Who's Your Clay Favorite In Place of Fed?

ChaelAZ

Legend
Even if Fed was there Nadal is the favorite. I would personally also look at Theim as a contender.

I'll throw Isner into the mix for at least deep runs.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Even if Fed was there Nadal is the favorite. I would personally also look at Theim as a contender.

I'll throw Isner into the mix for at least deep runs.
No, no, no. Fed was never the favorite to win RG.


If you are a Fed fan, who will you cheer for in place of him at RG?:p
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
No, no, no. Fed was never the favorite to win RG.


If you are a Fed fan, who will you cheer for in place of him at RG?:p
Yes. Yes. Yes. I get your point. You won't cheer for Nadal as a die hard Fed fan and want to believe someone else will pony up and beat Nadal.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
What's so 'funny' about that? :confused:

Mind you, even Fed fans are capable, or even allowed, to like other players as well.
One of the first in this thread.:rolleyes: Fed fans don't like this:
23/2016 SF Stuttgart Grass Dominic Thiem Roger Federer 3-6 7-6(7) 6-4 3.25 - 1.33
18/2016 R16 Rome Masters Clay Dominic Thiem Roger Federer 7-6(2) 6-4 2.35 - 1.55
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Yes. Yes. Yes. I get your point. You won't cheer for Nadal as a die hard Fed fan and want to believe someone else will pony up and beat Nadal.
Thiem fan here who also likes Nadal

Also like Fed too for that matter. Warming up to Djokovic some today in his little comeback.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
Also like Fed too for that matter. Warming up to Djokovic some today in his little comeback.
What Djokovic comeback? He beat Bautista Agut, a player he should be beating no matter how poor his form is. That one loss to Bautista Agut in Shanghai was a fluke. We need to see how Djokovic fares against the better players coming up.
 

TheMusicLover

G.O.A.T.
One of the first in this thread.:rolleyes: Fed fans don't like this:
23/2016 SF Stuttgart Grass Dominic Thiem Roger Federer 3-6 7-6(7) 6-4 3.25 - 1.33
18/2016 R16 Rome Masters Clay Dominic Thiem Roger Federer 7-6(2) 6-4 2.35 - 1.55
Perhaps it's time for you to not throw all of any fans of whatever a player in the same bracket?

Whenever a player manages to get a win over an ATG, congrats and well-done.
Pretty sure quite a few Fed fans congratulated Thiem with those victories.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Perhaps it's time for you to not throw all of any fans of whatever a player in the same bracket?

Whenever a player manages to get a win over an ATG, congrats and well-done.
Pretty sure quite a few Fed fans congratulated Thiem with those victories.
Haha. Oh no. The die hards here have been dumping on Thiem and the NextGen for far too long.
Its clay season, no Fed no where, geriatrics on the run, this is just too much fun:D
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
What Djokovic comeback? He beat Bautista Agut, a player he should be beating no matter how poor his form is. That one loss to Bautista Agut in Shanghai was a fluke. We need to see how Djokovic fares against the better players coming up.
I saw most of the match. He's the defending RG champ.:rolleyes: Until he's dethroned at RG he's number one.;)

You're missing it cc.;) Delpo strong too in Rome. Some great matches tomorrow. I've cheered the Djoko decline and followed it closely, but the wind of change is in the air. Your approach is little help waiting after a match. I've got to pick before in my leagues.o_O Djoko is making life very rough right now.:eek:
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
THE favourite should of course be Nadal - whether you're a fan of his or no.
Anyone still kidding him/herself telling that he's 'far from his best' or other likewise nuttery I've been reading over here ever since AO 2017, should've woken up by now.
Yes,it's astounding to me how some posters are saying Nadal is far from his best when he's making hc slam finals again and has improved areas of his game such as the backhand (big time, probably as much as Federer has improved his) and his serve placement.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
I saw most of the match. He's the defending RG champ.:rolleyes: Until he's dethroned at RG he's number one.;)

You're missing it cc.;) Delpo strong too in Rome. Some great matches tomorrow. I've cheered the Djoko decline and followed it closely, but the wind of change is in the air. Your approach is little help waiting after a match. I've got to pick before in my leagues.o_O Djoko is making life very rough right now.:eek:
Yes, tomorrow there are some interesting matches. I'll try and tune in if I can otherwise I'll record them and watch what I want later.

