Who has more talent-Federrer or Safin?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by iscottius, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. iscottius

    iscottius Professional

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    This is a serious question, and before you answer, I am not talking about consistency, or mental fortitude. I am talking about physical talent, strokes movement, power, strategy, dictating play.

    We know Federrer is much more consistent, but both players in the zen zone playing there best, In top shape, ala AO Semi's

    Can we make a case for Safin?
     
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  2. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    Fed by Far. He wasn't on top form in the Safin match yet still held off a break in the 5th and 6 match points. No one has more variety of shots and winners than Fed does.

    Safin has unbelievable power and winners off his backhand.
     
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  3. Perfect

    Perfect Rookie

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    The differences I see between these two guys is one has a one-hander bh and the other a two-hander, and that Safin generates more power in his strokes. Both have amazing footwork and can hit winners off any stroke. Federer's backhand is still a bit weak and Safin still has a bit of a mental problem, other than that they are perfect. (IMO, Safin is more perfect than Federer.)
     
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  4. Jonas

    Jonas Semi-Pro

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    As far as just natural ability to play the game of tennis, you've got
    Mcenroe
    Safin
    Federer
    Rios
    not in any particular order.
    Of that group Rios is the only one to have never won the big one, but I can't honestly say that he's not as naturally gifted as the rest.
     
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  5. Andy Hewitt

    Andy Hewitt Professional

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    Federinho. The Brazilian Federer!!!
     
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  6. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Nastase McEnroe Federer
    this is the lineage of pure natural players
     
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  7. nkhera1

    nkhera1 Rookie

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    Federer by far. Just because Safin wins one match against Federer doesn't mean all the sudden he is as good. Whats their record vs each other in the past few year, I guarante that Federer will own the advantage.

    Safin's only advantage are power on serve and backhand, but Federer moves better, places his serves better, has a better forehand and volleys better from what I've seen of both. Safin has a little advantage height wise, but i think Federer is better at stratagizing and dictating play.
     
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  8. Vlad

    Vlad Professional

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    the thing here is that if Fed will play his best tennis than won't be able to play his best tennis. Fed will take away time, rythm, and Marat will struggle a little bit. However if Fed is slightly off like he was in AO, then Marat will be pushing more and playing his best tennis. So, in my opinion if both players play their best I am gonna go with Roger but only slightly.
     
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  9. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    They're often cited as being the two most talented players in men's tennis, but IMO we're talking about two different kinds of talent.

    Federer is like Jordan -- a player with great athleticism, incredible body control (his grace makes his athletic ability almost imperceptible at times...), great at defense and offense, a 6th sense of what it takes to win, and a whole variety of different skills.

    Safin is, to me, more like Shaq -- a big man with great movement, not as skillful but when he's doing what he's capable of doing well, almost unstoppable. He doesn't have that 6th sense for what it takes to win, and he's not as clutch as Jordan.

    Who would you want on your team? A big man like Shaq might only come around once every 25 or 30 years. BUT, there may NEVER be another Michael Jordan.

    When Safin is on he'll steamroll anybody EXCEPT for Federer. When they're both on, Federer wins in straight sets. I have the Aussis Open match on my Tivo and Federer was playing like **** and still took the big Russian to five sets. The only clear physical advantage Safin has is in the backhand category, in every other respect Fed is clearly stronger or arguably equal to Safin.
     
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  10. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    Who is more talented ? Surprising question for me and probably for those who understand more or less something in tennis, iscottius.

    What do you consider as a talent in Safin ? His height, clumsy figure ? Somebody told here about great footwork of Safin. Absolutely, disagree. He doesn't have any speed, he doesn't have starting speed. Proof? He couldn't get short balls near net, always late. It is surprising that peoples compare speed or flying of Fed, or say footwork of Hewitt with Safin.

    I don't generally understand why peoples ask questions to compare Fed just with Safin ? Because he lost him once ? But Fed it happened that lost also to say Kuerten or Hewitt. Why are not you talking about talent of Llleyton say. He won GS also 2 times as Safin, won 2 times Masters Cup what Safin never did.

