Who had the better career: Rios or Gonzalez?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Fr4Nc0, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Fr4Nc0

    Fr4Nc0 Rookie

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    I say Gonzalez. Rios may have been number 1 for a short period, but Gonzalez got at least to the quarterfinals of every grand slam (with a semifinal at RG and a final at AO). Rios only got to the quarters at the USO and RG, the fourth round at wimbledon and the final of the AO, where he got destroyed by the only top 15 player he had to face all tournament. In contrast, to get to the AO final, Gonzalez beat a young Del Potro, past champion Hewitt, then-world number 5 James Blake, then he OBLITERATED Nadal and Haas, and finally lost to Federer in a very tight three-setter where he held two set points in the first set.

    On the other hand, Rios had 5 Masters titles, whereas Gonzalez lost the two masters series finals he disputed (to Federer in Madrid and to Nadal in Rome). Rios has 18 titles to Gonzalez's 11. Gonzalez is the only man in any sport to hold all three gold, silver and bronze olympic medals.

    What do you guys think?
     
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  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Obviously Rios:

    1997 Monte Carlo champion
    1998 Indian Wells champion
    1998 Miami champion
    1998 Rome champion
    1998 Grand Slam Cup champion
    1999 Hamburg champion
    6 weeks as world number 1

    1998 Australian Open runner-up
    1998 and 1999 French Open quarter finalist
    1997 Wimbledon Round of 16 Loser
    1997 US Open quarter finalist

    Yes, Gonzalez may have got to the quarter finals of every major, but Rios' overall achievements are superior by some way. However, Gonzalez's beatings of Nadal and Haas at the 2007 Australian Open are performances that Rios never came close to at a major.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
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  3. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    I don't think that is true.
     
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  4. Fr4Nc0

    Fr4Nc0 Rookie

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    you re right, its probably not true. lets change sport to "event" because im sure that some track people have, say, a gold medal in the 100m, a silver medal in the 200m and a bronze medal in the 400m.
     
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  5. BigServer1

    BigServer1 Legend

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    I'd say Rios, based on the Masters titles and #1.
     
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  6. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    Ríos. He was number one, plus the masters titles, much bigger difference there with González than in their slam results, where the difference is rather marginal.
    González sure made better use of what he had though.
     
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  7. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Gonzalez doesn't hold them all in the same event either.
     
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  8. vive le beau jeu !

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

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    2 great and entertaining players (but not with the same style !) who were bringing something special to the game... vamos chile ! :)

    their achievements are a bit complementary... only misses a win in a slam or a WTF !
    of course, rios' results in masters-1000 are better, but i think this category of tournaments is a bit overhyped. anyway, being a former #1 is a strong point in his favour...

    by the way, they have a similar record vs top-10 players (22-39 for rios, 27-50 for gonzalez), but i have the impression gonzo has a slightly more diverse scalp collection (having wins over sampras and federer must be a great satisfaction !).
    agreed... the highlights of his demolition of the nadal is one of my favorite youtube tennis clips. i like to watch it from time to time... :)
     
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  9. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Rios.. 4sure.
    Bigger talent , bigger titles. Period.
     
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  10. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Rios may have had the better career (why didn't I ever see Rios play except for some few highlights? Am I really that young???) but based on the text in the parentheses Gonzalez was awesomer, or more awesome if you may.
     
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  11. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Rios was better. Bigger talent, bigger titles indeed.

    However, Gonzalez will be a LOT more satisfied with his career. Worked hard, made the most of his limited game (decent movement, not great, decent serve, not great, very average backhand, awesome forehand). and won 3 olympic medals.

    I think Gonzalez will look back on his career a happier man than Rios.
     
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  12. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    In terms of accomplishments Rios has the bigger titles and was ranked number one. However, I think it's safe to say he underachieved given his immense talents.

    Gonzalez, I think it can be safely said, overachieved through hard work and the willingness to listen and learn in order to improve as evidenced by his hiring of Larry Stefanki which led to the best results of his career.

    Of the two Gonzo was certainly more well liked among his peers and tennis fans and seems an overall good guy. Rios, was and is, a jerk. It's too bad that age hasn't mellowed him but that's what makes him Marcelo.
     
