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View Full Version : Speed Demon King: Nadal, Borg or Chang?


theagassiman
04-10-2009, 01:56 AM
We all know Nadal's crazy footspeed, so excellently showcased in the AO final this year against Federer. His ability to get to balls that other players wouldn't even think of trying to get to is absolutely amazing as we all know.

And we mustn't forget Borg. He was the pioneer. The first real speed demon.
His running down of shots everyone else would have left was amazing, even compared to nowadays standards.

Yet for me, Chang was the most outstanding of the 3. I think this may be because he lacked the heavy topspin and variety that Borg and Nadal had, and just relied on footspeed alone. His calf muscles were famously huge for such a short guy, and his running ability was unmatched in his era.

So here we have three excellent competitors for the title of Speed Demon King, the fastest (in footspeed) player of all time.

And now it is up to you to choose who you think deserves the title of Speed Demon King and why.

cknobman
04-10-2009, 06:24 AM
Gotta go with Nadal on this one.

Nadal is playing in a generation of tennis where balls are consistently struck with amazing pace (something that was quite hard to do in Borgs day and not exactly common place in Chang's day).

I guarantee it takes more overall stamina and speed to run side to side today than in his competitors generations. Ive seen many Borg matches and there is a big difference running side to side trying to chase down groundstrokes that average 40-50 mph versus Nadal running down groundstrokes averaging 80-100 mph.

charliefedererer
04-10-2009, 07:20 AM
I thnk Chang may have been the fastest, but Borg and Nadal could produce better shots on the dead run. Borg was a temendous athlete and competitor, but Nadal produces the best shots from what should have been winners against him. I would have loved to see Borg as Nadal's contemporary with today's racquets and strings. I think he may have been able to beat Rafa, but it certainly would be incredible tennis.

msc886
04-10-2009, 07:27 AM
Chang. He did this on faster surfaces against serve and volleyers.

rooski
04-10-2009, 08:17 AM
Its hard to argue against Nadal...and I saw Borg and Chang play live many times during their hay day. Tomas Muster and the lesser known Mel Purcell were super fast too.

Cesc Fabregas
04-10-2009, 08:19 AM
Chang is proably the fastest but Nadal and Borg have better footwork and stamina not to mention they are damn quick as well.

gj011
04-10-2009, 08:22 AM
There should be no poll where Chang is compared in any way to Nadal and Borg. It is a travesty.

pc1
04-10-2009, 09:26 AM
There should be no poll where Chang is compared in any way to Nadal and Borg. It is a travesty.

As far as level of play, you're right but they are asking about speed so he can be compared.

I'll throw in some other names for speed, I understand Roy Emerson had world class speed, come to think about it Borg beat a high hurdles champion in a Superstars competition in Sweden. Anyway Emerson, Gerulaitis, Laver, Rosewall and Nastase were very fast. Johan Kriek was fast also.

In reading accounts of him I understand Frank Sedgman had amazing speed.

vtmike
04-10-2009, 09:29 AM
There should be no poll where Chang is compared in any way to Nadal and Borg. It is a travesty.

Interesting the polls show Chang is beating Nadal & Borg in the speed department...

deltox
04-10-2009, 09:43 AM
sadly this poll is about foot speed only, and the fastest person possibly ever on tour isnt on there.

pc1
04-10-2009, 09:43 AM
Interesting the polls show Chang is beating Nadal & Borg in the speed department...

I'm surprised too. Chang was very fast but a lot of people even think Lleyton Hewitt is faster than Chang at his best.

icestorm
04-10-2009, 10:13 AM
If we're talking about just plain speed, it's Chang. Close second is Nadal. If we're talking about footwork and best balance, I'd go with Nadal.

FlamEnemY
04-10-2009, 12:53 PM
I'm surprised too. Chang was very fast but a lot of people even think Lleyton Hewitt is faster than Chang at his best.
Yep. Have to include Hewitt.

grafselesfan
04-10-2009, 12:58 PM
Yep. Have to include Hewitt.

Hewitt is faster than Chang, and yet Nadal is faster than Hewitt. So that being said I am not sure how on earth Chang even makes the poll. Speed was his own biggest attribute and he was the fastest player of his own time, but all time he isnt even in the top 10. On top of that he only moves that great on hard courts, on grass or clay his movement is excellent still but not amazing and not anywhere near Nadal for example.

deltox
04-10-2009, 01:01 PM
in terms or pure foot speed, monfils is a long way ahead of 99% of the players considered fast.

thalivest
04-10-2009, 02:04 PM
Hewitt is faster than Chang, and yet Nadal is faster than Hewitt. So that being said I am not sure how on earth Chang even makes the poll. Speed was his own biggest attribute and he was the fastest player of his own time, but all time he isnt even in the top 10. On top of that he only moves that great on hard courts, on grass or clay his movement is excellent still but not amazing and not anywhere near Nadal for example.

I agree. What a joke Chang having 5 times the # of votes as Borg.

canuckfan
04-10-2009, 02:17 PM
This poll is NOT about who is the better player. It is about pure speed and tennis speed (2 related but distinct things). Chang was a beast in the speed department, against flatter hitters and on faster courts. Nadal and Borg are greater players with bigger weapons, but it is unclear if they are/were faster than Chang.

egn
04-10-2009, 02:26 PM
in terms or pure foot speed, monfils is a long way ahead of 99% of the players considered fast.

Yea seriously Monfils outruns the whole tennis community. Monfils is just a runner...I am still not sure why he did not try a track career instead of tennis, but man if Monfils focused on a power game and worked a bit on footwork with his speed and strength he could be top 5 easily.

JediMindTrick
04-10-2009, 03:27 PM
How about Federer?

Sephiroth619
04-10-2009, 03:41 PM
Was Chang really that fast? I've watched a few youtube videos and the players back then seem ridiculously slow compared to today's tennis players. Chang looked very slow in that 89 FO.

T1000
04-10-2009, 03:41 PM
Hewitt is WAY faster than chang

Winners or Errors
04-10-2009, 03:42 PM
As I recall, players often used to hit approaches straight down the middle against Borg, so he wouldn't get the passing angle when he easily ran them down. I've never seen anyone have to employ that tactic against either Nadal or Change, though perhaps it would work with Nadal.

callitout
04-10-2009, 04:40 PM
Borg raced a motorized chariot and won. He wrestled alligators with hands tied behind his back...the guy was amazing. Nadal plays the waterdown modern field in which guys dont train as hard as they did.
Oh I forgot Borg's pulse 30.

Mick
04-10-2009, 05:34 PM
chang had the speed but when he got to the ball, he did not have the ability to strike/re-direct the ball like Borg and Nadal could. thus, great speed alone is not enough to reach the very top in tennis.

egn
04-10-2009, 05:48 PM
Oh I forgot Borg's pulse 30.

Another reason Borg might as well have been considered an alien.

The-Champ
04-10-2009, 08:36 PM
Q. Can you compare him to other players in terms of his quickness?


ANDRE AGASSI: You know, there's so many different ways to assess speed. You got guys that are tremendously fast, but they only use their speed defensively, then you really don't care about how fast they are because they're only going to have to run more. You got other guys that can use their speed offensively, but if you get them on the defense they can't hurt you on the stretch, so you can take a point over early and they can be fast but never turn a point around. Nadal has the ability to run as fast as the best of 'em, but on the stretch actually hurt you. You know, he can transition those points into offense. That makes you sort of walk on egg shells. He draws out errors that I think normally you wouldn't make against any other player, which is a credit to the way he plays the game.

http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=39