Guillmero Vilas's Comments on the ATP . . . .

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by VamosRafa, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    This was translated from Spanish, from an Argentine newspaper, but it has a bit for everyone in there, no matter who you like. I got the info because Nadal is mentioned. But Vilas obviously has an Argentine slant, and he knows tennis:

     
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  2. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    He is mentioning the obvious inconsistency of Safin, Hewitt, Coria, Ferrero, Nalbandian, etc., and then saying that they will somehow be consistently fighting each other for titles in the future. What basis is there for this prediction of consistency from those who have demonstrated nothing but inconsistency? Strange.

    To compare this group of players with Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Lendl (whom he neglected to mention), is wrong because those old guys WERE CONSISTENT.

    I believe that the main reason for the inconsistency among many of today's players is due to the huge amount of money involved. These guys today win one Major, and they're set for life, if they so choose. Their livelihood is not at all dependent on their number of tournament wins, as it was in the past. Because of this, there is a lack of motivation in today's players. There aren't even the fierce and passionate personal rivalries that there were 20 and 30 years ago. These guys today get a crapload of money for winning one tournament, and they're busy foolishly spending that money over the next 12 months, so their tennis suffers - then they come back, win another tournament or two, then go off to spend that money foolishly again while their tennis declines again. That's why it's so up and down with a lot of the 'new crop'.
     
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  3. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Yes, the socialist (i.e. bitter poor person's) view of professional tennis...

    Let me ask you, Deuce...how do you KNOW so much about the spending habits of these guys? How do you know that they spend their money foolishly? Some probably do, while others probably have investment counselors advising them on investing their earnings wisely-but my question is, how the HELL would you know? You never, of course, considered that the reason that the "new crop" is not winning titles consistantly is because the crop as a whole has so much more depth than it did in the 70's, did you? Borg, Connors, Mac, etc. never had to worry about losing to the #35 player or the #60 player, or even the #12 player-after the first 10 or so, the rest were mediocre, and were cannon fodder for the meat eaters. Other posters have offered very good explanations in other threads of why the caliber of tennis today is so much higher than it was 30 years ago. This information is also available elsewhere. You've obviously been asleep, or else, just couldn't wait to launch another bitter, envious rant at people making good money.
     
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  4. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    the field is definitely deeper as phil sez and anyone in the top100 or so is dangerous as opposed to the older days when a big name might not have a contested match until the quarters or semis..kind of the way it was when the williamses would play a while ago. dont know about the caliber being better really. i think there are far more less gifted but better trained players with cookie cutter manufactured one dimensional games out there these days. i dont know that the caliber is better..they are fitter and stronger but i really do think there were more gifted athletes playing the game years ago than there are now at many levels of tennis. and if you consider caliber partially meaning variety, there was far more variety way back then amongst a much smaller talent pool. it's just a diff game now than then..back then it was a more natural athetic game where everyone was pretty much on the same playing field technologywise. things are just diff now and you really cant even compare the game of 30 years ago to the game of today..it's like maybe they should just make up a new name for it and then maybe people will rush out and embrace it because its something new :)
     
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  5. PusherMan

    PusherMan Rookie

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    Dangit, Phil, if you take the words outta my mouth one more time... :wink:
     
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  6. galahad

    galahad New User

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    vilas is a nut-case

    Let's admit it. Vilas is a patriotic guy who is pulling for his country-men. Nalbandian, ferrero....good players, not the greats like Mac and connors by a long shot. The depth of mens tennis will never again allow the same 4 or 5 guys to dominate like they did.

    You could argue FEderer will be in most semi's but beyond that, its just too deep.
    Vilas is not an analyst, he's a bad poet/guitar player.....why bother quoting him?
     
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  7. Type40

    Type40 Semi-Pro

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    I think he's just saying wouldn't it be great if that group were that consistent, rather than making a prediction. I don't see it happening either.
     
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  8. Tennis Guy

    Tennis Guy Semi-Pro

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    That's what I was going to say. He says if they play consistently, it will be good for tennis.
     
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  9. Deuce

    Deuce Banned

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    Well... Federer certainly shows obvious signs that he can remain #1 for quite a while. Sampras was #1 through most of the 90s - not that terribly long ago.... So, it certainly IS possible to win consistently today, despite the improved parity some of you claim. But to win consistently, one needs to be both good and dedicated to winning. Sampras was both. Federer has so far shown that he is both. Even Roddick has been right up near the top for 2 years or so, consistently. The players mentioned by Vilas (as well as a few others) are no doubt very good players, insofar as talent is concerned. But they are very inconsistent. Their careers thus far, for the most part, have been rife with many surprising losses as well as with pulling out of tournaments. Many of them seem to be 'injured' quite a lot. Their rankings go up and down like a roller coaster. Just when you think they've got it together, you don't hear anything from them for 3 or 4 months. I don't think it is at all a stretch to say that their inconsistency is the result of a lack of dedication and motivation. Further, it is no stretch to say that huge amounts of money quite often result in a lack of motivation. This is habitually seen not only in sports, but in several other elements of life.
     
