View Full Version : Current biggest overachiever in men's tennis...

03-05-2004, 10:01 AM
I think last year, Schuettler was close to being the biggest overachiever, and Roddick should be up there as well(not bashing him, just stating my opinion). Who, out of the current active players, is the biggest overachiever?

03-05-2004, 10:05 AM
I don't think Roddick is an overachiever at all. Just think about what kind of player he'll be if he ever improves his backhand and netgame. To date, Roddick has displayed a real commitment to attacking the net, even when his results aren't always good. He'll get better.

Current overachiever: James Blake. The fact that is he in the top 40 with his game is pretty darn good, I think.

Peter Samprer
03-05-2004, 10:08 AM
agree with python. roddick proved that he isn't an overachiever by winning u.s. open. people think he is because of patrick mcenroe's non-stop roddick praises...hehehe

03-05-2004, 10:25 AM
Peter, how is winning a big tournament proving you're not an overachiever? It seems to me that it would prove you are an underachiever, and I think it puts him up for overachiever, because his game(besides the serve) is less developed than many of the players who have been winning the slams. Out of Federer, Ferrero, Agassi, and Roddick, whose game is the least developed? How could you pick anyone other than Roddick? Again, not "Roddick-hating", just saying I think he has done more already than he should have, I know he will get better.

James Brown
03-05-2004, 10:31 AM
roddick proved nothing by winning the us open. he proved he has a reliable big serve, american crowd support and bias. Thats it. not bashing americans, dont get offended, but that match vs nalbandian was bs....simple as that. He needs to fix his backhand,net game, return game, tactics and consistancy. hes a streaky player and the only reason he goes deep into the draw is that big serve.

03-05-2004, 10:37 AM
Out of Federer, Ferrero, Agassi, and Roddick, whose game is the least developed? How could you pick anyone other than Roddick?

Therein lies the argument, Alan. I look at Roddick's potential and conclude that he's underachieving by a fair amount. If he makes his backhand even 85% as dependable as Agassi's, he'll clean up in the trophy department, and yes, he will win his fair share against Saint Roger. Roddick has the best second serve in the game since the days of Pistol Pete. He's no stroll in the park to play.

03-05-2004, 10:42 AM
Python, who is the biggest overachiever in your opinion? In mine, it's Roddick until someone comes up with a better option...I think a fair player who wins a slam is overachieving, you could think the biggest overachiever would be a horrible player who somehow is in the top 20, Sjeng Schalken comes to mind as a guy who shouldn't be ranked where he is...

03-05-2004, 10:50 AM
The biggest overachiever, now retired is Michael Chang. Can you imagine someone of his size trying to get a sponsor to enter the pro arena?

03-05-2004, 11:09 AM
Schuttler-Thomas Johansson-Vince Spadea-Magnus Norman-Gambill - I've seen these guys in action and still wonder how they reached the top 40 & better in their career. ABOMB has the biggest game on the tour-more consistant than GONZO but ABOMB will detonate in 2 yrs. and it will be top 15-20 for him.

03-05-2004, 11:13 AM
You know, if you're in the top 1000 players on the planet pretty much the only thing separating you from being in the top 100 or top 10 is between your ears. Anyone who plays on the ATP or WTA is pretty much talent based and therefore not an overachiever, IMO.

That said, if there is anybody who should be labeled thusly, I think it would have to be Greg Rusedski. Of course, I would use overachiever synonymously with jerk.

03-05-2004, 11:26 AM
I guess one could label Rusedski an overachiever, having made it to a major final carried by his serve, especially since he is a southpaw. I haven't seen enough of Rusedski's matchesto decide how the rest of his game compares to Roddicks, but I suspect we wouldn't even know who the hell Greg Rusedski was if he was a righty!

03-05-2004, 12:00 PM
How about that run last year from that Argentinian -- Coria? To me, overachiever means winning without a clear, overwhelming weapon. (How can Roddick w/ his bazooka ever be an "overachiever?") So to me, that's Coria!

03-05-2004, 12:28 PM
Coria has fantastic groundies, movement, volleys, and especially court sense. I would qualify at least a couple of those as weapons. People often think a weapon has to be a shot you can hit with lots of power...

03-05-2004, 01:38 PM
I agree with Rabbit, about Roddick and Rusedski.

