Roger Federer

Federer Announces Third Knee Surgery

The Swiss took to Instagram to inform his fans that he needs a further operation after reinjuring his right knee at Wimbledon.

A few days ago, I posed the question of whether or not Roger Federer will play again in 2021.

We now have the answer straight from the horse's mouth, and it's not the one fans wanted to hear.

Taking to his Instagram account, the Swiss announced he will be undergoing another knee surgery and will be out for many months.

You can see his video update below.

Federer Faces Months on the Sidelines

fed injury

I just wanted to give you a bit of an update [on] what’s been going on since Wimbledon. As you can imagine, it’s not been simple. I’ve been doing a lot of checks with the doctors as well on my knee, getting all the information as I hurt myself further during the grass-court season and Wimbledon. That’s just not the way to go forward, so unfortunately they told me for the medium to long term to feel better, I will need surgery.

I decided to do it. I’ll be on crutches for many weeks and also out of the game for many months, so it’s going to be difficult of course in some ways, but at the same time I know it’s the right thing to do because I want to be healthy, I want to be running around later as well again and I want to give myself a glimmer of hope to return to the tour in some shape or form.

I am realistic, don’t get me wrong. I know how difficult it is at this age right now to do another surgery and try it. But I want to be healthy, I will go through the rehab process I think also with a goal while I’m still active, which I think is going to help me during this long period of time.

Also a big thank you already now for all of your messages that are going to be coming in because you guys are always incredible. You always think of me. Some of you suffer with me. I’ll update you as I move along with my rehab. I wish you all the best and I’ll check in with you soon. Federer announcing a further knee surgery

This will be the third surgery on Federer's right knee after the two he underwent in 2020.

The latest one comes after he reinjured it during the grasscourt season which makes his Wimbledon quarter-final run seem somewhat of a miracle.

So rather than asking whether or not will he play in 2021, the question changes to will he ever play again? It doesn't sound too promising, but it appears he is at least going to try.

Hopefully, the surgery goes well and we get some rehab updates as Federer mentioned in his video.

As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Poor Roger. Amazing how he keeps his spirit up. Well, as he says himself, he needs to have a goal otherwise why go through all the trouble and pain of rehab?

  2. Roger is hero. I always admire him. He is very good at tennis. The best with him is his calmness on the court.

  3. What a sad message 😔 This is probably The end of his career. What a shame that it is done in such a circumstances….

  4. after wimbledon I think he should take some long break but it turn out he need surgery+long break hope he can back to win something before retire

  5. I am also so sad for Roger. He is the GOAT in my eyes and always will be. Wishing him the Perfect outcome on this surgery and the future to come. I can only hope that he will play again, but that is not for us to determine. I’m sure if he had it his way, he will play again. Best of luck and all my encouragement to Roger. Was so hoping to see him at Indian Wells late tournament this year, but I have to be disappointed, in hopes that he will be healthy and do whatever he choses for his future.

    1. I have watched Roger since his first time in Wimbledon. I liked his personality right away. He has always been nice to everyone. I have never heard him say anything negative about other players. I always always have wanted to see him play but with unseen obstacles I never got the chance. Almost got to go to Indian Wells but couldn’t. HE is the GOAT as far as I am concerned. If not for the games he has won but for his mannerism. I wish him the best and I will be saying prayers for you. (maybe I can catch him in the senior Roger you have made me so happy with tennis. No one will ever fill your shoes!!! EVER!!!

  6. Well, while I hope and pray he does get better enough to play properly again, the reference to medium to long term sounds as though it’s more being healthy post-career that he’s concerned about – and who could blame him at this stage? Worrying that he says he got worse presumably during Halle as well as Wimbledon, though – although it would explain the sudden change in focus from hoping to go deep at SW19 to being surprised he actually made it as far as he did, which did worry me. I hope this isn’t the end, but it’s not sounding too positive. In that case, I’m even gladder I was able to see him play the one good match he played at Wimbledon this year 🙁

    1. Hi Alison!

      I just noticed your reply on the thread about Stauffer’s book, where you say (in answer to Albert) that Stauffer talks about Wimbledon 2019 right at the beginning. That’s very interesting…and since, like Albert, I too am still “healing”, I would love to hear what the Fed’s take on that match is. I have always thought it was less hard for him than for his fans; not just because the Fed already has so many titles but mostly because the Fed does not have to engage in the unenviable task of arguing with the Djoker’s fans in tennis fora. Indeed, it is THAT fact that makes Fed’s loss all the more tragic, since a Fed victory and his 21st slam title would have given his fans possession of an *almost*-unbeatable “weapon” – that of a 37 y.o Fed playing sublime all-court tennis to *officially* beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back to win his 9th Wimbledon. (I say *officially* because, without that qualifier, anybody who watched the match would say the Fed won, simply because of how comprehensively he outplayed Djokovic.)

      In any case – given that Fed’s chosen to go in for a THIRD knee surgery, I’m curious whether Stauffer’s book contains information that allows us to speculate what the Fed would have done if he’d *officially* WON Wimby 2019? I mean, would he have chosen to undergo surgery in 2020 or might he have chosen instead to miss Wimbledon and give himself many months to recuperate (note that his first surgery happened a week after the ‘Match In Africa’ and about a month before it was clear that we had a pandemic on our hands)? Or, having had surgery and seen COVID come on so soon after, might he have skipped a second surgery, looked to see how things were going, and chosen to delay his comeback indefinitely (rather than aiming for Wimbledon 2021)? Or, seeing how things were playing out and the bubbles and whatnot, might he have chosen to unofficially retire the way Sampras did after USO 2002? What do you think?

  7. Such a sad situation for Roger. I know it seems dramatic but for me tennis will never be the same again without him. It’s like my favourite football team possibly never playing again, it just won’t be the same. I won’t have the same nerves, the same level of passion for a player to win. We know he can’t play forever, but it got to the stage where it felt like he would.

    As this may well be the end and it could be a while before we are back here can I just say thank you Jonathan for all of your effort over the years. I don’t think Roger has played a match in the last decade where I’ve not read your thoughts afterwards. I hope this isn’t the end on all counts.

    1. I share your sentiments entirely James. Without Roger playing on the tennis circuit my enthusiasm for watching the game has diminished. We await his return.

  8. It certainly not bodes easy. I firstly hope for his health and wellbeing. Next hoping his knee will allow him to play on top again, but am prepared for possible otherwise.

  9. Will you be attending the laver cup as a spectator? Even if you can’t play, it would be amazing to have you there.

  10. For the sake of his many fans across the world, and particularly here in Australia, we all wish Roger GOAT a thorough recovery and that Roger can make it to the Aussie Open in some capacity. If that is an exhibition farewell match only, then that will be enough. Hoping that Roger can say goodbye properly from the court.

