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

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

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Who wins

  1. Nadal

    32 vote(s)
    52.5%
  2. Muster

    29 vote(s)
    47.5%
  1. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Muster underperformed terribly at RG (probably nerves, winning so many clay tournaments probably put him under huge pressure coming RG time), but he was a ****ing beast.

    In 1990 he was runner-up in Monte Carlo and he won Rome (or was the other way around? ), and lost in the SF of the French Open against Andres Gomez, nothing to be ashamed of (Gomez was a great clay court player).

    In 1991 he lost to Sampras in RG, a five setter, but should have won (even if he didn't like playing against that style of player).

    In 1992 he won Monte Carlo (IIRC) and in RG lost to Courier (Courier was a even bigger beast at that time, so not that surprising this loss).

    In 1993 he lost again to Courier in RG. Courier was GREAT at that stage of his career.

    His loss against Rafter in 1994 Roland Garros shocked me at the moment, but Rafter's game was JUST a nightmare for Muster (much like Edberg's game).

    1995 was...well, you all know. He won everything on clay, and at last, he could win Roland Garros (one of the happiest days in my life).

    1996 he was raping everybody on clay again, winning everything, but that shocking loss to Stich in R16 Roland Garros almost killed me that day. But well, Stich was one of the most talented players of the 90s and had a game that could bother Muster A LOT.

    1997 lost to Kuerten in five sets. Another tough day for me at the time, but Kuerten was a great player as we all would see later on.

    1998 lost to Mantilla in the QF. Muster was a bit too old and young Mantilla was very tough that year.

    Well, no more excuses. He should have won at least 2 French Opens (given how good he was, especially on clay), but it did not happen.

    It was another era, more unpredictable things happened often.

    I have no idea how Nadal would have done had he been born 15 years earlier.

    But Nadal is from another era, and in his era Nadal obviously has done things that Muster could not do in his own era.
     
    #51
  2. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    1990 and 1996 were bad losses. Muster could beat Gomez and Stich in big matches, and had shown it before. Courier was the best clay-courter the 2 times when he beat Muster at the French Open, and Rafter was just a terrible matchup and coming after an epic 5 set win over Agassi.

    When he lost to Kuerten, he wasn't playing well on clay at the time, full stop. But it was still a bad loss considering the lead he had in the fifth set.

    Regarding the Sampras loss, that wasn't a surprise considering Muster's slump in the first half of 1991, where he could barely win matches on the tour.
     
    #52
  3. dudeski

    dudeski Hall of Fame

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    Doesn't that prove Muster really sucked that day?
     
    #53
  4. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Muster was due to fly out to Australia just after Christmas 1990, but he refused to go, saying that he didn't feel like playing. This led to a split with his coach, Ronnie Leitgeb. Leitgeb said "If you don't want to play, bye bye. Give me a call when you want to get serious again". Muster spent the next few months smoking, boozing and partying, ala Gulbis and Tomic today, and his results promptly sunk like a stone.

    After a few months of this, Muster decided that he had had enough of the party life, and Muster rung up Leitgeb soon before travelling to Rome. Leitgeb trained the crap out of Muster and he was soon back in shape and winning tournaments again.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
    #54
  5. vive le beau jeu !

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

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    if it's not too late, could gulbis also have such a revelation, please ?... :-|
    (tomic can party as much as he wants, on the other hand !) ;)
     
    #55
  6. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    #56
  7. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^^

    Nice highlights.
     
    #57
  8. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Here a clinic from (possibly) my favourite player from the 80s and 90s, and Muster nemesis.

    Truly an artist, the most beautiful way of playing tennis (back then it still was possible to play like that, at least for a genius like Stefan Edberg).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u9Mx1YEuUk
     
    #58
  9. vive le beau jeu !

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

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    an entertaining contrast of styles... and a magnificent performance from stefan in that match ! :)

    i'm also happy to see the "net cam":
    [​IMG]
    it was a really cool view ! i want it back...
    (even if there will be less 'traffic' close to the net than in the 80's/90's, unfortunately)

    PS: i'm sure you loved the final of the 1991 USO too, as i did... right ? ;)
     
    #59
  10. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    Of course, 1991 USO was Edberg at his finest form (and not only in the finals against Courier).

    1992 USO was Edberg in his most epic warrior form (he won three straight brutal five setter in R16 against Krajicek, in QF against Lendl and in the SF against Chang in a match that lasted more than 5 hours).
     
