Roger Federer

Where Are They Now? Roger Federer’s Generation

A look at what some of the players from Federer's era are doing now

With the offseason in full swing and Roger having just completed his 20th year as a pro, I thought I'd take a look at where some of the players are now that were part of Federer's generation.

The Swiss came onto the scene in 1998 having won Junior Wimbledon the same year and I've picked out who I believe to be the best and key players from this era, the qualifier being that they had to be born between 1980-1983.

At the end of the post, I've also looked at some of the generations before Roger that helped shape his career. And before I start, hat tip to Katyani for giving me the idea for this post in the live chat during the World Tour Finals.

How Do You Define a Generation?

After giving it some thought, I think it basically boils down to birth year. I'm not sure where exactly you can draw a line and say that two players are from separate generations but it's probably a 3 to 4-year window.

My 1980-83 window works, as does 1984 to 1987 and so on. If you cast the net too wide you end up with age playing a too significant an impact on H2H and rivalries.

I chose a 4-year window because it makes the age difference small enough that you can't see how it would have a significant impact on how the vast majority of their matches are played out.

Maybe if one player was born January 1980 and the other December 1984 but those are outliers. And obviously some players breakthrough much quicker like Nadal, but he's still in the Djokovic and Murray generation even though he had success much earlier against his predecessors.

If the gap is too large, then at the start of a rivalry, the older player will typically have the advantage because the younger player is too inexperienced. Think of Rafter, Henman and Agassi's H2H with Roger. All three handled Federer easily in their early meetings, but if they played for long enough, Roger managed to bring the rivalry into his favour. The same has happened with Djokovic and Federer with Novak now leading the H2H.

Where is Federer's Generation Now?

Let's take a look at some of the top guys from Federer's generation, ordered by year of birth.

Marat Safin


Born: 27/01/1980

Turned Pro: 1997

Retired: 2009

Career Titles: 15

Career High Ranking: 1

H2H vs Federer:  10-2 Federer

What is Marat Safin doing now?

Safin retired fairly young at just 29 years of age and after being a member of the Russian Tennis Federation and a member of the Russian Olympic Committee he moved into Politics. He became a member of the State Duma in 2011 which he held until 2017 before terminating his seat.

The decision to quit politics came after he was the first Russian to be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame which gave him too many commitments and not enough personal life so he moved away from the political scene.

Juan Carlos Ferrero

juan carlos ferrero

Born: 12/02/1980

Turned Pro: 1998

Retired: 2012

Career Titles: 16

Career High Ranking: 1

H2H vs Federer:  10-3 Federer

What is Juan Carlos Ferrero doing now?

Ferrero made a brief comeback in 2017 playing doubles with Pablo Carreno Busta at the Barcelona Open. He then went onto coach Alexander Zverev but the partnership lasted just 8 months due to differences in opinion between the pair.

After retiring at the Valencia Open, he moved into business running the JCFerrero-Equelite Sports Academy, which is located in Villena and he also part-owns a hotel; the Hotel Ferrero in Valencia.

Xavier Malisse


Born: 19/07/1980

Turned Pro: 1998

Retired: 2013

Career Titles: 3

Career High Ranking: 19

H2H vs Federer:  10-1 Federer

What is Xavier Malisse Doing Now?

After retiring Malisse quickly moved into a coaching role working with fellow Belgian Kimmer Coppejans. The partnership was short lived and Malisse later admitted he rushed into coaching too quickly.

Since then he's a regular face on the Champions Tour but hasn't ruled out coaching again in the future.

Fernando Gonzalez

fernando gonzalez

Born: 29/07/1980

Turned Pro: 1999

Retired: 2012

Career Titles: 11

Career High Ranking: 5

H2H vs Federer:  12-1 Federer

What is Fernando Gonzalez Doing Now?

Gonzalez has stayed in the world of tennis, working with Chilean Tennis Federation, coaching fellow countryman Gonzalo Lama and also playing on the Champions Tour.  

Recently he's been working on a trial basis with Elias Ymer with a view to coaching the Swede in 2019.

Lleyton Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt

Born: 24/02/1981

Turned Pro: 1998

Retired: 2016

Career Titles: 30

Career High Ranking: 1

H2H vs Federer:  18-9 Federer

What is Lleyton Hewitt doing now?

Hewitt retired after the 2016 Australian Open but he's had various stints at coming out of retirement to play doubles.

First accepting a doubles wildcard with compatriot Sam Groth at the 2018 Australian Open and fulfilling a player captain role of the Aussie Davis Cup team.

Nikolay Davydenko


Born: 02/06/1981

Turned Pro: 1999

Retired: 2014

Career Titles: 21

Career High Ranking: 3

H2H vs Federer:  19-2 Federer

What is Nikolay Davydenko doing now?

Davydenko has chosen to live the quiet life after tennis, spending all his time around his family and 3 daughters; he rarely does any interviews and isn't coaching or commentating.

He racked up $16 million prize money so with the right investments and not splurging cash too frivolously he should be set for life.

Feliciano Lopez

Feli Lopez

Born: 02/06/1981

Turned Pro: 1997

Retired: N/A

Career Titles: 6

Career High Ranking: 12

H2H vs Federer:  13-0 Federer

What is Felicano Lopez Doing Now?

Still playing 🙂

Mardy Fish

Mardy Fish

Born: 02/06/1981

Turned Pro: 2000

Retired: 2015

Career Titles: 6

Career High Ranking: 7

H2H vs Federer: 8-1 Federer

What is Mardy Fish Doing Now?

Fish was diagnosed with a  heart arrhythmia in 2012, actually before he was due to play Federer at the US Open. He had surgery, but struggled with anxiety thereafter, retiring in 2015 after the US Open.

Since then he's started the Mardy Fish Children's Foundation and is a keen golfer, whilst still keeping some ties to tennis, playing on the Invesco Series QQQ tennis circuit.

Jarkko Nieminen

Jarkko Nieminen

Born: 23/07/1981

Turned Pro: 2000

Retired: 2015

Career Titles: 2

Career High Ranking: 13

H2H vs Federer: 15-0 Federer

What is Jarkko Nieminen Doing Now?

Nieminen is captaining Finland’s men’s national team and is also a commentator on Finnish Eurosport during Grand Slam tournaments.

He's also turned his hand to Floorball, a sport he played until his late teens, training with top Finnish side Classic in 2016.

David Nalbandian


Born: 01/01/1982

Turned Pro: 2000

Retired: 2013

Career Titles: 11

Career High Ranking: 3

H2H vs Federer:  11-8 Federer

What is David Nalbandian Doing Now?

If it wasn't for a career-ending shoulder injury I reckon we'd still be seeing Nalbandian on the court now but since giving up tennis he has transitioned into a new sport; Rallying and competes in the Argentine Rally Championship.

He also does some coaching back home, working with the Top Tennis Training Youtube channel to record a backhand video course recently over in Argentina.

Guillermo Coria


Born: 13/01/1982

Turned Pro: 2000

Retired: 2009

Career Titles: 9

Career High Ranking: 3

H2H vs Federer:  3-0 Federer

What is Guillermo Coria Doing Now?

One of the players I never liked 😀 and I was mega annoyed when he beat Henman in the French Open Semi Final. He got the yips and a ton of injuries which meant he retired at 27 and he now works in Argentina managing the Government-funded program “Our Tennis” designed to identify and develop talent among children and teens.

David Ferrer


Born: 02/04/1982

Turned Pro: 2000

Retired: 2019

Career Titles: 27

Career High Ranking: 3

H2H vs Federer:  17-0 Federer

What is David Ferrer Doing Now?

Still playing but 2019 is his last year and he's earmarked 6 tournaments he wants to play during the 2019 season which are the Hopman Cup, Auckland, Buenos Aires, Acapulco, Barcelona, and Madrid.

As for life after tennis? His brother runs the Ferrer Tennis Academy so an involvement with that looks likely.

Tommy Robredo


Born: 02/04/1982

Turned Pro: 1998

Retired: N/A

Career Titles: 12

Career High Ranking: 5

H2H vs Federer:  11-1 Federer

What is Tommy Robredo Doing Now?

Still playing! He's struggled with injury in recent years, having a big elbow problem in 2016 but he came through qualifying at the 2018 US Open and his goal is to get back into the Top 100.

Robredo is also heavily involved in Wheelchair Tennis running the Open Anti Silvas. The cause won him the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award at the 2018 ATP awards ceremony.

Andy Roddick


Born: 30/08/1982

Turned Pro: 2000

Retired: 2012

Career Titles: 32

Career High Ranking: 1

H2H vs Federer:  21-3 Federer

What is Andy Roddick Doing Now?

Post-retirement Roddick has done some punditry and commentary work but he's heavily involved in buy to let property which he started in 2008. He also runs his own Andy Roddick Foundation in Austin Texas as well as angel investing in a reported 17 different businesses with his business partner Phil Myers and wife Brooklyn Decker.

Philipp Kohlschreiber


Born: 16/10/1983

Turned Pro: 2001

Retired: N/A

Career Titles: 8

Career High Ranking: 16

H2H vs Federer:  13-0 Federer

What is Philipp Kohlschreiber Doing Now?

Still playing!

Fernando Verdasco


Born: 15/11/1983

Turned Pro: 2001

Retired: N/A

Career Titles: 7

Career High Ranking: 7

H2H vs Federer:  6-0 Federer

What is Fernando Verdasco Doing Now?

Still playing and still playing very well in patches beating top players which is a testament to how talented this guy is.

Some Facts I Learned From Researching This Post

  • Federer is the only player born between 1972-85 who has won more than three Grand Slam titles.
  • Against the players I have listed of his generation, he has a combined H2H record of 197:31, a win percentage of 86%
  • Nalbandian was the most competitive player of Federer’s generation, winning 8 of their 19 matches including the first 5 but from there on Roger took control. Interesting to see how he seemingly figured him out
  • The key takeaway is just how dominant Federer was against these guys, just crazy numbers. Please, no weak era arguments.

Question: Why do you think some players have lasted longer than others? A greater love for the sport? Genetically better at avoiding injury along with the right lifestyle? More talented which has aided longevity?

Significant Others from Earlier Generations

As well as Roger's contemporaries, I thought I'd take a look at some other players I think had an impact on Federer's career.