As for Djokovic, haven't I been saying ad nauseam that eventually he will make some sort of comeback? But, I don't think his defeat over Bautista Agut, a guy who really has nothing to trouble him means much. We need to see Djokovic vs Del Potro, Nadal types.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Thiem fan here who also likes Nadal

Also like Fed too for that matter. Warming up to Djokovic some today in his little comeback.
Im a Nadal "fan" and now hopes Thiem beats him. Not really happened many times before not hoping Nadal to win. Wouldnt mind Zverev to beat him either. Ive even softened up so much for Kyrgios and really would like him to win Wimbledon, he is my dream Wimbledon champion for many reasons. Novak I have never cheered for except when I feel sorry for him, specially at USO with nasty Fed supporter crowd. Federer I want to win except for young players and Nadal. Andy- who I am not the biggest fan of has somewhat become the player I have been following most closely and been most enganged watching from start to finnish of a slam, winning his first Wimbledon. That route to that was so intense, those two years. Think I almost got deflated after that final, something that happened to Andy too :eek:

edit- forgot to mention Gulbis here-- but he is just on another level :p
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Im a Nadal "fan" and now hopes Thiem beats him. Not really happened many times before not hoping Nadal to win. Wouldnt mind Zverev to beat him either. Ive even softened up so much for Kyrgios and really would like him to win Wimbledon, he is my dream Wimbledon champion for many reasons. Novak I have never cheered for except when I feel sorry for him, specially at USO with nasty Fed supporter crowd. Federer I want to win except for young players and Nadal. Andy- who I am not the biggest fan of has somewhat become the player I have been following most closely and been most enganged watching from start to finnish of a slam, winning his first Wimbledon. That route to that was so intense, those two years. Think I almost got deflated after that final, something that happened to Andy too :eek:

