Who had the weakest draw en route to a Grand Slam title?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by JennyS, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. JennyS

    JennyS Hall of Fame

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    My pick is Andre Agassi, 2003 Australian Open:

    R128 Brian Vahaly (USA) 93 W 7-5, 6-3, 6-3
    R64 Hyung-Taik Lee (KOR) 67 W 6-1, 6-0, 6-0
    R32 Nicolas Escude (FRA) 37 W 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
    R16 Guillermo Coria (ARG) 45 W 6-1, 3-1 RET
    Q Sebastien Grosjean (FRA) 16 W 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
    S Wayne Ferreira (RSA) 39 W 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
    W Rainer Schuettler (GER) 36 W 6-2, 6-2, 6-1

    Seriously, can anyone top this?
     
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  2. Drop Shot 11

    Drop Shot 11 Rookie

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    LOL! He lost one set.
     
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  3. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

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    Watch out. Here comes another Sampras - Federer fan fight...
     
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  4. JennyS

    JennyS Hall of Fame

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    Well he was almost 33 years old so he had an excuse:)

    Andy Roddick's 2003 USO draw wasn't exactly the toughest either and he played an exhausted Ferrero in the final:

    R128 Tim Henman (GBR) 33 W 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3
    R64 Ivan Ljubicic (CRO) 43 W 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(8)
    R32 Flavio Saretta (BRA) 49 W 6-1, 6-3, 6-3
    R16 Xavier Malisse (BEL) 67 W 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(5)
    Q Sjeng Schalken (NED) 12 W 6-4, 6-2, 6-3
    S David Nalbandian (ARG) 13 W 6-7(4), 3-6, 7-6(7), 6-1, 6-3
    W Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 3 W 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3
     
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  5. Joseph L. Barrow

    Joseph L. Barrow Professional

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    That looks like an absolute murderer's row compared with the opening-post example.
     
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  6. Gugafan

    Gugafan Hall of Fame

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    That was truely a cakewalk of a draw, not having to play a single player inside the top 10 (Agassi Aus 03).

    Not suprising that the two draws you have listed are both from 2003, a transition period in the mens game where no single player was dominating all year round.
     
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  7. AllCourt

    AllCourt Rookie

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    Tim Henman, Ivan Ljubicic, and David Nalbandian were all very dangerous players during that time. Ferrero was ranked number one at one point during that year, but Roddick was lucky that Ferrero was tired in the final. However, beating Tim Henman (who beat Roddick earlier that summer), Nalbandian (who took out Federer), and Ljubicic, who is just a good fast court player, is no easy draw by any means.

    I do agree that Agassi did have a very simple path to his Australian Open 2003.
     
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  8. canuckfan

    canuckfan Semi-Pro

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    sampras [wimby 2000] and agassi [french 1999] come to mind.
     
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  9. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    Federer FO 2009.
     
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  10. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    djokovic AO 2008 !
     
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  11. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    You could troll better than that. Federer's Wimbledon 2003 was very easy. Didn't play a single seeded player until the QF (Schalken? Please), Roddick in the SF (only really good opponent the whole tournament) and then the Scud.
     
    #11
  12. canuckfan

    canuckfan Semi-Pro

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    I would say that a fair number of other slams had softer draws than the one fed faced this year at the FO. The only thing missing was nadal, and fed beat the guy who beat nadal. murray is not a force on clay. if djoko loses to kohlschreiber 4,4 and 4 than he wouldn't be any better than del potro. If nadal is in the final i agree fed probably loses. But all you can do is beat who you face. No if's ands or buts. A slam is a slam. 2 weeks, best of 5, best 100 or so players in the world, last man standing wins.
     
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  13. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    No really, Fed's draw and opponents were joke on this FO.
     
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  14. capriatifanatic

    capriatifanatic Banned

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    Yeah I agree. A washed up Hewitt, little David Ferrer with his inflated ranking coming off his fluke 2007 which is proven by how far his ranking has dropped since, a sick mono ridden Federer, then first time finalist and unseeded Tsonga.
     
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  15. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    I agree >> djokovic as projected SF opponent is a joke , I mean one who loses to streaky kohl 4-6,4-6,4-6 has to be :rolleyes:
     
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  16. Breaker

    Breaker Legend

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    #16
  17. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Kafelnikov's 2 slam titles. The best people he beat were Todd Martin on a hard court and Pete Sampras on clay. Actually Agassi's draw to the 1999 French Open, 2002 Australian Open, and 2003 Australian Open titles were pretty much a joke too.
     
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  18. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    scud was playing more than decently in that tournament
     
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  19. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    The transition period in mens tennis was 2000-2003. I am not surprised you will never admit that given that three of your favorites profited from it (well one wasnt even able to make much out of it in all honesty). 2002 was the worst year for mens tennis ever probably.
     
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  20. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    I also agree that Federer in the SF of AO 2008 was a joke opponent. Djokovic spanked him easily in three sets.
     
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  21. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Yeah but he still isnt that tough an opponent. Not for Federer. Lets be real here.
     