  11. Awww Roger. We knew you weren’t able to play like you could. Really, age had nothing to do with it. The talent is still there. Long term, he wants to ski and snowboard with his family. Enjoy life to the fullest. Is it worth the risk of playing competitive tennis again?
    All the best to Mr. Federer. He, once again shows us his style and grace on and off the court. One of a kind in so so many ways. Feeling sad.

  12. Well, this year has been a test of what he shouldn’t do in the case he comes back. No more clay swing.
    Luckily he would play Dubai-IW if he can get there in time, unlike this year.

    1. I wholeheartedly disagree. He was actually moving and playing very well at RG, it was the slippery grass at Wimbledon (where he and everyone else fell over multiple times) that’s probably caused all this. A bit ironic perhaps but I think if he were to come back then clay might be the best surface for him.

      1. Not at all. He withdrew from RG because the organization killed him by making him play at night, and screw his knee.
        The match against Koepfer was an agony.

      2. Agree Will. Grass is slick, fast, and treacherous, and he has to be much more explosive, transitioning repeatedly from baseline to net and back and constantly changing direction. All that stop-start movement must put a lot of strain on his joints. Like you I noticed how many times he fell at Wimbledon. That could not have been good for him.

        Clay is more about smooth lateral movement, he can slide, the points are played at a slower pace and he has more time on the ball. He could get more fatigued more easily on clay, but I think the movement will be less jarring.

        IMO he showed his best tennis of the season on clay. He was not very convincing on grass even when he won.

        Either he should come back on clay or hard court. Grass is too risky unless he is match tough already.

  13. Fervently I hope everything goes well and that the surgery and rehab are fully successful. Of course it’d be great he can come back to the tour but that’s not in our hands. Just have to wait and see and hope for the best.

    He’s going to need every bit of his considerable optimism, grace, and resilience to deal with this. Luckily he has the love and support of his family. And also his fans are all pulling for him to make a full recovery.

    C’mon Roger!

  14. I am afraid this is it for Roger. Father Time has caught up and his remarkable injury-free run has ended spectacularly in a spate of surgeries to hasten Father Time’s win. I would love to see Roger as an expert commentator in place of Wilander/ Becker/ McEnroe etc who are extremely predictable and biased.

  15. I wonder if the current knee issue is the same issue he had when he went for the first and second surgery. If it is then my next question is if the surgeries/procedures carried out the same every time? If the answers are “yes” then it seems that that type of surgery is not going to work if Roger is to be playing tennis.
    I guess this is really the end for Roger…………..

  16. I think we are speculating, because we don’t really know what the problem entails. Perhaps a knee replacement? Such an operation will take months of recovery, even a year. Hope this is not the scenario.

  17. Tennis, like every sport, can also make a part of someone’s life. For Fed it was a big, great and outstanding part. But he will not be the first to call it a career and still have a good (or even better) life.
    I must recall, what Bolletieri told some years ago, generally, but especially in Fed’s context. You retire after “last” big success, after an injury or … too late.
    We, fans, never know the whole story of injuries of our favorite players. We are just fans. We know everything about his game but only a small piece of his entire life. And this is OK.
    When the time comes to hang up the racket, we feel like we was losing him for ever. Not necessarily. Maybe he will never more play on the pro tour. But why not exhibitions? Why not coaching?
    Many former top players take new roles just as coaches. Would it not be fantastic to see Fed again on the court coaching upcoming youngsters? Would we not follow these young players as a kind of Fed’s “emanation”?
    Fed was always going beyond limits. He is doing this now since 2016 – then it was still possible to completely recover. Probably now no more.
    Don’t wish him a comeback (to the tour). This would put him under risk again. Do we want to see him winning some matches and then having another surgery?

      1. Yeah – best prepared for both jobs and could do both, if he likes. Can hardly imagine better coach or commentator than him :). Doping maybe both, he would still have the feeling of being deep in tennis, but without risking his health. And still having direct contact with fans. Watching his coaching sessions. Hearing his comments. Great!
        And then he could also be a great umpire 😉 The best he would sit on the chair and let all his old umpires play and he giving everyone code violations and overruling all the time 🙂

      2. @Sue
        I’m pretty sure, people say lots of things, which after some time prove to be only just short-time emotions. Of course he meant so, when he told it. But he is not obliged to follow it. Life is dynamic. Situations changing. People must be able to adapt. I guess, Fed is still human (and always was) and incredibly adaptable and flexible. Someone who would try to follow everything he told once, would show zero life’s intelligence and that’s not what I would expect from Fed.
        This does not mean of course, he would decide some day to coach. But – is he not coaching his kids? Even if he hires professional coaches for them?
        And … is there a better way to continue his legacy than to teach others?
        It’s of course not the right time to think about what he will do “after”. First must go through surgery and see, what he is physically capable of after surgery and rehab.

  18. I’m sad, of course, both at the message and at his own apparent sadness. I’m hopeful that this surgery will work where, apparently, the last two didn’t – as others have pointed out, lots of questions around that. His comment about a “glimmer of hope” to be able to come back “in some way” is concerning, and kind of gut-wrenching. He has lots of options, really – well, maybe not lots, but some. He always said, for example, that he would categorically not become a doubles specialist. Now that it comes to the point, and current reality is intruding, maybe that’s a tradeoff he’s willing to make to be able to keep playing – or one of the other tradeoffs, like more 250s, or a different surface mix as others have mentioned. I agree with the comments that he actually looked pretty good on clay. Remember the days long ago when he categorically declared himself uninterested in adding the drop shot to his repertoire? Current realities changed, and he changed along with it.

    I am struck by what Steve said – that he will need all of “his considerable optimism, grace, and resilience” to deal with this. And I think that, however it ends up playing out, that optimism & grace will help us all come to terms with it, in time. Sure, I’d be delighted if this new surgery could be a complete success and he could return to the court – and I think that if the surgery really works he COULD do that, become completely comfortable with a new knee & maybe win a few more titles 😉 – but I also recognize that maybe that doesn’t happen, maybe the knee is never good enough for that. No matter which way it plays out, we’ll have opportunities to practice our own optimism & grace & resilience.

    Thanks, as always, to Jonathan for the framework for all our own thoughts & reactions; & to all of you for expanding my own repertoire of thoughts & reactions with your thoughtful comments.

    1. Wonderful comments In the forum, if Fed ever read them & sentiment could bring healing he would be rejuvenated already!
      His optimistic determination to give it a go is heartening & just seeing Muzz has beaten Gasquet today maybe he gets the miracle. Hanging on to hope, even a glimmer is worth a try for a guy whose whole career is built on slim margins. Go Fed!

    2. Cheers.

      In some ways, I find it sad but I kind of felt indifferent when I watched the video. Just a case of seeing what happens.

      It probably helps that is has come at a weird time. He’s been missing for a year, played a handful of times this year will now be missing again.

      All at a time when tennis at the moment for me is a pretty weak sport. No crowds hasn’t helped but the level of play in general has just been a bit flat.

