Greatest Ground Game of all Time!

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Limpinhitter, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I think Hoodjem made mention of a greatest groundgame thread, and, since no one started one, I couldn't resist. So, this is about the groundgame as a whole, not just the two groundstrokes. (If that were the only criterial, I would give the prize to Agassi and we could all move on). So, obviously it includes elements like stroke production (power, accuracy, consistency), shot preparation and movement (footwork), speed, athleticism, ability to change tactics, spins, touch, etc., everything that goes in to making a great ground game.

    Here's my initial list. It's just a quick, off the top of my head, starter list of players I think belong somewhere on the list, in some rational order. So, no apoplexies, conniptions or grand mal seizures for at least one page, please.

    Roger Federer
    Bjorn Borg
    Jimmy Conners
    Ralph Nadal
    Rod Laver
    Novak Djokovic
    Andre Agassi
    Ivan Lendl
    Gustavo Kuerten
    Pete Sampras
    Don Budge
    Mats Wilander
    Bill Tilden
    Ken Rosewall
    Pancho Gonzales
    Guillermo Vilas
    Ilie Nastase
    John McEnroe
    Bobby Riggs
    Tony Trabert


    :mrgreen:
     
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  2. mberrevoets

    mberrevoets New User

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    McEnroe but not Safin? Whaaat.
     
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  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    McEnroe, at all?

    Sampras? Really?
     
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  4. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Lacoste, Segura, Nusslein, Kovacs, Riggs may belong there also. Jack Kramer was known also as an excellent baseliner.
     
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  5. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Yep, have me scratching my head on those two but otherwise the list looks great and though I might be able to cut it in half, after that it gets tough.
     
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  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I'm surprised that you're surprised. Sampras forehand was his best shot. His running forehand was the best ever. His backhand, though not as good as his forehand has been extremely underrated since his retirement. While playing, visions of him ripping winners from that backhand side were still to fresh in everyone's minds to underrate it. Not to mention, Sampras was probably the most explosive athlete tennis has ever seen.

    McEnroe's ground game is also extremely underrated, especially since his retirement. However, I remember seeing him out rally Borg, Lendl and Vilas from the baseline, taking their power and using it against them, taking the ball early and cutting off opponent's angles and time to recover. For whatever reason (drug use? injury?), Mac's game as a whole declined noticably after 1984. But, in his prime, his groundgame was amazingly effective.

    I would have also expected someone to object to Pancho Gonzales being in there. But, from what I've read from Newcombe and others, Pancho's ground game, like McEnroe's, was a touch game in which he absorbed opponent's power and out maneuvered them.

    Come to think of it, maybe Miloslav Mecir should be in there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
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  7. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It's never easy. In any of these "best ever" lists, I tend to favor players who won numerous major championships. It seems logical to me that if some aspect of a player's game is truly great, there's no better measure of greatness than their ability to use it to win championships.
     
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  8. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

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    what .. no Thomas Muster ?
     
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  9. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Agree, and so if I think of the best ground game, they probably won their share of majors or top tourneys on clay which Mac and Sampras did not.

    Muster on the other hand definitely makes the list in his prime. It's a shame the accident cost him much.
     
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  10. Iron Man

    Iron Man Rookie

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    the current era has the best baseliners

    Federer
    Nadal
    djokovic
    Murray

    we can add Agassi , Muster , courier , connors , borg and some others

    but the greatest is Roger because he has it all
     
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  11. monfed

    monfed Guest

    I'd like to see a nice tier list :)
     
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  12. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Tough to have tier lists because it tends to have very emotional arguments.

    I'll try by decades
    1920's-Tilden, Lacoste
    1930's-Budge, Nusslein, Perry, Vines
    1940's-Budge, Riggs, Kovacs, Kramer
    1950's-Rosewall, Segura, Kramer
    1960's-Rosewall, Laver, Gimeno
    1970-Rosewall, Laver, Borg, Connors, Nastase
    1980's-Borg, Connors, Lendl, Wilander, Agassi, Mecir
    1990's-Courier, Chang, Agassi, Lendl
    2000's-Agassi, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Kuerten
    2010's-Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray

    Gonzalez and McEnroe are hard to rank. Good ground games but I think they rallied enough so they could eventually approach the net although they were capable of staying with almost anyone off the ground.

