Why Federer vs Safin would be overrated

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by mike danny, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    Hamburg yeah Federer was sick, but Wimbledon 2008 was Safin's 'best' Wimbledon merely by circumstance and not his best form on grass (although there's not much to compare).


    Wait wait wait, lucky in the tiebreaker? Hardly, and Federer himself has won many tiebreakers in crucial stages of not just a tournament but in terms of context to his career and perhaps the shape of tennis (W04 for instance) and the match was close, whether you like it or not. I'm not sure if it (W08) was routine, because Safin didn't back down and lost 6-3 6-4 7-6 or something like that anyway, couple of points here and there and he could have won a set perhaps. No, Safin played better in Halle 2005, anyone would tell you the same thing. Grass you can't really knock Safin as he never got given the chance in his 'better' years.



    On clay, who knows? Young Safin was able to beat a prime Kuerten at the FO. In stark contrast, prime Federer got killed by an old man busted hip Kuerten at FO 2004. I think it would have been even too. I do think Nadal would have struggled with Safin more than Federer too on clay due to Safin having more power on the groundies. (but these are matchups which are irrelevant to the Federer/Safin matchup as opposed to everyone elses opinions on Safin).
     
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  2. mike danny

    mike danny Hall of Fame

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    Maybe not his best on grass, but W 2008 was his best ever form at W,which is a much bigger tournament than Halle
     
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  3. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Safin and Federer could have had an excellent rivalry, the hard court battles would have been immense. On clay as well Safin had the power to trade with Federer and get some wins.
     
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  4. wangs78

    wangs78 Hall of Fame

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    The thinking around Safin is that he is a player who did not fulfill his potential because he did not train hard or consistently enough and spent too much time partying. Had he trained more and been more "professional" about tennis, we could have seen "peak" Safin a lot more often. The claim is that we saw glimpses of peak Safin in the AO in those 5-set matches (I think one in the final and another in a SF) against Fed. I actually agree with this thought because Safin is probably still the best moving big man I've ever seen. He had a great forehand, backhand and serve and had good touch as well. His temper was another weakness. Too many times he beat himself on the court with his temper. The fact that both times he faced Fed in an important match at the AO, they went the distance and he won one and lost the other showed that he had the ability. Think about it. Del Potro, for example, is a much calmer player, trains seriously and he still has only made it to only one GS final (which he won). Safin was temperamental, partied too much, and also had knee injuries and he was able to win 2, so the argument is had he been able to control his temper and trained more seriously he could have had maybe 5-6 or more Slams. A very plausible possibility.
     
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  5. DavaiMarat

    DavaiMarat Professional

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    I agree that Fed and Nadal are better players day on and day off however when Safin was playing his 'game' there was no other game I'd rather watch.

    On another note, who the hell cares? Safin's peak was 2000-2004-5....Fed and Nadal were later generation.
     
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  6. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    :lol:


    OMG soooo impressive.

    "Baby" Soderling also nearly took down Federer at Halle in 2005. The following year Olivier Rochus and Richard Gasquet got even closer to knocking out Federer at Halle than Safin did......On grass.
     
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  7. Steve0904

    Steve0904 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with much of this, but there is a major problem at the same time. That problem is that people excuse many of Safin's losses for what you mentioned, but it will never change what actually happened. The man wasted his potential, and as a consequence the excuses come, but then comes the big one. The problem with many Safin fans is this ridiculous exaggeration that he would somehow be the god of tennis if only he had taken it more seriously. He also somehow ends up with the best FH, the best BH, the best serve, the best hair, the best clothes, etc etc...

    It's Safin's own fault that "peak" Safin only showed up for 2 matches in his career, and the OP is right here. The truth is "peak" Safin was relatively lucky to not lose in 4 to Federer at the 05 AO. Federer made a bad decision to S&V on a 2nd serve on MP, and even after that tried a hot dog tweener to finish the point. Federer's fault yes, but the point is he was one point away from losing in 4. He was not actually as good as Federer if both played well. He's certainly nowhere near him on grass or clay no matter how seriously he takes either surface, and Federer actually beat him twice at the 04 TMC (when both played well) because Federer's first MP in the TB, Safin hit a shot that was out but was called in and at that time the players didn't have shot spot, only the TV commentators who showed a couple seconds later that it was out.

    But then if I ever tried to downgrade Julius Safin, his peak gets moved abruptly. All of a sudden now it's the 2000 USO Final because nobody can ever be better than "peak" Safin. God forbid.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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  8. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Are you taking a page out of 90sClay's book? These arguments sound just like his.

    1998 was some prime Kuerten, I tell you. He went into the 1998 FO with zero title wins on the year and absolutely no standout performance at any warmup event. However, because Safin took him out it must mean that he was on fire, but was simply shut down by the GOAT.

