Clay Court GOAT

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

  1. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Based on pure record, Guga could be placed just above Laver, who himself was deprived of more chances to win RG:I think Budge Patty and Frank Parker were also excellent CC ( possibly the best from the US ).
     
  2. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    1. Borg
    2. Nadal
    3. Rosewall
    4. Cochet
    5. Lendl
    6. Wilander
    7. Lacoste
    8. Kuerten
    9. Laver
    10. Borotra
    11. Drobny
    12. Vilas
    13. Santana
    14. Bruguera
    15. Pietrangeli
    16. Muster
    17. Courier
    18. Federer
    19. Kodes
    20. von Cramm
    21. Emerson
    22. Trabert
    23. Agassi
    24. Connors
    25. Gimeno
    26. Frank Parker
    27. Roche
    28. Nastase
    29. Sven Davidson
    30. Jack Crawford
    31. Fred Perry
    32. J.E. Patty
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ...¡ Jan Kodes won 2 FO and won like all the rest of the big ones on clay¡¡¡ ¿How can he be forgotten¡¡:cry:
     
  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Damn you are right. I left out Kodes.

    Sacre bleu!!! (which is French for "that's for why we have an edit function").
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  5. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Poor Jan, nobody likes him...but I´ll be right up there to protect his right to be AT LEAST among the top ten of his decade...¿How much has Mecir won comparing to Kodes? and how much is he talked about...( he´s great, I loved the big cat, never mind)
     
  6. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Il Gattone!
     
  7. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    yeah¡ looked like a big cat all around the court, but his poise was much more of a " pink panther"...he was funny and a very special breed of player, noneless.
     
  8. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I like Jan Kodes and his record is probably better than that of Mecir's but no one can ever convince me that Kodes is better than Mecir on any surface if both were playing at their peaks. Kodes could play super tennis like in the 1973 US Open final against Newcombe in which he led two sets to one.

    I suppose overall you have to rank Kodes over Mecir.

    Good pick Kiki.
     
  9. racquetfreak

    racquetfreak Semi-Pro

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    speaking of nobody likes him - is there any love for marcelo rios out there?
     
  10. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Mecir could move like nobody's business.
     
  11. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    From the early 70´s till now, that is, the time I´ve been watching tennis, I can´t find a more talented non slam winner than Mecir.More than Leconte,Pecci,Clerc,Rios,Lutz,Okker,Medvedev,Nalbandian and Murray, who also are great non slam winners who, at least, have reached ( and lost ) a GS final.

    But Kodes had the charachter and guts to win 2 FO, 1 W and lost in five sets to the undeniables nº 1 of 1973 (Newcombe) and 1971 (Smith) at the USO finals.Not to mention he almost played all the major clay court finals, winning some of them.

    He may not have the shotmaking of a Mecir, but he had other values and I can´t see why he would be a worse player than, lets say, Hewitt,Gimeno,Chang,Moya or Courier, who seem to have a far higher consideration than him over this forum.
     
  12. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    ¡ listen ¡ Kodes won 3 GS titles and lost in hardly fought five sets another 2 GS finals...on grass, and both against the world´s number 1 player of that time...Rios just lost ( and just once) to someone called Korda, and we´re talking about a minor final like the AO Open.

    Please...¡¡ don´t fool around ¡¡
     
  13. timnz

    timnz Hall of Fame

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    Australian Open 1998 - it was a major tournament

    The Australian Open wasn't a minor tournament in 1998. It had as deep a field as the other majors then (you may be thinking of the Australian Open from 1972 to 1982 when it was a minor tournament). And Korda wasn't a nobody. He beat players like Lendl, Sampras etc. What was a minor tournament was Wimbledon in 1973 (since very few top ranked players played in it). I do agree though that Kodes is an underrated player.
     
  14. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    I agree, but it's true that Rios is nothing in tennis history. Only 1 Grand Slam final, lost 6/2 6/2 6/2 against a just good player.
     
  15. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    You don't know who Korda is?
     
  16. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Yes, he is a czeck, just like Kodes.

    Kodes played 5 GS finals, won 3 ( quite easily) and lost 2, in hardly fought 5 setters against the likes of Smith and Newcombe...Korda won 1 ( vs Rios) and was trounced into pieces by Courier in the other one he played.

    ¿ lets keep on fooling around ?
     
  17. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I´m 100% sure Kodes wouldn´t trade away his 1973 Wim title for Korda´s AO win, be a minor or not.I wouldn´t anyway.
     
  18. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    You seem confused, so I'll just leave you alone so you can talk to yourself.
     
  19. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    If you are a solid tennis connaiseur and somebody tries to compare korda with Kodes, or neglects a man that played 5 GS F, winning 3 of them, then, no wonder you are confused.You get confused of such ignorance.
     
