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Safin4ever
04-12-2010, 02:47 AM
Lets break it down.


Serve - Safin
Return - Nalbandian
Forehand - Safin
Backhand - Nalbandian
Volley- Safin
Court Coverage - Nalbandian



So pretty much equal. What do you guys think?

dmt
04-12-2010, 02:54 AM
Safin easily. Atleast he won a couple of majors. While i do believe that he could have won another 4-6 majors if he were dedicated, 2 slams is still very very good.

Nalbandian, despite being very talented, hasnt even won one major even though he has all the ability too. I also think Safin had the better backhand, forehand and serve. Nalbandian is a better returner.

Safin4ever
04-12-2010, 02:57 AM
Safin easily. Atleast he won a couple of majors. While i do believe that he could have won another 4-6 majors if he were dedicated, 2 slams is still very very good.

Nalbandian, despite being very talented, hasnt even won one major even though he has all the ability too. I also think Safin had the better backhand, forehand and serve. Nalbandian is a better returner.


you're bringing up acheivements which is not what this thread is about. Its strictly about who has the better game in terms of technique on all the strokes.

Anaconda
04-12-2010, 03:09 AM
Fitness - Safin.
Hunger - Even Safin wants it more than Nalbandian.
Mental - Safin. Even though he gets brain cramps he doesn't choke.


The only thing i give Nalbandian over Safin is the movement.

Gustavo Kuerten
04-12-2010, 03:11 AM
Fitness - Safin.
Hunger - Even Safin wants it more than Nalbandian.
Mental - Safin. Even though he gets brain cramps he doesn't choke.


The only thing i give Nalbandian over Safin is the movement.
Nalbandian has the biggest hunger of all players.

dmt
04-12-2010, 03:11 AM
Fitness - Safin.
Hunger - Even Safin wants it more than Nalbandian.
Mental - Safin. Even though he gets brain cramps he doesn't choke.


The only thing i give Nalbandian over Safin is the movement.well Nalbandian is a better returner as well.

davey25
04-12-2010, 03:21 AM
Serve- Safin
Return- Nalbandian
Forehand- Safin
Backhand- Safin IMO
Movement- Nalbandian
Volleys- Safin
Mental- not sure
Intangibles- Safin

Safin overall easily. Both are underachievers but also vastly overrated players on this forum, but Safin is the overrated underachiever who has atleast won slam titles and truly outplayed guys like Sampras and Federer on the big stage before.

sh@de
04-12-2010, 04:03 AM
Safin no doubt. No question here.

Safin4ever
04-12-2010, 04:04 AM
Serve- Safin
Return- Nalbandian
Forehand- Safin
Backhand- Safin IMO
Movement- Nalbandian
Volleys- Safin
Mental- not sure
Intangibles- Safin

Safin overall easily. Both are underachievers but also vastly overrated players on this forum, but Safin is the overrated underachiever who has atleast won slam titles and truly outplayed guys like Sampras and Federer on the big stage before.


I disagree. How can players like Safin and Nalbandian be overrated when these guys can hang with Federer and consistently outplay and outrally him in matches. How many players are even capable of that? And im sure when they're on they can hang with nadal on clay and teach him a lesson like the one soda taught him last year in the french.

dmt
04-12-2010, 04:05 AM
I disagree. How can players like Safin and Nalbandian be overrated when these guys can hang with Federer and consistently outplay and outrally him in matches. How many players are even capable of that? And im sure when they're on they can hang with nadal on clay and teach him a lesson like the one soda taught him last year in the french.

when Nadal is at his best on clay, not even soderling can beat him there and definately not Safin or Nalbandian.

Jaewonnie
04-12-2010, 04:07 AM
I disagree. How can players like Safin and Nalbandian be overrated when these guys can hang with Federer and consistently outplay and outrally him in matches. How many players are even capable of that? And im sure when they're on they can hang with nadal on clay and teach him a lesson like the one soda taught him last year in the french.

now that I think of it, has Safin ever played Nadal? That would be a very interesting match.

dmt
04-12-2010, 04:09 AM
yeah they played just near the end of last year. Nadal won but safin was only a shadow of his former self.

Rafter22
04-12-2010, 04:48 AM
Safin's booming serve gives him the edge. Safin has won 2 Majors, more Masters Series shields and was number one, even if it was in the weak early 00s. Plus, he's beaten the two best players ever on a big stage.

forzamilan90
04-12-2010, 05:32 AM
Safin is a legend, Nalbandian is not, as simple as that.

davey25
04-12-2010, 05:45 AM
I disagree. How can players like Safin and Nalbandian be overrated when these guys can hang with Federer and consistently outplay and outrally him in matches. How many players are even capable of that? And im sure when they're on they can hang with nadal on clay and teach him a lesson like the one soda taught him last year in the french.

Safin is 2-11 lifetime vs Federer. In Safins prime from 2000-2005 he was 2-7 vs Federer. His only win over prime Federer (his other win was indoors in 02) took the 2nd best match of his life and he still had to save a point point to avoid a 4 set defeat. So on what planet is that consistently outplaying and outrallying him, LOL!

Nalbandian did consistently beat a pre prime Federer in the early 2000s, yes. However against prime Federer he has gone 3-10 and now trails in head to head despite that big early lead.

Federer is the one who consistently outplays and beats Safin and Nalbandian for many years now (well in Safins case always), not vice versa. Nobody would say Djokovic owns Federer but he does far better vs prime Federer than either Safin or Nalbandian.

There is nothing that indicates Nalbandian or Safin could do anything vs Nadal on clay. If one takes the worst loss of Nadals career on clay and bases all that could happen based on that, then we might as well anyone better than Peter Doohan on grass could have easily destroyed Becker at Wimbledon.

Lastly if success vs Federer were the barometer to owns abilities (even if Safin and Nalbandian actually had this to your imagined standards) then Nadal would deserve to be the greatest player of all time, and Murray would deserve to be a top 5 player of all time.

sh@de
04-12-2010, 05:59 AM
Safin is 2-11 lifetime vs Federer. In Safins prime from 2000-2005 he was 2-7 vs Federer. His only win over prime Federer (his other win was indoors in 02) took the 2nd best match of his life and he still had to save a point point to avoid a 4 set defeat. So on what planet is that consistently outplaying and outrallying him, LOL!

Nalbandian did consistently beat a pre prime Federer in the early 2000s, yes. However against prime Federer he has gone 3-10 and now trails in head to head despite that big early lead.

Federer is the one who consistently outplays and beats Safin and Nalbandian for many years now (well in Safins case always), not vice versa. Nobody would say Djokovic owns Federer but he does far better vs prime Federer than either Safin or Nalbandian.

There is nothing that indicates Nalbandian or Safin could do anything vs Nadal on clay. If one takes the worst loss of Nadals career on clay and bases all that could happen based on that, then we might as well anyone better than Peter Doohan on grass could have easily destroyed Becker at Wimbledon.

Lastly if success vs Federer were the barometer to owns abilities (even if Safin and Nalbandian actually had this to your imagined standards) then Nadal would deserve to be the greatest player of all time, and Murray would deserve to be a top 5 player of all time.

Exactly. See my sig...

Safin4ever
04-12-2010, 06:22 AM
Safin is 2-11 lifetime vs Federer. In Safins prime from 2000-2005 he was 2-7 vs Federer. His only win over prime Federer (his other win was indoors in 02) took the 2nd best match of his life and he still had to save a point point to avoid a 4 set defeat. So on what planet is that consistently outplaying and outrallying him, LOL!

Nalbandian did consistently beat a pre prime Federer in the early 2000s, yes. However against prime Federer he has gone 3-10 and now trails in head to head despite that big early lead.

Federer is the one who consistently outplays and beats Safin and Nalbandian for many years now (well in Safins case always), not vice versa. Nobody would say Djokovic owns Federer but he does far better vs prime Federer than either Safin or Nalbandian.

There is nothing that indicates Nalbandian or Safin could do anything vs Nadal on clay. If one takes the worst loss of Nadals career on clay and bases all that could happen based on that, then we might as well anyone better than Peter Doohan on grass could have easily destroyed Becker at Wimbledon.

Lastly if success vs Federer were the barometer to owns abilities (even if Safin and Nalbandian actually had this to your imagined standards) then Nadal would deserve to be the greatest player of all time, and Murray would deserve to be a top 5 player of all time.



First of all Djokovic is not even on the scene when you consider the raw talents of Safin and Nalbandian. Those guys are so natural. They can just wake up from the wrong side of the bed, have 5 beers and still play incredible tennis. Djokovic is very good but when these guys are on they'll blow him off the court. Example Safin vs Djokovic in wimbledon 2008. Or Nalbandian vs Djokovic in those indoor tournaments in 2007. And Federer is definitely the barometer coz as of now he is the GOAT. Now you tell me how many players can really outrally federer. very few and guess what...they are the most talented ones. Nadal is an exception coz of bad match up issues and Murray is not all that great coz we didnt see much from him in the 2 slam finals against Fed.

Safin4ever
04-12-2010, 06:26 AM
And outrallying and outplaying has nothing to do with winning matches. You can outrally and outplay federer and still lose the match. Example federer vs berdych AO 2009.

Ocean Drive
04-12-2010, 06:48 AM
Serve - Safin, by far.
Forehand - Safin
Backhand - Safin (just watch their matches against each other when both were playing good tennis, eg Madrid 2004)
Volley - Safin
Movement - Safin (although he's much, much taller than Nalbandian)
Return - Safin
Mentality - Not sure, both are kind of similar here, both can be very steely and both can explode at any time, but in different ways.

Safin's obviously better, more titles though he was constantly injured, more titles that matter.

Marat Safin by a land slide.

Safin4ever
04-12-2010, 07:05 AM
Serve - Safin, by far.
Forehand - Safin
Backhand - Safin (just watch their matches against each other when both were playing good tennis, eg Madrid 2004)
Volley - Safin
Movement - Safin (although he's much, much taller than Nalbandian)
Return - Safin
Mentality - Not sure, both are kind of similar here, both can be very steely and both can explode at any time, but in different ways.

Safin's obviously better, more titles though he was constantly injured, more titles that matter.

Marat Safin by a land slide.


This video sums it up. Safin for GOAT...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u39oKKEvHNM&feature=related

abraxas21
04-12-2010, 10:18 AM
Hunger - Even Safin wants it more than Nalbandian.

Are you sure about that mate? I'd say Nalby is definitely more hungry than Marat... I mean, look at that belly.

