Worst #1 Men's Player?

Astennix

Rookie
Roddick.

However, it's funny how we all have different ideas of "worst". For me, Rafter is one of the best players I've ever seen play in person. He was more impressive than Sampras to me.
 

AAAA

Hall of Fame
If we are judging on technical and tactical skills like shot variation, shot placement, shot disguise, tactical play/variation, tactical understanding, court sense, etc. etc the answer is clearly...
 
Z

Ztalin

Guest
I'm going to go with Gustavo Kuerten. I can't have much respect for anyone that can only perform on one surface. Plus, his grunts were a little over kill.
 

tpduke112

Rookie
AAAA said:
If we are judging on technical and tactical skills like shot variation, shot placement, shot disguise, tactical play/variation, tactical understanding, court sense, etc. etc the answer is clearly...
Who? Roddick?
 

iscottius

Professional
Ztalin said:
I'm going to go with Gustavo Kuerten. I can't have much respect for anyone that can only perform on one surface. Plus, his grunts were a little over kill.
Kuerten beat Sampras Aggassi & Kafelnikoff in 2000 Lisbon Master series (fast hard court) to finish the year at # 1. He is clearly not the worst #1 player ever.

Muster?
Moya?
Rios?
Roddick?
 

Elenkov

New User
"Rios?"
??????

rios was the best. he made the game look easy.

muster is a better match, however i'm going to have to go with hewitt, because i just dislike him.
 
yearend-agassi, finished #1 in a year when sampras was injured. weekly-rios.

gotta remember, hewitt was #1 for 52 weeks out of 52, one year. not many have done that. and did something agassi could never do, spank sampras at the us open, and become #1 , for the year.
 

armand

Banned
I would pick Marcello Rios. He never did anything of note in slams except get a caning by Korda at Ausie Open final.
 
if u said hewitt your a dumbass, he was number 1 for a long time and is still near the top of the game, i would have to say Moya, he has been so inconsistent, and he was only #1 for like a week anyway, not exactly dominance.
 
I'd have to go with Roddick or Magnus Norman. Roddick is a two-trick pony though. Serve and forehand. His backhand is "marginal" at best as far as professional level tennis. His volleys suck and he's mentally weak.
 

Muse

Rookie
Moya. He just doesn't have the swagger to be a #1, ya know? I think Roddick was deserving of the #1 back when he made it, he just has the unlucky timing of having his career coinside with Federer's.

And quit naming Hewitt just cause you don't like him. Whether or not you think he's a good guy has nothing to do with the question, because his game is excellent and he played his way to the top and stayed there for a full year, a very impressive accomplishment. I think this is based on accomplishments in one's tennis career, and Hewitt has accomplished quite a lot in his time.
 

phil10s

New User
RIOS.. at least Roddick, Moya, Guga, and even Rafter have won one or more Slams. Rios was a fluke. Tons of talent... just didnt have it. At least theres a more accurate ranking system now (in my opinion).
 

!Tym

Hall of Fame
No contest. Either Moya or Rios for me.

To me a #1 player should strike fear into the hearts of other players, I don't think the above three guys ever did.

With Rios, players knew that he was mentally very vulnerable and because he didn't have the most power, if his "crafty" game was a little off, he was very beatable since he couldn't just bomb serves when not playing or constructing points well. Plus, the fact he never won a single grand slam. That to me, automatically means you're not a TRUE #1 in my eye.

With Moya, because while he's always been a very good player, I've always felt his brief #1 "reign" was a bit of a fluke. Basically, even when at his best, I've never really felt that other players truly FEARED him. Respected him? Sure, but not fear. Moya simply never had that kind of aura, he always felt like a "potential" guy to me, a "theoretically" GREAT player who really never had that "extra gear" though that true champions have. Basically, in other words, I've never really felt that confident in Moya's ability to come through in a tight match, wheras other guys like Sampras when the going got tough, you expected them to find a way to win even if they weren't playing well simply because they have sixth sense, that KNACK. Moya to me has never had that, just a very, very good game but a little murky on the INTANGIBLES part (something guys like Nadal and Hewit by the way, love 'em or hate 'em, have in SPADES). Say what you will about Muster, but he brought a virtual life force and SOUL to his matches. You could FEEL him breathing down your neck like a dragon waking up from a 1000 year hibernation. Muster at his best, DID have that intimidation factor, that aura of invincibility about him, that I never felt from Moya during his peak. The thing with Moya is that I've never really felt like he peaked, but rather he was always just very, very good, but ultimately just a hair short of the finish line. Always competitive, always tough to beat, but never that feeling like he was totally in the zone and no one in the world could possibly beat him on this day.

