The best counterpuncher ever?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Cyan, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Cyan

    Cyan Hall of Fame

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    Who would that be?
     
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  2. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Immediately coming to mind would be Harold Solomon, Eddie Dibbs, Michael Chang and Andy Murray. But you could almost include such players such as Bjorn Borg, Rafa Nadel and even Roger Federer... why I put these latter players in this category is that they may be the best at defending until they can press the offense, something that I think is lost on most people with Federer.
     
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  3. Bjorkman & Johnny Mac

    Bjorkman & Johnny Mac Banned

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    Hewitt at his peak I think. Not a whole lot of weapons but he was a nightmare matchup for some the attacking players at his top level. Borg counterpunched at times with great defensive but attacked serve-volleyed for his wimbeldon titles too. He had alot of weapons. He was just a counterpuncher with limited weapons like a Hewitt
     
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  4. IvanAndreevich

    IvanAndreevich Legend

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    At his best, it has to be Nadal.
     
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  5. President of Serve/Volley

    President of Serve/Volley Semi-Pro

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    Michael Chang without a doubt.
     
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  6. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    chris evert, for the women's.
     
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  7. Kenny022593

    Kenny022593 Professional

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    I really wish i was a fan of watching tennis when hewitt was in his prime and not just a monthly basher.
     
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  8. petetheileet

    petetheileet Rookie

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    Hewitt should definately be in this conversation!
     
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  9. ucrctennis

    ucrctennis Rookie

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    When you look at how little Hewitt had to work with, and what he did with it, it's hard not to choose him.
     
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  10. GraniteHoosier

    GraniteHoosier Rookie

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    I would vote for Hewitt, this assumes that a counter puncher is someone who generally has to rely on the power supplied by their opponent but doesn't generate a lot of pace on their own. I think Nadal can overwhelm people with his own power when he plays aggressively.
     
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  11. Cantankersore

    Cantankersore Semi-Pro

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    If you're going to count Nadal as a counterpuncher, he gets my vote. Unless you're counting Borg. Borg was pretty sweet.
     
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  12. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Have you people SEEN some of the amazing things Michael Chang did? Best d liner ever, and it's not close IMO.
     
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  13. Kemitak

    Kemitak Semi-Pro

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    Roy Jones Junior.
     
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  14. Claudius

    Claudius Professional

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    Isn't Borg the clear answer?
     
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  15. Bjorkman & Johnny Mac

    Bjorkman & Johnny Mac Banned

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    If you watched any of Borg's many Wimby titles you will see he isnt a clear cut by the book counterpuncher. He attacked quite a bit actually on grass.
     
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  16. Toxicmilk

    Toxicmilk Professional

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    Muhammad Ali =D
     
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  17. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Rookie

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    Andre Agassi..cuz he's gettin' hit with a bunch of punches from peeps that live their lives out of their Mom's computer!!:)
     
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  18. Polvorin

    Polvorin Professional

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    Nadal...unless he counts as a moonballer...in that case, Hewitt.
     
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  19. wyutani

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    Mike Chang.
     
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  20. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    sadly true
     
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  21. featherlight

    featherlight Professional

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    hewitt for sure
     
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  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    A lot of choices here. Ken Rosewall is one. Bobby Riggs is another. Michael Chang is an excellent choice in recent times but I have my doubts if he's the best ever.

    Borg was great but as people have written here he did attack quite often.

    Rosewall was a terrific offensive player but I think he was even a better defensive player. He could return what seemed like a winner and hit a winner off of it or perhaps even more annoying he would return the shot at an unusual angle that would be hard to return. Rosewall lobbed very well and could turn defense into offense. His footwork and speed were excellent. Arthur Ashe described Rosewall as being able to return virtually anything.

    Riggs is another great counterpuncher. He lobbed very well. He defeated Don Budge on tour by wearing Budge out with hundreds of lobs. Riggs also could handle power very well and used his opponent's power against them. Budge apparently on tour against Riggs were often a victim of his own power because Riggs would easily return a Budge blast from the baseline and by using Budge's pace, put the ball away.

