Better player- Davydenko or Kafelnikov

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by flying24, Oct 19, 2009.

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Who is the better tennis player

  1. Davydenko

    39.0%
  2. Kafelnikov

    61.0%
  1. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    I often think about Davydenko as being this generations Kafelnikov in that they have similar playing styles, similar relative inability to beat the big guns of their era especialy when it matters, of course both being Russian. Of course Kafelnikov is the one who has won 2 slams which puts him clearly over Davydenko achievement wise unless Davydenko can manage to win atleast 1, but Davydenko has 3 Masters title while Kafelnikov surprisingly failed to win even 1.

    Not just to much based on achievement (which would automaticaly be Kafelnikov because of 2 slams to 0) who do you think tennis wise is the better player of the two. Just watching them play basically who do you think has more ability and is the better player, factoring in mentality too of course.
     
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  2. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I have often called Davydenko a poor mans Kafelnikov. That should already tell what my answer and vote is. And for the record Kafelnikov does not even impress me that much, and I think he was one of the luckiest players ever to somehow win 2 slams. Especialy since there are many players in that era who won only 1 who I consider better players than Kafelnikov (Chang, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Muster) and even some who won 0 who I consider comparable (Corretja, Martin, Philippoussis, Henman). Yet between these 2 I am still voting for Kafelnikov.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
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  3. PhatChineseDude

    PhatChineseDude New User

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    I don't know why we're getting all these Kafelvikov Davedenko comparisons, but according to pretty much everyone here, 2 slams are better than 3 masters. Plus, he has olympic gold. Actually, if I recall correctly, between 1994-2001, the only time he lost before the quarters was a 5 setter to Sampras at the Australian to Sampras in the second round in 1994(Sampras' toughest match that year). He skipped 2 years, but beat Enqvist who had a a 10+game winning streak and beat almost everyone in straight sets in 2000 and 2001 before losing to Agassi and losing like 3 tie breakers in 4 sets to Clement who on fire. Also ran into Kuerten 3 times at Roland Garros and at least 2 times they were 5 setters(I think)
     
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  4. jjermann

    jjermann Hall of Fame

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    enough these davydenko threads you bandwagoners.
     
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  5. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    He tended to luck out with some dream draws though, particularly at the Australian and French. Who did he ever beat in a slam. His biggest ever wins in the slams he won was Todd Martin on hard courts and Michael Stich on clay. His only win bigger than those in any slam was a visibly injured Agassi one year in the FO quarters.

    He wasnt a player who really had the ability to beat the best, not to even the extent of 1 slam winners of his era like Ivanisevic, Chang, or Krajicek. He is 0-9 vs Sampras on non clay surfaces, almost always lost to Agassi while he was ranked in the top 10 (the only 2 wins ever over top 10 Agassi was that injury inflicted win and a win in Canada in 99). He lost 4 times in a row to a past his prime Becker in straight sets, before finally getting a win over a completely broken Becker in his 2nd last tournament before retiring. He was even completely owned by a young pre-prime Hewitt, and was trounced badly both times he played Rafter after Rafter's 97 U.S Open breakthrough.

    There is a reason he isnt rated that highly on this forum, alot of very good reasons in fact. Probably the worst player to ever win 2 slams, maybe alongside Johan Kriek.
     
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  6. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Comparing Davydenko to Kafelnikov is hardly an amazing over the top compliment. Kafelnikov is not some grand tennis great.
     
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  7. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

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    Yeah, we know. Davydenko played in a clown era. :)
     
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  8. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Whatever era you believe he played bottom line is he couldnt even make a slam final, or atleast hasnt yet. Kafelnikov is a weak and very lucky 2 slam winner, but he still is a 2 slam winner nonetheless. So that is the crux of why I couldnt rank Kafelnikov below someone like Davydenko. Similar to how I feel comfortable rating 3 slam winner Capriati, the female Kafelnikov with her ultra luck and extreme overachievement of slam wins, below virtually all 2 slam winners and below some 1 slam ones. I actually feel comfortable rating Kafelnikov below many 1 slam winners, and even the occasional 0 slam winner who has reached multiple finals. However there is simply no way to rate a 2 slam winner, even an incredibly lucky and substandard one, below a guy who hasnt even made a single slam final.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
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  9. You are clearly underestimating the Russians, hasnt History taught you anything?
    And claiming Krajicek and Muster are better players than Kafelnikov is imo just plain stupid!! Krajicek couldnt play outside of lightening-fast courts a la the 90`s and Muster could only win matches on dirt, whereas Kafelnikov was a LOT MORE allround and imo= better tennisplayer.
    Todd Martin? Mark Philippoussis?? Seriously!!?
     
