Kuerten beating Federer?

mxmx

Professional
#51
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.
Isn't Brugeura better than Courier on clay?
 

mxmx

Professional
#53
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.
I agree. Question then becomes, how many times would Kuerten beat Nadal on clay?
 
#54
I agree. Question then becomes, how many times would Kuerten beat Nadal on clay?
3 times out of 10 maybe? Hard to say. He might not do better ratio wise than Djokovic but that is only because Djokovic got the benefit of his peak years coinciding with Nadal's post peak years on clay (minus only 2012). Would definitely do better than Federer IMO.
 
#55
Isn't Brugeura better than Courier on clay?
IMO no. I think Courier of RG 92 is better than any Bruguera ever on clay. Look at his draw and how dominant he went through it, pretty amazing. I cant imagine Bruguera ever ripping through a draw like that one the way Courier did.

Both have 2 French Opens and 1 final, and a couple Masters. Achievements wise they are pretty similar, so it is fairly subjective. The big breaker for me though is Muster totally owns Bruguera on clay, while Courier totally owns Muster, so as the Courier-Bruguera match up is very close, Courier comes out looking better overall.
 
#56
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.
Fair enough. That's hard to ignore. Collectively though I'm taking Federer's career over Muster on clay.
 
#57
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.
I don't think Kuerten would win 8 times out of 10 against Fed. Fed is only 2 - 13 against Nadal on clay, but a part of this dismall H2H comes from the very unfavorable match-up against Nadal's forehand. I don't think Kuerten would have such a clear winning strategy that he could execute against Federer in order to beat him by such a margin. He could certainly beat him on clay, It's reasonnable to think he could take the majority of their matches, but only a slight majority. You underestimate Fed's movement and firepower on clay, that allowed him to have so much success against the field, bar Nadal (who is only one who could negate it by pummeling his backhand).

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.
It's fair to say that Kuerten would have won more RG titles considering there was a huge window of opportunity in the early 00's, however your comparison of the strength of the field is pure conjecture, expecially considering that Nadal WAS there and he by himself make all the difference you would ever need.
 
#58
I don't think Kuerten would win 8 times out of 10 against Fed. Fed is only 2 - 13 against Nadal on clay, but a part of this dismall H2H comes from the very unfavorable match-up against Nadal's forehand. I don't think Kuerten would have such a clear winning strategy that he could execute against Federer in order to beat him by such a margin. He could certainly beat him on clay, It's reasonnable to think he could take the majority of their matches, but only a slight majority. You underestimate Fed's movement and firepower on clay, that allowed him to have so much success against the field, bar Nadal (who is only one who could negate it by pummeling his backhand).
Kuerten was very inconsistent even on clay and even during his FO runs, so if they simply played ten matches than you are right Kuerten would most likely not win 8 out of them since he would have an off day a couple of times. However, what we discussing here I think is prime vs prime or best level vs best level and in such a scenario Kuerten would definitely win 8 or at least 7 out of ten IMHO. Kuerten's best on clay is not far below Nadal's best and if Nadal had played at his very best in all 15 encounters with Fed than Federer wouldn't have one any of those.
 
#59
Kuerten was very inconsistent even on clay and even during his FO runs, so if they simply played ten matches than you are right Kuerten would most likely not win 8 out of them since he would have an off day a couple of times. However, what we discussing here I think is prime vs prime or best level vs best level and in such a scenario Kuerten would definitely win 8 or at least 7 out of ten IMHO. Kuerten's best on clay is not far below Nadal's best and if Nadal had played at his very best in all 15 encounters with Fed than Federer wouldn't have one any of those.
It doesn't make much sense to imagine a serie of matches if you don't factor in the ability to play well in a serie of match, which Federer did better than Kuerten.

If we don't care about the ability to reproduce level, then there is maybe a dozen or more players who could beat both Kuerten and Federer 8 out of 10 times. After all, acing and painting the line is the best way to win a match. Players don't do it because it is difficult to reproduce it, but if you can magically reproduce it? Isner is probably one of best peak clay courter ever. ;-)
 
#60
It doesn't make much sense to imagine a serie of matches if you don't factor in the ability to play well in a serie of match, which Federer did better than Kuerten.

