Kuerten beating Federer?

BGod

Hall of Fame
#1
The sticking points of those who view Guga>Fed on clay point to their one and only French meeting in 2004 where Kuerten beat Fed 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Fed won their other clay meeting two years prior at 6-0, 1-6, 6-2 while Fed lost in Indian Wells 2003 5-7, 6-7.

All these 3 matches tell me is what you'd expect, Roger was green and Kuerten while on the decline was just more experienced.

I don't buy Federer of 06-07 losing to Kuerten 00-01 and Gustavo in 1997 is very hard to gauge properly. The triple marathons beating Muster, Medvedev and Kaflenikov are eye opening but then he got miracle qualifier in the semis and rolled over a noticeably decline Bruegera who lucked out with his draw.

How do they match-up prime for prime? At all the events, say Kuerten's 00 and Fed's 06/07 (whichever you prefer)?

I certainly doesn't see Kuerten winning Cincinnati or WTF but he probably takes Rome and Monte Carlo. Considering Fed beat him in 02 Hamburg, I take Fed there. I also take Fed at IW and Miami as well as Paris and Shanghai.
 
#2
I don't know.

On clay for me.....

1) NADAL
--------------------
2) BORG
-------------------
3) DJOKOVIC
4) FEDERER
5) KUERTEN
 
#5
Both Djokovic and Federer are amazing on clay.

1 title each but Fed played 5 finals at the FO 4 in a row between 2006 and 2009. 4 times runner up at Monte Carlo 3 times at Roma and multiple winner of Hamburg and Madrid.
Without Nadal he would have been king of Clay.

Djokovic 4 finals. He's won against Nadal King of clay multiple times at FO Monte Carlo Romas Madrid. He's won every major tournament on the surface.
 
#6
No way Djokovic or Federer are greater than Lendl. And also no way Djokovic is No.3 all time on clay. He has won one single FO title. I get that you guys like to argue with bad luck due to playing alongside Nadal but he has also lost to wawrinka and while there was nobody anywhere Nadal in prior clay eras the depth of clay specialists was way bigger back then, so it cancels out.
 
#7
No way Djokovic or Federer are greater than Lendl. And also no way Djokovic is No.3 all time on clay. He has won one single FO title. I get that you guys like to argue with bad luck due to playing alongside Nadal but he has also lost to wawrinka and while there was nobody anywhere Nadal in prior clay eras the depth of clay specialists was way bigger back then, so it cancels out.
I'm sorry but I don't agree with you.
The thread question is clear: Kuerten or Federer on clay was stronger.
There is the usual difference between GOAT and Best player.
Kuerten's on clay results are> Federer, there is no discussion.
But the question is another. And my answer was: I don't know, because I think the two are very close.
But if I have to choose, I choose Federer.
And even more Djokovic.

Details of my ranking:
1) concerns the best players I have seen not who has won more achiements
2) only red clay (because if you add the har tru the ranking is much shorter, Lendl goes up, and Connors enters the top).
3) it's difficult to compare the current era with the era of wood but among the players I saw ... apart from Nadal & Borg that seem to me the strongest players from 3th to 8th place are quite close.
4) Djokovic and Federer seem closer to Borg than to Lendl and Wilander

The achievements don't always go in the same direction as the best player.

You're a Borg fan but, to give you an example, Borg won more McEnroe achievements on grass, but if anyone asks me who was the best player on grass, I do not think about it a second and say John McEnroe. Borg has never reached the McEnroe level.
 
#8
No way Djokovic or Federer are greater than Lendl. And also no way Djokovic is No.3 all time on clay. He has won one single FO title. I get that you guys like to argue with bad luck due to playing alongside Nadal but he has also lost to wawrinka and while there was nobody anywhere Nadal in prior clay eras the depth of clay specialists was way bigger back then, so it cancels out.
I can see your point.

Still Fed and Novak are clay specialist. They have grown up on this surface.

Fed reached his first quarter final of a major at the french open in 2001 and won his first master series event in Hamburg 2002.....beating Kuerten along the way.
Novak got his first big result in a Slam by reaching the semi final of the french open in 2007.

Without Nadal, Fed would have won 5 FO and Novak could have have been french open champion in 2008. They have beaten clay specialist such as Gaudio Coria Nalbandian Ferreo Ferrer Moya. Nadal is just too good on this surface.

