PDA

View Full Version : Muster: Feel free to gape at his '95 record


Colpo
02-14-2005, 08:16 AM
http://www.tenniscorner.net/index.php?corner=M&action=activity&season=1995&playerid=MUT001

Yep, that's Barcelona, Monaco, Rome and the French ... in a row! Oh yeah, and 8 other tourney wins that year ...

wildbill88AA
02-14-2005, 03:39 PM
best year on clay ever?

NoBadMojo
02-14-2005, 03:45 PM
I would say that Vilas may have had the best year on clay ever or maybe even the best year ever. In 1977 he won 50 matches in a row and something like 17 tourneys. Taking nothing away from Muster of course.

Nastase
02-14-2005, 04:00 PM
I remember Sampras (dont get me wrong I like Sampras) dismissing Musters accomplishments that year...saying something like he played only clay tourneys, many of them small, where many lower ranked players played, etc...never understood his perspective. He was glad to take the accolades for his grass expertise, but dimissed Musters clay court accumen. Sampras, I dont believe, ever won 13 tournaments in a year. I was glad to see Muster get to US Open Qtrs, really showed he could play on faster surfaces. Just my opinion

Chadwixx
02-14-2005, 05:22 PM
out of all the ppl on a hot day u dont wanna play, muster would have to be on the top of the list

i dont think anyone ever listend to what sampras had to say, they just liked his tennis. i personally find him arrogant for someone who couldnt hit three groundstrokes in a row for last part of his career.

!Tym
02-14-2005, 05:53 PM
Well, when you're looking up at DA MAN on the other side of the net, just remember one thing...arrogance is the root of all evil.

The best players I've known have ALWAYS been arrogant without fail. Even if they don't say it on the outside, you know it, he knows it, and that's all that matters.

I do agree though that it was sickening the way some dismissed Muster's 95 campaign. I don't care what anyone says, 13 titles in one year is THIRTEEN titles no matter how you want to cut it. Period, end of story...that's RIDICULOUSLY deserving of respect given the depth of men's tennis in the 90s. With that said, I do believe that other elite players are capable of doing the same...but this is assuming that they can give it 190% EVERY single match, treat EVERY single match like it's your last match, treat EVERY single opponent like raw meat dangling in front of a HUNGRY lion's nose. Of course, there's only one man in the history of 90s who was able to approach each and EVERY match with such VENOM...and that man was Thomas Muster during his short but BRUTALLY VIOLENT peak. When Muster reigned, you can bet it was a BLOOD BATH. As Kafelnikov said after getting STEAMROLLED by Muster in the 95 French semis...he said when you step into the ring with Muster, you feel like a little fly in the ring with a BULL. ...psst, I don't know if you've noticed, but Kafelnikov is a pretty BIG and IMPOSING brooding figure/man himself, like stepping into the ring with a Russian Ox...but next to peak Muster, HUNGRY Muster? The Russian ox looked like a donkey running for dear life. Muster had that kind of effect. It was the way he strutted around like a peacock. The way he puffed his chest out. The way he growled on every shot. The way he just kept on coming, kept on coming, like a runaway tractor trailer...he was almost INSANE, or at least it seemed that way. He was the TRUE tennis terminator. He had no conscious, just ruthless agression. His aura during his peak was truly frightening.

BTW, I also agree that on a HOT day, the last person in the world you want to play is Thomas Muster. Don't stick a fork in me and roast me over an open fire for saying this, but BRUGUERA!!!!!! said that Muster, NOT Sampras, not Agassi, not etc...was the player he hated to play the most. Why?

The 97 Lipton final. SCORCHING hot day, best of five sets, Bruguera at peak form that tournie (got up 6-0, 5-0 love on Medvedev losing just three total points in the first set, intimated that he let Medvedev win a few games in the end because he didn't want to beat his best friend love and love), plays a great first set, has the it on his fingertips in the tiebreak with a putaway sitter overhead, BUT Muster doesn't give up on a Bruguera overhead and makes an impossible get, that NEVER SAY DIE attitude, Bruguera literally tanks the ensuing shot into the net..."What was Bruguera THINKING!" exclaims Patrick McEnroe. Bruguera dog tired, slumps over. Muster POUNDS his chest, literally, I think he thought his pectorals were congo drums and he was just another Austrian singer singing "Ba-ba-loo!" ...in a matter of seconds, seconds like a blur, Muster steals the set from the jaws of defeat...

Bruguera *immediately* tanks the next two sets, barely runs for anything after that. Why? In his own words after the match: HOT day, best of five sets, and the man...the RAVING LUNATIC who was PUMPING his chest like the Lion King...standing on the other side of the net...GROWLING at...EVERYTHING.

The man who needs know introduction, for at his best he was one scary MoFO. you don't want to mess with him. He's like tennis' version of a Harley biker with a crowbar...YEOW!!! Get out of the way!

Haha, at first Cliffie Drysdale could not STAND Muster because of his UNCOUTH grab you by your tongue and rip it out demeanor...BUT, he eventually learned to appreciate him...or else...we all know Muster was going to ask ol' Cliffie out to a beer and a bawl, a good old fashioned Care Bears, make up and hug session.

But I regress. During Muster's peak; he was villainized, hated, and jeered by both fans and peers alike. But in the end, in hindsight, most have come to appreciate that the bark was louder than the bite. At his core, Muster was a beautiful man, a man who even had a dry, wry, I'm so sly sense of humor. But in the thick of battle, it was hard to root for a man who made thunder claps each time he STOMPED across the court.

Now, that Muster is gone, I've come to appreciate the great character he was. He was to me one of the signature characters of the 90s.

To me, tennis these days lacks those distinctive characters. You can be Edberg, you can Muster, polar opposites, but you would still be characters. It's like professional wrestling. There used to be a time, when the wrestlers weren't just "names," they were larger than life. They were the Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan, the Macho Man Randy Savage, The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibase, The Junkyard Dog, Hercules, Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, Brutus the Barber Beefcake, The British Bulldog, etc.

Those were the days when wrestlers were CHARACTERS, so distinctive that they took on a life and mythology all their own.

These days, try as I might, I find it hard to create a mythology to describe the likes of...who?

With that said, Hewitt...though I can't stand watching him play, Safin, and Roddick are for example guys I consider to have a CHARACTER that will be remembered, like 'em or not. They are not just their tennis, they carry with them a unique PERSONA. And that to me is the flavor that tennis lacks these days.

The 90s was for me an era of Baskin Robbins' and cool, cool Sundays. Each week, I felt like I was being treated to a show rather than just a match, a stadium, and two names...again, who?

Chadwixx
02-14-2005, 06:01 PM
Bruguera *immediately* In his own words after the match: HOT day, best of five sets, and the man...the RAVING LUNATIC who was PUMPING his chest like the Lion King...standing on the other side of the net...GROWLING at...EVERYTHING.



that is funny :)

his match with becker was pretty amazing too

!Tym
02-14-2005, 06:06 PM
that is funny :)

his match with becker was pretty amazing too

Lol, yes, and lest we forget, Becker had a few choice words after the match regarding Muster's...ahem, intestinal fortitude. For Becker, it was perhaps just a little to unbelievable that any SANE human being could actually run HARDER at the end of the race...I mean the nerve! What did this MUSTER fellow think he was? ...Rocky? Pee-shaw, Becker wasn't buying none of that.

Phil
02-14-2005, 06:59 PM
I knew that !Tym would put in his 2 pesos regarding Muster and crew of artless baseline zombies...

Well, when you're looking up at DA MAN on the other side of the net, just remember one thing...arrogance is the root of all evil.

