Players we never talk about

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
A few days ago I was making a mental open era top 5 by nations, which led me to think about a lot of tennis players we never speak about. Most discussion focus on the former all-time great, or some specially popular former players like Mecir, Nalbandian, Gonzalez, Panatta, etc.

I thought it could be nice to have a thread were people can write a few memories about former players who are nearly forgotten now, for example Enqvist, Norman, Schüttler, Kiefer, Grosjean, Ferreira, Forget, etc. Or lower ranked players too. It could be the opportunity to mention specially interesting matches to look for footage.

I myself can't really do it, because I follow tennis only since the late 90's, and until 2004-2005 I was only following the top players, so there are a lot of players from this time frame that I don't know a lot about.
 

jaggy

Talk Tennis Guru
I really thought Wayne Ferreira was going to be the GOAT when he was new, he just never quite had it like I expected.
 

hawk eye

Hall of Fame
A few days ago I was making a mental open era top 5 by nations, which led me to think about a lot of tennis players we never speak about. Most discussion focus on the former all-time great, or some specially popular former players like Mecir, Nalbandian, Gonzalez, Panatta, etc.

I thought it could be nice to have a thread were people can write a few memories about former players who are nearly forgotten now, for example Enqvist, Norman, Schüttler, Kiefer, Grosjean, Ferreira, Forget, etc. Or lower ranked players too. It could be the opportunity to mention specially interesting matches to look for footage.

I myself can't really do it, because I follow tennis only since the late 90's, and until 2004-2005 I was only following the top players, so there are a lot of players from this time frame that I don't know a lot about.
Well I have to say Forget's name works sort of against him in a way, to be remembered that is. But he was a stylish attacking player, leftie with a great net game. Of the others you mention I would highlight Ferreira. Very talented player who was top tenner for quite a while and also known for giving Sampras a hard time. Greatest asset was his flat laser beam forehand, but he had more in his toolbox. Kind of an underachiever if you ask me. Could easily have grabbed a major.
 

Poisoned Slice

Bionic Poster
Overshadowed by Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski and Barry Cowan. I present sky sports number one tennis commentator,

Mark Petchey
http://youtu.be/ILYtVjBMhMw?t=17m2s

Surprisingly enough, I can't find much footage. I remember him because when Wimbledon came around there was attention on him before he got eliminated later in the day. Best of British at Wimbledon.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
Players rarely spoken about here but deserves some attention
Pancho Segura-Arguably number one in the world at times in the 1950's. Had possibly the greatest forehand of all time.
Frank Sedgman-great player overshadowed by Jack Kramer and Pancho Gonzalez. He was perhaps the greatest volleyer ever and one of the fastest players in history.
Bobby Riggs-Known mainly as the loser to Billie Jean King in 1973 but a superb beautiful stylist which he was on top. Oddly enough, despite being small he had a big serve with great variety. Vines thought his serve was superior to Don Budge! Great touch, good power and super control. Master of the lob.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
A few days ago I was making a mental open era top 5 by nations, which led me to think about a lot of tennis players we never speak about. Most discussion focus on the former all-time great, or some specially popular former players like Mecir, Nalbandian, Gonzalez, Panatta, etc.

I thought it could be nice to have a thread were people can write a few memories about former players who are nearly forgotten now, for example Enqvist, Norman, Schüttler, Kiefer, Grosjean, Ferreira, Forget, etc. Or lower ranked players too. It could be the opportunity to mention specially interesting matches to look for footage.

I myself can't really do it, because I follow tennis only since the late 90's, and until 2004-2005 I was only following the top players, so there are a lot of players from this time frame that I don't know a lot about.
Loved Grosjean. Flashy and fun to watch. Seemed to have it all, except height and a big serve. Did make the SFs of 3 of the 4 Slams (3 different surfaces) over his career, but was simply "second tier" and really wasn't a serious contender for majors. As I remember, he sort of blew the AO semi to Clement in 2001 when Agassi beat Clement for the title. I think Grosjean would have been a more formidable test. Agassi led the H2H 4-3 (with one default win) and two of Grosjean's wins against Agassi came in 2001. In their matches, Agassi did give Grosjean a couple of beatdowns, so it's not a guarantee that the match would have been close or that Grosjean might have pulled the upset. But, at least it was a possibility. More so than with Clement, I think. Though Clement did upset Agassi one year at the USO.
 

