not what you would expect from someone with so much class, and someone so – LIKEABLE. As always, I wonder what the reaction would have been if it had been his unsportsmanlike and graceless opponent who had done the deed?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    The real Federer came out when Djokovic owned him time after time in big matches from 2015-16. He was not accustomed to being beaten by the better player and his ugly side was there for all to see. The sense of entitlement was not a pretty sight X_X

    [Reply]

    Vince Murdoch Reply:

    This man is a volcano of hidden aggressivity. I wouldn’t have wondered even a bit if he had attacked Djokovic personally after having beaten by him so many times in front of a big crowd. That’s his real personality which he was able to hide over all the years (instead trying to show some behavior full of kindness which, by the way, I can’t see present in his character). But many of us can see through this facade and see who the real Federer is !

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, he is not a happy bunny when everyone isn’t fawning over him or when someone is simply better than him.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    From the article:

    ‘Djokovic is on the verge of capturing the respect that has eluded him for much of his career. He seems to become more statesmanlike with every match—a grass-stained Mark Zuckerberg, outgrowing the gawkiness that characterized his early years. Even Roy Emerson offered a glowing assessment of his comportment. “He has definitely changed,” Emerson told me, in August. “I watched him play Murray at Wimbledon, and he seems to have grown up, and actually conducted himself terrifically in the final. He seems to be moving in the right direction.”’

    I agree there was a time when Djokovic’s behavior was poor but what I like about him is that he evolves and grows. I wasn’t always a fan but he grew on me. I became a fan in 2015 when Federer’s game and personality started to repel me. Listen to this at 1:35:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmFMiKse8oQ

    Djokovic now acts like a champion while Federer is still the same self-absorbed and arrogant individual. Djokovic has far more depth, humility, and charisma as a person because he had it tough in his youth as you saw in the article. Federer always had everything going his way compared to Djokovic and appears to be a spoiled and shallow individual.

    I was never crazy about his personality, to begin with. I mostly liked him for his tennis but eventually, the serve-botting started boring me. To me, Djokovic is far more LIKEABLE now, which is what Fedfans can’t understand. They call me a fairweather fan, which tells you a lot about why they are Fedfans.

    They expected me to change back to Federer when Djokovic struggled and Federer started winning again but I didn’t and now they are surprised because they can’t understand that I don’t support players for the same shallow reasons that they do(supporting the ‘best’). I support Djokovic not only because his tennis is more interesting than Federer’s to me but because I like him a lot more than Federer.

    Therefore I will NEVER switch back. Sorry to disappoint the Fedfans! Federer has been so hyped by the media and Djokovic treated so badly that I am not surprised that many people think Federer is more likable. But people who can’t be brainwashed by the media like me see through all the hype and BS.

    Sure Djokovic gets fired up but I like that about him and I certainly don’t want him to be another Federer or Nadal. He has a distinctive and real personality compared to Fedal’s PR acts. He is funny and charismatic. His audacity to be his own man in the era of Fedal is the reason he beats them like a drum and why he is not just another choker who caves in to them.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    I knew you could say it better than I could. Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :-bd

    [Reply]

    Tarik Reply:

    So all those years when you were Roger’s #1 fan, were brain washed then as u claim we all are now? Gee that’s QUITE A LONG time to under such a spell? It is astounding that, not long ago you used to preach about all the things that u are now Against? And we’re supposed all act like didnt switch parties? It’s like you were a Liberal now your a NAZI! Are u SURE it’s us Fedfans that are Brainwashed? Im Lost!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Calm down. There is no need for the drama. I never claimed all of you were brainwashed. And there came a time when Federer changed so to say I was brainwashed all those years is taking it a bit far. I also never said you shouldn’t act like I didn’t switch parties. I said that you shouldn’t have a problem with it. What I did was completely natural and normal. It is the Fedfans who are acting like NAZIS. And yes, the Federer cult are the brainwashed ones. They think Federer is a divine being which he is far from.

    [Reply]

    Eelco Reply:

    Hey, hey, hey.

    Killing millions of jews is infinitely worse than being a Federer (or for that matter Djokovic) fanatic.

    You shouldn’t compare the two. This is disgusting and I would like Tarik and you to apologise for these appalling statements.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nah I don’t think I will apologize. I think you should apologize for asking me to apologize instead of the person who came to my blog and called me a Nazi.

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    It is a shocking comparison. You took it too far and there is no shame in backtracking from what you’ve said. Do the right thing.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Another jerk attacking me instead of the person who started it. You think that is smart given that I am the one in control here and not the person who started it? What’s wrong with you? Apologize or suffer a temporary ban.

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    He didn’t say you acting like a nazi. He made a comparison when you changed from one extreme to another.

    You however, made a irrational generalisation and called all federer fans acting like nazis. That’s just a sick thing to write.

    Both are wrong, but one definitely sounds worse than the other.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    How dumb do you think I am? He said ‘now your a NAZI!’ and I said ‘acting like NAZIS’. You can come back when you apologize :-h

    [Reply]

    Eelco Reply:

    Can’t you read? I wrote “Tarik and you”.

    But ok, I will respond to Tarik’s statement too.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Can’t you read? You replied to him. You are banned until you apologize.

    [Reply]

    Eelco Reply:

    Tarik
    This is disgusting. Using the word Nazi for becoming a Djokovic fan.

    You two are acting like a bunch of 3 year olds.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Calm down little drama queen I can fight my own battles. Mind your own business.

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    When I read Nazi I think of Gottfried von Gramm. He was the only German who won Roland Garros back in the 1930s. It was in the so called Nazi Era.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    :))

    [Reply]

    Tarik Reply:

    Yeah that was a bit much! But sometimes We all get carried away when talking about things that we are passionate about (Sports, politics, religion ect)! But I actually really respect most of Ruan’s tennis acumen & He was the 1st Blogger that I really followed and admired. So it’s not been an easy transition for Fed fens! But Im trying to embrace the New Ruan & respect his right 2 change, however, difficult that might be. We obviously disagree on all thins “Federer” but we still should be able 2 argue & debate respectively. And that’s wat Im going to TRY & do moving foward. And hopefully all the Djokerfans will do the same because “Ultimately”, what we all have in common, is the love of tennis…..

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    👍

    [Reply]

  4. Hi Ru-an,
    first I want to thank you for the many blog entries the last time, you seem to be on a roll although your player is going through a difficult time – my respect for this.

    I want to take some things into account regarding the “weak era” topic. Just because some players weren’t as consistent throughout their career as the “Big 4”, doesn’t mean that they were weak and easier to beat on a given day. Especially Safin or Roddick on grass, who Federer beat in 3 Wimby finals (+1 US), were probably stronger and tougher to beat than Murray for example. Another player who comes to my mind is Del Potro, who put Federer up a hard fight to win his RG title, just to beat him 3 months later at the US Open, where he also demolished Nadal in the SF.

    So I think no one can say whether Djokovic’s RG title (facing only Murray on his weakest surface) was the greater achievment or Federer’s title in 2009.