If we don't care about the ability to reproduce level, then there is maybe a dozen or more players who could beat both Kuerten and Federer 8 out of 10 times. After all, acing and painting the line is the best way to win a match. Players don't do it because it is difficult to reproduce it, but if you can magically reproduce it? Isner is probably one of best peak clay courter ever. ;-)
To put it simple then, Kuerten at his best > Federer at his best. This in combination with his two additional French Opens makes it hard to argue Fed > Kuerten on clay.
 
#61
I don't think Kuerten would win 8 times out of 10 against Fed. Fed is only 2 - 13 against Nadal on clay, but a part of this dismall H2H comes from the very unfavorable match-up against Nadal's forehand. I don't think Kuerten would have such a clear winning strategy that he could execute against Federer in order to beat him by such a margin. He could certainly beat him on clay, It's reasonnable to think he could take the majority of their matches, but only a slight majority. You underestimate Fed's movement and firepower on clay, that allowed him to have so much success against the field, bar Nadal (who is only one who could negate it by pummeling his backhand).

It's fair to say that Kuerten would have won more RG titles considering there was a huge window of opportunity in the early 00's, however your comparison of the strength of the field is pure conjecture, expecially considering that Nadal WAS there and he by himself make all the difference you would ever need.
Even if all that is possibly true, it would need to be fairly clear Federer would win a majority of matches between the two on clay to rate him higher significantly behind in achievements (due to Kuerten's 3 RG titles). As even you seem to be conceding that definitely is not the case, I cant see any possible reason to rate Federer higher at all.

As for your last comments my new hypothetical is without Nadal, since that is what the only argument in Federer's favor is; remove Nadal and Federer might win 4-6 French Open titles. Which is countered by Kuerten possibly/probably winning 5-6 RG titles without his major hip problems. So Nadal as holding up the field is now non existing and pointless, as the only argument anyone is trying to make for Federer has removed him entirely to begin with. And the field in Kuerten's day certainly would not be weaker (most would say stronger) than the new Federer field without Nadal which certainly isnt now not a remotedly good or even decent clay field by any stretch (many call it super weak even with Nadal in it, including Federer fans who lowball Nadal and his clay winnings, LOL). No it isnt proveable, but the burden on proof is on Federer's side to argue why the 1 time RG winner who got slaughtered by a way post prime Kuerten at RG should rank higher than the 3 time RG winner.
 
#62
I think peak Kuerten (years 2000/2001) would win at least 7 out of 10 matches against peak Federer on clay, but the real match up would be peak Kuerten vs Nadal, that would be a fun match to watch, even though I think Nadal would have the edge for being a lefty...
 
#63
Not sure the point of this thread. If your point is that RG 2004 shows Kuerten is superior to Federer on clay, I would agree, but I think that was common knowledge already anyway.
 
#64
Not sure the point of this thread. If your point is that RG 2004 shows Kuerten is superior to Federer on clay, I would agree, but I think that was common knowledge already anyway.
I don't think it's common knowledge, many people think that match was an accident and that peak Federer would win more against peak Kuerten if they had played more times on clay.
 
#65
I don't think it's common knowledge, many people think that match was an accident and that peak Federer would win more against peak Kuerten if they had played more times on clay.
Well some people are stupid. The Seles fanatics on another thread crowing about her winning every AO or RG until 96 atleast, and being a many time Wimbledon champ if she grunts, isnt stabbed, or never met Donald Trump are proof of that. All relatively sane people know Federer > Kuerten on clay, patently stupid people and their worthless opinions are meaningless.
 
#66
Well some people are stupid. The Seles fanatics on another thread crowing about her winning every AO or RG until 96 atleast, and being a many time Wimbledon champ if she grunts, isnt stabbed, or never met Donald Trump are proof of that. All relatively sane people know Federer > Kuerten on clay, patently stupid people and their worthless opinions are meaningless.
Kuerten > Federer on clay, that’s the point of this thread haha
 
#71
Damn sorry to doubt, you totally convinced me now. cherry picking single matches is just to strong argument.
Kuerten was good between 1997 to 2001.

He won in 1997 2000 and 2001 and lost to an upcoming player Safin in 1998 and to an experience player without any significant result in over a year in 1999.

I love Kuerten but i do think Fed was better and without Nadal or with another racket he would have won multiple FO. Losing to the king of clay there's nothing to be ashamed.
 
#72
Kuerten was good between 1997 to 2001.

He won in 1997 2000 and 2001 and lost to an upcoming player Safin in 1998 and to an experience player without any significant result in over a year in 1999.

