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View Full Version : Bjorn Borg must be the best clay courter of all time !!!


KLAUS und ROGER
07-09-2007, 11:28 AM
I was just looking at Borgs Player Profile

Bjorn Borg must be the greatest clay courter of all time,
look at the way he won Roland Garros in 1978

R128 Deblicker, Eric (FRA) 6-1 6-1 6-1
R64 ***el, Rick (USA) 6-0 6-1 6-0
R32 Bertolucci, Paolo (ITA) 6-0 6-2 6-2
R16 Tanner, Roscoe (USA) 6-2 6-4 7-6
Q Ramirez, Raul (MEX) 6-3 6-3 6-0
S Barazzutti, Corrado (ITA) 6-0 6-1 6-0
W Vilas, Guillermo (ARG) 6-1 6-1 6-3 :confused:

Need i say more??

avmoghe
07-17-2007, 10:41 AM
Wow... he just bi*ch-slapped everyone. (wtf...has anyone ever won a grand slam semi conceding just 1 game?!?!)

It'll be interesting to see how Nadal compares in a few years time...

snapple
07-17-2007, 11:47 AM
Man he OWNED Vilas...amazed that the serve & volleying Tanner managed to take Borg to a tiebreaker, shows how great his attacking game was.

The Gorilla
07-17-2007, 11:54 AM
Man he OWNED Vilas...amazed that the serve & volleying Tanner managed to take Borg to a tiebreaker, shows how great his attacking game was.

are you jsnapple?

quest01
07-17-2007, 06:20 PM
Personally i think Nadal is a better player then Borg on clay however i think Borg is better then Nadal on grass and hard courts. Borg didnt have as much competition back then compared to todays game.

socalstar
07-17-2007, 06:24 PM
nadal had the longest win streak on clay, nuff' said.

FedUp
07-17-2007, 06:29 PM
Personally i think Nadal is a better player then Borg on clay however i think Borg is better then Nadal on grass and hard courts. Borg didnt have as much competition back then compared to todays game.

You should have stopped after the first sentence.

FedUp
07-17-2007, 06:32 PM
I was just looking at Borgs Player Profile

Bjorn Borg must be the greatest clay courter of all time,
look at the way he won Roland Garros in 1978

R128 Deblicker, Eric (FRA) 6-1 6-1 6-1
R64 ***el, Rick (USA) 6-0 6-1 6-0
R32 Bertolucci, Paolo (ITA) 6-0 6-2 6-2
R16 Tanner, Roscoe (USA) 6-2 6-4 7-6
Q Ramirez, Raul (MEX) 6-3 6-3 6-0
S Barazzutti, Corrado (ITA) 6-0 6-1 6-0
W Vilas, Guillermo (ARG) 6-1 6-1 6-3 :confused:

Need i say more??

Agreed...Borg's skill also extended beyond clay. Unlike other, modern, clay courters.

gmonfils
07-17-2007, 07:02 PM
Personally i think Nadal is a better player then Borg on clay however i think Borg is better then Nadal on grass and hard courts. Borg didnt have as much competition back then compared to todays game.

This is the funniest thing I've read in a while... you've got to be kidding! Borg not having any competition? I think you must have typo'd this you mean Nadal doesn't have any competition todays game is so watered down if Nadal would have been playing back in the 70's and 80's he would have never ever had that clay court winning streak.

FiveO
07-17-2007, 08:42 PM
You should have stopped after the first sentence.

Agreed. The guy whose record Nadal broke for consecutive wins on clay was Vilas. A record that stood for nearly 30 years. Vilas may have been the second best clay courter of Borg's era.

JohnnyF
07-18-2007, 09:48 AM
Borg is the greatest clay court player ever. To suggest suggest Nadal at this point is way premature. Get back to me in 5 or 6 years.

BreakPoint
07-18-2007, 11:54 AM
Except when Borg met Adriano Panatta who beat him twice at the French Open, the only two times Borg ever lost at Roland Garros.

snapple
07-18-2007, 01:23 PM
are you jsnapple?

nope, don't know who you're referring to.

Wawa
07-18-2007, 02:02 PM
Borg is the greatest clay court player ever. To suggest suggest Nadal at this point is way premature. Get back to me in 5 or 6 years.

i agree...
nadal in 5 years will be the greatest clay player ever!
i am not a nadalfan but i really think that's true...

JohnnyF
07-19-2007, 08:51 AM
i agree...
nadal in 5 years will be the greatest clay player ever!
i am not a nadalfan but i really think that's true...

If he stays healthy he has a shot for sure.

Rabbit
07-19-2007, 12:35 PM
Personally i think Nadal is a better player then Borg on clay however i think Borg is better then Nadal on grass and hard courts. Borg didnt have as much competition back then compared to todays game.


Sentence 1 -- Strike 1!
Sentence 2 -- Striek 2!

Wrong on both counts. Nads has yet to prove himself the equal of Borg. And, Borg's competition in his era was every bit as fierce as today. Borg was to the 70s what Federer is to the 00's.

hewittboy
07-19-2007, 05:10 PM
To this day Borg is clearly the best clay court players ever. Nadal is close perhaps to being the second greatest clay courter ever already. However he has to double what he has already done atleast to be the greatest. I know people say it is a virtual cinch, but dont be so sure. His game style, poor scheduling choices, and laboured strained way of hitting the ball and moving screams out for an injury-shortened/diminished career.

CyBorg
07-19-2007, 05:47 PM
To this day Borg is clearly the best clay court players ever. Nadal is close perhaps to being the second greatest clay courter ever already.

Rosewall is still head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments. One can also bring Cochet into this if we go really far back.

Nadal's great, but it will always bother me that he is the only clay courter today who can play at a semi-elite level while employing elements of the classical dirtballer style. Almost everyone else plays like they're on a hardcourt while fighting the forces of nature around them. It's a nightmare - I'm a clay purist and I hate it.

hewittboy
07-19-2007, 06:01 PM
Rosewall is still head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments. One can also bring Cochet into this if we go really far back.

Nadal's great, but it will always bother me that he is the only clay courter today who can play at a semi-elite level while employing elements of the classical dirtballer style. Almost everyone else plays like they're on a hardcourt while fighting the forces of nature around them. It's a nightmare - I'm a clay purist and I hate it.

First of all, I did not neccessarily say Nadal is the second best clay courter of all time. I said he is perhaps already close to that. I think he is. If he wins a 4th French Open I will give him that hands down.

Nadal has 3 French Open titles already, nobody in history not named Borg has more then 3. The 3 most important clay court events today outside the French Open are - Monte Carlo, Roma, Hamburg. Nadal has played 7 of the 9the last 3 years, and won 6 of those 7. Nadal had a record 81 match winning streak on clay recently snapped.

So I dont see how on earth anyone not named Borg is "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments".

hewittboy
07-19-2007, 06:03 PM
As for the competition on clay, yeah it isnt that good. You are right most of the rest of the quality players prefer hard courts. The few other who prefer clay are not that good to begin with, or not even "semi-elite" as you put it. That is not Nadal's fault though. He can only play who is on the other side and he completely dominates. Usually I am fine bringing in the competition aspect, but when you are completely unbeatable on a surface like that there is no benchmark to how he would do even vs a much stronger field.

Mick
07-19-2007, 06:19 PM
Borg was the greatest of the clay court champions who competed with a wood racquet and Nadal has a chance to become the greatest of the clay court champions who competed with a modern racquet.

BreakPoint
07-19-2007, 09:15 PM
Nadal has 3 French Open titles already, nobody in history not named Borg has more then 3.
Ken Rosewall won it 10 times (including before it was "Open").

Henri Cochet won it 6 times.

Lendl, Wilander, and Kuerten all won it 3 times in the Open era.

KLAUS und ROGER
07-20-2007, 05:45 AM
Ken Rosewall won it 10 times (including before it was "Open").

before it was Open?:confused:
was it just French?

We all have to consider the fact that Borg ended his career at the age of 25!!

He could have won it 10 + times, maybe.

Iyoow, iyowyoyow !

gerikoh
07-20-2007, 07:11 AM
indeed.. but he never had any US and AUS titles

theace21
07-20-2007, 07:39 AM
indeed.. but he never had any US and AUS titles

Many players used to skip the Aussie Open...Now the US Open was a whole different ball game. He never felt comfortable with the night matches, ....

CyBorg
07-20-2007, 10:34 AM
First of all, I did not neccessarily say Nadal is the second best clay courter of all time. I said he is perhaps already close to that. I think he is. If he wins a 4th French Open I will give him that hands down.

Nadal has 3 French Open titles already, nobody in history not named Borg has more then 3. The 3 most important clay court events today outside the French Open are - Monte Carlo, Roma, Hamburg. Nadal has played 7 of the 9the last 3 years, and won 6 of those 7. Nadal had a record 81 match winning streak on clay recently snapped.