    IMHO I see nothing very different in style of play of Safin or Ferrero, the same powerful base-line play, no ruses, no tricks, no super lobs,super slices, no short balls, interesting elements giving a joy to specatators. Conversely, long, monotonous play aimed to win an opponent thanks to power of hits and physics. For me Safin is simple clay-court player but having very powerful health from the God.

    Even among clay-court players I consider play of Kuerten, Moya or Coria much more rich and diversified than Safin's. Another typical clay-court player is Nalbandyan, similar to Safin, but more stable.
     
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  11. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Safin reminds me of Nastase in more ways than one: Gifted player ... athletic ... head case.

    - KK
     
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  12. Docalex007

    Docalex007 Hall of Fame

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    Iscottius....i noticed you spelled Federer with two r's....TWICE.(Federrer)....is this blasphemy?
     
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  13. finchy

    finchy Professional

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    35ft6 had the best analogy on this board....ever.
     
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  14. Perfect

    Perfect Rookie

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    35ft6,

    I disagree about your comparison of Safin to Shaq. Shaq is more of a one-dimensional kind of player who just enforces his bulk on others. It is not like Marat can only play from the baseline or has horrible footwork. Shaq can not hit from far out and is very slow, mostly because he is not really meant to as he plays center. Shaq is consistent every game whether he's helping other teammates or helping himself while Marat is not until as of late. I agree with you about the rest of your comparison. Someone who is a better comparison to Shaq would be Philippoussis, Ivanisevic, or Roddick.
     
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  15. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    Mammadov, I think you're shortchanging Safin as an athlete. Surely, he doesn't have the movement of a Federer or Hewitt. However, he's a very capable athlete and is deceptively quick around the court.
     
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  16. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    I've heard Shaq is a complete freak. Did I read it here? That Shaq was able to beat everybody on the Orlando Magic in a sprint. I don't know if I believe that but I did once see him do a coast to coast in a dream team game against Puerto Rico. Yeah, I know it's Puerto Rico but still, that's a very special big man... and that's my point. Safin is a very gifted big man. Me comparing him to Shaq was mostly positive. They're both tall guys who can move. As for range of abilities, you're probably right: Safin probably is more versatile. But, still, compared to Federer he's pretty much playing chopsticks on the piano. He comes into the net but mostly only to feast upon sitting ducks, or for the occasional serve and volley to keep his opponent honest.

    Ugh. I'm losing my train of thought. Gotta split to go get drunk. Maybe I'll think about this at the bar. Loser.

    edit: if you want we can compare Safin to Hakeem O or Tim Duncan. They're not Jordan either. :D
     
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  17. iscottius

    iscottius Professional

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    mammodav,
    your comparison of Safin to Ferrero is just bad, Ferrero is mainly a clay courter who has a weak serve and only plays from the baseline, Safin has a complete game, a huge serve and plays well on all surfaces.

    As far as hewitt is concerned he is a great competitor, but he overachieves more than he is talented, he moves very well and returns well but he is not safin or Federer.

    I believe that Safin is the only player on the tour who can match federer's level of play and actually impose his big serve & groundies to dictate play with Federer.
     
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  18. iscottius

    iscottius Professional

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    mammadov,
    your response to my post is arrogant, condescending and flat out wrong---

    "Surprising question for me and probably for those who understand more or less something in tennis"

    Then you go and prove that you do not more or less understand something in tennis by stating

    "IMHO I see nothing very different in style of play of Safin or Ferrero, the same powerful base-line play, no ruses, no tricks, no super lobs,super slices, no short balls, interesting elements giving a joy to specatators. Conversely, long, monotonous play aimed to win an opponent thanks to power of hits and physics. For me Safin is simple clay-court player but having very powerful health from the God."

    Safin has a complete game including drop shots, slice backhand, and does get to net at times, plays well on all surfarces, and has a much bigger game especially serve than fererro.

