Better player : Safin or Nalbandian

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Safin4ever, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Safin4ever

    Safin4ever Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    33
    Lets break it down.


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



    So pretty much equal. What do you guys think?
     
    #1
  2. dmt

    dmt Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,655
    Safin easily. Atleast he won a couple of majors. While i do believe that he could have won another 4-6 majors if he were dedicated, 2 slams is still very very good.

    Nalbandian, despite being very talented, hasnt even won one major even though he has all the ability too. I also think Safin had the better backhand, forehand and serve. Nalbandian is a better returner.
     
    #2
  3. Safin4ever

    Safin4ever Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    33

    you're bringing up acheivements which is not what this thread is about. Its strictly about who has the better game in terms of technique on all the strokes.
     
    #3
  4. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    3,890
    Fitness - Safin.
    Hunger - Even Safin wants it more than Nalbandian.
    Mental - Safin. Even though he gets brain cramps he doesn't choke.


    The only thing i give Nalbandian over Safin is the movement.
     
    #4
  5. Gustavo Kuerten

    Gustavo Kuerten Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Messages:
    288
    Nalbandian has the biggest hunger of all players.
     
    #5
  6. dmt

    dmt Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,655
    well Nalbandian is a better returner as well.
     
    #6
  7. davey25

    davey25 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    5,059
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Serve- Safin
    Return- Nalbandian
    Forehand- Safin
    Backhand- Safin IMO
    Movement- Nalbandian
    Volleys- Safin
    Mental- not sure
    Intangibles- Safin

    Safin overall easily. Both are underachievers but also vastly overrated players on this forum, but Safin is the overrated underachiever who has atleast won slam titles and truly outplayed guys like Sampras and Federer on the big stage before.
     
    #7
  8. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,979
    Safin no doubt. No question here.
     
    #8
  9. Safin4ever

    Safin4ever Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    33

    I disagree. How can players like Safin and Nalbandian be overrated when these guys can hang with Federer and consistently outplay and outrally him in matches. How many players are even capable of that? And im sure when they're on they can hang with nadal on clay and teach him a lesson like the one soda taught him last year in the french.
     
    #9
  10. dmt

    dmt Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,655
    when Nadal is at his best on clay, not even soderling can beat him there and definately not Safin or Nalbandian.
     
    #10
  11. Jaewonnie

    Jaewonnie Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,142
    now that I think of it, has Safin ever played Nadal? That would be a very interesting match.
     
    #11
  12. dmt

    dmt Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,655
    yeah they played just near the end of last year. Nadal won but safin was only a shadow of his former self.
     
    #12
  13. Rafter22

    Rafter22 New User

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2009
    Messages:
    20
    Safin's booming serve gives him the edge. Safin has won 2 Majors, more Masters Series shields and was number one, even if it was in the weak early 00s. Plus, he's beaten the two best players ever on a big stage.
     
    #13
  14. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    5,510
    Safin is a legend, Nalbandian is not, as simple as that.
     
    #14
  15. davey25

    davey25 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    5,059
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Safin is 2-11 lifetime vs Federer. In Safins prime from 2000-2005 he was 2-7 vs Federer. His only win over prime Federer (his other win was indoors in 02) took the 2nd best match of his life and he still had to save a point point to avoid a 4 set defeat. So on what planet is that consistently outplaying and outrallying him, LOL!

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

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

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

    Lastly if success vs Federer were the barometer to owns abilities (even if Safin and Nalbandian actually had this to your imagined standards) then Nadal would deserve to be the greatest player of all time, and Murray would deserve to be a top 5 player of all time.
     
    #15
  16. sh@de

    sh@de Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,979
    Exactly. See my sig...
     