So I dont see how on earth anyone not named Borg is "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments".

Read carefully: Rosewall and Cochet. And these guys had better competition than Nadal.

hewittboy
07-20-2007, 12:05 PM
Read carefully: Rosewall and Cochet. And these guys had better competition than Nadal.

I did read and I will repeat again. I dont see how anyone not named Borg could be "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments". Nobody outside of Borg has won more then 3 French Opens, Nadal has already won 3 in a row, the only 3 he has ever played. The 3 biggest events on clay outside the French today, obviously would have been different pre-1974, are Hamburg, Monte Carlo, and Rome. Nadal has won 6 of the 7 he has played the last 3 years. Nadal had a record 81 match winning streak on clay.

Only someone like Borg could legitimately be said to be "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments".

Your only basis for saying that is his competition. Oh well, Nadal kills everyone on clay, his competition isnt that great but it doesnt matter. He does not control that and he dominates. I am not even a Nadal fan either.

vive le beau jeu !
07-20-2007, 12:37 PM
Ken Rosewall won it 10 times (including before it was "Open").

Henri Cochet won it 6 times.

Lendl, Wilander, and Kuerten all won it 3 times in the Open era.
i don't understand...
ok for lendl, wilander and kuerten but cochet won it 4 times (1926 + 1928 +1930 + 1932) and rosewall only 2 times (1953 + 1968 )
(i'm just checking the counts : of course that doesn't keep them from being above nadal) http://www.clicksmilies.com/s0105/engel/angel-smiley-011.gif

or maybe you also count the double titles ?...

PS: lacoste won it 3 times too.

EDIT
oops i wrote rosewell instead of rosewall... that's not the same story. :rolleyes:

Benhur
07-20-2007, 01:28 PM
i don't understand...
ok for lendl, wilander and kuerten but cochet won it 4 times (1926 + 1928 +1930 + 1932) and rosewall only 2 times (1953 + 1968 )

or maybe you also count the double titles ?...


Well that's becasue many maintain that Rosewall won the French on the same years it was won by:

Pietrangeli (1960)
Santana (1961)
Laver (1962)
Emerson (1963)
Santana (1964)
Stolle (1965)
Roche (1966)

Contrary to popular belief, the French are very generous and they often give you two for one.

Benhur
07-20-2007, 01:39 PM
Well that's becasue many maintain that Rosewall won the French on the same years it was won by:

Pietrangeli (1960)
Santana (1961)
Laver (1962)
Emerson (1963)
Santana (1964)
Stolle (1965)
Roche (1966)

Contrary to popular belief, the French are very generous and they often give you two for one.

One more thing. If you really believe Rosewall won Roland Garros 10 times, then you have to be consistent with yourself and acknowledge that he is miles ahead of everybody else on clay, including Borg, who won it 6 times. Counting only 2 French titles when you compare him with Borg, but bringing the count up to 10 when you compare him with Nadal is, well... a bit whimsical. Isn't it?

hewittboy
07-20-2007, 01:41 PM
Well that's becasue many maintain that Rosewall won the French on the same years it was won by:

Pietrangeli (1960)
Santana (1961)
Laver (1962)
Emerson (1963)
Santana (1964)
Stolle (1965)
Roche (1966)

Contrary to popular belief, the French are very generous and they often give you two for one.

What so Rosewall's accomplishments are based on assumptions like that? Well he couldnt play any of these because he was pro, so I just assume he would have won all 7? What a bunch of BS.

I bet people "assumed" Rosewall would beat Laver in the 69 final, and he lost in straight sets. I bet people "assumed" Muster was a shoo-in in 1996 and he lost to fast court player Stich. I bet people "assumed" that the 97 Champion would not be Kuerten, or the 99 Champion and runner up Agassi and Medvedev. I bet people "assumed" that Gaudio would never beat Coria in the 2004 final.

Moose Malloy
07-20-2007, 01:49 PM
just to clear up the confusion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_World_Singles_Tournament

Rosewall won the French Pro event(that was held at Roland Garros) 8 times pre-open era & once in the open era. Plus one FO pre Open era. So in a way he did win 10 FOs. Though they weren't all held on clay, as the link explains.

Benhur
07-20-2007, 01:59 PM
What so Rosewall's accomplishments are based on assumptions like that? Well he couldnt play any of these because he was pro, so I just assume he would have won all 7? What a bunch of BS.

I bet people "assumed" Rosewall would beat Laver in the 69 final, and he lost in straight sets. I bet people "assumed" Muster was a shoo-in in 1996 and he lost to fast court player Stich. I bet people "assumed" that the 97 Champion would not be Kuerten, or the 99 Champion and runner up Agassi and Medvedev. I bet people "assumed" that Gaudio would never beat Coria in the 2004 final.

There was a tournament in France between 1934 and 1968 reserved for professionals. The "French Pro". Rosewall won it a bunch of times. It is widely understood that this is NOT the French Open (except if you need it to be temporarily for argument purposes).

The actuyal all time best at the French is Max Decugis, who won it 8 times.

vive le beau jeu !
07-20-2007, 02:51 PM
just to clear up the confusion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_World_Singles_Tournament

Rosewall won the French Pro event(that was held at Roland Garros) 8 times pre-open era & once in the open era. Plus one FO pre Open era. So in a way he did win 10 FOs. Though they weren't all held on clay, as the link explains.
thx for this clarification. :)
(even if slams remain slams)
i guess you mentionned that in the previous threads about major tournaments in the past... i should have looked there.

for making comparisons, it would be definitely easier to consider 1968 as the big bang of tennis, that there was nothing before... no space, no time...... and even no tennis ! :rolleyes:

Benhur
07-20-2007, 03:37 PM
just to clear up the confusion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_World_Singles_Tournament

Rosewall won the French Pro event(that was held at Roland Garros) 8 times pre-open era & once in the open era. Plus one FO pre Open era. So in a way he did win 10 FOs. Though they weren't all held on clay, as the link explains.

He won 10 FO "in a way"?????

Your own link makes it clear, in the first sentence, that prior to 1968 "only amateurs were allowed to compete in mainstream tennis tournaments, including the four Grand Slams."

Following your "in a way" reasoning, all players who won Wembley prior to 1968 also won Wimbledon "in a way"; and those who won the US Pro Championships prior to 1968 also won the US Open "in a way".

Moose Malloy
07-20-2007, 04:38 PM
He won 10 FO "in a way"?????

I was just trying to explain what an earlier poster meant when he said that. They weren't my words. You seem to get easily riled up, try decaf.

also read this link, maybe he didn't technically win 10 FOs, but he certainly won more than the 8 majors he is credited with. And is generally considerd one of the best claycourt players of alltime. I don't believe any knowledgable tennis fan would judge pre-open era players soley by the amount of grand slam events they won, do you?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=135592

Benhur
07-20-2007, 06:20 PM
I was just trying to explain what an earlier poster meant when he said that. They weren't my words. You seem to get easily riled up, try decaf.

also read this link, maybe he didn't technically win 10 FOs, but he certainly won more than the 8 majors he is credited with. And is generally considerd one of the best claycourt players of alltime. I don't believe any knowledgable tennis fan would judge pre-open era players soley by the amount of grand slam events they won, do you?

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=135592

Regarding that link and its attempt to establish what were the 4 most important tournaments in different eras, we are entering the realm of belief. I sort of agree that the AO was maybe not quite a top 4 tournament until the very late 80s (though it is be a stretch to call it a "second-tier" event, particularly in the days when Australia had a highly disproportionate share of tennis talents who did play their home championship) -- but in any case I do not believe for a second that in the 80s Wembley was more important than, for example, WTC Dallas, let alone the Masters! Wembley wasn't even remotely close to the Masters in the 80s! Come on ! And I certainly don't believe that, pre-1968, the quasi-exhibition or "pro" tournaments this fellow mentions were more important than mainstream tennis as represented by the players who went to Wimbledon, the US Open and the French.

Truth is, it is all endlessly questionable, even the open era, even the last part of the open era. You can rearrange the meaning of the entire list of slam winners of the 80s and 90s and 00's by simply scrutinizing and questioning to death the relative difficulty or ease of the draw each of them had.

At some point we just stop obsessing about rankings and try to enjoy the tennis.

iamke55
07-20-2007, 08:13 PM
The original post doesn't prove anything except that Borg had NO competition whatsoever. Maybe in Bizarro world beating a couple grass courters and nobodies(while losing to these nobodies everywhere outside the FO and Wimbledon) is more impressive than beating the GOAT 3 years in a row and having a streak of 81 wins.