Rosewall

Rookie
Couldn't you chat up a dozen French mens tennis players the same way as Forget? Let's see... off the top of my head: Leconte, Gasquet, Noah, Tsonga, Monfils, Llodra, Santoro, Pioline, Chardy (Wimbledon boys champion), Grosjean (another junior prodigy)... ok, I could only come up with 10 others besides Forget. :-|

Awe inspiring talent but never the focus and drive to be great champions. Must be a French thing to be blessed with promise but destined to have a tragic fate.
 

Rosewall

Rookie
Seems like we have little to no South American representation other than the occasional mention of Guillermo Vilas. Jaime Fillol and Andres Gomez were great players.

I also rarely see any Italian players mentioned other than Panatta. Corrado Barazzutti? Nicola Pietrangeli?
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
Seems like we have little to no South American representation other than the occasional mention of Guillermo Vilas. Jaime Fillol and Andres Gomez were great players.

I also rarely see any Italian players mentioned other than Panatta. Corrado Barazzutti? Nicola Pietrangeli?
I'll nominate Juan Ignacio Chela. Always enjoyed him.
 

FD3S

Hall of Fame
A decent chunk of Virtua Tennis 2's roster, for both genders. Enqvist, Pioline, Norman, Sugiyama, Stevenson...
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
An excellent thread. From the list of my 10 favourite male players of all-time since I started following tennis, none of them apart from Gerulaitis won a singles majors title (and Vitas had numerous more impressive achievements than his 1977 Aussie Open title) or even came close to it, so the vast majority of players that I have rooted for over the years are never really talked about and largely forgotten.

From the 80s I liked Chesnokov (Chessy was such a great guy, and had a nice back-hand and was tactically smart on the court), Clerc (loved his shotmaking) and John Fitzgerald (loved those volleys)

In the 90s I was a fan of Fernando Meligeni with his showmanship and amazing flicks and lobs, Jason Stoltenberg with his fluent groundstrokes and elegant all-court game and Karim Alami with his unorthodox wizardry and sheer variety in tactics.

More recently I was a big fan of El Aynaoui (with his smile, all-court game and numerous thrilling matches) and Calleri. In particular I loved his masterclasses against the the world no. 1 and king of clay Ferrero in the Davis Cup in 2003, Agassi at Miami in 2004 (that 1st set in particular was stunning) and Hewitt at the US Open in 2007. Plus I also really liked Nicolas Lapentti who had a crafty game and is one of the 2 biggest fighters that I have ever seen on a tennis court along with Felix Mantilla. He won 16 matches that he faced match points in.

My 3 favourite active players are Mayer (gotta love that jumping backhand of his), Seppi and Cuevas (him winning 2 titles after being sidelined by a 2 year injury was my personal highlight of this last season).
 
Last edited:

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
you guys don't talk a lot about me... i mean, you even talk more about suresh ! :(



back on topic, does anybody else remember mark goellner ? :)
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
you guys don't talk a lot about me... i mean, you even talk more about suresh ! :(



back on topic, does anybody else remember mark goellner ? :)
Yeah he had a pretty huge serve and a big forehand, and he was also a good volleyer. Plus he was a nice guy as well.

He is another example of an attacking player/serve-volleyer who had his best results on clay, like Joan Balcells and Karim Alami (well he wasn't a strict serve-volleyer but still used that tactic regularly). Both his titles came on the surface, together with his best grand slam run reaching the 4th round at RG in 1993. Often his style of play would

1993 would definitely be the best season of his career, when he won his first title at Nice beating Edberg in the semis and Lendl in the final (that's not a bad pair of scalps :) ). Plus he reached and played in the Davis Cup final, again beating Edberg in 4 sets in their semi-final match on indoor clay in Sweden.

Unfortunately the match I most remember him for was in the Davis Cup final that year in Dusseldorf when he lost to Fromberg in the 2nd rubber. He won the first 2 sets and had 3 match points in the 3rd set to wrap up a straight sets win. Unfortunately he couldn't convert them, nor 2 more match points in the 5th set as he lost 6-3 7-5, 6-7, 2-6, 7-9 after 4 and a half hours. Still at least Germany went on to win that final against Australia, and win their 3rd title with Stich delivering the goods for them.
 
