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View Full Version : Who has more talent-Federrer or Safin?


iscottius
02-26-2005, 10:52 AM
This is a serious question, and before you answer, I am not talking about consistency, or mental fortitude. I am talking about physical talent, strokes movement, power, strategy, dictating play.

We know Federrer is much more consistent, but both players in the zen zone playing there best, In top shape, ala AO Semi's

Can we make a case for Safin?

alan-n
02-26-2005, 11:04 AM
Fed by Far. He wasn't on top form in the Safin match yet still held off a break in the 5th and 6 match points. No one has more variety of shots and winners than Fed does.

Safin has unbelievable power and winners off his backhand.

Perfect
02-26-2005, 11:07 AM
Safin has unbelievable power and winners off his backhand.

The differences I see between these two guys is one has a one-hander bh and the other a two-hander, and that Safin generates more power in his strokes. Both have amazing footwork and can hit winners off any stroke. Federer's backhand is still a bit weak and Safin still has a bit of a mental problem, other than that they are perfect. (IMO, Safin is more perfect than Federer.)

Jonas
02-26-2005, 11:14 AM
As far as just natural ability to play the game of tennis, you've got
Mcenroe
Safin
Federer
Rios
not in any particular order.
Of that group Rios is the only one to have never won the big one, but I can't honestly say that he's not as naturally gifted as the rest.

Andy Hewitt
02-26-2005, 11:27 AM
Federinho. The Brazilian Federer!!!

Marius_Hancu
02-26-2005, 11:27 AM
Nastase McEnroe Federer
this is the lineage of pure natural players

nkhera1
02-26-2005, 11:33 AM
Federer by far. Just because Safin wins one match against Federer doesn't mean all the sudden he is as good. Whats their record vs each other in the past few year, I guarante that Federer will own the advantage.

Safin's only advantage are power on serve and backhand, but Federer moves better, places his serves better, has a better forehand and volleys better from what I've seen of both. Safin has a little advantage height wise, but i think Federer is better at stratagizing and dictating play.

Vlad
02-26-2005, 11:49 AM
the thing here is that if Fed will play his best tennis than won't be able to play his best tennis. Fed will take away time, rythm, and Marat will struggle a little bit. However if Fed is slightly off like he was in AO, then Marat will be pushing more and playing his best tennis. So, in my opinion if both players play their best I am gonna go with Roger but only slightly.

35ft6
02-26-2005, 12:16 PM
They're often cited as being the two most talented players in men's tennis, but IMO we're talking about two different kinds of talent.

Federer is like Jordan -- a player with great athleticism, incredible body control (his grace makes his athletic ability almost imperceptible at times...), great at defense and offense, a 6th sense of what it takes to win, and a whole variety of different skills.

Safin is, to me, more like Shaq -- a big man with great movement, not as skillful but when he's doing what he's capable of doing well, almost unstoppable. He doesn't have that 6th sense for what it takes to win, and he's not as clutch as Jordan.

Who would you want on your team? A big man like Shaq might only come around once every 25 or 30 years. BUT, there may NEVER be another Michael Jordan.

When Safin is on he'll steamroll anybody EXCEPT for Federer. When they're both on, Federer wins in straight sets. I have the Aussis Open match on my Tivo and Federer was playing like **** and still took the big Russian to five sets. The only clear physical advantage Safin has is in the backhand category, in every other respect Fed is clearly stronger or arguably equal to Safin.

Aykhan Mammadov
02-26-2005, 02:26 PM
Who is more talented ? Surprising question for me and probably for those who understand more or less something in tennis, iscottius.

What do you consider as a talent in Safin ? His height, clumsy figure ? Somebody told here about great footwork of Safin. Absolutely, disagree. He doesn't have any speed, he doesn't have starting speed. Proof? He couldn't get short balls near net, always late. It is surprising that peoples compare speed or flying of Fed, or say footwork of Hewitt with Safin.

I don't generally understand why peoples ask questions to compare Fed just with Safin ? Because he lost him once ? But Fed it happened that lost also to say Kuerten or Hewitt. Why are not you talking about talent of Llleyton say. He won GS also 2 times as Safin, won 2 times Masters Cup what Safin never did.

IMHO I see nothing very different in style of play of Safin or Ferrero, the same powerful base-line play, no ruses, no tricks, no super lobs,super slices, no short balls, interesting elements giving a joy to specatators. Conversely, long, monotonous play aimed to win an opponent thanks to power of hits and physics. For me Safin is simple clay-court player but having very powerful health from the God.

Even among clay-court players I consider play of Kuerten, Moya or Coria much more rich and diversified than Safin's. Another typical clay-court player is Nalbandyan, similar to Safin, but more stable.

Kaptain Karl
02-26-2005, 02:46 PM
Safin reminds me of Nastase in more ways than one: Gifted player ... athletic ... head case.

- KK

Docalex007
02-26-2005, 02:47 PM
Iscottius....i noticed you spelled Federer with two r's....TWICE.(Federrer)....is this blasphemy?

finchy
02-26-2005, 04:27 PM
35ft6 had the best analogy on this board....ever.

