Most Athletic Player of All Time (ATP)

Most Athletic Player Ever

  • Djokovic

    Votes: 31 20.4%
  • Becker

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Nadal

    Votes: 47 30.9%
  • Monfils

    Votes: 53 34.9%
  • Lendl

    Votes: 2 1.3%
  • Dimitrov

    Votes: 1 0.7%
  • Other (tell us who)

    Votes: 16 10.5%

  • Total voters
    152

skaj

Hall of Fame
clips 1 and 2 are really rare occurrences. novak slips a lot more than other players, but it also has to do with the fact that he does the most sliding, splitting, stretching of anyone in the men's game. I'm sure any other player would fall even more often if they tried the acrobatics novak does every point
Monfils does more acrobatics than anyone, he doesn't fall and go off-balance more than Djokovic, quite the opposite actually. Also, if you look at Nadal's and Federer's slides for example, they are much more balanced than him(not to mention some former players like Chang and Mecir).

Balance just isn't Novak's strength. It's probably the main weakness to his mobility, along with the forward/backward movement.
 
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Deleted member 716271

Guest
I remember during the USO 2013, I think it was the round one match against Harrison - they had a more general sports commie in the booth and one of the tennis only guys was talking up Nadal's athleticism and saying he could make it in the NFL, he got laughed out of the building :-D
He probably couldn't because cornerback is insanely athletic in a certain way but I meant size wise.

You might be remembering Cincinnati 13 where they asked Warren Sapp a football player. It was Pmac who thought he could and Warren said no way too small. Warren was wrong, yes I am saying a pro football player was wrong :) Nadals the same size as many cornerbacks
 
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Deleted member 716271

Guest
I swear we have literally been thru this exact thing before, but apparently you don't read any responses to you that don't agree with you.

That obviously means athlete in the sense of sportperson, not "most athletic".

It's very simple!!! Yikes...
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
and what about speed? It is the common denominator in so many sports, the faster you can do something well/consistently (all things equal) the better you are at it generally - see; boxing, sprinting, swinging a baseball, swimming, cycling, swinging a racquet, kicking a ball, throwing a ball.
Speed in swimming or long-distance running is completely different than speed on a court/field or speed in a short sprint.

Speed is a function of how well you do the sport you're playing, but that's about it.

You may be referring to explosiveness but that is very specific, explosiveness is great as a sprinter or running back or basketball player but useless as a long-distance runner, or cyclist.

Zoid said:
baseball, basketball, tennis, soccer, 100m, 200m all the metres of the world at running, javelin would be interesting, a tennis player has a very strong arm and core that serving is similar to, NFL wide-reciever monfils would be scary/sampras could have thrown that hail mary with ease.
All throwing motions aren't created equal. There is a reason that the only people who seem to be able to play elite-level tennis after taking up the game at a later age are former HS/college baseball studs. The specific shoulder rotation for the serve is nearly identical to the baseball throw/pitch.

Certain sports do have overlap, sure. Tennis overlaps with baseball, soccer, basketball...even though those sports don't necessarily overlap with each other.

Pretty sure Sampras could dunk, he said it in this interview: http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=13306

And there's this image, which was taken in 97
Well...as someone else stated, that photo doesn't look like a successful dunk at all.

And in the article, he specifically said "...and I just used to be able to dunk". The article I read (which was a tutorial on the jumping smash) must have come after 1994.

I mean, when I was in HS I was able to dunk a regulation ball on a 9-foot hoop, and I'm 5'6". Now, obviously I couldn't hit overhead spikes like Sampras. But that tells us that his pure vertical is not really elite, but when you combined whatever vertical he did have with his gifts with a racquet in his hand...watch out.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
Sure, I don't mean he isn't athletic, just that when you think of athleticism it is the guys diving/running around like crazy like Becker, Novak, Nadal etc.
lol, maybe when you think of athleticism. Diving around is just one aspect. I also consider the beauty/"naturalness" of the strokes and the movement.

Murray was the best mover for a time there, and is also extremely big. But I think he is the least athletic of the Big 4.

Novak has incredible speed, stamina and flexibility (lunges/splits) but his balance and footwork just do not compare to Rafa or Fedr.