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  10. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Muster was atleast scary great on one surface. On clay he was just amazing despite that he won the French only once. Kafelnikov was not amazing on any surface. Muster's legendary abilities on clay are already enough to put him as a better player than someone like Kafelnikov who cant come anywhere near Muster's clay court abilities on any surface. BTW the fact Muster and Kafelnikov have both won the French Open twice when their clay court abilities are light years apart (both times they played on clay at their mutual clay peaks in 95 and 96 Muster ripped Yevgeny a new one) shows how deceiving basing the better player on slam wins alone is, and how much luck can play a factor. I would also add the amazing tennis Muster played on hard courts in early 1997 is superior to anything I have ever seen from Kafelnikov on hard courts. It didnt last long, but put any Kafelnikov vs Muster of early 1997 on hard courts and Muster lays him a good smackdown. Only a top form Sampras stopped Muster from the 97 Australian Open title, their semifinal their was just outstanding quality tennis, and Muster won Miami in emphatic fashion. Muster already had his career derailed by an auto accident before being set to play Lendl in the Miami final. Who knows how much potential he had unrealized on hard courts. Anyway seeing what Muster at his best was capable of, especialy on clay, no way in hell would I rate Mr. No Masters titles Kafelnikov over him as a player.

    You are false in saying Krajicek could only play on grass and lightning carpets, especialy compared to Kafelnikov. Krajicek has been to the semis of slam on all surfaces, something Kafelnikov did not do. Krajicek in fact has better results on even clay to Kafelnikov on grass. Kafelnikov is not truly an all surface player, particularly if someone like Krajicek isnt. He wasnt that good a grass court player at all, only 1 Wimbledon quarterfinal his whole career. Krajicek has a better record at every slam than Kafelnikov has at Wimbledon. Krajicek at the French has both a semifinal and a quarterfinal, and has been to the finals of Rome where he took Muster at his peak to 4 tough sets, and semis of Monte Carlo where he lost a very tough 3 setter he should have won (he was up in the 3rd set) to eventual winner Moya. The year Kafelnikov and Krajicek both won the French and Wimbledon titles respectively is telling to this all surface ability you refer to. Krajicek lost to Kafelnikov in the French Open quarters but took him to 4 tough sets, in fact the only set Kafelnikov won on the way to that French Open through his cakewalk draw. However at Wimbledon which Krajicek also won with the loss of only 1 set, Kafelnikov crashed out in the 1st round to a young pre-prime Henman. Krajicek has also won a Masters title on hard courts (Miami beating Sampras along the way), something Kafelnikov could never do, that kind of further stumps your theory that he could only play on grass and lightning fast courts. Krajicek at his best is devastating, unlike Kafelnikov he could take down the greatest players, he has a winning head to head with Sampras and has beaten him in big matches like Wimbledon and Miami on hard courts too; and has taken out other big names in big events. Kafelnikov doesnt have this ability.

    I did not definitively say Philippoussis and Martin were better players the way I said IMO Krajicek, Ivanisevic, Chang, and Krajicek all were. I just said even they are comparable ability players IMO, not too different from the level of a Kafelnikov. Actually if you followed tennis at the time you would know Philippousis's abilities were more feared by the big guns than Kafelnikov. Sampras, Agassi, Becker, guys like that laughed at Kafelnikov in many ways, didnt consider him a threat to them at all. How he somehow won 2 slams when he was basically a pushover for the real big guns of his era is beyond any comprehension.

    Anyway I still voted for him over Davydenko on the poll so who cares.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
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  11. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Kafelinkov was maybe lucky with his draws in the 2 slams he won, but he still went out and won them, Davydenko would have still found away to lose. Also 2 slams > 3 Master series titles.
     
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  12. Alright you are making some good points.
    BUT...what is more impressive, being good on all surfaces or being fantastic on 1? Take your pick.
    Also, imo there was a reason why Muster was such a machine from 1995-1997...He was a better machine than Kafelnikov, not a better player.
    Kafelnikovs performance winning the French was simply outstanding aswell imo. And to win a slam on clay AND on hc is very very impressive. Muster never did that, sure he almost won Miami pushing prime Pete but in all fairness Miami isnt the AO.
    How many clay-titles did Krajicek win? How many grass-titles did Muster win?
     
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  13. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    For me being amazingly great on one surface is better than being just pretty good on all of them easily. By your logic Kafelnikov would even be more memorable a player than Kuerten which clearly isnt the case. Anyway like I said Muster is also a very good hard court player, heck even indoors he beat Sampras on the way to a title late in 95 (beating Sampras on any non clay surface something Kafelnikov never did). He is only weak on grass, and he didnt even try really.