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  13. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Rios said in a Q&A a while back that he very satisfied with his career, and has no regrets, although he did say that he would have loved to have won a major.

    But why would Gonzalez be more satisfied with his career than Rios is with his? Rios won 5 masters series titles, a Grand Slam Cup, and had 6 weeks as world number 1. Gonzalez doesn't have those big moments of winning big titles, or being world number 1. Gonzalez's best moments were his excellent wins over Nadal and Haas at the 2007 Australian Open, some other deep runs in majors, and reaching 2 masters series finals where Federer and Nadal beat him, which were the 2006 Madrid Indoor and 2007 Rome. Gonzalez's career high world ranking was number 5.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
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  14. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    What tournaments did you use to watch on TV between 1997-1999?

    Rios is married to his third wife and they have 5 kids. He also has a daughter with his first wife, who plays tennis in the Under 12s. I think he has settled down, somewhat, in the last few years. Anyway, Rios is what he is. He's himself and won't change for anybody. Those who said after he became number 1 that he would have to change and start representing the sport well, were sorely disappointed. If anything, he became even more controversial as he dumped Larry Stefanki as his coach in favour of Nick Bollettieri, and split up with his girlfriend of 2 years. Rios certainly underachieved, though, I agree with you there. But to have done better would have required Rios to change his personality and be serious at all times, and he was never going to do that.

    Gonzalez was also fiery and sometimes controversial (2008 Olympics against Blake), but also had a more easy going side to his personality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    For you whom winnings is everything, Rios.
    But for an artist and humanitarian, for sure Gonzo, for his forehand, if nothing else.
    What will Rios be remembered by? His whining, his historionics, his tantrums and his 12 year old maturity.
    Gonzo will be remembered as a sportman who maximized the ONE stroke every player says is their best.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    For you whom winnings is everything, Rios.
    But for an artist and humanitarian, for sure Gonzo, for his forehand, if nothing else.
    What will Rios be remembered by? His whining, his historionics, his tantrums and his 12 year old maturity.
    Gonzo will be remembered as a sportman who maximized the ONE stroke every player says is their best.
    Sometimes, for some people, ARTISTRY and integrity can win out.
     
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  17. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Rios certainly achieved more in his career. More and bigger titles, world #1 ranking. You can't argue against that.

    Gonzalez was certainly the more likeable personality, though.
     
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  18. achokshi99

    achokshi99 Rookie

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    Yeah Gonzo a great sportsman...he stole a medal from James Blake, demonstrated great integrity there.
     
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  19. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Maybe since Rios actually had the talent to win slams and he didnt. Gonzalez did well to achieve what he did, he was never some super talent.

    It is like Anke Huber is probably more satisfied with her career than Steffi Graf. Yes Graf achieved much more, but her potential was far higher too.
     
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  20. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

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    Pancho Gonzalez
     
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  21. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Very true, good point.

    Rios had the better career.
     
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  22. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Rios obviously had the far better career.

    It's a shame that Gonzalez never won a genuinely big title during his career. As well as finishing as the runner-up at the 2007 Australian Open and silver medalist at the 2008 olympics, he was a losing finalist at Madrid in 2006 and Rome in 2007. Of course he lost two of those big finals to Federer, and the other two to Nadal.

    As well as not winning a slam (his performance against Korda in the 1998 Australian Open final was embarrasingly bad), another major source of frustration for Rios will have been his inability to win his home tournament in Chile. His was a runner-up there 4 times in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2003. He would have been the heavy favourite to win all 4 of those finals as well. I'd imagine most players probably value their home events above any other tournaments bar the slams and YEC.
     
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  23. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

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    I'd take any of those careers no pb
     
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  24. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    I was only 3-5 years old back then... Those years kind of slipped by I guess!
     
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  25. BeHappy

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    I could never think of a single thing Roger Federer had over Gonzalez.

    If anything Gonzalez was even faster, handled the high ball way better (he used to have an extreme eastern backhand before Stefanki ruined it), his serve was just as good, his forehand was just as good, his volleys were just as good. I guess Federer was just a better strategist on the court.

