PDA

View Full Version : most significant slam level underachiever(s) in last 25 yrs - male


shakes1975
05-22-2007, 04:22 PM
Hi,

who do you think were the most significant underachievers as far as the number of slams are considered ?

i am not looking at players like rios, mecir, leconte etc. who underachieved by not winning a slam. rather, i'm looking at players who won slams, but who could've won quite a few more, if they had the dedication that some of their peers had. i'm primarily considering multiple slam winners, and my main picks are these two:

mcenroe - marriage to tatum in 1984, followed by his own lack of work ethics, drugs etc. prevented him from winning at least 3-4 slams in the 1985-1987 period. his 1992 AO match against becker, as his matches in the senior tour against much younger opposition, show that he could've held his own even against the power players who followed him, like becker, lendl, edberg etc.

becker - significantly underachieved. lost the plot mentally post-1989. after his 1989 USO victory, his demolition of edberg in the 1989 wim F and davis cup, everyone thought he would be able to build on that. sadly, 1990 saw a very pale version of becker - a becker who no longer had the same fire in his belly. wasn't until 1995 until he finally recovered his zest for the game. his epic matches against sampras and agassi in 1995-1996, and the way he beat rusedski, kafelnikov, and chang in the 1996 AO gave a brief glimpse of what he could've been IF he had discovered the same zeal just 3 yrs earlier.


your picks ?

Moose Malloy
05-22-2007, 04:36 PM
Yeah definitely Becker. Mac to a lesser degree, since he is generally regarded as one of the best of alltime despite the fact that he could have won more. Mac was so dominant for a time(year end #1 four times, while 0 for Becker)


becker - significantly underachieved. lost the plot mentally post-1989. after his 1989 USO victory, his demolition of edberg in the 1989 wim F and davis cup, everyone thought he would be able to build on that.

Even more so, look how he underachieved in '87/'88 after a great '86 where he was a close #2 behind Lendl. Becker could have dominated the late 80s like Sampras if he had a better work ethic. How could he lose to Doohan at '87 Wimbledon & Gilbert at the '87 US Open & Cahill at the '88 US Open???

Becker won 2 Wimbledons before turning 19! that's insane. Borg won his first at 20, Federer & Sampras won their first at 21. Yet Becker only won Wimbledon 3 times, while those guys won more.

also, I know you wanted to limit this to multiple slam winners, but stich was a huge underachiever as well. he had a winning head to head over sampras & beat Muster at the '96 French(when Muster was as dominant on clay as nadal is now) guy had so much talent.

shakes1975
05-22-2007, 04:54 PM
Yeah defintely Becker. Mac to a lesser degree, since he is generally regarded as one of the best of alltime despite the fact that he could have won more.




Even more so, look how he underachived in '87/'88 after a great '86 where he was a close #2 behind Lendl. Becker won 2 Wimbledons before turning 19! that's insane. Borg won his first at 20, Federer & Sampras won their first at 21. Becker could have dominated the late 80s like Sampras if he had a better work ethic. How could he lose to Doohan at '87 Wimbledon & Gilbert at the '87 US Open???

also, I know you wanted to limit this to multiple slam winners, but stich was a huge underachiever as well. he had a winning head to head over sampras & beat Muster at the '96 French(when Muster was as dominant on clay as nadal is now)


yes. becker was a sampras prototype, a cruder version of sampras. sadly, he was prone to distractions right from early in his career. inexplicably, his loss to gilbert at the 1987 USO was when he was up 2-0 in sets, and a break in the 3rd set.

i agree about stich. i saw his match against sampras in wim in 1992. sampras played well, but stich was nowhere near his form from the prev. year, when he beat edberg and becker back-to-back.

another candidate is krajicek. with his smooth, dominant game, he should won a couple more slams. sadly, he was mentally weak against players whom he was favourite against, and he was also frequently marred by injuries.

krosero
05-23-2007, 09:59 PM
Marat Safin.

lostinamerica
05-23-2007, 10:06 PM
Michael Stich

He won Wimbledon and looked good enough to win plenty more.

Yannick Noah may have been the biggest underachiever in tennis history.

armand
05-23-2007, 10:21 PM
Gustavo Kuerten coulda won some more Slams if he didn't play in an era of so many great players.

CEvertFan
05-23-2007, 11:00 PM
I would have to say Safin definitely. He has the talent to be the GOAT but not the will or mental toughness. He could have achieved soooo much more than he has if he wasn't such a head case.

All you have to do is watch that Aussie Open semifinal where he beat Federer to see what I mean. IMO that match is one of the greatest and most riveting displays of tennis I have ever seen in all the time I have been watching tennis matches.

VikingSamurai
05-24-2007, 03:33 AM
Anyone that won the French.. They dont do much more after that.. Kinda why I dont have much respect for claycourt specialists..

VikingSamurai
05-24-2007, 03:37 AM
yes. becker was a sampras prototype, a cruder version of sampras. sadly, he was prone to distractions right from early in his career. inexplicably, his loss to gilbert at the 1987 USO was when he was up 2-0 in sets, and a break in the 3rd set.

i agree about stich. i saw his match against sampras in wim in 1992. sampras played well, but stich was nowhere near his form from the prev. year, when he beat edberg and becker back-to-back.

another candidate is krajicek. with his smooth, dominant game, he should won a couple more slams. sadly, he was mentally weak against players whom he was favourite against, and he was also frequently marred by injuries.

Are you joking?.. Becker was on his day the most talented player ever. And in my opinion the only person when switched on, that could hand Pete Sampras a spanking..

But yes, he did have a self destruct clause in his contract with life! The guy wasted great talent.. Even McEnroe marvels at him winning 2 Wimbledon's by 17...

andreh
05-24-2007, 04:51 AM
Not so sure I agree about Becker being an underachiever after 89. He won 5 tournaments in 1990, 2 in 1991 (incl the AO), 5 in 1992, 2 in 1993, 4 1994, 2 in 1995 and antother 5 in 1996 (incl. the AO. )

That's 2 slams post 89 + 2 atp championships. He won more than half his tournaments post 89. How is that underachieving?