JSummers
04-12-2010, 10:22 AM
One day Safin will goes to HOF, Nalbandian? In a decade he'll be forgotten. That's the difference.

kingdaddy41788
04-12-2010, 10:24 AM
Safin hands down. 2 majors to none. 'Nuff said.

onyxrose81
04-12-2010, 01:11 PM
Safin all the way. Nalbandian has the return and the movement but Safin is much better in everything else.

phoenicks
04-12-2010, 03:09 PM
Safin has power and pace that is way above Nalbandian, and that's ultimately the difference, notice how Safin just blow him off court by sheer power in some of the matches, of course Safin also blow himself up with too many UE.

Kobble
04-12-2010, 03:54 PM
Top flight Safin outclasses Nalbandian, and many others. Hence, 2 majors for Safin and none for Nalbandian. Also, he reached the semis of every major. People are forgetting who some people are, or were. He was a headcase who got injured, nothing more. I believe the Safin groundstrokes are superior when on. I've seen it in person, you can't ignore how easily he creates power.

P_Agony
04-12-2010, 04:28 PM
Serve - Safin
Return - Nalbandian
Forehand - Nalbandian
Backhand - tie (Safin for DTL, Nalby for crosscourt angles)
Volley- Nalbandian
Court Coverage - Nalbandian

Nalby IMO is a more talented player, but Safin, believe it or not, was actually mentally stronger in his prime years. Both are extremely talented, but one has to wonder what Nalby could have achieved with a stronger mind. Of course, results-wise, Safin is the far better player.

big bang
04-12-2010, 04:58 PM
Serve - Safin
Return - Nalbandian
Forehand - Nalbandian
Backhand - tie (Safin for DTL, Nalby for crosscourt angles)
Volley- Nalbandian
Court Coverage - Nalbandian

Nalby IMO is a more talented player, but Safin, believe it or not, was actually mentally stronger in his prime years. Both are extremely talented, but one has to wonder what Nalby could have achieved with a stronger mind. Of course, results-wise, Safin is the far better player.

agree on most parts, but I cant agree that Nalbandians forehand is better than Safins, it was more stabil compared to Safins in the late years. but before that Safins forehand was such a powerfull weapon, way better than Nalbandians! volleys I would say is pretty even too..

davey25
04-12-2010, 05:37 PM
Serve - Safin
Return - Nalbandian
Forehand - Nalbandian
Backhand - tie (Safin for DTL, Nalby for crosscourt angles)
Volley- Nalbandian
Court Coverage - Nalbandian

Nalby IMO is a more talented player, but Safin, believe it or not, was actually mentally stronger in his prime years. Both are extremely talented, but one has to wonder what Nalby could have achieved with a stronger mind. Of course, results-wise, Safin is the far better player.

Nalbandian's forehand is not better than Safin's. No way.

davey25
04-12-2010, 05:38 PM
I wont be so hard on Safin maybe in the past. It is pretty clear that the slamless Nalbandian is an even more overrated player than Safin on TW.

Xenakis
04-12-2010, 05:38 PM
One day Safin will goes to HOF, Nalbandian? In a decade he'll be forgotten. That's the difference.

Not a chance. As long as there is tennis Nalbandian will never be forgotten!

canuckfan
04-12-2010, 06:17 PM
Safin had a great backhand and moved well in is younger pre-knee surgery days. So while Nalby has a slightly better backhand, his forehand does far less damage than prime safin's. Movement between the two is about the same -- safin moved great for a big guy when he was young.

Bottom line safin won 2 slams and reached world number 1 -- and he was considered an underacheiver. He was better than Nalby.

Miami83095
04-12-2010, 06:29 PM
Safin had a 10x better career

Jchurch
04-12-2010, 07:14 PM
Safin is better. Nalbandian never really had the firepower to play with the big boys like Safin did. Even though Nalbandian was probably technically better and in my eyes a throwback to the days of touch tennis, I still think Safin was just much better.

NamRanger
04-12-2010, 07:49 PM
Serve - Safin
Return - Nalbandian
Forehand - Nalbandian
Backhand - tie (Safin for DTL, Nalby for crosscourt angles)
Volley- Nalbandian
Court Coverage - Nalbandian

Nalby IMO is a more talented player, but Safin, believe it or not, was actually mentally stronger in his prime years. Both are extremely talented, but one has to wonder what Nalby could have achieved with a stronger mind. Of course, results-wise, Safin is the far better player.




Forehand? Not a chance. Safin beats Nalbandian here clear by a mile.


Court coverage? Uh? What? Did everyone forget how fast Safin really was during his best years?


Safin and Nalbandian both have arguably just as good BHs. Cancels out here.


Both are solid at the net, but considering Safin has won Davis Cup while playing alot of doubles, and he came to net alot during the majority of his major titles (such as Paris and Madrid where he S&Ved alot, and the AO where he came in off his powerful strokes), I'd say Safin edges this one out.



Intangibles I will give it to Nalbandian since he creates some crafty shots, but when it comes down to brute force and sheer effectiveness, Safin is clearly better.

pjonesy
04-12-2010, 08:12 PM
Safin had a 10x better career

Of course he did! Excellent post, you boiled it down to what matters. The difference is that Safin has won 2 grand slams and Nalbandian lost his 1 grand slam final at Wimbledon. Head to head matchups favor Safin 6-4. They squared off in 3 Grand Slam matches. They split matches at Roland Garros (Safin-2002, Nalbandian-2004), and Safin won a close 5 setter at the US Open in 2006. This gives Safin the advantage in Grand Slam titles and also in head to head matchups at Grand Slams. I understand that this thread is just comparing their games, not results or achievements, but if you can't prove your talent on the biggest stage, then what is it really worth?

ruerooo
04-12-2010, 09:33 PM
Nalbandian has the biggest hunger of all players.

I think it's fair to say that now (other than Rafa or Roger, when they really want a win).

But I'm not sure it was always the case.
Marat is a perfectionist (even Peter Lundgren said so when he was coaching him) and his injuries frustrated him.

wilfreb
04-12-2010, 09:34 PM
Serve - Safin
Return - Nalbandian [the best]
Forehand - Nalbandian [more precise]
Backhand - Nalbandian [the best in tennis history]
Volley- nalbandian by much
Court Coverage - Nalbandian
mental - safin

overall Nalbandian is more talented than safin, he is El Maestro

thalivest
04-12-2010, 10:16 PM
Serve - Safin
Return - Nalbandian [the best]
Forehand - Nalbandian [more precise]
Backhand - Nalbandian [the best in tennis history]
Volley- nalbandian by much
Court Coverage - Nalbandian
mental - safin

overall Nalbandian is more talented than safin, he is El Maestro

Laughable. Nalbandian is the most overhyped player since Marcelo Rios. I bet if it were even Federer you would post the same things and just replace Safin with Federer, LOL!

ruerooo
04-12-2010, 10:22 PM
Laughable. Nalbandian is the most overhyped player since Marcelo Rios. I bet if it were even Federer you would post the same things and just replace Safin with Federer, LOL!

thalivest, I love Marat, but David was once #3 in the world (and yes, I know Marat was #1) -- and he's given both Roger and Rafa trouble.

Do you remember the TMC when he took Roger out and Roger was almost helpless to stop it?

Have you forgotten how David played those angles against Rafa at IW last year?

2slik
04-12-2010, 10:29 PM
thalivest, I love Marat, but David was once #3 in the world (and yes, I know Marat was #1) -- and he's given both Roger and Rafa trouble.

Do you remember the TMC when he took Roger out and Roger was almost helpless to stop it?

Have you forgotten how David played those angles against Rafa at IW last year?

lol, *********!:)

Those angles, like Nadal was going to win the match on his own racquet.

ruerooo
04-12-2010, 10:32 PM
lol, *********!:)

Those angles, like Nadal was going to win the match on his own racquet.

I'm a FEDAL fan, which you'd know if you read, which you don't seem to do.
And as you also seem to enjoy reveling in your illiteracy, I'll not be engaging with you further. :roll:

Jchurch
04-12-2010, 10:35 PM
thalivest, I love Marat, but David was once #3 in the world (and yes, I know Marat was #1) -- and he's given both Roger and Rafa trouble.

Do you remember the TMC when he took Roger out and Roger was almost helpless to stop it?

Have you forgotten how David played those angles against Rafa at IW last year?


Don't you remember that Federer had an ankle injury?

thalivest
04-12-2010, 10:37 PM
thalivest, I love Marat, but David was once #3 in the world (and yes, I know Marat was #1) -- and he's given both Roger and Rafa trouble.

Do you remember the TMC when he took Roger out and Roger was almost helpless to stop it?

Have you forgotten how David played those angles against Rafa at IW last year?

I remember the TMC when David at his best scraping past an injured Federer in a 5th set tiebreak, with Roger moving at 70% (or less), and when Roger wasnt even going to play the TMC but pushed himself to due to the weak field with the rest of the top 5 all withdrawing with their own injuries, and the chance to tie McEnroe's record. I do remember that Nalbandian has lost almost every match he played vs Roger in the last almost 7 years. I also remember the *** whoopings Nalbandian got vs prime Federer at events like the 2004 Australian Open and 2005 U.S Open.

I remember David losing to Rafa on his worst surface last year even after having 5 match points, and losing to him again on Rafa's worst surface even now with Rafa struggling, this year.

Nalbandian was once #3 in the World? Safin was once #1 in the World and has ended years ranked #2, #3, and #4. Haas was once #2 in the World, and Ljubicic was once #3 in the World too.

thalivest
04-12-2010, 10:41 PM
Even someone like Corretja has achieved more than Nalbandian. He won a TMC too, beating Sampras who is superior indoors to Federer anyway, and Sampras unlike Roger at the 2005 TMC was well and healthy too. Corretja has reached more slam finals, won more Masters events, won more titles I believe, done well on all surfaces too.

ruerooo
04-12-2010, 11:13 PM
Even someone like Corretja has achieved more than Nalbandian. He won a TMC too, beating Sampras who is superior indoors to Federer anyway, and Sampras unlike Roger at the 2005 TMC was well and healthy too. Corretja has reached more slam finals, won more Masters events, won more titles I believe, done well on all surfaces too.

But that could be a motivation issue. I think David had motivation issues before that, having seen his interview today, he doesn't have now.

And, again, this is *not* me arguing he's better than Marat. I think the OP was trying to get us to break this down on technical skills alone.

Now if you want to dispute that should be the basis of the argument, that's a different discussion.

thalivest
04-12-2010, 11:22 PM
But that could be a motivation issue. I think David had motivation issues before that, having seen his interview today, he doesn't have now.