    The comparison is not based on his recent win, but the last few times they have played it has been great tennis to watch and extremely close, he is the only player right now who can match Federer and actually take away some of fed's weapons.

    Check your ego at the door, and if you want to compare Fed to other players start your own thread.

    Iscottius
     
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  19. bismark

    bismark Rookie

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    Precisely why people find Aykhan freakin' annoying!

    In terms of talent alone, I would say both players are about equal. We know how good Federer is. But looking back at some of Safin's best matches, he did know how to execute incredible shots and his shot-making was top-notch. His US Open final victory against Sampras is a classic example. Another words, when Safin's at his best, he's as good as Federer, maybe a little better. IMO.
     
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  20. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    What's the difference between Todd Martin and Safin. Todd Martin was probably more talented, but not as fit and athletic.

    I agree that Safin was dictating play versus federer in the AO, especially during the last 2 sets. Federrer could still improve his backhand a lot more. federer looked quite troubled when safin was thumping balls deep to his backhand.
     
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  21. bc-05

    bc-05 Semi-Pro

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    I don't know, which quote you people believe more. 1 quote says results says everything. or the second quote the things that you see is the real deal. Well in terms of results, best of Safin beat a conservative Federer in 5 sets. However, best of Federer beats conservative Safin in straight. if you believe in results only then obviously Fed will own Safin on their best days. However, if you look at their game... safin has better serve backhand ok maybe safin is federer with more power.. therefore he should be better.. but then again.. we never know whats gonan happen when they meet each other on their best days. I mean remember in AO? Safin went into the final with more hrs then fed like more 4/5 setter. and fed owns everyone he faced? but Safin won when they played each other.. this is why its hard to say.. does owning the other player or winning a 5 setter on their best day means anything.. i guess not.. my pick is safin just for the fact that he has more power! i mean if andy roddick has a backhand like guga and a brain like corias... i doubt even federer could even beat him...
     
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  22. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Safin will be able to completely match Federer when he learns to play 3 set matches as well as he plays 5 set matches. His record for winning 5 setters, which suit his rollercoaster playing personna is 74% (second to Escude) and is handy in slams but not in 3 set tournaments. He made a concerted effort to win as fast as he could in AO (I'm sure Lundgren had something to do with this) and he did, and had lots left over for the semi & the final. (as compared to last year). It's interesting to note that he excels at DC because he loves being part of a team. He has wished that he played soccer or NHL hockey , and he would have been a standout there as well, & would have had less stress & a lot fewer head problems
     
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  23. davey25

    davey25 Banned

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    Roger is the most naturaly talented player in the world today, Safin is a close second though. Nobody else comes close. Roddick is fortunate his major talent is distributed to an area that holds such a monopolizing importance in today games-the serve.
     
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  24. drexeler

    drexeler Rookie

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    Krajicek, Stich, Phillippousis had more power than Sampras and had pretty well rounded games, esp. the first two - doesn't mean they are more talented.

    It is a little too optimistic to expect Safin to match Federer's results - 2 Wim, Wim/USO back-to-back, 3 slams in a year, 2TMC's in a span of 18 months. While at his best he is a close second to Federer, his 80-90% game is not good enough (you are not at your best often) to give him consistent results.
     
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  25. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    iscottius, first of all my opinion is not ego and arrogant. It is simply my opinion. Another problem that everybody wants to see and apprehend my all opinions as ego. If go further , every opinion in the world at the end is ego because it is subjective and belongs to somebody, and philophically everybody expressing his opinion is egoist because he wants to share with his own opinion with other peoples.

    But u didn't call any facts saying that Safin is almost same talented as Federer.

    Safin and Fed both have forehands.

    Safin and Fed both have backhand. And I don't agree that Fed's backhand is weak, abolutely disagree. It is excellent. 1-handed backhand is always weaker than 2-handed in power.

    Safin's serve is better than Fed's.

    Fed can plays near net. Safin's game near net is zero, he can't smoothly shorten balls, meet them near net.

