Bjorn Borg must be the best clay courter of all time !!!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by KLAUS und ROGER, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. KLAUS und ROGER

    KLAUS und ROGER New User

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    I was just looking at Borgs Player Profile

    Bjorn Borg must be the greatest clay courter of all time,
    look at the way he won Roland Garros in 1978

    R128 Deblicker, Eric (FRA) 6-1 6-1 6-1
    R64 ***el, Rick (USA) 6-0 6-1 6-0
    R32 Bertolucci, Paolo (ITA) 6-0 6-2 6-2
    R16 Tanner, Roscoe (USA) 6-2 6-4 7-6
    Q Ramirez, Raul (MEX) 6-3 6-3 6-0
    S Barazzutti, Corrado (ITA) 6-0 6-1 6-0
    W Vilas, Guillermo (ARG) 6-1 6-1 6-3 :confused:

    Need i say more??
     
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  2. avmoghe

    avmoghe Semi-Pro

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    Wow... he just bi*ch-slapped everyone. (wtf...has anyone ever won a grand slam semi conceding just 1 game?!?!)

    It'll be interesting to see how Nadal compares in a few years time...
     
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  3. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    Man he OWNED Vilas...amazed that the serve & volleying Tanner managed to take Borg to a tiebreaker, shows how great his attacking game was.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
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  4. The Gorilla

    The Gorilla Banned

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    are you jsnapple?
     
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  5. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    Personally i think Nadal is a better player then Borg on clay however i think Borg is better then Nadal on grass and hard courts. Borg didnt have as much competition back then compared to todays game.
     
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  6. socalstar

    socalstar Banned

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    nadal had the longest win streak on clay, nuff' said.
     
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  7. FedUp

    FedUp Rookie

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    You should have stopped after the first sentence.
     
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  8. FedUp

    FedUp Rookie

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    Agreed...Borg's skill also extended beyond clay. Unlike other, modern, clay courters.
     
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  9. gmonfils

    gmonfils Rookie

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    This is the funniest thing I've read in a while... you've got to be kidding! Borg not having any competition? I think you must have typo'd this you mean Nadal doesn't have any competition todays game is so watered down if Nadal would have been playing back in the 70's and 80's he would have never ever had that clay court winning streak.
     
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  10. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. The guy whose record Nadal broke for consecutive wins on clay was Vilas. A record that stood for nearly 30 years. Vilas may have been the second best clay courter of Borg's era.
     
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  11. JohnnyF

    JohnnyF New User

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    Borg is the greatest clay court player ever. To suggest suggest Nadal at this point is way premature. Get back to me in 5 or 6 years.
     
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  12. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Except when Borg met Adriano Panatta who beat him twice at the French Open, the only two times Borg ever lost at Roland Garros.
     
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  13. snapple

    snapple Rookie

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    nope, don't know who you're referring to.
     
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  14. Wawa

    Wawa New User

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    i agree...
    nadal in 5 years will be the greatest clay player ever!
    i am not a nadalfan but i really think that's true...
     
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  15. JohnnyF

    JohnnyF New User

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    If he stays healthy he has a shot for sure.
     
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  16. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Sentence 1 -- Strike 1!
    Sentence 2 -- Striek 2!

    Wrong on both counts. Nads has yet to prove himself the equal of Borg. And, Borg's competition in his era was every bit as fierce as today. Borg was to the 70s what Federer is to the 00's.
     
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  17. hewittboy

    hewittboy Banned

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    To this day Borg is clearly the best clay court players ever. Nadal is close perhaps to being the second greatest clay courter ever already. However he has to double what he has already done atleast to be the greatest. I know people say it is a virtual cinch, but dont be so sure. His game style, poor scheduling choices, and laboured strained way of hitting the ball and moving screams out for an injury-shortened/diminished career.
     
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  18. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Rosewall is still head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments. One can also bring Cochet into this if we go really far back.

    Nadal's great, but it will always bother me that he is the only clay courter today who can play at a semi-elite level while employing elements of the classical dirtballer style. Almost everyone else plays like they're on a hardcourt while fighting the forces of nature around them. It's a nightmare - I'm a clay purist and I hate it.
     
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  19. hewittboy

    hewittboy Banned

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    First of all, I did not neccessarily say Nadal is the second best clay courter of all time. I said he is perhaps already close to that. I think he is. If he wins a 4th French Open I will give him that hands down.

