Is Berdych the biggest underachiever...ever?

beltsman

Legend
The dude has massive groundstrokes, big serve, strong off both wings, and good movement for his size.

Yet mental strength cannot be found?
 

President

Legend
His serve and groundstrokes both don't have too much margin for error. He hits too flat compared to every other top 10 player. When he is a little bit off or has to move too much/hit too many balls in a rally, he can lose control of his shots against other top baseliners. His game is very linear in general. He probably should have achieved more because he is a very talented baseliner, but not to a huge extent as your are saying. Del Potro, for example, is even taller than him but was definitely better in an extended rally situation. There are definitely bigger underachievers out there IMO.
 

tacou

G.O.A.T.
He is completely unremarkable. Cilic and delpo won a slam each, Tsonga a final and some semis. I don't think berdych is in any way better or different than them and his results fit right in.

So no, not an underachiever.definitely not the biggest ever.
 

roger presley

Hall of Fame
I will say that IMO Berdych both has a better game and is more talented than someone like Cilic, but unfortunately he never zoned in a slam to the extent that Marin did last year. In that sense, I guess he is an underachiever compared to a guy like Cilic.
Which part of his game is better? Only forehand comes to mind and that's it.
 

RedFoe

Semi-Pro
Here's your answer. The ultimate underachiever - at least among top 10 players - is somewhere here among these guys. The best players not to win a slam, and the number of at-least QFs they reached in slams.

Ferrer 16, 1 F
Tsonga 12, 1 F
Berdych 12, 1 F
Martin 10, 2 F
Nalbandian 10, 1 F
Henman 10
Davydenko 10
Leconte 9, 1 F
Grosjean 9
Pioline 8, 2 F
Haas 8
Mecir 7, 2 F
Rios 6,1 F, no 1
 

President

Legend
Which part of his game is better? Only forehand comes to mind and that's it.
His forehand is much better (both bigger and a lot more reliable), backhand is comparable, Cilic serves a bit better and probably moves better (in raw speed, although I think Berdych has better footwork) but overall makes far more errors than Berdych does. Berdych frankly just constructs points a lot better than Cilic does. His technique is just a lot less repeatable than Berdych's, and I would also say that Berdych definitely has more powerful groundstrokes than he does when Tomas ramps it up.
 

Dave1982

Professional
I think you'd be hard pressed to find a player who's had his longevity on tour (13 years), who hasn't missed a slam since competing in his first (so no major injuries), who for a 5 year period has been a regular feature in the top 10 and yet only has 1 Slam Final to his name and 1 M1000 title.

There's no doubt he's arguably arrived on the scene at an unfortunate time however to only have 10 titles to his name for a player of his caliber is low. A worthy comparison is David Ferrer, both basically started their Slam career at the same time and whilst he also only has the 1 Slam Final and 1 M1000 Title, he at least has 27 titles overall.
I know the argument will be made that Ferrer probably plays a much more hectic schedule and of those 27 Titles, 14 of the are 250's....even still, he's getting the most out of his time as a professional tennis player and to go back to OP's question, the same perhaps can't be said for Berdych.

As for poster who threw Dimitriov into the debate....whilst many have expected more from him, it's not exactly a fair comparison to Berdych due to Dimitriov being 6 years his Junior.
 
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President

Legend
I think you'd be hard pressed to find a player who's had his longevity on tour (13 years), who hasn't missed a slam since competing in his first (so no major injuries), who for a 5 year period has been a regular feature in the top 10 and yet only has 1 Slam Final to his name and 1 M1000 title.

There's no doubt he's arguably arrived on the scene at an unfortunate time however to only have 10 titles to his name for a player of his caliber is low. A worthy comparison is David Ferrer, both basically started their Slam career at the same time and whilst he also only has the 1 Slam Final and 1 M1000 Title, he at least has 27 titles overall.
I know the argument will be made that Ferrer probably plays a much more hectic schedule and of those 27 Titles, 14 of the are 250's....even still, he's getting the most out of his time as a professional tennis player and to go back to OP's question, the same perhaps can't be said for Berdych.

