Peak Play GOATS

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by hoodjem, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. Benhur

    Benhur Hall of Fame

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    That's because I didn't watch the Hewitt match, or don't remember it. I just put down things I've seen that stuck in my mind to this day as pretty astonishing performances. I am sure there are plenty of matches I've missed, especially from the 90s.

    As for Nadal's 2008 RG, it's hard to pick a match from there (and I didn't want to pick more than one) because he was so dominant throughout the tournament. His level against Federer was also very high, of course, but at the same time, once Federer fell behind in the 3rd, it looked as if he just went through the motions a little bit. Djokovc is the only one who managed to put up some resistance. He won more games than Verdasco, Almagro and Federer combined.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
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  2. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Didn't Nadal have two breaks in that third set before he took his foot off the gas and Djokovic started to go for broke? Nadal was a freak in that tournament both physically and game-wise..
     
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  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
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  4. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Great list. (Thank goodness for video and the Internet.)
     
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  5. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    It's nice that we have video and the internet available in the way we do to see examples of peak play for Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic for example, but we can't use it in the same way to see and assess peak play for players like Gonzalez, Rosewall, Laver, Borg, McEnroe, and even Sampras to a large extent. Even with Sampras, YouTube, video, and the internet was not used in the way it is these days. Well, at least we can see today's tennis in High Def, with great audio and video quality. Therefore, we have to greatly rely upon what each of us has been able to observe and also read about from the accounts of others as to players from past eras.
     
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  6. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    There are still lots of video highlights and even full matches for Sampras, even for players such as Borg there are quite a few clips and even some full matches on the internet.

    Relying on memory is pretty tricky, you're more likely to remember the winners than the unforced errors. It is a shame HD wasn't around from the 60's though.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bjorn+borg&filters=long&lclk=long

    Quite a few big matches there. Any of those good showcases to Borg's peak level?

    Turns out the 1969 US Open final with Laver and Roche is online. Would that match give an idea of the ability of Laver?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
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  7. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    If the sole criteria for being included in this discussion is just peak level of play then this has to expand the discussion beyond just the normal GOAT contenders (who seem to be taking up the majority of the discussion). If overall achievements do not matter than I would say include the following players, especially if as hoodjem says, the criteria is peak play in one match.

    Safin: he was an erratic mess of potential and his game had technical flaws that were exploitable (forehand that could be broken down, inconsistent at net)..but when he clicked he CLICKED. The 2005 AO is an example of that. His weaknesses in that tournament never really showed up against Fed, Fed played great..Satin was better on the day. Overall he was all over the place though.

    Mary Pierce: yes I know this discussion is about men but I can't just not mention her. The 94 french SF against Graf fits so perfectly into what I interpret this discussion to be about. Pierce flat out destroyed the Graf forehand, neutralized her movement as much as could possibly be done, stopped her dead. Graf had nothing to beat her with. If Pierce could have played like that everyday she would have won double digit majors easily.

    Ivanisevic: OK maybe he does not fit perfectly in but on grass with his serve he was a force to he reckoned with on his best day. It was either serve your best and pray for a miracle in the likely tie break or get beaten.

    These are 3 examples that came to my mind when I read the thread title. Now..I am not saying their peak is better than Lavers, Borges,Macs etc. But if the thread is really about peak play for just 1 match...you can't really just center the discussion around just them. I have immense respect for all of them, but in terms of pure peak level for a single match..if cumulative stats are not to be considered..you have to look outside the box a little.

    Just my opinion though.
     
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  8. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Boredone, I think that's a valid point. There are other players that are less accomplished overall, but still exhibited great peak level of play.

    Also, I completely agree NatF. There is quite a bit, but with the HD video and crystal clear audio, modern tennis can be seen in a way that it could not before. Plus, the editing capabilities these days make those great Video highlights amazing. I know this is not shotmaking based, but this is some good stuff as far as Borg, Sampras, and Federer. Watch Borg and Lendl here, with old technology indoors and on clay, as well as video of Borg vs. McEnroe, Connors, and Vilas, on varied surfaces.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYa1bSRoOzs (Kings of Wimbledon)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyuiEzBb7hk (thanks Borgforever)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL__OcegrbY (thanks Krosero)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKQVdZNsyuQ (thanks Krosero)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTMx--E0OhY


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND6BqlTwZbU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-BwXwUzMLo


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhbIcGwqk8s&playnext=1&list=PLC522EBA84A483450&feature=results_video

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCAS3FjJvFI
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
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  9. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    But apparently one can be too tall, also, and thus not a great mover.

    For instance, Rosewall and Laver were both much quicker, faster, and better movers than Isner or Karlovic. Maybe they have longer strides, but these latter two are rather lumbering and slow by comparison.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
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  10. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    No doubt. I've seen clips enough of Rosewall and Laver to know that they're quick, Ferrer is another who is very quick despite his height. But Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are all 6'1 to 6'3 or so and are great movers which good footwork. Against these guys I think Laver and Rosewall would find it very difficult to keep up with. But you're right there is a trade off.
     