The best players I've known have ALWAYS been arrogant without fail. Even if they don't say it on the outside, you know it, he knows it, and that's all that matters. True.
Of course, there's only one man in the history of 90s who was able to approach each and EVERY match with such VENOM...and that man was Thomas Muster during his short but BRUTALLY VIOLENT peak. When Muster reigned, you can bet it was a BLOOD BATH. As Kafelnikov said after getting STEAMROLLED by Muster in the 95 French semis...he said when you step into the ring with Muster, you feel like a little fly in the ring with a BULL. ...psst, I don't know if you've noticed, but Kafelnikov is a pretty BIG and IMPOSING brooding figure/man himself, like stepping into the ring with a Russian Ox...but next to peak Muster, HUNGRY Muster? The Russian ox looked like a donkey running for dear life. Muster had that kind of effect. It was the way he strutted around like a peacock. The way he puffed his chest out. The way he growled on every shot. The way he just kept on coming, kept on coming, like a runaway tractor trailer...he was almost INSANE, or at least it seemed that way. He was the TRUE tennis terminator. He had no conscious, just ruthless agression. His aura during his peak was truly frightening. Yeah, this guy was really scary, let me tell you. Sampras was SURE scared of him. Off of clay, this "lion" was more like a pidgeon. You talk this guy up like he's some kind of real killer-a mafia hit man or Special Forces assassin. He was a friggin' tennis player-and one-dimensional at that. Buy a pound of perspective, why don't you? But, he was certainly BETTER than your hero, Sergei. At least he NEVER tanked a match (on clay, that is..)
BTW, I also agree that on a HOT day, the last person in the world you want to play is Thomas Muster. Don't stick a fork in me and roast me over an open fire for saying this, but BRUGUERA!!!!!! said that Muster, NOT Sampras, not Agassi, not etc...was the player he hated to play the most. Why? Brugera was scared of his shadow-a major league pus* if there ever was one-and he shreiked like a girl. I won't roast you over an open flame, but there's someone else here who might...he should be coming along, ahhh...shortly.
BUT Muster doesn't give up on a Bruguera overhead and makes an impossible get, that NEVER SAY DIE attitude, Bruguera literally tanks the ensuing shot into the net..."What was Bruguera THINKING!" exclaims Patrick McEnroe. Bruguera dog tired, slumps over. Muster POUNDS his chest, literally, I think he thought his pectorals were congo drums and he was just another Austrian singer singing "Ba-ba-loo!" ...in a matter of seconds, seconds like a blur, Muster steals the set from the jaws of defeat... You are truely blah over these boring baseliners...it shows even in the language you use. Pretty sickening. Bruguera *immediately* tanks the next two sets, barely runs for anything after that. Why is that not surprising?
The man who needs know introduction, for at his best he was one scary MoFO. you don't want to mess with him. He's like tennis' version of a Harley biker with a crowbar...YEOW!!! Get out of the way!
It was an act...someone, I don't know who, told the story of a match with Pat Rafter (there's a guy you wouldn't want to mess with...he didn't need the act either) where Muster's walking around after every lost point, mumbling to himself, pointing at lines, etc. Finally, tired of this disgusting and unsportsmanlike display, Rafter LEAPS over the net and points to one of the lines-and the ball mark on it-I'm not sure exactly what he said, but it went something like this: "There's your ball mark, mate-it's right there-now what's the problem?" No reaction from the now-small, toothless Austrian in the face of the BIGGER and stronger Australian. Give me a friggin' break.
But I regress. As you always do.
During Muster's peak; he was villainized, hated, and jeered by both fans and peers alike. But in the end, in hindsight, most have come to appreciate that the bark was louder than the bite. I was aware of this well before the end. At his core, Muster was a beautiful man... Now you're REALLY getting carried away-are you CRYING as you write this?
These days, try as I might, I find it hard to create a mythology to describe the likes of...who? You've already done that-you may be the ONLY person outside of Spain who worships at the alter of Sergei-you are, in fact, the High Priest of the Church of Bruegera/Muster heavy topspin boring baseline play (and an accolyte of the Gonzo Gonzalez cult of mindless bashing...)

big ted
02-14-2005, 10:29 PM
the sampras diss was in 96 not 95 and not about musters wins but that he became no 1 in the world albeit briefly and sampras told reporters how he didnt deserve the no 1 ranking considering he was more or less a clay court specialist at that time. agassi agreed with sampras too.
to musters credit it probly fueled him to be a better hard court player after that although it hurt his clay court prowess

i forgot to add that muster never won a wimbledon match in his entire career, so no u could say he didnt deserve to be no 1 in the world

VamosRafa
02-14-2005, 10:54 PM
What Muster did is great.

And I can see why you have to remind us of it.

Given that memories are short, and what Sampras/Agassi has done is on our collective historic minds.

Not to mention that Federer is poised to make even their accomplishments look insignificant.

So again, what is your point re Muster?

Oh, if it's all about the French, perhaps you can focus on Jim Courier's career. He won two French Opens, a couple Australians, and had a few other finals to throw in there (I think they involved Wimbledon and the U.S. Open).

Just to mix things up here.

When all is said and done, I'd pick Jim Courier's career over Muster's, as it was more varied. I don't think you can compare him with either Pete or Andre.

Any thoughts on that?

rhubarb
02-15-2005, 04:29 AM
I remember Sampras (dont get me wrong I like Sampras) dismissing Musters accomplishments that year...saying something like he played only clay tourneys, many of them small, where many lower ranked players played, etc...never understood his perspective. He was glad to take the accolades for his grass expertise, but dimissed Musters clay court accumen. Sampras, I dont believe, ever won 13 tournaments in a year. I was glad to see Muster get to US Open Qtrs, really showed he could play on faster surfaces. Just my opinion

Whilst it was an incredible year for Muster winning 12 (not 13) events, it's true that almost all of these wins were on clay, and most were at what today would be classed as optional tournaments (nowadays only 5 of those wins would count towards ranking).

In Sampras' best count of tournaments in a single year was 10, but he would never win more than two on grass of course, and usually only one. So in a way I do agree with Sampras' view here (and I *don't* like Sampras).

I wouldn't sniff at Muster's achievements of 1 GS + 3 TMS which is very commendable, but Federer's mix of 11 last year (clay, grass, hardcourt, indoors) of which 3 GS + 3 TMS was much more impressive.

STRman
02-15-2005, 04:42 AM
If you never saw Muster play, and you only went on what you read in a stats book, one could probably say that Sampras and Agassi were far better. But if you put all three of them on a court while in their prime, I'd pay for my ticket to watch Muster any day. Also, if you made the match best out of 7 sets, Muster would still be going strong in the 7th while the other two were puking and sucking wind.

VamosRafa
02-15-2005, 09:32 PM
If you never saw Muster play, and you only went on what you read in a stats book, one could probably say that Sampras and Agassi were far better. But if you put all three of them on a court while in their prime, I'd pay for my ticket to watch Muster any day. Also, if you made the match best out of 7 sets, Muster would still be going strong in the 7th while the other two were puking and sucking wind.


I have seen Muster play, and I saw him play some great matches. I also saw him lose some matches he should have won. But that's true of every player.

But rhubarb is right. Many people have never seen Muster play, and they won't see him play (unless they see him on the senior's Tour).

His achievements were good, but not great in terms of what will be rembered in years to come.

Courier, Agassi and of course Sampras will be in the Tennis Hall of Fame.

Will Muster get there?

Maybe, but I think Pat Rafter gets there before him. They are both marginal.

Just to promote the discussion.

Galactus
02-16-2005, 03:29 AM
Thomas Muster? Great on clay, pretty much owned by everyobody else on every other surface...

Rockyrock
02-16-2005, 05:53 AM
Muster.... FULL OF DRUGS ! That explains how he played day in, day out to get to #1.

Dedans Penthouse
02-16-2005, 08:15 AM
Given that memories are short, and what Sampras/Agassi has done is on our collective historic minds. Not to mention that Federer is poised to make even their accomplishments look insignificant.....Any thoughts on that?

INSIGNIFICANT?

LADY..........................................YOU. ......ARE.......... NUTS!



Rocky: The guy probably WAS the Oakland A's of tennis. ;-)
Muster needs a booster!

But, more importantly (as previously pointed out), always remember this:
(ethereal harp arpeggios playing in the background)

Thomas Muster: IS A BEAUTIFUL PERSON......and,
Thomas Muster: WILL FOREVER BE ..... A BEAUTIFUL MAN.....

!Tym
02-16-2005, 08:36 AM
In a career context, clearly Courier, Sampras, et. all had the better career, but stop to consider that Muster used an extreme western grip on his forehand and an extreme western grip backhand as well. This in addition to massive tree-trunk like backswings. His technique was only really well suited to clay. But, NEVERTHELESS, people forget that he made the finals of the 1989 Lipton...before the tragic injury...and just before that tragic injury? THE SEMIFINALS OF THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN, losing a tight one 7-5 in the fourth to none other than Ivan Lendl...yes, Thomas Muster was truly "owned."

As Muster himself said, he really felt like he could have been a top hardcourt player as well. Who's to say he couldn't? He had a *legitimate* claim to say so in 1989 up until...BUT what happened? Was a matter of his knee. Lest we forget it was indirectly but directly rammed by a drunk motorcyclist in the parking lot of the 89 Lipton...as he was loading the bags into his car after his SEMIFINAL victory. In what context is this not understandable? I believe that Muster should be judged in a different context than from Courier and Sampras, for the simple fact of the matter is, that the three of them did NOT by any stretch of the imagination start on level ground.

