How would you classify the psychology/mindsets of different ATGs ???

Sunny014

Legend
I feel that as an athlete there are 3 States of mind where you can be in :

01.
A state of confidence
02. A state of superiority complex
03. A state of inferiority complex

Confidence is good to have when you are playing anyone, it keeps you believing in yourself but you are not too carried away either as you respect your opponent and are wary of what he can do.

Superiority complex is a position beyond confidence, it involves looking down on everyone as you know that you are better, Federer I feel did this with Roddick & Hewitt as he knew he was better, he probably wasn't that while facing Marat...... But having this state of mind is dangerous as you tend to develop a Kingly Ego of Entitlement, it can backfire when you face a young prodigy like Nadal who is a superior athlete from young age, you are unable to subdue him from the baseline after many attempts, then you get frustrated and your superiority complex quickly turns into inferiority complex as your confidence goes down with doubts creeping in. After many failed attempts from 05 till 08 when you finally got bageled on red dirt, you happen to quickly go 2 sets down on your own turf and eventually lose it as the hole you dug for yourself is too deep.

Inferiority complex is .... well a position from where it is hard/impossible to bounce back

So where you classify different athletes on how they were in their careers?

In Novak's case I feel is confident vs Federer, he knows he is a superior athlete to the old man and his body will outlast Federer in their duels though Fed is perhaps more skilled, but then athleticism triumps in the end. Now it seems have to have converted into a superiority complex as he knows Federer is finished, I feel Novak is on the verge of developing a same superiority complex over Nadal as well ..... :unsure:

In Nadal's case he despite his winning ways on clay over the years he probably never underestimated his opponents on the red dirt, or maybe was he feeling superior but he never had someone younger to him as good as him to create doubts in his mind ? :rolleyes:

Federer and Steffi Graf felt a lot of doubts in their minds when young teenagers (Nadal and Seles) started to challenge them ...... Novak never felt it with next gen .... Is he too good mentally or next gen too bad skillwise ? .... After all confidence comes from your abilities and the weapons in your arsenal ..... :whistle:
 

pj80

Hall of Fame
I feel that as an athlete there are 3 States of mind where you can be in :

01.
A state of confidence
02. A state of superiority complex
03. A state of inferiority complex

Confidence is good to have when you are playing anyone, it keeps you believing in yourself but you are not too carried away either as you respect your opponent and are wary of what he can do.

Superiority complex is a position beyond confidence, it involves looking down on everyone as you know that you are better, Federer I feel did this with Roddick & Hewitt as he knew he was better, he probably wasn't that while facing Marat...... But having this state of mind is dangerous as you tend to develop a Kingly Ego of Entitlement, it can backfire when you face a young prodigy like Nadal who is a superior athlete from young age, you are unable to subdue him from the baseline after many attempts, then you get frustrated and your superiority complex quickly turns into inferiority complex as your confidence goes down with doubts creeping in. After many failed attempts from 05 till 08 when you finally got bageled on red dirt, you happen to quickly go 2 sets down on your own turf and eventually lose it as the hole you dug for yourself is too deep.

Inferiority complex is .... well a position from where it is hard/impossible to bounce back

So where you classify different athletes on how they were in their careers?

In Novak's case I feel is confident vs Federer, he knows he is a superior athlete to the old man and his body will outlast Federer in their duels though Fed is perhaps more skilled, but then athleticism triumps in the end. Now it seems have to have converted into a superiority complex as he knows Federer is finished, I feel Novak is on the verge of developing a same superiority complex over Nadal as well ..... :unsure:

In Nadal's case he despite his winning ways on clay over the years he probably never underestimated his opponents on the red dirt, or maybe was he feeling superior but he never had someone younger to him as good as him to create doubts in his mind ? :rolleyes:

Federer and Steffi Graf felt a lot of doubts in their minds when young teenagers (Nadal and Seles) started to challenge them ...... Novak never felt it with next gen .... Is he too good mentally or next gen too bad skillwise ? .... After all confidence comes from your abilities and the weapons in your arsenal ..... :whistle:
Novak's victories over Fed have never been about physically outlasting him even in their long 5 set matches(Fed was fit as a fiddle in all of them)....it's been more about out clutching and out playing Fed and making better decisions...
 

skaj

Legend
Those can combine. In the case of Djokovic for example, it's confidence of course. His parents were(and still are...) telling him you are the best, most beautiful, nicest, whatever when he was a kid, but he probably developed an inferiority complex when he went into the real world and realised he's not all that great, and than not everyone like him and think highly of him. It's a good combo of basic confidence you get during childhood and drive you get from feeling inferior in different things later, cause you want to feel good about yourself again and by winning you can, at least for a moment. Good for staying focused on winning I mean.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Novak's victories over Fed have never been about physically outlasting him even in their long 5 set matches(Fed was fit as a fiddle in all of them)....it's been more about out clutching and out playing Fed and making better decisions...
Federer was fit as a fiddle but the age gap ensured that Novak had more energy and he knew in the back of his mind that he could outlast Fed.
 
