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pc1
04-09-2009, 07:42 AM
Just curious about your opinions on who is the most talented player ever. It doesn't necessarily mean achievement but you can for example name a player like Safin if you think he's the most talented ever. It's all subjective and I'm curious about people's thoughts here. You can name the most talented male player and the most talented female player. No such thing as wrong answer here.

helloworld
04-09-2009, 08:44 AM
John McEnroe.

suwanee4712
04-09-2009, 08:53 AM
I would take Mac easily on the mens side. Although there certainly are a lot of players like Leconte and Pioline that oozed all kinds of talent.

On the womens side, I think Martina, Hana, and Evonne had the most raw talent of the players that I saw.

urban
04-09-2009, 10:17 AM
Most older Aussies would say Lew Hoad, he had the game, the power, the looks. I have seen only short clips, so i cannot really evaluate him. I have never seen a more complete player than Rod Laver. Nastase and Borg had amasing athletic abilities, but in pure technical terms, they had not the complex game of Laver. McEnroe had a more dramatic touch around the net, but not the devastating groundies. From the newer generation, Leconte or Mecir could make the ball talk. Becker had the raw power, but as a tennis player, Michael Stich probably was more complete. Safin is a modern day Hoad, big, dramatic and good looking, and with an eye for the high life.

heninfan99
04-09-2009, 10:36 AM
Magnus Larsson

pc1
04-09-2009, 11:32 AM
Most older Aussies would say Lew Hoad, he had the game, the power, the looks. I have seen only short clips, so i cannot really evaluate him. I have never seen a more complete player than Rod Laver. Nastase and Borg had amasing athletic abilities, but in pure technical terms, they had not the complex game of Laver. McEnroe had a more dramatic touch around the net, but not the devastating groundies. From the newer generation, Leconte or Mecir could make the ball talk. Becker had the raw power, but as a tennis player, Michael Stich probably was more complete. Safin is a modern day Hoad, big, dramatic and good looking, and with an eye for the high life.

I'd read a lot of people who would pick Lew Hoad. However I find Ken Rosewall's opinion of Rod Laver to be quite interesting. This quote is from the book "Playing Tennis with Rosewall." When he is playing confidently I cannot think of a more destructive tennis machine than Rod Laver. He is one of the toughest players you could ever have the misfortune to meet. He hits the ball hard, moves like lightning and has no weaknesses--so how do you beat him? To be honest you do not, unless a chink appears in his armour. It used to be his forehand volley but that's no weakness now. Occasionally it is his service which still lets him down at times. However in the last five or six years his service has improve out of sight. He is hitting even harder now than he used to and the wicked spin that he can command and the disguise he can achieve-particularly when running flat out to make his shot, makes him a really hazardous opponent to face.


I would guess in reading that that Rosewall thinks Laver may be more talented than Hoad.

Borg had incredible gifts also along with Nastase, Mecir. McEnroe and LeConte. Stich was a disappointment to me because I thought he was so gifted and would surpass Becker. Sampras praises Stich in his book.

For women, I think Serena Williams, Hana Mandlikova, Evonne Goolagong, Graf and I thought Jennifer Capriati had great talent.

max
04-09-2009, 02:22 PM
Magnus Larsson

An interesting prospect. Offhand, I would offer Lew Hoad or Pancho Gonzales.

fastdunn
04-09-2009, 02:38 PM
John McEnroe.

yep. McEnroe at age around 50 playing in senior tour, still makes me wonder "how the hell does he do that?". as a tennis player, i always feel like he is the biggest mystery in my understanding of the game. McEnroe makes me spent the most amount of time to think about "what is tennis after all" if you know what i mean.

then again, i only followed tennis about 20 years. in terms of pure atheleticism, Sampras is the most complete players I've ever seen. (I just have not seen much of Laver or Gonzales. Not in a position to say anything about pre-open era.)

pc1
04-09-2009, 03:24 PM
Fastdunn,

McEnroe is one of the most unique players in the history of tennis. He has more talent in a single cell than most players have in their entire body. His hands are so fast and his touch is stunning.

Sampras is a great athlete, one of the finest in tennis history. Sampras in his book wrote that he felt his athleticism give him an advantage over Agassi in their matches or at least he wrote something to that effect.

Bagumbawalla
04-09-2009, 04:08 PM
If we're just talking talent, then Ilie Nastase was, when he was not clowining or ranting, one of the most gifted players on any surface, and had a streak of winning the Masters against the top players of his day.

GameSampras
04-09-2009, 04:19 PM
Stich, Korda, Fed, Safin, Laver,Andre, Mac, Lendl, Pete from a pure talent perspective . There are so many to choose from.

egn
04-09-2009, 04:34 PM
Stich, Korda, Fed, Safin, Laver,Andre, Mac, Lendl, Pete from a pure talent perspective . There are so many to choose from.

Yep thats a good list including pre open era you have to count Laver, Pancho, Hoad.

Determining who has the most is hard because results can also get in the way. In the future few people will remember Safin for being talented because he did not put up results but when you see Safin at his best it is a wow factor.

pc1
04-09-2009, 05:05 PM
Stich, Korda, Fed, Safin, Laver,Andre, Mac, Lendl, Pete from a pure talent perspective . There are so many to choose from.

That's a nice list. I forgot about Korda. He was something when he was on his game. Andre had great hands obviously and Lendl was underrated as far as talent was concerned. He was more talented than most.

CyBorg
04-09-2009, 05:20 PM
From the things I've read, Ellsworth Vines should be mentioned. And, of course, Tilden.

pc1
04-09-2009, 05:37 PM
From the things I've read, Ellsworth Vines should be mentioned. And, of course, Tilden.

A lot of people have said that Vines was the most talented and the best ever when on. And Tilden was considered to be virtually the perfect tennis player with the perfect build for the game.

clayman2000
04-09-2009, 07:24 PM
for me whoever you feel is the GOAT is the is the most talented player
Talent = natural skill + lots of work
Roger Federer didnt become as talented as he did by sitting around in his home... he had to go out and work on his presice shots...
And i dont think the GOAT is Roger

NotSoSuper
04-09-2009, 07:26 PM
Safin for sure

scotus
04-09-2009, 08:00 PM
How about adding Rios to the list?

JW10S
04-09-2009, 08:08 PM
Pancho Gonzalez

NotSoSuper
04-09-2009, 08:11 PM
Does anyone know of any good youtube clips of pancho?

JoshDragon
04-09-2009, 08:52 PM
I think Roger and Pete are the most talented that I've seen.

kashgotmoney
04-09-2009, 09:28 PM
Just curious about your opinions on who is the most talented player ever. It doesn't necessarily mean achievement but you can for example name a player like Safin if you think he's the most talented ever. It's all subjective and I'm curious about people's thoughts here. You can name the most talented male player and the most talented female player. No such thing as wrong answer here.

Everybody knows its me, im the most talented of all time. Just kidding. i think agassi is the most talented

Shaolin
04-09-2009, 09:30 PM
Marcelo Rios

pc1
04-10-2009, 03:42 AM
Does anyone know of any good youtube clips of pancho?

Didn't think they had any but I checked out youtube and here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd0gJzm_EQY

I haven't seen the whole clip yet but it's from a special on him a few years ago.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-10-2009, 04:59 AM
A lot of people have said that Vines was the most talented and the best ever when on. And Tilden was considered to be virtually the perfect tennis player with the perfect build for the game.

If I believe the very old witnesses, Joshua Pim was the very talented one in those days . Here are some extracts that I listed in another post :

About Joshua Pim, Hillyard wrote in 1924-1925 : "Dr Pim then, at his best, was one of the greatest players (some think the greatest) ever seen. /.../ Complete master of every stroke on the court, there were two in particular I have never seen equalled. Indeed one of these I have never seen attempted by any other player. This was a drop volley made from any point between the service and base lines. / ... in a back of the court rally his opponent would drive a ball ... But the "Doctor", on occasion, did not let it bound. A rapid step or two forward, a snap of the wrist, and behold he had drop volleyd that ball short over the net, and left his antagonist stranded and staring, yards and yards away ! It was an amazing stroke, and one that only an absolute master fo the game could hope to bring off. Try it for yourself and see ! The other stroke I refer to was his lob ..."

Later probably Malcolm Douglass Whitman who had a very short career but seemed almost invincible.

Norman Brookes who was a very crafted serve and volley player (in 1924-25 still thought that Brookes' serve was better than Tilden's) but had no stamina at all.

Tilden naturally.

Cochet who made Tilden crazy for 3 consecutive years and in particular in the 1929 Davis Cup Challenge Round when Tilden said "Cochet plays a game I don't know".

Vines of course.

If some (Hopman, Kramer, ...) considered that Budge was the best day in day out and had a very complete game then he was probably very talented.

Frank Kovacs also was very talented. In particular in his opening match against Budge in the 41-42 pro North American tour the gallery expressed his Kovac's game admiration (the best backhand after Budge in those times). In 1952 he was still able to beat Gonzales (in one of their two matches played at Philadelphia) and in 1955 he had still match points against Gorgo.

Gonzales hadn't very efficient groundstrokes however he was such a competitor that he was talented.

Hoad of course (I don't think as you suggest that Rosewall considered Laver more talented but at the time of Rosewall's comment, around 1972 (or a few years before ?)? Laver was Ken's main opponent while Hoad was retired since many years).

Laver naturally

In late 1974 Robert "Bob" Anthony John Hewitt (not to confuse with Lleyton Hewitt) considered that the best two players he had faced were Laver and Hoad but in terms of talent he seemed to favour Nastase instead of Laver and considered that when Nastase was hot he could reached summits as high as Hoad.

Borg was probably much more talented than many thought (but it is true that he worked very hard : 5 hours a day and even 7 hours to prepare the Slam tournaments).

Mac of course (he was told as not training more than a hour a day).

Henri Leconte (not "LeConte" or even "Le Conte") though I don't think he was as talented as it was claimed. To give you an example, he never beat Becker except during one month in their whole careers : at Hambourg in May 1988 and a few weeks later at Roland Garros on clay each time, the worst surface of the German. Very often on fast surfaces Leconte could take a set from Boris but couldn't make better.

Becker naturally : once I watched him on TV stating that in terms of talent he was between Lendl (the less talented) and McEnroe (the more talented) but I think he was very close to Mac and perhaps even superior to John.

Mecir's performance at Key Biscayne against Lendl in 1987 seemed to have been great (I haven't watched the match)

Sampras not bad at all : his Asian and MSG exhibitions against Federer after an almost 5-year retirement speak for themselves. In the summer of 1999 between Wimbledon and Cincinatti he "walked on water" as stated Agassi.

Agassi also apparently didn't train hard in his early career (it seems that his 1997 decline has changed his train habits.

Stich's win at Wimby has perhaps demotivated him afterwards.

Possibly Philippoussis : I watched the whole 2000 Paris-Bercy final he played against Safin and until Marat slightly injured himself (the match was stopped a few minutes), Philippoussis was overwhelming, dominating Safin from head to foot. But when play resumed, Mark had lost some of his impetus and Safin came back to eventually lift the trophy. And before at Wimby 1999 he led Sampras 6-4 1-2 before retiring but he proved that he could have seriously threatened the great Sampras that day. And the same year on indoor clay in the Davis Cup final many observers thought that no one could play better than Philippoussis did against Grosjean and Pioline.

Safin's performances at the 2000 US Open final and the 2005 Australian Open final rounds were superb.

Federer of course.

Nalbandian whose play in particular on medium fast indoor carpets can be absolutely amazing : remember his performances at Madrid and Paris in 2007 when he clearly dominated Federer and crushed Nadal both times.

Nadal impresses me more and more : he never ceases to improve technically so he must have a certain amount of talent. Perhaps he is underrated as Borg was in his time.

Wait and see for Tsonga.

pc1
04-10-2009, 05:24 AM
If I believe the very old witnesses, Joshua Pim was the very talented one in those days . Here are some extracts that I listed in another post :

About Joshua Pim, Hillyard wrote in 1924-1925 : "Dr Pim then, at his best, was one of the greatest players (some think the greatest) ever seen. /.../ Complete master of every stroke on the court, there were two in particular I have never seen equalled. Indeed one of these I have never seen attempted by any other player. This was a drop volley made from any point between the service and base lines. / ... in a back of the court rally his opponent would drive a ball ... But the "Doctor", on occasion, did not let it bound. A rapid step or two forward, a snap of the wrist, and behold he had drop volleyd that ball short over the net, and left his antagonist stranded and staring, yards and yards away ! It was an amazing stroke, and one that only an absolute master fo the game could hope to bring off. Try it for yourself and see ! The other stroke I refer to was his lob ..."

Later probably Malcolm Douglass Whitman who had a very short career but seemed almost invincible.

Norman Brookes who was a very crafted serve and volley player (in 1924-25 still thought that Brookes' serve was better than Tilden's) but had no stamina at all.

Tilden naturally.

Cochet who made Tilden crazy for 3 consecutive years and in particular in the 1929 Davis Cup Challenge Round when Tilden said "Cochet plays a game I don't know".

Vines of course.

If some (Hopman, Kramer, ...) considered that Budge was the best day in day out and had a very complete game then he was probably very talented.

Gonzales hadn't very efficient groundstrokes however he was such a competitor that he was talented.

Hoad of course (I don't think as you suggest that Rosewall considered Laver more talented but at the time of Rosewall's comment, around 1972 (or a few years before ?)? Laver was Ken's main opponent while Hoad was retired since many years).

Laver naturally

In late 1974 Robert "Bob" Anthony John Hewitt (not to confuse with Lleyton Hewitt) considered that the best two players he had faced were Laver and Hoad but in terms of talent he seemed to favour Nastase instead of Laver and considered that when Nastase was hot he could reached summits as high as Hoad.

Borg was probably much more talented than many thought (but it is true that he worked very hard : 5 hours a day and even 7 hours to prepare the Slam tournaments).

Mac of course (he was told as not training more than a hour a day).

Henri Leconte (not "LeConte" or even "Le Conte") though I don't think he was as talented as it was claimed. To give you an example, he never beat Becker except during one month in their whole careers : at Hambourg in May 1988 and a few weeks later at Roland Garros on clay each time, the worst surface of the German. Very often on fast surfaces Leconte could take a set from Boris but couldn't make better.

Becker naturally : once I watched him on TV stating that in terms of talent he was between Lendl (the less talented) and McEnroe (the more talented) but I think he was very close to Mac and perhaps even superior to John.

Mecir's performance at Key Biscayne against Lendl in 1987 seemed to have been great (I haven't watched the match)

Sampras not bad at all : his Asian and MSG exhibitions against Federer after an almost 5-year retirement speak for themselves. In the summer of 1999 between Wimbledon and Cincinatti he "walked on water" as stated Agassi.

Agassi also apparently didn't train hard in his early career (it seems that his 1997 decline has changed his train habits.

Stich's win at Wimby has perhaps demotivated him afterwards.

Safin's performances at the 2000 US Open final and the 2005 Australian Open final rounds were superb.

Federer of course.

Nadal impresses more and more : he never ceases to improve technically so he must have a certain amount of talent. Perhaps he is underrated as Borg was in his time.

Wait and see for Tsonga.

Fantastic post Carlo. I am also getting more and more impressed with Nadal. He doesn't seem to have any majors weaknesses players can attack and as you wrote, he works very hard to improve technically.

Since you mentioned Mecir, you mentioned the Key Biscayne match against Lendl and like you, I understand it must have been great but I didn't see it. However I did see the 1987 WCT final in which he defeated McEnroe 6-0 3-6 6-2 6-2. Mecir was brilliant. Such flowing movement, incredible angles and passing shots. McEnroe did not play that badly but lost. Of course it was not the McEnroe of 1984 but he was still very good.

You're probably seen this but here's youtube clip of Mecir against Wilander at the U.S. Open.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2bzlj4ypvw

Leconte was one of my favorites to watch but I may agree with you that his talent may have been overrated. He was a wild player of course but his speed as a bit suspect to me. I think he was perhaps slower than many players and you cannot have super talent if you aren't that fast. He was fun to watch. His hand/eye coordination was amazing and he had wonderful angle volleys. This is not important but Leconte was my wife's favorite player. She says the players now are boring compared to Leconte.

One player that some have talked about that had great talent is Frank Kovacs. He unfortunately was also known as "The Clown Prince of Tennis." Bobby Riggs once describe a match around 1950 in which Kovacs defeated Frank Parker with the loss of only one game in three sets. Riggs thought no one in the history of tennis could do that to Parker but Kovacs. Kovacs was 6'3" tall and he had such a great backhand that even a Jack Kramer couldn't serve and volley against and Kramer had one of the great serves of all time. It's a shame Kovacs didn't take tennis seriously.

Azzurri
04-10-2009, 06:50 AM
Does anyone know of any good youtube clips of pancho?

I could care less about this thread.................

gabritox
04-10-2009, 07:52 AM
Fabrice Santoro

pc1
04-10-2009, 08:18 AM
LOL...yea, lets rate player talent from YT video clips. Just likem the kiddies on the boards today will argue with people that actually watched many of the greats play, yet YT videos is their education..joke.

not jumping on you and I know what you meant, but YT clips should not be a way to "judge" someone's talent vs. another player of different generations. It is impossible. Don Budge was supposed to be a great talent, yet someone like Nadal would smoke him. Silly.

The guy that won Wimbledon ike 7 straight times in the 1800's should also be mentioned..right?:shock:

Of course you really can't judge talent from clips but people at least want to get an idea of what the player all about.

You can see stroke technique and the way the players move so while you may not judge unless you see more of the player, you can form an initial impression.

You can't say a guy like Don Budge would be smoked by Nadal and you can't say that Nadal wouldn't smoke him.

A lot of people have argued about the merits of Ken Rosewall but Ken Rosewall was competitive up to the late 1970's and for example defeated Vitas Gerulaitis in the semi-finals of the Sidney Indoor in 1977 at age 43. Would Nadal have smoked Rosewall? Would Rosewall have smoked Nadal? Who knows? My opinion is neither would smoked either one if they played in their primes.

Josh has nice opinions and I respect them but to say his opinions are clearly better than the others, well I disagree. It's all subjective and that's the fun of it.

pc1
04-10-2009, 02:41 PM
Thanks but actually I've only seen Sampras through You Tube videos. Although there is enough footage of him to get a feel for what kind of player he was.

I agree about Tilden it's almost impossible to get any footage of him at all. Although from what I've seen of the players (via you tube) from around that time period, they are still great athletes but lack the power of the guys today. The game seems significantly different back then also.

It's has a lot to do with the equipment Josh. Remember tiny wood rackets with small heads and heavier than our racket today. The players didn't have the head surface to put a lot of spin on the ball. If the players played with our rackets they would hit a lot harder.

If you watch the women players you would think they hit the ball very hard today, wouldn't you? Well, if the guys from the 1920's played today, wouldn't you think they would hit the ball harder than the female players of today? I would think so. Don't confuse racket technology advancement with tennis skills. In fact the wood rackets forced a lot of the players to learn more tennis skills than today's players. They had to because no one with a few minor exceptions like Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad could hit a lot of winners from the baseline.