    Nadal has 3 French Open titles already, nobody in history not named Borg has more then 3. The 3 most important clay court events today outside the French Open are - Monte Carlo, Roma, Hamburg. Nadal has played 7 of the 9the last 3 years, and won 6 of those 7. Nadal had a record 81 match winning streak on clay recently snapped.

    So I dont see how on earth anyone not named Borg is "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments".
     
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  20. hewittboy

    hewittboy Banned

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    As for the competition on clay, yeah it isnt that good. You are right most of the rest of the quality players prefer hard courts. The few other who prefer clay are not that good to begin with, or not even "semi-elite" as you put it. That is not Nadal's fault though. He can only play who is on the other side and he completely dominates. Usually I am fine bringing in the competition aspect, but when you are completely unbeatable on a surface like that there is no benchmark to how he would do even vs a much stronger field.
     
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  21. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Borg was the greatest of the clay court champions who competed with a wood racquet and Nadal has a chance to become the greatest of the clay court champions who competed with a modern racquet.
     
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  22. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Ken Rosewall won it 10 times (including before it was "Open").

    Henri Cochet won it 6 times.

    Lendl, Wilander, and Kuerten all won it 3 times in the Open era.
     
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  23. KLAUS und ROGER

    KLAUS und ROGER New User

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    Ken Rosewall won it 10 times (including before it was "Open").

    before it was Open?:confused:
    was it just French?

    We all have to consider the fact that Borg ended his career at the age of 25!!

    He could have won it 10 + times, maybe.

    Iyoow, iyowyoyow !
     
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  24. gerikoh

    gerikoh Semi-Pro

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    indeed.. but he never had any US and AUS titles
     
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  25. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    Many players used to skip the Aussie Open...Now the US Open was a whole different ball game. He never felt comfortable with the night matches, ....
     
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  26. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Read carefully: Rosewall and Cochet. And these guys had better competition than Nadal.
     
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  27. hewittboy

    hewittboy Banned

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    I did read and I will repeat again. I dont see how anyone not named Borg could be "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments". Nobody outside of Borg has won more then 3 French Opens, Nadal has already won 3 in a row, the only 3 he has ever played. The 3 biggest events on clay outside the French today, obviously would have been different pre-1974, are Hamburg, Monte Carlo, and Rome. Nadal has won 6 of the 7 he has played the last 3 years. Nadal had a record 81 match winning streak on clay.

    Only someone like Borg could legitimately be said to be "head and shoulders above Nadal as far as clay court accomplishments".

    Your only basis for saying that is his competition. Oh well, Nadal kills everyone on clay, his competition isnt that great but it doesnt matter. He does not control that and he dominates. I am not even a Nadal fan either.
     
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  28. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    i don't understand...
    ok for lendl, wilander and kuerten but cochet won it 4 times (1926 + 1928 +1930 + 1932) and rosewall only 2 times (1953 + 1968 )
    (i'm just checking the counts : of course that doesn't keep them from being above nadal) [​IMG]

    or maybe you also count the double titles ?...

    PS: lacoste won it 3 times too.

    EDIT
    oops i wrote rosewell instead of rosewall... that's not the same story. :rolleyes:
     
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  29. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Well that's becasue many maintain that Rosewall won the French on the same years it was won by:

    Pietrangeli (1960)
    Santana (1961)
    Laver (1962)
    Emerson (1963)
    Santana (1964)
    Stolle (1965)
    Roche (1966)

    Contrary to popular belief, the French are very generous and they often give you two for one.
     
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  30. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    One more thing. If you really believe Rosewall won Roland Garros 10 times, then you have to be consistent with yourself and acknowledge that he is miles ahead of everybody else on clay, including Borg, who won it 6 times. Counting only 2 French titles when you compare him with Borg, but bringing the count up to 10 when you compare him with Nadal is, well... a bit whimsical. Isn't it?
     
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  31. hewittboy

    hewittboy Banned

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    What so Rosewall's accomplishments are based on assumptions like that? Well he couldnt play any of these because he was pro, so I just assume he would have won all 7? What a bunch of BS.

    I bet people "assumed" Rosewall would beat Laver in the 69 final, and he lost in straight sets. I bet people "assumed" Muster was a shoo-in in 1996 and he lost to fast court player Stich. I bet people "assumed" that the 97 Champion would not be Kuerten, or the 99 Champion and runner up Agassi and Medvedev. I bet people "assumed" that Gaudio would never beat Coria in the 2004 final.
     