      1. Yes. No Fed. No Rafa. No Thiem. Everyone hitting quite the same, a bit weaker or a bit better. Hard to find someone to follow.
        Thiem works now with Jezz Green on conditioning. No comments from him about eventual presence in New York.
        I’m wondering what happens with Laver Cup. Without Fed??? With Fed as non-playing supercoach on crutches? I guess, everyone he asks will go for LC and leave it all on the court to win for Fed. Thiem for sure (if he is recovered, but actually should be at that time).

  19. It sounds like he’s having this surgery as much for his life after tennis as for trying to get back on tour to play longer. He surely wants to be able to play tennis with family and friends, and exhibition matches, also ski, run, golf, whatever it may be. If everything goes well I’m guessing he plays a few tournaments that he wants to play and retires at Wimbledon. If things go great, maybe Basel.

    It sucks that he has to finish his career with these major injuries, but at the same time, had he not gotten injured in January last year, there’s a good chance he’s still a top 5 player competing for titles and still going strong. In a sense having the injuries makes the ending picture more clear and he won’t feel he’s retiring when he can still win titles and compete for majors.

    1. That’s very true, Kyle – although I’m not sure whether it makes it better or worse 🙁 I always imagined Roger’s career would end in a gradual decline, and it’s going to be frustrating and painful if it turns out to be from injury, as now seems likely 🙁 I’m also wondering whether the fact that he’s told us pre-surgery for the first time, rather than post-surgery, is significant. Cushioning the blow, perhaps.

      1. I think, it IS JUST gradual decline and what was kind of outfoxing us, were some great come-backs including slam titles. Now it seems to be the worst part of this gradual decline, because it probably means the end of the pro career.
        As I told before, we must be sad but at the same time we should understand that this is how actually every great career in sport ends.
        Some greats years ago have ended careers earlier, with better chances to end with a bang (just after winning a big title).
        Every top athlete has some parallel but opposite histories. History of reaching the top, then accumulating wear&tear, with a rising number of minor ailments or sometimes ending with more serious injury, but mostly having it’s background in the accumulated wear&tear.
        Federer was lucky to be able to have still some success while declining. The decline was first not directly reflected in results, so we started to think, it can go and go and go … kind of for ever. We have created a fairy tale in our hearts but this was still real life.
        Now this life goes to another chapter and our hope should be for Fed to get healthy and not take a risk anymore. And start new, happy chapter in his life, whatever his new passion/s will be.
        As a tennis fan I hope, he will still play exhibitions and I hope too, he will do a lot of things in tennis, from which coaching would be the best “deal” for us 🙂

  20. Feels like he wants to try and get healthy to play one last farewell year, but it is a ‘glimmer’.

    Sad if it ends like this, but ultimately he has lasted much longer than many predicted, and even a limited Federer has somehow managed to be competitive in big tournaments in the past few years when he has been able to turn out.

    If there is one last year on the circuit the clamour for tickets at each tournament will be incredible.

  21. It feels over, and I know the odds against a ‘real’ comeback are slim to none now, but I’ve got this weird feeling that the old Fedler still has an ace up his sleeve?! Who knows? Stranger things have happened in sport. If anyone could pull off a miracle-it’s him. If he’s fighting fit, no matter the age, he could still win tournaments. Talent like that never really dies. 11 time World Champion surfer Kelly Slater is 49 years old and still technically on the tour…and ripping. Different sport I know, but in big waves he still has as-good-a-chance as any wonder-kid half his age. I wouldn’t throw in towel just yet. My two cents…😁

  22. People, Roger playing in one leg and almost without prep managed to get through the QF in WImbledon. I believe he can do it again, mostly because no one can play on grass as well as they do on other surfaces.
    If he can get in some sort of decent shape, he can make it. A semifinal run like Connors will be a dream, and given that he won’t be seeded, probably he’ll take out a big guy in the process.
    I trust he will come back.

    1. I can follow your optimism. But don’t forget, he will be after 3 surgeries of the same knee in a row. Who can sensibly assess the risk? And the scenario after another surgery???
      “See Naples and die!”???

  23. The future is unknown, the past is glorious. Being a Fed fan has been a delight. Thanks everyone for the comments and insight.

  24. Here is a thought I had the other day.

    Paganini gets a lot of credit.

    But the two players he’s looked after (Stan and Fed) both have had virtually career-ending knee injuries.


    Of course, I’m joking to a degree but interesting!

    1. Another theory, he won’t compete until quarantines are over.
      Specially with the lunatics who rules Australia.

  25. Thiem suffered setback in his wrist recovery and is out until the end of 2021. IMO he should go back to his “classic” clay game or he will have an injury after other. He is not built to use short backswing, stay at the baseline a.s.o. Massú gave him lot of success on hard in 2019-2020. Now it’s time to pay 🙁
    He may play online chess with Fed until Australian Open or later 😉

  26. Really a sad end to a great career if this is the end. I just hope he can come back healthy for one more season, at least one more Wimbledon. I don’t want the greatest grass court player ever to end his career with a bagel in his last Wimbledon match. 🙁

    1. How I used to love a good bagel with lox. When I envisioned “the end”, bagels were definitely never in the picture!!

      Then again people said Tom Brady couldn’t throw footballs either. Etc. for other athletes. Still hoping 😉

      1. Hoping for what? How old are you? If 40+, you for sure have dreams to be young, healthy, beautiful (again) and hopefully also rich. Good luck 🙂

    2. You prefer him to get more bagels “in his last Wimbledon”, plus injury, which would trouble him for the rest of life?
      Federer WAS the greatest grass court player and remains in historic sense. Right now he is no more able to compete on any level for another year and will then have for ever the growing risk in the back of his mind.
      Why should it be the sad end? Would be the end in winning 1-2 matches in Challengers better?
      Emotionally is the career-ending injury (plus Covid) is better than anything else could be. Assuming it was not too late and he can recover after next surgery to be fit for normal life (including maybe coaching, commentating, remaining this nice way for another 20 years in tennis, no?

    3. Others would have retired but he played on. His record is outstanding…never a retirement in a match his whole career. Perhaps be proud of that.

      1. There’s LOTS to be extremely proud of! And whatever he choose – I’m sure his future will be as brilliant!

    4. Oh crumb I thought this was the forum where I could safety express how sad I am that it’s likely the end for my favourite sports person, my favourite icon. Selfishly I’d love for RF to play forever, and I’m aware this is quite delusional 😊Realistically I know Roger will choose to enjoy his life in a way that makes sense for him.

  27. Roger Federer is one of (if NOT) the rarest adaptable tennis players ever to grace this sport. Not only that, he has done so year after year for over two decades with the highest level consistency, style, grace and a unique precision. He floats eloquently like a “butterfly” around the court. Most likely the reason he fell to Hurkacz at the Wimbledon 1/4’s was his problematic knee. Although, Roger never bitches, complains or lets on to his physical ailments publicly that much if hardly at all. I have always been an ardent fan of his along with my spouse. She has also grown up in the same town as Roger Federer has. Born and bred a Swiss. The Swiss minds operate similarly!. Private, reserve and quieter! I disagree with many comments here. I think Roger will try to stage one more come back in 2022. That is, should his physicality allow him to after a much involved and challenging rehab therapy. A post operative third knee surgery which may be even more involved and extensive this time. I’m sure he wants to and has a fervent drive. Again, there are depending factors in all of the stakes. Stay tuned and don’t despair. I think Wimbledon could be possible.

