Has Nalbandian underrachieved ?

RoS

Rookie
Nalbandian was a great player to watch. A top class BH with ridiculous angles (some people on TW say he has a better BH than Djokovic as pure shotmaking), a good forehand, a elite ROS, a superb touch (his dropshot was one of the best). He only maybe lacked a serve to win free points. But he was a complete player who was one of the very rare players to outplay Prime Federer at his own game with Del Potro (Nadal and Djokovic are different. They activate the full push mode against him in the tight moments)

Only a GS final lost tamely against Hewitt. And a few GS semi-finals. He won the WTF and a few Master 1000
Should he have accomplished more ? Or he maximised his talent ?

Nalbandian is the only one who defeated Fedalovic in the same tournament.


He could have beaten Federer in the AO 2006 Final if he didn't choke against Baghdatis.

I think that Nalbandian would feast on the current generation. I don't think that Thiem or Zverev have a higher peak than him (maybe Thiem on clay).
 
Nalbandian was a serious slam choker unfortunately. Tough to say he should have won in the strong era he played in (although the feeble AO 06 was his best chance, certainly), but sure should have had more slam QF+ and better losses. Lack of respectable late round slam losses is a big downer: there's only 2004 and 2005 AO QFs as solid respectable outings, 2003 USO for overall level perhaps but him not being competitive after missing a chance to straight-set Roddick was quite sad. To be fair, Nalbandian had a shoulder injury but then it says something about his fitness that he suffered from a physical ailment in two slam semis - that one and 2006 RG where he was up a set and a break on Federer then couldn't keep up, started struggling and ultimately retired shortly before the third set could be completed. Besides that, there's the Baghdatis choke and five routs (6-1 6-3 6-2, 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-0, 6-3 7-6 6-0, 7-6 6-2 6-2, 6-2 6-4 6-1). Tsonga and Berdych were both better slam players not only by consistency but peak as well. His 2007 fall double featured an amazing level higher than anyone born post-Cilic/Delpo could manage, shame Bandy couldn't bring that at slams.
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
Despite practicing the good tennis, Nalbandian was probably not a slam winning caliber player (in a normal era) because of his deficiencies compared to his peer group. Obviously could and should have had better and more consistent results if he had maintained his fitness.
 

Kralingen

Professional
30+ year old Agassi was better from 2000-2005 than any of Federer's challengers (Hewitt, Nalbandian, Kuerten, Safin, Roddick) were in that period IMO
 

FlamingCheeto

Professional
Nalby underachieved more than anyone except for Rios and Roddick, the latter who at least got 1 slam, but if you don't get 1 slam, then yes.
 

TheRed

Hall of Fame
Despite practicing the good tennis, Nalbandian was probably not a slam winning caliber player (in a normal era) because of his deficiencies compared to his peer group. Obviously could and should have had better and more consistent results if he had maintained his fitness.
People should pay attention to the end of matches when Nalbandian shook hands with other players. He was pretty short. He was kinda stocky so it was hard to tell that he was so short. That played a big role in his relatively poor serve in addition to his mechanics. The problem with guys like Nalbandian, Rios and guys like them is that they lack easy consistent power. People get riled up when they see these "shotmakers" hit amazing shots or get hot for a tournament or two but all those amazing shots are amazing for a reason - they're rare.
The problem of not having a big serve is that you have to be THAT much better on groundstrokes and work THAT much harder to stay consistently good. Big hitters simply don't have to try as hard. And when you have guys like Nadal and Federer that have much more natural power and work incredibly hard, it's not easy to win a slam.
So yes, Nalbandian probably could have been in better shape and probably could have achieved more but I don't know if his ceiling is as high as many people think.
 
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TheRed

Hall of Fame
Nalby underachieved more than anyone except for Rios and Roddick, the latter who at least got 1 slam, but if you don't get 1 slam, then yes.
Ha! Roddick an underachiever? Consistently in the top 3 with a Very good serve, slightly above average forehand, below average backhand, below average volleys and simply average speed. In fact, I have no idea how he was consistently in the top 5. I have no idea how he had such a good record against Djokovic and Nadal. He worked really hard for sure.
 