    #60
  11. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I surprised that muster was quite good at taking the ball early watching those highlights. his strokes didn't seem to have a lot of penetration but he did stay on the line quite a lot and played very intense. those were some grueling clay fights:).
     
    #61
  12. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    If Nadal's strings are the only reason he produces so much spin, why can't other player's do the same thing with the same string?
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
    #62
  13. RAFA2005RG

    RAFA2005RG Banned

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    Which strings did Nadal use before 2010? Because I know he made a big change in early 2010.
     
    #63
  14. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    look at the balance and poise edberg had on the court. you could take a cast of him from any position and it would stand on its own.
     
    #64
  15. Razoredge

    Razoredge Banned

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    Is this a joke? Nadal would clown Muster's even with 90's strings, Nadal is the clay court GOAT and Muster is just a useless pretender that could only scratch up a single French Open title.

    17 year old Nadal would clown Muster with 90's strings, prime Nadal would make dude look like the 1000th ranked junior.

    Some of you guys just don't have any respect for Nadal, dude is just supernatural on the clay.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
    #65
  16. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Even with the same strings, Nadal would have a tough match against Muster. With 90s string, Nadal ain't going win against Muster with modern strings, period.
     
    #66
  17. Razoredge

    Razoredge Banned

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    Wow, just zero respect for the GOAT clay courter.
     
    #67
  18. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Muster is basically a poor mans Nadal. As for his prime, his prime basically lasted less than 2 years anyway. The mid 95-early 97 Muster is the only one who might not get completely killed by 2005-2012 Nadal on every surface, although would still get killed on all except clay and slow hard courts in early 97.
     
    #68
  19. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    This is such crap. Nadal has 7 RG titles, 8 MC titles, 6 Rome titles, and had to go through the GOAT and the GOAT in training to win a lot of them, yet you think he wouldn't stand a chance against Muster? Nadal has also beaten some very good clay courters throughout his career as well, and was beating them when he was just a kid, yet you think he wouldn't stand a chance against Muster? The way a lot you act any 3.0 level mug off the street can beat Nadal.
     
    #69
  20. Razoredge

    Razoredge Banned

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    Yeah, like I said just zero respect for how unbelievable this guy is on clay.
     
    #70
  21. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    I find it funny you seem to imply losing to Gomez or even Stich is a worse loss than losing to Rafter. In 1994 Rafter was a virtual nobody, and at best of times he was strictly a mediocre clay courter. Gomez in 1990 was the winner of Roland Garros that year, and even in Rome where he lost to on fire Muster in the 3rd set tiebreaker he claimed he hadnt shown all his cards in that match. Stich is a serve and volley player not suited to clay like Rafter, but a way better player than 94 Rafter, and a better clay courter than even prime Rafter would be too. Yeah I know Rafter made the RG semis once, but that was one of the worst FOs ever with the number 16 the only seed in the semis.
     
    #71
  22. vive le beau jeu !

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

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    i disagree about rafter sucking on clay. it was his least favorite surface and he certainly wasn't building his schedule around it but, even if this win over muster was his first big result on clay and despite an obvious inconsistency, he still had some good results on this surface later, like making the SF at RG in 1997 and the final at rome in 1999 (beating agassi on the way, who would win RG soon after).
    even in davis cup, on clay and in front of hostile crowds, he was giving a hard time to ferrero and kuerten... until he got injured, unfortunately (in both matches).

    with muster, it's mainly a match-up issue, as it's been said: the guy hated to play top S&V players !
    about RG 1996, even if he already defeated stich before, it certainly didn't prove he would have an easy walk in the park this time, despite his stellar form...
    i found his loss against kuerten a lot more disappointing (even if he ended up winning the tournament). who knows what would have happened if he somehow managed to win this close 5th set......
    (he had a significant mental edge over the players he would have faced later in the draw)
     
    #72
  23. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    no, he produces the most spin because he has the highest RHS. fed and him have the highest RHS and thus highest spin. the swing path does play a big role too but there is a direct correlation between RHS and spin. but the strings help of course.
     
    #73
  24. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    Just wait till the bashers say that the higher RHS is due to some "change" in equipment. LOL
     
    #74
  25. Clarky21

    Clarky21 Banned

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    Microscopic rocket boosters on his racket? Lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
    #75
  26. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Ralph has nothing on Kuerten. He wouldn't be able to moonball Kuerten's GOAT clay BH so Ralph would get beaten quite handily.