  20. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kiki,

    To be fair to Cyborg, Korda was a player of immense talent who was called Microwave because of how hot he could get. Korda was really a tremendous player. The Australian Open that Korda won in 1998 had Pete Sampras, Patrick Rafter, Rios (who he beat in the final 6-2 6-2 6-2), Agassi (unseeded but still strong), Michael Chang, Goran Ivanisevic, Kuerten among others. It was a very impressive tournament victory in a very strong major.
     
  21. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    I know Korda, he was a very good player with some terrific groundies when he let it out.He clearly was a better player than Rios but the thing is, when facing a truly great champion like, say,Courier, he stood no chance.

    And I cannot rate Courier better than Newcombe or Nastase ( at most, could be equivalent to Stan Smith).
     
  22. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Past players cannot add anymore to their achievements, but the outcome of this 2011 FO should raises Nadal and Federer's pecking order.

    We should revise the list of top great clay courter.
     
  23. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Borg and Nadal at the very top. Others are quite a bit back. Six French Open titles, with how tough it is to win that tournament is just off the charts.
     
  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I don't think Kuerten, Wilander, Lendl or even Bruguera are that far back. I think any of them would have a chance (less than 50/50 but a significant chance) to beat Borg and/or Ralph on any given day.
     
  25. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    On a given day, I'd definitely agree LH. All four of those guys were great clay courters. Yet, over 10-20 matches, I think you'd see quite a bit of separation.
     
  26. Xemi666

    Xemi666 Professional

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    Agree. 6 FOs wins is just fantastic.
     
  27. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    By constantly riding this goat on this and goat on that questions, the media imo are stirring only some hysteria among hyper defensive and sensitive fans. Even long time writers like Bodo or Flink (who is indeed a true expert) are discussing this clay goat thing to death. A matchup Nadal-Borg is and will remain pure speculation. Probably Nadal has more clay titles, but maybe he hasn't met a true clay court great (outside Federer), maybe Borg would have lost to a new crop of clay courters, if he had stayed longer. Who knows?
    What disturbes me a bit, is, that within this media hysteria nobody writes a reasonable article about the real state of clay court tennis at the moment. How can it be, that a player like Nadal (a dominant champion undoubtedly) can go through a whole clay season with only two final losses to the same guy, that he reaches the RG final with losing only two tie break sets first round - and that all while playing only at 60-70% of his capacity, which no other than Jim Courier remarked. Or that a proven hard court player on a hot streak, but with no specific clay results so far like Djokovic, can go like a knife through hot butter through all clay fields. Or that a good, but a bit declining clay courter like Federer doesn't lose a set at RG before semis. In other years, even the best clay courters and eventual champions like Lendl, Wilander, Muster or Kuerten had to fight hard to get to the later rounds at Paris. Now it seems a cakewalk. Imo, there must be a lack of good second row clay courters at the moment. Del Potro has shown, that a good clay courter, even not 100% match fit, can challenge a hot player like Djokovic.
     
  28. Netzroller

    Netzroller Semi-Pro

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    Well, yes and no.
    You're right about the clay courts being dominated by just a few players.

    I still don't agree with some other statments. If the arguably best clay courter of all times needs 5 sets and 4+ hours to beat a guys who has never been good on that surface in round one, it's hardly a cakewalk. Nevertheless, I think Nadal is simply a lot better than these guys you mentioned on clay, so I don't it is that surprising they had to work harder to get to the later rounds.
    Regarding Djokovic, I think he has been and underachiever on clay for a long time. His game is great for that surface, he has everything it takes to be a great clay courter and he has already shown his potenital in several matches in the past.
     
  29. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Another piece of that media created hysteria, is on ESPN, an article by S. Howard, who wrote a book on the Martina-Chrissie rivalry. The tenor suggests, that Borg is not Nadal's analogy, but Federer's. That Fed is closed out in a way by Nadal, Borg was closed out by Mac. There are many factual errors in that piece. Hopefully the Fedfans here are not reading this, they go and murder the lady.
     
  30. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Borg and Nadal are on a different league when CC play is talked about.
     
  31. Chopin

    Chopin Hall of Fame

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    I don't see Borg beating Guga on a regular basis.
     
  32. sonicare

    sonicare Hall of Fame

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    love guga but you are blind
     
  33. Sneezy

    Sneezy New User

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    My vote is for Chris Evert. She won 125 consecutive matches on clay (record for consecutive wins on any surface male or female) 7 RO singles, and clay win/loss of 316/20. Second longest streak on clay is Nadal with 81.
     
  34. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Borg, Nadal, Federer, Lendl, Wilander I believe are the only players who made atleast 5 RG finals. So they are the top 5.
     
  35. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Evert followed that up with the second longest winning streak on clay by any man or women in the Open Era, winning another 64 matches straight. She didn't lose again until the '81 French Open, for a 189-1 match record on clay surface court. This 2nd record held firm until Rafael Nadal won 81 in a row in 2007! Chris still has the top 2 longest streaks of the women however.
     
