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“You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
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lindseywagners Offline
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“You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
I made a post over a year ago on the old tennis forum that compared Roger Federer to Jay Gatsby. I couldnâ€t find the exact thread, so I will write an updated version, given Federerâ€s current conundrum and the release of “The Great Gatsby” movie tomorrow.

-----

He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him...
– final page of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald


One of the less pleasant facts of life, a fact that, unlike death, often goes unnoticed, is that there is a price to pay for doing anything. Specifically: once something is done, it can never again be done in the exact same way, or at least at the same “heightened sensitivity,” which leaves the doer with less opportunity to do things as time goes on (“You canâ€t repeat the past” is the famous line Nick Carraway quips.). This fact probably seems obvious, and a lot of times itâ€s of little relevance and importance, as many of the mundane things we do are better off never to be done again anyway. Itâ€s even fair to say, if one uses a certain thought process, that some of those actions werenâ€t really worth doing in the first place. There are, however, actions and accomplishments that we consider valuable, the ones that we like to believe define “greatness.” And itâ€s these things that history and memory are all about, really—at least in a comforting sense.

That word, “greatness,” is necessarily used when most things Federer are discussed, and itâ€s also the word used to describe the character to whom Fitzgerald titled his masterwork. I donâ€t know exactly what the word even means (or is supposed to mean), and I donâ€t suppose it really even matters, as itâ€s simply a way of linking a past event to the front of our memory. Heck, Iâ€m even channeling that memory device to create this here post.

Last year when I wrote about Jay and Rog I used the following passage from Gatsby to draw a particular link:

He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

The point being, that Federer, who at the time had 16 Grand Slams, was subconsciously waiting, basically holding off, to claim No. 17, knowing deep down that once he did, “his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.”

I was wrong, in a sense, because I donâ€t think GS 17 was the Federer equivalent of a womanâ€s lips. Rather, it was the No. 1 ranking that Roger sought, steadily moving along in devotion “to the following of a grail” (ironically, the No. 1 ranking and GS 17 both arrived with Murrayâ€s sailing forehand). I was wrong, too, that one single accomplishment would be the demise of Federerâ€s tennis pulse, as he played well at the Olympics and into the summer hard court season and too performed at high levels at the WTF last year and the AO to begin this season. However, that hasnâ€t been the case since, and now that heâ€s 4,000 points away from the top, has he, through no fault of his own but the normal workings of life, been resigned to, eh, not wanting it anymore?

The picture currently on the Tennis.com homepage of Federer and Nishikori at the net post-match is intriguing and I think somewhat telling, particularly their expressions. Nisikori, who has just completed “one of the goals for [his] tennis career,“ looks oddly at Federer as if to see if Roger is all right. Itâ€s the look of obligatory concern. Roger, looking down but possibly not seeing anything other than a blur, appears like he might be assuring Kei heâ€s all right, smiling the way someone smiles when theyâ€ve just done something really, really stupid but, because of the relative insignificance of the event to oneâ€s life as a whole, doesnâ€t even care enough to feel embarrassed.

I think thatâ€s pretty much an accurate take on Federerâ€s career in tennis; it has to be, right? Federer would never admit it—at least not yet:

"Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with my play," he told a press conference following the match. "I'm not sure how well Kei thought he played. I didn't think he had to play his very best either, which is even more disappointing. It doesn't change my mindset going forward. I'm going to go back to the practice court, train hard, and make sure I don't have these kind of days anymore."

John McEnroe has been saying for several years that he doesnâ€t know how Roger can get up for anything other than the Slams at this point. Peter Bodo wrote something similar, but even more damning, this afternoon in his match analysis: “Today, though, Federer started sluggish and, despite a mid-match revival, finished slow—classic symptoms of an aging player who no longer wants to win in his heart, just in his mind; thus, he has to force himself to want to want to win.“ Bodoâ€s comments, I suspicion, accurately assess the quandary Fed finds himself in. According to Rogerâ€s words after the match (mind) and expression at the net (heart - I know the whole picture thing is a stretch but just go with it), thatâ€s just it: The Death of Wanting.

