Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by severus, Oct 23, 2009.
Safin is the best player of the history pure skill wise.
No; personally I think Rod Laver was skillwise as he relied purely on his talent and technical skills to win his slams. He was definitely not the most athletic (although he was extremely quick and strong for his size) guy of his day.
Actually, talking pure skill or natural ball striking talent that would be the one and only David Nalbandian!!! Safin would be behind Federer.
no man who plays with 2hbh should ever qualify for GOAT in any category. period.
no. safin had the ability to hit hard, but I would never call him an allround talent as federer.
sampras wasn't THAT talented either, but he did work a lot and I don't know, it just fitted. plus, he had this incredible believe in his game. I think nadal is from the style different, but his talents are like samprases. sure he can hit those great topspin shots, but sampras had his serve & forehand too.
but I cannot think of any other player lately that just could do everything great. maybe borg was, but I haven't seen enough of him to know that.
NO, no, no, NO, and no. More talented than all of Laver, Federer, Sampras, Borg, McEnroe, Agassi, among others!? A huge NO. Safin is a great talent who could have achieved even more than he did, and a great personality, but honestly he is one of the most insanely overrated players on these boards at times. This ridiculous thread on the heels of the even more stupid "has Safin ever lost a match playing his best". What will be next "is Safin's best on grass better than Sampras's", "is Safin's best on clay better than Nadal's".
Agreed. The guy is a great talent and a charismatic guy but he isn't unbeatable when he's "on" like he is made on here.
There aren't many players who can be compared to Safin pure skill wise. And Safin is definitely more talented than Petros. Please don't bring up titles and other stats, I want to talk about pure skill levels.:neutral:
If Safin weren't as temperamental and mentally weak he might have 5 or 6 slams instead of just 2. No way does he achieve more than Federer with the same mental game, so talent-wise and achievement-wise Federer is still the best.
I don't think that Safin was the best all-around talent, but if you were to pit Safin at his best against Federer at his best on a hard court, I bet Safin would win.
This is a valid comparison since they're contemporaries of each other using current equipment and playing on current surfaces.
I just don't think that Federer would have enough time to combat Safin's ability to bludgeon the ball. Serve, return, both wings off the ground. Safin's willingness to come to net off a weak shot......
I bet it would look very similar to the recent USO final.
The problem is Safin at his best only showed up on court only a handful of times. Even he didn't have belief in himself and that was his biggest downfall.
My vote for the greatest talent, combining skills and mental toughness (when on), is Lew Hoad.
Complete and utter nonsense.
First of all Safin is not an all surface great to the extent of Federer or even Nadal. He is a hard court specialist who is also pretty good, but no more than that, on grass and clay. Federer and Safin both at their best Federer wins 10 times out of 10 on both grass and clay. Actually out of those 20 matches Safin might get a grand total of 3 sets in that case. Wimbledon 2008 and Halle 2005 are by far the best tennis you will ever see Safin play on grass and still not close to enough vs Federer. Halle 2005 did go 3 sets but Federer is never at his best at Halle since he always had to go deep at the French and is a bit fatigued (same as all other players who had gone deep at the French). That match was definitely Safin at his all time best on grass vs Federer not at his best and Federer still won. As for clay anyone who saw Federer and Safin play on clay the few times they did would realize Safin even at his best wouldnt have a hope. Nadal at his best would also beat Safin at his best every single time on grass or clay (and clay would be ugly in that case).
The only surface Safin has a chance is hard courts. I would say Federer and Safin at their best Safin could win 1 or 2 times out of 5 on this surface. Even there not most of the time.
Federer is actually a very bad matchup for Safin. Even in the early 2000s when Safin was at his peak and playing his most consistent tennis ever, and Federer was pre-prime, Federer still had the upper hand and crushed Safin a few times. Safin has two wins over Federer, one indoors late in 2002 (avening being crushed by Federer twice already that year), and the other win Safin had to play his best or second best match ever and was still a point away from losing in 4 sets. Basically Safin has to play insane to have any chance vs Federer, and even then only on a hard court.
Safin was playing some of his best ever tennis in late 2004 and still lost to Federer in a tight and exciting 2 setter when they played at the Masters Cup. In Hamburg 2002 he was on fire, destroying Hewitt and Robredo both and was still pulverized by Federer in the final. Safin wasnt off or doing anything wrong, Federer just crushed him.