Perfect
02-26-2005, 04:36 PM
35ft6,

I disagree about your comparison of Safin to Shaq. Shaq is more of a one-dimensional kind of player who just enforces his bulk on others. It is not like Marat can only play from the baseline or has horrible footwork. Shaq can not hit from far out and is very slow, mostly because he is not really meant to as he plays center. Shaq is consistent every game whether he's helping other teammates or helping himself while Marat is not until as of late. I agree with you about the rest of your comparison. Someone who is a better comparison to Shaq would be Philippoussis, Ivanisevic, or Roddick.

VictorS.
02-26-2005, 05:51 PM
Mammadov, I think you're shortchanging Safin as an athlete. Surely, he doesn't have the movement of a Federer or Hewitt. However, he's a very capable athlete and is deceptively quick around the court.

35ft6
02-26-2005, 05:52 PM
35ft6,

I disagree about your comparison of Safin to Shaq. Shaq is more of a one-dimensional kind of player who just enforces his bulk on others. It is not like Marat can only play from the baseline or has horrible footwork. Shaq can not hit from far out and is very slow, mostly because he is not really meant to as he plays center. Shaq is consistent every game whether he's helping other teammates or helping himself while Marat is not until as of late. I agree with you about the rest of your comparison. Someone who is a better comparison to Shaq would be Philippoussis, Ivanisevic, or Roddick. I've heard Shaq is a complete freak. Did I read it here? That Shaq was able to beat everybody on the Orlando Magic in a sprint. I don't know if I believe that but I did once see him do a coast to coast in a dream team game against Puerto Rico. Yeah, I know it's Puerto Rico but still, that's a very special big man... and that's my point. Safin is a very gifted big man. Me comparing him to Shaq was mostly positive. They're both tall guys who can move. As for range of abilities, you're probably right: Safin probably is more versatile. But, still, compared to Federer he's pretty much playing chopsticks on the piano. He comes into the net but mostly only to feast upon sitting ducks, or for the occasional serve and volley to keep his opponent honest.

Ugh. I'm losing my train of thought. Gotta split to go get drunk. Maybe I'll think about this at the bar. Loser.

edit: if you want we can compare Safin to Hakeem O or Tim Duncan. They're not Jordan either. :D

iscottius
02-26-2005, 08:32 PM
mammodav,
your comparison of Safin to Ferrero is just bad, Ferrero is mainly a clay courter who has a weak serve and only plays from the baseline, Safin has a complete game, a huge serve and plays well on all surfaces.

As far as hewitt is concerned he is a great competitor, but he overachieves more than he is talented, he moves very well and returns well but he is not safin or Federer.

I believe that Safin is the only player on the tour who can match federer's level of play and actually impose his big serve & groundies to dictate play with Federer.

iscottius
02-26-2005, 08:56 PM
mammadov,
your response to my post is arrogant, condescending and flat out wrong---

"Surprising question for me and probably for those who understand more or less something in tennis"

Then you go and prove that you do not more or less understand something in tennis by stating

"IMHO I see nothing very different in style of play of Safin or Ferrero, the same powerful base-line play, no ruses, no tricks, no super lobs,super slices, no short balls, interesting elements giving a joy to specatators. Conversely, long, monotonous play aimed to win an opponent thanks to power of hits and physics. For me Safin is simple clay-court player but having very powerful health from the God."

Safin has a complete game including drop shots, slice backhand, and does get to net at times, plays well on all surfarces, and has a much bigger game especially serve than fererro.

The comparison is not based on his recent win, but the last few times they have played it has been great tennis to watch and extremely close, he is the only player right now who can match Federer and actually take away some of fed's weapons.

Check your ego at the door, and if you want to compare Fed to other players start your own thread.

Iscottius

bismark
02-26-2005, 09:47 PM
Who is more talented ? Surprising question for me and probably for those who understand more or less something in tennis, iscottius.

Precisely why people find Aykhan freakin' annoying!

In terms of talent alone, I would say both players are about equal. We know how good Federer is. But looking back at some of Safin's best matches, he did know how to execute incredible shots and his shot-making was top-notch. His US Open final victory against Sampras is a classic example. Another words, when Safin's at his best, he's as good as Federer, maybe a little better. IMO.

TheNatural
02-26-2005, 10:15 PM
What's the difference between Todd Martin and Safin. Todd Martin was probably more talented, but not as fit and athletic.

