Which champion male or female gave you the least joy

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by BTURNER, May 4, 2009.

  1. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    to watch play. Which number 1 left you flat? For me Courier and Sharapova. Both lacked enough variety to thrill me.
     
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  2. grafrules

    grafrules Banned

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    That is easy Jelena Jankovic. Not only is she the most talentless, least accomplished, weakest all around #1 player ever but she isnt remotedly interesting to watch either. Her actual tennis game zzzzzzz, a pusher with neither any weaponary or creativity who doesnt even have dynamic defensive abilities to excite you. Her drama on court antics, pure annoying, she isnt even able to make that sort of interesting like Mary Pierce for example could.

    Second would be her contemporary and heir apparent as new bogus womens #1 Dinara Safina. Not only the 2nd least talented, least accomplished, weakest all around #1 ranked player ever but a completely boring, one dimensional, and also laboured workwomenlike looking game. Her on court tantrums and losses of composure just make her doubly unenjoyable to watch when on a not so great day.
     
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  3. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Graf and ********.
     
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  4. Warriorroger

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    My heroes, I am breaking up with you, you you ******.
     
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  5. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Lendl (who was only enjoyable in competition against his era's plethora of truly great players- against anything less was tedious)

    Nadal - his game style just bores me to tears

    Courier - equally tedious

    Sampras - dullest player I have ever met and the attacking version of Lendl - a personality that sucked all of the fun out of the game.

    Serena Williams - tedious person, tedious game

    Maria Sharapova- painful to watch, painful to listen to.
     
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  6. suwanee4712

    suwanee4712 Professional

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    It was Lendl and Evert for me. But it was only because they so often beat my favorites. It took me a while to really appreciate those two because I spent so much time rooting against them instead of enjoying the tennis.

    But in hindsight, I have great admiration for both players. Now that it's all said and done, I greatly respect each of them and enjoy watching their old matches.
     
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  7. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    for some reason i always found Agassi boring...
     
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  8. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    No disrespect intended because she was clearly a winner, but I could never enjoy watching A. Sanchez-Vicario.
     
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  9. boredone3456

    boredone3456 Legend

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    Sharapova- mainly because I hate her "grunt" and the fact she plays a pure power game and little ability to switch that up.

    Federer- I mean during his dominance in his early round matches against much lower ranked players. While Fed could always put on a display, knowing roughly 90% the lower ranked 1st-3rd round opponents were likely to give fed almost no trouble sort of made watching the matches pointless because it was usually obvious Fed was going to dominate. Watching Fed against Nadal or another opponent where they can push each other is great, but watching Fed play someone who is clearly no match for him is boring.

    Hingis- off court, mainly in her interviews because I was never a fan of her attitude. Her game was good when she was on...but off Court...was never a fan.
     
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  10. Winners or Errors

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    Wow. I just can't think of any really boring number 1 players. I wonder if I'm in the minority here, or there's a silent majority that realizes how very very good you have to be to become number 1. All of them had some amount of artistry, even if they only got there for a week. All of them gave me some joy.

    That said, I always root for the underdog, regardless of whether I think they'll win or I like the favorite. I'm also quite likely to hear snootiness in the comments of number 1 players, because I like underdogs and often look for anything to grab to hate them while I watch them play. ;-) I love to see people rise to the occasion.
     
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  11. Warriorroger

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    I didn't like watching Sergi Buegera. Those tiresome RG finals.
     
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  12. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I think the question is a little bit broader - "players which give you the least joy" doesn't necessarily mean they have to be boring, though that can certainly be a part of it.

    For whatever reason (boring tennis, boring personality, annoying personality, etc.), which player winning fails to being you any sense of joy or satisfication.
     
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  13. scootad.

    scootad. Semi-Pro

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    sharapova, safina, even clijsters are zzzz
     
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  14. tonyg11

    tonyg11 Rookie

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    Lets be honest, Sampras was fairly boring due to his ability to hold serve. He tried hard to get one break/ set then often tanked the rest of his return games and just held serve. Sometimes he wouldn’t even go for the break and just win in the tiebreak. That’s why his rivalry with Agassi was important because Agassi put pressure on his serve which in turn made him pay attention to all the games, thus making his matches far more exciting.
     
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  15. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    Sampras was agonizingly dull to watch, devoid of personality or flair. Lendl was mechanical and humorless. I can handle players whose game seems a trifle dull if they show some kind of spark in terms of their personality (Courier comes to mind), but Sampras in particular just seemed so utterly bland...yawn.
     