    You are entitled your perspective and my perspective is Kafelnikov isnt a better player than many of the guys with 1 slam only, he simply got luckier. Which is no less subjective than your comments here.

    IMO beating Krajicek (you know the guy who sucks on anything but grass and lightning carpet so imagine on clay by your logic and oh yeah it was a tough 4 setter like I said), a completely gassed Sampras, and Stich on clay is not simply outstanding. Kafelnikov should send Stich a big thank you note for playing the match of his life in taking out Muster in the 4th round, since we both know full well had it not been for that Muster would have gone on to destroy Kafelnikov in the final just like he did both times they played on clay in 95 and 96.

    Yes AO is bigger than Miami. I am talking about the caliber of tennis. The tennis Kafelnikov played to win Australia was IMO not even as good as the tennis Muster played on hard courts in early 97.

    What is more important, who did better at Wimbledon on their worst surface vs the French Open on their worst surface? Or winning a couple minor tournaments nobody will even remember on your worst surface? If you choose the latter fine, I will choose the former. Either way if Kafelnikov is somehow a true all surface player and Krajicek isnt his Wimbledon record shouldnt be weaker than Krajicek's French Open record which it in fact is.

    Anyway who cares really. This poll was Kafelnikov vs Davydenko. I already stated my belief Kafelnikov is superior to Davydenko and I cast my vote for him on this poll. Even a weakish 2 slam winner is always better than a guy who hasnt even made a slam final, and I said Davydenko in general looks to me like an even weaker version of Kafelnikov in many ways. My initial comments were neither impress me much and I dont have to explain myself any further.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
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  14. jaap deboeck

    jaap deboeck Rookie

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    You can't be serious! Davydenko has a great work ethic, is very active, is a great groundstroker and sits just below Roddick in the the 2nd tier in the recent ATP mix.

    But Nikolay has not been in it to win it at slams. Let's face it folks, these days slams are getting even more important than in eras past as the other tour recedes into near invisiblity. So Masters wins are great career notches, but tennis now is about slams irrespective of "weak" draws. Yevgeny is a level beyond Nikolay, closer to Safin. Davydenko rates, IMHO, a bit stronger than Henman.
     
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  15. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Safin >> Kafelnikov >> Davydenko

    I also am not sure if I agree Davydenko is superior to Henman. IMO Henman was more a threat to win Wimbledon than Davydenko was to win any slam.
     
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  16. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Davydenko is the better player IMO. He would have won both of Kafelnikov's slams with the same draws. There isnt anyone Kafelnikov beat to win his 2 slams that Davydenko also couldnt have. As for if Kafelnikov played today he wouldnt win anything with Federer and Nadal winning every slam, and the few times they are stopped by players clearly more talented and dangerous than garden variety baseliner Kafelnikov like Djokovic and Del Potro.
     
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  17. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Can't see Davydenko beating Pete Sampras in a slam semi, look how much of a mental midget he is against Federer.
     
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  18. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Sampras could barely stand up let alone play during that French Open semifinal with Kafelnikov. You as a Sampras fan of all people should remember this. If Sampras had been fresh for that match there is a good chance he wins it even on clay. He had thoroughly outclassed Kafelnikov in their last official meeting on clay in Davis Cup. As big a mental midget in big matches as Davydenko might be I cant imagine him choking badly enough to lose to Sampras on clay in that physical state.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
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  19. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    The answer is clearly Kafelnikov, as good as Davydenko is, Kafelnikov is much more versatile and has a better all-court/all-surface game than Davy.
     
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  20. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Davy beat Nadal 3 times at the Master Series, does that means Nadal is a "mental midget" too?

    It's all about matchup....Federer is the worst for Davy.

    You don't know if Davy could of beat Sampras b/c there's evidence that Sampras have lost to much weaker players than Davy.
     
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  21. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    As much as I like Davy he had chances to win slams or hell at least make finals and failed. Let us highlight a few.

    1 - 2005 French Open - loss to Puerta - No reasoning behind his loss here. He had beaten two top clay courters going into this match..and failed to beat Puerta. Dope or not dope Davy was controlling that match going into the fourth set and had creamed Puerta in the third. Yet he dropped the last two sets 4-6, 4-6. As much as it angers me that PUerta was doping..Davy still should have won that match on his own..the doping wasn't doing nearly that much because Puerta still lost in the end.

    2006 Australian Open - Anyone else remember this match. How literally the 3rd and 4th set were decided by what 3 points? I am pretty sure if we checked Davydenko's tiebreak record against Federer we would cry. How many times is he going to fail in a tiebreak against this man.