    This leads me to another point, as you also said, that you can only beat who’s in front of you and that some players were stronger than the big names. It’s not the case that Nadal, Murray or Djokovic hadn’t entered this year’s Wimbledon, they just lost before facing Federer. A good example is also the Wimby tournament in 2009, when Federer had to beat Haas and Roddick en route to the title, who knocked out Djokovic (4th seed) and Murray (3rd seed) the rounds before. So I think it’s wrong to put slams like this in the so called “weak era” category.

    As I agree with you that there is no GOAT and that it’s more a media/marketing tool, and I think it’s pretty much the same case with the “Big 4”. The golden age of tennis with multiple Slam winners standing above all others is a perfect seller for the sport and I would go one step further, that it’s even generated by the officials (homogenization of the surfaces, change of the seeding system). Marc Rosset has a point her: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tennis-open-rosset-idUSBRE94S12120130529

    Looking forward to your views on my points.

    Cheers,
    Klaus

    [Reply]

    Klaus Reply:

    sorry, should be Ruan!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Fixed for you! ;-) I’ll reply later.

    [Reply]

    Throttle2017 Reply:

    The GOAT debate is getting bored. The ‘weak’ era again is another subjective topic. Because Federer was so good during his prime in the mid 2000s, it makes the players in his generation appeared weak.

    It’s probably true Nadal and Djokovic are competing in a era where there are at least 3 very strong players ( Djokovic, Nadal and Federer) – adding Murray and Wawrinka we have 5 strong players who has equal opportunity to win a slam. If any of them is eliminated early or injured, the other players then take over the role of the GS winner. That’s why it’s harder for the younger generation to breakthrough. That’s why the player ended up winning the most slams in this era can be considered the GOAT too. However, because Federer is 5-6 yr older and started as a TOP player earlier, he really should not be in the league of other 4 after 2012. In fact ,He was expected to retire a few years ago but he still hasn’t. Hence, the debate who is GOAT is not relevant. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic all can be considered among the best players, but none of them is GOAT because there is no equal measurement of their achievements. There are many variables to be considered. The media and the general sports readers will of course pick the player with most GS as the all time great just because it is the more straightforward benchmark) Like any other sports). If not, the prestige and purpose of a GS Is meaningless.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well said! 👏

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You’re welcome, Klaus, and thanks. I am not making any judgments. The stats and numbers speak for themselves. All I’m saying that in my opinion is it impossible to determine a GOAT. There is a GOAT(which is why I still accept a debate about it) but there are too many variables to determine who it is.

    [Reply]

  5. I think you should also have included Slam where in Big 4 played & were not able to reach finals to to face Roger…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Does it matter? When a big 4 member reaches another big 4 member they are still harder to beat on average than when another player reaches them.

    [Reply]

  6. Hey Ruan,
    I think you should rename your website to:
    theultimatedjokovicblog.com
    or
    ruansdjokovicblog.com
    Previously you named it ruansfedererblog.com and you claimed that you were the most die hard fan of Federer on Earth and that no one understands his game better than you.
    At that time all of your articles had Federer in it no matter whatever the outcome.
    Anyone coming to your website knew it beforehand what to expect on the articles.
    Then suddenly one day you decided to switch sides; may be you realized that Federer would never win as long as Djokovic is there and so you started being his fan.
    Now, Federer is winning again just like his younger days and Djokovic is no where to be seen at later stages of the tournaments. This is something I feel you are not able to digest as an ex Federer fan.
    You supporting anyone\ switching sides is your personal choice, but I personally feel that the articles you write should reflect in the name of your website http://www.theultimatetennisblog.com
    The recent articles that you have written are just childish and immature to me. You are hell bent on trying to keep Djokovic above Federer by putting some or the other kind of stats. Come on, Federer just won something which has never been done in Tennis history. As an ex-tennis player and his ex-greatest fan, I think Federer deserves much more than this especially from you.
    Trying to downgrade someones achievement just to keep our player at a higher level is not at all a right thing to do.
    Anyone visiting http://www.theultimatetennisblog.com will expect a totally unbiased article which will only make people admire you more and more and you definitely can do that as evidenced from many articles that you have written before.

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    I am also switching the sides from Murray to Djokoic. From Wimbledon 2012 to Wimby 2013 I was a Murray Man. Then I decided to switch to the Serb. From 1992 to 2012 I am watch no Tennis at all.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    There is nothing wrong with changing favorites. Only the Federer cult who thinks Federer is God thinks it is a sin to change favorites. Anyone can support anyone whenever they want.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Just because my website is named Ultimate Tennis Blog doesn’t mean I have to be unbiased and neither do I claim to be. I repeatedly state that I am biased towards Djokovic but that I think the rest of the big 4 are all great players and I have other favorites as well. Calling it Ultimate Djokovic Blog like you claim would make the same mistake as I did when I called this Ruans Federer Blog while it wasn’t just a Federer fan blog.

    There are plenty of those kinds of blogs on the web where the blog only blogs about Federer like PeRFect Tennis Blog. I always had an interest in tennis in general, not just one player. When my favorite loses I still blog or when my favorite is not involved in an event. That is not the case with blogs like PeRFect Tennis Blog. I am not that fanatical, as evidenced by the fact that I became a Djokovic fan.

    Just like I became a fan of Agassi after I was a Sampras fan. I like having favorites and being completely unbiased doesn’t interest me and I am not going to pretend that it does like some pundits while at the same time, everyone can see that they have favorites. So I will keep supporting Djokovic and my blog’s name will remain Ultimate Tennis Blog 👍

    As for ‘downgrading’ Federer’s achievements, that is not entirely true because I have stated many times how impressive his achievements are. But there has to be a counter-force to all this hype and fanaticism surrounding Federer and I like playing that role. The Internet is saturated with articles and journalists fawning Federer 24/7. Why is my opinion so important?

    This is the best tennis blog on the web but it is still just one blog. And I refuse to fawn over Federer 24/7 like the mainstream media. If that is what you are looking for just type ‘Federer’ into Google.

    [Reply]

  7. Federer does not belong to the same generation as of the rest of the members of Big Four. A more proper yardstick would be how many Grand Slam champions he had to face in the Grand Slam finals.

    [Reply]

  8. Federer wins AELTC without losing a set and equals Borg who did that at twenty

    Should Federer go on to win USO 17, then he would have gone a calender year unbeaten in Grand Slam matches whilst winning 3 Grand Slams, and equaling Connors who did that aged twenty-one

    Federer at thirty-five is matching results of players almost half his age whilst
    Federer himself looks ‘aged’ whilst posting these ‘young’ results

    So you are allowed to be a bit confused

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Exactly. You are allowed to be confused. If you are not confused you don’t know much about the history of tennis.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    The thing that confuses me is that so many people seem to accept this miracle as entirely normal (for a tennis God) and not in the least bit weird.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It is a little weird but you also have to take into account that Federer started playing better when he changed to a bigger racquet in 2014 and changed his coaching staff. He was playing great in 2015-16 but Djokovic was in his way. He could easily have won 3 more slams during that time without Djokovic. So his form itself isn’t anything new. It’s just the absence of Djokovic.