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  16. scootad.

    scootad. Semi-Pro

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    I agree...the only time i liked watching Sampras was when he was playing against Agassi.

    Edberg was brilliant to watch though. I miss those volleys.
     
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  17. jimwh

    jimwh Rookie

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    Could not stand Jimmy Connors.
     
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  18. marc45

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    crazy talk about pete, he let his game do the talking and he had some of the greatest strokes/shots in the history of the game...service motion a thing of beauty that i could watch all day from the toe rock to the explosive finish....greatest running forehand of all time, including nadal.....sharp crisp vollleys, in particular great ability to hit half-volley and drop-shot volley winners...finally the single most athletic and entertaining shot in the history of tennis, his jumping overhead (nadal second in that too)..just because he didn't pump his fist or encourage the crowd to help him didn't mean his game wasn't exciting...he also moved like a panther in his prime, quick and powerful...to compare him to a dullard like lendl (who i respect) is ridiculous
     
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  19. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    I also enjoyed watching Pete, but the OP's question was personal, asking for someone's personal perception. There's no wrong answer.
     
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  20. Winners or Errors

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    OK, "least joy" to me refers to the pleasure of watching them play.

    Did I want to occasionally change the channel watching Jimmy Connors or John McEnroe behave badly? Yes. Does that mean I didn't get joy from watching their extraordinary skill? No.

    I could go on and list a bunch, but it's not worth the time. Fact is, every number 1 player I've watched has given me "joy" at one point or another. I can't really rate them on a mathematical scale of some sort. Quantifying that feeling is, well, joyless...
     
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  21. marc45

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    i understand, but as an original pete fan (before 90 u.s. open) you just get tired of hearing it
     
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  22. CEvertFan

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    I too thought that when Sampras first came on the scene he was boring because of his hangdog look on the court. No fire, no passion whatsoever. Later in his career he became a bit more demonstrative on court which was better.

    I love Evert but sometimes I wished she would show a bit of emotion on court although her tactical prowess often made me forget about the complete lack of emotion. Her moniker of Ice Maiden was spot on. In the '84 US Open final she clenches her fist after putting away the winning volley on set point to win the first set and I loved seeing her display some emotion. For her to show that, you know she wanted it very badly indeed.


    Both Sampras and Evert weren't comfortable showing emotion on the court or felt that it used up energy that could be better spent on winning the match which is completely understandable.


    Steffi Graf was very arrogant and dismissive, almost to the point of being rude, when she was beating up everyone in sight in the late 80s but as she got older she grew out of that, but I disliked her lack of graciousness when she was still a teenager. I found myself admiring her more and more every year that I watched her grow as a player and person.

    McEnroe's incessant tantrums could get tiresome at times and sometimes I wished he would just get on with it. Lendl was too dour on court - it seemed at times that he played joyless tennis and although he's one of my favorite men's players I wished he would at least just smile once in a while.

    I love Davenport but it used to make me want to rip out my hair everytime she got down on herself in a match and let a win slip away, which happened more than a few times.

    Current players that give me the least joy are Sharapova, Kusnetsova, Serena, Safina, Ivanovic etc.

    As a matter of fact I could probably list the entire current women's field.
     
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  23. marc45

    marc45 Hall of Fame

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    i think you're statement about chris and pete feeling their energy was wasted showing excess emotion is right on, for them of course...i think chris was definitely taught that by her father...i think pete was just that way, but maybe coaching or family as well
     
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  24. BTURNER

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    Well, did you ever see Evert get more physically tired than her opponent?
    Dd you see her trying desperate shots to end things, or unable to make the gets in the third set? I think I only only saw that once in her last year 1989 Lipton. Seemed too fatigued in the final vs Sabatini, and forced things too much. Only occasion though in a long career.
     
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  25. crabgrass

    crabgrass Rookie

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    too many women to mention but always found seles,sanchez vicario and sharapova particulary hard to stomach.
     
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  26. origmarm

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    Jankovic was and still is very boring. Sharapova I just don't enjoy because I either had to watch it on mute or endure the aural assault.

    The thing about most of the non current players is that I've forgotten about most of the boring ones except when reminded :)
     
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  27. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    Totally agree with you.

    I could barely stand to watch Lendl, but saw plenty of him because he was always playing when I followed tennis the most - and he was often playing one of my favorites. You give him more credit than me - I wouldn't even say he was enjoyable against another great player - unless he was beating someone I liked less than him. :)

    Sampras - ruined tennis for me - I gave up watching tennis in the 90's because he bored me to tears.
     