Muster's knee for medical reasons (is that his fault?) simply could not take the repeated pounding of hard court play, and THAT is why he stopped training for it and only played on the stuff sparingly...up until 97...at which point he was FED UP with all the naysayers and media who repeatedly attached an *asterik* by his accomplishments, saying...well, he can ONLY play on clay.

Muster trained *specifically* for the early 97 hard court season that year, an all or nothing effort to claim the 97 Lipton and put to rest his demons, and in the process prove his doubters wrong.

Muster immediately proceeded to make the semis of that Australian Open (beating Courier and bludgeoning Ivanisevic along the way), and he then went on a TEAR for the rest of that first half hard court season. His casualties? Courier-Ivanisevic (beat them THREE times in a row...NOT a fluke), Philipoussis, Haas, Corretja, Bjorkman, and a red hot Bruguera (who had just beaten Sampras-Chang). He was nearly unbeatable and had an 18-3 record by the time the Lipton was over, best start to the year, second to only Sampras at 17-1 coming into the Lipton semis. As Patrick McEnroe said, "...and ALL of those wins came on hard courts, so I don't know if I want to hear that Thomas Muster can ONLY play on clay." Muster's record was second to only Sampras' on the tour, and barely at that.

This is a fact, Sampras' best start to the year EVER at 17-1...so just to put things in perspective (17-2 after Bruguera beat him), that IS a quality start no matter how you look at it, and it is NOT indicative of being "owned." Prior to the injury, was Muster "owned" when he found himself in the semifinals of the 89 Australian Open, when he...should have found himself in the finals of the 89 Lipton?

Of course, that's water under the bridge now...Muster ended up winning the 97 Lipton in dominating fashion. How many people would be able to say hey, I want to train for hard courts this year and get IMMEDIATE results, results IMMEDIATELY ahead of everyone else on tour except Sampras...how did "pretty much everyone" own Muster? Again, to reiterate, Muster do to his knee was not medically able to focus on hard courts for long. His decision to focus on it in the early part of 97 was a CONCERTED push, an all or nothing push...and in that is the window by which I judge him. In that context, he delivered. To reiterate, Muster's condition was NOT the same as Courier's and Sampras', so that is why I do not judge them in the same light. Given Muster's handicap, I think he did about the best that would have been humanly possible by ANYONE...except, of course, maybe Sampras.

But even still, Muster's form at the 97 Lipton was truly SCARY, and I doubt that even Sampras would have taken him down in that heat, not that tournament, not in best of five sets.

At the 97 Lipton, Muster was striking the ball unbelievably cleanly, hitting clean winners, hardly missing a ball, making NO errors, running EVERYTHING down, taking balls off the baseline, the heat was *scorching* yet he was the ONLY one who didn't even notice. I honestly do not believe that anyone in the world would have beaten him that tournament, not even Sampras, not in that kind of heat (100 degree on court level in the finals), not in best of five sets, just no way.

What Muster set his mind to, he mostly did. Was he the MOST talented guy? No, but he was still very talented. His talent I think was misunderstood, because he grunted so. It didn't look like it came easy to him, but as he said, he was on the national Austrian junior soccer team and he thought always quite talented with balls so he didn't get where all this talk of him not being talented was coming from. How many of us were on the national team anything? Let alone, THAT good in TWO sports simultaneously? Where I'm from, that's what we call a JOCK.

The truth of the matter is, the quality of Muster's shots was quite high at the 97 Lipton, at times almost unbelievably so. I remember one POWER forehand angle return he hit in the finals against Bruguera that was truly astonishing. I mean really, ANYBODY in the world would be proud to hit a shot like that, take a bow, there WAS talent in his body...even if it looked like he was trying TOO hard for that to be true (as opposed to the Mr. Joey Go Easy, Hicham Arazi).

Still, it's true that Muster without all the training was probably a top 20 caliber player only...the thing is, that's still VERY good TALENT. When he took his training up another notch, to obscene levels, THAT however is what turned a solid top 20 level player into a legitimate top 5 player.

At the 97 Lipton, Muster was ranked #2. It was by NO MEANS a fluke. Courier was on a resurgence in the hard court swing of 97, and had the third best record on tour by that point at 17-5. Muster handed him his lunch that day anyway, and that was a night match too so the war of attrition excuse cannot be used. It never got to that point, straight sets. This was not a fluke. It wasn't a fluke when he made the semis of the Australian and finals of the 89 Lipton...and it wasn't a fluke when he decided to prove he could do it again in 97.

It's amazing to me that fans don't take into account Muster's severe injury when evaluating what he could or could not have done on hard courts.

He didn't focus on the hard stuff until 97 as a result of that injury. He made the run in 97, because he knew his "prime" years were running out and he had to capture the Lipton before it was too late. He also wanted to prove to everyone that IF he had decided to train for hardcourts, he could most certainly win on hard courts. He DID just that. And he did it IMMEDIATELY after setting out to do so.

That should tell you the power of his WILL...and yes, you DO have to have talent to do that too, or Jan Michael Gambill with all his intensity, work ethic, and adonis-like body would have found it in his "heart" to dominate on clay...just once.

Post match interview, Muster said winning the 97 Lipton was "sweet justice" for him. Gee, I wonder why. Sampras and Courier never had the fortunate pleasure of meeting Mr. Drunk Driver in the parking lot coming off one of the biggest wins of their verdant and YOUNG careers now did they?

!Tym
02-16-2005, 08:38 AM
But alas...the ironic thing is, is that in winning the 97 Lipton; Muster immediately seemed to lose his drive, the edge came off his snarl. It was like the air went out of the baloon, he married and had kids, and the air went out of all the bullahoo, the bluster, and preening chest, the poppy-kok GLARE, etc. He began to suffer inexplicable, bad losses one after another until they became common place and expected by the time 98 rolled around. By that time, he was a complete and total shadow of himself and barely able to make matches competitive. After that, he pretty much just walked off. Call it burn out. He never officially retired, but it was clear that FINALLY all that training caught up to him. He was like that guy who kept on running and running and running to top of the mountain, then one day woke up and found himself at the top, and said what am I supposed to do run down and run back up again? Ehh...nah, I care not to, I choose not to, I don't feel like it anymore. It was a classic case of Herman Melville's Bartelby the Scivenger.

In the final estimate, Muster had a very short peak. But, during that peak he burned INTENSELY like no one before him since prime Connors.

Not even Hewitt matches him for ferocity. As Cliff Drysdale said, "the difference to me between these two, is that when Bruguera complains it's kind of to complain to complain; when Muster complains, you feel like he's going to come after the match to see you!"

Laughter all around in the booth, so true; but on the court, I don't know that I've seen a more menacing figure than Muster at his peak level of intensity. In a sport of a tall, thin men in pansy white; Muster was a barell-chested brawler...whereas Connors looked like a broom stick with a mop on top. Muster reminded me of the old WWF wrestler, the "Brooklyn Brawler," only on steroids. Note, I'm not at all accusing Muster of steroid abuse at all. But due to the powers of his super-human training, he took on an almost larger than life PERSONA on the court during his short peak. His presence like that of an earthquake rumble that he just set off.

Still, didn't mean that he was unbeatable; but it was a testament to what kind of work the man put in. His surgically repaired leg was approximately 1.5 inches shorter than the other, and he STILL walked with a limp...THAT should tell you all you need to know about how unfair a comparison is between Muster and Sampras. Is Sampras the greater overall talent? Surely...but did Sampras suffer any major injuries the likes of Muster, Rios, Bruguera, Krajicek, et. all? No. Even without the injuries, would those guys have achieved what Sampras did? No. But at the same time, I recognize that injuries DO play a SIGNIFICANT role in ruining careers, think Penny Hardaway, think Grant Hill. Neither are exactly or even close to Michael Jordon, of which, there is only one...but still, they weren't exactly chopped liver either...BEFORE the onslaught of injuries, which tends to just slaughter the soul before anything else.

It's a testament to Muster's HEART, that he overcame a significant and tragic handicap, in some ways a permanent handicap, and simply REFUSED to say NEVER.