He faced fierce competion in the likes of Edberg, Agassi, Lendl, Wilander etc. They held him back a little by occacionally being better than him, just as he held them back for the same reason. All of them achieved well.

keithchircop
05-24-2007, 05:17 AM
Goran could have won at least two more slams during the Sampras/Agassi era.

But he's cuckoo.

andreh
05-24-2007, 05:26 AM
What about Edberg then?

20 or so breakpoints in the 4th set in 89 FO against Chang. Surely he should have won that match.

In the 1990 AO he had default against Lendl in the final while being ahead and outplaying his opponent even though he had an injury in a stomach muscle.

Sum: Edberg should have had 8 slams. And a career slam.

chaognosis
05-24-2007, 08:50 AM
Marat Safin.

I agree. When Sampras called Safin "the future of tennis" in 2000, I highly doubt this was the future he had in mind.

AAAA
05-24-2007, 09:08 AM
Are you joking?.. Becker was on his day the most talented player ever. And in my opinion the only person when switched on, that could hand Pete Sampras a spanking..


I disagree that when Becker was on he could give Pete a 'spanking'. If you look up the head to head on the ATP site you will see that Becker could never beat Pete outdoors on any surface. In 6 outdoor matches Becker went 0-6 against Sampras regardless of surface. Indoors was different with Becker holding a narrow 7-6 lead.

CyBorg
05-24-2007, 09:30 AM
Are you joking?.. Becker was on his day the most talented player ever. And in my opinion the only person when switched on, that could hand Pete Sampras a spanking..

But yes, he did have a self destruct clause in his contract with life! The guy wasted great talent.. Even McEnroe marvels at him winning 2 Wimbledon's by 17...

Let's not go overboard. He won his first at 17 (almost 18 ) and his second at 18 (almost 19).

tintin
05-24-2007, 09:32 AM
Safin hands down

Moose Malloy
05-24-2007, 10:25 AM
Not so sure I agree about Becker being an underachiever after 89. He won 5 tournaments in 1990, 2 in 1991 (incl the AO), 5 in 1992, 2 in 1993, 4 1994, 2 in 1995 and antother 5 in 1996 (incl. the AO. )

That's 2 slams post 89 + 2 atp championships. He won more than half his tournaments post 89. How is that underachieving?

He faced fierce competion in the likes of Edberg, Agassi, Lendl, Wilander etc. They held him back a little by occacionally being better than him, just as he held them back for the same reason. All of them achieved well.

In the majors he did underachieve those years:

'91 US Open 3rd Round-lost to Paul Haarhuis
'92 Australian Open 3rd Round-lost to McEnroe(who retired that year & Becker had won their last 6 meetings)
'92 Wimbledon QF-lost to Agassi
'92 US Open 4th Round-lost to Lendl(who Becker was 5-0 vs in majors at the time & Lendl was well past his prime)
'93 Australian Open 1st Round-lost to Jarryd(I didn't know Jarryd was still on tour in '93!)
'93 US Open 4R-lost to Larsson

Regardless of his title counts those years, I'd say that is some serious underachieving for someone still so young & possessing such a great resume on fast surfaces.
Fierce competition wasn't really a factor in these losses, they were to lower ranked players that he had no business losing to at that stage of his career. His head was never in the game on a consistent level, like Wilander, Edberg, & Lendl, those guys had far fewer bad losses in majors during their best years.

Becker did get it together in '95 though.

CyBorg
05-24-2007, 01:17 PM
Becker was fantastic in 95-96, but sometimes you have to go through a poor stretch in order to muster up the motivation to play like that.

An incredible indoor player - maybe the best. This is an aspect to his greatness that doesn't get rewarded very much on paper, as there is no indoor slam.

EZRA
05-24-2007, 01:24 PM
Hands Down MARAT SAFIN - soooo much talent, no dedication ..

Azzurri
05-24-2007, 02:39 PM
Are you joking?.. Becker was on his day the most talented player ever. And in my opinion the only person when switched on, that could hand Pete Sampras a spanking..

But yes, he did have a self destruct clause in his contract with life! The guy wasted great talent.. Even McEnroe marvels at him winning 2 Wimbledon's by 17...

Maybe Pete, but Agassi had his number. :)

Azzurri
05-24-2007, 02:43 PM
I really think its Mcenroe. He rarely played the AO, he should have won a FO and he basically self-destructed at 25 years old. Who would have thought after his incredible year in 1984 he would never win another major. His ex-wife was a real bad influence on him. He had children (not a bad thing by any means) and that re-focused his energy to them. If Mac stayed single till 30 and no family he could have won 12 majors.

Zimbo
05-24-2007, 10:25 PM
What about Edberg then?

20 or so breakpoints in the 4th set in 89 FO against Chang. Surely he should have won that match.

In the 1990 AO he had default against Lendl in the final while being ahead and outplaying his opponent even though he had an injury in a stomach muscle.

Sum: Edberg should have had 8 slams. And a career slam.

Yeah, but then you can also make arguments that Becker and Wilander should have had a few more slams. That was the great thing about that era, so many great players that just brought out the best in one another. Imagine if Becker didn't have a head case and what would have happened if Wilander continued to be a motivated player like he was in '88. Agassi should have also won a few more slams. He did waste the early part of his career.

BTURNER
09-18-2007, 08:47 PM
Safin gets my vote. But who would think Noah would have just one French? I sure thought He'd had tons of prospects and talent.

Shaolin
09-18-2007, 09:04 PM
Sadly, one of my favorite players, Marcelo Rios...

Unbelievable talent but horrible attitude and injuries led to his demise. If he actually applied himself, he couldve won at least a couple of French Opens plus maybe a few other majors.

Safin is also a waste of talent as everyone has mentioned.

Irakli Labadze is a guy with everything but has zero work ethic and is/was out there playing while 30 lbs overweight. If he trained his *** off the guy could be top 15.

paterson
09-18-2007, 09:19 PM
1. Stich
2. Safin
3. Rios
4. Kafelnikov

beernutz
09-18-2007, 11:08 PM
Borg. He retired way too early.

