Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by NadalAgassi, Oct 12, 2012.
Which of these 1 slam winners was the biggest underachiever.
Stich. He was supremely talented and could play on any surface.
I think it's Goran Ivanisevic. He had the potential to win many Wimbledons and dominate indoors, and even win some big titles on clay.
Then again, Goran was so volatile that he could easily have ended up winning no majors at all.
I think Stich was the most talented of them all. I believe Sampras even said, Stich was perhaps the most talented player he ever played against. Tough to say though.. Krajicek was very talented. Goran was very talented but a head case. Goran would have won quite a few wimbledon crowns but unfortunately he was stuck in the same era with Sampras.
Hmm what do you mean by big titles on clay. I certainly dont think Goran Ivanisevic was capable of winning the French Open. He did have potential to win more Wimbledons but was never going to dominate Wimbledon in the Sampras era.
Goran reached finals of Rome and Hamburg, and was a multiple quarter finalist at the French Open.
I think you confuse talent with "flashy" or "potential". I once watched him drill his topspin backhand and it couldn't hit water if it fell out of a canoe. He came to Tennis late and it showed.
Pat Cash is the one I liked more of those from what I saw.
I dont think that is enough to show potential to win a French Open. Potential to win a Masters on clay perhaps, so if that is what you meant I could agree. I dont think he could have won a French Open looking at the FO winners that era who were all superior clay courters to him by a good margin. I dont recall, who did he lose those two finals to. I think one was to Courier.
Flashy or potential doesn't get you to finals of the French Open, US Open, and a champion at Wimbledon.
Flashy doesn't allow you to tear Muster and Rosset apart on clay, to outplay a peak Edberg or Becker, or to have a winning head to head record over Pete Sampras.
Your anecdote is pointless, because every player in the history of the game has had days where they are in poor form.
Anyway I picked Stich. He was a true threat on all surfaces. Finals or Roland Garros and blew a winnable match with a weak performance, Wimbledon Champion, U.S Open runner up but had the bad luck of facing his nightmare matchup in the final, ATP World Championship winner over Sampras on fast carpet.
I would go with Stich. He had incredible talent, but had many interests outside of tennis. My understanding is that he was a late developer in tennis terms due to academic pursuits, and he never had the singular focus on tennis that one normally sees at the top of the game.
Definitely Michael Stich.
He had an outstanding backhand that he could hit any type of shot with very well (topspin, slice, drop shot, passing shot etc). In the last 20-25 years the only player I've seen with a one handed backhand return as good as his has been his compatriot Becker.
His clearly had an excellent serve with one of the smoothest service motions I've ever seen and was a strong volleyer. He also had superb athleticism and could move very well on all surfaces. His forehand could be shaky at times but he worked hard to improve it and it was excellent during his 1996 RG final run.
The backhand overhead is the hardest shot in tennis in my opinion, but for him it was a speciality.
He was very comfortable serve-volleying or staying at the baseline. Courier and Newcombe labelled him as the most technically complete player of his generation which I agree with. Sampras said he was the opponent he feared facing the most. Even his ultimate nemesis Agassi praised his talent, ability and versatility in his autobiography.
He was certainly more well rounded and had better results across all surfaces than any of those other players. Goran never reached a slam final outside Wimbledon, never reached the semis at either the Australian Open or Roland Garros and never won a big title on clay. Krajicek never reached a slam final outside Wimbledon, never reached the semis at the US Open and didn't win a super 9 title on clay (although his one career clay title at Barcelona was still a pretty big one). Cash didn't really do much of note on clay.
Stich reached slam finals on grass, hard and clay, reached the semis or better at all 4 slams and had some good tournament wins on all surfaces.
He lost to Courier in the 1993 Rome final, and lost to Medvedev in the 1995 Hamburg final. His French Open quarter finals he lost to Muster in 1990, Courier in 1992 and Berasategui in 1994. He did win the Stuttgart Outdoor tournament in 1990, beating Perez-Roldan.
Ivanisevic i think, but Goran had to deal with Sampras on his best surface!
If the poll included Roddick, i pick him.
If the poll included Rios, I'd pick him.
If you look at Roddick's game and his weapons, one might say he was an over-achiever. And yes, he played in the era of Federer.
For Roddick to stay in the top 10 that long with limited weapons, speed and footwork, you could definitely cast Roddick as a bit of an overachiever in that regard
i don't mind Rios is on the poll. The OP should have more options, and 3 of his 4 options are from the 90s. Not a well balance poll.
Roddick would have multiple slams if it wasn't for Federer. Rios's had personal/injury problem, not much to do with opposing great player that stop him(unlike Roddick). Roddick got fitter by losing weight in 2009, but Roger was there to stop him at Wimbledon.
If Rios and Roddick traded places, I can see Roddick would have a great career.
Interesting: Roddick playing 1994-2003.
Their H2H is 0-2 for Roddick (both in 2001).
Roddick was 18 in 2001.
Not sure if you're serious.
Marat Safin... oh wait he wasn't an option....
If Goran serves well, there's no way Roddick gets near him. When you know your opponent's strengths and can overcome them, they become weaknesses. Ask a certain Mr. Rusedski.