I agree that Safin was dictating play versus federer in the AO, especially during the last 2 sets. Federrer could still improve his backhand a lot more. federer looked quite troubled when safin was thumping balls deep to his backhand.

bc-05
02-27-2005, 02:28 AM
I don't know, which quote you people believe more. 1 quote says results says everything. or the second quote the things that you see is the real deal. Well in terms of results, best of Safin beat a conservative Federer in 5 sets. However, best of Federer beats conservative Safin in straight. if you believe in results only then obviously Fed will own Safin on their best days. However, if you look at their game... safin has better serve backhand ok maybe safin is federer with more power.. therefore he should be better.. but then again.. we never know whats gonan happen when they meet each other on their best days. I mean remember in AO? Safin went into the final with more hrs then fed like more 4/5 setter. and fed owns everyone he faced? but Safin won when they played each other.. this is why its hard to say.. does owning the other player or winning a 5 setter on their best day means anything.. i guess not.. my pick is safin just for the fact that he has more power! i mean if andy roddick has a backhand like guga and a brain like corias... i doubt even federer could even beat him...

pound cat
02-27-2005, 02:59 AM
Safin will be able to completely match Federer when he learns to play 3 set matches as well as he plays 5 set matches. His record for winning 5 setters, which suit his rollercoaster playing personna is 74% (second to Escude) and is handy in slams but not in 3 set tournaments. He made a concerted effort to win as fast as he could in AO (I'm sure Lundgren had something to do with this) and he did, and had lots left over for the semi & the final. (as compared to last year). It's interesting to note that he excels at DC because he loves being part of a team. He has wished that he played soccer or NHL hockey , and he would have been a standout there as well, & would have had less stress & a lot fewer head problems

davey25
02-27-2005, 09:59 AM
Roger is the most naturaly talented player in the world today, Safin is a close second though. Nobody else comes close. Roddick is fortunate his major talent is distributed to an area that holds such a monopolizing importance in today games-the serve.

drexeler
02-27-2005, 11:48 AM
Krajicek, Stich, Phillippousis had more power than Sampras and had pretty well rounded games, esp. the first two - doesn't mean they are more talented.

It is a little too optimistic to expect Safin to match Federer's results - 2 Wim, Wim/USO back-to-back, 3 slams in a year, 2TMC's in a span of 18 months. While at his best he is a close second to Federer, his 80-90% game is not good enough (you are not at your best often) to give him consistent results.

Aykhan Mammadov
02-27-2005, 12:47 PM
mammodav,
your comparison of Safin to Ferrero is just bad, Ferrero is mainly a clay courter who has a weak serve and only plays from the baseline, Safin has a complete game, a huge serve and plays well on all surfaces.

As far as hewitt is concerned he is a great competitor, but he overachieves more than he is talented, he moves very well and returns well but he is not safin or Federer.

I believe that Safin is the only player on the tour who can match federer's level of play and actually impose his big serve & groundies to dictate play with Federer.

iscottius, first of all my opinion is not ego and arrogant. It is simply my opinion. Another problem that everybody wants to see and apprehend my all opinions as ego. If go further , every opinion in the world at the end is ego because it is subjective and belongs to somebody, and philophically everybody expressing his opinion is egoist because he wants to share with his own opinion with other peoples.

But u didn't call any facts saying that Safin is almost same talented as Federer.

Safin and Fed both have forehands.

Safin and Fed both have backhand. And I don't agree that Fed's backhand is weak, abolutely disagree. It is excellent. 1-handed backhand is always weaker than 2-handed in power.

Safin's serve is better than Fed's.

Fed can plays near net. Safin's game near net is zero, he can't smoothly shorten balls, meet them near net.

Safin's movement is not good, so he wins mostly from base-line. Fed can win from every point of the court, he has excellent lobs.

And so on....

Fed is stable, Safin can lose almost to everybody. If you know something very well you will be able to answer even if you awaken and asked. So master every time if he really has great skills must have good results.

The score of their results shortly: Fed : Safin 6:2. It says for itself.

grif
02-27-2005, 02:02 PM
Fed can plays near net. Safin's game near net is zero, he can't smoothly shorten balls, meet them near net.

Safin's movement is not good, so he wins mostly from base-line. Fed can win from every point of the court, he has excellent lobs.

The score of their results shortly: Fed : Safin 6:2. It says for itself.

I can't tell if you are a troll or are just plain dim.

Have you actually seen the Safin vs Fed AO semi-final match ? You know, the one where Safin beat Fed ?
Because if you did, then you would have seen Safin make a lot of volley winners. Just a couple of examples: In the last point of the 2nd set, Safin won the set with an excellent half volley drop shot at the net. In the 5th set, 5th game, Fed tried a drop shot, but it was easily chased down by Safin who eventually won the point with a very sweet drop volley. Just to provide impartial comments, Cliff Drysdale marvelled at the brilliance and Pat McEnroe said Safin just showed his great wheels followed by a beautiful touch volley.
Check the stats for that match on the AO website. Safin was successful on 74% (45 of 61) of his net approaches. For a guy with supposedly zero net game, he sure won a lot of points at the net :)

I've got the match on DVD and I'm just wondering if you really did see the match, or were you just looking at Fed's *** for 4.5 hrs ? Seriously, I'm a big Fed fan myself, but your blinkered hero worship of Fed is kinda off-putting, to say the least.

The match could easily have gone either way and there were amazing shots and skills displayed by BOTH players. Fed himself showed amazing heart and defensive skills. He also hit some blinding backhand winners, but at the end of the day, Fed lost to the better guy during the Championship, and you just have to deal with it. But don't worry, Fed will definitely be back.

litote
02-27-2005, 02:47 PM
iscottius wrote : Safin has a complete game, a huge serve and plays well on all surfaces.

