PDA

View Full Version : The last 2 great clay courters at Roland Garros: who would win?


goldark
07-10-2007, 05:04 AM
Imagine Guga and Rafa both at the peak of their primes in a French Open Final. Who would win and why?

http://www.thepollspace.com/polls.php?pollid=1800


I'm more partial to Guga myself, but I think Rafa would take him :(

Andres
07-10-2007, 05:45 AM
I'll go with Guga in 4 or 5 sets. One of his biggest weapons, the heavy topspin crosscourt forehand, is absolutely negated by the heavy topspin crosscourt backhand of Kuerten.

Kuerten doesn't have the wheels of Nadal, but he has a better serve, and punishing strokes. Nadal couldn't dictate the points from his forehand, the same as Kuerten couldn't do it with his backhand.

It's a toss, but I'd like to say Kuerten in 4 or 5. But close as hell.

baseliner87
07-10-2007, 05:48 AM
gee though one!

haven't seen much of kuerten so i'll go with rafa

Andres
07-10-2007, 05:49 AM
gee though one!

haven't seen much of kuerten so i'll go with rafa
Shouldn't you say "haven't seen much of kuerten so I can't give an objetive opinion" ? :D

AAAA
07-10-2007, 05:51 AM
Kuerten doesn't have the wheels of Nadal, but he has a better serve, and punishing strokes. Nadal couldn't dictate the points from his forehand, the same as Kuerten couldn't do it with his backhand.


hey Andres, Kuerten had an awesome power backhand drive.

8PAQ
07-10-2007, 06:17 AM
Nadal at his best takes it in straights.

Andres
07-10-2007, 07:08 AM
hey Andres, Kuerten had an awesome power backhand drive.
I know, and he usually dictated the points going crosscourt against less solid backhands. I remember Kuerten punishing Kafelnikov, who had a great backhand.

But in this case, Kuerten can't control the point off that wing, cause it goes right into Nadal's vicious forehand. And viceversa, Nadal's FH goes into Kuerten's BH

AAAA
07-10-2007, 07:13 AM
I know, and he usually dictated the points going crosscourt against less solid backhands. I remember Kuerten punishing Kafelnikov, who had a great backhand.

But in this case, Kuerten can't control the point off that wing, cause it goes right into Nadal's vicious forehand. And viceversa, Nadal's FH goes into Kuerten's BH

I see but then Kuerten can easily hit down the line. It would certainly be a great match to watch.

TheNatural
07-10-2007, 09:30 AM
Definitely Nadal. Hewitt beat Guga in 3 straight sets in Guga's prime on clay in Gugas home town ina huge Davis cup match. Hewitt hasnt been very close to beating Nadal in a best of 5 clay match yet. And that's because Nadal is a in another league to Guga.

Andres
07-10-2007, 09:47 AM
I see but then Kuerten can easily hit down the line. It would certainly be a great match to watch.
Kuerten can hit DTL at will, but that opens the court for Nadal to hit his GREAT GREAT GREAT backhand crosscourt on the run.

aramis
07-10-2007, 09:59 AM
Definitely Nadal. Hewitt beat Guga in 3 straight sets in Guga's prime on clay in Gugas home town ina huge Davis cup match. Hewitt hasnt been very close to beating Nadal in a best of 5 clay match yet. And that's because Nadal is a in another league to Guga.

Guga was never known for outright consistency. He was a pure, 100% shotmaker.

ATXtennisaddict
07-10-2007, 10:04 AM
Nadal no doubt. Three FO in a row, nuff said.

quest01
07-10-2007, 10:12 AM
I think Nadal would win. Nadal is the best clay court player in the history of Tennis. Nadal winning 81 straight clay court matches and 3 straight French opens are the reasons why hes better then Guga on clay. Case closed.

dima
07-10-2007, 10:26 AM
I think Guga, but only because his game matches up well against Nadals.

