Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by manny pacquiao P4P king, May 23, 2009.
Did Rafter win one?
he won the us open in 1997 and 1998
ROFL....nalbandian only wins the big tournaments on carpet.
Nalbandian, Blake, Murray, Ivanisevic, and etc.
Blake? Why the hell would you go with Blake? He has achieved absolutely nothing to earn him that title. He's a good player, but nothing for the history books.
Murray. But he will.
AND made the semifinal of all four Slams, a feature only Nadal, Federer and Djokovic also have achieved. And I forgot Safin of course, since last Wimbledon.
Besides that Nalbandian has been no. 3 in the world and has won the Masters Cup in the past, so.. he's done more than just carpet
Murray wont win a Slam in his career...thats my prediction.
He was in the top 8 and hardcourt is by far his best surface. Davydenko is also very good though he is also good on clay. Not great on anything except maybe indoor carpet.
Blake has never even been to a slam semi so I don't see how he can be on the list.
You almost make it sound like Federer won his 8 hardcourt Slams in the strongest era ever
I disagree though, Blake has never even come close, and although he might have if it wasn't for Federer.. he was far too inconsistent. Davydenko's a little more valid pick to me, though in the past there must have been a lot of better hardcourt players that never won a hardcourt Slam.
How was Borg on hardcourts? 4 verloren US open finales zegt toch ook wel wat
Edit: sorry, last sentence was my native language which I switched to because I was doing too many things at the same time
How was Borg on hardcourts? 4 lost US Open finals should count for something
Oh my, since hardcourt tennis became prominent in the 70's, then the answer is Borg.
If there's a better player to play (a significant amount of time) without a hardcourt slam better than Borg, he remains to be seen.
Amen to that. Borg not sure how you can make a claim for another answer..
Ivanisevic was good on hardcourts but definitely not that great, only 1 SF at the US Open and what 3 quarters in the Aussie. He has 3 hardcourt titles in his whole career...
If James Blake won a hardcourt slam it would be quite depressing what is his hardcourt claim to fame?
Nalbandian...ehh I guess if you want to stretch it but still no big titles on hardcourts, no hardcourt slam finals.
Rios..who go to his one hardcourt slam final by beating no seeded players.
Murray if he does not get a hardcourt slam in his career might be in contention for this we will see...
I agree with Pistol. Borg by far really. My second choice though would be:
Chang- really unlucky to not win a hard court slam. An excellent hard court player with many Masters titles and consistently excellent results on the surface. Kept running into Sampras, Agassi, Edberg, or Becker, and lost some incredible matches to them in hard court slams that that particular player went onto win.
I am sure there are some others. I will post any added ones if they come to mind. I cant believe anyone is calling James Blake or Tommy Haas. Good grief. Nalbandian, Davydenko, Mecir, Todd Martin, Pioline, or Rios are even much better choices than either of them. James Blake would be a very weak slam winner on hard courts. Thank goodness he didnt win one.
Todays indoor events are indoor hard courts, not indoor carpet, so in a sense he has won some big hard court titles, just not on outdoor hard court.
Isn't that the point of the list? Good hard court players who haven't won the big one?
J Blake at his best on HC was pretty ridiculous.
I'd have to say Nalby or Borg (though I wouldn't call him a hard court player, per say,So I dont know...) and perhaps Tsonga. It's early in his career and I think he'll win one eventually.
No more like excellent hard court players who havent won one. "Good" players are not supposed to win grand slams and when they do it is kind of ugh, like Johansson at the 2002 Australian Open. Heck Thomas Johansson is probably a better player and better hard court player than Blake. He has won a Masters title on hard court and been in a U.S Open semi and Wimbledon semi outside his Australian Open title, yet everyone acknowledges him as a very weak slam winner.
I can easily name atleast 30 better hard court players than Blake since 1978 who havent won a hard court slam.
id say chang
go for it
bear in mind you are also naming 30 players who could blow Nadal away on a fast hard court
i eagerly await your response
Corretja. Man was he dyanmo at the USO 1996. He would have beaten chang I think in the finals that year. He had a great great tactical plan that year against Pete and really took Pete to the edge and back again to the point where Pete could barely stand
Rod Laver's the only right answer.
