Michael Joyce rates Rios talent above Agassi and Sampras

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Gonzalito17, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    "I played with Agassi and Sampras two or three times each. But I always tell people that Rios was the best tennis player that I ever played. If he had the same mental as Agassi, I mean...he was tougher than Agassi to play. The things he could do on a tennis court were amazing." --Michael Joyce (From Rios book "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew")

    Strong praises by Michael Joyce but you have to respect his point of view, having played each of the players numerous times. Rios was a wonder of a talented player, so unique and distinct, yet confusingly mysterious.
     
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  2. Devilito

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    styles make matches, and while Rios may have given Andre a bit of hell, Petros would have eaten his lunch 9/10 times on any surface but clay
     
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  3. Gonzalito17

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    Petros only actually played Rios twice, once when Rios was still a teen at Roland Garros and at the end of Rios career indoors. Both times Rios tested Peter and gave him trouble. Prime Rios could have conceivably toyed with Petros like he did Andy Agassi in Miami and Munich.
     
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  4. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    The huge key is the "if he had the same mental.." part of the quote.

    Mentality is such a huge part of tennis that it must be factored in.
     
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  5. Devilito

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    the only "toying" Rios was ever a part of was when Korda toyed with him like a pro toying with a 5.0
     
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  6. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Odd comment by Joyce, (mostly a journeyman)

    Problem with Rios was that he had too many "shot" choices.
     
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  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    There are big differences between "talent" and "ability," "ability" and "production," and "production" and "achievements."

    Rios may have been great at the front end, but . . . .
     
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  8. Tagg

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    maybe playing tennis came more naturally to him, more effortlessly

    however, rios did not have the commitment, mentality or desire to become a legend of the game

    maybe he didn't ever want that, but nonetheless, sampras and agassi were two of the most natural talents tennis has ever seen

    rios is one of those players who was made for highlight reels
     
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  9. Gonzalito17

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    Something was not right about that match. Just one year earlier at the 97 Australian Open, Rios played Korda in the first round and beat him 76 63 63. I think Rios was tight in the 98 final, he was not able to play his best tennis. Also, at the 98 Indian Wells tourney, Rios beat Korda 64 62.

    Looks like Rios toyed with Korda those two match Devilito )
     
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  10. Gonzalito17

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    Well said Tagg. I think also Rios liked to play on his terms, to play a style which he enjoyed to play, which was not necessarily smart strategic grinding tennis. He was more of an free wheeling artist on the court as opposed to a chess playing tactician.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Physical talent seldom coincides with mental talent, toughness, or determination.
    If he had it all, it wouldn't be fair.
     
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  12. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    that's kinda like saying Wozniacki is more talented than Graf and Serena (slamless vs multi-slam champions) :shock:
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'd say Woz is less talented physically, yes.
     
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  14. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    No, no it's not.

    It's pretty much the opposite. Wozniaki wins by determination, hard work, and consistency. Rios had none of those things (at least compared to other top pros). He had talent, however, that amazed the other pros.
     
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  15. Gonzalito17

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    Agree, Wozniacki has normal basic tennis talent nothing astoundingly extraordinary outside of her consistency and mental toughness. Rios on the other hand was the complete opposite, he was a wizardlike artist creating magic on the court which dazzled and amazed opponents, fans, media, everyone. Only a Rios could invent a jumping backhand two hander. Only Rios could fall on his ass against Agassi in Munich and smack an overhead winner while sitting on his arse.
     
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  16. Gonzalito17

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    True, LeeD. Do you think Federer falls into this category?
     
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  17. Razoredge

    Razoredge Banned

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    There's no female equivalent to Rios, maybe the closest would be Mandlikova but she won multiple slams.
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Goolagong, Sabatini, Venus.
     
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  19. Razoredge

    Razoredge Banned

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    Not so sure about Venus, regardless though they've all won slams, Rios hasn't.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Thought it was talent vs less talent, not slam wins vs no slam wins.
    Watch Venus play basketball and table tennis, you'll be amazed.
     