I don't judge Muster against the mantle of greatness, I judge him against the mantle of injury and how far he came on a BUM LEG. He unlike Sampras was forced to compete on uneven terms, and I evaluate him in that context and in that light. It's not the same as comparing say Sampras and Agassi, who I feel did compete on even terms. Neither suffered any serious injuries that might hinder their movement (the most serious affliction of all for a tennis player) nor their shoulders (the second most serious affliction of all for a tennis player). For the most part, as Pam Shriver said, Agassi's been pretty fortunate in that he's been for the most part healthy *throughout his career*, and this is a large part of why he's still able to compete today. Though Sampras retired earlier, both he and Agassi were blessed to go through their careers without the repeated ailments that ailed many of the other top players (even a guy like Korda who always matched up well with Sampras, who missed the prime years of his career due to a groin injury) of their generation. Did these guys work hard to stay injury free? Sure, but so did Grant Hill...

So in the end, I choose to evalute Sampras and Muster by a different set of standards. In short, I take into account that they were NOT competing on even ground, pardon the pun. After the 89 injury, Muster started the race as a criple (by professional athlete standards). How his dedication finally lead to a REBIRTH in the 97 Lipton finals is a testament to the notion that miracles DON'T happen. When he won that 97 Lipton, he was both reborn and dead, he died happy. And really that is all you can ask of yourself when you retire. Did you get the most out of your body that you were capable of GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. I think Muster is one of the VERY few top ten caliber players who did...unlike say the mercurial and imminently healthy one, Wayne Ferreira. Or how about Andrei Medvedev, once so promising, and physically blessed to take out peak Kuerten in straight sets at the French Open...but that still wasn't good enough for the title, where if you're just a cookie, cookies crumble under the weight of expectation.

Miracles aren't born, they're MADE through ten mile runs and doing push ups with Ronnie Leitgeb on your shoulder as Patrick McEnroe joked.

No joke, hats off to Muster, a guy who I didn't root for in his playing days AT ALL...EVER, but a guy whose intensity and story I always appreciated and respected.

Behind the mere records, there is a story; and Muster deserves acknowledgement for at least that much. Is he Sampras? No. But Muster should be commended for just being Muster. He was to me an integral footnote in the history of 90s generation, in my opinion, the most coloforful and stylistically DIVERSE generation of top players ever.

ezdude1970
02-16-2005, 08:46 AM
I donít think you will find too many people who would agree with you here. Muster was a one trick pony (clay) at best. Obviously your infatuation with him runs deep and nothing can be done or sad to convince you otherwise. I saw you quoted Kafelnikov saying good things about Muster. I have to say Kafelnikov was a spineless b!^c& when it came to tough matches, and lost to more people he should have won against than anybody else I know. But still I have to say even Kafelnikov had a better carrier than T. Muster had.

AAAA
02-16-2005, 09:02 AM
!Tym does have a point about Muster's knee; how it affected the viability of giving his all on hardcourts. Without the accident he wasn't going to be a Sampras, Lendl or Agassi on hardcourts but his results would certainly have been better given his strengths.

iscottius
02-16-2005, 09:17 AM
Wasn't Muster widely accussed of Steroid use during his 95 campaign? could this have led to his adrenaline bursts and madman behaviour? Muster is no better than Marcello Rios!!!

Rabbit
02-16-2005, 09:57 AM
It's not the same as comparing say Sampras and Agassi, who I feel did compete on even terms. Neither suffered any serious injuries that might hinder their movement (the most serious affliction of all for a tennis player) nor their shoulders (the second most serious affliction of all for a tennis player).

You should continue down the arm. Agassi suffered from the same injury in his wrist that sidelined Connors for 13 months. As a matter of fact, Agassi's surgery was performed by the same physician. Agassi has also had probelms with his hips. Sampras suffered from a very bad Achilles pull when he went from Sergio Tachinni to Nike. This pull was exacerbated during a Davis Cup match with Richard Kraijcek which probably cost Sampras Wimbledon that year (the year before he won it). Sampras too has had his share of inuries. Granted none of these has been as serious as what Muster suffered, but they have been sidelined and played through pain nonetheless.

I really don't understand your constant assignment of greatness to otherwise footnote type players. Comparing the careers of Muster or Bruguera to Sampras or Agassi is nebulous at best. While you may see better qualities of one sort or another in a very limited vein, neither of these players ever came close to the achievments of the Sampras and/or Agassi. What you do is tantamount to me constantly comparing Eddie Dibbs or Johann Kriek to Bjorn Borg.

Dibbs was scrappier than Borg.
Yeah, well Borg won 11 Grand Slam titles, but he never held the record for ATP prize money like Dibbs did.

or

Borg was fast, but never as fast as Kriek.
Sure Borg won five consecutive Wimbledons and was only beaten at the French by one player in the six French Open titles he won, Adriano Panatta, but how many Australian titles did he win? Kriek has two.

That said, Muster was definetly a character. One of the funniest things I've ever read centered around Muster. Connors and the boys were in town the week before an ATP event putting on a Seniors warm up. Several of them were in the locker room enjoying a libation and heard a noise from the sauna. Upon closer inspection, they found Muster counting off pushups in the sauna. That's funny, I don't care who you are.


Muster was only accused of steriods that I heard by Becker and this was sour grapes after Muster came back from two sets down to beat Becker at Monte Carlo. It was a truly spectacular comeback and denied Becker his only real shot at a clay court title.

Gemini
02-16-2005, 10:48 AM
The ranking system has no stipulation that the No. 1 ranking must be validated by surface, number of Grand Slam titles, what racquet you choose to play with, what you're wearing on any given day, etc. The potential situation exists that a player could play 30 tournaments this year and reach the championship match in each only to lose each one. He could amass enough points to gain the No. 1 ranking. Does that make him any less deserving of the No. 1 ranking? In my mind, no. Does that not make him a champion? Well...yes to some degree.

Applying this to Muster, the guy is every bit as deserving as any other great player. He's done things that no other has accomplished and his No. 1 ranking is just as real as Sampras's, Agassi's, Courier's, Edberg's, Kafelnikov's, Safin's, Roddick's,....and the list goes on. He'll be in the Hall of Fame soon enough.

Galactus
02-16-2005, 12:05 PM
Based on what? One good year and a solitary Grand Slam, all on clay?
So what we're saying here is that although Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Becker, Edberg, Kafelnikov all won Grand Slams on various surfaces (forget the #1 ranking system. What makes a good player is his adaptability)...you're saying Muster belongs in that elite group due to one good season and 12 titles???
Seriously, certain people on this forum need to let go of Muster's nut-sack.... :neutral:

Dedans Penthouse
02-16-2005, 01:37 PM
"Sampras....17-1 ..... (17-2) AFTER BRUGUERA BEAT HIM.
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na-a-a, Na! .... Sergi Beat Pete Sampras!!!
You know what might've been interesting? Who was the "1" who beat Sampras when he started off 17-1. But (in the words of John Belushi):
"BUT NO-O-O-O-O-O-O!!! WE'RE ONLY CONCERNED WITH TELLING THE WORLD FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME ABOUT SERGI BEATING PETE AT THE LIPTON!!"

!tym: "Mr. Sampras, a question please: who's your Daddy?"

Pete: "Do you mean in 'The Zombies--Time of the Season'
'who's your daddy' sense of the word?"

!tym: "Don't be coy, BOY! You know what I'm talking about! [i]
Now! .... Who's your daddy?!!"

Pete: "Do ya mean like in the Pedro Martinez 'the Yankees
are my daddy!' sense?"

!tym: "Yeah, like in the Pedro-Yankees sense. Now stop stallin' and
answer the damn question already!"

Pete: "!tym, chill out! Who knows that answer better than you? Why,
Sergi Bruguera is MYDADDY!! MYDADDY!! SERGI IS
MI-DADA!! MYDADA!! MYDADDY!! DADA!! DADA!! SERGIDADA!!

Now, whadda say we throw some "balance" into the mix here:

Keys:
***1st = Lost in first Round
***2nd = Lost in 2nd Round
***3rd = Lost in 3rd Round
****S = Lost in Semi-Finals
****W = Well What do you know?--Won Something
****DNP/SOASHT = Did Not Play/Sat Out And Sucked His Thumb

Australian Open:
1989 = DNP/SOASHT

1990 = 1st

1991 = 1st


Wimbledon:
1989 = 1st

1990 = 2nd

1991 = DNP/SOASHT

1992 = DNP/SOASHT

1993 = DNP/SOASHT

1994 = 4th ("hey...maybe grass no keeel me afterall, yes?")

1995 = 2nd ("who am I kidding? last year was...how you say....'fluke?'")



FRENCH OPEN (CLAY!!!)
1989 = 4th

1990 = 2nd ("huh?.....2nd round?")