I love Kuerten but i do think Fed was better and without Nadal or with another racket he would have won multiple FO. Losing to the king of clay there's nothing to be ashamed.
Kuerten in 97 was good but not yet prime. He was a very inconsistent player and his prime/peak was not a clearly defined period. Becker won Wimbledon in 85 and 86 then lost in the 2 round in 87 before reaching three consecutive finals. We can also cherry pick here on his loss against Doohan, does not change the fact that his peak level was scarily good as was Kuertens on clay. They just had off days here and then. Kuertens best Level on clay would never loose against Safin and neither would it in my opinion against Federer. This and 3>1 makes it impossible for me to rate Federer ahead, regardless of Nadal.
 
#73
Kuerten in 97 was good but not yet prime. He was a very inconsistent player and his prime/peak was not a clearly defined period. Becker won Wimbledon in 85 and 86 then lost in the 2 round in 87 before reaching three consecutive finals. We can also cherry pick here on his loss against Doohan, does not change the fact that his peak level was scarily good as was Kuertens on clay. They just had off days here and then. Kuertens best Level on clay would never loose against Safin and neither would it in my opinion against Federer. This and 3>1 makes it impossible for me to rate Federer ahead, regardless of Nadal.
There's no cherry picking.

Kuerten playing really well won in 5 sets against Safin in the Hamburg final in 2000.

I still think that Fed is amazing on clay 1 FO 4 RU 2 SF 4 RU in MC and Roma 4 Hamburgs and 2 Madrid's.
 
#74
There's no cherry picking.

Kuerten playing really well won in 5 sets against Safin in the Hamburg final in 2000.

I still think that Fed is amazing on clay 1 FO 4 RU 2 SF 4 RU in MC and Roma 4 Hamburgs and 2 Madrid's.
I know Fed’s resume on clay and it is indeed good. But how can you rate him higher than Kuerten if 1) kuertens peak level is higher and 2) he is more successful? No amount of masters, runner up trophies etc makes up for a two slam deficit even less when we are talking relatively small numbers in general.
 
#75
Damn sorry to doubt, you totally convinced me now. cherry picking single matches is just to strong argument.
But you have to bring things into perspective:

How many French Open does Kuerten have? 3
How many would he have if he had to play in the Nadal era? 0 (maybe 1 if he benefits from the Soderling loss, but that is far from given considering he had some bad losses at RG as well)

How many French Open does Federer have? 1
How many would he have in the Kuerten era (or anytime without Nadal)? I think at least 5. He would not be far worse than at the other Slams.
 
#76
But you have to bring things into perspective:

How many French Open does Kuerten have? 3
How many would he have if he had to play in the Nadal era? 0 (maybe 1 if he benefits from the Soderling loss, but that is far from given considering he had some bad losses at RG as well)

How many French Open does Federer have? 1
How many would he have in the Kuerten era (or anytime without Nadal)? I think at least 5. He would not be far worse than at the other Slams.
Thank you
 
#77
But you have to bring things into perspective:

How many French Open does Kuerten have? 3
How many would he have if he had to play in the Nadal era? 0 (maybe 1 if he benefits from the Soderling loss, but that is far from given considering he had some bad losses at RG as well)

How many French Open does Federer have? 1
How many would he have in the Kuerten era (or anytime without Nadal)? I think at least 5. He would not be far worse than at the other Slams.
Sorry but this is not true. Federer is far worse at the French than at the other slams, clay is by far his worst surface. He reached his first FO final in 2006, when he had already won 3 Wimbledons and 4 HC slams. After his semifinal in 2012 he has not reached any later stage at the French and has skipped it completely the last years while he always was still competitive on grass and hard. 5 titles is way too high estimation in my opinion. It is true that there was no Nadal in Kuertens era, but the field was way deeper with many clay court specialists. So why it might have been harder during Fed’s era to win the whole thing it was actually easier to reach finals, as apart from Nadal there were few good clay courter and Nadal only faced Fed in the final. I also disagree that Kuerten would necessarily win one or zero FO with Nadal around. He would of course loose more often than not, but at his best I actually give him chances to beat Nadal at least once.
 
