Clay Court GOAT

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

  1. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    Vilas won 45 tournaments on clay (record). He won 2 Grand Slams (FO and USO) and all big tournaments on clay (Monte-Carlo, Rome, Madrid, Hambourg). Better than Federer.
     
  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    A true clay court great, Kuerten, when only moderately heallthy, exposed a peak Federer for being out of his element on clay. It's not that complicated. Federer's game just isn't that effective against a genuine clay court specialist. Your implied conclusion that great groundstrokes require greatness on clay is misguided. IMO, Federer had the best overall ground game in the history of tennis. But, on clay, he is made to look bad against another great ground gamer who specialized on clay.

    See for yourself. Note that Kuerten was only a shell of his former clay court greatness in this match: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7mdkkgdOPg
     
  3. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Carsomyr is too busy playing video games to be bothered with tennis history.
     
  4. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    How many FOs Vilas won beating Borg for the title? How many sets did he take off Borg at the FO? What was his H2H with Borg on clay?

    If Fed doesn't belong on the list than neither does Vilas and no, I don't care about 100 CC mickey mouse tourneys won or whether he won a slam on green clay.
     
  5. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    What you do or don't care about is not relevant. Borg is the greatest clay court player of all time. Everything that Vilas did well, Borg did a little better. That takes nothing away from the greatness of Vilas. Federer is out of his element on clay. His game is not as effective on clay, whereas, Vilas game was more effective on clay. Given equal equipment, both Borg and Vilas would dominate Federer on clay.
     
  6. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Did Vilas beat Borg to win any one of his CC masters? Atleast Fed beat Nadal (whom many consider to be atleast on par with Borg) in Hamburg and Madrid finals.
     
  7. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Many say the same about Nadal.

    He was Borg's plaything on clay, worse than Fed is Nadal's by some margin.

    If you're making a point bout Borg being a bad match-up for Vilas, I could say the same thing in regards to Fedal (I hope I don't have to explain why).

    But it takes away from Fed's greatness on clay that he has a lopsided record against Nadal and that he lost one match against Kuerten on clay.

    Vilas wouldn't dominate Federer on any surface/equipment/conditions that ever existed in the history of the game.
     
  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Clap, clap, clap, clap . . . . So what? Federer is not an all time great clay court player. He is out of his element on clay. His game loses effectiveness on clay. Lesser players, who specialize on clay, expose Federer on clay.
     
  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    How many matches did Federer lose to Kuerten even when he was handicapped? Vilas would expose Federer on clay the same way Kuerten did. Federer would struggle to get sets off of Vilas the same way he struggled against a handicapped Kuerten.
     
  10. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Depends on your definition of all time great, I'd say he's in the top 20.

    Players who are out of their element on clay don't make 5 FO finals, win a FO title and 5 masters on that surface.
     
  11. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Fed lost two matches against Guga on clay.

    However Vilas is no Guga (not by a longshot). Vilas wouldn't expose anything when it comes to Fed, he'd maybe have a slight winning H2H on clay (and even about that I have my doubts) but that's about it.
     
  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Federer did so in an era of homoginized tennis surfaces lacking in clay court specialists. Having said that, I would consede that Federer might be near the top 20 greatest of all time on clay, even though his game was largely neutralized and less effective on clay. But, he was/is no Vilas, or Nastase.
     
  13. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL!

    Not really, atleast Fed put up some semblence of a fight against his CC GOAT nemesis unlike Vilas.
     
  14. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Oh Fed's definitely not Vilas, he doesn't enter gazzilion mickey mouse CC tourneys and he actually makes a match out of it the majority of time he plays his CC GOAT nemesis on clay.

    Fed lost in straights to Nadal on clay only 3 times, compared to Vilas receving around 10 straight set beatdowns from Borg on that surface.
     
  15. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Indeed, it is a record. It is also evidence of how many clay tournaments Vilas won without Borg in the draw: 39, in fact. Only six of the former's titles came when Borg was in the draw. While some of these tournaments were nevertheless prestigious, a great deal of them would be classifiable as "Mickey Mouse" events. It would be like Federer racking up clay titles in (today's) Hamburg or Kitzbuhel.
     
  16. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    But you see according to historians, the fact that Vilas was Borg's b!tch noticeably more even than Fed is Nadal doesn't take away from his "greatness" (LOL) but Fed on the other hand sucks on clay because of his H2H against Nadal and the fact that he won his FO title without beating Nadal.

