Will Thiem be as good a clay courter as Muster?

When all is said and done, who will have had a greater clay court career?

  • Thiem

    Votes: 28 47.5%
  • Muster

    Votes: 31 52.5%

  • Total voters
    59
Muster is ridiculously overrated. Thiem basically only has to win one FO to overtake him. And I don’t like Thiem at all. Whether he can win this FO Titel is yet to see but given the clay field I wouldn’t rule it out once Nadal and Djokovic are out of the picture.
I am biased against Muster, as I can not stand the guy, so I am best to limit my comments on him. I do think he is overrated by a lot of people though, his weakness on non clay surfaces, often make people overrate the level of clay courter he was.

I will say his dominance level of 95-96 was scary and super impressive, despite the blunder at RG 96. Although he may have also benefitted by not having any of Courier, Bruguera, Kuerten, being at their best those days years, and while the clay field was adequate, it may not have been as strong as most other years of that decade. I also strongly believe he was using excess PEDs for a couple years around that period, which would explain his almost superhuman temporary rise in fitness and endurance, but that is another topic, and I know some other that for Nadal, Djokovic 2011, and some others, so probably best to not delve too deeply into that.

His record against Bruguera is impressive, but record against Courier (sans 97 when Courier was a shadow of himself) pretty awful including on clay, and record against attacking players who arent even good on clay definitely a big negative.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
It is surprising to know Ken Rosewall who had an unusually long career, is one of the all time greats on clay and had played mostly before hard courts being dominant surface has only 387 wins on clay in his career! Something really flawed there.
When Rosewall started playing the slams and regular tournaments, 3 of the 4 slams and most of the warm up tournaments were played on grass. Still, Ken won the French in 53 when he was 18 years old. He only played the French once again before turning pro in 57. On the pro tour he won the French Pro 4 times at RG before they switched to a very fast indoor wood surface. Three of the 4 years Ken won the French at RG, he then won Wembley on a very fast wood indoor surface the following week. Ken was 33 when he beat Laver in the first FO in 68 and reached the final the following year when lost to Laver at 34. Ken also won many clay pro tournaments, as well. Of the 4 French Pro clay titles Ken beat Hoad in 3 finals and Gonzalez in the other final. When Laver joined the pro tour in 63, the French Pro had gone indoors.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Muster has an RG title and also 3 Rome and 3 Monte Carlo titles. Thiem has yet to win anything big on clay so let's wait until he does before comparing him with players who have.
 
Muster has an RG title and also 3 Rome and 3 Monte Carlo titles. Thiem has yet to win anything big on clay so let's wait until he does before comparing him with players who have.
Do you think Muster was clean though? I mean I guess technically we do not know if even Thiem was, but a player I have a reason to have heavy doping suspicions of, I always hold it against them (eg Sharapova).
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Do you think Muster was clean though? I mean I guess technically we do not know if even Thiem was, but a player I have a reason to have heavy doping suspicions of, I always hold it against them (eg Sharapova).
I believe Becker insinuated something of the sort when he lost to Muster in the final of 1995 Monte Carlo (after being up 2 sets and holding a match point). Apparently Muster immediately went and got himself tested and his results came back clear so Becker was forced to apologise. I guess the moral behind that story is that proof is everything and it's pointless to throw around suspicions and accusations until some is obtained.
 

BorgTheGOAT

Hall of Fame
will say his dominance level of 95-96 was scary and super impressive, despite the blunder at RG 96.
Well these two years he was quite good I give him this, but even here he had a lot of tough matches against not so good competition sometimes having to save match points. So while he did not loose often he was at the brink of loosing a couple of times and never gave me the impression of invincibility. It was not that he rolled over top opponents all the time. The point is that he was not a bad clay courter but some people label him king of clay before Nadal or Nadal of the 90s while he never did anything close to justify such praise. He won one single FO title never ever even reached another final and built up his reputation mostly on winning Mickey Mouse tournaments. His lifelong weakness against attacking players alone rules him out of any discussion about displaying sheer dominance. He was 0-4 against Edberg on clay, lost at the French against clay giants like Becker, Sampras, Stich and worst of all Rafter in 94. I think his dominance in 95-96 was also partly due to pure luck in the sense that he did not face good serve and volley players often during that period.
 

Luka888

Hall of Fame
There is no reason to talk about this atm. Muster is a way more accomplished clay player but Thiem might do something special in the future. Muster was a freak on clay :).
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Thiem is undoubtedly better than Muster, he is just unlucky to have faced Nadal.

Thiem already would have won 2 RG if not for Nadal (2017 and 2018), and will definetely win more in the future.

Muster only won 1 RG in a weaker pre-Nadal era, so he doesn't compare at all with the great Thiem. People from future generations will laugh at this comment section, as Thiem will be sitting in more than 1 RG.
 
Well these two years he was quite good I give him this, but even here he had a lot of tough matches against not so good competition sometimes having to save match points. So while he did not loose often he was at the brink of loosing a couple of times and never gave me the impression of invincibility. It was not that he rolled over top opponents all the time. The point is that he was not a bad clay courter but some people label him king of clay before Nadal or Nadal of the 90s while he never did anything close to justify such praise. He won one single FO title never ever even reached another final and built up his reputation mostly on winning Mickey Mouse tournaments. His lifelong weakness against attacking players alone rules him out of any discussion about displaying sheer dominance. He was 0-4 against Edberg on clay, lost at the French against clay giants like Becker, Sampras, Stich and worst of all Rafter in 94. I think his dominance in 95-96 was also partly due to pure luck in the sense that he did not face good serve and volley players often during that period.
True on all of that. He also never came close to his 95-96 level at any other phase of his career, so like Courier had a quite short peak, even if he had other years of being good on clay.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
True on all of that. He also never came close to his 95-96 level at any other phase of his career, so like Courier had a quite short peak, even if he had other years of being good on clay.
You all can trash Muster all you want but who here would not love to have had Muster's career? Thiem has great potential, but has won very little yet and there are NO guarantees that he will, though I hope he does. Also, Muster coming back from that terrible accident was near miraculous which showed his great determination and desire. Great to hear he was found clean after low life Becker falsely accused Muster for his loss at MC, after winning the first two sets.
 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
Quick resume of Muster's clay court accomplishments:

1 FO title (1995)
3 Monte Carlo Masters crowns
3 Rome Masters crowns
426 wins on the dirt
40 clay titles overall

Pretty impressive resume. One of the great clay court resumes for sure.
It"s a little hard to envision Thiem winning 6 clay Masters considering he has exactly zero currently. However, I think he could win 3-4 and maybe 1-2 FO titles.
What are current thoughts on this?
Muster obviously didn't have Nadal in his path...
 

AlexanderTheGreat08

Hall of Fame
10 clay titles so far , Doesn't seem like he'll catch up in that regard to Muster. But Thiem has been consistenly reaching the later stages of RG for 4 years(2 semis , 2 finals), Muster didn't do enough at RG. If he can find some longetivity in his game , He could win 2 RG titles which should be enough to put him above Muster. About masters , There are three clay masters per year , Again if Thiem can find longetivity , He could win a few
 
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