  28. Could you please translate the article into English or Afrikaans? 😂 I really have no idea about the contents..

  29. Hi Jonathan, with a full knee replacement (FKR) op Fed will not be able to play again. I had a FKR and although I was told that I will be able to play again, it was not possible for me because the lateral movement of my knee was impaired and would not allow me to.
    Fed said that he would be on crutches for many months and that remark made me think that he will have to undergo a FKR. I will be so grateful if his condition is not that serious for his sake and ours. Only then could we expect to see hom on court again.

    1. Fed didn’t say he would be on crouches for many month, but that he would be on crouches AND out of the game for many months.
      So I understand, he will need to use crouches for some time after the surgery (like Stan did and maybe Fed himself did for a short time after his former surgeries) and then need some months to start fitness and tennis training and then to regain match fitness.
      I don’t think it will be FKR but I guess, he will not tell the world about details.

    2. I looked back at the Fed announcement, quoted here in Jonathan’s article and it says “…many weeks on crouches…”, not many months. And “… many months out of the game …”.

    3. Yup, the quote is above, he will be on crutches for weeks and out of the game for many months as per his words.

      How many weeks that means who knows. He was on crutches after the previous knee surgery as well.

      I can’t see FKR. I assume it’s meniscus stuff, same as the other knee?

      1. And we need to be aware, even doctors cannot tell about detailed schedule, only expectations based on similar cases.
        FKR would mean many month on crutches and, given the age, the end of competitive sport.
        So it’s something less serious but serious enough and rather meant to give him good chance to have normal life after tennis. It’s not time for him to say, if he will come back to the tour or not but I’ quite sure, he knows and accepts, he would risk no normal life anymore after every single match.
        If it’s arthroscopic surgery, they will know exactly what’s the problem and what to do during surgery, which is diagnosis+repair in one (sometimes in 2 or more).

  30. I think this question-comment got lost in the thicket of all the later comments…so I’m going to post it here again. Though I’ve addressed it to Alison, I’d be more than happy if others, Jonathan included, weighed in. 🙂
    Hi Alison!

    I just noticed your reply on the thread about Stauffer’s book, where you say (in answer to Albert) that Stauffer talks about Wimbledon 2019 right at the beginning. That’s very interesting…and since, like Albert, I too am still “healing”, I would love to hear what the Fed’s take on that match is. I have always thought it was less hard for him than for his fans; not just because the Fed already has so many titles but mostly because the Fed does not have to engage in the unenviable task of arguing with the Djoker’s fans in tennis fora. Indeed, it is THAT fact that makes Fed’s loss all the more tragic, since a Fed victory and his 21st slam title would have given his fans possession of an *almost*-unbeatable “weapon” – that of a 37 y.o Fed playing sublime all-court tennis to *officially* beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back to win his 9th Wimbledon. (I say *officially* because, without that qualifier, anybody who watched the match would say the Fed won, simply because of how comprehensively he outplayed Djokovic.)

    In any case – given that Fed’s chosen to go in for a THIRD knee surgery, I’m curious whether Stauffer’s book contains information that allows us to speculate what the Fed would have done if he’d *officially* WON Wimby 2019? I mean, would he have chosen to undergo surgery in 2020 or might he have chosen instead to miss Wimbledon and give himself many months to recuperate (note that his first surgery happened a week after the ‘Match In Africa’ and about a month before it was clear that we had a pandemic on our hands)? Or, having had surgery and seen COVID come on so soon after, might he have skipped a second surgery, looked to see how things were going, and chosen to delay his comeback indefinitely (rather than aiming for Wimbledon 2021)? Or, seeing how things were playing out and the bubbles and whatnot, might he have chosen to unofficially retire the way Sampras did after USO 2002? What do you think?

    1. I think, Fed could have followed the famous hint from Bolletieri – retire after the (probably) last big success, after injury or too late. But as for every speculation … who knows? 😉 It’s maybe wise but not easy to retire after just having won a slam. Probably the typical thinking after such success is “OK, I just won a slam. Why not the next and overnext and …”.
      So we are about speculating on speculations and I guess Fed must get closer to the ground. He could take every risk if he wasn’t family father.

    2. MKA, why engage with Nole fans? If he retired back then, today, or tomorrow is irrelevant to me. I’m at peace with whatever he decides. I’ve observed and thoroughly enjoyed his tennis career and enjoyed the man that he is. Whether Djoker gets 25 GSs doesn’t take away from Fed for me.
      I don’t see it as a contest. I feel fortunate to have experienced his career.

      1. Agree 🙂 Slam count was important for FedFans, when Fed was IN. He is no more, so it’s now an excitement for Djoker’s fans and one day, when Rafa and Djoker are out, the count starts from zero or 1 and it will be about another generation of players and their fans. FedFans would maybe get excited about Fed’s new roles – coaching, commentating or something.
        BTW – I’m not that sure, Djoker will win and win and win. A group of younger guys will challenge him and after he stops to win big titles (maybe just started with Olympic loss), he loses motivation and retires.
        What will this have to do with Fed? Only this, that Fed is a kind of father-in-law of many younger guys – Thiem, Zverev, don’t know who else.

  31. Well all sporting careers come to an end eventually even though it is a most bitter pill to swallow.Roger has defied
    old Father Time more than most and given us marvellous tennis experiences.
    Australian Open 2017,a win against the odds and over his greatest rival will always be unforgettable.
    It has cost me a great deal of money in the past to watch Fed in person,I shall never forget seeing him play in Basel.
    But sadly I wouldn’t pay anything to watch any of the current crop of tennis players.Pale imitations of the real thing,
    and with the exception of Thiem,seem unable to play five sets without falling to bits.
    Best wishes to Roger and hope for a good recovery.Time to enjoy his family and wealth and life after tennis.

  32. Anyone read Clarey’s book and recent articles on Fed? He quotes many credible folks who say that Federer underachieved in his career. Remarkable comment, but true. I think he missed out on several clear titles (devastating Wimbledon in 19, Indian Wells 18, probably USO 2009 where he just quit playing in the fifth, maybe USO 2011 if he closed that semi, the Monte Carlo finals against Nadal and Wawrinka, etc.), but he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in dozens of meaningful matches, and who knows what he’d have achieved if he closed those out.

    The last stage of his career hasn’t been a blaze of glory but sheer decline, being eclipsed by Djokovic in every way, and losing to the next gen most meaningful matches. I know he’s whistling all the way to the bank with his billion dollars and his lifetime supply of Barilla pasta, but he could’ve done much more and left on grander terms, even back in 19. Instead, his general decrepitude and bungling at big moments will be the last memories we have of him, and the bookend to his legacy.

