Who is the fastest ATP player ever?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by The FishEXpress, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. The FishEXpress

    The FishEXpress New User

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    In terms of court coverage and speed who is/was the fastest ATP player ever?
     
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  2. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

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    many ways to be fast, sideways, foreward, short runs, longer runs(stop ball) serve and volley fast... Chang was fast, Borg was very fast, Federer is all round fast. Edberg was fast to the net, Nadal is fast.... IMO Robredo is fast too....
     
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  3. blackfrido

    blackfrido Hall of Fame

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    Martin Jaite
     
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  4. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Nadal on clay.

    Federer on grass.
     
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  5. Roberto

    Roberto Rookie

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    David Ferrer
     
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  6. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Chang's survived and thrived on his "fastest-ness".

    Davydenko is fast on all surfaces.
     
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  7. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Bjorn R. Borg.
     
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  8. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Borg, and no contest about it. But I'd say Gerulaitis was a fairly close 2nd.
     
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  9. beedlejuice22

    beedlejuice22 Semi-Pro

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    blake is very fast
     
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  10. Ocean Drive

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    Sprinting, Blake. Agilitity wise, changing direction side to side, I would take Nadal.
     
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  11. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    Clearly Borg. Guy was practically world-class, speed wise.

    Chang was a short Chinese guy with stubby legs. The number of those with world class speed, ever, is exactly zero. He was quick, and relentless, and dip####s like Bud Collins mistook that for raw speed. Tragically, all the people who were alive and listening to tennis at that time have been parroting the same thing ever since, because most of them are even more clueless than Bud.

    Borg could run stride for stride with olympians. 'Nuff said.
     
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  12. rooski

    rooski Professional

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    Super fast players from the last 4 decades:

    Laver was incredibly fast on the court back in his day. They called him the rocket for a reason :) Watch some of his youtube videos to get a sense of his speed (feet and hands).

    Mel Purcell was also ridiculously fast. Short ATP career but in the 80's he was described by several TV tennis commentators as the fastest player ever up to that time...including Borg (who would be my next choice from the 80's). I actually played a bit with Mel in college so I saw him at his peak. He was indeed scary fast. He could put his racket on the net and would have you lob over him with moderate topspin (this was indoors so the lobs weren't real high) and he would not move until the ball landed. He would then run back like a blur and hit a regular forehand before the ball hit the back stop. He used to do this over and over again. Amazing. Go out and try this at home and see how close you come to even touching the ball.

    In the 90's, Chang was probably the fastest all around player.

    Currently I would say Davydenko is near, if not at the top of the list.
     
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  13. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    lol.. sounds mighty racist. In the same vein, the number of tall white dudes with world class speed, ever, who were not olympic sprinters, is exactly zero :)
     
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  14. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    But there HAVE been olympic sprinters, which makes your argument irrelevant. :confused:
     
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  15. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    yes.. but read the context.. Grimjack claims that Borg was practically world class, speed wise and hence he had to be faster than Chang.

    Borg was certainly not a world class sprinter and neither was Chang or any other ATP Tennis player through history.
     
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  16. Shaolin

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    Coria should be mentioned.

    Ive seen him get to shots that cannot be gotten to by a human.
     
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  17. paulmaben

    paulmaben Rookie

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    Don't forget about Johan Kriek....
     
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  18. morten

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    i agree.....
     
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  19. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    Exactly what I thought, his conception was dumb. A world class sprinter does not make a fast tennis player and verse visa.
     
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  20. Klatu Verata Necktie

    Klatu Verata Necktie Hall of Fame

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    Being quick on a tennis court doesn't necessarily require sprint type speed. While straight ahead speed certainly plays a part in court coverage, I would argue that the ability to move latterally and change directions quickly is more important. This was the area in which Chang excelled. Chang didn't win any Olympic sprints, but he didn't have to in order to close the court the way few other players before or since have done.
     