    #16
  17. Safin4ever

    Safin4ever Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    33


    First of all Djokovic is not even on the scene when you consider the raw talents of Safin and Nalbandian. Those guys are so natural. They can just wake up from the wrong side of the bed, have 5 beers and still play incredible tennis. Djokovic is very good but when these guys are on they'll blow him off the court. Example Safin vs Djokovic in wimbledon 2008. Or Nalbandian vs Djokovic in those indoor tournaments in 2007. And Federer is definitely the barometer coz as of now he is the GOAT. Now you tell me how many players can really outrally federer. very few and guess what...they are the most talented ones. Nadal is an exception coz of bad match up issues and Murray is not all that great coz we didnt see much from him in the 2 slam finals against Fed.
     
    #17
  18. Safin4ever

    Safin4ever Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    33
    And outrallying and outplaying has nothing to do with winning matches. You can outrally and outplay federer and still lose the match. Example federer vs berdych AO 2009.
     
    #18
  19. Ocean Drive

    Ocean Drive Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,714
    Serve - Safin, by far.
    Forehand - Safin
    Backhand - Safin (just watch their matches against each other when both were playing good tennis, eg Madrid 2004)
    Volley - Safin
    Movement - Safin (although he's much, much taller than Nalbandian)
    Return - Safin
    Mentality - Not sure, both are kind of similar here, both can be very steely and both can explode at any time, but in different ways.

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

    Marat Safin by a land slide.
     
    #19
  20. Safin4ever

    Safin4ever Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    33

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

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u39oKKEvHNM&feature=related
     
    #20
  21. abraxas21

    abraxas21 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1,136
    Are you sure about that mate? I'd say Nalby is definitely more hungry than Marat... I mean, look at that belly.
     
    #21
  22. JSummers

    JSummers Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Messages:
    217
    One day Safin will goes to HOF, Nalbandian? In a decade he'll be forgotten. That's the difference.
     
    #22
  23. kingdaddy41788

    kingdaddy41788 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,753
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Safin hands down. 2 majors to none. 'Nuff said.
     
    #23
  24. onyxrose81

    onyxrose81 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    747
    Safin all the way. Nalbandian has the return and the movement but Safin is much better in everything else.
     
    #24
  25. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,246
    Safin has power and pace that is way above Nalbandian, and that's ultimately the difference, notice how Safin just blow him off court by sheer power in some of the matches, of course Safin also blow himself up with too many UE.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
    #25
  26. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,365
    Top flight Safin outclasses Nalbandian, and many others. Hence, 2 majors for Safin and none for Nalbandian. Also, he reached the semis of every major. People are forgetting who some people are, or were. He was a headcase who got injured, nothing more. I believe the Safin groundstrokes are superior when on. I've seen it in person, you can't ignore how easily he creates power.
     
    #26
  27. P_Agony

    P_Agony Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    13,186
    Serve - Safin
    Return - Nalbandian
    Forehand - Nalbandian
    Backhand - tie (Safin for DTL, Nalby for crosscourt angles)
    Volley- Nalbandian
    Court Coverage - Nalbandian

    Nalby IMO is a more talented player, but Safin, believe it or not, was actually mentally stronger in his prime years. Both are extremely talented, but one has to wonder what Nalby could have achieved with a stronger mind. Of course, results-wise, Safin is the far better player.
     
    #27
  28. big bang

    big bang Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,885
    Location:
    behind your curtain
    agree on most parts, but I cant agree that Nalbandians forehand is better than Safins, it was more stabil compared to Safins in the late years. but before that Safins forehand was such a powerfull weapon, way better than Nalbandians! volleys I would say is pretty even too..
     
    #28
  29. davey25

    davey25 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    5,059
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Nalbandian's forehand is not better than Safin's. No way.
     
    #29
  30. davey25

    davey25 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    Messages:
    5,059
    Location:
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    I wont be so hard on Safin maybe in the past. It is pretty clear that the slamless Nalbandian is an even more overrated player than Safin on TW.
     
    #30
  31. Xenakis

    Xenakis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Messages:
    2,431
    Not a chance. As long as there is tennis Nalbandian will never be forgotten!
     