edit- forgot to mention Gulbis here-- but he is just on another level :p
Wow. A true fan of clay tennis. Ruud also hopefully we'll make a name for himself at RG with a scalp or too.:eek::p You've been with Thiem like myself long enough to enjoy his progress over the last two seasons.:D If he truly beats Nadal in Rome that would take a tremendous match and would set TTW on fire.:cool:
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
I'm hoping Tsonga and Monfils make a deep run...actually any Frenchman.
If you like Fed look no further than Pouille. He's been under the weather, but a great darkhorse at RG with his great results on clay this year plus QFs at Wimby and US Open last year.:eek:
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Haha. Oh no. The die hards here have been dumping on Thiem and the NextGen for far too long.
Its clay season, no Fed no where, geriatrics on the run, this is just too much fun:D
Fed fans are traumatised from when Rafa was NextGen. Less likely to support NextGen in general.:oops:
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Wow. A true fan of clay tennis. Ruud also hopefully we'll make a name for himself at RG with a scalp or too.:eek::p You've been with Thiem like myself long enough to enjoy his progress over the last two seasons.:D If he truly beats Nadal in Rome that would take a tremendous match and would set TTW on fire.:cool:
Grass and Clay I like very much :D Too bad grass season so short, wish for less HC and more grass(which will unfortunately never happen). Would be great if Ruud highten his level, but luckily it has happened some changes in the field so tennis is fun again to watch. Thiem making tennis great again!
From what I have seen in this forum Thiem has to win RG 3 times before he gets the respect he deserves :eek: A win tomorrow will make a lot of fire, but mostly to somehow put his victory down. Saying Rafa is playing really bad, clay level is lower than ever and so on. Think about if Zverev goes deep in Wimbledon how they will trash him. But thats just a sign these "new" ones are doing very well :D
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Grass and Clay I like very much :D Too bad grass season so short, wish for less HC and more grass(which will unfortunately never happen). Would be great if Ruud highten his level, but luckily it has happened some changes in the field so tennis is fun again to watch. Thiem making tennis great again!
From what I have seen in this forum Thiem has to win RG 3 times before he gets the respect he deserves :eek: A win tomorrow will make a lot of fire, but mostly to somehow put his victory down. Saying Rafa is playing really bad, clay level is lower than ever and so on. Think about if Zverev goes deep in Wimbledon how they will trash him. But thats just a sign these "new" ones are doing very well :D
Expecting Zverev in Rome final lol:rolleyes: That will be a ruckus like no other especially if its his rematch with Nadal, "strange".:p
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
Grass and Clay I like very much :D Too bad grass season so short, wish for less HC and more grass(which will unfortunately never happen). Would be great if Ruud highten his level, but luckily it has happened some changes in the field so tennis is fun again to watch. Thiem making tennis great again!
From what I have seen in this forum Thiem has to win RG 3 times before he gets the respect he deserves :eek: A win tomorrow will make a lot of fire, but mostly to somehow put his victory down. Saying Rafa is playing really bad, clay level is lower than ever and so on. Think about if Zverev goes deep in Wimbledon how they will trash him. But thats just a sign these "new" ones are doing very well :D
But they aren't doing well enough. Where are their big trophies?
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Expecting Zverev in Rome final lol:rolleyes: That will be a ruckus like no other especially if its his rematch with Nadal, "strange".:p
Maybe I am biased when it comes to Zverev, but he has grown a lot in the mental departement last weeks. So has Thiem. You just
get a feeling when match starts they will win it. And thats something that only happens with really good players. That they can sail it in, serve it out, to better and better players. They have to believe they can win to win, and us watching can sense it. Its really fun to see the progress. So many matches younger players are so close, then fold or choke. Either they will continue w that for the rest of the career and game not really developing that much..or they start winning and that leads to more winning and more development. Or at least that is how I see it.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
But they aren't doing well enough. Where are their big trophies?
They are closing in, its not done w magic. They are winning smaller tournaments and getting closer and closer. How many matches has Federer, Rafa and Novak won because they have won so much and have this aura around them? Remember when Rafa was just so bad, injured and declined, still managed to win some matches on aura really. Players fold or choke against them easier than to other players. Yes, Novak was incredible some years but still quite an amount of matches were won because they knew he would not give up and come back into the match, they just knew it since it has happened many times before. But not every time that happened at all for real. To get to the top of the mountain and fight those biggest fighters is a lot of mental strength. Like Rafa in Wimbledon08 is the excellent example of this. It takes a lot to get there.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
They are closing in, its not done w magic. They are winning smaller tournaments and getting closer and closer. How many matches has Federer, Rafa and Novak won because they have won so much and have this aura around them? Remember when Rafa was just so bad, injured and declined, still managed to win some matches on aura really. Players fold or choke against them easier than to other players. Yes, Novak was incredible some years but still quite an amount of matches were won because they knew he would not give up and come back into the match, they just knew it since it has happened many times before. But not every time that happened at all for real. To get to the top of the mountain and fight those biggest fighters is a lot of mental strength. Like Rafa in Wimbledon08 is the excellent example of this. It takes a lot to get there.
Nadal was winning big titles in his diapers and came out beating Federer almost instantly on hc. These youngsters have won nothing substantial yet. If and when they do, it will be good for the sport.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
Nadal was winning big titles in his diapers and came out beating Federer almost instantly on hc. These youngsters have won nothing substantial yet. If and when they do, it will be good for the sport.

Comparing anyone to young Nadal is not nice;) Nadal was a physical monster from young age and will be in the history books in the game of tennis all time for what he has done. Thats whats so hard about being Nadal fan, it was so much fun when he broke though so young, and want to see that again, its very special.
3set TB vs Dimitrov. @Meles Court level. Love these court level youtube movies, get a better feeling of how the match was. Great to see all the support Thiem got, even more than Dimi who to my impression is quite popular from before.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
They are closing in, its not done w magic. They are winning smaller tournaments and getting closer and closer. How many matches has Federer, Rafa and Novak won because they have won so much and have this aura around them? Remember when Rafa was just so bad, injured and declined, still managed to win some matches on aura really. Players fold or choke against them easier than to other players. Yes, Novak was incredible some years but still quite an amount of matches were won because they knew he would not give up and come back into the match, they just knew it since it has happened many times before. But not every time that happened at all for real. To get to the top of the mountain and fight those biggest fighters is a lot of mental strength. Like Rafa in Wimbledon08 is the excellent example of this. It takes a lot to get there.
Nadal was winning big titles in his diapers and came out beating Federer almost instantly on hc. These youngsters have won nothing substantial yet. If and when they do, it will be good for the sport.
That era was a joke. All of the top players had games (mainly all court games) developed with old technology (gut). Federer adapted to Poly extremely well after a time and Nadal as a clay courter probably practically developed on Poly like strings. Their spinny shots were death and destruction to the current crop of players who are long departed from the top of the game. It was easier for all the new baseliners coming in with this technology advantage. All of the Frenchies, Berdy, Wawrinka, Murray, and Djokovic all broke in with a huge tech advantage. Add to this that all of the "Big 4" are just faster, bigger, and more athletic than anyone who has been in the game. The only player physically comparable these days is probably Dimitrov. The game has been dominated by these elite players since 2010 road blocking all major events. A player not ranked in the top 4 almost every time faces what Tsonga did in Roger's Cup 2014; QF, SF, and Final wins over three big 4 members.:eek:

