Better Russian, Kafelnikov or Safin?

Better Russian/


  • Total voters
    27
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Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Singles:
6 weeks at no.1
2 slams - AO, FO. 1 F, 3 SF, 7 QF (last man to win a slam in both singles and doubles, FO 1996)
0 ATP 1000, 0-5 in finals
4 ATP 500
19 ATP 250
0 YEC, 0-1 in finals
1 Olympic gold medal
26 ATP titles (9 HC, 3 clay, 3 grass, 11 carpet), 20 finals
46 top 10 wins, 5 wins vs. no.1

Doubles:
4 slams - 3 FO, USO
7 ATP 1000
6 ATP 500
10 ATP 250
27 ATP titles, 14 finals

Marat Safin
Singles:
9 weeks at no.1
2 slams - USO, AO. 2 F, 3 SF, 2 QF
5 ATP 1000, 5-3 in finals
1 ATP 500
7 ATP 250
0 YEC, 2 SF
15 ATP titles (10 HC, 2 clay, 3 carpet), 12 finals
49 top 10 wins, 4 wins vs. no.1

Doubles:
2 ATP 250

They won Davis Cup together in 2002 (Safin won both of his singles matches, Kafelnikov lost his singles and doubles match). Safin won another Davis Cup in 2006 and got Russia to final in 2007 (in which he didn't play and Russia lost).

H2H between them is 2-2


* I'm aware that there was a thread on this before but it offered no stats and had just a few replies. Doubles stats are there because Yevgeny was exceptionally great in doubles but maybe that shouldn't be looked at when comparing them. Also wanted to include some of Federer - Kafelnikov matches, unfortunately they seem to have been scrubbed off the youtube.
 

Nole Slam

Legend
So it's basically this.

Safin

2 Slams
5 Masters
9 weeks at #1

Kafelnikov

2 Slams
0 Masters
6 weeks at #1

There is also the fact that Safin was a Russian God whose peak level was unmatched. This man beat peak Fed at the AO 05 and would straight set peak Djokovic on HC.
 

Devtennis01

Legend
My man. He has a game that could translate across different surfaces better. He was also more a physical specimen and could outpower opponents for easy wins.
Not dissing Kafelnikov, though. I loved watching him hit groundies.
 

ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
Safin was mercurial with a higher ceiling. Kafelnikov was steadier. Hard to call either objectively better, but for the sake of the poll, I said Safin, whose tennis I preferred.

You'll never see juicier backhand to backhand rallies than between these two, though. Talk about a couple gorgeous strokes.
 

CHillTennis

Semi-Pro
Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Singles:
6 weeks at no.1
2 slams - AO, FO. 1 F, 3 SF, 7 QF (last man to win a slam in both singles and doubles, FO 1996)
0 ATP 1000, 0-5 in finals
4 ATP 500
19 ATP 250
0 YEC, 0-1 in finals
1 Olympic gold medal
26 ATP titles (9 HC, 3 clay, 3 grass, 11 carpet), 20 finals
46 top 10 wins, 5 wins vs. no.1

Doubles:
4 slams - 3 FO, USO
7 ATP 1000
6 ATP 500
10 ATP 250
27 ATP titles, 14 finals

Marat Safin
Singles:
9 weeks at no.1
2 slams - USO, AO. 2 F, 3 SF, 2 QF
5 ATP 1000, 5-3 in finals
1 ATP 500
7 ATP 250
0 YEC, 2 SF
15 ATP titles (10 HC, 2 clay, 3 carpet), 12 finals
49 top 10 wins, 4 wins vs. no.1

Doubles:
2 ATP 250

They won Davis Cup together in 2002 (Safin won both of his singles matches, Kafelnikov lost his singles and doubles match). Safin won another Davis Cup in 2006 and got Russia to final in 2007 (in which he didn't play and Russia lost).

H2H between them is 2-2


* I'm aware that there was a thread on this before but it offered no stats and had just a few replies. Doubles stats are there because Yevgeny was exceptionally great in doubles but maybe that shouldn't be looked at when comparing them. Also wanted to include some of Federer - Kafelnikov matches, unfortunately they seem to have been scrubbed off the youtube.
I would probably give the edge to Safin.

He's one of the very few players that was able to beat Pete Sampras at the US Open and he was also the only player other than Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic to win a grand slam during the peak Fedal era.
 

YK

Rookie
Depends how you look at this. They both were born there and played under Russian flag so they are Russians OK. Safin was a promising Russian junior made into a top tier player in Valencia so he is as much a Spanish product as Russian. Yevgeny made it to #1 and two Slams growing within the Russian tennis system and winning not because of it but instead of it. He also had a lot more all around game, was quite self-deprecating, and is more cerebral off the court. Judged by the results, it is Safin; judged by the whole story, no contest Yevgeny for me.
 
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