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Xuxa Kuerten
05-21-2009, 08:42 PM
Hello. Spaniard Sergi Bruguera, RG champion in 1993 and 1994, talked today here in São Paulo about his countryman, Rafael Nadal. He's one of the seniors players that are competing in ATP Champions Tour. Among other things, he said about Rafa's performance on clay (my translation):

– Nowadays Rafa is really the best. I don't see opponents that are good enough to beat him in slow courts.

– When asked if Nadal would have the same success had he played during Bruguera's age, he said that Rafa would be one of the best, but wouldn't win as easy as he does currently. Against Guga, for instance, he would win one match, then lose another, and so on. It would always be a tough match.

– When asked if would he had a chance against Rafa, he jokingly said: "I feel worthwhile" (I'm sorry, that's the best expression I've found, I don't know if it's the most correct). He then said tha probably Rafa would win more matches, but he for sure had the capacity of defeating him once in a while.



That's the interview in portuguese: http://revistatenis.uol.com.br/Edicoes/0/eu-me-garantiria-contra-nadal-afirma-bruguera-sobre-hipotetico-confronto-139233-1.asp

TheTruth
05-21-2009, 09:53 PM
Nice article. We hadn't heard from Brugera. Very interesting!

Blinkism
05-21-2009, 09:59 PM
I think Nadal would be top clay-courter at any given point for clay courters from the late 80's to today. Doubtful that he'd get 4 FO titles in a row, but he'd still be chasing records on clay.

Now, if he was playing in the 70's and early 80's with Vilas and Borg, that'd be a different story.

Good to hear Brugera's opinion on current tennis, though. I wonder what Kuerten, Medvedev, Gomez, and Chang think?

BreakPoint
05-21-2009, 10:16 PM
Now, if he was playing in the 70's and early 80's with Vilas and Borg, that'd be a different story.

Agreed. Can you imagine Nadal trying to beat Borg or Vilas with a wood racquet? He'd be shanking every other ball with that reverse vertical lasso forehand of his. :shock:

Blinkism
05-21-2009, 10:22 PM
Agreed. Can you imagine Nadal trying to beat Borg or Vilas with a wood racquet? He'd be shanking every other ball with that reverse vertical lasso forehand of his. :shock:

Haha, I wouldn't take it that far. What I meant is that he'd probably be in a fierce rivalry with them, instead of being the top guy.

Shanking every ball? Lol!!

BobFL
05-21-2009, 10:26 PM
Agreed. Can you imagine Nadal trying to beat Borg or Vilas with a wood racquet? He'd be shanking every other ball with that reverse vertical lasso forehand of his. :shock:

You are not serious with this, are you?

BreakPoint
05-21-2009, 10:43 PM
You are not serious with this, are you?
There's a good reason why people refer to the reverse forehand as the "modern forehand".


Nadal does it pretty well with his modern 100 sq. in., 11 oz. racquet strung with poly. I'd like to see him try it with a 65 sq. in., 14 oz. wood racquet with zero power.

nfor304
05-21-2009, 10:49 PM
Its amazing, and pretty lucky, how 2 of the best claycourters from the years just before Rafas, Ferrero and Coria, just lost all their form all of a sudden and basically disappeared from the top.

matchmaker
05-21-2009, 11:34 PM
There's a good reason why people refer to the reverse forehand as the "modern forehand".


Nadal does it pretty well with his modern 100 sq. in., 11 oz. racquet strung with poly. I'd like to see him try it with a 65 sq. in., 14 oz. wood racquet with zero power.

I am sure Nadal could play with any racquet in any era. Nadal is a freak of nature, especially because of his competitive attitude. He would probably have played just like Borg, had he played in that era.

Dilettante
05-21-2009, 11:39 PM
There's a good reason why people refer to the reverse forehand as the "modern forehand".

Nadal does it pretty well with his modern 100 sq. in., 11 oz. racquet strung with poly. I'd like to see him try it with a 65 sq. in., 14 oz. wood racquet with zero power.

You need to chill out about Nadal. Seriously. You could end having paranoid thoughts like "Uncle Toni is in my closet and he's watching me while I sleep!!"

Datacipher
05-22-2009, 01:25 AM
I would pick Nadal as, at least, a slight favorite against any of the greatest clay courters in history, but I also have no doubt, that Guga and Bruguera would win some matches from him. Guga's had shotmaking beyond any of the 3 and Bruguera is the one guy who could match topspin with Nadal. Would be quite a battle.

BreakPoint
05-22-2009, 02:08 AM
I am sure Nadal could play with any racquet in any era. Nadal is a freak of nature, especially because of his competitive attitude. He would probably have played just like Borg, had he played in that era.
We never heard a peep out of Borg when he hit the ball.

Dilettante
05-22-2009, 02:12 AM
We never heard a peep out of Borg when he hit the ball.

Great reasoning, as always.





..in case you don't get it: just irony.

Cyan
05-22-2009, 05:00 AM
With a prime young Sampras around, or a prime young McEnroe around, Fed would not be winning any Wimbledons or USOs either... Duh.

sureshs
05-22-2009, 05:37 AM
Agreed. Can you imagine Nadal trying to beat Borg or Vilas with a wood racquet? He'd be shanking every other ball with that reverse vertical lasso forehand of his. :shock:

Why do you assume he would have played then as he plays today?

GameSampras
05-22-2009, 10:53 AM
Prime Bruguera would give Nadal a crapload of fits on clay. There isnt a player who today who can touch Bruguera on clay outside of Rafa. Djoker is close but not quite

l_gonzalez
05-22-2009, 11:00 AM
Why do you assume he would have played then as he plays today?

Exactly. It's a completely pointless argument. Had Nadal grown up around that time his technique wouldn't be what it is today.

ksbh
05-22-2009, 11:05 AM
Spot on, Cyan!

With a prime young Sampras around, or a prime young McEnroe around, Fed would not be winning any Wimbledons or USOs either... Duh.

mandy01
05-22-2009, 11:08 AM
With a prime young Sampras around, or a prime young McEnroe around, Fed would not be winning any Wimbledons or USOs either... Duh.
Class A bullsh*t..coulda,woulda,shoulda..yeah right :roll:

bolo
05-22-2009, 11:23 AM
You need to chill out about Nadal. Seriously. You could end having paranoid thoughts like "Uncle Toni is in my closet and he's watching me while I sleep!!"

lol. 10 char.