There's no shame to lose to Wawrinka on clay. Nadal lost to him in Roma 2015.
 
#9
I can see your point.

Still Fed and Novak are clay specialist. They have grown up on this surface.

Fed reached his first quarter final of a major at the french open in 2001 and won his first master series event in Hamburg 2002.....beating Kuerten along the way.
Novak got his first big result in a Slam by reaching the semi final of the french open in 2007.

Without Nadal, Fed would have won 5 FO and Novak could have have been french open champion in 2008. They have beaten clay specialist such as Gaudio Coria Nalbandian Ferreo Ferrer Moya. Nadal is just too good on this surface.

There's no shame to lose to Wawrinka on clay. Nadal lost to him in Roma 2015.
OTOH Federer won all the other slams plus a second Wimbledon before even making a RG SF.
 
#10
OTOH Federer won all the other slams plus a second Wimbledon before even making a RG SF.
His first results in a slam came at the french open.

4th round in 2000
Quarters in 2001
In 2002 and 2003 he lost in first round. It was more a mental issue as he won titles on clay thoses years espacially his fist masters series.
2004: He lost to Kuerten which there's nothing to be ashamed.
From 2005 he won 1 title 4 finales 2 semi finals. He's amazing on clay. 5 defeats against Nadal the best player ever on the surface and one lost to Djokovic.
 
#11
T
I can see your point.

Still Fed and Novak are clay specialist. They have grown up on this surface.

Fed reached his first quarter final of a major at the french open in 2001 and won his first master series event in Hamburg 2002.....beating Kuerten along the way.
Novak got his first big result in a Slam by reaching the semi final of the french open in 2007.

Without Nadal, Fed would have won 5 FO and Novak could have have been french open champion in 2008. They have beaten clay specialist such as Gaudio Coria Nalbandian Ferreo Ferrer Moya. Nadal is just too good on this surface.

There's no shame to lose to Wawrinka on clay. Nadal lost to him in Roma 2015.
That is too many would and could. Without Borg and Wilander Lendl also could have won 5 FO, if he hadn’t skipped it in favor of Wimbledon he could even have won more. Reality is he didn’t and neither did Djokovic or Federer. As for the example at hand Kuerten has three FO titles to Federer’s and Djokovics 1, so he is clearly more accomplished. Who was better prime for prime is a complete different story but even here due to their meeting in 2004 where neither was at their prime but Federer undoubtly closer to his I am very confident that Kuerten would have won more often than not if both faced each other at their best. Djokovic is not really better than Federer on clay so I expect similar results.
 
#13
You're a Borg fan but, to give you an example, Borg won more McEnroe achievements on grass, but if anyone asks me who was the best player on grass, I do not think about it a second and say John McEnroe. Borg has never reached the McEnroe level.
This is debatable as they are 1:1 on grass. Anyways I also consider Kuertens best level on clay being superior to Federer’s and Djokovics. Question is also what we define as best level. Best level over a tournament? Best level over one match? If we take the latter than Soderling would climb up the list. One could even argue that Soderlings best > anyone’s best except Nadal over one match but this is really pointless actually.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
#16
No way Djokovic or Federer are greater than Lendl. And also no way Djokovic is No.3 all time on clay. He has won one single FO title. I get that you guys like to argue with bad luck due to playing alongside Nadal but he has also lost to wawrinka and while there was nobody anywhere Nadal in prior clay eras the depth of clay specialists was way bigger back then, so it cancels out.
Recency factor....Djokovic and Fed SEEM better on clay.....I'd put Lendl, Kuerten and Wilander ahead of both those fellows...tho Wilander v. Djoker might be close. Or not.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
#17
Both Djokovic and Federer are amazing on clay.

1 title each but Fed played 5 finals at the FO 4 in a row between 2006 and 2009. 4 times runner up at Monte Carlo 3 times at Roma and multiple winner of Hamburg and Madrid.
Without Nadal he would have been king of Clay.

Djokovic 4 finals. He's won against Nadal King of clay multiple times at FO Monte Carlo Romas Madrid. He's won every major tournament on the surface.
OK...but, first off, these are all time greats who on a given day, can beat one another, REGARDLESS of surface. Connors beat Borg on clay...would I ever claim he was better on the surface---no, no way. Fed and to a lesser extent, Djokovic, are great all court, all surface players. sure, Fed is best on grass, and Djoko on hard, but their playing styles transfer very, very well to any surface, clay included. Looking at the entirety of results to date, I'd be pressed to Fed or Djoko ahead of Keurten, Lendl or Wilander on clay. The "without x player" he would've been king can be played in every era, on nearly any surface. That does not build up the resume of the guy coming in 2nd.
 
