Most talented player of all time

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pc1, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    This is former player talk, so I'd think you could understand why there is not a thread about a Tsonga Simon final in this section, unless we are connecting one or both to the history of the sport or to past players. You are looking in the wrong space for what you want.
     
  2. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    I have not read this thread, so I am sure this has been better defined and articulated. I know what I actually look for when I look for talent to show. I look at the ability to take the low percentage curve in the road, and drive through it without slowing down. If they are able, with confidence and bravado, to do that which coaches of mortals say is risky, enough of the time that the percentage stats are not all that useful, its real talent.
     
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  3. George K

    George K New User

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    Beginning with the Tilden era, it's been cyclical: Tilden, Lacoste, Cochet, Vines, Perry, Budge, Riggs all rallied and came to net behind forcing shots that prompted weak defensive shots in reply .... no volleying off their shoe tops if they could avoid it. Yes Borotra was an enthusiastic volleyer, but he never ranked higher than no 4 in the world.

    The serve and volley era began with Kramer, followed by Gonzales, Sedgeman, Trabert, Rosewall, Hoad, Laver and perpetual amateur Emerson. Can't comment on Segura. Not sure if he served and volleyed or rallied and waited for a forcing approach shot like the Tilden to Riggs era. The 1968 to 1973 early open era was mostly serve and volley: Ashe, Newcombe, Roche, Smith .... Nastase?

    Neither Connors, Borg, Lendl nor Vilas, Wilander were serve and volleyers.

    Then we had McEnroe, Becker, Edberg, Sampras. Aggasi won with his great service returns.
     
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  4. TennisHunter

    TennisHunter New User

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    Miloslav Mecir
     
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  5. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Cochet was like Borotra too, attacked the net often, though as you say, not a SVer.

    Little Bill Johnston was in the same mold. I have some stats from one of his matches against Tilden, where the winners are broken down into volleys and groundstrokes. The numbers show a dramatic difference between the two men (Tilden mostly hitting winners from the baseline, Johnston at the net).
     
  6. ultradr

    ultradr Legend

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    Thanks for explanations on how the game evolved.

    Borg is considered as baseliner.
    As I recall, Borg still serve and volleyed most of his 1st serves at Wimbledon, right?
    All of players after 2003 or so, then should be considered pure baseliners...
     
  7. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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  8. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    Haha yeah that was pretty bad. I guess Krajicek and Philippoussis were "athletic" enough to be good volleyers (which they were in that era) and Federer isn't.
     
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  9. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yeah .....

    ultradr does his very best to discredit fed's net game/aggressiveness in play at every chance he gets ....
     
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  10. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    Even 30+ Federer is an incredible athlete...
     
  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Can we separate talent from skill?

    Is talent raw, unpracticed ability and skill is refined and developed ability?
     
  12. Dan Lobb

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    Yes, it is...however, all of the names we are considering have well developed ability. Only Bob Bedard could be regarded as a true amateur, who probably never fully developed his game.
     
  13. Dan Lobb

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    It follows that the players with greater raw talent are capable of developing a greater range of skills and shots...on this basis, following the evaluation of Sir Norman Brookes, Tilden and Hoad would be ranked at the top.

    The problem with the greater homogenization of the game today compared to, say, the fifties and sixties, is the lesser range of shots visible on the pro tour, and less imagination and artistry in the playing styles.
     
  14. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    It's hard to say that Dan. Hoad, while very possibly the most talented of all time may not have developed his range of shots if he was taught by one of today's coaches like a Nick Bollettieri. However I do believe that Hoad would be a super player today and would be able to make shots a normal World Class Tennis Player couldn't make. Perhaps Hoad's imagination and temperament would develop a greater range of shots.
     
  15. Novak And The Net.

    Novak And The Net. Semi-Pro

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    A few names stand out for me. McEnroe, Mecir, Nastase, Rios, Federer, Santoro, Leconte, Mallise, etc. The type of talent I enjoy the most. Touch and imagination.
     
  16. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    Vitas Gerulaitis & Ilie Nastase.

    ... incredible guys without serve.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
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  17. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    KG,

    Nastase had an excellent serve.
     
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  18. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    I'm not a fan of his, but John McEnroe is arguably the most talented person who played tennis.
     
  19. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for making this point. Nastase serve was Nasty.
     
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  20. Mr.Lob

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    Bout time you got something right.
     
  21. BeatlesFan

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    McEnroe.

    Hated him, but no question he was a God in talent. Unbelievably gifted, sweetest hands ever in the game.
     
  22. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    " Yeah, well, that's just like your opinion, man."
     
  23. Noleberic123

    Noleberic123 G.O.A.T.

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  24. Fintft

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    Nastase was a pure genius, had all shots (maybe not much of a serve, bc he wasn't taught to use serve as a weapon) + he was fast: the first #1 in modern era, the first modern player.
     
  25. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Not in the same league with Nastase.
     
  26. ChicagoJack

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    Least Talented?
    Vince Spadea.
    (Drops Mic)
    -J

     
  27. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    I thought he had an excellent serve. So did Jack Kramer.



    Above is a video of Ashe versus Nastase. Ashe isn't exactly a slouch in the talent department either. Ashe had incredible power in his backhand, forehand, serve and his volley, particularly his backhand volley. How many players can claim that?
     