    [Reply]

    MS Reply:

    What about Nadal though ? In 2011 , Djokovic brought the world #1 Nadal to the ground in 7 humiliating final beatings, something never seen before perhaps. Ever since, every title Nadal has collected is only when Djokovic has had a dip in form either due to physical/emotional or motivational issues. Nadal is more Djokovic’s own generation than Federer and it is surprising how you never bring that up while going on and on about Federer. Neither do you mention the super easy draws that Nadal always ends up with each and every time in slams. In comparison, both Federer and Djokovic have had it tough.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Same thing for Nadal. I bring it up enough.

    [Reply]

    Monica Reply:

    Lynsey Adams

    I have read all your posts in which you continually make snide and derogative remarks about Federer. Like many other Novak fans you will say anything to discredit Federer because you just can’t bear the fact that he is loved and admired all over the world. After being away from the game for 6 months last year to come back and achieve what he has so far, though it must sicken you, rather than say nothing you imply that it is weird what are you really suggesting? Of course they all have their faults and none of them are perfect. Novak is loved by all his fans why can’t you just be happy with all his wonderful achievements. As a Federer fan I hope the rest that Novak is taking, like Roger did sees him come back in January in good health and once again scaling the heights and back to his best, not looking for all the things I don’t like about him, building on them, adding to them and turning everything he says into something arrogant or ill meaning. Your problem is your own twisted disposition. As for Roger’s worldwide popularity it is never going to change, learn to live with it.

    [Reply]

    Gilbert Reply:

    I don’t like Federer. Learn to live with that too. He is not likeable and also arrogant.
    Greetings from Germany

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Since I am a person who is always growing I also find Djokovic more likable than Federer now. Djokovic used to be unlikable but he matured a lot. Federer, on the other hand, seems like all the fawning over him went to his head. I don’t like him anymore.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    I don’t know what right on earth you think you have to order me to ‘live with’ anything. Perhaps you have learned such arrogance from your idol. I have every right to have an opinion, and every right to voice that opinion as long as I am not abusive, which I am not. I can assure you that anything I have said that displeases you is extremely mild in comparison to the vile abuse heaped upon Novak on some Fed-centric forums. I am aware that Fed is ‘loved and admired’ all over the world’ but that doesn’t mean I have to join the cult and feel the same. I don’t happen to find him likeable and have always thought his manner arrogant. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he ‘sickens’ me – he is only a tennis player, not worthy of that much emotion.

    It actually shows a more ‘twisted disposition’ on your part to stalk me, a person you know nothing about – only to offer me online abuse instead of a rational discussion. Asking me why I can’t be happy with Novak’s achievements is one thing, and obviously I am, you surely cannot think otherwise, so don’t go trying the passive-aggressive line with that – because then you just can’t resist being offensive can you?
    You just HAVE to be arrogant and abusive. Oh dear, how sad. I don’t understand why you have to be that way – after all, your guy is back at the top, why can’t you just be happy with that? What does it matter what a minority like me think or say? Why does it bother you so much?

    I think you will find that I am not the only person who feel that Fed’s miracle resurrection is somewhat unbelievable. Naturally that does not include his fans, which is expected. You won’t get anything further on that subject from me here, out of respect for Ru-an. A sensible and lengthy discussion has already taken place without you. If you wish to find out more on the subject, I suggest you keep up the stalking, and I’m sure you will find others with opinions that offend you, that you can be righteously indignant about and perhaps even other strangers to abuse. You are never going have any effect on anything I think or say, you are never going to to purge the whole world of those who are just not Fed fans. Learn to live with it.

    [Reply]

  9. Yes, media push this chap, Roger, into the spotlight and constantly praise him and favour him. I think that is because of 3 main reasons:
    1. He is a money making machine( that’s why he will always play on central courts cause he attracts the crowds) and tennis is a business which has to be profitable; it’s only logical to allow yourself if you are the host of the tournament , as the direct beneficiary, a greater chance to make more money. Federer also makes ratings go through the roof, again more money therefore media will promote him with bias support. The examples could go on forever.
    2.He is probably the most versatile and marketable of all players that ever lived. He can easily and fluently promote tennis in at least 3 different languages…almost like a native speaker. Compare that with the broken English most tennis players have(whose first language is not English) and you just got your second reason. No one can listen to Wawrinka, Nadal or Nishikori for more than 2 minutes…in fact they don’t speak more 5han that anyway as they only know about 50 words in English…with all the respect for their game etc
    3. Last but not least and the most important feat is Federer’s game and the impact it has on viewers. What all people should realise, whether they like Federer or not, is that no media or anyone else could force you to watch Federer if his game was shit, if he wasn’t able to deliver, if he constantly lost, if he was not fun to watch.
    People, millions actually, want to watch him, and pay loads of money for that, not because they are brainwashed as it was stated, but because they want to witness something unique. They want to see that shot that only Federer can produce. The truth is that, when at his best, Federer’s game is a form of art, something that no other player can really produce no matter how hard they try. This is by the way something that moves people inside and it’s also something no stat can incorporate. It’s this ineffable art that makes most people, former players or not, conclude that he is the GOAT.
    Everything is, of course, a matter of personal preference but these 3 reasons explain why he is liked by most people, soecialists or not.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Oh, there is no doubt that his tennis is very entertaining and a form of art. I was a fan for 10 years I would know. But there certainly is a certain amount of brainwashing going on by the media. That is just the nature of the media, our society and the economic system of capitalism. Federer is not a divine god as portrayed by the media. He has plenty of flaws as a person and as a tennis player as has already been pointed out in the comment section.

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    He sure has. No doubt about that. In fact, they all have! They are all selfish and irritable when it comes to trying to be no 1, breaking records etc…otherwise they would have never achieved these incredible feats.
    While I agree that there are loads of brainwashed people that only regurgitate what mainstream media feeds them, I don’t agree that most people who like Fed do that because of media.
    In regards to GOAT debate, whether u can quantify of not, ( even stats are circumstacial sometimes: e.g Phillipousis hit 46 aces to beat Agassi from 2 sets down in 2003, Gonzalez beat Nadal in 2007 etc) this will continue cause it’s fun and keeps people taking sides.
    However, when it’s all said and done, it will be difficult to beat any of Federer’s numbers and he will be most likely called the greatest

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Many of his numbers have already been beaten by Djokovic like most consecutive slam titles won, longest winning streak, Masters titles, most dominant season, weeks in the top 4, etc. Also, Federer’s h2h with his two main rivals are problematic and the competition he faced as shown in this post. He probably will be called the greatest but so what? It doesn’t mean he will be greatest.

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    H2h is a lot more complex than the numbers suggest. It’s about surface, health, ability to change or not as well as age. It’s also about match-ups: Federer struggled with Nadal, Nadal with Davidenko, Nole with Roddick. Yet Fed did not struggle with Davidenko or Roddick, just to give a few examples…Im sure you know more.
    I also think u are right about the racket…Fed is playing more confident now but I fo not think he will be able to keep this up for much longer…age is not just a number! All it takes is a 4 hour match….