Last edited:

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Overshadowed by Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski and Barry Cowan. I present sky sports number one tennis commentator,

Mark Petchey
http://youtu.be/ILYtVjBMhMw?t=17m2s

Surprisingly enough, I can't find much footage. I remember him because when Wimbledon came around there was attention on him before he got eliminated later in the day. Best of British at Wimbledon.
I think that 1st round loss to Gustafsson at 1998 Wimbledon might have been Mark's last match as he retired from the pro tour that same year. He was still only 28!
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
I really like the smooth all-court games of the first modern Russian players. Kournikova was actually a great player, but she succumbed to nerves and injuries. Also, she didn't play smaller tournaments, or she would have won a few.

Elena Likhovtseva had a classic Russian game. I hit with her a few times and once played a set with her, and she kicked my ass, while still trying to be nice.

Medvedev and Pioline are the two most underrated on the men's side, in my opinion. Pioline could hit incredible shots, and was an artist on the court.
 
Last edited:

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Arnaud Clement - always one of my favorite players to watch, always came to play, never won much of note. I don't recall hearing much about him as a player on this board.

Andres Gomez

Jose Luis Clerc

Kevin Curran

There are quite a few interesting players we never discuss.
 

ScentOfDefeat

G.O.A.T.
An excellent thread. From the list of my 10 favourite male players of all-time since I started following tennis, none of them apart from Gerulaitis won a singles majors title (and Vitas had numerous more impressive achievements than his 1977 Aussie Open title) or even came close to it, so the vast majority of players that I have rooted for over the years are never really talked about and largely forgotten.

From the 80s I liked Chesnokov (Chessy was such a great guy, and had a nice back-hand and was tactically smart on the court), Clerc (loved his shotmaking) and John Fitzgerald (loved those volleys)

In the 90s I was a fan of Fernando Meligeni with his showmanship and amazing flicks and lobs, Jason Stoltenberg with his fluent groundstrokes and elegant all-court game and Karim Alami with his unorthodox wizardry and sheer variety in tactics.

More recently I was a big fan of El Aynaoui (with his smile, all-court game and numerous thrilling matches) and Calleri. In particular I loved his masterclasses against the the world no. 1 and king of clay Ferrero in the Davis Cup in 2003, Agassi at Miami in 2004 (that 1st set in particular was stunning) and Hewitt at the US Open in 2007. Plus I also really liked Nicolas Lapentti who had a crafty game and is one of the 2 biggest fighters that I have ever seen on a tennis court along with Felix Mantilla. He won 16 matches that he faced match points in.

My 3 favourite active players are Mayer (gotta love that jumping backhand of his), Seppi and Cuevas (him winning 2 titles after being sidelined by a 2 year injury was my personal highlight of this last season).
Amen for Stoltenberg, a very classy player. What about Kucera? Very good player.
 

Knife

Semi-Pro
Seems like we have little to no South American representation other than the occasional mention of Guillermo Vilas. Jaime Fillol and Andres Gomez were great players.

I also rarely see any Italian players mentioned other than Panatta. Corrado Barazzutti? Nicola Pietrangeli?
Andres Gomez is hugely overlooked. Defeated Agassi in the 1990 FO-final, against all odds. Outstanding achievement!
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
how about derrick rostagno? he had some big wins, i believe beating connors at 91 wimbledon with a lively sunday crowd, mcenroe at wimbledon the year before, and ALMOST beating becker at the usopen the year before that

i dont remember much about his background but i seem to remember he was pretty intelligent free spirit type that traveled to tournaments in his van whenever he could.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Yeah he had a pretty huge serve and a big forehand, and he was also a good volleyer. Plus he was a nice guy as well.

He is another example of an attacking player/serve-volleyer who had his best results on clay, like Joan Balcells and Karim Alami (well he wasn't a strict serve-volleyer but still used that tactic regularly). Both his titles came on the surface, together with his best grand slam run reaching the 4th round at RG in 1993. Often his style of play would

1993 would definitely be the best season of his career, when he won his first title at Nice beating Edberg in the semis and Lendl in the final (that's not a bad pair of scalps :) ). Plus he reached and played in the Davis Cup final, again beating Edberg in 4 sets in their semi-final match on indoor clay in Sweden.

