Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by timnz, May 18, 2009.
As we all know, he also beat peak Federer at the French when he (Kuerten) was over the hill.
Let's be honest. Kuerten was a great clay court specialist. He had the talent to be great on any surface, and he had some off clay success, but, perhaps not the health to develop that talent to its fullest extent.
LOL did you forget the 2000 WTF final which was defnitely played indoors, and I believe was on a carpet. Nadal too is mostly a joke on indoors, heaven forbid what he would be on carpet had he ever played on it, and never even had to test himself on fast grass, but he is still a great player. I believe Kuerten would have won a hard court slam or two had he stayed healthy.
Statistically Lendl beats Kuerten in pretty every category on clay. He had a better record RG having reached 2 more finals, he won 28 clay court titles compared to Kuerten's 14 (even if you want to ignore Lendl's green clay titles he still won 16 titles on red clay), and he won more 'big' clay court titles winning Monte-Carlo, Rome and Hamburg twice apiece while Kuerten 'only' won Rome and Hamburg once each.
Also Lendl had clay court rivalries with Wilander and Vilas who I would say were better players on the surface than anyone Kuerten ever faced. Beating Vilas twice in big clay court matches in Buenos Aires was particularly impressive.
I do think that Kuerten was far more enjoyable to watch on clay than Lendl though with his artistry, compared to Lendl who featured in so many moonball-fests on the surface (the 1987 RG final was horrific).
Still he was far less reliable and more vulnerable on clay than Lendl ever was I felt. In his prime for instance he got his ass kicked by Hewitt in his home city in the 2001 Davis Cup.
Lendl won pretty much all of the biggest tournaments available to him on red and green clay (he won the biggest green clay event of his era, Forest Hills, 4 times)
Indoor Hard. Yeap, Rafa is big joke Indoors, even he can't deny that
But Fed beat him when he was a kid, so they are 1-1 overall h2h. You don't know how they would fare if both were playing in the sam era, same prime years.
Another point on the Lendl-Kuerten comparison.
Lendl's career win-loss record on clay was 329-75, a 81.4% success rate. Kuerten's record was 181-78, a 69.9% success rate. So Lendl played 145 more matches than Kuerten on clay but still lost 3 less matches on the surface.
Except that on clay Kuerten would win more often than not. Undoubtably the better clay courter, more accomplished clay courter despite playing in a deeper clay era and having his career cut well short by injury, and who indisputably ranks higher in history than Federer on that surface.
Federer ahead of Kodes? 2 titles vs 1?
While Kuerten may be as good as Lendl or Wilander on any given day on clay and even beter, Lendl and Wilander have a better overall record with a better opposition than the transition era Kuerten dominated.
Overall Lendl's record is superior to Kuerten's on clay. No doubt about that but I think Kuerten's best on clay is better than Lendl's. Just an opinion.
I´d say that none of both would be favourite against the other on any given match on clay.Both could win it, depending on mood, mind state, court and wind conditions and some other untangibles.
Kuetren may look better since he specialised on clay, while Lendl, whose primary results were on clay, soon evolved into a hard courter and indoor courter sort of player, that makes his record on clay pale in comparison.
That's a good point. You are right that sometimes with players who are so much better on clay than other surfaces like Kuerten, Muster etc, their clay court level stands out a lot more. With Lendl who was at a similar level on carpet, hard and clay (you can argue that clay was only his 3rd best surface), maybe his clay court level didn't stand out so much.
I do think that Lendl's level of play when he destroyed Wilander in his 1984 RG semi-final, stormed to the 1986 RG title only dropping one set etc, was incredibly good, and that really the only players of the open era who have produced a noticeably higher standard of clay court tennis have been Nadal and Borg.
I think that Kuerten/Lendl or a Kuerten/Wilander match-ups on clay would be pretty even, although in terms of greatness those two both clearly have a better set of clay court achievements and are greater than Guga on the surface.
Lendl was raised on carpet but played a lot on clay and won his first GP titles on that surface, although he also won a few ones on hard and indoors ( beating Borg in those 2 finals).
His problem was , as he got a better indoor and hard court player, round 82,83,84 he lost patience and did not enjoyed cc tennis for those 3 years, even if he won the RG event in 1984, beating peakest Mac and a very very strong Wilander.
it took some Roche´s and Gym habits, to squeeze out any dark clouds on his head regarding clay, and by 1986 till 1988 or 1988 he regained top clay court form.
At the end of his career, from 1989 to 1993 or 1994, however, he became unpatient again and did not enjoy clay, in the same way as in 1981-83 where Wilander,Noah, Clerc had better cc results than Lendl.I think afther the 1989 match vs Chang at Paris he decided that concetrating on clay was not worthy and he gave his best trying to win that elusive Wimbledon title for 3 years.
