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View Full Version : Nadal is to Federer what Seles was to Graff


elquien
07-17-2006, 10:42 AM
The post on Sabatini and Graff got me thinking about this.
***Not so much because of their style of play*** (Seles was not the great athlete that Nadal is) but because their emergence has put an asterisk in the accomplishments of who otherwise is considered to become the GOAT.

Obviously Nadal is not done and Seles was stabbed but the parallels are there.

Federer & Steffi- Athletic, artistic, dominating and intimidating near untouchable on extremely fast surfaces.

Seles & Nadal - Dominating on slow surfaces, unrelenting, mentally strong, and not intimidated by the aforementioned.

Medium surfaces are up for grabs but Nadal like Seles seems to be grabbing the majority of those. Whether Nadal can be take the #1 position from Federer seems unlikely at this point. But it will be interesting to watch. Also Seles's wins over Steffi gave the rest of the field hope. That has not happened yet in the men's field today.

Interesting huh.

P.S. Let’s not make this a Seles vs. Steffi debate. We have been down that endless road already.

Jack Romeo
07-17-2006, 10:52 AM
it's not the same. seles never led in her head-to-head against graf but was able to pass graf in the rankings in only her 3rd full year on tour. nadal leads the head-to-head over federer since 2004 but is still miles behind in ranking points.

federer and steffi are athletic you say, but nadal is also very athletic. seles isn't that athletic. you also characterize steffi as artistic like fed. i don't think she is artistic - she is more methodical and straightforward like lendl and recent agassi.

Warriorroger
07-17-2006, 11:07 AM
The post on Sabatini and Graff got me thinking about this.
Not so much because of their style of play (Seles was not the great athlete that Nadal is) but because their emergence has put an asterisk in the accomplishments of who otherwise is considered to become the GOAT.

Obviously Nadal is not done and Seles was stabbed but the parallels are there.

Federer & Steffi- Athletic, artistic, dominating and intimidating near untouchable on extremely fast surfaces.

Seles & Nadal - Dominating on slow surfaces, unrelenting, mentally strong, and not intimidated by the aforementioned.

Medium surfaces are up for grabs but Nadal like Seles seems to be grabbing the majority of those. Whether Nadal can be take the #1 position from Federer seems unlikely at this point. But it will be interesting to watch. Also Seles's wins over Steffi gave the rest of the field hope. That has not happened yet in the men's field today.

Interesting huh.

P.S. Let’s not make this a Seles vs. Steffi debate. We have been down that endless road already.

Thanks for taking a serious interest in what I have posted in the Gaby and Steffi post. I do (of course :rolleyes: ) disagree about the comparison Seles and Nadal. Sabatini has much more in common (except for the leftie serve/groundstrokes) with Rafael against Roger. I think if you ask Steffi now which game gave her the most trouble it will be Sabatini, for exactly the same reasons Roger has problems with Rafael. Monica on the other hand had a hardhitting game which without a doubt gave Steffi trouble, but was easier to play than an ''on Sabatini''. Monica did so well, also because she was mentally the strongest. Graf lost her matches with Seles more in the mind than with the tennis. Gaby (again on a one day) could play everything and more Steffi threw at her.

Steffi was artistic in her early 80s day, but was winning so much she become one dimensional, but that also gave her the succes.

I do agree with what you say about the fact that Monica and Rafael were not afraid of playing Steffi and Roger, because they could and can hurt them.

fastdunn
07-17-2006, 11:55 AM
Federer is certianly not the most athletic player I've ever seen.
In some way, Nadal is much more athletic.
He does not have explosive movements like Baghdatis, nor as smooth
as Coria's movement. Some of his stroke mechanism sometimes looks
awkward (backhand and serve). But he has the craftiness/touch
of pool player (a la McEnroe, Santoro).

He is very well balanced between athleticism and craftiness.
Maybe the most balanced I've ever seen. McEnroe had genius touch
but didn't look any more athletic than average person. Sampras
was super human athletic but did not use touch as much.
Federer is somewhere between Sampras and McEnroe.
(In fact, he is tad closer to McEnroe, IMHO)

The tennis guy
07-17-2006, 12:15 PM
Federer is certianly not the most athletic player I've ever seen.
In some way, Nadal is much more athletic.