JohnS
05-22-2009, 11:47 AM
I like how this conversation quickly turned into a Nadal-Fed thread by line 14. :)

35ft6
05-22-2009, 11:53 AM
Prime Bruguera would give Nadal a crapload of fits on clay. There isnt a player who today who can touch Bruguera on clay outside of Rafa. Djoker is close but not quiteHe won the French in 93 and 94, lets see who he lost to on clay during those years:

1993
- Muster
- Haarhuis (on everybody's list of great clay court players of the 90's)
- Berasetegui
- Jim Courier
- Stefan Edberg
- Medvedev
- Haarhuis again
- Mark Koevermans (who is this guy?)

1994
- Franco Davin (?)
- Michael Stich
- Thomas Muster
- Medvedev
- Richard Kraijeck
- Albert Costa (he retired)

Come on, he's not even in the same league as Nadal. Yes, he is definitely one of the best clay courters of past 20 years, but that's still a bit away from Rafa. By the way, he was 3-12 against lefty Muster.

35ft6
05-22-2009, 11:59 AM
Exactly. It's a completely pointless argument. Had Nadal grown up around that time his technique wouldn't be what it is today.Which is basically what the guys who love the old guys say about, for example, Borg, that if he played today his technique would be different but he would still have championship qualities. Fair enough, but yeah, I notice it never works both ways. Their favorites would adapt, but the guys of today like Nadal, no way their attributes could translate favorably to the game of the 70's.

fednad
05-22-2009, 12:13 PM
Agreed. Can you imagine Nadal trying to beat Borg or Vilas with a wood racquet? He'd be shanking every other ball with that reverse vertical lasso forehand of his. :shock:

What i can imagine is that nadal plays borg - 159 shots rally and then nadal takes 78 seconds between the points to serve.
Every match scheduled for saturday and would finish on sunday

BreakPoint
05-22-2009, 12:21 PM
Why do you assume he would have played then as he plays today?
Because how he plays now is the reason why he wins.

BreakPoint
05-22-2009, 12:23 PM
Exactly. It's a completely pointless argument. Had Nadal grown up around that time his technique wouldn't be what it is today.
And, thus, he wouldn't be nearly as dominant. It's the way he hits the ball today that has won him so many matches.

matchmaker
05-22-2009, 12:30 PM
Which is basically what the guys who love the old guys say about, for example, Borg, that if he played today his technique would be different but he would still have championship qualities. Fair enough, but yeah, I notice it never works both ways. Their favorites would adapt, but the guys of today like Nadal, no way their attributes could translate favorably to the game of the 70's.

And, thus, he wouldn't be nearly as dominant. It's the way he hits the ball today that has won him so many matches.

An illustration of the aforementioned theory by 35ft6...

I think that both a prime Borg now and Nadal back then would do very good in any field.

They have a competitive spirit if they grew up in any age they would find a way to master the then technique and playing style.

If I am sure of anything concerning Rafael Nadal, it's that he wins most matches despite the way he hits the ball.

He wins because of metal strength.

Gorecki
05-22-2009, 12:33 PM
i see.. Bruguera is a Nadal Hater....

wait until Nadatards find about this thread....


ps: OH wait.. Delirante and Bolinhol already did...

P_Agony
05-22-2009, 02:45 PM
With a prime young Sampras around, or a prime young McEnroe around, Fed would not be winning any Wimbledons or USOs either... Duh.

Well, with a prime, young, Federer around, Nadal would not be winning any Wimbledons or AOs either...
Duh.

Dilettante
05-22-2009, 03:00 PM
Which is basically what the guys who love the old guys say about, for example, Borg, that if he played today his technique would be different but he would still have championship qualities. Fair enough, but yeah, I notice it never works both ways. Their favorites would adapt, but the guys of today like Nadal, no way their attributes could translate favorably to the game of the 70's.

Yes, it's always like that.

bluegrasser
05-22-2009, 03:07 PM
I would pick Nadal as, at least, a slight favorite against any of the greatest clay courters in history, but I also have no doubt, that Guga and Bruguera would win some matches from him. Guga's had shotmaking beyond any of the 3 and Bruguera is the one guy who could match topspin with Nadal. Would be quite a battle.

In BP's defense , Nadal would have to change his strokes, no question about that. Playing with wood is a whole different ball game + a racquet face that's 40% smaller. He couldn't hit those same shots with a wood stick - trust me on that.

Dilettante
05-22-2009, 03:15 PM
In BP's defense , Nadal would have to change his strokes, no question about that. Playing with wood is a whole different ball game + a racquet face that's 40% smaller. He couldn't hit those same shots with a wood stick - trust me on that.

On the other hand, if old claycourters played today, they would've to change their games also. You can't go out with wooden racquet techiques (even holding a modern racquet) against today's players or you would've crushed. It takes a life to develop a successful tennis style adapted to your time. What makes you guys think that old players could be so successful with new material against people who were born and grew up with that material.

To compare different era's players in terms of "who would win" is very difficult. But I don't get the usual theory on these boards that says: older player would win. That doesn't happen in any sport.

bluegrasser
05-22-2009, 03:28 PM
On the other hand, if old claycourters played today, they would've to change their games also. You can't go out with wooden racquet techiques (even holding a modern racquet) against today's players or you would've crushed. It takes a life to develop a successful tennis style adapted to your time. What makes you guys think that old players could be so successful with new material against people who were born and grew up with that material.

To compare different era's players in terms of "who would win" is very difficult. But I don't get the usual theory on these boards that says: older player would win. That doesn't happen in any sport.

Uh..yes, but that's not what WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ! - I could be wrong, but I smell ' Nationalism"- another ' Nadal is God! " thread..geesh ! & the way you talk about " you old guys" like anybody over 40 is irrelevant ( is that a word?) Just keep voting *Yes* for euthanasia (s?) & soon you'll be rid of all us *old* guys - only a matter of time.:)

Dilettante
05-22-2009, 03:38 PM
I could be wrong, but I smell ' Nationalism"- another ' Nadal is God! " thread.