Tilden was 6'2 I believe, so he was taller than Nadal and Federer. He was a tennis addict and was obsessed with improving himself and studying the game. Don't you think he might have learned how to play with our racket today? I can't prove it but I would tend to think so.

I didn't see Tilden, very few have but from second hand accounts he was very talented.

The most talented players I have seen were not necessarily in this order Laver, Nastase, Borg, McEnroe, Mecir, Sampras. Don't want to rate Nadal and Federer yet but I'm sure they are up there. Korda and Rios also. These are players I have seen in person and often on television.

Satch
04-10-2009, 02:51 PM
Roger and Safin

Golden Retriever
04-10-2009, 03:00 PM
Most talented is the one who wins the most matches in the pro tour. Otherwise it is just a lot of speculation and heresay.

Tshooter
04-10-2009, 03:30 PM
"Most talented is the one who wins the most matches in the pro tour."

No that would be the player with the most wins. The most talented, however, was Nastase.

jaggy
04-10-2009, 03:45 PM
Bahrami for me

Azzurri
04-10-2009, 06:03 PM
Of course you really can't judge talent from clips but people at least want to get an idea of what the player all about.

You can see stroke technique and the way the players move so while you may not judge unless you see more of the player, you can form an initial impression.

You can't say a guy like Don Budge would be smoked by Nadal and you can't say that Nadal wouldn't smoke him.

A lot of people have argued about the merits of Ken Rosewall but Ken Rosewall was competitive up to the late 1970's and for example defeated Vitas Gerulaitis in the semi-finals of the Sidney Indoor in 1977 at age 43. Would Nadal have smoked Rosewall? Would Rosewall have smoked Nadal? Who knows? My opinion is neither would smoked either one if they played in their primes.

Josh has nice opinions and I respect them but to say his opinions are clearly better than the others, well I disagree. It's all subjective and that's the fun of it.

I could care less about this thread.................

Azzurri
04-10-2009, 06:09 PM
Thanks but actually I've only seen Sampras through You Tube videos. Although there is enough footage of him to get a feel for what kind of player he was.

I agree about Tilden it's almost impossible to get any footage of him at all. Although from what I've seen of the players (via you tube) from around that time period, they are still great athletes but lack the power of the guys today. The game seems significantly different back then also.

...............................

Morpheus
04-10-2009, 06:34 PM
Ilie Natase. Greatest natural talent ever to play the game.

JoshDragon
04-10-2009, 09:38 PM
It's has a lot to do with the equipment Josh. Remember tiny wood rackets with small heads and heavier than our racket today. The players didn't have the head surface to put a lot of spin on the ball. If the players played with our rackets they would hit a lot harder.

If you watch the women players you would think they hit the ball very hard today, wouldn't you? Well, if the guys from the 1920's played today, wouldn't you think they would hit the ball harder than the female players of today? I would think so. Don't confuse racket technology advancement with tennis skills. In fact the wood rackets forced a lot of the players to learn more tennis skills than today's players. They had to because no one with a few minor exceptions like Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad could hit a lot of winners from the baseline.

Tilden was 6'2 I believe, so he was taller than Nadal and Federer. He was a tennis addict and was obsessed with improving himself and studying the game. Don't you think he might have learned how to play with our racket today? I can't prove it but I would tend to think so.

I didn't see Tilden, very few have but from second hand accounts he was very talented.

The most talented players I have seen were not necessarily in this order Laver, Nastase, Borg, McEnroe, Mecir, Sampras. Don't want to rate Nadal and Federer yet but I'm sure they are up there. Korda and Rios also. These are players I have seen in person and often on television.

I'm not sure about Tilden being obsessed with improving himself. From what I've read he didn't eat healthy meals and he smoked. Hard to believe someone with habits like that could be more committed to the game than the players today.

pc1
04-10-2009, 09:47 PM
I'm not sure about Tilden being obsessed with improving himself. From what I've read he didn't eat healthy meals and he smoked. Hard to believe someone with habits like that could be more committed to the game than the players today.

Good point but I think people weren't as health conscious in those days. Pancho Gonzalez was known for being a heavy smoker also and he (from what I've read) didn't have the best diet either. I don't think cigarettes were known to be bad for you then. It's hard to believe that people didn't know that in those days but it's true.

I read in Fred Perry's book a story in which an old Tilden wanted to show Perry something he just mastered on the tennis court. He told Perry to hit a ball wide to him and Tilden used Perry's forehand style to return the ball to him. He told Perry that after watching Perry play that he felt Perry's forehand grip was the best way to return that shot and he didn't feel he would be a complete player unless he mastered that shot.

That's why I thought he was obsessed with bettering himself in tennis.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
04-11-2009, 05:26 AM
Yeah probably Johhny Mac!

mental midget
04-11-2009, 06:11 AM
safin, absolutely NOT. the safin idolatry around here is out of control. big hitter, powerful game? sure. but 'tennis genius,' mentioning him in the same breath as a federer, or a sampras, which happens pretty frequently on these boards? no way, no how. he's a big, strong guy who could get hot and make trouble for anyone-and that's about it.

to answer the question, of the players i've seen enough of to make an informed opinion:

rios comes up a lot, with good reason. maybe the best ball control i've ever seen. i remember a match with agassi, might have been key biscayne, where andre was playing some of his very best tennis. in an interview before the match, when asked what his strategy against marcelo was going to be, andre said something to the effect of, "well, i haven't decided yet whether i'll try and move him around, or just hit right through him." big smirk on his face.

rios then proceeded to completely dismantle him, it was the epitome of 'teaching someone a lesson.'

also, stich, and roger, obviously.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-13-2009, 10:14 PM
Fantastic post Carlo....

One player that some have talked about that had great talent is Frank Kovacs. He unfortunately was also known as "The Clown Prince of Tennis." Bobby Riggs once describe a match around 1950 in which Kovacs defeated Frank Parker with the loss of only one game in three sets. Riggs thought no one in the history of tennis could do that to Parker but Kovacs. Kovacs was 6'3" tall and he had such a great backhand that even a Jack Kramer couldn't serve and volley against and Kramer had one of the great serves of all time. It's a shame Kovacs didn't take tennis seriously.

Thanks a lot for your congratulations.
Thanks to your remark about Kovacs whom I've completely forgotten, I've edited my previous post : he won only one great title in 1951 when he captured the World Pro title over Segura at Lakewood (near or in Cleveland). So he was one of the most talented players with the least record to show. But when he didn't act as a "clown" (he was the Nastase of his time) he apparently could play very well. I've cited in the previous post his match against Budge in the 1941-1942 pro tour opener. McCauley in his book said that Kovacs led Kramer in 1951 something like 15-3 in their head-to-head meetings but I don't know if it was for the year or their whole pro careers or even all their careers. What I know is that in my (very incomplete) stats before December 1941 (when Kovacs turned pro) Kramer always lost to Kovacs. And when a player at 36 years old (in 1955) was able to have match points against Gonzales, then the world #1, you can guess he was very talented.

I've also watched live the quarterfinal between Mecir and Wilander at Wimby in 1988 and all along the match I knew that Mats would have many difficulties (not to say more) to come back and beat Mecir. The Slovak deserved his reputation of a chess player who could guess in advance where Mats's ball would go and land.

380pistol
04-14-2009, 10:19 AM
I'm not sure about Tilden being obsessed with improving himself. From what I've read he didn't eat healthy meals and he smoked. Hard to believe someone with habits like that could be more committed to the game than the players today.

Do you think todays players would be as concerned with health, nutrition and fitness if they played in the 1920's through 1950's?? It wasn't even fashionable til Lendl and Navratilova.

Hell I could say Pancho would eat Federer and Nadal as many said he was out of shape drinking coke during matches , eating hamburgers and hot dogs. So if he put in as much effort in health, fitness, training and nutrition as these modern day guys do, how devastating would he be?? I mean Safin lives like that and how long can he hold it together??

VivalaVida
04-14-2009, 10:21 AM
It is impossible for me to say. The only "GOAT" player I have ever watched is Federer and I dont know if I can call him the most talented. I have seen many Sampras matches on Tennis Channel though.

VivalaVida
04-14-2009, 10:27 AM
Do you think todays players would be as concerned with health, nutrition and fitness if they played in the 1920's through 1950's?? It wasn't even fashionable til Lendl and Navratilova.

Hell I could say Pancho would eat Federer and Nadal as many said he was out of shape drinking coke during matches , eating hamburgers and hot dogs. So if he put in as much effort in health, fitness, training and nutrition as these modern day guys do, how devastating would he be?? I mean Safin lives like that and how long can he hold it together??
The game is so different now than it was in those days. What makes you think that Gonzalez even if he put in effort would be a beast on todays circuit? Gonzalez might not even be able to beat Roddick if he was playing today. Every player should be judged in their own Era, you cant compare Gonzalez to Nadal or Federer. Also, Gonzalez played in a time where Tennis was no where near as physical at that time as it is nowadays and he was able to keep his diet of hamburgers and hot dogs.

380pistol
04-14-2009, 10:33 AM
The game is so different now than it was in those days. What makes you think that Gonzalez even if he put in effort would be a beast on todays circuit? Gonzalez might not even be able to beat Roddick if he was playing today. Every player should be judged in their own Era, you cant compare Gonzalez to Nadal or Federer. Also, Gonzalez played in a time where Tennis was no where near as physical at that time as it is nowadays.

I never said Gonzales could or couldn't. I said "I could say". As I was responding to JoshDragon's post about the fitness and training of today's players. A lot of things have evolved. It's the same with baseball years ago they'd show up 20lbs over weight and needed 6 weeks of spring training to lose the weight, who does that today?? But if players today played in the past would they focus on fitness the way they do now??

It's probable that during Pancho's time tennis wasn't as near as physical, but with all this baseline bashing one could say today's game is not as skilled, technical or refined. That's why I said a comparison can be made, but it's subjective.

swedechris
04-14-2009, 10:33 AM
Ilie Nastase ,Pancho Gonazalez, John Mcenroe.

VivalaVida
04-14-2009, 10:34 AM
I never said Gonzales could or couldn't. I said "I could say". As I was responding to JoshDragon's post about the fitness and training of today's players. A lot of things have evolved. It's the same with baseball years ago they'd show up 20lbs over weight and needed 6 weeks of spring training to lose the weight, who does that today?? But if players today played in the past would they focus on fitness the way they do now??

It's probable that during Pancho's time tennis wasn't as near as physical, but with all this baseline bashing one could say today's game is not as skilled, technical or refined. That's why I said a comparison can be made, but it's subjective.
I had no idea you were in the middle of a conversation. My apologies, 380pistol

hoodjem
04-14-2009, 11:53 AM
Vines, Frank Kovacs, Nastase, McEnroe, Mecir, Rios.

Shaolin
04-14-2009, 11:55 AM
^Excellent list.

egn
04-14-2009, 12:24 PM
I never said Gonzales could or couldn't. I said "I could say". As I was responding to JoshDragon's post about the fitness and training of today's players. A lot of things have evolved. It's the same with baseball years ago they'd show up 20lbs over weight and needed 6 weeks of spring training to lose the weight, who does that today?? But if players today played in the past would they focus on fitness the way they do now??

It's probable that during Pancho's time tennis wasn't as near as physical, but with all this baseline bashing one could say today's game is not as skilled, technical or refined. That's why I said a comparison can be made, but it's subjective.

100 percent on that. It was not a huge demand for fitness, as the game in the past was quicker, not about lasting really long and was far more technical. Hand-eye coordination was probably much more important than being a brute.

Azzurri
04-14-2009, 04:07 PM
The game is so different now than it was in those days. What makes you think that Gonzalez even if he put in effort would be a beast on todays circuit? Gonzalez might not even be able to beat Roddick if he was playing today. Every player should be judged in their own Era, you cant compare Gonzalez to Nadal or Federer. Also, Gonzalez played in a time where Tennis was no where near as physical at that time as it is nowadays and he was able to keep his diet of hamburgers and hot dogs.

I could care less about this thread.................

egn
04-14-2009, 04:19 PM
you get it, it seems most on this thread don't. Guys from the 40's would not be able to compete, let alone win.

To be clear to some of the "experts". When I say competitive, I mean pluck Gonzalez from his prime era, bring him to the present..he gets destroyed. Now a Gonzalez BORN within today's era would probably be a beast based ONLY on how he did against his peers. But since HE WAS NOT BORN IN THIS ERA, you cannot possible judge how he would do against today's player (I still believe the 90's player was better or at least much more versatile. Give those guys the poly string and the 90's player would destroy the current player-not named Roger or Rafa).

What about vice versa? now to 40s

joe sch
04-14-2009, 07:41 PM
I vote either Pancho Gonzalez or John McEnroe since both had the talent to beat anybody in the world till about 40 years of age and both were able to keep playing at world class levels till about 50 years old. Mac is still going. Both also dominated the world for atleast 5 years.

ajs72us
04-15-2009, 08:53 AM
The guy was just oooozing with physical talent. it was the mental side he lacked in. If this guy had chang's head he would have won several grand slams. He could do anything with the ball.

pc1
04-15-2009, 09:48 AM
I vote either Pancho Gonzalez or John McEnroe since both had the talent to beat anybody in the world till about 40 years of age and both were able to keep playing at world class levels till about 50 years old. Mac is still going. Both also dominated the world for atleast 5 years.

Either one of these choices are wonderful. Both of them made tennis seems so easy.

Azzurri
04-15-2009, 10:02 AM
I vote either Pancho Gonzalez or John McEnroe since both had the talent to beat anybody in the world till about 40 years of age and both were able to keep playing at world class levels till about 50 years old. Mac is still going. Both also dominated the world for atleast 5 years.

I could care less about this thread.................

JW10S
04-15-2009, 05:06 PM
Give Nadal or Federer a wooden racquet instead of their graphite racquets with polyester strings and have them play Gonzalez--who do you think would win? Automatically assuming current players are better and saying 'put players from the past in current draws and they'd get killed' is very naive. I say current players would have trouble going back and beating Bill Tilden wearing long pants, long sleeves and a weilding 16 oz. wood racquet that didn't even have a grip on it, just bare wood. The topic was who was the most 'talented' player. Gonzalez had the perfect make up. He was tall but moved around the court effortlessly (in canvas shoes no less), had the perfect blend of power and finesse, and had a competitive instinct second to none.

hoodjem
04-15-2009, 05:36 PM
and beating Bill Tilden wearing long pants, long sleeves and a wielding 16 oz. wood racquet that didn't even have a grip on it, just bare wood.
Actually, that was Budge with the 16.5 oz racquet and a no-leather-grip, bare wood handle.

JW10S
04-15-2009, 05:42 PM
Actually, that was Budge with the 16.5 oz racquet and a no-leather-grip, bare wood handle.I hate to break it to you, but Budge was not the only one who used heavy racquets with no grips in those days--it was more the norm rather than the exception. Even the women of that era did so.

Azzurri
04-15-2009, 06:04 PM
Azzurri, this does look like a contradiction, and it's not getting any clearer.

Whether you bring today's players to the past, or the past players to the future, you've got the same problem: you haven't seen the older players.

That's the reason you gave for not wanting to imagine the modern players in the 1940s. Fine, you don't want to pit them against players you've never seen, in conditions you've never witnessed. But these same players you've never seen, you're willing to judge that they would not adapt well to modern conditions. You know next to nothing about how these players adapted to their own conditions, nothing about what specific similarities might exist between their conditions and ours -- but nevertheless you're sure that they would not adapt well.

In another post you said it's clear that tennis is very different today. Very true, but if that's your point, then today's players are going to face very different conditions in the past. That's at least a great challenge for them -- but you won't even touch that question. It's hard to see why. Seriously, you don't need to see anyone play -- you don't even need to see one minute of old reels -- to know that changes in the sport over time are going to challenge any "time traveler" in either direction.

I'm surprised you thought only the "clueless" would see a double standard here. The problems you have with comparisons -- you mentioned the changes in technology, and lack of knowledge about older players due to limited footage -- cut both ways when comparing generations. But you've only cut in one direction.



On the one hand, Pancho was not born in this era. So no judgments are possible, you say, about how he would do with newer technology. But the 90s players, you're convinced, would do great if we gave them newer technology.

If the reason for your confidence is that you've actually seen the 90s players, I get that. But then I don't see you anywhere suspending judgment about how older players would adapt to new technology. To the contrary you've said everywhere that they would be destroyed.

Everything that you know about the past eras of tennis comes from short film reels about as long as YouTube clips, and from historians, which technically is "word of mouth" - though I would not call it that; otherwise we could never do history about anything.

I could care less about this thread.................

JW10S
04-15-2009, 06:32 PM
Some of the players mentioned were great players in their time. tennis has changed too much. I just don't see how players from the past could play in today's game because they grew up playing a different game altogether. Could Gonzalez challenge if he were born 20 years ago? Maybe, but I nor anyone else knows. way too much specualtion. but ist the so called "experts that make statements as fact that irks me.

As I asked in a post above--could the players of today go back and compete with the players of the past using the equipment of the past? Could Nadal or Federer beat Tilden if they had to play with Tilden's heavy wood racquets rather than their present day graphites with poly strings wearing long pants and long sleeve button down shirts? Of course Tilden would have trouble competing in today's game with his equipment but today's players would also have trouble if they went back in time and had to play with equipment of that era. Again, the topic of this thread is who is the most 'talented' player of all time. Saying a player from the 40's could not compete in today's game does absolutely nothing to answer that question.

Again, I say Gonzalez, for the reasons I listed in a previous post.

egn
04-15-2009, 06:33 PM
I should have stated those were opinions, based on not knowing. none of us know.

So you can make opinions...but they can't. Nobody is saying for face player a would beat player b. It has always been speculation and an opinion. This whole forum is opinion based.

wangs78
04-15-2009, 06:59 PM
for me whoever you feel is the GOAT is the is the most talented player
Talent = natural skill + lots of work
Roger Federer didnt become as talented as he did by sitting around in his home... he had to go out and work on his presice shots...
And i dont think the GOAT is Roger

I disagree. Talent = natural skill. That said, Talent + hard work/fortitude = success = greatness.

Kaptain Karl
04-15-2009, 07:05 PM
<Mod Mode> Stop the trolling, name-calling and bickering. Geez!!! </Mod Mode>

- KK

grafselesfan
04-15-2009, 07:19 PM
Explain Fed being at the top. Explain Djokovic. There are tons of lower ranked guys with good mental games who don't succeed for lack of talent. The talented players with bad mental game fails, but those are guys like Nalby and Safin. Tons of other players have strong mental games and don't succeed. By the way you are clueless then..cause the top pros in the 40-60s had great games. I am not 100% wrong stop making ******** statistics you back up with insults and horrible misspellings. I can name a bunch of good players who had a tough mental game and did not win slams and tons of great players who had crappy mental games and won slams.

Good mental games from today's game who did not win slams
Davydenko he doesn't choke he is just not good enough to beat the top
Verdasco plays great in Davis Cup doesn't win slams and gets beat a lot for lack of talent
Hewitt only had 2 slams in a weak era had a great mental game could not beat Fed..not for his mental state lack of talent.
A lot of guys in the the top 50 have good mental games they just get beaten by the more talented guys. Outside of Fed, Djokovic, Roddick, Nalby, Safin not too many guys strike me as being weak mentally. Del Potro I guess but he is 19.

