Clay Court GOAT

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, May 18, 2009.

  1. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Hello,

    What are people's thoughts on a Clay Court Greatest Player of all time list (as of now)?

    My list is:

    1/ Borg - 6 French Opens + Monte Carlo, Italian Open wins

    2/ Nadal - 4 French Opens + lots of clay court Masters Championships

    3/ Rosewall - 6 Major Wins at Roland Garros - (French Amateur 1953, French Open in 1968 + 4 French Pro wins at Roland Garros on Clay)

    4/ Guga - 3 French Opens + Other tournaments

    5/ Vilas - 1 French Open + Most Clay Court wins ever

    6/ Muster - 1 French Open + many other important Tournaments

    What are people's thoughts on this list.
     
    #1
  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1. Nadal
    2. Borg
    3. Rosewall
    4. Wilding
    5. Cochet
    6. Lendl
    7. Wilander
    8. Lacoste
    9. Kuerten
    10. Laver
    11. Borotra
    12. Drobny
    13. Vilas
    14. Santana
    15. Bruguera
    16. Pietrangeli
    17. Courier
    18. Muster
    19. Federer
    20. Kodes
    21. von Cramm
    22. Emerson
    23. Nastase
    24. Trabert
    25. Orantes
    26. Panatta
    27. Agassi
    28. Connors
    39. Nusslein
    30. Tilden
    31. Gimeno
    32. Frank Parker
    33. Roche
    34. Sven Davidson
    35. Jack Crawford
    36. Fred Perry
    37. J.E. Patty
    38. Decugis
    39. Segura


    (Latest version, as of 10-23-12.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
    #2
  3. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Vilas : 1 French + 1 UOpen on clay
     
    #3
  4. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Rosewall

    He, like Borg, was quick! This is the common theme of the great Clay Court players, they are great runners around the court. Its hard to beat a guy who can run down everything.
     
    #4
  5. Cenc

    Cenc Hall of Fame

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    i would put nadal in front of borg
    i agree with the other part
     
    #5
  6. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Rosewall actually could hit the ball very powerfully when needed and he hit the ball very early which gave him opponent less reaction time. Rosewall was super consistent, had great mobility with great passing shots, a great volley, excellent touch, a great lob and overhead. Hard for anyone to beat that combination. His backhand slice often dug low into the ground which made it very hard to drive back.

    Rosewall was a very hard hitter of the ball in his prime but we tend to think of his later years. Even if you check out the highlights of his 1972 WCT match against Laver, you can see how hard he could hit and how he was often able to move Laver all over the court on the indoor surface.
     
    #6
  7. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I'd include Cochet.
     
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  8. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Muster was a great clay courter but he would never be that high. He only won 1 French Open even in a very competitive clay court field, but one without a dominant clay courter like Borg or Nadal. His only great years on clay in general were 1990, 1995, and 1996. He wasnt even really one of the best any other year.

    My list would probably be:

    1. Borg- atleast right now still is IMO
    2. Nadal- will be #1 in future perhaps
    3. Rosewall- amazing to wonder how many French Opens he would have won had tennis been Open era back then
    4. Cochet
    5. LaCoste
    6. Kuerten
    7. Vilas
    8. Lendl
     
    #8
  9. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Of Course - Lendl and Wilander

    You are absolutely right about having Lendl on the list. Also I'd like to add Wilander

    So

    Borg
    Nadal - agree he possibly will be future #1 but this is a snapshot in time
    Rosewall
    Guga
    Lendl
    Wilander
    Vilas
    Muster - put him on the list just because he was such a prolific clay court winner + also 1995 & 1996 his record on clay was Nadal like.

    If you add Cochet & Lacoste, then you would also need to add Tony Wilding who was the dominant clay courter in Europe from 1910 to 1914 (2 World Clay Court World championships + 4 or 5 Monte Carlos' and lots of other clay court championships).
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
    #9
  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Of course Lendl and Wilander should be added but if people add Cochet, I would venture to say that Hans Nusslein would be perhaps be even greater than Cochet on clay. Cochet never won a set from Nusslein and Nusslein according to some sources defeated Vines a good majority of the time on clay.