As for poster who threw Dimitriov into the debate....whilst many have expected more from him, it's not exactly a fair comparison to Berdych due to Dimitriov being 6 years his Junior.
Tsonga is another one who is in the same league as Berdych, he has one more Masters title but overall somewhat less consistency. Ferrer, Tsonga, and Berdych (and previously Soderling before he got mono) were/are kind of all on the same level. Extremely good tier 2 players who have been crushed time and time again by the top 4 players.
 
I will say that IMO Berdych both has a better game and is more talented than someone like Cilic, but unfortunately he never zoned in a slam to the extent that Marin did last year. In that sense, I guess he is an underachiever compared to a guy like Cilic.
IMO Cilic made Berdych look underpowered and almost amateurish at Wimbledon and the U.S Open last year.

So even if he is more talented, his peak level of play isn't really higher IMO. I don't think it is a surprise even Cilic beat him to a slam even if Berydch is more consistent as a top player.

Honestly I don't think he is an underachiever. I think guys like Gasquet, Monfils, Baghdatis and many others are bigger underachievers. He isn't an overachiever like David Ferrer for instance. He gets a lot out of his abilities though, which is mostly a one dimensional ball basher, without much variety, suspect movement, and no real net game or defensive skills. What else does he bring to the table besides clean hitting and power from the baseline? Even his serve isn't a big weapon.
 
Tsonga is another one who is in the same league as Berdych, he has one more Masters title but overall somewhat less consistency. Ferrer, Tsonga, and Berdych (and previously Soderling before he got mono) were/are kind of all on the same level. Extremely good tier 2 players who have been crushed time and time again by the top 4 players.
I think Tsonga is more a threat to the big 4 than Berdych. He has more an all court/all around game, and he isn't hopeless vs anyone like Berdych is to Nadal and Djoker.. I am more surprised he never got a slam than Berdych not getting one.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
Berdych is an under achiever, but there are bigger under achievers out there. Tsonga is an under achiever. Raonic and Dimitrov are big under achievers. Kyrgios is in big danger of becoming an under achiever if he doesn't sort out his attitude to the game.
 

President

Legend
IMO Cilic made Berdych look underpowered and almost amateurish at Wimbledon and the U.S Open last year.

So even if he is more talented, his peak level of play isn't really higher IMO. I don't think it is a surprise even Cilic beat him to a slam even if Berydch is more consistent as a top player.

Honestly I don't think he is an underachiever. I think guys like Gasquet, Monfils, Baghdatis and many others are bigger underachievers. He isn't an overachiever like David Ferrer for instance. He gets a lot out of his abilities though, which is mostly a one dimensional ball basher, without much variety, suspect movement, and no real net game or defensive skills. What else does he bring to the table besides clean hitting and power from the baseline? Even his serve isn't a big weapon.
Yeah, Berdych had a very bad run at the slams last year. I actually watched him lose to Cilic live last year at the USO and that was frankly pathetic, he was playing very poorly although Cilic did play really well too. Pretty disappointing this year too to be honest after what seemed like a good start to the year. Berdych used to be hyper aggressive but kind of toned it down in order to construct points better, and that's when he broke through in 2010. I remember Djokovic said after losing to him at Wimbledon that year that Berdych seemed like a totally different player, how he always had that huge power but made tons of easy errors as well in the past, and how he had really reigned in his game and become a more controlled player. Cilic still plays that wild flailing style that Berdych used to do in his teens, and sometimes when you are connecting with your shots and seeing the ball like a basketball that type of game works. It did at the US Open last year for Marin.
 

mavsman149

Hall of Fame
Here's your answer. The ultimate underachiever - at least among top 10 players - is somewhere here among these guys. The best players not to win a slam, and the number of at-least QFs they reached in slams.