FlamingCheeto

Professional
Ha! Roddick an underachiever? Consistently in the top 3 with a Very good serve, slightly above average forehand, below average backhand, below average volleys and simply average speed. In fact, I have no idea how he was consistently in the top 5. I have no idea how he had such a good record against Djokovic and Nadal. He worked really hard for sure.
because of this:
had he won wimby 2009 EVERYthing would have changed and all would have been worth it
 

metsman

G.O.A.T.
People should pay attention to the end of matches when Nalbandian shook hands with other players. He was pretty short. He was kinda stocky so it was kinda hard to tell that he was so short. That played a big role in his relatively poor serve in addition to his mechanics. The problem with guys like Nalbandian, Rios and guys like them is that they lack easy consistent power. People get riled up when they see these "shotmakers" hit amazing shots or get hot for a tournament or two but all those amazing shots are amazing for a reason - they're rare.
The problem of not having a big serve is that you have to be THAT much better on groundstrokes and work THAT much harder to stay consistently good. Big hitters simply don't have to try as hard. And when you have guys like Nadal and Federer that have much more natural power and work incredibly hard, it's not easy to to win a slam.
So yes, Nalbandian probably could have been in better shape and probably could have achieved more but I don't know if his ceiling is as high as many people think.
Said it better than I could. Yup, they lack serve, easy power, and elite physical skills. Without fail, you need one of those things (and most great players have 2 if not 3) to rely on over 7 B05 matches. Or else you simply have to work too hard. Also I don't think Rios was nearly the overall ballstriking talent Nalbandian was anyways, nor was his footwork as good. Nalbandian was a legitimately excellent player fundamentally at the things he could do, if you watch him point to point but those flaws would eventually doom him over the course of matches and tournaments vs players that didn't happen. I don't know if Rios ever looked excellent outside the highlight reel.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Given what he was clearly capable of when the mood took him, I agree that he was almost certainly an underachiever.

That said, it's noteworthy that all of his most significant achievements ie. the 2005 YEC and his back to back Masters triumphs over Fedalovic (2007 Madrid & Paris) occurred on indoor courts. He could never seem to bring the same level on outdoor courts which accounts for why he only ever made 1 Slam final (2002 Wimbledon) at which he got destroyed so obviously that was a significant weakness.
 

TheRed

Hall of Fame
Said it better than I could. Yup, they lack serve, easy power, and elite physical skills. Without fail, you need one of those things (and most great players have 2 if not 3) to rely on over 7 B05 matches. Or else you simply have to work too hard. Also I don't think Rios was nearly the overall ballstriking talent Nalbandian was anyways, nor was his footwork as good. Nalbandian was a legitimately excellent player fundamentally at the things he could do, if you watch him point to point but those flaws would eventually doom him over the course of matches and tournaments vs players that didn't happen. I don't know if Rios ever looked excellent outside the highlight reel.
I wholeheartedly agree about Rios. Watch highlights on youtube. in many of those matches, he lost! But you would never have guessed it because he had more highlights. Here's the thing about highlights: Most tennis highlights are of a player that should have lost a point but did something spectacular to win it. Rios got plenty of opportunities for highlights because he got overpowered a lot. But really, I'd rather be the player that "should have won the point" for the majority of points and occasionally gave up a highlight to Rios. Rios was routinely beat up by top ten players. (Indian Wells against Agassi was the rare exception). In many ways, Kyrgios and Rios are very similar players attitude-wise even though their games are very different. Both are very talented but not really talented enough to win multiple or even one grand slam. So to protect their ego, they act like they didn't try. To them, it sure looks better to "not try" than to give a good effort and end up losing. They can leave their matches and career by claiming that if they tried, they could have done better.

Nalbandian was a better player than Rios. Nalby didn't have a serve to give him free points and he wasn't particularly fast but those were his only weaknesses. Nalbandian never really got overpowered once the point got started.
 

skaj

Legend
People should pay attention to the end of matches when Nalbandian shook hands with other players. He was pretty short. He was kinda stocky so it was hard to tell that he was so short. That played a big role in his relatively poor serve in addition to his mechanics. The problem with guys like Nalbandian, Rios and guys like them is that they lack easy consistent power. People get riled up when they see these "shotmakers" hit amazing shots or get hot for a tournament or two but all those amazing shots are amazing for a reason - they're rare.
The problem of not having a big serve is that you have to be THAT much better on groundstrokes and work THAT much harder to stay consistently good. Big hitters simply don't have to try as hard. And when you have guys like Nadal and Federer that have much more natural power and work incredibly hard, it's not easy to win a slam.
So yes, Nalbandian probably could have been in better shape and probably could have achieved more but I don't know if his ceiling is as high as many people think.
We don't have to guess his height. His serve was mediocre but that was not necessarily because of his height. Barty is one of the shortest players on the WTA, but her serve is better than many taller girls. He is only 3cm(c. an inch) shorter than Wawrinka who has a very decent serve. And he had plenty of raw power, you should check his matches. The only thing that he missed was free points on the serve, but he had more than enough to make up for it. If he had been more dedicated, he would've achieved much more.
 