Andres
07-10-2007, 02:00 PM
I think Nadal would win. Nadal is the best clay court player in the history of Tennis. Nadal winning 81 straight clay court matches and 3 straight French opens are the reasons why hes better then Guga on clay. Case closed.
Against relatively poor clay competition.
Case back open.

akv89
07-10-2007, 03:27 PM
I thought about this recently. If it's between Rafa's forehand and Kuerten's backhand, I'll have to go with Nadal. It would be an amazing match though.

hectornorton
07-10-2007, 03:36 PM
i loved guga i thought he was great but i don't think the level of competitors he had were that good to be honest.. i mean he beat some good solid clay court players like corretja or bruguera (not to mention that guy norman) but he never really played against heavy weights ( federer, nadal or even djoker)...

i mean i think guga would have an extremely hard time in beating federer...

i don't think he had the level to beat nadal.. nadal has fun playing against big tall players he makes them run all over the court....

Andres
07-10-2007, 03:50 PM
i loved guga i thought he was great but i don't think the level of competitors he had were that good to be honest.. i mean he beat some good solid clay court players like corretja or bruguera (not to mention that guy norman) but he never really played against heavy weights ( federer, nadal or even djoker)...

i mean i think guga would have an extremely hard time in beating federer...

i don't think he had the level to beat nadal.. nadal has fun playing against big tall players he makes them run all over the court....
Guga beat Federer in 2004 when Fed was #1 at the FO. In straights.
And since when Djokovic is a "heavy weight" on clay ??

Another solid clay courters Kuerten faced? Ferrero, Costa, Moya, Agassi, Kafelnikov, Moya, Muster, the in-form Coria... just to name a few.

Djokovic... PLEASE!

herosol
07-10-2007, 04:03 PM
i think its quite funny how people even suspect nadal to lose.

no matter how good of a forehand Guga has, no one is a better ball chaser then Nadal.

he would reach it, out grind Guga or any person who thinks they can even try to play with him on clay.

im no nadal fan, but seriously, no way.
i won't say straight sets, but definetley in 4, with the one Guga wins to be tight.

AAAA
07-10-2007, 04:44 PM
Kuerten can hit DTL at will, but that opens the court for Nadal to hit his GREAT GREAT GREAT backhand crosscourt on the run.

alright, now it's my(Kuerten) shot. Kuerten would then run it down and hit a down the line forehand or wrong foot Nadal by hitting cross court to where Nadal was standing 15-0.

Andres
07-10-2007, 04:48 PM
But you're taking credit away from Nadal's footspeed, compared to Kuerten's. Why is Kuerten running the entire court to the other corner (to hit his FH) faster than Nadal (who's faster) running to get back in position to the CENTER of the court?

And of course, the backhand on the run to the other corner is usually a winner, unless you're Cañas, Hewitt or Coria.

AAAA
07-10-2007, 04:49 PM
But you're taking credit away from Nadal's footspeed, compared to Kuerten's. Why is Kuerten running the entire court to the other corner (to hit his FH) faster than Nadal (who's faster) running to get back in position to the CENTER of the court?

And of course, the backhand on the run to the other corner is usually a winner, unless you're Caņas, Hewitt or Coria.

I should have put a smiley Face in my post.

superman1
07-10-2007, 04:50 PM
Seems like most people have forgotten about Coria. Coria might have been the best claycourter Nadal ever faced, and they had one hell of a tough, long 5 set match. I have no doubt that another even greater claycourter would have given Nadal plenty of trouble.

drakulie
07-10-2007, 04:53 PM
I'll go with Guga in 4 or 5 sets. One of his biggest weapons, the heavy topspin crosscourt forehand, is absolutely negated by the heavy topspin crosscourt backhand of Kuerten.

Kuerten doesn't have the wheels of Nadal, but he has a better serve, and punishing strokes. Nadal couldn't dictate the points from his forehand, the same as Kuerten couldn't do it with his backhand.

It's a toss, but I'd like to say Kuerten in 4 or 5. But close as hell.

Agreed. All things being equal on the ground, Kuertnen's serve would definitely give him a slight edge.

Additionally, not taking anything away from Rafa, but his clay court competition is weak compared to Guga's.

aramis
07-10-2007, 05:36 PM
Seems like most people have forgotten about Coria. Coria might have been the best claycourter Nadal ever faced, and they had one hell of a tough, long 5 set match. I have no doubt that another even greater claycourter would have given Nadal plenty of trouble.

True. I always felt an in form Coria was better equipped than Roger to take down Rafa. Even in 05 you can argue Coria wasn't at his absolute best like the year before. He doesn't seem to mind Nadal's topspin that much.

iamke55
07-10-2007, 06:08 PM
If the two greatest were to face each other head to head at their best, the more recent one always wins because the competition gets stronger every single year. Not just in tennis, but in anything involving technological advances.

