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View Full Version : **Serious Talk Tennis...Federer, Nadal, Gustavo Kuerten


psamp14
06-10-2007, 01:56 PM
this thread is for serious talk tennis....no spammers, no trolls, no flaming, and no bashing

when guga was called today to present the trophies it occured to me that guga is also a 3 time french open champion, but unfortunately hasnt played much due to injuries

the guga i remember was a skinny guy with a magnificently elegant one handed backhand...primarily a clay courter, but also had some good results on hard courts

my questions are:

could the guga who won those 3 french open titles handle the 3 time champion nadal? (the two have never met in atp match play)

what could federer learn from guga's game which he could employ against nadal?

will guga ever come back, and if by chance met nadal in one of the early rounds next year...could he upset nadal? (not a joke, the guy beat federer in straight sets in 2004 when federer won the other 3 slams..)

obviously guga's backhand was a work of art, but this is roger federer we are talking about...he's 25, going on 26, and he's the best tennis player we've seen since pete sampras....obviously his backhand is not guga's, but could he make some adjustments? maybe not drive though as much (i never remember guga slicing a backhand), but really mix it up with the slice (which federer had some success with while coming to net or finishing off a point today)

your thoughts....

ACE of Hearts
06-10-2007, 01:58 PM
It would be a close match in their primes but i would say that Nadal would beat Guga in 4 tight sets.

Lion King
06-10-2007, 02:37 PM
Not so sure, Ace. I have lots of tapes of old Guga matches. He was unvbelieveable in his prime. He did have his off days, but when he was on, he looked invincible on clay. His serve was better than Nadal's, his backhand is a legend, his net play was good, he moved almost as well as Rafa, his touch shots were superb, and his forehand wasn't much worse. A matchup between Guga and Rafa at their best on clay would have been a sight to see.

lambielspins
06-10-2007, 02:40 PM
To answer the question of a comeback, Kuerten will never come back to a competitive level. He is 30 as it is, that is the age he probably would have been heading for the door even if he had stayed fully healthy. As it is he has had major injuries for over 5 years now. I have no idea why he is dragging out the agony, and wasting years of his life holding onto some kind of false dream. It is time to move on.

As for Nadal vs Kuerten in his prime, Kuerten was nowhere near as consistent on clay as Nadal ever. Look at his results and the number of losses compared to Nadal. However at his peak level he could beat Nadal on clay, but he would not be nearly as consistent and could only beat Nadal on those peak days.

Oh yeah while Kuerten moved very well on clay, he certainly did not move almost as well as Nadal on clay.

aramis
06-10-2007, 02:44 PM
Not so sure, Ace. I have lots of tapes of old Guga matches. He was unvbelieveable in his prime. He did have his off days, but when he was on, he looked invincible on clay. His serve was better than Nadal's, his backhand is a legend, his net play was good, he moved almost as well as Rafa, his touch shots were superb, and his forehand wasn't much worse. A matchup between Guga and Rafa at their best on clay would have been a sight to see.

It's the movement that has destroyed him after the surgeries. I was watching his highlights from 2001 RG and his footwork was so effortless. He didn't seem like he was running very fast, he was just casually gliding and sliding around the court, but he was easily keeping up with a young and energetic Ferrero. It's amazing that he could beat Roger the way he did with only half of his true mobility. The man is a champion.

oscar_2424
06-10-2007, 02:54 PM
i would think Guga in his prime could have given Nadal problems, it would have been a close match.

djsiva
06-10-2007, 03:06 PM
If Roger had that he'd have a table full French Open cups. Sad thing is though, Guga will never be able to come back. He's too old. It's like wishing for your grandpa to come back from the dead and take you fishing. But we can dream. This guy had a bigger serve and better volley than Nadal. I would love to see him rip crosscourt forehands and backhands against Nadal. Guga is a legend. He was also a GIANT with a heart like Secretariat.

tkauffm
06-10-2007, 03:51 PM
As good as Guga's backhand was, I have the feeling Nadal would have picked it apart just like he does with Fed's

Shaolin
06-10-2007, 03:53 PM
RaFa wil Alwayz pwn Federere!!!!!!!!!!!!! He Is Tha Best evr and u No it!!!!!!!

J/k people.