Vanja Ljubibratic
03-05-2004, 01:59 PM
Bjorkman in '97 when he finished 4th in the world. Regardless of how much I don't like Roddick, I wouldn't call him an overachiever, because he has had success on the tour very early in his career. Schuettler and Norman come to mind as overachievers because they could only string together one good season, after being on the tour for a while already. You could even go as far as to say that Rafter did the same. Yes, he did win two slams, and get to two other finals, along with a handfull of other SF, but his best years were also within a very narrow margin. I know that doesn't mean much, but why did it take him then 6 years of playing on the pro tour before he won his first slam?? I don't know...Rafter is kind of borderline.
In my mind, Hewitt, and more so Chang are overachievers. They didn't have any great weapons besides their foot speed, yet both have had very good careers. Those players that capitalize on their potential to the fullest, while at the same time not having any real weapons, are the overachievers. Especially if they can't do it consistently over a period of several years.

Kevin Patrick
03-05-2004, 02:07 PM
Great post Vanja,
People tend to forget that fact about Rafter. Also I think he managed to achieve a lot despite not having the most technically sound strokes(it often looked like he was muscling, not hitting the ball from the baseline)

03-05-2004, 02:27 PM
Magnus Norman is a good choice, didn't he get to number 1 in the world without winning a slam? Norman never was really good at anything and he was at the top for a short period of time, and then dissappeared completely. People also mention Brad Gilbert as an overachiever because his strokes were so hard to watch. I don't know if I agree about Rafter, as many people know S&Vers usually take longer to develop than groundstrokers. Also, yes, Rafter's groundies were often ackward looking, but that wasn't his bread and butter. He made is living at the net. His whole game was built with volleying in mind, take a look at his serve. I see him as an underachiever, considering his untimely retirement and many years at the bottom when he was one of the last S&Vers to win a slam.

Kevin Patrick
03-05-2004, 02:43 PM
Edberg, McEnroe had pretty good groudstrokes for serve&volleyers. I like Rafter, but it seemed like his success came out of nowhere. I remember Pete & Andre not being too flattering about his game in '97 the year he won his first open. I don't think they were being rude, just honest. I see a lot of similarities between him & Pat Cash great athletes who served&volleyed(partly because the rest of their game was limited) & succeeded in a era of baseliners.

03-05-2004, 04:59 PM
I don't think Roddick is a overachiever. We have seen that big serve and big forehand alone doens't carry you too far. Roddick has proved that he's the top 5 material for coming years. His strokes are ugly to watch. But he's got good talent, good weaponS. I wouldn't call him a overachiever.

Reiner Shuttler is a different story. He really doesn't have any weapons. He runs down a lot of balls and make the other guy hit one more shot. He's more like a overachiever. Because his talent a lone isn't going to carry him too far, but his mental toughness is taking him there.

I don't know if Rafter was "overachiever". He was really atheltic, covered the net very well. He had good game to win US Open, Wimbledon etc.

03-05-2004, 05:08 PM
I cant believe no one has mentioned Hewitt!

That guy has less weapons (compared to Safin, Sampras, Fed. etc)than a bunch of old ladies at a tupperware party. He wins like Chang, on sheer will to win. Look at him on clay, the poor guy I almost feel sorry for him, like hes hitting against the wind or something. Without his sheer determination and work ethic, he would be toiling in the futures with me.

03-05-2004, 05:21 PM
Magnus Norman - my vote.

03-05-2004, 05:40 PM
I've thought about this some more, and Thomas Johannson gets my vote. He did win 7 singles titles, but his win at the Australian Open has to be one of the biggest flukes ever. He got the right draw, played solid tennis for two weeks, and was lucky that Safin was distracted in the final. And he hasn't really done much since (although I know he's had injuries, etc.)

Agree re serve and forehand -- if that's all you needed Philippoussis would have a slam win by now. Or perhaps Wayne Arthurs. Talk about a guy with a great lefty serve!

I don't agree about Rafter. His type of game takes more time to mature, I think. With two slam wins, and two Wimbledon final appearances, I don't think he falls into overachiever category. He was a "favorite" in many events he played, particularly on hardcourts. The only thing that kept him from winning more events was Pete Sampras.


03-05-2004, 06:55 PM
roddick is an over achiever cause he got those wildcards from the usta when he was first starting out and gets privelaged at the various usa tournaments, if he took the long road like federer, ferrero, nalbandian he wouldn't be as good or have the opportunities

03-05-2004, 07:39 PM
For everyone who thinks Roddick is overachiver just because he only has serve and forehand.

How about SAMPRAS? With that lousy backhand (which could be even worse than Roddick's)? Only big serve, forehand, and FOURTEEN gs titles???

OK, I am putting my helmet on and running like a mad dog!!!

