Who is more talented: Thiem or Nalbandian?

Who is more talented: Thiem or Nalbandian?

  • Thiem

    Votes: 33 32.0%
  • Nalbandian

    Votes: 70 68.0%

  • Total voters
    103

zill

Hall of Fame
Remember the vast majority of people voting never saw Nalby play but with vote anyway.

I've seen both of them play live many times. No question... ZERO... nada... Nalby is vastly more talented, even with zero slams.
just watched nalby vs gasquet and you can see nalby much more talented

then watched Gasquet vs thiem and can see Gasquet more talented. So imagine how much more talented nalby is over thiem.
 

King No1e

G.O.A.T.
Think this might be a close one! Have a vote. Both extremely talented. Thiem's Achilles heel was his backhand whereas Nalbandian's was his serve. The other shots they have were top notch.
Thiem's achilles heel is most certainly not his BH. He's the only player who can punish Nadal with his 1HBH on clay. Thiem's real Achilles heel has gotta be his net game. He's just not very natural up there.

As for talent, it's Nalbandian by a mile and a half. And I say that as a Thiem fan (I liked Nalby too but I was never a fan fan). Nalbandian was one of those players who played the game like an art, and relied on finesse and precision more than power and athleticism.
 

Jonesy

Hall of Fame
Since the definition of talent is taken out of ones ass and everyone has one, i'll go with the better ass that Mr. Dominator has.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Nalby is better at backhand and volleys than Thiem. Thiem has the better serve, better forehand. And those are the two most important shots in the game. So idk... you make of that what you will. Nalby is talented in a Miroslav Mecir way.. talented in all the things that don't help you win a slam (same as Nick K but Nalby had heart so he tried instead of playing videogames). Thiem is super boring like his compatriot Muster, but has a more consistent and relentless game. That said, there's no way Thiem would have that one slam title over Nalby without the Djokovic DQ.
 
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NAS

Hall of Fame
Thiem and not even close, started as claycourter but still made both hc slam final and couple of yec final.
How can I can say Nalbandian, when person can't make slam final on his favorite surface, when even Clement, Schuttler , Enqvust and Johansson made hc slam final, this goes to show how overrated Nalbandian talent was.
Outside his fluke 2002 Wimbledon final, his best peak was 4th round to qf in slam, now that what I call some talent
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Thiem and not even close, started as claycourter but still made both hc slam final and couple of yec final.
How can I can say Nalbandian, when person can't make slam final on his favorite surface, when even Clement, Schuttler , Enqvust and Johansson made hc slam final, this goes to show how overrated Nalbandian talent was.
Outside his fluke 2002 Wimbledon final, his best peak was 4th round to qf in slam, now that what I call some talent
Nalbandian was brilliant indoors. Beat Fed at the YEC in 2005 and had an epic indoor run in 2007 as well. But that is the other problem with Nalbandian : indoor does not represent the bread and butter of the tour. So his indoor feats magnify his true capabilities in tour average conditions.
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
Nalbandian was brilliant indoors. Beat Fed at the YEC in 2005 and had an epic indoor run in 2007 as well. But that is the other problem with Nalbandian : indoor does not represent the bread and butter of the tour. So his indoor feats magnify his true capabilities in tour average conditions.
Got your point but was indoor only played in 2007, and rest of his career was no indoors?
Less indoor only affected Novak as in his peak he got only one indoor master.
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
@Dolgopolov85 Thiem making transition from being claycourter to going to biggest indoor final two times back to back( loss in very tight matches) is what I call talent.
If Nalbandian talent can't be adaptable from indoor hc to outdoor hc then what is use of that talent
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
Nalbandian was brilliant indoors. Beat Fed at the YEC in 2005 and had an epic indoor run in 2007 as well. But that is the other problem with Nalbandian : indoor does not represent the bread and butter of the tour. So his indoor feats magnify his true capabilities in tour average conditions.
He's a shotmaker. He will obviously excel on quicker surfaces which reward aggression. He didn't have the fitness especially in later years to play best of 5 on slower surfaces.
If you gave Nalby Thiem's conditioning he would murder him.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
He's a shotmaker. He will obviously excel on quicker surfaces which reward aggression. He didn't have the fitness especially in later years to play best of 5 on slower surfaces.
If you gave Nalby Thiem's conditioning he would murder him.
I agree partly but that would be 'cheating'. Being a good athlete is a part of the talent. It's not like Nalby was a panther in his younger days and then got bloated. He never was the quickest at any point. And by the way, the USO was pretty fast in those days and Nalby still lost anyway. He didn't have a great serve to take advantage of the fast conditions.
 
