I always thought Safin was one of the biggest wastes of talent in tennis. But then I saw Kyrgios. At least Safin won a few majors, and reached #1. Kyrgios made his deepest major runs as a teenager, and followed that up by tanking away a good portion of his early to mid 20's. There's still time to turn it around, though. I guess.
Safin was my favorite player until his injury in '05 when we didnt see him as much. His strokes were so smooth, even his volleys and BH slices appeared to have great technique. Much closer to an all court game style which was on the decline in those days. The movement also at the time for somebody his height was unprecedented. That whole package disappeared when big hitters like Soderling, Del Po, and Berdych came around with unattractive strokes, less athletic ability, and more 1 dimensional game styles IMO.
Kyrgios is talented in a different way. His technique on a lot of shots doesnt look right, or even good tbh. Like when he hits over his BH, or volleys ever.. But his serve is closer to Raonic's in that it can be unplayable. I dont have the stats on hand but Id wager his 1st serve points won are near the top. What impresses me with his game is the touch mixed with the power. I think thats historically proven to be pretty rare. Think Roddick, terrible terrible slices and drop shots etc.. Although NK doesnt have a ton of variety with his limited net game and unreliable drive BH he isnt just ALL POWER you know? His athleticism for somebody his height also is impressive IMO. There are many guys his height that can move that way, but their serves arent as good as often. Struff comes to mind.
I actually think NK's career will end like Safins.. In injury.. Big guys have rough times staying fit and NK doesnt work at all on his fitness... obviously
I know Djokovic wasnt his best back then but he was number 3, had recently had a chance to get to number 2 and he'd won the AO that year, reached the final of queens and lost very narrowly to Nadal and the year before he'd had a good shot at making the final of Wimbledon. Safin had not been good on grass but I think had a fun to the semis?
It's funny because safin is supposed to be one of the weak era players and 2008 is supposed to be the start of the strong era, but safin made the semis of Wimbledon that year
I'd say Safin. But I am not really a good judge because whenever a Kyrios match comes on, I change the channel. Can't stand the guy. Safin might have wasted his talent, but he was far less offensive than K.
In 05 Novak was no where near his best, being a 18 or 19 year old kid when he first lost to Safin. He was closer in 08, but still not at his peak. The two times Nick beat Novak he was nearly flawless, especially his serving. IF Nick could play like that more often, he could win slams.