#18
OK...but, first off, these are all time greats who on a given day, can beat one another, REGARDLESS of surface. Connors beat Borg on clay...would I ever claim he was better on the surface---no, no way. Fed and to a lesser extent, Djokovic, are great all court, all surface players. sure, Fed is best on grass, and Djoko on hard, but their playing styles transfer very, very well to any surface, clay included. Looking at the entirety of results to date, I'd be pressed to Fed or Djoko ahead of Keurten, Lendl or Wilander on clay. The "without x player" he would've been king can be played in every era, on nearly any surface. That does not build up the resume of the guy coming in 2nd.
The only thing i was saying is that Fed and the Djoker are both amazing players on clay. There's no shame to lose to Nadal on clay. Fed did manage to get a few wins against Nadal on Clay. The Djoker has been able to dominate Nadal on a regular basis since 2011. (7 victories each since 2011). The FO may be interesting.
 
#19
OK...but, first off, these are all time greats who on a given day, can beat one another, REGARDLESS of surface. Connors beat Borg on clay...would I ever claim he was better on the surface---no, no way. Fed and to a lesser extent, Djokovic, are great all court, all surface players. sure, Fed is best on grass, and Djoko on hard, but their playing styles transfer very, very well to any surface, clay included. Looking at the entirety of results to date, I'd be pressed to Fed or Djoko ahead of Keurten, Lendl or Wilander on clay. The "without x player" he would've been king can be played in every era, on nearly any surface. That does not build up the resume of the guy coming in 2nd.
Playing 4 consecutive FO open finals and winning one doesn't make a bad player on the surface.
 
#20
Recency factor....Djokovic and Fed SEEM better on clay.....I'd put Lendl, Kuerten and Wilander ahead of both those fellows...tho Wilander v. Djoker might be close. Or not.
I would probably go

3. Lendl
4. Kuerten
5. Wilander or Djokovic
7. Muster
8. Courier
9. Bruguera
10. Federer or Vilas

Wilander is complicated for me. Achievements wise he could even have a case for 3rd, but I think prime to prime he would lose often to a lot of players. Even someone like Ferrero I think would probably beat him most of the time, although obviously with their results it would be impossible to rank Ferrero higher than Wilander.

Vilas is also complicated. Results wise he is top 5 or 6, but peak play he is way down.

Must is the last one who is most complicated. Totally dominates clay on the regular tour but chokes at RG. Still he did win a title there atleast and Vilas, Fed, Djokovic also have only 1 French. Courier and Brugeura have 2 in the same era, but their other results on clay pale in comparision.
 
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#22
The only thing i was saying is that Fed and the Djoker are both amazing players on clay. There's no shame to lose to Nadal on clay. Fed did manage to get a few wins against Nadal on Clay. The Djoker has been able to dominate Nadal on a regular basis since 2011. (7 victories each since 2011). The FO may be interesting.
ROTFL Djokovic has not dominated Nadal on clay since 2011. Losing almost every match at RG (and the only win being over a dire pitiful Nadal who would have lost to about 10 players that year) and losing many of your non RG matches is not dominating. Maybe you can say he has had some success vs Nadal on clay since 2011.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#23
The sticking points of those who view Guga>Fed on clay point to their one and only French meeting in 2004 where Kuerten beat Fed 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Fed won their other clay meeting two years prior at 6-0, 1-6, 6-2 while Fed lost in Indian Wells 2003 5-7, 6-7.

All these 3 matches tell me is what you'd expect, Roger was green and Kuerten while on the decline was just more experienced.
Fed not exactly "green" in 2004 FO, with 2 GS titles already under his belt...

Guga much bigger stud at FO than Fed, no comparison... 3>1 and also won their only FO encounter. That is strong evidence for Guga>Fed on clay. Judge their greatness by their results at the FO, not on the master's tournaments...
 
