In reality Is Nadal the greatest 21 year old ever?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Attila the tennis Bum, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. Attila the tennis Bum

    Attila the tennis Bum Banned

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    Sure Borg may have won more....but Borg did not have to contend with the like of Roger Federer or the man with the fastest serve on earth Andy Roddick or the legend Agassi and Sampras killers Hewitt and Safin.
     
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  2. psamp14

    psamp14 Hall of Fame

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    nadal is arguably the greatest 21 year old tennis player ever...i would argue on his side for sure...

    borg did compete with many other top tier players, but i dont think he faced a player in his finals of the caliber of roger federer....

    to beat federer, twice in 2 consecutive finals...unbelievable..

    fastest serve andy roddick and sampras killers hewitt/safin are irrelevant
     
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  3. Attila the tennis Bum

    Attila the tennis Bum Banned

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    well...they did beat Pete. and you forgot about Agassi.
     
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  4. psamp14

    psamp14 Hall of Fame

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    hewitt's 5-4 record over sampras and safin's similar record make them "sampras killers"?

    sure they beat sampras at the us open back to back years in the finals...but this is a 30 year old sampras versus 20 year olds

    nadal played agassi only twice...and the time they played at wimbledon....agassi was basically in the retiring mode...

    even if you take my arguments into consideration, nadal is still arguably the greatest 21 year old in tennis history based on competition with federer
     
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  5. CyBorg

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    Nadal, Becker, Borg were all multiple major champions at 21.

    Borg won his second Wimbledon at 21, but probably didn't reach the next stage of greatness until the fall of '77 where he had an amazing indoor season, winning pretty much every title in sight (it was an unusually buzy fall for him and he typically skipped much of the indoor season in later years). He did lose in the masters cup to Connors to close out the year and skipped the Aussie.
     
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  6. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Hell no. Borg and Wilander had way tougher competition and still achieved more by around the time they turned 21 then Nadal has. As all 3 were born in the summer June-August period you can compare closely to around the point they turn 21 too. Nadal's bigger titles are all on clay, nowhere else. So you only evaluate his competition on clay alone. On clay he faces Federer, but on Federer's worst surface; and nobody else that good on clay.

    Borg faced much tougher clay competition then Nadal does with Vilas, Panatta, and Nastase, all better then Federer on clay, and much tougher then anyone today outside Federer on clay. On grass where Borg had also won 2 Wimbledons by that age Borg faced Connors, Nastase, Gerulatis, and Tanner; again much tougher competition then Nadal has on clay.

    Wilander won his 4th slam title, 1 more then Nadal the summer of 85, just before he turned 21. Like Borg his slams were at 2 different events, on 2 different surfaces, 2 Aussies on grass and 2 French Opens on clay, unlike Nadal. Wilander also faced much tougher competition on those surfaces then Nadal does on the only surface you evaulate the competition of his bigger wins-clay. On clay Mats faced Lendl, for a bit Vilas, and Noah. The first year Mats won the Australian he beat both Lendl and McEnroe.
     
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  7. CyBorg

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    I think it's closer than you think. Nadal does have some very good hardcourt results and is a Wimbledon finalist. Even his clay accomplishments alone is gobsmacking - the MC/Rome/RG combo three years in a row.

    I admit that you have a point about his competition on clay. It stinks.
     
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  8. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    The slams are what matter though and Nadal has never been even past the quarters of a hard court slam, he doesnt even have semi or final losses to show for at this point. His Wimbledon final is his only other final or semi in a slam outside the French at the time of his 21st birthday.
     
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  9. CyBorg

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    I don't think Slams are the only thing that matters. Definitely not when looking at a 21-year old. Besides we don't know what he'll do in the upcoming two slams this year. As far as we're concerned his slam results last year were applicable to his 20th year of age, not 21st.

    Let's wait until September. I admit that I find the US Open hardcourt ill-suited for Rafa's style.
     
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  10. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Well I am comparing him to Borg and Wilander at the point they each turned 21, since Nadal just turned 21. I did not even look at what Borg and Wilander did in the year betweeen turning 21 and 22 either to be fair. I agree depending what happens before he turns 22, you could re-evaulate a comparision between Borg and Wilander. However that is in the future, as of now that is what Nadal has done, and that is exactly how it compares to guys like Borg and Wilander. What will happen in the next year while he is still 21 hasnt happened yet, whatever that is.

    Slams are what matters the most by far. Especialy today when it is extremely clear the 4 slams are the most important events. That was not as much the case in the days of Borg and Wilander, and they still manage to clearly surpass Nadal in slam results by this age. There was not a circuit of 9Masters events a year then like today so I am not sure how you compare events like that.
     
