Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by tennisplayer1993, May 8, 2013.
Very tough call!
I'm not sure. I don't know if I would call Goran a headcase really. He was a one tournament wonder at Wimbledon and it was always the one he did well at
Everywhere else he wasn't a factor really. Safin had buckets of talent but always underperformed. If pushed I would pick Safin because he was someone who should have done better all over the tour whereas Goran was mainly a Wimbledon threat...never saw him as a factor other places.
But I could see it argued the other way that Goran should have done better elsewhere and choked...so its close.
Once Goran won Wimby his mind calmed down. Wining Slams didn't calm Marat's mind at all. Opposite effect actually.
Goran was justified in being bitter and crazy. He should have clobbered Agassi in his (their) first Wimby final.
Whereas Marat was trying to capture the level he had when he beat Sampras --an impossible level to maintain. It's still the best tennis I've ever seen played. EVER.
Marat the bigger headcase overall.
Goran probably more susceptible to nerves.
Jerzy Janowicz could be up their with them one day.
Goran had more ticks, phobias, and self-induced pressures than Wile E. Coyote on speed.
He makes Rafa seem like a meditating Zen master.
A very tough question. They have very similar temperaments, to be fair, even though their gamestyles are somewhat different. Marat was more of a sulker, while Goran would just have a meltdown after a bad shot on a crucial point or getting angry at a call.
These guys were never dull to watch.
I voted Marat. I've seen him tank entire sets away, especially during his last years on tour, like he doesn't care about losing the match. I've also seen him implode and destroy several racquets. Last but not least I remember him choking on a few occasions.
Goran also used to choke, maybe more often than Marat, but at least I always felt he cared about the outcome of a match. I don't remember him tanking more than a few points here or there, after his angry outbursts.
Goran did tank in the third set of the 1994 Wimbledon final. It was embarrassingly bad.
Clobbering Agassi in the Wimbledon final may have been something he expected to accomplish, but Agassi was a unique talent who beat Becker in the previous round. It was no picnic for Goran out there. Agassi hit some big shots to damage his confidence and put doubt in his head.
Spot on with Safin. But Safin did not have to be incredibly consistent to beat Sampras. He just had to hurt Sampras and finish the big points where he was in control. Beating Roger at the AO was also a masterpiece, but I agree that the victory over Sampras was more impressive.
I am by no means saying he was not an odd duck, his on court personality was definitely strange....but I am not sure in his case that totally makes the argument for a massive head case. He was certainly eccentric and had his moments..but they mostly came at Wimbledon...so I can't really say he was more a head case than Marat. Its definitely debatable..I just can't say he was worse than Marat in terms of his potential to choke or under perform.
Marat had talent out the Wazoo, yet was only able to use it to it's fullest extent sparingly (IMO).
Goran had more inner demons than he was able to control.
Both "Should've" won more than they did. Sometimes you just can't get over that last hurdle...
For me, its Safin, but just by a bit.
Marat is the biggest head case Ive ever seen if you consider all the talent he had. This was a guy who SHOULD have won 7-8 slams or better yet only manage to grab 2 to his name.
He was good on grass and hard courts.
Goran was only great on one surface and unfortunately for him he came along during a time when Sampras was around who is probably the greatest player ever seen at wimbledon who had nerves of steel holding serve.. Take Sampras out of the equation and Goran racks quite a few wimbledon crowns.
Safin should have grabbed a ton of slams from Roger, Roddick, Hewitt for a half a dozen years or better yet didn't do anything really outside of the 2000 USO and AO 2005.
Goran's crazy moments were more fun to watch.
Safin - had the talent and the skills, but Tennis wasn't his main focus.
Goran - had the serve - IMHO no where near the talent of Safin as tennis player.
So my vote Safin
Both should have won more. Here a quick look at their careers:
Total titles (and total finals) :
Ivanisevic: 22 ( 49 )
Safin: 15 ( 27 )
Clay titles (and clay total finals) :
Ivanisevic: 3 ( 9 )
Safin: 2 ( 6 )
Grass titles (and grass total finals) :
Ivanisevic: 2 ( 6 )
Safin: 0 ( 1 )
Outdoor Hard Courts titles ( and total finals) :
Safin: 7 ( 11 )
Ivanisevic: 2 ( 10 )
Indoor Carpet/Hard titles (and total finals) :
Ivanisevic: 15 ( 24 )
Safin: 6 ( 9 )
In all the tournaments, Ivanisevic won more than Safin (and more finals too) on clay, grass and indoor, and Safin won more on outdoor hard courts.