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  28. selesian

    selesian Rookie

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    Men: Edberg, Wilander, Ivanisevic, Federer.

    Women: Tracy Austin, Hingis, Jankovic, Williams sisters.
     
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  29. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    You might not like Jankovic but you are actually boosting her by her unworthy recognition as a "champion" of any sort. :)
     
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  30. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

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    Delighted this old thread of mine got resurrected. So often this is surface related. Certainly on grass Sampras was more tedious than Lendl, because of the constant struggle and risk in Lendl's grass game made it compelling, while Sampras's service games had the drama of cell division. On other surfaces, Sampras's game far more dynamic, with his full variety on display in a higher percentage of points. If the champion can rely on a few of his/her weapons, there is a tendency towards complacency. Of course the nature of the opponent, matters in the sort of tension. Evert or Borg could be deadly dull, on a clay court If simply outsteadying was a winning strategy, and boring your opponent was central to inducing errors secondary to concentration lapses, we were in for two hour display resembling an unending time loop. If the outsteadying incurred risk, well, creating errors or opportunities for aggression led to bolder play, or interesting shot selection.
     
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  31. roundiesee

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    I'm actually quite surprised that a number of posters have named some really great champions (eg Sampras, Federer, Lendl) as "boring", and watching them play did not bring much joy, and in a way I do understand these sentiments (I find myself "bored" watching some of Pete's matches even though I do greatly admire his tennis). Just goes to show that being very good at this game doesn't necessarily mean that fans will be thrilled watching you play :) We tennis fans are so hard to please LOL :)
     
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  32. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Bear in mind that these "perceptions" are incredibly threadbare and about as lacking in substance as possible. Yes, Mac and Connors showed a lot of personality (mainly through their abuse...and to some extent, over-the-top body language), but most of the rest show very little.

    Give Pete a multicolored mullet, and a few gimmicks and hey, what a sensation! Such PERSONALITY!!

    A lot of charisma is marketing, a lot is looks. Safin says a few retarded lines that sound like what an elementary school kid might come up with and "wow" amazing! Even while tanking his whole career away and wasting people's money! Were Safin 5'11 and ugly? Um...yeah....wouldn't have ANY Fans.

    Bjorn is the ICEMAN! yes...what emoting there! and what interviews!

    Edberg (though he was accused of boring often at the time) is a "gentleman" (well he was...but was he that much more of a gentleman on court than 7 of 10 other players, who are well behaved, play professionally, and keep their mouths shut?)

    The only striking personality attribute you can see through Fed's pleasantries is a slight passive-aggressive whinyness that comes from arrogance! Wow...charisma!!! (under ordinary circumstances, in your business or school....he'd be about as popular as cholera! Oh great...here's come the prissy, and passively boastful euro guy again....)

    Chang actually showed a heart, determination,versatility, and never say die attitude that I've never seen the equal of out there....he did emote at appropriate times, could actually be slightly clever/funny...but you know what? He's a short little chinese guy....we don't really want to be him!

    I've written about the totally ridiculous "boring" thing on Sampras before! Oddly enough...I wasn't much of a fan during his career....except of his game....HAD no choice but to not only respect it, but enjoy it. Man, here's a guy who could play any style of tennis at the top level, could and would hit winners from any part of the court, make it look easy, was bold under pressure, confident, and that's boring? One needs to assess if they are truly entertained by TENNIS or primarily other things if they find that is true of them.

    Having said that, it's human nature. Deep down, we are all attracted too good looks, and those we relate to...and we make those judgments on very superficial and quick heuristics often. Every one of us does it everyday....sad but true.
     
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  33. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Yes, not like the crazy emotion shown by....Borg, Wilander, Edberg, Federer, Agassi, etc. ;-)

    Sampras only pumped his fist on occasion at big moments, let out a primal scream or 2 at the biggest of occasions. Threw up on court, and won. Cried his eyes out for a dying coach on court, and won. Came back to end his career winning the US open, despite enduring talk of him being totally done for 2+ years and having bad losses.

    I dislike Pete but the boring rap was started in the media by 1991....WOW....and he never was able to shake it, despite the endless great matches he played. He rightfully resented it, and when you look at him and his personality vs. say.....Gretsky...or Tiger (well until we found out he's dog in his personal life)...or well...almost all great athletes....you see it's unwarranted. Few great champions walk around like Dennis Rodman, they take their job seriously (who actually, piercings and colored hair aside was about as interesting as a doorknob in actual interviews)!
     
