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View Full Version : Who is/was the most mentally strong??


TheMagicianOfPrecision
08-11-2009, 02:56 AM
There is A LOT OF talking and speculating going on about who is a mental midget and who is mentally strong, lets find out shall we, all the Fed-fans Sampras-fans, Roddick-fans, Murray-fans and Nadal-fans are welcome (everyone else to of course)...lets try and keep it civil shall we?:twisted: Im not talking about either GS-finals or MS-finals im talking OVERALL strongest mentally.

maximo
08-11-2009, 02:57 AM
In Grand slams, Federer/Nadal.

Master Series, Murray.

P_Agony
08-11-2009, 02:58 AM
Nadal is, hands down. Federer is 2nd.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
08-11-2009, 02:59 AM
In Grand slams, Federer/Nadal.

MS series, Murray.
Now there is a poll

TheMagicianOfPrecision
08-11-2009, 03:00 AM
Nadal is, hands down. Federer is 2nd.
Nadal mentally stronger than Sampras and Connors??

dropshot winner
08-11-2009, 03:01 AM
I'd say Jimmy Connors. Nadal is also very tough, but Connors achieved amazing things considering that he isn't as talented as Nadal.

Wolland
08-11-2009, 03:03 AM
When at his best, Nadal definitely.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
08-11-2009, 03:04 AM
I'd say Jimmy Connors. Nadal is also very tough, but Connors achieved amazing things considering that he isn't as talented as Nadal.
Ecaxtly, good point.

Fedfan1234
08-11-2009, 03:38 AM
Is their any point to even comparing these players? They are all mentally very strong. Except from Murray he still has to prove himself by winning a slam, but I think he will. Would have been wise to put Hewitt in his place. He is all about mental battles, I would say it is his only real strength. And he is better in this aspect than all above. From the players in the list I would pick Nadal, because he always defeats Federer on this aspect.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
08-11-2009, 03:43 AM
Is their any point to even comparing these players? They are all mentally very strong. Except from Murray he still has to prove himself by winning a slam, but I think he will. Would have been wise to put Hewitt in his place. He is all about mental battles, I would say it is his only real strength. And he is better in this aspect than all above. From the players in the list I would pick Nadal, because he always defeats Federer on this aspect.
The point is that some might find it fun and interesting.

Nicklas
08-11-2009, 03:44 AM
Björn Borg was strong. I think he at least deserved a place in the poll.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
08-11-2009, 03:47 AM
Björn Borg was strong. I think he at least deserved a place in the poll.
You are right, he should have been included.

Tiberius
08-11-2009, 04:01 AM
what about Safin, Gasquet & Gulbis? But this is very difficult to answer...What exactly do you mean by mentally tough? Coming back from injuries? coming through difficult matches on a regular basis?

jevonclyde
08-11-2009, 04:16 AM
There is A LOT OF talking and speculating going on about who is a mental midget and who is mentally strong, lets find out shall we, all the Fed-fans Sampras-fans, Roddick-fans, Murray-fans and Nadal-fans are welcome (everyone else to of course)...lets try and keep it civil shall we?:twisted: Im not talking about either GS-finals or MS-finals im talking OVERALL strongest mentally.

Rafa by a small margin. Followed by Federer, Stefan and Lendl.

CountryHillbilly
08-11-2009, 04:21 AM
Where is Borg?

Losing whole bunch of match points in 4th and then winning the fifth set shows nerves of steel.

However, his retirement and later troubles tell a different story.

jevonclyde
08-11-2009, 04:23 AM
Where is Borg?

Losing whole bunch of match points in 4th and then winning the fifth set shows nerves of steel.

However, his retirement and later troubles tell a different story.

Ah, yes. Missed Borg. He also had nerves of steel indeed.

dragonfire
08-11-2009, 05:46 AM
sampras was strong - hits a lot of aces and unreturnables on big points, which shows your character

wyutani
08-11-2009, 05:47 AM
santoro. i mean all those magic tricks require a strong mental mind.

P_Agony
08-11-2009, 05:47 AM
Nadal mentally stronger than Sampras and Connors??