    He'd get beaten by Muster too without the polystrings as I mentioned before.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2012
    #76
  27. helloworld

    helloworld Hall of Fame

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    Let's put it this way. The difference between the top pros is very minimal, and a string advantage would play a critical deciding factor in determining the outcome of a winner. In this case, Muster will win easily with the string advantage.
     
    #77
  28. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    The loss to Rafter is easy to explain--Muster was done after his gruelling match vs Agassi the round before, and he would basically have lost to anybody that day. Just looking at his face when he came on court that day was enough to know that he was done. The only "bad" loss out of the three was to Gomez, imho. Not that losing to Andres was bad, especially in '90, but Muster just faded away after losing the first set. Stich in '96 just played a perfect match and gave him his Söderling moment, otherwise Muster would very probably have won RG that year, too (Kafelnikov had nothing to trouble him with in the final).
     
    #78
  29. merlinpinpin

    merlinpinpin Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, because beating Medvedev (MC and Hamburg champion and RG finalist), Albert Costa (RG champion, it sure wasn't *Carlos* Muster played in QF, he had already beaten him in the 3rd round), Kafelnikov (RG champion), and Chang (RG champion) in a row at RG sure is such a lame draw, isn't it? I mean, one finalist and three past or future champions back to back to back to back, there aren't that many slam champions that had to go through such a draw in the past 20 years (I can't think of any, actually)...

    (Oh, and he also beat a future two-time GS finalist in Pioline in the 2nd round, but I'm not counting him for the sake of this argument, as he didn't reach the final in RG, just the semis.)

    As to the OP's question, give any one of them poly strings and the other 90's technology, and the one with the "old" tech gets totally blown off the court, no question. Otherwise, if we're talking about '95-'96 Muster, both with the same tech, it would be awfully close. Nadal would win some, and so would Muster. The interesting point, of course, is that both being left-handed, they would naturally neutralize each other's biggest weapon.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
    #79
  30. The-Champ

    The-Champ Legend

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    The question is, would Nadal have beaten you without the polystrings?
     
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  31. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    I fully realize that this is a trolling thread for those looking to denigrate Nadal's talent. However, for those taking this question somewhat seriously, please refer to this article:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1899876,00.html

    Some of the interesting highlights:

    • The article states that Gustavo Kuerten was the first top player to achieve winning results using a Luxilon co-poly string back in 1997, and that others joined the crowd after seeing his results.
    • As of the time the article was written, 65% of the men's players on tour were using Luxilon strings, and those that weren't were mostly using polyester strings from other companies.
    • Based on research, it says that "the most important factor in the generation of spin is racket speed" and that the widening of racket heads and use of lighter and stiffer construction materials since the 1970's has had more of an impact on spin, along with increased physiques of players and the technique they use in the modern game.
    • It cites a 1997 test by Tennis Magazine found that 6 ft. 5 in. (1.96 m) Australian Mark Philippoussis served at an average speed of 124 m.p.h. (200 km/h) with his own graphite racket, and an only slightly slower 122 m.p.h. (196 km/h) with a classic wooden racket.
    • It also cites a study published in 2008 that found that 90% of professionals could not feel a 6 lb. (2.7 kg) difference in the tension of strings in two different frames — even though most professionals insist on exacting string specifications for their matches.

    I still have about 6 or 7 sets of some polyester I was given to test in the early 90s while I was in college. At the time, I was using a kevlar/synthetic gut hybrid as my string of choice, and I personally don't feel that the co-polys that I use now give me any more spin that kevlar did... but that the co-poly feels softer and more forgiving on off-center hits. Therefore, polyester strings were available to Muster back in his prime, and I do believe that he began using them full-time in the mid-90s. Muster already hit a ton of spin, so I don't see him getting any advantage over Nadal with a modern poly verses what he used in the 90's. As for Nadal, he grew up using a simple nylon for most of his junior days, so going back to a 90's string wouldn't change his game at all.

    Bottom line, a string is not going to change your technique, make you faster, or more mentally tough. In my opinion, Nadal is the greatest clay court player ever, and he'd beat Muster 80% of the time on clay - no matter what string he's using.
     
    #81

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