Bad mental games won lots of slams
Lendl..choked in tons of slam finals still won a bunch
Fed..horrible headcase against Nadal still won 13 slams
Agassi..was a train wreck in the early 90s to mid 90s and still managed greatness.

Care to explain that..no wait your statistic is right because you backed it up with the word CLUELESS.

I agree with most of that. Well not sure on Davydenko. I think he does choke. Yes he isnt as strong as the very best but remember the 2007 French Open semis vs Federer for example? The 5th set of the 2005 French Open semis vs Puerta? Some other matches in his career although I cant remember them all now.

egn
04-15-2009, 07:23 PM
I agree with most of that. Well not sure on Davydenko. I think he does choke. Yes he isnt as strong as the very best but remember the 2007 French Open semis vs Federer for example? The 5th set of the 2005 French Open semis vs Puerta? Some other matches in his career although I cant remember them all now.

2005 yes I don't think he choked 2007, I think he just got outplayed. 2005 yes, but everyone chokes occasionally, but all and all Davydenko does not choke that often. 2006 he was playing his best tennis ever and did not choke at all in his AO QF he lost though to Fed completely off form. Not because he choked but Fed just was that far ahead of him. 2005 I am not sure if it was choking or exhaustion but I admit yes that match was disappointing. However guys like Blake, Fish, Phillioposus and anyone on that German Davis Cup team with Becker had no mental weakness. They did not succeed out of the Davis Cup though..lack of talent. It is not just mental game..talent plays a huge part.

kiki
07-31-2011, 02:48 AM
Laver
Hoad
Gonzales
Federer
Sampras
Tilden
Mc Enroe
Rosewall
Connors
Nastase

Cochet,Budge,Kramer,Borg,Edberg and Agassi would also deserve honourific mentions

Rock Strongo
07-31-2011, 03:47 AM
You sure are a talented bumper. Anyway, now that it is bumped I shall go with McEnroe.

Sid_Vicious
07-31-2011, 02:33 PM
Federer, I think.

Manus Domini
07-31-2011, 02:45 PM
McEnroe
Federer
Bahrami
Tilden
Gonzales (Pancho)
Rosewall
Laver
Borg
Nastase
Hoad/Vines

Limpinhitter
07-31-2011, 07:59 PM
Laver
Hoad
Gonzales
Federer
Sampras
Tilden
Mc Enroe
Rosewall
Connors
Nastase

Cochet,Budge,Kramer,Borg,Edberg and Agassi would also deserve honourific mentions

Good list! I can't think of anyone more talented than Laver. But, I would put Nastase and Borg near the top of that list.

DeShaun
07-31-2011, 09:26 PM
Tops by category (second place):
McEnroe's hands (Bahrami)
Edberg's footwork (Nadal)
Federer's anticipation (Agassi)
Borg's footspeed (Federer)
Laver's shot arsenal (Federer)
Nadal's point construction (Wilander)

Ben Hadd
07-31-2011, 10:52 PM
Federer, Borg, McEnroe.

Fugazi
07-31-2011, 11:07 PM
How about adding Rios to the list?
+1

10char

Sentinel
07-31-2011, 11:56 PM
Vijay Amritraj followed by Roger Federer.

kiki
08-01-2011, 04:46 AM
Vijay Amritraj followed by Roger Federer.

In terms of pure talent, Vijay was better than most of the players ranked above him, even some of the GOAT candidates wouldn´t be more talented.

mtr1
08-01-2011, 05:51 AM
Mansour Bahrami.

kiki
08-01-2011, 10:28 AM
Good list! I can't think of anyone more talented than Laver. But, I would put Nastase and Borg near the top of that list.

Other great talents: Santana,Roche,Panatta,Orantes,Gerulaitis,Mecir,Sti ch and Safin - in terms of pure tennis ability-.Leconte could have been there, so Rios, but they wasted much more talent than they used, so do not deserve to be considered true talented players.

Joe Pike
08-01-2011, 10:57 AM
Just curious about your opinions on who is the most talented player ever. It doesn't necessarily mean achievement but you can for example name a player like Safin if you think he's the most talented ever. It's all subjective and I'm curious about people's thoughts here. You can name the most talented male player and the most talented female player. No such thing as wrong answer here.

Graf, definitely!

Sadly she didn't win as much slams as she was supposed to do.

ximian
08-01-2011, 11:43 AM
I'm going to throw out Irakli Labadze. Dead serious too.

pc1
08-01-2011, 08:45 PM
I'm going to throw out Irakli Labadze. Dead serious too.

Why not? Like I wrote, there is no right or wrong answer.

Can you elaborate on why you think he's the most talented?

Manus Domini
08-01-2011, 08:50 PM
Tops by category (second place):
McEnroe's hands (Bahrami)
Edberg's footwork (Nadal)
Federer's anticipation (Agassi)
Borg's footspeed (Federer)
Laver's shot arsenal (Federer)
Nadal's point construction (Wilander)

No way Federer's footwork is worse than Nadal's

hoodjem
08-02-2011, 12:42 PM
Nastase, (but not for his antics).

FedExpress 333
08-02-2011, 01:01 PM
Federer.

GOAT.

adidasman
08-02-2011, 01:08 PM
I could care less about this thread................. The phrase is, "I COULDN'T care less about this thread." "I could care less" means, of course, that you could care even less than you do; I doubt that's what you mean. If you're going to be an irritant, at least get your irritating remark right. (And you're trying soooooooooo hard to get someone to comment on your ambivalence, I didn't want you to burst from the anticipation.)

Limpinhitter
08-02-2011, 01:24 PM
The phrase is, "I COULDN'T care less about this thread." "I could care less" means, of course, that you could care even less than you do; I doubt that's what you mean. If you're going to be an irritant, at least get your irritating remark right. (And you're trying soooooooooo hard to get someone to comment on your ambivalence, I didn't want you to burst from the anticipation.)

I think he meant what he said, he could care less because he cares so much now. Why else would he be spending his valuable time posting here.

NLBwell
08-02-2011, 01:31 PM
A couple points in Pancho Gonzales' favor. One, he didn't have many advantages and had to fight the system to even get to play. Two, he walked away from the game for years at a time a couple of times and was able to come back and play at the highest level.

Rock Strongo
08-02-2011, 01:36 PM
Graf, definitely!

Sadly she didn't win as much slams as she was supposed to do.

She sure had a talented backhand slice. That was all I remembered her for as a child, and that all of her strokes looked EXTREMELY awkward.

Limpinhitter
08-02-2011, 02:20 PM
She sure had a talented backhand slice. That was all I remembered her for as a child, and that all of her strokes looked EXTREMELY awkward.

I'll probably get flamed for this, but, I think a lot of players, men and women, would benefit from emulating Graf's forehand. It was unique in that it incorporated the best of an old school Eastern drive and a modern semi-WW and reverse follow through when needed, similar to Sampras' forehand but with a more compact, simpler, more repeatable, windup.

hoodjem
08-02-2011, 02:26 PM
I'll probably get flamed for this, but, I think a lot of players, men and women, would benefit from emulating Graf's forehand. It was unique in that it incorporated the best of an old school Eastern drive and a modern semi-WW and reverse follow through when needed, similar to Sampras' forehand but with a more compact, simpler, more repeatable, windup.We might do a female-GOATs-of-FH list. I bet Graf's would be top-5 of all time.

pc1
08-02-2011, 05:13 PM
We might do a female-GOATs-of-FH list. I bet Graf's would be top-5 of all time.

Graf would be my choice for number one.

Hopefully you do a greatest female forehand list Hoodjem.

Possible names-Wills, Lenglen, Connolly, Navratilova, Seles, Serena, Clijsters.

Limpinhitter
08-02-2011, 06:19 PM
Graf would be my choice for number one.

Hopefully you do a greatest female forehand list Hoodjem.

Possible names-Wills, Lenglen, Connolly, Navratilova, Seles, Serena, Clijsters.

Chris Evert!

DeShaun
08-02-2011, 08:51 PM
No way Federer's footwork is worse than Nadal's

duplicate
10chr

DeShaun
08-02-2011, 08:53 PM
No way Federer's footwork is worse than Nadal's

Roger has better footspeed, IMO. Rafa takes more smaller steps. Witness Rafa's propensity for having to lunge versus Roger's more upright style of movement when each player is being made to run around and play awesome defense. You will see proof that Roger has better pull away speed though perhaps not as strong a first step as Rafa.

Now if this is true, then why is it that Rafa gets into fantastic hitting position on just as many balls, except if Rafa's prep were a tad bit better which would be due in part to him having slightly superior footwork.

Limpinhitter
08-02-2011, 10:28 PM
Roger has better footspeed, IMO. Rafa takes more smaller steps. Witness Rafa's propensity for having to lunge versus Roger's more upright style of movement when each player is being made to run around and play awesome defense. You will see proof that Roger has better pull away speed though perhaps not as strong a first step as Rafa.

Now if this is true, then why is it that Rafa gets into fantastic hitting position on just as many balls, except if Rafa's prep were a tad bit better which would be due in part to him having slightly superior footwork.

Just the opposite, IMO. Ralph has more natural speed. Federer has the best, most efficient, movement I've ever seen on a tennis court. Connors had the best footwork overall, but, Federer's movement is more economical.

gino
08-02-2011, 10:57 PM
I could care less about this thread.................

Who cares about your comment?

chrischris
08-03-2011, 01:13 AM
Nastase , Goolagong, Rios are good ones besides Fed and Sampras.

Manus Domini
08-03-2011, 04:06 AM
Roger has better footspeed, IMO. Rafa takes more smaller steps. Witness Rafa's propensity for having to lunge versus Roger's more upright style of movement when each player is being made to run around and play awesome defense. You will see proof that Roger has better pull away speed though perhaps not as strong a first step as Rafa.

Now if this is true, then why is it that Rafa gets into fantastic hitting position on just as many balls, except if Rafa's prep were a tad bit better which would be due in part to him having slightly superior footwork.

Federer flows into position, he doesn't take the small steps because he doesn't need to; he's already there and set up. He gets to the ball as quickly because he has better anticipation, while Rafa is faster

TennisLovaLova
08-03-2011, 04:10 AM
Ask a pro :
"Roger Federer is the most talented tennis player I have ever seen. He has the capacity to become the greatest in history."
Nick Bollettieri.

End of thread.
:D

pc1
08-03-2011, 07:56 AM
Here's are some players that have had some support over history for most talented player that I've read in books and articles.
Tilden
Hoad
Vines
Nastase
Laver
McEnroe
Pancho Gonzalez
Federer
Borg
Cochet
Sampras

Limpinhitter
08-03-2011, 10:33 AM
Here's are some players that have had some support over history for most talented player that I've read in books and articles.
Tilden
Hoad
Vines
Nastase
Laver
McEnroe
Pancho Gonzalez
Federer
Borg
Cochet
Sampras

You have to include Budge in that list.

pc1
08-03-2011, 11:16 AM
You have to include Budge in that list.

I haven't seen articles saying he was the most talented. Vines played around the same time as Budge and people who saw both said Vines was the most talented.

Kramer, who said Budge was the best player he had ever seen also said he thought Vines, along with Hoad and Laver were more talented than Budge. Kramer wrote all these guys (meaning Laver, Hoad and Vines) would have to do when they were "on" was think of a shot and they would make it or at least some words to that effect.

I'm sure some have wrote Budge was the most talented but I haven't read it.

kiki
08-03-2011, 02:07 PM
Ask a pro :
"Roger Federer is the most talented tennis player I have ever seen. He has the capacity to become the greatest in history."
Nick Bollettieri.

End of thread.
:D

Is that a BB sentence? great¡¡¡

kiki
08-03-2011, 02:08 PM
Mandlikova´s Fh was better than Martina´s.Sharapova should be in the top 5.

hoodjem
08-04-2011, 09:57 AM
Kramer, who said Budge was the best player he had ever seen also said he thought Vines, along with Hoad and Laver were more talented than Budge. Kramer wrote all these guys (meaning Laver, Hoad and Vines) would have to do when they were "on" was think of a shot and they would make it or at least some words to that effect. I've seen Leconte get "hot" or be "on" and hit some amazing devil-may-care shots for an entire match. But then the next day he plays like garbage.

The greats are those that play like that for an entire tournament, . . . or even an entire year. (Somehow they achieve a level, at which that becomes their standard level of play.)

pc1
08-04-2011, 11:12 AM
I've seen Leconte get "hot" or be "on" and hit some amazing devil-may-care shots for an entire match. But then the next day he plays like garbage.

The greats are those that play like that for an entire tournament, . . . or even an entire year. (Somehow they achieve a level, at which that becomes their standard level of play.)

I agree totally.

Leconte was one of my favorites but he disappointed me because of his lack of consistency. So much wasted talent.

Limpinhitter
08-04-2011, 03:58 PM
I haven't seen articles saying he was the most talented. Vines played around the same time as Budge and people who saw both said Vines was the most talented.

Kramer, who said Budge was the best player he had ever seen also said he thought Vines, along with Hoad and Laver were more talented than Budge. Kramer wrote all these guys (meaning Laver, Hoad and Vines) would have to do when they were "on" was think of a shot and they would make it or at least some words to that effect.

I'm sure some have wrote Budge was the most talented but I haven't read it.

Then I'll write about it. You just can't play the game Budge played without supreme talent. Budge's game was THE BOOK on proper form, technique and stroke production in virtually every aspect of the game. His technique was largely his invention, especially on backhand. He was the first to have a backhand that was a major weapon. And his forehand was better than his backhand. He hit the ball almost as hard as Laver, with nearly the pinpoint accuracy of Rosewall with more consistent depth than either of them. He could hit underspin on both sides just as easily as topspin with the same power, control and depth. Only Connors had the power, accuracy and consistent depth that Budge hit with. His smash and leaping ability were outstanding. His serve was the best in the game, and he hit mostly swinging volleys because his reflexes were so quick and his eye hand coordination so accute that he could get away with it. And, he did it all with a 16+ oz wooden racquet with a wood handle that he insisted was better than the later day wood racquets of the 70's.

pc1
08-04-2011, 07:14 PM
Then I'll write about it. You just can't play the game Budge played without supreme talent. Budge's game was THE BOOK on proper form, technique and stroke production in virtually every aspect of the game. His technique was largely his invention, especially on backhand. He was the first to have a backhand that was a major weapon. And his forehand was better than his backhand. He hit the ball almost as hard as Laver, with nearly the pinpoint accuracy of Rosewall with more consistent depth than either of them. He could hit underspin on both sides just as easily as topspin with the same power, control and depth. Only Connors had the power, accuracy and consistent depth that Budge hit with. His smash and leaping ability were outstanding. His serve was the best in the game, and he hit mostly swinging volleys because his reflexes were so quick and his eye hand coordination so accute that he could get away with it. And, he did it all with a 16+ oz wooden racquet with a wood handle that he insisted was better than the later day wood racquets of the 70's.

Budge certainly was a superb player.

I'd would have loved to have seen some of his matches against Perry, Vines, von Cramm and the famous match against Kramer in the early 1950's. Budge led two sets to one before Kramer rallied to win the last two sets to face Riggs in the final. If memory serves, I believe it was the US Pro.

hoodjem
08-05-2011, 06:49 AM
One tendency I fall prey to is the urge to categorize players in two camps: the naturally talented players and the hard-workers.

One problem with this thinking is that it leads to generalization, such as the talented players are lazy, prima donnas depending on their innate talent to win matches. Or that hard-working players tend to be clay-court grinders with one or two good strokes and win largely because of fitness.

Another problem with this type of thinking is that it tends ignore those that had or did both. I submit that Laver (among a few other greats) was supremely talented, but was also a very hard worker who put in thousands or hundreds of thousands of hours refining his skills and improving his game.

krosero
08-05-2011, 07:44 AM
I'd would have loved to have seen some of his matches against Perry, Vines, von Cramm and the famous match against Kramer in the early 1950's. Budge led two sets to one before Kramer rallied to win the last two sets to face Riggs in the final. If memory serves, I believe it was the US Pro.Are you thinking of 1948? Kramer d. Budge in the semis, 6-4, 8-10, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 and then beat Riggs in a four-set final.

That was on grass at Forest Hills, must have been a wonderful match.

We should talk more about the great matches that the pros played against each other, there are so many, and most of them are not spotlighted whenever tennis history is discussed.

urban
08-05-2011, 08:01 AM
True, Krosero. So many great matches in the Underworld of pro tennis then. Steve Flink has given detailled account of this match in his book about Greatest matches. He has included also the 5 setter between Gonzalez and Hoad at US pro 1959. Other memorable matches, which few saw, must have been the 5 setter between Gonzalez and Kramer at Wembley in 1951, when Kramer, a stone-hard war veteran, cried afterwards. Or the Laver-Rosewall matches at Coubertin 1963, at Wembley 1964 and at Boston 1966 must have been great, too.

pc1
08-05-2011, 03:42 PM
Are you thinking of 1948? Kramer d. Budge in the semis, 6-4, 8-10, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 and then beat Riggs in a four-set final.

That was on grass at Forest Hills, must have been a wonderful match.

We should talk more about the great matches that the pros played against each other, there are so many, and most of them are not spotlighted whenever tennis history is discussed.

Yes I was slightly off. It was the 1948 match.

Here's some matches I would have loved to have seen.

1927 Wimbledon-Tilden led Cochet two sets to none and 5-1 in the third before Cochet rallied to win.

1963 French Pro-Rosewall defeats Laver in five sets

1964 Wembley-Laver defeats Rosewall in five sets

1937 Budge-von Cramm Davis Cup match

1927 US Championship-Lacoste defeats Tilden

1933 Wimbledon final-Crawford defeats Vines

Probably a bunch of Hoad-Gonzalez matches and other Laver-Rosewall matches

1927 Wills-Lenglen match in France

I'll try to think of some others to perhaps discuss.

tennisjon
08-05-2011, 04:43 PM
I once asked Bollettieri around 2001/2002 who he thought was the most talented player he had ever seen. First, he said Agassi, and then he took it back and said Marcelo Rios. Until seeing Roger Federer over the past decade, I would have agreed with him.

krosero
08-05-2011, 06:44 PM
Other memorable matches, which few saw, must have been the 5 setter between Gonzalez and Kramer at Wembley in 1951, when Kramer, a stone-hard war veteran, cried afterwards. Yes I mentioned that one a few weeks ago in the thread about longest games, and I wondered if anyone would comment on Kramer breaking down afterwards. Among other things it shows how much these matches meant to the players; they were not mere exos.

I have always known in general terms that the pros did great things before the Open Era, but even so when I read about tennis history, or reflected on it, the pro "underworld" as you call it was something of an afterthought. You know, for example, Tilden did so-and-so at Wimbledon and Forest Hills. And you think of that as the end of the main story. Then he turned pro. Might be great stuff in there, great matches, but still I thought of it as an appendix to the "real" story. A postscript.

Yet I'm learning just how much great history there is in the pro world -- and it's almost never mentioned.