CyBorg
07-21-2007, 12:18 PM
I did read and I will repeat again. I dont see how anyone not named Borg could be "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments". Nobody outside of Borg has won more then 3 French Opens, Nadal has already won 3 in a row, the only 3 he has ever played. The 3 biggest events on clay outside the French today, obviously would have been different pre-1974, are Hamburg, Monte Carlo, and Rome. Nadal has won 6 of the 7 he has played the last 3 years. Nadal had a record 81 match winning streak on clay.

Only someone like Borg could legitimately be said to be "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments".

Your only basis for saying that is his competition. Oh well, Nadal kills everyone on clay, his competition isnt that great but it doesnt matter. He does not control that and he dominates. I am not even a Nadal fan either.

I advise you to carefully read about Rosewall and Cochet and familiarize yourself about professional tennis in the 50s and 60s and how Rosewall's accomplishments stacked up during that era. Counting French Open titles is applicable somewhat towards qualifying players in the open era, and is even so flawed practice.

There is also some good info on Rosewall and his era here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/archive/index.php/t-117660.html

In terms of accomplishments Nadal's isnt't close to these two, let alone Borg. In terms of talent he is one of the best ever, but I'm not sure he would have matched up well with Kuerten.

anointedone
07-21-2007, 12:51 PM
Nadal is easily atleast the second best clay courter of all time. Anyone who denies this is a hater. Who cares though. In 3 years when Nadal has won his 6th straight French Open, and his started his second 80+ match winning streak on clay, and has won his 6th straight Monte Carlo and Rome titles, it will be amusing to see how the haters like Cy"jealous"Borg still try to spin it to not be so. In fact there will be no way to deny he is the greatest clay courter of all time by then.

Benhur
07-21-2007, 01:51 PM
I advise you to carefully read about Rosewall and Cochet and familiarize yourself about professional tennis in the 50s and 60s and how Rosewall's accomplishments stacked up during that era. Counting French Open titles is applicable somewhat towards qualifying players in the open era, and is even so flawed practice.

There is also some good info on Rosewall and his era here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/archive/index.php/t-117660.html

In terms of accomplishments Nadal's isnt't close to these two, let alone Borg. In terms of talent he is one of the best ever, but I'm not sure he would have matched up well with Kuerten.

Rosewall's accomplishements are impressive, except for the fact that he spent most of his best years in the so-called "pro" tour, and you have to remember that many, probably the majority, of the top players of the time were *not* in the pro tour. The word "pro" is highly misleading here. It is as if a few atp players today branched off and made their own exhibition tour, while most stayed with the atp tournaments. It is underestood that mainstream tennis in the 60s was not the "pro" tour.

I think Rosewall was a genious player. But realistically, am not sure he could have handled Borg very well, both at their prime. I remember in the 80s reading an account of another Australian, Laver I think, explaining how he had handled Rosewall on a certain friendly encounter by hitting heavy topspin so the high bounce would bother short Rosewall. Now if you think of Nadal, who hits probably the heaviest topspin in tennis history, and with Rosewall's height at 5 feet 7 inches (maybe less) it's hard to imagine what Rosewall would do with ball after ball landing near the baseline and bouncing way above his head. He was good, but I really have no idea what the hell he could do with that. Probably not much.

CyBorg
07-21-2007, 05:36 PM
I think Rosewall was a genious player. But realistically, am not sure he could have handled Borg very well, both at their prime. I remember in the 80s reading an account of another Australian, Laver I think, explaining how he had handled Rosewall on a certain friendly encounter by hitting heavy topspin so the high bounce would bother short Rosewall. Now if you think of Nadal, who hits probably the heaviest topspin in tennis history, and with Rosewall's height at 5 feet 7 inches (maybe less) it's hard to imagine what Rosewall would do with ball after ball landing near the baseline and bouncing way above his head. He was good, but I really have no idea what the hell he could do with that. Probably not much.

If we go on accomplishments alone, Nadal has years and years to go to equal Rosewall's feats. Laver worked tirelessly to get to Ken's level on clay and finally beat Rosewall at RG when the latter was a bit past his prime (still very impressive).

If we go with a sterner scouting perspective then we certainly get into a pickle. Rosewall was a beast who didn't face the likes of Nadal in his time, but he would have fared just fine. If a flat, predictable hitter like Nikolay Davydenko can take a set off Nadal, Rosewall can beat Nadal on more than one occasion. Ken's return of serve is legendary and his groundies were extremely heavy.

Everything I've read about Cochet informs that he hit amazing shots with incredible angles and movement. I respect him based on the information, even though I am usually careful to try and rate him with other clay greats - that's a difficult thing to do.

However the conversation went on more about accomplishments than anything, and based on those Nadal still has ways to go. The important thing to understand about Nadal is that no matter how impressive his three years have been, his winnings on clay have been somewhat inflated by the current dry spell of clay court specialists. It's fruitless to deny this - Kuerten, in Nadal's place, would have had a ball as well. Gustavo won back-to-back RGs in 00 and 01 at a time where competition was oodles better than today with talented floaters from third round onwards - sometimes earlier. Kuerten had a great 99 and could have won RG that year as well, but he ran into a red hot and supremely talented Medvedev (one of the great clay talents of all time, if you ask me, though low on motivation) in the fourth round. Nadal doesn't get these matchups. He gets Juan Monaco and the occasional flat-hitting hard courter.

Nadal's in my top-five all time in terms of clay court talents and I'm a big fan of his, but every time someone brings up him winning everything as an indicator of being the best ever I simply want to groan.

CyBorg
07-21-2007, 05:42 PM
Nadal is easily atleast the second best clay courter of all time. Anyone who denies this is a hater. Who cares though. In 3 years when Nadal has won his 6th straight French Open, and his started his second 80+ match winning streak on clay, and has won his 6th straight Monte Carlo and Rome titles, it will be amusing to see how the haters like Cy"jealous"Borg still try to spin it to not be so. In fact there will be no way to deny he is the greatest clay courter of all time by then.

Just recently someone called me a ********. This board never ceases to amaze me.

anointedone
07-21-2007, 05:56 PM
Just recently someone called me a ********. This board never ceases to amaze me.

After the French Open you seemed to get on the Nadal bandwagon, you need to get by on, it is the bandwagon of the future. :p My sig shows you on the Nadal bandwagon, so dont try and hide it, you were there briefly.

The thing is you are saying that others are only going by Nadal's French Open titles, and that is an unfair way to compare him to Rosewall and Cochet. Well that is not true, people are not only looking at his French Open titles, which is already significant, but are also going by:

1)The longest match winning streak on clay in history. This is only one achivement, but it is another additional stat in his favor. Nobody not Borg, not Rosewall, not Lendl, not Cochet, has had a match win streak that long on clay.

2)The fact that he has won 8 of the 9 biggest tournaments on clay over a 3 year span, not just the French Open. That type of overall dominance on clay in significant clay court events over a 3-year span, not just at the French Open, can stand up to anyone in history, no matter what was considered important then on clay.

3)The fact that he is doing all this so young to boot.

You are right he has weaker competition on clay, but he does not control that. When you watch him play on clay, I would not say there is nobody in history who could have played with him, but there is nobody who would have relished playing Nadal on clay, I will tell that you that much.

As for Kuerten, Nadal wins 4 times out of 5 atleast, maybe more. Look at Kuerten's record on clay from 1999-2001. Tons of losses, not even close to the dominance of Nadal in general, much tougher time winning his French Opens too. Also bringing up the likes of Medvedev as an example of such tougher competition then Nadal has on clay is a joke. Kuerten is a great player on clay, but Nadal has already blown him out of the water. The only area they are tied in is French Open titles, but even there Nadal has 3 straight, won all 3 he played, and has his 3 as a 21 year old boy.

CyBorg
07-21-2007, 06:05 PM
As for Kuerten, Nadal wins 4 times out of 5 atleast, maybe more. Look at Kuerten's record on clay from 1999-2001. Tons of losses, not even close to the dominance of Nadal in general, much tougher time winning his French Opens too. Also bringing up the likes of Medvedev as an example of such tougher competition then Nadal has on clay is a joke. Kuerten is a great player on clay, but Nadal has already blown him out of the water. The only area they are tied in is French Open titles, but even there Nadal has 3 straight, won all 3 he played, and has his 3 as a 21 year old boy.

I think Kuerten would have been a miserable matchup for Nadal. He would have been able to run with him, he wouldn't have been stunned by the topspin and he would have given Nadal fits with his backhand.

Medvedev would have been a tough matchup for Nadal as well. The guy sucked in topspin - no one in today's era is like him. That doesn't change the fact that the guy was on a mental vacation for much of the time, but when he wasn't he beat Kuerten in 99 on his way to the final.

CyBorg
07-21-2007, 06:10 PM
The fact that he is doing all this so young to boot.

They're all young once and when they are they seem invincible. When Bruguera was on his game I didn't think it would ever end. But it did.