    Safin's movement is not good, so he wins mostly from base-line. Fed can win from every point of the court, he has excellent lobs.

    And so on....

    Fed is stable, Safin can lose almost to everybody. If you know something very well you will be able to answer even if you awaken and asked. So master every time if he really has great skills must have good results.

    The score of their results shortly: Fed : Safin 6:2. It says for itself.
     
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  26. grif

    grif Rookie

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    I can't tell if you are a troll or are just plain dim.

    Have you actually seen the Safin vs Fed AO semi-final match ? You know, the one where Safin beat Fed ?
    Because if you did, then you would have seen Safin make a lot of volley winners. Just a couple of examples: In the last point of the 2nd set, Safin won the set with an excellent half volley drop shot at the net. In the 5th set, 5th game, Fed tried a drop shot, but it was easily chased down by Safin who eventually won the point with a very sweet drop volley. Just to provide impartial comments, Cliff Drysdale marvelled at the brilliance and Pat McEnroe said Safin just showed his great wheels followed by a beautiful touch volley.
    Check the stats for that match on the AO website. Safin was successful on 74% (45 of 61) of his net approaches. For a guy with supposedly zero net game, he sure won a lot of points at the net :)

    I've got the match on DVD and I'm just wondering if you really did see the match, or were you just looking at Fed's ass for 4.5 hrs ? Seriously, I'm a big Fed fan myself, but your blinkered hero worship of Fed is kinda off-putting, to say the least.

    The match could easily have gone either way and there were amazing shots and skills displayed by BOTH players. Fed himself showed amazing heart and defensive skills. He also hit some blinding backhand winners, but at the end of the day, Fed lost to the better guy during the Championship, and you just have to deal with it. But don't worry, Fed will definitely be back.
     
    #26
  27. litote

    litote New User

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    iscottius wrote : Safin has a complete game, a huge serve and plays well on all surfaces.

    WRONG, Safin is a weak pro player on grasscourts.
     
    #27
  28. iscottius

    iscottius Professional

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    Litote,
    What is wrong with you? Wrong: is argumentative, It is my contention that Safin can play from all areas of the court as well as play on all surfaces. If he can play on the fast NYC USOPEN courts, He has a huge serve and tons of put away power, why wouldn't he be successful on Grass?

    He plays exceptionally well on the slow red clay at Roland Garros, and the high bouncing rebound ace of Australia, and the US OPEN...this pretty much makes him an all surface player. His results will come
     
    #28
  29. grif

    grif Rookie

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    There's no doubt that Safin has the ability to play well on grass, but the problem is mental. From his interviews, he just does not feel comfortable on the grass surface.

    However, he has reached the Quarterfinals at Wimbledon where he lost a tight match to the eventual champion, Ivanisevic. If his coach, Lundgren, can successfully make him believe in himself on grass, then he's got a good chance to do well on the grass surface.
     
    #29
  30. iscottius

    iscottius Professional

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    aykhan,
    after reading your responses to this thread & some of your posts (pro's with Ugly bodies-Men & women) & (stop boys ha-ha- repeated in your threads) it has occurred to me that you are crazy & make no sense, therefore this will be the last response I submit to you or your posts.
     
    #30
  31. grif

    grif Rookie

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    Phew, for a while, I thought that I was the only one who thought aykhan was mad ;)
     
    #31
  32. litote

    litote New User

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    What is wrong with me iscottius ? I'lll tell you what is wrong, it is wrong when you write that Safin plays well on all surfaces while his past results prove that your statement is inaccurate, so don't be astonished that I point it out, even if it does not please you. If you want evidences, just compare Safin % of win/defeats on grasscourts to his % on other surfaces, or to the % of other top 30 players non clay court specialists on grass.

    you wrote : If he can play on the fast NYC USOPEN courts, He has a huge serve and tons of put away power, why wouldn't he be successful on Grass?