    1. I think his majestic brilliancy, always there – although sometimes only in moments and not enough to win – may hold a great part too.

    2. I find it interesting that Fed fans want to control the end of his career. It’s like people feel so much shame if he isn’t playing the kind of tennis that he did before. Yes, he is on the decline, but it’s his life and career. Fans seem to think if Roger went out in a blaze of glory then their egos would be safe.

      1. Hello Sue,

        This “control” you speak of is really a fan’s “emotional investment” in his player (or team) – often in a manner that defies logical explanation. (It’s why Roger said in his announcement video that “I know some of you *suffer* with me…”. He’s experienced it and understands it; at least to the extent it can be understood.)

        So, no, I don’t think Fed’s fans feel “shame” that the Fed isn’t playing so well. They just feel bad that their “hero” (or “idol” or whatever) isn’t doing what he can do as well as he can. And as far as fans’ “egos” are concerned – of course their player winning gives them satisfaction (and massages their ego)! Again, it’s part of being an emotionally-invested fan…which is, really, the sort of fandom that drives competitive sport.

        So – to admire the Fed’s tennis just for its aesthetics (and not care whether he wins or loses or retires in a “blaze of glory” or holds records or anything else) might speak to wonderfully even temperament…while running contrary to everything that being a fan entails (for most people, at least). 🙂

    3. Hey there Holdco (and a welcome back to your cynicism too 😁),

      “…who knows what he’d have achieved if he closed those out”? Well, all those titles that he lost out on would be the answer, wouldn’t it? Heh. By the way, I’d add the missed MPs at Roma 2006 versus Nadal – that victory, had it happened, might have been Federer’s most significant clay court win and (even now) would rank as one of the most remarkable achievements in tennis: going the distance against an untiring Nadal on clay and actually winning!

      You know – one of the reasons it would have been wonderful if the Fed had officially won Wimbledon 2019 (I say “officially” because, but for those unconverted MPs, he completely outplayed the Djoker that day!) is that it would have given some serious heft to the argument that the Djoker and the Fed are jointly the two greatest and most-accomplished all-surface players of the Open Era – a remarkable fact given how differently they both play the game. Additionally, it would have *most deservedly* brought their H2H closer to equal (26-24 in Novak’s favour; with results of 2-2 at Wimbledon, 1-1 at RG, 3-3 at the USO, and 4-1 at the AO), put the Fed on 21 slams, and made it a fair bit harder for the Djoker to overtake him. (I’m not counting the missed MPs at USOs 2010 and 2011 because I’m not sure the Fed was as superior in those matches as he was at Wimbledon 2019.)

      That said, while it might grate on Fed fans that the Djoker is taking over all Fed’s records, it is worth noting that, a final *objective* analysis will show that the Fed was the greater tennis *player* of the two and the Djoker the greater tennis *winner*. And, of course, there’s the sublime aesthetics of Fed’s all-court tennis.

      So, all in all, not too shabby – despite his uncanny inability to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”. 🙂

      By the way – do you recommend Clarey’s book?

      1. Yes, Clarey’s book is worth reading, though it’s cold comfort for all of Fed’s failures. Sorry for the late reply on this.

        I don’t think the USO in 2010 was a missed anything. Djokovic was outplaying Fed all match (losing two close sets 5-7, crushing him the other two), and he was on serve with those two match points, in form, and played them great. Nothing to regret, especially given that a deadly Nadal was in the final that year and it’s unlikely Fed would’ve beaten him then. In 2011, that’s a different story. Djokovic did donate that key break in the fifth, but Fed still needed to close that opportunity out. He was just unlucky when serving for it on two consecutive points, but the sad part is his frustration boiled over and he got broken again, instead of at least gamely losing in the tiebreak. That was the unfortunate thing for him and all of us, how poorly he played down the stretch. Again, just a semi, though Fed was better than Nadal that tournament and could’ve won, but 2011 was destiny for Djokovic, and Fed did come back from a break down against him in the fourth set at RG, so it’s not crazy for Novak to do the same, even if luck was mostly the factor at the USO.

        Earlier on in his career, right, Fed turned gold into crap over and over again. Granted, he’s played far more matches on tour than his peers, and so the odds of that happening are higher, but tournaments like Rome in 2006 did need to be won. Above all, Fed dominated Novak in 2019 at Wimbledon, but played terrible at key points. Clarey points out experts saying he should’ve been serving and volleying, approaching up the middle, chipping and charging, in order to maximize his chances. Instead, he hung back and framed shot after shot, over-pressing as usual, which is what Novak’s feasted on his whole career.

        In the end, only hopeless fans like us will remember the aesthetics, as the records will speak much louder. All of these terrible losses would vanish into the ether if he’d put a stamp on the grass and his legacy with that win over Djokovic. Alas, he blew it big time, and it may be our last meaningful memory of his tennis. But hey, at least he’ll have gone out winning the last meaningless match he played against Djokovic!

  33. The man is the GOAT in millions of fans that love him . Djoker can win another 10 Grand Slams and that would never change. He has 2 sets of twins not one but 2. The man is a multi-multi millionaire. Gorgeous wife. You might think this is crazy but an Andy Murray and Roger federer doubles team would be fun to watch 2 greats. THANK YOU ROGER! ALL THE BEST IN YOUR CHARMED LIIFE! Oh yeah! He lives in SWITZERALND.

    1. All true. But blindness and fandom don’t need to go hand in hand. His wonderful kids and billion dollars, his Swiss nationality…how exactly does that make him any greater at tennis? Djokovic came up relatively poor, had many marital difficulties, and is Serbian (though he of course lives in Monaco; I guess the fact that at least Fed pays some tax in Switzerland is also part of his GOAT-hood), but I’ve never consoled myself with that point. That is, “Djokovic just crushed Fed again at a big tournament…but hey, at least he only has two kids to Fed’s four! What a loser!”

      1. Heh. All true. I’ve never cared about Fed’s popularity or his earnings. I watch his matches as a fan of his tennis.

        That said, Djokovic rarely, if ever (barring AO 2016 perhaps?), “crushed Fed”, Mr. hold – more accurate to say “Djokovic hung on and allowed Fed to get tight and implode”. Not that it changes the result or anything…

  34. Any news about Fed’s surgery? Just done or coming soon?
    In the meantime another “victim” celebrating his 28. birthday, joining TennisChannel as guest analyst for USO and reading Harari books.