    Here are some quotes about Nusslein from McCauley's book. Tilden decribes Nusslein as "a machine with a brain" and ranked Nusslein very high. Budge said "Nusslein is the finest player I ever saw." Bottom line is that clay was Nusslein's best surface.

    I understand the best book on Nusslein is written by Robert Geist but it's in German.

    By the way one minor other UNKNOWN player may be in consideration for being a top clay court player, just a little player named Rod Laver. Laver defeated Rosewall in a number of clay tournaments and while Rosewall was superior on clay, Laver did almost always give him a battle on the surface.

    I would throw in Nastase too.

    Wouldn't it be interesting to see a peak Nastase on red clay with his speed and touch against Nadal's heavy topspin and power?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
    #10
  11. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    You're right about Nusslein, but to be fair he was 9 years older than Cochet.

    Also, we shouldn't ignore Von Cramm and even though they're best remembered for excelling on grass Laver and Budge both put together great results on clay. Probably not much worse than Lendl.

    Does anyone have Segura's clay court results? I'm struggling to find good information about this.
     
    #11
  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Von Cramm is an excellent choice and we should not forget about Fred Perry also.
     
    #12
  13. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    But where to place them?

    Thanks for your input guys, it makes for a really interesting discussion. What is interesting to reflect is how much easier and less controversial it is to put this list together than the general GOAT list. I guess it is because there are more obvious standouts on Clay ie Borg, Nadal and Rosewall.

    There was some discussion above about Cochet, Lacoste, Wilding (In my opinion having one of the best clay court records ever), Nusslein, Von Cramm & Perry - great claycourt players all of them - but would any of you put them above any of the names of this list?

    Borg
    Nadal
    Rosewall
    Guga
    Lendl
    Wilander
    Vilas
    Muster
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
    #13
  14. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    And Wilding.
     
    #14
  15. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    Federer is 10th

    he does well except for nadal
     
    #15
  16. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I would add von Cramm, Drobny, Trabert, Pietrangeli and Santana and Gimeno to the group. I personally rate, as quite all Germans do, von Cramm over Nuesslein. In the few matches between the two, von Cramm came mostly on top. The Santana-Pietrangeli matches are described by Rex Bellamy as concerts between two pianists of the highest class, say Horowitz and Rubinstein. I have seen very few clay results of Segura, his game must be suited to clay. Hoad and Laver did very well on clay, they were the only two players in history, who won the French, Italian and German triple in the same year. Laver may have been not so consistent as Rosewall on clay, but it could very well be, that he had the upper hand in their actual clay head to head, due to some European results in 1963/64. In the open era, they were 4-4 (Bournemouth, RG 1968 (both Rosewall), Amsterdam, RG 1969, Louisville 1970 (all Laver), Washington 1971 (Ro), Houston 1972 (La), Houston 1976, Ro) with the last match played at Houston (and won by Rosewall) in 1976.
     
    #16
  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1. Borg
    2. Nadal
    3. Rosewall
    4. Cochet
    5. Lendl
    6. Wilander
    7. Laver
    8. Lacoste
    9. Kuerten
    10. Borotra
    11. Drobny
    12. Santana
    13. Gimeno
     
    #17
  18. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Muster?

    No love for Muster?

    I am in pretty much agreement over your top ten. I'd put Muster around 11th on your list, and I'd put Kuerten above Lacoste. I realise that this is all subjective opinion though.
     
    #18
  19. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    I'd place Guga ahead of Rosewall for sure.

    Fed is also definitely top 10.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
    #19
  20. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    Don't the TW Historians want to annoint Max Decugis as the GOAT of clay?
     
