The Greatest Hard Court Player of the open era for you

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Laurie, May 5, 2012.

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Who's the greatest hard court player of the open era for you?

  1. Ivan Lendl

    3.3%
  2. Andre Agassi

    2.5%
  3. Roger Federer

    83.3%
  4. John McEnroe

    2.5%
  5. Jimmy Connors

    2.5%
  6. Pete Sampras

    5.8%
  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yes, and today's players are always better, always! No exceptions! And tennis started in 2003 . . . for you!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Yes, in terms of her mental toughness!
     
  3. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    Feds by far.
     
  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Let's see, I'm gonna guess you were born in 1995. Hahaha!
     
  5. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    And the problem with you(and kiki) is you believe tennis and other sports get worsen over the years.
     
  6. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, only saw sampras play a couple of times on youtube in his prime and i really do think that Feds has the better backhand and not sampras. Sampras is king of S&V. Feds pretty much an all rounder haha.
     
  7. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    How is that relevant? Are you going to be condescending jerk to anyone who considers Federer to be the greatest hard court player of all time?

    "..born in 1995. Hahaha!" Yes, Jayoub95 had the audacity to be born in 1995 and then posting his opinion on this forum whilst not being a senior citizen like yourself.

    The nerve of some people!
     
  8. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Sorry, Sampras might have been king of S&V in his prime, but, there were better S&V'ers before him. Maybe you've heard of Edberg and McEnroe. Further, Sampas ground game was every bit as good as his net game. His forehand was his best shot, other than his serve. Federer's net game is no where near as good as his ground game. The point being that Sampras was an all court player. Federer is a back court player.
     
  9. Laurie

    Laurie Professional

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    Thanks for that interesting information.
     
  10. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Yet the same all-rounder Sampras found it hard to win 2 consecutive matches on clay while Federer made just about every final he could make and kept losing to Nadal in tight matches in the final. Jesus.
     
  11. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    Hey, absolutely NO SHAME in using Babolat! Especially when it improves your game and, admittedly, for many MANY people it does!!!
    Federer with a Pure Drive....imagine the SERVE.
     
  12. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    In actuality, I believe that Fed's game would suffer dramatically if he switched to to Bab.

    His game is built around that Wilson Pro Staff feel (thick, heavy, kludgy but unique). With a Bab that feels very different, maybe he'd have a bigger serve but he'd be half the player.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  13. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    ^He could use a Pure Storm.
     
  14. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    This topic has been exhaustively discussed on this forum, fairly recently, too. Without restating all that has been explained, I'll touch on a few salient points, just for your benefit. First, Sampras actually did win a few clay court events in his career. Second, without any other considerations, a backcourt game is generally going to be more successful on clay than an all court game. But, it's important to understand that in Sampras era, and for the entire history of tennis before that, the different surfaces played very differently requiring completely different approaches to tennis, which gave rise to specialists on various surfaces, especially, clay court specilists, some of whom didn't even play any of the grass court events because grass was a different game than what they played.

    Sampras' game was developed specifically to succeed on grass. He was a pure power player who sought to end points as quickly as possible from everywhere on the court. That approach to tennis is rewarded on faster courts, and punished on slower courts that neutralize power and reward patience, especially against clay court specialists who stood back and kept the ball in play almost indefinitely. And Sampras didn't have the benefit of today's oversized racquets and polyester string. Further, unlike today, in the 1980's and 1990's, many if not most of the Europeans were clay court specialists making it very difficult for a fast court power player to get through a field of clay court specialists and win clay court titles.

    Federer, by contrast, played/plays in an era of homogenized court surfaces in which the same baseline bashing style of tennis, with oversized racquets and polyester strings, is rewareded on all surfaces. Further, Federer doesn't have to deal with an entire field of clay court specialists like Andres Gomez, Sergi Bruguera, Tomas Muster, Gustavo Kuerten, Alberto Berasategui, Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Gaston Gaudio, Guillermo Coria, and that's just a very small sample. And, those last few, who were in their primes before Federer was in his, were the last of the era clay court specialists before all surfaces were made slower. Today, there's only one real clay court specialist, Nadal. So, it should come as no surprise that Federer's ground game would succeed moreso that Sampras' power game on clay in the modern era of homogenized surfaces lacking in any depth of clay court specialists that Sampras had to go through.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Imagine Sampras' serve, and forehand, with a PD+.
     