#24
I would probably go

3. Lendl
4. Kuerten
5. Wilander or Djokovic
7. Muster
8. Courier
9. Bruguera
10. Federer or Vilas

Wilander is complicated for me. Achievements wise he could even have a case for 3rd, but I think prime to prime he would lose often to a lot of players. Even someone like Ferrero I think would probably beat him most of the time, although obviously with their results it would be impossible to rank Ferrero higher than Wilander.

Vilas is also complicated. Results wise he is top 5 or 6, but peak play he is way down.

Must is the last one who is most complicated. Totally dominates clay on the regular tour but chokes at RG. Still he did win a title there atleast and Vilas, Fed, Djokovic also have only 1 French. Courier and Brugeura have 2 in the same era, but their other results on clay pale in comparision.
Courier better than Muster. He beat Muster at the French Open 92 and 93.

 
#25
ROTFL Djokovic has not dominated Nadal on clay since 2011. Losing almost every match at RG (and the only win being over a dire pitiful Nadal who would have lost to about 10 players that year) and losing many of your non RG matches is not dominating. Maybe you can say he has had some success vs Nadal on clay since 2011.
2011

Djokovic won both encounters on clay in Madrid and Roma.

2012

Nadal won their 3 meetings MC Roma and FO.

2013


Djokovic won in MC and lost in 5 sets at the FO

2014

Djokovic won in Roma and lost at the FO

2015

Djokovic won both encounters in MC and FO


2016

Djokovic won in Roma

2017

Djokovic Lost in Madrid

2018

Nadal won in Roma

7 all since 2011
 
#26
Fed not exactly "green" in 2004 FO, with 2 GS titles already under his belt...

Guga much bigger stud at FO than Fed, no comparison... 3>1 and also won their only FO encounter. That is strong evidence for Guga>Fed on clay. Judge their greatness by their results at the FO, not on the master's tournaments...
Complicated debate here.

Less FO and Fed has lost their only meeting at the FO. On the other hand he"s won it once played 4 finals (4 finals in a raw). He's beaten everyone on clay Coria Kuerten Nadal Ferrero Moya Gaudio Nalbandian Gonzalez etc etc
 
#27
Federer’s best level on clay as good as peak Kuerten? This is really not that close. Federer at his dominant best in 2004 was completely overpowered by an underplayed injury-rusted Kuerten. This is not even close.

Federer benefited from playing in a much weaker era of tennis than Kuerten did. It is so sad how much the average level of top-50 players has fallen in the last 15 years.
 
#29
Federer’s best level on clay as good as peak Kuerten? This is really not that close. Federer at his dominant best in 2004 was completely overpowered by an underplayed injury-rusted Kuerten. This is not even close.

Federer benefited from playing in a much weaker era of tennis than Kuerten did. It is so sad how much the average level of top-50 players has fallen in the last 15 years.
Weak era? Not so sure. They have slow down most surfaces therefore you only get the same winners. That's why comparing different era's with slam count for example doesn't make really sense.

In the eighties and nineties Nadal wouldn't have been able to win Wimbledon for example. On the other hand i think Federer and Djokovic could have performed well on clay as they have been brought up on the surface.

Probably Federer would have been outplayed by peak Kuerten. Still he managed to get a win against him in Hamburg in 2002. Kuerten at his peak won 3 times the french open but was not able to sustain that level of play at every french open. He lost to Medvedev in 1999 to Safin in 1998 at the french open. On the other hand Federer played 4 finals in a row from 2006 to 2009 winning one and only losing to the king of clay Nadal. Federer lost to Nadal in the semi final in 2005 in the final in 2011 and to Djokovic in the semi finals 2012.
 
#31
My take. I don't think so.

Fed and Novak have beaten all clay specialist such as Gaudio Coria Ferrero Gonzalez Massu Moya etc etc.
The question is not "Has Kuerten achieved Federer's greatest achievements (on clay)? "
But it is: "Kuerten beating Federer (on clay)?"
Two different things, very different.
 
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#32
The question is not "Has Kuerten achieved Federer's greatest achievements (on clay)? "
But it is: who is the "Kuerten beating Federer (on clay)?"
Two different things, very different.
I loved Kuerten. His wins at the FO were amazing. But i think Fed would beat him. The only guy who could stop Fed at his peak form on clay is Nadal.
 