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  32. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    just to clear up the confusion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professional_World_Singles_Tournament

    Rosewall won the French Pro event(that was held at Roland Garros) 8 times pre-open era & once in the open era. Plus one FO pre Open era. So in a way he did win 10 FOs. Though they weren't all held on clay, as the link explains.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
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  33. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    There was a tournament in France between 1934 and 1968 reserved for professionals. The "French Pro". Rosewall won it a bunch of times. It is widely understood that this is NOT the French Open (except if you need it to be temporarily for argument purposes).

    The actuyal all time best at the French is Max Decugis, who won it 8 times.
     
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  34. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    thx for this clarification. :)
    (even if slams remain slams)
    i guess you mentionned that in the previous threads about major tournaments in the past... i should have looked there.

    for making comparisons, it would be definitely easier to consider 1968 as the big bang of tennis, that there was nothing before... no space, no time...... and even no tennis ! :rolleyes:
     
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  35. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    He won 10 FO "in a way"?????

    Your own link makes it clear, in the first sentence, that prior to 1968 "only amateurs were allowed to compete in mainstream tennis tournaments, including the four Grand Slams."

    Following your "in a way" reasoning, all players who won Wembley prior to 1968 also won Wimbledon "in a way"; and those who won the US Pro Championships prior to 1968 also won the US Open "in a way".
     
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  36. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I was just trying to explain what an earlier poster meant when he said that. They weren't my words. You seem to get easily riled up, try decaf.

    also read this link, maybe he didn't technically win 10 FOs, but he certainly won more than the 8 majors he is credited with. And is generally considerd one of the best claycourt players of alltime. I don't believe any knowledgable tennis fan would judge pre-open era players soley by the amount of grand slam events they won, do you?

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=135592
     
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  37. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Regarding that link and its attempt to establish what were the 4 most important tournaments in different eras, we are entering the realm of belief. I sort of agree that the AO was maybe not quite a top 4 tournament until the very late 80s (though it is be a stretch to call it a "second-tier" event, particularly in the days when Australia had a highly disproportionate share of tennis talents who did play their home championship) -- but in any case I do not believe for a second that in the 80s Wembley was more important than, for example, WTC Dallas, let alone the Masters! Wembley wasn't even remotely close to the Masters in the 80s! Come on ! And I certainly don't believe that, pre-1968, the quasi-exhibition or "pro" tournaments this fellow mentions were more important than mainstream tennis as represented by the players who went to Wimbledon, the US Open and the French.

    Truth is, it is all endlessly questionable, even the open era, even the last part of the open era. You can rearrange the meaning of the entire list of slam winners of the 80s and 90s and 00's by simply scrutinizing and questioning to death the relative difficulty or ease of the draw each of them had.

    At some point we just stop obsessing about rankings and try to enjoy the tennis.
     
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  38. iamke55

    iamke55 Professional

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    The original post doesn't prove anything except that Borg had NO competition whatsoever. Maybe in Bizarro world beating a couple grass courters and nobodies(while losing to these nobodies everywhere outside the FO and Wimbledon) is more impressive than beating the GOAT 3 years in a row and having a streak of 81 wins.
     
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  39. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I advise you to carefully read about Rosewall and Cochet and familiarize yourself about professional tennis in the 50s and 60s and how Rosewall's accomplishments stacked up during that era. Counting French Open titles is applicable somewhat towards qualifying players in the open era, and is even so flawed practice.

    There is also some good info on Rosewall and his era here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/archive/index.php/t-117660.html

    In terms of accomplishments Nadal's isnt't close to these two, let alone Borg. In terms of talent he is one of the best ever, but I'm not sure he would have matched up well with Kuerten.
     
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  40. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    Nadal is easily atleast the second best clay courter of all time. Anyone who denies this is a hater. Who cares though. In 3 years when Nadal has won his 6th straight French Open, and his started his second 80+ match winning streak on clay, and has won his 6th straight Monte Carlo and Rome titles, it will be amusing to see how the haters like Cy"jealous"Borg still try to spin it to not be so. In fact there will be no way to deny he is the greatest clay courter of all time by then.
     
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  41. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall's accomplishements are impressive, except for the fact that he spent most of his best years in the so-called "pro" tour, and you have to remember that many, probably the majority, of the top players of the time were *not* in the pro tour. The word "pro" is highly misleading here. It is as if a few atp players today branched off and made their own exhibition tour, while most stayed with the atp tournaments. It is underestood that mainstream tennis in the 60s was not the "pro" tour.