Rafa4LifeEver

Hall of Fame
People should pay attention to the end of matches when Nalbandian shook hands with other players. He was pretty short. He was kinda stocky so it was hard to tell that he was so short. That played a big role in his relatively poor serve in addition to his mechanics. The problem with guys like Nalbandian, Rios and guys like them is that they lack easy consistent power. People get riled up when they see these "shotmakers" hit amazing shots or get hot for a tournament or two but all those amazing shots are amazing for a reason - they're rare.
The problem of not having a big serve is that you have to be THAT much better on groundstrokes and work THAT much harder to stay consistently good. Big hitters simply don't have to try as hard. And when you have guys like Nadal and Federer that have much more natural power and work incredibly hard, it's not easy to win a slam.
So yes, Nalbandian probably could have been in better shape and probably could have achieved more but I don't know if his ceiling is as high as many people think.
Yes he's underachieved
 

TheRed

Hall of Fame
We don't have to guess his height. His serve was mediocre but that was not necessarily because of his height. Barty is one of the shortest players on the WTA, but her serve is better than many taller girls. He is only 3cm(c. an inch) shorter than Wawrinka who has a very decent serve. And he had plenty of raw power, you should check his matches. The only thing that he missed was free points on the serve, but he had more than enough to make up for it. If he had been more dedicated, he would've achieved much more.
Barty and Wawrinka are excellent examples of short players with excellent serves. Throw Henin in there as well. But they are exceptional. Height helps a lot in serving. Clearly, Nalbandian didn't have a great motion either. If you read my following post, I said Nalbandian had no issue with power once the point got started. But he had a pretty weak serve. You say "the only thing that he missed was free points on the serve." Considering he essentially serves 50% of the points, that's a lot of missed opportunities. So yes, he did have a deficit in raw power (when he served). I've seen plenty of his matches.

By the way, Nalbandian is officially listed as 5'11" but there's plenty of speculation that he's the same 5'11" as Agassi. I had a friend who was 5'10" and a huge Agassi fan. He met Agassi in an elevator in Vegas 20 years ago and managed to get a "selfie" with Agassi. Agassi was shorter than my friend.
 
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ZanderGoga

Semi-Pro
You need to be mentally fit, physically fit, and talented. David had a surplus of one of those, and pretty sizable deficits in the other two, relative to his peers.

He didn't underachieve. He just achieved. He was very good, and not all that many are. He just wasn't great. No one would care, talk about it, or notice if not for the fact that his backhand is considered one of the greatest of all time. Mostly what that goes to show you is how unimportant that is to achievement.
 

skaj

Legend
Barty and Wawrinka are excellent examples of short players with excellent serves. Throw Henin in there as well. But they are exceptional. Height helps a lot in serving. Clearly, Nalbandian didn't have a great motion either. If you read my following post, I said Nalbandian had no issue with power once the point got started. But he had a pretty weak serve. You say "the only thing that he missed was free points on the serve." Considering he essentially serves 50% of the points, that's a lot of missed opportunities. So yes, he did have a deficit in raw power (when he served). I've seen plenty of his matches.

By the way, Nalbandian is officially listed as 5'11" but there's plenty of speculation that he's the same 5'11" as Agassi. I had a friend who was 5'10" and a huge Agassi fan. He met Agassi in an elevator in Vegas 20 years ago and managed to get a "selfie" with Agassi. Agassi was shorter than my friend.
I was talking about the power in general, not the power on his serve. And there were other shorter players with good serves, like Almagro or Mattek-Sands. Not to mention that McEnroe is similar height as Nalbandian.

As for the height, your second paragraph sounds like a bit desperate attempt to show that Nalbandian is under 180 :)
 

TheRed

Hall of Fame
I was talking about the power in general, not the power on his serve.