Tennis_Monk
07-10-2007, 08:42 PM
I am surpised at this discussion. IMO Rafael Will win the tie with less discomfort. Kuerten has a hell of backhand no doubt But that cant match up with Rafael. Rafa is used to playing Righties with huge ground strokes.
I am not so sure about Kuerten against lefty Dirt ballers. May be someone in this forum can post some Guga's results.

Guga wasnt as dominating as Rafael. The argument that his competition is weak is a weak argument. He is so good that it makes his competition look wimpy.

Bassus
07-13-2007, 08:11 PM
True. I always felt an in form Coria was better equipped than Roger to take down Rafa. Even in 05 you can argue Coria wasn't at his absolute best like the year before. He doesn't seem to mind Nadal's topspin that much.


Its all about matchups I guess. I think the Federer of 2005 to now would beat peak Coria on clay quite comfortably. Even in 2004, I think Federer would have beaten Coria had he managed to make it to the final.

I will give Coria credit though for how he pushed Nadal in that 05 match. He certainly did better than Federer did against Nadal in the French semfinal. That was a poor showing by Federer.

CyBorg
07-13-2007, 08:13 PM
Nadal has two forehands. He would win.

Bassus
07-13-2007, 08:19 PM
As to Kuerten vs Nadal;

I think Kuerten would win his fair share. I think he would have handled the high/heavy forehand to his own bh better than Federer has.

Still, overall I'd say its Nadal 60%, Kuerten 40%.

Matt H.
07-13-2007, 08:37 PM
how good is Kuerten hitting those backhands from above his shoulder?

brolycjw
07-14-2007, 03:18 AM
Kuerten has the upper hand if the match is short, but in a 5 set match, Nadal would have the advantage as hitting a shoulder-height one-handed backhand consistently is physically demanding.

jackson vile
07-14-2007, 07:04 AM
Consider the fact that Nadal has not even hit his peak yet so no one has seen that form.

Nadal keeps getting better, I really can't even believe it, every time I doubt him he does the impossbile.

In other words Nadal would absolutely destroy Guga, believe it!

Andres
07-14-2007, 07:20 AM
how good is Kuerten hitting those backhands from above his shoulder?
He eats them for breakfast. It was his money shot ;)

naffi
07-14-2007, 10:00 AM
I think Guga's serve would barely get him out of that match, but if it went the distance, (which, of course, it would) Nadal would have a physical edge. I still fantasize about Guga coming back, though, so I'm thinking French Open next year ...

http://www.******************.blogspot.com

Imagine Guga and Rafa both at the peak of their primes in a French Open Final. Who would win and why?

http://www.thepollspace.com/polls.php?pollid=1800


I'm more partial to Guga myself, but I think Rafa would take him :(

rod99
07-14-2007, 10:31 AM
a lot of ignorance (and very short memories) are being shown on this board, as usual. i am not sure who would win but anyone who says that either player would win in straight sets doesn't know a whole lot about tennis. most people seem to think nadal would win (most of these people are probably still in high school, as well). these people don't understand that kuerten in his prime could handle the high backhand (unlike federer or sampras) with ease, his backhand up the line was sick, and he had a huge serve (much bigger than nadal).

anointedone
07-14-2007, 10:57 AM
Nadal would win 8 times out of 10 atleast. Kuerten was inconsistent even on clay. Look at alot of the losses he had in his prime in 1999-2001, despite all his success on clay, and his near losses to players who cant hold Nadal's jockstrap at the 3 French Opens he won. On his best day he might have a 50/50 chance, but only on his best day would he have any chance to beat Nadal on clay.

anointedone
07-14-2007, 10:59 AM
I still fantasize about Guga coming back, though, so I'm thinking French Open next year ...

http://www.******************.blogspot.com

Stick a fork in him. He is done. Fantasizing a return to serious level of tennis from Kuerten, you might as well fantasize winning the lottery too.

anointedone
07-14-2007, 11:01 AM
While I definitely see Nadal having the overall edge with Kuerten on clay, atleast this is a serious thread worth discussion. Unlike the bogus Agassi vs Nadal on clay thread which was more a humour thread for the most ridiculous and shameless of the Agassi homers. Atleast this thread you can have some serious discussion over.

aramis
07-14-2007, 12:27 PM
a lot of ignorance (and very short memories) are being shown on this board, as usual. i am not sure who would win but anyone who says that either player would win in straight sets doesn't know a whole lot about tennis. most people seem to think nadal would win (most of these people are probably still in high school, as well). these people don't understand that kuerten in his prime could handle the high backhand (unlike federer or sampras) with ease, his backhand up the line was sick, and he had a huge serve (much bigger than nadal).