WTF

Sergi Bruguera is a Spaniard too, mate. So is, for example, JCF, who is Spanish and whose game I like MORE than Nadal's. But it happens that Nadal's game is just better. Nationalism my @ss.

I'm just saying that sports evolve for better, and being difficult to compare between eras, there's no actual reason to think that players from older eras are intrinsically superior. If something, it would be just the contrary.

You call it "nationalism", I call it "evolution".

boris becker 1
05-22-2009, 03:45 PM
Bruguera doesnt hate him at all. He isnt jealous of his sucess either. Bruguera won 2 of them and should have won a third as well.

As for calling a Catalan(Bruguera,Nadal,Costa,Ferrer,Corretja) spanish they dont like that too much.

boris becker 1
05-22-2009, 03:46 PM
and Bruguera in his prime would have challenged Nadal in best of 5 on clay. I think Bruguera was fitter than Nadal is now for a start

boris becker 1
05-22-2009, 03:48 PM
and nadal against the in the prime Becker even on this grass Becker would win

bluegrasser
05-22-2009, 03:51 PM
WTF

Sergi Bruguera is a Spaniard too, mate. So is, for example, JCF, who is Spanish and whose game I like MORE than Nadal's. But it happens that Nadal's game is just better. Nationalism my @ss.

I'm just saying that sports evolve for better, and being difficult to compare between eras, there's no actual reason to think that players from older eras are intrinsically superior. If something, it would be just the contrary.

You call it "nationalism", I call it "evolution".

Evolution...true, the game if different, no question, but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, & today's game( IMO) in most cases is boring, at least to this cat. I've never said nor breakpoint that players from the wooden era are superior, just that Nadal would have a difficult time playing with wood frames the way he strokes the ball. Choose your poison I guess...

Dilettante
05-22-2009, 04:12 PM
As for calling a Catalan(Bruguera,Nadal,Costa,Ferrer,Corretja) spanish they dont like that too much.

Oh no, not that Catalan Vs. Spanish nationalist thing again.

OK, it's not like I care much but I'll explain to you: Sergi's father was captain of Spanish Davis Cup team and Bruguera himself played for Spain.

The same for Costa and Bruguera. Can't tell about Costa political feelings, but Corretja is a Spanish TV commentator and he is far from being a Catalan nationalist or anything like that (he always roots for Spanish players but in a calm and elegant way, being very respectful to rivals). You can say exactly the same for Emilio Sanchez-Vicario. Maybe other Catalan players have nationalistic feelings, I don't know and I really can't think of anyone. If some Catalan player has those feelings, he didn't say anything a-la-Murray.

On a side note, Nadal is not Catalan, he's Majorcan, and he carried the Spanish flag sometimes: when he won Wimbledon, for instance.

Ferrer is not Catalan either, he's from Valencian Autonomous Community -just like me- and you can tell most Valencians aren't that happy if called "Catalans". Just like that Clint Eastwood's movie where everyone asked him "you're from Texas, right?" and he was always ****ed and saying "I'm from Arizona!"

But don't want to start a political/geographic talk here, that would be very boring. There's another subforum for such a matter. We could go there if you want to go on with the subject and get some information.

One of the best things about tennis in Spain is that, unlike football (soccer) the political/nationalistic stuff has nothing to do with this sport and no one in Spanish tennis gives a f**k about that. Football teams use politics to get supporters, as it unfortunately happens often in Europe, but Spanish Tennis is a far more intelligent, sportsman and educated world than the depressing Football world and more depressing Football journalists.

So let's keep it that way, please.

Thank you.

thalivest
05-22-2009, 04:15 PM
He won the French in 93 and 94, lets see who he lost to on clay during those years:

1993
- Muster
- Haarhuis (on everybody's list of great clay court players of the 90's)
- Berasetegui
- Jim Courier
- Stefan Edberg
- Medvedev
- Haarhuis again
- Mark Koevermans (who is this guy?)

1994
- Franco Davin (?)
- Michael Stich
- Thomas Muster
- Medvedev
- Richard Kraijeck
- Albert Costa (he retired)

Come on, he's not even in the same league as Nadal. Yes, he is definitely one of the best clay courters of past 20 years, but that's still a bit away from Rafa. By the way, he was 3-12 against lefty Muster.

Yeah I agree. The only 90s players superior on clay to Federer or Djokovic today are 95-96 Muster and 91-93 Courier. I would take either Federer or Djokovic over Bruguera anyday.

Dilettante
05-22-2009, 04:16 PM
Evolution...true, the game if different, no question, but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, & today's game( IMO) in most cases is boring, at least to this cat.

Oh, I can't argue with that. If you find modern game "boring", it's up to you, and I totally respect that opinion. A game being aesthetically better is just a matter of taste, so can't really say nothing against that. Perfect to me.

I've never said nor breakpoint that players from the wooden era are superior, just that Nadal would have a difficult time playing with wood frames the way he strokes the ball. Choose your poison I guess...

I think it works both ways, that's why I find so har to compare players from different eras. But yes, choose your poison...

Nadal_Freak
05-22-2009, 04:20 PM
Nadal is strong and fit as anyone back in the day. I'm sure he would have no problem learning to hit flatter as that would be the only style that he would know of. Breakpoint hijacking another thread with his junk once again.

Pirao
05-22-2009, 04:24 PM
As for calling a Catalan(Bruguera,Nadal,Costa,Ferrer,Corretja) spanish they dont like that too much.

I suggest you don't talk about things you obviously have no clue about ;).

kraggy
05-22-2009, 04:44 PM
Yet another hater post by a Brugeratard.