Neither does he possess their finesse. Federer can imagine any shot and hit it and is the second-best trick-shot maker to Monfils...and "power baseliner" Rafa may be the best volleyer in the game (!!!).

Novak and Murray are mostly the same player, but one is a yogi vegan and one is a lumberjack.

Fedal on the other hand have gifts that cannot be taught. Soft hands, crazy footwork, the quickest eyes/anticipation...and in Fed's case, he adds the ability to hit offensive shots in the air, which is something that sets him apart. Rafa and Novak are superior grinders and perhaps better overall players, but neither of those guys is capable of hitting a flying overhead crosscourt winner off a Roddick overhead smash.
 

Zoid

Professional
Speed in swimming or long-distance running is completely different than speed on a court/field or speed in a short sprint.

Speed is a function of how well you do the sport you're playing, but that's about it.

You may be referring to explosiveness but that is very specific, explosiveness is great as a sprinter or running back or basketball player but useless as a long-distance runner, or cyclist.



All throwing motions aren't created equal. There is a reason that the only people who seem to be able to play elite-level tennis after taking up the game at a later age are former HS/college baseball studs. The specific shoulder rotation for the serve is nearly identical to the baseball throw/pitch.

Certain sports do have overlap, sure. Tennis overlaps with baseball, soccer, basketball...even though those sports don't necessarily overlap with each other.



Well...as someone else stated, that photo doesn't look like a successful dunk at all.

And in the article, he specifically said "...and I just used to be able to dunk". The article I read (which was a tutorial on the jumping smash) must have come after 1994.

I mean, when I was in HS I was able to dunk a regulation ball on a 9-foot hoop, and I'm 5'6". Now, obviously I couldn't hit overhead spikes like Sampras. But that tells us that his pure vertical is not really elite, but when you combined whatever vertical he did have with his gifts with a racquet in his hand...watch out.
I said sprinting, not running, and although a sprinter differs from the kind of speed people associate with tennis players, I'm fairly certain there would be a very strong correlation between how fast you can run generally and how fast you are on the court.

By explosiveness, I assume you just mean power - which is a measure of how quickly (speed) you can do something and how much force you exert doing it.

All throwing motions aren't created equal...I never said they did, I'm not sure what you meant by this - I don't know how late or how elite a player you are talking of, but I agree baseball studs would probably have a great serve. In my experience guys with a quick arm get away with technical flaws a hell of a lot easier - see Steve Johnson, Brad Klahn, Andy Roddick, Nick Kyrgios, but they still have worked on the specific motion A LOT. My argument was a bodybuilder v a tennis player - I take the tennis player every time. It's like when you see pro arm-wrestlers half the size completely destroy strongmen/bodybuilders - doesn't matter how much you work the muscle, it's usually nowhere near specific enough or trained in the correct form and so much strength (of outcome) is in technique.

I don't know how flexible a bodybuilder is, but I think all that muscle would impinge on their performance across so many disciplines that they are pretty much terrible at every sport.
 
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Deleted member 716271

Guest
lol, maybe when you think of athleticism. Diving around is just one aspect. I also consider the beauty/"naturalness" of the strokes and the movement.

Murray was the best mover for a time there, and is also extremely big. But I think he is the least athletic of the Big 4.

Novak has incredible speed, stamina and flexibility (lunges/splits) but his balance and footwork just do not compare to Rafa or Fedr.

Neither does he possess their finesse. Federer can imagine any shot and hit it and is the second-best trick-shot maker to Monfils...and "power baseliner" Rafa may be the best volleyer in the game (!!!).

Novak and Murray are mostly the same player, but one is a yogi vegan and one is a lumberjack.

Fedal on the other hand have gifts that cannot be taught. Soft hands, crazy footwork, the quickest eyes/anticipation...and in Fed's case, he adds the ability to hit offensive shots in the air, which is something that sets him apart. Rafa and Novak are superior grinders and perhaps better overall players, but neither of those guys is capable of hitting a flying overhead crosscourt winner off a Roddick overhead smash.
Novak is obviously a better athlete than Roger lol
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
I said sprinting, not running, and although a sprinter differs from the kind of speed people associate with tennis players, I'm fairly certain there would be a very strong correlation between how fast you can run generally and how fast you are on the court.
Yes, absolutely. Like everything else it is a balance. But yeah, Rafa as an example is very explosive, no surprise he can generate so much spin and get to so many balls (at least in his prime). Totally different to someone like Simon or Medvedev.