It seems I never agree with you on Federer. Federer isn't the most athletic player? Samrpas and Federer are the two most athletic players I have ever seen overall.

The tennis guy
07-17-2006, 12:20 PM
Medium surfaces are up for grabs but Nadal like Seles seems to be grabbing the majority of those.

Where did you get the idea Nadal grabbed majority medium surface titles? He won one small event this year, lost both at Indian Wells and Miami where he should do great.

Warriorroger
07-17-2006, 12:38 PM
Put Federer and Graf together and it's like watching ballet, never have seen two movers like that.

fastdunn
07-17-2006, 12:40 PM
It seems I never agree with you on Federer. Federer isn't the most athletic player? Samrpas and Federer are the two most athletic players I have ever seen overall.

Graf was clearly the most athletic women in her generation.
She was faster than anyone and she hits the hardest I've ever seen.
Federer is not. The greatness of Federer is the balance he has.
He is athletic but he has lots of craftiness at the same time.
He doesn't have to be the best in every department just because
he maybe the G.O.A.T. The 1st thing I noticed Federer was not
his athleticism. The craftiness of his magical shots were the 1st thing
I noticed. He has that magic pool player in his game. It's "magical"
but not athletic move. Maybe I have different definition of
athleticism but those are two different things, IMHO.

Brettolius
07-17-2006, 01:10 PM
I do not agree with the comment about Federer's backhand and serve are awkward. While I would agree that Nadal is a better athlete than Federer, it's HIS strokes that look awkward to me.

elquien
07-17-2006, 01:12 PM
The contention has little to do with style and more to do with the chronology.

Fed/Steffi Were dominating and seemingly on their way to becoming the greatest uncontested

Nadal/Seles appeared with visually un-appealing styles to dominate on slow and contend on all other surfaces but the very fast ones. Not to mention highlight the chink the armor of the number one player and show all that they in fact can be beat.

Now, certainly it is true for Steffi and from some of the posts and the remarks of commentators of the game it, the title of greatest is not at all certain. How can it be if there was a player who has a winning record against you(Nadal) or took the #1 position and won more titles and grad slams than you (Seles pre stabbing)

Obviously styles are different amongst the four and so are stats.

The tennis guy
07-17-2006, 01:22 PM
The 1st thing I noticed Federer was not
his athleticism. The craftiness of his magical shots were the 1st thing
I noticed. He has that magic pool player in his game. It's "magical"
but not athletic move. Maybe I have different definition of
athleticism but those are two different things, IMHO.

I think Federer's tennis stroke overshadows his athleticism. Both Sampras and Federer are underrated athletes. It's that rare combination of athleticism and craftiness that produces Federer and Sampras. They make everything seem so easy, which in return make them look less athletic.

The tennis guy
07-17-2006, 01:24 PM
Nadal/Seles appeared with visually un-appealing styles to dominate on slow and contend on all other surfaces but the very fast ones.

It's just that your starting point is wrong. Seles dominated on indoor supreme court as well, which was extremely fast, faster than any court today.

FiveO
07-17-2006, 01:26 PM
Federer is certianly not the most athletic player I've ever seen.
In some way, Nadal is much more athletic.
He does not have explosive movements like Baghdatis, nor as smooth
as Coria's movement. Some of his stroke mechanism sometimes looks
awkward (backhand and serve). But he has the craftiness/touch
of pool player (a la McEnroe, Santoro).

He is very well balanced between athleticism and craftiness.
Maybe the most balanced I've ever seen. McEnroe had genius touch
but didn't look any more athletic than average person. Sampras
was super human athletic but did not use touch as much.
Federer is somewhere between Sampras and McEnroe.
(In fact, he is tad closer to McEnroe, IMHO)

Nice analysis but respectfully I think you are selling both McEnroe and Federer in particular, short.