Nadal_Freak
05-22-2009, 04:46 PM
Bruguera is a Gugatard. lol

Xuxa Kuerten
05-22-2009, 09:20 PM
Uh..yes, but that's not what WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ! - I could be wrong, but I smell ' Nationalism"- another ' Nadal is God! " thread..geesh ! & the way you talk about " you old guys" like anybody over 40 is irrelevant ( is that a word?) Just keep voting *Yes* for euthanasia (s?) & soon you'll be rid of all us *old* guys - only a matter of time.:)

I don't know if you're referring particularly to Dilettante, to anyone else or to me. I've created this thread with absolutely no intention of putting any player on "god mode". I thought that the fans would think that was interesting to read the opinions of a RG champion, specialy because the interview was given to the brazilian press (so it's not available to everyone, as almost anyone here reads portuguese). And this is not a "nationalist" thread, for obvious reasons.

Xuxa Kuerten
05-22-2009, 09:30 PM
Yeah I agree. The only 90s players superior on clay to Federer or Djokovic today are 95-96 Muster and 91-93 Courier. I would take either Federer or Djokovic over Bruguera anyday.

If you're talking about matchups (and not results alone), young Kuerten and Medvedev were players talented enough to defeat Roger and Novak (but obviously he may still improve). Medvedev was like a mental midget version on clay of Ivanisevic on grass. He was one of those few guys that seemed unbeatable on a given day. Unfortunately he never lived up to the expectations.

thalivest
05-22-2009, 09:32 PM
If you're talking about matchups (and not results alone), young Kuerten and Medvedev were players talented enough to defeat Roger and Novak (but obviously he may still improve). Medvedev was like a mental midget version on clay of Ivanisevic on grass. He was one of those few guys that seemed unbeatable on a given day. Unfortunately he never lived up to the expectations.

Well like you said Medvedev was a mental midget. Talent wise he could atleast beat Federer or Djokovic on clay but I doubt he would have often if ever for the reasons you said. Even in his prime he underperformed at the French (as well as other slams) with high expectations. Then the way he threw away that 1999 final to Agassi, gifted on a silver platter pretty much after badly outclassing him for 2 and a half sets, pretty much typified his career. The earlier the round or the less important the match, the better chance he would have of an upset. He seemed to perform best when he felt no pressure (eg- the 99 French Open quarters).

2004 Kuerten after hip surgery had an big upset in lopsided fashion to boot over Federer at the French, so of course 1997 Kuerten which was still better than 2004 would have some shot. One does not to keep context though the 2004 result was a huge upset at that point in time though, if the same match was played 10 times on clay between them in 2004 the result is probably only that way 1 time out of 10. 1997 Kuerten of course would have an even bigger likelihood than 2004, but the 1999-2001 Kuerten is the one I would heavily favor over Federer or Djokovic on clay and who could challenge Nadal on clay. 1997 was very good, but not the same as 1999-2001, although still very dangerous of course.

Xuxa Kuerten
05-22-2009, 10:11 PM
Well like you said Medvedev was a mental midget. Talent wise he could atleast beat Federer or Djokovic on clay but I doubt he would have often if ever for the reasons you said. Even in his prime he underperformed at the French (as well as other slams) with high expectations. Then the way he threw away that 1999 final to Agassi, gifted on a silver platter pretty much after badly outclassing him for 2 and a half sets, pretty much typified his career. The earlier the round or the less important the match, the better chance he would have of an upset. He seemed to perform best when he felt no pressure (eg- the 99 French Open quarters).

2004 Kuerten after hip surgery had an big upset in lopsided fashion to boot over Federer at the French, so of course 1997 Kuerten which was still better than 2004 would have some shot. One does not to keep context though the 2004 result was a huge upset at that point in time though, if the same match was played 10 times on clay between them in 2004 the result is probably only that way 1 time out of 10. 1997 Kuerten of course would have an even bigger likelihood than 2004, but the 1999-2001 Kuerten is the one I would heavily favor over Federer or Djokovic on clay and who could challenge Nadal on clay. 1997 was very good, but not the same as 1999-2001, although still very dangerous of course.

I agree with everything you've said. I just don't know if Roger would win most of the hipothetical matches versus Guga in 2004 because I honestly think he actually didn't play bad at all that day. Kuerten wasn't that spectacular either, but was able to impose his agressive game despite his very poor conditions. The thing is that at that point the brazilian needed to win his matches in three sets or he would most probably lose it in five. So I guess that had they met again, Roger would need to find a way to tire Guga (specialy by using crosscourt forehands), and maybe to serve and volley more often. Even on those conditions, I guess the match would still be tough. 2006, 2007 versions of Federer would have the edge against 2004 Kuerten, I think.

About Medvedev, he was outstanding on those QF and SF and even during the first half of the final. Everything Kuerten, Meligeni (who was playing the best tennis of his life) and Agassi threw at him, he returned it better, with more pace, angled or deeper that usual. After that final match, he simply dissapeared (I guess he was 23, 24) and retired 2 years later. What a shame.

BreakPoint
05-22-2009, 10:12 PM
On the other hand, if old claycourters played today, they would've to change their games also. You can't go out with wooden racquet techiques (even holding a modern racquet) against today's players or you would've crushed. It takes a life to develop a successful tennis style adapted to your time. What makes you guys think that old players could be so successful with new material against people who were born and grew up with that material.

To compare different era's players in terms of "who would win" is very difficult. But I don't get the usual theory on these boards that says: older player would win. That doesn't happen in any sport.
It is universally accepted that wood racquets were MUCH, MUCH harder to play with than today's modern racquets. If that were not the case, everyone would be still playing with wood racquets.

Dilettante
05-22-2009, 11:16 PM
It is universally accepted that wood racquets were MUCH, MUCH harder to play with than today's modern racquets. If that were not the case, everyone would be still playing with wood racquets.

Your assumption:

Wood racquets are harder to play with ---> ergo wood era players were better

...is a total phallacy.

There are two facts that could perfectly co-exist: (1) wood racquets were harder to play AND (2) modern players are more trained and complete.

The first fact doesn't refuse the second, so your whole point relies on absolutely nothing here because it's based on a fallacious premise.

You're welcome.

tacou
05-22-2009, 11:22 PM
There's a good reason why people refer to the reverse forehand as the "modern forehand".


Nadal does it pretty well with his modern 100 sq. in., 11 oz. racquet strung with poly. I'd like to see him try it with a 65 sq. in., 14 oz. wood racquet with zero power.