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  11. Attila the tennis Bum

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    Greater competiton than Federer? Who?

    Borgs greatest competiton was Mcenroe (Lendl was still a rookie).

    Wilander lost to Noah at the French. I don't think you can compare Noah to Federer?
     
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  12. CyBorg

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    There was a good thread somewhere, may have been on the former pros board, that compared old events to the masters tourneys of today. Some that would qualify from 30 years ago for example are Boston, Wembley, Dallas, Philadelphia and the usual Monte Carlo/Rome/Canada. It's all very interesting.
     
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  13. ACE of Hearts

    ACE of Hearts G.O.A.T.

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    If Nadal is playing and getting results at 25 or 26, then u might have a point.He needs to win something other then the FO.I wanna see him try and get 6 FO titles.I dont know if Nadal will be effective when he turns 25 or 26.
     
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  14. Attila the tennis Bum

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    but this thread is about being the greatest 21 year old ever and not the greatest 25 or 26 year old ever.
     
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  15. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Nadals biggest titles are on clay only. So you only evaulate Federer on clay, and the rest of Nadals competition on clay.

    Like I said Borg faced Panatta, Vilas, and Nastase on clay where he won 2 of his 4 slam titles at that point. All 3 of those are better then Federer on clay, and much better then whoever you consider the other top clay courters of today are(it is hard to even decide who they are which says something). Borg faced Connors and Nastase on grass, both better on grass then Federer on clay; as well as Tanner and Gerulatis on grass, both better then whoever you consider the 3rd-5th best clay courters today.

    Wilander faced Lendl, Noah, and an older Vilas. Lendl is superior to Federer on clay, without any doubt. The other 2 are better then whoever you consider the 3rd-4th best clay courter today. On grass Wilander beat Lendl and McEnroe back to back to win the Australian, tougher back to back wins then any Nadal had to win the French. McEnroe on grass is better then Federer on clay, and Lendl on grass is better then anyone after Federer on clay today.

    It is really pretty simple. You cant evaluate Federer in general as a player as Nadal competition, since Nadal has won all his biggest titles on clay only, and thus only Federer as a clay court player, and the rest of todays field on clay can be evaluated as Nadals competition.

    You also really did not look into these past players too closely if you say Borg had McEnroe as his biggest competition of his career at the time he was 21. Connors had always been a much bigger rival and competitor to Borg at the time he turned 21, then McEnroe had been to that point. Vilas clearly was over McEnroe up to that point in time too, and in fact the year Borg was 21 many felt Vilas who won 2 slams that year was the worthy World 1 even. In fact McEnroe would not displace Connors as Borg biggest rival, and one of the top 2 guys in the World along with Borg, until around when Borg turned 23. The fact you honestly think the very young McEnroe was or had been Borgs biggest competition when he turned 21, shows you really dont understand that period of tennis at all.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2007
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  16. lambielspins

    lambielspins Banned

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    Ok that would be helpful in fact. As it is I find it hard to look too much into Masters results today vs those past players, as the competitive circuit was so different then vs today as to what were considered the events of that level of importance vs today.
     
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  17. Ultra2HolyGrail

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    It's hard to say he's the greatest 21yr old if he dont win anything but the french. Greatest most brutal game for the red clay, he probably is.
     
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  18. CyBorg

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  19. lambielspins

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  20. Attila the tennis Bum

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    are you joking? Lendl lost to Chang and Chang was only playing on one leg!!

    In fact Lendl almost lost to Mcenroe on clay!

    Federer is a far better clay court player than Lendl ever could dream of.
     
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  21. federerfanatic

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    Did you even watch tennis before 2 years ago. McEnroe in 1984 was unbelievable on any surface. There was no shame in losing to him even on clay had it happened. Anyway that was the match that turned Lendl's mental approach around, and he became one of the toughest competitors in those big finals, rather then a bit of a choker like he was known before, and showed a bit in how he played the first half of that match too before McEnroe started to choke.

    Lendl was absolutely incredible on both hard courts and clay, and not bad on grass either. He sure as heck was better then Federer on clay, and I am a Federer fan.

    So you downplay Lendl's ability on clay due to Chang's hugely unlikely and miracelous win? Well should Becker's greatness on grass be downplayed due to his huge upset loss to Peter Doohan at Wimbledon during the peak of his dominance there. Should Pete Sampras's greatness at the U.S Open be downplayed because of his major upset loss to Jaime Yzaga in the 4th round of the 94 U.S Open, in the midst of a period of 3 other U.S Open titles from 93-96. If Kuerten had not saved that match point vs Michael Russel at the 2001 French Open during her absolute peak on clay, would you have judged his quality as a clay courter based on that result?
     