  35. @holdco

    Thanks for the reply, sir. I can’t say that I remember a whole lot of the Wimby 2019 final, but I do seem to remember that the Fed DOMINATED – and in an all-court manner. His 94 winners (67 if you exclude the aces) would seem to be proof of that. Which is why I’m not sure what to make of the “experts saying he should’ve been serving and volleying, approaching up the middle, chipping and charging, in order to maximize his chances”. I mean, he did everything so well (except in the tiebreaks, of course) that he didn’t face a break point until the 4th set *and*, iirc, also won the two longest baseline rallies of the match. Coming to his performance on the important points (including the two MPs) – let’s just face it, holdco, Fed is a tennising genius with a terrible case of nerves. And it’s always been so, in every closely-fought important match outside of AO 2017 (and RG 2011, perhaps). I suppose it just goes to show that from those to whom much is given, at least some is taken away.

    Your point about Fed “over-pressing as usual, which is what Novak’s feasted on his whole career” is generally valid, but I’d say Wimby 2019 was an exception actually. (Outside of the tiebreaks, of course. 🙄)

    As for how “[a]ll of these terrible losses would vanish into the ether if he’d put a stamp on the grass and his legacy with that win over Djokovic”, oh man – how awfully terribly true!

    To round off – while I reckon you’re right that it’s the records which’ll remain, I believe the sui generis nature of Federer’s tennis will help create for him a legacy that extends beyond just his numbers and records. And speaking of records (and numbers and statistics), here’s something I came up with as I looked through Fed’s H2H with the Djoker for something that would show what both of us know – that Fed is the superior player but the inferior “closer” and winner. Perhaps it’ll serve as salve or perhaps it’ll only further highlight what you call Fed’s “bungling”. In any case, here is is. (See what you make of it and let me know?)


    What is interesting about the Federer-Djokovic rivalry (and, in fact, every Federer H2H rivalry) are the finer “in-match” stats and their comparison to the grosser “results” stats. For example, the Djoker-Fed rivalry is 27-23 in the Djoker’s favour (11-6 in slams) … but (and here̍s the rub), several important in-match statistics tilt in Federer’s favour . For example, Federer’s points dominance (PD) ratio is 1.02, his game dominance (GD) ratio is 1.01, his total points won is 50.2%, his total games won is 50.4%, and his total sets won is 50%. In other words, Federer is better than or equal to the Djoker in 5 of tennis’s most important in-match categories. Now these might seem to be trivial in the larger scheme of things (after all, only the result matters, right?) or like hair-splitting on the part of a Federer fan, but they become important considerations when one is discussing if Djokovic is really a greater tennis player than Federer. Because – to have a healthy lead in such a large H2H set (50 matches!) and still trail in these in-match statistics is so rare as to be almost singular . [Take into consideration Djokovic̍s 6-years (!) age-advantage and how he only began to lead the H2H in early 2016 (and to pull away in 2018) and one can argue that he comes out looking the lesser rather than the greater player.]

    This rarity of Federer’s is made more apparent by a look at these very statistics in the case of the Djokovic-Nadal H2H. In this case, the leader of the H2H category (again, the Djoker) also leads the in-match stats: with a PD ratio of 1.04, a GD ratio of 1.09, a total points won of 50.7%, a total games won of 51%, and a total sets won of 52.3%. This sort of correspondence in “leads” is what is expected – what Federer has done against Djokovic goes completely against most people’s assumptions about the performance of the player who leads the H2H.

    And this is not a one-off! Just as interesting are the in-match stats of a couple of Federer’s other negative H2Hs against current players, namely, Thiem and Zverev. Despite the H2H match count being low (just seven each) and despite trailing Thiem 2-5 and Zverev 3-4, his in-match stats (PD, GD, percent points won) is still greater than or equal to that of both players! Indeed, the only (relevant) player Federer trails in these in-match stats is Rafa – and even there, the skew is much less than the 16-24 H2H skew. For instance, Federer’s PD ratio is 0.97 and his total points won is 49.4%!

    The point of all of this? That H2Hs can be “deceptive”; that Federer is almost indisputably the greatest “in-match player” in tennis history (as well as the most profligate with BPs and MPs); and that the player who wins the match is not necessarily the greater tennis player.

    To conclude: 1) The Djoker is the best, most consistent player at the moment ; 2) His lead in the H2H against Federer against Federer does not mean he is the greater tennis player (though it is fair to say it indicates he is the better “closer” and that his “mental strength” is better) ; 3) Given Rafa’s (extra)-skewed dominance on clay, his lopsided H2H against the Djoker on HC, and Federer’s resurgence against him since 2017, Djokovic’s real rival (in overall statistics and records) is a six-years-older Fed rather than Rafa ; 4) Fed’s better “in-match” performance over 50 matches against Djokovic makes a strong case for his status as the greater tennis player ( though not the greater winner ) of the two.

    Note: My fascination with these in-match statistics kind of began after Wimbledon 2019 – a match which, as far as I’m concerned, Fed “won”, just not officially . Watching Fed (officially) lose a match he “won” got me looking into the finer match stats. What I found therein confirmed my impression of Federer – as Novak’s greatest rival over the past decade (despite being 6 years older) and as the finest in-match player in tennis history. I’m not saying this makes him the GOAT (which is mostly a futile, emotion-driven argument) – but it most certainly lends factual heft to the popular belief that Federer is the most complete player (in the “tennising” sense) to have played the game (so far). That he plays with a such a sui generis flair and artistry is the icing on the cake.


    1. The Djoker and the Fed have met four times on grass. The Djoker leads the H2H 3-1, but here are Fed’s in-match statistics: PD = 1.04, GD = 1.19, Total points won = 50.4%, Games won = 51%.

    2. In Bof3 matches, the Fed-Djoker H2H is 16-16 (with matches played between 2006-2019). For these 32 matches, the in-match statistics for the Fed are: PD = 1.05; GD = 1.15; BP ratio = 1.05 (he even leads this against possibly the game̍s greatest returner…confirming my opinion that Fed’s return is highly underrated); total points won = 50.6%; games won = 51.5%; sets won = 52.6%. In short, the Fed leads the Djoker in every one of these categories, an astonishing feat.

    3. For all Djokovic’s acclaimed brilliance on hard courts (he leads Nadal 20-7!), the Fed has been his greatest competitor on them, with their H2H being 20-18 in the Djoker’s favour. As for the in-match stats … it’s “deja vu once again” with Fed having a PD = 1.02, GD = 1.02, (BP ratio = 0.98), total points won = 50.2%, games won = 50.7%, sets won = 51.9%.

    Truly – if Fed had the remarkable “nervelessness” of Djokovic (or perhaps even that of Rafa), god knows how many of the important matches would have gone his way! So yes, a statement talking about Fed’s propensity to waste MPs (and, therefore, lose) would be reductive … if there wasn’t so much hard evidence that the Fed is the superior in-match player with a marked tendency of getting nervous at crucial moments. Because, putting aside what might have come next (against Nadal), if Fed had had the “nerve(lessness)” to convert those MPs from those three slam matches – he would lead the Djoker 26-24 in their overall H2H; lead him 9-8 in their Grand Slam H2H; and have 21 slams to his name … but he didn̍t convert them, that’s that, and here we are.

