Austria Goat Muster or Thiem?

Who is the Austria goat as of Now?

  • Thiem

    Votes: 28 31.8%
  • Muster

    Votes: 47 53.4%
  • To close to tell

    Votes: 13 14.8%

  • Total voters
    88

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Lol! You're still going?! Fed made the SF of the Australian Open, THIS YEAR! QF of the US Open last year. He's in the top 3. But who cares about that right Mike Danny? Because YOU choose when beating him counts.
Yeah, and he lost to Dimitrov and nearly lost to Millmsn and Sandgren.

I guess that's still awesome for the mighty Fed, right?
 

citybert

Hall of Fame
Austria does not have many good tennis players but those two were pretty solid. Obviously thiem can do more and clearly overtake muster but if thiem had to retire next year who do you have ahead now?

Highest rank:

Muster 1
Thiem 3

Grand slam wins

Muster 1
Thiem 1

Grand slam finals

Thiem 3
Muster 1

Overall titles

Muster 44
Thiem 17

Masters 1000

Muster 8
Thiem 1

Right now I think it is still muster as he simply has won more hardware albeit thiem is clearly the better non clay player (muster has two AO semis but thiem still did more on non clay).
Hit by car driven by crazy driver and broke his leg and comes back to win FO
Muster 1
Thiem 0
 

BumElbow

Rookie
To this day I still can’t fathom out how Muster ONLY won one French Open. The 90s had a lot of depth when it comes to clay-courters, many of whom specialised on that one surface. He was clearly the second best (I’m not referring to accolades) clay-courter of that decade, behind Guga. 1995 Muster was at a (clay) ATG level, a level I’m quite certain Thiem will not attain. Right now, it is by far Muster that’s ahead, however I can safely guess that Thiem will win at least another 2 slams. That’s when I’ll consider him greater than Muster.
Muster was hit by a car when playing a tournament in Florida and was out for an extended period afterwards. Otherwise, he would have more titles and possibly another French Open title.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
To this day I still can’t fathom out how Muster ONLY won one French Open. The 90s had a lot of depth when it comes to clay-courters, many of whom specialised on that one surface. He was clearly the second best (I’m not referring to accolades) clay-courter of that decade, behind Guga. 1995 Muster was at a (clay) ATG level, a level I’m quite certain Thiem will not attain. Right now, it is by far Muster that’s ahead, however I can safely guess that Thiem will win at least another 2 slams. That’s when I’ll consider him greater than Muster.
Muster is the second best dirtballer of the 90s only if you put lots of stock in non-Slam events. FYI he won 62.0% and 61.4% of his games on clay in '95 and '96 respectively - impressive numbers for sure (the 60% Club is a pretty exclusive one), but still lower than the career season highs of Courier, Bruguera and even Djokovic and also the peaks the former two (plus Guga in select matches) demonstrated at RG. And turns out Jim and Sergi won an extra FO in the '90s. Do they really deserve to be ranked lower than Thomas because they won fewer 2nd-rate events?

Now lest this come across as dressing him down too harshly I'll give Muster this: I'd long suspected that given his underwhelming FO record he did quite a bit of vulturing outside the regular CC season (before IW and after RG), but when I looked at his disappointing '96 campaign I found that his GW%s during and outside the regular CC leg were virtually identical: 61.4%* vs. 61.3%. And the party spoiler Stich won a respectable 57.8% of his games (all GW%s at RG in this post include TBs, as opposed to the rest which don't) on his run to the FO final, so I'm fine with cutting Thomas slack for that particular loss.

And the former "King of Play" did play like it when he won an eye-popping 64.5% at '95 RG... but that is still dwarfed by Jim's 67.5% in '92 and Sergi's 68.8% in '93. Again given these actual results I find it hard to rate him over the latter two plus Guga among the '90s dirtballers.

*The 61.4% includes stats from his 1st-rounder at St. Polten vs. unranked Nasser-Ghanim Al-Khulaifi (yes, not even in the thousands - hence the ATP site's discrepancy in Muster's service/return %s between the '96 Stats Leaderboards and his '96 Player Stats). Without those #s his regular-season % would be 60.8%.