I'm not exactly sure when Nadal will begin to regress, but it might come sooner than you think. Historically 24-ish often is the beginning of the end for early-blooming clay courters (often earlier, but shouldn't be in Nadal's case). I'm not sure Rafa will be all that different - especially the way hard courts are hurting him. At least Kuerten would occasionally skip Wimbledon to let his body recover. Nadal is playing full blast.

We'll see what happens. I like Nadal. I don't like his clay generation and this is why we have to be careful in assessing his greatness.

Benhur
07-21-2007, 06:54 PM
The important thing to understand about Nadal is that no matter how impressive his three years have been, his winnings on clay have been somewhat inflated by the current dry spell of clay court specialists. It's fruitless to deny this - Kuerten, in Nadal's place, would have had a ball as well. Gustavo won back-to-back RGs in 00 and 01 at a time where competition was oodles better than today with talented floaters from third round onwards - sometimes earlier. Kuerten had a great 99 and could have won RG that year as well, but he ran into a red hot and supremely talented Medvedev (one of the great clay talents of all time, if you ask me, though low on motivation) in the fourth round. Nadal doesn't get these matchups. He gets Juan Monaco and the occasional flat-hitting hard courter.

Nadal's in my top-five all time in terms of clay court talents and I'm a big fan of his, but every time someone brings up him winning everything as an indicator of being the best ever I simply want to groan.

This is pure speculation. So and so "could have won" this and that and the other thing if he hadn't "run into red hot" so and so. Or X would never had had it so easy if he had to play Y and Z instead of G and H. Or if he played in 1999-2002 instead of 2005-2007. We have no way of knowing if Kuerten could have taken a set from Federer on clay from 2005 through 2007, so I don't see how you can say that in Nadal's place Kuerten would have "had a ball." We simply have no way of knowing what he would have had. Your faith that he would have "had a ball" is based on your faith. This is not serious stuff. If Nadal wasn't around, it seems reasonable to suppose that Federer would have been winning most of the tournaments Nadal has won on clay. If Federer wasnt'around either, then it certainly would be a much more competitive field on clay these last three years. Maybe that would give you the impression the competition was tougher. If Federer was a bit older and he had had his peak during the Kuerten years, so he never had played Nadal on clay, it would be even more easy for someone like you to suppose that he would have beaten Nadal blindfolded. Yet we know it would have been wrong. I don't believe the field is weaker now than in Kuerte'n's time. I believe Nadal and Federer make it *look* weaker. The notion that Rosewall at his best could beat the current Nadal on clay I find highly implausible for reasons already explained. But I have no way of proving this is the case. We only know what has happened, not what would have happened if....

CyBorg
07-21-2007, 07:37 PM
This is pure speculation. So and so "could have won" this and that and the other thing if he hadn't "run into red hot" so and so.

It's not speculation. You may wish to believe that every single French Open is equal. Not to me. I hold Muster's in higher regard than Agassi's. Why? I look at the draws (well, and watch the matches).

If Nadal wasn't around, it seems reasonable to suppose that Federer would have been winning most of the tournaments Nadal has won on clay.

And they would have been worth a soaking jack squat to me for reasons already explained.

If Federer wasnt'around either, then it certainly would be a much more competitive field on clay these last three years. Maybe that would give you the impression the competition was tougher.

This point was made before. We can tell when this is happening as well. I could tell when this happened when Borg retired. Both 82 and 83 RGs were his for the taking. The winners wound up being a 17-year old Mats Wilander and the softball king Yannick Noah. Frankly I don't value their RGs as much as I do Borg's. I can tell when an era is low on premium talent. It happens often.

I believe Nadal and Federer make it *look* weaker. The notion that Rosewall at his best could beat the current Nadal on clay I find highly implausible for reasons already explained. But I have no way of proving this is the case. We only know what has happened, not what would have happened if....

Arguing Rosewall v Nadal on pure talent is very difficult. I like to get into this sometimes, but I was trying to avoid it here because the topic was mostly about accomplishments. I don't know why you're trying to steer it into a straightforward matchup comparison.

We can go there, of course, but I don't think I would convince you of anything. Just remember one thing - 30 years from now, someone young will point the finger at your insistence upon Federer's excellence and laugh in your face, claiming that Joe Blo 2037 is better, stronger and more juiced. Maybe Joe Blo 2037 will even invent a new shot. But Federer is still a genius on most courts. Rosewall was too.

anointedone
07-21-2007, 08:49 PM
I think Kuerten would have been a miserable matchup for Nadal. He would have been able to run with him, he wouldn't have been stunned by the topspin and he would have given Nadal fits with his backhand.

I totally disagree. For starters Kuerten definitely would not have been able to run with Nadal. Kuerten moved very well, especialy on clay, but he was still nowhere near the fastest. Nadal is one of the fastest players in history, and definitely the fastest since Borg. Kuerten while a very good mover, does not even fit on the first page of the fastest guys of recent times. Nadal, Federer, Hewitt, Coria, Ferrero, Bruguera, Chang, are all much much faster then Kuerten.

Kuerten's backhand would give Nadal some trouble, but it takes alot to win a match vs Nadal on clay. It takes about 4 different shots giving him huge trouble, and unbelievable mental strength and fitness.

Kuerten was never as dominant or great as Nadal on clay. Look at all the matches he lost on clay in 1999-2001 when he was dominant. He is a great clay courter, but Nadal has already easily eclipsed him, and if they played in their mutual primes Kuerten would only win on his dream days, the days everything were perfect for him. That is still better then anyone else today does though.

Medvedev would have been a tough matchup for Nadal as well. The guy sucked in topspin - no one in today's era is like him. That doesn't change the fact that the guy was on a mental vacation for much of the time, but when he wasn't he beat Kuerten in 99 on his way to the final.

That was an incredibly windy day, Kuerten hated those conditions, and that is why Medvedev won.

anointedone
07-21-2007, 08:55 PM
This point was made before. We can tell when this is happening as well. I could tell when this happened when Borg retired. Both 82 and 83 RGs were his for the taking. The winners wound up being a 17-year old Mats Wilander and the softball king Yannick Noah. Frankly I don't value their RGs as much as I do Borg's. I can tell when an era is low on premium talent. It happens often.

In fairness to Wilander he woud end up winning 3 French Open titles, and reaching 5 total finals. In some of the later ones he would face down some real competition. Such as beating McEnroe in the semis (this was the last year McEnroe was still extremely good before his big time decline), and Lendl in final, to win the 85 French. Then in 1988 beating a young power hitting Agassi in the semis, and the wildly talented Henri LeConte in the final.

Zimbo
07-21-2007, 09:14 PM
This point was made before. We can tell when this is happening as well. I could tell when this happened when Borg retired. Both 82 and 83 RGs were his for the taking. The winners wound up being a 17-year old Mats Wilander and the softball king Yannick Noah. Frankly I don't value their RGs as much as I do Borg's. I can tell when an era is low on premium talent. It happens often.




Here are the players Wilander beat in '82. Cybrog, how can you dis-value Wilander's RG title? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Borg didn't play and if he did he would have been the heavy favourite but that was a difficult draw to get thru. Give the 17 year old his props. Look who Wilander beat in the fourth round. Yeah, it's Lendl, the same guy that took Borg to 5 sets the previous year.

R128
Cortes, Alejandro (COL)
N/A
6-4 6-3 6-4

R64
Motta, Cassio (BRA)
N/A
6-3 6-4 4-6 6-2

R32
Luna, Fernando (ESP)
N/A
6-3 6-1 6-0

R16
Lendl, Ivan (USA)
N/A
4-6 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-2

Q
Gerulaitis, Vitas (USA)
N/A
6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4

S
Clerc, Jose-Luis (ARG)
N/A
7-5 6-2 1-6 7-5

W
Vilas, Guillermo (ARG)
N/A
1-6 7-6 6-0 6-4

Benhur
07-22-2007, 05:53 AM
This point was made before. We can tell when this is happening as well. I could tell when this happened when Borg retired. Both 82 and 83 RGs were his for the taking. The winners wound up being a 17-year old Mats Wilander and the softball king Yannick Noah. Frankly I don't value their RGs as much as I do Borg's. I can tell when an era is low on premium talent. It happens often.


Your unwavering love of Borg makes you contradict yourself in various ways. You are now making it sound as if the 82 and 83 RG were "low on premium talent" -- just because Borg didn't play them. So you say you don't value them as much as Borg's titles. On the other hand, if he had played them (and won them, since "they were his for the taking" according to you) then of course you wuold value them. Why? Well because whenever Borg played and won, it was *by definition* a strong tournament in your book. You make it sound as if the field was so weak in 82 and 83 that a 17 year old kid and a "softball king" just walked in and took it.