  28. Dan Lobb

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    Nastase possessed miraculous talent, but, sadly, he usually did not play his best in majors. On the other hand, players such as Hoad and Newcombe rarely played well on a continuous basis, but peaked in major events. Which is more important?
     
  29. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    True enough. All three players were incredibly talented. In the Collin Encyclopedia in the biography for Nastase the first sentence is "No player in history has been more gifted or mystifying than the Bucharest Buffoon, Ilie Nastase, nted both for his sorcery with the racket and his bizarre, even objectionable behavior."

    Now I don't think most would believe Nastase is as talented as Hoad but he certainly was one of the most gifted that I've seen. Newcombe imo underachieved despite his great record. The man had a huge serve, comparable to any player in history, a great forehand and volley. When he was in shape he was known for his excellent stamina and he was imo a great pressure player.
     
  30. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Nastase was a great allround player, maybe at his best indoors. His biggest asset was imo his muscular, yet lean and flexible body (not unlike Djokovic today), a great, great athlete, very fast on his feet, good court coverage, with fine reflexes and an imaginative mind.His serve is underrated today, good defensive qualities with lobs and passing shots. What he lacked in terms of strokes, was imo a killer shot from the baseline, and leverage on the volley. His volleys often stayed a bit short.
     
  31. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed. He was very talented and gifted but he didn't have the offensive power that some had on the backhand especially off the ground. Perhaps today it would have been more powerful with the technology we have. A Connors or a Borg were far more powerful off the ground than Nastase. Still Nastase had great touch, anticipation and feel. Great speed and great hands at the net.
     
  32. FedTheMan

    FedTheMan Professional

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    Sureshs

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  33. Aesthetics_above_all_else

    Aesthetics_above_all_else Semi-Pro

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    No question - of all the players I've ever seen play the game, Federer is the most talented. I can't speak for a lot of the old names that are being mentioned in this thread.
     
  34. Dan Lobb

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    I think that most people would agree with you on that, however, this is about "former" pro players, and Fed and Djokovic are still active. They are only interesting insofar as they offer comparison to older retired players.

    The question is, how would today's greats fare against the likes of Tilden ,Vines, Budge, Kramer, Gonzales, Hoad, Laver, Newcombe, Borg, McEnroe, Sampras?
     
  35. Aesthetics_above_all_else

    Aesthetics_above_all_else Semi-Pro

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    Ah my bad didn't catch that. I'll have to think about this more
     
  36. Santiagomac

    Santiagomac New User

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    Ok, I've noticed that so much of the time most talented, isn't equal to highest ranking. Sometimes high talent, hurts an individual's possibility of winning. Because sometimes their games are so beautiful, like art, that its not only about winning.
    Some of my favorites to watch for pure beauty and talent were- 1.Jared Palmer( many over look him.sheer beauty to watch.can do anything with the ball), 2. Marcelo Rios( you know your talented if you can get to number one in the world looking like your hardly trying!) 3. Dolgopolov 3. Jaime Yzaga 4. Michael Tebbut( how do you win with strokes like that)?
     
  37. PDJ

    PDJ Legend

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    That's pretty sensational. Thanks for posting.
     
  38. Santiagomac

    Santiagomac New User

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    Jared Palmer- most talented volleyer I've seen
     
  39. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Watch Mecir from 0:34 to 0:37--look how far and fast he goes. And he wins the point. (Lendl is very frustrated.)
     
  40. Santiagomac

    Santiagomac New User

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    But how is this referring to talent?
     
  41. George K

    George K New User

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    Certainly a great point, which Mecir won, HOWEVER !

    "One swallow does not a summer make!" ..... Exactly how many majors did Mecir win?
     
  42. Tshooter

    Tshooter Hall of Fame

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    Borg and JMac have to be the two most overrated players on TT. JMac wasn't even the most talented in his day. Nastase was more talented. Now we can have another what does talent mean thread.
     
  43. KG1965

    KG1965 Hall of Fame

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    Overrated ?

    Talent is a natural gift that none or few can replicate .
    I think it is objective that no one has ever played as JMac to net, no one has ever plays a serve like JMac , no one has ever hit a forehand as JMac .
    Nasty was a talent , did he play unrepeatable but his play in 1970 had already seen him .
    No one has ever played as Borg before 1972 .
    No one has ever played as Connors . No one will play more like Connors .
    No one (apart Ferrer...) could win the pro matches playing bad as Barazzutti .

    5 different talents .
     
  44. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    None. But this thread is about talent, not majors. (I would offer that Mecir's best talent was his movement.)

    Rios's name comes up a lot here too. He won zero majors.

    Talent is not measured by number of majors won. (Number of majors won is irrelevant.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  45. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Mecir's best talent was his movement (speed, smooth efficiency, and graceful elegance). It could not be taught or learned.

    For me this is the epitome of talent.
     
  46. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Backhand overhead!.? Tough shot.

    Bit of a belly on that character, eh?
     
  47. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I agree about the single swallow versus summer. If one has seen Mecir play, them one saw this "talent" a lot, throughout a match. This video is one, nice example.

    His movement was incredible and inimitable.
     

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