    I certainly think Gonzo is one of the most talented players I've ever seen.
     
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  26. joeri888

    joeri888 G.O.A.T.

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    Not great, but it's the umpire who needs to apply the rules, not Fernando Gonzalez.
     
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  27. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Is this a very late April Fools joke.
     
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  28. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    It's a shame that Rios couldn't win that Australian Open final as then he would have been the clear player of the year for 1998.

    Unfortunately he didn't and Sampras was able to clinch one of the most unconvincing year end no. 1 rankings in history.

    Then again was Korda beating him that much of a surprise. It was well known that he was very talented shotmaker who spectacular to watch when he was in form (he gave Sampras a lot of trouble). He ended 1997 strongly beating a peak Sampras in 5 sets at the US Open (Sampras didn't play badly at all in that match, winning a Super 9 title in Stuttgart and also winning the Doha title at the start of 1998. Plus he had already reached a slam final before, at RG in 1992. He was the 6th seed at that Aussie Open.
     
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  29. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Korda was too good that day and Rios had stupid tactics for the match, just trying outhit Korda from the baseline which he was never going to do with Korda in top form.
     
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  30. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    I worry about you, BeHappy.
     
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  31. Gonzalito17

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    Rios was the better player and had the better career, even Larry Stefanki would admit it. No knock on Gonzalito though, he was a fantastic gladiator and came so close. His doubles gold medal with Massu was one of the best matches in tennis history, coming from four gold medal MPs down vs. Kiefer and Scheuttler.
     
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  32. Gonzalito17

    Gonzalito17 Hall of Fame

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    Roger Federer also said Rios was one of his favorite players to watch when he was a young player. Rios was one of his inspirations. I don't think Gonzalez will ever be a partial inspiration to such a great future player as Rios was for Federer.

    BTW Federer stated this in the Rios book which is titled "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew"
     
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  33. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    I can post videos showing point for point everything I said.

    I sometimes wonder if any of you people actually watch tennis, or if you just regurgitate what you read elsewhere.

    Gonzalez hit his forehand 120mph per hour. Just as big if not bigger than Federer.

    He served just as big as Federer, hit just as many aces and was more dominant with his serve against Nadal.

    He was definitely just as fast and you can see that from his performances in the AO running round his forehand. Ditto with the volleys.

    His backhand was just as good before Stefanki got to it and I can post matches proving it.

    Everything I said is factually true.
     
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  34. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    Oh, I remember that. He choked every time. I remember one of those times he had some huge advantage in the final, and still lost.

    For what is worth, I was watching some interview with him on ESPN a while ago, with him discussing his career, and he mentioned something about feeling the organization was favouring Blake because he was from the US with the scheduling of their match.
     
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  35. bjk

    bjk Hall of Fame

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    Sure, but did Gonzalez ever run over his trainer's foot with a truck and then fire him?
     
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  36. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    That was probably an accident, and I don't think it was a truck.
     
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  37. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Rios ran over his fitness trainer with his jeep. That must have been some argument.
     
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  38. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Posting a few shots where Gonzo killed the ball isn't proof of anything. Just as hard doesn't mean just as good. Gonzo's forehand was quite good, but Federer's, shot for shot, point in/point out, is better. Same with the backhand.

    If Gonzo only reaching a career high or #5 instead of winning the most Grand Slams of all time was only because of his head, that would make him the biggest mental midget ever. I don't think that's fair to him, just as it isn't fair to say his game was just as good as Federer's. It wasn't.

    But here's the real question: did the pun/song reference for your username really go right over your head? :(
     
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  39. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    What???????

    that's like saying Usain Bolt is quite fast, once again

    [quote='BeHappy]I sometimes wonder if any of you people actually watch tennis[/quote]
     
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  40. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    I dont think so.......lol


    Graf is one of the Greatest women players of all time........doubt she is disappointed
     