I doubt he'd have a stroke like that had he been brought up during the era of wood rackets.

BreakPoint
05-23-2009, 12:41 AM
I doubt he'd have a stroke like that had he been brought up during the era of wood rackets.
I agree. That's why I don't think he would be as good. He'd probably hit the ball pretty much like everyone else.

BreakPoint
05-23-2009, 12:51 AM
Your assumption:

Wood racquets are harder to play with ---> ergo wood era players were better
I never said wood era players were better. In fact, I said the opposite.
Due to the advances in modern racquets. strings, nutrition, conditioning, training, etc., EVERYONE is better today than they were 30 years ago. However, that doesn't mean that the top pros back then didn't have any competition. Today, the #1 player is still better than the #100 player, and it was the same back then.

I'm saying Nadal would not be able to play the same way he does today with a wood racquet. And if he can't play the same way, then he's no longer Nadal, is he? Would he be as dominant a player without his massive topspin and power but as a serve and volleyer?

...is a total phallacy.

Does that only apply to men? :oops:

tennisplaya
05-23-2009, 01:25 AM
Bruguera beat Federer 6-1 6-1 on clay. So we now for sure that he would eat Federer up in that match up.It's harder to judge how he would do against guys he has never played against.

bluegrasser
05-23-2009, 07:41 AM
I don't know if you're referring particularly to Dilettante, to anyone else or to me. I've created this thread with absolutely no intention of putting any player on "god mode". I thought that the fans would think that was interesting to read the opinions of a RG champion, specialy because the interview was given to the brazilian press (so it's not available to everyone, as almost anyone here reads portuguese). And this is not a "nationalist" thread, for obvious reasons.

Calm down - My post was between " Dilettante" and myself & it came to a quiet resolution.

Xuxa Kuerten
05-23-2009, 07:56 AM
Calm down - My post was between " Dilettante" and myself & it came to a quiet resolution.

Ok, no problem, I didn't mean to be rude. Tks for your clarification.

!Tym
05-29-2009, 08:16 PM
There's a good reason why people refer to the reverse forehand as the "modern forehand".


Nadal does it pretty well with his modern 100 sq. in., 11 oz. racquet strung with poly. I'd like to see him try it with a 65 sq. in., 14 oz. wood racquet with zero power.

It's not really a fair comparison though. That's why it's not fair to compare intergenerations. If Rafa grew up in Borg's time, for one very big thing, you can't just assume he'd be shanking you very much left and right, because for one thing, he wouldn't even be playing the same way. If he grew up in the wood era, there is NO WAY he would be playing with the techinque he did. Just like EVERYONE ELSE, he would have adapted to what he was using. Borg if he grew up now, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have developed a different, more radical/extreme hitting technique. You use what the technology of your day lets you get away with. If the pros back then had access to Luxilon and grew up using polys, they would have ENGRAINED different mindsets, meaning they would swing out more fearlessly more often knowing that they could get away with it, they would no longer have to feel timid about it.

To me, the elite talents of every generation should and would always be able to be competitive with each other. You don't compare stroking techniques, because that changes with the eras and trends. The only thing you can FAIRLY compare are NATURAL ability and talent. Even athleticism is a dodgy thing. Look around the world today, athletes look "jacked" and "shredded" more than ever...and yet way back when you didn't see ANY athletes look like that. Whether that's because of steroids or legal OTC supplements (pretty much the same thing these days) or improved knowledge of the human body, or whatever, it's still NOT relative.

It's like saying all swimmers in the steroids era are better athletes than swimmers in the pre-steroids era, and it's simply not true. It's just the best of your era, those are your elite NATURAL abilities. There are a top handful every era, and the LEVEL of NATURAL *born* talent does not magically genetically increase every era.

sh@de
05-29-2009, 08:24 PM
It's not really a fair comparison though. That's why it's not fair to compare intergenerations. If Rafa grew up in Borg's time, for one very big thing, you can't just assume he'd be shanking you very much left and right, because for one thing, he wouldn't even be playing the same way. If he grew up in the wood era, there is NO WAY he would be playing with the techinque he did. Just like EVERYONE ELSE, he would have adapted to what he was using. Borg if he grew up now, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have developed a different, more radical/extreme hitting technique. You use what the technology of your day lets you get away with. If the pros back then had access to Luxilon and grew up using polys, they would have ENGRAINED different mindsets, meaning they would swing out more fearlessly more often knowing that they could get away with it, they would no longer have to feel timid about it.

To me, the elite talents of every generation should and would always be able to be competitive with each other. You don't compare stroking techniques, because that changes with the eras and trends. The only thing you can FAIRLY compare are NATURAL ability and talent. Even athleticism is a dodgy thing. Look around the world today, athletes look "jacked" and "shredded" more than ever...and yet way back when you didn't see ANY athletes look like that. Whether that's because of steroids or legal OTC supplements (pretty much the same thing these days) or improved knowledge of the human body, or whatever, it's still NOT relative.

It's like saying all swimmers in the steroids era are better athletes than swimmers in the pre-steroids era, and it's simply not true. It's just the best of your era, those are your elite NATURAL abilities. There are a top handful every era, and the LEVEL of NATURAL *born* talent does not magically genetically increase every era.

Exactly. I agree with this post. You can't just assume Nadal would be crap if he played with wood racquets. There's no point arguing about it because it's impossible to know, and more importantly, there's not really any point in knowing. Nobody's going to move back to wood racquets.

!Tym
05-29-2009, 09:08 PM
He won the French in 93 and 94, lets see who he lost to on clay during those years:

1993
- Muster
- Haarhuis (on everybody's list of great clay court players of the 90's)
- Berasetegui
- Jim Courier
- Stefan Edberg
- Medvedev
- Haarhuis again
- Mark Koevermans (who is this guy?)

1994
- Franco Davin (?)
- Michael Stich
- Thomas Muster
- Medvedev
- Richard Kraijeck
- Albert Costa (he retired)

Come on, he's not even in the same league as Nadal. Yes, he is definitely one of the best clay courters of past 20 years, but that's still a bit away from Rafa. By the way, he was 3-12 against lefty Muster.