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  11. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    Berdych and Del Potro and even Monfils all have very long strides, but it's not just speed and quickness, you have to make all those very quick small steps to get into position continually. Plus, you have to stop and start all the time as a great mover, so long strides only get you part of the way and with height can easily become a liability. Federer would still have to work with a much different hitting proposition with food prames and no poly strings, but his swing path would not have to be altered as much as Nadal's to hit the ball with a wood frame. Yet, Nadal would make adjustments too. This article is a good one and mentions Djokovic hitting with a wood frame.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/2007-06-20-raquet-tech_N.htm




     
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  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    This may be one of those comparisons where we want to say that X was incredibly quick, and Y was unbelievably fast. Just a thought.
     
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  13. Benhur

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    That’s what makes it special. By the final stages, all the others seemed to have reached that state of mind when the victim of an inevitable execution understands that all further struggle is futile and begins to toy with sweet images of the afterlife, just like you could sense that Almagro, Federer and Verdasco were already daydreaming about the beauty of the locker room in those final games. Djokovc never reached that stage. He went down kicking, screaming and lifting the kitchen sink as a weapon.
     
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  14. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    yeah being too tall is a disadvantage. I think Del Potro at 6'6" is the tallest slam winner so far. Even he has numerous times problems with movements...

    Speaking of which, I think of God mode peak, Del Potro's last two matches in 2009 US Open tournament versus Nadal (whom he absolutely destroyed in straights) and versus Federer where we saw probably the most powerful forehands ever hit can be a strong contender for God mode peak. Them forehands were just too much, you can't return something like this. Then his wrist got injured and we haven't seen him unleash power like that since. I really hope he can reach that threshold again, still an incredibly young player.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
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  15. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    #65
  16. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Well put. That tournament was a Deus ex Machina type of moment for Delpo. Fed had no clue what to do in some of those rallies because Delpo just overwhelmed him from everywhere on the court. No matter where Fed tried to to move him to Delpos shots just blitzed him.

    The injury destroyed that though I think. He has worked well to cope and move back up the rankings, but he has not come that close to matching that shot potential. Its to bad..because the 09 US Open final was a really amazing performance.
     
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  17. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Meh, I don't see why it matters who plays best on their best day. Tennis is all about making adjustments from day to day and week to week.

    Those who play best through a stretch of time are the best at what they do. You can have a match of your life and perform like crap the next day. Ultimately it looks like you've accomplished little.
     
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  18. BobbyOne

    BobbyOne Banned

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    NatF, Yes, I consider peak play as the best showing in one match or one year while (general) playing level means playing strength over a player's best years.

    I could have seen more Federer matches but generally I was seldom thrilled by "modern" matches.

    Six years after the peak means a significant decline for any player. Imagine a 34 years old Federer in comparison to a peak Federer...
     
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  19. jimbo333

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    Yes, I completely agree with you, that's why Connors is my favourite ever player, and I think the 3rd best of all-time!

    Connors had the combination of great peak level play and maintained that for almost 20 years.

    If you are going to look at peak level play only, i would seriously pick Rosol. For that one match at Wimbledon on that day last year, he was better than anybody ever. Amazing to watch, he went for winners on almost every shot and they kept going in time and time again. Although I bet he never plays to anywhere near this peak again.
     
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  20. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I don't remember who said it, but someone pointed that Rosol player very well in his next match against Kohlschreiber too. Ace, service winners, winners from both wing, etc. But Kolie sliced him in piece with low...slices that the tall Rosol couldn't handle properly. Beside, Rosol's performance against Nadal was great in the service game department, but not in the return game department. A better server could have won this match.
     
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  21. Flash O'Groove

    Flash O'Groove Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you. That's why I have a great respect for Lendl, Connors, Rosewall, and even Murray and Ferrer. These last two are far from the top in term of peak play, but they are consistent enough and play very well given their limited abilities to reach the higher playing levelr.
     
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  22. SassyRamirez

    SassyRamirez Banned

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    Yes, he had a nice and positive W/UE ratio against Kohli, Kohli just played him better than Nadal did.
     
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  23. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Fair enough, I just don't ever remember seeing a player hit as many clean winners and unplayables against Nadal as Rosol did that day. It really was amazing to watch. If I remember correctly the match was on centre court at Wimbledon and the court had the roof on. This definitely made the court play faster, so going for winners was obviously the right thing to do, but Rosol's huge shots just kept going in. I bet even now Nadal cannot believe what happended in that match, it was a real shock.
     
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  24. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    We should start a new thread: Unbelievable One-time Peak-Play.

    The stipulation here is that for one match the player rises to an amazing level to best a great player--and never does it again.
     
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  25. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    Rosol lol.
     