    I think Rosewall was a genious player. But realistically, am not sure he could have handled Borg very well, both at their prime. I remember in the 80s reading an account of another Australian, Laver I think, explaining how he had handled Rosewall on a certain friendly encounter by hitting heavy topspin so the high bounce would bother short Rosewall. Now if you think of Nadal, who hits probably the heaviest topspin in tennis history, and with Rosewall's height at 5 feet 7 inches (maybe less) it's hard to imagine what Rosewall would do with ball after ball landing near the baseline and bouncing way above his head. He was good, but I really have no idea what the hell he could do with that. Probably not much.
     
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  42. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    If we go on accomplishments alone, Nadal has years and years to go to equal Rosewall's feats. Laver worked tirelessly to get to Ken's level on clay and finally beat Rosewall at RG when the latter was a bit past his prime (still very impressive).

    If we go with a sterner scouting perspective then we certainly get into a pickle. Rosewall was a beast who didn't face the likes of Nadal in his time, but he would have fared just fine. If a flat, predictable hitter like Nikolay Davydenko can take a set off Nadal, Rosewall can beat Nadal on more than one occasion. Ken's return of serve is legendary and his groundies were extremely heavy.

    Everything I've read about Cochet informs that he hit amazing shots with incredible angles and movement. I respect him based on the information, even though I am usually careful to try and rate him with other clay greats - that's a difficult thing to do.

    However the conversation went on more about accomplishments than anything, and based on those Nadal still has ways to go. The important thing to understand about Nadal is that no matter how impressive his three years have been, his winnings on clay have been somewhat inflated by the current dry spell of clay court specialists. It's fruitless to deny this - Kuerten, in Nadal's place, would have had a ball as well. Gustavo won back-to-back RGs in 00 and 01 at a time where competition was oodles better than today with talented floaters from third round onwards - sometimes earlier. Kuerten had a great 99 and could have won RG that year as well, but he ran into a red hot and supremely talented Medvedev (one of the great clay talents of all time, if you ask me, though low on motivation) in the fourth round. Nadal doesn't get these matchups. He gets Juan Monaco and the occasional flat-hitting hard courter.

    Nadal's in my top-five all time in terms of clay court talents and I'm a big fan of his, but every time someone brings up him winning everything as an indicator of being the best ever I simply want to groan.
     
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  43. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Just recently someone called me a ********. This board never ceases to amaze me.
     
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  44. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    After the French Open you seemed to get on the Nadal bandwagon, you need to get by on, it is the bandwagon of the future. :p My sig shows you on the Nadal bandwagon, so dont try and hide it, you were there briefly.

    The thing is you are saying that others are only going by Nadal's French Open titles, and that is an unfair way to compare him to Rosewall and Cochet. Well that is not true, people are not only looking at his French Open titles, which is already significant, but are also going by:

    1)The longest match winning streak on clay in history. This is only one achivement, but it is another additional stat in his favor. Nobody not Borg, not Rosewall, not Lendl, not Cochet, has had a match win streak that long on clay.

    2)The fact that he has won 8 of the 9 biggest tournaments on clay over a 3 year span, not just the French Open. That type of overall dominance on clay in significant clay court events over a 3-year span, not just at the French Open, can stand up to anyone in history, no matter what was considered important then on clay.

    3)The fact that he is doing all this so young to boot.

    You are right he has weaker competition on clay, but he does not control that. When you watch him play on clay, I would not say there is nobody in history who could have played with him, but there is nobody who would have relished playing Nadal on clay, I will tell that you that much.

    As for Kuerten, Nadal wins 4 times out of 5 atleast, maybe more. Look at Kuerten's record on clay from 1999-2001. Tons of losses, not even close to the dominance of Nadal in general, much tougher time winning his French Opens too. Also bringing up the likes of Medvedev as an example of such tougher competition then Nadal has on clay is a joke. Kuerten is a great player on clay, but Nadal has already blown him out of the water. The only area they are tied in is French Open titles, but even there Nadal has 3 straight, won all 3 he played, and has his 3 as a 21 year old boy.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2007
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  45. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I think Kuerten would have been a miserable matchup for Nadal. He would have been able to run with him, he wouldn't have been stunned by the topspin and he would have given Nadal fits with his backhand.

    Medvedev would have been a tough matchup for Nadal as well. The guy sucked in topspin - no one in today's era is like him. That doesn't change the fact that the guy was on a mental vacation for much of the time, but when he wasn't he beat Kuerten in 99 on his way to the final.
     