Ah yes: Little Pancho.
A definite oversight.
Thanks. I still wonder that a 41 years old Segura was able to win a series of claycourt tournaments against tough competition. In the early 1950s he must have been awesome on clay.
Federer wasn't really at his clay court peak though. That was around 2006.
Federer had just won Hamburg for the second time, beating Coria in the final by the score of 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Going into that 2004 Hamburg final against Federer, Coria had won his previous 31 matches on clay. Although Coria entered the 2004 French Open as the favourite, Federer was seen as his biggest challenger.
I thought 2004-2007 was Federer's designated prime, peak, everything else, while he was a baby in diapers in 03 or earlier and a gimpy old man with a can at 26 from 2008 and beyond. Now suddenly 2004 is designated as not being his clay court prime as well, whatever.
Whether 2004 was Federer at his career best on clay or not one thing is for sure he was a hell of alot closer than Kuerten was. If barely beating a 30 year old Sampras in the midst of a 25 month tournament drought deep into a 5th set at Wimbledon is somehow inrefutable proof Federer is superior to Sampras on grass according to ****s, than a hip butchered Kuerten who was 30% of his old self massacring the #1 Federer in straight sets couldnt make it anymore obvious that Kuerten >>>> Federer on clay. Not that one needs this evidence, their records speak for themselves too, one is a 3 time Roland Garros Champion and the Worlds best clay courter for about 3 years, one is a 1 time Roland Garros Champ who never won Rome or Monte Carlo, and who was never considered the games best clay courter.
I would love to see Federer win a Roland Garros title having the draw Kuerten in 1997 did, let alone doing it nowhere near his prime which Kuerten wasnt in 1997. Instead before Djokovic comes around he only needs to overcome Davydenko, Ferrer, and Monfils to make the Roland Garros finals every year.
1. Nobody thinks that. It's a strawman.
2. Kuerten >>>> Federer? Please. More like >> at best.
3. I doubt Kuerten would've done that much damage against Nadal either. :lol:
1. Again it is obvious you are new here. MANY ****s think this and have said it repeatedly using almost those exact words.
2. Either way Federer is clearly above Federer on clay. Only a delusional **** would think otherwise.
3. Maybe he would have, maybe he wouldnt have. Frankly I am sick to death of the Nadal argument for Federer. People say poor Federer having to play Nadal on clay, nobody bothers to look at who Federer has actually beaten over the years at Roland Garros and it is hardly much of anyone apart from Djokovic in 2011, his one and only impressive win there ever. Anyway by that logic we would say Nadal is one of the best grass courters ever since he would have 4 Wimbledons without Federer, but nobody would say that, which just proves how stupid that line of logic is.
Kuerten might well have done so real damage to Nadal. His backhand is deadly and can handle heavy topspin easily so that would be one place Nadal can go with great success vs Federer he wouldnt be able to do effectively vs Guga.
Hamburg 2004 was one the most impressive masters series triumphs of Federer's career. He beat Gaudio, Lapentti, Gonzalez, Moya, Hewitt and Coria to win that title. Coria, Gaudio and Moya were the 3 best players in the world on clay in 2004, and Gonzalez, Lapentti and Hewitt were dangerous/respectable opponents on the surface. So he went into that 3rd round match against Kuerten in good form.
It is just an opinion but I do think that Kuerten could have had an interesting rivalry with the Nadal of 2005-2006 on clay, and fared better against him than Federer did in those years. I think that he would have been overmatched against the scarily good Nadal of 2008 though.
And I agree that Kuerten is clearly above Federer in the clay court standings. 2 extra RG titles (including a successful title defence) is a very significant difference. Over the years I've seen some blind Federer worshippers (and not his many reasonable and fair-minded fans) ranking him as the third (or even second) greatest player on clay of all-time, which has been comical beyond belief.
Fed as the third or second greatest clay-courter?
Yes, that is hilarious.
Wrong again, TMFVI.
Kuerten leads 2-1 in their head-to-head, having also beaten Federer at 2003 Indian Wells. And if you're going to say that Federer, as a "kid", beat Kuerten, then it's only fair to point out that Kuerten had his first hip surgery in February 2002.
I've made this point a few times already and I'll say it again: Since 2005, Nadal has captured 7 of 8 French Open titles, all 8 Monte Carlo Masters titles and 6 of 8 Rome Masters titles. Those are what I believe to be the 3 most prestigious clay court events of the season. That's some serious domination right there. That's a total of 3 losses in 24 events, or 21 titles out of 24 events. Crazy.