I love watching Federer play almost more than anything and so I have to hope that he finds something to play for. Maybe Roger will go see the “Gatsby” movie this weekend with his wife and kids, using the plot to create an “enchanted object” of his own to which he can stare across the Sound—or court. After all, Jay did come very close to realizing his dream once again. And Federer has many times before risen up as well. Either way, I guess you have to be thankful.
(This post was last modified: 10-May-2013 01:44 AM by lindseywagners.)
10-May-2013 01:07 AM
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britbox Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
Interesting post lindsay - particularly with the "I hope he finds something to play for" sentiment because I thought Federer began last season with a real sense of purpose and commitment. He seemed to have some real objectives and a rejuvenated desire. Kind of like "I'm going to show these young bucks and myself I can still do this at the very top level" and he was rewarded with the #1 and a Wimbledon title. He seemed to take his foot of the gas a little afterwards. You always wonder how many times the guy can keep going to the well with a need to prove something.
10-May-2013 07:06 AM
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Kieran Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
Bob Dylan, Summer Days:

She say, "you cant repeat the past,"
I say, "You can't? What do you mean you can't? Of course you can!"

Bob knows...
10-May-2013 08:48 AM
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Garro Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
Interesting post. Here is the original if you want to compare. http://legacy.tennis.com/messageboards/f...ch#M348454
10-May-2013 11:29 AM
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lindseywagners Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(10-May-2013 07:06 AM)britbox Wrote:  Interesting post lindsay - particularly with the "I hope he finds something to play for" sentiment because I thought Federer began last season with a real sense of purpose and commitment. He seemed to have some real objectives and a rejuvenated desire. Kind of like "I'm going to show these young bucks and myself I can still do this at the very top level" and he was rewarded with the #1 and a Wimbledon title. He seemed to take his foot of the gas a little afterwards. You always wonder how many times the guy can keep going to the well with a need to prove something.

Exactly! One of the necessary conditions for doing anything is desire of some kind. I think people assume that because he's "Roger Federer" he "always wants to win" and then they start looking physically at why he isn't winning when there are other sources for the lackluster play. The physical argument doesn't make sense considering how well he played last year and even up until the Australian Open this year.

(10-May-2013 08:48 AM)Kieran Wrote:  Bob Dylan, Summer Days:

She say, "you cant repeat the past,"
I say, "You can't? What do you mean you can't? Of course you can!"

Bob knows...

I never heard this song but I love Dylan! Not surprised he quoted Fitzgerald, though I read a Dylan biography and there wasn't anything (I don't think) about Fitzgerald being an influence on him. Sure Bob read the book and just liked the line. Or maybe he came up with it independently, proving geniuses think alike!

(10-May-2013 11:29 AM)Garro Wrote:  Interesting post. Here is the original if you want to compare. http://legacy.tennis.com/messageboards/f...ch#M348454

Thanks for the find, Garro!
(This post was last modified: 10-May-2013 11:44 AM by lindseywagners.)
10-May-2013 11:31 AM
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ricardo Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(10-May-2013 01:07 AM)lindseywagners Wrote:  I made a post over a year ago on the old tennis forum that compared Roger Federer to Jay Gatsby. I couldnâ€t find the exact thread, so I will write an updated version, given Federerâ€s current conundrum and the release of “The Great Gatsby” movie tomorrow.

-----

He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him...
– final page of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald


One of the less pleasant facts of life, a fact that, unlike death, often goes unnoticed, is that there is a price to pay for doing anything. Specifically: once something is done, it can never again be done in the exact same way, or at least at the same “heightened sensitivity,” which leaves the doer with less opportunity to do things as time goes on (“You canâ€t repeat the past” is the famous line Nick Carraway quips.). This fact probably seems obvious, and a lot of times itâ€s of little relevance and importance, as many of the mundane things we do are better off never to be done again anyway. Itâ€s even fair to say, if one uses a certain thought process, that some of those actions werenâ€t really worth doing in the first place. There are, however, actions and accomplishments that we consider valuable, the ones that we like to believe define “greatness.” And itâ€s these things that history and memory are all about, really—at least in a comforting sense.

That word, “greatness,” is necessarily used when most things Federer are discussed, and itâ€s also the word used to describe the character to whom Fitzgerald titled his masterwork. I donâ€t know exactly what the word even means (or is supposed to mean), and I donâ€t suppose it really even matters, as itâ€s simply a way of linking a past event to the front of our memory. Heck, Iâ€m even channeling that memory device to create this here post.

Last year when I wrote about Jay and Rog I used the following passage from Gatsby to draw a particular link:

He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

The point being, that Federer, who at the time had 16 Grand Slams, was subconsciously waiting, basically holding off, to claim No. 17, knowing deep down that once he did, “his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.”