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  21. Gonzalito17

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    There actually is a remale equivalent to Rios. Her name is Ons Jabeur from Tunisia, I saw her play juniors at the US Open, she moves very smoothly, has a showwoman style, hit shots between legs, jumping backhands, she was a top 5 junior a couple of years ago but she has struggled to move up the ranks. Very flashy player to see. She is on facebook too.
    Ons Jabeur.
     
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  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Never heard of her. You really think she was that good?

    Do you guys really think Rios was THAT talented? I mean I know he was gifted but I remember the Australian Open final and the commentators thought the match hinged on how well Korda played. They basically thought Korda was more gifted than Rios. Yes I know about the steroids.

    Actually now that I think about it, maybe Rosie Casals is the female equivalent. She was very talented, also small and never won a major. I do think that relatively speaking, Rios was more talented than Casals.
     
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  23. Gemini

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    I've said in other threads about Rios, but..yeah...I do think he was THAT talented. His issue was commitment and I speak from a view of both of us having been a Bollettieri's at the same time, hitting with him and watching him work out with other players there.

    That Australian Open final..I don't think it was a case of Korda possibly juicing that got him the title. It was pretty much a choke job on Rios's part. And Korda was/is a great ball striker from the back of the court but he didn't have the ability to improvise and create like Rios did.

    If Korda beats you, it's pretty straight up. Nothing tricky. Rios had that ability to beat you straight up as well but he could also take a point away from you much the way Federer does/did when he plays prime tennis.

    Also, Ons Jabeur is only 18 years old and still on tour I believe. If she's that talented, it may be a case of it taking time for her game to gel. Having too many options can often hold a player back if they try to apply every option in their game each match when it's not necessary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
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  24. Gonzalito17

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    pc1 Yes I do believe Rios was THAT talented. That match with Korda was a bad performance for Rios but when he was on he was something special. Youtube has a lot of tribute videos of his best highlights. I think his best tennis came vs. Agassi, Miami, Munich in 98 and also the first set vs. Andre in 2002 in Miami SF. There were a lot of great matches and also a lot of bad ones. Safin said in the book Rios had the talent to win 10 majors, Thomas Johansson said Rios "could make you feel like a beginner" even if "you played a good match he could kill you 1 and 1." Even Federer said in the book he was a big fan of Rios who was one of his favorite players.
     
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  25. Gonzalito17

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    Wow Gemini you must be a very very good player to share a court with Rios. Can you share any other details about hitting with Rios, also was he friendly or mute, a lot of players in the book said he wouldn't talk much, even during light hitting practice. Do you think it was more arrogance or shyness/focus? Agree about Jabeur she is young still and maybe a lil overweight, but she has eye catching extraordinary talent
     
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  26. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    It's an interesting comment by Joyce. But even though Joyce may have played Agassi and Sampras a few times, he wouldn't have seen them at their best. If Joyce got to a Wimbledon semfinal like Todd Woodbridge in 1997 for instance, he would have seen a different Sampras. I would assume neither player needed to make too much of an effort to beat Joyce or bring out their best shots.

    So the comment for Rios' book is designed to make Rios look good for his fans who will buy the book. Not sure how many would take the comment too seriously however.
     
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  27. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Nick B. also said Rios was more talented than agassi I think.

    If we are just talking "hands" that might be true but tennis ability is more than that.

    things like power, endurance and concentration ability are part of tennis performance and talent too.
     
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  28. Gonzalito17

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    Laurie, Joyce did not see Rios at his best either. Rios was at his best at the Australian Open 98 in his matches before the final and Miami in 98, as well as various other matches in 97 98 99.

    Also, I don't think the quote by Joyce was designed to sell the book, he simply had a very high regard and respect for the unusual talents of Rios.
     
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  29. Gonzalito17

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    Nick Bollettieri said Rios could "toy with anybody." Agassi included. He said Rios could creates shots nobody else would even think of.
     
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  30. World Beater

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    rios happens to be a big admirer of federer's game.

    same with sergi bruguera.

    rios was one of the most talented players of his generation.

    safin, federer, nalbandian, gaudio all looked up to marcelo.
     
