Who is the purest natural talent ever to swing a racquet?

GotGame?

Rookie
My votes go to Nastase, Safin, Federer, and Rios. Too difficult to decide between them, but am I missing anyone?
 

Kevin Patrick

Hall of Fame
Remove Safin & put in McEnroe.
Safin is just a pure power player.
There is no artistry/feel in his game like the other names mentioned.
 

GotGame?

Rookie
The trend between these players is a shame. All were headcases at one time or another. Luckily, Federer is passed that part of his career.
 

GotGame?

Rookie
Kevin Patrick said:
Mac won 7 majors & was #1 for 4 years. Not bad for a 'headcase.'
He's no Rios or Nastase(who won 2 majors, I believe)
Can't believe that didn't come to my mind ?! No, not bad at all LOL. His antics defined badboy and were entertaining. Would you be able to say that about Rios or Nastase?
 

Kevin Patrick

Hall of Fame
GotGame?,
Rios was a tanker. Mac was a jerk who had tantrums, but always tried hard. Rios just gave up many, many times. I remember when Rios was starting to play well, many compared him to Mac. You could tell Mac was insulted by the comparison.

It's hard to say with nastase, he was a bit before my time. From what I've read, his tantrums weren't as deliberate as mac's(which always ringed of gamesmanship, plus mac played better angry)
Nastase just lost it many times & didn't play better as a result of a tantrum. Just couldn't keep it together.
 

GotGame?

Rookie
Kevin Patrick said:
GotGame?,
Rios was a tanker. Mac was a jerk who had tantrums, but always tried hard. Rios just gave up many, many times. I remember when Rios was starting to play well, many compared him to Mac. You could tell Mac was insulted by the comparison.

It's hard to say with nastase, he was a bit before my time. From what I've read, his tantrums weren't as deliberate as mac's(which always ringed of gamesmanship, plus mac played better angry)
Nastase just lost it many times & didn't play better as a result of a tantrum. Just couldn't keep it together.
That's what I thought about Rios. Not known for giving his best, but giving up. I guess he's sort of on Mauresmo's end of the mental toughness pool.

Didn't Mac's tantrums subside as his career went on? I remember reading about one match when Nastase and Mac dueled, with Nastase being ejected for firing up a well liquored crowd then reinstated, with Mac coming out as the good guy. I get the impression that Nastase did it deliberately.

I don't understand why I read these posts from some of you older guys who think we juniors don't care about these 'glory' days of tennis. The more info I find out about the past history of the sport, the more my love for tennis grows.
 

@wright

Hall of Fame
My top 5 are: Brad Gilbert, Justin Gimelstob, Vince "the Gladiata" Spadea, Geoff Grant, and Jeff Tarango.
 

NoBadMojo

G.O.A.T.
ha! don't forget to add Beppie Merlo to the fray..he prob put those other dudes to shame. I might go with Noah, Nastase, and Pioline.
 

35ft6

Legend
Rios, Federer, McEnroe, Agassi (underestimated because of the power, but his hand eye coordination is as good as anybody's in the history of the sport), Stich, Sampras, and Korda. And that dude Barahmi on the senior tour.

Women: Hingis, Schnyder, Henin, Hingis, Mandlikova, Hingis.
 

joe sch

Legend
Ellsworth Vines .
He was the best tennis player and got so bored he decided competed with the best on the golf tour. There was never another pro athlete this talented.
 

Swan Song

Professional
Men: Agassi- although a wild man in the beginning, he sure knows hit the ball damn well
Federer- need I explain more?

Women: Henin-Hardenne- knows how to move so well
Hingis- awsome ball striker, knows how to play the game. I don't know if this has to do with talent, but I think she was a jerk when she started hitting the spotlight.
 

andfor

Legend
I am going to have to go with myself this one. After me I gotta go with Spinbalz, NoBadMoJo, Phil and @wright. Chips never quite fell our way that's why you never knew about our talent.
 

armand

Banned
I haven't seen Johnny Mac play only on film and his groundstrokes looked pretty busted. I know his talent was at net, but can't we locate "the purest natural talent ever to swing a racquet" that was splendid from all areas of the tennis court?
I can't believe no one has said Sampras' name. Maybe he's too obvious a choice but he still mastered the game. He's got my vote
 

Yours!05

Professional
Lew Hoad. Athleticism, grace, speed, effortless power. As has been quoted before, Laver's brother said: "If you think Rod was good, you should've seen Lew."
 