  36. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Evert's record boggles the mind. She won 90% of her career matches, an official Women's record although I believe Margaret Court actually won 93% of her career matches. She won over 150 tournaments and 18 majors.

    Her competition wasn't bad either. She played Court, King, Navratilova, Graf, Sabatini, Seles, Wade, Goolagong, Shriver, Mary Joe Fernandez, Tracy Austin.
     
  37. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Kenny Rosewall won two French Opens plus he lost a final to Laver in 1969. In between he was the best clay court player in the world for over a decade but was unable to play the French because he was a pro. Rosewall is up there with anyone on clay. He also won the French Pro a number of times when it was on clay. It's feasible to me that Rosewall could have won many many French Opens.

    Kuerten with three French Opens has to be considered also.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  38. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    3 FO titles and who knows how much more if not for that damn hip-injury,I don't like to play that card but I honestly feel Guga was very unlucky in that regard.In my opinion his best CC tennis rivals anyone,even Nadal and Borg even though they're obviously greater CC players than him.
     
  39. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    her career winning perentage on clay is 94.05% (316/20) according to Wiki. I will admit that her competion on clay during her streak was not as sterling as Steffi's. Most of the greats before '81 built their game for grass.
     
  40. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Vilas : 45 titles on clay. It's the record.
    So the best on clay is Vilas.
     
  41. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    You not the only one who feels that way about Kuerten. I know a number of people who feel Guga's best on clay is as good as anyone's. In the last 15 years I feel Guga is the one player who would have the best shot at Nadal on red clay at the French. And last but not least, he had the best smile at the French. :)
     
  42. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Agree about Guga. Had great groundies, even if they were not compact, but executed with a twist in the whole body. But had a long reach, and hit a nice onehander backhand. And along with Borg, he had imo the best clay serve, which could make a big difference in close matches.
     
  43. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Kuerten was never nearly as consistent as people like Nadal, Borg, Vilas, and others on clay but when he was on he was nearly unbeatable.
     
  44. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^
    But we cannot use injury, or inability to play b/c of the pro as an argument to cover up their lacks of results

    It's not Fed's fault that he was able to consistently play every year. Same for Chris Evert otherwise she doesn’t get praise for her 33 slam finals.

    Had Fed was injured in 2005 and never played RG again, Nadal’s 6 RG titles will be a question mark. That’s what happened when using if x or y player didn’t play this and that events.
     
  45. Arafel

    Arafel Professional

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    What's really amazing is that she is tied for third in GS titles overall (18, with Martina,) and she skipped the French Open for three years (76-78) during her prime, when she was absolutely unbeatable on clay. That's not to mention all the Australians she didn't play in this period; I think her first was in 81.
     
  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yes you can. If you can speculate about players from different era's, you can speculate about how well players would have done if they weren't injured, or stabbed, as the case may be. There's no prohibition of consideration of injury any more than there is of consideration of old vs modern equipment. It's no different that some who think that, but for knee injuries and an early retirement, Gale Sayers would have been the all time leading rusher in NFL history. Kuerten was injured and his career was cut short. It's quite possible that he would have won more FO's and perhaps some hard court majors had he not been forced to retire. All of that is fair game.
     
  47. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    You can’t do that !

    If you are handing out slam titles to players that didn’t play, then you are taking away slams from the players that actually did play and won it. The injury and any factor that prevent a player from performing or don’t play is all part of the sport.

    With your logic, let’s take away some of Laver’s slam b/c he didn’t compete against entire field before the open era. Let’s add Muster another FO since he got a terrible car accident during his teen. Stripped away Sampras AO since Agassi didn’t play when he won. Strip away Ferrero and GAudio FO in 2002/2003 since Guga had a bad hip. And so on and so on.

    See? It doesn’t work that way. Especially when we’re just dealing with speculation.
     
  48. Xemi666

    Xemi666 Professional

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    When there are two guys with 6 FOs to Kuerten's 3, there is nothing to consider. We're not talking about a small difference.
     
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I probably should have wrote it a little more clearly. I meant Kuerten should be on the list of the best clay court players, not as the GOAT. The way I wrote it I understand how it seemed that I meant Kuerten can be a clay court GOAT but I didn't mean it that way.

    To me the Clay Court GOATs come down to only a few, that's Borg, Nadal and Rosewall.

    I suppose we can mention Tony Wilding is the early part of the 20th century in terms of record also.
     
  50. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yeah,Guga was one of those players like say Bagdathis who's almost impossible to root against,remember him drawing a heart on clay after he came back against Russel(and after he won the whole thing if I remember well)?

    Urban has a point about his serve,people forget how big of a server he was on a good day,he even held the record for most aces in a match for a few years.
     

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