Wuornos
09-19-2007, 04:28 AM
If I calculate a line of best fit between my ratings and the number of slams a player won I am able to generate an estimate of what could have been expected had all years had an identical playing standard and all careers have been the same length.

By subtracting the actual from the estimate we are able to see the underachievers. If we limit this just to the multiple major winners they are as follows.

1. Jim Courier. Expected 6.5 Actual 4. Deficit 2.5.
2. Ivan Lendl. Expeted 10.2 Actual 8. Deficit 2.2
3. Rafael Nadal Expected 5.1 Actual 3 Deficit 2.1 (But this is due to the player still being active as he may well reach the 5 mark exxpected.)
4. Mats Wilander Expected 8.2 Actual 7. Deficit 1.2.
5. Lleyton Hewitt Expected 2.8 Actual 2. Deficit 0.8
6. Guliermao Vilas Expected 4.8 Actual 4 Deficit 0.8
7. John McEnroe Expected 7.6 Actual 7. Deficit 0.6

All other multiple major winners were less than 0.5 deficit or over achieved.

Gorecki
09-19-2007, 10:47 AM
Hands Down MARAT SAFIN - soooo much talent, no dedication ..

This is non sense. i see a lot of talent in disciplinig frames and lots of dedication in keeping the manufacturers work force employed making new ones...:D

2 Cent
09-19-2007, 06:09 PM
Goran Ivanisevic.
Michael Stitch.
Michael Chang.
Thomas Muster.
Mark Philipousis.

VikingSamurai
09-20-2007, 04:29 AM
Goran Ivanisevic.
Michael Stitch.
Michael Chang.
Thomas Muster.
Mark Philipousis.

Michael chang was a decent player, but not a champion..

The Pooh on the other hand should have been a dominant force.. But like my boy Becker had his head on other things.. He was at a time the great Australian hope, until Rafter and Hewitt showed him up for being weak and lazy...

tbonegas
09-20-2007, 05:57 AM
THe biggest slam underachiver if the last 25 yrs is without any doubt Mr Tim Henman.All that talent and a handful of semi-final appearances.

0d1n
09-20-2007, 06:17 AM
The likes of Mark Philippoussis, Tim Henman are not "on topic".
If I were to choose from the NON grand slam winners I would take Cedric Pioline any day of the week over somebody like Tim Henman !!!

Back on topic...from the slam winners my list is:
Stich by a mile,..., Korda, Kafelnikov (yes ... I take him before Safin because Safin is mentioned too many times by young guys who have watched tennis for the last 4,5 years only ... those two are basically the same ... huge talent with other things on their minds ... Safin & "gimme some b1tches", Kafelnikov & "I have a Ferrari ...why do I need to work my as$ off??").
If anything Kafelnikov had a better all court game (i.e much better volleying skills).

Wuornos
09-20-2007, 07:06 AM
The likes of Mark Philippoussis, Tim Henman are not "on topic".
If I were to choose from the NON grand slam winners I would take Cedric Pioline any day of the week over somebody like Tim Henman !!!

Back on topic...from the slam winners my list is:
Stich by a mile,..., Korda, Kafelnikov (yes ... I take him before Safin because Safin is mentioned too many times by young guys who have watched tennis for the last 4,5 years only ... those two are basically the same ... huge talent with other things on their minds ... Safin & "gimme some b1tches", Kafelnikov & "I have a Ferrari ...why do I need to work my as$ off??").
If anything Kafelnikov had a better all court game (i.e much better volleying skills).

If we are talking none major winners I would go for Miloslav Mečř.

AndrewD
09-20-2007, 09:39 AM
It's difficult when you bring into the discussion guys who never won 1 major title. While you can include some amazingly talented players, they never displayed the ability to win the biggest tournaments so it's hard to say they underachieved when they never proved that the could achieve. I could say Henri Leconte underachieved because of his enormous raw talent, HOWEVER, given his lack of mental strength, perhaps he overachieved. Likewise Miloslav Mecir. An overabundance of natural talent HOWEVER, he was very fragile mentally and had one of the most appalling second serves (the first wasn't that good either) of any player to reach the top 10. Given how shaky he was mentally and how weak his second serve, perhaps he overachieved. Ditto Tim Henman and Mark Philippoussis. The former had a terrible second serve and the latter had a million dollar arm controlled by a ten cent brain and a two cent ticker.

If you focus only on those players who showed that they could actually achieve success at a major but should have won more than they did, I would opt for

1) John McEnroe
2) Andre Agassi and
3) Ivan Lendl

as the biggest underachievers in the last 25 years.

McEnroe should have won more than he did but let himself get sidetracked and only discovered physical discipline when it was too late for him to use it on tour.
Agassi wasted his early years on the circuit and should have won at least two other majors - the 1990 and 1991 French Opens.
Lendl should have won at least 3 other majors - 88 US Open, 91 Australian Open , 85 French Open and, very possibly, one of the 82 or 83 US Opens.

Just because those players achieved a lot doesn't mean they achieved as much as they should/could have.

snapple
09-20-2007, 09:54 AM
How bout Borg? As awesome as his Wimby and French records are, he never won either the Aussie or US Opens, having lost in the final of the latter 4 times. Then he hangs up his cleats at 25 once Mac displaced him as top dog.

SB
09-20-2007, 10:11 AM
Safin, Safin, and Safin.

0d1n
09-21-2007, 01:13 AM
Good points...especially about Lendl.

It's difficult when you bring into the discussion guys who never won 1 major title. While you can include some amazingly talented players, they never displayed the ability to win the biggest tournaments so it's hard to say they underachieved when they never proved that the could achieve. I could say Henri Leconte underachieved because of his enormous raw talent, HOWEVER, given his lack of mental strength, perhaps he overachieved. Likewise Miloslav Mecir. An overabundance of natural talent HOWEVER, he was very fragile mentally and had one of the most appalling second serves (the first wasn't that good either) of any player to reach the top 10. Given how shaky he was mentally and how weak his second serve, perhaps he overachieved. Ditto Tim Henman and Mark Philippoussis. The former had a terrible second serve and the latter had a million dollar arm controlled by a ten cent brain and a two cent ticker.