1991 = 2nd ("agghh!...oh no, my mom eezz goin' to start calling me
'Pete Sampras on clay!")

1992 = 1st ("Whaaatt!! Three years running that I'm seeing Pete Sampras
practicing on an outside court at the French Open
while I'm looking out the window of my taxi
on the way to the airport??!")

1993 = W (Legitimate good one vs. Courier---don't say this isn't a
"balanced" report---fair and balanced). ;-)

1994 = W (Defeats Berasutagui (a/k/a "the graceful swan of tennis"),
who (if he were a Formula One Race Car Driver),
would insist that all drivers NO LONGER be allowed
to sit behind the wheel and use strategy---no,
all drivers would be required to stand to ONE SIDE OF THEIR
CAR, AND ONE SIDE ONLY and push their cars as if they were
were all out of gas......this in order to restore the "aesthetics"
back into the sport (of course).

1995 = S (Loses to Change -- in straight sets)

Now for the good part:
1996 = 2nd Round. Loses (ON CLAY) to ........ ("drum roll please") ......
PETE SAMPRAS! 2nd Round = Ouch!

1997 = Loses to Kuerton
(according to geocities.com: "BRUGUERA....GIVING UP VERY EASILY.")


Gets to finals of '96 Olympics (Atlanta) and in the finals wins:
a total of 6 games

Jerry Mathers (as the Beaver):
"Hey Wally, look at Bruguera's record at Wimbledon.....uh gee Wally, he's really full of SOASHT!"

Brettolius
02-16-2005, 01:55 PM
1994 = 4th ("hey...maybe grass no keeel me afterall, yes?") oh god, i almost got a Hall's lodged in my nostril after that one. you *******!! do have any idea how much mentho-lyptus burns the inner reaches of your sinus cavity? have some compassion and give me a warning next time, k?

Datacipher
02-16-2005, 02:07 PM
Wasn't Muster widely accussed of Steroid use during his 95 campaign? could this have led to his adrenaline bursts and madman behaviour? Muster is no better than Marcello Rios!!!

Yes, there were rumours and I have always felt they were likely true. I believe this is what made him so indomitable for a couple years, before he dropped back to "normal". During those years, it wasn't so much any change in his game but rather, he seemed completely indefatigable. Before and after that period, he was super fit, but he could and would get tired, just as other players would...even if he was still one of the fittest. There is no proof however. I don't necessarily suspect steriods, I tend to think he was dipping into the EPO or ephedrine etc....

Rabbit
02-16-2005, 04:14 PM
Now for the good part:
1996 = 2nd Round. Loses (ON CLAY) to ........ ("drum roll please") ......
PETE SAMPRAS! 2nd Round = Ouch!


Brettolius - I feel your pain, only I had a cherry flavored in..... Sampras over Breugera at the French? I'm sorry, but this is poetic justice. The guy who couldn't win at the French ousts Bruguera. And please, no diatribe on how Bruguera was disinterested, injured, etc. He just got that *** whooped.

Have I mentioned that Johann Kriek did well at the French????

Phil
02-16-2005, 05:03 PM
"Sampras....17-1 ..... (17-2) AFTER BRUGUERA BEAT HIM.
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na-a-a, Na! .... Sergi Beat Pete Sampras!!!
You know what might've been interesting? Who was the "1" who beat Sampras when he started off 17-1. But (in the words of John Belushi):
"BUT NO-O-O-O-O-O-O!!! WE'RE ONLY CONCERNED WITH TELLING THE WORLD FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME ABOUT SERGI BEATING PETE AT THE LIPTON!!"

!tym: "Mr. Sampras, a question please: who's your Daddy?"

Pete: "Do you mean in 'The Zombies--Time of the Season'
'who's your daddy' sense of the word?"

!tym: "Don't be coy, BOY! You know what I'm talking about! [i]
Now! .... Who's your daddy?!!"

Pete: "Do ya mean like in the Pedro Martinez 'the Yankees
are my daddy!' sense?"

!tym: "Yeah, like in the Pedro-Yankees sense. Now stop stallin' and
answer the damn question already!"

Pete: "!tym, chill out! Who knows that answer better than you? Why,
Sergi Bruguera is MYDADDY!! MYDADDY!! SERGI IS
MI-DADA!! MYDADA!! MYDADDY!! DADA!! DADA!! SERGIDADA!!

Now, whadda say we throw some "balance" into the mix here:

Keys:
***1st = Lost in first Round
***2nd = Lost in 2nd Round
***3rd = Lost in 3rd Round
****S = Lost in Semi-Finals
****W = Well What do you know?--Won Something
****DNP/SOASHT = Did Not Play/Sat Out And Sucked His Thumb

Australian Open:
1989 = DNP/SOASHT

1990 = 1st

1991 = 1st


Wimbledon:
1989 = 1st

1990 = 2nd

1991 = DNP/SOASHT

1992 = DNP/SOASHT

1993 = DNP/SOASHT

1994 = 4th ("hey...maybe grass no keeel me afterall, yes?")

1995 = 2nd ("who am I kidding? last year was...how you say....'fluke?'")



FRENCH OPEN (CLAY!!!)
1989 = 4th

1990 = 2nd ("huh?.....2nd round?")

1991 = 2nd ("agghh!...oh no, my mom eezz goin' to start calling me
'Pete Sampras on clay!")

1992 = 1st ("Whaaatt!! Three years running that I'm seeing Pete Sampras
practicing on an outside court at the French Open
while I'm looking out the window of my taxi
on the way to the airport??!")

1993 = W (Legitimate good one vs. Courier---don't say this isn't a
"balanced" report---fair and balanced). ;-)

1994 = W (Defeats Berasutagui (a/k/a "the graceful swan of tennis"),
who (if he were a Formula One Race Car Driver),
would insist that all drivers NO LONGER be allowed
to sit behind the wheel and use strategy---no,
all drivers would be required to stand to ONE SIDE OF THEIR
CAR, AND ONE SIDE ONLY and push their cars as if they were
were all out of gas......this in order to restore the "aesthetics"
back into the sport (of course).

1995 = S (Loses to Change -- in straight sets)

Now for the good part:
1996 = 2nd Round. Loses (ON CLAY) to ........ ("drum roll please") ......
PETE SAMPRAS! 2nd Round = Ouch!

1997 = Loses to Kuerton
(according to geocities.com: "BRUGUERA....GIVING UP VERY EASILY.")


Gets to finals of '96 Olympics (Atlanta) and in the finals wins:
a total of 6 games

Jerry Mathers (as the Beaver):
"Hey Wally, look at Bruguera's record at Wimbledon.....uh gee Wally, he's really full of SOASHT!"

This goes into my classics fiile-if I had one. Brettolius/Rabbit-I TOO feel your pain-Dedans is responsible for many a coffee stain on my poor keyboard...and Rabbit, you've done your part in bringing my computer closer to scrap heap status.

If we were to hold Muster to a different standard from the GREATS (but WE would not-only !ITYM and a few other nerds do this, but let's just say "IF..."), like Agassi and Sampras, then perhaps we would need to look at Sampras and what he "MIGHT" have accomplished on clay had he not had a form of anemia common to people of Mediteranean descent (sorry, forgot the name of the disease, hence the long-winded sentence)...without this "handicap" (!TYM's word), he would have been able to work MUCH harder on his fitness and probably would have done better on clay (not that a 72% career winning percentage is all that BAD...it's just not...Sampras-like). And he undoubtedly WOULD have worked on fitness as his all-encompassing dedication to tennis was unmatched. Let's see a 178-paragraph analysis on THAT "what if", !YTM...

As for the '97 Lipton win, bahhh...who did he beat in the final? Sergei B. Now how did two clay court savants make it into that final? Some lucky upsets on the field and luck of the draw is my guess.

Amazing how this guy-!YTM-continues to rationalize and make up reasons for comparing players in Agassi and Sampras' league with these one-trick ponies.

Richard Parnell
02-17-2005, 01:55 AM
I was Musters stringer in Barcelona 95 and it was a pleasure working for such a focused player.He actually listens when you talk to him about setups for his racquets.A good guy in my books.My 2 eurocents for what their worth.
All the best,
Richard

VamosRafa
02-17-2005, 05:19 PM
INSIGNIFICANT?

LADY..........................................YOU. ......ARE.......... NUTS!





I was being facetious there, Dedans. You should know as you engage in that quite a bit yourself. ;-)

But I agree that perhaps I wasn't clear enough in my joke, when I said that Federer was poised to make even Sampras and Agassi's achievements look insignificant.

