More underrated?

V

Vanja is a biatch

Guest
Who was the more underrated player, the Y-man or Richard Krajicek?
 

PureCarlosMoyaDrive

Professional
Krajicek. I saw highlights of him on TTC once on the ATP tennis show when they looked back to the past. I think he was playing Becker in a final, OMG!!! He was insane. HUGE SERVE, gigantic groundstrokes (specially that forehand, wow). He was awesome. Kafel was good, but his groundstrokes aren't superfantastic from what I've seen, and he doesn't have a flashy game that appeals to me. But I've only see Kafel play in his dying times, and Krajicek in one highlights thing. Kafel in 2001 vs. Kuerten at RG was looking really good though on highlights on the RG website.
 

Phil

Hall of Fame
I never had the impression that either was underrated-they were both great players and, in their prime, received the recognition they deserved. RK's prime, unfortunately, was too short, due to injuries. I really enjoyed watching him. And his views on female tennis players were, if not enlightened, at least brutally honest.
 

joe sch

Legend
Krajicek since he played and beat sampras pretty evenly and should have atleast 1 slam himself ! I think this makes him a great tennis underachiever since he did not win a slam. Whats the difference between Richard and Goran ??? These comments pretty much holdup for the Y-man except the Sampras head2head comparison. The Y-man had more chances to win slams and was ranked higher so this maybe makes him the bigger underachiever considering slam titles ?
 

chad shaver

Semi-Pro
I think Richard's other shots were more reliable than Goran, especially his volleys. Goran (I think) has/had better movement, but Richard was more refined and dangerous all around.
 

007

Professional
Kraijcek was, IMO, the most lethal & efficient S & V'er in recent memory. HUGE serve, deadly volleys, big groundies when needed (rare) and too tall to pass or lob. Was physically fragile thought and it cost him titles & more slams.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
joe sch said:
Krajicek since he played and beat sampras pretty evenly and should have atleast 1 slam himself ! I think this makes him a great tennis underachiever since he did not win a slam.
Ehhh...didn't Krajicek win Wimbledon? The year was 1996, he beat Sampras in the semis and then went on to beat Malvai Washington in the first ever streaker final, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3. Washington had an epic 5-setter with Todd Martin in his semi and was totally outclassed by RK in the finals.

Final tally RK 1 Grand Slam title, YK 2 Grand Slam titles.

I do agree, however, that Richard Krajicek in top form was the most awesome serve/volley player who's ever stepped on a tennis court. The combination of his serve (which IMO was a thing of beauty) and his volleying prowess at net were nothing short of spectacular.

On a side note, didn't Krajicek set a one-match ace record (51) in a 5-set loss to Kafelnikov at the U.S. Open? I remember that was his last comeback attempt and I was really pulling for him.
 
V

Vanja is a biatch

Guest
However...

Krajicek also served the most aces in a match ever. It was part of an epic five setter in the U.S. Open. He still lost the match though, to the Y-man.
 

guernica1

Semi-Pro
Back when it was the Eurocard Stuttgart Open, the present MAsters Series Madrid finals a few years ago was Yevgeny vs. Richard, and it was a blow-out in Richard's favor.

First of all, most points lasted no longer than 3-4 shots usually with Krajicek hitting a winning volley or untouchable serves.

There was one moment where a rally actually lasted about 12 shots, backhand to backhand and Richard ended it quickly with one tremendous winner, impressive considering Yevgeny probably had the best backhand on tour at that time.

At that point, Patrick McEnroe said that there are times when Richard Krajicek is "basically unplayable" which was a tremendous compliment.
 

ezdude1970

Semi-Pro
I don't think Yevgeny Kafelnikov is underrated, winning two majors plus Olympics and being a first Russian player to ever win the major is an enormous accomplishment. Also did Russia win Davis Cup with him? Anyhow he was great in his prime and pleasure to watch, effortless ground strokes the best backhand in tennis back than. I wish he would have won at least one Masters event (he was like (0 for 5) in Masters Finals, but I would take Grandslam over anything any day of the week.
 

Max G.

Legend
Yeah, Russia won the Davis Cup with him and Safin. Well, for the first couple of rounds it was him and Safin. In the finals... it was Safin and Youzhny.

He had announced that he would retire if Russia won the Davis Cup - but didn't, played on for one more year. Possibly because in that final, he was very out of form and almost let the team down - it was saved by Safin and Youzhny.
 

Ballmachine

Semi-Pro
Kafelnikov had every aspect of the game that a player would need to succeed, except heart. I have watched Yvegeny tank many matches over the years, which proved that he had no heart when his game was off. Great players and great champions find ways to win when they don't have their best stuff. Kafelnikov just found ways to get to the airport quicker when things weren't going his way.

Yvegeny vastly underachieved in his career because he was more concerned with money, rather than grand slam titles. He played week in and week out, both singles and doubles, instead of choosing a sensible schedule that would allow him to be at his best for the slams. Kafelnikov felt that he would always come in second to Sampras, and often asked Pete when he was going to retire, so that he could be number one. Yvegeny should have trained harder, gotten more fit, and developed a sense of pride and passion to improve and take the top spot. That kind of motivation and desire to be the best was always missing with Kafelnikov. Also, I find it strange that Kafelnikov left the game so quickly after his name came up in an online gambling scandal. It makes me question his involvement with that whole scene.

Unfortunately, injury was a huge factor that contributed to the limited success of Richard Kraijeck. Richard was a great serve and volley player, and he was absolutely on fire when he won Wimbledon in 1996. On a side note, Richard beat Pete in the quarters of that Wimbledon, not the semis. I have no doubt that Richard would have achieved more in the game if his body would have allowed it. I don't think Richard had one full year free on injuries in his entire career. He repeatedly had to start over after being away from the tour for extended periods of time.
 

Phil

Hall of Fame
On a side note, didn't Krajicek set a one-match ace record (51) in a 5-set loss to Kafelnikov at the U.S. Open?
Actually it was 49 bombs, and I was fortunate have been there, sitting in the second row in Armstrong Stad.
 
First of all, I can definitely play with the Pro No.1 Dodson you piece of s%&$!!!! Secondly, Yevgeny was a HUGE underachiever because he definitely had the ability on basically any court surface to dominate. He was always a very flashy player in my opinion because of his great all-court game. Yes, it's true that he was known for blowing it mentally, but that was the case mostly at the beginning of tournaments. If he got far, he usually did very well. The biggest exceptions are the finals of the TMS events that he lost. For some, like the one in Stuttgart where he lost to Krajicek, it wasn't in his hands. I totally flipped when he lost the '99 Canada TMS final to stupid Johanssohn. He absolutely killed Agassi in the SF, and then demolished the Swede 6-1 in the first set before crumbling. If any of you remember the match point, Kafelnikov had an easy volley put away that he let go and it landed like 6 feet in the baseline!!
Yea, Yevgeny definitely could have had a better career with more slams, but his unbalievable game is his legacy for us now, where eventhough the results might not have been as good, he delivered in the insanely-good tennis player department.
I'll say it now for everyone to hopefully hear: In his prime Yevgeny Kafelnikov had the GREATEST all-court game in tennis without question.
 
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