If you focus only on those players who showed that they could actually achieve success at a major but should have won more than they did, I would opt for

1) John McEnroe
2) Andre Agassi and
3) Ivan Lendl

as the biggest underachievers in the last 25 years.

McEnroe should have won more than he did but let himself get sidetracked and only discovered physical discipline when it was too late for him to use it on tour.
Agassi wasted his early years on the circuit and should have won at least two other majors - the 1990 and 1991 French Opens.
Lendl should have won at least 3 other majors - 88 US Open, 91 Australian Open , 85 French Open and, very possibly, one of the 82 or 83 US Opens.

Just because those players achieved a lot doesn't mean they achieved as much as they should/could have.

robinho17
09-21-2007, 02:43 AM
1.Rios so much natural talent and did not win a single GS.Had great potential to be a dominant force at the French, should also won a few Aus Opens.

2. Mark P. He had the perfect build for tennis, tall,strong,HUGE serve,good volleys,can move well for a tall guy, powerfull forehand and backhand.
Had the talent to win a few Wimbledons,U.S opens,Aus Open.

3. Safin...Overwhelming with his power and presence, strong on both sides..good serve, can finish a point at the net.I would place Marat higher..but atleast Safin won a few slams in his career where as the players above didn't. Thats the sad mentality about Marat..he thinks because he won a few slams..thats good enough...With his talent there could of been a great rivalry between Federer.

vive le beau jeu !
09-21-2007, 03:12 AM
2. Mark P. He had the perfect build for tennis, tall,strong,HUGE serve,good volleys,can move well for a tall guy, powerfull forehand and backhand.
Had the talent to win a few Wimbledons,U.S opens,Aus Open.
yes i expected more from him...
(unfortuntely he wasn't lucky with injuries)

he was able to play "big" matches against great players or on big occasions: in slams, he defeated both sampras (RG 2000) and agassi (W 2003) in 5 sets... and i don't know if many players have given to their country the "point of victory" (in the final, for the cup) twice in their career. he did it in 1999 and 2003. well, of course it's also a question of opportunities to give such a point, but still...
the way he played in the davis cup final at nice in 1999 was extremely impressive... and it was on clay !

Zimbo
09-21-2007, 06:30 PM
I

McEnroe should have won more than he did but let himself get sidetracked and only discovered physical discipline when it was too late for him to use it on tour.
Agassi wasted his early years on the circuit and should have won at least two other majors - the 1990 and 1991 French Opens.
Lendl should have won at least 3 other majors - 88 US Open, 91 Australian Open , 85 French Open and, very possibly, one of the 82 or 83 US Opens.

Just because those players achieved a lot doesn't mean they achieved as much as they should/could have.

Good points about Mac and Agassi. However I disagree with your views on Lendl. I could make a reverse argument that he should have lost the '84 and '87 FO finals and he got lucky to have won the '90 AO against Edberg.

CyBorg
09-21-2007, 07:21 PM
How bout Borg? As awesome as his Wimby and French records are, he never won either the Aussie or US Opens, having lost in the final of the latter 4 times. Then he hangs up his cleats at 25 once Mac displaced him as top dog.

Borg was an overachiever on grass. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it's true.

Some names that spring to mind at this time are Miroslav Mecir, Mark Philippoussis and Henri Leconte. All three were awesome, incredibly talented, but seemed to lack a certain spark in key moments. All were grand slam finalists - all lost.

Mecir was hampered by a poor serve - something he could never fix. Otherwise he had maybe the most beautiful game of anyone. Poo and Leconte had everything in my opinion except for the brains.

djsiva
09-21-2007, 07:35 PM
Michael Stich

He won Wimbledon and looked good enough to win plenty more.

Yannick Noah may have been the biggest underachiever in tennis history.

Yannick noah's game was never that good. I remember reading an article in tennis magazine where Ralston was trying to help Noah and was surprised that he couldn't hit a done the line topspin backhand.

Noah is lucky to win French. Sometimes I wonder if Wilander was paid off, or Wilander felt sorry for Noah.

djsiva
09-21-2007, 07:39 PM
Borg was an overachiever on grass. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it's true.

Some names that spring to mind at this time are Miroslav Mecir, Mark Philippoussis and Henri Leconte. All three were awesome, incredibly talented, but seemed to lack a certain spark in key moments. All were grand slam finalists - all lost.

Mecir was hampered by a poor serve - something he could never fix. Otherwise he had maybe the most beautiful game of anyone. Poo and Leconte had everything in my opinion except for the brains.

Leconte was a clown and still is. Clowns don't win Grand Slams.

Mecir was beautiful. I think he should be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. His back just gave out. That's why his serve often times abandoned him.

Pathy01
09-22-2007, 05:57 AM
I'll vote for Kafelnikov. He should have won a lot more with his game. Definitely could have been a multiple grand slam champ.

0d1n
09-23-2007, 10:17 AM
I'll vote for Kafelnikov. He should have won a lot more with his game. Definitely could have been a multiple grand slam champ.

But he IS a multiple champ ... he won the French and the Aussie ;). Anyway, I certainly agree that he could have won more...

federerfanatic
09-23-2007, 10:47 AM
I dont agree at all that Kafelnikov should have won more. I think he greatly overachieved to win 2 slams. I find him nowhere near as talented or skilled as players like Safin or Hewitt who today have only 2 slams. There are many 1 or 2 time slam winners with more game then he has IMO. He has 0 Masters titles, which is an indication already he majorly overachieved to win 2
slams. He multiple occasions got destroyed, really humiliated, by guys like Sampras, Agassi, or even on occasion a few others at their best.

vive le beau jeu !
09-23-2007, 12:41 PM
I dont agree at all that Kafelnikov should have won more. I think he greatly overachieved to win 2 slams. I find him nowhere near as talented or skilled as players like Safin or Hewitt who today have only 2 slams. There are many 1 or 2 time slam winners with more game then he has IMO. He has 0 Masters titles, which is an indication already he majorly overachieved to win 2
slams. He multiple occasions got destroyed, really humiliated, by guys like Sampras, Agassi, or even on occasion a few others at their best.
i absolutely second this... ;)

i stick with what i said about a safin-kafelnikov comparison :
if we start to consider their record against their "main opponents", it is clear that safin won more big matches (in big occasions, like his 5 sets wins against agassi and federer at slams, for example) than kafelnikov against those players. on the contrary, kafelnikov has been frequently severely beaten by sampras, agassi, etc. you'll tell me that safin loses against unknown players... but kafelnikov also had his lot of bad loses !

safin will certainly be more remembered for his charisma than kafelnikov ;) (if ever we considered it was an ex-aequo situation, it can count !) and i agree that at their best level, safin is better.