35+ Federer has won slams. He might not be as good as 28 year old Federer but he was still better than almost everyone muster faced.
Outside clay, sure, but as I pointed out just earlier today Thiem has yet to even come close to breaking the 60% mark and won a mediocre 56.1% and 56.3% in '18 and '19. That long backswing/return position is really a liability for him even on clay, and the fact that he made the FO final in both '18 and '19 despite those numbers is an indictment of the depth of today's CC field.

And people said this slam would be an asterisk
It's a legit Slam, but definitely comes with a question mark if we're comparing levels of play.
 

Devtennis01

Hall of Fame
It's so weird. Muster seemed like a man to me. Thiem at 27 seems like a boy.
Maybe it's because I'm older now.
Anyway, Muster.
Thiem has to get to world No.1 once Big 3 are done. Then he gets the title of Austria's greatest.
 
Muster is the second best dirtballer of the 90s only if you put lots of stock in non-Slam events. FYI he won 62.0% and 61.4% of his games on clay in '95 and '96 respectively - impressive numbers for sure (the 60% Club is a pretty exclusive one), but still lower than the career season highs of Courier, Bruguera and even Djokovic and also the peaks the former two (plus Guga in select matches) demonstrated at RG. And turns out Jim and Sergi won an extra FO in the '90s. Do they really deserve to be ranked lower than Thomas because they won fewer 2nd-rate events?

Now lest this come across as dressing him down too harshly I'll give Muster this: I'd long suspected that given his underwhelming FO record he did quite a bit of vulturing outside the regular CC season (before IW and after RG), but when I looked at his disappointing '96 campaign I found that his GW%s during and outside the regular CC leg were virtually identical: 61.4%* vs. 61.3%. And the party spoiler Stich won a respectable 57.8% of his games (all GW%s at RG in this post include TBs, as opposed to the rest which don't) on his run to the FO final, so I'm fine with cutting Thomas slack for that particular loss.

And the former "King of Play" did play like it when he won an eye-popping 64.5% at '95 RG... but that is still dwarfed by Jim's 67.5% in '92 and Sergi's 68.8% in '93. Again given these actual results I find it hard to rate him over the latter two plus Guga among the '90s dirtballers.

*The 61.4% includes stats from his 1st-rounder at St. Polten vs. unranked Nasser-Ghanim Al-Khulaifi (yes, not even in the thousands - hence the ATP site's discrepancy in Muster's service/return %s between the '96 Stats Leaderboards and his '96 Player Stats). Without those #s his regular-season % would be 60.8%.



Outside clay, sure, but as I pointed out just earlier today Thiem has yet to even come close to breaking the 60% mark and won a mediocre 56.1% and 56.3% in '18 and '19. That long backswing/return position is really a liability for him even on clay, and the fact that he made the FO final in both '18 and '19 despite those numbers is an indictment of the depth of today's CC field.



It's a legit Slam, but definitely comes with a question mark if we're comparing levels of play.
How did Muster do against the big clay guys (burgera, courier...) in those non RG clay tournaments? Did he mostly avoid them in his wins?
 

Start da Game

Hall of Fame
It's so weird. Muster seemed like a man to me. Thiem at 27 seems like a boy.
Maybe it's because I'm older now.
Anyway, Muster.
Thiem has to get to world No.1 once Big 3 are done. Then he gets the title of Austria's greatest.
i think this is an accurate assessment.......it is surely muster for now.......legendary austrian clay courter who returned from a car accident and lifted roland garros five years later........
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
There's no comparison between the two! One only got into one single GS final! Even with only 3 GS losses, Thiem was already the greater of the two, because he lost 2 RG finals to Nadal, and a AO final to Djokovic, the ultimate masters of those two domains.
 