I was wrong, in a sense, because I donâ€t think GS 17 was the Federer equivalent of a womanâ€s lips. Rather, it was the No. 1 ranking that Roger sought, steadily moving along in devotion “to the following of a grail” (ironically, the No. 1 ranking and GS 17 both arrived with Murrayâ€s sailing forehand). I was wrong, too, that one single accomplishment would be the demise of Federerâ€s tennis pulse, as he played well at the Olympics and into the summer hard court season and too performed at high levels at the WTF last year and the AO to begin this season. However, that hasnâ€t been the case since, and now that heâ€s 4,000 points away from the top, has he, through no fault of his own but the normal workings of life, been resigned to, eh, not wanting it anymore?

The picture currently on the Tennis.com homepage of Federer and Nishikori at the net post-match is intriguing and I think somewhat telling, particularly their expressions. Nisikori, who has just completed “one of the goals for [his] tennis career,“ looks oddly at Federer as if to see if Roger is all right. Itâ€s the look of obligatory concern. Roger, looking down but possibly not seeing anything other than a blur, appears like he might be assuring Kei heâ€s all right, smiling the way someone smiles when theyâ€ve just done something really, really stupid but, because of the relative insignificance of the event to oneâ€s life as a whole, doesnâ€t even care enough to feel embarrassed.

I think thatâ€s pretty much an accurate take on Federerâ€s career in tennis; it has to be, right? Federer would never admit it—at least not yet:

"Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with my play," he told a press conference following the match. "I'm not sure how well Kei thought he played. I didn't think he had to play his very best either, which is even more disappointing. It doesn't change my mindset going forward. I'm going to go back to the practice court, train hard, and make sure I don't have these kind of days anymore."

John McEnroe has been saying for several years that he doesnâ€t know how Roger can get up for anything other than the Slams at this point. Peter Bodo wrote something similar, but even more damning, this afternoon in his match analysis: “Today, though, Federer started sluggish and, despite a mid-match revival, finished slow—classic symptoms of an aging player who no longer wants to win in his heart, just in his mind; thus, he has to force himself to want to want to win.“ Bodoâ€s comments, I suspicion, accurately assess the quandary Fed finds himself in. According to Rogerâ€s words after the match (mind) and expression at the net (heart - I know the whole picture thing is a stretch but just go with it), thatâ€s just it: The Death of Wanting.

I love watching Federer play almost more than anything and so I have to hope that he finds something to play for. Maybe Roger will go see the “Gatsby” movie this weekend with his wife and kids, using the plot to create an “enchanted object” of his own to which he can stare across the Sound—or court. After all, Jay did come very close to realizing his dream once again. And Federer has many times before risen up as well. Either way, I guess you have to be thankful.

It's good to see that at this time of his career Federer has no false ego and admitted that Kei didn't need to play his best to beat him. It's hard for professional players to say such things, and a honest response like this is nice.

Remember in the past from various great players:

"he is a one-dimensional player and i'll figure him out" after getting beat on clay
"I was in control of the match" after losing in straight sets
"it was not his real level" after getting thrashed

Always good to see that players are true to themselves. Big Smile
11-May-2013 11:27 PM
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Front242 Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(11-May-2013 11:27 PM)ricardo Wrote:  
(10-May-2013 01:07 AM)lindseywagners Wrote:  I made a post over a year ago on the old tennis forum that compared Roger Federer to Jay Gatsby. I couldnâ€t find the exact thread, so I will write an updated version, given Federerâ€s current conundrum and the release of “The Great Gatsby” movie tomorrow.

-----

He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him...
– final page of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald


One of the less pleasant facts of life, a fact that, unlike death, often goes unnoticed, is that there is a price to pay for doing anything. Specifically: once something is done, it can never again be done in the exact same way, or at least at the same “heightened sensitivity,” which leaves the doer with less opportunity to do things as time goes on (“You canâ€t repeat the past” is the famous line Nick Carraway quips.). This fact probably seems obvious, and a lot of times itâ€s of little relevance and importance, as many of the mundane things we do are better off never to be done again anyway. Itâ€s even fair to say, if one uses a certain thought process, that some of those actions werenâ€t really worth doing in the first place. There are, however, actions and accomplishments that we consider valuable, the ones that we like to believe define “greatness.” And itâ€s these things that history and memory are all about, really—at least in a comforting sense.