Just one example, in '58 Hoad beat Pancho in Australia, at Kooyong which was a frequent site for the Australian Championships, later the Australian Open. Hoad won 4-6, 9-7, 11-9, 18-16. A total of 80 games. Joe McCauley writes that the match "was generally conceded to be the greatest match ever played at the famous old stadium in Melbourne."

That's an astonishing scoreline among two greats in their prime, at a historic venue. And it may have been greater than all the matches played at the Australian Slam event (in its amateur years). But usually tennis history concentrates on the Slams -- which leaves years of great tennis out of the story and mostly unknown today.

krosero
08-05-2011, 06:50 PM
1927 Wimbledon-Tilden led Cochet two sets to none and 5-1 in the third before Cochet rallied to win.
As you know the same thing nearly happened to Rosewall in the pros. At Eastbourne in '58 he was leading Trabert by two sets and 5-1 in the third, with match point. But Trabert somehow came back and actually served for the match at 5-4 in the fifth, reaching 40-love on his own serve. But Rosewall got out of it with three straight passes and another winner, and managed to win 7-5 in the fifth. Trabert ended up double-faulting on match point.

Amazing stuff.

urban
08-05-2011, 10:12 PM
Yes, the pro circuit is often very underrated in tennis histories. That the pro career was a sort of postscript to Tilden is partly explanable with his age, he was already 37, when he turned pro. Nevertheless, as the German pro Hans Nüsslein witnessed, he still played some of his best matches against the younger Vines. And on the pro tour, he finally solved his Cochet problem.
But most champs turned pro at or even before their peak, and played their best tennis at the pros. Before McCauley's book however, no one had covered solid stats and results about the pro tour. Only the magazine World Tennis had results in their copies, and McCauley, a long time writer for it, used this sources. The pros didn't get much media attention back then, only at Wembley, the only pro event, which was official sanctioned by the ILTF, or Boston they came out of the wilderness and got some exposure. The BBC and the tennis writers of the Brit newspapers were at hand. When the pros first played at Wimbledon in August 1967, they drew suprisingly big crowds and large tv audiences (it was one of the first color transmissions by the BBC). It paved the way for open Wimbledon a year later.

halalula1234
08-06-2011, 05:48 AM
federer, hingis, Seles, serena

pc1
08-07-2011, 04:01 PM
As you know the same thing nearly happened to Rosewall in the pros. At Eastbourne in '58 he was leading Trabert by two sets and 5-1 in the third, with match point. But Trabert somehow came back and actually served for the match at 5-4 in the fifth, reaching 40-love on his own serve. But Rosewall got out of it with three straight passes and another winner, and managed to win 7-5 in the fifth. Trabert ended up double-faulting on match point.

Amazing stuff.

It is incredible.

I think Rosewall might have done the same to Laver. I think Laver was also leading 40-0 and 5-4 serving for the match in some tournament. But Laver kept serving to that backhand and kept getting punished for it. Rosewall won that match also.

All the matches that have been lost to history because tennis wasn't that popular and wasn't widely covered on TV or the media.:cry:

Incidentally since you wrote about Trabert, I've read that his groundies were fantastic. He was strong on both sides with a great return plus a top serve and volley but I understand that he wasn't too quick.

Limpinhitter
08-07-2011, 04:19 PM
It is incredible.

I think Rosewall might have done the same to Laver. I think Laver was also leading 40-0 and 5-4 serving for the match in some tournament. But Laver kept serving to that backhand and kept getting punished for it. Rosewall won that match also.

All the matches that have been lost to history because tennis wasn't that popular and wasn't widely covered on TV or the media.:cry:

Incidentally since you wrote about Trabert, I've read that his groundies were fantastic. He was strong on both sides with a great return plus a top serve and volley but I understand that he wasn't too quick.

Absolutely! Classic Eastern drives. Trabert hit his backhand like Budge, a driving topspin with his thumb on the handle.

PS: I have some amazing pictures I wish I knew how to post.

PCXL-Fan
08-07-2011, 04:46 PM
Nalbandian
.
Federer
Nadal
Sampras
Laver
Borg
.
.
Agassi
McEnroe
Lendl
.
Becker
Edberg

Its unbelievable how so many non-Argentinians here can be so ignorant of the truth... Nalbandian... Greatest most gifted backhand ever.

Limpinhitter
08-07-2011, 05:01 PM
Nalbandian
.
Federer
Nadal
Sampras
Laver
Borg
.
.
Agassi
McEnroe
Lendl
.
Becker
Edberg

Its unbelievable how so many non-Argentinians here can be so ignorant of the truth... Nalbandian... Greatest most gifted backhand ever.

The Argentinian Joe Pike?

vivace
08-07-2011, 07:01 PM
For me its Edberg.

If i had to pick the best player of all time based on a single point in a random match im sure it would be him. (I am sure other players have phenomenal shots in their careers but in most of edbergs big matches there were just so many phenominal points)

the backhand, the footwork, the VOLLIES he was always stunning to watch.

Sid_Vicious
08-07-2011, 07:28 PM
I was wondering why Nadal is never even considered as one of the most talented players ever? The guy is absolutely phenomenal and has won 10 slams by the age of 25 yet most people don't believe that he is exceptionally talented.

pc1
08-07-2011, 07:47 PM
I was wondering why Nadal is never even considered as one of the most talented players ever? The guy is absolutely phenomenal and has won 10 slams by the age of 25 yet most people don't believe that he is exceptionally talented.

I think Nadal is super talented. Great power, consistency, speed, stamina, incredible topspin on his shots are just a few of his many gifts as a player.

Tshooter
08-08-2011, 10:26 AM
"he [Edberg] was always stunning to watch."

The forehand. Stunning.

BorisBeckerFan
08-08-2011, 06:35 PM
McEnroe & Sampras, stand out to me, but really over the last 30 years there have been so many talented players it's almost impossible to pick. Can't really comment on old school players since I'm not a tennis historian.

zagor
08-08-2011, 11:55 PM
I was wondering why Nadal is never even considered as one of the most talented players ever? The guy is absolutely phenomenal and has won 10 slams by the age of 25 yet most people don't believe that he is exceptionally talented.

That's because most people have a narrow definition of talent and don't truly understand the game, the guy who wins slams at such a pace has to be extremely talented, mental strength/fitness alone won't cut it, not by a longshot.

Heck you only have to look at sick precision/placement off Nadal's FH side to realize how gifted he is.

krosero
08-09-2011, 07:46 PM
Incidentally since you wrote about Trabert, I've read that his groundies were fantastic. He was strong on both sides with a great return plus a top serve and volley but I understand that he wasn't too quick.Terrific groundies and a pretty good claycourter. He has those two French amateur titles and he also beat Rosewall at Roland Garros in the '59 French Pro 6-2, 6-0, 6-2.

Incredible result considering Rosewall's skill and overall record on clay.

urban
08-09-2011, 07:52 PM
I have some Trabert photos in an old tennis book by a guy called Cornel Lumiere and World Tennis. In one picture, he hits a terrific drive backhand with a little topspin. On impact he has a quite gritty look on his face. I think, Trabert like Connors was brought up on Cincinnati cement courts and always liked hard and clay courts the most.

ximian
08-11-2011, 01:58 PM
Why not? Like I wrote, there is no right or wrong answer.

Can you elaborate on why you think Irakli Labadze is the most talented?

The guy had the work ethic of a McDonald's burger flipper. No dedication at all to fitness or training, like NONE. You could tell the first moment you saw him walk on court out of shape and with a nonchalant, "don't care" attitude. Yet still reached a ranking of 42 on talent alone. The rare moments where he did dedicate himself to training and fitness, he would immediately start winning, only to lose interest and stop his training. Supreme headcase, but his talent is undeniable.

EDIT: Look how insanely out of shape he is. It's just laughable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8KJM18Xfrs

heftylefty
08-11-2011, 03:03 PM
The guy had the work ethic of a McDonald's burger flipper. No dedication at all to fitness or training, like NONE. You could tell the first moment you saw him walk on court out of shape and with a nonchalant, "don't care" attitude. Yet still reached a ranking of 42 on talent alone. The rare moments where he did dedicate himself to training and fitness, he would immediately start winning, only to lose interest and stop his training. Supreme headcase, but his talent is undeniable.

EDIT: Look how insanely out of shape he is. It's just laughable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8KJM18Xfrs


Irakli Labadze is/was playing the wrong sport. I have never seen a professional tennis player with a gut like that. He looks like he should be pitching for the NY Yankees.

TennisLovaLova
08-12-2011, 04:01 AM
Is that a BB sentence? great¡¡¡

Yes, this quote was from RF bio

kiki
08-12-2011, 11:08 AM
Here's are some players that have had some support over history for most talented player that I've read in books and articles.
Tilden
Hoad
Vines
Nastase
Laver
McEnroe
Pancho Gonzalez
Federer
Borg
Cochet
Sampras

Great list.I think, in terms of pure talent, we should also consider Edberg,Rosewall and, may be, Budge....and Jimbo, too

kiki
08-12-2011, 11:13 AM
Yes I was slightly off. It was the 1948 match.

Here's some matches I would have loved to have seen.

1927 Wimbledon-Tilden led Cochet two sets to none and 5-1 in the third before Cochet rallied to win.

1963 French Pro-Rosewall defeats Laver in five sets

1964 Wembley-Laver defeats Rosewall in five sets

1937 Budge-von Cramm Davis Cup match

1927 US Championship-Lacoste defeats Tilden

1933 Wimbledon final-Crawford defeats Vines

Probably a bunch of Hoad-Gonzalez matches and other Laver-Rosewall matches

1927 Wills-Lenglen match in France

I'll try to think of some others to perhaps discuss.

....1954: Drobny vs Rosewall at Wimbledon, 1936: Perry vs von Cramm at Wimbledon and, of course, the match of the matches: 1972 WCT Finals, Laver vs Rosewall...and what about the US VS AUSTRALIA in the 1953 or 1954 Davis Cup?

kiki
08-12-2011, 11:14 AM
Yes, this quote was from RF bio

The way he treated , and was treated by eager women, it sounds very normal to me.

pc1
08-12-2011, 02:22 PM
Great list.I think, in terms of pure talent, we should also consider Edberg,Rosewall and, may be, Budge....and Jimbo, too

I would think so.

Also I would think Miloslav Mecir is up there also. Many thought he was the most talented player in the world when he was at his best.

From the 1900's on list of possible most talented during the decade
1900's-Both Dohertys, Norman Brookes
1910-Wilding
1920's-Tilden, Cochet
1930's-Vines, Budge, Perry
1940's-Kramer, Kovacs
1950's-Gonzalez, Hoad, Trabert, Sedgman
1960's-Laver, Rosewall, Roche
1970's-Borg, Nastase, Connors, Ashe, Okker (a number of people thought Okker was super gifted), Tanner
1980's-McEnroe, Lendl, Becker, Mecir, Leconte
1990's-Sampras, Edberg, Agassi
2000's-Federer, Nadal, Safin, Nalbanian, Murray, Djokovic
2010's-Too early but we may reassign Nadal to this decade along with Murray and Djokovic. Sorry Federer fans but I don't think Federer will play his highest standard of tennis in this decade.

I assigned one player to one decade. That's the decade I felt that they played their highest standard of tennis.

Ben Hadd
08-12-2011, 07:07 PM
Ben Hadd
.
Federer
Nadal
Sampras
Laver
Borg
.
.
Agassi
McEnroe
Lendl
.
Becker
Edberg

Its unbelievable how so many non-Argentinians here can be so ignorant of the truth...Ben Hadd... Greatest most gifted backhand ever.

Thank you, thank you. Although I may have altered the original post, and think Federer deserves it more.

chrischris
08-13-2011, 08:59 AM
The guy had the work ethic of a McDonald's burger flipper. No dedication at all to fitness or training, like NONE. You could tell the first moment you saw him walk on court out of shape and with a nonchalant, "don't care" attitude. Yet still reached a ranking of 42 on talent alone. The rare moments where he did dedicate himself to training and fitness, he would immediately start winning, only to lose interest and stop his training. Supreme headcase, but his talent is undeniable.

EDIT: Look how insanely out of shape he is. It's just laughable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8KJM18Xfrs



wOW.. I HAD NEVER SEEN A GUY THAT STOCKY ON ATP TOUR.. jeez man..
He still managed well again a guy like Costa who was very fit.
Now i have to go to the gym...

kiki
08-13-2011, 09:23 AM
I would think so.

Also I would think Miloslav Mecir is up there also. Many thought he was the most talented player in the world when he was at his best.

From the 1900's on list of possible most talented during the decade
1900's-Both Dohertys, Norman Brookes
1910-Wilding
1920's-Tilden, Cochet
1930's-Vines, Budge, Perry
1940's-Kramer, Kovacs
1950's-Gonzalez, Hoad, Trabert, Sedgman
1960's-Laver, Rosewall, Roche
1970's-Borg, Nastase, Connors, Ashe, Okker (a number of people thought Okker was super gifted), Tanner
1980's-McEnroe, Lendl, Becker, Mecir, Leconte
1990's-Sampras, Edberg, Agassi
2000's-Federer, Nadal, Safin, Nalbanian, Murray, Djokovic
2010's-Too early but we may reassign Nadal to this decade along with Murray and Djokovic. Sorry Federer fans but I don't think Federer will play his highest standard of tennis in this decade.

I assigned one player to one decade. That's the decade I felt that they played their highest standard of tennis.

1960´s:Gimeno and Santana
1970´s: Newc,Panatta and Gerulaitis.I don´t think Tanner is at their level, talent wise.I have doubts about Okker, too.

1980´s: Kriek, ultratalented
1990´s: Stich and Rafter, too

kiki
08-13-2011, 09:48 AM
1960´s:Gimeno and Santana
1970´s: Newc,Panatta and Gerulaitis.I don´t think Tanner is at their level, talent wise.I have doubts about Okker, too.

1980´s: Kriek, ultratalented
1990´s: Stich and Rafter, too

...Orantes in the 70´s, a real great touch player and a marvelous backhand.Injuries broke him up, that is why he is almost unknown on those boards.Won 2 majors and was runner up at another one.

Tilden1893
08-16-2011, 09:38 PM
From the things I've read, Ellsworth Vines should be mentioned. And, of course, Tilden.

Vines' talents went with him to the golf course as well as he gained the semi-finals of the 1951 PGA Championship (Match Play).

ahuimanu
09-10-2011, 08:52 AM
1960´s:Gimeno and Santana
1970´s: Newc,Panatta and Gerulaitis.I don´t think Tanner is at their level, talent wise.I have doubts about Okker, too.

1980´s: Kriek, ultratalented
1990´s: Stich and Rafter, too

Loved to watch Johan Kriek...his strokes were sooo clean and penetrating. Pure offensive tennis...love it! :)

Otherside
09-10-2011, 09:31 AM
can add this from the general player section, great reads#1
JeNn
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,149

Safin says Rios most talented, Federer "next Sampras", really interesting article
Safin decides to get serious
January 18, 2004
Marat Safin may be this year's player to watch, reports Linda Pearce.

Marat Safin has just finished a thunderous practice session overseen by his latest coach, part-time Russian tour player Denis Golovanov.

The performance is imposing, an effortless service action pounding one last basket of balls. Safin may be the world's 77th-ranked player, but he also intends to return to No. 1 before the year is out.

Which may sound optimistic, but Safin has never been one for restraint. The past season, in which he won only 12 matches in 23 tournaments, was the most difficult of his career. Safin spent months able only to rest and hope, waiting for his damaged left wrist to heal. No doubt he also enhanced his reputation for party-boy behaviour during his time away, but more significant is his post-sabbatical vow to change his erratic, undisciplined tennis ways.

Indeed, one former coach, Mats Wilander, has said that "if Marat had the head of Jim Courier, he would be unbeatable".

So, are we seeing the new, calm, committed Marat at last?

"I'm trying, I'm trying, I'm really trying," said Safin, whose 2002 Australian Open finals loss to Thomas Johansson was most notable for his busty blonde "entourage" and carefree - almost careless - demeanour. "I had six months off, so I've been talking to people, and they give me good advice, so at least I can understand a little bit myself and I can understand a little bit what I need to do.

"It has to work. I have no other option. I have been out for basically almost a year, so I have a lot of time to think about my life, about my tennis life, and make some good decisions and that's why I decided to prepare myself quite seriously for this year, because it's time.

"I'm going to be 24, so time to do something big, and life is moving, so you have to hurry up. Otherwise, it's going to be too late."


Safin will never be a Courier, or Lleyton Hewitt clone, and has only recently been struck by the radical idea of trying, really hard, until a match is over. Yet he is not one for if-onlys, despite his performance against Pete Sampras in the 2000 US Open final prompting the towering 20-year-old to be hailed as the prototype of the next generation. Somehow, more than three years later, the rising 24-year-old is still waiting for major No. 2.

"It comes with time. It's coming at a certain age, but for some people that's very early, and for some people that's 23, as it happens to me," said Safin of his new-found resolve. "But I also don't regret anything I did in the past. I mean, maybe I had to change something, but it was OK.

"You have to go through the periods of time, the periods of life, the directions. You have to find everything and put it in order."

Still, the present world order is horribly unflattering among a peer group that includes Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Hewitt. While Federer, Roddick and Ferrero won singles majors last year, and Hewitt led his country to a Davis Cup, Safin tumbled from No. 3 to 77th.

Injury was the major factor. The Russian arrived here last January fresh from his country's Davis Cup win, only to withdraw before his Sydney quarter-final with a shoulder injury, and then tear ligaments in his left wrist during his first match at Melbourne Park.

"Basically I was in great shape, I came here, I got injured and then all the year was screwed up," he said.

Safin tried twice to return to the court, but it was soon clear that a long break was needed, and the semi-final defeat of Ferrero in Barcelona on April 26 was his most recent tour victory. Five demoralising first-round losses prompted one last withdrawal, from the Paris Masters, to prepare for 2004.

Safin spent a solid month training in Monte Carlo under fitness adviser Walt Landers and Golovanov, his sixth coach in three years. "He's the person that he can travel with me for 42 weeks a year, he can be for me 24 hours available and he knows me since I was 12," Safin said.

Safin believes he belongs in the company of Roddick, Federer, Ferrero et al. "I think there will be times that they will beat me, that I will beat them, so it's going to be a competition like it was before with Becker, Sampras, Agassi."

Who, then, is the next Pete? Safin himself? "No, it's Federer. Federer I think is Sampras. He has the potential. He's very talented and he has more or less the same game. he needs more improve(ment), but he plays as nice as Pete. He is very talented, definitely. Very good hands, very good serve.

"But I think for me the most talented of all times was (Marcelo) Rios. But unfortunately he doesn't want to continue his tennis career, because when it's too easy for you, then it's boring."

The same, perhaps, could be said of Safin. "For me, tennis is not so easy," he insisted. "But I've been working really hard, I've put in a lot of time and a lot of dedication, and I'm trying to make it easier."

Marat Safin

Otherside
09-10-2011, 09:32 AM
“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” — Shakespeare.

“There is no great genius without some touch of madness.” — Seneca.