30 players superior to Blake on hard courts who havent won a hard court slam in no particular order:
Andy Murray (although he probably will)
Juan Carlos Ferrero
That is only counting since 1978. There are probably over a hundred others superior had there been more tournaments (there were some a anyway) and slams on hard courts before then, in fact there are a whole horde of others since 1978 that already are superior players to Blake on hard courts in addition to the atleast 30 in the last 30 years or so already. Also Blake's success vs pre prime Nadal means nothing. Look at how well Paul Haarhuis did in his several matches vs Pete Sampras. Also Blake has never beaten a prime Nadal on hard courts and he never will.
Ehh Villas, Corretja and Kureten are a bit of a stretch..though I am sure you could dig up 3 more players that are better than Blake on hardcourts too lazy to look into it though.
Its a good thing than Nadal's claim to fame is not fast hardcourts unlike Blake who can easily get wrecked on it..besides Nadal has accomplished far more than Blake on hardcourts anyway hence the slam and master series titles on the surface..unless Blakes 10 dinky hardcourt titles and 3 slam QFs are going to be held with huge weight..oh yea and that masters cup final in which he got completely destroyed by Federer...and mind you Blake lost to Tommy Robredo in that very tournament.
Vilas, it is hard to say I guess. In the 5 years he played the U.S Open on hard courts when he wasnt 31 years old or older his results were 1 semifinal and 4 4th rounds. Had it been on hard courts in 1977, his best year of tennis ever, I am sure he would done very well, atleast another semifinal. Quite possibly reached atleast the quarters in 1975 and 1976 as well.
Corretja has won Indian Wells, and the 1998 year end World Championships on indoor hard court (still a hard court) beating Sampras in the semis. He had match point vs prime Sampras in the U.S Open quarterfinals of 1996, and the previous year he took Agassi in perhaps his greatest year of tennis ever to 5 sets in the 2nd round at the U.S Open. Corretja won 2 of his smaller hard court titles by beating Agassi in the final, 1998 and 2000, both years Agassi was in the top 10.
Kuerten won the 2000 year end Masters Cup by beating Sampras and Agassi back to back in another year it was on indoor hard courts. Kuerten has reached the U.S Open quarterfinals twice, same # of times as Blake. Kuerten has won Cincinnati, a Masters title on hard courts, something Blake has never won. He destroyed a prime Chang in the semis of the Canadian Open in 1997 to make the final. He also reached the Miami final in 2000, beating then #1 ranked and reigning holder of 3 of the 4 slams Andre Agassi in the semis, then losing a great 4 set final to Sampras.
Blake has 0 slam semifinals on hard courts and 0 Masters titles on hard courts. What is his biggest fame on the surface. Reaching the year end Masters final only to get embarassed by Federer in one of the events histories dullest finals? Finishing 4th at the Olympics, where after breaking a long losing streak to Federer he then went on to take his 4th straight loss on hard courts (6th overall) to Gonzalez in the semis. Losing an epic U.S Open quarterfinal to 35 year old Agassi? His success vs baby Nadal a few times on the surface? I see no reason he should be rated over either Corretja or Kuerten especialy.
I agree w/ the James naysayers, unfortunately. If we're going by most talented not to win a HC GS, than I'd say Gasquet, for one, ahead of James in the talent dept. Even though some of the names on that list are a stretch
Juan Carlos Ferrero
Those were the only stretches, IMO, you had as better HC players than Blake.
Sorry but how on earth are most of those names a stretch to be put above Blake on hard courts. It would be a huge stretch to ever put Blake above them. Just because Blake does well vs Davydenko for example doesnt mean he is a better hard court player or better player on any surface. Blake even beat Davydenko on clay, does that mean he is even the better clay court player, obviously just a good matchup for Blake. Davydenko posts far better results and is far more successful than Blake playing vs the same field.