    You ask why he wouldn't be succesfull on grass, and I will tell you that I'm not Mr Know it all, so I don't no why, and I don't really care why, some will say that it is mental, some will find other reasons, but at the end, what does it change to the fact that SAFIN IS NOT A SUCCESFULL GRASSCOURT PLAYER, AND IT IS NOT AN OPINION, IT IS A FACT PROVEN BY HIS PAST RESULTS ON GRASS. And for your information, to be good on grasscourts, a player needs more than just a good serve and put away power as opposoed as what you seem to believe.

    Even Safin himself claims that he struggles on grasscourts, so what do you need more?

    Is it so hard to admit a small error, or do you believe that you are so perfect that an error from your part can't exist? :confused:
     
    #32
  33. litote

    litote New User

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    Safin is on tour since something like 7 or 8 years, and like Grif said all he has for significative results on grass is only 1 quarterfinal at Wimbledon, with tons of early rounds elimination, and a total lack of good results in the few other grasscourts events prior to wimbledon, like the queen's and a few other tournaments. So it is safe to say that for a player of his caliber, his results on grasscourt are way above his average on other surfaces, so his results are far to make him a good grass court player, then we can't say that Safin actually plays well on grasscourts, so if he does not play well on grasscourts, then we can't say that he plays well on ALL surfaces, like Iscottus said.
     
    #33
  34. isaac_limdc

    isaac_limdc New User

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    I think federer still is the very best on tour, because Safin gets easily distracted and loses his temper too quickly. Fed's still da best.
     
    #34
  35. Pushmaster

    Pushmaster Hall of Fame

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    I think Safin has just as much talent as Federer, maybe more so.
     
    #35
  36. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Federer by far. I disagree with the poster named perfect who thinks Roger has a weak backhand. Roger's backhand is better than Marat's, and his passing ability from the backhand side is unmatched by any player.
     
    #36
  37. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I'll say Federer because of his instincts at net.
     
    #37
  38. BLiND

    BLiND Hall of Fame

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    You look at them shot for shot, the only areas safin is better than federer is on the backhand. Faderer has a better forehand, serve, volleys, and movement. I love safin, but he is not as good as fed.
     
    #38
  39. daniel_rst

    daniel_rst Rookie

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    If one considers talent to only consist of the ability to strike the ball, hit winners, and serve, then I can see how it is reasonable to compare Safin and Federer.

    However, once you factor in the other elements that are arguably just as important, such as focus, demeanor, and ability to step up one's game at the most critical moments, the comparison no longer holds. Federer is far more gifted in this sense.
     
    #39
  40. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

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    Safin is a great player, better than most, but I can't agree with anyone who says Safin has more talent. Fed has more talent than anyone else currently on tour.
     
    #40
  41. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

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    iscottius, despite you are probably much younger than me ( I'm 39) you offended me a few times in this thread saying that I'm mad, I'm crazy and etc. The same is grif. You both don't have culture of discussions and go for personal. I'll not reply because one time I was almost driven out from the forum in similar case.

    Just for thinking. Look at post 36 by Rickson. He is saying the same that Fed's backhand is very great, and I agree with him ( see my post 25).

    Look at post 40 written by @wright. He has the same opinion as me. You can see that I'm not alone here, so instead of offending me think may be you don't understand tennis well and u can't evaluate players right ? May be you see the power of Safin and this covers for u in Fed what u don't see in his game?
     
    #41
  42. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

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    yeah, ^that^

    Federer can beat anyone on an off day and he has the uncanny ability to find other players' weaknesses and exploit them. federer's game is like chess, he'll know your every move and adapt, and all you can do is postpone the inevitable.
     
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  43. iscottius

    iscottius Professional

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    Litote,

    whatever---wrong in capital letters is argumentative.

    I believe that Safin plays well on all surfaces, Grass is his least favorite and he has reached the 1/4's, and he has done better on the other surfaces.

    the point of my comments is that he has an all court game and can play well on all surfaces--I believe this is true.

    write me back after Wimbledon this year and say "I told you so" if he goes out before the 4th round, but if he makes the 1/4's or better ............