The most notable inate skill in McEnroe were his hands and IMO they simply overshawdowed his equally incredible sense of balance. He looked soft and until he got off the typical Mickey D's training meals he was. What most of his competitors were mislead by was the "lazy" appearing wrist he played with which was omnipresent even as a junior. That idiosynchatic droop combined with his superior tactical and anticipatory skills gave an overall outward impression that he was less athletic, disinterested, even lazy on court. Of course, that thought was sharply contrasted by his on-court tantrums, even tears, he displayed even then. It was easy to conclude at that time, "Prone to half trying and flipping out in the same match." that Mc was just nuts. I played Mc in the juniors and at several sites one on one to three on three pick-up basketball games. I had played basketball through high school and even back then weight trained year round for football. I knew I was physically stronger and faster than he was. In those pick-up games no one could manuever or physically force him off balance. Not ever. Not once. Balance begets quickness and is a tremendous athletic gift. Extraordinary balance combined with his hands on a short field (i.e. a tennis or basketball court) are a devastating combination. Those idiosynchrasies were so "in your face" that they merely overshadowed the fact that he was just always there, in balance to hit the shot. When Mc was at his zenith Carillo pointed to the two "un-noticed" abilities Mc had as his ability to pass and his incredible sense of balance. It was there. If Sampras is Michael Jordan, JMc was Larry Bird.

Federer is visually a step beyond that in the balance department. While Sampras was always under-rated in the flat out speed department Federer is flat out faster. His ability to generate racquet speed is part overall strength but more based in overall coordination and timing. However while not appearing the physical specimen of a Nadal or Mirnyi, the pace he generates at full stretch, with the set up he plays, indicates he is also stronger than he physique appears to be. His hand eye coordination rivals Agassi when one compares the length of the two player's strokes off the ground. Agassi went from short to shorter in swing length off the ground while Fed can and does take fuller swings at hyperspeed off similar balls. He mis-hits more often but comparitively speaking Fed makes a habit of contact with swing speeds requiring "hitting a bullet with a bullet" timing. His ad-libs from anywhere on the court are also a reflection of that hand/eye combined with his "other worldly" sense of balance and dynamic balance. Another completely overlooked God given athletic ability and reflection of his work ethic is his apparent Borg like stamina. For some reason Nadal's gets noticed while Fed's doesn't. But in extended rallies vs. each other Nadal is always the one gassed and visibly sucking o2, while Fed looks unaffected, whether in the 1st or late in a 5th set. The lack of that kind of ability to stay in and recover from extended points during the course of five sets was Sampras's biggest Achille's Heel and most likely his insurmountable obstacle at Roland Garros. In that sense I view Fed as more like Borg than Nadal is. Feds athletic abilities rival Sampras. IMO they have to be absent the one of a kind weapon Sampras had on the serve. Like Sampras, Fed makes it look easy. But IMO Fed needs actually needs to be more athletic without that hammer. I think his well rounded game and tactical awareness merely mask Fed's equally incredible athletic gifts.

Moose Malloy
07-17-2006, 01:46 PM
While Sampras was always under-rated in the flat out speed department Federer is flat out faster.

I've never seen Federer move as fast as Sampras did on those running forehands. Truly exposive speed from so far behind the baseline. Federer moves more in general, since he is a baseliner while Sampras was an all court/S&V player. Sampras was a bit lazy on court, so his atheticism wasn't as apparent as Federer(he'd only hit one of those forehands once a match, if you were lucky) If they were both timed in the 40 in their primes, my money is that Sampras is faster. Tennis fast isn't the same as fast fast. If they played each other in basketball, I think the differece in speed would be more apparent. Tennis is different, great movers are about anticipation as much as natural speed. Federer anticipates so great, he doesn't have to have to be a great athlete. Its a shame the atp doesn't time all top players over the years, I'm sure the results of who is really faster would surprise many.

Feds athletic abilities rival Sampras.

I've seen Fed attempt the slam dunk overhead that Sampras perfected, his vertical is clearly not as strong. Vertical leap is an important factor in determining who is more athletic in NFL, NBA, etc.
Sampras may be a mediocre athlete compared to athletes in those sports, but he is probably more athletic than 99% of all pro tennis players, Federer included.

The lack of that kind of ability to stay in and recover from extended points during the course of five sets was Sampras's biggest Achille's Heel

Its interesting, in spite of that Sampras has won more 5 setters than anyone in the Open era. While Federer has a mediocre record in 5 setters compared to all other great players of the open era.

typingchamp
07-17-2006, 01:47 PM
The big difference here is that Seles never dominated Graf . . . at all. Especially head to head. I know what you're trying to say here . . . but it's not like Seles made it to number one because she kept defeating Graf.

