In terms of actual skill, who is more talented between Federer and young Nalbandian?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Mike Sams, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Iron Man

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    I'm mad maybe but you're definitely silly
     
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  2. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    I can't think of anyone besides those two more talented in recent years.

    And he is up there. He lacked a lot of other things, dedication, fitness, consistency, a good serve, etc. But in terms of talent he was stunning. Nothing over-rated at all.

    If a guy can beat Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in the same tournament, he is something special definitely. And if 2 weeks later he defeats Nadal and Federer again, and he did all this only losing one set.....well, take your own conclusions.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjL7JASDfQA
     
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  3. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Agree, but I'd add Nalbandian too.
     
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  4. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Tough to say.. Nalbandian really showed how talented he was vs. Fed during some of those indoor finals at the end of the year in 2006 or 2007 where he beat Roger. Whatever year that was.


    Its just one guy had focus and a career direction.. The other guy's focus was on hitting the next Krispy Kreme factory in town
     
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  5. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    Sorry this is just untrue. Nalbandian lost virtually every time to Roddick, Hewitt and Safin when they were at their primes. Nalbandian was not always unfit either. Nalbandian was just lucky to match up well with Federer. It's true he was a phenomenal ball striker and probably had more pure tennis talent than most of the others, but even if he was dedicated he would never have come close to the career of Federer.
     
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  6. SStrikerR

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    Nalbandian has some of the greatest talent I've seen when it comes to ball striking. He is also a very good shot maker. However, federer is the better shot maker.

    From there, it depends on how you define talent. Does it include mental talent, ie, the ability to figure out how best to defeat your opponent and switch game plans before and mid match in order to win? In that case, Federer.
     
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  7. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Del Potro beat Federer and Nadal and would have also beaten Djokovic too had they played at the 2009 U.S Open, and Federer in the final is probably the only close match he would have had (Djokovic would have lost in straights or 4 at most to DP there IMO). Murray has beaten those 3 players all tons of times over, it isnt his fault he was ranked too high, too consistently where he only gets to beat 2 in a row, not 3. I doubt he could beat all 3 in a row in a slam, but then again you know Nalbandian wouldnt either, heck he hasnt beaten any of the 3 in a slam any year from 2004 onwards. Djokovic did crush Nalbandian, beat Roddick, beat Nadal, and beat Federer all in a row to win a tournament at 19, it isnt his fault he couldnt play himself too, LOL! So while such a feat shows Nalbandian has talent but I dont see how it shows he is more talented than those others.

    Even with a full commitment he wasnt ever going to be more than maybe a 2 slam winner IMO. We will never know for sure, but even when he burst on the scene nobody looked at him said wow this guy is going to win 6 slams. I agree he might be a bit more talented than guys like Roddick and Hewitt, but not so much more like some people seem to think. I think the phenomen of his success vs Federer, the majority of it early before Federer began dominance of the game, has greatly enhanced peoples views of him and his talent. Back in 2002 and 2003 if you had even suggested he was more talented than even Roddick and Hewitt, never mind all these other players who are more talented than Roddick and Hewitt, you would have been laughed off the block. Nobody back then thought he was some super talent to be honest. In 2002 when he made the Wimbledon final John McEnroe compared him to Chris Lewis. He was actually thought of as a grinder who played well on clay back then. In hindsight his talent was very underrated then, just as it is probably overrated now.
     
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  8. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Davis Cup is the most important tournament for Nalbandian and if you see him play there it's scary to imagine what he could've accomplished. He completely demolished Hewitt in Australia in grass. Hewitt was in his prime and he distroyed him. Next year he did the same thing in Russia against Safin, he was already declining (Marat), but it was a walk in the park for Nalbandian. He defeated Davydenko very easily in that final (Kolya was TOP 5 back then, at his peak). Unfortunately for him he didn't have great partners (outside clay) and very often he would win his singles matches but Argentina would lose the doubles and the other two singles. And now that Delpo is around he is declining. But Nalbandian when he was fit and motivated could be scary good, like the MC in 2005 (6-2 6-2 against Ljubicic, bageling Davydenko, coming back from 2 sets against Roger) or the indoor season in 2007 (defeating Roger, Djoker and Nadal in the same tournament).

    But he had no dedication AT ALL, to be an elite player. He would often be found partying at 4 AM or skying in Argentina or racing with his team in Cordoba and doing all sort of stuff like Bungee Jumping, etc. Not to mention his nutrition was worse than Agassi's in his early days.