Take a look at Berdy's loan Masters 1000 at 2005 Bercy; Berdy beat Stepanek in the SF and Ljubicic (three over the hill clay court names in the earlier rounds). All sorts of player today (including some young ones) would blow through such a draw like tissue paper.

Your metric is simply unreasonable. Nobody on tour is winning these titles on tour except the Big 4 and now you expect 18-22 year olds to win?:rolleyes: Right now on clay nextgen is beating just about everyone else not named Nadal when given the opportunity. You remain oblivious the rest of the iceberg coming your way that is next gen and even players like Dimitrov. I won't defend other older lost gen players like Paire, Nishikori, Raonic, and even Goffin (a great player, but without a great serve and weapon.) They've all proven to have major short comings. The 4 NextGen in the top 20 currently have slam written all over them in the upcoming years. All are mentally strong and have all sorts of weapons to their game with no glaring shortcomings. The current fave on TTW is Kyrgios and he's probably the weakest of the bunch due to his return game still being borderline for greatness. All of these four have champion mentallity very much like the Big 4. This is an iceberg cc that will start tearing a gash in your titanic miscalulation of standards.:eek:

@Gary Duane has also pointed out that modern sports technology has changed the game tremendously. Its expensive to have a full entourage of trainers, etc that make up the very top players teams. If you are really young you just have no chance to compete with those built in advantages.

Other factors too cc, like high bounce height with Poly strings strangle younger players. Even a giant like Zverev has been on a five year training program with Jez Green to get the strength to compete on tour. We'll know by the end of Wimbledon how much the NextGen insurgence will go, but they are all making huge strides this year.o_O
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
Comparing anyone to young Nadal is not nice;) Nadal was a physical monster from young age and will be in the history books in the game of tennis all time for what he has done. Thats whats so hard about being Nadal fan, it was so much fun when he broke though so young, and want to see that again, its very special.
3set TB vs Dimitrov. @Meles Court level. Love these court level youtube movies, get a better feeling of how the match was. Great to see all the support Thiem got, even more than Dimi who to my impression is quite popular from before.
But Nadal wasn't the only ATG who broke through young. Becker, Borg, Chang, Djokovic, McEnroe, Agassi, Wilander, you name it, were all winning big titles at much younger ages than most of these NextGen players are today.
 

cc0509

Talk Tennis Guru
That era was a joke. All of the top players had games (mainly all court games) developed with old technology (gut). Federer adapted to Poly extremely well after a time and Nadal as a clay courter probably practically developed on Poly like strings. Their spinny shots were death and destruction to the current crop of players who are long departed from the top of the game. It was easier for all the new baseliners coming in with this technology advantage. All of the Frenchies, Berdy, Wawrinka, Murray, and Djokovic all broke in with a huge tech advantage. Add to this that all of the "Big 4" are just faster, bigger, and more athletic than anyone who has been in the game. The only player physically comparable these days is probably Dimitrov. The game has been dominated by these elite players since 2010 road blocking all major events. A player not ranked in the top 4 almost every time faces what Tsonga did in Roger's Cup 2014; QF, SF, and Final wins over three big 4 members.:eek:

Take a look at Berdy's loan Masters 1000 at 2005 Bercy; Berdy beat Stepanek in the SF and Ljubicic (three over the hill clay court names in the earlier rounds). All sorts of player today (including some young ones) would blow through such a draw like tissue paper.