Two years straight, Graf only played Wimbledon . . . and she won both Wimbledons. Seles deserved number one for winning everything else but it's not like she took it away from Steffi.

They hadn't met in a LONG time by the time Seles met Graf in the French Open final (10-8 in third to Seles I believe).

So they never really had a rivalry. First Graf was gone for medical/personal/trial issues . . . and then Seles was gone from stabbing. So they never really got to go head to head in their primes very often (except that French and Wimbledon back-to-back they had).

The tennis guy
07-17-2006, 02:05 PM
The big difference here is that Seles never dominated Graf . . . at all. Especially head to head. I know what you're trying to say here . . . but it's not like Seles made it to number one because she kept defeating Graf.

Two years straight, Graf only played Wimbledon . . . and she won both Wimbledons. Seles deserved number one for winning everything else but it's not like she took it away from Steffi.

They hadn't met in a LONG time by the time Seles met Graf in the French Open final (10-8 in third to Seles I believe).

So they never really had a rivalry. First Graf was gone for medical/personal/trial issues . . . and then Seles was gone from stabbing. So they never really got to go head to head in their primes very often (except that French and Wimbledon back-to-back they had).

What are you talking about two years straight, Graf only played Wimbledon? She played almost every slams during Seles domination, just lost early most of the time. Seles also beat Graf in 1990, 1992 French, 1993 Australia Open as well.

I am not into debating Seles vs Graf again. Just want to set the record straight.

Condoleezza
07-17-2006, 02:11 PM
The big difference here is that Seles never dominated Graf . . . at all. Especially head to head. I know what you're trying to say here . . . but it's not like Seles made it to number one because she kept defeating Graf.

Two years straight, Graf only played Wimbledon . . . and she won both Wimbledons. Seles deserved number one for winning everything else but it's not like she took it away from Steffi.

They hadn't met in a LONG time by the time Seles met Graf in the French Open final (10-8 in third to Seles I believe).

So they never really had a rivalry. First Graf was gone for medical/personal/trial issues . . . and then Seles was gone from stabbing. So they never really got to go head to head in their primes very often (except that French and Wimbledon back-to-back they had).


Graf played almost all slams in 1991-92, missed only AO 92.
She lost to Novotna at AO 91, to Sanchez at FO 91, to Navratilova at USO 91, to SELES at FO 92 and again to Sanchez at USO 92.
But she beat Seles 3 times, twice in non-slam tournaments in 1991 (HC and clay) and in the Wimbledon 1992 final (grass).

So Graf was 3-1 H2H against Seles in Monica's two best years.
Seles beat Graf twice in 1990 (when Graf was #1 still), though, and once in 1993 (pre-stabbing).

Condi

FiveO
07-17-2006, 02:31 PM
My intent was not to downplay Sampras's athletic ability but to point out that Fed is way under-rated and IMO his equal. Not that Fed is better or equal in every athletic skill. Some better some lesser but in the end very near equal overall.

I've never seen Federer move as fast as Sampras did on those running forehands. Truly exposive speed from so far behind the baseline...

Here we differ. And I believe that as smooth as Sampras moved Federer is inately smoother and thus more deceptive in the speed department. Look at the ground they both covered off the same ball and Federer is there in better position. JMHO.

Its a shame the atp doesn't time all top players over the years, I'm sure the results of who is really faster would surprise many. I agree. But, of course, I feel in this instance you would be the one surprised. :wink:

I've seen Fed attempt the slam dunk overhead that Sampras perfected, his vertical is clearly not as strong. Vertical leap is an important factor in determining who is more athletic in NFL, NBA, etc. True and True. But vertical leap is not a straight line indication of one athlete's speed advantage over another. Lever length, fast twitch to slow twitch ratios yes. But overall leg strength, turn over rate, dynamic balance etc. factor in. In the leg strength/balance department I'm amazed by Fed in that from full speed he regularly demonstrates his ability to come full stop and reverse direction without a balance check step. Sampras would but not with the regularity Fed displays. Lateral movement and shuttle runs are tests in those leagues as well and are an indicator of actual in game applicable speed.