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  22. Attila the tennis Bum

    Attila the tennis Bum Banned

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    I'm sorry dude. Roger Feder would have destroyed Lendl on any surface.

    In fact not only did Chang beat Lendl on only one leg and with an underhanded serve, but Borg beat Lendl using a wooden racquet while Lendl was using a graphite one!

    Finally , Mcenroe was a great champion.....but not on clay. The fact that Lendl almost lost to Mcenroe on clay is a huge indication that Federer was far superior to Lendl on that surface.

    In fact, Nadal may be the greatest clay courter ever and just take a look how hard it is for Nadal to beat Federer!
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
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  23. Moose Malloy

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    Lendl beat both Bruguera & Muster in straight sets on clay when he was 32, & plagued by back problems. Think about that for a second.

    And Lendl is the only player in the open era to win Monte Carlo, Hamburg, Rome, Roland Garros at least twice.

    Its pretty obvious that Lendl was at least one of the 3 best claycourters of the open era.
     
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  24. tHotGates

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    Lendl beat both Bruguera & Muster in straight sets on clay when he was 32, & plagued by back problems. Think about that for a second.

    And Lendl is the only player in the open era to win Monte Carlo, Hamburg, Rome, Roland Garros at least twice.

    Its pretty obvious that Lendl was at least one of the 3 best claycourters of the open era.


    Totally agree ... Lendl was one of the all time greats.
     
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  25. Attila the tennis Bum

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    No one is saying thqt Lendl was not a great player. he was one of the greatest of all time!!! Anyone who says otherwise is a moron.

    But thats not the issue. The issue is how does Lendl compare to Federer.

    The truth is that Lendl had a pretty one dimensional game and I really believe Federer would have destroyed Lendl on any surface.

    Nadal is better than any clay courter that Lendl ever faced except maybe for Borg or Wilander who both beat lendl at the FO.

    If not for Nadal I truly believe that federer would have three FO's already. Feds problem is that he is facing one of the greatest clay courters of all time.

    At 21 nadal has the world record for most clay court wins in a row. At 21 he has broken Mcenroes record of the most wins on any surface. At 21 nadal has never lost a best of five match on clay. At 21 Nadal has won every french open he has ever entered.

    Bottom line...Fed would have destroyed Lendl on clay. And Nadal may be the greatest 21 year old in the history of tennis because no other player has ever had to deal with the likes of Roger Federer.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
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  26. Moose Malloy

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    so who's the best claycourter Nadal has faced? or Federer for that matter? Tommy Robredo? Davydenko? Face it, as great as those 2 are, the claycourt field today is not at an alltime high. Kuerten & Ferrero got injured, neither player got to face either of them in their prime.
    As you said Lendl played Borg & Wilander(and beat Wilander twice at the French) He also beat Vilas & Gomez many times on clay, they were pretty good on clay as well.
    And I mentioned he beat Bruguera & Muster on clay well past his prime, which I think shows how good he was in his prime. Nadal doesn't play that differently from Muster or Bruguera. Lendl would not be destroyed by anyone on clay, that's a pretty absurd thing to say, he had no business beating Muster & Bruguera at that stage of his career, & yet he did. I think Bruguera almost double bageled Federer on clay early in his career.

    I see threads debating Nadal vs Muster & Nadal vs Bruguera, it seems like most think those 2 would at least be competitive with Nadal, so when you see how Lendl fared vs those 2, its not that far-fetched for him to be competitive with Federer on clay. He's certainly fitter & stronger than Fed. Probably fitter than Nadal as well.
     
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  27. Attila the tennis Bum

    Attila the tennis Bum Banned

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    What people are ignoring is that Nadal has also faced the greatest grass courter the world has ever seen in Roger Federer . Don't forget that Roger holds the world record for straight grass court wins. Whats so shocking is that Nadal actually almost took two sets off him,

    Do you really think that its an accident that Nadal is the first player in like the last 35 years to win the French and then get to the finals of Wimbledon!

    All these records by 21 and to have to face Federer on grass!!!! I think that Nadal is in reality the greatest 21 year old the world has ever seen.
     
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  28. Attila the tennis Bum

    Attila the tennis Bum Banned

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    Roger Federer....need I say anymore?
     
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  29. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    People have already told you they dont consider Federer as good a clay courter as the guys like Borg, Vilas, Lendl, Panatta, Nastase, and Wilander; thus dont consider Nadal to have the tougher competition where all his big wins have come, on clay. People have already told you the next best clay courter after Federer isnt even in the same league as those players.
     