That is sheer nonsense, and the only thing it proves is your devotion to Saint Borg. I think he was great, too, but he is not holy.

Now let's do a simple exercise. Let's examine the players Borg beat to win the French in 81, and the players Wilander and Noah beat the next two years:

Borg in 81 beat: Lopez-Maeso, C. Motta, Torre, T. Moor, B. Tarocy, V. Pecci and Lendl

Wilander in 82 beat: Cortes, Motta, Luna, Lendl, Gerulaitis, Clerc and Vilas.

Only your unwavering devotion to Borg makes you believe that he beat stronger players than Wilander those years, or suggest that there was no talent and so the title just fell on Wilander's lap. Wilander proved his win wasn't a fluke. He was in a total 5 RG finals and won 3. His career as a teenager equals Nadal's.

As for "soft-ball king Yannick Noah", I remember that final with Wilander. Noah played outstanding, spectacular tennis. Wilander certainly didn't beat himself. He never did.
And Noah made it to that final by beating:

Jarryd, Pecci, Dupre, Alexander, LENDL and Roger- Vasselin

You cannot seriously contend that Wilander and Noah's titles are worth any less than Borg's the previous year. Just look at who they beat. Among other excellent clay court players, they both beat Lendl, who was already a top 2 player and had taken Borg to 5 sets in the 81 final.

And the notion that these titles "were his for the taking" is again pure speculation on your part. I contend that Wilander, Lendl (and even Noah in 83) could have very well beaten Borg in 82 and 83. This is just my own speculation, but it is just as solid as yours, as far as speculation goes.

snapple
07-22-2007, 06:42 AM
Your unwavering love of Borg makes you contradict yourself in various ways. You are now making it sound as if the 82 and 83 RG were "low on premium talent" -- just because Borg didn't play them. So you say you don't value them as much as Borg's titles. On the other hand, if he had played them (and won them, since "they were his for the taking" according to you) then of course you wuold value them. Why? Well because whenever Borg played and won, it was *by definition* a strong tournament in your book. You make it sound as if the field was so weak in 82 and 83 that a 17 year old kid and a "softball king" just walked in and took it.


I think anytime the 6 time champion and last 4 in a row skips the tourny, it's fair to say that it's now "up for grabs". However, that does not mean the remaining competition is not worthy but simply means that the dominant player is no longer there to dominate. I agree that the overall quality of the field was equal if not higher in 82 and 83 than in the latter years that Borg was winning.

CyBorg
07-22-2007, 10:47 AM
I totally disagree. For starters Kuerten definitely would not have been able to run with Nadal. Kuerten moved very well, especialy on clay, but he was still nowhere near the fastest. Nadal is one of the fastest players in history, and definitely the fastest since Borg. Kuerten while a very good mover, does not even fit on the first page of the fastest guys of recent times. Nadal, Federer, Hewitt, Coria, Ferrero, Bruguera, Chang, are all much much faster then Kuerten.

The point was made in another message board: Nadal wouldn't had a consistent answer for Kuerten's backhand down the line. Nadal doesn't hit up the line with any consistency - backhand to backhand Kuerten would have hurt Nadal big time.

Kuerten was never as dominant or great as Nadal on clay. Look at all the matches he lost on clay in 1999-2001 when he was dominant.

This point has been made before as well. In a deeper era success is shared between players. In an era where there is one elite player, a number of poor floaters and several talented players better suited for other surfaces the one elite player will win almost everything.

He is a great clay courter, but Nadal has already easily eclipsed him, and if they played in their mutual primes Kuerten would only win on his dream days, the days everything were perfect for him. That is still better then anyone else today does though.

I would rate Nadal by a hair over Kuerten, but Gustavo would have been a terrible matchup for Nadal. Kuerten was much too balanced a mover, with explosive groundstrokes and an ability to punish Nadal's topspin groundies unlike any player in today's era.

That was an incredibly windy day, Kuerten hated those conditions, and that is why Medvedev won.

Medvedev won because he adjusted better to the windy conditions - a measure of an excellent clay courter, a brilliant talent whenever he showed up.

CyBorg
07-22-2007, 10:56 AM
Here are the players Wilander beat in '82. Cybrog, how can you dis-value Wilander's RG title? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Borg didn't play and if he did he would have been the heavy favourite but that was a difficult draw to get thru. Give the 17 year old his props. Look who Wilander beat in the fourth round. Yeah, it's Lendl, the same guy that took Borg to 5 sets the previous year.

R128
Cortes, Alejandro (COL)
N/A
6-4 6-3 6-4

R64
Motta, Cassio (BRA)
N/A
6-3 6-4 4-6 6-2

R32
Luna, Fernando (ESP)
N/A
6-3 6-1 6-0

R16
Lendl, Ivan (USA)
N/A
4-6 7-5 3-6 6-4 6-2

Q
Gerulaitis, Vitas (USA)
N/A
6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4

S
Clerc, Jose-Luis (ARG)
N/A
7-5 6-2 1-6 7-5

W
Vilas, Guillermo (ARG)
N/A
1-6 7-6 6-0 6-4

Wilander was not the player he would wind up to be in later years. Here he was simply younger and fresher than old guys like Gerulaitis, Clerc and Vilas. Vilas choked of course - there was no doubt that he was the better player at this time. Lendl still had his head up his rear end half the time around these years and was known for giving up halfway through matches. He made a hell of an effort in 1981, but only took Borg to five sets because Bjorn already was halfway to Disneyland after the semifinal.

I remember Wilander in 82 and Noah in 83 - they were two of the weaker RG winners in memory, both taking advantage of playing aging Borg contemporaries.

This happens again and again when a new guy comes onto the scene and surprises older players who have not seen nearly enough of him. Michael Chang won in another clay stalemate in 1989 - with Wilander on his way down; Lendl on his way down; Leconte on his way down. Chang with fresher legs and nondescript style won RG even though he was hardly great on clay.

The difference between Chang and Wilander is that Wilander grew into a great claycourter even though he wasn't one yet in 82.

CyBorg
07-22-2007, 11:07 AM
Your unwavering love of Borg makes you contradict yourself in various ways. You are now making it sound as if the 82 and 83 RG were "low on premium talent" -- just because Borg didn't play them. So you say you don't value them as much as Borg's titles. On the other hand, if he had played them (and won them, since "they were his for the taking" according to you) then of course you wuold value them. Why? Well because whenever Borg played and won, it was *by definition* a strong tournament in your book. You make it sound as if the field was so weak in 82 and 83 that a 17 year old kid and a "softball king" just walked in and took it.

No one just walks in and takes it, but the point is that fields go up and down in quality from year to year. Borg retired in the early 80s and Vilas was reaching 30. That's two of the top 10 clay courters of all time either absent or regressed. 1982 should still have been Vilas' tournament, but he waited and waited for his chance to play someone other than Borg for the title and when the chance came he encountered a 17-year old kid he knew little about. And when things got close the the old dog simply had no new tricks.

Now let's do a simple exercise. Let's examine the players Borg beat to win the French in 81, and the players Wilander and Noah beat the next two years:

Borg in 81 beat: Lopez-Maeso, C. Motta, Torre, T. Moor, B. Tarocy, V. Pecci and Lendl

Wilander in 82 beat: Cortes, Motta, Luna, Lendl, Gerulaitis, Clerc and Vilas.

Only your unwavering devotion to Borg makes you believe that he beat stronger players than Wilander those years, or suggest that there was no talent and so the title just fell on Wilander's lap. Wilander proved his win wasn't a fluke. He was in a total 5 RG finals and won 3. His career as a teenager equals Nadal's.

You're putting words in my mouth and frankly boldly exagerrating in places. Take a deep breath, think of something coherent to say and then get back to me.

anointedone
07-22-2007, 11:09 AM
The point was made in another message board: Nadal wouldn't had a consistent answer for Kuerten's backhand down the line. Nadal doesn't hit up the line with any consistency - backhand to backhand Kuerten would have hurt Nadal big time.

The thing is that Nadal is a lefty so there would hardly be any "backhand to backhand".

This point has been made before as well. In a deeper era success is shared between players. In an era where there is one elite player, a number of poor floaters and several talented players better suited for other surfaces the one elite player will win almost everything.

Kuerten's much less dominance on clay compared to Nadal cant be put down strictly to depth or quality of competition.

Except for 1 loss in almost 3 years Nadal has never lost to anyone on clay. Kuerten during his dominance on clay from 1999-2001 includes losses to all of Vincenzo Santopadre, Vince Spadea, Nicolas Escude, Juan Ignacio Chela, Mariano Puerta, Dominik Hrbaty, Karol Kucera. Note those are not even all his losses, I excluded the losses you could even semi-argue were due to the quality of competition (and even then you would be very wrong compared to Nadal's dominance). These losses show Kuerten's lesser dominance on clay was not due to his competition. No matter how bad you think say the best 5clay courter today are, maybe Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Robredo, Nalbandian or Davydenko, they are all easily better then all these guys who beat Kuerten during his dominance, and yet none of them can beat Nadal except for Fed once. In facts some of these players - Chela, Puerta, Hrbaty, Spadea, are still playing today and are considered non-existant factors in todays "weak" clay court field. Funny how that is.