As for the height, your second paragraph sounds like a bit desperate attempt to show that Nalbandian is under 180 :)
I know what you were talking about. "power in general" has little meaning when 50% of points start with his serve, which did not have much power. So he had a deficit in power for 50% of points. I acknowledged that outside of his serve, Nalbandian didn't lack for power. Unfortunately, for 50% of the time, he didn't bring enough power.
As for my 2nd paragraph, I think everyone here knows that official ATP stats aren't accurrate. That's why I mentioned how Nalbandian looked standing next to other players. He's not 5'11". He's clearly shorter. But none of that matters in this context. He had a weak serve and unfortunately, that's nearly 50% of points that he brings that weakness into.
 

skaj

Legend
I know what you were talking about. "power in general" has little meaning when 50% of points start with his serve, which did not have much power. So he had a deficit in power for 50% of points. I acknowledged that outside of his serve, Nalbandian didn't lack for power. Unfortunately, for 50% of the time, he didn't bring enough power.
As for my 2nd paragraph, I think everyone here knows that official ATP stats aren't accurrate. That's why I mentioned how Nalbandian looked standing next to other players. He's not 5'11". He's clearly shorter. But none of that matters in this context. He had a weak serve and unfortunately, that's nearly 50% of points that he brings that weakness into.
It has meaning to what we are talking about and to what I said - he has plenty to make up for the mediocre serve(whether that serve lacked power or had power but had other flaws like Murray's for example is irrelevant), including enough power.

Yes, it seems to some people that sometimes they show height as lesser or bigger than it is in reality. But just you saying that it looks to you that Nalbandian looks a certain way when standing next to some players and than writing "He's not 5'11". He's clearly shorter." doesn't make the man shorter in reality. It just makes your attempt look desperate. If you want that kind of "measuring", Nalbandian standing next to Coria looked obviously taller, for example. If he were under 180 that would not be the case.
 

TheRed

Hall of Fame
It has meaning to what we are talking about and to what I said - he has plenty to make up for the mediocre serve(whether that serve lacked power or had power but had other flaws like Murray's for example is irrelevant), including enough power.

Yes, it seems to some people that sometimes they show height as lesser or bigger than it is in reality. But just you saying that it looks to you that Nalbandian looks a certain way when standing next to some players and than writing "He's not 5'11". He's clearly shorter." doesn't make the man shorter in reality. It just makes your attempt look desperate. If you want that kind of "measuring", Nalbandian standing next to Coria looked obviously taller, for example. If he were under 180 that would not be the case.
So you're just going to ignore the central premise of metsman and my argument that Nalbandian's ceiling wasn't as high due to his limitations? A lack of power on his serve, which makes up 50% of points, is simply made up by his having "enough power" on the rest of the game? Compare him to Murray? Murray has a much bigger first serve and is much faster (which really helps make up for the lack of power, i.e. chang, hewitt, etc).
Whether you believe Nalbandian is 5"11" or not, his height isn't the central point. Go ahead and keep nit picking an ancillary issue.

The central point is this: He didn't make up for the poor (medicre in your opinion) serve because it's really hard. Being in shape would've helped but he's not the "could've been number 1 or multiple slam winner" people think he is because a poor serve is a massive deficit to start with.
 
Nalbandian was a great player to watch. A top class BH with ridiculous angles (some people on TW say he has a better BH than Djokovic as pure shotmaking), a good forehand, a elite ROS, a superb touch (his dropshot was one of the best). He only maybe lacked a serve to win free points. But he was a complete player who was one of the very rare players to outplay Prime Federer at his own game with Del Potro (Nadal and Djokovic are different. They activate the full push mode against him in the tight moments)

Only a GS final lost tamely against Hewitt. And a few GS semi-finals. He won the WTF and a few Master 1000
Should he have accomplished more ? Or he maximised his talent ?

Nalbandian is the only one who defeated Fedalovic in the same tournament.


He could have beaten Federer in the AO 2006 Final if he didn't choke against Baghdatis.

