Headcases that could have been the best

Who could have been the best ever out of these headcases?

  • John McEnroe

    Votes: 11 23.4%
  • Pancho Gonzalez

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Ilie Nastase

    Votes: 5 10.6%
  • Marcelo Rios

    Votes: 10 21.3%
  • Carlos Moya

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Todd Martin

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Jimmy Connors

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Other ( write-in )

    Votes: 19 40.4%

  • Total voters
    47

shotmaker

New User
Out of these players, who in your opinion could have possibly been the best ever if they played a straight forward game without the lack of mental fortitude?

Most of these players are hard to imagine without their antics, but without them, just using their pure talent, it could have made the difference.

My vote goes to Nastase. If he based his game from the beginning on a healthy foundation, he could have accomplished much more with his tremendous talent.
 

Dilettante

Hall of Fame
My vote goes to Carlos Moyá. He has made a career... but I can't help thinking that he's been a huge waste of talent.

I've seen him throwing away soooo many matches that he could (and should) have won... so many. Just countless. When you look for the "headcase" word in a dictionary there's a picture of Moyá.
 

shotmaker

New User
rommil said:
I would vote for one of my favorite players, Safin.
Too young to be included, IMO. He is still capable of achieving, despite talks of his train leaving, but he is too unpredictable.
 

joesixtoe

Rookie
as much as people may not think,, i think agassi,, he has such great talent, but as u can see his career was up and down,, looses confidence and such even during matches,, if u ever read his post match interviews, you may know what i mean.. or even watch his matches...
 

shotmaker

New User
joesixtoe said:
as much as people may not think,, i think agassi,, he has such great talent, but as u can see his career was up and down,, looses confidence and such even during matches,, if u ever read his post match interviews, you may know what i mean.. or even watch his matches...
I was contemplating about including Agassi, as much as Safin. I think with Agassi he made up for it once he truely dedicated himself to the game. How he's still playing now make people question whether he could be the best.
 
I voted for Nasty.
Rios, Moya and Gonzales are worthy of a vote as well.

Hey, why is Todd Martin in this poll? He strikes me as, well, NOT a headcase. In fact, I believe his head helped him win some matches a lesser man would have lost.
 

shotmaker

New User
slice bh compliment said:
Hey, why is Todd Martin in this poll? He strikes me as, well, NOT a headcase. In fact, I believe his head helped him win some matches a lesser man would have lost.
The comeback king, but if he was leading, he choked away a fair share of big matches.
 

Andres

G.O.A.T.
Safin, Ivanisevic and Gaudio (he plays an exquiiiiisit clay game. If he wasn't a headcase, his could win a loooot of clay titles. He surely got the talent.)
 

armand

Banned
If you think Agassi is a headcase, he's got nothing on Goran Ivanisevic. Not only did he have confidence issues, but he actually believed that fate or god was against him. 'Wow, he hit that shot. It must be his day to win' or 'I cannot believe I missed that, it's a sign that I will not win today'
 

galain

Hall of Fame
Goran is a great example.

I'm tempted to say Philippousis, but I'm not sure if he's a head case or just an ego that's too big to change.

I'd add - Henri Leconte, Hana Mandlikova and Jana Novotna to the list.
 

shotmaker

New User
Did Goran really have enough game to be considered 'the best' if it wasn't for his wackiness?

Flip has a lot of talent, but does he truely deserve to be mentioned among these names? You never really got to see if he had the potential.

I disagree with Gaudio. He's got a beaut of a backhand, but he's lacking in tools to have had success outside of clay.
 
S

snoflewis

Guest
safin....he's proved that he could beat federer w/o practicing....now just to get his mental game up....
 
Though he still wouldn't have been the best, my vote goes to Hicham Arazi. He has all the tools but was too spastic at the wrong times and too nonchalant at the wrong times. He has a Federer esque game and with any kind of mental game he should be top 20.
 

Fedubai

Semi-Pro
safin....he's proved that he could beat federer w/o practicing....
I'll admit that Safin and Federer at their best is probably about as even as you can get, but I don't agree with the without 'practicing' part. When did he do that?
 

sunrise

Rookie
shotmaker said:
I was contemplating about including Agassi, as much as Safin. I think with Agassi he made up for it once he truely dedicated himself to the game. How he's still playing now make people question whether he could be the best.
Agassi? maybe without sampras around, I don't know but i felt that when agassi played sampras, the guy had some kind of mental block.