+ safin has played a total of 4 GS finals, while kafelnikov has played 3 GS finals.
and he has still some time for improving his stats ! ;)

on the other hand, some points in kafelnikov's favor :
- ok more titles... but i have the impression they're generally less prestigious than safin's (slams appart)
- gold medal at the olympics
- kafelnikov has reached the final of the masters in 1997 (while safin best performance at the masters is only a SF) but only for being absolutely annihilated by pistole pete 63 62 62 ! :)

conclusion : i go for marat.

0d1n
09-24-2007, 12:31 AM
I dont agree at all that Kafelnikov should have won more. I think he greatly overachieved to win 2 slams. I find him nowhere near as talented or skilled as players like Safin or Hewitt who today have only 2 slams. There are many 1 or 2 time slam winners with more game then he has IMO. He has 0 Masters titles, which is an indication already he majorly overachieved to win 2
slams. He multiple occasions got destroyed, really humiliated, by guys like Sampras, Agassi, or even on occasion a few others at their best.

This is where you are proving that you have no idea what "skill" or "talent" is. Of course ... "IMO" ! Hewitt??!?! Puhhhhleaaase ! Kafelnikov's game was the whole package, he was an upgraded version of Agassi from the "game" point of view (i.e better serve and better volleys with equal baseline game). The thing that hampered him the most in his development and ultimately in his achievements was the fact that he got too much money ...too soon and couldn't handle it mentally (i.e he lost motivation).
I distinctly remember him being quoted when he was pretty close to his prime ... saying something like "I drive a Ferrari ... why should I put so much effort into tennis" (or something along those lines). Of course he didn't retire that soon, but go on the court against the intensity of Sampras with that kind of attitude ... and you stand no chance.

origmarm
09-24-2007, 01:22 AM
Goran I, Safin, Rios, Borg
Possibly Becker

lambielspins
09-24-2007, 02:32 AM
This is where you are proving that you have no idea what "skill" or "talent" is. Of course ... "IMO" ! Hewitt??!?! Puhhhhleaaase !

Hewitt's talent to counterpunch and chase down every ball is better then any talent Kafelnikov had in his prime. For the record, 1-7 Kafelikov vs Hewitt, with prime Kafelnikov losing 4 of 5 matches to teenage Hewitt in 1999-2000. Hewitt is clearly the more able player yet only has 2 Slams because of Federer. Kafelnikov has 2 slams since she lucked out on Muster and all the leading clay courters being upset before the quarters at the 96 French Open, and then Pete's withdrawal combined with another hoarde of early round upsets at the 99 Australian. It was the case of "right place right time".

Kafelnikov's game was the whole package, he was an upgraded version of Agassi from the "game" point of view (i.e better serve and better volleys with equal baseline game).

Kafelnikov did not have a better serve or equal baseline game to Agassi. Take the blinders off. The only thing you are right on is better volleys, but many guys have better volleys then Agassi.

ofey
09-24-2007, 05:57 PM
Safin by a mile.
Hewitt too... .

robinho17
09-24-2007, 07:42 PM
Safin by a mile.
Hewitt too... .

I wouldnt put Hewitt in the mix..because he did more then well with the talent he has..which i think is mainly due to his fighting never give up charachteristics.

Along with his 2 grand slams in 2004-2005 Hewitt had the potential to win 6 grand slams with a unfortuante task of meeting Roger Federer at the peak of his powers 5 times:


2005 US Open
NY, U.S.A. Hard S Federer 6-3 7-6(0) 4-6 6-3

2005 Wimbledon
England Grass S Federer 6-3 6-4 7-6(4)


2004 US Open
NY, U.S.A. Hard F Federer 6-0 7-6(3) 6-0 (Federer in Unbeatable MODE)

2004 Wimbledon
England Grass Q Federer 6-1 6-7(1) 6-0 6-4

2004 Australian Open
Australia Hard R16 Federer 4-6 6-3 6-0 6-4


and a Inspired performance by Marat Safin at the 05 A.O:

2005 Australian Open
Australia Hard F Safin 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-4

AndrewD
09-24-2007, 09:26 PM
Mecir was beautiful. I think he should be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. His back just gave out. That's why his serve often times abandoned him.


Rubbish. Mecir struggled with his serve due to faulty mechanics and an inability to control his nerves , not as a result of his back troubles.

CEvertFan
09-24-2007, 10:50 PM
I would also have to throw Agassi's name out there as he wasted quite a few years and should have won at least 2 more Slam titles than the 8 he has, and possibly even more if he hadn't squandered part of his prime.

grafrules
09-24-2007, 11:38 PM
I would have to say Serena Williams. She has never really trained or commited properly, except for 2002-2003 and those 2 years she ended up winning 5 of the 6 she entered, only losing 7-5 in the 3rd set of a French Open semi-final to Justine Henin wh would go on to win 4 of her current 7 Slams at the French Open. You always wonder how much she could have won if she were as commited and serious about her tennis as some of the others. Who is she kidding herself when she says she is fit, people arent blind and all you have to do is look at her, yet by making the wierdest excuses for some of her losses (eg-Justine hitting a bunch of lucky shots at this years U.S Open) she continues to live in denial on that particular point.

0d1n
09-25-2007, 01:17 AM
Hewitt's talent to counterpunch and chase down every ball is better then any talent Kafelnikov had in his prime. For the record, 1-7 Kafelikov vs Hewitt, with prime Kafelnikov losing 4 of 5 matches to teenage Hewitt in 1999-2000. Hewitt is clearly the more able player yet only has 2 Slams because of Federer.