Beckerserve

Legend
I voted thiem on basis he is stronger across surfaces. That said Muster would have been but for a drink driver so i now changed my mind. Muster.
 

mental midget

Hall of Fame
This is all due to massu otherwise we'd be just sitting here waiting for the Clay results to tally up. Tim is almost like a phoenix getting too close to the sun right now hopefully he doesn't come crashing down at RG of all places:sick:
yeah whatever they're doing it's working. apart from the extreme nerves on both sides during the final, what impressed me about thiem, in the medvedev match in particular, was his ability a la djokovic to go into groundstroke lockdown mode, hitting repeatable, high percentage shots instead of letting medvedev goad him into blasting the ball into the fence. he made med take the risks and imo it's what really threw him off.
 

NonP

Hall of Fame
The what-if game is bogus even when applied to accidents. Why not assume the likes of Cash, Krajicek, Guga and Delpo could've continued their commanding form throughout their career? Or that another Borg/Pete/Fed/Rafa/Nole (take your pick) fell through the cracks sometime during either Austrian's prime? One could really play this game all day. (The only exception I can think of is an intentional act meant to harm a main rival like the Seles stabbing, but thankfully such cases are extremely rare.)

To me this is hairsplitting. Until Thiem pulls away with 1-2 extra majors it's a virtual tie between the two.

How did Muster do against the big clay guys (burgera, courier...) in those non RG clay tournaments? Did he mostly avoid them in his wins?
Muster famously led Bruguera 6-2 on clay (and 12-3 overall). But two of those losses came in '95 during a lull in Sergi's prime which happened to coincide with Thomas' absolute peak, nor did they ever meet at RG, so it's unwise to overplay the H2H especially given the Spaniard's tendency to slack off most of the season.

The H2H vs. Courier stands at 3-2 on clay (and 7-5 overall), but Jim won both of their FO meetings in '92 and '93 so he definitely takes this matchup. And one could also throw in Guga, who took their most important meeting at '97 RG and a minor one at '98 Mallorca (plus '99 IW).

As you can see their primes didn't really overlap all that much as all had a relatively short reign, and Thiem/Fedalovic tend to latch onto that factoid, but - and this is a big but - the '90s had plenty of other dangerous dirtballers to keep the rest of the field honest. Here's a sans-Nadal list of the 60% Club with their qualifying seasons since 1991 (those with rounded-up 60%s are included in brackets):

1992 - Courier
1993 - Courier, Bruguera, Sampras (yes, Sampras)
1994 - Bruguera
1995 - Muster, Agassi, Chang
1996 - Muster
1997 - [Corretja]
1998 - Rios
2000 - [Corretja]
2001 - Kuerten, Ferrero
2002 - Agassi
2003 - Agassi, Coria, Federer, [Ferrero]
2004 - Coria, [Federer]
2005 - Federer, [Gaudio]
2008 - Djokovic
2009 - Djokovic
2011 - Djokovic, Ferrer, del Potro
2012 - Ferrer
2014 - Djokovic
2015 - Djokovic, Murray
2016 - [Djokovic]
2017 - [Cilic]

Some of these entries come with caveats - for example '03 Dre won Houston on green clay followed by a 1st-round loss at Rome and a QF at RG, while '11 Delpo's W at Estroil was succeeded by a 3rd-round withdrawal from Madrid and another 3rd-round exit at RG (a 4-set loss to Novak) - but notice how the post-'05 era is kept alive almost single-handedly by Djoko. Granted Ferrer barely missed out in '10, '13 and '15, and there have been other almost-there seasons, but like Coria and Ferru most of 'em despite their gaudy #s didn't have the firepower to withstand the all-out assault of, say, '11 Fed or for that matter '03 Verkerk. And when you realize even Fed or Novak never had a dominant run like '92 Courier or '93 Bruguera you can see why it's hard not to scoff at the notion that the only thing preventing Thiem from cleaning up at RG is a geriatric Nadal.
 

McLovin

Legend
However, I can see the case for Muster. We can't do "what if" scenarios, but it is interesting to consider what Thomas would have achieved, were it not for his horrific car crash injury.
This. We'll reevaluate if/when Thiem gets hit by a drunk driver and has ligaments in his knee severed. Then see how he does in the majors...