I can see why you and others wouldn't perceive it as such, because

So many folks here already have annointed Fed the best ever (in case you haven't noticed).

But please don't lump me into the Federer-is-almost-if-he-isn't-already-the-GOAT group. I'm not there yet, by any means. And neither is he.

As for other points raised, I would never call Muster a one-trick pony. He had a very good career, but not a great one.

I kind of think another guy may challenge Fed on occasion, and perhaps become the "next Muster" or even better. ;-)

Alex
02-17-2005, 08:23 PM
Thomas Muster is the Clay master... become no.1 player just by playing on clay.

lacoster
02-17-2005, 09:23 PM
Haha, This is a great thread. There is no question that Muster and Bruguera were great players, and both have Hall of Fame credentials, but uh.....we all know that the French Open yields the most no-name winners and finalists than any other Grand Slam.
________
FREE SEX (http://www.****tube.com/)

VamosRafa
02-17-2005, 10:44 PM
Perhaps. . . but that may be changing.

In any event, I want to reiterate my view that although Jim Courier was eclipsed by Agassi and Sampras,

He had a great career, winning two RG titles. He had a few other great wins of course, as I mentioned.

I'd be interested, though, in hearing from any of you who think Muster has eclipsed Courier in terms of overall accomplishments.

Now we know Courier is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. He has already been nominated.

But why should he be there and not Muster?

Dedans Penthouse
02-18-2005, 07:49 AM
Perhaps. . . but that may be changing.

In any event, I want to reiterate my view that although Jim Courier was eclipsed by Agassi and Sampras,

He had a great career, winning two RG titles. He had a few other great wins of course, as I mentioned.

I'd be interested, though, in hearing from any of you who think Muster has eclipsed Courier in terms of overall accomplishments.

Now we know Courier is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. He has already been nominated.

But why should he be there and not Muster?

What I guess it comes down to is: what should be the litmus test for admission into the Tennis Hall of Fame? Take baseball for instance: you have have players enshrined in Cooperstown, NY who enjoyed a metoric (albeit shortened) career, but whose "best years" were displays of total dominance -- for example: Sandy Kofax (pitching-elbow) and Ralph Kiner (hitting home runs-knees). Then you have players who maybe didn't win 20 games in a season that much, or hit .300 with 100 R.B.I.'s but who stuck around long enough to post "longevity" numbers -- for example: Phil "Nail File" Niekro may've won 300+ games, but he also lost 274 games as well. Others would include "Greasy" G^ylord Perry and Hoyt "Kaiser" Wilhelm. (would you believe that stupid "auto-censor wouldn't allow for G. Perry's name to be spelled out? It originally came out ***lord Perry. good grief!).

Now, among everyday (non-pitching) players, consider Cal Ripkin--now, don't get me wrong, Ripkin WAS a GREAT player AND A LEGITIMATE Hall-of-Famer; I'm mearly illustrating how "STATS" can be used like a trained dog to perform tricks---i.e. you can manipulate them to either prove or disprove a point. Now, about Ripkin's "stats": if you look at his stats, one of the main reasons he got into the Hall of Fame was by dint of his 3,000+ hits, which when accomplished on the shoulders of a moderate .276 career batting average would suggest that it was "longevity" that produced that 3,000+ number. Furthermore, he only hit 30+ homers ONCE, and for a big guy who hit 3rd in the batting order (with Eddie Murray) for much of his career, he "only" had 100+ R.B.I.'s 4 times in his career. On the other hand, Tony Lazzari (Yankee 2nd baseman 1920's) did it SEVEN times while playing SEVER FEWER YEARS than Ripkin (and at a time when middle infielders were not putting up "numbers), and Lazzari had a career average of .292 (vs. .276) yet Lazzari had to wait DECADES......DECADES before he was enshired. Why was that? Name recognition? Anti-Yankee bias? Who knows? But a legitimate question remains: What criteria then should be used?

Hal Newheiser vs. Carl Mays (pitchers). Mays won't get in because he hit a batter and killed him....but his "numbers" don't shrink from Newheiser's.

So, in tennis, we have a Bjorn Borg, who like Kofax enjoyed a metoric, dominant career albeit a shortened one when you consider that Borg retired at 26 years of age. And in the "longevity" department, there are a number of players that fall into that "didn't clean up in singles--longevity" category. Not to "pick" on these two, but if you look at Pam Shriver and Rosie Casals, you'll notice that they didn't win ONE Grand Slam singles title between them. And their doubles wins? Pam played with Martina Navratilova and Casals played with Billy Jean King. Those are two pretty good "horses" to hitch your doubles wagon to.

Once you "open the door" to players who've "only" won 1 Grand Slam (e.g. Yannick Noah), why then wouldn't Thomas Muster get into the Hall of Fame? I call it the "Willie Stargell" syndrome. As in, Willie Stargell: unanimous, 1st ballot Hall-of-Famer?! Nope.

About Yannick Noah. He won ONE Grand Slam in singles (Roland Garros in '83), and one doubles Grand Slam (w/Leconte @ Roland Garros in '84). He lost in the U.S. Open doubles finals in '86 and lost the doubles finals at Roland Garros in '87. His highest ranking was (for a rather short time), no. 3. At least Muster DID reach the No. 1 ranking. Now, since Muster won a Grand Slam PLUS reached no. 1 (as did Moya), and Noah's getting in as it is, by that same logic why shouldn't Muster or Moya be admitted as well? Btw, I DON'T think Muster elipsed Courier -- not by a long shot. As the saying goes: "check da' stats."

So, if Yannick "I didn't get to no. 1, but I won a Grand Slam Title!" Noah gets in, what about Gaudio? I think a Pandora's box has maybe been opened, and since they've "let the dogs loose" as far as admitting some not-so-dominant players into the Tennis Hall of Fame, what then, FROM THIS POINT ON, should the measuring stick into the Tennis Hall of Fame (despite the "displayed integrity, sportsmanship, etc. criteria) be?

Kevin Patrick
02-18-2005, 09:24 AM
Dedans,
I think Muster is pretty much a lock after Noah & Novotna got in. Many one time slammers will obviously now get in the Hall of Fame, but will take them longer to get in. Noah retired in 1990 & is getting in this year, but Courier retired in 2000 & is getting in this year as well. I think Muster will get in quicker than Noah.
Also, regardless of whether Muster is a one-trick pony, he won 44 titles! I know many of them were minor, but 44 is pretty remarkable especially since he played mostly in the 90s, an era where title totals for players were considerably less than the 80s. For example:
Kafelnikov-26 titles
Courier-23
Rafter-11
Chang-34
Wilander-33
Edberg-42
Becker-49

Rabbit
02-18-2005, 09:41 AM
Dedans-I think you've hit on something. In my view, the powers that be in international tennis, and in particular at the Hall of Fame, have been trying to build interest in a Tennis Hall of Fame. That's why the entrance qualifications have been, well, just about anybody.

Think back, about 10 years ago, who cared about it? What has sparked interest in the Hall of Fame was the same thing that led to the great tennis boom of the 70s, Connors, Evert, Navratilova, Lendl, McEnroe, etc. The names that made us want to play tennis in the 70s are now making us show an interest in the Hall of Fame. IMO, once this generation is gone, unless there is another Agassi on the horizon, interest in tennis will begin to wane.

Why? Well, tennis has done it to itself. The very thing that tennis didn't want in the 70s, the bad boys Nastase, Connors, and McEnroe, is the very thing it needs now. There aren't two players out there who, like McEnroe and Connors or McEnroe and Lendl, hate each other. There is no blood feud going on. Like it or not, that's what draws interest.

Tennis has supplied PR to the players to tell them how to answer questions, how to act, how to be gracious. They have a code of conduct that enforces proper etiquette. And when a player tries to introduce some spontaneous behavior on court, like Marat Safin did last year, they get fined for it. I personally think breaking a few rackets is good for the sport, showing a little emotion either positive or negative is good for the sport.