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  21. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    You're right, there's a huge difference in speed on the tennis court i.e. changing directions, sudden bursts, stopping on a dime, etc. when you compare it to just pure speed like the 100 meter dash. Santoro certainly won't be taking home the olympic gold this year but he can make some godlike returns, even against a Federer overhead! :shock:
     
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  22. ndtennis

    ndtennis Rookie

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    yea just like everyone has said already, without a doubt Michael Chang.
     
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  23. orangettecoleman

    orangettecoleman Professional

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    I'm not saying he's faster than Chang or Borg, but Rosewall was very underrated in terms of foot speed and footwork.
     
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  24. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I think the thread title is the real problem actually, there's obviously going to be a disagreement over how speed is defined on the tennis court.
     
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  25. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    You are wrong, Borg has one of the highest recorded leg strength readings among Swedish athletes. His lungs and heart were considered anomalies easily. With a resting heart rate of 38 , a cardiovascular capacity only found in the likes of Olympic level swimmers, cyclists, and runners. Not only that, he DID have world class speed, I do recall him out hurdling an Olympic Gold Hurdler, and he beat him easily also. Borg's strength was ridiculous, he strung his racquets at 80 lbs, when most didn't string above 50. This was with Wood racquets too.


    Borg was the perfect example of what would happen if a true world class athlete stepped foot into tennis. Complete and total domination.
     
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  26. Moz

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    This is completely disingenuous and I suspect you know it.
     
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  27. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

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    Ever? Hmmm. . . tough call. The ones that pop to mind are Hewitt in his prime, Nadal, Borg, Chang, and a few others that I can't think of.
     
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  28. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Nadal, Coria, Ferrer, Chang, and Borg.
     
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  29. McGee

    McGee Rookie

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    The point of this thread was about "court coverage" and speed. This could easily include players with quick acceluration, anticipation, and great speed. While I agree that Borg is probably the choice here, your reasoning is suspect. Chang is definitely in the mix. Also, Michael Chang was born in the US and is of Chinese descent. Your "short Chinese guy" quip is pretty juvenile. Quips like that would be comparable to, say, someone saying "Grimjack is an internet wannabee racist" without realizing that life isn't that simple.
     
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  30. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    That's what I remember reading. Doesn't matter anyways, sprinting is based off muscular, anaerobic, adrenaline, and aerobics. Borg has world class levels on his aerobics, muscular abilities (one of the highest leg strengths recorded), among a whole slew of other things. You're telling me he doesn't have world class speed Cam?


    And if you don't want to see what I post, then use the ignore button. It's there for a reason.



    Anyone who even thinks Chang could come close to Borg in terms of court coverage is kidding themselves here. Chang was a good mover at best. Borg played on probably some of the hardest surfaces to move on, which were really old school clay and grass. He got to balls that the majority of the players today would not be able to get to.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
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  31. Nadal_Monfils

    Nadal_Monfils Semi-Pro

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    I agree that Bjorn Borg is the fastest player and had the best court coverage.
     
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  32. GasquetGOAT

    GasquetGOAT Hall of Fame

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    How do everyone think of Nadal' court coverage compared to Borg's? Interesting to see who'd get outruned in a clay court match, both in their primes of course.
     
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  33. Big-Serve

    Big-Serve Rookie

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    all spanians are very fast!
     
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  34. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I agree, sliding around like crazy for 20 years has to do wonders for your speed! :shock:

    Now I've just got to find a clay court in Stillwater, which just isn't going to happen.
     
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  35. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Nadal is what Borg would be if he had modern technology, except multiply that by about 3. Nadal has shown that he can tire, and that he can be outmuscled.
     
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  36. NicolasH

    NicolasH Rookie

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    Straight line speed: Johan Kriek. Pat Cash.

    Pat Cash was timed with an electronic eye and measuring reaction time for a ten meter dash. He was faster than Ben Johnson.

    Left to right: Borg, Chang

    Overall court coverage: Federer, Mecir
    (I count anticipation in this category)

    Cheers,
    n.
     