    2007 FRENCH OPEN - ANOTHER TIEBREAK FAILURE. losing 7-5 and 9-7 in two tiebreaks back to back. You can't just pull a few minibreaks Davy..Mind up to that match Davy was bulldozing through his competition and had won two tiebreaks against Nalbandian 7-1 and 7-2...
     
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  22. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Federer has also lost to players worst than Davy..so whats Davy excuse. Facts are facts. Davy failed to beat Federer, Kafelnikov didn't. You will never know if Davy could or couldn't but face it in his own era, Davy has come up short far too many times in slams. He is a great player to have never won a slam, definitely one of you better non slam winners but still his failure to make a slam final leaves him where he is. A really good player. Obviously not worthy of a slam.
     
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  23. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    grafselesfan, I’d actually call Kafelnikov an all-court player, especially by today’s standards. I frankly don’t think this is even debatable. He had a fine transition game and volley, no doubt helped by his doubles play, and the moment he saw an opening he’d come in and attack the net.

    Krajicek is an iffier case, ‘cause injuries dogged his career left and right. When he finally seemed to get in tip-top shape he’d be forced to crawl back to his abode ‘cause of (yet) another damn injury. But yes, at his best he was a scary juggernaut that Kafelnikov never was. People talk all the time about his win over Sampras in the ’96 Wimby QF, but they rarely bring up his other six matches from the same tourney. Go back and watch how he just bludgeoned his opponents into submission throughout the fortnight, and see how many other men in history could’ve challenged him. I still remember a friend, a Sampras fanatic if there ever was one, lamenting that the All-England Club had just ushered in a new era, and one would’ve been hard-pressed to dismiss his prediction wholesale back then. Kraijicek was that good.

    As for Philippoussis, are you kidding me? Of course he was better than Kafelnikov--when he was focused. Unfortunately (but fortunately for the other players) the guy had the work ethic of an Oblomov and the proclivities of a Don Juan. (In his book Sampras humorously recalls how the perennial man-child enjoyed surfing over training.) But when he was in the zone he could not only serve bombs all day long but also flat out punish the balls. And I do mean punish--we’re talking Safin/Berdych/del Potro magnitudes on the Richter scale here. Oh yeah, and he was no stranger to the net. The guy was a complete, all-court package, again when he was dedicated. One could cavil and say he didn’t quite have the best movement, but nor did Kafelnikov.
     
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  24. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Davy is 0-12 against Federer. Just b/c he's winless against Fed doesn't mean he'll go winless against Sampras. Roger lost to lesser players, but not as much as Pete at the slam. There's no way Pete would of gone 12-0 against davy. No way.

    Kafelnikov beat baby Federer. What's your point?
     
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  25. Its funny how the Fed-haters always brings up the fact that Fed lost to the likes of Kafelnikov Henman and Rafter while still being a teenager and even uses that as arguments...I dont get it.
     
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  26. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    More people voted for 0 slam final Chokevydenko than 2 time grand slam champion??? I bet 80% of those votes are from *******s. :D
     
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  27. How much do you bet ? :twisted:
     
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  28. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    Why would a Federer fan be inclined to like Davydenko. Kafelnikov was a choker and pushover whenever he faced a big gun too btw. He simply had a lucky horseshoe up his ass for his 2 draws to the slams he won, which pretty much any decent player on one of their better surfaces could have gone through.
     
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  29. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Point is you will never know. Most people wouldn't think Fed could go 12-0 against Davy considering Davy has some good records against other top players like Nadal. You can't basically say there is no way Pete would have gone 12-0 against Davy..

    Here are some really good players Pete Sampras owned.

    Jim Courier 16-4 (won 4 slams)
    Kafelnikov 9-1
    Petr Kodra 12-3
    Greg Rusedski 9-1
    Todd Martin 18-4
    Rafter 11-3

    Is it likely he goes 12-0 against Davy..I don't know. To say there is no way he could is ridiculous. I agree 12-0 is impressive and hell there is a chance that Sampras loses to Davy after all Kafelnikov's only win comes in that circumstance but none of that really matters is it.

    Look at it this way Kafelnikov actually found the way to get HIS ONE WIN off Sampras..Davy never DID THAT. If Davy had done that the times he lost to Fed he might be at least looking at a slam final and possibly a won slam (AO 2006, US 2006, US 2007, FO 2006) Those are 4 times he ran into Fed in the biggest stage of the slam and 4 times he came up short. So really argue all you want that Sampras could not hav egone 12-0 against Davy but at the end of the day Kafelnikov won in the big situations Davy came up short..all four times. This is what seperates Davy from guys like Del Potro, Safin, Djoker and Nadal. They actually beat Fed in the big stages and got their slams..Davy never did that. So it's not like it is impossible other people have done it.
     