I remember this hilarious moment, I think it was the US open when agassi was mercilessly beating another guy which i don't recall, someone shouted from the stands, "bring out sampras" or something to that effect... Agassi literally stopped and looked up, while everyone started to laugh.

that was yet another year that agassi lost to pete.
 

Oscar

New User
There are a lot of player in this category but since the question is about the possibility of being the best my vote goes to Rios and Safin, two of my favorite all time players but what a headcases....And also i was wondering if Becker belongs there, his win-loss ratio in GS slam wasn´t the best, yes he won 3 Wimbys but also lost 4 finals over there...
 

GregOz

Rookie
Nastase, even in his prime years, had a lot more competition that would have made life very difficult for him, even if he did have his head screwed on. Technically speaking, he was never as steady on clay as Borg and physically never as strong as Vilas. Definately a genius with the racquet who should have won more than he did but I dont think could have been the best ever.

My vote goes to McEnroe. If John had been brought up in a different era and not allowed to get away with all of his b.s then, to my mind, he would have achieved far more than he did. Just allowed to get away with too much as a kid and suffered from it. Technically, he lacked Rod's power and ability to handle power hitters but had more touch and a far better serve. In terms of his early competition he had Borg on the way out, an aging Connors and Lendl who was just a touch below him. To my mind, there's no doubting he would have won at least another 4 or 5 majors.
Doesn't matter though. I still rate him, at his peak, as a far superior player to Sampras, just not one with the same list of trophies.
 

pound cat

G.O.A.T.
"your train is leaving" is actually what Safin said to his sister after she lost a big match (against who/where escapes me) but his speech to her hit the presses. Obviously Marat thinks that any train he wants to catch is still there for him to jump on board. LOL
 

shotmaker

New User
pound cat said:
"your train is leaving" is actually what Safin said to his sister after she lost a big match (against who/where escapes me) but his speech to her hit the presses. Obviously Marat thinks that any train he wants to catch is still there for him to jump on board. LOL
IMO, Safin is a wild animal that is waiting to be tamed, a la Agassi when he was younger. That is where I think Brad Gilbert can step in and provide Safin with the benefits. Right now, his game is mindless bashing with no discipline. Gilbert IMO could make Safin that great player that we all know he is capable of being.
 

shotmaker

New User
Oscar said:
And also i was wondering if Becker belongs there, his win-loss ratio in GS slam wasn´t the best, yes he won 3 Wimbys but also lost 4 finals over there...
Becker did have a bit of trouble mentally from what I hear, but does he qualify as a "headcase"? My impression on his game was that he would like to impose his power from the beginning and come out attacking, if he felt his hold of the match slipping, he would lose it. If this is the case, Becker deserves to be mentioned. Could someone describe more of Becker's mental problems? Are they Safin-like such as I described? Safin's problems happen on a consistent basis, but maybe Becker's didn't affect him to that extent.
 

!Tym

Hall of Fame
Well, I think Arazi is very talented and Federer like, and in my opinion actually has MUCH more aeasthetically appealing strokes to watch (would watch an Arazi match over a Federer match ANY day of the week, except on Slam final days because I KNOW Arazi won't be around then), BUT there is a very big difference between the two, and it is NOT just that Federer is much taller and more mentally tough. Really, what I'm talking about is the bottom-line.

Arazi at his peak level was a TOP 30 level player, but no more...in fact, I'm not sure if he ever even ended a year in the top 20. He's had his moments, but was never really a day in day out force, just a dangerous floater who occasionally got hot...kind of like a little bee that stings you from behind now and then, a pesk, but ultimately NOT a dragon that actually wins the whole thing or even comes close to winning the whole thing. It's funny because the fans, myself included, love Arazi because he's got an irresistably cute game and just a natural Johny Depp like charisma and charm to him, BUT the best assessment came from Mr. plain as a cucumber himself, Malivai Washington calling the Arazi Philipoussis match at the Australian. That tournie, Philipoussis was really hot, but Arazi cooled him down big time and was playing his best tennis this round of 16 match. I remember Cliffie saying is this a surprise that this little guy is beating this big guy? And Mal was just matter of factly, no it's not a surprise, it's not necessarily expected but it's also not a surprise, he's been around a number of years, solid top 50 player, he can play, it's not an accident. Note, however, that he stopped there in his "praise." He did NOT bend down and drool before his blinding genius as we fans like to do. I think the reason why is that ultimately, Mal recongized that the bottom-line is results, and Arazi whilst having moments occassionaly had never reached a slam final nor ever come even remotely close to the top ten.