And, again, this is *not* me arguing he's better than Marat. I think the OP was trying to get us to break this down on technical skills alone.

Now if you want to dispute that should be the basis of the argument, that's a different discussion.

Safin's technical skills are better than Nalbandian though. Nalbandian has great technical skills but Safin still has more. They play different styles but the only things Nalbandian does better really are returning serve and movement. The backhand could be debated, though I personally go with Safin there, but people saying things like Nalbandian has a better forehand, or even better volleys, really makes no sense to people that have watched the two play for years are not major fans of either player.

Safin is just as big an underachiever as Nalbandian is, if not more. He is atleast as lazy, atleast as undisciplined, atleast as uncommited, atleast as unmotivated compared to the Federer, Nadal, and Roddicks of the World. And he is just a big a headcase on the court. Nalbandian is overweight, Safin drinks and parties and sleeps with women and once in awhile practices. They are headcases in different ways, Nalbandian is far worse a choker and prone to blowing leads and chances than Safin is, but Safin is far more prone to getting frusterated and losing his composure and focus when things arent going the way he wants during a match. The one big difference is Safin has had far more bad luck with injuries. His prime was likely cut short by several years by his major 2005 injury. Also he had another injury right in the middle of his prime in 2003 which could have been his year to win 1 or 2 more slams and even be year end #1 possibly considering Roddick, Ferrero, 33 year old Agassi, and pre prime Federer battled for it. Nalbandian had one major injury now in the twilight of his career when he wasnt going to achieve anything major again anyway. Yet despite all this Safin has clearly achieved more than Nalbandian.

thalivest
04-12-2010, 11:26 PM
I would add even though Nalbandian has a better record vs Federer, Safin is the one who achieved the feat of beating Federer at his true best far more than Nalbandian did. Nalbandian deserves credit for beating Federer 8 times, still an amazing feat. However in none of those matches was it really a prime Federer playing his best.

Safin though beat Federer playing his best on one of tennis biggest stages in the 2005 Australian Open semis. It was an incredibly close match that could have gone either way with both guys playing their best, but in the end Safin was able to eke it out, even saving a match point on Federer's serve in the 4th set to do it. I dont think Nalbandian could ever beat a prime Federer at his absolute best, maybe beat a pretty good Federer like the 2007 Paris and Madrid wins, but beating a lights out Federer, in the best of 5 sets in a grand slam especialy, not a chance. Nalbandian would never have beaten the Federer of the 2005 Australian Open, not anyday, or even on any surface, probably not even in a best 2 of 3. That is another thing that shows Safin at his best is just better than Nalbandian.

ruerooo
04-12-2010, 11:32 PM
I would add even though Nalbandian has a better record vs Federer, Safin is the one who achieved the feat of beating Federer at his true best far more than Nalbandian did. Nalbandian deserves credit for beating Federer 8 times, still an amazing feat. However in none of those matches was it really a prime Federer playing his best.

Safin though beat Federer playing his best on one of tennis biggest stages in the 2005 Australian Open semis. It was an incredibly close match that could have gone either way with both guys playing their best, but in the end Safin was able to eke it out, even saving a match point on Federer's serve in the 4th set to do it. I dont think Nalbandian could ever beat a prime Federer at his absolute best, maybe beat a pretty good Federer like the 2007 Paris and Madrid wins, but beating a lights out Federer, in the best of 5 sets in a grand slam especialy, not a chance. Nalbandian would never have beaten the Federer of the 2005 Australian Open, not anyday, or even on any surface, probably not even in a best 2 of 3. That is another thing that shows Safin at his best is just better than Nalbandian.

I of course remember that semi, thalivest, and that's a very interesting comparison and analysis.

So ability to beat a "lights out" Roger is the yardstick you would use as to who, between Marat and David, is best?

thalivest
04-12-2010, 11:35 PM
I of course remember that semi, thalivest, and that's a very interesting comparison and analysis.

So ability to beat a "lights out" Roger is the yardstick you would use as to who, between Marat and David, is best?

It is one of them for sure but not the only one. However yes the ability to beat Federer at his absolute best, not just playing well or even very well but at his true maximum best, is something truly special, and Nadal, Safin, and maybe Djokovic are the only current players to achieve. Breaking down their games I feel Safin is just a bit better overall too. Beyond breaking down the various shots, Nalbandian has the edge in variety and feel, Safin in pure power. In the end though power wins out with players of similar overall skill (aka by overall skill obviously not the same as say comparing Murray and Gulbis).

longnt80
04-12-2010, 11:56 PM
At the end of the day, no one cares what you CAN do, only what you HAVE ACCOMPLISED.

You can argue all day about who is better technically. It does not lead anywhere since it's all theory. The only thing that counts is TITLES.

So in this case it's Safin.

forthegame
04-12-2010, 11:57 PM
Easily Safin.

anointedone
04-12-2010, 11:59 PM
Safin easily. More titles, bigger titles, more overall achievements, more big wins, and more memorable matches. It isnt really even close.

paulorenzo
04-13-2010, 12:02 AM
I disagree. How can players like Safin and Nalbandian be overrated when these guys can hang with Federer and consistently outplay and outrally him in matches. How many players are even capable of that? And im sure when they're on they can hang with nadal on clay and teach him a lesson like the one soda taught him last year in the french.

being able to hit with the big boys once in a while is one thing, doing it consistently is another.

Justin Side
04-13-2010, 12:08 AM
Safin is 2-11 lifetime vs Federer. In Safins prime from 2000-2005 he was 2-7 vs Federer. His only win over prime Federer (his other win was indoors in 02) took the 2nd best match of his life and he still had to save a point point to avoid a 4 set defeat. So on what planet is that consistently outplaying and outrallying him, LOL!

Nalbandian did consistently beat a pre prime Federer in the early 2000s, yes. However against prime Federer he has gone 3-10 and now trails in head to head despite that big early lead.

Federer is the one who consistently outplays and beats Safin and Nalbandian for many years now (well in Safins case always), not vice versa. Nobody would say Djokovic owns Federer but he does far better vs prime Federer than either Safin or Nalbandian.

There is nothing that indicates Nalbandian or Safin could do anything vs Nadal on clay. If one takes the worst loss of Nadals career on clay and bases all that could happen based on that, then we might as well anyone better than Peter Doohan on grass could have easily destroyed Becker at Wimbledon.

Lastly if success vs Federer were the barometer to owns abilities (even if Safin and Nalbandian actually had this to your imagined standards) then Nadal would deserve to be the greatest player of all time, and Murray would deserve to be a top 5 player of all time.

Good post.

Spider
04-13-2010, 12:25 AM
Safin was one of the most overrated players on tour and thankfully we won't be seeing any more of him.

piece
04-13-2010, 12:26 AM
And outrallying and outplaying has nothing to do with winning matches. You can outrally and outplay federer and still lose the match. Example federer vs berdych AO 2009.

Exactly. That's actually the reason I think Nalbandian is the better player (at his peak) than Safin (at his peak). In Safin's two best performances (US Open 2000 Final and Aus Open 2005 Semi) he got outplayed frong the baseline by Sampras in one, although he did outplay sampras overall, and in the other arguably was outplayed by Federer in general (Federer had a match point in the fourth set and blew it with stupid shot choice - although Safin was in a better position that point anyway, and federer won more points than safin and had a better winner/unforced error ratio).

In Nalbandian's best performances (2005 master's cup, 2007 madrid and paris - various matches) he always outplays his opponents. 2005 masters cup he outplayed Federer, and 2007 masters tournaments he outplayed federer and nadal and everyone else I can remember him playing.

And, more subjectively, Nalbandian's peak performances just looked like a higher level of play to me than Safin's. Nalbandian is a better shotmaker, and better from the baseline in general when on, I think.

piece
04-13-2010, 12:36 AM
It is one of them for sure but not the only one. However yes the ability to beat Federer at his absolute best, not just playing well or even very well but at his true maximum best, is something truly special, and Nadal, Safin, and maybe Djokovic are the only current players to achieve.

When do you think Safin and Djokovic have beaten Federer "at his true maximum best"? I can think of one time Nadal has - 2006 Rome final. But not djokovic - I don't consider Montreal 2007 to be Federer "at his true maximum best", playing very well for sure, but not at his absolute best; and Safin, well I don't consider Federer's performance in the 2005 Aus open final to be "at his true maximum best" - it was very good for sure, but not really too far over and above a typical 2005 match performance for him I don't think. I've seen federer's shotmaking and overall baseline lethality at much higher levels than both these losses (montreal 2007 and AO 2005).

I'm not sure Nalbandian's win against Federer masters 2005 was federer "at his true maximum best" either. It was close, but Federer was a bit too error prone, I think, but his shotmaking, if not his consistency, was better than the 2005 AO semi.

Rome 2006 is either the first or second best "big match" performance from Fed on clay (with only the 2007 hamburg final maybe being better) so Nadal can certainly claim to have beaten federer "at his true maximum best".

iamke55
04-13-2010, 12:39 AM
Safin may have the slams and #1, but Nalbandian was way better at baseline rallies. Nadal gave Safin a bagel, then Nalbandian gave Nadal a bagel a few months later.

Anaconda
04-13-2010, 12:41 AM
Serve - Safin
Return - Nalbandian [the best]
Forehand - Nalbandian [more precise]
Backhand - Nalbandian [the best in tennis history]
Volley- nalbandian by much
Court Coverage - Nalbandian
mental - safin

overall Nalbandian is more talented than safin, he is El Maestro

Again, Nalbandian fans just living in a dream world. Nalbandian doesn't posses the best return nowadays or ever. Connors, Agassi, Murray, Ferrer all have better returns. Nalbandian's forehand is nothing special and makes many critical errors on that wing. No way in hell is Nalbandian's BH the best ever. It's up their but if we come back down into reality then Safin's is the better shot. Safin before his retirement wasn't moving great and even a commentator said 'he's moving like a bus'. And even that said, Nalbandian isn't exactly a top 10 mover on tour. There's even a training video of him dropping after 10 seconds of jogging.


Some Nalbandian fans are silly. Let me rephrase that. All of them are silly trying to overrate Nalbandian's ability. The guy has got one shot in his game which is above good. Nothing else is special about his game.


Safin has 2 slams. Tough to agrue when you've won both defeating possible the two greatest players ever; demolishing the 'all time great' at that point in 2000. And is possibly the only player to have beaten Federer in 'god mode' in a slam. Again, the Feddie fans will try to deny it but it's true.