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  30. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Davydenko is a much better player than Rusedski and even Rusedski managed a win. That alone shows how unlikely it would be for Sampras to go 12-0. Name a player close to as good as Davydenko who Sampras never lost a match to who he played nearly that many times. As for Kafelnikov's record vs Sampras, that is just one of many examples people think he is an extremely weak 2 slam winner and was very lucky to achieve what he did.

    Kafelnikov is 0-9 vs Sampras in non clay matches. So in realistic context he did not better vs Pete than Davydenko vs Federer. In fact Davydenko has more competitive matches with Federer than Kafelinkov vs Sampras. Sampras on clay is nowhere near Federer's league and should be put into a seperate category altogether. If Federer sucked on clay like Sampras did then he would have some losses to Davydenko as well, as Sampras on clay beyond any doubt would have had vs Davydenko.
     
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  31. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Kafelnikov managed to beat Sampras but Davy is winless against Federer.

    Why? Because Sampras is weak on clay and Kafelnikov beat him 2 out of 3 times. Pete is the superior player but when it comes to clay, Kafelnikov is better. Unlike Pete, Roger is great on ALL surfaces. Davy played him on hard, clay and carpet...all end up in Roger’s way simply he was a superior player.

    Sure, Pete can be undefeated against Davy if they played all on fast surfaces, but spread out on slow surface such as clay, Davy certainly can get a few wins.
     
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  32. IvanAndreevich

    IvanAndreevich Legend

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    Federer's tough to beat in breakers, especially in the slams. I don't have the numbers, but I am sure it's something like 4-1 win ratio over the field.
     
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  33. 8pNADAL

    8pNADAL Banned

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    kafelnikov is better than both davydenko and djokovic
     
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  34. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Skill wise Djokovic is a much better player than Kafelnikov.
     
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  35. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Base on Hewitt dismantled Kafelnikov on hc or fast surface, I think Nole would own him too since he’s even better than Hewitt.
     
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  36. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Baby Hewitt and even Tomas Johansson both own Kafelnikov. That is part of the reason why I think even Davydenko is better than him.
     
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  37. Ripster

    Ripster Hall of Fame

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    This is pretty tough but I'm going with Kafelnikov because of the two slams...however, Davydenko's career is far from over, he might still win one yet. I also agree with people saying Kafelnikov got a bit lucky to win 2 slams. I can recall after he won the Australian he thanked Sampras for choosing not to play (Pete chose to play golf instead *rolls eyes*)
     
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  38. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    If Davydenko can win even 1 slam it would be a no brainer IMO. I already pick Davydenko as it is, but if he won 1 slam I dont see how anyone could pick Kafelnikov. Kafelnikov won 2 slams but his career is completely empty outside those 2 slam titles (unless you are one of those huge Olympic backers).
     
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  39. jms007

    jms007 Professional

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    Kafelnikov also has 4 GS in doubles and is the last guy to win both the singles and doubles title in the same GS event. Dude was a multi-tasker.

    I don't necessarily agree that his GS wins are lesser because he didn't beat whoever you think was supposed to beat. Any top 10-20 player can be "unbeatable" when on a hot streak (it took Fed to stop Soderling at the FO!). If your "Agassi's"and "Sampras's" lost before they faced Kafelnikov then they weren't the best players at the moment. The best players at the moment prevail, simple as that.
     
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  40. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Nobody cares about doubles when evaluating singles players anymore. In the 60s, 70s, and 80s when the best players actually played doubles it made sense but not anymore.

    Sampras didnt even play the 99 Australian Open, so he was hardly not the best player since he wasnt there. Even Kafelnikov knows he wouldnt have beaten Pete at the Australian Open that year ("thanks Pete for not playing"). Also if you think that Stich playing the clay court match of his life and catching Muster on a bit of an off day to oust him in the 4th round means Muster wasnt still by far the best clay courter that year, and wouldnt have completely destroyed Kafelnikov in the final (despite that Kafelnikov beat Stich in the final) than you are crazy.

    Kafelnikov should rank over Davydenko currently but he is still one of the luckiest 2 slam winners ever and far from a memorable player.
     
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  41. jms007

    jms007 Professional

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    1. Top players obviously still care since they enter doubles. Rarely does anyone win both singles and doubles and in a small tournament so winning both in a GS is a quite a feat in my book.

    2. A year doesn't not constitute at "the moment" to me. Muster might have been the best that year overall, but he wasn't in that tournament.