His three losses:
Lost to Ferrero in the 2nd round of the 2008 Rome Masters
Lost to Soderling in the round of 16 at the 2009 French Open
Lost to Djokovic in the final of the 2011 Rome Masters
He's also won 7 of 8 Barcelona titles in that time. The one year he didn't win, in 2010, he withdrew due to fatigue.
If someone puts Federer over Kuerten and Borg is completely delusional. Borg has 6 RG titles.
I'm talking about they are 1-1 on clay since this is about clay court goat thread. Limpin is clueless.
If they both are at the same age competing in the same era, I think Fed would beat him more often. The problem is with you people think that if Fed can't beat Nadal on clay, then he's automatically below Guga, Lendl, etc. That's not how it works because everyone in their right mind knows those guys wouldn't beat Nadal either.
True, Kuerten has to be considered past his prime in 2004. The damage to his hip meant that he wasn't going to produce his former tennis from day to day and particularly in long matches in which he'd be forced to do a lot of running.
But I think it's dead wrong to imply that the level of tennis he produced against Federer in the '04 match, over three relatively brief sets, was nowhere close to his prime tennis.
Against Federer he had more winners than unforced errors: 29 to 25.
That was not true in his French Open final victories in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, against Norman, he had 47 winners and 72 unforced errors. The next year against Corretja he had 55 winners and 55 UE.
The reason is that Kuerten, bad hip and all, was still capable of closing out matches in 3 sets if he could overwhelm his opponent with a ton of winners. That seems to have been his strategy against Federer. When Kuerten got off the court he said that finishing the match in three sets was his only chance -- an obvious allusion to how his hip -- or his poor stamina, at that time -- would not have held up in a long match.
The next round he pulled off the same strategy against Feliciano Lopez, beating him in straights with 29 winners and 26 UE.
That's not to say that these performance in '04 were as good as what he produced in his prime. For purposes of what we're debating here -- whether the tennis he produced against Federer was miles below his former best -- it's enough to show that those performances were comparable to his championship performances in his prime.
In fact John Barrett said that he hadn't seen Kuerten play so well since he won the French in '01.
That's possible, despite Kuerten's hip problems, because for three sets, particularly if he set out to do so, he could produce a ton of winners and get off the court quickly, with his opponent thrown off balance from the start and not allowed to get into the match.
I've seen the match, and that's essentially what happened. Federer was swept off the court. One article in the press said that Federer's only chance against what Kuerten produced would have been to test the hip; but they added that he served too poorly to do that. All true. In a longer match, if Federer had sunk his teeth into the match and started testing both Kuerten's hip and his stamina, you would probably have seen a very different story.
I want to be clear, though: peak to peak, Kuerten is superior to Federer. Even at his best Federer is going to lose more often to a Kuerten who's got a good hip and can play for as long as he needs to.
I think so too. Push comes to shove I'll take Nadal over Kuerten; but Kuerten would do more damage to Nadal than Federer has.
The problem using this kind of logic is that it is detrimental to Nadal`s position as the CCGOAT. Federer has been Nadal biggest rival on the surface by far, so accepting the premise that Federer is no more than a decent clay court player, how can you not put in doubt Nadal`s succes on clay?? After all, and according to you, which great clay courter has faced Nadal to achieve his titles if not federer??...surely must have been clay beasts like Almagro, Monaco, Ferrer, Verdasco, Soderling, Puerta, Davydenko, Gonzalez, etc. :twisted:
Borg on the other hand faced Lendl, Vilas, Panatta,Nastase, Kodes, Clerc, Orantes, etc, all of them would easily have Federer for breakfast on clay.
The thing is that both, Nadal and Federer legacy, feed off each other. You can`t downgrade one without afecting the other, it has always been this way (Laver-Rosewall, Borg-Mac, Sampras-Agassi, etc).
However, i do think that Kuerten is the best clay courter compared to Fed, by achivements and level of play (this by a very small margin). The only ones i would put above Fed during the open era are Nadal, Borg, Wilander, Lendl and Kuerten in that order. I put him above Courier, Vilas, Muster, Bruguera, Nastase and Kodes.
It is ridiculous.Panatta won his RG with a win over cc goat candidate Bjorn Borg while Federer beat a bunch of journeymen.Panatta above fed on clay, since he also won the much coveted Italian Open and a DC title on clay.
Jan Kodes has 2 FO wins as opposed to Fed´s single one.