No tennis player ever awed us with his beautiful talents quite like Marcelo Rios. Even his name flowed smoothly, like that of some legendary artist from centuries ago. The great Rios turned pro in 1994 and went on to win 18 career singles titles, including five Masters Series. He produced his finest season in 1998, capturing three consecutive Masters Series titles (Indian Wells, Key Biscayne and Rome) along with four other titles. Rios even became No. 1 — at the age of 22 — for six weeks after conquering Andre Agassi in a captivating performance on Key Biscayne to become the first South American to rise to the top of the ATP rankings. But for how familiar we were with the Rios style on the court — that leaping two-handed backhand, the graceful and artful movements, those uncanny angles, the Chilean chanting from his flag-waving supporters — there was always an aura of mystery about Rios. Why did he seem so often to be joyless on the court? For what reasons was he so reluctant to do media interviews or engage with the fans or even other players? Was his reputation for being unapproachable an act of self-defense because he was actually very shy? The enigma of Rios will continue to confound us now that he retired (due to repeated leg and back injuries) in 2004 from professional tennis at the age of 28.

His last ATP matches were in April of 2004, losses in Satellite events in Ecuador and Mexico City to Mariano Delfino and Juan Pablo Guzman. Suddenly the career of Rios was over, without any final applause or a befitting tribute. Even the idea for this article only came by a chance comment during an unrelated interview with former Australian Open winner Thomas Johansson. The Swede just so happened to share this anecdote of Rios when I asked him for a funny tennis memory, something from tennis that made him laugh: “All the guys have different humors, outside of the court,” Johansson said. “A player that I really liked to watch was Rios. I think he was one of the best players, ever. Because I remember one year when he was gonna play Thomas Muster in Rome. And I saw the press conference before the match. And they asked him, so how are you gonna be able to beat Muster, because he only had lost one or two matches on clay so far. And Rios said, ‘The guy should be happy if he gets like a couple of games.’And Rios went out there the next day and killed him, 1 and 2. And that’s for me unbelievable. I really liked to watch him. I didn’t like to play him though. But I really liked to watch him.”

Asked why he didn’t enjoy the experience of playing Rios, Johansson replied: “He could make you feel like it was the first time you were standing on a tennis court, you know [smiling]? So I hated to play him. You could get killed by him easily, 1 and 1 or something like that, and you could have played a good match.”

Johansson’s high regard for Rios sparked a curiosity to investigate further insights about Rios from others in the tennis community. If a Grand Slam champion like Thomas Johansson had such respect for Rios, just what else would some of the other ATP insiders have to say? So here’s an interesting and insightful collection of memories and lasting images of one of the great tennis players of this modern era — Marcelo Rios:

Jimmy Arias, former No. 4 in the world: “My one memory of Marcelo Rios is — I was retired for a number of years already — and he was ranked No. 2 in the world in 1998. And he lost first round of Wimbledon. And made some disparaging remarks about Wimbledon. He came to Bollettieri’s because he had to practice for the rest of the summer. And I was the only one there. Everyone else that played was still at Wimbledon. So I was a decent enough player for him to practice with. So Nick called, ‘Can you come? Marcelo Rios is here for a couple of weeks?’ So we play the first day, the first set — and he’s not trying at all [smiles]. He’s just sort of lounging around. And I win the set 6-4. And as is my way, when I play a top guy of today, I find a way to give them a little jab, just to see how they react. So we finish the set and as we’re shaking hands after, I said, ‘Marcelo, what would you rank me if I were playing today? Two or three in the world?’ And he said, ‘Man, tomorrow, I’m going to kick your ***!’And I liked his attitude. And actually, some of the top players, when I give them a hard time, they actually didn’t want to play with me anymore. When I would say something like that, they would get insulted. They didn’t want to play with me. Rios came at me. He said, ‘No, I’m gonna kick your *** tomorrow.’ And sure enough, we came back the next day, and for about three games, he was fired up. And I was playing well and was down 3-love. And he couldn’t keep that intensity, because it’s practice. He’s just so relaxed. Eventually the set was close. But I did see for those three games what talent he had. He would hit a couple of forehands in a rally, and with that same swing — not a bigger backswing, nothing — he’d suddenly hit it 20 miles-per-hour harder. Down the line for a winner. You didn’t know how that happened. You couldn’t understand how the same swing produced such a different pace on the ball. So that’s part of what he had that the other players couldn’t figure out.”

Hernan Gumy, former top 50 ATP player from Argentina: “I have a personal memory about him because we were kind of close. He didn’t get along with many players. But we were kind of friends in a way. And we play against each other many times. The greatness of his game — I didn’t see anybody who play like him in the past 10 years. All the most difficult things he made it easy. I mean, it was so nice to watch him play. It would have been great to have him for a couple of more years. He’s still young but, every time I spoke with him, he said that he was not made to travel 25 weeks a year. Or play 20 tournaments. He loved to play the big tournaments but he didn’t like the whole life of a tennis player. So you have to understand that also. But I think he was a great. He was a nice guy from, I repeat, my side. And he was a helluva tennis player…The fans and the media never got to him — really close. I think you have to check the background. In Chile, when he was a kid, he had some problems with the media when he was 16. When he stepped up to complain about something about the Federation. So maybe after that he took some distance from the media around the world. With the fans also. Like I said, he was gifted to play tennis. But he was maybe not gifted to do whatever is outside to the inside of the tennis court. Because he loved to practice, sacrifice. He loved to compete. But everything else outside of the tennis — you name it, the fans, the kids — he wasn’t able to do it. Because of his character, he didn’t enjoy to do that. He’s a guy who, I believe, he do things that he enjoy…We were close. I mean, he was a sensitive guy. Personally, he was a guy that I really liked. I know that not many players like him, but I like him.”

Luis Lobo, former coach: “I just have good things to talk about Marcelo. I think he was the most professional player that I’ve ever seen. I know the people think of him another way, but for me he was a very good professional. He was one of the best players in the world, for sure. For sure he’s one of the best players in history. For me, yes. Because, about tennis, if he made a Grand Slam or No. 1 for more time, for sure he’s one of the best guys I ever see. Very talented. If you play against him on a day when he’s focused, very tough to beat him, very tough. He had so many great matches — Monte Carlo against Kuerten, Paris against Albert Costa, indoors when he make Singapore — so many good matches. (What held him back from winning a Slam?) It’s a good question, I don’t know. I’m not a psychologist [laughs]. He was very close to winning a Grand Slam. He lost the final (in Australian Open to Korda in ‘9, and then personal problems. I don’t know. One part of each player — some players when they’re this close to the final, they make it. And others, no, they can’t do it. But I think he was injured a long time too. And the moment for him was a stress fracture in the lower back, and problems with legs…He was very nice person. Very nice. When he was in a tournament, he would be alone and no say hello to anybody. Just a few guys. He didn’t believe too much in the people. And I think he was right. Because in tennis, the world is very tough to be friends.”

Otherside
09-10-2011, 09:32 AM
Roger Federer: (When asked back in 2000 which was his favorite tennis player to watch): “I like Rios. I like his game. When he’s playing well, he’s fun to watch. Because he’s a different type of guy.”

Vera Zvonareva: “I think Rios was a great tennis player. I watched him play maybe a year and a half ago in Washington. And I think he was a great player to watch for me. I think he was like an actor on the court. And I love it because he was doing his show. Everybody knows it’s tough to play tennis, especially when it’s 100 degree. And he was like performing like an actor. You can always see his emotions. He wasn’t just like standing there doing his job, you could see how he feels.”

Patrick McEnroe (his ESPN commentary during the first set of the 2002 Nasdaq- 100 semifinals vs. Agassi): “I’m not even sure if he goes out there with a strategy, Cliff. He just goes out there and just swings away, angles the ball, it looks like he just sort of free-wheels it out there and relies on his talent. Agassi used to do that. Agassi would just bomb the ball and just says, I’m just gonna be a shotmaker and I’m gonna rely on that. But why Agassi has won seven Slams now and Rios has won zero is because Agassi has learned to play his opponents, to play within himself, to come out there focused, to be physically fit, to have a strategy, have a gameplan…The players are just too good these days, to think you can go out there and just free-wheel it…That is SCARY right there! That is pure genius right there. What a one-two from Rios. Just launching himself into that backhand, taking it in mid-flight for the clean winner cross court (at 7-7 in the first-set tiebreak – which Rios won 9-7, but he retired after losing the second set 6-4.).”

Guillermo Vilas: “I talked to him a couple of times. He didn’t talk too much. He had a strong character. It’s like when you are in front of a lion — you are not going give some candy to a lion, right? Everybody knew he was like that. Some people are like that. If you give him enough space, he’s okay…He play well, but he could never win something very big. He had the qualities to do that, then his body gave out. But he left his image to the players — a very good way of playing and the attitude was like a rebel. He was very interesting, to add color to the game. If he wouldn’t have had all those injuries, he would have been better, much better. The time he was there, he was exciting. But it’s sad, because the body gave out. He was a great player, but you have to be champion of the world. He was geared to do that, but the body didn’t allow him to do that. Like it happened to Muster. Muster was gearing to be No. 1. Suddenly he had the accident (hit by car in Miami) and three years after, he did it. Rios didn’t have that second chance. You can say Rios was one of the most gifted ever. But not one of the best ever. Because you have to win something, you have to do a little bit more. He looked very nice, everything he did. But the body did not allow him to do it.”

Ilie Nastase: “He’s the worst ***** I ever met. The players of today probably have the same opinion of him. Ask all the players what they think of him, you’ll get the same thing. When somebody doesn’t sign autographs for the kids, that is a ***** for me. (What about his game?) I don’t give a ****. I don’t look at him. For me, he’s an idiot. I don’t know what else to tell about him. And that’s the first time I say something about somebody like that. I think he was the worst thing for tennis. He did not deserve to be No. 1 — one or two days. To live with the other players like he did — terrible. He really was the worst. I never say anything about anybody else like this but about him I have to say this. Sorry.”

Pat Cash: “Rios is one of the most talented players I’ve ever seen. I thought he had a control like a McEnroe. He was definitely a wasted talent but he still got to number one in the world. I loved watching him. He was brilliant. He hit the ball anywhere. Anywhere…I played doubles with him one week, in Scottsdale in ‘95 or ‘96. When I was making a comeback. We practiced quite a bit. And when I practiced with him, I never ran so much in my life. I played with a lot of the top guys in practice and he was just able to hit the ball anywhere. He used to run me everywhere. (How did you do in doubles with Rios?) Not very good. It wasn’t his fault though [smiles]. I was making a bit of a comeback and I was pretty terrible. But he was a brilliant player and I was disappointed that he never actually fulfilled his potential. (Get along well with him?) I got on all right with him. A lot of other guys didn’t like him, that’s for sure. Not many guys, I think, got along with him. And he was fine to me. We always had a good time, we practiced hard and I liked his game. And I think he appreciated somebody that was nice to him, I think.”

Melchior DiGiacomo, noted tennis photographer: “I think he’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen play the game. I’ve been following tennis since 1971. And I thought Rios was a bit of a throwback in many ways. He reminded me of guys like Ken Rosewall — who had so many great shots. Guys like Tom Okker who was a brilliant player. Rios was that way. But I couldn’t figure Rios’ head. Because I never knew where he was on the court. Whereas the older players, you always knew where their head was 7#8212; their head was, To win. At all costs. But Rios, I don’t know. There’s a wonderful line written by Norman Mailer in a book called ‘The Bullfighter.’ He’s talking about how a man cannot be judged by what he is, the man is best judged at his greatest moment. (Melchior sent the exact quote to me the next day: “The one thing that can keep the sweet nerve of life alive is the knowledge that a man cannot be judged by what he is every day, but only at his greatest moment, for that is when he shows what he was intended to be..It is a Latin approach, their allegiance is to the genius of blood. So they judge a man by what he is at his best.”) And that’s what Rios was to me. There are times when you look at him and you say, Nobody in the world has ever done what he has just done, in terms of the match. And then you may see him the next day or two days later and you go, What happened to that guy that was out here a couple of days ago? Is it the same guy? I don’t know how you get to a kid like that. Again, he was brilliant. There were other players who were like that — Mel Purcell never had a killer shot. But you had to hit him over the head with a shovel if you wanted to beat him. But Rios’ head was the thing. He had every shot in the game. There was nothing he couldn’t do. (How was he as a subject to shoot?) Brilliant. Because of his athleticism. He wasn’t like Adriano Panatta, who was like this stand-up, at-attention Italian. He had a beautiful game but there really wasn’t anything to shoot, in terms of physical action. Rios is the kind of guy that could stop on a dime and give you five cents change. He was very exciting to shoot. Connors was not very exciting to shoot, in the sense that he played basically a baseline game, rarely came to the net. And the only time Jimmy was exciting was when he pumped up the crowd. Then he was exciting. But photographing Rios during a match was always exciting. And you had to be quick, because he was quick. When guys are running as fast as he is and lunging out making shots, that’s exciting for me, because he fills the frame. He’s not standing up straight. But Rios was exciting. And he’ll be missed. By me. I don’t know about everybody else.”

Otherside
09-10-2011, 09:33 AM
arl Munnerlyn, U.S. Open locker room supervisor: “Rios was very giving. When I knew him, when he was a player, he always, after each practice, he would come in and go up to one of the attendants and always offer a pair of his shoes that he just practiced in. And even after the match. His match shoe, that he wore in the match. He’d always come up to us and give us his shoes. Every time, every day he was here. It was unbelievable how such a giving person he was. Not too many people knew him that way, but we, as locker room attendants, knew him that way — as a very giving, courteous person. And he always joked with us, he liked to joke with us. Because he saw us as people he could relate to. He was relaxed with us. And we brought out his lighter side, his personality, instead of serious all the time, like always getting ready for a match. One time I was standing next to the soda refrigerator and he walked by and gave my head a push. I turned around and Marcelo’s walking out the door, smiling. So that’s how I know him. He was friendly to me. In that sense, I know him that way. He was never not the slightest bit sarcastic to me. That’s what I know of Marcelo Rios. Nice guy.”

Petr Korda: “I beat him badly (in 1998 Australian Open final 6-2, 6-2, 6-2). It was very — actually I had the chance to see the match on video for the first time a month and a half ago. And in TV it looked completely different than it did on the court. But I remember I was really dominating and I was ready for that. I knew this was probably my last chance to win a Slam — and if I played the right game, then I could beat him. I think I really shot him down that day. I know we were hitting the balls very hard. On the TV it doesn’t look like it. I was hitting balls very hard. (What kind of person was Rios?) I think that not many people knew him. Some people had problems with him, he was like a controversial, not many people did like him. But I know him, we play doubles. I don’t know if it was before or after we played in Australian Open. He was a nice guy. Gifted player. And I said in Australia, he can be maybe number one. But it’s most important to win the Slam. Unfortunately for him, he never achieved it. Maybe I was that reason, probably.”

Angelica Gavaldon (Former WTA top 30): “My mom remembers him carrying my laundry bag in Sydney. I think he is a really sweet person. I really like Marcelo Rios. I know a lot of people had mixed feelings about him but I personally thought he was really shy .The first time I met him was at The US OPEN and my coach at the time, Pato Rodriguez, scheduled a practice session with him, we played baseline games and after he went up to Pato and said, ‘Wow, I did not know girls could actually play tennis.’ I thought it was funny. Later on in Australia we where at the same tournaments and I remember him waking up super early almost everyday to practice with me at 6:30 AM. I played okay that year and I think he didn’t win a match, so I felt guilty that it was probably because I don’t hit the ball like a guy.”

Jaime Fillol, former Chilean pro tennis player with six career singles titles, quarterfinalist 1975 U.S. Open: “I first met him in New York when he was a junior. And he was already playing well in Futures. We became very close. We run an AP event in Chile. We would have to many times negotiate with him, his participation, especially when he was top 10. I think he was a very good player, he had a lot of talent. Not just with his hands, but with his mind. Very good at feeling no pressure and I think that’s what made him so good. There’s a lot of people that have talent but when it comes to winning, they have a hard time winning. And he was winning a lot of matches at a young age. Then I think he got hurt too much, too often, he couldn’t keep it up. There was criticism over his attitude — that he wouldn’t fight hard enough. But I would say that his personality was not a disciplined mentality. He was very erratic in that respect. He was not a Saxon or a Slavic, he’s Chilean, he’s kind of moody. And if he doesn’t feel good, he just doesn’t try. Not because he’s lazy, because he doesn’t feel good. So I think that was the criticism — which was fair — in order to be a champion and stay there as champion — you have to have the discipline too. Have the discipline, as far as to be a champion.” Asked for his lasting image of Rios, Fillol replied: “Playing so well that it was so much fun to watch him play. In fact, he really could make almost anyone look like a beginner. If things were right, he would guess exactly where the ball was coming. He would anticipate. He didn’t have to be strong physically to make the ball go and to have the guy run from one side to the other. I think his body didn’t hold the pressure of the circuit. He was weak in his preparation, probably coming from Chile, not knowing exactly what was gonna happen if he was that good. I don’t think he was prepared physically for the Tour. (Did he ever win the Chile event?) He never won the tournament, that’s why I didn’t mention it [smiles]. He got to the finals four times. He would make the crowd very upset because everybody was waiting for him to win the first time. He made the finals four times and lost to guys he should have beat — Slava Dosedel, Hernan Gumy and recently he lost in 2002 to David Sanchez. He was winning 6-1 and 40-love to go up 4-1 and lost the game. And then he couldn’t play. He became nervous.” “He was very — the word in is Spanish, ‘contradictorio’ — he would do the unexpected. If you were waiting for him to say hello to you, he’s not gonna say hello to you. If you didn’t think he’d say hello to you, he’d come up and say hello to you. He treated people like that. Not that he didn’t care for people, it was just like a game. He made a lot of enemies because of that, but I don’t think he’s a bad person. I would say he didn’t have the same discipline you need to have off the court. Many times he would do things — I mean the President of Chile was practically disgraced by him. When he became number one and the President invited him to the Palace and he came in a shirt, looking like he was going to the beach. And the President said, ‘Marcelo would you like to say something to the people?’ ‘No, I don’t want to say anything.’ So he turned the President of the country off just by being different. He didn’t think it was a big occasion, but he’s not a bad person. “I saw him about two months ago in Santiago, at the gym where he was training. I was talking to his physical trainer. And Marcelo was there, although he is retired, he still goes to the gym every day and trains, so he’s in good shape, other than the pain that he says he feels when he plays tennis.”

“A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” — James Joyce, Ulysses

“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” — Anais Nin

“To be great is to be misunderstood.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Note: This article is currently being developed into a book about Marcelo Rios and will be available by Amazon.com for the 2011 U.S. Open.)

BTURNER
09-10-2011, 10:10 AM
Hana Mandlikova.

Joe Pike
09-10-2011, 12:17 PM
Hana Mandlikova.


I saw Mandlikova several times playing Graf in the late 80s.

To say Hana had more talent than Steffi is really, really funny ...

BTURNER
09-10-2011, 12:37 PM
I saw Mandlikova several times playing Graf in the late 80s.

To say Hana had more talent than Steffi is really, really funny ...