WRONG, Safin is a weak pro player on grasscourts.

iscottius
02-27-2005, 04:15 PM
Litote,
What is wrong with you? Wrong: is argumentative, It is my contention that Safin can play from all areas of the court as well as play on all surfaces. If he can play on the fast NYC USOPEN courts, He has a huge serve and tons of put away power, why wouldn't he be successful on Grass?

He plays exceptionally well on the slow red clay at Roland Garros, and the high bouncing rebound ace of Australia, and the US OPEN...this pretty much makes him an all surface player. His results will come

grif
02-27-2005, 04:25 PM
Litote,
What is wrong with you? Wrong: is argumentative, It is my contention that Safin can play from all areas of the court as well as play on all surfaces. If he can play on the fast NYC USOPEN courts, He has a huge serve and tons of put away power, why wouldn't he be successful on Grass?

He plays exceptionally well on the slow red clay at Roland Garros, and the high bouncing rebound ace of Australia, and the US OPEN...this pretty much makes him an all surface player. His results will come

There's no doubt that Safin has the ability to play well on grass, but the problem is mental. From his interviews, he just does not feel comfortable on the grass surface.

However, he has reached the Quarterfinals at Wimbledon where he lost a tight match to the eventual champion, Ivanisevic. If his coach, Lundgren, can successfully make him believe in himself on grass, then he's got a good chance to do well on the grass surface.

iscottius
02-27-2005, 04:27 PM
aykhan,
after reading your responses to this thread & some of your posts (pro's with Ugly bodies-Men & women) & (stop boys ha-ha- repeated in your threads) it has occurred to me that you are crazy & make no sense, therefore this will be the last response I submit to you or your posts.

grif
02-27-2005, 04:35 PM
aykhan,
after reading your responses to this thread & some of your posts (pro's with Ugly bodies-Men & women) & (stop boys ha-ha- repeated in your threads) it has occurred to me that you are crazy & make no sense, therefore this will be the last response I submit to you or your posts.

Phew, for a while, I thought that I was the only one who thought aykhan was mad ;)

litote
02-27-2005, 06:30 PM
What is wrong with me iscottius ? I'lll tell you what is wrong, it is wrong when you write that Safin plays well on all surfaces while his past results prove that your statement is inaccurate, so don't be astonished that I point it out, even if it does not please you. If you want evidences, just compare Safin % of win/defeats on grasscourts to his % on other surfaces, or to the % of other top 30 players non clay court specialists on grass.

you wrote : If he can play on the fast NYC USOPEN courts, He has a huge serve and tons of put away power, why wouldn't he be successful on Grass?

You ask why he wouldn't be succesfull on grass, and I will tell you that I'm not Mr Know it all, so I don't no why, and I don't really care why, some will say that it is mental, some will find other reasons, but at the end, what does it change to the fact that SAFIN IS NOT A SUCCESFULL GRASSCOURT PLAYER, AND IT IS NOT AN OPINION, IT IS A FACT PROVEN BY HIS PAST RESULTS ON GRASS. And for your information, to be good on grasscourts, a player needs more than just a good serve and put away power as opposoed as what you seem to believe.

Even Safin himself claims that he struggles on grasscourts, so what do you need more?

Is it so hard to admit a small error, or do you believe that you are so perfect that an error from your part can't exist? :confused:

litote
02-27-2005, 06:52 PM
Safin is on tour since something like 7 or 8 years, and like Grif said all he has for significative results on grass is only 1 quarterfinal at Wimbledon, with tons of early rounds elimination, and a total lack of good results in the few other grasscourts events prior to wimbledon, like the queen's and a few other tournaments. So it is safe to say that for a player of his caliber, his results on grasscourt are way above his average on other surfaces, so his results are far to make him a good grass court player, then we can't say that Safin actually plays well on grasscourts, so if he does not play well on grasscourts, then we can't say that he plays well on ALL surfaces, like Iscottus said.

isaac_limdc
02-28-2005, 02:24 AM
I think federer still is the very best on tour, because Safin gets easily distracted and loses his temper too quickly. Fed's still da best.

Pushmaster
02-28-2005, 05:33 AM
I think Safin has just as much talent as Federer, maybe more so.

Rickson
02-28-2005, 06:54 AM
Federer by far. I disagree with the poster named perfect who thinks Roger has a weak backhand. Roger's backhand is better than Marat's, and his passing ability from the backhand side is unmatched by any player.

Gemini
02-28-2005, 07:34 AM
I'll say Federer because of his instincts at net.

BLiND
02-28-2005, 07:50 AM
You look at them shot for shot, the only areas safin is better than federer is on the backhand. Faderer has a better forehand, serve, volleys, and movement. I love safin, but he is not as good as fed.

daniel_rst
02-28-2005, 09:09 AM
If one considers talent to only consist of the ability to strike the ball, hit winners, and serve, then I can see how it is reasonable to compare Safin and Federer.