Ferrer 16, 1 F
Tsonga 12, 1 F
Berdych 12, 1 F
Martin 10, 2 F
Nalbandian 10, 1 F
Henman 10
Davydenko 10
Leconte 9, 1 F
Grosjean 9
Pioline 8, 2 F
Haas 8
Mecir 7, 2 F
Rios 6,1 F, no 1
I agree your answer is probably in there but many of those overachieved to reach those numbers like Ferrer or Henman. Someone like Haas, Berdych or Tsonga who have the talent to win a slam would be the underachievers IMO
 

President

Legend
I think Tsonga is more a threat to the big 4 than Berdych. He has more an all court/all around game, and he isn't hopeless vs anyone like Berdych is to Nadal and Djoker.. I am more surprised he never got a slam than Berdych not getting one.
Tsonga's backhand is very poor for a top 10/15 player though. Berdych is amazing on the 3 most important shots in the modern men's game, the serve, forehand, and backhand. Tsonga has a huge and glaring weakness on one of them. Still, they are comparable players IMO because Tsonga is mentally tougher than Berdych and moves and volleys a lot better than him. It's not like Tsonga has done so stellar against Nadal and Djokovic in the last 5 years either though...
 
Yeah, Berdych had a very bad run at the slams last year. I actually watched him lose to Cilic live last year at the USO and that was frankly pathetic, he was playing very poorly although Cilic did play really well too. Pretty disappointing this year too to be honest after what seemed like a good start to the year. Berdych used to be hyper aggressive but kind of toned it down in order to construct points better, and that's when he broke through in 2010. I remember Djokovic said after losing to him at Wimbledon that year that Berdych seemed like a totally different player, how he always had that huge power but made tons of easy errors as well in the past, and how he had really reigned in his game and become a more controlled player. Cilic still plays that wild flailing style that Berdych used to do in his teens, and sometimes when you are connecting with your shots and seeing the ball like a basketball that type of game works. It did at the US Open last year for Marin.
I think Berdych toning down his power is a bad idea. He needs to be hitting with flat full out power in order to beat the top player or even someone like Cilic in the zone. I understand wanting to be more consistent, but it is more important for him to push to try and win a slam at this point in his career than being consistent. He cant beat the very top guys by doing anything but going full out, as he doesn't have the movement, point construction, feel, or grinding or fitness to back up if he isn't overpowering the opponent. When he plays the top guys he should never think about taking 10-15% off his shots, as he isn't good enough to ever beat them unless they implode that way. It is better to go all out, even if it risks a really bad performance.

Last year he probably missed his best last chances, particularly at the Australian and U.S Opens. The Australian Open semi with Stan was really really close.
 

President

Legend
I think Berdych toning down his power is a bad idea. He needs to be hitting with flat full out power in order to beat the top player or even someone like Cilic in the zone. I understand wanting to be more consistent, but it is more important for him to push to try and win a slam at this point in his career than being consistent. He cant beat the very top guys by doing anything but going full out, as he doesn't have the movement, point construction, feel, or grinding or fitness to back up if he isn't overpowering the opponent.

Last year he probably missed his best last chances, particularly at the Australian and U.S Opens. The Australian Open semi with Stan was really really close.
I don't think it was a bad idea for his career, but he does need to be more aggressive against the top guys (particularly Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic) in the slams when he faces them. There's no sense throwing away matches against lower players by senselessly ball bashing though. Still, he has had a very solid career in the top 8 for the past 5 years (numerous slam quarterfinals, Masters quarters and semis, several slam semifinals, lots of smaller tournament finals and some wins) unlike Cilic who in that time period has lost to countless weaker players, floundered around the top 20 and sometimes lower, had very inconsistent results in all types of tournaments, particularly slams and Masters, and has had many absolutely disgraceful matches where he made like 50+ errors. Cilic has more of a "hail Mary" or go for broke approach, and admittedly it did pay off for him. Credit to Marin for that, and that US Open title is a huge achievement that no one can take away. He did play amazing tennis to win it. I still respect and admire Berdych's career a lot more than his though.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Surely the biggest underachiever is Murray?
His game is much better than Berdych or Ferrer. And yes he has 2 slams but he also has, 6 slam runner ups, 9 additional semifinals, 7 additional quarterfinals.
Out of 24 slam quarterfinals, he's won 2. Not great!
 