McEnroe- the tormented genius
Federer- the perfectionist
Sampras- the champion who plays with (and utilizes) the chip on their shoulder from perceived lack of respect, acknowledgement.
Lendl- umm kind of same as Sampras, the European version
Connors- the love when you count me out, perennial underdog war hero
Nadal- the ferocious bull
Djokovic- the mechanical machine
Borg- the ice man, tormented by his own inner demons nobody sees but him
Agassi- the showman, tormented by family and personal strife nobody sees but him
 

Jason Swerve

Hall of Fame
Sampras had what you'd call a superiority complex. Anyone who followed him in the '90s would tell you the same. He had his lows every season, but it wasn't as if he couldn't be competitive on clay. He was a terrible mover on clay and didn't slide naturally, but he stood a slightly average chance with his weapons at every venue but Roland Garros. He more or less came to terms with his surface weakness early on in his legacy, and the rest of his dominance meant he still had that complex.

Federer had the same complex, yes. Earlier on in his career, until meeting Hingis, he had serious self-esteem issues. "How could I be whipping the juniors and losing so badly?" People don't realize the junior tour and pro tour are two different tours with different ranking/rating systems. It's not a "baby/big boy" situation. You can also play on both tours at the same time, for a period, if you're underage. A player can perform terribly on one tour and amazingly on the other, and it comes down to the opponents you face. Once the conditions worked in his favor (courts, opponents, rackets, schedule), which had little to do with learning the game of tennis after the junior level, he gained that same superiority complex. It's very rare to not have that complex when you aren't ever losing. If tennis were mostly played on clay, with hard courts becoming as rare as grass, things would be different. It's worth mentioning that the man was decently humble enough to acknowledge his fundamental weaknesses and make an effort to change them, resulting in some renewed life in the '10s when he should have physically been less capable than he'd ever been.

Hingis towards her early career had an inferiority complex if you could call it this. She didn't see herself getting on top, and she didn't care to try. Once she tried, she ended up in the Sampras/Federer camp, up until mid-'98. Venus beat her down at Sydney. She said it didn't count, because it wasn't a slam. Kournikova beat her down at Berlin. She said she was tired from overplaying (a fair excuse) and that their rivalry was so lopsided, the loss also didn't count. In her junior days, she had that superiority complex. She was the Seles to Kournikova's Graf, only Hingis wasn't attacked: she moved on to the pro tour while Kournikova stayed behind and dominated after her source of strife left.

Kournikova was also overconfident as a junior. Like Hingis, she had the right to be. This changed in '94 when Hingis embarrassed her, and she lost that overconfidence and devolved into a confident player who felt inferior to Hingis in particular. As the ageist ranking system forced her to overplay and over-lose in order to have a similar chance at laddering as everyone else, her confidence took a further dip. She had a very good poker face and generally gave very rehearsed, politically correct, answers to reporters, so most people could only tell how she really felt against a particular player by watching her play them. Aside from Hingis, Venus, and a couple of others, most of her confidence issues were personal doubts that came from the rocky, earlier years on the pro tour- where for one, reporters repeatedly brought up Hingis' wins over her and portrayed her as chasing Hingis' success.

Nadal is a confident type, as you said. I firmly believe that is because he's had some embarrassing losses in his past- or more accurately, he knows that opponents are liable to play up to him. He then has that issue of dealing with the awareness that his body is currently failing him, compared to his standards. That is a phenomenon that stymies your confidence regardless of who you're playing against, because your joints can crap out on you no matter who you're playing.

Graf had a superiority complex from '86 until her glowering at Davenport's '99 Wimbledon triumph, to the extent that she complained on multiple occasions about the quality of her opponents. I dare say she was sick of winning all the time. Injuries aside, her boredom was why she retired from the sport. The only exception was when Seles was putting her down. Funny thing, I recall her being relieved that someone else- Hingis, ("The One" in her words), had begun cleaning up the weak tour now that she and Seles were finally beginning to fade- in contrast with McEnroe who was embarrassed a kid could be winning everything. Years later, I recall her saying the women's game had regressed as late as into the '10s. Hingis said the same around the same period, if that doesn't tell you enough.
 
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