By the way if this years U.S Open final is your reference for how Safin would do vs Federer at his "best" then you are already starting your base point of reasoning from way off in left field.
Based on pure talent alone Safin was very good but not the greatest. On the other hand if you look at his package of talent and athletic ability, he's definitely deserves consideration for the greatest. Again, I am just talking about the combination of talent and athletic ability. Of those that are more talented than Safin, who was more athletic? Who could match his speed, quickness, size, reach and power? Not many.
Safin's talent was good but let's not get carried away. The entire argument seems to stem from his AO05 match against Federer. Using that logic can we say that Robin Soderling is the most talented clay courter ever since he had one performance where he dismantled Nadal? Also as NavFan pointed out his great performances really only came on one surface (hard courts), his movement hindered him on the other surfaces.
Federe has less talent in his little pinky than Safin has in his entire body.
On a serious note, Laver is probably still the most talented player the game has ever seen. The guy could hang on a clay court and look like he was raised on it and could play amazing serve and volley tennis on fast courts. Not even Federer can make that claim.
He might well be, but unless there is some way of measuring this intanglible thing called skills the only standards in sports to measure skills are by tangible accomplshments ie titles.
I have nothing against Safin, but threads like these popping up lately are what makes me so glad he is retiring. What is this, in some special tribute to Safin retiring start a bunch of proposterous threads about things like he never lost a match playing his best, is most skilled player ever, and other nonsense.
Well this thread has spurred some nice debate...I think the OP was just trying to respond in a tongue and cheek manner to the Serena Williams thread of the same title and nothing more...pointing out how threads like this are speculatory and sometimes borderline crazy.
The thread you are referring to is mine. The difference is Serena despite being seen as a massive underachiever to some is one of the greatest women players of all time. Safin is far from one of the greatest mens players in history. Furthermore Safin even at his best is not unbeatable. Serena at her absolute best is other than the rare exception unbeatable apart from on clay. Also Serena game wise does compare favorably IMO to any women player in history, including my all time favorite and the GOAT to many Steffi Graf. Safin does not. Lets just compare his game at his best to some other players at theirs:
Safin vs Federer:
Serve- Federer by a bit
Return- Federer, Safin has lots of trouble returning the best serves and even getting them back in play often enough
Forehand- Federer obviously
Net game- Federer
Mental game- Federer
Safin vs Sampras:
Serve- Sampras by far
Return- Safin by a bit maybe, although Pete is more able to return big serves than Safin
Forehand- Sampras, Safin has a great forehand but Sampras's is underrated and is one of the greatest ever
Backhand- Safin clearly
Net game- Sampras by a ton
Mental game- Sampras by far
Safin vs Nadal:
Forehand- Nadal, again Safin has a great forehand but Federer, Sampras, and Nadal each have amongst the 5 best in the Open Era
Backhand- even, Nadal on clay or grass, Safin at his best probably on hard courts
Movement- Nadal by a huge margin, Safin is a good mover, very good for his size, but not anywhere near the very best ones, let alone perhaps the best of all
Net game- not sure
Mental game- Nadal by a huge margin again
Unlike Serena, Safin does not compare favorably game wise to the greatest players, despite his results not being up there, unlike Serena his best is not virtually unbeatable, and unlike Serena his achievements inspite of underacheiving do not place him amongst the greatest in history. Thus there is a big difference between the two.
I think Safin ranks among the greatest talents in tennis for sure. When you talk about a guy who is 6'4, very strong and trim, and can move well for his size and his stroke mechanics, his one of the most talented players.
Ball striking, great serve motion, one of the best two handers, and effortless power off his tiny racquet. Although he faded big time after 2005, before then I mean he was playing some of the best looking tennis out there so the argument is there. You also have to look at his ability to play on all surfaces as well, hard court slam titles, SF on grass and clay and many Paris indoor titles/finals.
LOL, ! safin's return is MUCH better than pete's and the bold part is false
Again, whom are you kidding ????? safin's return is MUCH better than nadal's
on clay and grass , nadal has the superior FH, HC safin takes it
LOL, safin's BH is better anywhere, period.