Pat Rafter

Pat Rafter

Born: 28/12/1972

Turned Pro: 1991

Retired: 2002

Career Titles: 11

Career High Ranking: 1

H2H vs Federer: 3-0 Rafter

Why is he significant? He's the only player to have played Roger at least three times and not lost to him! Federer also played him at the French Open, a match which gave an early glimpse of the sort of tennis he was capable of producing.

What is Pat Rafter doing now?

Rafter was the Davis Cup Captain until from 2010 to 2015,  made a comeback to partner Lleyton Hewitt in the doubles draw of the 2014 Australian Open and has also played on the ATP Champions Tour.

He's also heavily involved in property development and is rumoured to have made far more from real estate than prize money earned during his tennis career.

Franco Squillari


Born: 22/08/1975

Turned Pro: 1994

Retired: 2005

Career Titles: 11

Career High Ranking: 11

H2H vs Federer: 2-0 Squillari

Why is he significant? The match in Hamburg is a key one in Roger's career as it caused a change in his on-court behaviour and attitude from petulant racquet smasher to a more calm and composed character.

What is Franco Squillari Doing Now?

Squillari is Director of Development of the Argentine Tennis Association

Tim Henman

Tim Henman

Born: 06/09/1974

Turned Pro: 1993

Retired: 2007

Career Titles: 11

Career High Ranking: 4

H2H vs Federer: 7-6 Federer

Why is he significant? He effectively won their first 6 meetings and really had the beating of Federer during the early parts of his career. A prime example of a player in his prime dispatching the younger guy but the mantle changing once Federer gained experience on tour.

What is Tim Henman Doing Now?

BBC Commentary, TV punditry, radio punditry, playing on the Champions Tour and a lot of Golf.

Andre Agassi


Born: 29/04/1970

Turned Pro: 1986

Retired: 2006

Career Titles: 60

Career High Ranking: 1

H2H vs Federer: 8-3 Federer

Why is he significant? Roger pulled off some very big wins against Agassi which gave him a lot of belief in his game that he could beat the very best from the baseline.

What is Andre Agassi Doing Now?

Since retiring after the 2006 US Open Agassi has been heavily involved in charity work, using tennis to participate in a series of money-raising tournaments. He also had a brief stint coaching Djokovic in 2017 but the partnership lasted under a year.

As always interested to hear what you guys think. How do you define a generation? Have I missed any significant players in this post? Let me know 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. You made me nostalgic, those are the players a grew up with. I was especially fan of Safin and Agassi and Sampras of course (I can’t not mention him). I think this generation didn’t last because they didn’t think they could play for more years. The average retirement age before 2010 was 30.. I think that make them psychologically not prepared to keep playing beside the physical ability. Or maybe they just get tired of the tour after years , especially if they aren’t winning like before..

    1. Ye I was going to include Sampras too, but only 1 meeting, even though it definitely shaped his career 😀

      I think Nalbandian would still be playing if he didn’t have a bad shoulder. The others not sure, Roddick’s level dropped a lot

  2. Hey Jon, great post. You really gave a lot of info. Must have took you a long time. Thanks for that.
    This is just to show how lucky and priviliged we are that Roger is still playing and still in the top 5.
    20 years and he is still feared on court.

    I read an interesting tweet once. All the haters are saying that Roger won a lot in the so called weak era.
    But in all the “3” era’s…. he was world number 1 !!! Isn’t that a great accomplishment??
    Roger’s competition are now coaches or commies, while he is still kicking ass and winning big titles 🙂

    Go Goat 🙂

    1. Thanks for giving me the post idea.

      Yeah, the weak era argument is boring. You can bend any number of stats to make all sorts of points. But stats don’t tell you the full picture. 20 slams all needed 7 wins each to achieve and no statistics really tell you how those opponents played on the day.

  3. Fascinating.
    I loved Nalbandian- gave Fed all kinds of trouble. Such a shame his shoulder incapacitated him. Same for Roddick. Must be something to do with their technique that causes such injuries. Just read an interview with Marat Safin i which he states it was multiple injuries took him out too. Fed was ahead of his time with his training too I guess – always said he started out with longevity in mind. Happily, it’s worked.?
    I was particularly interested in the Henman H2H as it was the closest. Last 2 times Tim beat him were Paris 03 & Rotterdam 04 – in straight sets too, albeit with a couple of TBs. Prior to that Rog usually got a set off him. After Rotterdam tho Tim never got another set off him for 6 straight matches and they last met in Tokyo 06. Fed even bageled him at Wimby that year too.

    1. I think Fed winning sets in those early meetings with Henman was more about Henners than Fed. He could drop sets to all sorts of players 😀 all those Wimbledon first week roller coasters.

      I guess the surfacing slowing down too had kicked in around that time too, not a good thing for Henman.

  4. Interesting read. To me it feels like Fed has played 4 generations of players. Agassi, Roddick, Nadal, Raonic, Zverev are examples. The player I enjoyed here was Davydenko. I remember in 2012 at IW, Monfils was scheduled to play, but pulled out due to illness. Davydenko was then scheduled for that court. The crowd left. I thought, what a shame, he is talented player.

    Players I enjoyed watching were/are Verdasco, Kohlschreiber, Hewitt, Roddick, Fish and Lopez. Some I hate include Nalbanian.

    Pisses me off when I see people lump Roger in the same group as Nadal and Djoker. Hello people, 5-6 yr difference.
    Another thing is the money that is made now. A lot different than 20 years ago.

    1. I thought Nalbanian was good to watch, such a good backhand. I would have preferred he win Wimbledon that year instead of Hewitt at the time. Hewitt mellowed a bit since mind.

  5. Great post Jonathan thank you.
    Just a small remark. Agassi is now doing some part-time coaching in the Team Dimitrov…

  6. Fun post to read as a long term tennis/fed fan. Just astonished to re-realise how crazy good Roger actually has been and is still top3!
    One match I remember was vs Paradorn Schaphan or something I can’t spel out ?, I think at Basel? He’s Thai, isn’t he? I wonder what’s he doing now? Thought he was almost as good as Fed.

    1. Srichapan was great. Played some good matches with Fed. He was Thai DC captain. I just found him on Insta and he runs the Paradorn International Tennis Academy

    2. Paradorn was a huge star in Asia and even married the Miss Universe who was from Ukraine or Russia I believe. He was doing tennis commentary on Star Sports (Asia) with Vijay and Marion Bartoli as well. Off topic: Marion is a brilliant commentator and has often gushed about how much she admires

    1. But what? He kicked an advertising board and it, unfortunately, injured the line judge. Not malicious. He prob thought it was a solid bit of board.

      Anyway, a shard of racquet that Federer smashed at Miami could have hit a ball kid in the eye. One of the balls he hit out of the stadium this year could have knocked a hot drink out of someone’s hands and caused third-degree burns. Good player but…

      Also, the line judge made an absolute meal of that and was loving the attention. I remember watching it live at the time. If it was me I’d have downplayed it and said no I’m not injured to the umpire, just a code violation.

      Then obviously I’m asking Nalbandian for some prize money in the locker room 😆

  7. I felt sorry for Nalbandian, yes he lost it for a moment and no he shouldn’t have
    kicked the box but I bet he never imagined it would splinter and not only hurt the
    official but cause such backlash. I thought he was a great player who on his day
    could beat anyone. Also Safin,Gonzales. Roddick, Hewitt were all great players
    and how can I forget Davydenko. all the wonderful names in all the posts. how
    I hated it when people made fun of Henman another great player to watch.
    It’s worth remembering too the variety of court speeds, oh Jonathan what
    have you done to us such a great subject many thanks x

    1. Jonathan loved your post about Feds Gen. I know that the era with the BIG 3/4
      has been special but what a variety of player styles and court speed we have lost.
      Everytime I hear a commentator saying ‘Federer hasn’t lost a step’ I cringe.
      The worst part is that this stupid weak era comment is so crass because a lot
      of the players today would be hard put to keep up. It also shows just
      how good Roger has been and still is as a player, truly a man for all seasons x

  8. Great article! If you ever get the chance, please do the same (with 4 year age gap) for Nadal and Djokovic. That will give some good insight on the goat debate. This article explained once again amount of goatness Fed has 🙂

    1. Thanks. Maybe in a few years. I think the Federer one is only interesting because half the guys he grew up with no longer play. Most of the Djokodal era are still playing, can’t think who has retired other than Soderling?

  9. Well, you can find some justification for any criteria used to extract the “generation”.
    But I think, the better would be the number of matches played or matches played on big stages of big tournaments and then Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are the same generation.
    Federer had lots of big wins before the both came in but they will probably not have so many after Roger retires or declines.
    You told “no weak era arguments, please”. There must be a reason for you to ask this 😉
    PS: I’m just learning to use short paragraphs 🙂

      1. Because it’s more meaningful than biological age.
        But I understand, why you prefer age.
        After Nadal and Djokovic came , Federer started to have some real competition.
        And Federer has negative direct match record with them.
        Nice as a proof Federer was soooo dominant in his generation.
        If you don’t count Djokovic and Nadal to the same generation, it shows, they have a bigger rivalry Federer had in both respective generations.

      2. If a 25-year-old plays a 35-year-old in the club tennis final for 5 years in a row, are they the same generation because they played a lot of big matches against each other? 😆

        A generation does not equal a rivalry.

      3. @Jonathan
        Is Federer a club player? Are Nadal or Djokovic club players? If so, your argument holds.
        Well, you wanted to watch at at one generation not in terms of sport but in terms of biology. You did. It’s not much interesting.
        You will ask “why?”.
        Because there were no great players in this generation or their careers were short for some reason (injuries, whatever).
        More interesting (and bigger and more important for Federer as a tennis player) were the years of rivalry with these two. Not the years before.
        Bad luck for him. He was born to early 😉 Should be waiting for Nadal and Djokovic.
        Whos was the Bigxxx in Federer’s generation (according to your definition)?

      4. The level of tennis is irrelevant. You said a generation is defined by the big matches they played against each other. A club final is by definition a big match, so are a 25-year-old and 35-year-old of the same generation or not?

        You can never answer basic questions. Sad!

      5. Basic questions? Your questions are intellectually empty. Sad.
        Maybe you should go back to school to rise your level?
        Basic questions are asked in primary school. I guess, you continued your education after primary?

