Denied Greatness by Injury. Who was most "robbed?"

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
I think it is safe to say that we have lived through an era in which the durability of the great players until the age of 30 at least has reached new levels, but it's the talented ones who limped away from the game that fascinate me at times. What if one of these guys had not been struck down by injury?

My list of guys I think would have done great things without devastating injury...

Tommy Haas
Pat Cash
Guga

A bit off the pace, but still interesting would be Robin Soderling.

Who are yours? I'm sure my memory is quite incomplete.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Ferrero. More of a serious case of chicken pox that seemed to take a big toll on him physically and he's not quite the same afterwards mentally either.
Yeah, guys who had the ability to be #1 but had everything cut short. I think Cash would have 4-5 majors if he'd stayed, and I think Haas would certainly have made it to the podium were it not for his fragile body.

Of course, now that I think of it, I should add Lleyton Hewitt. He and Guga would have more without injury, IMHO, and it would have made the emergence of Federer and Nadal more interesting.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I think it is safe to say that we have lived through an era in which the durability of the great players until the age of 30 at least has reached new levels, but it's the talented ones who limped away from the game that fascinate me at times. What if one of these guys had not been struck down by injury?

My list of guys I think would have done great things without devastating injury...

Tommy Haas
Pat Cash
Guga

A bit off the pace, but still interesting would be Robin Soderling.

Who are yours? I'm sure my memory is quite incomplete.

Hoad, Mecir, Kuerten all had back problems. Even guys like Murray, Nadal and Djokovic have had major injuries.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Hoad, Mecir, Kuerten all had back problems. Even guys like Murray, Nadal and Djokovic have had major injuries.
I just don't think Murray, Nadal, and Djokovic had their careers cut short/seriously altered in their prime due to injury. Maybe Murray, but he had quite a good run prior to this recent trouble, as did Djokovic.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
I just don't think Murray, Nadal, and Djokovic had their careers cut short/seriously altered in their prime due to injury. Maybe Murray, but he had quite a good run prior to this recent trouble, as did Djokovic.
Hopefully you're right about the three, although I'm not 100% certain about Murray and Djokovic although Djokovic looked pretty good the last tournament.
Also Lendl had back problem at the end of his career.
But, Lendl had by that point already achieved greatness.
I was also thinking that Lendl already was older and achieved greatness.

With Kuerten however many felt he was improving at a rapid rate and he would have been a big major on all surfaces, just not clay.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Hopefully you're right about the three, although I'm not 100% certain about Murray and Djokovic although Djokovic looked pretty good the last tournament.



I was also thinking that Lendl already was older and achieved greatness.

With Kuerten however many felt he was improving at a rapid rate and he would have been a big major on all surfaces, just not clay.
As was shown with his YEC win indoors on hard which included wins over Agassi and Sampras if I recall correctly.
 
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pc1

G.O.A.T.
Agree, but with his very complete training schedule and life style he could won a couple GS titles more if he did not suffer from back problems.
I think you could be right. I think Lendl is an extremely underrated player. People forget how he won so many tournaments, Masters 1000 type tournaments, Year End Championships and WCT Finals Championships. It's a stunning record.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Delpo definitely someone I had forgotten on my original list. I, like many, thought he'd be a permanent fixture after 2009.
Yes most everyone figured he was going to be there with Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray.

I was rooting so badly for him to win the Olympics a few years ago.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
So he can't use that as an excuse for getting destroyed in the 1998 AO final (his one and only Slam final).
Of course he can't use that as an excuse, but I think he'd have had more opportunities had it not been for the injuries, and much though I remember thinking he was wasting his talent, the injuries guaranteed he would never have the chance to "figure it out."
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Of course he can't use that as an excuse, but I think he'd have had more opportunities had it not been for the injuries, and much though I remember thinking he was wasting his talent, the injuries guaranteed he would never have the chance to "figure it out."
Maybe, but I sometimes think injuries are too convenient an excuse to cover a player's shortcomings and Slams were definitely amongst Rios' shortcomings in my view.
 

DrumWizOHBD

Semi-Pro
Krajicek
Phillippoussis
Ancic
Delpo
Norman
It was really too bad about Mario Ancic. One of the first really athletic Big/Tall players that had a great versatile game. He was looking like he was really going to start getting deep in the Slams on a regular basis. Pretty sure he became a lawyer.
 

fezer

Rookie
haas easy
Many people think so. And of course Tommy had a lot trouble with injuries - and several specatcular comebacks.
But in his case motivation and diligence are more important. he had all the tools in his game, but it took a long time till he knew how to use them. in the very late stages of his career he was the player that deserved greatness, but it was too late. had he acted with the same motivation, diligence in preparation and startegy in the early 2000s, it would have been possible that he would end up in the same tier as Hewitt, Roddick or Safin.
Nevertheless injuries are the second major reason why Tommy didnt win that much.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
Me. The trip through the birth canal robbed my coordination and motivation. I'd have been the GOAT if delivered by C section, yet here I am languishing somewhere near 3.0 with the occasional 50+ victory the most I can muster.
 

Thomas195

Semi-Pro
What qualities? I don't remember either Scud or Krajicek being terribly consistent, which is quality number one on my list. Maybe my memory is faulty, though.
Their inconsistency was due to injury, and in the case of Phillippoussis, mentality.

But in technical aspect, both possessed a big and game with a wide range of big weapons (serve, volleys, groundstrokes), plus substantial raw power. They had the potential to win multiple Wimbledon and probably USO titles.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
I think it is safe to say that we have lived through an era in which the durability of the great players until the age of 30 at least has reached new levels, but it's the talented ones who limped away from the game that fascinate me at times. What if one of these guys had not been struck down by injury?

My list of guys I think would have done great things without devastating injury...

Tommy Haas
Pat Cash
Guga

A bit off the pace, but still interesting would be Robin Soderling.

Who are yours? I'm sure my memory is quite incomplete.
I would put Lew Hoad at the top of that list and Tony Roche second. I would also proffer Rod Laver whose dominance (if not career), was cut short due to serious injuries that were not well known about at the time.
 

Thomas195

Semi-Pro
I think Haas is very overrated. His groundies were solid, but he never had huge weapons like Krajicek serve.

Rios? 1m75 is far too short by the late 1990s. Even Hewitt was 1m80.

Soderling? Clay only. Outside of clay, Fed, Murray, Nole, Delpo... had problem whipping his butts.
 
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