    He still managed to be N3 and won some important tournamentes defeating a lot of the top players.
     
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  9. 90's Clay

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    You would be surprised that what just what a little extra hunger, and focused combined with great TALENT can really do.. Nalbandian had more then enough talent to be an all time great. He just didn't have the other essentials which are just as important.


    You gotta have all your bases covered. Safin and Nalbandian are two of the most talented guys Ive seen play the game and should have accomplished a whole helluva lot. But the problem is both just had the talent.. They didn't have the other stuff. (Focus, Drive, determination, wanting to be the best).

    Both proved they could beat some of the best at their best. But they couldn't sustain because they didn't have the focus, drive or desire.

    IMO both guys were just as good as anyone who's played the game when they were at their best and focused (which was 1-2 percent of their career sadly)
     
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  10. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    This

    10This
     
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  11. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    Yes he beat Hewitt when he was about to get married or shortly after if I remember straight. As you said he also beat a declining Safin who had been wrecked by injuries.

    To say he cared most about the Davis Cup is probably true, but he cared an awful lot about slams too and that's why he choked in a few.

    He lost to Hewitt at the Wimbledon final and he lost to Hewitt at the Australian Open.
    He manged to beat Safin once at the French and lost every other time, before Marat's injury.
    He never beat Coria on clay and lost to Gaudio the one time they played.

    Nalbandian was a fantastic ball striker, who matched up well with Federer, but where are his slams going to come from if he was dedicated? No French Opens, No Wimbledons. He was the third best player indoors of his generation and perhaps the second best all round on every surface. However, he was never the best at a slam surface and so was never going to have the career some like to imagine even if there was no Federer.
     
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  12. Prisoner of Birth

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    Federer didn't hurt Nalbandian's career. Nalbandian just wasn't committed enough. I think he could've won 10 Grand Slams with Federer's commitment (and Federer's absence). He is talented enough to win anywhere, except on Clay considering the "Nadal" aspect.
     
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  13. 90's Clay

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    Safin and Nalbandian obviously were going to suffer many bad losses in their career because tennis came secondary (or less so) for the importance in their life. You aren't going to be great at the top level of a sport unless it consumes you and is the most important thing to you.. You just aren't. Everyone who achieved greatness at the highest level of their sport no matter how talented they were, eat sleep and breathed the game. Whatever it was.

    Just imagine how much Nalbandian and Safin would have accomplished if tennis was the most important thing in their lives.


    They should have took their fair share of slams away from other guys without a doubt..

    Heck they half arssed 90 percent of their career and took down some of the biggest names in the history of tennis
     
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  14. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    This

    He could've easily won a few USO and AO, specially before the surfaces were slowed down. And maybe in Wimbledon if there was no Federer.
     
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  15. roberttennis54

    roberttennis54 Semi-Pro

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    Yes Federer did hurt Nalbandian's career, though I doubt he would have won those slams anyway. Federer took him out at the 2004 Australian, 2005 US Open and then 2006 French Open. 2006 French Open is hard to call. However, you are right even if he had beaten Federer he was unlikely to win any of those slams.

    Again what slams was a dedicated Nalbandian going to win? The 2006 Australian Open was his golden chance, but he choked the semi final against Baghdatis.
    I repeat

    Roland Garro- Coria, Federer, Ferrero and Nadal were better.
    Rebound Ace-Federer, Safin and Roddick better
    US Open-Federer, Hewitt, Roddick and Safin better
    Wimbledon-Federer, Hewitt and Roddick better.

    Even indoors where he is at his best, Safin and Federer are better. Nalbandian's strength much like Federer was the ability to be great on every surface. Before the surface homogenisation, Nalbandian was the 2nd best all round player.

    It just amazes me a guy, who had a losing record to ALL, but Davydenko of his other great peers is thought by some to be able to dominate them had he been motivated.
     
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  16. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    In RG 2006 Nalbandian was leading easily a set and a break up and he got injured. 2004 AO was a very close match, could've gone either way. Specially if Nalbandian had won the first set where he had his chances. Considering Ferrero was in the SF and Safin could barely move in the final, it wouldn't be crazy to say he could've won there. And even in RG 2006, Nadal wasn't the beast he was later on and Nalbandian match-ups well with him. In USO 2005 Federer won very comfortable.