    Kramer has been ranked by Gonzalez and I believe Segura as one of the best baseliners. Shows what an excellent all around player Kramer was since he was famous for his invincible serve and volley game.

    Kovacs groundies were legendary but he was a character to say the least.

    Rosewall was great in three decades which shows the strength of his groundies.

    Even though Connors played to the 1990's I didn't think he was one of the top groundstrokers in the early 1990's anymore.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Not necessarily. Agassi's groundgame was probably more effective on grass, and certainly on hard, than on clay, IMO. His compact windup was perfect for the fast low bounce of grass, and clay tended to neutralize his power. I would say that the same thing applied to Budge.

    As for Sampras, it wasn't just his ground game that was not amenable to major championships on clay, it was his mindset and his entire game. He was a pure power player who sought to end points quickly whether at the baseline or the net. Clay tended to neutralize his power and force him to play longer points which, in turn, caused him to hit more UE's than winners. For what ever reason, he was not able, or willing, to play a more patient, clay court approach when on clay.

    Laver was similar to Sampras in that respect. He was a pure power player who never temporized his shotmaking. But, he had better footwork and shot preparation than Sampras, and just moved better on clay. So, he was able to have success on clay against some of the all time great clay courters.
     
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  14. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The only reason the current era could be considered better is because of the racquets. These kinds of "all time" lists require the employment of some objective and subjective adjustment for the differences in equipment. For example, with the same equipment, I don't see any reasonable basis to rank Murray ahead of Borg, Laver, Agassi, Lendl or Connors. Further, he hasn't won any major championships with his groundgame, or any other part of his game. So, I find it hard to include him on an all time list. Maybe Murray could be on an all time best movement for a player over 6'1" tall list. But, that's about it.
     
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  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Both worthy baseliners, although, IMO, Safin's forehand could be a bit inconsistent. In any event, if you are going to suggest a player, please also suggest a place on the list.
     
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  16. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    "1970-Rosewall, Laver, Borg, Connors, Nastase
    1980's-Borg, Connors, Lendl, Wilander, Agassi, Mecir
    1990's-Courier, Chang, Agassi, Lendl
    2000's-Agassi, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Kuerten
    2010's-Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray"

    from pc1 above, I could sure live with this. Earlier than that was before my time and only guess work.
     
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  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I am surprised that you are surprised that I am surprised.:wink:

    Yes, to Mecir.

    No to Mac and Pete. Underrated with fairly good reasons, IMO. (Mac's groundstrokes are some awkward, goofy-looking half-volleys from the baseline.)
     
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  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yes, Mac's technique was/is unorthodox but effective. And, his success is indisputable. Pete's technique is much more traditional, and the way he blew some of his competitors off of the court from the ground was unprecedented.

    Here's Mac against Lendl in the 1984 FO final. Although Mac lost the match, he dominated the first two sets and demonstrated the ability to out maneuver, sometimes overpower, Lendl from the ground:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5Mwb33PO7A&feature=relmfu
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  19. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    on clay i think the only answer is nadal.
     
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  20. Merger5

    Merger5 New User

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    I only have seen tennis from the open era on; I would go something like this. I would give aggressive types on edge over defensive types (hence relative lower position for Borg and Rosewall than most would offer up)

    1)Andre Agassi
    2)Roger Federer
    3)Ivan Lendl
    4)Rod Laver
    5)Jimmy Connors
    6)Novak Djokovic
    7)Marat Safin
    8)David Nalbandian
    9)Bjorn Borg
    10)Ken Rosewall
    11)Ilie Nastase
    12)Ralph Nadal
    13)Pete Sampras
    14)Jim Courier
    15)Lleyton Hewitt
    16)Gustavo Kuerten
    17)Mats Wilander
    18) Poncho Segura
    19)Miroslav Mecir
    20)Guillermo Vilas
    21)Michael Chang
    22)Sergei Brugerra
    23)Henrik Sundstrom
    24)Boris Becker
    25)JM Delpotro
    26)Fernando Gonzales
    27)Robin Soderling
    28)John Mcenroe
    29)Poncho Gonzales
    30)Marcos Bagdatis
     
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  21. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    "Deleted for mootness!"
     