Its interesting, in spite of that Sampras has won more 5 setters than anyone in the Open era. While Federer has a mediocre record in 5 setters compared to all other great players of the open era. I think that is interesting too. It will be interesting as how those play out in the next five years.

Warriorroger
07-17-2006, 02:38 PM
Federer is like a ballet dancer, very elegant he glides over the court, but his movement is different to Graf's who also moved like a dancer. Comparing Sampras' movement to Federer's movement is a tricky one, because the difference is their style of play. Federer is happy to stay and float on the baseline all day and has a better anticipation for the ball, therefore (IMO) his movement is less explosive than Sampras' whose was always looking to get to the net. Going back to the thread. Mentally Monica was to Steffi what Rafael is to Roger, but tenniswise the Steffi- Gabi rivalry has much more in common with the Roger-Rafael rivalry.

fastdunn
07-17-2006, 04:16 PM
Feds athletic abilities rival Sampras. IMO they have to be absent the one of a kind weapon Sampras had on the serve. Like Sampras, Fed makes it look easy. But IMO Fed needs actually needs to be more athletic without that hammer. I think his well rounded game and tactical awareness merely mask Fed's equally incredible athletic gifts.

Federer is atheletic but is his atheleticism is superb as Graf over
other female players in her generations ? (topic of this thread).
I don't think so. He doesn't have explosive lateral movement
to his forehand (compare it to players like Baghatis or Sampras).
I don't think his hand is quick enough for fast net game.
Federer never striked me as "fast" guy. He is not Hewitt or
Nadal fast and does not have explosive movement of Sampras
or even Baghdatis. Look how Nalbandian, Nadal, Safin moves
him left and right. I think this is his weak points along with backhand.

I don't think what Federer impresses me most is his atheleticism
but it's the magical craftmanship of his strokes.
Not necessarily maximized "atheletic" potential but well crafted
for accuracy(like his simplified serving motion). I think this is
different. He has that magic pool players stroke in his game.
Sampras' atheleticism on the other hand was clear as fire.
("quint-essential super athleticism as quoted by Mary Carillo.).

The tennis guy
07-17-2006, 07:37 PM
Federer is atheletic but is his atheleticism is superb as Graf over
other female players in her generations ? (topic of this thread).
I don't think so. He doesn't have explosive lateral movement
to his forehand (compare it to players like Baghatis).


No one on men's side is as Graf over other female players in her generations.

It makes me laugh when you say Federer does't have explosive lateral movement to his forehand compare it to player like Baghdatis. Baghdatis? I guess I don't know who you are watching.

The only reason I can think of you say something like that is Baghdatis hits flater ball in running forehand similar to Sampras while Federer hits the ball differently. Movement wise, Federer is way ahead of Baghdatis, not even close.

FiveO
07-17-2006, 08:25 PM
Federer is atheletic but is his atheleticism is superb as Graf over
other female players in her generations ? (topic of this thread).
I don't think so. He doesn't have explosive lateral movement
to his forehand (compare it to players like Baghatis or Sampras).
I don't think his hand is quick enough for fast net game.
Federer never striked me as "fast" guy. He is not Hewitt or
Nadal fast and does not have explosive movement of Sampras
or even Baghdatis. Look how Nalbandian, Nadal, Safin moves
him left and right. I think this is his weak points along with backhand.

I don't think what Federer impresses me most is his atheleticism
but it's the magical craftmanship of his strokes.
Not necessarily maximized "atheletic" potential but well crafted
for accuracy(like his simplified serving motion). I think this is
different. He has that magic pool players stroke in his game.
Sampras' atheleticism on the other hand was clear as fire.
("quint-essential super athleticism as quoted by Mary Carillo.).

No there was never the disparity in athleticism by anyone in the men's game as wide as Graf brought to the women's game.

Maybe Margaret Court in her prime or Navratilova as "overall athletes" and Martina only until the arrival of Graf.

I disagree with any comparison between Bagdahtis and Federer in terms of movement. The is no comparison in my view. Laterally or otherwise.