    Jimmy Connors was a great counterpuncher also. His lobs against Paul Haarhius in winning that great point in the 1991 US Open is legendary and is just one example of many of how great a counterpuncher he was.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7t5W6SDuEs

    Of course in recent times Nadal, Federer and Murray.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
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  23. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Counterpuncher

    Chang comes to mind first...I'd list Hewitt as well...Connors & Borg are semi-counterpunchers if there is such a thing, since both were attacking players...
     
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  24. jrepac

    jrepac Professional

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    Jimbo

    What a great clip! Even the return on the first point is stunning....
    connors always had a very, very good lob
    you did not see him use it often, but it was top notch
    I think only Lendl's was better w/his wicked topspin

    and to think, he was 39yrs old and could still play like this...

    no one could work up a crowd like he could....perhaps only Mac could get them so excited...have not seen it since he and Mac left the game
     
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  25. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    Id say Murray or Hewitt in his prime. I dont think Nadal is a counter-puncher hes more of a Spin Doctor.
     
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  26. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    As far as I'm concerned, the best counterpuncher I've ever seen was Marcello Rios. I've never seen anyone do to Agassi what he did on more than one occasion. Rios had the innate ability to take any ball at any pace and change its direction. He was the best in using his opponent's pace and also in putting the ball where his opponent least expected it. He was the ultimate cat/mouse player.
     
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  27. Gugafan

    Gugafan Hall of Fame

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    Hewitt...Great at directing pace on fast courts. Takes the ball relatively early and in his prime was one of the best movers on the tour.

    What also makes a great counterpuncher is superior fitness. Something Hewitt has proven time and time again over 5 sets.
     
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  28. wilkinru

    wilkinru Professional

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    Hewitt - he was #1 for 2 years also.
     
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  29. Baikalic

    Baikalic Semi-Pro

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    hewitt in terms of counterpunching ability and success.

    I think Chang made the most out of his counterpunching ability so I give him an honorable mention.
     
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  30. Cantankersore

    Cantankersore Semi-Pro

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    The thread is ambiguous; it doesn't specify whether the player selected is to be the best at counterpunching or the best player among counterpunchers. I chose the latter interpretation. Nadal is frequently described as a counterpuncher, and is a tremendously skilled player who has accomplished a great amount throughout his career. Borg is sometimes described as a counterpuncher (perhaps with more emphasis on the punching), and is among the greatest players of all time.
     
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  31. downdaline

    downdaline Professional

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    For me, Hewitt and Chang fall under defensive baseliners. Dont sue me, it's just an opinion, and doesnt take away anything from how great they are.

    For me, greatest counterpuncher right now is Nadal.
     
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  32. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Nadal is the best at transitioning from defense to offense.
     
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  33. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

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    Alright, I know it's an opinion and all. But Hewitt and Chang defensive baseliners yet Nadal a counterpuncher?

    What?!
     
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  34. jefferson

    jefferson Semi-Pro

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    +1 you beat me to it. RIOS was the best counter puncher that i have seen. if youtube him you will be amazed at his shot making ability. The guy did not even practice, just show up and play.
     
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  35. Rjtennis

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    Either Nadal or Borg. I would favor Nadal though as people hit with a lot more pace these days making it more difficult than in Borg's era.
     
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  36. fps

    fps Legend

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    Nadal, although he has more to his game than this now, and Hewitt especially lived and died by the counterpunch. not seen enough chang.
     
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  37. downdaline

    downdaline Professional

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    What i mean is that Hewitt and Chang can create openings for themselves, but have difficulty finishing bcos of the lack of weapons to take advantage of that, so they really have to slug it out until someone makes an error. For Nadal, he has the weapons to do so and end points when he sees an opening.
     
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  38. MuseFan

    MuseFan Banned

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    When Fed is in the mood, he can counter-punch as good as anyone. His defense is other-wordly when ON.
     
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  39. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    who is Mike Chang?
     
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  40. flyinghippos101

    flyinghippos101 Legend

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    Wouldn't say Fed is a counter puncher. He has a tendency to be aggressive. Guys like Murray, Chang and Nadal to some extent are legit counter punchers.
     