That word, “greatness,” is necessarily used when most things Federer are discussed, and itâ€s also the word used to describe the character to whom Fitzgerald titled his masterwork. I donâ€t know exactly what the word even means (or is supposed to mean), and I donâ€t suppose it really even matters, as itâ€s simply a way of linking a past event to the front of our memory. Heck, Iâ€m even channeling that memory device to create this here post.

Last year when I wrote about Jay and Rog I used the following passage from Gatsby to draw a particular link:

He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

The point being, that Federer, who at the time had 16 Grand Slams, was subconsciously waiting, basically holding off, to claim No. 17, knowing deep down that once he did, “his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.”

I was wrong, in a sense, because I donâ€t think GS 17 was the Federer equivalent of a womanâ€s lips. Rather, it was the No. 1 ranking that Roger sought, steadily moving along in devotion “to the following of a grail” (ironically, the No. 1 ranking and GS 17 both arrived with Murrayâ€s sailing forehand). I was wrong, too, that one single accomplishment would be the demise of Federerâ€s tennis pulse, as he played well at the Olympics and into the summer hard court season and too performed at high levels at the WTF last year and the AO to begin this season. However, that hasnâ€t been the case since, and now that heâ€s 4,000 points away from the top, has he, through no fault of his own but the normal workings of life, been resigned to, eh, not wanting it anymore?

The picture currently on the Tennis.com homepage of Federer and Nishikori at the net post-match is intriguing and I think somewhat telling, particularly their expressions. Nisikori, who has just completed “one of the goals for [his] tennis career,“ looks oddly at Federer as if to see if Roger is all right. Itâ€s the look of obligatory concern. Roger, looking down but possibly not seeing anything other than a blur, appears like he might be assuring Kei heâ€s all right, smiling the way someone smiles when theyâ€ve just done something really, really stupid but, because of the relative insignificance of the event to oneâ€s life as a whole, doesnâ€t even care enough to feel embarrassed.

I think thatâ€s pretty much an accurate take on Federerâ€s career in tennis; it has to be, right? Federer would never admit it—at least not yet:

"Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with my play," he told a press conference following the match. "I'm not sure how well Kei thought he played. I didn't think he had to play his very best either, which is even more disappointing. It doesn't change my mindset going forward. I'm going to go back to the practice court, train hard, and make sure I don't have these kind of days anymore."

John McEnroe has been saying for several years that he doesnâ€t know how Roger can get up for anything other than the Slams at this point. Peter Bodo wrote something similar, but even more damning, this afternoon in his match analysis: “Today, though, Federer started sluggish and, despite a mid-match revival, finished slow—classic symptoms of an aging player who no longer wants to win in his heart, just in his mind; thus, he has to force himself to want to want to win.“ Bodoâ€s comments, I suspicion, accurately assess the quandary Fed finds himself in. According to Rogerâ€s words after the match (mind) and expression at the net (heart - I know the whole picture thing is a stretch but just go with it), thatâ€s just it: The Death of Wanting.

I love watching Federer play almost more than anything and so I have to hope that he finds something to play for. Maybe Roger will go see the “Gatsby” movie this weekend with his wife and kids, using the plot to create an “enchanted object” of his own to which he can stare across the Sound—or court. After all, Jay did come very close to realizing his dream once again. And Federer has many times before risen up as well. Either way, I guess you have to be thankful.

It's good to see that at this time of his career Federer has no false ego and admitted that Kei didn't need to play his best to beat him. It's hard for professional players to say such things, and a honest response like this is nice.

Remember in the past from various great players:

"he is a one-dimensional player and i'll figure him out" after getting beat on clay
"I was in control of the match" after losing in straight sets
"it was not his real level" after getting thrashed

Always good to see that players are true to themselves. Big Smile

Hey ricardo,

In response to the quotes made by Fed, Nadal and Djokovic above I'd have to say:
(1) At the time Nadal actually was one-dimensional. Since then Toni Nadal completely transformed his game to all surfaces by adding tons of dimensions to it but back then he pretty much was one dimensional. Why else did they go out to prove him wrong by adding so much to his game.

(2) This comment was truly stupid by Djokovic in fairness and I laughed when I watched that interview and so did Rafa.

(3) I actually thought Nadal was right when I saw that interview after the AO '08 and Tsonga himself would admit it was probably by far his best match. When has he, or anyone else for that matter, ever hit so many unbelievable stop volleys. He never beat any of the top players again with a score like that. And it's a real shame actually that he hasn't. I wanted him to win his first slam that year but he played nowhere near as well in the final which pretty much backs up Nadal's statement.

