Greatest Open Era Clay Courters

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by noeledmonds, Jan 29, 2007.

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Who are the greatest clay courters of the open era?

  1. Lendl

    17.1%
  2. Panatta

    7.6%
  3. Borg

    66.7%
  4. Wilander

    13.3%
  5. Kuerten

    28.6%
  6. Bruguera

    7.6%
  7. Nadal

    55.2%
  8. Vilas

    33.3%
  9. Courier

    5.7%
  10. Muster

    19.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Who are the greatest clay courters of the open era?

    I choose this discussion as there is always a lot of debate over the GOAT, however clay has been ransacked by specialists. Many great clay courters simply did not perform on other surfaces so are not GOAT contenders. This is not just about the Greatest player, but about all the great players. Please vote for MORE THAN one player in the poll. Here are my ranked order top 5:

    1) Borg- 6 FO titles, only losing 2 matches in 8 years on entering the event, only lost to Panneta, Won 2 titles without losing a set.
    2) Lendl- Won 3 FO titles and withdrew from the event several times to prepare for SW19.
    3) Wilander- Also 3 FO titles. The ultimate in retrieving and playing points out.
    4) Kuerten- 3 FO titles. Brilliant backhand and beautiful to watch.
    5) Vilas- Just 1 FO, but dominated in his time, with great winning streaks. Has 43 clay court titles (more than any other player).
     
    #1
  2. Thor

    Thor Professional

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    Nadal,simply because he had to defeat Federer 4 times on clay to set the longest winning streak ever.Now believe that most people on these boards claim Fed to be GOAT(not me) or well on his way.whether you believe that or not one thing is certain:Fed is the most dominant player ever,which makes Nadal's accomplishment even more amazing.
    Now,i believe that this streak is even more impressive due to the fact that it streches over 2 seasons,which in between he sustained an injury that caused him to miss quite a bit.
     
    #2
  3. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Federer may be a GOAT contender for the future, but his performances on clay are nowhere near the greatest clay courters. Consider Borg, he pummled Vilas twice in straight sets in the FO final. Nadal has yet to beat a really great clay courter. The streak is undoutably impressive, but he has yet to achieve enough to be considered the greatest clay courter of all time.

    Please vote for more than one player when specifialy stated. Have you by any chance not seen many, if any, of the other clay courters playing? Were you even alive during Borg's dominance? Some how I suspect not.
     
    #3
  4. psamp14

    psamp14 Hall of Fame

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    i saw this thread and figured you started it up.....:)

    i went with borg, kuerten, lendl, and courier

    borg for obvious reasons.....the greatest clay courter of them all....lendl i dont know much about besides he won 3 on clay and that 1984 final with mcenroe....courier was a great grinder and he came out in form early in the season, winning 2 AO's and 2 FO's...then generally did not do so well in the 2nd half of the season

    kuerten was just elegance on court...i hope he is able to overcome his injuries and get into like the top 50 or higher for this year and next before he decides to retire
     
    #4
  5. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    One should add Kodes and Nastase. Nastase in his prime was second to none, won Rome and Paris in 1973 without losing a set. Kodes was a hardfighting machine, a sort of Connors on clay courts.
     
    #5
  6. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    If you asked me without supplying choices, Chris Evert would be my answer, of course.
     
    #6
  7. oberyn

    oberyn Professional

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    1. Borg -- 6 French Opens ('nuff said)
    2. Lendl -- 3 French Opens (5-time finalist)
    2. Wilander -- 3 French Opens (5-time finalist)
    4. Kuerten -- 3 French Opens
    5. Nadal - 2 French Opens (unbelievable streak on clay)
     
    #7
  8. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Borg was banned from the '77 French due to WTT. Had he not been banned, he would have been a near lock. Its a shame he retired so young, he was so far ahead of the field on clay, I think 10 FOs was possible.
     
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  9. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Indeed: a greatest discussion, a poll, a superb selection of voting options, an informative introduction, etc.........
    All hallmarks of a noeledmonds thread :grin:
     
    #9
  10. Colpo

    Colpo Professional

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    Borg, Borg, and then Borg. Lendl. Vilas. Clerc, Higueras, Juan Aguilera. Kent Carlsson was sick for about 2 years.
     
    #10
  11. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    I could only put 10 voting options. I felt Panatta had to be there, because he was the only one to beat Borg at the FO, and he did it twice. Bruguera or Năstase was always going to be close, but I gave it to Bruguera as he has 2 consecutive FOs, compared to Năstase's 1 single title. Also Bruguera played in what I percive to be a more competitive clay era than Năstase and Kodes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
    #11
  12. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    once when borg was 16, it wasn't exactly a big deal to beat some unknown, low ranked kid in '73.

    slams were not the most important criteria to judge players in the 70s. nastase was an incredibly dominant #1 in '72/'73, he isn't remembered for that today because he didn't win many slams(rememeber the ao offered less ranking points & prize money than several regular tour events in those days!)