Mecir- U.S Open finalist in 1986 beating Becker in the semis. Australian Open finalist in 1989. How can Blake who has never reached a slam semi on hard courts, and never even won a Masters title on hard courts, ever rate over a guy who was a finalist at both hard court slams.
Richard Krajicek- Won Miami, the biggest non slam hard court event, in 2000, beating Sampras along the way. Reached the Australian Open semis in 1992 and had to default with injury. Reached the U.S Open quarters 3 times in 4 years from 1997-2000. Lifetime 4-2 record vs Sampras on hard courts.
Tommy Haas- Australian Open semifinalist three times, Olympic silver medalist. At U.S Open lost 4th round to eventual champions in 2001, 2002, quarterfinalist in 2004, 2006, 2007.
Yannick Noah- 3 time U.S Open quarterfinalist. Australian Open semifinalist and quarterfinalist in 1987 and 1990 when it was a fully attened slam.
Nikolay Davydenko- Australian Open quarters from 2005-2007. U.S Open semis in 2006, 2007. Miami winner in 2008, beating Roddick in the semis, and spanking Nadal in the final. Matching Blake's feat of the year end Masters final in 2009.
Tomas Enqvist- Australian Open finalist in 1999, beating Philippoussis and Rafter along the way. Has atleast multiples wins over Sampras, Agassi, and everyone of note on hard courts. Won Cincinnati Masters in 2000 on outdoor hard court, Stuttgart Masters in 1999 on indoor hard court. Was also finalist of Indian Wells in 2000, beating Sampras in the semis. Many other semis of Masters events, including Canadian Open in 1995 where he beat Ivanisevic and Chang and had a match point vs Sampras in the semis.
Jonas Bjorkman- U.S Open semifinalist in 1997. 4 other quarterfinals of hard court slams.
Carlos Moya- U.S Open semifinalist, Australian Open quarterfinalist, two other hard court slam quarterfinals. Won Masters title in Cincinnati on hard courts in 2002, beating then #1 Lleyton Hewitt in the final. Lost 1998 year end Championships final to Corretja in 5 sets on indoor hard court. Went 3-0 in RR including win over then #1 Hewitt of 2002 Masters Cup, before falling in a 3 set semi to career nemisis Ferrero.
Juan Carlos Ferrero- year end Masters final on indoor hard courts in 2002, taking World #1 Lleyton Hewitt to 5 sets. U.S Open final in 2003, beating Hewitt and Agassi to reach final. Australian Open semis in 2004.
Sebastien Grosjean- Australian Open semis in 2001, was 2 points away from the final a bunch of times. Australian Open quarters in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Matched Blake's feat of reaching the year end Masters final on indoor hard court in 2002, unlike Blake did so by beating such opponents as Agassi, Kafelnikov, and Rafter along the way.
Gustavo Kuerten- U.S Open quarters twice, same as Blake. Won year end Masters in 2000, beating Sampras and Agassi back to back. Cincinnati Masters title in 2001. Miami runner up in 2000, defeating #1 Agassi in quarters and losing incredible final to Sampras. Canadian Open runner up in 1997, crushing World #2 Chang in the semis.
Wayne Ferreira- semifinalist of the Australian Open twice, including second time as a 31 year old in 2003 (gives you some idea the kind of field Blake had his golden years against). Another quarterfinal of Australia, another quarterfinal of the U.S Open. 9 other round of 16s at the two hard court slams. Masters title on outdoor hard courts at the Canadian Open in 1996. Masters title on indoor hard courts in Stuttgart in 2000, beating Hewitt in 5 set final.
OK Grosjean, Bjorkman, and Noah you could argue if you really wanted to, although it would have to be based completely on very small tournament titles on hard courts, and general opinions of his hard court game. The rest no. Blake has nothing on any of these guys on hard courts really. His biggest feat by far is the year end Masters final on indoor hard court, and that is atleast matched by nearly everyone as well.