    It's an amazing logic when you think about it.
     
  17. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    That wasn't my conclusion at all. I was just pointing out how everyone, including the guys you pal around with in this forum, were baffled by Sampras' appearance on a groundstroke GOAT list. Hilarious. Your ratings involving Federer are exclusionary while with Sampras, inclusionary.
     
  18. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    "Mickey Mouse events" doesn' mean anything. It's impossible to say "mickey mouse event" just because Borg wasn't there. Vilas won these tournaments on clay beating in final Orantes, Connors, Nastase, Panatta, Gottfried, Fibak, Ramirez, Kodes, Lendl, Higueras, Noah, Clerc, Leconte .... Mickey Mouse ??
     
  19. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Spectacular logic.

    For the record, I don't think Vilas is a slouch on clay. Aside from the extremely depleted FO event he won, he made three other Roland Garros final and won a US Open played on (green) clay. But touting him as some kind of unbeatable clay court force (against Federer, a least) when he only won six clay titles with Borg in the draw is a major distortion of historical reality.
     
  20. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I didn't say Vials is a slouch on clay but Fed as a CC player is at the very least comparable to him and he (Vilas) is nowhere near someone like Guga on clay.

    And Fed would certainly not struggle winning sets against Vilas on clay, that's an absolutely hilarious claim when Fed actually won plenty of sets against freakin CC monster that is Nadal.
     
  21. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    I didn't say they were all Mickey Mouse tournaments. But please, regale me with tales of the legendary Barry Phillips-Moore. Of Jaime Filiol. Of Karl Meiler, Željko Franulović, and Buster Mattram.
     
  22. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I thought it was just the one? Kuerten beat Federer twice, at 2003 Indian Wells and the 2004 French Open. Federer beat Kuerten once, at 2002 Hamburg.
     
  23. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It wasn't "depleted". Defending champion, Panatta, was there, as was 1973 champion, Nastase. Other tough players like Ramirez, Solomon and Gottfried were in the draw. Borg consciously knew that signing a contract to play 1977 WTT for the Cleveland Nets would make him ineligible to play at the 1977 French Open.
     
  24. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Excellent list. In total agreement except for one point. I think you have Bruguera a bit too high, especialy relative to Courier, Muster, and even Federer. JMO though.
     
  25. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I think Federer was ranked about right. Around where Muster and Courier are. I put all three about the same level overall on clay. Courier in 92 and Muster in 95-96 were way better but didnt mantain that level or close to it very long, so overall they come out fairly even. Federer has excellent longevity and consistency on clay, and a ton of FO finals, even though benefiting from the really weak clay era of today (as does Nadal to a much lesser extent).

    It is hard to say Federer isnt superior to Agassi on clay, and Agassi at #23 (to Federer's #18) was also about right IMO.
     
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Carsomyr, the clueless GOAT strikes back with another gem that is priceless...
     
  27. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    More importantly, Borg wasn't there. This was not a case of him showing up and losing. He just wasn't there. He figured that WTT was more important than whatever peanuts the FO was tossing out. Other noticeable absences: Connors, Gerulaitis, and Orantes, all of which were threats on clay, the latter two being FO finalists. Three of year-end top 5 skipped the event, and half the top 10.
     
  28. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    The names are there...but Nastase should be way higher.Panatta should also be in, What about Decugis?
     
  29. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    kiki, the autistic GOAT strikes back with another hilariously phrased post that is worthless....
     
  30. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    My mistake, I meant to say they played twice on clay.
     
  31. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    Courier is IMO underrated on clay, his 1992 FO draw was pretty brutal.
     
  32. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Borg was the better player than Vilas on every surface. Federer is the better player than Nadal on every surface EXCEPT CLAY!
     
  33. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Franulovic was a RG runner up and next year made the semifinals, having beaten Arthur Ashe on his way to it.He certainly was much better than a Tommy Haas or a Andy Murray on clay.
     
  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Before Kuerten fully recovered from hip surgery.
     
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Carsomyr should be doing his homework instead of posting here.If his high school teachers enter TT, he may not even need to do his homework anymore.

    In case of problems in Trigonometry, I suggest Carsomyr to look for TMF´s help, since TMF is the master of sizes ( inches,feet...)
     
  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Clay was probably Courier's best surface.
     