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  30. VamosRafa

    VamosRafa Hall of Fame

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    I like Steve Tignor's wrap-up on tennis.com:

     
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  31. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    In Noah's defense, I must mention that he actually won the French Open. No matter how great Federer is, the same can't be said about him.
     
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  32. Attila the tennis Bum

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    Federer would have crushed anyone of those guys.

    In fact Mcenroe was asked at this French open who he thought was in better shape....Nadal or Borg. Mcenroe said that although Borg was in great shape...Nadal was far stronger and hit the ball far more violently. To make matters worse.....Nadal is a lefty.
     
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  33. Attila the tennis Bum

    Attila the tennis Bum Banned

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    I don't believe that you should mention Noah and Roger Federer in the same sentence.
     
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  34. federerfanatic

    federerfanatic Banned

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    That is your opinion. Arent you getting that dont seem to agree with you, and dont feel Federer is better then those guys on clay like you do.

    A great player playing in the 21st century should be hitting the ball far more violently then a great player playing with wood raquets in the 70s.
     
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  35. Attila the tennis Bum

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    Its not really fair to compare eras. I agree with that.

    However, Nadal has more topsin than Borg, is stronger than Borg, and is a lefty.

    If there were no Nadal then Federer would have three FO's and you all would be a singing a very different tune. We place too much weight on results rather than weighing the competition.

    Nadal at 21 has broken and tied so many records that you have to acknowledge what you are witnessing here. Guys like Lendl , Wilander and Kuerten won three FO's in their entire careers. Nadal has already done that at the ripe old age of 21 (barely 21).

    I do not think the world has ever seen a clay courter like Nadal before. In any other era Federer would be the greatest of all time. Federer would have beaten Lendl, Wilander, and even Borg on clay.
     
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  36. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Sure. He would have destroyed the old Lendl with a back problem. Aside from that he couldn't destroy Michael Chang on clay.
     
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  37. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Federer doesn't have a consistent forehand on clay.

    Federer doesn't have a consistent backhand on clay.

    Federer doesn't have a decent first serve on clay.

    Federer plays a finesse game not suited to clay.

    In a deeper era Federer is hard pressed to make the semi final at the French Open. Nadal excluded, today's tennis doesn't have a single top-notch clay court player.
     
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  38. Brettolius

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    How do you figure that? A good majority of the players today are clay court players, they play clay court tennis on grass and hardcourt as well. There are more quality baseliners which leads to a bit of parity. There is really no argument that the field is deeper than ever before.
     
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  39. Rhino

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    Rubbish.....
     
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  40. CyBorg

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    I am not speaking about depth. Tennis has plenty of solid clay courters such as Robredo and Ferrer, but they do nothing to hinder the excellence of someone like Nadal. They are not good enough to upset an elite player.

    Unlike - turn the clock back seven years and you have clay courters like Costa, Corretja, Ferrero, Kuerten, Norman all capable of beating anyone at anytime at a given moment. When Kuerten was the king of clay he wasn't untouchable because he had competition.

    Now, it's not unnatural for this kind of dive in clay court excellence. This has happened before and we'll see another wave of talented players join the fray. But seeing Federer make two FO finals while playing a notch better than mid-90s Sampras (one could argue that 96 Sampras played better than Federer did at the French this year) on the surface tells you all you need to know about the state of today's clay tennis.
     
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  41. CyBorg

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  42. ksbh

    ksbh Banned

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    Spot on Cyborg! Not only is the competition **** poor on clay but just about on all surfaces. As someone else said, clay court tennis being played on grass!

    Roddick is no 3 in the rankings! Need we say more about the state of competition?!

     
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  43. helloworld

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    OMG. Just because 2 men are dominating the sport doesn't mean that the field is weak ok ?
     
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  44. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    The greatest 21 year old ever????
    He** no![​IMG]
    I am!:D
    When I become 21.
     
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  45. CyBorg

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    This is a valid point, which is why we need to look at surfaces and players specifically.

    I think that the state of the game is fine in general. Hardcourt tennis in general is flourishing - the field is deep, there are great players all around. Roddick really sucks sometimes, but one has to admit that he was great last fall at the US Open. Hardcourt tennis is legit. Grass court tennis is fine - could be better, but fine.

    But the clay court tennis is garbage. Just look at the guys that made the semis. It's clear as day.

    Nadal - the only legit clay courter of the bunch.
    Federer - finesse hard court/grass court player .. best player in the game; barely beat a flat hitting Davydenko .. served at 50 percent and sometimes less
    Davydenko - again, hits hard and flat .. a bit of an Agassi redux here .. guys like this do not make FO semis in deep eras; they get their asses handed to them
    Djokovic - very similar to Federer; a guy we will see succeed on hard and grass courts; not clay

    I'm reminded of 1989 here. Lendl on the downswing. Wilander having injury and motivation problems. Muster/Courier not yet emerged. What we get is a final between a grass courter in Edberg and a 17-year old Michael Chang.