      6. Roger, Rafa and Nole played each other pretty much more than anybody else for at least 10-13 years. In 7 years, they finished number 1,2 and 3. It is clear that they faced each other at their peak many many times. Trying to use this generation argument as an excuse for Roger’s H2H is a very por argument.

        And to conclude, you just have to look at the names you provided as members of the Roger generation to understand all the Weak Era argument. Denying that is loosing credibility. Federer will remain one of the best players ever anyway.

  10. In terms of defining the window, 4 years is as good as 5. Maybe year started the Pro career would be better than year born. But if you take 4 years, so why not 2 years before and 2 years after? August 8, 1979 till August 8 1983?

      1. Try to be more original. You use the “argument” of the thing with “empty vessel” too often. Don’t they teach in schools in UK to express, what you think? Or they simply don’t teach to think?

  11. For me it would be more interesting to take the most big titles won, while playing at the same time and then Roger’s generation would be definitely Nadal and Djokovic.
    But it’s of course up to everyone to choose, depending on what you want to prove 🙂

      1. Because in the Federer’s generation, defined like you did, there were by accident no other big players, comparable to Federer.
        The definition by years of “turned pro” would at least add Rafa. This is what you want to avoid, no?
        I like more to see those having the biggest rivalries ever as the same generation.
        But it’s of course you article, your definition and your (expected) result. Why should you choose another definition?
        I’m only telling, I would choose different criteria and the result would be more exciting. Matter of taste 🙂

      2. If Djokovic was born in 1981 how do we know how successful he would have been in 1980-83 generation? He’s winning slams, but how many?

        Roddick had a winning record against Novak. Davydenko had a winning record vs. Rafa.

        Which generation is Thiem in? He’s played Nadal 11 times, that’s a lot of big matches, so on your definition he’s in the Federer, Nadal and Djokovic era.

      3. If Djokovic was born in 1981 and Federer in 1986, maybe Djokovic would have now 25 slams and Federer 5. No proof for “what if”, OK?

      4. As usual, your arguments fall to bits at the first hint of any scrutiny 😆

        Which generation is Thiem in?! I am using the PRF formula, and he’s part of the Djokovic and Nadal generation as they played a lot of big matches together.

      5. Taking your gen definition, (biological age) Thiem is Zverev’s definition and they will have for sure some longer rivalry. In my terms (long and big rivalries) we need to wait.
        How long did you wait with your definition for Federer generation?
        Thiem vs. Nadal or Djokovic is like Federer vs. Agassi or Sampras.
        There In generation progress there must be some overlays.
        Thiem and Rafa have some big rivalry, given the short time of it. But this is not and will not be a generation rivalry. Just a generations overlay.
        Would you call Federer-Zverev or Federer-Thiem or Federer-Coric rivalries? And Federer being tied or losing them all?
        Difference between Thiem and Zverev “rivalries” with Big3 is, Zverev wins without delivering great tennis, while Thiem delivers mostly great tennis in matches of this class.

    1. Disagree strongly with your reasoning that big titles should define a generation. So Roger pays the price of being too good for his generation and gets bracketed with Rafa and Djoker just because he kept winning for a long time! I hope you agree that Rafa-Djoker-Murray-Delpo are from a different tennis generation than Roger and the age difference (5-6 years) is too big to use your ‘biggest titles’ criterion.
      It’s just that Roger’s brilliance (and precocity of Rafa & Djoker) snuffed out everybody in their generations (what applies to Roger also applies to those two).
      That didn’t happen in case of say, Sampras or Agassi because they were not strong on all surfaces and that allowed several different grand slam champions to emerge, esp at AO & FO.

      1. Nothing really changes, if we take this or other definition. Definitions ar per se artificial. I can have any definition I like. It’s not a science with stronger criteria for definitions.

        What do you mean with Roger “paying the price? You mean, Roger does not look so brilliant anymore since Rafa and Djoker emerged? I don’t think so. I think, he rather shines brighter having to battle against machines created to destroy him.

        And ask Roger (is he not always honest?), what he thinks about his rivalry with Rafa&Djoker. So far I know, he thinks, it has made him a lot better player and proved hs genius under more difficult circumstances.

        If you need to see Roger just only one and around him only journeymen, take another definition and you get this result.

        Depending where you set the edge, Murray and Delpo may belong to Rafa&Djoker generation or not. Because the year of birth (why not month additionally or at least Zodiac sign?)is a simple fact, but generations have no objective and scientifically strict beginning and end.

        You try to defend” Roger, where there is no attack. And even if there was some, Roger does not need advocates. His achievements are great enough.

  12. We all know about Rafa and Nole. Interesting to see what became of his own generation of age. Thanks Jonathan!
    As to why the few (= 5, including Roger?) age-compatriots haven’t retired yet – 3 of them – a much bigger percentage than of all active players – are performing with SBH. Feliciano (and Roger) also have a healthy a bit lazy and playful apparition.

  13. It didnt take to long for someone to make the claim Nadal and Djoko are the same gen as Fed. Absolutely trollish claim.
    Nadal, Djoko, Murray are the same gen and not the gen of Fed. Its pretty black and white.

    1. Agree on this.

      Tennis generation is always difficult to define precisely, it depends on you put the marking (for example Federer) in the beginning, middle, or end of era.

      But saying that Federer is the same gen as Nadal and Djokovic, is like saying that Djokovic is the same gen as Raonic or Dimitrov or Thiem, which is non-sense. Federer have his generation (list from Jonathan is a good summary of that gen). Djokovic is the generation after. Rafa is a bit difficult to define as he started (and in case of clay, strive) early, but looking at his age, his Grand Slam titles (beside RG) he is more belong to the same gen as Djokovic.

      Saying Federer is the same gen as Nadal or Djokovic means that we are blaming on Federer longevity that he still playing while Nadal and Djokovic generation came. In that case why don’t we just say that Federer is the same gen as Dimitrov/Raonic/Thiem? He is now still on top 3 while this generation is coming.

      1. Don’t worry about my IQ. Calling me troll is low level of argument, Claud.
        OK, let’s take see it different. Can a GOT/GOD have a generation, when he is eternal?
        Ho can blame God for be eternal?
        You are doing just this. Thinking this makes him greater?
        Federer is more known and famous in the sport not because he dominated his weak age-mates but just because he could turn the clock back after 2012 or so.
        Who knows, other will not do the same? Maybe not. Maybe Djokovic can. And then maybe Federer’s GS record falls. Whet then?
        Then you say, ah this is another generation. Djokovic won the most of his slams when Federer was in the final decline or retired
        That’s your high-IQ writing.
        No, Thiem is for sure not Federer generation and their will not have any meaningful rivalry.
        ATP calls Coric vs. Federer one pf best rivalries of 2018. Is this not a non-sense?
        Federer will maybe finish having 2:2 record with Thiem. Does it express something meaningful? Of course not.
        Some has told here, Federer was/is playing many generations and on the level, he turned part of all those generations.
        So I would say, Federer is a Multi-generation player. Or Ultra-generation.
        Is this diminishing his format and class? You like to see Federer on the background of his age-mates. Does not matter, if you call this generation.
        See him in all his dimensions and all his comebacks to the top and still nobody knowing, he will not have another one pr more.
        First then you see a player, who does not fit in any stats and numbers. Good troll?

      2. No paragraphs again. So poor.

        All you wrote is waffle, GOT/GOD? What are you on about.

        Virtually every player is a multi-generational player, but they all have their own generation. A generation is not a rivalry.

        Anyway happy to roll with your definition, Thiem is in the Djokovic and Nadal generation.

      3. In which post do you miss paragraphs???
        If you see Thiem in Djoker+Rafa generation, I’m OK with this. Whatever your criteria are.
        I’m only discussing today because of the fun of having some discussion.
        No matter, you call names.
        I’m learning English. Why are you taking every my post so serious? Take it easy. These are only provocations and djokes.
        You call it trolling. Don’t you know the golden rule for trolls? “Don’t feed the troll.”
        But now I will be busy with my real life, so have a nice day and don’t waste your time, answering all my posts, because I will have no time to read your answers.

  14. Coincidentally, tonight I’m watching Seniors tennis on TV and James Blake is playing Andy Roddick. And Roger is #3 on the mens tour..puts it in perspective.
    Also, It would be interesting to see how many matches and wins Rogers peers had in the past few years or just before their retirement. There is so much criticism of Roger but many fail to take into account how many matches he plays every year as he progresses deep into several tournaments.

      1. Aha! New criteria? Similar prime? You are changing rules after the competition is finished, hahaha ….
        BTW – it was my proposition, which you negated, to take 2×365 days before Federer’s birthday and the same after. It would be at least “just” in terms of stats.
        Your generation window is completely arbitrary.
        Where do you see so much of criticism on Federer? The most you find here.. Reading poor ratings for almost every match lost by Federer this year.

      2. @PRF: I think it’s logical to expect ‘similar primes’ for people of similar age. No, this doesn’t apply to Agassi – Sampras because Agassi was AWOL during his own prime years (should have overlapped Pete’s) and benefitted from a ‘transition era’ circa 2001-2003 when there was no single dominant player. That gave the false impression that Agassi was a late bloomer. Roger’s peak was 04-07, when he won 55% of his GS titles. The 3 he won in 17-18 is an aberration caused by the absence/ injury of Djoker and the GS titles Roger won between 08-12 were won during the peaks of Rafa & Djoker.

      3. @Ashwin Honkan
        Jonathan’s new proposition about Blake (marginal for the article and discussion) but is at least consequent and uses rather the “year” born” window than others – similar prime, biggest or longest rivalry (my proposition).

        With “greatest rivalry” I meant all big titles, not only slams. But it’s still juggling with numbers. We can do it, but what’s the meaning of the outcome?

        Jon’s post has an interesting aspect as the huge discussion proves 😉 but is nothing revolutionary in showcasing Federer’s brilliance in any dimension.

  15. Because you called Thiem to the table. Just like Rafa (but the opposite) he does not count to the generation of his age-mates.
    Rafa because he is very early maturer.
    Thiem because he is very late maturer.
    This is why for me Rafa is definitely Federer’s gen and Thiem is definitely Zverev’s gen. No matter the ir birth certificates.
    Federer was probably “normal” maturer. Which means it’Äs probable the difference of dates of retirement of Federer and Nadal will be close to each other. And then maybe Djoker stays alone, competing with Zverev. Thiem, Coric, Tsitsipas.