President

Legend
Surely the biggest underachiever is Murray?
His game is much better than Berdych or Ferrer. And yes he has 2 slams but he also has, 6 slam runner ups, 9 additional semifinals, 7 additional quarterfinals.
Out of 24 slam quarterfinals, he's won 2. Not great!
He didn't underachieve too much IMO, given the circumstances, because he has played many of those Major finals and semifinals against three of the best players ever. Those three are top 10 all time great players IMO. There wasn't too much Murray could have done for the vast majority of those big matches he lost. Murray wasn't expected to win many (or even any) of those big slam matches he lost. That isn't underachieving to me.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
He didn't underachieve too much IMO, given the circumstances, because he has played many of those Major finals and semifinals against three of the best players ever. Those three are top 10 all time great players IMO. There wasn't too much Murray could have done for the vast majority of those big matches he lost. Murray wasn't expected to win many (or even any) of those big slam matches he lost. That isn't underachieving to me.
I like Murray but if he can't/couldn't beat the big 3 players consistently then how can he be considered as part of the big 4? It doesn't make sense. He should have way more slams if he is a good achiever.
 

President

Legend
I like Murray but if he can't/couldn't beat the big 3 players consistently then how can he be considered as part of the big 4? It doesn't make sense. He should have way more slams if he is a good achiever.
He may be part of the top 4, but everyone knows he is less talented and a clearly inferior/worse player to the other 3. Therefore, he was not expected to win virtually any of those matches that he lost. When Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal are playing well, Andy Murray becomes a big underdog against them IMO (in most circumstances, he would have a pretty good chance against Djokovic on grass for example). Just because people refer to these players as the "Big 4" does not mean that all of them are equal in ability. For a long time, Murray was much better than other players in the field, but clearly inferior to the Big 3. People started calling them the Big 4.
 

Dave1982

Professional
I think Tsonga is more a threat to the big 4 than Berdych. He has more an all court/all around game, and he isn't hopeless vs anyone like Berdych is to Nadal and Djoker.. I am more surprised he never got a slam than Berdych not getting one.
Absolutely agree....Tsonga's biggest issue in my opinion is consistency. There's absolutely no doubt that his best is good enough, he just struggles to bring it out on a regular enough basis to be a serious contender.
After his Rogers Cup win last year I (probably like many others) really expected him to mount a serious challenge for last years USO....unfortunately he ended up[ going out in straight sets to Murray in 4th Round.

Big difference between the two is that Berdych has remained consistently in Top 10 for past 5 years without really achieving much at the Slams and M1000's....whereas Tsonga's constantly changing ranking has probably been a true reflection of his tennis, good one week, average the next.
 
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MonkeyBoy

Hall of Fame
Berdych only has 10 ATP titles -- which is surprisingly little for guy that's been around the top 5 for as long as he has.
 
D

Deleted member 307496

Guest
No, Mohammed Mohazebnia is. Should be a top 150 player.
 

tipsa...don'tlikehim!

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't think so.

Big 4 must be jealous with Birdy's achievements:

It is worth 2 slams no less :)

Berdych is too much one dimensional, watch his matches he doent have any plan B when he plays someone better from the baseline. Also IMO his serve could be better, I hardly see him hit a kick serve like Cilic or Raonic.
 

bjsnider

Hall of Fame
You talk about "mental strength", which I think means whatever anyone wants it to mean. Agassi criticized Berdych's decision making in his bio. If Berdych makes poor decisions about what shots to hit, that would subtract from his perceived potential. I'm not sure how Berdych can fix that, or indeed if it's fixable.
 
Tsonga is another one who is in the same league as Berdych, he has one more Masters title but overall somewhat less consistency. Ferrer, Tsonga, and Berdych (and previously Soderling before he got mono) were/are kind of all on the same level. Extremely good tier 2 players who have been crushed time and time again by the top 4 players.
Ferrer is a big time OVERACHIEVER. I can't think of a more perfect example of someone who managed to do so well with so "little" to work with. Pretty amazing when I think about it.

Tsonga is kinda in between he could never beat the top 4 consistently because he simply doesn't belong on their level. He can only compete when deeply zoning and that is rare. Would consider him an underachiever to some extent but not that much really.

Berdych is THE underachiever. I feel like he REALLY has serious potential that he never lived up to and could have won a few slams if he did. Too bad because he could've done some incredible stuff.
 