The difference between the two shows the limitations of talent without discipline, unquenchable drive and everything else it takes to be and sustain number 1 status. Graf had talent and everything else it takes to be a champion. I feel very sorry for anyone with so narrow a field of vision as you have. You miss so much if you interpret all tennis through a single agenda.

Joe Pike
09-10-2011, 02:43 PM
The difference between the two shows the limitations of talent without discipline, unquenchable drive and everything else it takes to be and sustain number 1 status. Graf had talent and everything else it takes to be a champion. I feel very sorry for anyone with so narrow a field of vision as you have. You miss so much if you interpret all tennis through a single agenda.


You would be surprised - I really have no "agenda".
OK, Graf drew me to women's tennis. Before and after her I almost exclusively watched men's tennis.
Her talent is extremely underrated. The ability to move around on the court like she did, her ability to hit technically extremely complicated shots (her late forehand, her really unique kind of BH slice) showed far more talent than Mandlikova types.
Dont forget that Steffi had to cope with many injuries in the 90s, that she had to shorten her daily exercise program to about 50 % of what she did in the 80s. Just imagine what she could have accomplished if she had had a relatively injury-free career like Evert or Navratilova. Sadly it was not meant to be ...

BTURNER
09-10-2011, 03:58 PM
You would be surprised - I really have no "agenda".
OK, Graf drew me to women's tennis. Before and after her I almost exclusively watched men's tennis.
Her talent is extremely underrated. The ability to move around on the court like she did, her ability to hit technically extremely complicated shots (her late forehand, her really unique kind of BH slice) showed far more talent than Mandlikova types.
Dont forget that Steffi had to cope with many injuries in the 90s, that she had to shorten her daily exercise program to about 50 % of what she did in the 80s. Just imagine what she could have accomplished if she had had a relatively injury-free career like Evert or Navratilova. Sadly it was not meant to be ...
But you so rarely post on men's tennis. Why only Steffi?

Joe Pike
09-10-2011, 04:24 PM
But you so rarely post on men's tennis. Why only Steffi?


I rarely post on men's tennis because I prefer to watch it.
Different with women's tennis. As I almost never watch it I have more time to post about it.

BTURNER
09-10-2011, 04:43 PM
I rarely post on men's tennis because I prefer to watch it.
Different with women's tennis. As I almost never watch it I have more time to post about it.

You know that made no sense right? You have x amount of time to post/watch and can use it as you please and divide it so those matches you watch, are the matches you post about.

ubermeyer
09-10-2011, 05:05 PM
I think talent should be measured by success, excepting players who probably would have had big results but were sidelined by injury or other factors out of their control.

So, I think Federer is the most talented player of all time.

Limpinhitter
09-10-2011, 06:58 PM
I think talent should be measured by success, excepting players who probably would have had big results but were sidelined by injury or other factors out of their control.

So, I think Federer is the most talented player of all time.

If success is measured by merely counting up major titles, then you'd be correct.

NikeWilson
09-10-2011, 11:21 PM
Talent like God-gifted talent... Andre Agassi.
His groundstrokes in particular were so natural, even at a young age.
His hand-eye coordination was phenomenal. His power and precision was amazing. He was a tennis prodigy.

He has revolutionized the game into what it is now. Everyone is a baseliner nowadays. Agassi is the Godfather of the baseline game.
They all took his cue and improved on it with more topspin and better running/fitness.

He was very talented and very exciting to watch. I miss him. :(

Limpinhitter
09-11-2011, 05:56 AM
Talent like God-gifted talent... Andre Agassi.
His groundstrokes in particular were so natural, even at a young age.
His hand-eye coordination was phenomenal. His power and precision was amazing. He was a tennis prodigy.

He has revolutionized the game into what it is now. Everyone is a baseliner nowadays. Agassi is the Godfather of the baseline game.
They all took his cue and improved on it with more topspin and better running/fitness.

He was very talented and very exciting to watch. I miss him. :(

So, you've never heard of Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg or Ivan Lendl?

chandler bing
09-12-2011, 02:25 AM
Justine Henin is the most talented player I've ever seen.

robbo1970
09-12-2011, 02:43 PM
Bahrami for me

and for me too. My favourite player.

Obviously not the most successful, but the title of the thread says talented and Bahrami is a genius! Some of the tricks and skill he displays, a lot of the most successful players could only watch and admire.

He is Mr Entertainment as far as tennis is concerned. I would imagine that when the senior tours and exhibitions are on, he is the one the fans want to see.

I'm hoping to get to see him one day :)

Down_the_line
09-12-2011, 10:07 PM
I'm shocked - I repeat, shocked - that nobody has said Federer. I know what the OP is getting at, but I still think Federer is the most talented player of all time. What makes him the greatest player is his massive accomplishments that accompany the talent.

EDIT: Nevermind, just saw that someone mentioned Fed on the page before this one.

Iron Man
09-12-2011, 11:58 PM
yes shocked because many people here are biased against Fed even though all the experts and the ordinary people agree that his talent is unique

indeed , no other player comes close to him as far as talent is concerned . maybe he 's not the stongest mentally maybe he's not the most physically powerful one but he's for sure the one who captivates us with the genius he has ..

perhaps some people will reailize this when he retires ..

no doubt there were other talented players such as agassi nadal mcenroe laver sampras rios santoro djokovic but Federer is far ahead ..

Limpinhitter
09-13-2011, 04:38 AM
yes shocked because many people here are biased against Fed even though all the experts and the ordinary people agree that his talent is unique

indeed , no other player comes close to him as far as talent is concerned . maybe he 's not the stongest mentally maybe he's not the most physically powerful one but he's for sure the one who captivates us with the genius he has ..

perhaps some people will reailize this when he retires ..

no doubt there were other talented players such as agassi nadal mcenroe laver sampras rios santoro djokovic but Federer is far ahead ..

This is classic overstatement. "All the experts" don't agree that Federer is the most talented player of all time. He is certainly one of them. But, there are some who think, for example, that Pancho Gonzales was the most talented player of all time. I personally think he may have been the greatest athlete over 6' tall in tennis history. The same can be said for Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Ilie Nastase, and John McEnroe. Federer may be the most talented, and most skilled player of the oversized, graphite racquet era, which has resulted in the highest level of play on an absolute basis. But, I personally expect that any of these other players would have done the same, maybe better, had they played in Federer's era.

Datacipher
09-13-2011, 05:40 AM
This is classic overstatement. .

Wouldn't worry about it. "ironman" is a the classic idiot fanboy. As near as I can tell, he's posted TWICE not about Federer.

Pearls of ignorance include:

"federer won't retire until he gets at least 25 slams ... so no hope for his haters "

"24 slams I guess "

"I don't think that sampras would be a problem for federer , he already played against players who have better serve than sampras and beat them easily . technically and tactically federer has the edge so I guess Roger will find multiple solutions to handle him ."


"borg is boring to watch ..
sampras a little bit

no way davydenko is boring , on the contrary he's so exciting to watch "

"anyone who's playing in this era is really unlucky because Federer is there .. I fancy someone like Djokovic could have been one of the Goats if he had played in another era .. "

"I'm a big fan of Federer and I'll keep on supporting him till he retires
no other player has his talent and no player can make me watch the whole match through

Federer is a legend and legends... "


"yes Pete can beat Federer at his prime but once or twice out of ten matches ... "

"you're an idiot by faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar ..

stop trolling and overhyping your player , you really made me hate sampras with your silly comments and hype .." (oh the irony....)


"i admit that berdy is a great player , as for federer what he lacks is a bit of confidence that's all"

"he would be unbeatable and untouchable" (If Fed tried to use his backhand as his dominant stroke! LOL)

"he cried because he's very sensitive and emotional and because he lost the match he was supoosed to win against his main rival plus he thought that he disappointed all his fans who were waiting eagerly for tying the record ...
it's not easy for the guy who is unanimously considered to be the GOAT to lose many slam titles against someone who is less talented than him and in the same scenario and the same way ..} (TRUE, but Rog found a way to do it)

"if they had played 10 times for instance , Roger would have led 8 - 2
with my high respect to Pete as a great champion .."


"Federer is the GOAT not because he has more grand slams , but because he's the most gifted , talented and polyvalent player in tennis history "


"I'll stop watching tennis if Federer loses to Nadal in the US open

it's unfair !

but , inchalla , Federer will beat him easily if he plays his game "

Benhur
09-13-2011, 10:08 AM
I'm shocked - I repeat, shocked - that nobody has said Federer. I know what the OP is getting at, but I still think Federer is the most talented player of all time. What makes him the greatest player is his massive accomplishments that accompany the talent.

EDIT: Nevermind, just saw that someone mentioned Fed on the page before this one.

Discussions about talent usually don't refer to fulfilled talent, but to potential talent that is suspected to have remained somewhat unfulfilled in terms of accomplishments.

If discussions about talent referred to fulfilled talent, then of course the first candidates would be the ones who accomplished the most in each period. I take it as a given that all top players and multiple slam winners from each decade have by definition the largest amount of *fulfilled* talent in that period. There is no such a thing as a top tennis player without a huge amount of talent for tennis. Assuming that a person can become a top tennis player by discipline and hard work alone, is like assuming you can bake a loaf of bread without dough.

So the discussion is always oriented to finding out the extent of the gap between the assumed amount of natural or raw talent, and the actual, fulfilled talent as shown by accomplishments. In other words, how much of the originally available dough did not make it, for whatever reasons, in the actual baked loaf.

There are some conceptual difficulties in these notions, because the unfulfilled part of a player’s game is always the part of his game you don't see. If you saw it, it wouldn't be unfulfilled. It is largely theoretical. But you feel you can get hints of it, signs, hunches, based on sporadic displays of unusual brilliance, and you say: "ah, if this particular skill had been honed further, or made more steady, he would have accomplished a lot more.”

Which does not answer the question whether the skill could in fact have been honed further.

It is also a fact that the criteria to detect these brilliances is based on deeply-set on aesthetic preferences, which are tied to a notion of naturalness. Good one-handed backhands tend seem more pleasant than two handed ones. A serve motion like Jay Berger’s would seem ugly even if it had been extremely effective, and so on.

I think it is good to engage in these talent discussions provided we are aware of what we are taking for granted. I can go along with the notion that in some players (say Marcelo Rios to name one obvious case) a good amount of the original dough may not have made it into the baked loaf. But how far am I willing to carry this? Did Rios really have more talent than the top players in his generation or in other generations? Did he have more talent than, say, Wilander? Really? I am not convinced.

Of course Santana, and Newcombe, and Panatta, and Gerulaitis, and Rafter and even Santoro were all very talented. But relative to who? Were they more talented than the players ranked above them? Or did they have something pleasing in their game that you associate with talent?

So it gets tricky.

tennischemist
09-13-2011, 10:18 AM
Is there any real way to answer this?

I would have to say McEnroe due to his success in Tennis in spite of a relatively normal (though privileged) upbringing - ie - not beating thousands of balls every single day, playing a variety of sports. Federer fits into this too.

Their primes also represent some of the best pure "shotmaking" I've ever seen though I have to confess I am not as well-versed in Tennis history as much of TT seems to be.

Those two men, though, consistently make my jaw drop.

ced
09-13-2011, 10:26 AM
I'm shocked - I repeat, shocked - that nobody has said Federer. I know what the OP is getting at, but I still think Federer is the most talented player of all time. What makes him the greatest player is his massive accomplishments that accompany the talent.

EDIT: Nevermind, just saw that someone mentioned Fed on the page before this one.

Definitely between Federer and Laver ....runners-up would be Hoad, Gonzales, Rosewall, Kramer, Tilden ...... followed by Borg, Sampras, McEnroe .... then a whole lot of others, because there have been a lot of really good tennis players.

Limpinhitter
09-13-2011, 11:12 AM
Definitely between Federer and Laver ....runners-up would be Hoad, Gonzales, Rosewall, Kramer, Tilden ...... followed by Borg, Sampras, McEnroe .... then a whole lot of others, because there have been a lot of really good tennis players.

It's hard to talk about Tilden and Kramer and not Gonzales.

Joe Pike
09-13-2011, 12:43 PM
It's hard to talk about Tilden and Kramer and not Gonzales.


You guys are so old.
I have never seen Tilden or Kramer play, grandpa ...

pc1
09-13-2011, 12:55 PM
Guys, there are no sure answers in this thread. Frankly I find it odd that some say Federer is no doubt the most talented player ever. Perhaps he is but perhaps he isn't. How do we measure talent? This thread is opinion and discussion. So many in the past have named Lew Hoad as the most talented ever. Many have named Bill Tilden. Many Rod Laver or Borg or McEnroe or Vines. A ton of people have named Nastase, Budge, Federer, Leconte, Kovacs, Cochet.

One other thing, I don't get how some can write Sampras would lose to Federer nine or eight out of ten when Federer's lifetime winning percentage is 80 percentage against everyone. And Sampras is not ordinary. Incidentally Sampras won 77 percentage against everyone for his career. Not exactly a huge difference.

Pete's best year was around the 90 percent range, a bit lower than that and Federer's was in the 90 percent plus range. How is that a total mismatch? Just asking. No one knows for sure.

Results don't always indicate talent. Generally speaking a great player often has great talent but sometimes the greater talent doesn't always win. You cannot argue results and therefore talent but it can be an indicator.

For example many who saw Lew Hoad play were convinced he was more talented than Pancho Gonzalez. Gonzalez however had the far greater record and is arguably the greatest ever. Hoad was done in perhaps by several factors, one was he was injured and the other was perhaps lack of motivation.

Ilie Nastase was one of the greatest talents in history but he could get distracted to say the least. Many have exceeded Nastase in record but most believe few if any have exceeded Nastase in talent.

Did Djokovic increase his talent this year over last year since he's almost unbeatable now or is Nadal losing his talent because he's won only one major this year as opposed to last year with three majors? I don't think either is true.

kiki
09-13-2011, 01:18 PM
Loved to watch Johan Kriek...his strokes were sooo clean and penetrating. Pure offensive tennis...love it! :)

I have few doubts that kriek has been of the lost talents.Much better than Rios, and it proves the depth of tennis in Kriek´s time.Borg,Lendl,Connors,Mc and later Wilander,Becker,Edberg and Cash deprived Johan to make a real memorable career.Talent wise, he was as good as many of them.No doubt.

pc1
09-13-2011, 01:22 PM
You guys are so old.
I have never seen Tilden or Kramer play, grandpa ...

Joe,

It's an opinion thread and we often go by videos or what we read about a player. I doubt if many here have seen Tilden or Kramer play. I do know people however who have seen many of the all time greats and you have to respect their opinions.

Now I've seen Steffi Graf play many times (I was there at the US Open for example when she finished her Golden Slam) and I know she's a super gifted player but even if I didn't I would realize what a great talent she was by the videos and from what I've read. A lot of people here have never seen Graf play either. Would you have them reject her as a super talent because they have never seen her?

kiki
09-13-2011, 01:33 PM
I think the big question is not who is the most talented, rather which era gives the greatest amount of talent in the top 10 players...to me, it should be, late 50´s-early 60´s and late 70´s to middle 80´s.You won´t find more talent spread in as many greta players as it happened in those 2 periods.Of course, it is my humble opinion ( backed up by many tv experts that saw all the action)

hoodjem
09-13-2011, 01:56 PM
I'm shocked - I repeat, shocked - that nobody has said Federer. I know what the OP is getting at, but I still think Federer is the most talented player of all time. What makes him the greatest player is his massive accomplishments that accompany the talent.

EDIT: Nevermind, just saw that someone mentioned Fed on the page before this one.EDIT: Nevermind, just saw that someone mentioned Fed on the page before this one.There's a good one.

All that shock for nothing.

hoodjem
09-13-2011, 01:57 PM
You guys are so old.
I have never seen Tilden or Kramer play, grandpa ...Yes, and you are so _________ .

ClarkC
09-13-2011, 02:09 PM
Mikhail Youzhny, for sheer artistry and imagination.

Hypatia
09-13-2011, 02:21 PM
Ilie Nastase was one of the greatest talents in history but he could get distracted to say the least. Many have exceeded Nastase in record but most believe few if any have exceeded Nastase in talent.

Maybe the most impressive combination of power and finesse in the last few decades till Federer came along.

Limpinhitter
09-13-2011, 02:43 PM
I have few doubts that kriek has been of the lost talents.Much better than Rios, and it proves the depth of tennis in Kriek´s time.Borg,Lendl,Connors,Mc and later Wilander,Becker,Edberg and Cash deprived Johan to make a real memorable career.Talent wise, he was as good as many of them.No doubt.

I would say Kriek's temper and loss of focus played a bigger role in his limited success than his competition. He was the real deal in terms of shotmaking. Few, if any, could out-hit Kriek. He just couldn't keep his head together consistently enough to win more championships.

Here's a short clip of Kriek's game against a few all timers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnAKAOA1SiU

Benhur
09-15-2011, 02:03 PM
Guys, there are no sure answers in this thread. Frankly I find it odd that some say Federer is no doubt the most talented player ever. Perhaps he is but perhaps he isn't. How do we measure talent? This thread is opinion and discussion. So many in the past have named Lew Hoad as the most talented ever. Many have named Bill Tilden. Many Rod Laver or Borg or McEnroe or Vines. A ton of people have named Nastase, Budge, Federer, Leconte, Kovacs, Cochet.

One other thing, I don't get how some can write Sampras would lose to Federer nine or eight out of ten when Federer's lifetime winning percentage is 80 percentage against everyone. And Sampras is not ordinary. Incidentally Sampras won 77 percentage against everyone for his career. Not exactly a huge difference.

Pete's best year was around the 90 percent range, a bit lower than that and Federer's was in the 90 percent plus range. How is that a total mismatch? Just asking. No one knows for sure.

Results don't always indicate talent. Generally speaking a great player often has great talent but sometimes the greater talent doesn't always win. You cannot argue results and therefore talent but it can be an indicator.

For example many who saw Lew Hoad play were convinced he was more talented than Pancho Gonzalez. Gonzalez however had the far greater record and is arguably the greatest ever. Hoad was done in perhaps by several factors, one was he was injured and the other was perhaps lack of motivation.

Ilie Nastase was one of the greatest talents in history but he could get distracted to say the least. Many have exceeded Nastase in record but most believe few if any have exceeded Nastase in talent.

Did Djokovic increase his talent this year over last year since he's almost unbeatable now or is Nadal losing his talent because he's won only one major this year as opposed to last year with three majors? I don't think either is true.

Regarding your last paragraph, if we take talent as something innate, it doesn't really make sense to say that it can increase or decrease. Its amount is fixed from birth, and is the basis upon which you build your skill, which of course can increase or decrease depending on training, learning, age etc.

The problem is that talent really cannot be seen by itself in a grown player. You can only see the skill, which will always be a composite of (innate) talent + all the other factors that go into building the skill. Trying to distinguish the talent from all the other stuff can only be guesswork when looking at a grown player. It's easier in a child. Give a racquet to a couple of 3 year olds who have never had one in their hands, and who have been exposed to comparable stimulus up to then, and if one of them quickly shows far superior skill at striking a tennis ball, then you could safely say he has more talent. But even this can be inconclusive. If you repeat the experiment two years later, it's possible the other one learns faster at that age.