Basically the only truly stupid comment was made by Djokovic. On a side note I had my reply with (A), (B), etc but the C in brackets was coming up as a copyright sign Big Smile So 1, 2, 3 it is.
(This post was last modified: 12-May-2013 08:39 AM by Front242.)
12-May-2013 03:34 AM
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huntingyou Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
just be grateful you were able to witness this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxRcr3rxINs


look at the half volley at 4:16

Everything that ha a beginning; has an end.............
(This post was last modified: 12-May-2013 08:14 AM by huntingyou.)
12-May-2013 08:13 AM
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1972Murat Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(12-May-2013 08:13 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  just be grateful you were able to witness this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxRcr3rxINs


look at the half volley at 4:16

Everything that ha a beginning; has an end.............

Agree %100. I wish people would just appreciate what Roger did and let him go gently into that good night...When I watch that video, I know that Roger is not coming back. I also know we will have occasional moments of magic , which I will be looking for, but that is about it. He will not get faster, he will not get better (as in improve or reinvent his game) and that is fine...What irritates me most is people looking at Roger today and claiming he is still at his best, as fast as ever, not even seeing the reality right before their eyes, as in the video above...
It is the nature of the beast though...I remember the end of Pete's carrier, where people said he was not as good as most thought etc....It is just sad. Undecided

12-May-2013 08:59 AM
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huntingyou Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(12-May-2013 08:59 AM)1972Murat Wrote:  
(12-May-2013 08:13 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  just be grateful you were able to witness this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxRcr3rxINs


look at the half volley at 4:16

Everything that ha a beginning; has an end.............

Agree %100. I wish people would just appreciate what Roger did and let him go gently into that good night...When I watch that video, I know that Roger is not coming back. I also know we will have occasional moments of magic , which I will be looking for, but that is about it. He will not get faster, he will not get better (as in improve or reinvent his game) and that is fine...What irritates me most is people looking at Roger today and claiming he is still at his best, as fast as ever, not even seeing the reality right before their eyes, as in the video above...
It is the nature of the beast though...I remember the end of Pete's carrier, where people said he was not as good as most thought etc....It is just sad. Undecided

Anybody who watches that video and claims Roger is as good as ever...it's a troll.

When we talk about natural talent, cat like agility and reflex and just plain beauty; it doesn't get better than that. That's perhaps Roger's greatest level achieved in a tennis court....Blake was playing amazing; Roger playing GODLY.
12-May-2013 09:49 AM
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(12-May-2013 09:49 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  
(12-May-2013 08:59 AM)1972Murat Wrote:  
(12-May-2013 08:13 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  just be grateful you were able to witness this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxRcr3rxINs


look at the half volley at 4:16

Everything that ha a beginning; has an end.............

Agree %100. I wish people would just appreciate what Roger did and let him go gently into that good night...When I watch that video, I know that Roger is not coming back. I also know we will have occasional moments of magic , which I will be looking for, but that is about it. He will not get faster, he will not get better (as in improve or reinvent his game) and that is fine...What irritates me most is people looking at Roger today and claiming he is still at his best, as fast as ever, not even seeing the reality right before their eyes, as in the video above...
It is the nature of the beast though...I remember the end of Pete's carrier, where people said he was not as good as most thought etc....It is just sad. Undecided

Anybody who watches that video and claims Roger is as good as ever...it's a troll.

When we talk about natural talent, cat like agility and reflex and just plain beauty; it doesn't get better than that. That's perhaps Roger's greatest level achieved in a tennis court....Blake was playing amazing; Roger playing GODLY.

Yeah, that was Federer at the absolute height of his powers, which culminated two months later at the Australian Open, in what was probably his best tournament from start to finish as far as breathtaking levels of tennis are concerned.
12-May-2013 10:42 AM
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(12-May-2013 10:42 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  
(12-May-2013 09:49 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  
(12-May-2013 08:59 AM)1972Murat Wrote:  
(12-May-2013 08:13 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  just be grateful you were able to witness this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxRcr3rxINs


look at the half volley at 4:16

Everything that ha a beginning; has an end.............