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  22. gj011

    gj011 Banned

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    No flame wars here, at least as far as I am concerned.
     
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  23. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    a sick federer .....
     
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  24. Breaker

    Breaker Legend

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    Do explain.
     
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  25. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    I would say Hewitt at 2002 Wimbledon was probably the easiest draw ever to a slam title:
    R128 Jonas Bjorkman (SWE) ranked 47 6-4, 7-5, 6-1
    R64 Gregory Carraz (FRA) ranked 168 6-4, 7-6(5), 6-2
    R32 Julian Knowle (AUT) ranked 95 6-2, 6-1, 6-3
    R16 Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) ranked 61 6-3, 6-3, 7-5
    Q Sjeng Schalken (NED) ranked 23 6-2, 6-2, 6-7(5), 1-6, 7-5
    S Tim Henman (GBR) ranked 5 7-5, 6-1, 7-5
    W David Nalbandian (ARG) ranked 32 6-1, 6-3, 6-2
     
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  26. フェデラー

    フェデラー Hall of Fame

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    Yea FO 2009 a joke. Juan Martin Del Potro and the man who raped Nadal are nobodies.
     
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  27. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Bjorkman and Henman are not easy on grass. Heck, Schalken is halfway decent on grass. The problem was that the grass had already slowed down by a drastic amount in 2002, so Hewitt made short work of his opponents. That Henman/Hewitt match should have been alot more competitive than it was.
     
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  28. フェデラー

    フェデラー Hall of Fame

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    YOu know who else are joke opponents. Or easy beats. Djokovic, Ivanavic and Jankovic.
     
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  29. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    Well, he isn't , but then not many are ; I'd look at it from the point of view of the whole field also
     
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  30. thalivest

    thalivest Banned

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    Easily:

    -Thomas Johansson and a way past his prime Albert Costa winning slams in the SAME year

    -Scheng Schalken having match point on the eventual champion in the Wimbledon quarters then reaching the U.S Open semis

    -a pre-prime Nalbandian reaching the Wimbledon final on grass, his worst surface by far

    -the final 8 of Wimbledon that year including Malisse, Nalbandian, Kratochvil, Schalken, Lapentti, and a nearly retired/injured Krajicek as 6 of the final 8. A Malisse-Nalbandian semifinal of Wimbledon that year

    -a Johansson-Jiri Novak semifinal at the Australian Open that year too.

    -Tommy Haas reaching #2 in the World September that year despite a semifinal, a 4th round, a 4th round, and a DNP for his slam resuts for the year and 0 tournament titles for the year up until then.

    -Johansson, Bjorkman, Koubek, an aging Ferreira, a washed up Rios, Novak as 6 of your final 8 at the Australian Open that year.
     
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  31. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Henman is obviously a good grass court player but Henman was playing horrible at that years Wimbledon if you remember. Losing sets and nearly losing to players he would normally beat easily on grass. He only beat Kratochvil in the quarters because Kratochvil choked since Kratochvil outplayed him the whole match pretty much. On top of that Hewitt always owned Henman on all surfaces, even back when he was a teenaged up and comer and Henman was at his career peak. Henman is just an easy and dream matchup for Hewitt.
     
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  32. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    He was playing pretty bad, but I think most of it was attributed to the fact that AELTC decided that the year that Henman had his best shot at winning Wimbledon, they decided "OH LET'S SLOW DOWN THE GRASS FOR FUN!"


    He was still nailing his corners with his serve, and making great volleys. It's just that his opponents had better looks at his serves, and more opportunities to pass due to the change with the grass.





    If the grass was still fast, I still think Henman has a shot at beating Hewitt. Hewitt does enter the match as a big favorite, but I don't think he would have dominated the way he did there.
     
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  33. JennyS

    JennyS Hall of Fame

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    I agree with Wimby 2003 being one of his weaker draws. Also AO 2006 was weaker than FO 2009:

    AO 2006:
    R128 Denis Istomin (UZB) 195 W 6-2, 6-3, 6-2
    R64 Florian Mayer (GER) 69 W 6-1, 6-4, 6-0
    R32 Max Mirnyi (BLR) 34 W 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
    R16 Tommy Haas (GER) 41 W 6-4, 6-0, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2
    Q Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) 5 W 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5)
    S Nicolas Kiefer (GER) 25 W 6-3, 5-7, 6-0, 6-2
    W Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 54 W 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2

    FO 2009:
    Round Opponent Ranking Score
    R128 Alberto Martin (ESP) 98 W 6-4, 6-3, 6-2
    R64 Jose Acasuso (ARG) 45 W 7-6(8), 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-2
    R32 Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 35 W 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
    R16 Tommy Haas (GER) 63 W 6-7(4), 5-7, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2
    Q Gael Monfils (FRA) 10 W 7-6(6), 6-2, 6-4
    S Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 5 W 3-6, 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4
    W Robin Soderling (SWE) 25 W 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-4

    FO 2009>AO 2006
     
    #33
  34. grafselesfan

    grafselesfan Banned

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    Actually you are probably right. I was wondering why he looked so bad at that years Wimbledon but it is probably attributal to the slowed conditions you speak of. I mean even in 2004 when he had a really good year, his last really good year on tour, he reached the semis of the French and U.S Opens and only the quarters at Wimbledon! When he is having better results everywhere else but Wimbledon you can tell something strange might be up.