I think that Nalbandian would feast on the current generation. I don't think that Thiem or Zverev have a higher peak than him (maybe Thiem on clay).
Great to watch, especially in highlight reels. But MEP wouldn't be upsetting so many warriors on Tennis Tips if players who were great to watch were the ones who always won. The serve automatically gives Zverev a huge advantage over Nalbandian. Thiem too has a better serve in spite of not being so tall himself. The serve is the most important shot in the game, at least the men's game. After that comes shot tolerance where both Zverev and Thiem have him beat as better athletes that also use more topspin.

The thing to remember is it wasn't really peak Fed stopping Nalbandian from amazing achievements at the big tournaments. He didn't achieve what Roddick, Hewitt or Safin did. Because he was all about attractiveness and not consistency nor a lethal serve. So it's not like he was a supremely talented player who underachieved. He was talented at the things spectators like to watch and not necessarily in the key drivers of success in tennis. If anything, he was punching above his weight with his incredible 2007 run indoors.
 

skaj

Legend
So you're just going to ignore the central premise of metsman and my argument that Nalbandian's ceiling wasn't as high due to his limitations? A lack of power on his serve, which makes up 50% of points, is simply made up by his having "enough power" on the rest of the game? Compare him to Murray? Murray has a much bigger first serve and is much faster (which really helps make up for the lack of power, i.e. chang, hewitt, etc).
Whether you believe Nalbandian is 5"11" or not, his height isn't the central point. Go ahead and keep nit picking an ancillary issue.

The central point is this: He didn't make up for the poor (medicre in your opinion) serve because it's really hard. Being in shape would've helped but he's not the "could've been number 1 or multiple slam winner" people think he is because a poor serve is a massive deficit to start with.
I am not going to ignore it just as I haven’t ignore it so far – I have answered to that with the explanation why that premise is wrong and why your arguments are wrong. Are you going to keep ignoring that? And are going to continue misinterpreting my words? So, no, not “simply made up by his having enough power on the rest of the game”, please go back and read again if you really didn’t get it, post #26, I wrote – “he has plenty to make up for the mediocre serve, including enough power”. I did not compare Nalbandian and Murray, I mentioned Andy as an example of a serve that has power but is flawed for other reasons.

And I am not “picking an issue”, I am merely replying to your posts. If you don’t like that issue being discussed because you can’t prove what you believe in, then don’t mention it.

As for your "central point": Nalbandian did make up for his serve in his game, go back and check his matches. He did not make up for his lack of dedication in his career, cause that you can’t make up for in professional tennis.
 

skaj

Legend
Great to watch, especially in highlight reels. But MEP wouldn't be upsetting so many warriors on Tennis Tips if players who were great to watch were the ones who always won. The serve automatically gives Zverev a huge advantage over Nalbandian. Thiem too has a better serve in spite of not being so tall himself. The serve is the most important shot in the game, at least the men's game. After that comes shot tolerance where both Zverev and Thiem have him beat as better athletes that also use more topspin.

The thing to remember is it wasn't really peak Fed stopping Nalbandian from amazing achievements at the big tournaments. He didn't achieve what Roddick, Hewitt or Safin did. Because he was all about attractiveness and not consistency nor a lethal serve. So it's not like he was a supremely talented player who underachieved. He was talented at the things spectators like to watch and not necessarily in the key drivers of success in tennis. If anything, he was punching above his weight with his incredible 2007 run indoors.
Because talent = consistency and lethal serve?
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
Just look at Nalbandians game objectively and you'd realise no he didn't. He didn't have the serve or athleticism to be a consistent top 5 player, and you could well argue he overachieved winning the WTF.

The notion he would've been Fed's big rival long term is hilarious.
 

skaj

Legend
Just look at Nalbandians game objectively and you'd realise no he didn't. He didn't have the serve or athleticism to be a consistent top 5 player, and you could well argue he overachieved winning the WTF.

The notion he would've been Fed's big rival long term is hilarious.
Just look at Nalbandians game objectively and you'd realise yes he did. He didn't have the serve but he had everything else. No elite athleticism, but superb tennis movement and was considerably quick when he was fit and lean earlier in his career.
 
Because talent = consistency and lethal serve?
No. Don't play the "so you're saying that?" game. My post is self explanatory as to what Zverev and Thiem have that Nalby doesn't. You cannot compensate for lack of a good serve with groundstroke brilliance, especially if you are also not a great athlete. That may have been possible in Jimbo's time but not in modern tennis.
 
