This is an addendum to my last post, I actually just published.
First of all, injury is just part of the sport. I mentioned that many of the players injured are, in fact, older, 30-something to be exact. I guess this isn’t some dawning of a new age of tennis where players don’t necessarily peak when they’re 35 (Lol). Doesn’t happen folks. Father time, not 35-36 year-old Federer, is undefeated.
Secondly, I do need to clarify my comment about that style of BL tennis being “pretty mediocre” and “garbage.”
The 2012 final really is mediocre. Djokovic looks off and the tennis in many parts is so passively defensive. Not a keeper. Certainly some insightful commentary coming from Wilander as the call tries to explain the odd and emotional tennis from Novak.
That, along with the 2013 final evidence some pretty rough patches from the Serb in big matches that could have helped define his legacy in a different way. The loss to Murray I believe made him 6-6 in finals, already off to a pretty tough start. The call brought-up Federer’s record at the time, something like 17-7 then, Rafa’s pretty decent record and even Pete’s, which is 14-4.
In the 2013 final, certainly the ground strokes are almost nuclear, but the tennis is pretty one-dimensional. Rafa shows some of that supreme clutch tennis, showing there really is a separation between his and Djokovic’s mental game; Rafa’s poise is immense.
Djokovic has that opportunity to go up a double break in the third, where they’re tied a set apiece. He ends-up losing that pivotal set, which is so full of massive momentum shifts.
Here’s the big consideration as far as the discussion of injury. I brought this up in the previous post, how the manipulation of surface and the innovation of equipment have both promoted a specific style of tennis and really hurt the sport. We haven’t even gotten into the growing discussion and culture of advanced physio and nutrition, how combined, all of these elements pushed the game in a pretty defined direction: power tennis.
Look at the 2013 USO final especially, throw-in the 2012 AO final, too. How does a 19 year-old, even a brilliant, prodigious talent, compete against something like that? That’s part of the legacy of the “lost boys,” and the delay of other youth movements.
A teenager, unfamiliar with that advanced world of nutrition and physio and top-end equipment, can’t come close to going five sets with those kinds of players. Sure this relates to my HRFRT. One of the chapters is “Roger Created a Monster (or Two).”
So, on one hand, we can look at some of these big matches in the last 5-6 years and say, wow, incredible tennis from these all-time greats (I am not here to argue that they’re not all-time greats). The players have gotten better, these are the GOATS, blah blah blah.
But this is the price you pay for that HFE. And actually it’s bullshit. Depleted draws? Guys have been forced to push the envelope on all aspects of the game. Look how quickly Sascha has put-on muscle. Mention of his physio/trainer was made recently during a match, a pretty well-known guy (I forget his name, sorry). This coincides with Sascha separating from his own generation, practically, putting himself in a position to even win his first major in two weeks (especially when you consider his draw) at the age of 20.
Guys used to do that, win a major at a young age. Borg was 18, Pete was 19, Rafa was 19, and Nole was 20. Roger and McEnroe were 21. Go back even further. Do you really think the players today are just that dominant and the younger guys are just not up to speed with this last and waning era’s GOATness? Think about that for a minute.
For sure, Federer done ruined it.
To be clear, I am not an opponent of the two-handed BH. 😀
Instead, I believe these last 5+ years have seen a development of the sport that’s causing people to say ridiculous things (let’s cut majors to a Bo3 jolly-good-time!).
Look around, folks. Look past your little political agenda and/or the shadow cast by your favorite player (we’ve found our way back to the fanboys and girls, sure enough).
Hopefully these last two posts (this one and its antecedent) have raised a few questions (and eye-brows: let’s here it, what say you?).