03-05-2004, 07:42 PM
I am not so sure about Hewitt...It's hard to argue

He relies sheerly on his mental toughness and speed. I mean there are a few other guys who could match Hewitt just for sheer speed, court coverage and so on. But these folks never achieved the level of success that Hewitt had. Namely, Canas, Reiner Shuttler.

I am often shocked by Hewitt's awareness during the match. He seems to remember what happened on every single point that happened during match. There are several other players that do this...

Max G.
03-05-2004, 08:24 PM
Everybody here is arguing about something they don't know what they mean by.

What do you mean by "overachiever?" Someone who accomplished more than is expected of someone with their physique? Someone who accomplished more than is expected of someone with their strokes? Someone who accomplished more than it seemed that they would, at first?

What on earth IS an "overachiever"?

03-05-2004, 08:40 PM
I do want to correct polakosaur's misinformation. Andy did not get an unusual amount of wild cards as you seem to think.

He got a wild card to the U.S. Open 2000, and lost in the first round, although he took Costa to 4 sets at age 17. He was still playing the juniors then. But he made good use of his Washington wildcard, reaching the quarters.

The next year, he turned down a wildcard to Indian Wells, electing to play challengers He won Hawaii, and then did get a wildcard into Miami, where he beat Pete, eventually losing to Hewitt in the quarters.

He won Atlanta and Houston (and probably had wild cards for those, based on his Miami results), but his ranking moved from 156 in January 2001 to 46 by Houston, on May 7. He didn't need wildcards after that. He automatically qualified for Roland Garros -- remember he still was 18 -- and he was No. 34 by July 25. He was in the Top 20 by the U.S. Open that year. And then he turned 19.

Yes, he got a few wildcards, which he proved he deserved. So I really don't understand your beef. It's is ranking that has gotten him into events. He hasn't needed wildcards, and he also didn't need to spend a fair amount of time playing challengers either. His ascent was pretty quick even on today's Tour.

Sorry if you guys feel this is too pro-Roddick, but I think if you are going to cite facts, you need to check them out first. :wink:


03-05-2004, 11:09 PM
Andy didn't get anymore wildcards than a lot of other American up and comers now are getting. He didn't get any preferential treatment beyond what American players are now getting. Andy actually ascended the rankings furiously...while the others didn't (or not nearly as much).

Matt H.
03-06-2004, 12:39 AM
jesus, the roddick bashing / federer *** kissing is just overflowing in this thread.

You're telling me that winning a GS, and 2 masters series titles before/at the age of 21 with his prime still ahead of him....overacheiving?

Roddick went to the quarters at the US open 2 years in a row before winning it, and he's made it to the semi's of the Aussie and Wimbledon. He's won over a dozen titles total already, and was a former #1 junior and won the junior title at the 2000 US Open.

My god, there's hundred's, if not thousands of college/pro tennis players that would kill to have a CAREER as good as what roddick has done by the age of 21. :roll: Roddick will win a minimum of 4-5 slams. If he stays healthy and with Gilbert, i wouldn't be surprised if he won 8 or 9. You know he's gonna win a couple more US open's, and i think he'll win at least 1 Aussie and Wimbledon title.

03-06-2004, 03:20 AM
Don't understand why people can't talk about Andy and Roger seperately? Each critics of Andy doesn't have to equal to kissing Roger *** does it? Vice versa...

03-06-2004, 05:32 AM
I don't agree with lack of big shot equals overachiever. Players like Coria, Chang, Hingis, and Rios don't have one big shot. What they do have is court sense or strategic abilities that are in excess of the rest of the field.

I will say that this group has to work harder to get the same results, but overachiever? I think not. I think great footspeed and a great tactical mind will make up for the lack of a 140 mph serve.

Case in point is Haas vs. Roddick. Tommy Haas has all the shots, but the one thing he doesn't have is a howlitzer of a serve like Andy Roddick. When Haas played Roddick on clay, he out thought him. I watched that match and was in marvel that Haas was standing as far back as he could, at least 10 - 15 feet just blocking back Roddick's serves. Roddick didn't use angles, didn't swing serves out, he kept trying to hit through Haas. When the ball was in play, Roddick kept on banging away. Haas obliged him and just blocked (and I mean blocked) back ball after ball. He played so far back in the court that he looked as if he was calling lines rather than playing. But, he was waiting for the inevitable. No one, Roddick included, can hit every ball with everything they have. They are going to miss. Haas figured this out, Roddick didn't. Haas wrote the book on how to play Roddick on clay. Of course, it appeared to me as if Haas stole Ali's Rope a Dope strategy. He simply let Roddick punch himself out.