#34
I would probably go

3. Lendl
4. Kuerten
5. Wilander or Djokovic
7. Muster
8. Courier
9. Bruguera
10. Federer or Vilas

Wilander is complicated for me. Achievements wise he could even have a case for 3rd, but I think prime to prime he would lose often to a lot of players. Even someone like Ferrero I think would probably beat him most of the time, although obviously with their results it would be impossible to rank Ferrero higher than Wilander.

Vilas is also complicated. Results wise he is top 5 or 6, but peak play he is way down.

Must is the last one who is most complicated. Totally dominates clay on the regular tour but chokes at RG. Still he did win a title there atleast and Vilas, Fed, Djokovic also have only 1 French. Courier and Brugeura have 2 in the same era, but their other results on clay pale in comparision.
Muster is overrated no way he is above all the ones you listed behind him. Federer and Djokovic are as even as it can get no way they are separated by 5 ranks.
 

BGod

Hall of Fame
#36
Fed not exactly "green" in 2004 FO, with 2 GS titles already under his belt...

Guga much bigger stud at FO than Fed, no comparison... 3>1 and also won their only FO encounter. That is strong evidence for Guga>Fed on clay. Judge their greatness by their results at the FO, not on the master's tournaments...
What doesn't jive with me is ignoring Kuerten's many failures at the French.

Federer lost to Nadal 5 times, 4 in a final and 1 in semi. Then he loses to Novak in another semi. Kuerten made 3 semifinals period. Moreover to finish the list Fed loses to Soderling when he was a beast and Tsonga/Wawrinka on the downswing.

Now let's take a look at Kuerten's losses between 1997-2004 where he was seemingly competitive:

1998: Loses to Qualifier Safin in 5 (yes it's Safin but...it's 1998 and he doesn't go on to win or anything)
1999: Loses to Medvedev in 3 (Medvedev gets an easy semi then chokes to Agassi)
2002: Loses to Costa in 3 (maybe weakest FO winner ever)
2003: Loses to Robredo in 4 (who loses to Costa in 5)
2004: Loses to Nalbandian in 4 (who gets wiped by Gaudio)

Obviously we don't have too big a sample size to go on given his health, but from these losses I guess Costa>Kuerten on clay and the losses to 18 year old Safin and Medvedev when the guy was in full prime aren't great either.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
#37
Kuerten had his first hip surgery after the 2002 Australian Open, and 2002 Hamburg was only a few months later. Don't forget that. When Kuerten beat Federer at the 2004 French Open, he rolled back the years.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
#38
As for Muster, he once had that Nadal and Borg aura on clay (1995-1996). Kuerten never did, as he was too unpredictable and usually had to play his way into matches in order to find his groove, and sometimes he'd stay flat, most famously when Michael Russell nearly beat him at the 2001 French Open in straight sets, stopped only by a 26-stroke rally that Kuerten won and then finding his groove to win the last 2 sets well.
 
#39
As for Muster, he once had that Nadal and Borg aura on clay (1995-1996). Kuerten never did, as he was too unpredictable and usually had to play his way into matches in order to find his groove, and sometimes he'd stay flat, most famously when Michael Russell nearly beat him at the 2001 French Open in straight sets, stopped only by a 26-stroke rally that Kuerten won and then finding his groove to win the last 2 sets well.
That may be so but Kuerten still has to rank higher than Muster on clay as his Roland Garros record is light years superior.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
#41
Kuerten first injured his hip at the 2001 US Open, in the night match against Mirnyi, which Kuerten won from 2 sets down. Kuerten had entered the 2001 US Open as world number 1 and tournament favourite, having just won on fast Cincinnati hardcourt. However, starting with the 2001 US Open quarter final when he lost to Kafelnikov, Kuerten lost 11 out of 12 matches, losing his world number 1 ranking to Hewitt and deciding to get the surgery on his hip after the 2002 Australian Open.

He was never at his best again, apart from the odd match. His 2004 French Open win over Federer was one of those odd matches.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
#42
That may be so but Kuerten still has to rank higher than Muster on clay as his Roland Garros record is light years superior.
It depends on how you look at it. Kuerten's French Open record is better, but Muster won 40 tournaments on clay, and went through 1995-1996 winning 111 out of 116 matches on clay. Incidentally, Muster won 44 tournaments on the main tour in his career, and 21 of those were won in the period from February 1995 to March 1997.
 