    3. A match is not won unless it's played. Sampras was not guaranteed a win at AO '99. The odds were on his side yes, but odds go bust constantly. Without actual play its just pure speculation.
     
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  42. NonP

    NonP Professional

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    For the record Sampras chose not to play the '99 AO because he was exhausted from playing all those additional events near the end of '98 to clinch his year-end #1 ranking for a record 6 consecutive years. It was not a virtual certainty he'd win the AO in '99. Incidentally Sampras was also spent before the '96 AO from playing the Davis Cup final tie and the Grand Slam Cup just a couple weeks ago, but chose to compete. Bad move--Philippousis knocked him out cold in the third round, though to be fair the Aussie upstart played one hell of a match. Of course this doesn't mean Kafelnikov's '99 AO title is without an asterisk.
     
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  43. 8pNADAL

    8pNADAL Banned

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    sampras wasnt as unbeatable at the aus open, he lost to agassi twice there
     
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  44. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Name those top players, and I am talking the men in this case so the Williams sisters dont count.

    Not when the doubles fields these days are so weak. Nobody cares about doubles anymore like I said, and the fields are not nearly strong enough to give any merit to success in it anymore for the singles stars.

    Muster was much better than Kafelnikov on clay at that time period. If Kafelnikov had played Stich the day Muster lost to him with Stich playing the clay court match of his life by far, he would have lost even more badly. Had Muster played Stich in the final instead he would have crushed him. And lastly, and nobody with a brain doubts this, Muster would have destroyed Kafelnikov if they played at that French Open in any round.

    No Sampras wasnt a 110% lock for the Australian Open title, but the fact he is he was alot more likely to win it than Kafelnikov. So that he was missing is a significant thing to consider, particularly when Kafelnikov has proven himself completely incapable of beating Sampras on any surface outside of clay (even in a smaller tournament) and the draw crumbled such that year that there were hardly any other tough players who could have taken out Sampras out of Kafelnikov's way either had he played. Along with the fact just like the 96 French Kafelnikov's draw was a complete sham which is the only way he is capable of winning. Why should anyone give him the benefit he could beat the tough players in slams, those times he had a chance to do so he failed miserably.

    Kafelnikov is better than Davydenko but he also is one of the luckiest and worst 2 slam winners ever. End of story.
     
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  45. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Kafelnikov is no Agassi.
     
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  46. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    So...? You're putting to much into individual matchups. Kafelnikov obliterated Kuerten at the US Open before that match with Hewitt. Those two matches were a CLASSIC example of how big a role individual *style* matchups can and do regularly play in this sport. Tennis isn't always simply a game of black and white, on paper, analysis. Style matchups are of critical importance at the upper echelon. Kafelnikov's game was MADE for Hewitt's. It has nothing to do with not being talented enough.

    Put it this way, Ferreira was Agassi's whipping boy throughout his career...fast forward to their recent seniors tour match...boink, SAME DEAL! Lol. Likewise with Kafelnikov and Hewitt, Ferreira's game is TAILOR made for Agassi. It's just the way of the individual matchup. Are we to conclude Arazi is more "gifted" overall than Rios from how he seemingly "out talented" Rios at the French? NO. A RESOUNDING NO.

    I remember McEnroe literally GUSHING over Arazi after that match, all but hailing Arazi as the next coming! He was NOT mind you talking all that much about Guga. In his mind, it was Arazi who was the new genius on the block. THEN, he sobered up quickly, was forced to during Arazi's match with Bruguera. Late in the match he goes, um, well, yeah he's talented enough, but the question is, is he TALL enough...lol, DUH! Gee, why not point that out earlier? It was an obvious flaw in his game that could hold him back. Yet, McEnroe was willing to overlook that, be blind to that, based on ONE SINGLE MATCH he saw in which Arazi played some of the most amazing tennis he said anyone's ever seen in years!!!

    Virtually EVERY top level player is going to have another top player who is going to just have their number seemingly no matter what. For Muster, a boogeyman was someone like Edberg. For Bruguera, Guga and Muster. For Sampras, guys like Ferreira and Bruguera posed surprising problems. For Leconte and Rafter, Bruguera was their boogeyman. For Ferreira, Agassi was most definitely his. For Kafelnikov, Hewitt, Sampras. For Rios, Chang was his boogeyman. For Guga, you would think that Pioline and Kafelnikov wouldn't have their way with him during their moments of peak focus (obvious up and down with them), but they did. Note how, their "all-around" styles, flatter styles that are very comfrotable playing against topspin, seemed to give Guga trouble....