Agree %100. I wish people would just appreciate what Roger did and let him go gently into that good night...When I watch that video, I know that Roger is not coming back. I also know we will have occasional moments of magic , which I will be looking for, but that is about it. He will not get faster, he will not get better (as in improve or reinvent his game) and that is fine...What irritates me most is people looking at Roger today and claiming he is still at his best, as fast as ever, not even seeing the reality right before their eyes, as in the video above...
It is the nature of the beast though...I remember the end of Pete's carrier, where people said he was not as good as most thought etc....It is just sad. Undecided

Anybody who watches that video and claims Roger is as good as ever...it's a troll.

When we talk about natural talent, cat like agility and reflex and just plain beauty; it doesn't get better than that. That's perhaps Roger's greatest level achieved in a tennis court....Blake was playing amazing; Roger playing GODLY.

Yeah, that was Federer at the absolute height of his powers, which culminated two months later at the Australian Open, in what was probably his best tournament from start to finish as far as breathtaking levels of tennis are concerned.

Zenith!

Ironically, his more rabid fans confused that level of tennis for Roger's constant average........thus the comical demise talks since 2008.
12-May-2013 11:08 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
Anyone who watches this video and says that Federer up through 2012 seriously declined is an idiot. Compare this to the Blake video you are all drooling over and explain where the major differences are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdIBtJjBAB0

(12-May-2013 10:42 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Yeah, that was Federer at the absolute height of his powers, which culminated two months later at the Australian Open, in what was probably his best tournament from start to finish as far as breathtaking levels of tennis are concerned.


Yeah, exactly. We really started to see major drop-off in his game in 2008 and 2009. Nodding my head in complete agreement.

(12-May-2013 09:49 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  Anybody who watches that video and claims Roger is as good as ever...it's a troll.

When we talk about natural talent, cat like agility and reflex and just plain beauty; it doesn't get better than that. That's perhaps Roger's greatest level achieved in a tennis court....Blake was playing amazing; Roger playing GODLY.



LOL....it's funny to hear hunting4aclue of all people talk about highest levels when he is the one who talked about Nadal's completely boring display at Wimbledon in 2010 as some kind of amazing grasscourt production.

Even if hunting4aclue is right on this one, you have to consider the source and dismiss it before evaluating yourself.

As for my view, Federer played fabulously in the 2006 Masters Cup, but I saw him play that way many times before and many times after. I wouldn't single it out a single-greatest showing.

It's kind of funny to hear that coming from everyone else considering how they generally dismiss indoor feats as highly favorable to Roger and other players!

But I won't go there. LOL
(This post was last modified: 12-May-2013 11:23 AM by calitennis127.)
12-May-2013 11:14 AM
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huntingyou Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
awesome......I don't see cali's posts anymore.

Please do not quote when replying to him...it lowers my IQ a couple points and I'm too old for that.
12-May-2013 11:36 AM
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calitennis127 Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
It's funny how when you post something like the Rotterdam 2012 highlights and simply ask for an explanation of how that substantively differs from his 2006 Masters Cup showing, you get those ad hominems instead of a rational argument.

Well, what can I expect. Some of us really are just hunting for clues without knowing where to go.
12-May-2013 11:40 AM
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AndrewWilliam Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(10-May-2013 01:07 AM)lindseywagners Wrote:  I made a post over a year ago on the old tennis forum that compared Roger Federer to Jay Gatsby. I couldnâ€t find the exact thread, so I will write an updated version, given Federerâ€s current conundrum and the release of “The Great Gatsby” movie tomorrow.

-----

He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him...
– final page of The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald


One of the less pleasant facts of life, a fact that, unlike death, often goes unnoticed, is that there is a price to pay for doing anything. Specifically: once something is done, it can never again be done in the exact same way, or at least at the same “heightened sensitivity,” which leaves the doer with less opportunity to do things as time goes on (“You canâ€t repeat the past” is the famous line Nick Carraway quips.). This fact probably seems obvious, and a lot of times itâ€s of little relevance and importance, as many of the mundane things we do are better off never to be done again anyway. Itâ€s even fair to say, if one uses a certain thought process, that some of those actions werenâ€t really worth doing in the first place. There are, however, actions and accomplishments that we consider valuable, the ones that we like to believe define “greatness.” And itâ€s these things that history and memory are all about, really—at least in a comforting sense.

That word, “greatness,” is necessarily used when most things Federer are discussed, and itâ€s also the word used to describe the character to whom Fitzgerald titled his masterwork. I donâ€t know exactly what the word even means (or is supposed to mean), and I donâ€t suppose it really even matters, as itâ€s simply a way of linking a past event to the front of our memory. Heck, Iâ€m even channeling that memory device to create this here post.