Moral is, the best find a way to win. Any tennis player who plays for money is mucho grande talented. It may not be in an artistic vein like John McEnroe, or have the brute strength of game of Andre Agassi, or be the immovable force the Pete Sampras was for so many years, but guile has its charms. Brad Gilbert was labeled an overachiever, that was before anyone figured out that his mind was his biggest weapon. He knew how to lower the level of his opponent and frustrate the hell out of them. Believe it or not, that is a talent as well. I used to hate playing guys who dink and lob. Now I play them every chance I get. Why? Because that's where I need to get better. Once I figured out how to play them, it opened up a whole new dimension in playing them. :idea:

Jay Welvaert
03-06-2004, 06:14 AM
schuetler I mean last year he was in the 30's then he was ranked like 6

03-06-2004, 09:15 AM
I don't really see schuettler as an underachiever, he has a pretty good forehand, a solid backhand which he can hit pretty well, and a serve that is a bit overlooked. He does not have a huge game granted, but he does have an extremely solid one, my biggest over achiever would have to be hewitt, he has a very similar game to schuettler except hes won two slams and been at number one, schuettler would be an over achiever if he had won a slam or two, and had been at number one, but he is not overachieving, he has just constantly improved over the years

Matt H.
03-06-2004, 09:49 AM
Case in point is Haas vs. Roddick. Tommy Haas has all the shots, but the one thing he doesn't have is a howlitzer of a serve like Andy Roddick.

well, his personal best is 136 mph. :D

doubt he'll ever touch that again with his shoulder now. :(

03-06-2004, 09:16 PM
You guys are really weird. Hewitt an overachiever. LoL Wow, if being labled an overachiever meant you would win 2 grand slams, number 1 for 2 years straight, and win the tennis masters cup 2 years straight as well....................Where the hell do I sign up...... I'll be an overachiever 4 lifeeeee.

03-06-2004, 10:45 PM
Okay, I've rethought this, and I think Jaydog is right. Every player we've mentioned here, practically, has done quite well on the Tour, in terms of winning a number of titles, etc.

So I have a new overachiever to present. I actually thought of him earlier, but was too lazy to look up what he had done. And after I did, I thought well, maybe Albert "Drop Shot Dragon" Portas does indeed fit the overachiever description.

He has one singles title, but that was a Hamburg TMS title, where he just played the best tennis of his life for a week. And he has one doubles title, yet he's made about $2,500,000 in prize money. Not bad for someone who really isn't on anyone's radar screen. And he's 126-166 in career singles. Yet he's done more than many players on the tour, in winning a Masters Title, and over $2 million in prize money.

Okay, he's my updated vote. :mrgreen: Are you aware of any other Al Portas's out there? I think they likely are the true "overachievers."


Steve Huff
03-07-2004, 05:18 AM
I'd choose Andre Agassi. He may have a lot of tools, but for those of you who have reached his age, you know how much harder it is to recover for the next match when it's the next day, or day after, especially if you play 6 or 7 matches in a row. He has to work off court harder than his younger peers just to stay competitive.

03-07-2004, 11:43 AM
Schalken is one of the best ball-strikers in the game, actually he was said to be the purest ball-striker, by Agassi.

That's a weapon as well.


03-07-2004, 04:17 PM
A lot of people think Henman is a huge choker and can't win the big ones. Personally, I think he is one of the game's biggest overacheivers. Basically a scrawny kid who competes with the big boys based on a complete all court game and great net game, without a huge serve.
I think he has gotten more out his body and physical abilities than just about anyone. (I also think he is incredibly talented.) His record against Federer should say something (as long as you don't look at his record against Hewitt. He also did very well against Roddick last year in spite of the 1st round USOpen match.)

03-07-2004, 04:38 PM
Hewitt for very obvious reasons.

03-07-2004, 10:32 PM
Before I answer can you some of tell me what you consider to be an overachiever? I always thought it was someone who had a few good results on tour in a limited time space (say 1 year 2 years max) and as a result ended up with a high ranking when everybody knows they really don`t belong there. They just got lucky on tour for a few years. But some of the players you have been listing do not fit that discription (Agassi? He`s an underachiever in my book)

joe sch
03-08-2004, 07:44 AM
Maybe it should be Vince Spadea as he finally won a tournament after many years of trying :?:

03-08-2004, 09:16 PM
Clavit ... Spadea ... Coetzer ... Nalbandian ... Chang ... Connors ...Lendl ... Navratilova, with the emphasis on "achieve..." Davenport ... Ferrero.