    1. For me better would be the number of matches played or matches played on big stages of big tournaments. So on that basis Thiem and Nadal are the same generation. Cheers!

  16. @Jonathan
    Your argument about my point about rivalry as generation defining factor, quoting Nadal-Thiem rivalry is false.
    These numbers are not comparable to Federer-Nadal-Djokovic rivalry.
    But it tells something about Thiem. As he challenges Nadal not being in decline, but always in bi form (when both play each other) and Thiem not being yet in his prime )(because of being late maturer).
    Yes, they have had some big matches, 1 2017, 2 2018.
    It happens, that since 2 years Thiem is second-best on clay (but Djokovic was a kind of missing).
    If their rivalry is to be called great in terms of tennis’ history, let’s wait, if they reach numbers of big stage matches around 20. I doubt it, Nadal could be able to stays so long on tour (on highest level).

  17. I am scrolling a lot in the comment section to pass some empty non-sense but seriously it’s difficult since it is just too many.

    It’s incredible how someone can convince him self that Djokovic is at the same generation as Thiem/Dimitrov just to proof to other that Federer is the same gen as Nadal/Djokovic. Ha!

      You must have missed something in all the nonsense, Jonathan wrote today 😉
      It was him, arguing Thiem and Djokovic are the same generation (it was of course sarcastic as he was trying to prove, my gen definition is leading to such conclusion). so in fact neither me nor Jonathan was telling or convincing the other, T. and D. are the same generation.
      I was telling, Thiem is Zvere’s generation because with more than 3 years difference in age, one must take into consideration, Thiem is late maturer and in biological/medical terms he was maturing about 3 years later than most of his age-mates.
      I can’t recall Jonathan or me to have named Dimitrov. Dimitrov is neither Thiem nor Djokovic generation. Hahaha …
      If you have problems with scrolling, ask Jonathan to mark my posts EMPTY and add a filter (it’s possible but Jon is too lazy to implement corresponding plugin).
      Then you simply filter out my posts on your screen and don’t see them at all. It’s easy.
      And you can achieve the same in the browser, but either you are not knowledgeable or just lazy like Jon. Hehehe

      1. You put caution empty post, yet you replied on my comment. pfft.

        I was the one saying if you think ‘Federer is the same gen as Nadal and Djokovic, is like saying that Djokovic is the same gen as Raonic or Dimitrov or Thiem, which is non-sense’. Post earlier then John and you reply on the same thread of comment. Read again to who you reply.

        Above reply, you admit Dimitrov is not Djokovic generation, have you check their age gap (biologically and year turn pro, as your criteria)? bigger or smaller than Federer-Djokovic? If we admit Djokovic and Dimitrov is different generation, then why we mix Federer and Djokovic at the same one?

        Then after, just the matter of putting Nadal (since he is anomaly due to strive in early age) to which gen, Federer or Djokovic (which based on his age, his grand slam achievement other than RG, his rivalry/big match -based on your criteria-, Nadal is more into Djokovic gen then Federer).

        I am not knowledgeable? I don’t like to bring this one up, but I am the one lecturing your basic physics mistake for the ball bouncing. And why I should be the one putting filter while you are lazy enough to put paragraph (or not knowledgeable enough to know how, considering how many time John has to remind you).

        Do you see the enter button there? Press twice. Ask someone to press it for you if you are too lazy, or ask someone to spell E-N-T-E-R for you if you need too. Maybe seeing too many letter in one button is confusing for you.

      2. You call every my post EMPTY (=meaningless), so I tried to help you to skip it when scrolling.
        2x Enter (

        but in normal layout 1x Enter is enough for building paragraph – not on this blog)

        But you just needed to read it and to answer, ensuring more mess on the blog. If you cannot understand, don’t answer.

        If you have problems with English (ah, you are the one being proud of his English, right?= and your physics of the bounce understanding?).

        I know, you don’t want to see here posts, which are not presenting the “official line”. I’m sorry, you can ban me (but Jon pretends his blog to be the last bastion of freedom and needs someone to for calling names, which he apparently likes) but you cannot expect from me to post “Go Roger” or “Ah, Jonathan; what an excellent post” . Unlike you, I’m thinking creature.
        2x ENTER

        Should I add more, just in case?

      3. “but in normal layout 1x Enter is enough for building paragraph – not on this blog)”

        Where do you ever see such long blocks of text? Even in a book paragraphs are indented.

        Awful formatting. Matter of taste I guess 😆

      4. @Jonathan
        No, it’s matter of rules in typography. But it’ everything lost by use of computers. In text processors, additional space (less than a line) is added automatically. In low-level editors like in WordPress, it’s only a line-break. Not possible to add manually 1/4 of the line to form better paragraph spacing. To hit 2x Enter or Return is as awful paragraph as a line break, because the spacing between paragraphs is too long.

        Indented? Of course. In typewriters TAB was used for indenting. But TAB does not create an indent HERE (In Word it can be created automatically after LB or you create it with TAB.
        So the editor on WordPress sites does not care about typography.

        Or I’m wrong and there is a key or keys combination, creating indent here?

        You seem to believe, intending to be replacement for space added after LB in word processing software. Now I’m curious, why don’t you use indenting? But instead double LB? For my typographic taste double LB is not correct to build a typographic paragraph.

        This is a result of adapting replacing typography by ease of use.

        I’m using 1x LB to build paragraph, you use 2x. Maybe your solution is better for transparency. I don’t use it, because I have no problem with reading large text blocks (I wrote before, why)

        If you prescribe the use of 2x LB and manual indenting on your blog, I will follow the rule 🙂

  18. I think using 4 years to define a generation makes a lot of sense.
    I always think of the youngsters as 17-21, and it works for the other ages as well.
    It’s interesting to remember that players like Kohli and Feli are Fed’s generation and are still playing.

  19. Albert Einstein once said, ” Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

  20. “PRF” must stand for “Piffling Rant about Federer”. A signal to stop reading. Good to know for future reference.

    1. That’s the level of kindness of many users here. Meanwhile many write tons of words about building paragraphs. For your decryption of PRF I would propose “against” instead of “about”.
      Why don’t you simply skip my posts?
      Ask Jonathan to add “filtering by user” capability like it is possible on FB (and also implemented on my blog).
      BTW – next time you post something, don’t forget the indentation (Jon expects it from me, why not from everyone?).

    2. Monkey is at least nice animal. In every case, I have choice between animals and humans, I always prefer animals.

      Unfortunately animals cannot tell anything about tennis. Just like you, but for another reason.

      But just like stupid humans visit zoos´to show them, who is ruling here, I must sometimes visit zoos, to confirm my knowledge about humans.

      You just completely missed the point, trying to offend me with such comparison.

      Thanks Nature (not goodness, goatness, whatever) I’m gifted with lots of friendships with animals. To call you an animal would be an offense to this animal. So I call you HUMAN, which is worst offense, I’m able to express in words.

  21. Age is a fact, not to discuss. Making it an item of rivalry, seems a never ending dispute. For many, age is interesting, because of how to handle this no-static and unavoidable physical – and psychic as well – change of one’s existence. Some say, it is just a number – but it isn’t. It is for me interesting to see how Roger and his age-compatriotes handle the change, how long they hang on, and why they can and why not. For some fans, it seems an augument confirming among many other facts why Roger is great, maybe GOAT. And this obviously irritates others, not liking our fan-like worshipping. And finding auguments for Roger not being so great. And – WHAT a BORING dispute – for me. I admit, I as most others here am a solid fan, and I like to have this opinion confirmed. And this irritates people, who are fan of somebody else. So they (or he, you all know who I mean) seems endlessly to try to provoke by seeming – and of course completely fruitless – attempts to convert our opinion of Roger’s greatness. All this provoking irritates fans to call the provo depreciating names. Understandable? Yes. Interesting? No.

      1. They say “If the cap fits, wear it”.

        You are making a big mistake.

        Calling LOUD to ignore, you know whom 😉

        I would recommend to do this via private message. This was widely used on old Federer’s website and it worked (or the opposite), because you never know, who’s who (some here are of course Nadal spies, others are snooping around for Djokovic.

        How do you know, who is here (secretly” my supporter?

      2. Now this is a sentence you shouldn’t be proud of “Lets get back to the ‘ignore it then they (or he, we all know) will leave’”.
        Better ask one of native speakers. Jonathan?
        If you would write more here (like I do), your progress would be better.
        Two saying fit well here. “practice makes perfect” and more specifically linguistic “if you write, you read twice”.

  22. According to BLICK, Federer just beat another record. 1000 (one thousand) weeks in a row among Top100. Next will be 100.000 weeks among Top1000, I guess. Yes. Age. Numbers. Very interesting.

  23. Jonathan, I wonder if you might include Tommy Haas as a significant player in Fed’s generation? I believe that at one time early in his career Tommy had a ranking inside the top-5, before injuries took hold, and he also played some critical matches against Roger – notably his loss from being a match-point away from beating Roger in the 2009 French Open. He was also one of Roger’s friends on the tour.

    1. Born in 1978 though. I have worked it like:


      So it’s close but on the qualifiers, I have used Haas was around a bit before Fed.

      1. I had assumed Tommy was a contemporary of Roger’s – partly because he, too, seemed to have been around forever. If there are different “eras” of player, based on age differences, then there may be different “epochs”, when the game changed according to changes in technology – rackets, strings, balls and surfaces (and, of course, my particular interest, which has been the increased prevalence of doping). I would say Roger has spanned at least three epochs when the game changed, away from the faster grass at Wimbledon in the 90’s, to polymer strings in the early 2000’s, the slowing and homogenisation of court surfaces and speeds in the last decade – and the Spanish doping armada. Make that four.

      2. I guess Haas is a weird one as his career was disrupted with so many injuries. He never really had a prime or sustained period of play. Some of his injuries kept him out ofr so long it was like starting all over again.

      3. Haas was actually more suffering than playing. Should he remain fit and healthy over his career (well, some minor injuries happen to everyone but don’t destroy careers), Federer could have had o challenge him during his prime.

        Whatever the birth date, he was the potentially biggest player of the time, which showed to be Federer’s era. Or he could have pushed Federer to even higher level of tennis. It’s a pitty, Haas was only a rare guest on the tour.

        While he doesn’t fit into Federer’s generation, as defined by Jonathan, he would fit very well in every other aspect (but not health).

        He was still able to beat Federer in 2017 in Stuttgart, showing his big potential, which could never be rewarded.