I forgot to mention Kuerten has a straight sets loss, in a best 3-of-5 sets match in Davis Cup, in BRAZIL, to Lleyton Hewitt. The best Hewitt has done vs Nadal in 3 matches on clay was take him deep in a 3rd set once, in a tournament Nadal was generaly accepted to be "tank on emptied" for more then any other event, and ended up having his long win streak snapped 6-0 in the final set to Federer. Kuerten also has a 6-0, 6-2 loss to Moya during his prime on clay. Or maybe you will now argue Nadal is lucky to be playing and old Moya, and the younger Moya could have beaten him 6-0, 6-2 on a hot day too. :p

I would rate Nadal by a hair over Kuerten, but Gustavo would have been a terrible matchup for Nadal. Kuerten was much too balanced a mover, with explosive groundstrokes and an ability to punish Nadal's topspin groundies unlike any player in today's era.

As I already stated Kuerten, while a very good mover, especialy on clay, still fars short of a number of the very best movers. He is clearly inferior to Nadal himself, Coria, Kuerten, Hewitt, and others in that department.

Kuerten has never faced a player with the extreme combination of heavy spin, brute force, and consistency on his shots as Nadal. There is little evidence by how Kuerten would handle Nadal's shots. Alex Corretja and Alex Costa are not even a teaser to the heavy topspin groundies you would face from Nadal.

CyBorg
07-22-2007, 11:26 AM
The thing is that Nadal is a lefty so there would hardly be any "backhand to backhand".

Have you ever seen Kuerten's backhand down the line? To which of Nadal's sides would it go? The backhand.

Kuerten's much less dominance on clay compared to Nadal cant be put down strictly to depth or quality of competition.

Except for 1 loss in almost 3 years Nadal has never lost to anyone on clay. Kuerten during his dominance on clay from 1999-2001 includes losses to all of Vincenzo Santopadre, Vince Spadea, Nicolas Escude, Juan Ignacio Chela, Mariano Puerta, Dominik Hrbaty, Karol Kucera. Note those are not even all his losses, I excluded the losses you could even semi-argue were due to the quality of competition (and even then you would be very wrong compared to Nadal's dominance). These losses show Kuerten's lesser dominance on clay was not due to his competition. No matter how bad you think say the best 5clay courter today are, maybe Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Robredo, Nalbandian or Davydenko, they are all easily better then all these guys who beat Kuerten during his dominance, and yet none of them can beat Nadal except for Fed once. In facts some of these players - Chela, Puerta, Hrbaty, Spadea, are still playing today and are considered non-existant factors in todays "weak" clay court field. Funny how that is.

I agree with you that Nadal is more consistent than Kuerten, but he would not have been as dominant in Kuerten's era. By the way, most of Kuerten's bad losses were in minor tournaments like Munich and Gstaad. I wouldn't base Kuerten's clay abilities on results such as these, just as we don't give too much credence to Pete Sampras' play in minor tournaments. On the big stage Kuerten showed up and played well enough to beat any clay courter in history, including Borg.

I forgot to mention Kuerten has a straight sets loss, in a best 3-of-5 sets match in Davis Cup, in BRAZIL, to Lleyton Hewitt.

Hewitt was dangerous on all surfaces. He took Nadal to three sets in Hamburg - and that's the old, withered Hewitt. Hewitt could beat anyone on a given day, and on any surface especially in the Davis Cup atmosphere, even Kuerten.

As I already stated Kuerten, while a very good mover, especialy on clay, still fars short of a number of the very best movers. He is clearly inferior to Nadal himself, Coria, Kuerten, Hewitt, and others in that department.

Again, I would rate Nadal over Kuerten. But in the Roland Garros atmosphere, everything considered, it would be a dead heat. You underrate Gustavo.

Kuerten has never faced a player with the extreme combination of heavy spin, brute force, and consistency on his shots as Nadal. There is little evidence by how Kuerten would handle Nadal's shots. Alex Corretja and Alex Costa are not even a teaser to the heavy topspin groundies you would face from Nadal.

Nonsense. Nadal is nothing new to clay. He incorporates classical aspects to clay in an era where most play with a globalized hardcourt approach. His lengthy clay court winning streak is an indicator of the times more than anything else. Nadal can hurt almost each and every one of his opponents with the topspin high to the backhand. Five-six years ago this would have been more or less commonplace. Consult some tapes.

CyBorg
07-22-2007, 11:36 AM
I think anytime the 6 time champion and last 4 in a row skips the tourny, it's fair to say that it's now "up for grabs". However, that does not mean the remaining competition is not worthy but simply means that the dominant player is no longer there to dominate. I agree that the overall quality of the field was equal if not higher in 82 and 83 than in the latter years that Borg was winning.

The depth was pretty good, but the best of the bunch was not there while Vilas had clearly lost a step. That left a number of solid but in large part unproven guys. The one who got to the top was a kid who surprised the older guys in large part because they hadn't seen enough of him.

Borg did something very similar in 74 when he won his first French Open. I consider it to be a lesser accomplishment than his subsequent French Opens. The field was generally deep but nothing exceptional while the defending champion was the highly inconsistent Ilie Nastase.

This happens again and again in history - even Becker's win at Wimbledon in 1985 is like that. He was at the right place, at the right time, rightly aligned with John McEnroe mental breakdown, using his energy and enthusiasm to beat Kevin Curren. But no one in his right mind would argue that Becker was at his peak or anywhere near it in 1985. Or that he was a worse player in 1988 when he lost to a near-prime Edberg.

The point goes back to Nadal and Federer at Roland Garros - the fields are horrible, much worse than ever before and we have one elite clay courter and a finesse hardcourt/grasscourt superstar who struggles with topspin to his backhand. And yet Roger has more RG finals than Thomas Muster. Why? Because results deceive. They don't tell the whole story. Draws, circumstances reveal a lot more.

Benhur
07-22-2007, 12:14 PM
Wilander was not the player he would wind up to be in later years. Here he was simply younger and fresher than old guys like Gerulaitis, Clerc and Vilas. Vilas choked of course - there was no doubt that he was the better player at this time. Lendl still had his head up his rear end half the time around these years and was known for giving up halfway through matches. He made a hell of an effort in 1981, but only took Borg to five sets because Bjorn already was halfway to Disneyland after the semifinal.



You continue to bring up gaseous imponderables to give weight to arguments that have none. It won't work

Wilander was one of the most prodigious teenagers in tennis history, right up there with Nadal and Becker. He burst into the clay scene in 1982 and went straight to the top, winning Barcelona, Bastad, Geneva and Roland Garros. And he was runner up that same year at Basel, Brussels and Stockholm. In 1983 (the year Noah beat him in the final) Wilander won Aix-En-Provence, the Australian Open, Barcelona, Bastad, Cincinnati, Geneva, Lisbon, Monte Carlo and Stockholm; and he was runner up at Guaruja and Roland Garros.

Your contention that his 82 RG win and his 83 final was without much merit because “he was not the player he would be" is just a mealy-mouthed meaningless platitude. Your contention that he beat Vilas in 82 because the latter just "choked" sounds even sillier. Of course, you can *always* say that so and so “choked” when you don’t like the result. Those who don't like Borg could say his opponents just "choked". There is no way to prove they didn’t. That's what I call a gaseous imponderable. Not that the choke is uncommon in tennis, mind you, but preventing it from ocurring (i.e. keeping your cool) is part of a tennis player’s required abilities.

Your attempt at dismissing Lendl's stature at the time, and the significance of the fact that Wilander and Noah had to beat Lendl at RG in 82 and 83 respectively, is even more ludicrous. Lendl was a top two player already then. He was beating Mac regularly in those years. Your saying that Lendl "only took Borg to five sets because Bjorn already was halfway to Disneyland" is also full of laughing gas and little more. Those kinds of statements only support my contention that you can say *anything* you want to dismiss a result you don't like.

Here’s Lendl results in those years. Just count the titles and finals. Maybe he was playing“with his head in his rear end,” as you put it, but I doubt it. In any case, just imagine what he would have done if he had cared to put his head on his shoulders.

1981 -- Titles won:
Barcelona, Basel, Buenos Aires, Cologne, Las Vegas, Madrid, Masters, Canadian Open, Stuttgart Indoor, Vienna.