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  31. Gonzalito17

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    WB, actually Federer was the big admirer of Rios. Then after that was established after Fed stated so publicly numerous times, Rios responded by saying very complimentary things about Federer's game. Rios was very reserved in giving credits to other players. You will LOL when you read (if you read the book) what he said about Sampras off the record after their French Open match.

    Coria, Dolgopolov, Matosevic, Mannarino are all also Rios admirers too.
     
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  32. Tshooter

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    Gonza, I casually know the author. An affable guy but I don't think he's especially knowledgeable about the game of tennis.

    What do you think ?
     
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  33. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Tshooter, the author's name is 'Scoop' Malinowski, according to his bio found from google he's a decent local player, has won 20 something amateur tournaments. Don't know about you but that's a lot more than I ever won!

    Peter Bodo and Jon Wertheim are not very accomplished players but they do know tennis to an exceptional degree me thinks.
     
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  34. Tagg

    Tagg New User

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    people who do not know tennis that well know who agassi is. he is a global star

    they may know who sampras is (he's been pretty quiet since he retired, tennis exhibitions aside)

    unless they were hardcore 90s fans, they will not know who rios is

    this sums it up quite well i think
     
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  35. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Gonzo, I've met the guy several times and I seem to recall him saying he wasn't much of a player so I'm surprised by all those titles. You have to be a little wary about "facts" reported online if you don't know the source.

    I could introduce you if you ever make it out to the events. I see him at some of the top flight tennis tournaments typically berating pros and fans alike to disclose their views concerning Rios. He seems to get sad if you don't know who Rios is but he quickly perks up if you appear at all interested in learning. I always allow him a few Rios stories except I require one or two beers in me at the time.

    I think he knows more about Rios as a tennis player than Rios does.
     
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  36. World Beater

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    yes.

    But i saw an article where rios gave some hefty praise to federer.

    and we all know rios gave praise sparingly...even to the likes of great players like sampras and agassi.
     
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  37. Gonzalito17

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    Tagg, yeah Rios did not seek fame or press, he was not aggresively marketed in the US with Nike ad campaigns. Any fame or recognition that he has today is based soley on his unique appearance, character and court talents, which were all very distinct and memorable.
     
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  38. Gonzalito17

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    Tshooter LOL, yeah the author was so happy with the success and critical acclaim of the Rios book he said in an interview he is already working on a second Rios book to be titled, "Marcelo Rios Saved My Life." There are also plans for a third book with cooperation from Rios himself but the odds of that happening are the same odds of Nicolas Massu or Paul Capdeville winning a major next year.
     
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  39. Gonzalito17

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    Very sparingly, you would not believe what he says about the game of Sampras & Agassi off the record, it's not very complimentary at all lol and keep in mind at the time Sampras & Agassi were #1 and #2 in the world at the time.
     
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  40. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    bollieteri said the same about rios but he also said that rios was a VERY hard worker so its a little mysterious why he wasnt more successful. if he were 2-3 inches taller maybe he would have won multiple slams. 5'9 can be a disadvantage no matter who you are
     
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  41. Gonzalito17

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    Big Ted it was surprising to read that Bollettieri and a few other tennis insiders said Rios was a very hard worker. Rios presented the contradictary illusion that he was nonchalant and didn't care or feel like trying so hard. Guess that was all a clever deception by Rios. Which worked to some extent.
     
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  42. big ted

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    some players just have that personality like sampras and edberg, esp earlier in their careers. when they were winning, they looked so smooth like they werent even trying hard but when they were losing it still looked like they werent trying. anyway i think alot of it had to do with rios mental ability. his game was there but maybe lack of desire, nerves, etc... he could not even win his hometown tournament in chile once, that to me says he did not play his best under pressure and when expectations were on him. who on the other hand, champions like becker and sampras for example thrived and actually played better when the pressure was on
     
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  43. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Great point Big Ted, Rios lost the final of the Chile ATP event four times - to players like David Sanchez, Julian Alonso, Hernan Gumy and Slava Dosedel. Clearly this is evidence that he struggled with pressure situations. Great point mate.
     