#78
Sorry but this is not true. Federer is far worse at the French than at the other slams, clay is by far his worst surface. He reached his first FO final in 2006, when he had already won 3 Wimbledons and 4 HC slams. After his semifinal in 2012 he has not reached any later stage at the French and has skipped it completely the last years while he always was still competitive on grass and hard. 5 titles is way too high estimation in my opinion. It is true that there was no Nadal in Kuertens era, but the field was way deeper with many clay court specialists. So why it might have been harder during Fed’s era to win the whole thing it was actually easier to reach finals, as apart from Nadal there were few good clay courter and Nadal only faced Fed in the final. I also disagree that Kuerten would necessarily win one or zero FO with Nadal around. He would of course loose more often than not, but at his best I actually give him chances to beat Nadal at least once.
Sorry but this is not true. Federer is far worse at the French than at the other slams, clay is by far his worst surface. He reached his first FO final in 2006, when he had already won 3 Wimbledons and 4 HC slams. After his semifinal in 2012 he has not reached any later stage at the French and has skipped it completely the last years while he always was still competitive on grass and hard. 5 titles is way too high estimation in my opinion. It is true that there was no Nadal in Kuertens era, but the field was way deeper with many clay court specialists. So why it might have been harder during Fed’s era to win the whole thing it was actually easier to reach finals, as apart from Nadal there were few good clay courter and Nadal only faced Fed in the final. I also disagree that Kuerten would necessarily win one or zero FO with Nadal around. He would of course loose more often than not, but at his best I actually give him chances to beat Nadal at least once.
Far worse by Fed's standards.

When Nadal won his first 9 FO there was competition at the FO: Federer Djokovic Canas Ferrer Gaudio Nalbandian Coria Puerta RObedo Accassuso

It's only been the last two years that the FO has been terrible.
 
#79
But you have to bring things into perspective:

How many French Open does Kuerten have? 3
How many would he have if he had to play in the Nadal era? 0 (maybe 1 if he benefits from the Soderling loss, but that is far from given considering he had some bad losses at RG as well)

How many French Open does Federer have? 1
How many would he have in the Kuerten era (or anytime without Nadal)? I think at least 5. He would not be far worse than at the other Slams.
LOL Federer does not win 5 RG titles in any era. Maybe he does today without Nadal, which just shows how awful the clay field today is which is the only reason Federer and even Djokovic make so many finals in the first place. Nadal will probably wind up with 14 or 15 French titles which further proves that, since not even the clay GOAT should win that many.
 
#80
Sorry but this is not true. Federer is far worse at the French than at the other slams, clay is by far his worst surface. He reached his first FO final in 2006, when he had already won 3 Wimbledons and 4 HC slams. After his semifinal in 2012 he has not reached any later stage at the French and has skipped it completely the last years while he always was still competitive on grass and hard. 5 titles is way too high estimation in my opinion. It is true that there was no Nadal in Kuertens era, but the field was way deeper with many clay court specialists. So why it might have been harder during Fed’s era to win the whole thing it was actually easier to reach finals, as apart from Nadal there were few good clay courter and Nadal only faced Fed in the final. I also disagree that Kuerten would necessarily win one or zero FO with Nadal around. He would of course loose more often than not, but at his best I actually give him chances to beat Nadal at least once.
Federer started to dominate in 2004. Before that his 2003 Wimbledon win was also his only final and SF. In 2005 he lost to Nadal at RG. So the only anomaly was the 2004 loss to Kuerten. He had no problems against the other clay specialists like Ferrero and especially not against the 2004 finalists Coria and Gaudio. Only Nalbandian could have been a threat since he generally was his nemesis for a short time. But he would most likely normally not meet Federer.

I’m extremely sure Kuerten would never beat Nadal at RG. Maybe he could do it at a Masters, but not in a best of 5 final. There is no indicator for his backhand dealing better with the spin than Federer’s or Wawrinka’s.

I don’t think the best 90s clay players would have consistantly troubled Federer as well. Also not Bruguera who had extreme spin but was no lefty.

As for Federer’s late career: 2013 and 2014 were bad losses, but he also lost to Stakhovsky and Robredo during that period at other Slams, so no big deal. 2015 he lost to the best version of Wawrinka on clay. And I think in 2017 he would have reached the final if he were there.
 
#81
LOL Federer does not win 5 RG titles in any era. Maybe he does today without Nadal, which just shows how awful the clay field today is. Nadal will probably wind up with 14 or 15 French titles which further proves that, since not even the clay GOAT should win that many.
The last 2 FO were terrible. Predictable and nice and easy for Nadal. I think if Djokovic can sustain that level of tennis he's been on the FO may be interesting again.
 