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Red Rick

Bionic Poster
Just look at Nalbandians game objectively and you'd realise yes he did. He didn't have the serve but he had everything else. No elite athleticism, but superb tennis movement and was considerably quick when he was fit and lean earlier in his career.
His forehand wasn't that good either. His peak game% on HC was 56% in 2008, and he only broke 55% games won twice.
 
Just look at Nalbandians game objectively and you'd realise no he didn't. He didn't have the serve or athleticism to be a consistent top 5 player, and you could well argue he overachieved winning the WTF.

The notion he would've been Fed's big rival long term is hilarious.
Lost to Baghdatis in the AO 06 SF. Hewitt at AO QF the previous year. Hewitt at the Wimbledon final. Gaudio at RG 04. Roddick at W 03. Yeah, clearly the true titan who was denied by an ATP conspiracy from challenging Fed.
 

skaj

Legend
No. Don't play the "so you're saying that?" game. My post is self explanatory as to what Zverev and Thiem have that Nalby doesn't. You cannot compensate for lack of a good serve with groundstroke brilliance, especially if you are also not a great athlete. That may have been possible in Jimbo's time but not in modern tennis.
I am not playing any games, just pointing out to what you've said, it has little to do with the first part of your post and Thiem and Zverev(who is not a more naturally gifted athlete, unless you consider the length of his legs athleticism, even Thiem is not that much more gifted, just much much fitter). You can compensate with what he had, which was not only groundstroke brilliance.
What Connors had("Jimbo" I presume) and Nalbandian didn't by the way was dedication and mental toughness.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
Damn, we both thought of the same match.
People just ignore really basic qualities and then they go surprised pikachu when players they think are talented aren't doing much better. Fognini is a much more recent example. I love him but his serve is absolutely shambolic and he's not a top 15 player.

Nalbandians serve was atrocious and in his physically best years he was outside the top 100 in first%points won on HC. Good luck with that.
 

skaj

Legend
His forehand wasn't that good either. His peak game% on HC was 56% in 2008, and he only broke 55% games won twice.
What good? His forehand was very good. You are now introducing consistency, and it's well known that he wasn't consistent, nobody argued against that. The forehand as a shot was technically very good.
 

skaj

Legend
People just ignore really basic qualities and then they go surprised pikachu when players they think are talented aren't doing much better. Fognini is a much more recent example. I love him but his serve is absolutely shambolic and he's not a top 15 player.

Nalbandians serve was atrocious and in his physically best years he was outside the top 100 in first%points won on HC. Good luck with that.
Which basic qualities?
Serve and fitness? Nobody is ignoring that in this case.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
I am not playing any games, just pointing out to what you've said, it has little to do with the first part of your post and Thiem and Zverev(who is not a more naturally gifted athlete, unless you consider the length of his legs athleticism, even Thiem is not that much more gifted, just much much fitter). You can compensate with what he had, which was not only groundstroke brilliance.
What Connors had("Jimbo" I presume) and Nalbandian didn't by the way was dedication and mental toughness.
Seriously how was Nalbandian athletically more gifted than Zverev for tennis? He was short, and didn't have elite foot speed or huge power to make up for it.
 
I am not playing any games, just pointing out to what you've said, it has little to do with the first part of your post and Thiem and Zverev(who is not a more naturally gifted athlete, unless you consider the length of his legs athleticism, even Thiem is not that much more gifted, just much much fitter). You can compensate with what he had, which was not only groundstroke brilliance.
What Connors had("Jimbo" I presume) and Nalbandian didn't by the way was dedication and mental toughness.
No, you are. I never said talent is only about consistency and a lethal serve. I do say that for Nalbandian, the lack of those attributes held him back. You can read the statement you so carefully bolded again, "Because he was all about attractiveness and not consistency nor a lethal serve.".

So I am simply pointing to what he didn't have, not making up a general rule for men's tennis. So don't pretend like I did. And as for Zverev, he is an excellent mover for his height which already puts him at a huge advantage compared to Nalbandian. I am not interested in hypothetical adjustments of how fast Zverev would be if he was only as tall as Nalby because it doesn't matter. For his height, he is extremely quick and that goes well with all the advantages his height already gives him.

You say "Thiem is not that much more gifted, just much much fitter". Even if we take that as true, that is extremely important. And Thiem isn't just much fitter. He is fitter by a multiple of 100X over Nalby.