As for watching those guys play I have seen them all play and I would take any of those over Blake on a hard court, except for Davydenko because of the matchup issues.
By the way the only surface the overrated Gasquet's game is suited to contend for a slam is on grass at Wimbledon, and that would only be if he avoids the really big guns or catches them on an off day. On hard courts no way, there are many more powerful, solid, and cleaner ball strikers who are too much for him there. Heck I would even take the overrated Blake over him on hard courts in a fair one.
I don't disagree with your statements. I just don't think you can penalize Blake so heavily b/c he didn't make a SF or Final. He ran into Fed QF of USO 06, QF of AO 08, Cincy final 07, IW final 06 and TMC final 06. So, it's not like Blake hasn't had his hard share of hard luck. The same "too bad there was a Federer" argument often used for Roddick can easily be used for Blake, to a lesser degree.
I'm not arguing that Blake is deserving of a slam. Who knows if he'd have won one or not. But to discount him b/c he hasn't won a MS title or made a slam Semi, you have to take into account who he lost to at these events.
05 USO-lost in 5 to Agassi, a match he should have won, but still a classic loss in 5th set tiebreak.
06 USO-lost to Fed in 4 in QF
07 AO-ran into red-hot Gonzo
08 AO-lost to Fed in QF
Albeit, he has some bad losses too, but he also had some tough luck drawing Fed all those times, instead of say Nadal, who's a better matchup for him on HC. If he'd won these matches, maybe not all of them, he'd definetly be in the league with the guys you mentioned as ahead of him. You have to take the draws into account for all those slam Semis and finals you mentioned.
So yes, he definetly has a place in the conversation.
Federer cannot be used as a valid excuse for Blake not doing better in hard court slams. Blake has only lost to Federer twice in hard court slams. At the 2005 U.S Open he had his golden chance to reach the final, only needing to beat 35 year old Agassi and Robby Ginepri, yet could not hold onto a 2 sets to 0 lead over 35 year old Agassi. When you cant do that you dont deserve to reach a hard court slam final or even semi. Using 35 year old Agassi as an excuse for not advancing further is really bizarre. "If he had won all those matches"? One could say that for everyone else on anointedone's list. However he wasnt even remotedly close to winning any of the 2006 U.S Open quarterfinal, 2007 Australian Open 4th round, or 2008 Australian Open quarterfinal, so not sure where the "if he had won" comes into play for any of those as he wasnt close to winning any of them. The only match he was close enough he could have won was the 2005 U.S Open quarterfinal, which yes he totally should have finished off a 35 year old Agassi but failed to do so.
Given Blake's overall history and record vs top players on hard courts other than Davydenko and 2005-2006 version of Nadal, there is no reason to assume Blake would have ever done better than a hard court slam quarterfinal without Federer. One must also note that the overall mens field during Blake's peak which was during Federer' complete dominance was nothing like quality of field many times in the 80s and 90s. If anything the strength of competition argument works against Blake, not for him, despite his more limited achievements.
Blake as part of this topic at all is an embarassment. As anointedone said there are atleast 30 superior hard court players who didnt win a hard court slam in the last 30 years alone.
No he's not. When the first slam on hardcourt was played (1978 US Open), Laver was 40. He didn't play a significant amount of time on hardcourts, or he would have gotten a few.
If we go that route take anyone pre 1970's then. I took it to mean players who actually played slams on hardcourts. So until shown different, it remains the Angelic Assassin.
And all this Blake nonsense is absolutely absurd and I'll tell you why......
......16 appearances in hardcourt slams, and 3 QF to his name?!?
I agree with that. It is Borg by a long ways. Incredible he never won a hard court slam. He really is so much better a hard court player than that. There are a variety of reasons it didnt happen, from the limited # of hard court slams he even played, to some bad timing/bad luck of certain occurences, to the competition he faced with Connors on his home turf and a peak McEnroe.
I agree with the poster who said Chang was a strong second though. So much great hard court tennis from him in the 90s, sad it wasnt ever rewarded with a hard court slam. I guess that says something about all the competition he had.