Your metric is simply unreasonable. Nobody on tour is winning these titles on tour except the Big 4 and now you expect 18-22 year olds to win?:rolleyes: Right now on clay nextgen is beating just about everyone else not named Nadal when given the opportunity. You remain oblivious the rest of the iceberg coming your way that is next gen and even players like Dimitrov. I won't defend other older lost gen players like Paire, Nishikori, Raonic, and even Goffin (a great player, but without a great serve and weapon.) They've all proven to have major short comings. The 4 NextGen in the top 20 currently have slam written all over them in the upcoming years. All are mentally strong and have all sorts of weapons to their game with no glaring shortcomings. The current fave on TTW is Kyrgios and he's probably the weakest of the bunch due to his return game still being borderline for greatness. All of these four have champion mentallity very much like the Big 4. This is an iceberg cc that will start tearing a gash in your titanic miscalulation of standards.:eek:

@Gary Duane has also pointed out that modern sports technology has changed the game tremendously. Its expensive to have a full entourage of trainers, etc that make up the very top players teams. If you are really young you just have no chance to compete with those built in advantages.

Other factors too cc, like high bounce height with Poly strings strangle younger players. Even a giant like Zverev has been on a five year training program with Jez Green to get the strength to compete on tour. We'll know by the end of Wimbledon how much the NextGen insurgence will go, but they are all making huge strides this year.o_O
I stopped reading at"the Big Four are more athletic than anyone who has played the game." Obviously you never saw guys like Borg play. He was one of the best athletes the game has ever seen for example. When did you start watching tennis, in 2011? Your knowledge of tennis pre 2011 seems sparse. You are babbling on about Dimitrov being comparable to the Big Four or previous greats in terms of athleticism I can't take you seriously, I'm sorry.

Stop making stupid excuses. These younger generations are poor in relation to past younger generations and they should be beating these ancient ATG players at this time and winning big titles. I'm not saying that they should be doing this at age 17 but isn't Thiem almost 24 and Dimitrov is 26! Dimitrov doesn't have it. He's too flaky. Your standards are low buddy and you are rooting for a bunch of duds(Dimitrov, Pouille, etc.) I think if you took Zverev's work ethic and paired it with Kyrgios' talent, you would have the perfect combination and a player who would be able to consistently take it to Big Four players at the age they are at now.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
I stopped reading at"the Big Four are more athletic than anyone who has played the game." Obviously you never saw guys like Borg play. He was one of the best athletes the game has ever seen for example. When did you start watching tennis, in 2011? Your knowledge of tennis pre 2011 seems sparse. You are babbling on about Dimitrov being comparable to the Big Four or previous greats in terms of athleticism I can't take you seriously, I'm sorry.

Stop making stupid excuses. These younger generations are poor in relation to past younger generations and they should be beating these ancient ATG players at this time and winning big titles. I'm not saying that they should be doing this at age 17 but isn't Thiem almost 24 and Dimitrov is 26! Dimitrov doesn't have it. He's too flaky. Your standards are low buddy and you are rooting for a bunch of duds(Dimitrov, Pouille, etc.) I think if you took Zverev's work ethic and paired it with Kyrgios' talent, you would have the perfect combination and a player who would be able to consistently take it to Big Four players at the age they are at now.
Borg was short CC, not big and fast, just fast.o_O

I'm not going to defend Dimitrov other than say he's still 6th in the atp race and far from done for the year.

So for Thiem, he should be beating prime Nadal and peak Djokovic? Nobody else really has except when Nadal has been off his game. Thiem already has a win over Nadal in such conditions last year. Quite unreasonable cc in the case of Mr. Thiem.:rolleyes:

Pouille is way to clutch to not eventually snag a slam. Beat Rafa last year when he thought he might win the event and had shipped in over 100 relatives for the final week to watch. Pouille took him out on the biggest stage.;) Hardly a dud. Nobody took out Fed until later in his career at the US Open (Delpo).

The Zverev iceberg is about to run into your pointy head at Rome cc.:D
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
That era was a joke. All of the top players had games (mainly all court games) developed with old technology (gut).
Meles, I agree with you about a lot of this, though not all. However, you go way overboard with exaggeration to make a point, and then people don't take you seriously.

By saying that era was a "joke" you alienate everyone, including me.