We can talk about injuries altering the course of a player's career, we can talk about being undersized and hence not being able to go as far as your natural talent will allow, we can talk about a grissly persona and a tanker's spirt on the court. All valid points, but then again we can talk about a lot of things.

We can talk about a guy with a similar on-court personality, like Krajicek, injured, mentally flaky...still won a slam, still made the top ten and Arazi never had the same degree of injury difficulty as Krajicek either. Well, he's got the big serve you say, he's 6-5 you say? Well how about Clement and Grosjean, clearly have not been the same since getting injured, still the bottom-line is that they at least HAVE made the top ten once in their lifetimes, have made the semis or finals of slams once...or TWICE in their lifetimes. That's simple fact.

What about being weak mentally? Well, what do you call Rios? I call him weak mentally, physically broken by injuries, and finally the straw that broke the camel's back...short. He like Arazi played a game spiked with variety, a freelance musician lacking raw power out there but whose principle strategy was to wing it. Rios had plenty of excuses for not reaching his full potential as a tennis player, undersized, injuries, and mentally weak...heck, he almost seemed to hate the sport at times, and that was not the case with Arazi. Yet all that, and the fact still remains that he STILL made the top ten, still made the finals of a slam, still won a masters series event. I'm not even holding Arazi to that standard of being #1 as Rios once was, but at least the top ten even once? Even one single measley slam final like Malivai Washington did on grass of all surfaces? Heck, even one masters series title Thomas Johnasson...oops, he also won a slam, has had serious injury problems, and is undersized too, my bad.

Heck, Pioline to me was VERY similar to Arazi. Up and down mentally during matches, ridiculously poor concentration, strokes like swans performing Swan Lake, could beat or lose to anybody on any given day, BUT the fact still remains that Pioline at least made it to #5 in the world at one point. Pioline DID make the finals of two different slams. But Pioline was tall one says, it's not a fair comparison? Well, if Rios could make the top ten carrying a spare tire around his waist, and Pioline could hover around the top ten/top twenty his whole career, then why couldn't Arazi at least make a dent in the top twenty? Is that so much to ask from his blinding genius?

Look, I still love watching him play, but I also kind of get where Malivai's was coming from when assessing Arazi, heck, PMac responds to Arazi in much the same way. They don't spend time gushing over the guy's talent, because the reality is that at a certain point you have to ask yourself after a guy's been around this long and never once cracked the top ten, how talented is he really? What's the difference between flair and "cute" and results? Leconte said Arazi played just like him when he first saw him, but Leconte also made the top ten and the finals of a slam.

Just being mentally wishy washy or undersized isn't really an excuse after awhile when you've seen players who've had to deal with several major injuries, players who were just as mentally weak if not more so, players who carried a spare tire around, players who are as short as you, etc., etc. all at least ONCE in their careers make the top ten, all at least ONCE make a slam final or even a semi. If you really are that talented, at some point, it's ACTUALLY gotta show right? A few hot shots here and there don't make a career, at some point you've got to piece together enough hot shots to make a calendar year top ten right if you're so gifted? I mean heck if even Rios could do it, then why not Arazi? Arazi never even came close.

To me when I think of Arazi, I think of tennis' version of a streetballer. Looks great on the playground, plenty of trick shots up his sleeves, but there's a difference between a trickster and Kobe Bryant now isn't there? At some point, there has to be some substance to back up those tricks...otherwise the NBA eventually kind of just tunes you out. There is the AMD Tour and the real tour. Now obviously Arazi DID make it on the real tour, but one wonders if tennis had a tricksters tour for games of little substance, if Arazi would have been a superstar instead of a footnote...a footnote that BOTH PMac and Malivai Washington ho-hum about when looking over a draw or calling a match.

The bottom-line to me is that if you're truly that talented, you can keep the ball IN the court enough times with your tricks to win enough points consistently enough over the course of a calender year to make the top ten at least ONCE in your career. Pioline did it, Rios did it...Arazi never came close. And to my mind, Pioline and Rios were just as poor mentally, just as wishy-washy, just as unable to concentrate from point to point, as Arazi if not more so. But you don't necessarily have to be born like Muster and Chang, with that amazing ability to concentrate on every single point like it's the last for a calendar year, to make the top ten even just once in your career now do you.
 