    #20
  21. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    1. Borg
    2. Nadal
     
    #21
  22. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Decugis

    Nope. His 8 wins were in French Club member only entries in the French Championship (which was what the tournament was like until 1924). Hence no international competition in terms of those titles.

    I don't know if he entered the World Hard Court Championship (Which started in 1912) but I know he didn't win that tournament (which was open to International Competitors).

    But you are just teasing aren't you? :)

    Got to hand it to Decugis for longevity though. He first made the French Championship final in 1902 and last made the final in 1923 - 21 years later.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
    #22
  23. Idzznew

    Idzznew Rookie

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    This is what I have of Decugis at the moment (www.tennisarchives.com), still adding results all the time of course!

    Alex


    Maxime Omer (Max) Decugis

    Name: Maxime Omer (Max)
    Family name: Decugis
    Nationality: France
    Gender:
    Had: 95 years
    Date of birth: September 24, 1882
    Place of birth: Paris, France
    Date of death: September 6, 1978
    Place of death: Biot, France
    Professional:



    Stats
    Matches in database: 100
    Victories in database: 70
    Tournaments won in database: 2

    Results

    1910 Monte Carlo
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Routledge, H.B. (6-3 6-1)
    Round 3 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Good, F. (6-0 6-1)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Kleinschroth, Robert (6-4 6-1)
    Semifinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Kleinschroth, Heinrich (6-2 6-4)
    Final Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Ritchie, Major Josiah George (6-3 6-0 6-0)

    1911 Wimbledon
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Larsen, Erik Øckenholt (7-9 6-3 6-3 6-0)
    Round 3 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Bentley, A.L. (6-2 6-3 6-1)
    Round 4 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Gore, Arthur William Charles (Wentworth) (2-6 6-4 6-4 8-6)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Heath, Rodney W. (10-8 6-4 7-5)
    Semifinals Dixon , Charles Percy d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-2 5-7 6-2 6-3)

    1911 Monte Carlo
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Wagner, Basil (6-1 6-4)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Bostwick, A.C. (6-0 6-0)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Ritchie, Major Josiah George (6-0 6-1)
    Semifinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Rahe , Friedrich Wilhelm (6-3 7-5)
    Final Wilding, Anthony Frederick (Tony) d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (5-7 1-6 6-3 6-0 6-1)
    1912 Wimbledon
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Thomas, George A. (6-2 6-0 6-3)
    Round 3 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Ross, A.J. (6-0 6-1 7-5)
    Round 4 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Doust, Stanley Norwood (6-4 6-3 7-5)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Roper-Barrett, Herbert (6-3 7-5 4-6 6-4)
    Semifinals Gobert , André Maurice Henri d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-3 6-3 1-6 4-6 6-4)

    1912 Monte Carlo
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Hick, Mark D. (6-3 6-2 )
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Zambaux, ? (6-0 6-2)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Allen, E.R. (Roy) (6-2 6-2)
    Semifinals Wilding, Anthony Frederick (Tony) d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (9-11 7-5 6-1)

    1912 World hardcourt championships
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Aranyi, I. (6-2 6-1 6-0)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Tapscott, Eric (6-3 6-1 6-0)
    Quarterfinals Froitzheim, Otto d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-3 6-4 4-6 6-4)

    1913 Wimbledon
    Round 1 White, M.R.L. d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (w.o.)

    1913 Monte Carlo
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. von Boxberg, ? (6-1 6-0)
    Round 3 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Rahe , Friedrich Wilhelm (7-5 4-6 6-4)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Murray, C.W. (7-5 6-0)
    Semifinals Wilding, Anthony Frederick (Tony) d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (3-6 6-0 6-3)

    1913 World hardcourt championships
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Lemaire de Warzeé, Willie (6-2 6-3 6-4)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Gault, Georges (6-4 6-0 6-2)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. von Wessely, Curt (2-6 7-9 6-4 6-4 6-1)
    Semifinals Wilding, Anthony Frederick (Tony) d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-0 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-3)

