Who would win: nadal with 90s strings vs (prime) Muster with poly

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by dominikk1985, Dec 2, 2012.

?

Who wins

  1. Nadal

    32 vote(s)
    52.5%
  2. Muster

    29 vote(s)
    47.5%
  1. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    What do you think? usually we talk about the older player having to use old material but since nadal is considered better by most lets reverse the advantage to even the field. so who would win?
     
    #1
  2. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    I'll try to make it as objective as possible.

    I don't like Nadal so I voted for Muster.
     
    #2
  3. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Muster would win.
     
    #3
  4. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    Man, you kids have a lot of time on your hands to think of these absurd scenarios. But I like how you took Nadal and you took something to debilitate what he would prefer, and you gave Muster something that he already does well and enjoys and you enhanced it. Muster wasn't known as a flat ball hitter. He loved to grind and to spin/loop the ball. He had a very heavy ball. Giving him poly giving him a pretty huge advantage. You could give nadal full gut and muster full gut and muster would win because you neutralized all of nadal's spin. The strings gives nadal a huge pleasure point in how he performs. Look at it this way, Nadal gets a beat down against fed almost every time at the World Tour Finals. Nadal does very poorly there because that court doesn't have the high bounce and is slowed down. So hen you give him those strings, you're basically glueing that court's attributes to that stick. No matter where he plays he's not going to get the type of spin or power that he needs out of polys. Talent alone wouldn't cover it or his grinding technique. You might be able to even serve and volley against him. He would also make more unforced errors because polys allow you to hit harder without the ball flying out. The gut was more sensitive (that's why it was routinely strung at such high tensions to control it) and gave a S/V more advantage than a baseline grinder. That's why the 80's and 90's (a time of serve/volley) was so dominate in that time. His technique and his racquet goes a long ways, but there's moments when he lost matches where he blamed that the string tension was too loose and was causing him to hit the ball out. He is big on strings. I don't think this is an even comparison, nor would muster need a big favor on his side if you debilitate nadal with one of his biggest aids. It's pretty simple.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
    #4
  5. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Peak Muster (1995) would completely annihilate Rafa (non poly vs. non poly). Rafa's main weapon is heavy topspin.. With 90s racket technology (no poly strings) that would diminish his effectiveness severely. He wouldn't be able to generate the RPM's on his shots.
     
    #5
  6. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Btw I'd like to hear what Mustard has to say.
     
    #6
  7. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    what surface? what tournament? how many times would they play? would Nadal be injured? would he have his wonder serve from USO 2010? would he be tired? have burnt fingers/a virus etc? would... i'll cut a long story short, I haven't a clue :lol:
     
    #7
  8. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Roland Garos of course:)
     
    #8
  9. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    But would it be raining? :lol:
     
    #9
  10. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Come on Mustard:D
     
    #10
  11. The Moonballer

    The Moonballer New User

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    Muster off of clay. Only because of today's strings can Paella generate such moon balls.
     
    #11
  12. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Rafa with 90s technology? LOL!! Even Federer would beat him easily.
     
    #12
  13. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    I see double whammy for MUSTARD here..:)
     
    #13
  14. Feather

    Feather Hall of Fame

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    Still Sampras won't beat him :wink:
     
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  15. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Muster was pretty good, it took Sampras 5 sets to beat him at the French Open.:)
     
    #15
  16. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    I hate these threads. Again, you are assuming that player X will play the same if he grew up with equipment Y. Player grow up with their equipment and tailor their games to them, not the other way round.
     
    #16
  17. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    This post clearly shows why we can't have a GOAT, or even a surface GOAT. Conditions, playing equipment, training techniques, supplements, depth of competition etc are always changing. Players can only really be considered the greatest of their own generation. This is why I don't consider Federer as GOAT, even while being a massive fan, or consider Nadal clay GOAT for the same reason. Both are greatest of their Era's though.

    And we can only speculate what COULD or WOULD have happened. No one will ever really truly know.
     
    #17
  18. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    I just hate it when everyone is being so unfair to Nadal just because he plays an "unorthodox" game. Out of all the players who uses full poly, he is the most successful, that means he must be doing something right. Why can't people leave it at that?

    There's no such thing as being "more reliant" on technology. Everyone is helped by modern racquets. Federer doesn't have the most classic technique on his groundstrokes either.
     
    #18
  19. Hitman

    Hitman G.O.A.T.

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    Nadal is a very skilled and highly talented player. He perfectly designed his game to suit the conditions that were placed upon the tour, and adapted to the courts, the racquets, the balls, and the overall conditions the best he could within his own physical limitations.

    I am sure, he would have found a way to adapt to would have been possible of him in genetations gone by, even if that meant a completely different Nadal to the one we see today. Racquets, and courts change. But the mind of a champion has always been eternal.
     
    #19
  20. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    Muster wins most of the time, though Nadal would push him. But didn't Tommy use poly strings toward the end of his career? Regardless of what he was endorsing, I seem to recall he was using poly in the mid-Nineties (in his Kneissl Reach Machine).
     
