Ran thought on the great players of the Open era

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by zorroman, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. zorroman

    zorroman New User

    Jan 13, 2005
    First - I will discuss players I have seen.

    Boris Becker - The excitement Boris generated when he first burst on the scene was unreal. Boris distinctive service action and acrobatics at Wimbledon got me into tennis as a kid. I will never forget Boris' demolition of Stefan Edberg at the 1989 Wimbledon. I turned on the tv a few mintues late and the first set was already over 6-0! As time went on Boris found it difficult to dominate at Wimbledon. He lost his last 3 Wimbledon finals to Edberg, Stitch and Sampras respectively. What struck me most about Boris was the number of options he had as a player, even from the ground. He could hang with most top pros fro mteh back of the court, and come in to the net when he needed to. He also had an excellent backhand slice in addition to his topspin backhand. Lack of mobility hurt him on clay.

    Edberg - The genial Swede was among the most stylish players I had ever seen. Moved beautifuly without ever looking like he was in a hurry. Wonderful kick serve complemented his net-game perfectly. I may get a lot of flak for this, but I believe Edberg at the net was even better than John Mcenroe. Edberg's demolition of Courier in the 1991 final US Open was flawless and artistry at its very best. The following year, he showed tremendous mental strength at the US Open final by winning several 5-set matches and then beating Pete Sampras in the final.

    Pete Sampras - He had the most complete game I had ever seen before Federer. The quality of tennis he produced from 93-95 was mindboggling. He was probably the best player in the world during this period even from the baseline! While his serve was excellent back then, his volleys were OK but not that great. As time went on, his groundgame became less consistent while his volleys became top-class, almost in the Edberg league. When comparing Federer and Sampras, it is important to use the Sampras from 93-95 as a yardstick since this was when he was at his peak.

    Andre Agassi - To this day, I believe Andre has the best return of serve and baseline game I have ever seen. The 1992 Wimbledon when he beat Becker, Mcenroe and Ivanisevic back-to-back was a great display of his talent. I truly believe he was the only player who could give Sampras something to think about when Pete as playing well. If he had been more professional before the age of 29, he could have achieved a lot more. His serve was also a bit of a weakness before Daren Cahill helped satrengthen it somewhat.

    Jim Courier - Jim had a powerful serve and a powerful ground game. Over the years, Sampras and Agassi learnt how to pick on his backhand. From 91-93, he was dominant on the slower surfaces of the French and Australian Open, winning 4 Grand Slam titles. Overall, he was slightly below the level of the other players described in this post.

    Roger Federer - Federer's dominance over the 4 years from 2004-present has been unreal. His game is more versatile in my opinion than Sampras' and has more aesthetic beauty in it. He also has a better ground game (forehand and backhand) and moves better. Sampras had a bigger serve and better net game , though Fed is no slouch in those departments! Federer has a calm demeanour on the court that reminds one of Borg and Sampras at times. Federer is probably the greatest player I have ever seen and I look forward to seeing more from him.

    I was too young to see much of Rod Laver, John Mcenroe, Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander - though I did see enough of Lendl to know what a great player he was.

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