A few threads regarding Safin as the greatest tennis player of all time intrigued me so I did some research. It does appear that Safin was a completely different player after his knee injury in 2005. Here is Safin loading on his knees properly and dictating with his forehand and backhand on a hard court (2002 AO): http://youtu.be/eVFfTxUCWsQ?t=24s Here is Safin in 2007 on a hard court. I think at 1:54 you can clearly see that he isn't loading properly, his footwork looks awkward, his shots lack depth and power (Montreal 2007): http://youtu.be/r2WD10umIuo?t=1m55s I found this Montreal performance to be especially startling because normally a shallow top spin ball that kicks up is Safin's preference. He should be punishing Nadal for sending shots that sit up midcourt (Robin Soderling ring a bell?). Example of Safin crushing high kicking topspin shots: http://youtu.be/eVFfTxUCWsQ?t=43s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mdor7Tgn8g&feature=youtu.be&t=1h54m16s In addition to the power issues related to the knee, it seems that movement became an issue. I rarely saw Safin move like this after 2005: http://youtu.be/eVFfTxUCWsQ?t=5m7s Last but not least (quality is terrible) Agassi vs Safin FO 1998. I included this to show how Safin can play on clay when focused. Imagine if he was in this form in 2005 (would help if he didn't get injured). Clearly one of the best clay court performances from Safin, if not the best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNZZ5JqIass I know that speculation can be dangerous... However, I do believe that in his prime he should be in the discussion for the best tennis player of all time. The problem is that his prime seems to be in a very short lived period of time. Seems like after the US Open 2004 - February 2005 (estimation of when his injury began to develop). After losing in the first round at the US Open, he did very well in the important monthly tournaments. In September he won the China Open. In October the French BNP masters (shanghai did not exist yet). November he gave Federer a battle in the semis at the tour finals (keep in mind this tournament brings out the best in Fed except for Wimbledon maybe...). Then he starts out 2005 with an AO win. Sounds like a great run! If only he didn't have the injury in the clay court season. Does anyone have any more information about Safin during this "peak time period?" I'd like to take a look at some more tape before I make any judgements (Safin is currently 4th or 5th all time on my list). Any one have any information about his knee injury? When it started or what it was specifically? Welcome Safin lovers and haters. What do we all think about this? I know there are several threads about this, I'm hoping that this one can have more facts, tape, and stats than the others. Hopefully, this thread can be the last thread. Speculation welcome, but please have some facts to back up your claims.