    Kuerten might have been past his prime in 2004, but that doesn't mean he couldn't play a fantastic tennis. It wasn't just a fluke win over Federer, Kuerten made a solid run to the QF where he lost to Nalbandian, who kicked Safin out of the tournament. Since you consider 1998 Kuerten to be "prime", we can also say that old man busted hip Kuerten did just about as well as prime Safin did against Nalbandian at the 2004 FO.
     
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  9. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    What?



    PS, who's to say Federer still loses if he stays back on match point. That's arguably the most strawman excuse for losing a match, especially considering Federer's second serve was great and he also hit an amazing reflex volley, in turn, it took an excellent lob from Safin. I could say the only reason Safin lost the first set was because of his dumb volley on BP.






    Oh but my friend, these aren't arguments at all. Like I've said, only facts. I'm only trying to prove that Safin was very capable of beating tough opposition on clay, and used his matches with Kuerten, Ferrero and Agassi, all who have a FO title (at least) as well as other impressive clay wins to back this up.



    Oh and by the way, Safin beat Nalbandian at the FO too in 2002 but I didn't bother to include this match as Nalbandian has done nothing of note on clay and at the FO in general for a player who in this thread, has been described as a better player than Safin. Also, 2004? Really? Safin was clearly effected by blisters in 2004.



    Are you brain dead. I never said Safin was the GOAT, nor have I said he would have been a GOAT without injuries. However, I do feel Safin would have won 2-3 more majors in an injury free career? Yes. Now, I have said Safin had certainly the tools to be more than a 5 slam winner, because he lacked absolutely nothing from a technical standpoint and when push came to shove in the big matches against the big players in the slams, he rarely folded. You only need to take a look at the amount of epic matches he's won at AO and FO to realise this. The reason he wasn't this is A) Injuries B) A very poor attitude and C) Was not prepared to win scrappy. From what I saw, Safin's 'shortcomings' so to speak had nothing to do with his ability.





    I think that's why people seem to think Safin is overrated by posters on this board. If you go and ask the posters in the tennis tips/instructions aka people who have seen a lot of tennis over the years, they would tell you that Safin merely from a technical (Remember, this is not the mental/physical aspects) standpoint, Safin was as good as anyone. Arguably the best backhand ever, very good forehand, hammer serve, good net play, had great improvisation skills and touch and when dialled in returned like a machine. His only weakness really was he wasn't as aggressive on the second serve as he could have been. Even physically when he was in shape, he was tough to break down, as evidence by his very impressive 5th set record. Of course, unlike most other multiple slam champions, Safin came with another can of worms; A lack of focus and the inability to fight and win ugly if he needed to That is what separated him from the players who achieved more. It had nothing to do that Safin lacked a forehand, or a backhand, his game was very balanced.






    Lastly, you can dismiss what I've said in the last paragraph, you might think Safin had an average backhand or his serve wasn't as good as I've made it out to be, but I know what I saw. I do sometimes believe posters in this section have a hard time grasping you can still be technically one of the best players and not have 10+ slams.












    This post is so ignorant it's not even me worth replying, but I'll take the bait. Neither Soderling, Rochus or Gasquet were hampered by injuries. Safin was on painkillers at the time - in which he said had no real effect. Safin was also pretty much done in terms of ever being a big draw in the slams.


    Why the ......On grass? You do realise Gasquet's best results and his biggest match wins/performances have come at Wimbledon right? Soderling favourite surface until 2009 (where the clay was sped up dramatically) was grass to boot, and honestly I can't even remember Rochus, save for the fact I know he moved very well (he had to considering his height was a problem).
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
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  10. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    You should know that this is what most of your posts regarding Safin sound like, but people still bother to respond to them.

    So what if Safin was on painkillers? Djokovic took painkillers in the 2011 USO final as well. Its fairly common for pros to take anti-inflammatories before or during matches. Safin still played world class tennis in that match. Basically, just because Safin stretched Federer to three sets at Halle 2006 you are going to act like Safin would be some threat to Federer at Wimbledon? Not f*cking likely.

    Why the ..... On grass? Because like other great Wimbledon champions in the past, pushing Federer to the limit at Queens/Halle doesn't mean anything. Gasquet, Soderling, and Safin played Federer twice each at Wimbledon and none of them even managed to win a set. So, yeah Safin is not getting any bonus points for playing a competitive 3 setter to Federer in Halle.