35ft6

Legend
I don't know about the best, but Safin, Agassi, and Rios immediately spring to mind.

Todd Martin!? He wasn't a head case at all. He's one of the most overachieving players out there and it was all because of his head. And Connors and Mac were two rare players who actually played better the more mental they became.

edit: excellent post, !Tym... I agree... sometimes I think "talent" in tennis is another way of saying "inconsistent"... in the same way that eccentricity is confused for genius sometimes...
 

alfa164164

Professional
Any discussion on this topic has to include Henri Leconte.
Note: not sure if Tym discussed Leconte or not as I did not have the focus to read his post in entirety.
 

LendlFan

Semi-Pro
shotmaker said:
I was contemplating about including Agassi, as much as Safin. I think with Agassi he made up for it once he truely dedicated himself to the game. How he's still playing now make people question whether he could be the best.
Are you kidding me? People go through burnout and Andre did his but was able to come back with avengance. It absolutely incredible that he pulled himself together and will finish off a career that most well never see the likes of.

The originator of this Thread suggest that if it had not been for whomever's mental problems, they would be the Best Ever. I question that because there are many that didn't have mental burnout or other distractions and they are still not the best ever.

John McEnroe for instance used his anger to pump himself up. That's when he started playing great tennis. Also John will be the first to tell you that he played mind games with his opponents. Kinda like Muhammad Ali would talk trash to his opponents to get into their heads and they would lose focus.

My pick would be Jennifer Capriati who certainly wouldn't have been the best ever but still could have accomplished much more than she has.

Also I would think Monica Seles who IMO stayed away far longer than I believe she should have. Her injury was long healed but the mental anguish of what she endured stressed her out to the point of no return.
 

Type40

Semi-Pro
Nastase, Rios and Gonzales, are all contenders. But really, who knows?
I sure enjoyed watching Nastase. I remember seeing one amazing match by Rios and became a fan, I thought he would decimate all before him, but nothing happened.
 

Deuce

Banned
Another vote for Arazi here. The guy can hit shots that no-one else (including Federer) can hit. The racquet is like a magic wand in his hand.

Many times, I have seen him flip the racquet in the air, spinning at about 500 RPMs, and then, out of nowhere, stick his hand out and grab the handle. Think it's easy? - try it yourself. Arazi has incredible hand-eye co-ordination.

A few years ago, growing ever more frustrated with his lack of results, I approached him as he was coming off a practice court. "Man - you have more natural ability than anyone else out here," I said. "But you've got to get it together up here - it's all up here," I continued, while pointing at my head.

He just shrugged as if to say "I know - but it's out of my control."

As for McEnroe - he certainly should have had a more successful career with the ability he had.
 

RiosTheGenius

Hall of Fame
!Tym said:
Well, I think Arazi is very talented and Federer like, and in my opinion actually has MUCH more aeasthetically appealing strokes to watch (would watch an Arazi match over a Federer match ANY day of the week, except on Slam final days because I KNOW Arazi won't be around then), BUT there is a very big difference between the two, and it is NOT just that Federer is much taller and more mentally tough. Really, what I'm talking about is the bottom-line.

Arazi at his peak level was a TOP 30 level player, but no more...in fact, I'm not sure if he ever even ended a year in the top 20. He's had his moments, but was never really a day in day out force, just a dangerous floater who occasionally got hot...kind of like a little bee that stings you from behind now and then, a pesk, but ultimately NOT a dragon that actually wins the whole thing or even comes close to winning the whole thing. It's funny because the fans, myself included, love Arazi because he's got an irresistably cute game and just a natural Johny Depp like charisma and charm to him, BUT the best assessment came from Mr. plain as a cucumber himself, Malivai Washington calling the Arazi Philipoussis match at the Australian. That tournie, Philipoussis was really hot, but Arazi cooled him down big time and was playing his best tennis this round of 16 match. I remember Cliffie saying is this a surprise that this little guy is beating this big guy? And Mal was just matter of factly, no it's not a surprise, it's not necessarily expected but it's also not a surprise, he's been around a number of years, solid top 50 player, he can play, it's not an accident. Note, however, that he stopped there in his "praise." He did NOT bend down and drool before his blinding genius as we fans like to do. I think the reason why is that ultimately, Mal recongized that the bottom-line is results, and Arazi whilst having moments occassionaly had never reached a slam final nor ever come even remotely close to the top ten.