    In the Open Era only 4 guys-Rosewall, Nasatase, Borg, Federer-have won slams without dropping a set. nastase was monster on clay, look up his record.

    much of the informed tennis media rank nastase up with federer as the purest talent to ever play the game(in the open era at least)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
    #12
  13. grand slam federer

    grand slam federer New User

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    Clay Greats

    The Best Clay Courters In The Modern Era
    Lendl
    Wilander
    Borg
    Kuerten
    Bruguera
    Courier
    Muster
    Albert Costa
    Vilas
    Nadal
    Chang

    Not In Order
     
    #13
  14. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    I will not be drawn into another debate about my voting options here. All I will say is that beating Borg at 16 may not have been a big deal at the time, but in hindsight it was signficant. Also his 2nd victory was also undoubtably against a relativly matured Borg.

    To be honest with you I've only ever seen highlights of Nastase or Bruguera play. I may be wrong here, but my judgment was mainly based on FO titles for these 2 ( I don't really see why mentioning the AO is relevant, particularly as back in those days it was played on grass anyway, so winning it would have little affect on your status as a a great clay courter).

    Feel free to dicuss the greatness of clay courters not discussed in the poll, but don't come comlaining to me that you ideal 10 options are not there. 10 options is never enough to satisfy everyone, but I think I give a fairly good range of options from across the open era.
     
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  15. brayman9

    brayman9 Semi-Pro

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    Borg is the best i love that guy with his ping pong strokes
     
    #15
  16. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    OOOPssss - I can't go back and add Kuerten... but I would.

    I would also add Clerc to the poll. He was fantastic and used to get on huge rolls during the clay season. Very cagey player.

    Jet
     
    #16
  17. psamp14

    psamp14 Hall of Fame

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    very true....dont forget the necessary ingredient: post by psamp14...:)
     
    #17
  18. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    No more coffee for you. ;)

    Good choices - nobody's taking a shot at you though. Folks are just adding to the discussion.

    Thanks for stating the poll.

    Jet
     
    #18
  19. Punisha

    Punisha Professional

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    all of them
     
    #19
  20. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Dude! Long time! Great to see you posting again.
     
    #20
  21. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    The game has changed also, it used to be 100 stroke rallys full of moonballs and stuff, someone would win 6-0 6-3 6-1 in about 4 hours.
     
    #21
  22. oscar_2424

    oscar_2424 Legend

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    Vilas
    Borg
    Muster
    Kuerten
    Nadal
     
    #22
  23. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Chris Evert. 7 French Open Titles. The End.
     
    #23
  24. Jet Rink

    Jet Rink Semi-Pro

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    Great post - and good to have you back as well.

    Jet
     
    #24
  25. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, Rabbit. Glad to see that you, Deuce, Phil, and Dedans are still active here.

    Thank you, too, Jet Rink.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
    #25
  26. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    It greatly disapoints me that 20 voters (I will not name and shame) do not consider Borg one of the great clay courters. What planet are you on? You could argue that Borg was not the greatset clay courter (with diffculty), but how can you argue he is not one of the greats?
     
    #26
  27. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    I thought there was no need for this vote because of Borg.

    His status as the best clay courter in history is usually undisputed.

    Nadal is great but I'm not sure he can surpass Borg's achievement.
     
    #27
  28. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    RAFA NADAL the greatest of all time, float like a he-man, and sting like a Worthog cannon.
     
    #28
  29. Thor

    Thor Professional

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    I didnt pick borg because i didnt notice it was a multiple choice...
     
    #29
  30. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Woosh! Glad I voted for Borg. And I agree with your post. :)
     
    #30
  31. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    If nadal played Borg, it would be a route, like 6-2, 6-1, 6-4
     
    #31
  32. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    Borg Borg Borg. We all know he would have had at least 3 more Frenches if he hadn't retired. There would have been some serious Borg-Lendl action going on at Rolan Garros though.
     
    #32
  33. Morrissey

    Morrissey Guest

    Nadal dethroned Coria as clay court king. Now he needs to defeat the up and comers on clay as well.
     
    #33
  34. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    What is this riduclous blind support for Nadal as the Clay GOAT?:confused: It can't be his 2 FOs, as many players have more than 2 FOs. Therfore it must be his winning streak alone. By this reasoning Vilas would be the overall GOAT (Vilas has the longest unbeaten streak across all surfaces). If in 10 years time Nadal holds 8 FOs, then I will say he is the greatest on clay, but he is not there yet.
     