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  22. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    I know it's all relative but I couldn't push Nadal to #12. In my mind, he right up there with the top few. Definitely higher than Safin and Nalbandian, of which the latter never won even a single major playing a similar style of game.
     
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  23. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    McEnroe, at his best, had a deceptively effective ground game. He could not have beaten the likes of Connors & Borg otherwise.
     
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  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yup! And Lendl!
     
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  25. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Yes I agree that guys like Mac and Pete had effective ground games, however, they beat their baseline counter parts (Borg, Connors, Lendl, and Agassi) because of their serves, volleys, and attacking tennis.

    Lets put it this way, take away their serve and take away the net. If Pete and Mac just played baseline games against many on the list they would lose. Pete can smack winners, no doubt about it, but do you think he could beat Hewitt, Chang, Wilander, Courier, Guga just playing from the baseline? Come on now.
     
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  26. Merger5

    Merger5 New User

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    Nadal has to be up there, it's true- it's just he looks so ugly doing it. Also, I would not he necessarily plays the exact same game as Safin- I think Safin attacked much more and didn't play defense. And on fast surfaces Nadal would be much less effective with all that defense while Safin would be very tough. Nalbandian and Nadal are a little closer, but I still think Nalby is more aggressive if counting both wings.
     
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  27. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I like your admiration for Agassi. I think he gets less respect by most for his groundies (and his serve), than he deserves. His forehand and backhand as a combination, without considering movement, are probably the best combination of groundies in the history of tennis. But, IMO, his lack of World class mobility and less than stellar effectiveness when hitting on the stretch is too much of detriment for me to put him at the very top.
     
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  28. Merger5

    Merger5 New User

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    Yes, this is quite true. Especially in Mac's case. I dont think he could bang away with any of those guys for too long. Pete did, early on, stay in some very impressive baseline rallies- think '95 US Open final v Agassi.
     
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  29. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Agreed Pete could bang with the best of them. However, he couldn't win longterm that way. Becker had some crazy baseline rallies against Agassi and Lendl also. Both Becker and Pete were awesome specimens. No doubt about it, but they don't belong on the list.
     
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  30. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Limpinhitter,

    I'm not sure about Agassi's combo of both is the best in history. Many are up there like Borg, Tilden, Budge, Laver, Lendl, Connors, Nadal, Djokovic etc. The thing I'm wondering about is what is your definition of a great ground game. Is it a powerful hard hitting groundstroker with super consistency and can attack? Is it a guy who are stay out there forever? Guys like Borg, Djokovic, Nadal, Connors and Rosewall can qualify. Laver's great of course but I don't think he's as consistent as the ones in the previous sentence as well as Federer.

    Do you also include the return of serve as a part of the ground game? Borg, Rosewall, Connors, Djokovic, Nadal, Laver, Tilden were superb in breaking serve.

    One name I think should be on the list is Michael Chang. Great groundies, great return, great speed.

    Edit-Didn't notice someone already had Michael Chang.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  31. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    On fast hard courts, carpet and grass, I think a peak Sampras would have winning records against all of them from the ground. Sure, he'd lose some to that group. Who wouldn't?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  32. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I listed my criteria in my first post. Bottom line, it's all around effectiveness from the ground regardless of a players approach to effectiveness. Returns are definitely part of the ground game, which I think inures to Agassi's benefit being that, IMO, he had the best return of all time.