    However, don’t ever let the H2H or slam titles fool you into believing anything except the fact that Djokovic is the “mentally stronger” (a term I don’t care for) and “more nerveless ” (I prefer this term) tennis player of the two. Not the “greater”. In fact, I will reiterate my opinion that Federer is the greater of the two – not simply because of his “style” but because he has achieved his records while playing an attacking all-court game that offers much less margin for error (than Djokovic’s) and being six years older than Djokovic.

    Stats courtesy:

    1. I’m starting to dislike this whole stats-based approach. Taking it ad absurdum. You may be the greatest player ever without having won any single title, but your are the “in-match” king.
      You can’t measure style, beauty a.s.o. There is some evidence (in fans reactions all over the world) Federer is most loved tennis player. Ever? Many were loved before, in parallel (Rafa)and will be in the future.
      The “in-match” superiority of Federer is something you can measure. But is this really an important aspect of “greatness”? Depends on where you stand. It’s strictly subjective interpretation. Interesting. But true? Yes, in your eyes. There are no objective criteria of greatness. There are many kinds of greatness. Any construction of an “overall” greatness is artificial.
      And there are many different logics. One of them could be: if you are the greatest in in-match stats, why are you losing so much, while being better all over the match. Only not when it matters the most. It’s competitive sport. Not for recreation (rather for injuries) or for fun. It’s measured by results. Fans’ love is not measured by anything. To some extent by numbers of loving fans. But how do you objectively count these fans? Not everyone chanting for Federer is his lover. Maybe simply a chanting-lover? Maybe someone, who does not understand tennis at all but tends to follow what others do and try to make the cameraman to perceive him/her?
      H2H are facts. Hard facts. Measurable. If you say, OK, but my hero was injured or ill, when he lost, what he would “normally” win, you forget the rules of competitive individual sports. If you are injured or ill but decide to compete, you are kind of saying “I’m ready”. If you are ready but then lose, it’s both false and unfair to say later, ah, I had a bad day. Ah, I would have won if not 1 tiny point I unfortunately lost.
      H2H does not tell everything obviously.There is nothing, what could tell everything. “Greatness”, beauty are things to live, not to count and evaluate.

      1. I hope you noticed that a major part of the write-up is also an argument for why these statistics are “not reductive”. 🙂

        That said – sure, statistics can be used by almost anyone to demonstrate almost anything. In which case, H2H is also a “statistic”. It may be the most important statistic, but it’s still a statistic. And yes, there are “ineffables” that count for a lot, but the inability to discuss them “logically” or “statistically” makes them personal and subjective. I, for instance, treasure Federer’s backhand slice and consider it among tennis’s greatest shots.

        Being a fan usually means investing emotionally in another person’s success (and failure). In Federer’s case, the amount of people, worldwide, who have invested in him is likely higher than it is for any other player. His tennis’s aesthetics and easy charisma are reasons for people’s investment – with his great success being the part. So, yes, my argument may seem unnecessary – but no more (or less) unnecessary than watching tennis and being a Federer fan.

      2. @MKA
        I do respect your point. And your arguments are interesting. I think, you are aware of the possibility, your argumentation can be seen by others (also Federer’s fans) as a try to make subjective (of course not equal false) aspects objective by using some stats, which are just good for your thesis.
        We are living more and more in the word of stats. Thanks to new technologies we can count things we could never do some decades ago.
        You are right, H2H is simply another stat. The most important? For sure not, but it depends simply of what you want to be proven.
        Another stat (not really countable) is the number of Federer’s fans, compared to fans of others (for example Rafa). But do we really need this argument? We must not count Federer’s fans and compare with other fan groups to harden our beliefs. Take any religion. If you are religious, you believe in (some) God and do you make your faith dependent on how many others believe in the same God? What if there is other religion with more believers?
        I’m old enough to have followed the likes of Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Becker, Sampras and many others before Federer? Even Federer is not completely the man of digital era. And with the progress of modern digital media more and more things got countable and subject to statistical presentation.
        I’m Federer fan since ever, but probably I started to follow him first when Nadal emerged and this rivalry started, maybe first showing Federer’s greatness even if he was losing to Nadal more than not.
        I don’t like today’s reigning tennis style in younger generations (Thiem, my second fav excluded) but maybe that’s the same as with pop music? I’m generation of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimmi Hendrix … I don’t like new pop music, but there is new generation, not liking or “understanding” this old “classics”. Maybe new generations of fans will not forget the name (Federer), but they will get excited by completely different aspects of the game.
        Federer has his generation and not many fans among young (20-30 years old). The stats you are analyzing are relevant for Big3 era fans. No more for younger generations. They will have another “gods”. Or tennis will die 😉

    2. Yes, I saw this posted by you before. It’s indeed an interesting take, and gives some food for thought. Ultimately though, it’s that 21 versus 20 total that will matter most, until at least someone surpasses these guys, and then it won’t matter at all, much like hitting a ball over a net with a stick shouldn’t be so important in the first place, I suppose.

      1. Is there stats available about what#s (statistically) the impact of coin toss choice on match outcome? We would have another interesting take. Most are choosing receive but some mostly serve. Maybe Fed was choosing receive to frequently. Does it belong to in-match stats?
        OK, we can invent any kind of stat and make it interesting. But I do agree with Holdco. The ultimate success in tennis are Grand Slam crowns. Of course it has it’s limitations like everything. But we cannot and should not try to change it only because our hero is about to “lose” this special competition so we get another reason to look for other aspect of greatness.
        BTW – just watching from time to time some USO matches with full house and crowds going crazy for someone who is not Federer and not Fed-similar, but somehow I cant find any single RF-cap out there. Are all Federer fans suddenly disappeared from tennis arenas? Or they simply let their RF-caps home and go to cheer for anyone who could beat Djoker but anonymously?
        Or most of Federer fans are now oldies like him (meaning 70+) and have no more motivation to watch tennis live?
        The same here – almost everyone seems to have lost their RF-cap and to be lost as fans for tennis?

  36. @PRF: Well, in my opinion – there isn’t an argument. Federer *is* a much better tennis player than Djokovic. And not just because he’s nicer to watch but because he plays the most all-rounded, all-court game. I mean, to me (even though I’m a fan), he’s just objectively a better tennis player than Djokovic. However, since just saying that in an “argument” (not that there’s any need to argue but one does, right) doesn’t work with people who will use numbers like the Djoker’s H2H, I looked to see if I too could find *numbers* that backed my claim. Somewhat surprisingly (but also somewhat unsurprisngly), I was able to find such numbers – and I’ve been sharing them since. Mostly to give Fed fans some numbers to work with when they’re trying to make their argument or to show how it isn’t at all “obvious” that the Djoker is the better player. Of course, none of this really proves anything in absolute terms, but having these details provide a certain objectivity to my (subjective fan’s) estimate that Federer is the greater tennis player was nice. That’s about it, really. 😁

    Otherwise – sure, once Fed (and Nadal and Djoko) have been retired for a few years, none of these numbers will mean much at all. Even their GS totals will become artefacts rather than the “living” milestones they are now. 😃

    1. MKA – I am a great Fedfan (once fanboy bot more balanced now). But I disagree with micro stats.

      Every Professional enters a competition with an aim to win being fully aware of the rules of the game and technologies available. For example, players are fully aware that you could end up losing in spite of more points in the match. So, which means it is a level playing field.