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    It will be interesting to see though how Nole and Nadal will play in the next 3-4 years…
    We will be able to look at this debate with more objective eyes

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yup, people want to make judgments too early. It’s far from over.

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    That thing with being divine, god-like, religious etc is, pfff, surely very, very wrong!!!
    That is when logic and reason are simply brushed aside by irrational beliefs! I suppose it does become religious and even fanatical although I for one can never relate, understand or accept this kind of behaviour! Even if you like Fed, Nole or Rafa to win (depending on who u like), you should be able to look at facts and analyse without trying to find excuses for your favourite …but suppose that means one has to objective then 🤔

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    To be objective…

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Now you’re talking 👍

    [Reply]

    Throttle2017 Reply:

    You sum it all.
    Federer is indeed the perfect embassador for tennis. He is truly global with his fluent multi language skills and Super clean image. In the latest shanghai open promo he even spoke some mandarin!
    He is no god by by means but he certainly is the most marketable and has the results to back it up. His tennis technique is also second to none, and is enjoyable to watch. Unfortunately for the next generation of players it’s a uphill task to match his capability and achievements.
    So for Djokovic or Nadal to snatch away 10+ grand slams whilst Federer is still a TOP player is no fuke, they make things difficult for him and ultimately push up the tennis popularity.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I also agree that Federer is the perfect ambassador for the sport. He has the kind of image that the average Joe would like. PR polished and all. I would like to think I am a little more sophisticated than the average Joe though. At least in tennis terms.

    [Reply]

  10. Hi Ru-an, I’ve been following your blog since a few months now although this is the first time I’m commenting here. I’ve been a huge fan of Nole since 2008. I never quite expected that he would reach the heights of Federer and Nadal whereas now he is much better than them at least in my book. I see that you were a Federer fan once and later became a Nolefan after seeing the light realizing the true nature of Federer and his cult worship. Better late than never. I was looking for a good tennis blog which I could follow, and recently I happened to come across one of your posts. You hit the right chord every single time. As they say, you hit ’em right where it hurts. And by them I of course mean the tennis establishment and the media.
    I would like to share a bit about myself and how I became a Nole fan – I was so fed up and frustrated seeing Federer dominate a weak era for a long time. Then Nole came as a blessing in disguise in 2007. He first cauht my attention when he beat Federer in Canada. Then came the famous win at AO 2008 which led to Nole’s first ever GS title. And the domination in 2011 was extra-ordinary. Although he had a bit of a slump in 2012-14, normal service resumed in 2015 and he started conquering the tennis world again. At one point he looked unstoppable. Federer’s 17 slams and the weeks at no. 1 were in sight for my Nole. When he won 4 slams in a row, which is undoubtedly the best ever achievement in tennis history, I was over the moon. Little did I know what disaster would follow after that. Nole had some personal problems, lack of motivation, injury, etc. you name it. It’s almost like I couldn’t even recognize who this guy was. He was a complete stranger to me. Then he slowly started annoying me little by little. First was when he hired Pepe and fired Becker. Than he even dumped his childhood team, hired “super-coaches” like Agassi and Ancic. He basically started changing coaches like socks.
    I mean, he doesn’t even realize his true potential. We’re again facing a weak era where old and out-of-prime Federer and Nadal are dominating again? For sure Nole would have owned both of them if he was playing anywhere close to his best. It’s like he doesn’t even want to try. He is supposed to win at least 16-17 slams for his caliber. It looks like even winning one more is doubtful. Not even in my wildest dreams had I imagined that I would be seeing such a day. Terrible. I lost almost all my interest in tennis. Tennis is nothing without Nole. I have very little hope for his resurgance.

    Sorry for such a long first comment. Hope you get time to read and reply.
    Cheers

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    This is the very best posting of the day from the emotional side.
    I totally agree with you.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Gurvinder, thanks and nice to hear from you! Just be careful not to fall into the same trap as the Federer cult. You are overreacting a bit about Djokovic’s struggles imo. Yes, it is bad but let’s face it we were spoiled rotten when he won the personal slam and kept beating Federer in big matches. Just be grateful for that first of all and don’t lose hope so fast.

    Partnering with Agassi and Ancic is a great thing. It’s the best thing that came out of this whole slump and wouldn’t have happened otherwise. You should be a little more like your favorite and realize that everything happens for a reason. I think the Agassi partnership has huge potential and that Djokovic is far from done.

    [Reply]

    Gurvinder Reply:

    I don’t know Ru-an. I know I’m supposed to have more faith in my favorite player and all that. As a person, I still adore him, as I think he’s a good person by heart. I had the pleasure of meeting him once in Beijing 2014. He seemed like a truly humble and charming person. Much better than Federer and Nadal who are just more or less programmed robots. Having said that, it’s his recent loss of passion towards the sport which he was once dominating like nobody else that puts me off. I’ve followed this guy closely for almost 10 years now, and I’ve never seen him so disconnected on court. That’s the main reason I’m finding it tough to look up to Nole as a tennis player.
    Also, I don’t see any change whatsoever which Agassi/Ancic have brought to him so far. What do you think they bring to his game/mentality? I do hope that changes.

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    By the way, any news about Djokovic so far? With the elbow?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    He was in Toronto this week to see a doctor and now he is back to Belgrade where he will have an announcement next week I think.

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    If he should fail the rest of the year and return to the AO, how secure is his staying in the top 5 until then?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t know. Looks like he will not play the USO and will need 6-12 weeks recovery time.

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    It is a Disaster. Somebody must be stop Murray and the Swiss. Nadal?
    The Top 5 are very important. Top 4 not too much i think.

    [Reply]

  11. Simple reason why Fed barely faced the big four is because the bulk of his slams were won during 2003-2007 when Murray and Djokovic were barely around. Nadal was too inconsistent on hard courts to face him during that period.

    Age gap. We can’t expect a teen Djokovic, Murray or Nadal for that matter to challenge Fed during that period at Slam level lol.

    [Reply]

    Eren Reply:

    I don’t think rankings matter that much. Marat Safin ranked at 86? Ok, but his level of tennis in that Slam was higher than that. In 2005 he was ranked relatively low and played one of the highest levels of tennis, ever (not necessarily THE highest). He went toe to toe with Prime Fed and beat him in that SF.

    Safin, Philippoussis and Bhagdatis really increased that average. Safin would be the worst player he faced in Slam finals according to rankings, but that’s simply not true. Rankings don’t tell you how a guy played in one specific match.

    [Reply]

    John Reply:

    Absolutely. That’s why making such comparisons between players that emerged in slightly different eras is not only inaccurate but also bias towards one player or another.
    Also any reasonable debate should be concluded when they all stopped playing.