    And about this:

    "Roland Garro- Coria, Federer, Ferrero and Nadal were better.
    Rebound Ace-Federer, Safin and Roddick better
    US Open-Federer, Hewitt, Roddick and Safin better
    Wimbledon-Federer, Hewitt and Roddick better."

    He defeated Fed in both HC slams, so he can win against him there. Also on clay the matches Fed won were close and Nalby won some. He can beat Hewitt or Roddick everywhere. Against Safin and Fed he wouldn't be the favorite on HC but he can beat them, and he did. Don't see him beating Nadal on clay, or Fed on grass obviously.
     
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  17. Prisoner of Birth

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    A committed Nalbandian is a different beast altogether. He could've beaten Federer on any surface and would've been much better than Roddick and Hewitt in general. Anyway, my "10 Gland Slam" case is if Federer weren't around.
     
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  18. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Exactly. And yes, he wouldn't win 10 slams, but he would have won a few HC slams.

    But if Fed wasn't around a focused Nalbandian/Safin would win most of the slams bar Roland Garros where Nadal would still dominate. They would even do better than Roddick/Hewitt at Wimbledon I think.
     
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  19. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    We never saw a truly "committed" Nalbandian so who knows.. He could have won 10 slams if he was truly committed and taken a ton away from Rafa and Roger. He was that talented. He could beat Rafa and Federer on his day as he showed.

    Its not some nutty fancy speculation or other worldly to think Nalbandian couldn't have won a crap ton of slams if he was committed.

    Talent Wise, he just as good as anyone. From a pure ability standpoint. If guys like Berdych, Tsonga, Djoker and some others couldn't take Fed out a good share of times at slams or guys like Ferrer, DJoker, even Rasol or some others take Nadal out at slams..

    Why the hell couldn't a "committed" Nalbandian do so? From a pure ability, talent standpoint hes just as good as any of those guys if not moreso then most. I think in terms of raw ability hes superior to Djokovic. At least from a weapons standpoint. .. Hes certainly more talented then Berdych or Tsonga were as well.

    GO watch Nalbandian playing Fed in 2007 at the end of the year and tell me he doesn't have more raw ability and talent then some of those guys. ROFL

    Heck watch some of his earlier matches with Nadal and see how easily he just bullied Nadal around from the baseline when he was on his game.
     
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  20. Prisoner of Birth

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    Just for the record, I don't think Nalbandian is as talented as Federer. But he's pretty close. Safin was closer.
     
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  21. svijk

    svijk Semi-Pro

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    Always get a chuckle when these pointless Nalbandian threads come up...some people just find so much stupid consolation by simply mentioning him and Federer in the same sentence...lol
     
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  22. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Yup.

    Federer is the more talented player for sure. Better athlete, better anticipation, better footwork, more variety, etc. I think the thing that people forget with Nalbandian is that, despite his talent as a ballstriker, he misses out on the two strokes absolutely imperative for success in this era: serve and forehand. His serve is pretty average technically. And while his forehand is a good shot, it's not really a "kill" shot, and it's not as penetrating as Federers.

    PS, kudos for giving Stich a shout in an earlier post. He had a beautiful game.
     
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  23. BauerAlmeida

    BauerAlmeida Semi-Pro

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    Well, everybody knows his serve was very average. In fact it's one of the things everybody mentioned was holding him down.

    Marat was the most talented of the 3 IMO. No real weakness. Nalbandian had the serve, Fed ocassionally the backhand. Safin had everything. Huge serve, great forehand, GOAT backhand, he could volley well and despite his height he had good movement.
     
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  24. TheFifthSet

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    Yeah but many people don't seem to take that into account when evaluating "talent". There's a bundle of talent necessary to be a great server. When you compare Federer and Nalby that's definitely part of the "talent" equation. Nalbandian proponents often seem to leave that out, only focusing on his ball-striking.
     
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  25. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    He wasnt winning anything on grass either, regardless of Federer's existence. Tons of guys better than him there- Nadal, Roddick, Hewitt, Murray, Djokovic, heck even someone like Haas. What was his best ever Wimbledon performance, making that one final but beating guys like Malisse, Lapentti, and Arthurs in 5 sets to do it, then getting 5 games off Hewitt in the final. Obviously that was his grass peak as it was all downhill on the surface from there, apart from one great Davis Cup performance. So you have tons of faith in his ability to dominate on hard courts, that is all I can say.
     