Head to head isn't "all important". Sampras has a losing record to Krajicek, Stich, Mirnyi, and a few others (weaker players ... I only said 3 pretty well known names of the top of my head ... there are at least 2 that have winning records against Sampras and they are sub par players compared to the ones I mentioned).
Does that make them the better players? With regards to Federer being the cause for "only" 2 slams for Hewitt...same can be argued about K and Sampras (or K and Kuerten on clay ...). Every era has a few players that could have won more slams if the dominant player from that era wouldn't have existed.


Kafelnikov has 2 slams since she lucked out on Muster and all the leading clay courters being upset before the quarters at the 96 French Open, and then Pete's withdrawal combined with another hoarde of early round upsets at the 99 Australian. It was the case of "right place right time".


Muster was beaten by Stich, who lost in the final to K. I agree that based on previous form Muster was one of the (if not THE) favorite to win the tournament...however there's no way of knowing if he would have won the final IF he would have beaten Stich. People who lose in the earlier rounds don't get the chance to prove that "they could have won the final" ...that's a fact of life. Please tell me who the other so called "leading clay courters" were that would have beaten Kafelnikov if they only could have beaten somebody else before (yawn).


Kafelnikov did not have a better serve or equal baseline game to Agassi. Take the blinders off. The only thing you are right on is better volleys, but many guys have better volleys then Agassi.

Whatever makes you get a good night sleep mate...I know that arguing that somebody like Kafelnikov was AT LEAST the equal of Agassi from a "GAME" perspective is a tough sell on an American forum... but that's just the way I see it. You are entitled to your opinion ... and I'm entitled to mine ... so let's just "leave the blinders on" for now (both of us ... since you clearly have yours ON as well).
What I am convinced of is that if Kafelnikov would have had smarter scheduling, playing less matches, and concentrating on the important tournaments (i.e smarter MANAGEMENT...something that Sampras and Federer had/have for example), and also a different/better attitude towards practice and his career and results in general...(i.e less and less intensity after winning GS title...having a "I have enough money so gimme a break" attitude, focusing more on practice and less on making money from tournaments), he could have achieved more grand slam titles, because he had a complete game and could play brilliantly on all surfaces. That's my view on it...but like I said you are certainly entitled to your own opinion ;).

0d1n
09-25-2007, 01:39 AM
Rubbish. Mecir struggled with his serve due to faulty mechanics and an inability to control his nerves , not as a result of his back troubles.

Agreed, same as Kucera (wonder who was coaching him :p). Maybe Kucera should have hired a "serving" coach just like Djoko has done for his volleys :).

AJK1
09-27-2007, 05:39 PM
Anyone that won the French.. They dont do much more after that.. Kinda why I dont have much respect for claycourt specialists..

Absolutley agree!!
Look at all the ordinary players that have won the FO

NLBwell
10-02-2007, 08:04 PM
I would go with Safin and Agassi. I believe mental strength can also be lost with age, so I go a little easy on Borg and McEnroe. There is only so long you can go with the intensity they had before you start to burn out at least a little bit. This was one of the things that makes Sampras great, but he still talked about the strain at the end. As far as the winners of the French Open, there is burnout both physically and mentally for clay courters because they hit, run, and concentrate for so long in each match. The time at the top of the game has been shorter for clay-courters.

bluetrain4
10-03-2007, 11:05 AM
What about Edberg then?

20 or so breakpoints in the 4th set in 89 FO against Chang. Surely he should have won that match.

In the 1990 AO he had default against Lendl in the final while being ahead and outplaying his opponent even though he had an injury in a stomach muscle.

Sum: Edberg should have had 8 slams. And a career slam.


I agree with your assessment. Edberg could have won 2 or 3 more slams. But, that's just circumstance. Everyone doesn't convert break points at times. Everyone loses matches they should have won. Look at Edberg's last USO win in 1992. He played 3 consecutive 5 setters where he was down a break in the fifth set. He probably should not have won that Slam, but he did.

My point is that Edberg is not an underachiever. In my opinion and "underachiever" is someone who due to chronic and continuing injury (Edberg's 1990 AO injury was a one-time thing), or lack of focus (Safin), or lack of hard work (Becker at times) substantially decrease their chances to wi Slams that they could have won. None of this applies to Edberg. He wasn't mentally weak, we wasn't chronically injured, he wasn't lazy. His losses in were just "normal" losses that got away, which happens to all players occasionally.

bluetrain4
10-03-2007, 11:12 AM
One more thing, it's a dangerous precedent to start saying someone "should" have won this or that Slam. Obviously, there are extreme instances when such an opinion is appropriate.

But, the whole notion that Edberg should have 8, or Agassi should have 12, or Becker should have 4 more than he has is ridiculous. "if Agassi was focused for a certain period" or "If Safin was not a head case" are ridiculous statements. Being focused and having you're head on straight is as much a part of being a champion as innate tennis talent. We can always assume how many Slams a player would have if (a) conditions were always perfect both on the court and off the court for that player; and (b) they always played their best. But, that's not real life, and that's not how the game works. Players work through bad patches, injuries, bad calls, hot opponents, a one-time horrible day, external pressures, moments of waning self-belief, lack of focus. Would of, could of, should of, is primarily BS.

anchorsteamer
10-03-2007, 11:43 AM
Becker "shouldn't" have won the Open the year he beat Rostagno in the second round (though Rostagno "shouldn't" have been alive 4 weeks later after missing his Mexican Air flight)...saying someone "should" have won a slam is an impossible precident to try and argue...

CyBorg
10-03-2007, 01:34 PM
saying someone "should" have won a slam is an impossible precident to try and argue...

You can argue that a particular player was the best on a particular surface at a particular time. For example, I think that Thomas Muster was the best clay courter in 1996, but did not win the RG when he was upset by a server and volleyer (Stich). A pure luck of the draw if there ever was one.

hoodjem
10-03-2007, 07:35 PM
All you have to do is watch that Aussie Open semifinal where Safin beat Federer to see what I mean. IMO that match is one of the greatest and most riveting displays of tennis I have ever seen in all the time I have been watching tennis matches.

