How would prime Rios do in today's game?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Kobble, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Just interested where people think he would be ranked.
     
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  2. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

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    Rios was only a legitimate force when it came to Masters titles and didn't show an impressive display at the slams, with the exception of the lone AO final. But considering the depth of today's field in relation to that of the 97-98 field, then he'd never come close to that #1 ranking. He'd probably be a solid top 30 player with QF and maybe a SF or two a masters but probably abysmal results at slams. Not to mention he was a tool so he'd probably beat out Murray for most hated player on these forums
     
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  3. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    It depends on the day whether Rios can "feel the ball" or whether he just goes through the motions, and whether he's injury free. If he's in the mood, he can beat anyone. His masters series record was very impressive for a while, champion at 1997 Monte Carlo, 1998 Indian Wells, 1998 Miami, 1998 Rome and 1999 Hamburg, as well as finishing runner-up at 1997 Rome and 1999 Monte Carlo. He also won the 1998 Grand Slam Cup with a thrilling 5 set win over Agassi. Rios was something of a nightmare for Agassi whenever they played, and he really toyed with him. But in matches at the slams, he seldom played his best tennis and only once got past the quarter finals of a slam. Rios was a real enigma.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
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  4. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    I believe Rios would crack the top 4. Maybe not stay there, however. You can't really prepare for his brand of tennis. He was a feel player who seemingly played without a plan.
     
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  5. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yep. His coach, Larry Stefanki, once said that Rios was the only player in the top 10 not to win a match on guts and fight. Rios either "felt it" on the day or he would flop, or worse, tank.
     
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  6. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    Rios when he played some best did produce some great tennis, but he also didnt ever take down anyone that great that I recall. Beating Agassi in 1998 wasnt an amazing feat. Agassi's slam record that year was 7-4 I believe, and he in slams he went out to Berasetegui on hard courts, 18 year old Safin at the French, 20 year old Haas at Wimbledon, and Kucera at the U.S Open, anywhere from 1st round to the round of 16 matches. How he ended that year at #6 is just further proof of a badly flawed ranking system, but he wasnt back to being all that formidable yet by any stretch. I dont recall him ever beating Sampras, prime Kuerten on clay, or anything like that.
     
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  7. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Agassi had won 18 of his last 19 matches going into that 1998 Miami final against Rios, yet Rios beat him 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

    He was doing the same to Agassi in 2002 Miami, a much more "prime" Agassi, until Rios faltered a bit and retired with an injury at 1 set all. As far as his slam record goes, it's pretty average on the whole and shows very little of what he was capable of in the masters series events in the late 1990s.

    The world rankings of Rios and Agassi during their matches were:

    1998 Miami final: Rios was number 3, Agassi was number 31
    1998 Grand Slam Cup final: Rios was number 3, Agassi was number 8
    2002 Miami semi final: Rios was number 33, Agassi was number 10.

    So Agassi was actually ranked higher at the time of their 1998 Grand Slam Cup final than he was for their 2002 Miami semi final.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
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  8. anointedone

    anointedone Banned

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    That is true, I remember that match. Rios outplayed Agassi and should have won, but even without his injury I am not sure if he would have. He had chances to win the 2nd set and didnt and I think he knew he blew his chance, and he just wasnt mentally tough enough to fight back so with a small injury he just quit.
     
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  9. swedechris

    swedechris Banned

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    IMO Rios was very very capable. He took the ball way earlier than what was the norm then and used the spins and the angles of the court superbly. IMO his style would have troubled many of the top 20 guys today.
     
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  10. decades

    decades Guest

    If by some odd chance he took a match seriously and didn't retire because of a nagging hang nail, he might win a tournament now and then.
     
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  11. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    He still managed to win 18 singles titles, including 5 masters series and a Grand Slam cup, as well as getting to number 1 in the world for 6 weeks. Every other world number 1 besides Rios has won a slam, although Lendl was still slamless when he first became number 1.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
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  12. AJK1

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    He was nowhere in his prime, and he'd be nowhere now!
     
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  13. Rob_C

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    Rios was 2-2 against Kuerten, 2-1 on clay, 0-1 on hard. All their matches were 98-99, so I'd say that was prime Kuerten.

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=R286&oId=K293

    He was 0-2 against Sampras, but their matches were 7 yrs apart, in '94 & '01. Both matches were close however.

    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Players/Head-To-Head.aspx?pId=R286&oId=S402

    IMO, Rios would be top 10. He'd be a Davydenko type player, with better feel, plus he's a lefty.

    Edit: Just checked Rios' GS record, he actually beat Korda twice in Slams, both times in straight sets, including 1st rd at the Aussie in '97, the year before he lost to him in the finals.

    Curious results from both players.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
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  14. egn

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    Rios could see the success of guys like Davydenko, Nalbandian etc. Nowhere near #1 but a legitimate top 10 player for 2-3 years and peaking around 3 possibly 2 depending on how hot he was. Nothing wrong with that either. Like Nalby a very talented player just never could get the job done.
     