However, once you factor in the other elements that are arguably just as important, such as focus, demeanor, and ability to step up one's game at the most critical moments, the comparison no longer holds. Federer is far more gifted in this sense.

@wright
02-28-2005, 09:12 AM
Safin is a great player, better than most, but I can't agree with anyone who says Safin has more talent. Fed has more talent than anyone else currently on tour.

Aykhan Mammadov
02-28-2005, 10:55 AM
iscottius, despite you are probably much younger than me ( I'm 39) you offended me a few times in this thread saying that I'm mad, I'm crazy and etc. The same is grif. You both don't have culture of discussions and go for personal. I'll not reply because one time I was almost driven out from the forum in similar case.

Just for thinking. Look at post 36 by Rickson. He is saying the same that Fed's backhand is very great, and I agree with him ( see my post 25).

Look at post 40 written by @wright. He has the same opinion as me. You can see that I'm not alone here, so instead of offending me think may be you don't understand tennis well and u can't evaluate players right ? May be you see the power of Safin and this covers for u in Fed what u don't see in his game?

ShooterMcMarco
02-28-2005, 11:03 AM
Safin is a great player, better than most, but I can't agree with anyone who says Safin has more talent. Fed has more talent than anyone else currently on tour.

yeah, ^that^

Federer can beat anyone on an off day and he has the uncanny ability to find other players' weaknesses and exploit them. federer's game is like chess, he'll know your every move and adapt, and all you can do is postpone the inevitable.

iscottius
02-28-2005, 11:06 AM
Litote,

whatever---wrong in capital letters is argumentative.

I believe that Safin plays well on all surfaces, Grass is his least favorite and he has reached the 1/4's, and he has done better on the other surfaces.

the point of my comments is that he has an all court game and can play well on all surfaces--I believe this is true.

write me back after Wimbledon this year and say "I told you so" if he goes out before the 4th round, but if he makes the 1/4's or better ............

Iscottius

Rob_C
02-28-2005, 01:04 PM
Let's not forget, if Federer hadn't tried that tweener on his match point, we might not even be talking about who has more talent. It seems evident Federer has more talent, he has way more variety than Safin, you can go back to the Aus Open '04 finals where he kinda dominated Safin. I think, everybody needs Federer to have an off day to beat him, Safin, Roddick, Hewitt. Even though, Ljubicic has given him a couple of close matches recently.

Safin has improved his short court game and is comfortable finishing at the net nowadays, but Roger still has more talent. I think he is better than Sampras actually. He might not end up being as great as Sampras, but I think head to head, he would come out on top.

litote
02-28-2005, 05:22 PM
Iscottus, you believe that Safin plays well on all surfaces like some peoples used to belive that the earth was flat, but the truth proven by his past poor results on grasscourts [except one small 1/4 at Wimbledon, which is very few if we consider since how long he is on the ATP Tour], is that Safin plays well on most surfaces except grasscourts, and once again it is not just my opinion, it is a fact based on the player's results, and Safin is on the tour since long enough to make the datas significatives. On paper it looks like he has the arsenal to play well on grasscourts, and that is why you think that he plays well on it, but the matches aren't played on paper, they are played for real against real opponants on real courts, and then the story is not anymore the same than on paper, some players are simply unable to move well on grass, and are bothered by the low skidding erratic bounces, and Safin is probably one of those persons, and that is what makes him just an average or weak [at best] grasscourt player (low reflexes and a bad mental mindset can be other reasons to explain his poor tennis on grasscourt).

The difference between my argumentation and yours is that I use the reality, I mean the real past results of Safin on grass, something that the guy has actually done [or should I better say failed to accomplish], as opposed to you, who uses the eventuality of a good run of Safin during next Wimbledon [like when you write : "write me back after Wimbledon this year and say "I told you so" if he goes out before the 4th round, but if he makes the 1/4's or better"], which is at best only a virtuality, something that hasn't been done yet, and will perhaps or perhaps never happen, who knows... So my way to argue = using facts in a real world, and your way to argue = using your imagination in a virtual world.

Of course you have the right to have your own opinions, I don't contest that right, I simply point out how your opinion is inaccurate on a particular subject, like I would do it, if someone would tell that his opinion is an other absurd statement like "My opinion is that Agassi is a Serve & Volleyer" or "I believe that Mozart is still alive".

Coria
02-28-2005, 07:48 PM
Johhny Mac had the best hands ever, in my opinion. Even Connors said that and he rarely ever complemented Mac.

35ft6
02-28-2005, 09:44 PM
I think Rios had more talent than Safin. But not as much as Federer does.

daniel_rst
02-28-2005, 09:56 PM
It's funny, but answering these types of questions is really the entire point of my web site and rating system. Everyone knows that "talent" or "skill" cannot be measured directly. However, it can be inferred through wins and losses in the long run. Simply put, a player who consistently wins over skillful players is more talented than one who does not.

The ELO rating system is one way to put a number to a skill level. This is what I have done at http://www.setratings.com. There is plenty of information about it there.