Unfortunately the match I most remember him for was in the Davis Cup final that year in Dusseldorf when he lost to Fromberg in the 2nd rubber. He won the first 2 sets and had 3 match points in the 3rd set to wrap up a straight sets win. Unfortunately he couldn't convert them, nor 2 more match points in the 5th set as he lost 6-3 7-5, 6-7, 2-6, 7-9 after 4 and a half hours. Still at least Germany went on to win that final against Australia, and win their 3rd title with Stich delivering the goods for them.
glad i'm not the only one... :)
i loved his serve and his FH ! (and the cap, eheh...)
his RG run was great... two 5-setters and a convincing win over korda (who reached the final the previous year).

the fromberg result was a sad way to end his great DC campaign... despite the win for germany.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Ancic, Fish and Ljubicic rarely get mentions from the mid 00's, guys with good all round games. Fish and Ancic (especially Ancic) would serve and volley a lot. Ivan had a big game and was excellent indoors. Grosjean is another who was mentioned earlier on - great forehand and had a good game for grass making a SF, SF and QF from 03-05 at Wimbledon.
 

Mikael

Professional
Enqvist is one who is almost always underrated. 3 MS and 19 singles titles is a lot better than many 1 slam winners manage during their careers. His problem was poor slam performance (only 1 final and a few QFs), probably due to him getting injured so often. Interesting how many of the would be greats from the 90s were constantly injured, nowadays it seems to happen a lot more rarely.
 

Flash O'Groove

Hall of Fame
Enqvist is one who is almost always underrated. 3 MS and 19 singles titles is a lot better than many 1 slam winners manage during their careers. His problem was poor slam performance (only 1 final and a few QFs), probably due to him getting injured so often. Interesting how many of the would be greats from the 90s were constantly injured, nowadays it seems to happen a lot more rarely.
Wow it is indeed a great resume. Recently, Davydenko and Ferrer are the only non-slam winners to win so many single titles.

I'm not sure but it seems to me that second tier players of the 90's used to win more titles than the second tier players of the 00's. For example players like Rosset, Krajicek, Rusedsky, Enqvist won more than 15 single titles, while none of Tsonga, Nalbandian, Gonzalez, Berdych, Blake, Ljubicic, etc. won as many. All of them are closer to 10 titles.

But thanks for all the input, these guys deserve to be reminded.
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
just throwing some names to see what comes back... :)

david wheaton (with his bandana!) ?
ronald agenor ?
magnus larsson ?
alexander volkov ?
goran prpic (now that was a real knee injury!) ?
 
Last edited:

urban

Legend
Ken Fletcher, had a fine forehand, Woitek Fibak, excellent smooth allrounder, Juan Aguilera, fine slice backhand, Paolo Bertolucci, only Monica was the more beautiful Bertolucci, John Sadri, big server, Jeff Borowiak, follower of Torben Ulrich, Jiri Hrebec, had some fine wins in Davis Cup, Balasz Taroczi, won the Dutch Champs a million times, Brian Fairlie, fine NZ Player, Billy Martin, hailed once as the most talented teen of all time, Mikael Pernfors, very intelligent Player.
 

pc1

G.O.A.T.
I really like the smooth all-court games of the first modern Russian players. Kournikova was actually a great player, but she succumbed to nerves and injuries. Also, she didn't play smaller tournaments, or she would have won a few.

Elena Likhovtseva had a classic Russian game. I hit with her a few times and once played a set with her, and she kicked my ass, while still trying to be nice.

Medvedev and Pioline are the two most underrated on the men's side, in my opinion. Pioline could hit incredible shots, and was an artist on the court.
Natalia Chmyreva, a very talented player who a good friend of mine loved to watch play.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/2012/11/world_team_tennis_follow-up_na.html
 

fezer

Rookie
Yeah he had a pretty huge serve and a big forehand, and he was also a good volleyer. Plus he was a nice guy as well.