And i'll repeat this anyway, Nalbandian's biggest title was the TMC 2005. He was only in there as a charity case. Everyone else (Safin, Roddick, Nadal and others) dropped out and it was the most dissapointing TMC field ever. He never was in the top 8 of the race so really he should be thankful with what he has achieved at the moment. And you couldn't have drawn up a possible scenario with playing Federer with a busted ankle. And guess what? Nalbandian - who some people on this board have mentioned that he is awsome in every department of the game, nearly found a way to lose playing his best tennis against a crippled.

IvanAndreevich
04-13-2010, 01:22 AM
It's pretty close game wise, but mentally you have to give a big nod to Safin.

P_Agony
04-13-2010, 01:26 AM
agree on most parts, but I cant agree that Nalbandians forehand is better than Safins, it was more stabil compared to Safins in the late years. but before that Safins forehand was such a powerfull weapon, way better than Nalbandians! volleys I would say is pretty even too..

Nalbandian's forehand is not better than Safin's. No way.

While Safin had a great FH at times, it could have broken down during matches and fail him, and with Nalbandian it was very consistent and almost as lethal as his BH. I would agree that at their best, Safin's FH is better, but overall, most of the time, I'd take Nalby's.

Nalby also has a great feel and is very good at the net and at the dropshots.

P_Agony
04-13-2010, 01:48 AM
Again, Nalbandian fans just living in a dream world. Nalbandian doesn't posses the best return nowadays or ever. Connors, Agassi, Murray, Ferrer all have better returns. Nalbandian's forehand is nothing special and makes many critical errors on that wing. No way in hell is Nalbandian's BH the best ever. It's up their but if we come back down into reality then Safin's is the better shot. Safin before his retirement wasn't moving great and even a commentator said 'he's moving like a bus'. And even that said, Nalbandian isn't exactly a top 10 mover on tour. There's even a training video of him dropping after 10 seconds of jogging.


Some Nalbandian fans are silly. Let me rephrase that. All of them are silly trying to overrate Nalbandian's ability. The guy has got one shot in his game which is above good. Nothing else is special about his game.


Safin has 2 slams. Tough to agrue when you've won both defeating possible the two greatest players ever; demolishing the 'all time great' at that point in 2000. And is possibly the only player to have beaten Federer in 'god mode' in a slam. Again, the Feddie fans will try to deny it but it's true.

And i'll repeat this anyway, Nalbandian's biggest title was the TMC 2005. He was only in there as a charity case. Everyone else (Safin, Roddick, Nadal and others) dropped out and it was the most dissapointing TMC field ever. He never was in the top 8 of the race so really he should be thankful with what he has achieved at the moment. And you couldn't have drawn up a possible scenario with playing Federer with a busted ankle. And guess what? Nalbandian - who some people on this board have mentioned that he is awsome in every department of the game, nearly found a way to lose playing his best tennis against a crippled.

No, no and no. I'm sorry, but I completley disagree with just about everything you have written. Nalby's returns are great, he can return both aggressive returns and defensive returns and fo it consistently. The guy used to constantly abuse the biggest serves in the game. As for his FH, while its true there are many FHs which are better than his, it's a consistent, deep shot and overall a good stroke - nothing fancy but still very good. His BH is not only one of the most beautiful shots in the game, it's also one of best. The guy can create some of the most insane angles with it, and he can he it DTL almost just as well (although Safin's DTL BH is a tad better). How about Nalby's great touch at the net? Sure, there are far better volley players, but in the game of today, where most player don't even come close to the net until it's time to shake hands, Nalby has some very nice skills there. Nalby is also a great point constructor when he's on.

You also forgot to mention how Nalby beat prime Federer and Nadal back to back in 2007. How can a player with such a result can be regarded as overrated is beyond me (and again, we're talking prime Fed and Nadal here, not the "I don't give a crap" 2010 Fed or "I can't win any tourney" 2010 Nadal).

And Nalbandian is not even my favorite, heck he's not even in my top 3 players, but he's a player I love watching because he plays the game with ease, effortless look, and he's talented as they come. Too bad he couldn't back his talent with a good mental game more often.

P_Agony
04-13-2010, 01:52 AM
It is one of them for sure but not the only one. However yes the ability to beat Federer at his absolute best, not just playing well or even very well but at his true maximum best, is something truly special, and Nadal, Safin, and maybe Djokovic are the only current players to achieve. Breaking down their games I feel Safin is just a bit better overall too. Beyond breaking down the various shots, Nalbandian has the edge in variety and feel, Safin in pure power. In the end though power wins out with players of similar overall skill (aka by overall skill obviously not the same as say comparing Murray and Gulbis).

Djokovic can beat Federer at his very best? I'm confused :confused:

Oh you probably mean that Miami 09 match, yes where Federer played ight out tennis and lost a close match. Seriously, what is it with the Djokovic overhype, if anyone is overrated around these boards is him. The guy needed a sick Federer and a slump Federer to get some wins. Federer owns him and when Federer plays even 70% against him he wins, end of story. Djokovic has no answer to a great-playing Federer.

Ocean Drive
04-13-2010, 02:00 AM
Marat's backhand ows Nalbandians in pretty much every way apart from angles.

Watch their backhand to backhand rallies in their matches, regardless of whether it was post 2005 and Safin was a shadow of his former self. These rallies show that power does matter, whether some people tend to sit back and argue that because Nalbandian can create good angles, it doesn't matter because at the end of the day, you can use power in any position in a rally, whereas you can pretty much only hit angles when you're pushed wide. Power >>>>> Angles. And it's not like Marat can't hit angles, if you've seen any of his prime matches where he was actually agile and able to move to his left and right, he could also hit phenomenal angles. Nalbandian doesn't have close to the power of Safin. That's why I'd take Agassi and Kafelnikov over him any day of the week. If we're talking angles, nobody can hit these type of shots better than Marcelo Rios.

It's funny how often this is discussed. The 'whos better' scenario between these two.

Safin - Higher ranking, he actually has a slam (two of them) (two finals) beating the greatest ever, more titles, more masters series, Davis Cup titles. All this despite only playing close to his best form before he was 25. And even before he was 25, he was plagued with injuries (serious wrist injury, a back injury that hampered his 2001 season, multiple niggles with his shoulder, blah blah blah)

He achieved a hell of a lot more before he was 25 than Nalbandian ever has.

And by the way, Safins forehand only seriously broke down consistently in matches after he had the knee injury in 2005 where he had to change his movement and completely revamp his forehand technique in 2008. In 2007 it was probably in the top 5 worst shots in the top 100. Shank after shank. But it was never break down like that 2005 and prior, it could break down, like any shot of any pros could but not close to the level it was post 2005.

Anaconda
04-13-2010, 02:09 AM
No, no and no. I'm sorry, but I completley disagree with just about everything you have written. Nalby's returns are great, he can return both aggressive returns and defensive returns and fo it consistently. The guy used to constantly abuse the biggest serves in the game. As for his FH, while its true there are many FHs which are better than his, it's a consistent, deep shot and overall a good stroke - nothing fancy but still very good. His BH is not only one of the most beautiful shots in the game, it's also one of best. The guy can create some of the most insane angles with it, and he can he it DTL almost just as well (although Safin's DTL BH is a tad better). How about Nalby's great touch at the net? Sure, there are far better volley players, but in the game of today, where most player don't even come close to the net until it's time to shake hands, Nalby has some very nice skills there. Nalby is also a great point constructor when he's on.

You also forgot to mention how Nalby beat prime Federer and Nadal back to back in 2007. How can a player with such a result can be regarded as overrated is beyond me (and again, we're talking prime Fed and Nadal here, not the "I don't give a crap" 2010 Fed or "I can't win any tourney" 2010 Nadal).

And Nalbandian is not even my favorite, heck he's not even in my top 3 players, but he's a player I love watching because he plays the game with ease, effortless look, and he's talented as they come. Too bad he couldn't back his talent with a good mental game more often.

'Constantly abusing the biggest servers in the game'.

Yeah ok that's why he let 40 odd aces past him in the US open against a Roddick who was dead for the magority of the match serving below 60%. Nalbandian has got a great return - but it's certainly not the greatest in the game.

Yeah and your comment 'when he is on he is a great point constructor'. Ask me this. How many times a year is Nalbandian on?

The majority of Nalbandian's victories over Federer and Nadal have also come in the final months of the tour. So basically in other words, when Nadal has booked his travel flights to Europe then he is already dead from all of the tournaments he has played during the year and the same can be said about Federer also. Nalbandian doesn't play as much tennis so 100% of the time at the indoor season he will be the fresher player.

Oh and by the way what is Nalbandian's best win at a slam? Who has he beaten in the last few years that can actually bolster my opinion of him. Thought so because he's too busy choking against guys who he should be bageling.

Oh yeah and 0 slams proves my point.

Cesc Fabregas
04-13-2010, 02:52 AM
Safin easily. He has a better forehand, backhand and serve than Nalbandian.

piece
04-13-2010, 02:54 AM
Marat's backhand ows Nalbandians in pretty much every way apart from angles.

Watch their backhand to backhand rallies in their matches, regardless of whether it was post 2005 and Safin was a shadow of his former self. These rallies show that power does matter, whether some people tend to sit back and argue that because Nalbandian can create good angles, it doesn't matter because at the end of the day, you can use power in any position in a rally, whereas you can pretty much only hit angles when you're pushed wide. Power >>>>> Angles. And it's not like Marat can't hit angles, if you've seen any of his prime matches where he was actually agile and able to move to his left and right, he could also hit phenomenal angles. Nalbandian doesn't have close to the power of Safin. He achieved a hell of a lot more before he was 25 than Nalbandian ever has.

Backhand to backhand rallies dont tell the whole story. Pretty much all you get to see in those is a cross court topspin rally shot. in the 2003 tmc agassi was getting the better of nalbandian in crosscourt bh exchanges, but nalbandian was killing him with his ability to hit down the line (agassi ended up winning the match though, with more consistent play)
I'd have to see the matches you're talking about to make my judgement, but based on the good matches i've seen the two play against other opponents I'd probably rate nalbandian's crosscourt bh over safin's in terms of consistent depth, angles, and shotmaking ability.
Safin's DTL backhand is probably better than Nalbandian's, only slightly though. Safin has a fair bit more power but Nalbandian is better at changing the direction of the ball to make it go down the line I think. hard to argue with the power of safin's shot in this respect though.
Overall shotmaking off the backhand has got to go to nalbandian. Safin was something of a ballbasher with his backhand - and before you grill me here - an extremely talented ballbasher. But his power, consistency, and ability to hit down the line were his backhand's best assets IMO, not his shotmaking.