    [Reply]

  12. I don’t see the point of the stat regarding slams won not having played one of the “Big 4” (a problematic notion itself, since Murray does not really belong in the same conversation with Fed, Rafa, and Nole). In any case, when Fed won his first 12 slams from 2003 through 2007, the concept of a “Big 4” didn’t exist yet, with only Rafa really being a fellow contender in those years (though Nole did make his first GS final at the 2007 US Open).

    And is it Fed’s fault that the other 3 all fell by the wayside at Wimbledon this year and he was the only one of the 4 left standing by the semis? Hard to play them when they lose early! Same in Rafa’s early years when Fed was making so many hard court GS finals, while it took Rafa until 2009 Australian to finally make one.

    [Reply]

  13. Federer ain’t the goat when he is 3/9 Nadal and 6/9 Djokovic in all grand slam matches
    As well as 3/6 Nadal and 1/3 Djokovic in grand slam finals
    Which equals 9/18 & 4/9 aggregates respectively
    This isn’t just a dent on the resume
    People like Sampras had no such dent despite playing 18 grand slam finals

    [Reply]

    Eren Reply:

    Pete had the luxury to meet most of his opponents in his prime on the surfaces that suited him the best. For Federer that wasn’t the case. His second Slam final against Djokovic was when Fed was nearly 33.If Sampras would have met Nadal 5 times at the FO, go figure what the H2H would be.

    However, I agree that Fed isn’t the GOAT.

    Also, Sampras got breadsticked twice in a row in one USO final against Hewitt. Not because Hewitt was a better player overall, but Sampras was a little worse than he used to be. Those situations do not translate one to one with Fed’s case but it shows that age matters.

    It reminds me, Djokovic’s H2H against Nadal in Slams is 4-9, so he isn’t the GOAT either.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    No one is the GOAT but both Djokovic and Federer’s h2h records vs Nadal is skewed because of clay. Just like all Nadal’s other h2h records. Take away all the FO losses and both Federer and Djokovic have better h2h with Nadal but Federer still has a 3-4 losing record while Djokovic has a 4-3 winning record.

    At the same time, Federer has a losing record vs Djokovic in slams of 6-9. Also, Djokovic leads the overall h2h with Nadal and has owned him 11-2 in their last 13 meetings. I think losing h2h vs Nadal in slams is a pretty damn poor argument for not being the GOAT. Saying that is like saying Federer has no chance whatsoever of being the GOAT.

    [Reply]

    Eren Reply:

    “Take away all the FO losses and both Federer and Djokovic have better h2h with Nadal but Federer still has a 3-4 losing record while Djokovic has a 4-3 winning record.”

    That’s true, but in non-clay Slam finals Federer has the lead of 3-2. Djokovic has the same record of 3-2 against Nadal in non-clay Slam finals.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok, you clearly didn’t get my point. But that’s fine.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, that is a poor record for a ‘GOAT’. Just another reason why a GOAT can’t be determined.

    [Reply]

  14. I see there are some comments here which can’t come to terms with the fact that federer is a more likable person than djokovic. You are blaming it on the media that they portray federer as Mr perfect and djokovic as a sort of bad guy. So you then go on to complain that federer is arrogant and is not as nice and humble as it is made out. But just imagine you were in his situation, where you have broken countless records in tennis, have hundreds of millions in your bank account, and have a massive fan base round the world. Would you not have that bit of arrogance? Of course you would, and it doesn’t make you a bad person. If you don’t have that tiny bit of arrogance about yourself you won’t get very far. He has to be able to tell himself that he is capable of beating every player out there to have a chance of winning.
    And then you complain that djokovic is not portrayed as Mr nice guy. The fans connect to a player to a certain extent. Now if a player goes and hires a spiritual guru the fans start to feel all wierd. They just don’t understand what place this player is in. It’s supposed to be a tennis match, not a place to learn deeper meanings of life.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘I see there are some comments here which can’t come to terms with the fact that federer is a more likable person than djokovic.’

    Now you just sound like the average fanatical Fedfan. It is fine if you like Federer more than Djokovic but that doesn’t mean he is ‘a more likable person’. That’s like saying Federer is the GOAT because you like him more. I’m not saying Federer is a bad person. I just like Djokovic more. I’m sorry if that bothers you. Personally, I don’t care if Djokovic is portrayed as a bad guy. I like a villain anyway. They are usually more charismatic than the good guy.

    The problem is when the media portrays Federer as the good guy and Djokovic as the bad guy it influences people who can’t think for themselves and that affects how Djokovic is perceived and treated. Like the way he was treated in the 2015 USO final for instance. That’s unacceptable but fortunately, he is so mentally strong and simply better than Federer at his peak that he still won in 4 sets.

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    You say that you dont think federer is a bad guy. This is a quote from one of your comments.
    “Djokovic now acts like a champion while Federer is still the same self-absorbed and arrogant individual. Djokovic has far more depth, humility, and charisma as a person because he had it tough in his youth as you saw in the article. Federer always had everything going his way compared to Djokovic and appears to be a spoiled and shallow individual”. Sounds rather nasty to me with a deep underlying hatred towards the fellow.
    Face the fact that djokovic will never be as loved. Even if he tried really hard when he gets the ball boys to join in with him at the end of a match to do his fake love thing to the crowd. And that’s after he’s screamed and abused those very same ball boys during the match when things weren’t going so nice and smoothly.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol, your comment sounds more hateful towards Djokovic than my comment towards Federer.

    ‘deep underlying hatred’ is absurd. That is entirely your own take and have nothing whatsoever to do with the truth.

    [Reply]

  15. As time goes on, I find myself less enthusiastic about tennis. Maybe it’s age, and I realize this all means nothing in reality. Does anyone know who won the 3rd Wimbledon final? I’m sure he was a superstar at one point. So what. There are much more important things in life, but it is fun to be entertained by sports figures. I’ve always like Fed, except when I first saw him beat Pete Sampras. After that, his style, grace, and personality were fun to watch and see. Still route for him, and I personally like that I stuck with him when I really thought he’d never win another, based upon his age and Djoker seeming unstoppable, but he proved us all wrong. I like Novak, but I think winning has lost the value he once put on it after “real life” started to affect him. On to the U.S. Open, and may the Greatest at This Time win another. Go Fed. G

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think it’s great that you stuck with Federer when it seemed he was done. I just don’t like it when Fedfans judge me because I evolved as a tennis fan and like Djokovic more.

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    I think people don’t like the way you use the fact that you are a djokovic fan to belittle federer. As in every time federer accomplishes something great you try to show us all that it’s not that good. For example, federer wins a record 8th wimbledon title and a article appears which tells us how we can’t call someone a goat. Interesting timing?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘I think people don’t like the way you use the fact that you are a djokovic fan to belittle federer.’