    EVERYONE has players whose games just seem to "fit" into their comfort zone, sometimes it's obvious tactical x's and o's reasons, but sometimes, it's just a mental thing or something intangible you can't explain (everyone has guys who just for whatever reason gets under their skin or who just gives them fits and they're not sure why). For Kafelnikov, that could have been his Johansson.

    I don't know why it's so important for some people to go out of their way to discredit how "good" certain players were. Kafelinikov has the respect of his ACTUAL PEERS as being IMMENSELY talented. This does not mean that he was on the level of the all-time great caliber guys, but then again, WHO really is? That's why they're hailed as all-time greats. There's no shame in falling second fiddle to that imo.

    Yes, Kafelnikov got a *little* lucky, but certainly I consider him...and so did his PEERS a more RESPECTABLE "talent" worthy of holding up a slam trophy or two than they do Johansson of holding up one.

    The thing is, anyone who has won a lot of slams, meaning the legends, have had slams where you could make the case that they were a little "lucky" along the way. AND YET? *NO ONE* tries to take away from those specific slam wins now do they? I consider Sampras a little "lucky" that Philipoussis got injured against him at Wimbledon since he was one of the few who wasn't afraid of Sampras (i.e. TOO respectful of his greatness), and was pretty close to entering the zone.

    Does it matter now? No, not really.

    WHY? Because you win a lot of slams, the "luck" gets masked by the numbers.

    It's only a big deal because Kafelnikov didn't win MORE slams...i.e. I think it's when you win three or more slams, where you start getting into "historic" territory, people start thinking you could be in that vain.

    Yet, speak to ANY multi, multi-slam winner and they'll say, there's ALWAYS a little bit of luck involved, that you need a little luck on your side.

    Just think of Kafelnikov's two slam wins as being one of the lesser impressive slam wins of the greats...that STILL does NOT in ANY way shape or form however take away from the FACT that those slams wins still count and were still great in their own right. A slam win should never be discredited so haughtily imo. It's still special, the way to think of it is...just a little less special.

    There's so much angst and hate toward Kafelnikov for winning two slams on here that it's a bit shocking to me how much this seems to bother some people.

    He's a two slam winner, the greatest ever two slam winner? No. But WHY is it so important for some on here to go out of their way to always point out that he was the WORST two slam winner ever. Like it's some disgrace or something. Kafelnikov's no disgrace. I mightily enjoyed watching him play, and thought he was without a doubt one of the most naturally gifted ball strikers of his generation.

    To me, the "big deal" for so many on here is that he actually had the audacity to take the chance when there was the chance and won TWO slams...instead of JUST one.

    I think all the hate toward this guy would have turned to admiration if ONLY this guy had JUST known his place, that he was "destined" to only win ONE slam...and ABSOLUTELY *NO MORE*. I don't know why we get so stingy on here sometimes over who "should" or "deserves to" "get" or be WORTHY of the honor of holding up a slam trophy or not. At the end of the day, Kafelnikov's the one who was actually GOOD ENOUGH to be in those draws. I mean yeah, maybe he wasn't QUITE a legend caliber talent, but come on, what was he chopped liver?

    The differences between the "legend" caliber players and the JUST below is EXCEEDINGLY minute. I mean the whole point is that even challenger level guys can top guns INCLUDING the legends all they can handle if not actually BEAT them on any given day. THAT is proof POSITIVE of JUST how LITTLE difference in ACTUAL level of play there really is between the VERY best and just the VERY good.

    Imo, Kafelnikov has NOTHING to be ashamed of for what HE'S accomplished...yet some of you guys almost make it sound like he should hang himself...how DARE he win two slams! SOOOO lucky! It's a sham! It's an outrage! How dare he RUIN *my* "vision" of what a truly worthy slam winner is supped to play like. If people on here feel that this badly, maybe they should have just entered the tournament themselves and stopped him from doing it, for going all the way. That would have done the trick nicely. Lol, it's not like these other WORLD CLASS players didn't try to stop him along the way themselves. It's an INSULT to these other world class players that he didn't "deserve" his two slams.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
    #46
  47. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    That was around the time Kuerten began struggling with him hip. Kuerten actually owns Kafelnikov overall as well, even doing well vs him on hard courts despite Kuerten clearly not being a championship player on hard courts. There are no real top players Kafenlikov did well against in their primes. His most impressive stat in that regard is owning Todd Martin, LOL!

    This is simply not true. If you read Sampras's book he seems to have less respect for Kafelnikov than many of the top non slam winners, and his comments at press conference also suggest this. Agassi has also publicly said he did not consider Kafelnikov a player he worried about. Becker did as well before playing him at the 96 AO when Kafelnikov was already top 6 in the World. The top dogs did not respect Kafelnikov that much since they felt he couldnt hurt them. Guys like Ivanisevic, Chang, even Krajicek were more feared and respected by the very top players of the day then was Kafelnikov. For a top player Kafelnikov was a good draw, to be in his section was a good opportunity.