LOL , safin's clearly better here
P.S Funny how you mention sampras as having a much better serve than safin and yet say safin's is only "just" better than nadal's !
safin's serve on a hot serving day can match pete's serve, nadal doesn't have a prayer of matching safin's serve on any day !
talent is both physical and mental, so even if you say safin had the physical ability there is no way you can claim he had the mental ability to be the greatest ever; talent-wise safin wouldnt even be top 30 of all-time (because mentally he is about as bad as it gets, so that far overrides any physical ability)
You are so overrating Safin's return it isnt even funny. Safin's only great returning skill (if any) is being able to club the return off an attackable 2nd serve, something any big hitter can do. He struggles to return a quality server serving well if we exclude his 2 or 3 career god days.
You drastically overrate Safin's return and probalby underrate Nadal's. When Safin plays Roddick he is hopeless to return Roddick's serve, he can barely get any first serves back in court. That is the reason Roddick owns him, and has beaten Safin many times even when Safin has played at or near his best. He also has huge problems returning Federer's serve, one of the reason Federer owns him so badly too. Contrast to Nadal and how well he returns Roddick and Federer's serve. Nadal has been among the tour leaders in many of the return stats for years too. Yes Nadal's return of serve >> Safin's. Next....
I could accept this opinion.
ROTFL. Safin does not have a single groundstroke off either side better than Nadal on either grass or clay. If you think he does than you are crazy.
Yes we are getting it now, Safin is your hero. Thanks for serving as further proof along with this ridiculous thread and the even more ridiculous "has Safin ever lost playing his best" thread how as talented as he is, Safin is an insanely overrated player.
You are not even worth wasting anymore time on.
Safin is good, but he is way too overrated on these forums. People worship him.
I know. Thank god he is retiring and we wont have to hear all this nonsense "Safin is god", "Safin is best ever", "Safin will win the next grand slam", "Safin is my hero", "I want Safin to have my babies" talk on this forum. I used to like him but now he cant be gone fast enough.
Safin should have retired in 2007, he has just stuck around for one last pay day, good ridance.
At maximum potential I'd say Safin would have won 5 slams at most.
2001 USO: At maximum potential he could have beaten post-prime Pete and overpowered Hewitt in the final.
2002 AO: At maximum potential he destroys Johansson.
2002 RG: Ferrero wasn't playing his best tennis that year, and at his best Safin could have taken him. Costa would have been very tough, but Safin at his best on clay, Hamburg 2000 level or something similar could have taken him, probably would have taken five sets to do it though.
Playing consistently at his best I'd say he also ends the year no.1 from 2000-02.
That is the best case scenario for Safin, and even those extra three slams are not sure things even if he does play to his potential, except the 2002 AO. The other two are a stretch, but they are the next two most likely after AO 2002.
umm, no .....
umm, nadal doesn't return roddick's serve that well . Didn't he lose to roddick in straights in dubai in 2k8 ??? Even in his win against A-rod at IW , a slow surface, he wasn't returning that well and was having trouble with roddick's "kick" serves . I didn't see their queens match, but that was one of roddick's first matches coming back from injury IIRC
Nadal returns fed's serve decently, but still if federer is serving well, he is in trouble ...
And the return stats for nadal part is moot, its mainly, because of nadal's ground game ...
BTW just because federer returns roddick's serve so well, doesn't mean its easy ....
I saw both safin and roddick play well on 2 occasions against each other in 2004 - AO match and their TMC match, safin won one and roddick won the other,so what ? safin didn't return badly in either of the matches
LOL, safin's BH is better anywhere.Period. For that matter so is djoker's and safin's is a better version . nalbandian's BH is also better than nadal's ( when he is on ) and del potro will probably join that list soon ( let see the next CC season )
umm, no, I don't even consider safin that talented, he won't even be in my top 15 in terms of talent , its just you under-rating him a lot
lol, yeah, you can ask pete how he found returning safin's serve (at just 48%) during the USO 2000 F or agassi in the AO 2004 SF
overall his serve is not close to pete, but on a good serving day, he can cause close to the same damage
Safin is not a great returner I have seen him completley helpless returning Roddick's serves many times, Nadal handles A-Rod's serve much better.
nadal beat roddick at queens 2008
if he was so talented, he would have won more. That's it.
The best recent player in terms of talent if Federer. No one is a more complete player than he is.
Are you by any chance grafandselesfan or someone else?
that was only 2009 roddick. And that tournament he was serving mad!
There has never been more tennis talent than what Rodge has got. He created shots that created tennis players.
It's that good.
federer basically uses the same techniques as every player before him, unlike the revolutionary nadal
Edit: never mind, don't feel like typing a long reply to this statement !