Last year when I wrote about Jay and Rog I used the following passage from Gatsby to draw a particular link:

He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete.

The point being, that Federer, who at the time had 16 Grand Slams, was subconsciously waiting, basically holding off, to claim No. 17, knowing deep down that once he did, “his mind would never romp again like the mind of God.”

I was wrong, in a sense, because I donâ€t think GS 17 was the Federer equivalent of a womanâ€s lips. Rather, it was the No. 1 ranking that Roger sought, steadily moving along in devotion “to the following of a grail” (ironically, the No. 1 ranking and GS 17 both arrived with Murrayâ€s sailing forehand). I was wrong, too, that one single accomplishment would be the demise of Federerâ€s tennis pulse, as he played well at the Olympics and into the summer hard court season and too performed at high levels at the WTF last year and the AO to begin this season. However, that hasnâ€t been the case since, and now that heâ€s 4,000 points away from the top, has he, through no fault of his own but the normal workings of life, been resigned to, eh, not wanting it anymore?

The picture currently on the Tennis.com homepage of Federer and Nishikori at the net post-match is intriguing and I think somewhat telling, particularly their expressions. Nisikori, who has just completed “one of the goals for [his] tennis career,“ looks oddly at Federer as if to see if Roger is all right. Itâ€s the look of obligatory concern. Roger, looking down but possibly not seeing anything other than a blur, appears like he might be assuring Kei heâ€s all right, smiling the way someone smiles when theyâ€ve just done something really, really stupid but, because of the relative insignificance of the event to oneâ€s life as a whole, doesnâ€t even care enough to feel embarrassed.

I think thatâ€s pretty much an accurate take on Federerâ€s career in tennis; it has to be, right? Federer would never admit it—at least not yet:

"Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with my play," he told a press conference following the match. "I'm not sure how well Kei thought he played. I didn't think he had to play his very best either, which is even more disappointing. It doesn't change my mindset going forward. I'm going to go back to the practice court, train hard, and make sure I don't have these kind of days anymore."

John McEnroe has been saying for several years that he doesnâ€t know how Roger can get up for anything other than the Slams at this point. Peter Bodo wrote something similar, but even more damning, this afternoon in his match analysis: “Today, though, Federer started sluggish and, despite a mid-match revival, finished slow—classic symptoms of an aging player who no longer wants to win in his heart, just in his mind; thus, he has to force himself to want to want to win.“ Bodoâ€s comments, I suspicion, accurately assess the quandary Fed finds himself in. According to Rogerâ€s words after the match (mind) and expression at the net (heart - I know the whole picture thing is a stretch but just go with it), thatâ€s just it: The Death of Wanting.

I love watching Federer play almost more than anything and so I have to hope that he finds something to play for. Maybe Roger will go see the “Gatsby” movie this weekend with his wife and kids, using the plot to create an “enchanted object” of his own to which he can stare across the Sound—or court. After all, Jay did come very close to realizing his dream once again. And Federer has many times before risen up as well. Either way, I guess you have to be thankful.

Deja Vu! I see what you did there by recreating this thread Lindsey. I recall now the thoughts conjured up by your piece on the old forum and then as now It makes me a bit sad. You don't have to be a great tennis player to have this sort of realization. The dawning lament of novelty. Once you experience perfection in the abstract sense of the word (nothing is truly perfect, but imperfections can be perceived as such), you can never quite come full circle again, try as you might. Virgin experiences are hard to duplicate.

Federer's chagrin after the loss painted an interesting portrait. His explanation to the press breathed more truth into the 'lost his mojo' rumor in circulation. The conviction of practicing harder to erase such follies in the future may be interpreted a number of ways. Perhaps he himself is still in denial despite the curious introspective reaction upon defeat. It maybe that Roger has come to grips with father time and is just mouthing the cliche responses to the public to hold off unwanted attention to the fact. Or maybe just maybe....Federer will prove everyone wrong and show the world what they fell in love with all those years ago. Only time will tell.....
12-May-2013 01:34 PM
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ricardo Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(12-May-2013 11:14 AM)calitennis127 Wrote:  Anyone who watches this video and says that Federer up through 2012 seriously declined is an idiot. Compare this to the Blake video you are all drooling over and explain where the major differences are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdIBtJjBAB0

(12-May-2013 10:42 AM)Broken_Shoelace Wrote:  Yeah, that was Federer at the absolute height of his powers, which culminated two months later at the Australian Open, in what was probably his best tournament from start to finish as far as breathtaking levels of tennis are concerned.