We can talk about injuries altering the course of a player's career, we can talk about being undersized and hence not being able to go as far as your natural talent will allow, we can talk about a grissly persona and a tanker's spirt on the court. All valid points, but then again we can talk about a lot of things.

We can talk about a guy with a similar on-court personality, like Krajicek, injured, mentally flaky...still won a slam, still made the top ten and Arazi never had the same degree of injury difficulty as Krajicek either. Well, he's got the big serve you say, he's 6-5 you say? Well how about Clement and Grosjean, clearly have not been the same since getting injured, still the bottom-line is that they at least HAVE made the top ten once in their lifetimes, have made the semis or finals of slams once...or TWICE in their lifetimes. That's simple fact.

What about being weak mentally? Well, what do you call Rios? I call him weak mentally, physically broken by injuries, and finally the straw that broke the camel's back...short. He like Arazi played a game spiked with variety, a freelance musician lacking raw power out there but whose principle strategy was to wing it. Rios had plenty of excuses for not reaching his full potential as a tennis player, undersized, injuries, and mentally weak...heck, he almost seemed to hate the sport at times, and that was not the case with Arazi. Yet all that, and the fact still remains that he STILL made the top ten, still made the finals of a slam, still won a masters series event. I'm not even holding Arazi to that standard of being #1 as Rios once was, but at least the top ten even once? Even one single measley slam final like Malivai Washington did on grass of all surfaces? Heck, even one masters series title Thomas Johnasson...oops, he also won a slam, has had serious injury problems, and is undersized too, my bad.

Heck, Pioline to me was VERY similar to Arazi. Up and down mentally during matches, ridiculously poor concentration, strokes like swans performing Swan Lake, could beat or lose to anybody on any given day, BUT the fact still remains that Pioline at least made it to #5 in the world at one point. Pioline DID make the finals of two different slams. But Pioline was tall one says, it's not a fair comparison? Well, if Rios could make the top ten carrying a spare tire around his waist, and Pioline could hover around the top ten/top twenty his whole career, then why couldn't Arazi at least make a dent in the top twenty? Is that so much to ask from his blinding genius?

Look, I still love watching him play, but I also kind of get where Malivai's was coming from when assessing Arazi, heck, PMac responds to Arazi in much the same way. They don't spend time gushing over the guy's talent, because the reality is that at a certain point you have to ask yourself after a guy's been around this long and never once cracked the top ten, how talented is he really? What's the difference between flair and "cute" and results? Leconte said Arazi played just like him when he first saw him, but Leconte also made the top ten and the finals of a slam.

Just being mentally wishy washy or undersized isn't really an excuse after awhile when you've seen players who've had to deal with several major injuries, players who were just as mentally weak if not more so, players who carried a spare tire around, players who are as short as you, etc., etc. all at least ONCE in their careers make the top ten, all at least ONCE make a slam final or even a semi. If you really are that talented, at some point, it's ACTUALLY gotta show right? A few hot shots here and there don't make a career, at some point you've got to piece together enough hot shots to make a calendar year top ten right if you're so gifted? I mean heck if even Rios could do it, then why not Arazi? Arazi never even came close.

To me when I think of Arazi, I think of tennis' version of a streetballer. Looks great on the playground, plenty of trick shots up his sleeves, but there's a difference between a trickster and Kobe Bryant now isn't there? At some point, there has to be some substance to back up those tricks...otherwise the NBA eventually kind of just tunes you out. There is the AMD Tour and the real tour. Now obviously Arazi DID make it on the real tour, but one wonders if tennis had a tricksters tour for games of little substance, if Arazi would have been a superstar instead of a footnote...a footnote that BOTH PMac and Malivai Washington ho-hum about when looking over a draw or calling a match.

The bottom-line to me is that if you're truly that talented, you can keep the ball IN the court enough times with your tricks to win enough points consistently enough over the course of a calender year to make the top ten at least ONCE in your career. Pioline did it, Rios did it...Arazi never came close. And to my mind, Pioline and Rios were just as poor mentally, just as wishy-washy, just as unable to concentrate from point to point, as Arazi if not more so. But you don't necessarily have to be born like Muster and Chang, with that amazing ability to concentrate on every single point like it's the last for a calendar year, to make the top ten even just once in your career now do you.
dude, let me know when the Vol. II of this book comes out.... jeeeezz!!!!
 