In my opinion he is. The guy just doesn't let go even when he is match points down.

jelle v
08-11-2009, 06:05 AM
I voted Lendl.. don't know why actually.. I started watching tennis when I was 7 in 1987 and Lendl just always seemed, well i don't know.. Lendl seemed like a highly trained military guy that would never ever admit defeat.. I was still young of course, but no one has ever impressed me like this like Lendl did. After that comes Nadal. And then a lot of the older guys. I have this idea that players back then were generally tougher n the mental area, maybe because tennis was harder back than and rallies lasted much longer, which required a different state of mind or something.

I have never seen Borg play, but from what I've read around here, he was in a league of his own.

dropshot winner
08-11-2009, 06:08 AM
In my opinion he is. The guy just doesn't let go even when he is match points down.
Connors didn't let go. The difference is that Nadal's game is bigger, so with the same "heart" he can do more, but that's not because he's tougher.

akv89
08-11-2009, 06:09 AM
Connors or Nadal. Maybe Hewitt.

NonP
08-11-2009, 06:12 AM
I have my share of misgivings about the very notion of mental strength, but if I had to choose, I'd say Connors, Sampras and Nadal are up there in the Open era. But Pancho Gonzales may be the toughest SOB of 'em all.

FlamEnemY
08-11-2009, 06:19 AM
Thinking long term, it has to be Federer. 21 consecutive semis is just mind-blowing, imagine beinge among the last four for 5 years and counting. And he lost ONLY to the eventual champion. He is very focused, is arguably the most succesful player to date but he still finds the drive to go on.
Nadal also is mentally strong, if I had to give someone a chance winning after being down 6-4 on a match point, I'd give it to him.
Truthfully, I have no memories of connors so I can't make an assumption of his mental strength.

drwood
08-11-2009, 06:21 AM
Nadal mentally stronger than Sampras and Connors??

Definitely mentally tougher than Sampras. The Slam where mental toughness is rewarded the most is at the French...thus ending that argument.

I'd also give Rafa a slight edge over Connors in mental toughness -- he essentially has had to deal with being the main obstacle to the GOAT for 4 years now and unlike most great clay courters, chose not to be satisfied with being good on clay but worked hard to transfer his greatness to grass and HC, which only Borg could do -- Rafa is better on HC than Borg, though.

Mental toughness is being able to hang in there when everything is going against you -- even your best shots.
Being clutch is different -- its executing your best shots when it matters most.

Both are essential, but they are different. Sampras was one of the most clutch players in history; his mental toughness was underrated, but not near the level of a Connors, Nadal or even Fed -- or in his day a Chang or Muster (but he was far more talented and clutch than either of those two).

To me, the only people comparable to Rafa in mental toughness are Connors and Borg.

dropshot winner
08-11-2009, 06:22 AM
Thinking long term, it has to be Federer. 21 consecutive semis is just mind-blowing, imagine beinge among the last four for 5 years and counting. And he lost ONLY to the eventual champion. He is very focused, is arguably the most succesful player to date but he still finds the drive to go on.
Nadal also is mentally strong, if I had to give someone a chance winning after being down 6-4 on a match point, I'd give it to him.
Truthfully, I have no memories of connors so I can't make an assumption of his mental strength.
Federer is very strong mentally, but they way he blows lead against Nadal tells me that he can't be the strongest. Which is actually a scary thought.

FlamEnemY
08-11-2009, 06:26 AM
Federer is very strong mentally, but they way he blows lead against Nadal tells me that he can't be the strongest. Which is actually a scary thought.

I agree, this is why one has to separate the mental toughness required for a single match (i.e. being 2 sets down and being broken in the third and winning) and the toughness needed for great long term success like Federer's.

The-Champ
08-11-2009, 06:28 AM
Federer is very strong mentally, but they way he blows lead against Nadal tells me that he can't be the strongest. Which is actually a scary thought.


Federer is tough mentally but Nadal's will is stronger...

dropshot winner
08-11-2009, 06:34 AM
Federer is tough mentally but Nadal's will is stronger...
It's not just Nadal's will. It's also about Federer's tendancy to for questionable decisions and of mini-chokes when he plays Nadal.

Best example is the Roma Masters 2006 final.
Federer should've won that match. The loss wasn't really about Nadal's great defense or fighting spirit, Federer just started to doubt himself on match-point and couldn't hit the easy put-away. This match hurt his confidence against Nadal big time, for years.

dropshot winner
08-11-2009, 06:34 AM
Does anyone know why can't I edit my posts?