    1914 Wimbledon
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Thol, S.F. (6-2 6-2 6-1)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Aitken, Harold I.P. (6-2 6-1 6-3)
    Round 3 Davson, Perival May d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-4 4-6 6-1 6-3)

    1914 Monte Carlo
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Zels, O.H. (w.o.)
    Round 3 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Lyle, C.E. Leonard (6-2 5-7 6-2)
    Quarterfinals Kleinschroth, Robert d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-4 6-4)

    1914 Cannes championships
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. de Coubasch, V. (6-2 6-2)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Du Pasquier, P. (6-1 6-1)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Boelling, F. (6-3 7-5)
    Semifinals Brookes, Norman Everard d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-2 6-3)

    1914 Riviera championships
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Simond, George Miéville (6-4 6-1)
    Quarterfinals Lowe, Francis Gordon d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (w.o.)

    1914 Nice
    Round 1 Lowe, Francis Gordon d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (9-7 6-0)

    1914 South of France championships
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Lippmann, S. (6-1 6-0)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Nickerson, Hoffman (6-1 6-3)
    Round 3 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. von Lepel, Baron (6-1 6-3)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Sturtz, H. (6-2 6-0)
    Semifinals Lowe, Francis Gordon d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-2 6-2)

    1914 Cannes Carlton 2nd meeting
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Starkovitch, A. (6-3 6-3)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Biddle, Craig (6-4 6-4)
    Semifinals Wilding, Anthony Frederick (Tony) d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-4 6-2)

    1914 Cannes Métropole
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Dunlop, Alfred Wallace (2-6 6-3 6-1)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Hope, Charles (6-0 6-0)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Cozon, G. (6-3 6-1)
    Semifinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Lowe, Francis Gordon (6-1 7-5)
    Final Brookes, Norman Everard d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (4-6 6-1 6-2 6-1)

    1914 World hardcourt championships
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Aranyi, I. (6-2 6-1 6-0)
    Round 3 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. De Borman, Paul (6-1 6-0 6-2)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Von Kehrling, Bela (6-3 5-7 6-3 6-2)
    Semifinals Wilding, Anthony Frederick (Tony) d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-1 6-2 6-1)

    1919 Wimbledon
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Thol, S.F. (6-4 6-0 6-4)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Crawford, F.R.L. (Leighton) (6-2 4-6 5-7 10-8 6-1)
    Round 3 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Grace, C.S. (6-0 6-1 6-3)
    Round 4 Kingscote, Algernon Robert Fitzhardinge (Algie) d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-2 4-6 4-6 8-6 8-6)

    1919 Monte Carlo
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Henley, W.G. (w.o.)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Brown, J.Stacey (6-1 6-1)
    Semifinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Manset, G. (6-2 6-0)
    Final Mishu, Nicolae d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-2 6-0)

    1919 Cannes Carlton
    Semifinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Mishu, Nicolae (6-3 6-2)
    Final Watters, Douglas S. d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (w.o.)

    1919 Cannes championships
    Semifinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Brown Jr., J.S. (6-1 6-0)
    Final Mishu, Nicolae d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-8 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-0)

    1919 Riviera championships
    Semifinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Relacom, L. (6-0 6-0)
    Final Mishu, Nicolae d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-3 6-2 10-12 2-6 7-5)

    1919 South of France championships
    Semifinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Albarran, Pierre (3-6 6-3 6-3)
    Final Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Mishu, Nicolae (6-3 6-2 6-1)

    1920 Wimbledon
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Davson, A.W. (6-0 6-1 6-3)
    Round 2 Drew, Alexander S. d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-4 9-7 6-8 6-2)

    1920 World hardcourt championships
    Round 1 Hirsch, Pierre d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (7-5 7-5 6-4)

    1920 Barcelona
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Alonso de Areyzaga, Manuel (4-6 6-0 6-1)
    Quarterfinals Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Quirante, ? (6-0 6-1)
    Semifinals Dupont, Marcel d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-2 6-3)

    1923 World hardcourt championships
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Mishu, Nicolae (w.o.)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Barbas, R. (6-4 7-5 3-6 6-2)
    Round 3 Washer, Jean d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-1 6-1 6-2)

    1925 Roland Garros
    Round 1 Olivares, ? d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (w.o.)

    1925 US Lawn tennis championships
    Round 1 Chapin Jr., Alfred H. d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (w.o.)