urban

Legend
Which Gonzales is referred here to. If it is Pancho Gonzales, i must say, that no other player channelled his fierce ambition and outbursts to his favor. Yes, he did some tricks and gamesmanship, but he won with it. His only disadvantage was the silly segregation of amateurs and pros. He was the best pro in the world 1954-60/61.
 

shotmaker

New User
35ft6 said:
Todd Martin!? He wasn't a head case at all. He's one of the most overachieving players out there and it was all because of his head. And Connors and Mac were two rare players who actually played better the more mental they became.
Todd Martin was a choker, plain and simple, though not to the point of Moya or Rios. Martin held the record for most comebacks from two sets down, but if Martin was ahead of you, you usually had the edge. i.e. Martin was up 5-1 in the fifth in a Wimbledon semi against Mal Washington and lost.
 

shotmaker

New User
Deuce gets the point about McEnroe. He had tremendous natural ability, and I believe he could have accomplished more without being a badboy. Connors in hindsight probably could not have achieved all that he did without the use of his antics and intensity, but I think he was still worth a mention.

For the women, I agree with the mention of Capriati. When she is good, she is tough as nails. But when Capriati is off, she is a player at war with herself. Davenport and Mauresmo are also worth a mention. Monica Seles's mental problems were brought upon her unwilling, and we will never know how great she could have become.
 

shotmaker

New User
urban said:
Which Gonzales is referred here to. If it is Pancho Gonzales, i must say, that no other player channelled his fierce ambition and outbursts to his favor. Yes, he did some tricks and gamesmanship, but he won with it. His only disadvantage was the silly segregation of amateurs and pros. He was the best pro in the world 1954-60/61.
Same thing here with Gonzalez. He had probably one of the greatest serves ever, and he could have achieved more without being so temperamental. His attitude of making tennis personal angered his peers, and Illie Nastase even went as far as to call Gonzalez "my father."
 

LendlFan

Semi-Pro
Deuce said:
As for McEnroe - he certainly should have had a more successful career with the ability he had.
Deuce ~ What ability is that exactly? everyone knows John is awesome at the net. Probably the best ever but other than that, his ground game is adverage at best. Given John's awesome outwide serve, he was born for Doubles, where he really had most of his success particularly with Flemmings. Sorry my friend but I don't buy John McEnroe could have been more than what he has already accomplished which is pretty damn great considering hm being a headcase :D
 

LendlFan

Semi-Pro
shotmaker said:
Deuce gets the point about McEnroe. He had tremendous natural ability, and I believe he could have accomplished more without being a badboy. Connors in hindsight probably could not have achieved all that he did without the use of his antics and intensity, but I think he was still worth a mention.

For the women, I agree with the mention of Capriati. When she is good, she is tough as nails. But when Capriati is off, she is a player at war with herself. Davenport and Mauresmo are also worth a mention. Monica Seles's mental problems were brought upon her unwilling, and we will never know how great she could have become.
I also agree with your pick of Mauresmo however I'm still not sure what her problem is. But I ask you, do you or anyone feel that Monica Seles could have returned much sooner than she did? Monica stayed away much too long and she became rusty. It seems to me that for Monica to send a loud message to her attacker that his attempt would not be rewarded, was for her to get right back out there and do her thing.

Heck I'm a Steffi Graf Fan but I loved the rivalry between them and knew in my heart that Steffi would only get better with Monica at her heals. We Fans want to see our favs beat the best and if Monica was the best at that moment, a victory for Steffi would be all the sweeter. I hated the Wimbledon Match between them because Monica was not on her game. It was a bittersweet victory for Steffi and I love that she won but I would have rather seen Monica go out that day blasting her shots and Steffi pulling through in a nail-biter rather than 6-1 6-2. That's what you're suppose to get in the first week of a Slam not the freakin Finals !!!!
 

sunrise

Rookie
Deuce said:
Another vote for Arazi here. The guy can hit shots that no-one else (including Federer) can hit. The racquet is like a magic wand in his hand.

Many times, I have seen him flip the racquet in the air, spinning at about 500 RPMs, and then, out of nowhere, stick his hand out and grab the handle. Think it's easy? - try it yourself. Arazi has incredible hand-eye co-ordination.

A few years ago, growing ever more frustrated with his lack of results, I approached him as he was coming off a practice court. "Man - you have more natural ability than anyone else out here," I said. "But you've got to get it together up here - it's all up here," I continued, while pointing at my head.

He just shrugged as if to say "I know - but it's out of my control."