How can Nadal be revolutionary if pushing and moonballing have existed long before he was born.
pushing and moonballing? so are you saying nadal pushes the ball back rather than putting 20% more revolutions on the ball than any player on tour? and i always thought a moonball was hit high in the air...
nadal can hit a ball into the service box that pushes his opponent back behind the baseline and has them reaching high for control
20% more spin, 20% less length and 20% easier for players like DP to hit a winner off it.
That's not revolutionary.
I also think that he is most talented,but the thing with him is that he never worked hard ,if you work hard you're going to develop,you hear from players who practiced with Federer that they were surprised how much he 's training hard,well Safin never worked hard ,he worked only on preparation for new season and that was all,never during the season,when he was young he never missed going out at night, even if he had to play final next day.
Ljubicic said that Safin used to work hard before he won his first GS,but then he stopped, because he thought he doesn't need to work that hard he felt that he's ok without to much practice.This what we see in Federer is not talent(not that he doesn't have talent, he is extremly talented)but it is hard work,if you don't apply hard work you going to remain only talent.
So Safin was very talented ,but he never developed his talent because he never work hard even he admits that he never worked hard compared to his sister.
"Dinara is, in tennis terms, not a bit like Marat: She desperately lives for the game he always could take or leave. "If Marat had had 10 percent of her dedication he'd have been the No. 1 player for 10 years," his manager, Ion Tiriac, said in Paris this summer. "If Safina had 10 percent of Marat's talent, she would be 10 years the No. 1 player."
this guy? really?
Overall a good post, but you are selling Safin short.
His return and backhand are definately better than Nadal's equivalents, and so is Safin's netgame, not by much, but still.
Actually grafselesfan is correct. Nadal does everything better than Safin on grass or clay, including most definitely the backhand. Only the Safin serve is stronger than Nadal on these surfaces. Safin is not in Safin's league on grass or clay even at his best. Grafselesfan was also correct on Safin's return of serve. It is very overrated since he has a very hard time with the best servers (eg- Roddick and even Federer) while Nadal's is underrated and clearly better than Safin's. Both you and even moreso abmk are overrating Safin drastically for whatever reason.
Nadal can hit sick passing shots and doesn't make a lot of errors with his backhand, which is very handy on clay (and to lesser extent on the modern "grass"), but he can't take it early consistently nor can he hammer it down the line like Safin
Even on the return Safin's got the edge with the backhand, he could really punish 2nd serves with a very short swing.
Safin's got one of the best backhands of all time, right up there with Agassi's. Nadal's doublehander is a good shot, but it's not on the same level.
Grafselesfan said Nadal's backhand is better than Safin's on grass and clay, and Safin's better on hard courts. This is correct. Nadal is in another league from Safin on clay or grass even if Safin were at his best, and the only area Safin has an edge on those two surfaces is the serve, absolutely nothing else. If Nadal and Safin did nothing but trade backhands on grass or clay, Nadal would still win. Safin is not some brilliant all court player, he is a hard court specialist who is pretty good on other surfaces at times.
As for the return of serve Safin is only a great returner against slow 2nd serves. That is pretty limited. Others in this thread have already pointed out how he returns Roddicks serve like crap. If he were this amazing returner this wouldnt be the case.
Reading this thread only convinces me to join the Safin is way overrated chorus. He is a great player but not what he is made out to be by some of you.
Oh this clearly boggles my mind. I agree Nadal will win most BH trades on clay, and a lesser extent grass (I think it would be even here). However, Safin has made the SF of all 4 slams. I find it absolutely hilarious that you call Safin a hardcourt specialist. What are you gonna call Nadal then, a claycourt specialist (when he is clearly not)?
Even Venus Williams has made the finals of all 4 slam tournaments. Is she considered a true all surface player? Safin is not a threat to win big tournaments on any of the 3 slam surfaces other than hard courts. That is why I say he is a hard court specialist. I am not saying he isnt very good on other surfaces, but definitely not a true all surface expert. Also his Wimbledon semifinal was pretty much a fluke, lets face it. Most of his career he is pretty sorry on grass. On clay he was actually very promising when he was an up and comer, and surprisingly faded over the years.
As for Nadal he has made 3 Wimbledon finals in a row, and was winning Masters titles on hard courts at only 18 and 19. And I am about the furthest things removed from a Nadal fan.
Agassi had fluke wins for Wimbledon and the FO, am I going to not call him an allsurface player? Hell no. Because he is one.
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