Federer has both a higher peak rating and a higher current rating than Safin. Unless Safin starts playing consistently much better for an extended period of time (e.g. a year or two, not one match), it is pretty safe to say that Federer is the more talented player.

Arguing about potential is a whole different matter, but that is quite useless since it is more or less impossible to verify.

Max G.
02-28-2005, 11:27 PM
Heh. I've always thought that what differentiated "talent" from just "skill" and "being good" is that it's inborn and not taught - but that's completely impossible to figure out, which is why discussion on it is useless.

When arguing who's the better player, that's kinda obvious - Federer with his 3-grand-slams-in-one-year and his ridiculously good record is head and shoulders over anything Safin has done.

morten
03-01-2005, 12:59 AM
Safin has not got good hands,terrible volleys on grass(halfvolleys,finesseshots)consistent power and angle yes. My vote goes to Johnny Mac and Arazi...(sometimes myself)..Simply amazing,even though i love Edberg.

raftermania
03-01-2005, 01:31 AM
It's funny, but answering these types of questions is really the entire point of my web site and rating system. Everyone knows that "talent" or "skill" cannot be measured directly. However, it can be inferred through wins and losses in the long run. Simply put, a player who consistently wins over skillful players is more talented than one who does not.

The ELO rating system is one way to put a number to a skill level. This is what I have done at http://www.setratings.com. There is plenty of information about it there.

Federer has both a higher peak rating and a higher current rating than Safin. Unless Safin starts playing consistently much better for an extended period of time (e.g. a year or two, not one match), it is pretty safe to say that Federer is the more talented player.

Arguing about potential is a whole different matter, but that is quite useless since it is more or less impossible to verify.

Daniel, I got to agree with you on this. It's pretty much futile to argue who has more talent by simply stating certain qualities about a player. Forget the means people, it's all about the end. The bottom line is Federer is whooping everyone's butt and until the tables turn -Fed has the most talent. I'm sorry people, but numbers don't lie.

C_Urala
03-01-2005, 04:02 AM
According to dictionary, "talent" is the natural ability to do something well.
Based on this definition, I'd say that such threads are senseless and provoking. We never know what part of their skills is natural and therefore, all such discussions lead only to mutual offences...

Pushmaster
03-01-2005, 04:28 AM
I never said Safin is better than Federer, just that I think their talent is pretty even. They just have a different kind of talent from one another. Utilizing your talent to your fullest is a talent within itself, and that's where Federer has had the edge thus far.

Bertchel Banks
03-01-2005, 08:39 AM
I never said Safin is better than Federer, just that I think their talent is pretty even.


At the 2002 Nasdaq-100 Safin play Hewitt in the Qtr and provided an entertaining match...and lost in a battle of equals. Next round Federer humiliates Hewitt in a mismatch.

At the 2001 USO semis in a rematch of the '00 final a slumping Sampras beats Safin in a solid match.

All through the summer he was being outclassed by Guga, giving him his first hardcourt title.

Rabbit
03-01-2005, 09:02 AM
Really and truly, guys, isn't the talent level of the top 100 about even? I mean these are the best 100 tennis players in the world. The only thing that winds up separating them is luck, their current attitude about their games, and a belief in themselves. The difference between the number 1 guy in the world and the number 100 guy in the world is all between the ears. The top 1000 guys in the world are supremely fit athletes and while we pick at Roddick about his net game, there isn't one of us that would probably see his/her game improve with Roddick's net game.

Serve-And-Volley
03-01-2005, 04:15 PM
First, Rabbit I agree with you 100%, tennis is a mental game, and that what seperates its best players: the mind. IMO, on the talent issue both men, Safin and Federer have imense talent, neither is better than the other in my eyes, they are both great competitors Federer sometimes better than Safin in that area. Both of them have heart and a competitive spirit and I feel that makes them both outstanding players.

SydW
03-01-2005, 06:10 PM
Really and truly, guys, isn't the talent level of the top 100 about even? I mean these are the best 100 tennis players in the world. The only thing that winds up separating them is luck, their current attitude about their games, and a belief in themselves. The difference between the number 1 guy in the world and the number 100 guy in the world is all between the ears. The top 1000 guys in the world are supremely fit athletes and while we pick at Roddick about his net game, there isn't one of us that would probably see his/her game improve with Roddick's net game.

Not true. I don't see the relation between comparing us with the top100 and the top100 with the no.1

I wouldn't say attitude and belief being the only elements that seperate who's the best and who's not. You'll always have players who actually worked much harder than the others (Hrbaty, Canas example) but they aren't going to make it to no.1 anytime.

Rabbit
03-01-2005, 07:12 PM
Not true. I don't see the relation between comparing us with the top100 and the top100 with the no.1

I wouldn't say attitude and belief being the only elements that seperate who's the best and who's not. You'll always have players who actually worked much harder than the others (Hrbaty, Canas example) but they aren't going to make it to no.1 anytime.