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I think there would be about a 1 month adjustment period. From there, his game would improve markedly. At an age where his vision and reflexes aren't what they were in his 20's, Federer would benefit greatly from the much larger sweet spot the PD offers. He can always lead up the racquet to his liking.
     
  17. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Still haven't proved it. But then I don't expect you to, but rather to sit there and say such nonsense like that.

    Henman is much tougher competition than any of the top 4 today. Sure.
     
  18. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Federer would be successful on clay in any era. Just look at his h2h on clay against Ferrero, Moya, Coria, Gaudio (those you mentioned) - I believe they have a combined 0 number of wins on clay against him.
     
  19. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    I may not like Roddick on a personal level but I have to give the guy a little credit when so many in this thread try to take it a way.

    Roger Federer is the only reason Roddick does not have 1 or more Wimbleons today.

    That being said anyone trying to argue for Sampras due to "competition" is a fanboy fool.

    Stats are facts and anything else is conjecture and opinion. Roger Federer is clearly the GHCP of the open era just like Nadal is the GCCP of the open era.
     
  20. Merger5

    Merger5 New User

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    I would go something like this (my view is based on results but also the adaptability of ones' game to the hard court surface):

    Andre Agassi
    Roger Federer
    Pete Sampras
    Rod Laver
    Novak Djokovic
    Ivan Lendl
    Jimmy Connors
    John Mcenroe
    Marat Safin
     
  21. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Have you ever played with a K Six One 90 that had Federer's string job? While I agree that a K 90 strung with any synthetic, natural gut, or pure poly will have a small sweet spot, somehow the tension that Federer uses in combination with the strings allows for one of the most forgiving rackets I have played with. Shots that would be complete shanks with the other strings somehow are light mishits that go in. The other thing worth mentioning is the vibration that this string job seems to allow to you arms. This setup seems to absorb all impact from the ball and trampoline the ball off the string bed. Sweet Spot is the least of Federer's problem.

    As for the Bab, if he was going to use one, the most logical would be the Pure Storm Limited with a custom string pattern instead of the standard 18x20. The PD doesn't play into his game.

    Lastly, Federer doesn't need a new racket. He is aging and there is no way to reverse the aging process. What he'd really benefit from is some faster courts.
     
  22. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    http://bit.ly/LvFrWk

    Gaudio says hello.

    So let me get this straight. All surfaces have been slowed down since 2003 and the fact that Federer was dominant on slowed courts even though his highly offensive game is best suited for faster courts means that he is a lackluster player who hasn't dealt with anyone on clay except Nadal? You know why Federer's game succeeded on clay? It's called spin and movement. Federer's game adapts to all surfaces. You can't just end poins at the snap of a finger on clay. Sampras liked quick points, that's why he didn't do as well as Federer on clay.
     
  23. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    None of these players are as good as Fed, except arguably Guga, but he was inconsistent.

    And since you claimed to have watched tennis, you should know better that Fed can adapt in both environments. Actually, slowing down the court hurts his game(suitable for grinder like Nadal, Ferrer..), but he was able adapt new challenge, unlike some players like Roddick who likes fast court couldn't keep up with players who likes to grind. The idea of Fed benefitted from a slow court is a myth...the guy can thrives on fast surfaces and develop a s/v style in any era. Of course I don't expect you to know this.
     
  24. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Federer's game is not best suited for faster courts. He's not a great volleyer or net player. His game is not that offensive compared to players like Laver, McEnroe, Edberg and Sampras. Other than that, you've merely repeated with I already said.
     
  25. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's not the point. I didn't compare them to Federer as overall players. But, they were more comfortable and their games more relatively effective on clay than Federer's, and with a field full of such specialists, it would have lowered Federer's chances of getting deep into top clay court draws.
     