I've gotta go with Nalbandian having the better backhand overall.

With forehand, it's close again. Nalbandian at his best was outplaying Federer of the forehand side in Paris 2007, and in Madrid second two sets as well if I remember correctly. Not sure who to go with here if we're talking best compared to best, MAYBE safin because of the power again.

davey25
04-13-2010, 03:31 AM
While Safin had a great FH at times, it could have broken down during matches and fail him, and with Nalbandian it was very consistent and almost as lethal as his BH. I would agree that at their best, Safin's FH is better, but overall, most of the time, I'd take Nalby's.

Nalby also has a great feel and is very good at the net and at the dropshots.

Nalbandian just has a pretty good forehand. It isnt even close to one of the best in the game. Safin's forehand wasnt anymore inconsistent than the rest of his game back in his prime, and was much more lethal than Nalbandian's was.

davey25
04-13-2010, 03:41 AM
Again, Nalbandian fans just living in a dream world. Nalbandian doesn't posses the best return nowadays or ever. Connors, Agassi, Murray, Ferrer all have better returns. Nalbandian's forehand is nothing special and makes many critical errors on that wing. No way in hell is Nalbandian's BH the best ever. It's up their but if we come back down into reality then Safin's is the better shot. Safin before his retirement wasn't moving great and even a commentator said 'he's moving like a bus'. And even that said, Nalbandian isn't exactly a top 10 mover on tour. There's even a training video of him dropping after 10 seconds of jogging.


Some Nalbandian fans are silly. Let me rephrase that. All of them are silly trying to overrate Nalbandian's ability. The guy has got one shot in his game which is above good. Nothing else is special about his game.


Safin has 2 slams. Tough to agrue when you've won both defeating possible the two greatest players ever; demolishing the 'all time great' at that point in 2000. And is possibly the only player to have beaten Federer in 'god mode' in a slam. Again, the Feddie fans will try to deny it but it's true.

And i'll repeat this anyway, Nalbandian's biggest title was the TMC 2005. He was only in there as a charity case. Everyone else (Safin, Roddick, Nadal and others) dropped out and it was the most dissapointing TMC field ever. He never was in the top 8 of the race so really he should be thankful with what he has achieved at the moment. And you couldn't have drawn up a possible scenario with playing Federer with a busted ankle. And guess what? Nalbandian - who some people on this board have mentioned that he is awsome in every department of the game, nearly found a way to lose playing his best tennis against a crippled.

You know we disagree often but I completely agree with everything you said here. The Nalbandiantards are living in a fantasy World. He is a very talented and very good player who could have won 1 or 2 slams maybe with more dedication and a bit more luck. However he isnt even close to some demi god. Safin is by far the superior player and greater talent, heck he is a bigger underachiever than Nalbandian in many ways and yet still achieved as much or more than Nalbandian would have even maximizing his own potential.

The funny thing is many people act like Nalbandian was thought of this amazing talent who would dominate tennis when he first appeared. This is so far from the truth it isnt even funny. When he reached that what at the time appeared to be fluke Wimbledon final in 2002 people were comparing him to Chris Lewis. He actually has turned out to be a much better player than nearly all experts and fans pegged him to become at that point. At the 2003 U.S Open Nalbandian played one of his best matches ever and still lost to a subpar Roddick who played one of his worst matches of the summer. People can say Nalbandian should have won, but Roddick ripped away many of his chances on his own and was just too determined in the 3rd set breaker and too strong after that. Writers at the time were baffled by his head to head with Federer and how such a player who was even then seen as just a steady counterpuncher, who in the words of those writers was "far less talented" than Federer, could be the one to have such a great head to head. He certainly wasnt being touted as some rare and special talent even at that point, now established as a top 5-8 player in the World.

It has only since he has gotten more out of shape, had a couple chokes in big matches, and given people reason to saddle him with somewhat of an underachieving label that he has suddenly been transformed into this GOAT to be and out of this World talent who could dominate which he was NEVER seen as by anyone before that. If he had stayed in shape like he was in 2002-2003, choked in fewer slam matches, and ended up maybe getting 1 or 2 slams if he got lucky, nobody would be in awe of him like now. Heck he would probably be ridiculed as some lucky overachiever then like the forums favorite punching bags like Roddick and Hewitt. Instead he is the guy who was supposably more talented than Federer and #1 underachiever Safin, and could have won double digit slams, LOL! People on this forum especialy seem to be in love with underachievers. Note people, just because you are an underachiever to some degree does not suddenly mean you are the most talented player of your generation and should have won double digit slams.

P_Agony
04-13-2010, 03:52 AM
'Constantly abusing the biggest servers in the game'.

Yeah ok that's why he let 40 odd aces past him in the US open against a Roddick who was dead for the magority of the match serving below 60%. Nalbandian has got a great return - but it's certainly not the greatest in the game.

Yeah and your comment 'when he is on he is a great point constructor'. Ask me this. How many times a year is Nalbandian on?

Not enough, which exactly why I said it's a shame his head isn't there more often. However, it doesn't say anything about his talent and shotmaking abilities.
The majority of Nalbandian's victories over Federer and Nadal have also come in the final months of the tour. So basically in other words, when Nadal has booked his travel flights to Europe then he is already dead from all of the tournaments he has played during the year and the same can be said about Federer also. Nalbandian doesn't play as much tennis so 100% of the time at the indoor season he will be the fresher player.
Oh come on, no credit for the guy who beat Fed and Nadal back to back twice in their prime? Nadal and Federer actually played quite well in those matches, and Nalby was just a monster, he was mentally "on" and you could see how enjoys being there hitting.

Oh and by the way what is Nalbandian's best win at a slam? Who has he beaten in the last few years that can actually bolster my opinion of him. Thought so because he's too busy choking against guys who he should be bageling.

Oh yeah and 0 slams proves my point.
Like I already said, Safin is the far greater player as far as results wise, and so is Hewitt, and Roddick, and even Ferrero. Do you really think Ferrero is more talented and is overall a better player than Nalby? I don't. There is a difference between being a great player than being a great match player. Nalby is a great, talented player, who has a grat variety of shots and plays the game with effortless look (2nd only to Fed). However, he is not a great match player (except when he's 'on' and he isn't on enough)


Replies are bolded above.

Ocean Drive
04-13-2010, 03:54 AM
To piece,

Safin was somewhat of a ballbasher with his backhand?

You see, I'm not your typical tennis forum user, I don't latch onto these useless definitions and made up words that people create and I don't understand this overused ballbasher word.

Of course he is a ballbasher, he absolutely hits the hair off the ball, he has immense power. Pretty much all pros hit the ball very hard, hence the fact that they "bash" the ball, yes?

On tennis forums it's apparent that hitting the ball softly is better than hitting the ball hard, what? (with what I'm saying here, it's not directed at you in particular, but just plenty of people on the forum)

If people mean hitting the ball very hard without thinking, then this 'ballbasher' word is used wrongly, because a lot of the 'ballbashers' actually do use their brain, somewhat or are using a strategy that is effective, how can you fault that?

If I had to define this 'ballbasher' word then I'd say that it is somebody who hits the ball without thinking and doesn't have a strategy, eg. Dmitry Tursunov half of the time.

Safin on the other hand, was effective with his backhand, pretty much at all times. He would gain the upper hand in the rally and push opponents into awkward positions or disable them from gaining the upper hand, themselves. He could hit winners when the space was available and also turn defence into attack when on the back foot. I don't see how you can fault this. Yet again, I'll state that dinking the ball around the court is not the most effective way to play, because that seems like what people are getting at.

And Safin at his best produced it on the biggest stage, Nalbandian never and never will. He'll be one of these guy that wont be forgotten (by knowledgable sort of people) but will never be looked back on as one of the very top players of his era. 1 slam final just isn't good enough for that, he's had more than enough chances to reach more finals and has failed. Marat never had a problem coming through tight contests in slams, he's somewhat known for winning epic battles in slams. All this coming from a so called mentally weak player. Sure, he was a headcase, but he could also be very steely. Nalbandian is definitely a lower calibre player than Safin.

Ocean Drive
04-13-2010, 03:56 AM
And Nadal indoors is not close to the player he is on outdoor hard or clay or grass, it is by far his weakest surface. It's basically like beating Sampras on clay.

thalivest
04-13-2010, 04:00 AM
Djokovic can beat Federer at his very best? I'm confused :confused:


While Federer didnt play his very best in the 2008 Australian Open semis he did play very well and still lost pretty badly. I think even if he had played his absolute best he probably would have lost that day. Djokovic has beaten Federer in about half their matches since the start of 2007. So it is hard to imagine Djokovic wouldnt be capable of beating Federer even at his best.

There are also matches they played where Djokovic wasnt even playing well and Federer was in top form, and were still quite tight with Djokovic having real chance. Like the 2008 U.S Open where a top Federer played a sluggish Djokovic, and Djokovic still nearly went up 2 sets to 1.

Oh you probably mean that Miami 09 match, yes where Federer played ight out tennis and lost a close match.

Neither played well in that match for their standards and Djokovic won. Last year they played 3 matches neither played that well in and Djokovic won all 3, and 2 matches they played played very well in and Federer won both. All 5 were close. So it would seem they were evenly matched in abilities. Federer with the edge in best of 5 and Djokovic in best of 3, but Djokovic still a threat to Federer in best of 5 and Federer to Djokovic in best of 3.

Seriously, what is it with the Djokovic overhype, if anyone is overrated around these boards is him. The guy needed a sick Federer and a slump Federer to get some wins. Federer owns him and when Federer plays even 70% against him he wins, end of story. Djokovic has no answer to a great-playing Federer.

If anyone at the top is overrated it is Murray who some hype as a better player than Djokovic despite never ending a year ranked higher, much weaker slam resume, fewer Masters titles, a weaker overall Masters and tour record.

Stop with this sick Federer please. Djokovic won the Australian Open hands down and I dont even like the guy, he is even more one of my least favorite players than Federer, but he clearly took that event by outplaying the entire field and certainly Federer in that semifinal. A slump Federer? So has Federer always been in a slump since 2007. After all he lost to Djokovic in 2007, had set points to go down 2 sets to 0 in the U.S Open as well in 2007, lost to Djokovic badly in a slam semi in 2008 (oh I forgot only since he was sick, LOL), and lost to Djokovic three times in 2009 including once after his resurgence and dominance of the slams and remainder of the year following Madrid.