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  15. egn

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    Disagree. Kuerten in 98 was quite awful..99 was probably approaching his prime but 98 was definitely not prime. Kuerten's 97 French Open may remain to be one of the biggest flukes that everyone has forgotten about because he amounted out to something. The field was disgustingly bad that year only two seeds in the QF and nobody in the top 15 yet alone top 10 in the semifinals..not to mention the 25 year old Belgian qualifer Flip Dewluf making it all the way to the semis..Guga was very deserving of it because of his monster run but he was nowhere near his prime..hell it was his first title his ranking would drop nearly 10 places next year and he wouldn't do significant damage again until 99. I'm pretty sure most of Rios wins come agianst 98 Guga who was nothing like 99 Guga let alone 00 or 01.

    100 percent agree on this though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
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  16. rudester

    rudester Professional

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    I like to watch old matches on youtube every once in awhile, and I have to say that Rios was one of the most gifted players ever, I would have really liked to see him stay away from injury and extend his career because he certainly was one of the most amazing talents out there.
    Had not seen him play much in his day, but after watching film, I was really impressed, he could shape the ball with the best.
     
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  17. Dino Lagaffe

    Dino Lagaffe Professional

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    He was indeed very capable, and I think most people acknowledge his talent. Talent alone may win you matches, but not tournaments. I can't see how he would do any better today, with today's competition, than he did when he played. Having said that, I'd love to see somebody with that kind of game today! He had the smoothest game when he was on.
     
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  18. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    He's too small....
     
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  19. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    Kuerten's prime was 1999-2001. 1998 was definitely not prime Kuerten inspite of his out of the blue French Open title in 1997. As you can see by that head to head you posted their only match on clay between 1999-2001 in 1999 had Rios quitting while losing.
     
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  20. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    I dont think he would have been that successful since he was always injured, and he mentally flaked out alot even when he was not injured. I agree game wise alone that was his potential in todays field, and then when you factor in that he was usually injured, and that he made Davydenko and Nalbandian look like Nadal like fighters by comparision, he wouldnt even come near that as a result.
     
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  21. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    sounds alot like murray, and explains alot....i loved his shotmaking skills however....
     
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  22. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    would love to see him play, does he ever play an veteran matches, or at slams.... or exo's?
     
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  23. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I agree with the people who say top 10. The title does say "prime Rios." Top 5 is possible. Top 3? Doubtful.
     
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  24. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    He would do very well. Amazing hands, changes of direction.
     
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  25. big bang

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    Rios would do just as well today as back then. he was one of the most talented players, a shame he wasnt very consistent:(
     
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  26. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    yes. he came to BlackRock Vale do Lobo Grand Champions the last 2 editions...
     
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  27. Riosfan

    Riosfan Banned

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    Rios was a special, amazing talent. Even Federer often acknowledges Rios as an idol, most recently in Melbourne he said how much he likes to watch Rios play and practiced with him a few times. When a guy like Federer frequently pays homage to the game of Rios you know it was super extraordinary. He was a fighter but in his own way. You do not get to #1 by not having a competitive fire and fighting spirit. But like his game, it was a unique fighting spirit he had, that wasn't always operating at full heat. He invented the jump shot backhand, often imitated by Chang, Safin, and others. This was a special talent, more aesthetic than Agassi Chang Safin or Courier. Winning slams was just not his thing, it wasn't mean to be. His game, his results his career was unique and sometimes inexplicable much like his unpredictable personality.

    I'm currently developing this article into a book about Rios...

    http://thebiofile.com/2010/01/marcelo-rios-the-mysterious-champion/

    Recently interviewed Bollettieri and he says Rios is a totally different guy now, friendly, polite, engaging, appreciative, He has three kids and a new, third wife. He plays senior events on occasion but lost badly last year to Nuno Marquez and Gilad Bloom. Lots of injuries. He changed his look too, cut the hair very short.
     
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  28. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    when was this? I live in Melbourne and never heard anything about this....?
     
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  29. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    rios was great to watch, i rate his shotmaking skills higher than Fed's IMO
     
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  30. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    would've loved to see fed vs rios and murray vs rios at their very best.

    Also rios vs del potro , how well would he handle/redirect delpo's pace
     
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  31. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    just fed vs rios would do me fine....pure art
     
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  32. Riosfan

    Riosfan Banned

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    Federer mentioned Rios in one of his Australian post match press conference transcripts. here is the quote:

    Roger Federer hasn't forgotten the inspiring effect Rios has had on his career as he answered this media question at the 2010 Australian Open:

    Question: As a fan, who is your idol apart from Roger Federer?

    Roger Federer: "No, I think idols for me were the ones sort of reaching for the stars I thought were untouchable, such as Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras. You know that. I liked also Marcelo Rios' game as well when I was coming along. I was lucky enough to play him a few times as well."
     
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  33. Markov

    Markov Semi-Pro

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    Rios would be ranked around 100 in the world.
     
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  34. LameTennisPlayer

    LameTennisPlayer Professional

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    yeh in a bad interviews competition.....but tennis id say top 20
     
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  35. reversef

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    He has played on the Senior Tour. I even think that John Mac was quite upset to lose against him because he thought it was unfair that such a young player could play there.
     
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  36. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    Valid points but there was a good point in his career when he was uninjuried and no doubt that he was a top slow surface player during that period in time. I agree his success would be lower..however top 5 and a few masters i still think seems possible.
     
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