    #31
  32. canuckfan

    canuckfan Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Messages:
    750
    Safin had a great backhand and moved well in is younger pre-knee surgery days. So while Nalby has a slightly better backhand, his forehand does far less damage than prime safin's. Movement between the two is about the same -- safin moved great for a big guy when he was young.

    Bottom line safin won 2 slams and reached world number 1 -- and he was considered an underacheiver. He was better than Nalby.
     
    #32
  33. Miami83095

    Miami83095 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    389
    Safin had a 10x better career
     
    #33
  34. Jchurch

    Jchurch Guest

    Safin is better. Nalbandian never really had the firepower to play with the big boys like Safin did. Even though Nalbandian was probably technically better and in my eyes a throwback to the days of touch tennis, I still think Safin was just much better.
     
    #34
  35. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    13,916



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


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


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


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



    Intangibles I will give it to Nalbandian since he creates some crafty shots, but when it comes down to brute force and sheer effectiveness, Safin is clearly better.
     
    #35
  36. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,098
    Of course he did! Excellent post, you boiled it down to what matters. The difference is that Safin has won 2 grand slams and Nalbandian lost his 1 grand slam final at Wimbledon. Head to head matchups favor Safin 6-4. They squared off in 3 Grand Slam matches. They split matches at Roland Garros (Safin-2002, Nalbandian-2004), and Safin won a close 5 setter at the US Open in 2006. This gives Safin the advantage in Grand Slam titles and also in head to head matchups at Grand Slams. I understand that this thread is just comparing their games, not results or achievements, but if you can't prove your talent on the biggest stage, then what is it really worth?
     
    #36
  37. ruerooo

    ruerooo Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    6,503
    Location:
    Right behind you
    I think it's fair to say that now (other than Rafa or Roger, when they really want a win).

    But I'm not sure it was always the case.
    Marat is a perfectionist (even Peter Lundgren said so when he was coaching him) and his injuries frustrated him.
     
    #37
  38. wilfreb

    wilfreb Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    427
    Serve - Safin
    Return - Nalbandian [the best]
    Forehand - Nalbandian [more precise]
    Backhand - Nalbandian [the best in tennis history]
    Volley- nalbandian by much
    Court Coverage - Nalbandian
    mental - safin

    overall Nalbandian is more talented than safin, he is El Maestro
     
    #38
  39. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Laughable. Nalbandian is the most overhyped player since Marcelo Rios. I bet if it were even Federer you would post the same things and just replace Safin with Federer, LOL!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
    #39
  40. ruerooo

    ruerooo Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    6,503
    Location:
    Right behind you
    thalivest, I love Marat, but David was once #3 in the world (and yes, I know Marat was #1) -- and he's given both Roger and Rafa trouble.

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

    Have you forgotten how David played those angles against Rafa at IW last year?
     
    #40
  41. 2slik

    2slik Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Messages:
    504
    lol, *********!:)

    Those angles, like Nadal was going to win the match on his own racquet.
     
    #41
  42. ruerooo

    ruerooo Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    6,503
    Location:
    Right behind you
    I'm a FEDAL fan, which you'd know if you read, which you don't seem to do.
    And as you also seem to enjoy reveling in your illiteracy, I'll not be engaging with you further. :roll:
     
    #42
  43. Jchurch

    Jchurch Guest


    Don't you remember that Federer had an ankle injury?
     
    #43
  44. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I remember the TMC when David at his best scraping past an injured Federer in a 5th set tiebreak, with Roger moving at 70% (or less), and when Roger wasnt even going to play the TMC but pushed himself to due to the weak field with the rest of the top 5 all withdrawing with their own injuries, and the chance to tie McEnroe's record. I do remember that Nalbandian has lost almost every match he played vs Roger in the last almost 7 years. I also remember the ass whoopings Nalbandian got vs prime Federer at events like the 2004 Australian Open and 2005 U.S Open.

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

    Nalbandian was once #3 in the World? Safin was once #1 in the World and has ended years ranked #2, #3, and #4. Haas was once #2 in the World, and Ljubicic was once #3 in the World too.
     