My impression is the talent of ANY of the current top 50 players would have quickly stood out at a very young age if placed among a random sample of other kids their age. Without it

pc1
09-15-2011, 02:07 PM
Regarding your last paragraph, if we take talent as something innate, it doesn't really make sense to say that it can increase or decrease. Its amount is fixed from birth, and is the basis upon which you build your skill, which of course can increase or decrease depending on training, learning, age etc.

The problem is that talent really cannot be seen by itself in a grown player. You can only see the skill, which will always be a composite of (innate) talent + all the other factors that go into building the skill. Trying to distinguish the talent from all the other stuff can only be guesswork when looking at a grown player. It's easier in a child. Give a racquet to a couple of 3 year olds who have never had one in their hands, and who have been exposed to comparable stimulus up to then, and if one of them quickly shows far superior skill at striking a tennis ball, then you could safely say he has more talent. But even this can be inconclusive. If you repeat the experiment two years later, it's possible the other one learns faster at that age.

My impression is the talent of ANY of the current top 50 players would have quickly stood out at a very young age if placed among a random sample of other kids their age. Without it
My friend, I meant when you wrote. Read my last sentence.

kiki
09-24-2011, 10:18 AM
Hana Mandlikova.

True, a big underachiever, yet 4 GS titles... Rios?????

kiki
09-24-2011, 10:23 AM
Yes, and you are so _________ .

He belongs to the GRAFitte era, no doubt

Set Sampras
09-24-2011, 06:26 PM
Guys, there are no sure answers in this thread. Frankly I find it odd that some say Federer is no doubt the most talented player ever. Perhaps he is but perhaps he isn't. How do we measure talent? This thread is opinion and discussion. So many in the past have named Lew Hoad as the most talented ever. Many have named Bill Tilden. Many Rod Laver or Borg or McEnroe or Vines. A ton of people have named Nastase, Budge, Federer, Leconte, Kovacs, Cochet.

One other thing, I don't get how some can write Sampras would lose to Federer nine or eight out of ten when Federer's lifetime winning percentage is 80 percentage against everyone. And Sampras is not ordinary. Incidentally Sampras won 77 percentage against everyone for his career. Not exactly a huge difference.

Pete's best year was around the 90 percent range, a bit lower than that and Federer's was in the 90 percent plus range. How is that a total mismatch? Just asking. No one knows for sure.

Results don't always indicate talent. Generally speaking a great player often has great talent but sometimes the greater talent doesn't always win. You cannot argue results and therefore talent but it can be an indicator.

For example many who saw Lew Hoad play were convinced he was more talented than Pancho Gonzalez. Gonzalez however had the far greater record and is arguably the greatest ever. Hoad was done in perhaps by several factors, one was he was injured and the other was perhaps lack of motivation.

Ilie Nastase was one of the greatest talents in history but he could get distracted to say the least. Many have exceeded Nastase in record but most believe few if any have exceeded Nastase in talent.

Did Djokovic increase his talent this year over last year since he's almost unbeatable now or is Nadal losing his talent because he's won only one major this year as opposed to last year with three majors? I don't think either is true.


Quite Simple really.. Sampras is one of the most universally hated all time greats there is. Maybe the most hated.. Even when he was on top of the tennis world, most didn't care for him. They wanted Agassi to be at the top since he was so universally more well loved with the media fans etc.

Set Sampras
09-24-2011, 06:31 PM
Anyways.. Who knows who the most talented player to ever grace the court is. So many different all time greats have their strengths and have their weaknesses. Another thing to remember is regardless of talent, you have to possess the other characteristics to be an all time great.

Talent only gets you so far. Talent combined with drive, focus, mental toughness, etc.. are what all the true greats have/had. to be honest, you can't have one or the other and aspect an all time great career. Very few have all these aspects. The ones that do have historically been the most successful and have carved the best careers for themselves.

Joe Pike
09-25-2011, 01:48 AM
Joe,

It's an opinion thread and we often go by videos or what we read about a player. I doubt if many here have seen Tilden or Kramer play. I do know people however who have seen many of the all time greats and you have to respect their opinions.

Now I've seen Steffi Graf play many times (I was there at the US Open for example when she finished her Golden Slam) and I know she's a super gifted player but even if I didn't I would realize what a great talent she was by the videos and from what I've read. A lot of people here have never seen Graf play either. Would you have them reject her as a super talent because they have never seen her?

Well, then bring on all those Tilden videos ...

joe sch
09-25-2011, 02:21 AM
Guys, there are no sure answers in this thread. Frankly I find it odd that some say Federer is no doubt the most talented player ever. Perhaps he is but perhaps he isn't. How do we measure talent? This thread is opinion and discussion. So many in the past have named Lew Hoad as the most talented ever. Many have named Bill Tilden. Many Rod Laver or Borg or McEnroe or Vines. A ton of people have named Nastase, Budge, Federer, Leconte, Kovacs, Cochet.

One other thing, I don't get how some can write Sampras would lose to Federer nine or eight out of ten when Federer's lifetime winning percentage is 80 percentage against everyone. And Sampras is not ordinary. Incidentally Sampras won 77 percentage against everyone for his career. Not exactly a huge difference.

Pete's best year was around the 90 percent range, a bit lower than that and Federer's was in the 90 percent plus range. How is that a total mismatch? Just asking. No one knows for sure.

Results don't always indicate talent. Generally speaking a great player often has great talent but sometimes the greater talent doesn't always win. You cannot argue results and therefore talent but it can be an indicator.

For example many who saw Lew Hoad play were convinced he was more talented than Pancho Gonzalez. Gonzalez however had the far greater record and is arguably the greatest ever. Hoad was done in perhaps by several factors, one was he was injured and the other was perhaps lack of motivation.

Ilie Nastase was one of the greatest talents in history but he could get distracted to say the least. Many have exceeded Nastase in record but most believe few if any have exceeded Nastase in talent.

Did Djokovic increase his talent this year over last year since he's almost unbeatable now or is Nadal losing his talent because he's won only one major this year as opposed to last year with three majors? I don't think either is true.

Agree ...

GOAT wrt Talent really means ...

- All eras should be considered
- Strenght of eras should be considered
- Anyone who claims Federer or Sampras or McEnroe really should have read about and hopefully reviewed some of the history/video for Laver, Rosewall, Hoad, Kramer, Gonzales, Vines, Budge, Tilden, ...

Sampras vs Federer is a more reasonable debate since there is some overlap with careers and some common opponents. I have always thought Sampras had more difficult and talented era to compete in, thus stats that are not quite as impressive as Federer. Now that Djokovich and Nadal have entered thier primes, I think the Sampras/Fed stats will become even more even, ie winning percentage over career.

I believe that GOAT and most talented ever kind of comparisons really are unfair to make for different eras. Having said this, I do not think it is fair to say that Gonzales is more talented than Federer, or visa versa.

kiki
09-25-2011, 06:36 AM
Rod Laver could do everything well, had all the shots invented and some not invented..and he did it in the flashiest way...to me this is the closest definition of the absolutest talent.

pc1
09-25-2011, 07:14 AM
Agree ...

GOAT wrt Talent really means ...

- All eras should be considered
- Strenght of eras should be considered
- Anyone who claims Federer or Sampras or McEnroe really should have read about and hopefully reviewed some of the history/video for Laver, Rosewall, Hoad, Kramer, Gonzales, Vines, Budge, Tilden, ...

Sampras vs Federer is a more reasonable debate since there is some overlap with careers and some common opponents. I have always thought Sampras had more difficult and talented era to compete in, thus stats that are not quite as impressive as Federer. Now that Djokovich and Nadal have entered thier primes, I think the Sampras/Fed stats will become even more even, ie winning percentage over career.

I believe that GOAT and most talented ever kind of comparisons really are unfair to make for different eras. Having said this, I do not think it is fair to say that Gonzales is more talented than Federer, or visa versa.

I agree with you Joe. That being written I think we all have our opinions on who is more talented. For example I thought Miloslav Mecir was more talented than Ivan Lendl but obviously Lendl accomplished far far more. Many who saw Mecir at the time (late 1980's) thought Mecir was the most talented in the world.

kiki
09-26-2011, 12:38 PM
I agree with you Joe. That being written I think we all have our opinions on who is more talented. For example I thought Miloslav Mecir was more talented than Ivan Lendl but obviously Lendl accomplished far far more. Many who saw Mecir at the time (late 1980's) thought Mecir was the most talented in the world.

Mecir was a very good player, with a natural talent.But he isn´t more talented than many who achieved more.Maybe he´d rate as one of the top 5 non slam winners, but this is as far as he gets.

NadalAgassi
09-26-2011, 12:48 PM
Quite Simple really.. Sampras is one of the most universally hated all time greats there is. Maybe the most hated.. Even when he was on top of the tennis world, most didn't care for him. They wanted Agassi to be at the top since he was so universally more well loved with the media fans etc.

You are so right. Sampras was the least respected great player ever. It was shameful to see. He brought tennis to a whole new level when he was on top. I cheered against him since I was an Agassi fan but even I admired Sampras and how tough he was to beat and topple from the top, and his amazing weapons and all court tennis. His so called lack of personality is a joke. He has more personality than Djokovic or Federer seem to, that is for sure. Djokovics attempt of humour is to say he wants to throw out smelly shoes in an interview, ugh. I was very impressed by his book. It was eloquent and very well written.

BrooklynNY
09-26-2011, 01:05 PM
Agreed, Pete is the most hated of all the all time greats, For christs sakes go take a look at the "Best Volleyer ever" thread, he is rarely mentioned, and somehow on TT he ranks 21st in footwork, behind Andy Murray.

Some people just hate greatness , look at Kevin Durrant, he is the best player in the NBA, but no one even mentions the guy.

BeHappy
09-26-2011, 01:08 PM
You are so right. Sampras was the least respected great player ever. It was shameful to see. He brought tennis to a whole new level when he was on top. I cheered against him since I was an Agassi fan but even I admired Sampras and how tough he was to beat and topple from the top, and his amazing weapons and all court tennis. His so called lack of personality is a joke. He has more personality than Djokovic or Federer seem to, that is for sure. Djokovics attempt of humour is to say he wants to throw out smelly shoes in an interview, ugh. I was very impressed by his book. It was eloquent and very well written.

I thought his book was boring and pointless. It was just:

"I played pretty well in the 1999 Wimbledon final I guess"

Agassi's book was the other extreme though. So melodramatic it was actually funny.

Set Sampras
09-26-2011, 02:21 PM
You are so right. Sampras was the least respected great player ever. It was shameful to see. He brought tennis to a whole new level when he was on top. I cheered against him since I was an Agassi fan but even I admired Sampras and how tough he was to beat and topple from the top, and his amazing weapons and all court tennis. His so called lack of personality is a joke. He has more personality than Djokovic or Federer seem to, that is for sure. Djokovics attempt of humour is to say he wants to throw out smelly shoes in an interview, ugh. I was very impressed by his book. It was eloquent and very well written.


Definitely.. Maybe I was wrong to say "hated", but you phrased it right with "least respected". I think alot of it has to do with maybe more dry humor he employed, he wasn't a big media sensation, paparazzi star looking for attention every other week and making news headlines. Heck he didn't even stay in NY when he played the USO because he didn't want to put up with all the media buzz. He was more introverted and reserved then his predecessors Mac, Connors, Agassi etc. he let his play do the talking, while others let their mouth do the talking many times. Personally I loved both Andre and Pete. Didn't really have a preference, but jeesh I agree, never seen someone so least respected of an all time great then Sampras.. Never. I prefer watching geniuses in play and accomplish great feats. Sports shouldn't be a popularity contest. We have enough of that on tv as it is. If pete was the media mogul that other guys were, I think Pete would no doubt have had his just due. But when people think of Pete they say, "Boring." Why? Because he wasn't Safin or Agassi, of Djokovic or Nadal and Fed etc with the media? The guy could do it all on the court. If he was goofball, immature circus act and dominated or a Paparazzi nightclub guy dragging the media on a leash around him or doing have naked Guess Jeans or Rolex commercials , he would be looked on as a god probably.

Tshooter
09-26-2011, 02:28 PM
"His so called lack of personality is a joke. He has more personality than Djokovic or Federer seem to, that is for sure."

You may like Sampras but it's clouding your judgement. As far as the public person, Sampras was devoid of personality. Djokovic has a ton and always has. Fed in the middle of those two.

Set Sampras
09-26-2011, 02:30 PM
Agreed, Pete is the most hated of all the all time greats, For christs sakes go take a look at the "Best Volleyer ever" thread, he is rarely mentioned, and somehow on TT he ranks 21st in footwork, behind Andy Murray.

Some people just hate greatness , look at Kevin Durrant, he is the best player in the NBA, but no one even mentions the guy.

Yea.. You mean to tell me Pete isn't a top tier volleyer? I can only think of a handful that were better. If that.

pc1
09-26-2011, 04:34 PM
I never thought Sampras was hated as a player. I think the public showed him great respect. I think however in comparison to Federer that he isn't nearly as popular. It's amazing how loved Federer is.

As far as Sampras being a top tier volleyer, I think he's a superb volleyer but there's been a lot of great volleyers in tennis history so you can be a super volleyer and have some ahead of you. But if you add his awesome serve to his excellent volley it is hard to top that combination.

For example a lot of people think Edberg is superior as a volleyer to Sampras but who would you rather having to hold serve for the match, Edberg or Sampras? I think most would say Sampras.

Carsomyr
09-26-2011, 04:49 PM
Yea.. You mean to tell me Pete isn't a top tier volleyer? I can only think of a handful that were better. If that.

I can think of five players with better volleys off the top of my head.

pc1
09-26-2011, 05:04 PM
Yea.. You mean to tell me Pete isn't a top tier volleyer? I can only think of a handful that were better. If that.

I can think of five players with better volleys off the top of my head.

Question for both of you---How would Sampras rank as a volleyer today?

Obviously we're getting a bit off topic but I do think volleying is a great talent and shows the quickness in hand/eye coordination so I suppose it can fit here in this thread.

Carsomyr
09-26-2011, 05:13 PM
Today? Probably the best. However, I wouldn't say he's light years ahead of a guy like, say, Llodra or anything. Llodra is actually really good.

BeHappy
09-26-2011, 05:19 PM
Today? Probably the best. However, I wouldn't say he's light years ahead of a guy like, say, Llodra or anything. Llodra is actually really good.

You think Llodra is as good at covering the net and hitting volley winners as Pete Sampras?

Really?

Jesus... http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/smilies/icon_confused.gif

BeHappy
09-26-2011, 05:23 PM
Personally I'd rate Sampras's volleys as good as Rafters, not in the same league as Edberg or McEnroe for pure power though. Although he wasn't right on top of the net like they were because his serve was so much faster.

Carsomyr
09-26-2011, 05:27 PM
You think Llodra is as good at covering the net and hitting volley winners as Pete Sampras?

Really?

Jesus... http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/smilies/icon_confused.gif

Are you really that poor at reading comprehension? I said he wasn't light years better, but that doesn't mean I don't think he was substantially better. And no, Llodra is nowhere near as good at covering the net. But his volleys? You don't win multiple doubles majors without exceptional volleys.

BeHappy
09-26-2011, 05:31 PM
Are you really that poor at reading comprehension? I said he wasn't light years better, but that doesn't mean I don't think he was substantially better. And no, Llodra is nowhere near as good at covering the net. But his volleys? You don't win multiple doubles Slams without exceptional volleys.

Really? Look what happened when Federer teamed up with Wawrinka for the Olympics. Whenever singles players really commit themselves to doubles the doubles specialists finish nowhere. Llodra didn't face returns or passing shots like Agassi's and Hewitt's in any of those doubles finals. He faced other second rate journeymen like him.

Carsomyr
09-26-2011, 05:44 PM
Really? Look what happened when Federer teamed up with Wawrinka for the Olympics. Whenever singles players really commit themselves to doubles the doubles specialists finish nowhere. Llodra didn't face returns or passing shots like Agassi's and Hewitt's in any of those doubles finals. He faced other second rate journeymen like him.

Hey, since one match an argument makes, how about the doubles final in Queen's in 1994 when Sampras and Todd Martin (who was a top ten player at the end of the year) barely eked out a victory over the Woodies 12-10 in the third, guys whose career high singles rankings were comparable to Llodra's?

BeHappy
09-26-2011, 06:16 PM
Hey, since one match an argument makes, how about the doubles final in Queen's in 1994 when Sampras and Todd Martin (who was a top ten player at the end of the year) barely eked out a victory over the Woodies 12-10 in the third, guys whose career high singles rankings were comparable to Llodra's?

They still won, the Woodies dominated when lots of top singles players actually played doubles like Kafelnikov. That they beat the best doubles team in history who'd been playing together for years says it all.

pc1
09-26-2011, 06:21 PM
Today? Probably the best. However, I wouldn't say he's light years ahead of a guy like, say, Llodra or anything. Llodra is actually really good.

Yes I would think Sampras would be the best volleyer today also. Players don't approach the net enough today to get enough volleying practice.

kiki
10-01-2011, 10:25 AM
I´m seeing over those threads that not many posters ( maybe 3 or 4 ) have seen Laver play at his best...Posts would be very very different if they had

BTURNER
10-01-2011, 11:14 AM
I´m seeing over those threads that not many posters ( maybe 3 or 4 ) have seen Laver play at his best...Posts would be very very different if they had

I know I certainly haven't. I have seen clips from his late years that show flashes of phenominal athletic ability and talent. Enough to get a clue that this guy was very special.

kiki
10-02-2011, 04:02 AM
I know I certainly haven't. I have seen clips from his late years that show flashes of phenominal athletic ability and talent. Enough to get a clue that this guy was very special.

Very Very special.As I said, not only he had all the shots invented - and some that didn´t exist before he hitém-, but he did it in a very spectacular way.That combination makes him, IMo, the greatest tennis player of any time.

newton296
10-06-2011, 09:00 AM
every time I watch McEnroe , I find myself wondering "is that shot even possible" amazing stuff! the flat returns down the line, the sweet touch volleys, the short back swings, the weird way he stands with his back ti the baseline when he serves. its really like nothing I have ever seen. I'm telling you, smoke a dubbie and then watch a mac match. hes a trip!

TCTEN
10-06-2011, 10:33 AM
I would have say that Fed is the most talented that I've witnessed, besides having an unequaled record he also has the ability to win from anywhere on the court on all surfaces. With that said however it is impossible to say who's the most talented of all time as there have been so many great champions.
I personally have always been biased towards the serve and volley player so in my book Edberg's game was the most aesthetically pleasing to watch, his ability to get to net and make it look so effortless was a sight to behold.

tennis-kid
10-06-2011, 11:44 AM
Yes I would think Sampras would be the best volleyer today also. Players don't approach the net enough today to get enough volleying practice.


I don't think Sampras would be best volleyer today. I think his amazing serve make opponent barely return or no return his serve so he can have more easy volley than others. And that make him look good volleyer. He always look a little slow and clumsy, no agility like Agassi have.

Limpinhitter
10-06-2011, 12:34 PM
I´m seeing over those threads that not many posters ( maybe 3 or 4 ) have seen Laver play at his best...Posts would be very very different if they had

Laver, Emerson, Rosewall, Roche and Newcombe! They were all preeminent net players.

