Are Roger and Rafa on their way out?

Feb 2, 2011

The short answer? No.

But that is just my opinion, and for the sake of reasoned debate I can accept that both sides have their good and bad points.

Novak Djokovic has proved that it’s possible to beat the pair, not only in a final but to knock them out of the tournament even before that. He and Andy Murray both proved that a final needn’t contain either Rafael or Roger at all. And what about Juan Martin del Potro’s victory at Flushing Meadows against Roger Federer in 2009?

Still, it doesn’t take long to count how many finals that haven’t gone to Roger or Rafa in the last few years. You don’t exactly need to utilise your toes to count the number of times they haven’t appeared in a final, either. Even Juan Martin del Potro’s victory was in a final that had Federer in it. And Rafa had a period of absence where he was struggling with injury, which he has bounced back from impeccably.

Federer and Nadal aren’t players that are going to burn out. Neither are they going to fade away. These men, like most players, know their bodies better than anyone. Federer obviously believes he still has some Grand Slams left in him, and I fully believe that Rafa has got so many years in his career left before him that it’s impossible to start talking about his demise.

What about their dominance then? So Ok, they’re not about to retire, but is there a new era being ushered in whereby Rafa and Roger are no longer the men to beat? Maybe in some sense. More and more players are finding the key ingredients and formulas to beat them. But Djokovic, who just beat Roger Federer on the way to winning his second Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, admits that all the players still see those two as the men to beat. If the players don’t see the era of Roger and Rafa over just yet, then there’s no reason for us fans to.

-          SophieG

Written by: SophieG

(6) Comments

Tono100 says:
Apr 27, 2011

Agreed Sophie :)
They are not on their way out yet, especially Rafa who is back to his best on clay again, he is now a hot favourite to win at Roland Garros again in 2011.
Roger on the other hand is still playing well enough to maintain No.3 spot in the rankings but he is now 29, turns 30 this year so his best years are definitely behind him, he is still good enough to go deep into the draw at Grand Slams and if he doesnt have to meet Rafa or Novak in semis or finals then he would be still favoured to win.
I would like to see Roger win again at Wimbledon this year, I think he has one, maybe two, more GS victories in his bag but will possibly need some luck with the draw, next year I think you will start to see Roger finding it tougher to mantain his level, age catches up with all of us eventually and even the great Roger Federer will fall victim to it, im picking he may play a few more years and retire at the end of 2013.

Guga says:
May 1, 2011

I think that there are two dominant playares on the atp.Those playares are Djokovic and Nadal.Federer is just not on that level.He can beat them only if they are not in the top shape.And not just that.I alsow think that Federer won all those grand slams becouse he had no wreal rival,as those two.That was a huge gap in atp and he took advantige of it.

Tono100 says:
May 15, 2011

Your message…
You don’t have to think Guga, it’s a fact that Djokovic and Nadal are the dominant players on the ATP tour at the moment, I also agree that Federer is not at their level either but he is still a great player. It wasn’t that long ago that Djokovic could only beat him if he wasn’t at his best too.
But I do not agree with your comment about Roger winning all those Grand Slams because he had no rival… WTF??
Federer won his first GS at Wimbledon in 2003, both Djokovic and Nadal were on the scene then, Federer was responsible for raising the level of tennis and this is most likely the reason why we have Nadal and Djokovic playing at such a good level, it wasn’t Roger’s fault that he was so superior to everyone else.
He is still currently the the greatest player of all time in my book, Rafa and Novak will probably dominate now but somebody else will always come along, to say Federer had no real rival when he was winning his Grand Slams is, in my opinion, an ignorant comment, celebrate Roger for being the great player he was and still is :)

Guga says:
May 16, 2011

Your message…Federer is certainly a great player,and I agree that he changed tennis,improved tennis.But Djoković is changing and improving it wright now.Every great player has don that.You can’t ignore,and you must respect all those trophyes that Roger won.But you also have to respect the fact that Federer’s real rival’s were Hewitt,Roddick and time to time Safin.Those are all god players,but not champions.And they are not someone ho can realy challange Roger,you must admit that.If he had a rival trough out his whole cariere,a rival like Rafa or Nole,he would still won some grand slam titles,but absolutely not sixteen of tham!That’s a fact!

Guga says:
May 16, 2011

Your message…Any comment that dos not say”Roger is the greatest of all time”you call IGNORANT.That just shows lack of your cultural behavior.Who are you to juge other people?Ok,I’m IGNORANT and you are the smart one.Tell us then,who are those great rivals of Roger Federer before Nadal?Roddick or Davidenko,maybe Nalbandian,or is it Hewitt.No it’s certainly Safin,or maybe Hanman.Just don’t tell me Ivan Ljubicic,becouse he played few finals with Roger too.

duncandhorne says:
May 22, 2011

Well, It’s easy to get carried away with the good form of Djokovic. He’s playing some sensational tennis and he’s in a really good moment. Nadal suffers from injuries quite regularly, and while he does well to bounce back and regain momentum, he won’t be able to keep it up as his body gets older. And Federer now has a family, two daughters who obviously and quite rightly take up his attention. He’s not the same as he was now, the focus and concentration are not there, he seems to take defeats very easily now, and I don’t like that. However, I wouldn’t say their time is up, it’s just that there’s not ONE dominating, like Federer did for four or five years and Like Nadal did last year.

Duncan In Kuantan

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