Zoid said:
All throwing motions aren't created equal...I never said they did, I'm not sure what you meant by this - I don't know how late or how elite a player you are talking of, but I agree baseball studs would probably have a great serve. In my experience guys with a quick arm get away with technical flaws a hell of a lot easier - see Steve Johnson, Brad Klahn, Andy Roddick, Nick Kyrgios, but they still have worked on the specific motion A LOT. My argument was a bodybuilder v a tennis player - I take the tennis player every time. It's like when you see pro arm-wrestlers half the size completely destroy strongmen/bodybuilders - doesn't matter how much you work the muscle, it's usually nowhere near specific enough or trained in the correct form and so much strength (of outcome) is in technique.
Not just technique but natural build. A "quick arm" is usually a shorter arm. Tennis, and baseball even more so, favors a shorter arm than basketball or football. This is one of the technical reasons why Michael Jordan sucked at baseball, his arms (while perfect for almost every basketball task) were just too long and therefore too slow. That's why he was not a great thrower and an even worse batter.

Zoid said:
I don't know how flexible a bodybuilder is, but I think all that muscle would impinge on their performance across so many disciplines that they are pretty much terrible at every sport.
No argument from me on this one, I'm not into BBing and I think it's kind of silly, especially the pageantry part of it.

The few guys I know who are really into "the gym" and getting big are not really good at any sport per se. That is their sport. That or strongman/Scotsman/lumberjack type stuff.

Novak is obviously a better athlete than Roger lol
Again, it depends on what specific ability you are talking about, no?

Novak has better flexibility, better stamina, better core strength.

Roger has more coordination in his arms/hands/feet and his naturally broader shoulders enable him to hit shots that Novak can't.

They are similar but not the same. It's not like Djoker does every single thing better, he doesn't. But his strengths have been more effective than Fed's since 2014.
 
lol, maybe when you think of athleticism. Diving around is just one aspect. I also consider the beauty/"naturalness" of the strokes and the movement.

Murray was the best mover for a time there, and is also extremely big. But I think he is the least athletic of the Big 4.

Novak has incredible speed, stamina and flexibility (lunges/splits) but his balance and footwork just do not compare to Rafa or Fedr.

Neither does he possess their finesse. Federer can imagine any shot and hit it and is the second-best trick-shot maker to Monfils...and "power baseliner" Rafa may be the best volleyer in the game (!!!).

Novak and Murray are mostly the same player, but one is a yogi vegan and one is a lumberjack.

Fedal on the other hand have gifts that cannot be taught. Soft hands, crazy footwork, the quickest eyes/anticipation...and in Fed's case, he adds the ability to hit offensive shots in the air, which is something that sets him apart. Rafa and Novak are superior grinders and perhaps better overall players, but neither of those guys is capable of hitting a flying overhead crosscourt winner off a Roddick overhead smash.
There is huge difference between Djokovic and Murray, and they are definitely not even close to being the same player. Djokovic is just a superior athlete to Federer and it's pretty obvious.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
There is huge difference between Djokovic and Murray, and they are definitely not even close to being the same player.
Of course there's a huge difference, Djoker is a lot better. But they play a similar style.

I'm OK saying they're not the same player but they have many more similarities than any of the other Big 4 players do to one another. Very steady, great court coverage and fitness, criticized for being glorified pushers. Djoker has much better flexibility and Murray has better hands/touch.

Justice Underworld said:
Djokovic is just a superior athlete to Federer and it's pretty obvious.
OK in what way? I listed specifically the things I think both players do better than the other. Are you going to tell me that Djokovic has the same shotmaking talents that Fed has, but he just doesn't use them in public?
 
Of course there's a huge difference, Djoker is a lot better. But they play a similar style.

I'm OK saying they're not the same player but they have many more similarities than any of the other Big 4 players do to one another. Very steady, great court coverage and fitness, criticized for being glorified pushers. Djoker has much better flexibility and Murray has better hands/touch.