    Look into your bowl of Cheerios, people. It's clear as day. Today's clay court tennis is a one-sided affair, and that's not solely due to Nadal's greatness.
     
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  46. federerfanatic

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    Ok while I dont think Federer is the greatest clay courter now you are going too far. Federer is definitely better then Sampras on clay, hands down, slam dunk, no questions about it. As for Sampras's wins at the 96 French Open, Courier was clearly on the way down already, and Bruguera was coming off an injury layoff and barely in the top 100 at the time. If you think Federer would not have been able to beat those two at that particular point in time at the French Open, and probably quite a bit easier then Pete did, you are crazy.

    Oh yeah no way does Fed get waxed by Kafelnikov in a French Open semi either, tired or not.
     
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  47. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    I think this incorrect statement puts all your other opinions in perspective. Nothing wrong with being uninformed, but to think that you are uninformed & arguing with people that are is a little absurd.

    Just look at the draws at the FO 10-15 years ago & look at it this year. Who are some of the guys that Nadal/Fed are playing in the early rounds, not just the later rounds? Storace? Montanes? Who are they? Here were some of the unseeded players not too long ago: Arazi, Mancini, Muster, Medvedev, Mantilla, Norman, Larsson, El Aynaoui, Blanco, DeWulf, Portas, Meligeni, Clavet, Gumy, Squillari, Alami, Berasategui, Costa? Look up their claycourt resumes and compare to some of the dangerous floaters this year. Its really no contest.

    He was in the semis in '95 & the final in '97. Clearly he was a lot better than his ranking at the '96 French.

    Probably not, but its really hard to predict how someone will react physically to playing 3 five setters in one tournament, especially at the French. not many have experienced that. has Fed ever played more than one 5 setter at a major? he rarely even plays a match longer than 3 hours, not sure he'd be fresh as a daisy if he ever was pushed that much.
     
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  48. federerfanatic

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    Sure he was probably somewhat better then his ranking but he was not in good form at the time in the least. His record on clay coming into the French Open for 1996 was a mere 6-5, or 4-4 if you exclude the World Team Cup. He also only missed January mostly, as his injury happened at the end of 1995. So it is not like his ranking so low was stricly due to missing so much time. You know as well as I do that Bruguera was playing alot better in both 1995 and 1997 then he was in 1996. Not only would Federer have probably beaten Bruguera that particular year, I hugely doubt he would have lost even a set.

    Federer would not have been as tired as Sampras for the semifinal with Kafelnikov that year since he would not have have played 3 5-setters. How he would have responded physically is irrelevant since those players that year would not have pushed him that much. Are you honestly thinking Federer would have had nearly as tough a time with any of the 3 guys who took Sampras 5 sets they way they were playing at the time, and with how consistent very good Federer has been on clay, even if in todays weaker clay court field? A badly slumping Bruguera, a clearly past his prime Courier, and Todd Martin, would have done well to even take 1 set off Federer between all of them, maybe 2 between all of them at most. I saw all of those matches, and I definitely feel that way. If I could bet my car for just a free weekend vacation to a hotel all expenses payed trip, on a time machine going back and Federer winning the 96 French Open with the exact same draw Sampras had, I would do it in a heartbeat.

    I agree that Federer would not as regularly have been a finalist in past eras on clay, as he is today; but he also would have a better shot to win a French Open or even more at some point, since there were years he would have had not a single person to beat nearly as good as Nadal, or the eventual champion was not nearly as good as Nadal, like Kafelnikov in 96, and Moya in 98.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007
    #48
  49. Attila the tennis Bum

    Attila the tennis Bum Banned

    Joined:
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    "The U.S. broadcasters spent a lot of time talking about how unlucky Federer is to have Nadal around, and what an accomplishment it would be for him to beat him. But look at it from Nadal's side for a second. He's just had to beat the best player in the world, the guy who will likely be considered the best ever, three straight years at a major, two of those times in finals. Forget the fact that it's on clay; Federer is better than everyone else on dirt anyway, so Nadal's wins can't be diminished by pointing to the surface. It's not as big a deal as winning a calendar-year Slam, but Nadal's trifecta over Federer makes his current run at the French Open an accomplishment worth celebrating and remembering—shaking your head at, even—in its own right.".. Steve Tignor
     
    #49
  50. flying24

    flying24 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,924
    Once I read that part, I stopped reading.
     
    #50

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