NonP
08-11-2009, 06:35 AM
Also being strong in will is different from being strong mentally. Just another reason why I don't vote in polls like this.

dragonfire
08-11-2009, 06:36 AM
Does anyone know why can't I edit my posts?

you need 50 posts

NonP
08-11-2009, 06:38 AM
dropshot winner, I had the same question myself a few weeks ago. TW policy says that a new user needs to submit at least 50 posts before earning the editing privilege. Apparently this is to make us think about what we write before hitting the Post button, to make us more responsible.

FlamEnemY
08-11-2009, 06:39 AM
dropshot winner, I had the same question myself a few weeks ago. TW policy says that a new user needs to submit at least 50 posts before earning the editing privilege. Apparently this is to make us think about what we write before hitting the Post button, to make us more responsible.

It ain't working for me for sure.


Opps, I did it again!

dropshot winner
08-11-2009, 06:40 AM
dropshot winner, I had the same question myself a few weeks ago. TW policy says that a new user needs to submit at least 50 posts before earning the editing privilege. Apparently this is to make us think about what we write before hitting the Post button, to make us more responsible.

Thanks. So I'll need to keep posting :).
Sometimes I'm just pressing the submit button to early.

The-Champ
08-11-2009, 06:43 AM
It's not just Nadal's will. It's also about Federer's tendancy to for questionable decisions and of mini-chokes when he plays Nadal.

Best example is the Roma Masters 2006 final.
Federer should've won that match. The loss wasn't really about Nadal's great defense or fighting spirit, Federer just started to doubt himself on match-point and couldn't hit the easy put-away. This match hurt his confidence against Nadal big time, for years.

Rafa's game on clay is superior to his, and he knows that. He is also aware of the fact that the spaniand would not go away even when down match point.

He beat Nadal 4 times :). He is 2-0 on indoor HC against Rafa (why didn't he choke there). I think Federer is pretty tough.

dropshot winner
08-11-2009, 06:48 AM
Rafa's game on clay is superior to his, and he knows that. He is also aware of the fact that the spaniand would not go away even when down match point.

He beat Nadal 4 times :). He is 2-0 on indoor HC against Rafa (why didn't he choke there). I think Federer is pretty tough.
You're right, Nadal's simply the better player on clay. But Federer was still the better player in the Rome final.

Federer wouldn not have missed that put-away forhand against anyone else, he simply tightened up because he had lost against Nadal so often.

I'm not saying that Federer chokes all the time against Nadal, but he has done it more than once.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
08-11-2009, 06:58 AM
what about Safin, Gasquet & Gulbis? But this is very difficult to answer...What exactly do you mean by mentally tough? Coming back from injuries? coming through difficult matches on a regular basis?
I was thinking coming through difficult matches on a regular basis.

rwn
08-12-2009, 03:48 AM
A big part of mental strength is consistency. Beating the players you should beat. That´s why Federer will always be mentally tougher than Nadal. He doesn´t lose to guys like Youzhny, Ferrer, Soderling, Gonzalez and others in slams.

namelessone
08-12-2009, 04:24 AM
A big part of mental strength is consistency. Beating the players you should beat. That´s why Federer will always be mentally tougher than Nadal. He doesn´t lose to guys like Youzhny, Ferrer, Soderling, Gonzalez and others in slams.

I think you are mistaking consistency,talent + game maturity with mental toughness.Federer had a HC game at 23 so he could approach the AO and USOpen with a more confident attitude.Nadal at 23 hasn't developed HC weapons but has won AO through sheer physical and mental fortitude.
Nadal shouldn't have been expected to win AO/USOpen at such a young age.But he is mentally tough,the toughest I would say.Despite losing for many years at AO and USOpen each year he came back stronger when he could have just dumped then and go back to the clay courts.And he won wimbledon despite losing 2 times there.Mental toughness again.