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  44. Gonzalito17

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    Chilean journalist comments on "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew": Marcelo Ríos is an enigmatic character for we the Chileans. In one side, he's by far the most successful sportsman in Chile's history. No one before or after has reached the no. 1 in a professional sport (in Chile, only soccer, tennis, basket and boxing are professional sports) and no one helped more to bring new kids to tennis ...but Ríos (not even Fernando Gonzalez or Nicolas Massú) with his victories in the late 90's. I remember watching tennis on public tv, sometimes at early hours in the morning, and people celebrating every title. When he reached no.1, thousand of people went out to streets to celebrate. He started a new era in Chile's tennis and put it at a world level. That era is coming to its end, sadly, with the retirement of Gonzalez and the slow fall of Massu.

    But, on the other side, his personality is far from causing the same unanimity. And I think your book is a great picture of that: Ríos personality caused different reactions in every person.

    The book is also a massive database of facts, anecdotes (the KO on a Miami restaurant!!) and points of view about Rios. There's many stories unknown in Chile, but in some point none of them surprising: we know we can expect everything from Marcelo. And that is what, I think, makes his personality so unique.

    The rich collection of opinions makes a clear picture of Marcelo. That is what makes the book so necessary for every tennis fan.

    Sebastián Carrizo Acevedo
    Periodista Deportes La Tercera
     
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  45. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Ahhh, Rios... indeed a persona who triggers very antagonistic reactions in people. One thing is for sure, he hit some of the most amazing points you will ever see on a tennis court. In that sense I feel he is truly the most talented, but tennis is not about playing beautiful points, it is about winning. And Rios was not very strong at that, at least mentally.
     
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  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Michael Joyce rates Rios talent above Agassi and Sampras

    This is easy to do. "Talent" is an abstraction, an unknown.

    One can only have impressions or opinions of it, and one cannot be proven wrong, because when talking about "talent" one is not talking about objective, measurable achievements.

    I prefer achievements.
     
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  47. ClairHarmony

    ClairHarmony Rookie

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    Mental toughness is abstract; not a talent, that killers make concrete.*

    Oh, shining star, I think that's what you're trying to say. I prefer human beings to achievement, anything else just gets repetitive after awhile. So big fart in the sky, Roger Federer won one or two more slams...duh, duh, duh, I'm not hearing it...than Sergi Bruguera. All that can be done, to keep a turnover P'zone alive. Look at the recent success of Matte Barnes...I prefer to be keepin' it real, tryin' to maximize the individual than harp on the distance of ever changin' persuasions. Talent is real, for his gen, he did much with his height; but like my other idol in life, not quite all the way applied. Know your type tendencies, or else Matte Barnes is still a big fat ZERO. That's a definitive loser mentatlity if you ask me, to prefer killer austeres in concrete to part-Italian, Cinderfellon stories, made in lemonade, yo? It's time to get *charged up,* inside; because when people give up on people, former world #'s and be smug like they was virtually nothing, it makes me wanna ball up and cray baby, extinguish, right back where I belong, a regular ol' peon in a pod, reflective, contemplating fairy tale *'s in the sky. Rios was a "gift" to many (not me, never was my cup o' tea, didn't really quite see it), but still a gift. There's a difference in trying to take that away from somones, if it made you feel better inside. #1 in the whole entire world at that height in this day and age is not abstract...it's the *rest,* all that unrest, that he did not put to rest. But the super nova in the hands was always there. Two different directives, entirely. It's not easy to do. Even once, #1 in the world, it's not to be brushed off w. shimmering salt in the wound, so he failed. That does not make his achievement of #1 planetary, any more human. Like you & me, hade he learned to appreciate more, maybe, may be...before it's really too late.
     
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  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Is English your first language?
     
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  49. cristiano

    cristiano New User

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    Anyway Joyce played all three players just twice. And versus Agassi he barely won a couple of games , more or less.

    Anyway Rios was very talented. Also other players can be judged more talented than the overall better two. Korda, for example. Maybe not, maybe yes, not a big deal.

    But I do not think that playing twice with them will tell you more than watching then playing 500 matches.
     
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  50. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    ClairHarmony is the Marcelo Rios of TW.
     
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