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Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
I agree partly but that would be 'cheating'. Being a good athlete is a part of the talent. It's not like Nalby was a panther in his younger days and then got bloated. He never was the quickest at any point. And by the way, the USO was pretty fast in those days and Nalby still lost anyway. He didn't have a great serve to take advantage of the fast conditions.
He was respectably quick back around 2003-2005. He should have won the 2003 US Open but choked. When I watch those 2003-2005 matches against Federer I don’t think he looks out of shape at all. He did lack a strong first serve though which made it tougher on him. Given his height I don’t think he was ever going to develop a killer serve. I would take an 2003-2005 Nalbandian over the best version of Thiem all day on hard courts.
 
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Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
He was respectably quick back around 2003-2005. He should have won the 2003 US Open but choked. When I watch those 2003-2005 matches against Federer I don’t think he looks out of shape at all. He did lack a strong first serve though which made it tougher on him. Given his height I don’t think he was ever going to develop a killer serve. I would take an 2003-2005 Nalbandian over the best version of Thiem all day on hard courts.
You say it in your comment itself that he lacked a strong first serve. And that is the reason I would OTOH pick Thiem over Nalbandian on hard courts (except indoors). And I didn't say Nalby was out of shape in 2003-05. On the contrary, I am saying even then movement was never his strong suit.
 
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NAS

Hall of Fame
He was respectably quick back around 2003-2005. He should have won the 2003 US Open but choked. When I watch those 2003-2005 matches against Federer I don’t think he looks out of shape at all. He did lack a strong first serve though which made it tougher on him. Given his height I don’t think he was ever going to develop a killer serve. I would take an 2003-2005 Nalbandian over the best version of Thiem all day on hard courts.
Not making any hc slam final will always have a blot on his career, while Thiem talent allowed a great transition
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
You say it in your comment itself that he lacked a strong first serve. And that is the reason I would OTOH pick Thiem over Nalbandian on hard courts (except indoors). And I didn't say Nalby was out of shape in 2003-05. On the contrary, I am saying even then movement was never his strong suit.
Nalby was a strong returner, he would handle Thiems one dimensional kick serve. He damn near handled a 2003 peak Roddick serve at the US Open best of 5.
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
Thiem’s slam win was a joke.
I am talking about slam final, I never talk about slam win even for Davy, I only talk about making final( in case of Blake only slam semi).
Thiem going into yec, AO and Us open final and then again yec final is proof of bigger talent
 

Ray Mercer

Hall of Fame
I am talking about slam final, I never talk about slam win even for Davy, I only talk about making final( in case of Blake only slam semi).
Thiem going into yec, AO and Us open final and then again yec final is proof of bigger talent
Nalbandian is pretty much universally recognized by knowledgeable posters on this site as one of the biggest underachievers of all time given his talent. At his best he has made great versions of both Fed and Nadal look pedestrian. He has beat them both decisively with tennis IQ and pure shotmaking.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Nalby was a strong returner, he would handle Thiems one dimensional kick serve. He damn near handled a 2003 peak Roddick serve at the US Open best of 5.
Always the nearly man as ever. When someone has always been nearly, nearly, it means that someone lacks something which his fans don't acknowledge. Couldn't handle Hewitt's serve in AO 2005 and Hewitt wasn't exactly the second coming of Scud or something in that tournament.
 
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NAS

Hall of Fame
Nalbandian is pretty much universally recognized by knowledgeable posters on this site as one of the biggest underachievers of all time given his talent. At his best he has made great versions of both Fed and Nadal look pedestrian. He has beat them both decisively with tennis IQ and pure shotmaking.
That I can agree with you but I can't call him better talent than Thiem if Nalbandian can't make slam final on his favorite surface, hell even at indoor Thiem made back to back Yec final.
How can I call Coria good to great clay courter overall if he never made any RG final.
Nalbandian had two opportunity every year and he failed
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
That I can agree with you but I can't call him better talent than Thiem if Nalbandian can't make slam final on his favorite surface, hell even at indoor Thiem made back to back Yec final.
How can I call Coria good to great clay courter overall if he never made any RG final.
Nalbandian had two opportunity every year and he failed
One correction : Coria did make an RG final and his choke in that final is one of the most legendary.
 