    #44
  45. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Even someone like Corretja has achieved more than Nalbandian. He won a TMC too, beating Sampras who is superior indoors to Federer anyway, and Sampras unlike Roger at the 2005 TMC was well and healthy too. Corretja has reached more slam finals, won more Masters events, won more titles I believe, done well on all surfaces too.
     
    #45
  46. ruerooo

    ruerooo Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    6,503
    Location:
    Right behind you
    But that could be a motivation issue. I think David had motivation issues before that, having seen his interview today, he doesn't have now.

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

    Now if you want to dispute that should be the basis of the argument, that's a different discussion.
     
    #46
  47. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Safin's technical skills are better than Nalbandian though. Nalbandian has great technical skills but Safin still has more. They play different styles but the only things Nalbandian does better really are returning serve and movement. The backhand could be debated, though I personally go with Safin there, but people saying things like Nalbandian has a better forehand, or even better volleys, really makes no sense to people that have watched the two play for years are not major fans of either player.

    Safin is just as big an underachiever as Nalbandian is, if not more. He is atleast as lazy, atleast as undisciplined, atleast as uncommited, atleast as unmotivated compared to the Federer, Nadal, and Roddicks of the World. And he is just a big a headcase on the court. Nalbandian is overweight, Safin drinks and parties and sleeps with women and once in awhile practices. They are headcases in different ways, Nalbandian is far worse a choker and prone to blowing leads and chances than Safin is, but Safin is far more prone to getting frusterated and losing his composure and focus when things arent going the way he wants during a match. The one big difference is Safin has had far more bad luck with injuries. His prime was likely cut short by several years by his major 2005 injury. Also he had another injury right in the middle of his prime in 2003 which could have been his year to win 1 or 2 more slams and even be year end #1 possibly considering Roddick, Ferrero, 33 year old Agassi, and pre prime Federer battled for it. Nalbandian had one major injury now in the twilight of his career when he wasnt going to achieve anything major again anyway. Yet despite all this Safin has clearly achieved more than Nalbandian.
     
    #47
  48. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I would add even though Nalbandian has a better record vs Federer, Safin is the one who achieved the feat of beating Federer at his true best far more than Nalbandian did. Nalbandian deserves credit for beating Federer 8 times, still an amazing feat. However in none of those matches was it really a prime Federer playing his best.

    Safin though beat Federer playing his best on one of tennis biggest stages in the 2005 Australian Open semis. It was an incredibly close match that could have gone either way with both guys playing their best, but in the end Safin was able to eke it out, even saving a match point on Federer's serve in the 4th set to do it. I dont think Nalbandian could ever beat a prime Federer at his absolute best, maybe beat a pretty good Federer like the 2007 Paris and Madrid wins, but beating a lights out Federer, in the best of 5 sets in a grand slam especialy, not a chance. Nalbandian would never have beaten the Federer of the 2005 Australian Open, not anyday, or even on any surface, probably not even in a best 2 of 3. That is another thing that shows Safin at his best is just better than Nalbandian.
     
    #48
  49. ruerooo

    ruerooo Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    6,503
    Location:
    Right behind you
    I of course remember that semi, thalivest, and that's a very interesting comparison and analysis.

    So ability to beat a "lights out" Roger is the yardstick you would use as to who, between Marat and David, is best?
     
    #49
  50. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    It is one of them for sure but not the only one. However yes the ability to beat Federer at his absolute best, not just playing well or even very well but at his true maximum best, is something truly special, and Nadal, Safin, and maybe Djokovic are the only current players to achieve. Breaking down their games I feel Safin is just a bit better overall too. Beyond breaking down the various shots, Nalbandian has the edge in variety and feel, Safin in pure power. In the end though power wins out with players of similar overall skill (aka by overall skill obviously not the same as say comparing Murray and Gulbis).
     
    #50

Share This Page