The question isn't best HC resume not to win a slam, it's best HC player not to win a slam. You cannot sit here and say that at their best, Gustavo Kuerten and Sebastien Grosjean are better hardcourt players than James Blake at his best. Better HC resumes yes, but players than Blake, no.
Kuerten at his best would spank Blake at his best on any surface. You must be another young poster who has never seen someone like Kuerten play. Kuerten lacked consistency on hard courts, as does Blake also. Kuerten at his best straight setted a reasonably in form Agassi in the year end final of 2000 in an immaculate display. Kuerten at his best has played some incredible big hard court matches in 2000 with Sampras, Miami final (which he lost) and year end semis (which he won). Kuerten at his best has destroyed the likes of Rafter and Chang in Masters semis and finals on hard courts. Blake's best has beaten a pre-prime Nadal who was sucking always on hard courts vs flat hitters then, beat a horrible 40% Federer at the Olympics in one of his worst matches ever, and took grandpa Agassi to 5 sets at the U.S Open. Big whoop.
Grosjean at his best would even be tough for Blake on hard courts, and would beat Blake easily on either clay or grass. Grosjean was doing well vs Agassi in 2001 when he was still near his best, whereas Blake couldnt even beat grandpa Agassi in 2005 at the U.S Open. Grosjean made the semis of slams of 3 different surfaces at his peak, he was a very versatile and talented player. He should have been in the 2001 Australian Open final vs Agassi, he totally blew that semifinal with Clement which he had won. Grosjean's game is similar to Blake's in that he relies on speed and forehand, pretty good backhand and serve but not great. Grosjean is more creative, versatile, and a smarter player though.
Kuerten > Blake on hard, grass, carpet, red clay, green clay, rebound ace, plexicushion, water, sand, wood, dirt, mud, glass, ice, etc., etc., etc.
I 110% agree. I cant believe there is anyone who thinks Blake is a superior player to Kuerten on any surface. Blake is an overrated chump, a really nice guy but a third rate player, who we would have never heard from if we werent in such an unfortunate era for American tennis. In another era he would be about the 7th best American, but today he is the #2 American (ugh), and for brief times even the #1 American over Roddick. I am not sure whether to burst out in a hysteria of laughter or gag seeing his name come up in the best to not win a big title.
ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL :wink:
For real tho, Murray. He will get 1, thats for sure.
Well, I am "jamesblakefan#1" so obviously my opinion is a little jaded. But hey, I'm not gonna argue about who's better, Blake or Guga, both good players, Guga a cc great.
I'm not gonna pollute the thread by saying the same thing over and over, so let's just agree to disagree, ok? Fair enough?
Man, if only everyone else thought like this...
Why don't you just accept.....
Kuerten > Blake on hard, grass, carpet, red clay, green clay, rebound ace, plexicushion, water, sand, wood, dirt, mud, glass, ice, etc., etc., etc.
... and we can move on. GrafSeles has already given us all we ever need to know about Blake.
rafa nadal (the one he won in aust should be counted as blue clay) ;P
What do you want me to do? Do you want me to cry? Am I gonna have to change my user name to gustavokuertenfan#1? God, man, get off of my back. This isn't a thread a/b Kuerten vs. Blake, let's not make it that ok?
mate...i think some of the guys are a bit harsh to ur fav player...i think if it wasnt for fed (whom a lot of people consider GOAT)...he might have had a couple of master series and a EOY championship..not to mention he was unlucky to be in fed's quarter in usopen 2006 as he was playing the best tennis out of everyone in that tournment (apart from fed) IMO ...plus he would be a handful with his style if he played in the 90s
I agree. He's not as bad as everyone's making him out to be. I don't think he's overrated. No one's said he's an all time American great, TBH. But people forget he was top 10 for 3 yrs basically (2006-2008)
Nalbandian and Davydenko come to mind...
Has to be someone who lost a lot of finals on HC slams and never won a slam on HC but was good enough to reach several finals on HC slams. Borg, of course.
Separate names with a comma.