For purest natural talent, I'd definately have to say Andre Agassi. I remember reading somewhere that when he was a young boy, his father, Mike, would tell him to hit it "earlier, earlier, earlier". He basically learned to play by consistently taking the ball on the rise like that. Now that's talent.
 

Yours!05

Professional
Kevin Patrick said:
Were you joking about Emerson, Dan? Pretty funking looking serve, kinda like Karsteen Braasch.
About the strangest serve of those days. But Emmo would be right up there in the Greatest Natural Athlete Ever To Pick Up A Racket list.
 

callitout

Professional
Agree with putting Safin up there and Sampras as well. Both were power players, but they also have incredible ball striking ability. Cliffie and Pmac say Safin's return is 2nd only to Agassi's on the tour. Sure Safin squanered lots of his talent, but he sure has talent.
 

pound cat

G.O.A.T.
"The trend between these players (Safin, Rios, McEnroe etc) is a shame. All were headcases at one time or another. Luckily, Federer is passed that part of his career."

It willl be interesting to see Federer's tennis now that he has an agent and isn't running his own show.

An agent might be good for endorsements, but having an agency over his head might not be so great for his tennis, Will be interesting.
 

Yours!05

Professional
pound cat said:
"The trend between these players (Safin, Rios, McEnroe etc) is a shame. All were headcases at one time or another. Luckily, Federer is passed that part of his career."

It willl be interesting to see Federer's tennis now that he has an agent and isn't running his own show.

And agent might be good for endorsements, but having an agency over his head might not be so great for his tennis, Will be interesting.
Yes. I feel that his unencumbered lifestyle has been a great anti-stress factor.
 

DashaandSafin

Hall of Fame
Disregarding my psuedonym...i honestly belive Safin is in one of the top 5 natural talents to ever swing a racquet. Many of you are callilng him a headcase as well as Rios...whom i belived was also an amazing talent. Safin never practices, he drinks before matches, sleeps with women before matches, he hated tennis when he was smaller. Yet he is still one of the best in the world. Imagine if he actually had work ethic and trained. The same goes with Rios. Although many of you might be turned off by the "power" player Safin, he creates angles, can play extremly well on clay, and is one of the cleanest hitters in history. He made Pete look like an amateur at the 2000 USO. We caught a glimpse of his talent but his head brought him down.
 

lcw

Rookie
For pure talent and magic on the court, nothing comes close to Nastase. When you win 5 masters while beating the top players in the world, you must have exceptional talent. Too bad he was a head case.
 

Will888

Semi-Pro
Well I would have to say that Pete Sampras and Roger Federer have the most prestige and elegant, and the most beautiful strokes and serve I have ever seen in tennis history. They move so well on the court and they are just so great.
 

random1

Rookie
Down_the_line said:
For purest natural talent, I'd definately have to say Andre Agassi. I remember reading somewhere that when he was a young boy, his father, Mike, would tell him to hit it "earlier, earlier, earlier". He basically learned to play by consistently taking the ball on the rise like that. Now that's talent.
I can't tell if you're being sarcastic. Agassi certainly has some great aspects to his game, but he is the ultimate practiced player. What you describe above is drills and practice, not natural talent.
 

RiosTheGenius

Hall of Fame
pound cat said:
"The trend between these players (Safin, Rios, McEnroe etc) is a shame. All were headcases at one time or another. Luckily, Federer is passed that part of his career."

It willl be interesting to see Federer's tennis now that he has an agent and isn't running his own show.

An agent might be good for endorsements, but having an agency over his head might not be so great for his tennis, Will be interesting.
We're on about natural talent, not mental toughness or anything else. pure talent
 

127mph

Semi-Pro
i must say that safins pure talent is amazing, i think its due to his physic, and ball striking, i mean hes motion is more of a solid and powerful motion compared to say federer's which is smooth and gracefull, but safin's purest basline talent id say. hed look good playing any sport. id also say mcenroe and federer to my list.
 
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