OK in what way? I listed specifically the things I think both players do better than the other. Are you going to tell me that Djokovic has the same shotmaking talents that Fed has, but he just doesn't use them in public?
Just because Murray and Djokovic have more similarities than other members of the Big 4 does not mean they play a similar style because they don't. Djokovic is an aggressive baseliner, not a damn pusher, and show me a pusher who has his records and level of domination. I need to see this to actually believe it. Anybody who thinks Djokovic is a pusher knows nothing about tennis. Murray plays a more defensive style than Djokovic, has better hands with lobs, slices and drop shots, but has a weaker forehand and second serve. Both are great baseliners and returners with great backhands, and that's where the similarities end.

If you can't see that Djokovic is more athletic than Federer then there is probably nothing I can do to help you see it. Shotmaking talents has almost zero to do with how athletic someone is.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
Just because Murray and Djokovic have more similarities than other members of the Big 4 does not mean they play a similar style because they don't. Djokovic is an aggressive baseliner, not a damn pusher, and show me a pusher who has his records and level of domination. I need to see this to actually believe it. Anybody who thinks Djokovic is a pusher knows nothing about tennis. Murray plays a more defensive style than Djokovic, has better hands with lobs, slices and drop shots, but has a weaker forehand and second serve. Both are great baseliners and returners with great backhands, and that's where the similarities end.
Both guys win (won) primarily with their legs. And for that matter, so does Rafa.

I do agree that Murray has better hands, pretty sure I said that myself.

Justice Underworld said:
If you can't see that Djokovic is more athletic than Federer then there is probably nothing I can do to help you see it. Shotmaking talents has almost zero to do with how athletic someone is.
But if you can't explain HOW he is more athletic, how do you expect people to just say "OK I was wrong"?

Shotmaking abilities have quite a bit to do with how athletic a player is. Federer probably has the best pure hand-eye coordination of any player in the modern era.

Maybe he's not as athletic if you are defining athleticism very narrowly. But I'm not.

Federer is simply a bigger, broader guy up top than Novak. That's connected to his superior shotmaking, serving, and overheads. Broader shoulders = stronger rotation = harder shots.

If you wanna confine athleticism strictly to flexibility then sure, Novak is the far superior athlete and anyone who says otherwise is a dunce.
 

netlets

Semi-Pro
I think Djokovic is close to Nadal because he is about equal in movement and a bit more flexible but Nadal has more power.

I'd have to give the edge to Nadal though as he has the frame to play more sports although I think Nole would be a better NBA point guard. Can you see it @-NN-?

Monfils is obviously the fastest in a straight line has to be right there with those 2 overall. So poll results are pretty reflective of reality... But I would put Nadal at the top because of power/speed blend.
I wouldn’t put Djokovic or Nadal near the top.
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
1. Monfils
2. Nadal
3. Borg
4. Sampras
5. Noah
6. Mecir
7. Djokovic
8. Cash
9. Edberg
10. Laver

something like that
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
"athletic" in the raw sense depends on metrics of SPEED and POWER at it's core.

The raw athlete is the one who would do well in a combine;

From that the top contenders are Nadal, Monfils, Sampras. I think Monfils is the standout from raw numbers - I believe he was the french under 14 100m champion and could have had a career as a sprinter. I think these guys could be pro at multiple sports. It's evident that a huge part of their games in tennis were based on their athleticism and ability to dominate with power and speed.

Second tier in that company for me are guys like Djokovic, Becker, Borg, Roddick, Rafter, Schrichapan, Edberg, Tsonga.

From another perspective are athletic abilities that are hard to measure with a metric but no doubt are a contributing factor to athleticism and how 'athletic' you think someone is when observing them in motion, these are things like FLEXIBILITY, BALANCE, ENDURANCE, COORDINATION.

From this it's evident Djokovic is incredibly athletic despite looking like a slinky.

A combination of all these factors gives one an overall unique athlete and tennis player in the sense that they can be equally effective with different parts of each metric.