Anyway I dont think Guga would have much success against Nadal since his great cc BH would feed right into Nadals FH. Nad would grind Guga down after a while but it would be an amazing match nonetheless.

I think Fed got impatient today and came in on a lot of balls that werent nearly good enough. He also didnt utilize his slice BH enough and dropshot enough. There was a look of discomfort/resignation about him that didnt bode well. Against Nadal, you have to go out there wanting to fight and throw everything at him, not just do the minimum needed to win. You have to be willing to get dirty and I didnt see that. Fed looked like he was trying to play pretty Wimbledon tennis and that wont work on clay vs the topspin beast.

Mikael
06-10-2007, 04:16 PM
Guga is one of the very few clay court masters that also happened to have a great serve (one of the best in his time, really) and a very good attacking, all court game. He also had the uncanny ability to come up with the goods at the most crucial stages, sometimes his mental strength was really amazing. Against Nadal he'd run the risk of getting frustrated, but still I give 2000/2001Guga a 50% chance of winning. In a best-case scenario for him, he could attack Nadal as well as Federer AND use his clay court expertise to overcome Nadal's grinding game.

Lion King
06-11-2007, 10:28 AM
RaFa wil Alwayz pwn Federere!!!!!!!!!!!!! He Is Tha Best evr and u No it!!!!!!!

J/k people.

Anyway I dont think Guga would have much success against Nadal since his great cc BH would feed right into Nadals FH. Nad would grind Guga down after a while but it would be an amazing match nonetheless.

I think Fed got impatient today and came in on a lot of balls that werent nearly good enough. He also didnt utilize his slice BH enough and dropshot enough. There was a look of discomfort/resignation about him that didnt bode well. Against Nadal, you have to go out there wanting to fight and throw everything at him, not just do the minimum needed to win. You have to be willing to get dirty and I didnt see that. Fed looked like he was trying to play pretty Wimbledon tennis and that wont work on clay vs the topspin beast.

Don't forget Guga's down-the-line backhand. Did you ever see him hit it? He would hit a series of cross-court backhands in a rally, lull his opponent into this rhythm, and then rip the down-the-line BH so effortlessly than his opponent often didn't even move. I can easily imagine Guga hitting to Rafa's forehand. If Rafa returned the ball to Guga's BH, Guga would hit it back - topspin never bothered him since he was a natural claycourter. Guga's pace and placement off his BH would have prevented Rafa from hitting a very aggressive and/or precise FH.

You are right about Fed playing pretty tennis. I couldn't figure out why he didn't try to at least change it. I mean, everyone could see where it was going. Tennis is a percentage sport, and Roger's percentages were not good the whole match. So at least I would try to do something very different just to change the momentum (like hitting dropshots, slices, going to the net, etc.)

BreakPoint
06-11-2007, 11:43 AM
Guga is a legend. He was also a GIANT with a heart like Secretariat.
What? You're comparing Guga with a horse? :confused:

Anyway, I would have loved to have seen Guga in his prime take on Nadal. A close match indeed.

But also how about Muster versus Nadal at RG?

Andres
06-11-2007, 11:45 AM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=sho_sXYRGNs

A nice vid of Kuerten vs Sampras, on a fast surface (Tennis Masters Cup 2000)

Look at the game, the movement, the backhand. He would be a great matchup for Nadal:)

Morrissey
06-11-2007, 11:49 AM
To answer the question of a comeback, Kuerten will never come back to a competitive level. He is 30 as it is, that is the age he probably would have been heading for the door even if he had stayed fully healthy. As it is he has had major injuries for over 5 years now. I have no idea why he is dragging out the agony, and wasting years of his life holding onto some kind of false dream. It is time to move on.

As for Nadal vs Kuerten in his prime, Kuerten was nowhere near as consistent on clay as Nadal ever. Look at his results and the number of losses compared to Nadal. However at his peak level he could beat Nadal on clay, but he would not be nearly as consistent and could only beat Nadal on those peak days.

Oh yeah while Kuerten moved very well on clay, he certainly did not move almost as well as Nadal on clay.


Absolutely sublime post. :-)

BreakPoint
06-11-2007, 11:57 AM
How about this clip of Kuerten vs. Federer from 2002 on red clay at Hamburg?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Jp4h247Qa8k&mode=related&search=

:D