NOTE: I am in no way wishing anything like what happened to Muster on Thiem (or anyone, for that matter). Just pointing out that Muster was 21 years old when that happened, and he still managed to win the most grueling major, as well as another semi final at the Aussie and 3 quarter finals at the US.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
Muster is the second best dirtballer of the 90s only if you put lots of stock in non-Slam events. FYI he won 62.0% and 61.4% of his games on clay in '95 and '96 respectively - impressive numbers for sure (the 60% Club is a pretty exclusive one), but still lower than the career season highs of Courier, Bruguera and even Djokovic and also the peaks the former two (plus Guga in select matches) demonstrated at RG. And turns out Jim and Sergi won an extra FO in the '90s. Do they really deserve to be ranked lower than Thomas because they won fewer 2nd-rate events?

Now lest this come across as dressing him down too harshly I'll give Muster this: I'd long suspected that given his underwhelming FO record he did quite a bit of vulturing outside the regular CC season (before IW and after RG), but when I looked at his disappointing '96 campaign I found that his GW%s during and outside the regular CC leg were virtually identical: 61.4%* vs. 61.3%. And the party spoiler Stich won a respectable 57.8% of his games (all GW%s at RG in this post include TBs, as opposed to the rest which don't) on his run to the FO final, so I'm fine with cutting Thomas slack for that particular loss.

And the former "King of Play" did play like it when he won an eye-popping 64.5% at '95 RG... but that is still dwarfed by Jim's 67.5% in '92 and Sergi's 68.8% in '93. Again given these actual results I find it hard to rate him over the latter two plus Guga among the '90s dirtballers.

*The 61.4% includes stats from his 1st-rounder at St. Polten vs. unranked Nasser-Ghanim Al-Khulaifi (yes, not even in the thousands - hence the ATP site's discrepancy in Muster's service/return %s between the '96 Stats Leaderboards and his '96 Player Stats). Without those #s his regular-season % would be 60.8%.



Outside clay, sure, but as I pointed out just earlier today Thiem has yet to even come close to breaking the 60% mark and won a mediocre 56.1% and 56.3% in '18 and '19. That long backswing/return position is really a liability for him even on clay, and the fact that he made the FO final in both '18 and '19 despite those numbers is an indictment of the depth of today's CC field.



It's a legit Slam, but definitely comes with a question mark if we're comparing levels of play.
You've made some good points. Gotta say i'm not one for researching stats and percentages, I just go by the good old eye test. From what I remember in the 90s around the time I started following tennis, I recall Muster kicking ^ss on the red dirt and schooling Bruguera more often than not, hence why I'd rate the Austrian above, although he's won 1 slam less. But not just that, It's also the numerous Masters 1000 he's won, the overall titles compared to the Spaniard, getting to No1 and of course that 1995 season of which both Bruguera and Courier never came close to achieving on the clay. It's kinda how I rate say Roddick above Kafelnikov, or Becker over Wilander.....and quite a few on here rate Murray above Courier for similar reasons.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
Muster easily. He won a number of big titles in probably the strongest era there has ever been. Thiem hasn't really won anything, despite very weak era.
I agree that Muster is still ahead on numbers, but weak era? Come on, Thiem played against the Big 3 for his whole career up to now. Switch his competition with Muster’s and Thiem would be the only one even talked about. Muster was almost exclusively a clay player and would have done nothing against Nadal. Thiem in the 90s would be a multiple Slam champion already at his current age.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
You've made some good points. Gotta say i'm not one for researching stats and percentages, I just go by the good old eye test. From what I remember in the 90s around the time I started following tennis, I recall Muster kicking ^ss on the red dirt and schooling Bruguera more often than not, hence why I'd rate the Austrian above, although he's won 1 slam less. But not just that, It's also the numerous Masters 1000 he's won, the overall titles compared to the Spaniard, getting to No1 and of course that 1995 season of which both Bruguera and Courier never came close to achieving on the clay. It's kinda how I rate say Roddick above Kafelnikov, or Becker over Wilander.....and quite a few on here rate Murray above Courier for similar reasons.
I get the overall gist of your post.
@ the underline part :
But in this comparision of Muster vs Courier/Bruguera. its not just about the number of RGs won.
Muster made only 1 more GS semi at FO apart from his 95 win - FO 90. that's 1 win, 1 SF.
Bruguera made the final of 97 FO and semi of 95 FO. That's 2 wins, 1 final, 1 SF.