        For Federer Haas was the first nemesis, just before Nadal. Would be maybe bigger rivalry between Haas and Federer than between Federer and Rafa&Djoker.

        While Federer and Haas did both play the same kind of tennis, Rafa and Djoker were “designed” to beat Federer, that’s why both play mostly defensive game, being the answer to the question “How to beat Federer?”.

        Rafa§Novak were in a symbolic sense created to defeat Federer. Haas was rather Federer’s precursor.

  24. It is extraordinary how Roger has outlasted virtually all of his contemporaries. They are players of another era now. I suspect most of them called it a day through injuries that couldn’t be repaired. Only Rosewall is a player who has had a sustained career at or near the top of the game like Roger has.

      1. A lot. Davydenko 26th on the list with 16 million, Thiem, for example, is going to overtake him very soon.

        It’s interesting but I’d prob need to adjust for inflation to make it comparable. Agassi winning a Slam in 1992 will be peanuts in a straight line comparison. But obviously would have bought him far more then than it would now.

        Also, I wonder how they total it all up. AUD prize money for the AO, that was much stronger 10 years ago against the USD. Are they using the conversion rate on the day it was won? It’s going to make quite a big difference.

        if I won a million AUD today, I’d get 718k USD. If I won a million AUD 6 years ago, I got 1 million + USD.

      2. Yes, the conversion of currencies and compensating inflation rates is not worth your effort. Especially for Federer with such a long career. Earning for first GS in 2003 and for last one in 2018.

        Maybe the comparison for the years, in which all greatest of his generation were active would be more objective.

        Of course no need to prove , Federer was the best earner (still counting), then a big gap and who was next from his generation? Probably the one, who won most slams.

  25. Not belonging to the content of this thread (sorry). Maybe a proposition for another article?

    What’s exciting for me, what could/should/would/will invent Federer to make his biggest weapon (variety) still work for next years.

    And he is just working on this in Dubai. And first test will come soon after the off-season.

    My guess – he must improve serve. Sounds ridiculous for a player, who has the best serve in the sport (if we forget all those Isners, Andersons and other 198+) But he really needs to make himself unbreakable. More chances for winning in TBs, when the experience and variety counts more. But must be still unbreakable in TBs.

    His ability to play baseline exchanges and come to positions, from which he can win easily with his magic shots, will drop. No remedy for that.

    Do you have enough ideas to write such an article (if you think, it’s interesting and worth your effort)?

    At the end of 2017 I have posted a list of Thiem’s deficits. Bresnik must have read this and this list is a lot shorter today. For me it was then interesting. Some of the points still valid.

    1. If Bresnik is reading blogs for coaching ideas then I think he needs making redundant 😀

      Thiem now has a YouTube channel. Cool idea, he’s seen how it’s worked well in other sports.

      1. Bresnik hates media and takes his concepts from his famous straw hut 😉
        For Thiem’s Youtube Channel I hope, Lucas Leitner (his good friend with some tasks, like filming, in his team) will do the most of the job, so Thiem can still work hard on court 😉

        Lucas Leitner was Thiem’s only team member in St. Petersburg , where Thiem won his first title on hard. No Bresnik, No Stober (physio), no parents – only Lucas Leitner.

        Thiem posts a lot on his Instagram, most are about wildlife on the planet.

        Yesterday a 2 hours long “interview”, showing a lot of hitting too (there is also Goffin preparing and some others).

  26. It is obviously very rare for a top tennis player to have a career that can be sustained for around twenty or more years, as Roger’s has. This is especially so in the modern era, with the increased physical demands in the sport. It has been – and is – absolutely key to avoid injuries that don’t repair. Some of that will be due to playing style and some to luck – genes. At the rate a number of younger players are now incurring injuries I don’t see them having careers past 30. I also see Djokovic and Nadal as outliers, for the length of their careers, but because of their more demanding playing styles I would be surprised if they are still at the top of the game in 5 years – their difference in age from Roger.

    Longer careers may be due to improved training, physio and injury-management. And also doping, which will enable an older player to match the speed, strength and stamina of a younger player – and retain the advantage of experience. But doping can also incur the risk of further injury because of increased and prolonged strain on joints and tendons. So it can have its costs that will suddenly end a career.

  27. Connors was 44yo (24years on pro) when he retired. I know it will be difficult for Roger to play 6-7 more years from now. My expectation is only until Olympic Games 2020. But even if he stops before that, I am more than happy with what he already achieved (especially after reading this post, comparing him with other players within his generation/after)

    After 2012 I accepted the fact that he is walking towards the sunset of his career, but then he got 18th, 19th, and 20th GS and still playing. Katyani said Roger will end up with 25 GS 🙂

    I just hope he stays injury free so we can enjoy his tennis for some more years.

  28. You can endlessly argue about what a generation is or should be but I think that the purpose of this article is clearly to make an excuse of Federer’s lopsided h2h against Rafa and the disputed h2h against Nole. which I find a complete nonsense. Their peaks overlapped for quite a few years (more with Nadal’s) and we all saw that Nadal always dominated him (Nole is a toughest one as he peaked later than Rafa).

    The argument that Federer played his best tennis between 04 and 07 because he was winning the most is stupid. He was as in good shape in 08, 09, 10, 11 than before, the difference is that the competition got a lot more difficult.

    1. IMO this way of “generation” thinking leads to opposite results than expected. But all such comparisons are somehow true.

      Yes, Federer started his prime, while the elite from former generation was close to retiring ot just retired, so his generation only shows, he had no real challengers in those years.

      For me Federer’s achievements since Rafa started to challenge him hardly, are worth a lot more, just (here I agree completely with Pablo) because of incomparably greater competition.
      And this does not make Federer any less great, just the opposite.

      Even more – last two years were years of either missing Rafa or Novak or both, Still there are a lot other competitors, like Zverev or Thiem (Kokkinakis was simply an accident at work, K. is not someone able to challenge any top player under normal conditions).

      But should Roger still win big titles in next seasons, they will be worth even more, including runner-ups. It could mean, Roger would be able to stay on top of the game, to retire or decline about together with Rafa and Djoker.

      This would a good argument for understanding Roger+Rafa+Novak maybe not the same generation in terms of age, bur for sure in term of rivalry (let’s call it ERA then, not GENERATION).

      1. The f*cking “weak era” argument again from Nadal fans, to reduce the value of Federer’s earlier achievements. Well, one of those players in that era has a winning h2h over Nadal. The King of TUE’s and “bad knees” was apparently mastered by Davydenko. Maybe the era wasn’t so weak after all.

      2. @Armstrong7
        Doha 2010 – Davydenko was so just to beat both Federer (then No. 1) and Nadal (then No. 2) in one tournament 🙂

        Nobody must like or respect Nadal. But IMO very real tennis fan (not fangirl of a single player) should respect first of all just the biggest rivals of own hero.

        Calling names is never a valid argument.

    2. The purpose of the article is to look at Federer’s generation. You can have a rivalry and not be in the same generation. So not sure what you are on about.

      1. I’m not complaining about anything, Jon.

        Your article is about what it is.

        I’m asking if you would not be interested in writing an article about the Big3 rivalry (it’s going on so long all they continue to play).

        I posted the link to the Fed-Djoker match in Shanghai 2010 as an example of the level, Federer never reached before (=playing his generation). Yes, some of them playing still in 2012 and very few still playing (Ferrer, Lopez), but since long time no more on the level, Federer still holds.

        Ferrer is still playing, but was this ever a rivalry? With Fed 17:0? And only 6 sets lost by Fed?

        I don’t want to continue discussion about defining generation. It’s only an idea for another article.

      2. The Big 3 has been done to death. We all know about it. I don’t see what I can add?

        That’s why I wrote about Federer’s generation and the one that came before Fed but overlapped. Everyone knows Fed, Djok and Nadal. How many people know Rafter is the only player to have played Fed 3 times and never lost once? Or Henman won the first 6 matches vs Fed? Not many.

        Why are we talking about rivalry? It’s about the generation. A generation is not a rivalry. Dunno why you can’t distinguish between the two.

  29. Is this match Federer could have with someone from his “generation”?

    Was this not first Federer’s prime or at least one of his best “primes”?

    Does this not show better Federer’s excellence than any match won quite easily over one of his age-mates (generation-mates)?

    The generation review may be interesting but was/is the Big3 era not more exiting? No matter match won/lost? Has the Big3 challenge not made Federer’s game first perfect? Would he need to go to these limits without having such competitors?

    May Jon can tell us this story too? The Big3 era – still going on. And taking tennis to another level, which maybe would be never achieved, should Federer’s generation play longer?

    1. Cool, well put together. The life of a tennis player, fairly easy, who wouldn’t want to just train in the sun all day.

      Interested to see how quickly he grows this channel. Will he be quicker than Klæbo that was likely the inspiration for starting? He has access to a much larger global audience.

      I reckon if Fed was much younger and single etc, he might have started something like this too. With his agent pushing it too of course as it opens the door for sponsorships galore.

      1. Why shouldn’t Fed start it right now? Maybe missing the feeling for such things because not belonging to the “social media” generation?

        I think, he would have enough time right now, if it was bringing him some fun.

        Would be for sure interesting for fans to learn this way about lots of “behind the scenes” stories, even from very young years and not only tennis-related aspects of his life (depending of how he understands privacy). I don’t think, someone that shy as Thiem would disclose deeply private things.

        Tell him, if you have appropriate channels 😉

      2. He has enough sponsors. Maybe he thinks it more fun to have quality time with his family, for time of what is left from training efforts and tennis planning with his team for future creative performance. Or vice versa.

      3. Because he’s a 37 year old guy with 4 kids 😆 and like you say not part of the social media generation.

        He’s not really a social media user either which to be honest is a good thing. Why expose yourself to the ever fucked up western world of liberal soyboy morons? Oh I’m depressed, Oh I’m trans, orange man bad! Racism!

        If it wasn’t a pre requisite of sponsors it’s not worth even being on social media at all.

        Most of Feds updates are done for him. One off stuff is more his thing, like the practice in Dubai that time.

        It’s a big commitment to do 1 video a week which Thiem is going to find out very soon ?

        Interested to see if sponsor stuff sneaks in there. It has more and more on Klæbo’s videos for example.