Federer was playing at far more than 70% when he lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open semis, Canadian Masters final, and even when he was close to going down 2 sets to 0 in the U.S Open final. He was playing at close to 100% in the 2008 U.S Open semis and still was close to going down 2 sets to 1 to a 70% Djokovic.

Federer has the edge but it is nowhere near what you make it out to be. Djokovic is a tough and quite even opponent of Federer for awhile now. Djokovic also is one of the very best players in the World for over 3 years now, the best hard court player in the World for the year 2008, Nadal's biggest nightmare opponent of all on a hard court (as a Nadal fan I know that all too well), and a better player than Murray. End of story.

Ocean Drive
04-13-2010, 04:02 AM
You know we disagree often but I completely agree with everything you said here. The Nalbandiantards are living in a fantasy World. He is a very talented and very good player who could have won 1 or 2 slams maybe with more dedication and a bit more luck. However he isnt even close to some demi god. Safin is by far the superior player and greater talent, heck he is a bigger underachiever than Nalbandian in many ways and yet still achieved as much or more than Nalbandian would have even maximizing his own potential.

The funny thing is many people act like Nalbandian was thought of this amazing talent who would dominate tennis when he first appeared. This is so far from the truth it isnt even funny. When he reached that what at the time appeared to be fluke Wimbledon final in 2002 people were comparing him to Chris Lewis. He actually has turned out to be a much better player than nearly all experts and fans pegged him to become at that point. At the 2003 U.S Open Nalbandian played one of his best matches ever and still lost to a subpar Roddick who played one of his worst matches of the summer. People can say Nalbandian should have won, but Roddick ripped away many of his chances on his own and was just too determined in the 3rd set breaker and too strong after that. Writers at the time were baffled by his head to head with Federer and how such a player who was even then seen as just a steady counterpuncher, who in the words of those writers was "far less talented" than Federer, could be the one to have such a great head to head. He certainly wasnt being touted as some rare and special talent even at that point, now established as a top 5-8 player in the World.

It has only since he has gotten more out of shape, had a couple chokes in big matches, and given people reason to saddle him with somewhat of an underachieving label that he has suddenly been transformed into this GOAT to be and out of this World talent who could dominate which he was NEVER seen as by anyone before that. If he had stayed in shape like he was in 2002-2003, choked in fewer slam matches, and ended up maybe getting 1 or 2 slams if he got lucky, nobody would be in awe of him like now. Heck he would probably be ridiculed as some lucky overachiever then like the forums favorite punching bags like Roddick and Hewitt. Instead he is the guy who was supposably more talented than Federer and #1 underachiever Safin, and could have won double digit slams, LOL! People on this forum especialy seem to be in love with underachievers. Note people, just because you are an underachiever to some degree does not suddenly mean you are the most talented player of your generation and should have won double digit slams.

I do find a lot of what you're saying really amusing and true.

Even before his double in Madrid and Paris, nobody was talking about him.

The 2005 TMC field was an embarrassment, off the top of my head I think Agassi withdrew near the start of the round robin, Hewitt, Roddick, Safin, Nadal had all withdrawn beforehand. Now those are all quality players capable of beating Nalbandian. Very lucky to even be there.

rovex
04-13-2010, 04:17 AM
If anyone at the top is overrated it is Murray who some hype as a better player than Djokovic despite never ending a year ranked higher, much weaker slam resume, fewer Masters titles, a weaker overall Masters and tour record.

Far too simplistic analysis. I guess we could talk all day why Djokovic has faced Federer in only 1 slam final, and in addition his H2H against Federer is abysmal While Murray's leading theres. Next you are going to tell me Djokovic deserves the number 2 ranking even though he's won 1 masters event in 09 and made just 2 slam semis since his AO title.



Federer has the edge but it is nowhere near what you make it out to be. Djokovic is a tough and quite even opponent of Federer for awhile now. Djokovic also is one of the very best players in the World for over 3 years now, the best hard court player in the World for the year 2008, Nadal's biggest nightmare opponent of all on a hard court (as a Nadal fan I know that all too well), and a better player than Murray. End of story.

I guess you forgot about the USO 07 where Djokovic got a beat down by Federer. Again, all this conjectue "Djokovic is a tough opponent for Federer" then why the heck is his H2H with Federer appalling? Here's another gem by you "Nadal's biggest nightmare on a hard court (djokovic)", yeah, i guess we can make such an assertion even though they haven't played in a HC slam While He's played Murray 3 times in a HC slam and schooled Nadal pretty bad in 2 of those 3.

These Nadal fanboys Need to start being more objective!

Nextman916
04-13-2010, 04:19 AM
Didn't Federer himself say that Nalbandian missed his chance at being #1?

thalivest
04-13-2010, 04:44 AM
You also forgot to mention how Nalby beat prime Federer and Nadal back to back in 2007. How can a player with such a result can be regarded as overrated is beyond me (and again, we're talking prime Fed and Nadal here, not the "I don't give a crap" 2010 Fed or "I can't win any tourney" 2010 Nadal).

Federer stopped caring much about best of 3 tournaments after Dubai 2007 around. In 2007 alone he lost twice in Masters to Canas, to Volandri, to Gonzalez (noteable due to their head to head history), was down match points to Hewitt (read Gonzalez), in addition to those 2 losses to Nalbandian (and the unsurprising ones to Nadal and Djokovic). How can you act like beating Federer in a Masters event is that monumental when you look at all the list of guys who have done it in the last 3 years. It is not like beating Federer in a slam or beating him in a Masters from 2004-2006.

Beating Nadal indoors is never going to be something monumental. As a Nadal fan I will freely say this has and will always be his worst active surface by far, even over the fast hard courts of the U.S Open, and if he ever even makes the final of the TMC it will be a bit of a miracle. Federer despite his history of Nadal as a nightmare opponent had an easy time schooling Nadal the two times they met at the TMC indoors.

Oh come on, no credit for the guy who beat Fed and Nadal back to back twice in their prime? Nadal and Federer actually played quite well in those matches, and Nalby was just a monster, he was mentally "on" and you could see how enjoys being there hitting.

Again do you want a list of all the guys who have beaten Federer in Masters events (especialy after the U.S Open) or beaten Nadal indoors in the last 3 years.

Like I already said, Safin is the far greater player as far as results wise, and so is Hewitt, and Roddick, and even Ferrero. Do you really think Ferrero is more talented and is overall a better player than Nalby? I don't. There is a difference between being a great player than being a great match player. Nalby is a great, talented player, who has a grat variety of shots and plays the game with effortless look (2nd only to Fed). However, he is not a great match player (except when he's 'on' and he isn't on enough)


Ferrero probably should have won around 3 French Opens. He would have been the heavy favorite in 2004 without his health problems. He was the heavy favorite in 2002 but choked in the final. He had a great rivalry with Kuerten at the top of the clay court game in 2001, should have beaten but choked away a clear lead to Kuerten in the 2000 FO semis. He would have even been a real threat to win in 2005, and still one of the top 3 or 4 on clay in the years since likely without his health problems wrecking his career after 2003.

Is he more or less talented than Nalbandian? Nalbandian might be more talented overall, but Ferrero has far more talent for clay than what Nalbandian has for any one surface, even indoors. Thus Ferrero had even more potential talent wise to be a winner than Nalbandian based on his talents for that particular surface alone.

As for an overall better player Ferrero is still one of the best clay courters of this decade, trailing only Kuerten, Nadal, and arguably Federer. In addition to his French Open title, and other finals and semis, and his Masters wins on clay, he also has a U.S Open final himself, and a TMC final in a full field. He has been #1 in the World. Ferrero probably should be considered the better player, even if Nalbandian is arguably a bit better on all surfaces except clay.

thalivest
04-13-2010, 04:47 AM
Didn't Federer himself say that Nalbandian missed his chance at being #1?

Federer is often blindly generous to certain players. I cant imagine anytime Nalbandian was ever going to be #1. He wasnt a good enough player yet in 2002 or 2003, and he was never going to be ranked ahead of Federer from 2004 onwards.

Safin actually was #1 briefly and could have been #1 the whole 2000-2003 period had he stayed healthy and been more a more stable competitor.

Tsonga#1fan
04-13-2010, 06:52 AM
Safin was very much an underachiever throughout his career. Nalbandian is one of the all time over achievers. Nalbandian is fortunate for what success he did achieve.

Safin4ever
04-13-2010, 07:20 AM
Safin was very much an underachiever throughout his career. Nalbandian is one of the all time over achievers. Nalbandian is fortunate for what success he did achieve.

You gotta be kidding...

P_Agony
04-13-2010, 07:30 AM
While Federer didnt play his very best in the 2008 Australian Open semis he did play very well and still lost pretty badly. I think even if he had played his absolute best he probably would have lost that day. Djokovic has beaten Federer in about half their matches since the start of 2007. So it is hard to imagine Djokovic wouldnt be capable of beating Federer even at his best.

Are you serious? Federer's looked like he's going to die, he was sweating like he never does, he looked ill, his movement was off, his BH was off, and Djokovic was playing the best tennis of his life. Federer played at about 40% in that match. Djokovic never bear Federer playing at his very best, the only time I can think of that came close was Montreal 2007 final, but even then Fed made tons of BH errors and still almost won

There are also matches they played where Djokovic wasnt even playing well and Federer was in top form, and were still quite tight with Djokovic having real chance. Like the 2008 U.S Open where a top Federer played a sluggish Djokovic, and Djokovic still nearly went up 2 sets to 1.

Again, are you serious? USO 2008 SF was perhaps their most even match, when both played quite well and up until the fourth it was very competitive. Djoko played very well, but Federer proved that he's the better player. Federer has owned Djoko in the USO for three years in a row, and in all matches Djoko played well above his average, and still managed to win only one set from the 10 they played.

Neither played well in that match for their standards and Djokovic won. Last year they played 3 matches neither played that well in and Djokovic won all 3, and 2 matches they played played very well in and Federer won both. All 5 were close. So it would seem they were evenly matched in abilities. Federer with the edge in best of 5 and Djokovic in best of 3, but Djokovic still a threat to Federer in best of 5 and Federer to Djokovic in best of 3.


At Miami 2009 Federer didn't just play "badly", he played like crap, it was the worst I've ever seen him, and still won a set.

If anyone at the top is overrated it is Murray who some hype as a better player than Djokovic despite never ending a year ranked higher, much weaker slam resume, fewer Masters titles, a weaker overall Masters and tour record.