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  21. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    even with change of strings how can you compare an 11 time gs champion (7 fo's and counting) to a one timer? if muster can lose to sampras, rafter, stich at the french he can lose to a 7 time fo champion that uses nylon string.
     
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  22. tkramer15

    tkramer15 Rookie

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    Muster is my all-time favorite, but these types of "What if" scenarios, while fun to think about, are really impossible to gauge. Certainly, Muster could've benefited from today's string technology. With that said, my feeling has always been that Nadal does everything Muster did, but better. I'm not really able to judge how adversely Nadal's game would be affected by having to use the 1990s strings.

    I think the fitness/stamina category is the only area where Muster may actually edge Nadal. Muster moved well, but Nadal moves better and is way more adept at transitioning from defense to offense within a point. Like Nadal, Muster liked to dominate rallies with his forehand from the middle of the court and force the other player to do more running. Neither was known for his serve, but Nadal's is probably a little more effective. The interesting part of this fictional matchup would be the lefty vs. lefty factor.

    In this totally fictional matchup, I feel like the Muster from 1995-96 (on clay) would hold his own for sure, but I don't think he would have enough in his game to consistently trouble Nadal.
     
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  23. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I'm not sure, guys. How would Nadal play with 1990s strings and how would Muster play in his peak years with modern poly strings? It's not really possible to know this. Muster is superior to Nadal in fitness and grinding, but Nadal is superior to Muster in game variety and physical mobility. Nadal would have change his style a bit to win, I think, because Muster was even fitter and was utterly relentless in his persistence. Nadal's strategy would be to make Muster run a lot, particularly in making him run into the forecourt, while Muster's strategy would be a straight forward baseline war.
     
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  24. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Muster using poly? When was this? I do know that Muster changed his racquet in late 1996. He said that it enabled him to hit the ball flatter, to serve better and to volley better, which resulted in the best hardcourt results of his career in 1997, but his clay form suffered because the new racquet was pretty awful for hitting topspin balls.
     
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  25. vive le beau jeu !

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

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    i agree, muster in straights ! :D
     
    #25
  26. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I find a lot of similarities between Vilas, Muster and Nadal in terms of gamestyle, with the different technologies, of course.
     
    #26
  27. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    1. from most of these posts apparently people think the only reason nadal has won 11 grand slam titles is because of poly strings

    2. lendl, kuerten, courier, vilas, wilander were probably all better claycourters than muster imo so i dont know why hes so highly regarded for winning it once. even bruguera won it twice.
     
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  28. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    wasn't guga the first to use poly successfully in the FO?
     
    #28
  29. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Ralph's game is a direct byproduct of poly.
    He and his big mouth uncle whine so much already,imagine if Ralph had to switch to 90s strings right now,he'd probably quit tennis in protest. :lol:

    On topic - Ralph would lose.
     
    #29
  30. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    Get over yourselves, Muster was a chump. Nadal could breadstick a 30-year old Muster only hitting second serves and I'm not even saying this to be controversial.

    We are talking undisputed clay GOAT vs some 1 RG fluker.
     
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  31. President

    President Legend

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    Nadal could still produce plenty of topspin with 90's strings and equipment, its not like it was the 70's. Look at guys like Bruguera and Muster himself! Rafa has more advantages over Muster than just more spin, he's a much better shotmaker and moves a lot better as well. Nadal would still win the large majority of their meetings.
     
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  32. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    Bruguera could hit plenty of spin, why wouldn't Nadal?
     
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  33. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    This would be close. I think Nadal's retreiving and spin (which wouldn't be so thoroughly hindered as to be ineffective) would overpower Muster's fitness.

    Nadal is probably the best, or second best, dirtballer ever.
     
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  34. Disgruntled Worker

    Disgruntled Worker Rookie

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    Depends on the surface. Nadal on clay is still the best of all time.
     
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  35. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    This ^.

    Muster is flattered somewhat by clay-court history revisionists. He often got beaten by nobodies on clay in his prime - other than one magical year where he was on fire. The guy could play no doubt but he was not a GOAT on clay - his nick-name at the time, the King of Clay, now seems more like an attempt at humour, as if taunting him for his avoidance of non-clay court tournaments for much of the year.

    The year he won the French he beat Chang in the final - an otherwise second string clay-court player since he won the FO in '89 - and a string of players who under-performed in Medvedev, Carlos Costa and Kafelnikov. That year 11 of the 16 seeds failed to make it past the 4th round.

    In his prime years (91-98) Muster only once it past the 4th round at the French other than the year he won it. King of Clay? In his prime alone Courier and Bruguera achieved more than him imo.

    Given time to get used to them Nadal has too much game for Muster using the strings available at the time (something like a gut/kevlar combo perhaps?)
     
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  36. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    In Muster's prime, he was 111-5 on clay, winning 18 clay-court tournaments in a 19 month period, which included a French Open, 2 Monte Carlos, 2 Romes, 2 Barcelonas and 2 Stuttgart Outdoors. The people who beat him on clay in this period were Corretja, A. Costa, Moya, Stich and Benfele Alvarez. Apart from Benfele Alvarez (which was a loss to a guy well outside the top 100), the other 4 guys were a future 2-time French Open runner-up (Corretja), 2 future French Open champions (Moya and A. Costa), and a former major winner who has won titles on all surfaces (Stich).
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
    #36
  37. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    And? There's no doubt he went on a magical run - one which was truly outstanding.