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  34. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    I never found Sampras to be boring, and definitely not Borg. Borg brought an electric atmoshere to Wimbledon when he burst on the scene! But no, Borg didn't go crazy during interviews. He's a very modest, understated guy, and I think that's actually admirable. Same with Sampras. Both Borg and Sampras let their racquets do the talking and usually they were saying a lot with their racquets. They didn't have to explain very much. All in all, both had impressive sportsmanship. Both had tremendous respect for the history of the Game and traditional behavior in many ways. Both admired Laver. At the same time, each believed that he was the very best player around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
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  35. BTURNER

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    Oh to be clear, I am not judging their personalities at all.
    it is the tennis. Yes ace after ace can get dull, with the odd first volley tossed in. But when Sampras is pushed into producing all kinds of variety into his winning game, he is spectacular. Same with Borg, pressed into flights of glory, followed by such shotmaking as we dare not dream. Evert's mind at work by an opponent demanding decisions and patterns, not repeated twenty times in the first set. I am not dissing a player so much as a set of circumstances surrounding a specific match-up. love watching any of them making shots lesser players could not manage.
     
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  36. SusanDK

    SusanDK Semi-Pro

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    As BTURNER said, I'm not judging personality. The question was about which player gave one the least joy to watch play tennis.

    For me it isn't about putting Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, etc. in the exciting camp vs. Sampras, Lendl, etc. in the boring camp.

    I loved watching Jimmy Connors play tennis - his game, his strokes, his guts, the way he got himself and the crowd pumped up. The flat strokes that barely cleared the net and kept my stomach in knots were pure entertainment.

    I also loved watching Stefan Edberg play tennis - many call him boring, but I found him hypnotic to watch, his game a thing of beauty. I was looking at some youtube videos by a guy who has over 200 videos uploaded of just Edberg, and I could have watched them all day, despite the repetitiveness of the points.

    Sampras playing tennis bored me to tears, and I swear it sometimes looked like it bored his opponents to the point that both they and I were almost put to sleep. It's hard to describe, and I don't doubt the guy was an accomplished player based on his record, but watching his tennis was not enjoyable for me.

    Borg's tennis was amazing to me. In his early days, I wasn't even a fan because he kept beating my favorite at the time, Connors, but I was in awe of his tennis skill. His matches made me love tennis.

    Alternately, I found Lendl's tennis boring. A lot of that was also his mechanical, robotic between-point routine, but when I watched his matches, even when his opponent was a favorite, I was bored with the tennis.

    This is all subjective and personal opinion, obviously. It's great that there are such contrasting styles and that we all enjoy watching the variations. So as was said, there is no right or wrong answer in this thread.
     
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  37. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Ok, that is fair. But still, there are so many players more reliant on serve than Sampras...and his motion so unique and graceful! It's a work of art!

    In any case though, I don't attribute the issue to Sampras or Borg if their opponents weren't good enough to push them! All pros would be boring playing against 4.5's....they'd never play any real points!
     
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  38. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Churchill gave N.azis the least joy.
    Graf gave Selesians the least joy.
    Both fine with me.

    Although Graf was no Churchill ...
     
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  39. srinrajesh

    srinrajesh Guest

    Mens ... personally it was players like Agassi who beat my fave Becker number of times. Sampras too did it though it was lot closer between the two.

    Then it was Federer who was so boring when he dominated in a less competitive era (b4 rise of Nadal in other surfaces). It was boring to watch him beat lower ranked players and raking in all the slams agaisnt hapless opponents. Perhaps once he drops back to lower top 10 he mite become interesting to watch again.

    Women...Williams sisters who dominate by sheer brute force over opponents..
    Graf and seles when they were utterly dominant too.
    Davenport

    Non champion players it was soderling becos of his attitude but he seems to hve improved slightly now
     
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  40. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    for me too it was courier... until nadal appears: he would be even able to make me root for courier if he was facing him, and that's something !
    can't stand lumberjack tennis...
     
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  41. dannythomas

    dannythomas Semi-Pro

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    I think Monica Seles was the most overrated player male or female of all time. Especially by Samboy in his many AKA's.

    Mary Pierce was the player who irritated me most with her routine before every point. I almost fell asleep watching her.

    On the men's side I always wanted Rios to lose.
     
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  42. BTURNER

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    I second both Pierce and Courier and add Davenport.
     
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  43. scootad.

    scootad. Semi-Pro

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    ASV definitely
     
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  44. BTURNER

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    I enjoyed ASV. Of course there were all those incredible gets no one ought to get, defensive lobs kissing the backline, slides that went a fourth of a mile, and desperate chops not nearly so desperate as when others employed them, but a hodpodge of strokes, volleys and overheads. She was one of the first major plaers to develope a one handed slice on her two handed wing a la Wilander. Most others just modified their two hander.
     