    He is the Jennifer Capriati and to lesser extent Conchita Martinez of mens tennis. A good player, but in no way as good as the # of slams he won. The luckiest multi slam winner in recent memory.
     
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  48. 8pNADAL

    8pNADAL Banned

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    kafelnikov was nicknamed the iron man, so i think he may have stayed high in the rankings for so long because he didnt get injured and wanted to play as much as possible, plus he cashed in when agassi and sampras werent there late in a slam by winning the aust open and french open, so yeah he did struggle against agassi and sampras, so i can see why they dont rate him high but i did enjoy agassi v kafelnikov they had great rallies and agassi usually won but kafelnikov always got a set (in the us open semi 99 and australian open final 2000)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
    #48
  49. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    Lol? Here it is again, Sampras also said that KAfelnikov had the best groundies he'd ever faced the first time they played. You reference Agassi, but Agassi matched up well with him as did Becker. Name all the others who said he wasn't that talented. Kafelnikov was for SURE considered one of the most talented players during his day. Did I EVER say he was on the caliber of the all time greats? NO. But some of you make it sound like he was some dog. Kafelnikov matched up well style wise with Kuerten imo, his MIND did not. I've NEVER said Kafelnikov "owned" Kuerten, but I do believe him when he said that when he was all there upstairs, he felt like Kuerten had nothing for him, that his game fed into his.

    I mean seriously lucky, lucky, lucky...but it's no different from some of the greats' "lucky" slam wins imo. He just was MORE lucky, but still he DESERVED TO WIN PERIOD.

    He EARNED his slams, he DESERVED them. This does NOT mean that he was the BEST two-slam winner. But if he was the best those tournaments, if he came out on top, he deserved them, period. You can still feel others were better, but that doesn't take away his slams. The problem is that we are BRAINWASHED to believe that ONLY slams matter. That they are the ULTIMATE barometer of measuring a player. Well, they are NOT. It's called LIFE. There's intricacies to life. You can still be a worthy two-slam winner, but not the best, AND not have it be the end of the world.

    Again, I just don't get the amount of angst against this guy for winning two slams. It's like everything he does, his every breath, DESERVES some kind of cheap shot about how "lucky" he was, how unworthy he was, on here. Almost EVERY thread where Kafelnikov is mentioned, people HAVE to get in how he's so underserving, so lucky, soooo...again, I just feel like the guy might as well hang himself, because it seems the WORST thing he ever did for himself personally...to be received like this...was gasp, winning two slams when the opportunity was presented. Again, how dare he! The audacity of this guy, it's SUCH a big deal that he got LUCKY to win these two slams, the world should come to an end already, a formal hearing set up, to "try" this man for conspiracy to defraud the public as a two-slam winner worthy of greatness. He won two slams? Big deal, it can happen, a few breaks here and there that's all it takes. It just happened to him twice. It's not that big a deal if it had happened ONCE, but gasp, because it happened ONCE MORE! GAD FORBID! It's now just such offense to so many on here. I mean I would understand if this guy was out there campaigning every day on Tennis Warehouse and to the press about how HE should be considered the greatest two slam winnner EVA! ...but he's not, so I ask again, where and what and why is this ALWAYS such a big deal that he soooooo "lucky" to so many of you?

    The man is still an INSANELY good and yes, TALENTED, tennis player. He didn't have huge obnoxious weapons, but there is NO DOUBT that his ball striking was up there with the very best, CLEAN as a whistle ball-striking at his best. IMMACULATE point construction at his best. Add that he had the mind of a two-year old out there, and one could argue that he was capable of playing BETTER than he did "on average."
     
    #49
  50. jms007

    jms007 Professional

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    Eek go look on the ATP website. Most top players still play at least half a dozen doubles tournies per year especially in Masters. Now most have given up on doubles in GS because they're focused on singles so much, but all of them played in GS doubles in their early years and got whipped in 2nd/3rd match. So yeah it's not worth for it anymore. I say it's because too hard to play both and affects their chances in singles rather than they don't care.

    Would have should have...He wasn't better at the French. Hence he didn't win. He didn't beat Stich, Kafelnikov did. End of story.


    I never said Kafelnikov had a bigger chance than Sampras. I don't know what are you are arguing there. But Sampras didn't play and you have no idea how far he would have made it if he did. For all you know he could have play like crap. Speculation is pointless.
     
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