      4. I doubt Thiem makes this for sponsors. I’m sure, the whole work is made by Lucas Leitner. Only ideas and personal input (commenting) is made by Thiem.
        Thiem is a shy and humble guy, I guess the inspiration came from Leitner.

      5. @Jonathan
        Fed could eventually do this for fans but maybe he does on his page. I’m not following it, because not much to see/read there.
        Of course nobody can tell him to do this for any reason.
        But … being 70 I’m certainly not from SM gen and I’m active. Rather on blogs than Twitter, FB a.s.o. So maybe not si much the question of gen (maybe more of gens ;)?

  30. Jonathan, your article about Roger’s generation was an interesting one, but has regrettably drawn a monomaniac disputing ad nauseum your interpretation of the term “tennis generation”, chiefly for the purpose of devaluing Federer’s career achievements. Unsurprisingly, he is a Nadal fan. He has turned the comments section into his own personal blog, rendering it unreadable. Like any chronic bore at a party, he has successfully cleared the room.

    1. I’m sorry. I’m not Nadal fan in the meaning you have in mind. Respect and love is not the same.

      To be clear – I’m Roger’s fan since always (maybe a bit unorthodox) and now Thiem’s fan. If you didn’t like the “debate”, ask Jon. At some time he told, he liked the “comment war”.

      But I agree, it was too much.

      For sure not my idea to dominate this forum, because I’m maintaining quite extensive Thiem blog, so I’m busy enough. with posting there and my first role there is to write articles, report matches, analyze the game a.s.o.

      Don’t believe? You are welcome on my blog 🙂 Thiem is not the only subject there (general tennis subjects, nature, wildlife and vegan lifestyle.

      This is no advert for my blog. Many readers of my blogs (if not all) are also Federer fans.

      But if I need to look deeper into Federer-related matters, where should I go, if not here?

      On the beginning I was trying to follow both on my blog, but this was too much of a job and why should I do it, if there is a good and long established Federer blog like this one?

      I promise, I will try to limit my comments to what can be interesting for you all.
      Thank you 🙂

  31. Jonathan, I love Armstrong7’s comment referring to a particular person who has cleared the room like any chronic bore at a party. I am doubly dubious of any commitments by the bore to tame his tirades. I would suggest appropriate admin action as necessary to make sure the party remains enjoyable.

      1. Well, free speech is necessary baseline in spite of sometimes very boring.
        Jon, your 2. paragraph here may start a new endless useless free speech dispute. To make a possible contribution to avoid this, I won’t comment it ? (but I know what I mean)

  32. Ask Jon to implement shortening posts to excerpts with read more link on the end and every comment will be cut after defined lines number. This way only say 3 lines of every comments are displayed by definitions – easier to scroll and skip unwanted. With the option to click “read more” to get the whole post displayed.

    I’m not “particular person”. You can call me directly. 🙂

    1. Removed about 4 comments here. If I say I’m not interested in truncating comments I don’t need even more comments explaining how it would look 😆

      I know how it would work. I use WordPress every single day. I just don’t want to use it. The comments work fine as they are.

      Back to Tennis. Better do a new post to bury this shit show 😀

      1. Back to tennis/Fed and a new post, a great idea!
        Since the Nike deal’s long gone, how about a piece for his Nike best outfit and worst outfit ever, Jonathan?

  33. I miss comments about the tennis stars shown by Jon as age-compatriots with Roger. Most of them is somehow in the shadow now. Please tennis-lovers and t-experts, throw some more light on them? Were any of them nearly your idol, and what made him so? More interesting facts about their lives? And maybe too about their possible relating Roger? For instance Mardy Fish?

    1. Muser, I remember watching all these guys from earlier in Roger’s career. They each offer interesting insight into this great player.

      1. Safin once said that if it were not for Nadal’s left-handedness, Federer “would beat him nine times out of ten”. I rue the ill-chosen drop-volley Roger played on match-point in his 2005 AO semi against Safin that ultimately cost him the match and probably the title. Safin later become famous for dropping his shorts on court while celebrating a point in another match, for which he incurred a hefty fine. A very colourful player.
      2. After his second loss to Federer at the Wimbledon semis in 2006 Hewitt lamented, “I’m the second-best player in the world and I’m not even close.” Hewitt had once come back from 2-sets to love down against Roger in a Davis Cup match earlier in their careers – “before Roger was Roger”, as another of Roger’s contemporaries, Ivan Ljubicic once put it. Ljubicic also said that “the pro tour was made up of Roger Federer – and then everybody else”.
      3. It was a similar refrain from Agassi, when he lost in straight sets to Roger in their 2005 AO encounter. Agassi said later he had no real chance and that “there is only about two metres you can hit into in the backhand court where Roger cannot attack you.” At the conclusion of the match Fred Stolle said of Roger, “he’s at the top of the tennis world and no one is even close”. Alas, Safin lay in wait.
      4. Gonzalez was said by Agassi to have “the most powerful forehand in the world”. It was not enough to beat Roger in their 2007 AO final (even though he blasted Nadal off the court in their semifinal encounter), although he later did beat Roger in the round-robin stage of the WTF later that year.
      5. In the same 2007 WTF Roger ran through Roddick and Nadal, and then Ferrer in the final. Before the final Ferrer asked his countryman, Nadal, what could he do against Roger and Nadal’s brutal but honest response was, “you have no chance”. It was in 2008 we learned that Roger shortly contracted mono after that victory.
      6. After his second consecutive Wimbledon finals loss Roddick lamented, “I would love to hate you Roger but you’re too nice.” During one of their hardcourt slam encounters, when Roddick was being utterly dismantled by Federer, the frustrated American cried out to the crowd, “I can do better!” Unfortunately, he couldn’t.
      7. An interesting footnote to Roger’s AO career was that he faced a tenacious Marcos Baghdatis in the 2006 AO final. Baghdatis never played as well again as he did in that tournament – even though he lost. It seems Baghdatis was a young arrival to Roger’s generation.
      8. Mats Wilander was from an earlier era than Roger but he spoke for many when he said, “I would love to play like Roger for a day. Just to see what it felt like”.

      1. Jonathan, on reflection it seems to me that Ljubicic (born 1979) might be considered a significant player in Roger’s generation. He reached a career high ranking of 3 in 2006 and of course has gone on to be one of Roger’s key coaches. Ivan had no time for another of Roger’s contemporaries – a certain Guillermo Canas, who beat Roger twice in consecutive tournaments in 2007 (Indian Wells and Miami) and then got busted for doping – twice – shortly afterwards. There is a nice negative symmetry to that. Another of Roger’s contemporaries listed above, Guillermo Coria (yet another Argentine claycourt specialist and 2004 FO finalist) also got busted for doping. Twice. Then his countryman, Chela, got busted. And famously, the losing 2005 FO finalist, Mariano Puerta – also from Argentina – got busted. Twice. Mmm. Something about Argentinians. Slow learners.

      2. 9. An interesting quote from Roger back in 2016: “I am very talented, but not like Tiger Woods, Martina Hingis, or Rafael Nadal. Even back in the day, it was clear the Spaniard would become the number 1”

      3. A huge THANKS Armstrong7 – and I agree it would be very interesting to learn more about Ljubicic, – so very near Roger’s age. Well we all know (some of) what he does now. My impression, also a nice and clever guy. – A collection of videos of Roger vs his age-generation might also be interesting.

      4. We have a lot of excuses to pick from to explain why Rafa dominated Roger through pretty much all his caree:, “they are from different generations”, “oh the pace of the courts slowed down”, “they always played on clay!” etc.
        The one I loved is the left handed one: Safin once said that if it were not for Nadal’s left-handedness, Federer “would beat him nine times out of ten”. If that is a big advantage I wonder why since 2005 there is only one left handed player aside from Rafa who finished the year top 10 (Verdasco twice)…

      5. Pablo, you are looking daft here. How many left-handed players are there on tour? There are barely any so to say being left-handed isn’t an advantage because there are no left-handers in the top 10 is stupid 😆

        Being left-handed is an advantage in certain situations. It’s certainly one against a single-handed backhand on a higher bouncing court. It’s also an advantage to have an out wide serve on the ad court. It’s not enough to close a wide gap between a different class of player, but it definitely helps when the margins are small.

        Source: I play tennis left-handed.

      6. @Jonathan
        Are you lefty on court only (like Rafa)?

        Maybe the reason, Toni decided to teach Rafa to be lefty, was – both lefties and righties play mostly against righties, so playing a lefty is always some additional challenge.

        Another aspect – run-around forehand, one of maybe biggest Nadals weapons against not-so-hard Roger’s backhand. Mostly slice, which was giving Nadal opportunities to attack.

        I remember Roger’s comments about his own move to hit topspin backhand more often, which turned to be a key to last wins over Nadal.

        It was also one of the keys of Thiem’s wins over Nadal (Rome, Madrid). I know this not only from watching but from Thiem explaining his tactics before the match – to attack hard Nadals forehand side, while most (I’m no telling about Roger here) thought, it’s better to avoid to play to his forehand. True, if you cannot play hard to his forehand.

        It’s maybe general. Attacking the better side of the opponent means having more control over opponent’s better side.

        If you attack this side, you are better prepared for what will probably come. And the opponent must hit his best shot from unexpected position, may it be theoretically comfortable, becoming the ball to his racket.

        Nadals forehand was the point winning tool rather when he could prepare it with some backhand shots, letting the opponent to stay in lost position.

        What, if Rafa had all his qualities, but not be lefty? His “righty” forehand would be probably comparably big weapon (because of the amount of topspin and speed).

        Nadal has quite good, game-controlling and defending or turning-defense-to- offense 2-handed backhand.

        And they did play so many matches against each other. So hard to say, Roger would not develop a special tactic to play Nadal.

        I think, it was rather missing Roger’s ability to hit backhand hard enough for Rafa.

        This is not Thiem’s but Nadal’s problem, because there are not many hitting so hard against him. But Thiem wins (or loses closely like USO 2018) Nadal matches sometimes with backhand, sometimes with forehand as dominating shot.

        In any case it’s the main key to play closer to the baseline and attack early. This was always normal Federer’s game, but he needed to go over placement, fake shots and variety. Since Federer started to hit backhand hard, the problem was resolved.

        The problem for now (and the future) is, Roger will probably not be able (because of bad back and injury risk) to hit backhand hard. No matter who will be the opponent. He will rather exploit his big bag of fake shots, variety of placement and ability to invent shots on the run.