Poly didn't change everything. It was the next big technological development that added to changes that were already making tennis a very different sport. If you compare tennis in the 90s to tennis in the 60s, there are huge changes. Already it was a very different sport. Already players were getting taller. Already players started muscling up in a way that earlier generations didn't even think about doing.

There has been a continuous change in rackets starting around the time of Connors. The moment just one player started winning with a metal racket, the evolution of racket technology was on its way. Borg is probably the last ATG to win primarily with wood and gut.

The change to poly was the latest step in making tennis a totally different sport. Not a better sport. A DIFFERENT sport.

You can say that the current top players are stronger, but let's look at that very carefully. Nadal is an exception, and to this moment we don't know for sure if his extra "muscles" have made his career stronger or weaker. Surely they have contributed to the strain on his body.

Is Djokovic more muscular and leaner than all former ATGs? Or is he just a freak of nature, as all the greats ones are, with his ability to stretch? The guy is like a greyhound turning into a human being. One of a kind.

Federer is in no way an abnormally muscled up guy. There are lots of guys on the tour who look a whole lot more impressive shirtless.

You can't say that these guys are faster than all previous players. We have no reliable measure to prove that. There have been incredibly fast players in the past, and incredibly fit players, guys who just never ever looked tired.

I don't recall Borg ever looking gassed.

The one inarguable fact is that today's players are taller.

But that doesn't make them superior athletes. It means that they are uniquely adapted to these light weight rackets with poly strings. So most likely Laver and Rosewall, clones, would not do as well with these rackets even if they had modern training. But if all these guys had to play with the old heavy, wooden rackets, gut, that extra height might be a disadvantage.

There is no reason to trash Federer and his generation just to prove how good present players are. That's not only stupid, it is downright immature. You bring yourself right down to the level of the many idiots in this forum who are so polarized with "opinions" that they can't stop and think about anything logically.

That's my push-back on your extreme position here.

But I'm equally irritated at the idea that everything that is happening right now is crap, and that everything was better "in the old, golden days".

These are two extreme positions, close-minded, argumentative and to me equally irritating.

Now, I'll come back about the things I agree with you about...[/quote][/QUOTE]
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
Now, for the other side of the discussion:
Your metric is simply unreasonable. Nobody on tour is winning these titles on tour except the Big 4 and now you expect 18-22 year olds to win?:rolleyes: Right now on clay nextgen is beating just about everyone else not named Nadal when given the opportunity. You remain oblivious the rest of the iceberg coming your way that is next gen and even players like Dimitrov.
I think it is very iffy that Dimi will ever achieve anything great. There have been some very good players who have been unable to get to the very highest level. Among them:

Berdych
Tsonga
Ferrer
Several others

That's not in any logical order. ALL of these guys have come very close to snagging at major, but they just could not push through.

The big question is:

Why?

These are the players I have examined in the OE who were monsters:

Rosewall
Laver
Connors
Borg
JMac
Lendl
Agassi
Sampras
Federer
Nadal
Djokovic

Order according to when they were born.

That's 11 ATGs who sucked up a lot of majors. We could add others to the list, players like Becker and Edberg, Wilander, a few others, but I can't think of anyone else who dominated in the same way as these 11 guys.

Now, let's think about the OE. At the moment we are one year shy of a full 50 years. Let's divide:

49/11

That's around 4.45 years, so we can think about seeing one of these amazing dominant players about every 4.5 years, and the best probably dominated tennis for about that long.

But it's not an even thing at all. Sometimes we have long droughts, and other times the ATGs overlap a lot. Connors/Borg/JMac differed by around 7 years total, with Borg sort of close to the middle. None of them were true contemporaries in the way Agassi and Sampras were, or the way Nadal and Djokovic are right now. It's also really hard to think of any time there were three top guys playing at the same time with ANOTHER who was a contemporary of two of them, as is true of Murray.

So ATGs are not particularly common, not they guys who dominate many slams.

Lendl was born in 1960 if I'm remember correctly, and Agassi was born around 1970. That's a ten year gap, and during that ten year period tennis was perhaps more interesting than usual because by the end of Lendl's dominance there was no one of his stature to take over. Becker and Edberg were marvelous players, both of them, but just not on the same level of dominance.

Even Agassi was the next "beta male", since Sampras soon took over as the top dog. There were thus around 11 years between Lendl and Sampras, and that's a LONG time.