      Also in a long career there is law of averages and micro statistics, good luck, bad luck – all these average out. Just like one player could have lost matches where micro stats favour him, there are, in macro level, matches same player won where he had no business to win and in micro level points he had no business to win. There will be stats for Fed on both counts.

      If Fed had won no slams or just a handful, there won’t be much fan following as it is today based on just micro stats. So result matters.

      So, based on law of averages, being fully aware of the Rules and conditions, ultimately the average result is what matters to decide a better player because this is the only objective way. A better all round player in professional sport is not one with just better strokes from all parts of the court, But one who would adjust based on conditions and opponents and win, not lose. In that regard, Djoker is better all round player. In terms of flamboyance and stroke play, sure it is Fed.

      So H2H especially in big tournaments is IMHO definitely an objective enough yardstick and all favourable micro stats probably just serve us Fed fans some consolation.

      1. Generally I agree. But we should maybe wonder, who the hell and why has invented so specific counting to decide who won the match? Maybe not to be clear, who was better, allowing this crazy definition “A was better but B won).
        Either the creator of tennis rules was a malicious person or a visioneer, who understood, it’s the only way to make people watch tennis for many hours and still have fun, live emotions, which makes it a great entertainment.
        Would tenis be that emotional if they were simply counting from zero to the number of total points with the count stopping after 2 or 5 hours?
        If you miss the line by 1/100 mm, was the shot bad, because you missed? Is there a difference, if you miss by 1 µm or 2 meters?
        And because it’s just a kind of entertainment, think about music. Who was better – Beatles or Rolling Stones? Bob Dylan or Jimmi Hendrix? Led Zeppelin or Queen? Can’t we take tennis like it was music?

    2. Well, we are different people and different kind of fans.
      I’m only wondering, if you need these numbers (kind of proving Fed’s superiority) for yourself (because if you haven’t them, you are maybe unsure?) or just to try to convince others, who (like me) think the same (Federer being the “best”, but knowing that such assessments are never absolute and never valid for ever), but I don’t need any numbers to feel like that.
      Similarly I was years ago rather McEnroe’s fan than Borg’s (who was to boring for me), but if someone tells me, Borg was greater player, I can agree without even looking for numbers. I don’t remember their numbers (of course I could find them easily via Google, but I don’t feel the need).
      My point is – in tennis’ history we not only have a lot of greats but also a lot of greatest. I can’t recall numbers b ut I can recall the game styles and emotions I lived when watching them.
      Numbers are IMO a kind of mental “crutches”. If you cannot walk or run “naturally”, you maybe need crutches 😉

      1. I wouldn’t call numbers a “crutch” at all. I mean, what sense does that make when everything’s based on numbers – including the result of a game, a set, and a match in tennis?

        Like I said already, I consider that Federer is a greater tennis player than Djokovic (and don’t need numbers to think so), but this is the age of internet fandom and commenting and arguing…which makes such “micro stats” (as sraman calls them) more than relevant – and I, for my part, I happy to both use and provide them. 😁

        For my part, I’m more than happy to enjoy watching Federer play tennis…which is what I’ve done over the years. (I mean, like I’ve made clear, it was only many months after Wimbledon that I got curious about such ‘micro statistics’.)

      2. @MKA
        OK. you don’t need numbers as “crutches”. But many do. What I meant was not to say, numbers are completely meaningless. But they are secondary. You can explain the match using numbers only. But numbers have short life. Emotions you live when watching someone like Fed (on tennis court, not on red carpet) will remain for ever. But once fans’ generations change, numbers will be more important again, because some day current crowds will not have seen any Federer’s match. So Federer belongs to the fans’ generation, which was watching him, participating live (no matter if on stadiums or TV) in the story of his legend.
        You need to decide, who’s greater from some top group, numbers are useful. But only in arguments. And numeric comparisons are not very exciting (for me) 😉

    1. Fans are that pumped because they need to forget about pandemics, lockdowns a.s.o.
      So maybe not the tournament itself (meaning – the matches) is so exciting but people need emotions that badly.
      US Open 2020 had a very high level in terms of sport. But there was nobody on the stadium to live emotions.

      1. Excellent match and makes a change to have a British win without all the tears and drama and years of near misses. Does the heart good! Nice way to wrap up the majors of 2021.

        Not to exactly comment on the rights and wrongs of Naomi Osaka’s mental health issues here, but I do think that the emotions she had to go through in New York in September 18 were a huge huge shame. Bitchy Serena completely swept away any joy Osaka might have had for an excellent performance, and had the cheek to pretend she was sorry about it. She never actually really said sorry, come to that. Just so damn certain she was right, she didn’t care about anyone else. Its incredible that Naomi actually won another three majors since.

        That aside, Raducanu’s match and joy with the trophy is refreshing. Women’s tennis has been a bit more interesting in the last week.

  37. Well the match is today. I can’t see anything else but Djokovic in 4 sets. The reason is that Medvedev has not played anyone in the top 10 up to now. Djokovic on the other hand beat the 3rd best in form player, in my opinion , in Zverev, who folded in the 5th but otherwise was very solid.

    IN the end Djokovic will get 21 now or later, and he will be the greatest, at least for winning all Slams and beating Nadal at the FO on the way. Just think though: in 2015 Federer was in his 33-34 year. He lost in 4 sets to a 28 year old Djokovic at both Wimbledon and the US Open. Does DJokovic have a competitor who can beat him in this age group today? No. Medvedev is the closest and, well let’s be honest, he was destroyed at the Australian and likely will be again today.

    1. Best laid plans.

      This USO was Djokovic’s to win, and he looked deadly, even in five sets with Zverev. To go down in straights with enduring greatness like Laver on the line is embarrassing. Not as bad as losing with two match points in Wimbledon, but up there in terms of disappointment. I’d have some more schadenfreude if not for the endless venom of Novak fans since 2015, basically.

      1. Yes, my prediction turned out to be utterly wrong. Medvedev showed he was more than up to it and learned from his defeat at the AO. A bit like Del Potro coming back from defeats to Federer in Slams in 2009 to win the finals in the end. Medvedev had it all – serves, great shotmaking, and ability to grind it out with Djokovic in long rallies. Then Djokoivc has no choice but to go for aggressive shots and then you see the weakness.

        Maybe it was a bit of a choke from him, but partly also a tough ask to beat Berretini, Zverev, and then Medvedev in succession.

        If I had to bet I’d say at the AO 22 it will be a rematch, on the slower courts there, vs a rested Djokovic with less pressure.

        Well done Medvedev anyway….

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