    I agree Chang should be on the list. If you would be so kind, when you suggest a missing player, please suggest a place on the list for that player.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  33. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    That sounds about right for Sampras, who got a rather high % of his total points from 'quick' points vs pretty much anyone throughout his career, but not so sure about Mac. There were an awful lot of long rallies(say 5 or more shots) in matches Mac had with Borg, Connors, Vilas, Wilander etc on non grass surfaces in the early to mid 80s & he more than held his own. He wasn't capable of just hitting service winners all day like Becker or Sampras or hitting huge fh's after 2 shots & he wasn't some crazy chip & charger like Annacone or something, so he had to rally quite a bit.

    It was a different era pre graphite(or early graphite), I think it was sort of impossible to win non grass majors without a pretty solid ground game back then. Which is part of the reason Mac(& many old school players) were sort of appalled at what Becker brought to the game. Yeah Becker & Sampras looked to have better technique off the ground & the ability to hit clean winners from the baseline(which Mac rarely did unless it was a passing shot)
    but in terms of 'rallying' I think Mac is sort of in another level than those 2(again it may be unfair to compare wood players to graphite players, but I just watched Mac play Clerc in an old Davis Cup match & Mac probably hit more groundies in that one match than Sampras hit in a week. Heck Becker probably had a better rally game than Sampras as well, I saw his match with Bruguera at '91 Monte Carlo last year, talk about grinding. I just don't think Sampras was ever capable of extended grinding in his career. Pretty much everyone that played in the 70s had to grind at some point, unless they only played on grass. I've even seen indoor matches from the time that had a lot of rallies)

    Maybe I'll do some more stats on this someday(but probably not) but I have a strong feeling that Mac won a high % of baseline points in matches he won vs Connors, Borg, etc. Like tracking pts won after 4 shots, 5 shots, 6 etc. & it shouldn't matter if Mac eventually won the point at net, I think 4 or 5 shots certainly counts as a baseline point & shows that he had quite a bit more to his game than just his serve & volley(I think there's a reason why he got some GOAT type talk in his career, by guys like Laver & Newcombe & Dan Maskell & it was because he was an incredibly complete player - by the standards of the time)

    Even run to the FO final wasn't all about his serve & volley(unlike say Edberg in '89, again I don't have stats on this, but I think Mac rallied more in '84 than Edberg in '89. He made Connors look pretty silly in the semis, & he had a pretty low serve % that day, there were plenty of rallies)

    I'm also guessing Sampras didn't fare too well vs Agassi or Courier in points that went beyond 4 or 5 shots(think someone posted stats on some USO matches a while back, it was rather startling the difference in % of points he won in 3 shots or less compared to over 3 shots)
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  34. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    I totally disagree with you. A winning record? Not a chance.
     
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  35. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I think you fall into the group that underrates Sampras' ground game. IMO, Sampras forehand was his best shot, and his ground game was just as good, if not better, than his net game.

    I agree with Moose, and I've said many times, especially lately, that Sampras was a pure power player who sought to end points quickly, everywhere on the court, and he did it better than anyone at his peak. He was not a grinder. As a result, his game was not as effective on clay which neutralizes power, and rewards patience which was not Sampras' game. But, on grass, carpet and faster hard courts, Sampras ground game was as good or better than any of those that you listed, IMO.
     
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  36. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Your above post mention Sampras power game, which I agree with you and have stated in previous post that he could bang with the best of them. However, according to this thread it more then just power as in bold below which I quoted directly from you.

    "stroke production (power, accuracy, consistency), shot preparation and movement (footwork), speed, athleticism, ability to change tactics, spins, touch, etc., everything that goes in to making a great ground game"

    Sampras had a hard time beating Chang with his serve and with his net attack game (Pete leads 12-8 ) and Guga (Pete leads 2-1), and Hewitt (Hewitt leads 5-4, of course Pete was a little past his prime). And now you are telling me if we take away his serve and net attack and have him play baseline games with those guys and somehow he would still have a winning record. Come on dude, Seriously?