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  46. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    They're all young once and when they are they seem invincible. When Bruguera was on his game I didn't think it would ever end. But it did.

    I'm not exactly sure when Nadal will begin to regress, but it might come sooner than you think. Historically 24-ish often is the beginning of the end for early-blooming clay courters (often earlier, but shouldn't be in Nadal's case). I'm not sure Rafa will be all that different - especially the way hard courts are hurting him. At least Kuerten would occasionally skip Wimbledon to let his body recover. Nadal is playing full blast.

    We'll see what happens. I like Nadal. I don't like his clay generation and this is why we have to be careful in assessing his greatness.
     
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  47. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    This is pure speculation. So and so "could have won" this and that and the other thing if he hadn't "run into red hot" so and so. Or X would never had had it so easy if he had to play Y and Z instead of G and H. Or if he played in 1999-2002 instead of 2005-2007. We have no way of knowing if Kuerten could have taken a set from Federer on clay from 2005 through 2007, so I don't see how you can say that in Nadal's place Kuerten would have "had a ball." We simply have no way of knowing what he would have had. Your faith that he would have "had a ball" is based on your faith. This is not serious stuff. If Nadal wasn't around, it seems reasonable to suppose that Federer would have been winning most of the tournaments Nadal has won on clay. If Federer wasnt'around either, then it certainly would be a much more competitive field on clay these last three years. Maybe that would give you the impression the competition was tougher. If Federer was a bit older and he had had his peak during the Kuerten years, so he never had played Nadal on clay, it would be even more easy for someone like you to suppose that he would have beaten Nadal blindfolded. Yet we know it would have been wrong. I don't believe the field is weaker now than in Kuerte'n's time. I believe Nadal and Federer make it *look* weaker. The notion that Rosewall at his best could beat the current Nadal on clay I find highly implausible for reasons already explained. But I have no way of proving this is the case. We only know what has happened, not what would have happened if....
     
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  48. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    It's not speculation. You may wish to believe that every single French Open is equal. Not to me. I hold Muster's in higher regard than Agassi's. Why? I look at the draws (well, and watch the matches).

    And they would have been worth a soaking jack squat to me for reasons already explained.

    This point was made before. We can tell when this is happening as well. I could tell when this happened when Borg retired. Both 82 and 83 RGs were his for the taking. The winners wound up being a 17-year old Mats Wilander and the softball king Yannick Noah. Frankly I don't value their RGs as much as I do Borg's. I can tell when an era is low on premium talent. It happens often.

    Arguing Rosewall v Nadal on pure talent is very difficult. I like to get into this sometimes, but I was trying to avoid it here because the topic was mostly about accomplishments. I don't know why you're trying to steer it into a straightforward matchup comparison.

    We can go there, of course, but I don't think I would convince you of anything. Just remember one thing - 30 years from now, someone young will point the finger at your insistence upon Federer's excellence and laugh in your face, claiming that Joe Blo 2037 is better, stronger and more juiced. Maybe Joe Blo 2037 will even invent a new shot. But Federer is still a genius on most courts. Rosewall was too.
     
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  49. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    I totally disagree. For starters Kuerten definitely would not have been able to run with Nadal. Kuerten moved very well, especialy on clay, but he was still nowhere near the fastest. Nadal is one of the fastest players in history, and definitely the fastest since Borg. Kuerten while a very good mover, does not even fit on the first page of the fastest guys of recent times. Nadal, Federer, Hewitt, Coria, Ferrero, Bruguera, Chang, are all much much faster then Kuerten.

    Kuerten's backhand would give Nadal some trouble, but it takes alot to win a match vs Nadal on clay. It takes about 4 different shots giving him huge trouble, and unbelievable mental strength and fitness.

    Kuerten was never as dominant or great as Nadal on clay. Look at all the matches he lost on clay in 1999-2001 when he was dominant. He is a great clay courter, but Nadal has already easily eclipsed him, and if they played in their mutual primes Kuerten would only win on his dream days, the days everything were perfect for him. That is still better then anyone else today does though.

    That was an incredibly windy day, Kuerten hated those conditions, and that is why Medvedev won.
     
    #49
  50. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    In fairness to Wilander he woud end up winning 3 French Open titles, and reaching 5 total finals. In some of the later ones he would face down some real competition. Such as beating McEnroe in the semis (this was the last year McEnroe was still extremely good before his big time decline), and Lendl in final, to win the 85 French. Then in 1988 beating a young power hitting Agassi in the semis, and the wildly talented Henri LeConte in the final.
     
    #50

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