#82
The last 2 FO were terrible. Predictable and nice and easy for Nadal. I think if Djokovic can sustain that level of tennis he's been on the FO may be interesting again.
More like it has been the way it has been almost the entire last 12 years. The only time in that span the clay court field was decent to strong was 2009-2012 range somewhere maybe.

I agree if Djokovic stays strong he could well win at RG again, but it will be more to do with Nadal being way past his prime, like many years past his prime at this point, and a still abysmal clay field than Novak himself.

Both Djokovic and Federer are overrated on clay by some people due to the weak era they play in, especialy those who just award them fantasy titles if Nadal didnt exist.
 
#83
More like it has been the way it has been almost the entire last 12 years. The only time in that span the clay court field was decent to strong was 2009-2012 range somewhere maybe.

I agree if Djokovic stays strong he could well win at RG again, but it will be more to do with Nadal being way past his prime, like many years past his prime at this point, and a still abysmal clay field than Novak himself.

Both Djokovic and Federer are overrated on clay by some people due to the weak era they play in, especialy those who just award them fantasy titles if Nadal didnt exist.
There's no fantasy. Djokovic has won everything on clay MC Roma Madrid FO and has beaten Nadal in his prime on clay.
 
#84
True. However Djokovic, Nadal, Federer all benefit from the weak clay field. Yes even the clay GOAT Nadal, if he winds up with 14 RG titles will you be saying he would win 14 RG titles in every other era? Is he over twice the clay courter Borg is, he will almost certainly have atleast twice the RG titles after all. That is why I dont take "oh Djokovic wins this without Nadal" or "Federer wins this without Nadal" seriously. I dont take those kind of arguments seriously anyway, but even less so in an era which has no depth on the surface at all.

If Djokovic gets 3 French Opens I will have no problem ranking him 3rd best behind Nadal and Borg. If he gets 2 I will no problem ranking him Top 5 in the Open Era. Not before that though. You dont get artificial achievements in an era so weak to begin with.
Since 2017 the competition has been weak on clay. No competition no suspense Boring. But i wouldn't call the competition weak from 2005 to 2016 with players such as Ferrer Puerta Canas Fognini Gonzalez Coria Gaudio Shwartzman Nalbandian Murray Wawrinka Djokovic Nadal Federer Moya Verdasco Almagro Cuevas Ramos Vinolas. Nadal was just too good and maybe Federer made a mistake by not switching racket earlier in his career.

I think Novak coming back to a high level will provide Nadal a serious challenge which will make the clay season exciting at least.
 
#85
True. However Djokovic, Nadal, Federer all benefit from the weak clay field. Yes even the clay GOAT Nadal, if he winds up with 14 RG titles will you be saying he would win 14 RG titles in every other era? Is he over twice the clay courter Borg is, he will almost certainly have atleast twice the RG titles after all. That is why I dont take "oh Djokovic wins this without Nadal" or "Federer wins this without Nadal" seriously. I dont take those kind of arguments seriously anyway, but even less so in an era which has no depth on the surface at all.

If Djokovic gets 3 French Opens I will have no problem ranking him 3rd best behind Nadal and Borg. If he gets 2 I will no problem ranking him Top 5 in the Open Era. Not before that though. You dont get artificial achievements in an era so weak to begin with.
Grass and Hard courts have been slow down allowing players such as Nadal to go deep and winning at Wimbledon Us open Australian Open. On the other hand French Open offer similar conditions than before. Nadal had to face competition between 2005 and 2016. He was just too good winning 9 FO between 2005 and 2016. I think Fed and Novak in other eras without a player like Nadal would have won much more on clay at Monte Carlo Roma Madrid Hamburg FO. I have no doubt about that. They would have achieved more than Kuerten. I think Fed and Novak at their peak would have been able to beat Kuerten with consistency.
 

mxmx

Professional
#86
Kuerten was good between 1997 to 2001.

He won in 1997 2000 and 2001 and lost to an upcoming player Safin in 1998 and to an experience player without any significant result in over a year in 1999.

I love Kuerten but i do think Fed was better and without Nadal or with another racket he would have won multiple FO. Losing to the king of clay there's nothing to be ashamed.
Every player that exists, including Keurten, would be better if they were without "their Nadal's"...so not an excuse for Federer.
 