Limpinhitter
10-06-2011, 12:40 PM
I don't think Sampras would be best volleyer today. I think his amazing serve make opponent barely return or no return his serve so he can have more easy volley than others. And that make him look good volleyer. He always look a little slow and clumsy, no agility like Agassi have.

I always thought that there was something a little awkward looking about Sampras movement and shot preparation from the backcourt. But, he still had the greatest serve, one of the greatest forehands, a great net game, and was probably the flat out fastest tennis player who ever lived. So, who do you think volleys better than Sampras today?

pc1
10-07-2011, 07:15 AM
I always thought that there was something a little awkward looking about Sampras movement and shot preparation from the backcourt. But, he still had the greatest serve, one of the greatest forehands, a great net game, and was probably the flat out fastest tennis player who ever lived. So, who do you think volleys better than Sampras today?

I can't see anyone today volleying better than Sampras. Tsonga is an excellent volleyer but I like Pete's volley better. I like Nadal as a volleyer but I don't think he's as smooth or has quite as much range at the net. Murray's decent at the net and has pretty good touch there but he's not Sampras at the net either.

Sampras was one of the last players to regularly serve and volley and he obviously had a lot more practice at the net than anyone today. I do think players today may have the potential to be as good as Sampras at the net but how can they reach that level if they never do it in game situations? Sampras would approach the net more in one game than some do in entire matches.

Nathaniel_Near
10-07-2011, 01:27 PM
Tsonga's volleys are not excellent, Nadal only comes in on a sure thing and is often found wanting on more difficult volleys and Murray just doesn't get to the net enough.

Tsonga's volleys have been overrated ever since he destroyed Nadal with them in the AO 08 semis. He mucks up a LOT of volleys and isn't as adept as guys like Llodra or Stepanek or even Federer still.

Nadal certainly isn't anywhere near to being among the top 10 volleyers on the singles tour, Djokovic probably already volleys better. Nadal just approaches very well because he knows it's hard for the opponent to generate much useful against a deep shot which is loaded with insane top-spin.

Even if a player or two today has the potential to volley as well as Sampras, it would not reward them nearly as much due to the playing speed of the surfaces and the increased heaviness of the balls (amongst other factors).

tennis-kid
10-07-2011, 02:51 PM
I always thought that there was something a little awkward looking about Sampras movement and shot preparation from the backcourt. But, he still had the greatest serve, one of the greatest forehands, a great net game, and was probably the flat out fastest tennis player who ever lived. So, who do you think volleys better than Sampras today?

If we look at only volley aspect, I would say Federer is much better volleyer than Sampras. I remember many times Sampras standing like a log in the middle of court while a ball is passing. There is always passing shots for every players but Sampras reaction looks sluggish than others.
I agree his FH and serve made him legendary

BrooklynNY
10-07-2011, 03:09 PM
^^ This is crazy.

When you come in as much as Sampras did, it's inevitable sometimes you will get passed. Sometimes you will look terrible and flatfooted. Sometimes you will look amazing. That's part of a net game.

Federer's volleys are not in the same league. Federer's volleys are not on the level of Pete's, and I agree, that Pete's are not at the level of Edberg. To me, Fed used to volley great before he basically stopped coming in often, and settled into the baseline dominant game we all know from him. I'm not saying he is bad, because he is top 3 of his own time, but he is just not at that primo primo level of volleying...the forehand is a different story. :D


Federer's volley game has dropped off a good amount relative to his volleying in 2001-2003, mostly due to his own doing, a product of not really practicing and utilizing them in game situations as much as he should have when he was dominating his opponents with ease. With that said he is one of the top 5 most talented players of all time.

Datacipher
10-07-2011, 03:15 PM
If we look at only volley aspect, I would say Federer is much better volleyer than Sampras. I remember many times Sampras standing like a log in the middle of court while a ball is passing. There is always passing shots for every players but Sampras reaction looks sluggish than others.
I agree his FH and serve made him legendary

That's only because you don't know anything about tennis, and specifically about the volley. I think as you learn more and progress in tennis, you'll look back and see just how idiotic this statement was....I hope...

Datacipher
10-07-2011, 03:16 PM
^^ This is crazy.

When you come in as much as Sampras did, it's inevitable sometimes you will get passed. Sometimes you will look terrible and flatfooted. Sometimes you will look amazing. That's part of a net game.

Federer's volleys are not in the same league. Federer's volleys are not on the level of Pete's, and I agree, that Pete's are not at the level of Edberg. To me, Fed used to volley great before he basically stopped coming in often, and settled into the baseline dominant game we all know from him. I'm not saying he is bad, because he is top 3 of his own time, but he is just not at that primo primo level of volleying...the forehand is a different story. :D


Federer's volley game has dropped off a good amount relative to his volleying in 2001-2003, mostly due to his own doing, a product of not really practicing and utilizing them in game situations as much as he should have when he was dominating his opponents with ease. With that said he is one of the top 5 most talented players of all time.

Heh, don't worry about it...I was just posting about it....the "kid" doesn't have the first clue about tennis or the volley...it's actually likely he's a bit "slow"...and by that I don't mean sluggish ;-)

GuyClinch
10-07-2011, 03:20 PM
The way JMac can play so well with his ridiculous technique makes it hard to pick another guy. Back in the day he had both crazy awful technique and horrible fitness. And he still won..

Johnny Mac is about as close to the "natural' as you will get in sports. He just got good at tennis - by playing tennis. So many rec players try the same thing and end up a 3.5. :P

Limpinhitter
10-07-2011, 03:23 PM
If we look at only volley aspect, I would say Federer is much better volleyer than Sampras. I remember many times Sampras standing like a log in the middle of court while a ball is passing. There is always passing shots for every players but Sampras reaction looks sluggish than others.
I agree his FH and serve made him legendary

To the contrary, Sampras was a better volleyer and a better net player than Federer. IMO, Federer's volley technique is flawed, he is not that comfortable covering the net and is often caught out of position. Sampras was much more comfortable at net, and knew how to cover the net and cut off angles. He was also stronger, faster and more explosive than Federer, although Sampras didn't move with the same precision or efficiency that Federer moves with.

pc1
10-07-2011, 04:39 PM
Tsonga's volleys are not excellent, Nadal only comes in on a sure thing and is often found wanting on more difficult volleys and Murray just doesn't get to the net enough.

Tsonga's volleys have been overrated ever since he destroyed Nadal with them in the AO 08 semis. He mucks up a LOT of volleys and isn't as adept as guys like Llodra or Stepanek or even Federer still.

Nadal certainly isn't anywhere near to being among the top 10 volleyers on the singles tour, Djokovic probably already volleys better. Nadal just approaches very well because he knows it's hard for the opponent to generate much useful against a deep shot which is loaded with insane top-spin.

Even if a player or two today has the potential to volley as well as Sampras, it would not reward them nearly as much due to the playing speed of the surfaces and the increased heaviness of the balls (amongst other factors).
Nathaniel,

I was using Tsonga, Murray and Nadal as examples of players considered to be very good volleyers today and saying they weren't as good at the net as Sampras. It was just to explain a point. I could have used other names also to make the same point. Whether you think they're good or not is fine with me but many do think they are excellent volleyers. John McEnroe (who is known to change his mind) has said several times Nadal is one of the top volleyers in the world. Perhaps he is, perhap he isn't but I do think he's above average for today's times as I think Tsonga and Murray are also.

None of them to me can hold a candle to Sampras at the net.

kiki
10-08-2011, 04:40 AM
I can't see anyone today volleying better than Sampras. Tsonga is an excellent volleyer but I like Pete's volley better. I like Nadal as a volleyer but I don't think he's as smooth or has quite as much range at the net. Murray's decent at the net and has pretty good touch there but he's not Sampras at the net either.

Sampras was one of the last players to regularly serve and volley and he obviously had a lot more practice at the net than anyone today. I do think players today may have the potential to be as good as Sampras at the net but how can they reach that level if they never do it in game situations? Sampras would approach the net more in one game than some do in entire matches.

wHAT A GREAT TRUTH.I´d say more in one game than the rest in one year.2011 Wimbledon finals is a perfect example.

kiki
10-08-2011, 04:41 AM
To the contrary, Sampras was a better volleyer and a better net player than Federer. IMO, Federer's volley technique is flawed, he is not that comfortable covering the net and is often caught out of position. Sampras was much more comfortable at net, and knew how to cover the net and cut off angles. He was also stronger, faster and more explosive than Federer, although Sampras didn't move with the same precision or efficiency that Federer moves with.

Exactly, good definition.

kiki
10-08-2011, 04:44 AM
every time I watch McEnroe , I find myself wondering "is that shot even possible" amazing stuff! the flat returns down the line, the sweet touch volleys, the short back swings, the weird way he stands with his back ti the baseline when he serves. its really like nothing I have ever seen. I'm telling you, smoke a dubbie and then watch a mac match. hes a trip!

Mac was the tennis equivalent to Maradona or Messi in football/soccer...you must be born with that, it is umpossible to pick it up anywhere.A few ones are born with that magic, while the 99,9% of the rest simply are not.Just so simple...

pc1
10-08-2011, 09:21 AM
Mac was the tennis equivalent to Maradona or Messi in football/soccer...you must be born with that, it is umpossible to pick it up anywhere.A few ones are born with that magic, while the 99,9% of the rest simply are not.Just so simple...

McEnroe is one of the few geniuses with a unique style in the history of tennis.

kiki
10-09-2011, 03:37 AM
Nathaniel,

I was using Tsonga, Murray and Nadal as examples of players considered to be very good volleyers today and saying they weren't as good at the net as Sampras. It was just to explain a point. I could have used other names also to make the same point. Whether you think they're good or not is fine with me but many do think they are excellent volleyers. John McEnroe (who is known to change his mind) has said several times Nadal is one of the top volleyers in the world. Perhaps he is, perhap he isn't but I do think he's above average for today's times as I think Tsonga and Murray are also.

None of them to me can hold a candle to Sampras at the net.

The best volleyer today is JMac playing the Senior Tours.Many venues can see, the week end before the professional tournament starts, the last show on volleying (Seniors Tourney)..then , from Monday till Sunday, lights off.

kiki
10-09-2011, 03:43 AM
McEnroe is one of the few geniuses with a unique style in the history of tennis.

By its own definition, a genious makes everything different and sets standarts others cannot copy.As we say, once they are born, their mother breaks the mold...I can thing of super talented players, Borg,Connors,Ashe,Federer,Edberg,Agassi,Sampras,Sa fin,Panatta,Gerulaitis,Rafter,Mecir,Stich,Becker, Leconte come to my mind, just as Nadal and Djokovic, in a lesser degree, can also claim to have a special talent for this game.

But the cathegeory of " genious" fits, IMO, just 4 players over the last 40 years:Laver,Rosewall, Nastase and Mc Enroe.They had this something different way to do things.I don´t mean they are better players, nor do I mean that they are even more talented than those above mentioned....It´s just that those 3 are the only ones that can fit in the " genious" concept, at least, mine.

DeShaun
10-10-2011, 08:21 PM
Laver seemed complete in a way that only Federer can rival. Even with a relatively small frame, Rod's game seemed enormous for its lack of chinks. His power off the ground, command of spins/disguise, nice footspeed, etc. He must have been blessed with extreme talent. What sets him and other greats apart from the rest of those who were similarly blessed is, I believe, something inside of them which makes them want to work harder to distance themselves from the rest of their highly gifted peers. For every Laver or Federer, there are countless LeConte's, Safin's, and a few McEnroe's. I believe one must burn with an almost insatiable lust for glory to become a top five GOAT--talent alone is not enough. And for me, the greatest talent is also the one that attains for its owner the greatest glory as a tennis champion. So qualified is my definition of talent.

Limpinhitter
10-11-2011, 03:41 PM
Laver seemed complete in a way that only Federer can rival. Even with a relatively small frame, Rod's game seemed enormous for its lack of chinks. His power off the ground, command of spins/disguise, nice footspeed, etc. He must have been blessed with extreme talent. What sets him and other greats apart from the rest of those who were similarly blessed is, I believe, something inside of them which makes them want to work harder to distance themselves from the rest of their highly gifted peers. For every Laver or Federer, there are countless LeConte's, Safin's, and a few McEnroe's. I believe one must burn with an almost insatiable lust for glory to become a top five GOAT--talent alone is not enough. And for me, the greatest talent is also the one that attains for its owner the greatest glory as a tennis champion. So qualified is my definition of talent.

There's a lot of truth in this. That's one reason I place more value in the greatness of an individual shot if it was used to win championships.

kiki
10-15-2011, 11:28 AM
Laver seemed complete in a way that only Federer can rival. Even with a relatively small frame, Rod's game seemed enormous for its lack of chinks. His power off the ground, command of spins/disguise, nice footspeed, etc. He must have been blessed with extreme talent. What sets him and other greats apart from the rest of those who were similarly blessed is, I believe, something inside of them which makes them want to work harder to distance themselves from the rest of their highly gifted peers. For every Laver or Federer, there are countless LeConte's, Safin's, and a few McEnroe's. I believe one must burn with an almost insatiable lust for glory to become a top five GOAT--talent alone is not enough. And for me, the greatest talent is also the one that attains for its owner the greatest glory as a tennis champion. So qualified is my definition of talent.

Agreed.This is the supreme talent.

Raphael
10-15-2011, 11:36 AM
Even now, Mcenroe is a unique talent.

His touch at net is unmatched. His ability to turn his opponent's blistering passing shots into drop volleys while at full stretch is something of beauty.

Then, there is his serve. Many years ago when they first installed radar guns on old Louis Armstrong stadium, I watched him ace a guy with a serve at 100mph and ace the guy with a 70mph serve out wide. THE most recognizable service motion ever.

Even Brad Gilbert, who never liked Mac, praised him in his book "Winning Ugly"

kiki
10-15-2011, 12:21 PM
Even now, Mcenroe is a unique talent.

His touch at net is unmatched. His ability to turn his opponent's blistering passing shots into drop volleys while at full stretch is something of beauty.

Then, there is his serve. Many years ago when they first installed radar guns on old Louis Armstrong stadium, I watched him ace a guy with a serve at 100mph and ace the guy with a 70mph serve out wide. THE most recognizable service motion ever.

Even Brad Gilbert, who never liked Mac, praised him in his book "Winning Ugly"

When he stormed the Wimbledon courts, in 1977, guys that had seen all the great past players like Lancy Tingay and Ralph Bellamy ( who had seen from Tilden to Borg), said he was the most impressive player since Rod Laver in the early 60´s.That says a lot.

ahuimanu
10-18-2011, 11:24 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf4wrrpzdYc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Stumbled upon this video of Ilie Nasase playing Arthur Ashe. Saw Ilie play team tennis back in the day and was amazed by his athleticism and exceptional talent with a tennis racquet.

Enjoy! :)

kiki
10-20-2011, 09:42 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lf4wrrpzdYc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Stumbled upon this video of Ilie Nasase playing Arthur Ashe. Saw Ilie play team tennis back in the day and was amazed by his athleticism and exceptional talent with a tennis racquet.

Enjoy! :)

As I said before, 1971 is a great year for tennis when you see peak Nastase, peak Smith, peak Newcombe, peak Kodes, peak Ashe and almost peak Laver and Rosewall sharing the big titles.The match you refeer to, even being played in 1972, is a part of this example.

Magic of tennis
10-20-2011, 03:41 PM
I am sure the most talented player should be either Federer or Sampras. Record tells fact

hoodjem
10-20-2011, 03:58 PM
Laver seemed complete in a way that only Federer can rival. Even with a relatively small frame, Rod's game seemed enormous for its lack of chinks. His power off the ground, command of spins/disguise, nice footspeed, etc. He must have been blessed with extreme talent. What sets him and other greats apart from the rest of those who were similarly blessed is, I believe, something inside of them which makes them want to work harder to distance themselves from the rest of their highly gifted peers. For every Laver or Federer, there are countless LeConte's, Safin's, and a few McEnroe's. I believe one must burn with an almost insatiable lust for glory to become a top five GOAT--talent alone is not enough. And for me, the greatest talent is also the one that attains for its owner the greatest glory as a tennis champion. So qualified is my definition of talent. Very simply, Laver or Federer. His feet know where the court is. His racquet knows where the ball is. His mind knows where his opponent is going.

Study Laver's "flow" here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

The display of talent here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvvKesuUgEU

NJ1
10-20-2011, 04:41 PM
The top modern era players would mop the floor with anyone pre-Sampras. Fitter and stronger. Mcenroe and his ilk obviously had excellent skills too, but things have changed as JMac himself will tell you.

Overall play, I'd say Federer. Sampras was not far behind. Nadal needs to win a few more majors but he's close too, though far less conventional than the aforementioned pair.

Magic of tennis
10-20-2011, 04:43 PM
The top modern era players would mop the floor with anyone pre-Sampras. Fitter and stronger. Mcenroe and his ilk obviously had excellent skills too, but things have changed as JMac himself will tell you.

Overall play, I'd say Federer. Sampras was not far behind. Nadal needs to win a few more majors but he's close too, though far less conventional than the aforementioned pair.

yes and yes

hawk eye
10-21-2011, 04:00 AM
Pete Sampras.
Most natural fluent game ever.

hawk eye
10-21-2011, 04:05 AM
No i'n no 15 year old wiseguy.
I've seen them play from Borg/ McEnroe/Connors on.

Laver was too early for me to see him play live.

TCTEN
10-21-2011, 05:38 AM
Most talented that I've seen.. Federer.

ricki
10-21-2011, 06:00 AM
SANTORO, no question

tennisjon
10-21-2011, 06:51 AM
I am sure the most talented player should be either Federer or Sampras. Record tells fact

Records don't speak of talent per se. Rios is just as or more talented, but didn't put it together. Greatest of all time, sure put Federer, Sampras, Laver in there. They are also supremely talented too. But to leave someone out like Rios (who Nick B. himself said was the most talented of all) just because he didn't amass majors and a long career, is just not understanding the difference between GOAT and most talented.

Limpinhitter
10-21-2011, 02:56 PM
Something's missing here!

pc1
10-21-2011, 03:10 PM
Some great talents who I think accomplished less than they should of for various reasons like injuries, temperment etc.

Nastase
Mecir
Hoad (He accomplished a lot but many who saw him felt he was the most gifted player ever.)
Leconte
Kovacs
Roche
Vijay Amritraj
Rios
Vines

Magic of tennis
10-21-2011, 03:25 PM
Some great talents who I think accomplished less than they should up for various reasons like injuries, temperment etc.

Nastase
Mecir
Hoad (He accomplished a lot but many who saw him felt he was the most gifted player ever.)
Leconte
Kovacs
Roche
Vijay Amritraj
Rios
Vines



I don't know anyone except Rios. It must be older generation

Magic of tennis
10-21-2011, 03:27 PM
Something's missing here!

agree with you

chrischris
10-22-2011, 02:38 AM
Pernfors was a funny player to watch when on. Same goes for Leconte.

Imo Federer, Sampras, Nastase , Mcenroe, Rios ,Laver, Edberg,Mecir stand out.