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  10. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    No way, these guys ARE motivated. Ferrero is incredibly ambitious, he won't stand for being called a "clay courter." Nadal's not a top guy yet, but the fire in his belly is downright Chang like. Nalbandian's walk in the park as Kafelnikov once said, he's a baller.

    The only guy mentioned here who's possibly questionable is Coria. Coria's either running and gunning, or he's flaking out; but at the same time injuries are a real problem. I think Coria is this generation's Bruguera. "Sometimes motivated, sometimes not" and "always been half-as*ed." If motivated, they'll play elite caliber tennis, if not they'll kind of just go through the motions or tank. Basically, just boils down to how physically well they're feeling. If they felt good physically, they'd give it their all. A guy like Chang, didn't matter if he was physically feeling well; he give 110% no matter what. I can think of several instances of Bruguera and Coria matches I've watched, even VERY important ones, where they would start off trying, and then inexplicably feel a twinge or whatever, and then kind of just half-heartedly tank the rest of the match. Examples of this have occured in the year ending ATP Championships, the Lipton finals, the Australian Open quarterfinals, the World Team Cup, the U.S. Open, etc., etc. IF they were competing at full bore intensity, they were capable of taking anyone down...if not, anyone could take them down. Actually, come to think of it; I would add Rios to this list, except unlike Bruguera and Coria; I seriously questioned whether he TRULY loved the game or was just playing because he was good at it or for ego.

    Regardless, all three of these top five caliber (which to me represents the TRUE elite level of the game...merely being top 10 can be a fluke in my opinion...a la Berasategui) players were and ARE frequently injured. This may or may not have anything to do with motivation. After all, is Guga not motivated? Magnus Norman? It's hard to question the motivation of these guys, but injuries do happen. Heck, Magnus Norman's been battling injury for years now, and decided to retire, but now unretire because he loves the game too much...that should tell you something. I'm sure deep down, he knows that he'll never reach his old level again; but hey that's not going to stop him from trying.

    I think with Coria, noway is he not motivated or in love with the game. What he lacks, however, is mental fortitude when the chips aren't going his way. He's very much IT or he's NOT, an all or nothing kind of guy. Off the court, you have to be fit and motivated to be as fleet of feet as he is; so I don't question his motivation. What I question is his mental toughness, which is an entirely different thing. Chang is mentally tough...gives it all regardless of what's going between the lines.

    As far as injuries, you can't fault these guys (specifically Nalbandian, Coria, and Ferrero from that list) for getting injured a lot. I havn't heard any locker room chatter about these guys not being dedicated enough. With Rios you did. With Safin you do. With Philipoussis, you DID. These guys are entirely different examples, however.

    If you want to see an example of a young top player who shot himself in the foot, it's Andrei Medvedev. This guy had it all... penetrating, flat groundstrokes (see what he did to Agassi for two sets at the French), was a solid, solid volleyer, had a good serve, superb reach, and moved well. To me, he was a more physically powerful and imposing version of Kafelnikov. Now, a lot of people question Kafelnikov's dedication; but Medvedev is in a whole 'nother level of ineptitude.

    Medvedev outright didn't love the game or care that much. He enjoyed things outside of tennis too much, already had developed a flabby belly by mid career, and as he did he never scheduled his life around tennis, he scheduled tennis around his life. That's fine for him. He never lived up to his "potential" because of it, but he's his own person. What good is living up to YOUR potential, if it's "potential" OTHERS want to live through (i.e. the 'ol parent/fan syndrome)?

    In strictly objective terms, I would say Medvedev wasted his tennis physique and gifts. I don't believe he was brought down from the top due to injuries, I believe he was brought down due to lack of dedication. The same can be said for Philipoussis. The same cannot be said for Coria, Nalbandian, and Ferrero in my opinion.

    As another example of the previous generation, take Petr Korda. He was a budding young star, but injuries took him out of the fold for what should have been the prime of his career. Yet, his problem was not effort. Korda was a great and fiery competitor in my opinion. It's hard to question the heart of a guy who survived three heavyweight bouts in a row to win the Grand Slam Cup...Bruguera in the quarters, Sampras in the semis, Stich in the finals, each match going the distance for their respective formats, deep into the third and fifth set formats. Yet, when Korda dissapeared; people in my opinion, irresponsibly and unfairly assumed that it was because he just didn't care enough or wasn't dedicated enough. The truth, however, was that Korda was playing through injury and required surgery that whole time. It's no wonder he was only playing at about 60 to 65% capacity during that time. He, in fact, was living off of pain killers to even be able to play. That to me, does not spell indifference just because he was an instant millionaire by winning the Grand Slam Cup, the then considered OBSCENELY rich tournment.

    The thing is, the American media never took the time to really ask Korda what was REALLY going on.

    By the same token, we don't know what's really going on with the guys mentioned in this article. Sometimes guys like Safin enlighten us, fill us in by saying they don't live and breathe tennis. But the other guys, I give them the benefit of the doubt until I hear some knowlede from insiders otherwise.
     
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  11. !Tym

    !Tym Hall of Fame

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    The bottom-line is that every player is there own person, so it's hard to really stereotype them. It's best to try and evaluate each player on a case by case basis in my opinion.
     
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