NoBadMojo
02-18-2005, 09:54 AM
Dedans thanks for the trip down baseball memory lane..and pls always remember the immortal words 'Chicken on the Hill with Will'..and now pls everyone sing along.....'W-e-e are Fa-Mi-Ly...all my sisters and me..;) ..Does anyone think maybe the tennis HOF is really now starting to struggle for material since most of the Legends have been installed into the HOF and there really arent so many to choose from these days since the game has changed so much over recent years, and like Rabbit sez, there are a bunch of drones playing boring T out there....people trained to be tenniss players but not exciting athletes and people playing the game not for the passion but only for the financial rewards? So maybe Noah is the first of a long list of 'marginals' to get in? and who says you get in for mostly objective reasons anyway? i think the powers that be are just stuffy enough to make up their own stuffy reasons.

tricky nicky
02-18-2005, 10:22 AM
A very good thread indeed.

a plaesure to read the posts

regards

tricky

Dedans Penthouse
02-18-2005, 11:39 AM
kevin t: I didn't really articulate it that well, but my point was that if Noah gets in (with 1 Grand Slam title with a career best no.3 ranking), than Muster deserves to get in if nothing else for the fact that he held a no. 1 ranking to go along with his Grand Slam title. His 44 singles titles is further evidence of his qualifications.

Rabbit: did you read the fairly recent (2-3 months ago), article on Jimmy Connors in Sports Illustrated? It was a wonderful article in which Connors made the exact same point you expressed about the blandness of tennis today. It almost prompts a "reverse spin" to the cliche: "careful what you ask for--you just might get it." As it pertained to the bad boys of the day (Connors, McEnroe, Nastase, et al), one could rationally apply that "reverse spin" in suggesting to some blue-nosed stuff shirt USTA administrator:

"Be careful about what you once abhorred back then ..... you just might need it."

Connors in the article, said in effect: "what they killed us for back then, they're starving for today."

Nobad: "Pops" Stargell....Sister Sledge. Oh, but those HORRIBLE Pittsburgh "Bucs" uniforms!.....the scuzzy stovepipe hats, the horrible inter-changable black and yellow color schemes, playing in another one of those Astroturfed, "Cookie-Cutter" ballparks that were prodominent in the N.L. in the '70's (along with Riverfront Stadium in Cincy and the Vet in Philly)......"and now leading off for the Pirates....no. 18....the geeky, banjo hitting, praying mantis while in the batter's box look-a-like......OMAR MORENO!"

Shudder...... ;-)

Muster IN, Moya IN. Again, what about the "one-shot" R.G. winners like Gaudio? What if Gaudio (despite his recent good play) ends up his career in lukewarm fashion. What about Albert Costa?

Ya know, now that I think of it, if ONE G.S. title pretty much gets you in, then ..... good grief ..... BRUGUERA'S A LOCK!! SOMEBODY KILL ME!!!!

!tym: "did you say..... kill you? Lucky you Dedans, I just happened to have my 9mm on me today....."

david aames
02-18-2005, 12:38 PM
You have Noah in the Hall of Fame today like you will have Chang in the Hall of Fame tomorrow. It has probably more to do with growing the sport than it has to do with playing it. Totally cool with me.

kevin t: I didn't really articulate it that well, but my point was that if Noah gets in (with 1 Grand Slam title with a career best no.3 ranking), than Muster deserves to get in if nothing else for the fact that he held a no. 1 ranking to go along with his Grand Slam title. His 44 singles titles is further evidence of his qualifications.

Kevin Patrick
02-18-2005, 12:47 PM
Dedans, I was thinking about your baseball analogies. Yes, their hall of fame would seem to be more selective. But if you look at the % that get into the tennis hall of fame relative to the % of all tennis players, it is quite selective, even with Noah. How much have Noah, Muster, or Bruguera accomplished relative to to 95% of all pro tennis players? Also should GS titles be the sole criteria for the Hall? You mention a lot of baseball stats based on the regular season, what's the equivalent in tennis? Win-loss records & number of top 10 or top 20 finishes? Just because Thomas Johansson or Gaudio have a GS title is their career statistically superior to Todd Martin or Marcelo Rios?

I'd be curious to hear daniel_rst's thoughts. He runs a very interesting site, setratings.com which rates all players & assigns a # to represent their highest level of play.

Rabbit
02-18-2005, 01:38 PM
Dedan's - No, I didn't see the SI article on Connors. I agree with him,however.

Guys, I think the measure of a Hall of Famer has got to be made in terms of the Grand Slam tournaments. The players themselves, with a very few exceptions (Rios), measure their own career in terms of Grand Slams. Hell, even Wayne Ferreira's claim to fame is that he set the record for number of straight Grand Slams he competed in. I'd wager he'd swap that record for one win in any of the four.

I bet Rios would Marlon Brando/George C. Scott the whole thing and not even show up if he was inducted. I think they're trying to create artificial interest in the Hall of Fame. It's a great thing, but they need to be careful how they grow it or it won't mean anything. I would rather see a year when no one was inducted than to start running through a bunch of statistically good players. That's one area where I think tennis differs from baseball. Stats can't get you in....does Roddick get in based soley on the fastest serve? Surely Tanner belongs in then, right?

With regard to Shriver and Casals. Doubles has, up until the last ten years, been an integral part of the game. Doubles is played by more people and is played longer in the life of a tennis player than singles. I think doubles has to be recognized on its own merits without regard to singles success. I don't have a problem with the Woodies, for instance, getting into the Hall based soley on their doubles prowess. Now, I think that the Jensens getting in based on their one Grand Slam title may be a stretch, but by and large, doubles deserves the same respect as singles. IMO, I would rather watch pro doubles because of the angles and net action. With regard to what I play, it is a game with which I am not familiar, but it is very entertaining nonetheless. When I went to the Masters, I had more fun watching the doubles than watching Nalbandian and Ferrero practice against each other in the opening match. That was boring (and it wasn't practice). Also, doubles players seem to be more free spirited in their competition.

NoBadMojo
02-18-2005, 02:45 PM
I agree w. Rabbit on the doubles..i realize this has gone off topic, but the HOF is really just kind of there, and what you might expect..if you've ever been to Newport to see it, it's pretty cool, but it seems just like the USTA..pretentious and stuffy..and not warm and welcoming to the masses...but back to doubles.....i think there are is more doubles being played than singles at the rec level, so why is that not reflected on the pro tour? i think all pros should be forced to play some doubles ..maybe they could have a doubles season instead of killing everyone w. the grueling grinding no real off season they have now..and if some of the pros played more doubles well geez, they might even develop net games! and just think of possible match ups....andre and pete vs the bryans or something..would that not be good for the game? it's kind of but not really like golfing but not putting or something..doubles should be a big part of tennis IMO.

VamosRafa
02-18-2005, 10:22 PM
I agree. Very interesting discussion.

I don't get the baseball analogies, Dendans, but I'm sure my partner Jonathan Light would. Jon would love speaking with you about baseball. He published a book a while back called "The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball. It's a coffee table book, as it's on my coffee table, but I think it's done pretty well for a book of it's type.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=Ek53McvAWe&isbn=078640311X&itm=1

So I'm sure Jon would appreciate all your analogies. :-) Sorry I don't fully appreciate them, but I do know what it's like to get in a room with Jon and a few other baseball fans. I'm impressed by your knowledge. :D

But I agree that the "Tennis Hall of Fame" may be getting a bit more liberal about who they admit, for a variety of reasons, as pointed out as above. Very interesting.

I thought for quite some time that Pat Rafter wouldn't make it, because he only had two US Opens, even though he did have two Wimbly finals, plus some great doubles results, and his Davis Cup efforts, etc.

But I think he likely will now. And it may all become, as you said, a matter of how long it takes for someone to be inducted. Sampras will be in the first second he's eligible. Others may take longer.

I do believe that Courier deserves it over Muster, because he does have 4 GS wins, plus reached the finals of USO and Wimbly. So a bit more versatility there.

But given what you have said above, I think Muster likely will make it as well. May just take a bit longer.

VamosRafa
02-18-2005, 10:35 PM
Actually I have a funny story about Jon's book. I've worked with Jon for 15 years or so.

For a short while we shared a secretary, and I went out to her desk (this was a few years ago), and I heard her telling the caller that Jon was on another phone call. She asked him to repeat the spelling of his name. She then said,

"C-O-S-T-A-S." Apparently the caller confirmed it, and she said, Okay, "Mr. Costas, I'll have him call you back."

I then asked her, "Was that Bob Costas? And she said, "Yes, how did you know?"

I said, "Lucky guess. I think you should interrupt Jon, and give him the message."

She did, and Jon called him right back. :-)

Andy Hewitt
02-18-2005, 10:35 PM
i dont really wanna hijack this topic but vamos can i send u an email regarding that cincinnati tournament? i dont really know how to find it though..

VamosRafa
02-18-2005, 10:37 PM
i dont really wanna hijack this topic but vamos can i send u an email regarding that cincinnati tournament? i dont really know how to find it though..

It's on my website -- susan@vamosrafael.com. I'm happy to give you what help I can.