1981 Runner up:
Indianapolis, La Quinta, Richmond WCT, Roland Garros, Stuttgart Outdoor.

1982 -- Titles won:
Cincinnati, Dallas WCT, Delray Beach WCT, Forest Hills WCT, Frankfurt, Genova WCT, Hartford WCT, Houston, Los Angeles-2 WCT, Masters, Munich-2 WCT, Naples Finals WCT, North Conway, Strasbourg WCT, Washington

1982 - Runner up:
La Quinta, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Canadian Open, US Open.

1983 -- Titles won:
Detroit WCT, Hilton Head WCT, Houston-WCT, Milan, Canadian Open, San Francisco, Tokyo Indoor

1983 -- Runner up:
Australian Open, Brussels, Dallas WCT, Masters, Philadelphia, US Open


I remember Wilander in 82 and Noah in 83 - they were two of the weaker RG winners in memory, both taking advantage of playing aging Borg contemporaries.


No they weren't. That's nonsense. Noah played some of the best tennis of his life in that 83 final. And nobody without a big bias would ever say Wilander was a "weak" winner of RG -- any year.

The truth is that a brief look at the players Borg faced in 81 and the players Wilander and Noah faced in 82-83 demonstrate the exact opposite of what you are claiming. The field was stronger in 82-83 than it had been for Borg. And Wilander and Noah were very much part of the strength of the field, not part of its weakness.

Benhur
07-22-2007, 12:34 PM
Because results deceive. They don't tell the whole story. Draws, circumstances reveal a lot more.

Draws and "circumstances" reveal that they can always be brough up to argue any thing one wishes. So and so "choked". So and so "was already in Disneyland". So and so "wasn't yet the player he would be". So and do would have done better, or worse, if he had had to play x instead of y.

It is a given that you play the hand you are dealt. Not the hand you might have been dealt. And the result tells what you did with the hand you were dealt. There is nothing more.

In addition, I haven't seen a shred of evidence to suggest that the playing field was stronger for Borg than for Wilander and Noah. If anything, he got by far a better hand in 81.

CyBorg
07-22-2007, 12:48 PM
Draws and "circumstances" reveal that they can always be brough up to argue any thing one wishes. So and so "choked". So and so "was already in Disneyland". So and so "wasn't yet the player he would be". So and do would have done better, or worse, if he had had to play x instead of y.

Great. And you can disagree with these arguments and go on living.

It is a given that you play the hand you are dealt. Not the hand you might have been dealt. And the result tells what you did with the hand you were dealt. There is nothing more.

I've already had this argument many times before. You're entitled to believe this. I don't find the way you think very interesting. I like to analyze - it's worth my time and it gets people really riled up, because they like quick and easy certitude. I don't.

In addition, I haven't seen a shred of evidence to suggest that the playing field was stronger for Borg than for Wilander and Noah. If anything, he got by far a better hand in 81.

The argument is not that Borg had a tougher field than Wilander and Noah. The argument is that Wilander and Noah won RG in a period adjoining two eras; a period without dominance. There's a reason why Wilander didn't win RG again until 1985. There's a reason why Noah never came close again.

All of this ties into my argument that results deceive. Noah has an RG title; Alex Corretja does not. Which is the better clay courter? Corretja.

CyBorg
07-22-2007, 12:55 PM
You continue to bring up gaseous imponderables to give weight to arguments that have none. It won't work

Wilander was one of the most prodigious teenagers in tennis history, right up there with Nadal and Becker. He burst into the clay scene in 1982 and went straight to the top, winning Barcelona, Bastad, Geneva and Roland Garros. And he was runner up that same year at Basel, Brussels and Stockholm. In 1983 (the year Noah beat him in the final) Wilander won Aix-En-Provence, the Australian Open, Barcelona, Bastad, Cincinnati, Geneva, Lisbon, Monte Carlo and Stockholm; and he was runner up at Guaruja and Roland Garros.

That's all very interesting. But none of this grants any perspective as to how good Wilander truly was around this time. Hint: he was worse than he was in 1986 when he lost in the third round of RG to Andrei Chesnokov.

Your contention that his 82 RG win and his 83 final was without much merit

Nonsense. I never said this.

Your attempt at dismissing Lendl's stature at the time, and the significance of the fact that Wilander and Noah had to beat Lendl at RG in 82 and 83 respectively, is even more ludicrous.

I didn't dismiss his stature at all. His stature around this time was just as it was - much inferior to that of 1985-1988.

Here’s Lendl results in those years. Just count the titles and finals. Maybe he was playing“with his head in his rear end,” as you put it, but I doubt it. In any case, just imagine what he would have done if he had cared to put his head on his shoulders.

Fantastic player. Major choker in big matchups right up until, let's say, 1984 when he beat Mac in Roland Garros.

No they weren't. That's nonsense. Noah played some of the best tennis of his life in that 83 final. And nobody without a big bias would ever say Wilander was a "weak" winner of RG -- any year.

Ugh, watch the Noah match again. It was terrible tennis. His groundies were awful.

The truth is that a brief look at the players Borg faced in 81 and the players Wilander and Noah faced in 82-83 demonstrate the exact opposite of what you are claiming. The field was stronger in 82-83 than it had been for Borg. And Wilander and Noah were very much part of the strength of the field, not part of its weakness.

You're misrepresenting my position in your first sentence and you're downright wrong in the second.

Mark Vessels
07-22-2007, 12:55 PM
nadal had the longest win streak on clay, nuff' said.

Agassi endorsing Head. Enough said

Benhur
07-22-2007, 02:37 PM
Great. And you can disagree with these arguments and go on living.



I've already had this argument many times before. You're entitled to believe this. I don't find the way you think very interesting. I like to analyze - it's worth my time and it gets people really riled up, because they like quick and easy certitude. I don't.


Claiming that a player went five sets because he was in Disneyland, or that another one's win is not valuable because he hadn't reached yet his full potential, or that he won because the oponent may have choked and endless other stuff you say is NOT analyzing. It's just making idle unsubstantiated gratuitous claims. Anyone can argue the opposite with equal merit.


The argument is not that Borg had a tougher field than Wilander and Noah. The argument is that Wilander and Noah won RG in a period adjoining two eras.

No. You are trying to get out of what you said. Now you claim you were only talking of the fact they were in a "period adjoining two eras." But the phrase is irrelevant to this discussion unless it has some bearing on the relative strength of the playing fields of those eras. Your argument was that they won because this "adjoining era" was, in your words "low on premium talent," which is the same as saying they had easier fields to play against than Borg. This is what you said:


The winners wound up being a 17-year old Mats Wilander and the softball king Yannick Noah. Frankly I don't value their RGs as much as I do Borg's. I can tell when an era is low on premium talent.


The truth is Wilander and Noah dealt with more "premium talent" to win the tournament in 82-83 than Borg did the previous years, as shown by the draws. I thought you considered the draws and circumstances to be of the utmost importance. Which is it?

Virginia
07-22-2007, 03:28 PM
Chris Evert Lloyd won the French Open 7 times, 3 times v Navratilova in the final. She won some finals 1 and 2.

She also had a 125 match winning streak on clay.

NadalandFedererfan
07-22-2007, 05:07 PM
Nadal is the best clay courter of all time. Nuff said. If Borg and Nadal played one another Nadal would blast Borg off the court. His shots look like little puffballs compared to Nadal's booming game.

Virginia
07-22-2007, 05:32 PM
R u b b i s h!

Zimbo
07-22-2007, 05:59 PM
Wilander was not the player he would wind up to be in later years. Here he was simply younger and fresher than old guys like Gerulaitis, Clerc and Vilas. Vilas choked of course - there was no doubt that he was the better player at this time. Lendl still had his head up his rear end half the time around these years and was known for giving up halfway through matches. He made a hell of an effort in 1981, but only took Borg to five sets because Bjorn already was halfway to Disneyland after the semifinal.

I remember Wilander in 82 and Noah in 83 - they were two of the weaker RG winners in memory, both taking advantage of playing aging Borg contemporaries.

This happens again and again when a new guy comes onto the scene and surprises older players who have not seen nearly enough of him. Michael Chang won in another clay stalemate in 1989 - with Wilander on his way down; Lendl on his way down; Leconte on his way down. Chang with fresher legs and nondescript style won RG even though he was hardly great on clay.

The difference between Chang and Wilander is that Wilander grew into a great claycourter even though he wasn't one yet in 82.

CyBorg,

I can see your point and I agree with you that Wilander got better later on, but who doesn't. From 17 year old on Becker got better, Borg got better, and Nadal got better. I also agree with you that Wilander beat Borg's contemporaries and he won mostly due to fresh young legs and the willingness to stay out there the whole day. As for Noah, he played great in '83. Did you know he beat Borg on clay in '82 Monte Carlo Open? So he was a pretty good player on the surface.