Murray > Djokovic for the past 2 years, including winning every HC match against him for a while now.
Stop with this sick Federer please. Djokovic won the Australian Open hands down and I dont even like the guy, he is even more one of my least favorite players than Federer, but he clearly took that event by outplaying the entire field and certainly Federer in that semifinal. A slump Federer? So has Federer always been in a slump since 2007. After all he lost to Djokovic in 2007, had set points to go down 2 sets to 0 in the U.S Open as well in 2007, lost to Djokovic badly in a slam semi in 2008 (oh I forgot only since he was sick, LOL), and lost to Djokovic three times in 2009 including once after his resurgence and dominance of the slams and remainder of the year following Madrid.

Federer was playing at far more than 70% when he lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open semis, Canadian Masters final, and even when he was close to going down 2 sets to 0 in the U.S Open final. He was playing at close to 100% in the 2008 U.S Open semis and still was close to going down 2 sets to 1 to a 70% Djokovic.

Federer has the edge but it is nowhere near what you make it out to be. Djokovic is a tough and quite even opponent of Federer for awhile now. Djokovic also is one of the very best players in the World for over 3 years now, the best hard court player in the World for the year 2008, Nadal's biggest nightmare opponent of all on a hard court (as a Nadal fan I know that all too well), and a better player than Murray. End of story.


Federer > Djokovic in every way shapre or form. You have no case.

David123
04-13-2010, 07:35 AM
I think safin. Safin has been to #1 in the past won few major titles, Nalbandian not really.

piece
04-14-2010, 12:46 AM
To piece,

Safin was somewhat of a ballbasher with his backhand?

You see, I'm not your typical tennis forum user, I don't latch onto these useless definitions and made up words that people create and I don't understand this overused ballbasher word.

Of course he is a ballbasher, he absolutely hits the hair off the ball, he has immense power. Pretty much all pros hit the ball very hard, hence the fact that they "bash" the ball, yes?

On tennis forums it's apparent that hitting the ball softly is better than hitting the ball hard, what? (with what I'm saying here, it's not directed at you in particular, but just plenty of people on the forum)

If people mean hitting the ball very hard without thinking, then this 'ballbasher' word is used wrongly, because a lot of the 'ballbashers' actually do use their brain, somewhat or are using a strategy that is effective, how can you fault that?

If I had to define this 'ballbasher' word then I'd say that it is somebody who hits the ball without thinking and doesn't have a strategy, eg. Dmitry Tursunov half of the time.

Safin on the other hand, was effective with his backhand, pretty much at all times. He would gain the upper hand in the rally and push opponents into awkward positions or disable them from gaining the upper hand, themselves. He could hit winners when the space was available and also turn defence into attack when on the back foot. I don't see how you can fault this. Yet again, I'll state that dinking the ball around the court is not the most effective way to play, because that seems like what people are getting at.

And Safin at his best produced it on the biggest stage, Nalbandian never and never will. He'll be one of these guy that wont be forgotten (by knowledgable sort of people) but will never be looked back on as one of the very top players of his era. 1 slam final just isn't good enough for that, he's had more than enough chances to reach more finals and has failed. Marat never had a problem coming through tight contests in slams, he's somewhat known for winning epic battles in slams. All this coming from a so called mentally weak player. Sure, he was a headcase, but he could also be very steely. Nalbandian is definitely a lower calibre player than Safin.

Fair enough. I think "ballbasher" is useful shorthand for someone who hits the ball hard as a substitute for point construction or shotmaking. Safin, whilst good at point construction, and a well above average shotmaker, possesses neither of these attributes to the degree that he possesses raw power. You're right that there's nothing wrong with power, but what Safin has in power off the backhand wing doesn't make up for his relative (compared to nalbandian) deficiencies in the shotmaking and point construction departments. Furthermore, I think Nalbandian gets better depth on average off his backhand, has better angles, and can change direction better. Safin wins out in respect of power in general, and this in particular makes his DTL BH slightly better than Nalby's, and might give him an advantage in crosscourt BH exchanges. I think you were right to call me out on labelling Safin a ballbasher, and I hope what I've just said clarifies what I meant a little bit.

I agree that Safin is a higher calibre player than Nalbandian, but not on the basis of strokes. What makes Safin better than Nalbandian is his ability to put his game together when it matters - which, in the big leagues, is gonna win you a lot more titles than natural strokeplay and shotmaking ability.

davey25
04-14-2010, 04:02 AM
Nalbandian has never played tennis as incredible as Safin in the 2000 U.S Open final or in the 2005 Australian Open semis, and I have seen many of his matches over the years including his best ever tennis played in late 2007.

Nalbandian would be completely incapable of ever beating Federer playing as well as he did in the 2005 Australian Open semis in a slam semifinal, no matter how well Nalbandian played. He just couldnt ever do it, but Safin did it.

dropshot winner
04-14-2010, 04:16 AM
Nalbandian has never played tennis as incredible as Safin in the 2000 U.S Open final or in the 2005 Australian Open semis, and I have seen many of his matches over the years including his best ever tennis played in late 2007.

Nalbandian would be completely incapable of ever beating Federer playing as well as he did in the 2005 Australian Open semis in a slam semifinal, no matter how well Nalbandian played. He just couldnt ever do it, but Safin did it.

Federer played even better in that 3-setter he lost to Nalbandian in 2007. But I do agree that a guy with Nalbandian's stamina isn't very likely to beat Federer in a slam in 5-sets.

davey25
04-14-2010, 04:19 AM
Federer played even better in that 3-setter he lost to Nalbandian in 2007. But I do agree that a guy with Nalbandian's stamina isn't very likely to beat Federer in a slam in 5-sets.

Completely laugahble. I saw that Madrid final and if you think Federer was playing as well in that match as the Australian Open semi with Safin you are smoking some strong stuff. I am not saying he played badly in the Madrid final but it was nowhere near that Australian match with Safin. In the last 2 sets of the Madrid final he was making quite a few errors, not all caused by Nalbandian at all, serving was ok but not great, backhand was breaking down. The Australian Open semis Federer played some of his truly best tennis, not just some of his pretty good tennis, and Safin still beat him. He was hitting pretty much every shot cleaner and better than the Madrid final with Nalbandian, he was really playing lights out that day himself. Federer was serving great, hardly making any easy errors, backhand held up rock solid even under Safin's lethal arsenal, and Safin still found a way to win.

Perhaps I should rephrase myself, Nalbandian would NEVER beat Federer playing as well as he did in the 2005 Australian Open semis at anytime, on any surface, in any match be that best of 3 or best of 5. Anyone thinking otherwise is delusional.

dropshot winner
04-14-2010, 04:29 AM
Completely laugahble. I saw that Madrid final and if you think Federer was playing as well in that match as the Australian Open semi with Safin you are smoking some strong stuff. I am not saying he played badly in the Madrid final but it was nowhere near that Australian match with Safin. In the last 2 sets of the Madrid final he was making quite a few errors, not all caused by Nalbandian at all, serving was ok but not great, backhand was breaking down. The Australian Open semis Federer played some of his truly best tennis, not just some of his pretty good tennis, and Safin still beat him. He was hitting pretty much every shot cleaner and better than the Madrid final with Nalbandian, he was really playing lights out that day himself. Federer was serving great, hardly making any easy errors, backhand held up rock solid even under Safin's lethal arsenal, and Safin still found a way to win.

Federer (and Safin) made many errors in the first few sets in 2005 too, it was far from a perfectly clean match.

During his run in 2007 Nalbandian was breaking down everyone's left side (whetever it was Nadal's forehand or Federer's backhand), not just with power, but with angles that were so sharp that even Nadal couldn't handle them.

Federer did actually pretty well to play some of those unreal points where both take like 4-5 backhands in a row on the rise. Federer's forehand was probably better in 2005, but Federer played a lot more aggressive with his backhand against Nalbandian (he needs to because Nalbandian can punish his slice), obviously that also leads to more errors.

I don't think right now there's anyone on tour with the form to beat the Federer of that final.

davey25
04-14-2010, 04:44 AM
Federer (and Safin) made many errors in the first few sets in 2005 too, it was far from a perfectly clean match.

During his run in 2007 Nalbandian was breaking down everyone's left side (whetever it was Nadal's forehand or Federer's backhand), not just with power, but with angles that were so sharp that even Nadal couldn't handle them.

Federer did actually pretty well to play some of those unreal points where both take like 4-5 backhands in a row on the rise. Federer's forehand was probably better in 2005, but Federer played a lot more aggressive with his backhand against Nalbandian (he needs to because Nalbandian can punish his slice), obviously that also leads to more errors.

I don't think right now there's anyone on tour with the form to beat the Federer of that final.

Federer's backhand is best broken down with a huge amount of power. Anyone who follows his career would know that. Thus Safin would be more likely to break down Federer's backhand than Nalbandian, yet Federer's backhand wasnt broken down in the 2005 Australian Open semi which Safin won. Sorry you are vastly overrating Federer's play in the 2007 Madrid final. He played well but he has played better than that many times, and he has played better than that and still lost to various players, many of those better players than Nalbandian. Nadal of 2008 would beat the Federer of that final most days on any surface except for fast hard courts and indoors.

After the 2005 Australian Open people were in awe at the quality of the match from both players. The 2007 Madrid final people say it was a pretty good match but nobody was in awe of it.

dropshot winner
04-14-2010, 04:54 AM
Federer's backhand is best broken down with a huge amount of power. Anyone who follows his career would know that. Thus Safin would be more likely to break down Federer's backhand than Nalbandian, yet Federer's backhand wasnt broken down in the 2005 Australian Open semi which Safin won. Sorry you are vastly overrating Federer's play in the 2007 Madrid final. He played well but he has played better than that many times, and he has played better than that and still lost to various players, many of those better players than Nalbandian. Nadal of 2008 would beat the Federer of that final most days on surface except for fast hard courts and indoors.

After the 2005 Australian Open people were in awe at the quality of the match from both players. The 2007 Madrid final people say it was a pretty good match but nobody was in awe of it.
I disagree. Safin was actually one of the very few to beat Federer with power until the US Open final last year.

Historically no one has given Federer's backhand more problems than Nalbandian (not counting Nadal).
Against Safin Federer can use the slice very effectively, Nalbandian on the other hand has an easier time putting the pressure right back on Federer after a defensive slice (just like Nadal).