As for McEnroe - he certainly should have had a more successful career with the ability he had.
yet another vote for arazi, the guy is amazing what a delight watching him play. I never knew what he lacks, physical and mental strenght? stamina? motivations? who knows
 

shotmaker

New User
LendlFan said:
I also agree with your pick of Mauresmo however I'm still not sure what her problem is.
I can pinpoint her problem. She is more mentally unstable/more of a choker than Davenport. She's got all the tools and as athletic as anyone. Mauresmo hasn't reached a major final since '99. She simply breaks down in the latter rounds, basically all of her biggest matches.

I can't recall a lot about Hicham Arazi, except what people have described. Is he still playing on tour or maybe I could find a tape of him?

Mac has the best hands of anyone, period. He had amazing touch from anywhere on the court. Mac's technique was disfigured and trademark, and the results were always eye-catching to observe.
 

urban

Legend
I saw Arazi for the first time, when he beat Muster on clay at Hamburg. He blitzed him 6-2,6-1 or something and won the last game with 4 aces in a row. In 1997 he and Rios played a wonderful entertaining quarterfinal at RG, with Arazi beating Rios on his own game. Another talented headcase was Miroslav Mecir. He once choked in the biggest possible way against Connors in the deciding match of the Wold Team Cup at Duesseldorf 1985. Leading Connors 5-2 in the final set, he became so tight, that he couldn't control his serve any longer and began to serve underarm. Of course, Connors was the wrong man, to do that against, he grinned and won the match 7-5.
 

shotmaker

New User
I recollect Miloslav Mecir. The "Big Cat" he was called for his agility and strategy. He had the invaluable talent to mix spins, angles, and speeds. Mecir doesn't seem like Mac's breed of a headcase, so maybe you mean he was a choker, since I read that he came up empty in weighty matches such as the one you mentioned.
 

DashaandSafin

Hall of Fame
Fedubai said:
I'll admit that Safin and Federer at their best is probably about as even as you can get, but I don't agree with the without 'practicing' part. When did he do that?
He dosent practice...he says so in his interviews and ive never heard of him really "practice". Maybe run a bit but thats it i think.
Vote goes to Safin.
 

shotmaker

New User
DashaandSafin said:
He dosent practice...he says so in his interviews and ive never heard of him really "practice". Maybe run a bit but thats it i think.
Vote goes to Safin.
Prior to that win against Federer, I read in interviews that Marat was putting a lot of work in, on and off the court. Overall, I notice that his attention is much more fixed on tennis this season, which resulted in one of his best years.
 

DashaandSafin

Hall of Fame
Exactly, so he put the work in and beat Federer. Whereas when he does not put the work in...he might squeak out a win but loses most of the time to the top 10.
 

Cybele

Semi-Pro
adely said:
If you think Agassi is a headcase, he's got nothing on Goran Ivanisevic. Not only did he have confidence issues, but he actually believed that fate or god was against him. 'Wow, he hit that shot. It must be his day to win' or 'I cannot believe I missed that, it's a sign that I will not win today'
mind you, there was that time when he was down on his uppers, got a wild card at Wimbledon, decided that he was on a Mission from God and....

won the d*mn thing.

:)

and frankly, the way the rain breaks messed with Tim Henman's head in the semis when he was on the point of beating Goran, I'm not entirely sure that I don't believe God was on Goran's side, too....
 

LendlFan

Semi-Pro
doriancito said:
i have no idea what this thread is about so i wont vote for anything....can someone explain please

Yeah I totally agree ... it seems like a Thread about under achievement rather than emotional problem that prevented better results. The Thread 'Who never lived up to the Hype" pretty much covered everything I'm reading here.
 

Deuce

Banned
LendlFan said:
Deuce ~ What ability is that exactly? everyone knows John is awesome at the net. Probably the best ever but other than that, his ground game is adverage at best. Given John's awesome outwide serve, he was born for Doubles, where he really had most of his success particularly with Flemmings. Sorry my friend but I don't buy John McEnroe could have been more than what he has already accomplished which is pretty damn great considering hm being a headcase :D
No... McEnroe was one of the few players in the history of the game with a natural 'genius talent'. It is a phenomenon which cannot be taught.

Being a Lendl fan yourself, I can somewhat understand your tendency to view tennis talent as something which can be 'trained' and practiced and improved upon that way. I, as well, can understand your need to view McEnroe as being less than he was, as the two were great rivals, and, as a Lendl fan, you likely disliked McEnroe.
 
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