Originally Posted by NadalAgassi
I thought 2004-2007 was Federer's designated prime, peak, everything else, while he was a baby in diapers in 03 or earlier and a gimpy old man with a can at 26 from 2008 and beyond. Now suddenly 2004 is designated as not being his clay court prime as well, whatever.
Whether 2004 was Federer at his career best on clay or not one thing is for sure he was a hell of alot closer than Kuerten was. If barely beating a 30 year old Sampras in the midst of a 25 month tournament drought deep into a 5th set at Wimbledon is somehow inrefutable proof Federer is superior to Sampras on grass according to ****s, than a hip butchered Kuerten who was 30% of his old self massacring the #1 Federer in straight sets couldnt make it anymore obvious that Kuerten >>>> Federer on clay. Not that one needs this evidence, their records speak for themselves too, one is a 3 time Roland Garros Champion and the Worlds best clay courter for about 3 years, one is a 1 time Roland Garros Champ who never won Rome or Monte Carlo, and who was never considered the games best clay courter.
I would love to see Federer win a Roland Garros title having the draw Kuerten in 1997 did, let alone doing it nowhere near his prime which Kuerten wasnt in 1997. Instead before Djokovic comes around he only needs to overcome Davydenko, Ferrer, and Monfils to make the Roland Garros finals every year.
The problem using this kind of logic is that it is detrimental to Nadal`s position as the CCGOAT. Federer has been Nadal biggest rival on the surface by far, so accepting the premise that Federer is no more than a decent clay court player, how can you not put in doubt Nadal`s succes on clay?? After all, and according to you, which great clay courter has faced Nadal to achieve his titles if not federer??...surely must have been clay beasts like Almagro, Monaco, Ferrer, Verdasco, Soderling, Puerta, Davydenko, Gonzalez, etc.
Borg on the other hand faced Lendl, Vilas, Panatta,Nastase, Kodes, Clerc, Orantes, etc, all of them would easily have Federer for breakfast on clay.
The thing is that both, Nadal and Federer legacy, feed off each other. You can`t downgrade one without afecting the other, it has always been this way (Laver-Rosewall, Borg-Mac, Sampras-Agassi, etc).
However, i do think that Kuerten is the best clay courter compared to Fed, by achivements and level of play (this by a very small margin). The only ones i would put above Fed during the open era are Nadal, Borg, Wilander, Lendl and Kuerten in that order. I put him above Courier, Vilas, Muster, Bruguera, Nastase and Kodes.