I think you're not factoring in something about Bruguera though. He lost Medvedev everywhere else on clay, but when it mattered most at the French, he absolutely OBLITERED Medvedev to shreds two years in a row.

It was once written of Bruguera that he seemed to only give it his all at the French, that much of the time it seemed like he couldn't be bothered. Bruguera is a guy who used to purposely tank matches to spite his dad on tour when they had arguments. A guy who at the 92 Olympics in his own country, lost early when he shouldn't have on clay. There was an article on it, because the Tennis Magazine reporter spotted George Steinbrenner there watching the match. He decided to ask him for an interview on the spot, and he agreed. Steinbrenner during the match went on a rant on Bruguera. In the beginning, he was saying, wow, who is this guy? This guy's great...then by the end, he was saying, I can't stand a quiter. I can't stand guys like this. By the end, Bruguera was tanking it and looking like he wasn't even trying anymore....

That's how Bruguera was. He's right when he says, SOMETIMES. Because that's what he was. A SOMETIMES player. As one tour insider told me, "ALWAYS half-azzed, sometimes motivated, sometimes not." As Patrick McEnroe said of him during the Lipton, either a GREAT competitor...or let's just say a guy who doesn't always look like he's giving it his all out there.

Bruguera-Muster, Bruguera was owned not in talent, but because Muster simply WANTED it more than him and was in better shape than him. If you saw the first set of the Muster-Bruugera Lipton you would see that it's not that Bruguera didn't have the game or talent to beat Muster, it was that he didn't have the MENTAL fortitude nor fitness to beat him.

At the French, however? We don't know. We never saw prime Bruguera vs. prime Muster at the French. You would be foolish to assume however that the Bruguera that capitulated so readily against Muster elsewhere would have done so at the French when confident.

A lot of guys could touch Brugera on clay when he decided to lolly-gag and KIND of give it his all. When he decided to lay it all on the line though, guys like Berasategui and Medvedev ABSOLUTELY could NOT keep pace with the guy. At full speed, he LAPPED these guys on the dirt, and they could literally barely even win POINTS.

He had two speeds. He's a guy who you don't count on to show up day in day out, he's completely unreliable, but in a match where your life is on the line, one match only, he's the kind of guy you would pick.

There are two types of mentally tough players. There are the Hewitt, Chang, Muster, Nadal archetypes/"types", who ALWAYS give it 110% and indeed this is a HUGE part of their success because it intimidates other players into submission so prematurely, so frequently.

Then...there are guys like Bruguera, Stich, Krajicek, Pioline, Philipoussis, Rios, etc. who on any given day you're not really surprised if they beat anyone or lose to anyone. They're wild card players. In fighting, they are the guys people would say have no chance based on his last two, three fights. Then he'll Vitor Belfort you in the next, and people will exclaim, he's BACK! I always believed in ya! and jump back on the bandwagon.

In every sport, there are the guys who SOMETIMES show up and look like world beaters (like an Isiah Rider) and there are the guys who ALWAYS are gonna show up rain, sleet, or slow, dislocated finger, or no...like a Kobe Bryant or a Larry Bird.

...but on any given day.

That's all it is. On any given day, when you're talking guys like Bruguera and Krajicek and Stich, who have that "type" of mindset, they can trounce you.

The problem with guys like this is that they RELY on this inherently unreliable mindset. Look at Bruguera's attitude, it says it all. It reflects on him even now, his NATURAL character and mindset.

Once again, it's the well if I show up, it'll be a different story type of mindset. That was Kafelnikov's mindset. Remember his infamous quote about, EVERYBODY knows that you don't want to be facing Yevgeny Kafelnikov when I'm playing well...

Ooooh, big threat. It's an EMPTY threat. Because the problem with guys like this, is to truly fulfill your potential, you can't have the mindset that I can turn it on or off when I want, like a light switch.

Alberto Costa was the exact opposite "type." He was a VERY good, and yet still CLEARLY just one notch below the best, whether that be next to Bruguera, Muster, Guga, Ferrero, etc. This is a guy who got shots at all of these guys basically. He's an intergenerational player if there ever was one. And get this he was able to beat ALL of these guys before, yet does ANYONE really think he was better than ANY of these guys at their BEST?

No, of course, not, absolutely not. He is what he is. A consumate very good but not quite elite talent who will beat you if you don't *quite* show up. He was the Michael Chang of clay in other words. The consumate TRIER archethype.

The thing with Nadal is that he has elite talent WITH the trier archetype, and when you combine those two attributes, you have a recipe for a GOAT level candidate.

I don't think Bruguera's comments were that off-base. At his best, he was an impressive specimen too. He played pro soccer after he retired, despite having no formal experience and his body not being what it used to be. He couldn't have been that bad an athlete. He was VERY fast during his prime, people may not remember it now, but when he was fully motivated, healthy, and confident, he could run down pretty much anything. That's why Bud Collins said about him, I don't think I've ever seen a guy be able to extend a point so much on clay during his prime.

He's a guy who could sometimes beat him on a good day, but by and large, he would throw in the towel early if he wasn't feeling it that day. It's like Patrick McEnroe said about Krajicek once. He's one of those guys (also like a Korda too), who he goes out there and if he's not "feeling it" in the first five mintues, if something just feels a little off during the warmups or whatever, he'll throw it in pretty quickly and not give it his all, just kind of go away. But if he wakes up with surprising libido and is feeling it that day, he'll stay with you stroke for stroke right until the very end and look like Michael Chang in his tryingness out there. I don't really think it's that outlandish to say when Ferrero did the same well PAST his prime.

Nadal's great, but he's not absolutely invincible either. NO PLAYER IS OR EVER WILL BE. NO player plays their best all the time. There are pockets and opportunities. There simply aren't as many claycourt stylized games anymore, however. The better talents in the game have now been reared with more hardcourt centric styles. Before, I felt there was a greater division in the way the world's elite talents were raised. You had apples and oranges. And now have hybrid a-oranges and nothing else it seems. This reflects the more homogenous nature of the worldwide circuit scene now in terms of court speed.