    1926 Wimbledon
    Round 1 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Crawford, F.R.L. (Leighton) (2-6 6-4 8-6 1-6 7-5)
    Round 2 Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) d. Greville, T. George (6-3 7-5 4-6 6-4)
    Round 3 Kingsley, Charles d. Decugis, Maxime Omer (Max) (6-2 6-2 9-7)
     
    #23
  24. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Decugis

    This is great. What is interesting is that in many matches he pushed Wilding hard (Wilding was the best clay courter from circa 1910 to 1914).
     
    #24
  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Muster who? Just kidding.
    Muster won only a single FO and seven other clay court titles, including Rome (three times) and Monte Carlo (three times), and 40 total clay court titles.
    1. Borg
    2. Nadal
    3. Rosewall
    4. Cochet
    5. Lendl
    6. Wilander
    7. Laver
    8. Lacoste
    9. Kuerten
    10. Borotra
    11. Drobny
    12. Santana
    13. Gimeno
    14. Vilas
    15. Federer
    16. Muster
    17. Courier
    18. Bruguera
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
    #25
  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Lacoste has three French titles in singles (plus two runner-up), two in doubles (plus one runner-up), a bronze medal in doubles (on clay), and six Davis Cup (world championship) titles against Tilden and Johnston (not all on clay).

    Kuerten has three French titles in singles, and 14 other clay court titles (including two at Monte Carlo, one at Rome, and one at Hamburg).

    Tough call.



    Vilas has one FO title (plus three runners-up), one USO title on clay in 1977, and 41 other clay court titles (including one each at Monte Carlo, Rome, and Hamburg).

    Federer has one FO title (plus three runners-up), and 9 total clay court titles (including 4 at Hamburg, two runners-up at Rome, and three runners-up at Monte Carlo).
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
    #26
  27. DarthFederer

    DarthFederer New User

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    Nadal is the best

    Federer should be at least be in the top 15
     
    #27
  28. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    OK, make a case. We'll listen.
     
    #28
  29. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Borg


    If you don't ask me why do you rate Nadal above Borg? Looking at Achievements Borg is still a bit ahead of Nadal on Clay I would have thought.
     
    #29
  30. Borgforever

    Borgforever Hall of Fame

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    Clay court GOAT IMO:

    I give a slight edge to Bear against all others -- although that is very debatable -- but here's my red clay top tier GOATs:

    Björn Borg, Ken Rosewall, Rafael Nadal, H. L. Doherty, René Lacoste, Tony Wilding, Henri Cochet.
     
    #30
  31. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^Cochet and Lacoste (I rate Cochet a bit higher), yes absolutely!

    I know too little about Wilding and H.L., although you are helping that a lot.
     
    #31
  32. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    See the best Clay Courter of all time on video:

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/25046593/ (Bud Collins on Borg/Nadal on Clay)

    Borg-Gerulitas ('80 FO Final)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGvgXpuSKaE

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Borg+Vilas&search_ type=&aq=f (Borg Vilas '75 FO Final)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSDaYzKOxU8
    (Borg Vilas '78 FO Final)


    Borg-Lendl ('81 FO Final)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kW4z0FnUz4o
    Borg-Orantes (1974 Final)

    Borg-Pecci ('79 FO Final)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGMGnjiBgMY
     
    #32
  33. JoelDali

    JoelDali G.O.A.T.