Fed is basically the best one time RG champion and if he win another he will be the best 2 time RG champion. All things being said, 1 RG and the multiple finals is enough for his legacy as GOAT...not to mention history will always remember he kept running into Nadal.
federer beat del potro and soderling back to back to win - neither of them journeymen ......del potro played brilliantly and soderling had played brilliantly to get to to the final ( beating nadal on the way )
Put fed in kodes's shoes and he wins FO 70,71 and 72 easily and has a very realistic shot at 73 FO depending on how the contest with nastase goes ....
fed as a CC player is by some distance better than kodes ...
in terms of achievements in the open era : nadal, borg, lendl, wilander, kuerten are clearly better than fed .... but IMO, out of those only those 3 are clearly better in terms of peak level of play on clay : nadal, borg and kuerten
it'd be very close as far as the likes of bruguera, courier, muster, vilas, ferrero etc go ....
I like to talk about peak level of play in rating the greatness of players throughout history on an absolute basis. But, the notion of peak level of play and clay court tennis are almost irreconcilable with each other. It's a difficult concept to use to rate clay court players, because clay is a game of attrition. Clay court tennis is such a neutralizer of the kind of greatness it takes to win on grass, hard and carpet. I would agree that at Federer's peak level of play on clay (which requires a different mindset than Federer's peak level on grass and would not win him a single Wimbledon title), he might have been better than all but Nadal, Borg & Kuerten. But, that mindset and style of play was not Federer's forte. And I have doubts that he would have a winning record on clay over the course of a career against Lendl, Wilander, Courier and Muster. They were grinders on every surface they played on, and clay rewards their approach to the game and punishes those whose approach deviates from that mindset.
lendl and wilander maybe , but courier and muster had short clay court prime careers and federer has had a much longer CC prime than them both ....
while it is true that clay blunts the attacking game the most doesn't mean attacking players can't have success. See kuerten/federer/laver for examples ...
No it is not. The only one relatively close to him in clay court achievements is Borg who faced an even weaker clay field. Next.
By this stupid logic one would have to rank Nadal a top 5 or top 3 grass court and hard court player all time in order to justify the claims Federer is the GOAT on those surfaces.
Nadal has proven he is light years ahead of Federer on clay. He does not have to justify anything via wherever Federer is ranked on clay, which seeing the huge gap between the two on the surface can only be extremely far apart, which already negates any fantasy of many Federer fanboys have that Federer is a top 3 clay courter all time or anything near that.
My that is a contradiction if there ever was. Borg did not really face Lendl, they played one year Lendl was FAR from his prime, and in fact 3 years from his first major, they were about as close of being contemporaries as Nadal and Kuerten were. Tennis existed before the Open Era so even if you were right (IMO 6th in the Open Era is generous but plausible, he would rank higher than Mickey Mouse tournament hoarder Vilas that is for sure) pre Open Era greats like Laver, Rosewall, Cochet, LaCoste, Wilding, and others would easily push Federer out of the top 10 all time on clay.
I think that Federer would have a winning h2h against Muster on clay.
We all know that even on clay Muster had a very poor set of h2hs against serve-volleyers, but he could struggle against strong attacking baseline games on the surface as well.
Stylistically the most similar player to Federer from the 90s was Michael Stich, who had a 2-2 record against Muster on clay, winning their most important match at RG in 1996. In that 1996 match, Stich didn't serve volley that much at all, and stayed back a lot and attacked from the baseline, and that threw Muster off his game.
I think that Federer's attacking baseline game and occasionally forays to the net would cause Muster a lot of problems.
Now Sergi Bruguera and his vicious topspin would cause Federer a lot of problems on clay I think.
@ RGs, the players of note that borg faced, ( being close to decent form at the very least )
74 - ramirez,solomon,orantes
75 - solomon,panatta,vilas
76 - panatta
78 - ramirez, vilas
79 - gerulatis, pecci
80 - solomon, gerulatis
81 - pecci, lendl
@ RG, the players of note that nadal faced, ( being close to decent form at the very least )
2005 - federer,puerta
2006 - federer
2007 - federer
2008 - djoker, federer
2009 - soderling
2010 - almagro, soderling
2011 - federer
2012 - djokovic
uhh, I think its clear borg faced tougher competition ....
Federer would definitely have a winning record vs Muster on clay. He would lose most times to Muster of 95/96, but the other years of Muster's career he would be a relatively easy opponent for Federer on clay.
Yes Orantes, Ramirez, Solomon, Gerulaitis, Pecci, are such scary clay courters Nadal would have dreaded facing, ROTFL!! Federer and Djokovic alone are worth more than that whole group put together. Still weak clay competition compared to eras like the ones Wilander, Lendl, Kuerten, played in, in both cases. Everyone concedes Nadal the clay court GOAT today, it isnt even a debate any longer, deal with it.