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  26. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Exactamundo.
     
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  27. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    One match? That's a tough one. Although I will say that Richard Krajicek was absolutely "treeing" (as we used to say) at this particular tournament! His peak play was excellent here.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TD0Xjo-Qd4
     
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  28. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Mary Peirce vs Graf French 94
    Lori McNeil at Wimbledon 94? Vs graf
    Rosol vs Rafa wimby
    Soderling vs Rafa 09 French
    Bartoli vs Henin at Wimbledon 07 (LOL)
     
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  29. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Shriver vs Graf at some tournament in 1988 ending her win streak
    Craybas vs Serena at Wimbledon in what...2005?
    Isner against Fed at DC last year?
    Majoli beating Martina h. At the 97 french

    Can you tell work is slow for me today...LOL
     
    #79
  30. Dan Lobb

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    Yes, presumably in this thread we are referring to a peak level of play which the player can reproduce on a fairly regular basis in a big event, such as Davis Cup, Wimbledon.
    Generally, you can assume that most players will do their utmost to reach their peak level in a big Davis Cup or Wimbledon match. One exception would be Nastase.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
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  31. Dan Lobb

    Dan Lobb Hall of Fame

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    .............................
     
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  32. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Verkerk in 2003
     
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  33. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Nastase would rather entertain than win--ever the court jester.
     
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  34. hawk eye

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    Krajicek against Sampras Wimbledon 1996 was the highest level anyone ever played, at least that i have witnessed.
    After this performance I'd say four of five performances of Boris Becker indoors.
     
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  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Disagree here
    Nastase wanted badly the DC title just as much as he wanted Wimbledon
    The guy was very prompt to be caught in the middle of unbearable fan,press and the worst commie regime in Europe... and he just choked
    Believe me, Bucuresti in 72 was the worst possible place for Ilie to play for a big championship
     
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  36. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    I saw a match between Petr Korda vs Andre Agassi at the Canadian Open - don't remember the year - but the match was over by the time - I had cleaned off the seat and was ready to settle in...Korda absolutely destroyed Agassi - Service winners or return winners - I remember thinking there is no way anyone could beat this guy!
     
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  37. BTURNER

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    Hood lets see you do this with the women!
     
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  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Ooh, that's a bit tougher for me. But I'll start working on it.
     
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  39. BTURNER

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    You should be complimented I asked. Too many posters here either would not care to bother, or wouldn't know enough to be worth my bother.
     
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  40. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    soderling played even better in the 2010 QF at RG vs fed ...
     
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  41. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    My list was comprised of people who went into some kind of god mode and beat a top player and were not able to do it again...why would I put 2010 RG on there when Soderling lost that match?
     
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  42. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Soderling won his 2010 RF QF with Federer.
     
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  43. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I mentioned the quarter final vs federer ...

    if you mean soderling vs rafa himself, then soderling also beat him at the YEC in 2009 .....
     
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  44. Fyrepower

    Fyrepower New User

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    Djokovic comes to mind...
     
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  45. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Ya I screwed up there that was me being totally stupid.

    But my point of putting the Rafa vs Soderling match on my list is that no one in a million years would have expected it. That would be like if Falla had beaten Fed at Wimbledon that one year. Beating Rafa at the French, the only loss Rafa has ever had there, is more impressive than his beating Fed there in 2010.

    Granted no one thought he would beat Fed there after Fed beat him in 2009, but 2010 was overall for Fed as huge step down anyway. The Rafa win, him knocking out the 4 time defending champion and best clay court player in the world, is to me bigger and more worthyof inclusion than beating Fed in 2010.

    Rafa on clay for his entire career has been near invincible, so for someone like Soderling to heat him at the french, knees or not, is pretty much the epoch of one match peak play..especially since Rafa straight settled him in 2010.
     
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  46. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Clay is Rafa land, anyone to beat him there needs to play out of their mind good. Fed while a solid clay player in his own right is no Rafa. Take the Fed resume as a whole and I can see your point, but it was on clay..now if Soderling beat Fed at Wimbledon than that would be different, as Wimbledon has been Feds baby as much as the French has been Rafas. But all things considered I think his beating Rafa at the French is way more impressive and will probably be the thing he will be remembered for the most in his career.
     
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  47. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    soderling will be remembered the most by his victory over rafa in RG 2009 and that was more impressive overall, no question ......but purely by quality of play, I think his 2010 QF vs federer was a bit better than his 4R match vs nadal in 2009 .....
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
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  48. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Soderling did look like a giant-killer that year, (until the final).
     
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  49. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    For that matter, I once watched Kelly Evernden blow McEnroe right off the hard courts in Indianapolis one year and you would have thought this guy was a tennis God, of course the next round the carriage turned back into a pumpkin.
     
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  50. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Hana,Hana,Hana
    And then Serena,Martina,Margaret,Mo,Suzanne,Steffi and Maria Esther
     

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