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  41. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Fed's defense is currently mediocre. Fed is a classic attacker and a very average counterpuncher. If you look at the ATP statistics, Fed is: #1 at second serve pts won, # 2 at BPs saved, #4 at 1st serve pts won and service games won, #7 at aces.
    Thank God for big serves right?
    In all the returning stats Fed is way out of the top 10: pts returning 1st serve, 2nd serve, BPs converted and return games won.
    Contrast that with Nadal for instance. Nadal is #1 in all the returning categories: pts won returning 2nd serve, BPs converted, return games won and he is #4 at returning first serves but Nadal also has some good stats in the serve category: #2 in 2nd serve pts won, #6 in 1st serve %, #8 in BPs saved.
    Conclusion: Fed is only good at offense, Nadal is better at defense but can do well at offense too.
     
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  42. LiveForever

    LiveForever Banned

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    haha which is why Federer is heads and shoulders above Nadal in achievements. The truth is quite the opposite. Federer is great at offense but still has above average defense. Nadal on the other hand has exceptional defense and has limited offensive capabilities. There is a reason why Nadal gets blown of the court by big hitters who hit the ball right through him. Federer makes big hitters play extra balls while at the same time initiating an offensive game plan. This is also the reason why Nadal is always getting himself injured. He loves grinding away on the court and doesnt go for many cheap points.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
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  43. JeMar

    JeMar Legend

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    lol, this is even funnier after you read your complaint about being fair and balanced in another thread.

    Did you watch ANY of the French Open? Federer pretty much counterpunched his way to the title there, even counterpunching Soderling into countless mistakes, which is something that Nadal was unable to do.
     
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  44. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    That is your subjective perception. Statistics don't lie. Fed wins a lot thanks to his serve (which is why his 2 best slams are W and USO as opposed to AO and RG). His return is nothing special which is why he's not in the top 10 in any category there. It's also why Nadal dominates Fed the most on clay, a surface where the serve is less efficient.
     
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  45. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    Yes an injured Nadal can't do anything. A healthy Nadal though can win RG 4 times in a row, Monte-Carlo 5 times in a row, Barcelona 5 times in a row and Rome 4 times (not in a row). Whether injured or fit Soderling is an average player on any surface. Any kind of clown could beat him in a slam final. Fed didn't counterpunch anything, the only reason he didn't lose the match vs Haas is because he saved break points against him in the 3rd set (that's what he's good at, saving BPs thanks to his big serve) and because old Haas's fitness deserted him at the end.
    Anyway, you cannot judge on the basis of 1 tournament, the stats cover all matches played in 2009, they don't handpick the one tournament where the greatest clay player of all time happened to be at an all time low. They take all tournaments into account, so if you don't mind, I'll stick to them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
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  46. JeMar

    JeMar Legend

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    Way to zone in on one match. He also defended extremely well against Del Potro and a few other good players. That's the same Del Potro that laid a beating of a lifetime on Nadal at the U.S. Open, and the same Del Potro that barely beat Federer in the U.S. Open final.

    Oh, and Federer counterpunched well against Nadal when he beat him in Madrid, too. I'm sure you'll just say that Nadal was tired in that match, or something. But remember that a few years ago, Henin played a longer match against Capriati in at the US Open and still came back to win the title. So, unless Henin is fitter than Nadal, I can't see that argument holding water anymore.
     
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  47. JeMar

    JeMar Legend

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    Did Borg come out of retirement or something?
     
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  48. T1000

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    1. A healthy Nadal CAN'T beat big hitters when they're in the zone. Soderling was head and shoulders above Nadal that day, nothing he could about it. He got beat by a better player. Simple as that.

    2. Borg is the goat of clay

    3. Nadal at an all time low? LOL! He just destroyed Hewitt and ran through the entire clay season losing only one match. He was perfectly fine and got destroyed.
     
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  49. T1000

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    Hewitt played two straight 5 setters at the AO 2005 and still destroyed Roddick in the semis. And Agassi played a ton of 5 setters before finally losing in the final of the USO. So a 35 year old brokeback agassi is fitter than Nadal in his prime?
     
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  50. T1000

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    No, just no. He didn't do so well against,
    Soderling FO 2009
    Del Potro USO 2009
    Tsonga AO 2008
    Meetings against Berdych and Blake
    Shanghai vs Cilic
     
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