DownTheLine
05-29-2009, 09:11 PM
Bruguera is a Gugatard. lol


That just proved to me how immature you really are.

deltox
05-29-2009, 09:14 PM
disclaimer******

im not meaning this as a shot at nadal by any means***************



i am fairly certain that Rafa "suffers" from some form of OCD. i think this "disorder" may very well be what makes him so talented.

He is obssessed with spin and always has been learning the game. He is obssessed with getting things right which gives him a magnificent training edge on others.

i could be off the wall on this one but thats my opinion about it.

DownTheLine
05-29-2009, 09:15 PM
With a prime young Sampras around, or a prime young McEnroe around, Fed would not be winning any Wimbledons or USOs either... Duh.

Is that why Federer kicked sampras off the court at wimby?

I know sampras was a little older but still.

VivalaVida
05-29-2009, 09:18 PM
Bruguera beat Federer 6-1 6-1 on clay. So we now for sure that he would eat Federer up in that match up.It's harder to judge how he would do against guys he has never played against.
great logic. Federer was so totally a legit player back in 2000 when he was 19 :rolleyes: Federer on clay in 2006 would beat Bruguera.

BreakPoint
05-29-2009, 10:20 PM
It's not really a fair comparison though. That's why it's not fair to compare intergenerations. If Rafa grew up in Borg's time, for one very big thing, you can't just assume he'd be shanking you very much left and right, because for one thing, he wouldn't even be playing the same way. If he grew up in the wood era, there is NO WAY he would be playing with the techinque he did. Just like EVERYONE ELSE, he would have adapted to what he was using. Borg if he grew up now, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have developed a different, more radical/extreme hitting technique. You use what the technology of your day lets you get away with. If the pros back then had access to Luxilon and grew up using polys, they would have ENGRAINED different mindsets, meaning they would swing out more fearlessly more often knowing that they could get away with it, they would no longer have to feel timid about it.

To me, the elite talents of every generation should and would always be able to be competitive with each other. You don't compare stroking techniques, because that changes with the eras and trends. The only thing you can FAIRLY compare are NATURAL ability and talent. Even athleticism is a dodgy thing. Look around the world today, athletes look "jacked" and "shredded" more than ever...and yet way back when you didn't see ANY athletes look like that. Whether that's because of steroids or legal OTC supplements (pretty much the same thing these days) or improved knowledge of the human body, or whatever, it's still NOT relative.

It's like saying all swimmers in the steroids era are better athletes than swimmers in the pre-steroids era, and it's simply not true. It's just the best of your era, those are your elite NATURAL abilities. There are a top handful every era, and the LEVEL of NATURAL *born* talent does not magically genetically increase every era.
Yes, I agree. But my point was that since Nadal would have played differently if he grew up during the wood era, would he still be Nadal? Would he still be as dominant as the Nadal we know today if he was forced by the old equipment to play pretty much the same way as everyone else? If he couldn't play the massive topspin baseline game that he does today, would he been as good of a player as a serve and volleyer, as most players were back then?

Personally, I don't think so, although I admit it's hard to ever know. I don't think he would have been as good of a player during the wood era because he wouldn't have been able to hit many of the shots that make him so special and different from others today.

!Tym
05-31-2009, 03:11 AM
Yes, I agree. But my point was that since Nadal would have played differently if he grew up during the wood era, would he still be Nadal? Would he still be as dominant as the Nadal we know today if he was forced by the old equipment to play pretty much the same way as everyone else? If he couldn't play the massive topspin baseline game that he does today, would he been as good of a player as a serve and volleyer, as most players were back then?

Personally, I don't think so, although I admit it's hard to ever know. I don't think he would have been as good of a player during the wood era because he wouldn't have been able to hit many of the shots that make him so special and different from others today.

Imo...sure. Nadal's technique isn't that unique or revolutionary if you ask me. He's just more a physical specimen than the other who uses western grips and take big cuts. Borg was the same way. For the wood era, he had extreme strokes and grips. He pushed the spectrum limits of what was possible with wood. I don't see any reason why Rafa wouldn't have been able to do the same...he'd just be using a slightly less western grip or he'd be shanking you very much.

Borg was a physical specimen too relative to his peers. He hit more topspin than his peers, he covered the court better than his peers because of that too. Different more mild techniques, yes, but you have to take into account that it's all relative. You use would you can't go as extreme with your techniques, but the point is, everyone else also must go more mild as well. If everyone uses gut, it's the same deal, you can't swing out as freely and that goes across the board. You have to be more selective about when to pull the trigger.

Nadal doesn't hit massive topspin because of a Babolat racket, poly strings, and a western grip. Get in line, TONS of pros in the modern era have used these things before. Nadal just does it better than all of them, more explosively than them.

I've played with wood before for fun several times, though I did not grow up in that era. There are certain limitations and I'm aware of them, and I also happend to be well schooled in both fundamental, "traditional" techniques as well as "modern." I personally just don't see any reason why Nadal being a physical specimen wouldn't have mattered back then too. Being a physical specimen head and shoulders above your peers is ALWAYS a good thing in sports. Particularly any sport invovling running and getting in position to hit your shots to the best of your ability as often as you can.

To me, Nadal reminds me of Muster in that their techniques aren't necessarily revolutionary or THAT unique per say, but that they are much more effective in their hands (say looking at Muster's RIPPING topspin one-hander) than they would be others simply because they are who they are. SPECIMENS. *VERY* PHYSICAL specimens.

And remember, Muster is a guy who surprisingly grew up learning to play with wood and he still turned out the way he did. Federer's got a silky smooth backhand, no doubt, but as far as the backhand goes at least, he's not as much of a physical specimen and simply can't handle high topspin to it the way Muster could.

To me, Bruguera and Berasategui's forehands and backhands respectively, are the only real "revolutionary", as in uniquely new and different, techniques you'll really see in the modern "academy" era of tennis.