Courier made the final of 93 FO and semi of 94 FO. That's 2 wins, 1 final, 1 SF.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
I get the overall gist of your post.
@ the underline part :
But in this comparision of Muster vs Courier/Bruguera. its not just about the number of RGs won.
Muster made only 1 more GS semi at FO apart from his 95 win - FO 90. that's 1 win, 1 SF.
Bruguera made the final of 97 FO and semi of 95 FO. That's 2 wins, 1 final, 1 SF.

Courier made the final of 93 FO and semi of 94 FO. That's 2 wins, 1 final, 1 SF.
Which goes back to my earlier post expressing how to this day I'm perplexed at how Muster only won the FO once, and as you pointed out, one other SF to his name. Well I guess it's similar to the Nalbandian story. How on earth did he never win a slam? In my view he was a better player than Johansson or Gaudio, but it's not what history tells us. 1>0.
 

Adv. Edberg

Hall of Fame
I agree that Muster is still ahead on numbers, but weak era? Come on, Thiem played against the Big 3 for his whole career up to now. Switch his competition with Muster’s and Thiem would be the only one even talked about. Muster was almost exclusively a clay player and would have done nothing against Nadal. Thiem in the 90s would be a multiple Slam champion already at his current age.
Thiem had the luxury of only playing against 3 good players. Muster had 10. Edberg, Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Lendl, Wilander, Bruguera, Chang etc etc.
 

ChrisRF

Hall of Fame
The fact that Sampras is mentioned as clay competition just tells you how hilariously different the standards are.
And all those players never were present at the same time. Some of them Muster only met a late stage of their career. Also Nadal is the decisive factor anyway. If not for him we would talk about guys like Ferrer, Murray etc. as great competition because they would have won RG. They are the Agassi/Courier/Bruguera/Chang of today if not for Nadal. Or Federer/Djokovic would have shared 10+ RG titles and we would say Thiem has to compete with the two greatest RG champions ever.

But since he also mentioned non-RG-champions as great competition, maybe even Zverev etc. would count for today, who knows.

As you mention Sampras: Muster even lost his only RG match to him. And he lost to other S&V players regularly on clay.
 

aldeayeah

Legend
Even though the 90s clay field was probably stronger on average, Muster didn't have to go through the Djokovic-Nadal duo to win pretty much anything. So it balances out.
 

Musterrific

Semi-Pro
I'll say if Thiem can win another slam and a few Masters, he should probably be considered Austrian GOAT even if he never gets to number 1.
 

Drob

Professional
Austria does not have many good tennis players but those two were pretty solid. Obviously thiem can do more and clearly overtake muster but if thiem had to retire next year who do you have ahead now?

Highest rank:

Muster 1
Thiem 3

Grand slam wins

Muster 1
Thiem 1

Grand slam finals

Thiem 3
Muster 1

Overall titles

Muster 44
Thiem 17

Masters 1000

Muster 8
Thiem 1

Right now I think it is still muster as he simply has won more hardware albeit thiem is clearly the better non clay player (muster has two AO semis but thiem still did more on non clay).
Do you know why Thiem is not playing Hamburg (nor Zverev for that matter)? Would seem like a clay warmer would be in order.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
To this day I still can’t fathom out how Muster ONLY won one French Open. The 90s had a lot of depth when it comes to clay-courters, many of whom specialised on that one surface. He was clearly the second best (I’m not referring to accolades) clay-courter of that decade, behind Guga. 1995 Muster was at a (clay) ATG level, a level I’m quite certain Thiem will not attain. Right now, it is by far Muster that’s ahead, however I can safely guess that Thiem will win at least another 2 slams. That’s when I’ll consider him greater than Muster.
The timing of his injury was pretty bad.

I think he was 22 when it happened?
 
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