When was this?

bluetrain4
10-03-2007, 07:38 PM
When was this?

2005 semifinals

hoodjem
10-03-2007, 07:39 PM
Yannick noah's game was never that good. I remember reading an article in tennis magazine where Ralston was trying to help Noah and was surprised that he couldn't hit a done the line topspin backhand.

Noah is lucky to win French. Sometimes I wonder if Wilander was paid off, or Wilander felt sorry for Noah.

Noah was extremely athletic (okay, maybe he couldn't hit a down the line topspin backhand). In that FO final he was running, leaping, and diving all over the place.

D-Generated
10-05-2007, 04:27 AM
My votes go for Becker and Safin.

Becker was really a Sampras Prototype. In every Slam he entered he was a candidate to win it...and it was as well likely that he would go out first round, he more often than not did ;-). The biggest difference between Becker and Sampras in my eyes is the quickness. Becker always had trouble moving as fast as he should, especially on the net. He had tremendous anticipation though to compensate this to a certain degree. That's at least what his former trainers say and you can easily the it, especially in the later stage of his carreer.

Safin and Federer maybe could be the greatest rivalery of all times. Safin maybe to tall to be as complete as Federer (Volleying, low bouncing surfaces etc.) but he certainly has the supperior physical ability on the other parts of the game. No need to say why he underachieved, but - to his credit - one has to consider his really serious injuries.

Gorecki
10-05-2007, 08:12 AM
My votes go for Becker and Safin.

Safin and Federer maybe could be the greatest rivalery of all times.

Agree with the first...

absolutely disagree with the late sentence... forgeting Sampras vs Agassi?

D-Generated
10-05-2007, 08:20 AM
COULD.....or COULD HAVE BEEN ;-)...potentially i mean

Gorecki
10-05-2007, 01:46 PM
COULD.....or COULD HAVE BEEN ;-)...potentially i mean

OK. it is certainly one of the greatest....

0d1n
10-06-2007, 04:05 AM
You can argue that a particular player was the best on a particular surface at a particular time. For example, I think that Thomas Muster was the best clay courter in 1996, but did not win the RG when he was upset by a server and volleyer (Stich). A pure luck of the draw if there ever was one.

Muster was probably the most consistent clay courter in 1996. He was however not upset by a serve and volleyer...Stich was/is an all-court player who could trade GS with anyone. And he played his lights out in that match/tournament...there was no "luck" involved.

2 Cent
10-06-2007, 09:55 PM
Todd Martin.

rwn
10-08-2007, 12:28 AM
You can argue that a particular player was the best on a particular surface at a particular time. For example, I think that Thomas Muster was the best clay courter in 1996, but did not win the RG when he was upset by a server and volleyer (Stich). A pure luck of the draw if there ever was one.

Muster couldn't handle serve-and-volleyers so he was always vulnerable even as the best clay courter. Borg and Nadal don't have that problem. This was because of Muster's weakness, luck has nothing to do with it.

morten
10-08-2007, 05:34 AM
Stich was an amazing player too, the talent of Federer(i even like Stich more) , but maybe not hungry enough...?

Annulus
10-09-2007, 06:51 PM
Absolutley agree!!
Look at all the ordinary players that have won the FO

I'm so glad we have you people to tell us how easy the French open is to win. After all, Federer and Sampras, two of the greatest players of all times, have regularly won it.

CyBorg
10-09-2007, 09:03 PM
Muster was probably the most consistent clay courter in 1996. He was however not upset by a serve and volleyer...Stich was/is an all-court player who could trade GS with anyone. And he played his lights out in that match/tournament...there was no "luck" involved.

Hold on a second.

First of all, Stich served and volleyed intensely in that match which completely threw off Muster's timing.

Second of all, the element of luck is in Muster having Stich in his side of the draw, not in Stich necessarily beating Muster.

CyBorg
10-09-2007, 09:03 PM
Muster couldn't handle serve-and-volleyers so he was always vulnerable even as the best clay courter. Borg and Nadal don't have that problem. This was because of Muster's weakness, luck has nothing to do with it.

See above. I should also mention that Stich played over his head on that particular day and the clay played fast in 96, which favoured Stich.

0d1n
10-10-2007, 03:11 AM
Hold on a second.

First of all, Stich served and volleyed intensely in that match which completely threw off Muster's timing.

Second of all, the element of luck is in Muster having Stich in his side of the draw, not in Stich necessarily beating Muster.
I think it's fair to say that Stich "mixed it up". Whether that threw Muster off or not ... well...that's what one has to do...throw the opponent off and beat him.
I understand the second part better now, and agree.

See above. I should also mention that Stich played over his head on that particular day and the clay played fast in 96, which favoured Stich.

Clay is clay, Muster was still "the specialist" it still wasn't Wimbledon by any stretch of the imagination.
With regards to Stich playing over his head...I think he was actually playing well within his capabilities, he WAS that great when he played well. Plagued by injury and "upstairs" confidence problems though ... and it showed in what he achieved ultimately in his career :(.
He was one of my favorite players to watch ... (you can tell huh??) ;).

CyBorg
10-12-2007, 02:32 PM
I think it's fair to say that Stich "mixed it up". Whether that threw Muster off or not ... well...that's what one has to do...throw the opponent off and beat him.
I understand the second part better now, and agree.

It definitely threw Muster off. What Stich was doing in that match killed Muster and these tactics if done right were always a thorn in Muster's side. It was his achilles heel - otherwise he was nearly perfect on clay in 95-96.

Clay is clay, Muster was still "the specialist" it still wasn't Wimbledon by any stretch of the imagination.

Clay is clay, but grass is also grass and carpet is carpet. But boy there are many kinds...

With regards to Stich playing over his head...I think he was actually playing well within his capabilities, he WAS that great when he played well. Plagued by injury and "upstairs" confidence problems though ... and it showed in what he achieved ultimately in his career :(.
He was one of my favorite players to watch ... (you can tell huh??) ;).

Definitely fun to watch and I've defended Stich's clay court capabilities on this board before. He won a couple of Hamburgs if memory serves. Definitely no slouch on the surface.