#87
Federer started to dominate in 2004. Before that his 2003 Wimbledon win was also his only final and SF. In 2005 he lost to Nadal at RG. So the only anomaly was the 2004 loss to Kuerten. He had no problems against the other clay specialists like Ferrero and especially not against the 2004 finalists Coria and Gaudio. Only Nalbandian could have been a threat since he generally was his nemesis for a short time. But he would most likely normally not meet Federer.

I’m extremely sure Kuerten would never beat Nadal at RG. Maybe he could do it at a Masters, but not in a best of 5 final. There is no indicator for his backhand dealing better with the spin than Federer’s or Wawrinka’s.

I don’t think the best 90s clay players would have consistantly troubled Federer as well. Also not Bruguera who had extreme spin but was no lefty.

As for Federer’s late career: 2013 and 2014 were bad losses, but he also lost to Stakhovsky and Robredo during that period at other Slams, so no big deal. 2015 he lost to the best version of Wawrinka on clay. And I think in 2017 he would have reached the final if he were there.
The point is not that Federer would not be able to hold his own against the clay courters of the 90s, the point is that there were way more than during his time, albeit not a dominating force like Nadal. Kuerten had guys like Rios, Corretja, A. Costa, Muster, Bruguera, Medvedev, Kafelnikov, Agassi and so on and so forth. In 97 he beat Muster, Medvedev, Kafelnikov and Bruguera, a killer draw. This, combined with only 16 seeds, made upsets in earlier rounds way more likely. Of course in a single match, Federer would be favorite against most of these players, but he could very well already face strong clay court specialists in the first or second round, with a little bit of bad luck could face then guys like Kafelnikov, Agassi, Medvedev etc. in the Round 16 or Quarters and finally Bruguera, Ferrero, Muster or whoever in the final. The probability what he would get upset on this road is very high actually.
We can also argue back and forth about hypotheticals. If we start with Nadal, we can also mention (like some in this thread already pointed out correctly), Kuerten's injuries. In the end, without any of these hypotheticals, Kuerten has two FO more than Fed and also straight setted him in their only ever slam match on clay, even though being further away from his prime than Fed. These are straight facts and not some hypotheticals we will never be able to know for sure.
 
#88
The point is not that Federer would not be able to hold his own against the clay courters of the 90s, the point is that there were way more than during his time, albeit not a dominating force like Nadal. Kuerten had guys like Rios, Corretja, A. Costa, Muster, Bruguera, Medvedev, Kafelnikov, Agassi and so on and so forth. In 97 he beat Muster, Medvedev, Kafelnikov and Bruguera, a killer draw. This, combined with only 16 seeds, made upsets in earlier rounds way more likely. Of course in a single match, Federer would be favorite against most of these players, but he could very well already face strong clay court specialists in the first or second round, with a little bit of bad luck could face then guys like Kafelnikov, Agassi, Medvedev etc. in the Round 16 or Quarters and finally Bruguera, Ferrero, Muster or whoever in the final. The probability what he would get upset on this road is very high actually.
We can also argue back and forth about hypotheticals. If we start with Nadal, we can also mention (like some in this thread already pointed out correctly), Kuerten's injuries. In the end, without any of these hypotheticals, Kuerten has two FO more than Fed and also straight setted him in their only ever slam match on clay, even though being further away from his prime than Fed. These are straight facts and not some hypotheticals we will never be able to know for sure.
The only clay court specialist that could beat Fed is Nadal. All the others would have been destroyed

Coria was amazing on clay and could have a threat to Nadal.


Gaudio


Nalbandian


Moya


Gonzalez


and he even bagled Nadal once

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sctvwWoH1U

Davydenko

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_64x3-rSJk
 
#89
The only clay court specialist that could beat Fed is Nadal. All the others would have been destroyed
Like hip broken Kuerten at 2004 was destroyed?
Coria was amazing on clay and could have a threat to Nadal.


Gaudio


Nalbandian


Moya


Gonzalez


and he even bagled Nadal once


Davydenko

Gaudio was very weak and is overrated due to his fluke win at RG. Coria would never have been a threat to Nadal. Nalbandian and Davydenko are not clay specialists. I can give you Moya, Feds win against him in 2005 was actually impressive. Moya was a good matchup for Fed in general, though (Fed is 7-0 against him). It was not necessarily prime Moya either, his FO win came in 1998. If we cherry pick here, we can also say that Bruguera destroyed Federer in their only meeting on clay 6-1, 6-1 (of course pre-prime Fed) and A. Costa also won their single meeting on clay in 2004 (prime Fed). Corretja is 3-0 against Federer on clay. All against very young Federer, but his win at RG 2001 at least came in Federer's fist ever slam QF.
 