He is another example of an attacking player/serve-volleyer who had his best results on clay, like Joan Balcells and Karim Alami (well he wasn't a strict serve-volleyer but still used that tactic regularly). Both his titles came on the surface, together with his best grand slam run reaching the 4th round at RG in 1993. Often his style of play would

1993 would definitely be the best season of his career, when he won his first title at Nice beating Edberg in the semis and Lendl in the final (that's not a bad pair of scalps :) ). Plus he reached and played in the Davis Cup final, again beating Edberg in 4 sets in their semi-final match on indoor clay in Sweden.

Unfortunately the match I most remember him for was in the Davis Cup final that year in Dusseldorf when he lost to Fromberg in the 2nd rubber. He won the first 2 sets and had 3 match points in the 3rd set to wrap up a straight sets win. Unfortunately he couldn't convert them, nor 2 more match points in the 5th set as he lost 6-3 7-5, 6-7, 2-6, 7-9 after 4 and a half hours. Still at least Germany went on to win that final against Australia, and win their 3rd title with Stich delivering the goods for them.
Goellner was a one-trick-pony. or lets say two-trick-pony. Serve and Forehand. with these weapons he could give top players trouble, but in the long run that was not enough. over here in germany, he was quite popular in 93 with his babyface. but i think Dreekmann and Karbacher were more successful.
Does anybody remember them?
Both of them reaching the roland garros qf.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Natalia Chmyreva, a very talented player who a good friend of mine loved to watch play.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/tennis/2012/11/world_team_tennis_follow-up_na.html
Scary! I was just searching for her name on the Borg/Juniors thread. My guess was kinda close!
The thread is about Eastern European players who suffered playing restrictions pre 1989. I recalled reading that she gave Evert all sorts of problems. Maybe, you could go to that thread and provide some background? It wd be most appreciated.
 
Last edited:

fezer

Rookie
as some posters before, i admire French tennis. they always had players in the mix. did somebody mention Fabrice Santoro?
during 80s/90s Holland had a string of decent players. of course wimbychamp Richard Krajicek. but also the names Jan Siemerink, Michiel Schapers, Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis come to my mind. Eltingh/Haarhuis were very successful in doubles and Haarhuis did upset Becker at the USO91 converting 5/5 breakpoints!!! and Haarhuis is 3:3 vs Sampras.
Spain reigned the claycourts with Emilio Sanchez, Carlos and Albert Costa, Alex Corretja, Carlos Moya, Francisco Clavet, Alberto Berasategui.
Italy was rather weak with Andrea Gaudenzi as the only player reaching top20, but Omar Camporese and stefano Pescosolido had some good results.
besides the big names sweden had many excellent players like Joakim Nystroem, Jonas B. Svensson and the very unlucky Kent Carlsson. did somebody mention Joachim Johansson, Henrik Holm - both big servers? Jan Gunnarsson? Magnus Gustavsson?
Romania had Andrej Pavel and Adrian Voinea.
Yugoslawia produced of course Goran Ivanisevic, but also Slobodan "Bobo" Zivojinovic and Goran Prpic.
 

Gonzalito17

Banned
Marcelo Rios is a player that deserves more credit and recognition for his wonderful style of play and achievements. What a marvel of a player.
 

PDJ

G.O.A.T.
Scary! I was just searching for her name on the Borg/Juniors thread. My guess was kinda close!
The thread is about Eastern European players who suffered playing restrictions pre 1989. I recalled reading that she gave Evert all sorts of problems. Maybe, you could go to that thread and provide some background? It wd be most appreciated.
Apols pc1- I opened your link which holds info on Chymreva, which I've copied over to the Borg thread. Cheers.
 

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
Apols pc1- I opened your link which holds info on Chymreva, which I've copied over to the Borg thread. Cheers.
She was before my time, but it sounds like she was very talented. I think her only crime against the Soviet Union was having fun with people outside the approved circles when travelling, and not writing detailed reports, which led to a travel ban. Is there any footage of her playing?
 
Last edited:

Mike Bulgakov

G.O.A.T.
I have found the French players to be amazing over the years. Noah taught Wilander a lot about strategy in the 1983 Roland Garros final, according to Mats. Noah's groundtrokes didn't look nice, but he knew how to win.

When I was young, I saw Santoro cream Wilander in person at the 1992 French Open, and his game made a huge impression on me. I followed his matches until he retired, including all the times he drove Safin insane. Santoro was fun to watch.

Leconte was an amazing shotmaker, as is Monfils today
 
Top