Federer
- speed 8
- power 8
- flexibility 8
- balance 10
- endurance 9
- coordination 10

Nadal
- speed 10
- power 9
- flex 7
- balance 9
- endurance 10
- coordination 9

Djokovic
- speed 9
- power 7
- flex 10
- balance 9
- endurance 10
- coordination 9

Murray
- speed 9
- power 8
- flex 6
- balance 8
- endurance 9
- coordination 9

Sampras
- speed 8
- power 10
- flex 7
- balance 9
- endurance 8
- coordination 9

Monfils
- speed 10
- power 10
- flex 9
- balance 8
- endurance 6
- coordination 8

These are hastily written numbers but there would be other metrics you could add that would also define athletes like touch/feel, agility that are also abilities that help players separate themselves from the pack.

In the end a huge part is the mental side and being confident with your game - that is what makes the distinction of greatness. A lot of top players are great athletes but GOATs are great between the ears and in the heart too.
Borg
- speed 10
- power 8
- flex 8
- balance 9+
- endurance 10
- coordination 9

Mecir
- speed 10
- power 9
- flex 9
- balance 10
- endurance 8
- coordination 10
 

King No1e

Legend
Federer:
Speed 8
Power 9
Flex 7
Balance 10
Endurance 8
Coordination 10

Nadal
Speed 10
Power 10
Flex 7
Balance 8
Endurance 10
Coordination 7

Djokovic
Speed 10
Power 8
Flex 10
Balance 8
Endurance 10
Coordination 9

Murray
Speed 9
Power 8
Flex 8
Balance 10
Endurance 9
Coordination 8

Sampras
Speed 7
Power 10
Flex 6
Balance 9
Endurance 6
Coordination 8

Monfils
Speed 10
Power 10
Flex 9
Balance 7
Endurance 5
Coordination 8

Dimitrov
Speed 9
Power 8
Flex 9
Balance 8
Endurance 6
Coordination 10

Hewitt
Speed 8
Power 6
Flex 7
Balance 8
Endurance 10
Coordination 8

De Minaur
Speed 10
Power 5
Flex 8
Balance 8
Endurance 9
Coordination 7
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Federer:
Speed 8
Power 9
Flex 7
Balance 10
Endurance 8
Coordination 10

Nadal
Speed 10
Power 10
Flex 7
Balance 8
Endurance 10
Coordination 7

Djokovic
Speed 10
Power 8
Flex 10
Balance 8
Endurance 10
Coordination 9

Murray
Speed 9
Power 8
Flex 8
Balance 10
Endurance 9
Coordination 8

Sampras
Speed 7
Power 10
Flex 6
Balance 9
Endurance 6
Coordination 8

Monfils
Speed 10
Power 10
Flex 9
Balance 7
Endurance 5
Coordination 8

Dimitrov
Speed 9
Power 8
Flex 9
Balance 8
Endurance 6
Coordination 10

Hewitt
Speed 8
Power 6
Flex 7
Balance 8
Endurance 10
Coordination 8

De Minaur
Speed 10
Power 5
Flex 8
Balance 8
Endurance 9
Coordination 7
Murray is/was more less as fast as Djokovic, (young)Hewitt is in the same league as those two.
7 for speed is way too low for Sampras; also he is very well coordinated, 9 or 10.
Monfils is as flexible as Novak, Dimitrov is up there too.
 

K-H

Hall of Fame
Monfils is arguably the best in nearly all departments of athleticism except for one, that is stamina and endurance. The guy gasses out too quickly.
Nadal and Djokovic never gas out which is why monfils will never be complete for me.
Novak maybe lacking a bit of speed, power and explosiveness which is why I'd pick Nadal
 

skaj

Hall of Fame
Monfils is arguably the best in nearly all departments of athleticism except for one, that is stamina and endurance. The guy gasses out too quickly.
Nadal and Djokovic never gas out which is why monfils will never be complete for me.
Novak maybe lacking a bit of speed, power and explosiveness which is why I'd pick Nadal
Yes, but endurance, more than anything else, is something you can work on. Many players(Djokovic one of them) raised the fitness level at some point of their career and started winning more. So I think it has a lot to do with the lack of dedication in Gael's case. I think Monfils is still the most physically gifted player.
 
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