  26. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    yes, fed's game is best suited for medium-fast to fast courts .....

    just because someone is not a great volleyer or net player, doesn't mean, his game is not suited for faster courts.....Another example would be lendl , who won 5 YECs, making 9 finals in a row ....was his game not suited for faster courts ? ( don't bring up grass as it was the bounces rather than the speed that bothered lendl there )

    coming back to federer, he's brilliant from the baseline, his FH of course is the best of all time, his BH becomes even more potent as there aren't too many rallies and his slice is more effective on the lower surfaces ....

    He doesn't have to come to the net all the time, just when he gets the chances, and his net game is more than decent for that ... fed is more than a competent volleyer... was pretty good at the net at his peak ....

    his anticipation/movement are second to none and he returns pretty well ...

    yeah, all this means his game is not best suited for faster courts, really ???

    so he prefer slower courts where he gets dragged into long rallies by those who have more patience than him like nadal, djoker, simon, murray etc ..., really ??
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  27. mandy01

    mandy01 G.O.A.T.

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    Let's not kid ourselves. Roger wouldn't be sniffing a French Open in the 90s. He'd be living of scraps at Wimbledon as Sampras would routinely perform a blitzkreig on him there. Obviously at the USO he'd have no chance against the stronger and stiffer competition Sampras faced and would have to count himself lucky to make it past second week. Might grant him an AO if Agassi wasn't around. His forehand and footwork might've won him a few tournaments here and there. Otherwise he's isn't much of a looker as a player.
     
  28. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    young federer ranked in the 100s was beating moya on HC and is undefeated vs him overall including matches on clay ....

    coria's prime on clay was from 2003-2005 , federer beat him twice in that time and didn't lose once

    gaudio won FO in 2004, fed beat him just before that in hamburg 2004, also once before in 2003 , didn't lose once to him ...

    there are other players good on the dirt as well apart from nadal : djokovic, ferrer , davydenko, nalbandian, del potro , soderling, safin etc ...just because they are good on other surfaces doesn't mean they aren't good on clay ...

    ditto for federer actually. He's darn good on clay, just that he's better on other places .....

    oh and don't give me the cr*p that his movement/play doesn't appear natural on clay citing that kuerten match where he was struggling with the dimensions of the centre court at RG ... he improved there as well as on clay in general after that ......

    watch his rome 2006 final vs nadal, hamburg 2007 final vs nadal (last 2 sets ) , 2009 final vs soderling, 2002 hamburg final vs safin etc , that's as good CC tennis as it gets ....
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  29. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    You seem to have missed some of Federer's matches in the early 00's, he was a damn good volleyer (and still is if he's on) but had to become more of a baseliner afterwards in order to taste success.

    And please don't you bring Edberg or McEnroe in the "best attacking player" discussion, they wouldn't hit a flat forehand if their lives were on the line.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  30. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Not in the least. I guess only serve and volley players can be considered offensive? I guess Fernando Gonzalez was a S&V play in his match against Nadal at the 2007 AO? Only three UEs in that match. Can you tell me how Federer's game isn't suited for fast courts without referencing FO 2010 or Wim 2010? That's what most people point to saying that Soderling and Berdych over powered him etc. The only reason they were in that position to overpower was because the ball was sitting up at Wimbledon and clay gives Soderling the time to set up and unleash some serious power.
     
  31. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]
     
  32. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    IIRC, Federer stopped serving and volleying because he didn't need to do it to win matches. He felt it was easier to win from the baseline. I'd bet in hindsight he wishes he would have kept it going as his level hasn't come close to his 03-05 AO serve and volley level.
     
  33. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    I see what you did there :)
     
  34. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Peak Federer wouldn't stand a chance against the tough competition Sampras faced at the US Open, I mean look who beat him in his prime - Yzaga, Kodra. A well established hard court demon Corretja (who occasionaly played decent on clay) had match points against him in 1996. Guys who would be considered an average top 10 players today were were beating Sampras at the Open in his prime years. It was that tough.
     