    #34
  35. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    Do you really think Borg would have won another 3 more FO? Like I said from another thread, I never saw Borg play, but to win another 3 FO is a pretty bold statement. A young Lendl did take Borg to 5 sets in the '81 final and we all know Lendle only got better.
     
    #35
  36. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe not 3, but he certainly had at least 1 more left if not 2.



    Oh and do realize Nadal is playing with a 100 sq in racquet compared to Borg's puny what, 55? Even it up by giving Nadal borg's racquet and let's see if Nadal can compete then.
     
    #36
  37. civic

    civic New User

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    I voted for Wilander, Bruguera, Borg, and Nadal. Lendl should have also been picked but I always thought of him as more of a threat on hard courts, even though he was just as deadly on clay. Bruguera I picked just because he was such a specialist and fun to watch. Borg because of his record, and Wilander because his loopy strokes were made for wins on clay. I picked Nadal because he uses more topspin than any player I've ever seen, and that is what makes him so good on clay.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2007
    #37
  38. Sagittar

    Sagittar Hall of Fame

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    borg of course , incredible record and incredible stamina , followed by villas
     
    #38
  39. BlackSheep

    BlackSheep Rookie

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    Borg = past
    Nadal = present
     
    #39
  40. Sagittar

    Sagittar Hall of Fame

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    no past = no present !!!
     
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  41. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    3 is my estimate. Lendl played a good final. I've watched it, but Wilander won in '82 and I think Borg played a better grind game than Wilander. Wilander beat Lendl in 4 sets in '84. Again, I like Borg's grind out game better. I stand by 3... but then again I love Bjorn Borg.
     
    #41
  42. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    I think Borg would have a good chance of winning 3 other FOs. Borg retired so young, and even with his phsically intensive game he could have carried on for another 5 years. Winning 2 or 3 FOs in this time is perfectly beliveable. Remeber Borg retried on a 28 match winning streak at the FO. Borg had won the previous 4 FOs, and the challanges that Mcenroe presented on grass and hard courts would never have limmited him on clay. Willander would have not been too much to worry about. Borg was the better grinder. Taking Borg to 5 sets was not the same as beating Borg, particularly at the FO. Borg has an amazing 5 set record, and holds the record for most consecutive 5 set matches won. Borg had a 26 won, 4 lost record in 5 sets!

    Here is your first Borg rally anyway. Its Borg serving against Lendl in the FO final, match point Borg.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6Cl3fQgPwU
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
    #42
  43. Zimbo

    Zimbo Semi-Pro

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    You and noeledmonds may be right. I just don't buy the fact that if Borg played longer his winning 3 FO's would be a guarantee. Lendl got better and stronger since his '81 lost to Borg. Borg may be a better grinder the Wilander, but Mats at that time would have had youth on his side. Lendl himself said that Wilander was the best clay courter he ever played against. No mater how dominate Lendl was back then, he couldn't dominate Wilander on clay and vice versa. When they played each other on clay you never knew who was going to win. Now but Borg into the equation, though he was the king of clay, I don't see him winning all the time against either Lendl or Wilander.
    The statement that Borg would have won 3 more FO's if he continued playing is like me saying Wilander would have won a 2-3 more slams if he didn't burn out.
     
    #43
  44. BlackSheep

    BlackSheep Rookie

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    What? Its hard to decide between the two...give a guy a break...lol.
     
    #44
  45. Volkl_4_life

    Volkl_4_life New User

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    Borg all the way, best clay courter, he was just dominant on the surface
     
    #45
  46. stormholloway

    stormholloway Legend

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    And you're probably right about Wilander. Sure, Lendl got better and stronger since '81. Borg even said "watch out for Lendl" back when Lendl wasn't much. But the point is, McEnroe almost beat Lendl at Rolan Garros. Frankly, he should have beaten him. If McEnroe can beat Lendl on clay, then Lendl wasn't invincible on the surface by any means.

    Lendl may have said that about Wilander, but they also developed a longer running rivalry than he and Borg did. Keep in mind that on clay, Lendl had a better record over Wilander. Lendl did not ever beat Borg on clay.

    Borg was only 25-26 when he retired, depending on which year you call retirement. He had plenty of French Opens left to play. I'm standing by AT LEAST 3 more titles.
     
    #46
  47. Nalbandian great

    Nalbandian great New User

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    Borg, yeah Borg!!!!
     
    #47
  48. Nalbandian great

    Nalbandian great New User

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    This thread should be move to Former Players, only active is Rafa!!
     
    #48
  49. Tomaz Bellucci

    Tomaz Bellucci Rookie

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    Agree, call the admin
     
    #49
  50. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    Borg & Rafa, but before Open Era, Rosewall.
     
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