Young Gun
10-12-2007, 03:54 PM
i think lleyton hewitt, even tho im a massive fan of his,
he was world number 1 for something like 2yrs and still only captured 2 slams

grafrules
10-12-2007, 06:59 PM
i think lleyton hewitt, even tho im a massive fan of his,
he was world number 1 for something like 2yrs and still only captured 2 slams

Yeah he was the clear #1 from the time he won the 2001 U.S Open until after the 2003 Australian Open, but still managed to win only 2 of those slams.

Also when when he resurgent to the top few in the World he went through all of 2004-2005 losing to the eventual winner in all 7 slams he played those 2 years, 5 of those Federer.

1 or 2 more slams from that first period, 1 or 2 slams from that second period, would seem more appropriate but just didnt happen.

World Beater
10-29-2007, 10:33 PM
Gustavo Kuerten coulda won some more Slams if he didn't play in an era of so many great players.

LOL

what a huge myth.

guy barely made it past the QF of any slam other than RG. Big players...losing to wayne arthurs. LMAO.

World Beater
10-29-2007, 10:41 PM
funny shi$ that some ppl are mentioning kafelnikov. The guy was a workhorse and did not deserve to win more than he did.

goran - give me a break

today's players - nalbandian - this dude is talented.

federerfanatic
10-29-2007, 11:06 PM
LOL

what a huge myth.

guy barely made it past the QF of any slam other than RG. Big players...losing to wayne arthurs. LMAO.

I agree. Kuerten was nowhere near good enough on surfaces other then clay to win grand slams. That isnt to say he didnt show some ability on other surfaces and have some nice moments, Nasdaq 2000, Cincinnati 2001, year end Masters 2000. However Nadal has had even a few more of those kind of performances on hard courts, and even he doesnt appear to be a real threat for a hard court slam. He wasnt unlucky in anyway. At the Australian, French, U.S Opens he lost to much lower ranked players often. At the French Open he obviously did exceptional, winning 3 titles.

federerfanatic
10-29-2007, 11:08 PM
funny shi$ that some ppl are mentioning kafelnikov. The guy was a workhorse and did not deserve to win more than he did.

goran - give me a break

today's players - nalbandian - this dude is talented.

I agree again. Kafelnikov I actually think overachieved to even win 2 slams. How on earth was a good not even good enough to win a Masters title able to win 2 slams. Probably one of the biggest underachievers to pull that off.

Ivanisevic was a 1-shot pony. His groundstrokes make Roddick look like Federer or Agassi off the ground. His returns were just hit or miss (mostly miss), and his volleys often make even guys like Roddick or Nadal appear amazing at the net. That 1 shot was an amazing shot, one of the best ever, but to get 1 slam title out of only 1 shot is pretty good.

rod99
10-30-2007, 03:30 AM
noah probably overachieved by winning his one grand slam. noah was simply an incredible athlete who had very poor (relatively speaking) tennis fundamentals. he had no business winning the french in 1983.

0d1n
10-31-2007, 03:07 AM
funny shi$ that some ppl are mentioning kafelnikov. The guy was a workhorse and did not deserve to win more than he did.

goran - give me a break

today's players - nalbandian - this dude is talented.

You have no idea what you are talking about. Better scheduling means more time for training and improving your game. More matches means staying at your level (at the most). Have you ever seen a medium/high rank amateur player EVER improving significantly with just playing matches (no training, no drills no serving practice ...etc just go out there and play matches type)??!
It's the same in the pros, if you play ALMOST EVERY WEEK on the ATP you have no time left to work on your weaknesses and to improve as a player.
Kafelnikov was a "workhorse" for a reason, he admitted that he absolutely hated to practice and he just played matches instead. That's a losing bet in the long term.
Also, better scheduling means being able to PEAK at the right times (i.e for the slams). Sampras and Federer were/are great at doing this...and it shows. Kafelnikov may have won some money from this type of schedule, but it didn't do his game and/or slam count any good because he was a burnout at many slams due to his STUPID scheduling.

With regards to Ivanisevic, nobody is joking, the guy could have one more Wimbledon titles. A guy like Agassi has no business beating Goran in a Wimbledon final. Goran ALLOWED this to happen because of his fuc*ed up head.
Even some of his Sampras matches could have gone either way (see 98 final, 95 semi), but at least Sampras was one of THE grass court players so I won't say that he should have beaten Sampras.
Any way you look at it Goran should have won the final against Agassi and he would have AT LEAST one more Wimbledon in his bag (I won't go into what that win could have done to his confidence and subsequent Wimbledon matches).

I agree that Nalbandian has skills...no debate on that one.

0d1n
10-31-2007, 03:13 AM
I agree again. Kafelnikov I actually think overachieved to even win 2 slams. How on earth was a good not even good enough to win a Masters title able to win 2 slams. Probably one of the biggest underachievers to pull that off.

Ivanisevic was a 1-shot pony. His groundstrokes make Roddick look like Federer or Agassi off the ground. His returns were just hit or miss (mostly miss), and his volleys often make even guys like Roddick or Nadal appear amazing at the net. That 1 shot was an amazing shot, one of the best ever, but to get 1 slam title out of only 1 shot is pretty good.

See above post for Kafelnikov's "under or over" achievements. Some people have no perspective ... :confused:

With regards to Ivanisevic...and the absolutely ridiculous comparison with Roddick (you really fuc*ed up there buddy) I have one thing to say: look at their clay court records and you will have your answer with regards to their ground stroke/return game.
Also...suggesting that Nadal is better at the net than Ivanisevic was is simply ridiculous. Nadal comes at the net after practically hitting a winner with his forehand. He hits volleys that even I would put away easily about 95 percent of the time. In his case ...it's NOT the volley, it's the approach shot (don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that...and I admire his willingness to go up to the net...but that doesn't make him a good/better than Goran volleyer).

0d1n
10-31-2007, 03:19 AM
noah probably overachieved by winning his one grand slam. noah was simply an incredible athlete who had very poor (relatively speaking) tennis fundamentals. he had no business winning the french in 1983.

I would love to have his poor serving fundamentals :). I would think twice about getting his TS BH though...