#43
It depends on how you look at it. Kuerten's French Open record is better, but Muster won 40 tournaments on clay, and went through 1995-1996 winning 111 out of 116 matches on clay. Incidentally, Muster won 44 tournaments on the main tour in his career, and 21 of those were won in the period from February 1995 to March 1997.
A better tournament record can compensate for a worse French Open record to a degree. Hence why on my ranking lists I rank Muster over Federer, Courier, Bruguera and sometimes Djokovic, who ALL have far superior French Open records to Muster. Not to this extent though IMO. 3 French Opens vs a guy who made only 1 final (the time he won) and 1 other semi is too much when RG is still by far the most important clay event.
 

BGod

Hall of Fame
#44
It depends on how you look at it. Kuerten's French Open record is better, but Muster won 40 tournaments on clay, and went through 1995-1996 winning 111 out of 116 matches on clay. Incidentally, Muster won 44 tournaments on the main tour in his career, and 21 of those were won in the period from February 1995 to March 1997.
I gotta ask. Does it not matter the level of tournaments he was winning? He won MC, Rome and Barcelona (MC was weak draw with old Becker in final as best opponent) but the others were 250s I believe. He repeated the triple in 96 but again not the strongest draws. I'm not trying to denigrate his accomplishments on clay those years but the title number is misleading. Kuerten's 99 season matches Muster's 96 and because of the French Opens in 00-01 him going 1 for 2 in clay Masters isn't a big step down.
 
#45
Kuerten is better than Federer on clay.

Was the 2004 match indicative? No, not really. but it counts and 3>1. Btw, funny how these ridiculous excuses for Nadal's losses on HC can be attributed to "he was not good on all surfaces yet" but the same, IMO, dumb excuses are not used by those users for 2004 Federer. Pure hypocrisy.

Same goes for Djokovic, Kuerten is better than Djokovic on clay.

For Federer in 2005-2011 (7 year period):
-Lost to Nadal (5x) only and Soderling once (Soderling is the only guy in the Nadal era to have defeated two reigning RG champions in two consecutive RGs)
-A big indication that 2005-2011 FO Federer would have his way with Guga in some matches. Would Fed win some of those meetings at RG? Yes, definitely.

For Djokovic 2011-2016 (6 year period):
-Lost to Federer, Nadal (3x), Wawrinka and thus not so perfect against players not named Nadal, especially if we would extend this to a 7 year period like with the Federer comparison
-Nonetheless, still enough indication that this version of Djokovic would win some matches at RG against Guga.

Nadal is a huge factor, but you could say the same about Roddick vs Federer at Wimbledon. Hypothetical champions don't exist, and thus Kuerten > Federer & Djokovic on clay.
 
#46
Is there seriously anyone here who thinks that in 10 matches on clay Kuerten could beat Federer and Djokovic 6 times?
Peak for peak you mean? I don't think so, but he is still greater and more accomplished on clay than Federer and Djokovic. It is what it is.
 
#47
Kuerten would absolutely beat both Federer and Djokovic on clay prime to prime atleast 7 times out of 10 IMO. Since given that he wasnt the most consistent player, even on his beloved clay, if he got far enough to play both, he would obviously be playing well, and playing well he would handle both on clay more often than not. Djokovic maybe I would say atleast 6 out of 10 to be super safe only since we know next to nothing about the match up for obvious reasons, although I think it is higher than that. Federer I would say more like atleast 8 times out of 10, just based on 2004 RG. Yes it is only 1 match, I get that, but you dont ass rape someone like that WAY past your prime when that other player is in one of their peak years, and not have the clear edge prime to prime on them on that surface. Also keep in mind there are many Federer fans (and even some non Federer fans) who think 2011 RG somehow proves Federer would have the edge in a head to head match up with Djokovic prime to prime. I dont agree although I can certainly understand the logic behind it, but hypothetically speaking if this is true as many believe it is, then 2004 RG would prove the same for Kuerten vs Federer 100 times more than 2011 RG for Federer vs Djokovic. Lets put it that way.

Lets remember too though Kuerten likely ends up with 5 or 6 RG titles without his major hip injuries. That is as much or more than the 4-6 RG titles Federer or Djokovic might have today without Nadal, something I see constantly dredged up by both Djokovic and Federer fans. And in a far deeper clay field than the joke field on clay Federer and Djokovic now both have (in fact hilariously bad when you think about it) without Nadal. They dont even have each other as their good years on clay almost never intersected, 2011 and 2009 I guess is it, and 2009 they didnt even play a single match. So even in a fairly pointless what if Federer and Djokovic comes out a clear loser to Kuerten.

