Nadal on your All-Time List?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Thanks for the info, good stuff. I guess I will have to change my stance on Agassi a bit and say "one of" the most consistent w/Connors being the obvious choice. :)

    I have always been a big Agassi fan (2nd to Mac), so I am a tad biased.
     
  2. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    The Seles stabbing derailed her career that we will never know how many more majors she would have had. I never thought of comparing the Williams sisters with Seles. Don't know why, but never did.
     
  3. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Wilander over Becker..hmmm.
     
  4. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Wilander over Becker..hmmm. No Lendl more like...huhhhhhh?
     
  5. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Just wondering when you turn 12 years old. Nadal over Pete.:shock::shock::shock:
     
  6. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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  7. jerriy

    jerriy Hall of Fame

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    Blind (ten finger) typing without me doing any final spellchecking causes me letters to ecxhange postiions... and wiht me for some reason it often involves teh letter h.
     
  8. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Lendl has the remarkable ability to become invisible to youngsters, translucent, so he is sometimes absent from open-era top 10 lists, which is indeed amazing.

    Regarding the Wilander-Edberg-Becker trio, that's a hard one to sort out. I normally place Edberg and Becker ahead of Wilander. But Mats has one thing nobody has: the most exquisite surface balance in slams: 2 on grass, 2 on hard, 2 on clay. Nobody has more than 1 on each surface in the open era. I know that the AO grass is often disparaged as unreal or something, but I don't really believe it. Grass is grass, whether in Australia or in England. It's just that his game was generally so uninspiring, the ultimate methodical retreiver. I remember Cliff Drysdale predicting his fading away shortly before it happened. He said something like: "I can see the pain he has to go through to win. It can't last." And it didn't. But sometimes I think maybe he belongs ahead of Edberg and Becker, based on that accomplishment.
     
  9. cristiano

    cristiano New User

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    Pro:

    He won everywhere, all surfaces, 3 majors out of 4
    He`s completely dominant (maybe the best ever already) on one surface
    He has a winning record almost with everybody, and also with a goat candidate
    His only two majors not on clay are of really great value (beating Federer)

    Con:

    He`s been n.1 only one year (until this year)
    He`s one of the greatest only on one surface

    In the open era, in my opinion is clear worse than Federer. Sampras and Borg and probably worse than Lendl and McEnroe.

    The fact to be so dominant on one surface let me think he`s already better than Agassi and his head to head record against champions that he can already be better than Connors. Anyway, the same league. He`s already clearly better than Becker, Wilander, Edberg, Vilas, Courier, Nastase and probably Newcombe.

    My top10 alltime list from 1990 until today is, in alphabetical order: Budge, Borg, Doherty, Federer, Gonzales, Kramer, Laver, Rosewall, Sampras, Tilden.

    Basically, the best players by decade, with the exception of the 10`s (because of the war) and the 80`s, not present, and the 2nd best in the 60`s, Rosewall.

    At #11 and #12 i have, in alphabetical order, Lendl and Mcenroe. I think Nadal can reach their level in the future. But he`s very young and can improve even more.

    So, now, I have only 12 players that , imho, are for sure better than him. But other may be better (after the 1920 Lacoste, Cochet, Perry, Vines, Connors, to make some names). He`s for sure already one of the top20 ever.
     
  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Well written statement about Lendl. Lendl was a great player and very dominant for many years. I think Lendl's rep as a boring player plus his bad image as the players no one care for hurt him. I enjoyed his play and liked him as a player. He also tended to get overshadowed by the most volatile players like McEnroe, Connors at first and players like Becker and Edberg later.

    Wilander to me may have been better than Becker and Edberg overall when he was at his best but his career took such a nose dive after his great year in 1988 that it almost seemed like he vanished. Of course he didn't vanish but he wasn't really thought of as a top factor in majors afterwards.
     
  11. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Yes, Wilander was good on all courts, I guess I am looking at his overall consistency compared to the other two. since they all won same amount of slams, I look at how long were they competitive (top 10). He had 1988 which was incredible back then with the court differences. Another problem was Mats had a boring game..nothing exciting. Becker had the serve, awesome BH and volley game (an all-around to boot), while Edberg was an incredible S&V player. But Mat's bland game certainly has an effect on people remembering the greats. When I think of Mats I picture the hair and that Rossignol racquet.:)
     
  12. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Yes. I really like Mats Wilander as well. His baseline Game was so controlled. He never seemed to even flinch even during extremely long rallies versus even players like Lendl.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I'm tempted to say Wilander followed the "Borg-Roland Garros Strategy": no matter what you do, I'm gonna make you hit one more shot until you miss.