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  41. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Here is the thing about Steffi Graf. Yes she is probably the greatest female player of all time. However her career was still a dissapointment given how things looked for her at 20. She became the youngest ever to win the Grand Slam at 19, along with Connolly, but Maureen had her career cut off by unforseen circumstances. At age 20 she had won 8 of the last 9 and 9 of the last 12 slams. She was supposed to win the Calendar Grand Slam atleast 4 times in her career, that is what everyone thought after 1988 when she did it at only 19, heck most were shocked she just missed it in 1989 when she was overall more dominant but somehow blew that FO final that year. Yet she only managed it once. Most figured she was on her way to winning around 30 slams. She only won 22. Most figured she would have an 8 year run or longer at #1 during 1988-1990. Yet she only managed 7 total years as #1 (discounting her bogus 1994 computer #1) and never more than 4 in a row (even including her bogus 1994 computer #1). She set the record at none of the major 4 slam venues or at the WTA Championships, nor did she come even close the most tournaments, longevity, or consistency records all time. Her only major records were her surface versatility ones. She also was retired at barely 30, and had her last spurt at dominance at the relatively young age of 27. Despite being arguably the female GOAT, still a huge dissapointment she turned out to be given how her career looked to be heading from ages 18-20.

    By contrast Anke Huber is a mediocre talent and so got more out of her own abilities than Graf did to even achieve what she did.
     
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  42. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Yes it was painful.

    - In 1995 he lost the final to Slava Dosedel who was a good player but had never won a title before while Rios had already won 3 titles that year. That was the only time that Rios lost to Dosedel in 4 matches.
    - In 1996, he lost the final to Hernan Gumy. That was the only title that Gumy won in his career, and that was the only time that Rios lost to him in 7 matches.
    - In 1997 he lost the final to Julian Alonso who had never won a title before.
    - In 2003 he lost the final to David Sanchez who had never won a title before. Rios won both of their other matches.

    Another example of a high profile player who couldn't win his home tournament was Muster in Vienna (he was a runner-up 3 times there in 1988, 1993 and 1995). At least there were other Austrian tournaments at Kitzbuhel and St Polten that he was able to win though.

    Moya was never able to win his home title in Mallorca where there was a tournament there (where Nadal made his ATP tour debut in 2002). He was a runner-up in 1998, as the top seed lost in the 1st round to a qualifier in 1999, and lost a semi-final that he was heavily favoured to win against Alberto Martin in 2001. That event was relocated to Valencia in 2003, but it was big relief for him when he was finally able to win a title in Spain at Barcelona in 2003.

    Safin could never win his home city title in Moscow despite being the top seed there numerous times and obviously being a very strong indoor player. He was the runner-up there in 2006 and 2008. He was able to win the St Petersburg title twice however.
     
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  43. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Ga ga goo goo

    ma ma
     
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  44. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    It's obvious that going back and forth with you is pointless if all you ever do is assume anyone who disagrees with you never watches tennis.

    Your right, it's all a conspiracy. The things that you believe but you can't find anyone else to agree with you are only because no one else ever watches tennis.

    Time for me to take my leave. Hopefully you do find time to take your usuername seriously, even if it isn't while posting about tennis on the internet.
     
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  45. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    I was too busy breaking stuff and hitting other kids in kindergarten by then:p
     
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  46. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    Thanks for all the info... it was so bad the way Rios would get frustrated about losing some point in a match, and usually would just drag his feet and do nothing for the rest of the match. A big problem I think if had played agaisnt Rafa (despite his comments that he would have easily won)...
     
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  47. Gonzalito17

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    Rios was up a set and 40-love to go up 4-1 in the second vs. Sanchez in Chile tourney but he blew that game and became nervous and then lost the match. Rios could go off at any time. But when he was ON he was breathtaking to see.
     
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  48. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    Yes he was :)

    That must be the match I was thinking of... I remembered it was a giant choke.
     
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  49. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Yes that was a very bad choke. The pressure of playing in his home country in front of his home fans really got to him.

    Unfortunately those kind of chokes were far too common for Rios.

    Obviously he was not as talented as Rios, but Massu was also unable to win the title in Chile, losing in the final in 2006 and 2007 (Vina Del Mar is his home city as well I believe). At least Gonzalez won the tournament 4 times.
     
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  50. Crisstti

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    It is his home city. He lost both times to González I believe... could be wrong though.
    It was a pity he couldn't win there. The public seemed to support Gonzalez more as well.
     
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