If Djokovic wins a 2nd or heaven forbid 3rd RG title I guess you might have to entertain putting him over Kuerten, as his Masters record and career win percentages on clay are much higher. Which is arguably likely to happen, atleast the 2nd RG title part. For now though both are clearly behind.
 
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Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
#48
I gotta ask. Does it not matter the level of tournaments he was winning? He won MC, Rome and Barcelona (MC was weak draw with old Becker in final as best opponent) but the others were 250s I believe. He repeated the triple in 96 but again not the strongest draws. I'm not trying to denigrate his accomplishments on clay those years but the title number is misleading. Kuerten's 99 season matches Muster's 96 and because of the French Opens in 00-01 him going 1 for 2 in clay Masters isn't a big step down.
Not the strongest draws? Who would you have had him face?

Using today's criteria of Muster's 1995-1997 tournament wins, and there weren't limits to tournament numbers then either.

1995 Mexico City (ATP 250)
1995 Estoril (ATP 250)
1995 Barcelona (ATP 500)
1995 Monte Carlo (ATP Masters 1000)
1995 Italian Open (ATP Masters 1000)
1995 French Open (ITF Major 2000)
1995 St. Poelten (ATP 250)
1995 Stuttgart Outdoor (ATP 500)
1995 San Marino (ATP 250)
1995 Umag (ATP 250)
1995 Bucharest (ATP 250)
1995 Essen (ATP Masters 1000)
1996 Mexico City (ATP 250)
1996 Estoril (ATP 250)
1996 Barcelona (ATP 500)
1996 Monte Carlo (ATP Masters 1000)
1996 Italian Open (ATP Masters 1000)
1996 Stuttgart Outdoor (ATP 500)
1996 Bogota (ATP 250)
1997 Dubai (ATP 250)
1997 Miami (ATP Masters 1000)

Muster's reputation on clay in 1995-1996 did reach a level that only Borg before and Nadal since have done. Kuerten's best year on clay was 2001, when he went 36-3, but Hewitt beat him on clay in 3 straight sets in Kuerten's hometown of Florianopolis in the 2001 Davis Cup quarter finals. Muster was 65-2 on clay in 1995, and then 46-3 on clay in 1996. In early 1997, Muster (with a new racquet) went flat out on hardcourts and did well, but it seemed to ruin his clay game. The new racquet had enabled Muster to serve harder and hit flatter shots, but wasn't as good for topspin that his clay dominance had been based on. Ivanisevic being the only player to beat Muster on clay in Davis Cup was the end of clay dominance for Muster (after winning 112 of the previous 117), and he had a poor clay season in 1997.
 
#49
Muster's problem besides his RG record is his clay prime, not only his peak but even his prime really, was only 2 years. Even Kuerten who had a career and prime short lived by injuries probably had 4 prime years on clay- 97, 99, 2000, 2001, although I guess 97 is an iffy inclusion but I am doing that based on going through a very tough draw to win RG alone. And outside of his prime years Muster wasnt even really a contender on clay apart from 1 year- 1990.

I agree Kuerten never quite the aura of dominance that Muster of 95-96 did on clay, but even with that there was less feeling you could take the match out of his hands that there was the feeling a big hitter or all courter who was hot like Stich at the 96 French could do to Muster. It was more if Kuerten was subpar he gave you an opening, even if you were one of his chief clay rivals like Ferrero, there was no particular playing style he was vurnerable to on clay if playing well.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
#50
Muster got into winning positions against Stich at the 1996 French Open. He led by a set and a break at the start and then made several unforced errors in a row to drop serve, with the second set and early in the third set developing into a slugfest that ultimately went Stich's way. In the fourth set, Muster led 3-0, 4-1 and 5-2, and lost it in a tiebreak.

It was an odd tournament all around, really, with serve-and-volleyers and power players going further in the much hotter, drier weather. By the way, both Muster and Stich had ankle issues at the time going into the tournament.

It's a shame because Muster not winning the 1996 French Open means that his 1995-1996 run isn't as appreciated as it should be by fans today who look through the records, even though he demolished French Open champion Kafelinkov in the 1996 Stuttgart Outdoor final soon after in 3 straight sets.
 
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