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    #33
  34. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    1. Borg
    2. Nadal
    3. Rosewall
    4. Cochet
    5. Lendl
    6. Wilander
    7. Laver
    8. Lacoste
    9. Kuerten
    10. Borotra
    11. Drobny
    12. Santana
    13. Gimeno
    14. Vilas
    15. Federer
    16. Courier
    17. Muster
     
    #34
  35. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Looks quite good to me. I can accept that Fed was better on clay than Muster or Courier.
     
    #35
  36. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Borg was so far ahead of his rivals on clay from 77-81 and this really was the clay court era. So many tournaments played on clay and players whose strongest surface was clay. All those big North American tournaments played on green clay throughout the summer, the 2 big Spanish touraments in autumn. Nowadays they have only kept the spring clay court season and added a relatively small European summer season.
     
    #36
  37. Sam F

    Sam F New User

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    To me, there are a few ways to discuss this:

    1- Who has the best record overall
    2- Who was most dominant at a given time
    3- Who would win if they all played today

    What's interesting to me is how the French often seems to have someone who the field and world believe and accept will win. Often he does. I thought a lot of players gave up before the match against Courier in '91. It was almost a cakewalk for him. Lendl had a year or two like that (except Wilander never threw int he towel early). Kuerten's 3rd FO definitely seemed like this. Nadal 1-4 FO were this way. Kinda odd how this mentality sinks in there.

    If we talking about the most dominant year, Muster in '95 cannot be discounted. Also, remember he lost a lot of time with that terrible injury when he was pinned b/t two car bumpers. I really don't care how quickly they say he came back, even though any competitive tennis after only 6 months is astonishing, he took him much longer to get back to full strength and confidence.

    Regardless, I'm surprised Courier and Bruguera aren't mentioned as yet. Each won back to back FO. If you go by career record, that's better in a lot of ways than Muster.
     
    #37
  38. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    See this interesting "Bleacher Report" article about the greatest clay court player of all time:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/161108-is-rafael-nadal-the-best-player-on-clayever

    See this excerpt about Borg vs. Nadal:

    "Borg is essentially a gold standard measuring tool for any modern player's success. He was a constant professional that made his game work on any surface. But it's no secret he loved the clay.

    He carried an 86 percent winning mark for his career, 245-39, and won 30 titles. His four consecutive French Open titles were only recently matched by Nadal. His six career crowns at Roland Garros are still an ATP record, for now.

    Still not as prolific of a winning percentage as Rafael, but Rafael has not finished with his career yet.

    The right-hander from Sodertalje was one of the first to use a two-handed backhand on tour, much like the Raging Bull uses today. Apart from the differences in handedness, their similarities are eerie.

    * Both are athletic baseliners with great backhands.
    * Both use a considerable amount of topspin as a primary weapon.
    * Both commit a very slim number of errors.
    * Both can outlast anybody on tour in a five-set match.
    * Both are cool, collected, and soft-spoken both on and off the court.
    * Both have a very underrated, yet extraordinarily effective serve.

    And so far, they have both adapted their game to the grasses of Wimbledon. Well, Borg did anyway. It is still to be seen if Nadal can have the kind of success that Borg did.

    Borg beat some terrific players for the French title: Manuel Orantes, Vilas, Ilie Nastase, and Lendl. Nadal has mainly abused Federer at Roland Garros. He also beat Mariano Puerta in 2005, who had never advanced past the second round of any Slam previous to that.

    Verdict: Toss-up."
     
    #38
  39. Michael Bluth

    Michael Bluth Semi-Pro

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    Just playing devil's advocate, but Muster was more dominant at his peak in 95 than Courier or Bruguera at their peaks. Courier's 92 French Open was pretty dominant too though.
     
    #39
  40. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    1. 2006 Nadal
    2. 1977 Vilas
    3. 1978 Borg
     
    #40
  41. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I vote . . .
    1. 1978 Borg-2008 Nadal (tie)
    3. 1977 Vilas
    4. 2006 Nadal

    2006 Nadal lost three sets in the whole FO tournament. 1977 Vilas lost one set for the tournament. 2008 Nadal or 1978 Borg lost zero sets in the whole tournament. (1978 Borg beat Barazzutti 0-1-0 in the semis. Ouch!)