It really doesn't matter if the other guys who fill in are 21 or 31. The point is that while you have extremely dominant players, nearly total dominance is the norm.

We saw that with Laver in '69. We saw that at least one year with Connors, at least one year with JMac, and so on. The unusual thing about the 90s is that there was no one to totally dominate on clay, as in the Nadal and Borg eras, so the Sampras era does not look as dominant in terms of a couple guys sucking up all the majors. That gets back to the old chicken/egg thing, so you have guys like 90s Clay screaming that it was the Golden Era of modern tennis because more people snuck in majors and won big tournaments.

But the one thing that was nearly impossible in the past was for aging players to continue dominating, year after year. The only guy who remained amazingly healthy in the OE was Rosewall, and really he was more of a miracle than Federer. He never had major surgery. No MRIs. No ice baths.

We know that under the right circumstances a guy like Laver could sweep everything between the age of 30 and 31. We know that Pancho Gonzalez was probably equally amazing, but because he was four years older than Rosewall, he really did not have a chance to show it in the OE.

So what is the major change in tennis, besides the rackets and strings?

SPORTS MEDICINE.

That has changed all sports forever. It doesn't mean that older players never get tired, or slower, or are more subject to injury.

But it changes the balance. It gives the advantage to experience, and we've known for a very long time that aging doubles players remain incredibly dangerous because they can continue to win with their minds, their tactics, their craft.

In the past the physical decline close to age 30 and afterwards always shifted the advantage to younger players.

That automatic advantage is GONE, and this is permanent. People live longer, and they live longer in better health. Aging athletes have always had amazing, peak performances, but age stopped them from being able to repeat those performances.

Not today. Not as much.

If you increase the careers of aging athletes, you automatically make it harder for young players, breaking in, to dominate. That doesn't mean that we can't have younger players break through again, and it doesn't even mean that a young guy has to be half-way to seven feet tall to do it. But if the careers of tennis players are being extended - and all evidence points to the fact that this is so - then we can expect "young stars" not to be as young as they used to when they threaten to take over.

And that means that the old statistical peak of winning majors, around age 25 or so in the past, is going to move to something more like 27 or 28. We won't know for sure for another couple decades, perhaps, but the writing is on the wall.

If I'm right, a guy like Thiem right now is about where an equally talented player of his size would have been two or three years younger a few decades back.
 

joekapa

Legend
Nadal is NOT a given for RG. There I said it. It's been all too perfect for him since the start of the year, and something tells me he is due for a HEAVY loss. Also another voice deep inside is telling me that Novak is revving up to peak during RG.
 

junior74

G.O.A.T.
I don't recall Borg ever looking gassed
I read a piece on him where he said he got so tired in one early pro match, he almost collapsed. He decided, right there, that he would never experience that again, so he started running a lot to get his incredible endurance strength. He said, from that moment on, he never got really tired in any tennis match for the remainder of his career.

My clay favourite - in the history of tennis - is Borg :)
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
But Nadal wasn't the only ATG who broke through young. Becker, Borg, Chang, Djokovic, McEnroe, Agassi, Wilander, you name it, were all winning big titles at much younger ages than most of these NextGen players are today.
Yeah, but at these slam winners from back in the days and compare them to those who win slams these days. You need a body strong enough handle the power. Rafa had that from young age and thats why he was so damn good. If he had a body like Borg he wouldnt get even to be a top 50 player. Injuries are a bigger aspect these days. Tennis is much more physical demanding in terms of strength. Stamina being skinny is much easier than with 10kilo more in muscles. Players are now stronger and have a better stamina than back in the days.
 
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6

6-3 6-0

Guest
Thiem fan here who also likes Nadal

Also like Fed too for that matter.
You can pretend like one but your posting history gives us the clear picture. You vanished for a day when Federer beat Nadal in Miami and then when Nadal beat Thiem in Barcelona. One wonders why :D

Warming up to Djokovic some today in his little comeback.
You need to mask your posts better ;)
Pretending to be otherwise while being a massive Djoko fan lol. RF-18 and ArcspacE would definitely enjoy your company for sure :D
You're trying to hype up all the current youngsters and discrediting the players who were young 10-15 years ago even though these are getting beaten consistently by slowed down champions. So cut the crap and openly support the player you support.