So, no, even if he had dedication and mental toughness, which he didn't lack for as much as you guys make it out to be, Nalby was never going to be an ATG, not with that serve.
 

skaj

Legend
Seriously how was Nalbandian athletically more gifted than Zverev for tennis? He was short, and didn't have elite foot speed or huge power to make up for it.
And Zverev has elite foot speed? Zverev as big as he is has more power, but Nalbandian does not lack it. For the same reason, Nalbandian is quicker. He also has a far better balance.
 
What good? His forehand was very good. You are now introducing consistency, and it's well known that he wasn't consistent, nobody argued against that. The forehand as a shot was technically very good.
Dude, tennis matches are won on the court, not on computer simulators. Nobody cares how technically good or not his forehand was. In match situations, it was not a shot with which he could consistently dominate top players. He could do that to some extent with the backhand and even then nowhere near what his admirers make it out to be. Add to that his slowness, lack of a good serve, how is he an underachiever? It's a big deal that he beat Fed in 5 sets at the YEC and I bet he is really happy to have got his hands on that trophy.
 
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Red Rick

Bionic Poster
And Zverev has elite foot speed? Zverev as big as he is has more power, but Nalbandian does not lack it. For the same reason, Nalbandian is quicker. He also has a far better balance.
Zverev has amazing speed for his size. It's his greatest asset really. His serve is technically bad but still a weapon. Nobody denies that Nalbandian was way more technically talented.
 
And Zverev has elite foot speed? Zverev as big as he is has more power, but Nalbandian does not lack it. For the same reason, Nalbandian is quicker. He also has a far better balance.
The difference is when you are of Nalbandian's height and have an overly compact preparation on top of that, you have to jump up for so many more backhands. That takes a lot of energy out of you. You guys don't see how much effort he had to put into to hit those shots. It looks effortless on highlight reels but a real match lasts for hours. I have previously mentioned how on slow hard courts Fed could soften him up by feeding high balls to his backhand. You can't do that to Zverev because a 'high ball' for a guy of normal height is in his strike zone.
 
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Zverev has amazing speed for his size. It's his greatest asset really. His serve is technically bad but still a weapon. Nobody denies that Nalbandian was way more technically talented.
It feels unfair but it is what it is. When you are that tall, you just have to move decently and be reasonably consistent and that already makes you formidable. It's no wonder that when Safin was on, he could play a level that was hard for even peak Fed to match. One may feel inclined to root for Nalbandian as an underdog but retrospectively attributing superman qualities to him is neither very accurate nor does him justice. Because that makes it out like he only lost because he was so lazy and all.
 
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skaj

Legend
No, you are. I never said talent is only about consistency and a lethal serve. I do say that for Nalbandian, the lack of those attributes held him back. You can read the statement you so carefully bolded again, "Because he was all about attractiveness and not consistency nor a lethal serve.".

So I am simply pointing to what he didn't have, not making up a general rule for men's tennis. So don't pretend like I did. And as for Zverev, he is an excellent mover for his height which already puts him at a huge advantage compared to Nalbandian. I am not interested in hypothetical adjustments of how fast Zverev would be if he was only as tall as Nalby because it doesn't matter. For his height, he is extremely quick and that goes well with all the advantages his height already gives him.

You say "Thiem is not that much more gifted, just much much fitter". Even if we take that as true, that is extremely important. And Thiem isn't just much fitter. He is fitter by a multiple of 100X over Nalby.

So, no, even if he had dedication and mental toughness, which he didn't lack for as much as you guys make it out to be, Nalby was never going to be an ATG, not with that serve.
Thanks for sharing your opinion about me, but that is not the topic here so please let's go back to tennis.
Yes, the bolded quote, that was not what I bolded it is an incomplete version of it. The other part is "So it's not like he was a supremely talented player who underachieved". So, maybe you are the one who should stop pretending, cause it's certainly not me.

I don't know why are you mentioning things you are not interesting in, if that nobody here is talking about it, like "hypothetical adjustments". How does Zverev being "an excellent mover for his height" puts him at a huge advantage compared to Nalbandian?

I wrote much, much fitter, not much fitter, there's even an accurate quote in that same paragraph of yours. Yes, of course it's extremely important, that was my point all along.

So, yes, dedication(which brings fitness, among other things) with the right potentials brings results, that's modern professional tennis to you.
 
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