    But then you look at the other years in his prime > 1993, 1994, 1997 - and that's being charitably short - he was not a consistent performer really in the bigger scheme of things.

    This was about whether he'd beat Nadal if Nadal had to use the strings of the era - I say Nadal would clean him up regardless. Bruguera managed to hit his forehand with close to as much topspin as Nadal does using what was available back then.
     
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  38. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    We were talking about Muster's prime, not other periods of his career. In other periods, Muster was still a very good clay-courter and still had a brilliant record in finals, but was inconsistent for the most part. In his prime, he found ways to win almost all the time on clay, even from impossible situations, and did his best work on other surfaces too. Muster's prime was just a 25 month period (February 1995 to March 1997). In his 15 year career, Muster won 44 tournaments on the main tour, yet 21 of those 44 titles came within that 25 month peak.
     
    #38
  39. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    That's sort of the point re: my comment about Muster's prime. It's easy to pick a prime period which suits the argument. His prime was not 25 months long - he just achieved the most in that particular 25 month period of his prime.
     
    #39
  40. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    Muster was among the 1st players to use poly strings...
     
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  41. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    1991 saw Muster in a slump for the first half of the year, where he could barely win matches. One would have to be crazy to think that was his prime.
     
    #41
  42. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I accept 91 was perhaps too early for him but 92, 93 and 94 were not. It was when he was 25-27 yrs old.

    I consider a prime someone's main years on the tour - not just when they're winning most. It's too convenient to bookend Muster's best 25 months and call it his prime... He had poor results for a lot of what was the typical playing prime of players - the mid 20s region give or take a few years either way.

    People have different length primes for sure but a five year stretch once they get going is the minimum to give a representative reflection of their long-term class/form relative to their peers. Otherwise you'll end up comparing conveniently framed short periods to demonstrate whatever is trying to be argued.

    He had a great run at one point no doubt - but his prime (and career in-general) is noted for generally inconsistent form. Relative to Nadal he simply has a far inferior track-record in that respect.
     
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  43. big ted

    big ted Hall of Fame

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    i think due to musters type of charisma/persona, his legend has grown bigger than what it really was. what if muster was in his prime now playing with poly? would he be winning 7 french opens and counting? nadal is barely even tested on clay alot of the time and i dont think its because of poly strings. i just dont see how people would choose muster
     
    #43
  44. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    After what happened in the early hours of the 1st April 1989, it's amazing that Muster went on to have the career that he did.
     
    #44
  45. okdude1992

    okdude1992 Hall of Fame

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    Ha! I can't believe how many people really think that the string change will affect Nadal that much. It's not about the arrow, its about the Indian. Nadal is a 7 time RG champion, probably the clay GOAT, and you are asking how he would do on his favorite courts against a very good but unspectacular 1 time RG winner? It's no contest at all. Nadal will for sure struggle more than if he could use poly, and the matches would probably be close. But Nadal is better than Muster in basically every single aspect of the game. Fitness is arguable imo. Nadal by far.

    The only players I see giving Nadal a rough time at the French would be Kuerton and Borg. Borg vs Nadal would be a great match if the playing field was level. Kuerton could probably win a few matches out of 10 vs Nadal on clay. His backhand surely would have held up better than Federers.
     
    #45
  46. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Muster won 40 tournaments on clay. Unfortunately, he often chokes in slams, hence the poor results at the French Open. Giving Nadal 90s technology and Muster with modern technology will put Nadal at a huge disadvantage, since he can't utilise his game efficiently without poly strings and Muster would be better than ever with the modern tech. Muster takes this easily.
     
    #46
  47. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    Kuerton also dominated Federer in their match in 2004, and that was injured Kuerton.
     
    #47
  48. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    "Fluker"? That's an absurd statement. The fluke is that he didn't win more titles at RG, not that he won one.
     
    #48
  49. qindarka

    qindarka Rookie

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    While his 1995 title wasn't a fluke, he didn't really come all that close to getting another FO. No other finals reached and not many semis either.
     
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  50. Federer20042006

    Federer20042006 Banned

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    Muster's FO results are a bit misleading in that he lost twice early to Courier (92 and 93). Courier was the king of clay at that point, and, at his peak, was a better clay court player than Muster.

    Muster in 1991 was a wreck, so I throw out the Sampras loss altogether.

    Stylistically, the main problem Muster had was with serve and volley players. He couldn't beat Edberg to save his life, and he lost to Rafter and Stich at the FO. Nadal wouldn't pose that problem, so I think a 4 or 5 set match on clay is likely.

    On grass, Muster wouldn't even bother. If he did, Nadal would have him out of there in 3.

    Hardcourt would actually be interesting. Muster was underrated on hardcourt, and Nadal can be vulnerable there. That said, Nadal would win the majority of hardcourt matches.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
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