Metzler
02-18-2005, 11:16 PM
Joe Niekro scuffed baseballs with a nail-file, not his hall-of-fame brother Phil. Perhaps you mean Hal Newhouser? Comparing Carl Mays' deadball seasons (1893-1919) with Hal's lively ball seasons (1920-1993) or rocketball/steroid cheaters baseball (1994-) is apples to oranges, albeit much like triyng to compare open (1968-present) vs. non-open (1874-1967) tennis and graphite open (1984-) vs. wood/aluminum/steel open(1968-1983) eras.
Federer has clearly at his peak played tennis better than it has ever been played - much as Hogan in 1953 played golf better than it has been played before or since. Hogan did not, largely because of a devestaing car accident he never fully recovered from, go on to compile more major victories than Jack Nicklaus later did. Nicklaus had a better record, Hogan was better at his best. Whether or not Federer surpasses Sampras's record, his 2004 form was the best tennis ever played.
BTW, comparing someone like Don Sutton who wins 300 games over 25 years to Koufax who wins 125 in five years is to use Sutton's own words like comparing Earl Scheib to Michaelangelo.

Rabbit
02-19-2005, 11:42 AM
Federer has clearly at his peak played tennis better than it has ever been played - ... Whether or not Federer surpasses Sampras's record, his 2004 form was the best tennis ever played.

I disagree here. Federer had a great year and this one promises to be no different. That said, McEnroe's '84 stands in my memory as the greatest year anyone had anywhere. Behind him, Connors' '74 stands out as well. I don't remember what year it was, but Lendl had probably the most impressive indoor season ever and a good year on top of that as well.


BTW, comparing someone like Don Sutton who wins 300 games over 25 years to Koufax who wins 125 in five years is to use Sutton's own words like comparing Earl Scheib to Michaelangelo.

That has got to be one of the funniest things I've ever read; and ever so true.

Phil
02-20-2005, 04:52 PM
Nobad: "Pops" Stargell....Sister Sledge. Oh, but those HORRIBLE Pittsburgh "Bucs" uniforms!.....the scuzzy stovepipe hats, the horrible inter-changable black and yellow color schemes, playing in another one of those Astroturfed, "Cookie-Cutter" ballparks that were prodominent in the N.L. in the '70's (along with Riverfront Stadium in Cincy and the Vet in Philly)......"and now leading off for the Pirates....no. 18....the geeky, banjo hitting, praying mantis while in the batter's box look-a-like......OMAR MORENO!"

Ah, Dedans, you dissin' my Buccos! Breakin' my heart! Those interchangable unis were NOT ugly-that was what we might call "Conceptual". Yes, the "Family" Buccos of the 70's were way ahead of their time-and, apparently, still are. I actually owned a couple of those caps-given away during various promotional games. Hey, OKAY, MAYBE they were just slightly fugly, but NOTHING compared to those absurd Chisox "Cap Anson" style uniforms of the white knickers and untucked floppy "blah-90's "tunics"". I'm glad those stadiums are gone, though. Now we have cookie cutter "old time" stadiums-a welcome change, but still cookie cutter-SF Giants Stadium looks almost EXACTLY like PNB Park. Omar Moreno???? You have a memory like an elephant. But the guy DID steal a lot of bases and could cover CF, although I think even I had a better arm then he did. Not your proverbial canon.

35ft6
02-20-2005, 07:47 PM
Sampras is such an @ss. I'm too lazy to research, but how many of his years at number one can be attributed to winning Wimbledon. Clay is a way more relevant surface than grass. Dominating on clay is more than sufficient to justify a number 1 ranking. Ditto for hardcourt. Grass is irrelevant to me. The appeal to tradition argument can go kiss itself.

Rabbit
02-20-2005, 09:58 PM
You should play on grass, it'll change your mind. I think, and I know this is getting old, but tennis should be banned from hardcourts (even though I play better on hardcourts). Tennis is more of a challenge on a natural surface and it's definetly easier on the body. I played 6 sets on grass this year at 46, and I could've played another 6. It's even easier on the body than clay.

Phil, I usually dig your vibe, but the only uniforms uglier than those were the Astros and their art deco look of the 70s.

35ft6
02-21-2005, 10:01 AM
You should play on grass, it'll change your mind. I think, and I know this is getting old, but tennis should be banned from hardcourts (even though I play better on hardcourts).I'm not saying grass is irrelevant because it's not a fun surface to play on -- I can't comment on that seeing as how I've never played on grass.

I got into this on a different board, the fact that so much of Sampras' legacy is built on a foundation of grass. Grass! How many grass court tournaments are there in a year? Like 6 or something? It's like clay court guys are always having to explain themselves, even though almost half the matches on the ATP are played on this surface, while the people who win Wimbledon are treated like instant gods.

Wimbledon is a freak tournament, the winning of which should, IMO, count for far less than winning the French if only because it's played on a surface that nobody really plays on any more. Yeah!

Kevin T
02-22-2005, 12:25 PM
Uh...hello Phil, Dedans, Rabbit...The ugliest uniforms of all time go to my late 70's/early 80's San Diego Padres. Who was it that decided that brown and yellow look great together? I think I liked them as a kid because I was digging Chicken McNuggets with honey mustard and that awful brown-looking bbq sauce. McNuggest=Padres...good times. Don't you know I was the cool kid with my melon-sized white/brown/yellow Pads hat. PHAT!! It has been said the brown and yellow was the reason Dave Winfield wanted out. Wouldn't you!? Next up for me is the old school Denver Nuggets with the Denver skyline jerseys. Yikes! And Sampras has what, 6 (or 7?) slam titles on hard courts. That's a pretty good legacy, I must say.

Dedans Penthouse
02-22-2005, 02:10 PM
I agree. Very interesting discussion. I don't get the baseball analogies, Dendans, but I'm sure my partner Jonathan Light would. Jon would love speaking with you about baseball. He published a book a while back called "The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball. It's a coffee table book, as it's on my coffee table,.

Everything has it's time and PLACE. So fine; keep that baseball book on the coffee table. In the meantime, I'm gonna trust you haven't moved your "Dedans Penthouse 2005 Calender" from your night table.

Listen chick, (yeah, I called you chick!), what's with this Dendans (sp.)crap? Look, if we're gonna talk, you gotta learn to spell my name correctly. Look up "dedans" in a dictionary. As we're all spectators here in a certain sense of the word -- it (dedans) is not as obtuse a moniker as you might imagine. Got it, chick?? ;-)

VamosRafa
02-22-2005, 04:38 PM
Everything has it's time and PLACE. So fine; keep that baseball book on the coffee table. In the meantime, I'm gonna trust you haven't moved your "Dedans Penthouse 2005 Calender" from your night table.

Listen chick, (yeah, I called you chick!), what's with this Dendans (sp.)crap? Look, if we're gonna talk, you gotta learn to spell my name correctly. Look up "dedans" in a dictionary. As we're all spectators here in a certain sense of the word -- it (dedans) is not as obtuse a moniker as you might imagine. Got it, chick?? ;-)

You call me chick, I call you Dendans. Our pet names for one another. ;-)

Phil
02-22-2005, 04:52 PM
Uh...hello Phil, Dedans, Rabbit...The ugliest uniforms of all time go to my late 70's/early 80's San Diego Padres. Who was it that decided that brown and yellow look great together? I think I liked them as a kid because I was digging Chicken McNuggets with honey mustard and that awful brown-looking bbq sauce. McNuggest=Padres...good times. Don't you know I was the cool kid with my melon-sized white/brown/yellow Pads hat. PHAT!! It has been said the brown and yellow was the reason Dave Winfield wanted out. Wouldn't you!? Next up for me is the old school Denver Nuggets with the Denver skyline jerseys. Yikes! And Sampras has what, 6 (or 7?) slam titles on hard courts. That's a pretty good legacy, I must say.

I'll give you that, Kevin-I forgot about the Randy Jones/Winfield era 'dres unis-bland to the point of being hideous, or something. I think the colors were chosen by Ray Kroc after a bad night of burgers and beer-what came up in the morning was the inspiration for the color scheme.

But Rabbit!!!! Hey, there guy...c'mon now...take away the outlandish caps, and those Buccos uniforms are not all THAT bad (okay, not all that good either)...the white with black pinstripes jersey was kind of classy and the yellow with black lettering (or is it GOLD with black lettering) was decent looking. The Astros uniform was fugly bad, and the White Sox unis were, if not quite as tacky, just plain absurd.

Rabbit
02-22-2005, 08:03 PM
And the Cubbies take the field!!!!!