    It is silly the All England club would jeapordize Henman's chances in his final years of chance once Sampras's dominance there was over.
     
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  35. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Well not just that, Rafter was gone, Goran wasn't playing, Agassi wasn't playing that well either. Heck, all of the great grass court players were essentially retired/injured. Who was left? Tim Henman. Sampras was playing well below his standards, and did not look great going into Wimbledon either. I mean, the top 16 seeds with the exception of Henman and Hewitt all lost early on (no one else made it past the 3rd round but Hewitt and Henman).
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
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  36. Breaker

    Breaker Legend

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    Interesting. Personally I don't view Johannson and Costa winning slams as making it a bad year - simply that they caused big upsets in beating down Safin and Ferrero respectively in their finals (and a Ferrero who had to go through a VERY difficult draw to get there as well).

    Schalken performed well that year and also had results similar to that in other years at slams. Is that any worse than Bjorkman/Schuettler making Wimbledon semis way past their primes or Clement making the Wimbledon quarters last year? Just shows that occasionally good players can make runs in slams - even if they fall short eventually.

    Nalbandian has been more consistent on grass than US Open hardcourts, though really he has never been consistent throughout his entire career and it is hard to iron out a definite prime for him. I agree that if say Henman and Malisse's roles were switched Nalbandian would not have made the finals, very fortunate on that front.

    As for the final 8 draws there have been many weak ones throughout history - just they are forgotten because the guys like Johannson usually don't come through to beat the top player in Safin. Honestly I think if Safin and Ferrero had played up to their potential in those finals 2002 would have been seen in a FAR more positive light. However, that didn't happen so I suppose those upsets could make it seem like a far weaker year than it really was.
     
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  37. Lion King

    Lion King Semi-Pro

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    I guess everyone in the history of tennis who didn't have to play Nadal on the way to winning the title had a cakewalk draw, according to some people on this forum...
     
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  38. T1000

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    djokovic ao 2008. he had trouble beating a tired hewitt, pathetic ferrer, sick federer, and a first time finalist tsonga
     
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  39. Spider

    Spider Hall of Fame

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    AO 08 easily. Djokovic had the opportunity that many other players (not named Nadal) would die for - playing an unhealthy Federer.

    That's why Murray is a greater player as compared to Djokovic, Murray wasn't that lucky at the US open that year. :evil:
     
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  40. Nanshiki

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    Luck is part of skill.
     
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  41. Blinkism

    Blinkism Legend

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    I don't think it's the weakest draw ever, but anyone who claims that it was a though draw is only basing it on the fact that some guys gave Fed a tough time, but you have to remember Mathieu, Acasuso, Haas, and Del Potro don't exactly instill fear in the rest of the ATP.. especially the first three (Delpo has proven himself, but by Fed's standards- he is not a real bona fide threat).

    But someone of Fed's level isn't going to have a hard draw, just because of the high level he's set for himself. Unless he faces in-form Top 20 players for the last four rounds of a GS, then people won't see Fed as having a hard draw.
     
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  42. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Exactly what I was thinking. What a joke of a draw Fed had. Agassi in 1999 RG as well. But Moya>Del Potro
     
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  43. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    i completely discredited this thread when someone says Andy Roddick's '03 US Open Draw.

    This first 2 round opponents were #33 and #43.

    He played the highest ranked non-seed in the first round.
     
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  44. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    The early rounds mean very little in the grand scheme of things. QF's-Final is usually remembered if it is a joke draw or not.
     
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  45. Dean

    Dean Rookie

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  46. Matt H.

    Matt H. Professional

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    well now you're getting into huge statistical variabilities when you're talking about 4-5 matches into a 7 match tournament.

    Top 5 seeds are generally playing low ranked challenger level players, qualifers, or wildcards in the opening rounds of a slam. Roddick was playing grand slam semi-finalist and top 5 (at one point) players.

    Henman went on to win the paris masters shield after that open in the fall.
     
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  47. World Beater

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    roddick's draw was certainly not a joke.

    federer's draws also not a joke

    agassi draw close to a joke.

    pete sampras also has an easy draw at wimbledon i remember one year.
     
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  48. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Mathieu nearly beat Nadal at the FO one year, and Haas was ranked 2 in the world at sometime (even if it was a weak era, it's still WORLD #2). Heck, even after surgeries and injuries, he still managed to claw his way back into the top 10 in 2007 IIRC.
     
    #48
  49. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think people seriously underestimate how talented Medvedev was on clay,the guy pummeled Kuerten that RG.He was also very dominant in Hamburg.The guy was lazy and had that bit of a mercenary mentality,playing for money but if he had proper motivation and worked harder I think he would have won RG more than once.Did you watch that guy play? If so then you know he was great on clay when he was on.
     
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  50. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Oh Medvedev. The 90s equivalent of Guillermo Coria.
     
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