If we look at the most important tournaments:
GS titles (and total finals) :
Safin: 2 ( 4 )
Ivanisevic: 1 ( 4 )
Ivanisevic: 3 times SF
Safin: 2 times SF
M-1000 tournaments: Here it is difficult to compare properly, because during the 00s (Safin's era) these tournaments were much more important than during the 90s (Ivanisevic's era). In Ivanisevic's era, you could get more points in some of 8-10 other tournaments than in many of the M-1000 (depending on the draw, year and bonus points), whereas in Safin's era those M-1000 tournaments give double of points than the following ATP-500 tournaments. I repeat, this was not the case in Ivanisevic's era.
Anyway, Safin won 5 M-1000 tournaments ( 4 indoor carpet/hard + 1 outdoor hard court).
Ivanisevic won 2 M-1000 tournaments ( 2 indoor carpet ), but he also won the Grand Slam Cup (a very big tournament then) in 1995, and also won Stuttgart Outdoor (on clay) in 1990, which was a big tournament then (he got more points for this win than some of the M-1000 winners that year).
On clay, even though Ivanisevic won more titles and made more finals overall, in the very big clay tournaments, both did more or less similar results. Safin made 1 SF and 1 QF in Roland Garros and Ivanisevic made 3 QF.
Safin was runner-up two times in Hamburg (then a clay M-1000 ) and also Ivanisevic was runner-up in 1993 Rome and 1995 Hamburg (he won the important clay Stuttgart tournament in 1990 too, as I said previously).
On grass Ivanisevic made much better results than Safin. Ivanisevic won Wimbledon once and got to another three finals (and two other SF). Safin only once got to the SF there.
On Outdoor Hard Courts Safin made much better results than Ivanisevic. Safin won his two GS titles and his two other GS finals on outdoor hard courts, and won 7 overall titles on outdoor hard courts. Ivanisevic only once got to a US OPEN SF (wow) and made three QF in the Australian Open, and he only won two titles overall on outdoor hard courts (out of 10 finals).
On indoor carpet/hard Ivanisevic won much more overall titles, but Safin was great too on indoor carpet/hard. Safin won 4 of his 5 M-1000 on indoor. Ivanisevic won 2 M-1000 on indoor carpet and also won the Grand Slam Cup on indoor carpet.
Both players had a great career, no doubt, but they could have won even more. Both players faded dramatically after 25 years old. Safin won his 15º and last title at 25 and Ivanisevic only won 2 titles (out of his 22 total titles) after his 25th birthday (but one of them was Wimbledon at last).
This thread is just full of ignorance claiming Safin underperformed. The guy was missed most of 2003, injured consistently throughout 2004 and after the first part of 2005 at 100% health before his knee injury. keep in mind that A) He had niggling injuries from 2000-2002 before 2003 and B) His career was over in 2005 with the knee. Also keep in mind 2000-2005 were his prime years. How on earth can anyone rip Safin for winning 2 slams in what were injury plagued years? The guy was never fully fit even in his prime. 2006 onwards he was understandably crap due to the wear and tear his body took.
Secondly, Safin was never a headcase when push came to shove. Yes, he had explosions, but does no one remember the other times - like being calm as a cucumber against Sampras at US Open 2000. Most guys would have frozen. Does no one remember Safin's epic five set victories at AO against Agassi, Federer, Roddick (when these guys were on top), or his epic matches with Ferrero and Kuerten at the FO when he beat them on their best slam in five sets.
Safin showed great mental strength coming back after so many injuries and has won his far share of epics (as well as blowing players away) against the best players ever. He only started to choke in 2009 when he cared to much.
Goran, on the other hand, was a nut case and a choker during his prime. The guy would never be able to win the matches Safin won. Especially against someone like Hewitt at AO 2005 (does Goran win after losing the first set 6-1 like Marat did, or better yet, does Goran save MP to beat Federer in 5).
Case closed, Safin is ahead of Goran Mentally, Physically and technically.
I didn't read any above posts, in a rush to go windsurfing....
Goran was a headcase.
Marat just liked to party till dawn in MonteCarlo.
Write in candidate: Marcelo Rios?
Ivanisevic arguably had one of the best serves ever.
Safin arguably had one of the best backhands ever.
Both were arguably two of the most successful headcases ever.
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