The 2005 AO SF was a great match, but it wasn't error free at all, the first few sets were poor for such a classic.
No one cares about Paris Masters, so it's hardly surprising that this match (who was no 5-setter) isn't held in similiar regard.

And please stop with "Nadal of 2008", that Nadal lost against Seppi and won one game against Youzhny (after struggling 3-4 hours against grandpa-Moya). Besides, it makes not much sense to write "except for fast hard courts and indoors" when it's an indoor match we're talking about.

davey25
04-14-2010, 05:14 AM
I disagree. Safin was actually one of the very few to beat Federer with power until the US Open final last year.

Djokovic has broken down Federer's backhand with sheer pace a number of times, and that was a large part of many of his wins over Federer (and remember he has many wins over Federer since the start of 2007 now). Berdych broke down Federer's backhand with power at the 2004 Olympics, in Miami this year, in Australia last year. Davydenko was breaking down Federer's backhand with pace off both sides from the baseline at the 2006 Australian Open, 2007 French Open, Australian Open this year, and some other matches, he lost everytime because of the mental midget he is especialy vs Federer. Agassi broke down Federer's backhand with sheer penetration in each of their matches that wasnt an easy win for Federer, especialy their 2 U.S Open matches in a big way despite Federer winning in the end.

There are others who dont break it down with power but do nonetheless like Murray and on occasion Nalbandian, but those guys are fewer than the ones who do it with power.

Historically no one has given Federer's backhand more problems than Nalbandian (not counting Nadal). Against Safin Federer can use the slice very effectively, Nalbandian on the other hand has an easier time putting the pressure right back on Federer after a defensive slice (just like Nadal).

Federer hasnt had much trouble with Nalbandian since 2003. The only surface Nalbandian is even competitive is indoors. He hasnt been able to beat Federer on even slower hard courts or clay which should be good surfaces for him. The head to head would be even worse than what it already is they had more matches on fast hard courts or grass, Federer's favorite surfaces (Nalbandian would get humiliated by Fed on grass).

The 2005 AO SF was a great match, but it wasn't error free at all, the first few sets were poor for such a classic. No one cares about Paris Masters, so it's hardly surprising that this match (who was no 5-setter) isn't held in similiar regard.

The 2005 Australian Open was a stellar match all the way. I am not sure what you were watching that day.

And please stop with "Nadal of 2008", that Nadal lost against Seppi and won one game against Youzhny (after struggling 3-4 hours against grandpa-Moya).

and yet I am sure Nadal played atleast 30 matches that year that were superior to any tennis match Nalbandian has ever played. Do you want me to run down all the losses Nalbandian had in his supposed best year. By the way Nalbandian in his first ever Masters final got spanked by grandpa Moya.

Besides, it makes not much sense to write "except for fast hard courts and indoors" when it's an indoor match we're talking about.

LOL I never said Nadal is a better player indoors than Nalbandian, though he is a better player by far on any other surface. If you want to be insistent on just indoors, it certainly wouldnt have been impossible for Murray, Djokovic, or even Davydenko (if he kept his head together) to beat Federer indoors playing at the same level of the Madrid final. Federer played better than the Madrid final in his 2 losses indoors to Murray in 2008, especialy the one in Madrid semis.


Nalbandian playing lights out has a chance to beat Federer playing well, but both playing their absolute best Nalbandian would never win vs prime Federer since Federer does everything better than Nalbandian apart from the backhand and the 2nd serve return of serve.

abmk
04-14-2010, 11:31 AM
The AO 2005 SF remains to date, by far the best quality match ever IMO , amazing quality right from first point to the last

Ocean Drive
04-15-2010, 07:11 AM
Fair enough. I think "ballbasher" is useful shorthand for someone who hits the ball hard as a substitute for point construction or shotmaking. Safin, whilst good at point construction, and a well above average shotmaker, possesses neither of these attributes to the degree that he possesses raw power. You're right that there's nothing wrong with power, but what Safin has in power off the backhand wing doesn't make up for his relative (compared to nalbandian) deficiencies in the shotmaking and point construction departments. Furthermore, I think Nalbandian gets better depth on average off his backhand, has better angles, and can change direction better. Safin wins out in respect of power in general, and this in particular makes his DTL BH slightly better than Nalby's, and might give him an advantage in crosscourt BH exchanges. I think you were right to call me out on labelling Safin a ballbasher, and I hope what I've just said clarifies what I meant a little bit.

I agree that Safin is a higher calibre player than Nalbandian, but not on the basis of strokes. What makes Safin better than Nalbandian is his ability to put his game together when it matters - which, in the big leagues, is gonna win you a lot more titles than natural strokeplay and shotmaking ability. I mean, I could be wrong here, but because of Marat's longer reach and what I think was superior movement (during his prime) he was able to hit some great shots on the backfoot and in a defensive position and this is without even talking about some of his huge attacking winners. People seem to go by shotmaking ability when a player is on the defence, as it produces more spectacular looking shots, if you're not one of these people (like me) then I apologize.

I disagree with this whole "Nalbandian has better depth and better point contruction thing".

Nalbandian has different ways of constructing a point because he doesn't possess as much power as Safin, not even close. So obviously he's going to have to find ways to end the point better. Safin can do it by hitting one big shot in a rally and then an easy put away. So many times, I've seen Marat just hit one average powered, flat backhand pretty deep to receive a short ball and then an easy put away. That doesn't come across as flashy and people will not take much notice whereas Nalbandian has to hit several shots in general to end a point.

I think Marat's shotmaking ability is definitely better than Nalbandians, I've seen loads of both of their matches and I definitely think I've seen more incredible shots from Marat, and I'm not being biased either because he's my favourite player, he's my favourite player because he does all of these things, not the other way around.

I think Marat's game style is more effective than Nalbandians because if he wanted to end the point right there and then, there was a decent chance he would and in the long run in tournaments and matches, it payed off. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think Marat is this crazy, unbelievable powerful machine, he wasn't, he didn't go for broke constanstly, even maybe when he should've in some instances been more aggressive, but that's besides the point. He was an aggressive player but I think a lot of people say he just tried to hit the ball as hard as he could, that's a myth. A lot of people comparing him to Gulbis, he plays nothing like the guy in stroke mechanics or game style.

I really do believe Nalbandian is overrated simply because he wont those two back to back Masters indoors, he was never talked about like he is now before these tournaments.

Dark Victory
04-17-2010, 05:31 AM
The Australian Open semis Federer played some of his truly best tennis, not just some of his pretty good tennis, and Safin still beat him. He was hitting pretty much every shot cleaner and better than the Madrid final with Nalbandian, he was really playing lights out that day himself. Federer was serving great, hardly making any easy errors, backhand held up rock solid even under Safin's lethal arsenal, and Safin still found a way to win.

Perhaps I should rephrase myself, Nalbandian would NEVER beat Federer playing as well as he did in the 2005 Australian Open semis at anytime, on any surface, in any match be that best of 3 or best of 5.
Agreed.

I rewatched this match two days ago. Funny thing is, even the "errors" Fed was making were still flat-out scary. Scary in a sense that even though he's missing some shots, you can still feel how great he is playing. The level of his confidence was obvious, hence the riskier shots.

Also, just look at the way he moved. He was doing these feints, while-on-the-run body-direction-changes, transitions, small hops, lunges... little nuances of movement that I found really nice to look at. And I haven't even mentioned his volleys and half-volleys, which were superb.

Good observation too about the backhand. His one-hander went toe-to-toe with Safin's powerful 2HBH and it didn't breakdown. And we're not talking about merely trading spins and angles here. Safin sent sharp backhand meteors to Fed and Fed was able to send a lot of them back WITH interest.

davey25
04-17-2010, 06:09 AM
Agreed.

I rewatched this match two days ago. Funny thing is, even the "errors" Fed was making were still flat-out scary. Scary in a sense that even though he's missing some shots, you can still feel how great he is playing. The level of his confidence was obvious, hence the riskier shots.

Also, just look at the way he moved. He was doing these feints, while-on-the-run body-direction-changes, transitions, small hops, lunges... little nuances of movement that I found really nice to look at. And I haven't even mentioned his volleys and half-volleys, which were superb.

Good observation too about the backhand. His one-hander went toe-to-toe with Safin's powerful 2HBH and it didn't breakdown. And we're not talking about merely trading spins and angles here. Safin sent sharp backhand meteors to Fed and Fed was able to send a lot of them back WITH interest.

I agree with all of that. It was a treat to watch Federer's movement, footwork, and defensive prowess all on display that day. It was also great to see him play a backhand as outstanding and powerful as Safin's two hander and have his own backhand stand up and be hit that well against it as was that day, often not the case for Federer. Most of all incredible that despite all that Safin still found a way to beat Federer, and that alone should render any comparisions with Nalbandian, yes a talented player in his own right, pointless altogether. Safin's career > Nalbandian, Safin at his best > Nalbandian at his best, Safin's weapons > Nalbandian's weapon. What is there to debate.

DragonBlaze
04-17-2010, 06:27 AM
I agree with all of that. It was a treat to watch Federer's movement, footwork, and defensive prowess all on display that day. It was also great to see him play a backhand as outstanding and powerful as Safin's two hander and have his own backhand stand up and be hit that well against it as was that day, often not the case for Federer. Most of all incredible that despite all that Safin still found a way to beat Federer, and that alone should render any comparisions with Nalbandian, yes a talented player in his own right, pointless altogether. Safin's career > Nalbandian, Safin at his best > Nalbandian at his best, Safin's weapons > Nalbandian's weapon. What is there to debate.

Really, was this match that good? Unfortunately I missed it...

So tell me this davey, how DID Safin find a way to beat Federer that day? I mean, surely Safin's best isn't better than Federer's best! Is it?

davey25
04-17-2010, 07:16 AM
Really, was this match that good? Unfortunately I missed it...

So tell me this davey, how DID Safin find a way to beat Federer that day? I mean, surely Safin's best isn't better than Federer's best! Is it?

Safin played his 2nd best match ever that day. I wouldnt say on the whole Safin's best is better than Federer's best, especialy not considering all surfaces as Federer's best would beat Safin's best pretty much everytime on clay or grass. However both playing their absolute best on a hard or indoort court both is almost 50-50 to who would win, which probably isnt the case for any other player including even Nadal. Safin beat Federer by serving amazingly well, returning Federer's serve excellently especialy the 2nd, staying almost even with him in the forehand battles (an incredible feat vs a top Federer), and overall having the edge in power which pushed Federer on his heels more than he would have liked. That plus playing the big points incredibly well, like the lob he put over Federer's head to save match point.