Then is it some physical liability on their, Hrbaty and Canas, part that keeps them from being number 1 or is it something else. My contention is that there is little physically that separatest the top 100. From purely an objective standpoint, we can see that there are no fat tennis players, no tennis players with one leg shorter than the other, no amputees, I think you get the idea. On the other hand, one can't quantify the mental process that goes on in a player's head. All things being equal physically, then one must assume the differences lie elsewhere. Certainly surface specific ability plays into it, Ivan Lendl worked harder than anyone on grass, at one time sacrificing a possible French Open title to concentrate on Wimbledon. But, was it his technical prowess or something mental? Didn't he win warm ups against the same players on grass?

I see a bigger difference between the mental than the physical. Since Safin has hired Lundgren as his coach, there has been a marked difference in his behavior on court. His physicality hasn't changed, he hasn't lost weight or added that much, if any muscle. What then has changed? I contend that it was his attitude both toward the game and his belief that he could win. Same could be said of Federer who folded like a cheap suit in Grand Slams before finally winning one and then believing that he could achieve. Many point to his victory over Sampras at Wimbledon as the turning point in his career. Could winning a match over someone he had a mental block against beating free his mind to believe that he could win? I think so.

Pushmaster
03-01-2005, 08:18 PM
At the 2002 Nasdaq-100 Safin play Hewitt in the Qtr and provided an entertaining match...and lost in a battle of equals. Next round Federer humiliates Hewitt in a mismatch.

At the 2001 USO semis in a rematch of the '00 final a slumping Sampras beats Safin in a solid match.

All through the summer he was being outclassed by Guga, giving him his first hardcourt title.
So what's your point? Because Safin lost a tough match to Hewitt who is one of the top players in the world, their talent is equal, and because Federer spanked Hewitt in the next round he has vastly superior talent over both??

And what does it mean if arguably the greatest, and most talented player ever with 14 GS titles gets hot and beats Safin in the semis at the 2001 US Open?

So a another great and talented player like Guga "outclasses" Safin for a couple
matches in 2001, so what?

Safin is 1-9 lifetime against Fabrice Santoro. So Santoro has way more talent than Safin?!? Geez, give me a break.

Bertchel Banks
03-01-2005, 08:40 PM
So what's your point? Because Safin lost a tough match to Hewitt who is one of the top players in the world, their talent is equal, and because Federer spanked Hewitt in the next round he has vastly superior talent over both??

And what does it mean if arguably the greatest, and most talented player ever with 14 GS titles gets hot and beats Safin in the semis at the 2001 US Open?

So a another great and talented player like Guga "outclasses" Safin for a couple
matches in 2001, so what?

Safin is 1-9 lifetime against Fabrice Santoro. So Santoro has way more talent than Safin?!? Geez, give me a break.

This is my point, Safin is overrated.

Federer Admirer
03-01-2005, 08:45 PM
Federer by far (it looks like Federer is gliding around the court) but safin is the only one who has the game to beat federer

ty slothrop
03-01-2005, 08:49 PM
35ft6 had the best analogy on this board....ever.

yeah, well charles barkley had the best tennis analogy not yet included in this board, tim duncan is in every way the basketball equivalent of pete sampras.

i had seen that for years in my own head and was floored when i heard that come out of the fat man's mouth

SydW
03-01-2005, 09:47 PM
Then is it some physical liability on their, Hrbaty and Canas, part that keeps them from being number 1 or is it something else. My contention is that there is little physically that separatest the top 100. From purely an objective standpoint, we can see that there are no fat tennis players, no tennis players with one leg shorter than the other, no amputees, I think you get the idea. On the other hand, one can't quantify the mental process that goes on in a player's head. All things being equal physically, then one must assume the differences lie elsewhere. Certainly surface specific ability plays into it, Ivan Lendl worked harder than anyone on grass, at one time sacrificing a possible French Open title to concentrate on Wimbledon. But, was it his technical prowess or something mental? Didn't he win warm ups against the same players on grass?

I see a bigger difference between the mental than the physical. Since Safin has hired Lundgren as his coach, there has been a marked difference in his behavior on court. His physicality hasn't changed, he hasn't lost weight or added that much, if any muscle. What then has changed? I contend that it was his attitude both toward the game and his belief that he could win. Same could be said of Federer who folded like a cheap suit in Grand Slams before finally winning one and then believing that he could achieve. Many point to his victory over Sampras at Wimbledon as the turning point in his career. Could winning a match over someone he had a mental block against beating free his mind to believe that he could win? I think so.

With player such as Safin you can probably say the main thing is his mind but I don't agree with you generalise the same for all the top 100 and the no.1 using the same logic.

Playing the game is just like playing an instrument or singing/dancing. It isn't just physical or mental that seperates between the good to the best, hence the term talents. Some are just blessed wtih something special, it isn't anything to do with getting the mind straights and you will be the no.1.