        But this is principally another story. He will probably never play (at least on higher stages) against his age-mates.

      7. @Pablo,
        Roger’s quote about Nadal may be interesting, but hey, don’t expect Federer to speak about himself like he was the biggest talent ever.

        Moreover, who can objectively compare talent potentials? They are, what they are – potentials.

        What really counts is what you do with this potential. So we should compare rather the game of matured players, not their talents. In times they were “only” talented, they probably didn’t play much each other, especially on big stages.

      8. Ask Laver or McEnroe about whether it was an advantage being a lefty. McEnroe has said the lefty’s swinging serve in the ad court was worth an extra point per game.

        But Safin was being kind to Nadal. The Spaniard’s greatest advantage has been his TUE’s for his “injuries”. Legalised doping. Federer’s greatest achievement has been to have succeeded in an age when tennis has become part of what WADA has described as the doping “pandemic” in sports. The Spaniards have led the way, as a Spanish sports minister has acknowledged “Spain has a doping problem”. Vamos, for sure.

      9. @Armstrong7

        Your post is not any better than this It’s sad, Federer fans (some seem to be rather haters than fans. I don’t believe in any doping story, but of course I’m not so naive to think, such things never happen in sports, whatever the sport.

        We can find enough arguments for both to be the Greats of tennis and even if there is some doping story behind, it’s more likely to affect the whole professional sport than the only one to be the whole evil.

        “Spanish doctors” (meaning just so much as arguments used in the linked story) is something good to induce nausea. Every fan of professional sports should know about customized peds, available (because of the price) only for the richest but still no proof, this or other player takim them.

        Moreover, using such arguments means diminishing own hero, because it’s logically not possible for one player to win many slams only because of taking peds and everyone else only for being a genius.

        And believing, Federer would be not mighty or wise enough to prove his rivals to use doping. Or anyone.

        I know what a big bucket of shit will be thrown on me. Some of you must be really ill because of some other player to win more slams than Federer.

        So long there are no official proofs, we are all obliged by law to assume, they all are clean. If we accuse without hard proofs one player, we accuse all. What a nonsense.

        And then they both (Roger and Rafa) play together hand in hand the Fedal doubles on RLC and speak officially only positive things about each other?

        Would any decent man give a hand to the criminal?

        This applies to everyone, not only athletes and their fans.

        If I’m earning in my civil profession more than you, you must prove, I’m swindler or criminal whatever. It’s not my obligation to prove, I’m not guilty.

        This is the base of the law of the whole Western World.

      10. @prf

        Drivel, as usual – and mountains of it. Doping is not an issue of the criminal law, with rights to the presumption of innocence. It is a sports issue only, and there is no legal or even moral argument against speculating about sportsmen. The evidence that doping is now widespread in elite sport is overwhelming. That is an accepted official view, from anti-doping bodies like WADA. Tennis is regarded as one of the worst offenders, with its weak testing regime. In the words of former WADA head, Dick Pound – “tennis has a doping problem”. WADA says of all the athletes they test only 1% produce positives, yet they estimate that up to 40% are likely doping. That means you are watching tennis players, for example, who are doping but who haven’t been caught – and may never be caught. But it is wilful blindness not to see what is staring you in the face – which is that nearly 1 in 2 elite athletes is likely doping. That includes tennis players. There are no prizes for guessing who are the more likely. At the 2017 AO 3 of the 4 singles finalists (men’s and women’s) had obtained TUE’s for banned substances. Federer was the single exception.

      11. @Armstrong7

        The presumption of innocence derives from criminal law. But it’s is widely used in similar circumstances in life. Including family life.
        I agree with WADA about tennis having a doping problem like every other modern performance professional sport. Including chess.

        I disagree with anyone accusing any player (rather seldom own hero?) of using doping. And at the same time arguing, his/her hero to be the only one who is clean.

        If we speak about imaginations (which should be allowed according to your way of thinking), it’s equally easy to find “symptoms” of doping (which maybe very similar to symptoms of heavy training, which is actually a kind of doping, while stimulating adrenaline and testosterone production).

        If something is allowed or forbidden in any sphere of life (let’s take sports), it’s also penalized, so a deep analogy exists between the objects of criminal law and objects of internal regulations in sports.

        The difference between having used doping and being caught on doping may be, WADA deciders sometimes (or for some persons) to disclose or not it’s findings.

        I doping is assumed to be common, why not to assume, fraud in ATP/WADA/whatever is common too?

        Between TUE and doping (positive test) there is a big difference. TUE is issued by WADA before affected players start a tournament, so it’s not understood as a doping.

        If Federer was the only one finalist at AO 2017 to not have obtained TUE, it’s telling only, that just Federer didn’t have a reason to apply for TUE.

        Your argument is TUE = allowed doping. If WADA is not a Fraud Society, we should rely on their verdicts, but you suggest – only Federer was clean at AO 2017 (and winning, what a big achievement).

        If his opponent (incidentally it was Nadal) did use TUE, it means, he needed to (if not, WADA would not issue TUE and Nadal would not be allowed to play).

        According to your own statements, we must rely on ATP/WADA regulations and a common sense . Following the common sense, Nadal had a health problem, so Federer’s win had no real value, because he played an ill/injured/hurt opponent.

        Do you think, it’s better for any athlete to be ill and take some medicament requiring TUE than to be completely healthy?

      12. – You mean the website that was created years ago by an aggrieved Nadal supporter who had a meltdown in the comment section of one of the blog posts on the original THASP website which then led to the creation this site? Pretty sure that was the same commenter who alleged that Federer was playing with rackets that had “ball attracting string technology”…yeah no mate.
        I would link to the blog post but I’d much rather you go searching for it yourself and educate yourself in the process.

      13. @Captain Proton

        #Didn’t you realize, I was not meaning this serious? And not aiming on arguing Federer to be a doper? I don’t care about this site. I simply put Federer and doping into Google and this was the result.

        Whatever it is, I used it to compare to Armstrong7 tales about Nadal’s doping, Spanish armadas an the like.

        For me this is the same shelf. I’m not accusing anyone of taking doping or WADA bans someone for doping. It’s probably not the whole and correct image of the sport, both men and women, but e should not accuse, not having any proof.

        We are allowed to think whatever we wont. A should not be allowed to publish such thoughts. Even if it’s not a crime, it’s complete ls respectless and this weapon has always two edges. So what’s the idea to use it?

      14. If you went to a country where corruption was endemic the safest course is to assume the person in front of you is part of the problem. That is elite sport now. But the difference with a sport like tennis is that the evidence for it can be seen, if you know what you are looking for. Doping produces effects. If you can’t see that then you are only seeing part of the game. You might reject claims about “the Spanish Armada” but a top WADA offical has told me personally that “all the Spaniards are on EPO’s; they’ve been doing it for years and they’ve gotten good at it.” That also means they know how not to get caught.

      15. Muser, I recall a few years ago there was a lot of hostility between Croatian and Serbian fans at the AO. Fights were breaking out in the stands. The tension was especially high for an encounter between Ljubicic and Djokovic. Before the match they asked their supporters to respect that they were watching a sporting contest. At the end of the match – I can’t recall who won – I think it was Djoko – they didn’t just shake hands, they took their shirts off and exchanged them at the net. It was a significant gesture. Both players went up in my estimation.

      16. ” I simply put Federer and doping into Google and this was the result.” And I simply gave you the history of how that website came to be considering it clearly something you were not aware of. If it actually contained well reasoned arguments to justify it’s own blog name, and was not a troll website, you posting a link to that site and trying to use it to back up your argument would have made sense. It did not.

      17. “Federer was playing with rackets that had “ball attracting string technology”…yeah no mate.”

        Hahah that’s classic, never heard it before 😆

      18. @Armstrong7
        “top WADA offical has told me personally that “all the Spaniards are on EPO’s; they’ve been doing it for years and they’ve gotten good at it.”

        Ah, you are insider! Has the top WADA official a name? Have you one? This quote is not worth a shit. What counts is only what WADA publishes.

        Corruption was endemic in Spain? Big news. When was it. Do you mean times of Franco or what? And this is another prove of the same kind, you deliver.

        Everyone should see on faces of every single Spaniard, that all Spanish tennis players are on EPO.

        And your knowledgeable friend from WADA was knowing it and not doing anything (which was evidently his duty and his paid not for telling this just you. A WADA top official is not a private person.

        Now look and hear – one top WADA official told me after Federer’s bathroom injury, it was no injury. It was silent ban.” Is this statement worth any piece of shit less than your’s?

        Yes, Jon, the argument about special effect on Federer’s racket is very funny. I have never heard this and maybe nobody have heard it. Maybe simply hear-say or something. Made for fun. Not for someone to believe.

        I would be happy to see this kind of arguments to disappear from you free and serious blog. This is only provoking others to produce similar statements and the devil’s circle is going on. Meanwhile Roger and Rafa have still good or all the time better relations, respecting more and more each other.

        Who makes this ugly noise (whoever is “affected” are no tennis lovers. If someone is no tennis lover, how can he be Federer lover? Maybe he loves the haircut or body hair or something, not tennis. Sad.

      19. @prf

        What WADA publishes is what it can officially confirm. But like many involved in anti-doping they can’t officially comment about certain players without confirmed testing positives. As I (and they) have said before, only a fraction of dopers actually produce a positive test. I don’t name the offical concerned – who is a friend of mine and a fellow-countryman – because his comments to me were in confidence. But if you knew anything about doping in sport – which you clearly don’t – you would know that Spain has serious doping issues. Even their government has publicly admitted it. But as with everything, you argue from a position of ignorance. Obviously, that is where you are happier.

      20. @prf

        A simple question: have you done any research on doping? I have – over many years. If you haven’t, then your opinions on the topic mean nothing.

      21. @Armstrong7
        Why should I rely on your research? Are you a WADA official? Where are documents of your research published, so everyone can read them? Are they maybe secret?
        If they are secret, everything you are entitled to say, is what WADA officially publishes.

        Should I ask WADA, if they have an official named Armstrong7?

        This is another your argument, being not worth a shit, so long you cannot deliver documentation.

        Whatever is true, anyone can say he/she was researching doping issues in tennis over years. What was your methodology? Looking players deep into eyes? Or simply pronouncing everyone , who defeated Federer, as a doper?