#90
Like hip broken Kuerten at 2004 was destroyed?


Gaudio was very weak and is overrated due to his fluke win at RG. Coria would never have been a threat to Nadal. Nalbandian and Davydenko are not clay specialists. I can give you Moya, Feds win against him in 2005 was actually impressive. Moya was a good matchup for Fed in general, though (Fed is 7-0 against him). It was not necessarily prime Moya either, his FO win came in 1998. If we cherry pick here, we can also say that Bruguera destroyed Federer in their only meeting on clay 6-1, 6-1 (of course pre-prime Fed) and A. Costa also won their single meeting on clay in 2004 (prime Fed). Corretja is 3-0 against Federer on clay. All against very young Federer, but his win at RG 2001 at least came in Federer's fist ever slam QF.

"Coria would have never been a threat to Nadal"
 
#91
The point is not that Federer would not be able to hold his own against the clay courters of the 90s, the point is that there were way more than during his time, albeit not a dominating force like Nadal. Kuerten had guys like Rios, Corretja, A. Costa, Muster, Bruguera, Medvedev, Kafelnikov, Agassi and so on and so forth. In 97 he beat Muster, Medvedev, Kafelnikov and Bruguera, a killer draw. This, combined with only 16 seeds, made upsets in earlier rounds way more likely. Of course in a single match, Federer would be favorite against most of these players, but he could very well already face strong clay court specialists in the first or second round, with a little bit of bad luck could face then guys like Kafelnikov, Agassi, Medvedev etc. in the Round 16 or Quarters and finally Bruguera, Ferrero, Muster or whoever in the final. The probability what he would get upset on this road is very high actually.
We can also argue back and forth about hypotheticals. If we start with Nadal, we can also mention (like some in this thread already pointed out correctly), Kuerten's injuries. In the end, without any of these hypotheticals, Kuerten has two FO more than Fed and also straight setted him in their only ever slam match on clay, even though being further away from his prime than Fed. These are straight facts and not some hypotheticals we will never be able to know for sure.
It's interesting that you hold the 90's in so high estime because personnally I rate the 90's as the weakest decade overall. "Clay specialist" were able to win a lot of slams in the 90's because the conditions were so different to the other surfaces that it actually created a kind of "protected field" for players specialised on clay but overall not particularly impressive tennis players to hold their own against good tennis players whose game was not suited to clay and therefor were at a disadvantage.

Despite that, clay specialist were not able to dominate, with several hard court players were none the less able to win a lot of RG: Courier,(5 out of 24 titles on clay) Chang (4 out of 34 titles on clay), Agassi (7 out of 60 titles on clay), Kafelnikov (3 out of 26 titles on clay). In addition you had serve and volleyers who nonetheless had some success (Edberg, Becker, Stich, Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Rafter), and quite a few random players like Rosset, Meligeni, Hrbaty, Dewulf.

Also Wilander ending his career at 24 right on the outset of the 90's, right when Lendl declined physically opened space for Agassi and Courier, but likewise Courier burned out quickly and Agassi had is own issues for most of the 90's.

As for the 2000's I don't think that we stopped seeing specialised clay courters breaking through because suddenly spanish players discovered a distate for clay. The lack of specialist comes from the fact that other players are able to play on clay with less adjustment to their game than what was requested in the 90's. A strong hard court baseliner could play nearly the same on clay because racket technology allowed to hit winners without taking as much risks as in the 90's, and purely defensive baseliners were now vulnerable to upsets. However I do agree that none of these hard courters developped a movement strong enough to perform reliably at the FO, hence the succession of semi-finalists who were not able to repeat their performance.

That being said, the early 2000's were terrible too and with Kuerten, Ferrero and Coria injuries. Coria gave us this fantastic Rome final against Nadal, Ferrero should have hit his peak when he got injured/ill (he just turned 24 in early 2004) and would have been potentially lethal with the experience he developped against Kuerten when he wasn't 20, his RG title, and no glaring weakness.

For sure on an entertainment point of view, the 90's were a lot better than the 2000's and 2010's, were hardly anything interesting happened outside the Fed-Nadal-Djokovic and later Wawrinka matchs.
 