    2008 Nadal positively crushed (1-3-0) Fed in the FO final. Ouch!

    Most one-sided match between two high quality players I've seen in a long time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
    #41
  42. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    You seem to be basing this all on the French Open... Vilas in the summer of '77 had a run of 53 match winning streak on clay. Which was broken by Nastase using a spaghetti strung racket, Vilas retired objecting the use of the string job which was banned later in the year. This record winning streak was finally broken by Nadal in '06.

    Borg was great but Vilas was pretty much unbeatable on clay in '77, as was Nadal in '06.
     
    #42
  43. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    In terms of form I think Nadal was better in '07-'08 than '06 on lay.
     
    #43
  44. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I believe that Borg beat Vilas three times in 1977, two on clay (at Nice and Monte Carlo).
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
    #44
  45. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I have no knowledge of that... but Vilas won 16 tournaments that year (13 of which were on clay) including the French Open, the US Open (on clay at that time) and finished as runner-up at the Australian. It is worth noting that in none of his finals did he meet Borg... but then it is not Vilas's fault Borg didn't get to the finals.

    This can all be debatable... but I am assuming that this thread is to solicate who each of us believes are the "Clay Court GOATs" and these are my choices.
     
    #45
  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yep. Vilas did a great record (particularly on clay) in 1977. No doubt about that. Borg skipped the French Open in 1977 because he was under contract with WTT.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
    #46
  47. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Statiscally, Nadal and Borg are the best players on clay, but I think Thomas Muster at his peak, which wasn't long in terms of longevity, was the best clay court player.

    As Muster is my all-time favourite player, I'm somewhat biased, but during his peak on clay, if he wasn't beating down his opponents, he'd dig so deep that he'd win matches on willpower. He saved a lot of match points in clay court matches during his peak, and he turned these matches around in his favour so often.
     
    #47
  48. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Its sad, given their stats against each other on clay that year, they had some good matches, that their was no match to be had at the french between them. However, even though Borg had some wins over Vilas that year, Vilas was the superior clay courter of the two overall I think, had Borg been able to play and win the french, you could probably then make the argument otherwise, but seeing as we can only speculate on that Vilas was superior that year.

    In terms of the thread topic, Borg though is in my opinion the clay court GOAT. I know some are overly critical of using just Roland Garros as a judge or simply picking someone who won it a couple of times, but not doing so would be like annointing someone the GOAT on grass who played at and never won Wimbledon, the biggest Grass Court prize. My List right now

    1. Borg
    2. Nadal
    3. Rosewall
    4. Lendl
    5. Wilander
    6. Vilas

    Vilas is sixth because of the fact that he fell in FO finals to people higher than him on the list several times. Other important clay court tournaments give him his ranking though, his clay court win streak was amazing, but on clays biggest stage he had a tough time beating his biggest clay rivals consistantly.
     
    #48
  49. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    I read through the whole thread and haven't seen a single mention of Sergi Bruguera, who had won two RG titles (and one of the few to DEFEND his title). I am not saying that he should be on the list, but I figured I could raise him up and see what you guys think of his status in the history of clay court tennis
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
    #49
  50. flying24

    flying24 Banned

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    He is a great clay courter, but he isnt one of the greatest ever on clay. Lots of guys in history have 2 or more French Open titles, 3 or more finals, and 4 or more semis, so that doesnt set him apart. He was never really the dominant clay courter. He wasnt even the favorite to win the French either year he won. The only Masters he won during his prime on clay was 1993 Monte Carlo when Courier who killed him in Rome and was considered the top clay courter in the World at the time (until that years French where Sergei upset Courier) was absent. His other big clay court Masters was Monte Carlo in 1991. He has limited achievements as far as Masters victories and success, and overall tour success on clay compared to other French Open winners, especialy multiple.
     
    #50

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