    Of course, they don’t. The mainstream media, after all, told them that Federer is all that’s good and noble while Djokovic is all that’s bad and repulsive :))

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    You’re shocking. You say you’ve evolved as a tennis fan. It’s pretty clear that it’s not tennis you like. You like djokovic. That means you’ve evolved from a federer fan to a djokovic fan. A tennis fan would enjoy both players and maybe root for one during a match. You take it way too personally.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok :))

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    I don’t mean to be rude, but it sounds as though you are the one who is taking this all too personally. Your guy won, why can’t you just be happy about that? It’s no use getting in a state if some people just don’t worship him.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    There are countless articles and interviews plastered all over the world’s media which devote unending column inches to Fed’s achievements, telling us how wonderful he is and never ever uttering a single word of criticism or challenging the perceived view that he is a celestial being without flaw or fault. I don’t understand why ONE blog which dares to question this viewpoint, (without ever being offensive or abusive, which is more than can be said for some Fedfan forums where hatred and bile for his opponents can be found in abundance) should bother people so much. The simple answer is, if the views expressed here annoy you, just stick to the other 999,999. Surely that’s enough adoration for anybody?

    [Reply]

    Marta Philip Reply:

    A Fed fan has very little leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about belittling. Most of you guys will argue all day long about him being the GOAT without considering anybody’s achievements, nothing is good enough to be mentioned or even their names to be mentioned in the same breath as Federer’s.

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    If someone had a website called cheap clothes and they sold expensive cloths you would find it strange.
    If you call yourself the ultimate tennis blog then you should be exactly that. I understand if you want to have a slightly more open view than the main stream media but to have a agenda that fully supports one player and finds problems with others is misleading.
    So if you only want djokovic fans, or you don’t wan tanyone to complain, then change the name of the website.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I think you whine a little too much. Take this blog post from me for instance. How is that so biased towards Djokovic? Didn’t I say that no one can be GOAT including Djokovic? If I was really so biased I would have said Djokovic is the GOAT because personal slam, more balanced resume, better h2hs, higher peak level, tougher competition faced, etc.

    Maybe you are the biased one? If I was so biased I wouldn’t have blogged about the Wimbledon final either and Federer would not be holding the Wimbledon trophy on the home page of my blog now.

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    If djokovic would have won wimbledon would you have had this sort of article a day or two after he won it? Or would you have had a couple of “celebration” articles?
    You had a article about federer winning wimbledon (albeit rather a tame one) and if you didn’t you would have been considered blind.
    Just enjoy tennis

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    But I have never believed in a GOAT, to begin with. I like to debate and speculate but how can you determine it with certainty? Too many variables. I just saw the table on Twitter and thought it was very telling and that it would make for an interesting post. And then there was the biased scheduling and all the media garbage.

    So again, I am a Djokovic fan, I am biased, and I will make posts about him. That doesn’t mean I can’t respect or support other players or make posts about them. I think you should be grateful that I made a post about the Wimby final because it was a snooze fest like all Federer’s other matches. I actually said I wouldn’t but thought better of it.

    And I will enjoy tennis like I have for the last 30 years.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    ‘So if you only want djokovic fans, or you don’t want anyone to complain, then change the name of the website…’ Why? I don’t presume to speak for Ru-an, but where does it say that he only wants Djokovic fans? There are plenty of Fed fans posting here, it’s only the abusive and delusional who get weeded out first. And I don’t think he cares two hoots if people complain, I fact I think he quite likes it, and it encourages debate. Other players and their prospects are often discussed during tournaments, and it would be pretty boring if we all said the same thing and held the same opinions.

    But why does it bother you so much? There are a million other Fed-centred blogs if you don’t like this one. If it was changed to a ‘Djokovic-only’ blog, it wouldn’t give us the options for such wide ranging discussion. And actually I have seen Ru-an direct criticism at Djokovic, for instance contributing to his own downfall by not taking time out when his body dictated. So you can hardly accuse him of being blindly biased in favour of one player. Biased maybe, but still aware of his faults and flaws and not afraid to draw attention to them. Which is more than can be said for Fed fans in general to be honest…

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    “The simple answer is, if the views expressed here annoy you, just stick to the other 999,999. Surely that’s enough adoration for anybody?”.
    I was personally looking for a tennis blog and came across this one. The name of the website led me to believe that this a person expressing his views on tennis in general.
    But boy was I wrong. They are completely biased to one player. So if you are asking me what I am doing reading this blog it’s because I was led to believe that this is the ultimate tennis blog.
    And I don’t consider it any better if his opinion is thag djokovic should have a rest. Give it a day off.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    I’m not asking you why you’re reading this blog. Why would I have any feelings about that one way or the other – read it or don’t read it, it makes no difference to me. I just wonder why you’re complaining so much about what it’s called or what it isn’t called and why it bothers you so much – it isn’t exactly a matter of life and death. Yet you still continue to read it and waste your valuable time on it. It obviously doesn’t meet with your expectations, so why not find a blog you like better? Just Google ‘Blogs about Roger Federer’ and I’m sure you’ll come up with something more suitable. BTW it’s no use telling me to ‘give it a day off’ whatever that means. I’m quite happy here and I’m going nowhere. If that’s OK with you.

    [Reply]

  16. I think one of the problems with the “Federer is more likable” idea is the fact that it’s generalized to the point that other players fans are not allowed to exist. When I say “I don’t like Federer and I prefer Novak”, people look at me as if I’m mad or I have a contagious disease that they must not catch.
    The media is so bent on selling Federer at any cost that Nole has obviously become the public enemy #1 and like him, his fans must be eliminated. The level of persecution he endures through the media’s hounding is beyond me. The media is excellent in “encouraging” hate towards Nole and Nole fans. I feel hounded myself and that makes me also feel honored to suffer anything for the sake of Nole.
    Recently during the Wimbledon debacle when they schedule Nole to play his 4th round and QF matches for two days in a row when they could have put him on center court after Federer’s match, I shared a post pointing out how biased the organizers appeared to be, I was immediately “assaulted” by endless Fedfans calling me a hater.
    Why can’t anybody question anything related to Federer? Why do we have to swallow hook, line and sinker and pretend all is well? Why is it that if Fedfans( media included in this group) think he’s an angel or the GOAT, nobody can have a different opinion? This whole GOAT thing is not a fact, it’s only the media’s tool to promote the one chosen by them and as a chose one he will be protected, pampered, elevated and by all means smoothed over if he shows anything less than graceful like “I was deeply touched by my own performance”. Where is the grace? By his own admission he didn’t even realize that there was a broken, physically impaired Cilic on the other side of the net. He is so taken by his own “goodness”, so in love with his own “genius” that grace didn’t come anywhere near him.
    Compare his behavior with that of Stan when he beat Nole at the French Open in 2015, he was so humble in that victory that after the hand shake and hug at the net he came over and hugged Nole again and apologized for winning. Nole was heartbroken but said to Stan, “never apologize for winning”. Now, that is grace and that is class!
    Federer might be an amazing player, I certainly wouldn’t deny that, but graceful and classy he will remain only in the eyes of his army of fans and ultimately, the self-serving media.

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    Great Comment. Federer does not like the sport of tennis. He should be forced to resign.

    I do not like Federer. That’s why I’m proud not to have seen a minute of his last title win.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ‘Federer does not like the sport of tennis.’