Guga's serve was probably the most underrated part of his game. When he is setting up for it, he doesn't seem like he'll hit a huge serve, but he ends up serving a bomb anyway. I remember he didn't really alter his ball toss so it was tough to read. Same with his groundstrokes; his technique is the same whether he hits dtl or cross court. I remember Roger having trouble with that in their 2004 match.

Steven87
07-14-2007, 02:08 PM
Nadal, because it will ultimately come down to fitness and consistency.

NamRanger
07-14-2007, 02:20 PM
An injured Guga took out Roger Federer in straights at the FO in 2004 I believe. Nadal can't even do that at the FO. Imagine what a healthy Guga would do.

rafa_prestige89
07-14-2007, 03:25 PM
An injured Guga took out Roger Federer in straights at the FO in 2004 I believe. Nadal can't even do that at the FO. Imagine what a healthy Guga would do.

Now you said everything!

Volly master
07-14-2007, 03:31 PM
GUGA's ROAD IN 1997

1st Sláva Doseděl (Czech Republic) 6-0, 7-5, 6-1
2nd Jonas Björkman (Sweden) 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5
3rd Thomas Muster (Austria) 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
4th Andrei Medvedev (Ukraine) 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, 1-6, 7-5
QF Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia) 6-2, 5-7, 2-6, 6-0, 6-4
SF Filip Dewulf (Belgium) 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(4)
Final Sergi Bruguera (Spain) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Former Champions in Bold: Sergi Bruguera (1993 and 1994), Thomas Muster (1995) and Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1996).

Yes, Guga played in weak draw. Nadal is good, no doubt, but this victory was magical in its own right.

Nadal_Freak
07-14-2007, 03:42 PM
None of those players hit as hard as Nadal. Muster needs time to setup his shot unlike Nadal.

NamRanger
07-14-2007, 03:56 PM
None of those players hit as hard as Nadal. Muster needs time to setup his shot unlike Nadal.


Beg to differ, Kafel could outblast Nadal any day of the week on a hardcourt, he just can't keep up with the grinding part.

anointedone
07-14-2007, 03:58 PM
An injured Guga took out Roger Federer in straights at the FO in 2004 I believe. Nadal can't even do that at the FO. Imagine what a healthy Guga would do.

That is just one match. One could turn around and say Federer beat Kuerten pretty easily in the final set in 2002 on a match on clay, when Kuerten was much higher ranked then a green Federer. So in 2 matches, Kuerten did better then Nadal ever did vs Federer in 1 of the 2, but much worse then Nadal ever did vs Federer in 6 of their 7 matches in the other 1 of those 2. Nadal on the other hand has only lost to Federer once on clay, and it was when he was too worn out to play normal.

anointedone
07-14-2007, 04:06 PM
Kuerten vs Federer on clay:

2002 Hamburg quarters: Federer defeats Kuerten 6-0, 1-6, 6-2
2004 French Open 3rd round: Kuerten defeats Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-4


Nadal vs Federer on clay:

2005 French Open semis: Nadal defeats Federer 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3
2006 Monte Carlo final: Nadal defeats Federer 6-2 6-7(2) 6-3 7-6(5)
2006 Rome final: Nadal defeats Federer 6-7(0) 7-6(5) 6-4 2-6 7-6(5)
2006 French Open final: Nadal defeats Federer 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6(4)
2006 Monte Carlo final: Nadal defeats Federer 6-4 6-4
2006 Hamburg final: Federer defeats Nadal 2-6 6-2 6-0
2006 French Open final: Nadal defeats Federer 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(3) 2-6 6-2

Also if Federer ever played as crummy a match vs Nadal on clay as he played that 3rd round vs Kuerten at the French Open that year, Nadal would smoke him much worse then Kuerten did. There would have been bagels and breaksticks if he played that lousy vs Nadal. Luckily for Federer he has never shown up play that kind of crap tennis vs Nadal on any surface.