    Pete had a fantastic forehand but his serve was his biggest weapon. The question posed was Greatest Ground Game Ever, and not best from the baseline on fast surfaces.

    Sorry, part of having a great ground game includes having patience, good point construction skills, endurance etc.......and not just power. If power off both wings was just the case Safin would have the Greatest Ground Game Ever.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  37. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I disagree! Part of having a great groundgame is patience if patience is your approach to tennis. However, if power and ending points quickly is your approach, and you use it successfully to win championships, then you should be in the running. I don't think that Sampras' lack of ultimate success at the FO disqualifies him from being considered an all time great ground player any more than it diqualifies him from being an all time great player. His game (every aspect of his game), was developed to win on grass, not clay.

    When I said that Sampras forehand was his best shot, I meant other than his serve. Both Kuerten and Chang were also all time great groundgamers (I'm still waiting for a placement of Chang from pc1), with great returns, moreso Kuerten, IMO. I would also point out that Chang was the first of the 4 great Americans (Sampras, Agassi, Courier and Chang), to develop as a pro and win a major. As such, he had a mental advantage over the young Sampras who was not quite as confident in his game as he would become. As I recall, later in his development, Sampras dispatched Chang more routinely.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    "Banging away" is not the only measure of a great ground game. Mats Wilander wasn't a banger.
     
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  39. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Don't have time today to put Chang's ranking in but maybe tomorrow.
     
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  40. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    uh, Sampras won 10 of their last 12 meetings. 5 of Chang's wins were before 19 year old Sampras won his 1st USO. Not sure Sampras was even a top 100 player the first 3 times they met. Using that head to head as a 'proof' of anything is pretty misleading, sort of like using Hewitt's head to head vs Fed before he became Fed as 'proof' of his troubles with him.

    I didn't do stats on any of their matches, but I have the '93 USO QF & '95 AO SF on dvd, it looked like Sampras really bullied Chang around with his ground game in those matches, Chang really didn't have much to hurt him off the ground. He wasn't Agassi. In fact the best match I saw Chang play against Sampras it was CHANG'S net game that made the difference('95 Masters SF), that guy was a great tactician, he really would try anything to win.
     
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  41. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Yes you are right but you also have to take into account early on Pete play more from the back. I mentioned Chang because both Pete and him grew up and played each other throughout the Jrs and onward. Plus, one of the earliest things to developed is the ground game, so those first few meetings has to be taken into account. As for Fed and Hewitt, it was more of a mental thing. He wasn't mentally ready yet. Pete for all intent purposes was. He was beaten by Chang because Cheng was better off the ground. (i know, I'm super simplifying it). Only later when that serve and attacking style that made Pete such a badass developed that he started really killing Chang.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  42. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Exactly, when he didn't mess around from the baseline as much.


    "However, if power and ending points quickly is your approach, and you use it successfully to win championships, then you should be in the running."

    If that is the case then Becker should be in the running also. He was the epitome of first strike tennis. By the way, Becker had even less patience then Sampras.

    Limp, I just don't agree with you. We can argue over and over but I think neither of us would change our mind.

    Patience is just one of the many aspects that is needed to have a great ground game. When I say patience, I'm not referring to grind all day Wilander type patience.

    Now I'm super curious, am I in the minority here? Do most people think Sampras had one of the Greatest Ground Game Ever (lets say top 20)? Really?
     
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  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting notion: "Fed before he became Fed".

    I wonder what he was? Pre-Fed? Proto-Fed? Sampras Jr.?
    Is he now post-Fed? Quasi-post-Fed?
     
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  44. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near Talk Tennis Guru

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    Relax folks, ...
    The answer 'is': He whom wins the higher percentage of points with the use of his ground game than all/almost all their opponents, style and method be damned.

    Murray doesn't compete with Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, for instance. Not really. He's a clear fourth at best, with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in a league of their own in this era.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
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  45. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Limp, you're being silly, Mac doesn't win a single major if he can't get to the net. His ground game didn't allow his opponent to hurt him badly but it didn't win matches for him. He couldn't consistently hit winners from the back court like so many others on that list.