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  26. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    :lol:

    No way, he often outguessed Federer.
     
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  27. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Why is serve not a part of talent? If you're gonna say it's height, well they're only two inches apart. And even so, Nalbandian is an average server of someone who is 5'11, yet Federer is an amazing server for somebody who is 6'1.


    Also, athleticism/movement is definitely correlated with talent. Tennis isn't a stationary sport. It doesn't matter how hard, or cleanly you can theoretically hit the ball if you can't get into position to hit it. How often do you see Federer handcuffed, drop-shotted, lobbed, or not in a position to hit the ball? Rarely, because he's an innately gifted mover and light on his feet, something that's hard to teach.
     
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  28. paulorenzo

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    ballstriking isn't the measure of talent, and hitting more clean shots shouldn't be the absolute measure of shotmaking. however, in AO 04, back when federer was so much more of a shotmaker than today, young nalbandian comfortably kept up with him in the shotmaking department, and perhaps then some.
     
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  29. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Eh, I feel the serve is one of the shots where great talent isn't always necessary (Roddick, Raonic) but where great talent cannot buy you a serve as it can buy you a good net game and anticipation. It#s a stroke that just needs to be rock solid for the most part.

    I think it was the WAY he did it. He utterly crushed some of the worlds best players. (hey, considering the fact that it was 2007, beating Gasquet was also an achievement) And unlike, say, Nadal in the USO, they weren't exactly ailing.
     
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  30. TheFifthSet

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    It's somewhat close, and I won't argue that Nalby doesn't have fantastic anticipation, but I think Federer has him beat here. Altho yes its not a landslide. The other ones are.

    I don't think he "often outgessed Federer". One thing Nalby does uncannily is generate otherwordly angles on the CC backhand -- it could make a lot of people look like fools at times.
     
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  31. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    1. I've seen many great talents have ****ty serves and some untalented players have great ones. It seems that more than natural gifts, you need a bulletproof technique along with the right physique.

    2. Athleticism is athleticism. If Federer being a better jock means he is a better talent for the game for you, go ahead. :lol: I always thought those kind of things are viewed seperately. Also, if you watched some more matches between him and Nalbandian you would see Federer getting drop shotted and wrongfooted a lot.
     
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  32. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Crushing Nadal indoors is not an astonishing feat. How many guys have done it, I have lost count now, LOL! His Paris win over Federer was amazing, probably his best ever performance, but the Madrid final was a 3 set win and while he still played very well he definitely benefited from ******** appearing after getting blown out in the 1st set. So really the Paris match with Federer was the only one I would say was spectacular, crushing Nadal indoors is just too easy for anyone in the top 15 to do most times.
     
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  33. TheFifthSet

    TheFifthSet Hall of Fame

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    Three of those matches were incredibly close. How is that "making him look silly"?
     
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  34. TheFifthSet

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    Of course physique is a factor. It's a factor in virtually everything. You don't see many 145 pounders with heavy forehands, or 5'7 guys serving 140. But Nalbandian wasn't a piece of bologne. He was 5'11 and pretty strong. He didn't have much pace, but he also wasn't a very crafty serve. His slice and kick serves weren't exactly weapons. Rod Laver wasn't the biggest guy but he had a great serve. There are plenty of examples of small guys who weren't big but could compensate for it. Tipsarevic has some pop on his serve. Benjamin Becker is 5'11 yet he was a big server.

    Also, bulletproof technique, huh?? Isn't that what makes any great stroke? The serve is the most important stroke in tennis along with the forehand. There's no way it doesn't take talent to be a great server. If Nalbandian didn't have great technique on his serve, it's a point against him in the talent department.


    Federers footwork is unparalled. Gael Monfils, James Blake etc are more "freakish" athletes yet their footwork isn't even close to being as good.

    But even disregarding that, if "talent" is something that you are born with, then how does movement/balance/coordination/footwork/ATHLETICISM not fall into that category? It seems as if your criteria for talent is made entirely to support your argument. I'd say footwork can be just as hard to teach as ballstriking.

    Federer does things with his God-given athleticism that help him win matches better than other people do (for example Blake), it's not just for show and it's not merely a superfluous advantage. Therefore how can it not be considered a part of talent?
     
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  35. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    The way he made Federer look in some points, it's almost like he was Roddick, in a sense that he didn't know what was going to happen next. How Federer typically beats his opponents, he did it to him.