When one refers to underachiever it is who didnt get the most out of their own abilities and talents, and who could have or should have done more as it was, not who could have done better if they didnt face so and so. In that sense Roddick is in no way an underachiever. Anyway if you remove Federer than Roddick's prime era would have been super super weak. Other than Hewitt for a year and half he would have faced nobody considering Nadal sucked on all non clay surfaces back then (and Roddick being irrelevant on red clay). Roddick doesnt win numerous slams in most eras. The guy is 1-5 vs grandpa Agassi so he would do well to win even 1 slam in the Sampras, Agassi, and Becker era too. Dont even get me started on the McEnroe/Borg/Connors or McEnroe/Lendl/Becker/Edberg eras which were way deeper.
Compared to the guys on the list Roddick arguably had a better career than all of them, despite that Stich and Ivanisevic especialy are far more talented than Roddick is. So obviously they were the bigger underachievers. That is a compliment to Roddick who did not waste his talent.
hoodjem was talking about Roddick vs. Rios. Not sure what his point is because he's 2-0 against Rios.
You just dont get it. Rios is considered a huge waste of talent. Roddick is not. Roddick is not even viewed as a huge talent, but a guy with a huge serve, great work ethic, great determination, and lots of consistency over a long time. So nobody will talk about Roddick as an underachiever the way they do Rios. That isnt a slight on Roddick. Nobody wants to be known as a waste of talent. Fortunately for Roddick he isnt, Rios is shamed by people as a guy who threw away his talent (even considering the bad luck he had with injuries), not an honorable label.
Gene Mayer.The guy was sooo talented...
among the four poll options, I'd definitely say stich ....
if asked in general, I'd say nalbandian, mecir, rios .... probably in that order ......
And nowadays Berdych.
jeez, and plenty of other players have reached CC master finals and reached QFs at the FO ...... doesn't mean they all were that good on clay ....
Tony Roche.The highest ratio talent/Nº of majors in tennis history.
stich left because he didn't enjoy it and didn't have the single minded focus
i pick goran out of that lot
krajicek was unfortunate with injuries and form
Of the four, I picked Stich, probably the most complete game of the bunch. I always wondered what his career would have been like had he not been German at the same time as Becker.
Stich is almost as talented as Fed, he just lacked drive...
I wrote in Richard Krajicek because of the injuries and because Stich actually won quite some tournaments in addition to Wimbledon including a doubles GS with Johnny-Mac again at Wimbledon, Olympic gold doubles with Boom-Boon and some others (Davis Cup?).
I definitely agree that he should have won much more... seemed like he didn't care as much. Best service motion in history (Richard is not that far off!), incredible backhand and an overall fantastic game.... makes you wonder what could have been
I don't know if stich was an underachiever. becker (who didn't have a warm relationship with stich) once said that stich had more talent than himself and on a good day he could not stop him.
but stich hadn't good days as often as boris.maybe a headcase?
Sampras himself said that he was enormously talented.
Outside of his serve and maybe you could argue a little for his forehand, what weapons did Roddick really have? He was slow, couldn't volley well, his backhand wasn't too good. He had an overpowering serve, one of the best ever.
All the others mentioned had far more in the tank than Roddick.
The choice here for me comes down to Stich and Ivanisevic. Stich had a very smooth beautiful style of play and some loved his backhand. I wasn't as big a fan of it. I saw Agassi tear it apart in their US Open final.
Goran imo had the greatest individual weapon of all of these four in his super duper serve. I thought his overall strokes were good and his movement was good. I guess I'll go with Goran. He should have won a lot of majors. He was able to win on all surfaces.
I go with Krajicek as the underachiever (relatively). He had arguably the biggest "A game" on tour for awhile but managed just 1 slam final. Watching him at 18-19 was like watching Milos Raonic with a ground game and volley's. He seemed destined for greatness (rather then just very goodness)
Stich, Cash, & Goran had multiple slam runs. They got unlucky not to collect a few more rings, but they were in the mix.
Krajicek had an impressive game, but he had two major liabilities even when he wasnt headcasing. His return of serve was not very good (although he seemed to return like GOAT whenever he played Sampras, lol), and his lateral movement was a liability.
Stich. I watched them all a lot.
On the other hand Cash probably overachieved...
Hard to fairly call any player who wins a major title an "underachiever." To win even just ONE major is an amazing and miraculous achievement, when you consider how many players attempt to make it as pros.
+1 Stich should have made a lot more of his career given his talent. But it also says something about his competition that a man as talented as Stich could only fetch on major.
what's with the tall lanky guys not being able to develop a repeatable forehand? stich and goran both had the same problem, they could hit it fine, but it was the first shot to break down. both had very good backhands.
when stich was firing on all cylinders he was incredible, his wimby run was some of the best tennis i've ever seen. of course goran had the great equalizer with that serve. it's very close between those two guys, two of my favorites from yesteryear.
Cash and Krajicek were hampered by injuries.Stich was the most talented of the lot.
Tough call. All four players had their moments on the court where they would lose their heads.
I'm inclined to go with Krajicek. Whereas Stich and Cash did make it to other slam finals (Stich at US and French, Cash twice at the Aussie on grass and rebound ace), Krajicek could have done better at the majors although his record was good it could have been better. But Krajicek did have lots of injuries, like most of the players here.
Stich hands down.
Shotmaking and nearly everything-else-wise he was the most talented of the bunch.
If underachieving is the gap between someone's potential and actual performance then for me it is Krajicek. In my view he had the most potential and talent of this group of players but didn't fully fulfill them due to injuries but also due to a lack of consistency. He had an excellent career but it could have been a lot better.
None of them, they were all badly hurt in there careers.
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