    Now on the other hand I do believe Sampras could win matches with his lights out forehand but unfortunately just didn't consistently have the stamina to grind it out from the back court.
     
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  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I couldn't disagree more. To fail to acknowledge McEnroe's unique and brilliant groundgame would do damage to the credibility of any all time list. The fact that he elected to come to net and exploit the most effective part of his game does nothing to diminish the greatness of his groundgame, IMO. Further, a great groundgame is required to be the sole basis of victory to be great. In addition to winning from the ground, McEnroe exploited his ground and transition game to get to the net as well as anyone ever has. That's another measure of a ground game.

    As I said previously, I've seen McEnroe outmaneuver some of the greatest backcourt players of all time with a combination of touch, placement, court positioning and power. He neutralized his opponent's power taking the ball early and robbing them of time, before Agassi. He was steadier and more patient than most of them, except Borg and Wilander. Yes, he also won in transition and at the net. One does nothing to diminish the other, IMO.

    McEnroe's 5 set loss to Lendl at the 84' FO is an example of his brilliant ground game. He won the first 2 set 6-2, 6-3, on red clay. The reason he lost that match was conditioning. Lendl was not only in better shape than Mac generally, my opinion is that Mac had a drug problem that not only hurt him in that match, it literally ended his career as the dominant player in tennis. But for that, IMO, Mac would have continued to dominate tennis for another 4-5 years, and Lendl and Wilander's careers would have been very much diminished from what they were. Whatever happened to Mac after 1984, it was clear that he hit a brick wall and was never quite the same after that.

    But, he did what he did, and he will be remembered more for the sub-par McEnroe who struggled, than for the peak McEnroe who dominated from every part of the court in a supreme fashion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
    #46
  47. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Okay Limpinhitter you wanted my ranking of Michael Chang so let's look at players I considered superior off the ground to him.
    Tilden, Lacoste, Perry, Vines, Nusslein, Budge, Riggs, Segura, Gonzalez (by your definition I'm not sure if he qualifies), Rosewall, Laver, Gimeno, Nastase, Vilas, Borg, Connors, Lendl, Wilander, Mecir (peak level, lifetime no because of Mecir's short career), Federer, Nadal, Djokovic.

    I suppose around the twenties would be okay but it's debatable since Chang could outrally Agassi and people like that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
    #47
  48. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Borg......
     
    #48
  49. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    It's hard to evaluate because some players like Kuerten were not as good as some surfaces as others. Michael Chang for example won the French, was excellent on hard court but wasn't that great on the old fast grass of Wimbleon. Yet Chang won more overall tournaments than Kuerten.

    It's all so subjective. I'm sure so many casual fans will pick Federer. I would tend to pick Nadal or Djokovic over Federer in this era because I feel they are more solid off both sides. Yet Federer does use his fantastic forehand more than perhaps both Nadal and Djokovic.

    I think overall I would pick Borg. Reason is that he was so strong off both sides and I think a great returner. He was as fast a player as I've seen and as consistent a player ever on any surface. His stamina was perhaps paralleled in tennis history. He was very hard hitter with heavy topspin plus he could mix it up with different spins. He had arguably the best passing shots in history. He could also play differently off the baseline on different surfaces. He would flatten it out on grass. He could be much more conservative on clay etc.

    Rosewall is up there as well as Connors and so other. I can see Djokovic as a possible number one in the future and Nadal.
     
    #49
  50. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    Limp,
    watch these clips of the 84 FO final with Lendl. First set, John comes in on every first serve and all but a few second serves, and those few that he stays back on, he makes his way into the net as quickly as possible. Also notice he comes in on over 50% of Lendl's service points. You make it sound like he almost defeated Lendl from the back court on that day and nothing could be further from the truth. Let's just say we will agree to disagree.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnTggY6mpmQ
     
    #50

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