    1. Eh, I'd say it's because of the repetition. It isn't something like point construction or anticipation that can hardly be trained (at least compared to the serve) Seems like the serve is more like a shot where you need to get the mechanics right.

    It's a little different with groundstrokes and volleys, since your talent can win your points there. I struggle to see how talent could buy you a great serve. Seems more about practice than gift to me. (and in case you say that no amount of hard work would give Nalby the serve of Federer, that is true, but in this case that is impossible. Guy is already a pro. Federer OTOH nailed his technique before it was too late. It's more of a technical problem.

    2. I dunno, does that mean that guys like Blake and Monfils are also talented? :lol: I always thought that being able to run fast and hit hard were more physical abilities and talent is innate SKILL.
     
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  36. TheFifthSet

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    Yeah, some points. If Federer was as befuddled as you make him out to be, it wouldn't be as close as it was.


    Well now this is just semantics. Surely you can concede that some talent is necessary to be a great server. Every shot requires mechanics that were tinkered, plus practice and repitition. No shot is perfect on the surface. I doubt Nalby and Feds mechanics are the same now as when they first picked up a racquet.




    NO! You don't get it. I'm saying Federer does things with his athleticism that are conducive to winning matches. His footwork, his grace afoot, those are the marks of a talented mover. He's not just fast or athletic. His movement is amazingly suited for tennis, unlike Blake or Monfils. Those guys are FAST. But they're NOT talented movers.

    Also, going by your serve logic, footwork would have to be the antithesis of the serve then right? Because it's not something you can really practice. I mean sure you can work on it (footwork drills, strengthening your legs), but I don't see how any amount of tinkering would make Nalbandian even in the same league as a mover.
     
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  37. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    I dunno, I think the main difference between Nalbandian and Federer's movement isn't footwork, it's speed. I mean Federer might be better, but that isn't the slam dunk. The speed is.

    I personally felt that Nalbandian typically outsmarted him more often than the reverse, in those matches. He certainly didn't overpower him. :lol:
     
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  38. TheFifthSet

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    Well okay, I think we've hit an impasse :lol: our views on this issue are pretty set I'd say and I don't think we'll convince each other that the other person is wrong, so I'll stop here. It was nice debating with you though. :)
     
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  39. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    Nalbandian vs. Ditka :confused:

    ...Ditka
     
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  40. svijk

    svijk Semi-Pro

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    wow so may responses already....these Nalby threads make me wanna puke....these threads over glorifying him are really sad !!
     
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  41. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Maybe Federer isn't the most freakish athlete in tennis, but his dedication to creating perfect footwork and a perfect serve over the last 10 years shows a superior mind at work.
     
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  42. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it.
     
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  43. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    his being better at tennis has also served him well.
     
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  44. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Too bad you can't shoot people over the internet. :)

    Listen, genius: he was analyzing HOW EXACTLY he is better at tennis.

    Please log off, and never post again.
     
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  45. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    i think federer's ability to actually win matches has blinded a lot of people to the fact that he's got a more outrageous highlight reel than any of the various tormented, 'mercurial geniuses' that have passed in and out of this sport over the years.
    this is an absurd debate. nalbandian is a dangerous player. federer is a towering freaking genius.
     
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  46. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    Federer just might have figured out this tennis thing.
     
    #96
  47. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    Blake and Gonzalez alsohave tons of highleight reels. Are they great talents as well?

    My God, would you stop sucking up to Federer for a second? :?
     
    #97
  48. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    Nalbandian was the one player who, shotmaking vs. shotmaking, could beat Federer even when he was playing well.

    Nadal owns Federer, but he does it by forcing Federer to play badly.

    With Djokovic, it's usually also a matter of Djokovic forcing ******** to appear.

    Same with Murray.

    So it's close in terms of pure talent. Federer's always been much better mentally, physically, and he has a better go-to play with the serve-forehand than Nalbandian.
     
    #98
  49. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    neither of them come close in the highlight reel department, i think you know that. and how is acknowledging the objective brilliance of his game 'sucking up'?

    what are you so mad about? you know, looking for meaning where there is none simply because you feel short-changed by the status quo, and assuming the contrarian mantle as a proxy for a coherent and defensible opinion doesn't make you an interesting person.
     
    #99
  50. dangalak

    dangalak Banned

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    :(

    Spectacularity isn't really all that much of an indicator of talent, basically.
     

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