BlackSilver

Semi-Pro
No. He is a forehand genius, skill wise, but not much more than that. Good but not excellent serve, slight above average backhand, average returns, bellow average movement, average volleys or worst.

The day he has an excellent backhand as was said above above, I will sticky my feet in a garbage disposer device.
 

roger presley

Hall of Fame
His forehand is much better (both bigger and a lot more reliable), backhand is comparable, Cilic serves a bit better and probably moves better (in raw speed, although I think Berdych has better footwork) but overall makes far more errors than Berdych does. Berdych frankly just constructs points a lot better than Cilic does. His technique is just a lot less repeatable than Berdych's, and I would also say that Berdych definitely has more powerful groundstrokes than he does when Tomas ramps it up.
If you think like that,then you probably haven't seen any match that they have played on a slam,including last year USO.
 

rossi46

Professional
Nalbandian, Rios, Philipoussis, Leconte. These guys should have won multiple majors given the talent they had. I am sure there are quite a few others.

In terms of guys who have won and should have won more, Safin for sure but for my money Stich is the greatest underachiever in the open era. Berdych ??? Seriously.
 

Bukmeikara

Legend
Surely the biggest underachiever is Murray?
His game is much better than Berdych or Ferrer. And yes he has 2 slams but he also has, 6 slam runner ups, 9 additional semifinals, 7 additional quarterfinals.
Out of 24 slam quarterfinals, he's won 2. Not great!
Berdych has made 37 Master QF and he is won ONE .. ironicaly his first QF back in 2005 :) Compared to what he achieve Murray is far better than Berdych. Tomas has reached SF at all Slams, 8/9 Masters, WTF, won Davis Cup and yet it feals somehow short, same as Nalbandian but Berdych is far more consistant - 6 straight top 10 year.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't view him as that underachieving to be honest, mostly due to the fact that he is very consistent and seems very applied, but has come up short versus better players in the tail-end of tournaments. It is true that his game is very smooth and good on face-value though (groundies, serve and movement for height). However, he moves and plays poorly on the defensive compared to some other big-belters (Tsonga, Cilic, Delpo), and he doesn't quite have the variety either.

Three of the more underachieving players in recent times:



 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Sampras should have easily won 20+ Majors though, so the answer is clearly Sampras.
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
Sampras should have easily won 20+ Majors though, so the answer is clearly Sampras.
Sampras should have won 25 slams, no doubt, meaning he should have performed 179% better.

Safin should have won 19 slams (all of feder's), meaning he should have performed a whopping 950% better:eek: (Peak-Safin-coefficient)

Stunning.
 
N

Nathaniel_Near

Guest
Sampras should have won 25 slams, no doubt, meaning he should have performed 179% better.

Safin should have won 19 slams (all of feder's), meaning he should have performed a whopping 950% better:eek: (Peak-Safin-coefficient)

Stunning.
I understand your viewpoint and find it valid but have to disagree. Sampras should have performed 179% better, no doubt, but Safin overachieved — he overachieved as a result of his Russian-Spanish tennis heritage.

Tragic.


Federer is more or less maximising his talent, but Sampras was most definitely worth way more than 20 Slams. 20 is the the bare minimum tally in the unluckiest scenario.

Unfortunately what ended up happening is that he couldn't win more than 14 Slams in an era with only one other part time great battling him during the bulk of his time of success. This is why Sampras simply has to be the answer and I know some well respected (by some) Sampras fans who would agree.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I understand your viewpoint and find it valid but have to disagree. Sampras should have performed 179% better, no doubt, but Safin overachieved — he overachieved as a result of his Russian-Spanish tennis heritage.

Tragic.


Federer is more or less maximising his talent, but Sampras was most definitely worth way more than 20 Slams. 20 is the the bare minimum tally in the unluckiest scenario.

Unfortunately what ended up happening is that he couldn't win more than 14 Slams in an era with only one other part time great battling him during the bulk of his time of success. This is why Sampras simply has to be the answer and I know some well respected (by some) Sampras fans who would agree.
Sampras was hurt by not having 2 double digit slam winners in his era to push him to greater heights. So unlucky. If Agassi didn't do Meth Sampras would have 18 slams at least.
 
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