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  45. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Thomas Muster.. bored me like no-one since.
     
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  46. pmerk34

    pmerk34 Legend

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    Ivan Lendl. His style was boring, he was uninspiring, he took all the joy out of winning and every emotion he showed on court was negative.
     
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  47. dannythomas

    dannythomas Semi-Pro

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    Good choices . I don't think Rios looked like he was having a great time either. Muster and Rios, Pierce and Jankovic would be my choices. I don't like Nalbandian either. When Hewitt was number 1 he also wasn't too much fun.
     
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  48. borg number one

    borg number one Legend

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    No, I didn't think you were BTURNER. Tennis more than "personality" , in my opinion, provides for real "excitement" and "joy" when watching it. Yet, at the same time, I suppose that it can be difficult to separate "personality" from pure tennis ability/shotmaking when watching matches and enjoying them. There are some definite parallels between Evert and Borg. One thing in particular was that both looked very serene and "nice" out there at times. Yet, both were so steely and tough and you could see that clearly, with no shouting/tantrums necessary. She was the "IceMaiden" while Borg was the "Iceman". They were "silent assassins" even as tennis prodigies.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Evert and Borg displayed great sportsmanship, with no "yelling" or outbursts, and both as competitive and "gritty" as they come. They would not give you an inch, especially out on the red dirt. Evert is the female player (Graf also) that reminds me of Borg on the men's side. I could never root for another player when Evert was playing. So, in a way, Evert and Borg have brought me the "most joy" and have served as benchmarks for me in more ways than one as to how to win/lose in the right way (both on and off the court). Players that are far removed from those characteristics have generally brought me the "least joy".
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
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  49. ywk999

    ywk999 Rookie

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    I guess I really disliked immaturity and poor sportsmanship in players.

    Least Joy Category:
    - Ivan Lendl: a great player, but so negative and dour, politburo-member-like demeanor, argumentative, cynical, plenty of gamesmanship, not so amicable to most, often a tanker/quitter, generally a poor sports, not at ease with himself, takes fricken long to serve - so hard to sit through when he misses the first serve (half of the time) and goes through the same routine for the second (but he cleaned up a lot of his act from 1990 or so, and I had new-found respect for him; when champions behave like champions, I don't have problem admiring them)
    - Jim Courier: better than Lendl, but similar, a great player, but too workman-like and too much on-court antics to stomach, had an unsophisticated hillbilly image, was an impenatrable wall and so dominant during his reign, but I had problems accepting him as No. 1 when he did so poorly on fast courts (but here also I had new-found respect for him when he started to wane; seems like a great guy to know off-court); nowadays I feel a bit guilty for not having more appreciation for him when he was at the top
    - Thomas Muster: I was first very impressed by his clay court game, but later came to hate the guy with a passion and cried foul when the dirtballer became No. 1 for a brief moment, had a penchant for stirring things up on and off the court, one time he stuck his racquet in his crotch and stroked the handle - outrageous!

    Not Much Joy:
    - John McEnroe: he was not boring to watch but I just got so turned off by his brat image, and his nike-developed rebel image; I thought it was ridiculous that he equated his misbehaviors to personality and excitement; he still cannot control his temper in seniors tour; he obviously lost his grip with reality somewhere and the media is much to blame for encouraging it; I think I would've loved him had he some modesty
    - Many More: most clay court specialists, flash in the pans, etc.

    Joy:
    - Stefan Edberg: sportsman, talent, athleticism, build, achievement, no controversy, devoted (used to throw his racquet too, but learned discipline and self control, became a true champion and did a lot for positive image building for the sport)
    - Pete Sampras: talent, athleticism, best all-rounder (in the US particularly Sampras gets the bum rap for being boring - media mind kontrol stuff; elsewhere it's a lot different I think; I tried to copy his forehand and serve with not much success :-()
    - Michael Chang: heart, speed, brain, never say die, overachiever, fair play
    - Andre Agassi: if you got through the image is everything crap, you discover one of the truly gifted tennis players ever, took the two-handed backhand to a new level (currently my model for a backhand)
    - Boris Becker: his 85 Wimbledon win forged me into a tennis fan when McEnroe and Connors couldn't
    - Mats Wilander: another ideal model of a tennis player for me, I wanted to like his brand of tennis like a vintage wine
     
    #49
  50. BTURNER

    BTURNER Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,545
    Location:
    OREGON
     
    #50

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