    Iscottius
     
    #43
  44. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    Let's not forget, if Federer hadn't tried that tweener on his match point, we might not even be talking about who has more talent. It seems evident Federer has more talent, he has way more variety than Safin, you can go back to the Aus Open '04 finals where he kinda dominated Safin. I think, everybody needs Federer to have an off day to beat him, Safin, Roddick, Hewitt. Even though, Ljubicic has given him a couple of close matches recently.

    Safin has improved his short court game and is comfortable finishing at the net nowadays, but Roger still has more talent. I think he is better than Sampras actually. He might not end up being as great as Sampras, but I think head to head, he would come out on top.
     
    #44
  45. litote

    litote New User

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    Iscottus, you believe that Safin plays well on all surfaces like some peoples used to belive that the earth was flat, but the truth proven by his past poor results on grasscourts [except one small 1/4 at Wimbledon, which is very few if we consider since how long he is on the ATP Tour], is that Safin plays well on most surfaces except grasscourts, and once again it is not just my opinion, it is a fact based on the player's results, and Safin is on the tour since long enough to make the datas significatives. On paper it looks like he has the arsenal to play well on grasscourts, and that is why you think that he plays well on it, but the matches aren't played on paper, they are played for real against real opponants on real courts, and then the story is not anymore the same than on paper, some players are simply unable to move well on grass, and are bothered by the low skidding erratic bounces, and Safin is probably one of those persons, and that is what makes him just an average or weak [at best] grasscourt player (low reflexes and a bad mental mindset can be other reasons to explain his poor tennis on grasscourt).

    The difference between my argumentation and yours is that I use the reality, I mean the real past results of Safin on grass, something that the guy has actually done [or should I better say failed to accomplish], as opposed to you, who uses the eventuality of a good run of Safin during next Wimbledon [like when you write : "write me back after Wimbledon this year and say "I told you so" if he goes out before the 4th round, but if he makes the 1/4's or better"], which is at best only a virtuality, something that hasn't been done yet, and will perhaps or perhaps never happen, who knows... So my way to argue = using facts in a real world, and your way to argue = using your imagination in a virtual world.

    Of course you have the right to have your own opinions, I don't contest that right, I simply point out how your opinion is inaccurate on a particular subject, like I would do it, if someone would tell that his opinion is an other absurd statement like "My opinion is that Agassi is a Serve & Volleyer" or "I believe that Mozart is still alive".
     
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  46. Coria

    Coria Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    622
    Johhny Mac had the best hands ever, in my opinion. Even Connors said that and he rarely ever complemented Mac.
     
    #46
  47. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    I think Rios had more talent than Safin. But not as much as Federer does.
     
    #47
  48. daniel_rst

    daniel_rst Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Messages:
    128
    It's funny, but answering these types of questions is really the entire point of my web site and rating system. Everyone knows that "talent" or "skill" cannot be measured directly. However, it can be inferred through wins and losses in the long run. Simply put, a player who consistently wins over skillful players is more talented than one who does not.

    The ELO rating system is one way to put a number to a skill level. This is what I have done at http://www.setratings.com. There is plenty of information about it there.

    Federer has both a higher peak rating and a higher current rating than Safin. Unless Safin starts playing consistently much better for an extended period of time (e.g. a year or two, not one match), it is pretty safe to say that Federer is the more talented player.

    Arguing about potential is a whole different matter, but that is quite useless since it is more or less impossible to verify.
     
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  49. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    4,380
    Heh. I've always thought that what differentiated "talent" from just "skill" and "being good" is that it's inborn and not taught - but that's completely impossible to figure out, which is why discussion on it is useless.

    When arguing who's the better player, that's kinda obvious - Federer with his 3-grand-slams-in-one-year and his ridiculously good record is head and shoulders over anything Safin has done.
     
    #49
  50. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,354
    Safin has not got good hands,terrible volleys on grass(halfvolleys,finesseshots)consistent power and angle yes. My vote goes to Johnny Mac and Arazi...(sometimes myself)..Simply amazing,even though i love Edberg.
     
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