That era was a joke. All of the top players had games (mainly all court games) developed with old technology (gut). Federer adapted to Poly extremely well after a time and Nadal as a clay courter probably practically developed on Poly like strings. Their spinny shots were death and destruction to the current crop of players who are long departed from the top of the game. It was easier for all the new baseliners coming in with this technology advantage. All of the Frenchies, Berdy, Wawrinka, Murray, and Djokovic all broke in with a huge tech advantage. Add to this that all of the "Big 4" are just faster, bigger, and more athletic than anyone who has been in the game. The only player physically comparable these days is probably Dimitrov. The game has been dominated by these elite players since 2010 road blocking all major events. A player not ranked in the top 4 almost every time faces what Tsonga did in Roger's Cup 2014; QF, SF, and Final wins over three big 4 members.:eek:

Take a look at Berdy's loan Masters 1000 at 2005 Bercy; Berdy beat Stepanek in the SF and Ljubicic (three over the hill clay court names in the earlier rounds). All sorts of player today (including some young ones) would blow through such a draw like tissue paper.
Hmmm so young Nadal breaks through in 2005 winning 11 titles including several HC titles = Era being a joke. But the same Nadal in 2015-16 who was struggling to make past the likes of players who have achieved nothing and now in 2017 beating the same youngsters = Strong era :rolleyes:

You like to make up lots of excuses and cherry pick stats to justify the failures of this generation (and consequently hype up Djoko's competition while at the same time denigrate Federer's competition 12 years ago). The length you're going to by bringing Poly strings when the same technology is available to everyone is laughable. Its like saying Borg's/Laver's competition was joke because they used wooden racquets. HELLO? So did everyone in their era.

Could you be anymore biased? Atleast the trolls in Federer fanbase, Nadal fanbase, etc are original and don't try to hide behind other players in their avatars.
 

TheGhostOfAgassi

Talk Tennis Guru
You can pretend like one but your posting history gives us the clear picture. You vanished for a day when Federer beat Nadal in Miami and then when Nadal beat Thiem in Barcelona. One wonders why :D


You need to mask your posts better ;)
Pretending to be otherwise while being a massive Djoko fan lol. RF-18 and ArcspacE would definitely enjoy your company for sure :D
You're trying to hype up all the current youngsters and discrediting the players who were young 10-15 years ago even though these are getting beaten consistently by slowed down champions. So cut the crap and openly support the player you support.


Hmmm so young Nadal breaks through in 2005 winning 11 titles including several HC titles = Era being a joke. But the same Nadal in 2015-16 who was struggling to make past the likes of players who have achieved nothing and now in 2017 beating the same youngsters = Strong era :rolleyes:

You like to make up lots of excuses and cherry pick stats to justify the failures of this generation (and consequently hype up Djoko's competition while at the same time denigrate Federer's competition 12 years ago). The length you're going to by bringing Poly strings when the same technology is available to everyone is laughable. Its like saying Borg's/Laver's competition was joke because they used wooden racquets. HELLO? So did everyone in their era.

Could you be anymore biased? Atleast the trolls in Federer fanbase, Nadal fanbase, etc are original and don't try to hide behind other players in their avatars.
@Meles Didnt know you were in the dark side and a Novak fan!!!!! :eek: Seriously!!
Good you have developed better taste w time :p
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
@Meles Didnt know you were in the dark side and a Novak fan!!!!! :eek: Seriously!!
Good you have developed better taste w time :p
@Meles doesn't know who he's a fan of. I think it changes daily depending on who his statistical crush for the day is and how he thinks a 0.000000001% improvement in the number of points won via net cord are the difference between Marrakech runner up and RG champion.
 

BVSlam

Professional
A new guy would be great (as always), but we all know that won't happen, so Rafa getting his 10th RG would be pretty special and deserved after his season so far. If a miracle happens and it's not Rafa or either of Djokoray making a comeback to form, I'd like Delpo to surprise us all and win it (or Thiem, or Gurufils).
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Even if Fed was there Nadal is the favorite. I would personally also look at Theim as a contender.

I'll throw Isner into the mix for at least deep runs.
With Thiem's win over Nadal and Isner still doing well, I will stick to Nadal, Thiem, and Isner as my picks to follow at RG. [emoji1360][emoji462]


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