Yeah, exactly. We really started to see major drop-off in his game in 2008 and 2009. Nodding my head in complete agreement.

(12-May-2013 09:49 AM)huntingyou Wrote:  Anybody who watches that video and claims Roger is as good as ever...it's a troll.

When we talk about natural talent, cat like agility and reflex and just plain beauty; it doesn't get better than that. That's perhaps Roger's greatest level achieved in a tennis court....Blake was playing amazing; Roger playing GODLY.



LOL....it's funny to hear hunting4aclue of all people talk about highest levels when he is the one who talked about Nadal's completely boring display at Wimbledon in 2010 as some kind of amazing grasscourt production.

Even if hunting4aclue is right on this one, you have to consider the source and dismiss it before evaluating yourself.

As for my view, Federer played fabulously in the 2006 Masters Cup, but I saw him play that way many times before and many times after. I wouldn't single it out a single-greatest showing.

It's kind of funny to hear that coming from everyone else considering how they generally dismiss indoor feats as highly favorable to Roger and other players!

But I won't go there. LOL

Cali, if Federer is still in peak physical condition like you and Mike claimed, why would he cut schedule by about a third and played long matches in such exhausted shape (which he didn't years ago)? i am not going to single out just few matches and argue around his age, but the fact that he makes such choices and have such showings must mean something - that he is declining physically and unless you think he is just 'acting', that's all the evidence you need.

Simply claiming that someone can still play their best aged 30 is not evidence, nor is the claim that their physique doesn't dement unless there is injury.
13-May-2013 03:52 AM
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
Another thing I noticed from watching the Blake video and the Delpo one is that Blake was hitting through the court with more pace, was more aggressive in trying to push Roger into the corners and Federer was still knocking off winners galore. It just seems to me that the overall level of play was better in the 2006 match, honestly.

Virgil Cane is the name ...
13-May-2013 02:49 PM
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SF Nadalite Offline
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
I just wonder what keeps an athlete like Federer (and almost even Rafa) motivated after so many years. Both have sealed their place in tennis history, clearly have made more money than they will spend in their lifetimes... and probably do not really believe they will have a year more memorable (successful) than ones they have had.

Obviously they are driven, competitive, etc...I think Rafa likes supporting the army of team Rafa (may feel responsible for them).

I give them credit - but just wonder.
13-May-2013 03:03 PM
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RE: “You can’t repeat the past” – but you can come very close to it
(13-May-2013 03:03 PM)SF Nadalite Wrote:  I just wonder what keeps an athlete like Federer (and almost even Rafa) motivated after so many years. Both have sealed their place in tennis history, clearly have made more money than they will spend in their lifetimes... and probably do not really believe they will have a year more memorable (successful) than ones they have had.

Obviously they are driven, competitive, etc...I think Rafa likes supporting the army of team Rafa (may feel responsible for them).

I give them credit - but just wonder.

They basically have nothing else to do in life. It's why Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen and The Rolling Stones still tour. Their lives have been dedicated to something for so long that nothing else they can possibly do in life will bring them as much joy. Thus, they stretch out their passion as long as possible.

(12-May-2013 01:34 PM)AndrewWilliam Wrote:  Deja Vu! I see what you did there by recreating this thread Lindsey. I recall now the thoughts conjured up by your piece on the old forum and then as now It makes me a bit sad. You don't have to be a great tennis player to have this sort of realization. The dawning lament of novelty. Once you experience perfection in the abstract sense of the word (nothing is truly perfect, but imperfections can be perceived as such), you can never quite come full circle again, try as you might. Virgin experiences are hard to duplicate.

Federer's chagrin after the loss painted an interesting portrait. His explanation to the press breathed more truth into the 'lost his mojo' rumor in circulation. The conviction of practicing harder to erase such follies in the future may be interpreted a number of ways. Perhaps he himself is still in denial despite the curious introspective reaction upon defeat. It maybe that Roger has come to grips with father time and is just mouthing the cliche responses to the public to hold off unwanted attention to the fact. Or maybe just maybe....Federer will prove everyone wrong and show the world what they fell in love with all those years ago. Only time will tell.....

Great analysis on the future. No one knows for sure...
(This post was last modified: 13-May-2013 05:45 PM by lindseywagners.)
13-May-2013 05:42 PM
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