    I recall Mats unbelievably beating three-time champ, mega-power Lendl at the 1988 USO with nothing except this absolutely relentless consistency--no power, little spin, no big serve, floating underspin backhand down-the-line, and never give-up mentality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  14. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Bingo Hoodjem. That was a mesmerizing performance. He was in such a mental zone that match!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efmy72bXH0c (Thanks to TW Poster Krosero).
     
  15. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That US Open final in 1988 is one of my favorite matches but didn't Mats approach the net and you're right he was relentless in his consistency. However didn't Mats approach the net a decent amount in that match?
     
  16. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    ^^Yes he did PC1. What he loved to do was watch for one of those high, slightly slower groundstrokes from Lendl. So, he would often sneak in while Lendl was hitting, or just before, so that he could "pick off" volley winners. Excellent observation.
     
  17. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    It is hard to compare tennis players from yester year and today. Back in the golden age of tennis the different surfaces were significantly different, and only a few players were able to be successful on all surfaces. Not only that but equipment was different, though they have tried to level the playing field by slowing down the playing surfaces, the ball still travels a lot faster threw the air. It is no longer a viable tactic to continually serve and volley, where players can hit winners at will from anywhere on or off the court. The game is different now were you can hit a winner from the baseline at a whim, check out last years USO Mens Final.

    Back in the 70's and 80's the surfaces mattered more than today, it is now all about a series of cookie cutter players that bash away from the baseline, with few exceptions.
     
  18. swordtennis

    swordtennis Hall of Fame

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    Pete, Federer and Borg @ the top.
    Nadal in with the 8 GS group. The H2H with Federer is an xtra Grand Slam I would say.
     
  19. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    If Rafa could win just one US Open and get to 8 Slams total (at the least), it would really jump him up in my opinion.
     
  20. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Wimbledon helps but the problem with Rafa over Lendl is that Lendl was the world number one for three years in a row and won a few masters titles in that period as well as a few years with a 90% winning % plus a ton of tournament titles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  21. krosero

    krosero Legend

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    Absolutely, he came in 131 times, won 76. A lot were SV.
     
  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    That just proves what an excellent all around player Mats was. He wasn't a serve and volleyer generally speaking like John McEnroe but he won a nice percentage of points at the net against an excellent returner like Lendl on a fast surface.

    It was also a very smart plan by Wilander in my opinion.
     
  23. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    My top 5 are:

    Laver
    Sampras
    Federer
    Borg
    Gonzalez

    in no definitive order.

    I would put Nadal in the top 10-12 at this point. If he had a better serve, he might be top 5. Then again, if he had a better serve he might have a USO title or 2 by now.
     
  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Budge had the first calendar slam, 1938, I believe.
     
  25. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, of course Budge did. But the "career slam" is rather popular on these boards. Unfortunately, I am sinking to that level.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Nice, now, even if you are so young and have missed so much, put a % to your emotions:

    Laver
    Connors
    Mc
    Borg
    Sampras
    federer
    Becker
    Agassi
    Nastase
    Nadal
     
  27. VrafaV

    VrafaV Rookie

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    I think he is the GOAT on clay. But he still has to prove his self on other surfaces.
     
  28. powerangle

    powerangle Legend

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    Regarding the Agassi v. Nadal issue, I'd still put Agassi ahead for now. He's got the career grand slam, which is a big deal to me. How many of the greats have won the whole lot? Many all timers have failed at one (Borg - USO, Sampras - FO...McEnroe even missed two).

    Agassi also has 20 titles on Nadal, one more major, and amazing longevity. Sure, Nadal has been more blatantly dominant and is on course to pass up Agassi (especially if he wins the USO sometime)...but for now, the raw numbers still point at Agassi (and the big one, the career slam). Agassi is still a step ahead.
     
  29. dmt

    dmt Hall of Fame

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    agreed. Agassi is ahead for now but Nadal will likely surpass him soon.

    If Nadal can end this year at no 1, (it'll be the second year that he'd be doing this) and win one more major this year, then i think he'd tie agassi and probably surpass him sometime next year.
     
  30. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Fred Perry won three of the four slams in 1934. He then won the French Championship in 1935 (along with Wimbers), thus completing his "career slam." Of course, no one ever called it such back then. The Grand Slam concept in tennis was invented in 1933 for Jack Crawford who won three of the four but failed to win the final leg at the US Championship (perhaps ironically against Perry in a five-set final: 6–3, 11–13, 4–6, 6–0, 6–1).

    The concept of the "career slam" was not invented (as best as we can determine on these boards) until the later 1980s for Lendl attepting to win Wimbledon. It really became popularized (by Mary carillo, and her like) for Agassi, as a hyped excuse to encourage US viewers who had largely turned off to tennis (presumably because there were few American tennis stars of worth), to watch tennis history in the making on television.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  31. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    No question he's better than Agassi now with another RG-Wimbledon double.
     