I can't argue with too much conviction against your opinions of Muster and Courier. But, I have seen them play on clay. And both were as brutally intense grinders who have ever played, and would have wins against anyone in history on clay. It's a close call.
uhh, no ... djoker isn't better than lendl/panatta/vilas on clay , federer isn't better than lendl on clay either ....
Notice that I mentioned puerta/almagro for nadal as well ....because they were playing well ...
the question was the fields that borg/nadal faced ..... you stated that borg's was weaker just like that ... I don't think that is the case at all ...
as far as CC GOAT is concerned, nadal has the most convincing case and probably is , but borg is pretty close ....
Harold Solomon was a nightmare on clay. He made opponents feel like they were drowning in moonballs. He even made Borg lose his patience and go for winners just to end a point. I can see even the great Nadal suffering a loss or two to Solomon. Orantes, Ramirez, Gerulaitis and Pecci were all court touch players who had nothing to hurt Nadal with, IMO.
Franulovic was a beter clay courter than Soderling and Nastase a much better player, any court or surface.Kodes has 2 RG and Fed 1.
The other surface majors were played was grass, but here we cannot compare since past grass and current grass, the only thing they got in common is the green colour...
Prime Federer >>>> 1981 version of Lendl (light years from his prime). 5 years of Federer >>>>> 1 year of Lendl. In the case you think one year of baby Lendl is tougher than many years of prime or slam winning Federer, you must really think Federer is not even a top 50 clay courter of all time then, lol! Djokovic's career is far from over and you are comparing him to retired players who you are evaluating based on their finished achievements. Djokovic is quite likely to end up as a better clay courter than Panatta and Vilas, if he wins atleast 1 RG he almost certainly will be. Djokovic at RG has only lost to Nadal and once to Federer every year since 2006 except for one. Vilas at RG lost to a slew of weaker players, was blown out by Vilas and lost to a 17 year old Wilander in 2 of his finals, and won his RG title in a joke boycotted year where his final opponent was Gottfried. Panatta is not considered some super great clay courter and never was, just a tough matchup for Borg. I would be willing to bet money Djokovic atleast 5 different years wins RG with Vilas's 77 draw, his 2007-2012 version in 1977-1982 has a better RG record overall than Vilas, and so on.
No Lendl in 1981 and Mickey Mouse tournament hoarder Vilas is not tougher competition on clay than years of Federer and Djokovic.
Can you explain me which is the relation between Federer ( and Kuerten) and the concept of " attacking player" ?
how was franulovic a better CC player than soderling ? who of significance did he beat at RG ?
soderling beat nadal and federer ... his runs at RG 2009 and RG 2010 were brilliant and nothing franulovic did comes close ......... but then you'd only know if you watched tennis .......
in 2009, djoker lost to kohlscreiber
in 2010 , he lost to melzer
so no, it wasn't just one year ..... djoker wasn't that good in 2007 either ...
pretty sure even a 17 year old Wilander was wayyy better than both melzer/kohlschreiber ...
panatta may not be a "great" CC player, but he was pretty good and as you said he was a tough matchup for borg, which such player is for nadal ? not 2008 RG djoker, not 2012 RG djoker ..... 2011 djoker would be , but federer took him out .....
peak federer is better than 81 lendl, but then the matchup factor negates that a bit .... take the matchup factor vs panatta as well into consideration
Roland Garros 1982 is one of Vilas's 3 best Roland Garros's as it is one of the only 3 he ever made the final, and he still lost to 17 year old Wilander. Djokovic in his 5 best Roland Garros's has lost to only Federer or Nadal.
Vilas was blown away and fed a bagel to end a striaght sets defeat by Pecci in 1979, and was beaten up by Solomon in 1976, eating two breadsticks in a 4 set defeat. Those are his 4th and 5th best RG performances.
Djokovic was always a tough matchup for Nadal, even on clay. In 2008 he was already a way tougher clay opponent for Nadal than Federer was. LOL at you only giving him credit as being a tough matchup for Nadal when he beats him regularly. By your logic Panatta was only a tough matchup for pre prime (before 1977) Borg and is even less of one.
Even if it negates it a bit, Nadal faced Federer 5 years (prime Federer atleast 3 of those, once as an 18 year old), so that easily puts him over just 1 year of a pre prime Lendl, so overall as far as competition years of Federer >>>>> 1 year of Lendl. There is no evidence Panatta is any tougher a matchup for Borg on clay than Djokovic is for Nadal. At this point you are just spinning your wheels, you were wrong, plain and simple.
Separate names with a comma.