    Now that is a little extreme. One thing that you can’t say about that Federer is that he doesn’t like the sport of tennis!

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    In a weird way, Gilbert has a kind of point. Sure, Fed likes playing tennis and all the rewards and adulation that comes with it. Who wouldn’t? Can’t blame him for that. But I’m not 100% sure about the ‘sport’ part, which seems to imply the need to feel some kind of genuine respect for your opponent, an awareness of what they might be going through (eg Cilic), and a little more genuine modesty rather than self absorbtion and humblebragging – ‘I was deeply touched by my own performance’. So perhaps he falls a bit short on the ‘sport’ side of it, but I don’t think he’ll be forced to resign any time soon!

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    It should be means more FEDERER IS NO GOOD FOR THE SPORT…
    He like Tennis of course.

    [Reply]

    Marta Philip Reply:

    Thanks. But I think he does like it and don’t forget that tennis has made him a very rich man and turned him into a demigod. Those are powerful forces!

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    I am sure you were hiding behind the couch peeking at the scores on t.v. It must have been one tough afternoon for you. I send my condolences.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Thank you, but really no need for condolences. Why would anybody on earth but a die-hard Fed fan have anything other than zero interest in a match where the result was a foregone conclusion, with no excitement or entertainment value? I noticed afterwards that Cilic’s injury and emotional breakdown got almost as much press as Fed’s triumph, which shows how little else there was to write about. No doubt Fed fans are in seventh heaven, but for the rest of us tennis is becoming a complete yawnfest.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. And yet I watched the final showing once again that I am not just a Djokovic fan. I also watched the semis, even though I didn’t blog about it. And yes it was all boring and predictable af.

    [Reply]

    Marta Philip Reply:

    Justifying the truth, I’m not sure if your reply was intended to me, but if it was I will relieve you of your “fears”; since I’m 12 hours ahead of England, I can assure you, I lost no sleep over your favorite’s “amazing match”. Your condolences are wasted on me. ;-)

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    Nope. My condolences were to Gilbert.
    I must be missing a point here. If someone watches a match of tennis, does that mean he has to be a die hard fan (or even just a normal fan) of one of the players? Are people not allowed to watch a tennis match for entertaining purposes?
    Not every wimbledon final is able to be a classic, which this one definitely wasn’t, but to call matches boring is wierd. Federer berdych was boring?

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    We will see what Marta says but to me, Federer vs Berdych was not as boring as it was predictable. There were some good points and tennis but I already predicted before the match that Berdych would choke in the big moments which is exactly what he did. The final vs Cilic was just a disaster. So was the match vs Dimitrov.

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    It’s all very nice having a prediction before a match, but do you ever watch a first round match of a tournament when the first seed is playing a unseeded player? I sure hope you do, because regardless of the fact that it 99% will go with your prediction you still want to watch some decent tennis and maybe there will be a upset.
    That the beauty of sports. The result is not a result until the game is finished.
    The fact that you watched the match proves the point.
    I don’t know if you follow boxing but a lot of the world will watch mayweather vs mcgreger just because of that one percent chance.
    Not that federer berdych was that predictable. Berdych is a unbelievable tennis player who has beaten federer before.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Quotes from pundits before the Fed-Berdych match:

    Pundit one: ‘Berdych has beaten Federer before’.
    Pundit Two: ‘Yes, but Berdych is much older now’.
    Pundit 3 (John McEnroe): ‘And Federer is much younger.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Berdych has all the talent and weapons necessary to beat Federer but he is simply not mentally strong enough. He is a known choker when things get tight. That’s why I like an respect Djokovic so much. He is not intimidated by Federer or Nadal. He gets in their faces and takes them down. It’s priceless to see how he does it time and time again.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Why isn’t Gilbert allowed to chose to ‘unwatch’ a match without getting a sarcastic response? Personally I chose not to watch, not only because the result was a foregone conclusion, but also because I find Fed and his style of play boring to watch. Sorry, I always have and always will. The exception is when he is playing a more exciting and unpredictable player. That’s my choice – in my opinion the match had zero ‘entertainment value’. I understand that as Fed fan you will feel different, and you will find it entertaining just because he is in it. Which kind of negates your argument of finding a match entertaining for the ‘tennis value’ regardless of who is playing. I don’t honestly believe that anybody other than a die hard Fed fan, or possibly a hopeful but resigned Cilic fan would expect that final to be anything other than a boring and even slightly embarrassing blowout, especially once Cilic was apparently playing on one leg for most of the match. Who wants to see a guy getting destroyed – not me.

    I would rather watch a re-run of say this year’s final at Queens, which was an exciting ding dong battle between two players further down the pecking order, neither of whom was called Federer or Djokovic. Just mentioned that before you accuse me of being a tennis ignoramus who only ever watches my favourite. :-)

    [Reply]

    Justifying the truth Reply:

    I respect the fact that you find federers style of play boring. Everyone is entitled to there own opinion and that’s yours.

    The part I don’t understand is that you didn’t watch the match because “the result was a forgone conclusion” and “had zero entertainment value”. You clearly forgot that the same players played a year earlier in the same tournament and cilic was 1 point from winning! And then the u.s open when cilic played federer off the court. No one could have known that this final would have been such a one sided affair. And you didn’t know about his injury before the match started.

    Again, you can do what you want and watch a replay of the Queens final hundreds of times for all I care, I just want to understand your reasoning.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    It’s not that difficult. I already said that I’m not a fan of Fed, and although I’m in the minority I have always disliked his attitude and found his matches boring. Ask yourself, seriously, how likely was it that he would lose in the final? Or that it would even be close? Even given Cilic’s very few wins or near wins against Fed in the past, you must have noticed that this year is different.

    Even if we had not seen it with our own eyes, every single ‘expert’ – pundit, commentator, the media et al are repeating ad nauseam: ‘Federer is a new player this year’, ‘Federer is turning back time’, ‘Federer is playing the best tennis of his life’, and even ‘Federer is a lot younger’ (McEnroe in a pre-match discussion on the Fed-Berdych match). They say this without a trace of irony, and indeed it has been blindingly obvious since his return in the AO from a long lay off. He has barely lost a match other than a couple of 250s, and I believe didn’t drop a set at Wimbledon. I’m not going to go into my views on his miracle resurrection. He hadn’t won anything significant for five years before this, partly due to Djokovic getting in the way which is obviously not happening right now, but I don’t believe that’s the whole story.

    So, given that I don’t enjoy watching him play, don’t admire him as a person or player, for various other reasons did not believe Cilic had a hope in hell of winning (which turned to be true) – why would I want to sit through a match that would bore me rigid, and injured Cilic or not, would only have one outcome? If I need to justify not wanting to watch the match, there you have it. Or some of it, there is a lot more I’m not going to go into here.

    As I said, the match held zero entertainment value FOR ME. Obviously Fed fans will feel differently, which is their prerogative. To put it at it’s most basic, I just didn’t care enough about it and knew what the result would be anyway. Whatever you think about my reasoning, you surely can’t deny I was right about that.