  32. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Players I have seen that I have over Nadal in no particular order

    Lendl
    McEnroe
    Sampras
    Federer
    Connors

    Players I have under Nadal:

    Edberg
    Becker
    Wilander


    Who the heck knows where to rank Agassi??
     
  33. dmt

    dmt Hall of Fame

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    You should also add Borg to the list of players ranked ahead of Nadal. Not sure about Agassi
     
  34. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    DMT: I left Borg off because I never saw him play.
     
  35. mtr1

    mtr1 Professional

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    Based on Slams won, acheivements, and my opinion :)

    1. Federer
    2. Laver
    3. Borg
    4. Sampras
    5. Tilden
    6. Rosewall
    7. Perry
    8. Lendl
    9. Connors
    10. McEnroe
    11. Nadal
     
  36. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    That's a very nice well thought out list.
     
  37. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Your list makes sense, but I don't understand why you would rank Mc Enroe over Nadal, as from today I would say they are on par or I would even rank Nadal over Mc Enroe having won more different slams on more surfaces and a greater total too. Likewise, even Lendl and Connors cannot be said to be fundamentally better than Nadal.

    Difficult to rank Agassi indeed.

    I would say that Nadal now belongs to a select group of greats, just below the GOAT(s): Federer, Sampras, Laver, Borg, ...
     
  38. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    You are using slam counting as your main factor. I don;t apply that same standard to players whose bulk of their career was prior to 1985.

    McEnroe has an absolutely brilliant career. I will post some accomplishments at a later time
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  39. Benhur

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  40. jerriy

    jerriy Hall of Fame

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    If Nadal wins the US Open that'll have a degrading effect on Agassi's legacy which heavily depends on one criteria i.e. having all 4 majors.

    Meaning it will no longer be possible to put Agassi ahead of Nadal on the all time list without appearing phony and biased.
     
  41. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    With two additional slam titles, now total of 8, Nadal has a total of 25 points and moves to No. 2 all-time above Kafelnikov and Sampras.

    [​IMG]
     
  42. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    11. Vines
    12. Connors
    13. Kramer
    14. Cochet
    15. Hoad
    16. Lacoste
    17. Nadal
    18. Emerson
    19. McEnroe
    20. Newcombe
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  43. borgnadal123

    borgnadal123 New User

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    My list goes (open era)

    1.Roger Federer
    2.Bjorn Borg
    3.Pete Sampras
    4.Jimmy Connors
    5.Rafael Nadal
     
  44. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Now I hope we can all agree that he's ahead of Agassi.

    Personally I thought it was pretty clear even two years ago.
     
  45. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    That's a stupid criteria.
     
  46. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I do think so now, after repeating the RG-Wimbledon feat in such convincing fashion, including his perfect sweep of all the clay Master tournaments.

    It is a rare occurrence that a player has clay and grass as his best surfaces, and not since Borg had we seen a more clear example of this. There is a thread on movement going on. I am convinced that the explanation has to be related to whatever these two surfaces have in common with regard to movement.
     
  47. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I find it quite amusing, that the commentators like in the Telegraph or Tennis World are discovering and hyping Nadal now as the new goat, who will surpass or has already surpassed Federer. Last year the same writers discredited Nadal for his obvious decline. Lets wait and see. I wouldn't count out Federer, although i am sceptic about his returning for Nr. 1 position.
    At the moment, we can say, that Nadal makes the extraordinary - the RG-Wim- double - a standard. The double was the core of Borg's alltime status, and seemed impossible a few years ago. No we saw it in the last 3 years, by 2 different players. Also Nadal made the European triple of Rome-Paris-London, that only Hoad, Laver and Borg made. What strikes me most about Nadal, is his ever improving and learning. He isn't contend to camp behind the baseline and win umpteen clay titles, but he is working on his serve, operates on the baseline more and gets more leverage off the ground. I think, Federer didn't improve his game, ever since he left Tony Roche. His great talent brought him new easy titles, but some sparkle of his game has gone.
    With his new active and percentage style, Nadal has mastered all the big hitters, that could get to him in the past. Maybe he is a bit lucky, that Del Potro - imo the only one who could challenge him on hard and clay - in injured for unforseeable time. At the moment, if he'll stay fully fit, i think he will get the New York crown too.
     
  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Ah! "The Old World Triple" as Bud Collins used to call it.

    Tough to win!
     
  49. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have to disagree you having Rafa ahead of Lendl, who made multiple finals at SW19 when Rafa never made one final at the USO. Lendl have accomplished more than Rafa besides the 8 GS they each have won.
     
  50. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    Open era

    1. Federer
    2. Borg
    3. Sampras
    4. Lendl
    5. Connors
    6. McEnroe
    7. Nadal
    8. Agassi
    9. Wilander
    10. Edberg, Becker
     

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