  37. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Franulovic was a runner-up in another depleted FO field, that of 1970, which didn't feature the previous years' winner (Laver), the runner-up, (Rosewall), the other semifinalists (Roche and Okker). In fact, the only quarterfinalist of the 1969 tournament to appear in the 1970 QFs and beyond was Franulovic. The #1 of the 1970 edition, Nastase, finished the year ranked #9.
     
  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Jaime Fillol and Zeljko Franulovic were outstanding clay court specialists.
     
  39. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Please stop trying to insult me. You're incredibly bad at it.
     
  40. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Connors didn't play because he was in a huff with the FTF over what had happened in 1974. I believe Gerulaitis and Orantes were in WTT, as was Borg. You've got to be in the French Open in order to win it, and unlike Connors in 1974, Borg knew what he was doing in 1977.
     
  41. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    :lol: Like Kafelnikov (who won 3 of his 26 titles on clay) was a "clay court specialist"? Franulovic at least had the FO runner-up (in the incredibly depleted field of 1970); Fillol has a career high ranking of 14 and 2 clay titles. What a legend.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  42. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The 1970 French Open didn't have the WCT and NTL players (the contracted pros). The same was the case in 1972, as the ILTF had banned all WCT contracted players from ILTF Grand Prix events from January to July that year, which included the French Open and Wimbledon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  43. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I dont think anyone could have beaten Courier at the French that year. Maybe 2008 Nadal would have had a shot of recent decades and that is about it.

    I dont know how to rate Vilas exactly. If there is one guy who scalped weak Mickey Mouse nobody events it was Vilas. Given how hopeless he was vs Borg, and that he couldnt even beat a 17 year old Wilander to win a 2nd Roland Garros (and first in a legit field since the 77 was a nothing win) I wonder if he is even better than Federer on clay.
     
  44. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Here is Courier's 1992 French Open run:

    R128: Jim Courier def. Nicklas Kroon (7-6, 6-4, 6-2)
    R64: Jim Courier def. Thomas Muster (6-1, 6-4, 6-4)
    R32: Jim Courier def. Alberto Mancini (6-4, 6-2, 6-0)
    R16: Jim Courier def. Andrei Medvedev (6-1, 6-4, 6-2)
    QF: Jim Courier def. Goran Ivanisevic (6-2, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5)
    SF: Jim Courier def. Andre Agassi (6-3, 6-2, 6-2)
    FR: Jim Courier def. Petr Korda (7-5, 6-2, 6-1)
     
  45. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    The WTT players were ineligible and they all knew that after what happened with Connors in 1974. When WTT ended after 1978, then it was no longer an issue, and in 1979 was the first French Open in 10 years not to have political disputes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  46. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Right. And you don't think that counts as "depleted"? Obviously, given the free-for-all nature of the early Open Era and lack of a single tour meant different aims and interests for different players. But when a significant number of quality players are missing from particular events (ex: arguable GOATs Borg and Laver missing from 1977 and 1970 FOs, respectively), WITHOUT BEING INJURED, that, to me, takes away from its value. It's not like there weren't events post-1969 that all the important pros played in with great fields (1970 Sydney Dunlop International, for example) that can be retrospectively viewed as majors. And in my opinion, events missing significant numbers of the worlds' best players, even if they are the "Grand Slam tournaments," aren't such events.
     
  47. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Don't put words in my mouth, gameboy. I said Franulovic and Fillol were excellent clay court specialists, the kind who tend to upset clay court interlopers, like Federer.
     
  48. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    No, they were still majors, and you had to be in the tournaments to win them. Don't let political disputes, however right or wrong one believes they were, get in the way of the fact that they were major tournaments. It's annoying that the 1970 Dunlop Sydney Open tournament that Laver won should have been how that year's Australian Open was, but it wasn't and that was due to politics. The DSO is not a major, however great the field was in 1970. That doesn't change the fact that Ashe is the 1970 Australian Open champion, and won the major.

    However, I personally have no sympathy at all for the strikebreaking antics of Ilie Nastase, Roger Taylor and Ray Keldie at 1973 Wimbledon, playing the tournament despite being members of the ATP, a trade union on strike.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  49. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Don't forget Kafelnikov.

     
  50. jean pierre

    jean pierre Semi-Pro

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    1977 was a nothing win ?? Beating three top ten, Fibak, Ramirez and Gottfried ?
     

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