NAS

Hall of Fame
One correction : Coria did make an RG final and his choke in that final is one of the most legendary.
Actually my English is very bad, what I meant that I call Coria a great cc.
Now imagine a situation where Coria looses in RG 04 semi, now can I back my premise that Coria is a great CC or natural clay courter without any RG final, at best in that case I can call him decent cc player
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Remember the vast majority of people voting never saw Nalby play but with vote anyway.

I've seen both of them play live many times. No question... ZERO... nada... Nalby is vastly more talented, even with zero slams.
Agreed. I watched Nalby live in the 2011 Buenos Aires open. He was already way past his peak days, but his racquet skills and command of the ball put on a show. If he was more disciplined about maintaining fitness, there’s no question in my mind that he would have snagged a slam or two in the early 2000s during Fed’s reign, when Roddick and Hewitt and Safin were the closest challengers. Nalbandian could have been right there with those other 3.

I don’t put Thiem in that league.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
talent is when you aren't that good at a lot of the really important stuff in tennis, but very good at some of the less important, eye-catching stuff.


cf. Nick Kyrgios, Marcelo Ríos, Grigor Dimitrov, Roger Federer, David Nalbandian
Generally bonus points if you have a craptastic serve or an absolutely craptastic return that can be completely ignored.
 

Sudacafan

Bionic Poster
Most of Nalbandians wins over Federer were in that earlier period
The first five matches in their H2H (played during 2002 and 2003) were won by Nalbandian. Then Fed got the better part and the stat ended 11-8 in Fed’s favor.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
You say it in your comment itself that he lacked a strong first serve. And that is the reason I would OTOH pick Thiem over Nalbandian on hard courts (except indoors). And I didn't say Nalby was out of shape in 2003-05. On the contrary, I am saying even then movement was never his strong suit.
Thiem's serve is nothing special tbf and he's a mediocre returner so I don't think he'd be pressing his advantage much there.

Nalbandian probably has a higher peak with his ballstriking but maintaining intensity isn't his strong suite.
 

timnz

Legend
The first five matches in their H2H (played during 2002 and 2003) were won by Nalbandian. Then Fed got the better part and the stat ended 11-8 in Fed’s favor.
The poster who I responded to implied that David wins were against an older Federer ie circa 2015
 

skaj

Legend
Nalby is better at backhand and volleys than Thiem. Thiem has the better serve, better forehand. And those are the two most important shots in the game. So idk... you make of that what you will. Nalby is talented in a Miroslav Mecir way.. talented in all the things that don't help you win a slam (same as Nick K but Nalby had heart so he tried instead of playing videogames). Thiem is super boring like his compatriot Muster, but has a more consistent and relentless game. That said, there's no way Thiem would have that one slam title over Nalby without the Djokovic DQ.
Thiem does not have a better forehand. Hitting it with everything he's got every time does not make the shot better.

And "talented in all the things that don't help you win a slam"? What things are those and how do you apply that on Nalbandian and Kyrgios?
 

tex123

Professional
One of those talent threads again? Like everything in life, talent is worthless if you don't combine it with hard work to achieve something. Some are born with a natural ability to excel at something - say racket sports or play instrument or sing. Some are not but they work hard to hone their skills.

Have you heard Ed Sheeran singing in his early days? Yes. He was bad. Look at him now.

Sure Nalbandian is a gifted player with great hand-eye coordination but what did he do with it. That's what matters. Thiem is not as gifted but look at what he did with his work ethic.
 

Mikael

Professional
Nalby’s poor serve is never factored in these discussions.

Regardless, still him.
I'm always impressed at how much he was able to achieve given his poor serve. Nalby wasn't tall, which of course didn't help, but even for a 5ft11 guy his serve was weak. Hewitt and Agassi had much better serves at roughly the same height if not shorter.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
People on this thread saying Agassi and Thiem aren't talented, up there with the most insane things I've ever seen someone say about tennis.
Wait, you’re grouping Thiem and Agassi? No. Agassi was one of the most gifted ball strikers in the history of tennis. Thiem is simply not in the same league.
 
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