I would still put Fed up against Sampras in flat out run downs. The fact that both Pete and Bags hit thunder clap fh's at the end of those runs as opposed to Fed's approach may be why you are grouping those two together. But it's just my opinion that Fed covers the same distances as Pete would laterally and gets there with enough time and more options so as not to have to commit to an all or nothing shot.

I feel they are a push in footspeed from what I see, but, I wouldn't be shocked if Sampras beat Fed in a 40. It's my impression that Fed gets there with more time and more choice more often.

Our opinions differ. That's cool.

Scorch
07-18-2006, 01:29 AM
Leaving aside comparisons of playing style, I actually see the Graf-Seles head to head during Seles’ dominating years as comparable to Federer-Nadal currently, but Federer is Seles and Nadal is Graf....

Seles was clearly dominant overall – winning all slams except Wimbledon, but had trouble beating Graf, although managed to in some slam finals. There wastherefore debate about who was the better player at the time (I believe that it was Seles). It was generally thought that Monica was on her way to winning a lot more slams.

Federer is clearly dominant overall – winning all slams except the French, but has trouble beating Nadal, although has managed to in a slam final. There is therefore debate about who is the better player right now (I believe it is Federer). It is generally thought that Roger is on his way to winning a lot more slams.

Condoleezza
07-18-2006, 08:35 AM
Leaving aside comparisons of playing style, I actually see the Graf-Seles head to head during Seles’ dominating years as comparable to Federer-Nadal currently, but Federer is Seles and Nadal is Graf....

Seles was clearly dominant overall – winning all slams except Wimbledon, but had trouble beating Graf, although managed to in some slam finals. There wastherefore debate about who was the better player at the time (I believe that it was Seles). It was generally thought that Monica was on her way to winning a lot more slams. ....

It was a little different, in a funny way.
Browsing through my old tennis mags (the U.S. ones) Seles seldom was the clear favourite in 1990-93 but then - she won! Again and again.
Take FO 91:
Yes, Seles had won AO that year and overtaken Graf in the rankings. But Steffi had beaten her twice that spring convincingly, Sabatini had her thrashed in the Rome final (6-3, 6-2). And Sabatini had beaten Graf several times. Seles was not favourite at FO 91, her 90 win notwithstanding.
And USO 91:
Graf was seen as being on the comeback trail after having conquered her slam demons and having won Wimbledon. Sabatini was close to the #1 spot in those weeks before the USO. Capriati was hot, had beaten Seles in San Diego a few weeks before USO. Seles never had been good at USO up until then. No-one considered Seles the all-out favourite.
AO 92:
Seles had widened the gap in the rankings, had won YEC again, had won AO the previous year, the surface obviously suited her well, Graf was out due to illness.
Seles was the favourite and won accordingly.
FO 92:
Seles was favourite and won.
USO 92:
Graf was back again. Had lost narrowly to Seles at FO and utterly destroyed her at Wimbledon. Seles had lost in both tournaments leading up to the USO, in one against Sanchez and in the other against old Navratilova (a 4-6 2-6 loss!). In "Tennis Magazine" 4 experts chose their favourite - no-one favoured Seles! But Monica won ....
AO 93: Seles was favourite and won.

So Seles was favourite only at AO 92, FO 92 and AO 93. She won 8 slams nevertheless (pre-stabbing)!

Why? She was mentally tough as nails back then, especially in SLAMS (when it matters!). She lost her fair share of none-slam tournaments, she struggled sometimes in earlier slam rounds. But she won when it counted.
Graf on the other hand choked away a lot of matches in earlier slam rounds, was not very stable mentally in those years (off-court distractions, injuries, having lost confidence because of Seles/Sabatini success). Sabatini always was prone to choking on the big occasions.

IMO, only between USO 91 and Wimbledon 92 Seles was really a undisputed queen. Before that Graf and Sabatini were seen as equals. After that many thought that Graf was set to overtake Seles anytime soon. But Seles kept on winning the biggies and that is what counts.

Condi

fastdunn
07-18-2006, 01:14 PM
Yep. Our opinions differ. I know you're extremely knowlegable tennis guy.
I always get great deal of insights while I discuss with people like you.