    I actually agree with you that Safin certainly could have won an additional 2-3 majors (heck, maybe even 5). What I find highly disagreeable about you is that you storm into threads and call people "morons", "dunces" and various other insults for saying that Hewitt was a better volleyer than Safin, Monfils moved better than Safin, or even comparing Safin to players who had comparable careers to him like Roddick and Hewitt. Yes, Safin had more talent than Hewitt and he had very high peak level, but don't expect the world to give Safin extra credit for being talented. There is still nothing wrong with the statement that Hewitt was a greater player than Safin.

    What's with the hostility? Is Safin your older brother?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
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  11. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Double posts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
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  12. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    Safin is a cool guy with a few cool records.

    Safin was all about pure athelticism and power. It was virtually impossible
    to stop Safin when he is on.

    Safin beat peak Federer but probably not peak Sampras and Agassi. They are
    10+ year older than Safin, AFAIK.
     
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  13. spinovic

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    Peak Safin seems to be two matches.

    I dare say that I could take any slam winner, pick his two best performances ever and then make a case that he'd have won more and been a better player had he played more of his career like those two matches.
     
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  14. Anaconda

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    Safin DOES move more efficiently than Monfils, who is just quick and athletic. He has sustained a lot of injuries due to his movement and also chased after lost causes most of the time, or would battle and grind to win a point in a game where he was down 40-0 say, yes, there is more to comparing movement than say acceleration and speed. Safin DOES volley better than Hewitt, and has a better net game - a lot of this due to having better approaches simply by having more power and craftier shots in his game. Safin actually anticipates better at the net than Hewitt. Seriously check out his dive volleys and touch volleys on the tube.



    Also, Monfils' movement is more of a hindrance to his game. I really doubt he would be so aggressive if he wasn't as quick. He could have won a slam by now I think if he played high risk tennis.





    All your other points are pretty fair I guess. What match were you referring to when you said Safin was playing a world class match? From what I saw, his only world class matches after AO 2005 were his matches with Djokovic and Seppi at Wimbledon.
     
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  15. Anaconda

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    Maybe to those who are blind.
     
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  16. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Safin was excellent at the net, I agree. With his game, when he was on he became much more a pest at the net because he had so much power off the ground and then he didn't get scared of hitting volleys either. The thing with Hewitt is that he couldn't power his way to the net very often but when he did he always made the most of it. He actually prevented himself from getting even more vbagels and breadsticks against federer by making clutch net plays in many matches. The likes of Rafter and Henman have complimented Hewitts technique on volleys so he definitely deserves to be in the conversation.

    Now, about Monfils. I do agree that he is a grinder and injures himself a lot during matches, but his movement at peak is outrageously good. That's is the reason why his standout performances have been on clay. He moves extremely well, some of the gets he made against federer at RG 2008 were Nadal like in quality, but if you grind like monfils a big hitter will find a way to hit past you.

    The grass at Halle is much more difficult to play on IMO. Players struggle to get rhythm from the baseline from what I have seen. That said, Safin played a good match at Halle 2005. He hit many massive serves and bludgeoning groundstrokes. I personally think any match played in an ATP event between two great players is world class tennis XD
     
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  17. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Anaconda,

    You are too hard on Safin. He was certainly capable of playing world class tennis even after 2005. I remember he kicked Berdych's behind quite a few times in 2007-2008 despite being ranked something like 80 spots lower. And He completely hit Roddick off the court at DC 2006.

    Not a bad match against Nalbandian either at the 2006 USO.
     
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  18. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    Well, his movement and forehand really dropped off after 2005, this much was evident. Yeah, that Roddick match, I still thought Safin would win, Roddick (another of my favourites) never was good on clay and sucked pretty much all year save for Cincy onwards. I would say he had a few competent matches, with Wimbledon 2008 being excellent given the circumstances.



    TBF if Safin wasn't in choke-mode in his last year he would have had quite a few impressive wins, really wished he could have got JMDP in Paris 2009....So close. That would have truly been impressive given JMDP was coming off his best tournament win.




    I'm not harsh on Safin at all. You should see what people have wrote about him in this thread; Drugs, laziness, lifestyle issues etc. I have had to defend this many times about how hard he has worked in the off seasons; 04 & 05 especially.
     
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  19. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    That's true. A lot of half-truths about Safin out there, I guess. Btw, did Safin do drugs? I know he drank, but I'm talking about "drug drugs" like Coke or pills. No way IMO.

    About the movement. Overall it probably did drop off like you said, but he could move like the wind when he had to. Safin made one of the sickest gets I have ever seen on match point in the 5th set tiebreaker against Nalbandian at USO 2006. Nalbandian wasn't expecting it to come back and he smashed a ball out of the stadium in frustration right before the handshake. :lol:

    Also, do you have any links to the Roddick vs Safin Bangkok match in 2004? The match looks like an epic but I have never even found a clip of it. Not even a crappy 144p 30 second one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
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