        Let me know more about your research. I guess, if your research was/is serious and reliable, all fans here and everyone involved in tennis would be happy to read your documents.

        If your research was performed outside of WADA, first thing you should have made, was to give them those documents, so they can finally ban all dopers, so Federer stays alone without any potential opponent.

        Show your cards. If you really have any). Then we can continue the discussion or the discussion is completely superfluos. You simply publish the list with names, dates and add a bibliography so we can read sources.

        But if your research was simply asking your friend at WADA and he/she told you something “in private” (or maybe sold you official secret WADA information?).

        But I’m convinced, nobody outside of WADA is allowed and has possibility to make any serious research about doping. Imagine – you have hard proofs of this or another (player meaning Nadal or Nadal) to use doping and you don’t give them WADA, you are criminal.

        Being here anonymous, like everybody else, you can write, what you want. Your statements are not worth a shit.

        I’m in a different position. I only say, nobody has right to publish accusations against any specific person,, as a virtual person. You may write about your imaginations, nothing more.

      22. @prf

        So you have answered my question, you have made no effort to find out about doping issues in sport. Much has been published that you could gain access to on the net but you haven’t bothered. There are numerous well-researched articles by sports writers and anti-doping authorities, with comments by athletes, that all provide a disturbing picture of the extent of doping in sport today. Apart from anti-doping officials, I also know professional coaches and athletes who have given me their opinions on these issues. But you have done none of that. All you can offer is your spluttering denial. To such as you, the world remains flat because you are ignorant of what exceeds your personal horizon. Yet you still choose to debate what you have no knowledge of. The definition of a fool.

      23. @Armstrong7

        Everything end with calling names and arguments ad personam.

        Because you cannot seriously answer any of my questions about your “research”. Ah, you made your research by Google and you quote again anonymous “coaches”.

        And if I decide to not rely of such a “research”, you name me fool. Period.

        Your arguments don’t deserve any comment. It’s not serious. You have heard, you have read, somebody told you – my Goodness, this is a research allowing you to throw stones?

        I don’t like adjective-based” arguments like “if you don’t see what I see, you are fool” .

        I would never call my interest in the subject “research”. Everyone can use Google. You put in “Nadal + doping” and you get a lot. I have just put “Nadal + doping + WADA”. This is first I found Do you take it “as is” and think, it’s serious and true?

        Of course you don’t, because your “research” means you look in Google for texts telling about Nadal taking doping. You never look for “Federer + doping”.

        And whatever you find or I find, is not wort a shit, so I stay rather with WADA official publications. Either they are true for Nadal and Federer and everyone. Or they are not – for everyone.

        Now it’s time to find some James Bond handling like Smurf against Gargamel.

        And you know the real name of Gargamel, before you start this “research”

        Let’s go with all your shit wherever you want. I will look (as I always did before) for more reliable

        I’m not interested in continuing or you start to deliver some serious information.

        I think, it is only boring for other readers. And they know for sure, that Nadal is cheater and doper a.s.o. not needing your pseudo-knowledge.
        I’m starting to filter out your posts, because I’m on WordPress and I read comments on Jon’s blog with WordPress Reader, so fortunately I’m able to do it.
        E N D.

      24. Like most of your posts, as meaningless as white noise. The more you write the more ignorant you reveal yourself to be. I have already quoted the former head of WADA, Richard Pound, who has said that “tennis has a doping problem”, that WADA also says only 1% of doping tests amongst professional athletes produce positives, and yet according to many sources, including WADA, the proportion of doping in elite sport is at least between 15-40%, and further that the Spanish Sports Minister has said publicly that “Spain has a doping problem”. This is but a fraction of the material available publicly on the subject of doping in sports. You know nothing of any of this. Yet you confidently wade into the discussion armed only with your fatuous naivety. But you do that on every topic you broach – such as your earlier pointless debate with Jonathan about the meaning of “tennis generation”. This is not an anti-doping site so I don’t write endless columns about my particular interest as you do, in your sub-literate fashion. Nor will I bother to continue to discuss a subject with you that you clearly know nothing about; it is as pointless as discussing rocket science with a cave-dweller.

  34. Federer is also mentioned in the interview as an example for current players complaining about long season, using towels after having waited for the first serve and the first landed in the net 😉

  35. The “generation” concept is arbitrary. The distribution of players’ age is statistical. If you draw a histogram of the ages of, say, all ATP top 100 players, you’ll very likely get similar curves no matter what year you choose.

    This is because there is no concerted set of circumstances dictating that at a particular narrow time interval there will be an abnormally high rate of babies born with “tennis genes” in country where access to tennis is easy. Or, to put it in the opposite way, it is also unlikely that a sequence of 3-4 years when no future good tennis players are not born will occur. In between those shortage periods we would then have other periods with a lot of good players with similar ages whom we would righteously refer to as belonging to “the same generation”.

    This does not happen.
    It’s all because of our tendency to see patterns where in most of the cases they do not exist.

    So, when all is said and done, the limits (lower and upper) to define a “generation” of players are completely arbitrary.

    PRF would have a point when referring to the the number of matches played between players as a valid criterion, but the problem is that that number is not completely random: it depends on the number of very good players at a given period. Fed played a lot of matches against Nadal and Djokovic because they are all 3 very good players, their sport careers overlap a lot in time, and tend to meet a lot at the latter stages of tournaments. If we had only Fed and the rest of the field were a homogeneous set of average players, the head-to-head matches would be much more evenly distributed, therefore, the total number of matches played between Fed and Mr. X would be higher the more similar their ages were. This also assumes that longevity is similar for all players.
    Since this is not the case, we are left with setting arbitrary lower and upper limits for the year of birth and work on that.


    PS: As to the question why some players play for so long and others have a short career: it could never be the other way because there are no two similar humans. Not even twins… Check the Pliskova sisters.

    1. What are you plotting on the example histogram?

      My window of years is a decision I made, but I don’t think it’s entirely arbitrary as players born within a certain window tend to peak at very similar times. Surely that is quantifiable as being part of the same generation. With the early and late bloomers as outliers. Roddick and Federer shared a very similar prime. Hewitt and Federer shared a similar prime.

      1. Your decision, Jon, is arbitrary per se, because you took for an arbitrary reason.In this sense it’s OK. You wanted to have a look an what IS (in some aspect) Federer’s generation.

        Similar prime is an additional argument, but I’m not sure about “outliers”. In one age window all your outliers will be weak players. In the other it will be early or late bloomers with some decent achievements (like Stan).

        Still my final conclusion is: it’s nonsense to look for something we could call non-arbitrary. We would need a kind of scientific criteria, passing certain possibly sharp criteria.

        But this is not what you were looking for and after some tries of finding better definition, I stopped it, acknowledging, it was just what you wanted,

        Let’s assume, I want to have a look on players (whatever their age) with ginger hair. Whatever my idea, I can do it and the expected result is what we just expected.

        We wanted to say, if there is some relation between players with ginger hair and all others. Or only those who are bold at 20 😉

      2. @prf

        I’ve read more intelligible comment on a scrabble board. Why don’t you work out what you are trying to say before you submit your comments?

      3. I would plot the number of players within an age class, say, 35 players aged between 18 and 20 years old. Of course, the classes have also an arbitrary width (and limits), but that’s inevitable.
        The point is: To run an analysis such as yours, one must set limits to how younger or older than Mr. X a person must be to belong to the same generation as Mr. X. Those limits are chosen according to some criteria. There are many valid criteria; each set will lead to different conclusions, not necessarily incompatible. Indeed, most of the times they will yield complimentary views on a certain subject.

    2. I’m sorry, you should know, English is not my mother-tongue. Let me write Polish and you will not have and it’s level is just as it is. Your only problem would be, you would understand nothing 😉

      What’s your preferred foreign language? Maybe I’m better in it than in English?

      To make things short “Don’t accuse anyone, if you have only logical premises, but no proves.” Period. Is THIS easy to understand?

  36. @Armstrong7
    I’m sorry again. There is a mismatch of two sentences (don’t know why), maybe incidentally used some shortcut.

    Should have been:
    “I’m sorry, you should know, English is not my mother-tongue and it’s level is just as it is. Let me write Polish and you will not have such problems . Your only problem would be, you would understand nothing ?”

  37. Imagine one being so incredibly dim that they beleive that Federer is of the same generation as Nadal/Djokovic/Murray.

    1. Adjectives are always poor arguments. And used like yours they only show the author having only one concept – to approve everything, which leads to his assumes result.

      This is not acceptable in science or in any serious discussion. Argumentum ad personam. If someone thinks X (but you think Y), the other must be dim.

      And we are not talking physics, but arbitrary statistical definitions. Every definition is just so good as it fits the result you want to achieve.

      So what’s the sense to try to convince one the other, some definition to be better than other?

      Yes, I tried the same on the beginning of this discussion but I ended after having understood, this was Jon’s definition and we should have taken it “as is” and eventually add facts and other information or conclusions instead of battling about which definition is better.

      For Jon’s concept this was the best definition. Period.

      I understand, why others try to find “better ones”, because this was I did at the beginning. Which was false and I stopped to discuss about.

      If the discussions go the way of calling names, it’s no more worth a shit.

  38. That just proves how great Federer is.
    All of his contemporaries rivals retired in 2012/13/14 due to injuries, while their last good year of playing were a couple years ago (2012 Nalbandian, 2012 Davydenko, 2010 Roddick, etc).
    That generation was the last of the old format of tennis training, the young ones started new regimes and were helped by new technologies…
    Yet, Federer was the only one who adapted his game everytime. It never was meant for him to still be playing now, a normal tennis life it would have been a retirement in 2012.

  39. Technically I would have said 1979-1983 is a four year span which would have emcompassed players like Ivo Karlovic, Ivan Lubjic, James Blake etc, who would certainly be in Marat Safin’s generation at least. Karlovic in particular didn’t even turn pro until 2000 and is still playing now.
    As for Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray they do seem to be in a slightly different tennis generation. Rafa Nadal feels slightly different because he developed so early, so is maybe more akin to Tommy Hass, roughly contemporary but with a little bit of a gap.
    That said, its just an opinion.

    Joel Pickering

  40. Just discovered this post and wow PRF is such a oain in the ass. I now believe that there are walking human trash in the world.

  41. Hi,

    You misspelled.

    Agassi participated in a series of money raising tournaments, NOT serious of money raising tournaments.


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