  35. monfed

    monfed Guest

    This post has so much WIN it's not even funny! Too good. :)
     
  36. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    I get a kick out those people who said Fed preferred slow court. Fact is during his prime some of his losses are coming from pusher like Canas, Simon, Murray and of course Nadal. And there's a reason why he's more success at Cinci than any other MS, which is a fast one.
     
  37. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    That's the difference - he didn't stop attacking the net in 03-04 on a consistent basis because he felt more comfortable from the baseline but because he was forced to do so. I believe his net game prior to 2003 was on par with his ground game.
     
  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I've seen plenty of Federer matches from the early 00's. He's never been a great volleyer or net player. Further, believe it or not, the forehand isn't the only method of attack. So, what kind of forehands did Mac and Edberg hit?
     
  39. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Further, believe it or not, net play isn't the only method of attack.

    For such great attacking players, Mc's and Edbergs forehands were lollypops.
     
  40. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Federer's forehand > any of Sampras' weapons. Serve, volley, and forehand.

    There have been many great servers, many with amazing volleys, and many with amazing forehands. Federer's forehand is the closest to consensus of all subjective rankings in tennis. Even a majority of Nadal fans will go ahead and give Federer the nod when ranking the best forehands ever.

    *waits for you to talk about how Sampras had the most amazing forehand of all time and say how Federer's amazing serve set up his forehand.
     
  41. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You're making a lot of false assumptions about me. I've said many times that Federer's forehand is probably the best shot in the history of tennis. But, that doesn't make him as much of an attacker as a great S&V'er.
     
  42. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's what I was explaining to you.

    I guess I didn't succeed in explaining it to you.
     
  43. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    You also didn't succeed in understanding what you wrote.

    You assume that one has to be a great volleyer or net player to be tagged as a "fast court player". This is your problem. You just can't fathom that a professional can be an aggressive player without having the ability to hit a good volley (not that Federer sucks at the net, quite the contrary).

    Might as well say that Agassi is a pusher just because he can't hit a decent volley.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  44. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    The Sampras serve is a greater and even more effective weapon than the Federer forehand. Keep in mind the serve is the most important single stroke in tennis, especialy mens tennis. The best serve ever > the best forehand ever (and the former is even more certainly true than the latter anyway).
     
  45. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    You have to realize, however, that the serve is becoming a much less important fascet of the game, and much less an advantage today than it was in the 90s. Now, with the slower surfaces, the serve is more ineffective, putting a greater emphasis on a better ground game.

    So, in Sampras' prime (at especially Wimbledon), the serve would be more effective. But in today's game, I'd rather take Federer's forehand over Sampras' serve.

    Tough comparison, either way.
     
  46. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Even if so Sampras didnt play today, so in his case only how important a weapon the serve was for him in his era matters. Sampras's serve makes him virtually unbreakable by anyone, even by the GOAT returner Agassi when it was on, in his own era and the court condtiions of then atleast. Federer's forehand cant even shut down Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Nalbandian, on a regular basis, even when it is on. In fact all those players arguably have the edge over Federer overall from the backcourt, when both are playing reasonably well, with Federer needing to win alot of free points on serve to garner victory.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2012
  47. Biscuitmcgriddleson

    Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional

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    Pete's serve couldn't do anything on dirt.
     
  48. FlashFlare11

    FlashFlare11 Hall of Fame

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    If you're looking at each as a standalone shot, then I agree. Federer's forehand, alone, isn't going to win him matches against the very best players today. But the problem with saying a serve is a much more potent weapon in winning matches is that your serve only impacts your service games. In other words, you only serve half the match, while the other half is left for you to use your other weapons. This is where Federer's forehand become much more potent.
     
  49. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Fair enough. I still think all things being equal one would rather arguably the best ever serve than arguably the best ever forehand. It would be like asking which would you rather the Serena serve or Graf forehand. I know Graf won more as she had a better all around game, and lights years better health, fitness, and consistency, over the years, but as a single weapon I think most would take the Serena serve as well.
     
  50. fed_rulz

    fed_rulz Hall of Fame

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    good luck having Petetards explain that anomaly, especially when he's constantly being hyped up as the "greatest server of all time" over guys like Karlovic who served 78 aces on dirt!!
     

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