35ft6
03-02-2005, 06:32 AM
Federer by far (it looks like Federer is gliding around the court) but safin is the only one who has the game to beat federer This may be true but I still haven't seen it be proven beyond doubt. Roger was really off in the Aussie Open match and it was still a close 5 sets. I'm going to have to see Safin beat Federer at close to his best before this statement is elevated to truth, and not just something I reflexively agree with by default (who else but Safin?).

drexeler
03-02-2005, 06:46 AM
yeah, well charles barkley had the best tennis analogy not yet included in this board, tim duncan is in every way the basketball equivalent of pete sampras.

i had seen that for years in my own head and was floored when i heard that come out of the fat man's mouth

I heard Bill Walton say that during last year's playoffs or the year before. He said something to the effect of "He (Duncan) is like Pete Sampras. Always wins and wins quietly."

Camilio Pascual
03-02-2005, 07:30 AM
At their best, Safin is the superior player. Safin brings his best to the court about half as often as Rajah.

SydW
03-02-2005, 07:52 AM
Almost each time Safin loses, it's him not bringing his brain to the court. His fans give excuse as good as the man himself.

drexeler
03-02-2005, 08:33 AM
At their best, Safin is the superior player. Safin brings his best to the court about half as often as Rajah.

superior in terms of what? If it's power and strength, yes, otherwise, no. The stats bear these out clearly:

H-H: 6-2, GS's: 4-2, TMC's: 2-0, Wimbledon's: 2-0. Shows Federer is superior head-to-head and against the field.

Their head-to-head in slams is 1-1, both coming at the AO, where the high-bouncing surface suits Safin favorably. The win by Federer was in straight sets whereas Safin's was in 5, and he was down MP in 4th. One could use tiredness as excuse for Safin's loss, but he got two days rest before final. On the other hand, one could use a wrong call at 5-5, 15-30 (5th set) on Safin's serve as excuse for Fed's loss.

federer2
03-02-2005, 09:21 AM
At their best, Safin is the superior player. Safin brings his best to the court about half as often as Rajah.
superior?? C'mon!!

C_Urala
03-02-2005, 11:24 PM
This may be true but I still haven't seen it be proven beyond doubt. Roger was really off in the Aussie Open match and it was still a close 5 sets. I'm going to have to see Safin beat Federer at close to his best before this statement is elevated to truth, and not just something I reflexively agree with by default (who else but Safin?).

"Roger was really off in the Aussie Open match" just because he played Safin. It's Safin who made Federer off. So you will not going to see perfect Federer when he plays Safin on a mission. Does it diminish Safin's talent (whatever way you use this word)?

Phil
03-02-2005, 11:33 PM
At their best, Safin is the superior player. Safin brings his best to the court about half as often as Rajah.

Not true, Camilio - Actually, Safin brings his best to the court about 25% as often as Rajah, who's Best is holding steady at about 85% of the time he steps on the court. Additionally, when the match is a quarter final or later in the tournament, Safin brings his best only 11.2% of the time, while Federer's best pct. rises to 91.3%. Therefore, Federer is the better player 94.334% of the time, and Safin's AO win over Fed was, in fact, a statistical anomoly.

Camilio Pascual
03-03-2005, 03:20 AM
Phil - There's a 43.79% chance you're right.

Kaptain Karl
03-03-2005, 04:04 AM
And some people say tennis isn't cerebral...!

- KK

35ft6
03-03-2005, 04:28 AM
"Roger was really off in the Aussie Open match" just because he played Safin. It's Safin who made Federer off. So you will not going to see perfect Federer when he plays Safin on a mission. Does it diminish Safin's talent (whatever way you use this word)? I acknowledged that possibility earlier, but in my honest opinion, after having watched that match several times whenever I have nothing better to do, I don't think that's the case. Look, I'll give props to Safin if I sincerely believe he deserves it.

Federer was NOT playing well that match. He was just out of sync. He was just missing shots inexplicably. Whatever.

Pushmaster
03-03-2005, 04:41 AM
You guys kill me. :roll: ANYBODY is going to look "out of sync" when they are getting outplayed by their opponent! :razz:

35ft6
03-03-2005, 05:37 AM
You guys kill me. :roll: ANYBODY is going to look "out of sync" when they are getting outplayed by their opponent! :razz: IMO this point doesn't apply to this match. Federer was missing routine shots for no reason. Even the sets he won, he wasn't playing so hot. Just admit that it IS possible for somebody to have a bad day, even Federer. Does that take away from Safin's win? Of course not. Not at all.

I can't wait to see these guys play again... and again... and again.

bb47
03-03-2005, 08:49 AM
This may be true but I still haven't seen it be proven beyond doubt. Roger was really off in the Aussie Open match and it was still a close 5 sets. I'm going to have to see Safin beat Federer at close to his best before this statement is elevated to truth, and not just something I reflexively agree with by default (who else but Safin?).

yeah, here we go again. Roger WAS off. He was OFF THE COURT most of the time, behind the baseline to be precise, could not cope with Safin's deep hitting. It was a GS semi, Fed was in good form but he could not control the match and did not like it at all. I think it came as a surprise to him. If that's what you mean by being "off", then yes, their next match will be much more difficult for Safin, Fed will be supercharged, methink.