Berasategui's idea of extreme western made Bruguera's extreme western grip look mild...which is scary. That's unique, because no one uses that technique. Bruugera's forehand motion is completely unique from top to bottom. It was optimized in such a way to hit only open stance it seems. It's not a technique you'll see being teached anywhere in the world, frankly, because I honestly don't think any teaching pros know how to hit it like that. Somethings you don't teach. Like Roddick's serve was a surprise gem, but obviously worked out. Like McEnroe's serve, same deal, or Forget's hanging hind leg serve. No one can can argue with the effecitveness of these unique techniques for THESE guys. Not something you can pay anyone in the world to teach you, however, it's just something you develop on your own, THEN, may be everyone will try to copy you...like all the Croats did with Goran and his THEN unique service motion.

Bruguera's old two-handed backhand technique (it isn't now, much more conventional) was unique because of the way he cocked his wrist on the take back and more importantly that he hit it biomechanically more or less just like a one-hander...only he had a second hand attached. He stayed SIDEWAYS through the shot, approached it with his footwork, etc. all like a one-hander. His contact point was more like a one-hander.

And then you have guys like Berasategui and Borg and Melligeni (and later Youhzny before the face lift) who seem to hit two-hands or is it one? They are dirty little transexuals these guys. They are the transexuals of backhands.

Nadal's backhand on the other hand is straight up a VERY common stle of technique tought...he just does it with a WHOLE lot more WHOLY MOLEY viscious racket head speed than your average country club kid can generate.

Nadal_Freak
05-31-2009, 03:27 AM
That just proved to me how immature you really are.
Not really. Saying anyone would beat Nadal half of the time on clay (with modern technology) is a real stretch. Guga is very solid but Bruguera went overboard.

Melissa
05-31-2009, 07:05 AM
Great post !Tym!

Thank you for sharing your insight.

Xuxa Kuerten
05-31-2009, 06:42 PM
Imo...sure. Nadal's technique isn't that unique or revolutionary if you ask me. He's just more a physical specimen than the other who uses western grips and take big cuts. Borg was the same way. For the wood era, he had extreme strokes and grips. He pushed the spectrum limits of what was possible with wood. I don't see any reason why Rafa wouldn't have been able to do the same...he'd just be using a slightly less western grip or he'd be shanking you very much.

Borg was a physical specimen too relative to his peers. He hit more topspin than his peers, he covered the court better than his peers because of that too. Different more mild techniques, yes, but you have to take into account that it's all relative. You use would you can't go as extreme with your techniques, but the point is, everyone else also must go more mild as well. If everyone uses gut, it's the same deal, you can't swing out as freely and that goes across the board. You have to be more selective about when to pull the trigger.

Nadal doesn't hit massive topspin because of a Babolat racket, poly strings, and a western grip. Get in line, TONS of pros in the modern era have used these things before. Nadal just does it better than all of them, more explosively than them.

I've played with wood before for fun several times, though I did not grow up in that era. There are certain limitations and I'm aware of them, and I also happend to be well schooled in both fundamental, "traditional" techniques as well as "modern." I personally just don't see any reason why Nadal being a physical specimen wouldn't have mattered back then too. Being a physical specimen head and shoulders above your peers is ALWAYS a good thing in sports. Particularly any sport invovling running and getting in position to hit your shots to the best of your ability as often as you can.

To me, Nadal reminds me of Muster in that their techniques aren't necessarily revolutionary or THAT unique per say, but that they are much more effective in their hands (say looking at Muster's RIPPING topspin one-hander) than they would be others simply because they are who they are. SPECIMENS. *VERY* PHYSICAL specimens.

And remember, Muster is a guy who surprisingly grew up learning to play with wood and he still turned out the way he did. Federer's got a silky smooth backhand, no doubt, but as far as the backhand goes at least, he's not as much of a physical specimen and simply can't handle high topspin to it the way Muster could.

To me, Bruguera and Berasategui's forehands and backhands respectively, are the only real "revolutionary", as in uniquely new and different, techniques you'll really see in the modern "academy" era of tennis.

Berasategui's idea of extreme western made Bruguera's extreme western grip look mild...which is scary. That's unique, because no one uses that technique. Bruugera's forehand motion is completely unique from top to bottom. It was optimized in such a way to hit only open stance it seems. It's not a technique you'll see being teached anywhere in the world, frankly, because I honestly don't think any teaching pros know how to hit it like that. Somethings you don't teach. Like Roddick's serve was a surprise gem, but obviously worked out. Like McEnroe's serve, same deal, or Forget's hanging hind leg serve. No one can can argue with the effecitveness of these unique techniques for THESE guys. Not something you can pay anyone in the world to teach you, however, it's just something you develop on your own, THEN, may be everyone will try to copy you...like all the Croats did with Goran and his THEN unique service motion.

Bruguera's old two-handed backhand technique (it isn't now, much more conventional) was unique because of the way he cocked his wrist on the take back and more importantly that he hit it biomechanically more or less just like a one-hander...only he had a second hand attached. He stayed SIDEWAYS through the shot, approached it with his footwork, etc. all like a one-hander. His contact point was more like a one-hander.

And then you have guys like Berasategui and Borg and Melligeni (and later Youhzny before the face lift) who seem to hit two-hands or is it one? They are dirty little transexuals these guys. They are the transexuals of backhands.

Nadal's backhand on the other hand is straight up a VERY common stle of technique tought...he just does it with a WHOLE lot more WHOLY MOLEY viscious racket head speed than your average country club kid can generate.

Hello, !Tym. You've always write excelent posts. You were talking above about revolutionary backhands. I would like to know your insights about Kuerten's backhand. Also, you've mentioned Meligeni, I guess most people don't know, but he used to hit a DH backhand until 1995 (when he was 24), just prior to the Olympics (when re reached the 4th place). His coach Ricardo Accioly changed it because he thought Fino would never be a top player on clay with that style. His strokes were very shaky, with low pace. Fino had been a number 1 junior player in 1989, but spent 5 years as a pro without realizing his potential. After changing his technique, he won 2 of his 3 titles and reached RG semifinal in 1999. I guess this very late change made his movement so (relatively) weird. That kind of change I think is quite unusual. Pete Sampras did change his backhand, but i guess he was 14 or 15. Sorry for the off topic.