So since you stated that you di-valued their RG title, IF Borg would have played and IF he would have won it in those 2 years would you di-value Borg's hypothitically 2 additional RG titles? Benhur raised a simliar question. To me you were unclear in your response. Can you please answer it.

Zimbo
07-22-2007, 06:07 PM
Lendl still had his head up his rear end half the time around these years and was known for giving up halfway through matches. He made a hell of an effort in 1981, but only took Borg to five sets because Bjorn already was halfway to Disneyland after the semifinal.

If Borg was halfway to Disneyland after already how the hell would you have guaranteed that Borg would have taken the title in '82-'83. Come on now. Yes, Borg was the man on clay. He was the best. But to sit there and state that he would have won if he entered is a little too much. As you said, he "was halfway to Disneyland" already. I will admit even if he wasn't fully committed he would probably still be the favourite but that doesn't mean he would have won. Lendl was the heavy favourite in '89 and looked what happened.

Zimbo
07-22-2007, 06:16 PM
The argument is not that Borg had a tougher field than Wilander and Noah. The argument is that Wilander and Noah won RG in a period adjoining two eras; a period without dominance. There's a reason why Wilander didn't win RG again until 1985. There's a reason why Noah never came close again.

The two reasons.
1. I red hot Noah in the '83 finals in a hostle environment.
2. A red hot Lendl (you know him, the other great clay courter in the 80's). The next round Lendl did beat Mac who was playing the best tennis or his career that year.

Benhur
07-22-2007, 06:55 PM
CyBorg,
I can see your point and I agree with you that Wilander got better later on, but who doesn't. From 17 year old on Becker got better, Borg got better, and Nadal got better. I also agree with you that Wilander beat Borg's contemporaries and he won mostly due to fresh young legs and the willingness to stay out there the whole day.


My comment on this is that these early bloomers like Wilander, Becker and Nadal, do get better in general, mostly in the sense that their game becomes more complete. But the fact that Becker was a more complete player in 88 than in 85, or Nadal today than in 2005, or Wilander in 86 than in 82, does NOT preclude their ability to play their best tennis *already* at their early age. That's why they burst into the scene the way they did. You watch Becker play on grass in the summer of 85, first at Queens (which he won btw) and then the run throug his first Wimbledon title, and I do believe that in many of those matches he was *already* playing as well as he would ever play on grass. I have no way of proving this, of course. But neither can the opposite be proven. Generalities do not impinge on particulars. In fact, it is entirely possible that he played better tennis in some of those matches than he did against Edberg three years later, even though three years later he was *generally* a better player. There is simply no instrument to measure such imponderables as quality of play between one match and another. Same thing Nadal. Watch him play in 2005 and early 2006, when he was 17-18. In many of his matches he played as well as he plays today. In some, he may have played better. Same applies to Wilander. So I don't see how the fact that a player gets to be generally better can be used to argue that their early successes are the result of lack of talent in the general field, just because a few years later they failed to win the same event.

Zimbo
07-22-2007, 08:41 PM
My comment on this is that these early bloomers like Wilander, Becker and Nadal, do get better in general, mostly in the sense that their game becomes more complete. But the fact that Becker was a more complete player in 88 than in 85, or Nadal today than in 2005, or Wilander in 86 than in 82, does NOT preclude their ability to play their best tennis *already* at their early age. That's why they burst into the scene the way they did. You watch Becker play on grass in the summer of 85, first at Queens (which he won btw) and then the run throug his first Wimbledon title, and I do believe that in many of those matches he was *already* playing as well as he would ever play on grass. I have no way of proving this, of course. But neither can the opposite be proven. Generalities do not impinge on particulars. In fact, it is entirely possible that he played better tennis in some of those matches than he did against Edberg three years later, even though three years later he was *generally* a better player. There is simply no instrument to measure such imponderables as quality of play between one match and another. Same thing Nadal. Watch him play in 2005 and early 2006, when he was 17-18. In many of his matches he played as well as he plays today. In some, he may have played better. Same applies to Wilander. So I don't see how the fact that a player gets to be generally better can be used to argue that their early successes are the result of lack of talent in the general field, just because a few years later they failed to win the same event.

I agree. Cyborg usually is on top of things but I completely disagree with him here. I think you and I presented pretty strong arguments but I guess he's just doesn't agree or is to bias to see it.

Benhur
07-22-2007, 09:19 PM
Ugh, watch the Noah match again. It was terrible tennis. His groundies were awful.


No, it was not terrible tennis. It was practical emotional tennis to beat Wilander. Expecting beautiful cool classical groundstrokes from Noah is like expecting prunes from almond trees. His game as I remember it was based on a kind of constant unpredictable harrassment shotmaking, with a wide variety of what some may call "junk" shots. His weird slice forehand that he used over and over. Junk perhaps. Oh, but what beautifully creative junk it was! He had a totally unique game that could rattle the very best, especially the steady ones like Lendl and Wilander. I think Noah played a brilliant match in the 83 final, with a game exactly geared to the purpose at hand. The purpose at hand was beating *Wilander*, whose game by then was well known: Mats was the ultimate steady baseliner. Noah had to know he stood no chance at all if he just traded shots from the back with someone like Wilander. Before the match, I gave Noah very little chances of winning, but I knew that if he was to win, it would be by playing more or less the way he did, with all those mad dashes to net following brilliant “junk”. I don’t know how he beat Lendl earlier in the tournament (never watched that match) but it must have been something similar.

It should be remembered that Noah learned the rudiments of the game in Cameroun, where there were practically no tennis courts or racquets. He learned to hit some spherical object against a wall with wood *boards* shaped in the form of a racquet. You, who like to speculate on the might-have-beens, speculate on what this fellow might have been if started trainig from the age of 4 with real tennis racaquets and teachers, like Agassi.

Now, from a purely aesthetic point of view, I prefer guys that play like Lendl and Federer: brilliant smooth laser sharp shotmaking from the back. But from an emotional point of view, I have no problem surrendering to "unorthodox" brilliance like Noah's in that 83 final, or Mcenroe's in so many matches.

Nadal is hard to categorize. He is a bit like Vilas elevated to the n power. He exudes *contagious* energy and willpower. But he is also extremely talented (much more than Vilas was). His best asset, though, is the grey matter between his ears, and that is not likely to get impaired any time soon. Unless he gets physically injured or he suffers an existential crisis like Borg, I expect him to be a major force in tennis for many years to come. There is also this Jekyll-Hyde split in him. While he plays, he is all business, a maniac almost, full of weird tics that he does not even seem to be aware of. As soon as the match is over and he takes off his bandana and shakes his hair loose, he becomes this mellow sweet chill kid, like ready to go surfing on the beach or something. His entire expression changes. I don't see this huge split in any other player. I've been following tennis for many years. I think this is a very unique period. The Federee-Nadal run on the top two spots is already far and away the longest in the history of the sport. I want Fed and Nadal to stay healthy, and a lot more finals between the two.

Zimbo
07-23-2007, 12:53 PM
Cyborg, this is want you wrote about Lendl while replying to Benhur:

"I didn't dismiss his stature at all. His stature around this time was just as it was - much inferior to that of 1985-1988."

"Fantastic player. Major choker in big matchups right up until, let's say, 1984 when he beat Mac in Roland Garros."

If we use your logic, because Borg beat Lendl in the final's in '81 you should not place value on that win. What do you have to say about that?

Benhur
07-23-2007, 06:24 PM
Cyborg, this is want you wrote about Lendl while replying to Benhur:

"I didn't dismiss his stature at all. His stature around this time was just as it was - much inferior to that of 1985-1988."

"Fantastic player. Major choker in big matchups right up until, let's say, 1984 when he beat Mac in Roland Garros."

If we use your logic, because Borg beat Lendl in the final's in '81 you should not place value on that win. What do you have to say about that?

Exactly. He beat this "major choker" who took him to 5 sets only because of Disneyland, and he also beat a few complete non-entities before the "major choker" to get to the final. Yet his title is worth much more than Wilander's in 82. Go figure.

Well, hell, the choker won 10 titles in 1981. (See how many titles the top players are winning in the last ten years or so). Then the choker entered 23 tournaments in 1982, reaching the finals in 20 of them and winning 15 of those 20 finals. That's 15 titles and 5 runner-up apperarances in one year. Of course it is a common occurrence in the open era for players to have a year like that. There must by plenty of other players in the open era with 15 titles and 5 runner-up appearances in one year. I just don't know who they are. CyBorg will let us know. All I know is this "choker" is one of the guys Wilander and Noah had to beat to win their titles in 82 and 83. Peace of cake, obviously.

BTURNER
08-10-2007, 09:08 PM
Rosewall won the French singles championship in '53,68. Someone named Rose won it in '58 Where did this #10 come from? Must be talking doubles, a whole different sport WITH a partner to share the record with. Maybe his partners were the great clay courters.