I already see a tendency to compare Fed and Rafa's mental toughness.What is mental toughness? The definition tends to vary somewhat but for me it is the ability to hold it together and get out of a tough situation.Here's the thing,Federer rarely gets into tough situations.Sure,it has happened more as the years have passed but even in these days he is rarely threatened by players.Federer has proved mental toughness in these 2 slams where he was almost ousted by haas and had problems with del potro.And he came back in the wimbledon final against Roddick,so the guy still has it.But there is a catch.Federer is a very talented and mature player and it should be a must for him to get out of situations like these.When he can't it will be time to retire.

Nadal is a very different story.Nadal isn't near Fed game-wise so the guy has fewer weapons with which to counter his opponents and consequently finds himself in more difficult situations more frequently than fed.This is what has build his mental toughness.It is no wonder he gives Roger trouble,the guy doesn't back down.You can beat Rafa more easily than you can beat Roger because Nadal has to develop his game more(how quickly people forget he is just 23) and add new shots.Imagine a Nadal like mentality/groundstrokes with a Roddick serve.That would be killer.

This is the whole essence of the matter.Fed is very tough although some people like to deny it.But Fed has worked specifically to avoid these tough situations.I have a feeling that Nadal likes this situations and seeing how his game doesn't really have HC weapons he will always be more vulnerable and will get into these tough situations.Nadal was won tournaments just by hanging in there mentally.Fed's mental toughness comes through only when he is pushed and he doesn't like to be pushed.

Both are very tough but I consider Nadal tougher.He has beaten Federer 13 times while being younger and having fewer weapons.And he did in 3 different GS and other master series tournaments.And won 6 GS beating the previously unbeatabale Fed in the final or on the way to the final.And he took nr.1 from Fed,something unthinkable just a few years ago.

But make no mistake,both are very tough.It is no wonder that the duopoly has stayed so strong these 4 years.

maximo
08-12-2009, 04:25 AM
I think you are mistaking consistency,talent + game maturity with mental toughness.Federer had a HC game at 23 so he could approach the AO and USOpen with a more confident attitude.Nadal at 23 hasn't developed HC weapons but has won AO through sheer physical and mental fortitude.
Nadal shouldn't have been expected to win AO/USOpen at such a young age.But he is mentally tough,the toughest I would say.Despite losing for many years at AO and USOpen each year he came back stronger when he could have just dumped then and go back to the clay courts.And he won wimbledon despite losing 2 times there.Mental toughness again.

I already see a tendency to compare Fed and Rafa's mental toughness.What is mental toughness? The definition tends to vary somewhat but for me it is the ability to hold it together and get out of a tough situation.Here's the thing,Federer rarely gets into tough situations.Sure,it has happened more as the years have passed but even in these days he is rarely threatened by players.Federer has proved mental toughness in these 2 slams where he was almost ousted by haas and had problems with del potro.And he came back in the wimbledon final against Roddick,so the guy still has it.But there is a catch.Federer is a very talented and mature player and it should be a must for him to get out of situations like these.When he can't it will be time to retire.

Nadal is a very different story.Nadal isn't near Fed game-wise so the guy has fewer weapons with which to counter his opponents and consequently finds himself in more difficult situations more frequently than fed.This is what has build his mental toughness.It is no wonder he gives Roger trouble,the guy doesn't back down.You can beat Rafa more easily than you can beat Roger because Nadal has to develop his game more(how quickly people forget he is just 23) and add new shots.Imagine a Nadal like mentality/groundstrokes with a Roddick serve.That would be killer.

This is the whole essence of the matter.Fed is very tough although some people like to deny it.But Fed has worked specifically to avoid these tough situations.I have a feeling that Nadal likes this situations and seeing how his game doesn't really have HC weapons he will always be more vulnerable and will get into these tough situations.Nadal was won tournaments just by hanging in there mentally.Fed's mental toughness comes through only when he is pushed and he doesn't like to be pushed.

Both are very tough but I consider Nadal tougher.He has beaten Federer 13 times while being younger and having fewer weapons.And he did in 3 different GS and other master series tournaments.And won 6 GS beating the previously unbeatabale Fed in the final or on the way to the final.And he took nr.1 from Fed,something unthinkable just a few years ago.

But make no mistake,both are very tough.It is no wonder that the duopoly has stayed so strong these 4 years.

What do you mean?

namelessone
08-12-2009, 04:31 AM
What do you mean?

Oh nothing,just some thoughts.Care to add something?