#92

"Coria would have never been a threat to Nadal"
Yes great, he played one tough five setter against 19 year old Nadal. According to this logic, Isner would have been a threat to Nadal on clay. He at least face prime Nadal. When they played on clay in 2006, Nadal already routined Coria 6:2, 6:1. Had Coria faced the peak versions of Nadal from 2007-2012, it would have been a massacre.
 
#93
Oh please grandpa Kuerten spanked peak Federer silly their one meeting at RG, the match that is the main discussion of this thread, and you think he would be able to beat Kuerten in his prime consistently.

Federer and Djokovic are both overrated on clay with the tired "without Nadal" excuse which means nothing. By that logic Nadal should be counted as a Wimbledon GOAT since he wins 6 titles without Federer and Djokovic, how stupid would that sound.
"Oh please grandpa Kuerten spanked peak Federer silly their one meeting at RG, the match that is the main discussion of this thread, and you think he would be able to beat Kuerten in his prime consistently." This sentence nailed the thread.
 
#94
The definition of superior is

Losing to Safin in 1998 at the FO
Losing to Medvedev in 1999
So let's start the cherry picking single matches contest:
Daniel Brands (55) def Federer 6/3 6/4 - Gstaad (home soil for Federer).
Federico Delbonis (ranked 114!!!!) def Federer 7/6(7) 7/6 (4) - Hamburg.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga(hard court player) def Federer 7/5 6/3 6/3 - Roland Garros.
Just to name a few. That's the definition of superior.
 
#96
So let's start the cherry picking single matches contest:
Daniel Brands (55) def Federer 6/3 6/4 - Gstaad (home soil for Federer).
Federico Delbonis (ranked 114!!!!) def Federer 7/6(7) 7/6 (4) - Hamburg.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga(hard court player) def Federer 7/5 6/3 6/3 - Roland Garros.
Just to name a few. That's the definition of superior.
2013 Fed was far from his peak and he lost to random players. He still got a set from Nadal in cincinnati:-D:-D

By the way Nadal won 8 matches at Wimbledon the most prestigious event between 2012 and 2017.

A top form Nadal (Indian Wells Madrid Roma FO Canada Open Cincinnati Us open) lost to Darcis World number 135 Wimbledon 2013 in the first round. That's goat status.


Give a call when Nadal plays all GS finals in one year wins 173 matches for 9 losses and 23 titles in 2 years (2005-2006) and manages to get a win in a YEC.
 
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#97
Yes great, he played one tough five setter against 19 year old Nadal. According to this logic, Isner would have been a threat to Nadal on clay. He at least face prime Nadal. When they played on clay in 2006, Nadal already routined Coria 6:2, 6:1. Had Coria faced the peak versions of Nadal from 2007-2012, it would have been a massacre.
Last i checked Isner has never played a final at Roland Garros and has never won Monte Carlo and Hambrug.

Everyone knows that Nadal was really bad on clay in 2005. He only won that year 8 titles on the surface including Monte Carlo Roma and the French Open. What a rubbish player.:-D:-D:-D
 
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Last i checked Isner has never played a final at Roland Garros and has never won Monte Carlo and Hambrug.

Everyone knows that Nadal was really bad on clay in 2005. He only won that year 8 titles on the surface including Monte Carlo Roma and the French Open. What a rubbish player.:-D:-D:-D
Are you deliberately not getting it??? You said Coria would have been a threat to Nadal based on the fact, that he played a tough five setter against him, which Isner also did. Yes, of course Coria is way better/more successful on clay than Isner, but I deliberately exaggerated a little here, to make my point clear (i.e. that one or two matches which he lost, but where he came close do not mean he would have become a threat). Coria played one FO final, which he choked away in epic manner, against a very weak opponent, not the best argument for him. Yes, he was a good clay court player, but to say he would have been a threat to prime Nadal, give me a break. What do you mean by threat by the way? If this means winning the occasional BO3 match against him, sure this could have happened, if this means stealing one or more RG title from him, this is pretty laughable. Federer also played a tough five setter against Nadal in a Masters final (actually he even came closer to winning), would you say, that Federer was really a threat to Nadal on clay?
And yes, Nadal in 2005 was already unbelievably strong on clay, but not as strong as in 2007, 2008, 2010 or 2012. It is not that he hit his prime at the age of 19.
 
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