    I just mentioned the Queen’s final as a comparison which had all the excitement and ‘entertainment value’ that the Wimbledon final lacked. It was a REAL match, not just another step on the march to Fed getting to 20GS this year…another prediction which I would stake my house on if I had one. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Justifying the truth won’t be able to reply to you unless he apologizes for playing boss around here. That is exactly the kind of behavior I would expect from many Fedfans. They think because their idol plays boss they can do the same. Telling me how to run my website, what I can say on it, and what to call it. Disgraceful behavior.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    OK. I didn’t see why I had to explain myself for not watching the match, but Justifying the Truth (oh, the irony!) just sits up and begs to be wound up.

    I saw that you quite rightly banned him/her earlier, so that one must have been written before the more offensive one to you. Seems that Justifying the Truth and Tariq have a huge bee in their bonnet about your blog, what you say on it, what you call it etc. And as for changing your favourite player…how dare you!

    The poor things sound so bewildered and upset that you refuse to conform and obey. The way they kept coming back for more put-downs and wind-ups was quite funny until they went too far and got really offensive.

    Justifying the Truth doesn’t sound like the type to apologise, so game over for now I guess. :-h

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, there are plenty of them who have bees in their bonnets about my blog :)) I like that saying. They have all kinds of manipulative strategies to try and get to me but of course, none of them work. I see them coming from a mile away and love how they keep coming back for more put-downs. Reading my blog is torture to them and they love it or they won’t keep coming back.

    Here is his last comment projecting and trying to manipulate again, so no I don’t think he is coming back either :))

    [Reply]

    GILBERT Reply:

    You are right. I am looking on the Live ATP LIST. When I have reading that FEDERER is out I would see the match later. When not the HDD was erased.
    No Problem. To often I was disappointed in the past. I will be sure.

    [Reply]

    Lynsey Adams Reply:

    Great post Marta. If anybody ever wants the definition of grace, class and sportsmanship, they only have to look to the players in the 2015 French Open Final.

    [Reply]

    Eren Reply:

    “Why is it that if Fedfans( media included in this group) think he’s an angel or the GOAT, nobody can have a different opinion?”

    I am a Fedfan but I don’t think he is the GOAT. He is simply one of a few players that belong to the category of “one of the GOAT.”

    It may change if he can win 25 Slams (which I don’t think will happen).

    [Reply]

    Marta Philip Reply:

    Eren, you are definitely minority but I appreciate your courage to go against the grain.

    [Reply]

  17. It really depends on what you intend GOAT to mean… then for different meanings you might want to pull out different stats to support the claim. For example one can “define” GOAT as the person with most GS titles. Or whatever.

    However, if one is interested in some reality, then title numbers are just too crude a measure. For one thing, the difference between the champion and the runner up can be slim yet the count is 1 vs. 0. Then there is also the problem that the opponents they faced to the title can be quite different in skills.

    One can therefore do some adjustments and produce more reliable statistics. The problem is that one should not knowingly do adjustments that is going to favor some players; that is called confirmation bias. For example, if one adjusts by how many matches facing big 4, that is bound to be disadvantageous to Federer, since he did not face them all that often in slams before 2008, where he already accumulated 12 slams. It is similarly unfair to consider those 12 slams easier. Without raw numbers of shot velocities and court coverages, we can’t know for sure whether it is an overall weaker era before 2007, or it is that the rest of the field becomes weaker after 2008.

    One statistics I tried to calculate is to sum up wins against seeded opponents by 1/(1+oppoent_rank_without_himself). That is, if in a slam when Federer won against Nadal when they were ranked 1 and 2, he gained 0.5 GS title wins. Notice that in this measure it does not matter whether a player in the end won the title or not; the only thing that matters is what players he had beaten.

    I compiled the data from 2003 to 2017. The result is quite interesting. Under this measure Federer had 17.3 GS title wins, Nadal 14.3, and Djokovic 14.4.

    Looking at the details, Federer did have easier (lower ranked) opponents overall (for example his 2009 French open win only counts for 0.37 GS titles! Still he had 2.4 titles total in French); but his consistency when he was not winning slams helped to bring that number up to only 1.7 deficit of his real titles. Djokovic faced hardest opponents in his slams, therefore the effective number even higher than his real total; but his consistency is actually lower when he is not winning the slams. If we want to judge GOAT from this single measure Federer is still ahead, whereas Nadal and Djokovic are at similar levels.

    There are still systematic biases within this number though. For one thing, sometimes it is not a very good idea to judge player skill levels by their ranking. In 05-09 for example, Federer is extremely consistent at French, only lost to Nadal, but he did not beat all that many high seeds, partly because all these high seeds are not really clay experts. you can have Andy Roddick as 2nd seed and lost at 1st round for example… Another problem for Federer’s seemingly easier draw is that before 08, Nadal never advanced enough to meet him on hard courts where he could probably win. The underlying reason for Federer so seldom beating 2 big 4s in a row seemed to be that either in his early career Nadal is not advancing or in later stages Nadal got his numbers. I am not sure what are the best ways to adjust for these or even if we should adjust for these… but in the end in this measure Federer is still in front.

    [Reply]

  18. Being humble or likeable or a nice guy shouldn’t ever count in this debate.
    They all swear and get upset when they lose…it’s only logical! Some hide their true feelings better than others!
    If Kyrgios goes on to win 30 slams he becomes the GOAT regardless of his behaviour.
    Stop trying to make gods out of any of them! They are just tennis players. Some better than others, some with better records, some with more hunger, greed and desire to leave their name for posterity!
    In 2013 Federer said he could win at least 20 slams….perhaps now his objective will be slightly readjusted. Make no mistake, this is his major objective whether he wants to admit it or not! He wants titles and, if possible, no 1 again. We shall see if he can do it!
    The other 2 contenders are no different at all and their results/records are a confirmation of exactly that!

    [Reply]

  19. Hi, Ru-an! I’m really happy that I encountered a link to your blog today. After checking some of your posts I realized this place is a breath of fresh air for a tennis follower like myself. In 2017 tennis community has been occupied by blind Federer fans who didn’t accept anything except the “Federer the GOAT!!!1111111” opinion, so it’s really nice to see a person who refused to join this mainstream and has his own opinion. I completely agree with your statements. It’s so simple, but, at the same time, many people aren’t able to understand that tennis is played by TWO players, so any result shows the DIFFERENCE between them. You can’t say a player who won a match with a double bagel is stronger than a player who got his victory on 2 tiebreaks not knowing the name of opponnents. Therefore, Grand Slam count is useless as an indicator of the GOAT as long as it’s not techically proven that the average level of opponents is the same for every pro. So, Federer isn’t the GOAT.

    Hopefully, I will enjoy your future posts.

    Cheers.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Vad! Yes, the Federer hype is exhausting for real tennis fans. I used to be a fan but got sick of all the hype. I’m glad you found my blog. Here you will find intelligent and objective analysis, not all that mainstream fawning over Federer.

    [Reply]

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