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  37. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Footwork plays an important role in court speed. I think Nadal has the best footwork I have ever seen. It is a close call between Borg, Nadal, Hewitt and Chang. The 100 yard dash means little when discussing start and stop speed. Nobody would say Barry Sanders was the flat out fastest RB, but his agility and cuts were something I have never seen equaled. That is what a tennis player needs.
     
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  38. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Footwork and anticipation. A tennis player that is exceptional at anticipating can often appear super fast when actually they are just getting a head start on all of us. This is the case with a guy like Santoro. Would he be able to beat Nadal or Blake in 100 meter sprints or shuttle runs? Probably not. Can he run down the same ridiculous shots? Certainly.

    I would also like to see some of these "facts" about Borg get backed up. I don't mind doing a little of my own research and I found that nowhere on wikipedia did it mention Borg having the greatest leg strength ever recorded among Swedish athletes. I also didn't find anything about him having a resting heartrate of 38, or anything about him out hurdling an Olympic gold medalist. Please let me know if any of these "facts" can be proven.
     
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  39. auzzieizm

    auzzieizm Semi-Pro

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    Federer always seems to be in the right place. He just glides around the court, and is never out of position. You may not always see him all out sprint, but he is always there. I thought it was striking when I heard that the Williams sisters are studying to emulate the way Federer moves. They are pretty good movers themselves.
     
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  40. jstr

    jstr Rookie

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    Michael Johnson
     
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  41. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    Many athletes have resting heart rates of 38 and it is not proof of aerobic excellence. I've had a rhr of 42 in the past and it is indicative of fitness rather than a direct indicator of performance.

    Borg's mysterious victory over an olympic gold medallist hurdler is, I believe, as follows:

    1) The hurdler was an olympic hurdler but not a gold medallist.
    2) The hurdler was a sprint hurdler (110m) and Borg raced him over 400m. 2 Distances requiring very different abilities.
    3) They did not race over hurdles, it was flat.
    4) They raced on a tv show called superstars.
    5) It is not clear at what stage of his career the hurdler was.

    There seems to be a lot of urban myth about the whole thing - the above is what I have been able to gather.
     
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  42. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
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  43. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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  44. CAM178

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    Yep. Last summer I had an RHR of 34, as measured by both a nurse and a paramedic. I couldn't believe it myself.
     
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  45. Serpententacle

    Serpententacle Hall of Fame

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    Ditto "Roberto" with David Ferrer...
     
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  46. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    Well, Lance's has been measured at 32.

    http://completerunning.com/archives/2006/11/01/resting-heart-rate/

    Miguel Indurain was recorded at 28. See under braychardia in the following:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate

    Sorry, but 38 is not a rare figure. Many non-professional marathoners have rhr's in the 30's. But let's not let the facts get in the way of the myth.
     
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  47. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Pretty sure Lance Armstrong was measured in the 40s.


    38 is not a rare figure? Really? Yes, many "non-professional marathoners" have rhrs in the 30s, the majority of them are incredible athletes. Bjorn Borg is one of them, a few others would include cyclists, swimmers, etc.
     
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  48. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    Was Borg a genetic freak at tennis - of course he was. Was he one of the fastest on the court - definitely. But lets support it with relevant material and not this hearsay.

    Do a search on Armstrong if you wish, his rate of 32 - 34 is all over the internet.

    Let's be clear. We are talking about speed on the court and Borg being described as a genetic freak as support. Well, rhr has nothing to do with speed - it is more a measure of endurance. It is a meaningless measure with regards to the topic. Even if we were to talk about it the facts are his RHR was over 30% higher than Indurain and the same as many non-professional athletes.

    The other justification for his speed was his leg strength. This may well have been freakish, I'm not qualified to comment.

    The other point was his performance against a hurdler which has already been addressed.

    Anyway, I'm sidetracking the topic, for which I apologise.
     
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  49. The FishEXpress

    The FishEXpress New User

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    thanks for yr replies. borg and chang look like the winners.
     
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  50. The FishEXpress

    The FishEXpress New User

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    Is that with or without nandrolone? I know he is innocent and unknowingly took drugs, but nandrolone has an advantageous long term effect on performance too.
     
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