What I'm sensing though is that Federer's speed is overrated.
He does appear to be fast when he scrambles for high number of rallies.
He has great anticipation and astute/dilligent mover.
But I don't think his movement is one of his fortes. He is an Agassi "type"
of mover. He gets offensive first in ground stroke rallies.
Agassi never looked slow but he never was great mover.
That was the reason why Sampras was able to rally with him from
baseline using his great foot speed and penetrating strokes.
Part of the reason why Nalbandian gives Federer troubles
is that he turns things into running game. No anticipation necessary.
Just keep moving him left and right very widely.


Baghatis is only current top player whose court movement reminds
me of Sampras'. Baghdatis has that explosive movement.
And also Andy Murray and Coria has that liquid movements that
reminds me of Kucera or Mecir.
These are the great athletic movers not Federer or Agassi, IMHO.


No there was never the disparity in athleticism by anyone in the men's game as wide as Graf brought to the women's game.

Maybe Margaret Court in her prime or Navratilova as "overall athletes" and Martina only until the arrival of Graf.

I disagree with any comparison between Bagdahtis and Federer in terms of movement. The is no comparison in my view. Laterally or otherwise.

I would still put Fed up against Sampras in flat out run downs. The fact that both Pete and Bags hit thunder clap fh's at the end of those runs as opposed to Fed's approach may be why you are grouping those two together. But it's just my opinion that Fed covers the same distances as Pete would laterally and gets there with enough time and more options so as not to have to commit to an all or nothing shot.

I feel they are a push in footspeed from what I see, but, I wouldn't be shocked if Sampras beat Fed in a 40. It's my impression that Fed gets there with more time and more choice more often.

Our opinions differ. That's cool.

The tennis guy
07-18-2006, 02:27 PM
Yep. Our opinions differ. I know you're extremely knowlegable tennis guy.
I always get great deal of insights while I discuss with people like you.

What I'm sensing though is that Federer's speed is overrated.
He does appear to be fast when he scrambles for high number of rallies.
He has great anticipation and astute/dilligent mover.
But I don't think his movement is one of his fortes. He is an Agassi "type"
of mover. He gets offensive first in ground stroke rallies.
Agassi never looked slow but he never was great mover.
That was the reason why Sampras was able to rally with him from
baseline using his great foot speed and penetrating strokes.
Part of the reason why Nalbandian gives Federer troubles
is that he turns things into running game. No anticipation necessary.
Just keep moving him left and right very widely.


Baghatis is only current top player whose court movement reminds
me of Sampras'. Baghdatis has that explosive movement.
And also Andy Murray and Coria has that liquid movements that
reminds me of Kucera or Mecir.
These are the great athletic movers not Federer or Agassi, IMHO.

I simply don't understand how you can compare Federer's movement to Agassi's. Agassi is a slightly below average mover on tour. I watched Federer up close, he is just an amazing athlete to me, incredible fast and smooth mover. I agree he is not as explosive as Sampras, but smoothest mover I have ever seen - no rubber noise against hard court. Speed wise he is top 5 on ATP currently.

Baghdatis hits the running forehand similar to Sampras. Federer hits the ball more like Agassi, hitting the ball early and close to the body - you can't hit the ball as early if the ball is too far away from your body, thus he can't hit running forehand like Sampras. He needs to take extra step to get closer to the ball than the likes of Baghdatis and Sampras.

I don't know which match you are talking about between Federer vs Nalbandian. I can't say any of their matches were running match except the master final last year where Nalbandian explored Federer's movement, who just came back from torn ligament 6 weeks ago - it was a miracle someone could run like that (even though he was significantly slower) in 6 weeks of torn ligament.

cuddles26
07-18-2006, 02:38 PM
Federer is a obviously better mover then Agassi even in his prime. Agassi was a pretty good mover, and much better then now in his prime but not one of the best. Chang, Nadal, Federer, Hewitt, Muster, Sampras, Coria, Blake all move much better then Agassi ever did and I laugh at somebody comparing Federer moving to Agassi.

Reading some of fastdunn's posts it looks alot like she does not like Federer much at all and that is reflected in alot of what she says. I guess we all have our favorites and anti favorites though. As for Nalbandian hasnt he lost something like 7 of his last 8 to Federer?