Again say what you will about Muster, but he's a guy who won the Lipton in dominant fashion, was a finalist in the Lipton as far back as 89 and we should ALL acknowledge what happened there. He was a semifinalist at the Australian Open, a twice quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open. And on clay? Forget about it. During his peak, he was unbelievably intimidating to other players who basically walked into the match already defeated and thinking they had no chance whatsoever to beat the Moo-Man in a no-holds barred cage match to the death complete with cave man clubs. Kafelnikov said after getting absolutely SQUASHED by Muster in the 95 semis that when you step into the ring with the Moo Man you feel like a little bug in the ring with a bull. That should tell you all you need to know about how intimidating this guy's growl was during his peak. Muster gets a bum rap, because his OVERBEARING work ethic rubbed people the wrong way (i.e. well he's not actually talented, he just wins all the time because he tries harder than you, outruns you, out grunts you...out WORKS you...um, well isn't that the point? To out work your opponent and win?); yet the fact remains that his slam results are better than Rios'...particularly, in the only category that matters, he actually won a slam.

As far as Guga goes? It's a misconception that he couldn't play on faster surfaces. He made the finals of the Lipton and gave Sampras a VERY stern challenge. He blitzed Samrpas and Agassi back to back at the Masters Cup, though to be "fair," the courts had been slowed down signifcantly by then as compared to the ridiculously fast pace they played at in the early-mid 90s (remember all the uproar about how unfair it was, how the other players had "no chance" because of it?). Even still, Guga was a very formidable fast-court player. The problem for him though was that his swings were so elongated. If his timing wasn't on, he was vulnerable. Also, the guy won how many French Opens? That's right three. Three more grand slams than Rios, period, end of story three times over.

Finally, I get to Kafelnikov. I feel he was a weaker #1 one, because he played soooo many tournaments, and let's face facts, even when he was at his peak level, I never felt that he was the ABSOLUTE BEST on any surface. To me, he was always ALMOST the best on any surface, but there's a distinction isn't there? To me, if you're truly a #1, when you're at your best there should be no one else in the world who will beat you. I don't care if you're a claycourter or a grass courter, but the thing for me is if you're the #1 claycourter in the world, it should be that on your best day no one in the world will beat you, simple as that. Can we honestly say that about Kafelnikov? I look at him as the really GREAT jack of all trades, but master of none. To me, yes, he won the French and the Australian Open and the Olympics, but in each case I do not feel he faced the absolute best that tennis could offer. Australian Open against Enqvist? Not the same as against Sampras or Agassi, and I think Enqvist is an awesome player, yet he's also no Sampras...poor Pioline and his luck. French final? Would he have beaten the "dominant" claycourters of the 90s during their respective peaks? In my opinion no, though to be honest that was an unusual year in that the courts were unusually sun-baked and played "just like hard courts" according to reports (if you look at the results that year, all the fast courters had unusually good runs so there is credence to this theory). Olympic final against Haas? Now, while I think Haas is a very talented guy, he got tight at the end of that match, and to me he's never had that champion's killer instinct from deep within his gut. My question is would Kafelnikov have beaten Agassi the way Agassi was playing the 96 Olympic final? In my opinion, no. Agassi's best is better than Kafelnikov's in my opinion. And I'm saying this even though I think Kafelnikov is one of the most overall talented players I've ever seen. Overall talented though doesn't mean you're the best...i.e. picture Goran's serve on absolute fire at Wimbledon vs. Kafelnikov firing on "all" cylinders...who would you take? Well, Kafelnikov would certainly make a match of it, but would he win? I wouldn't bet on it.

In short, I don't think it's a coincidence that Kafelnikov never really had that aura or intimidation factor going for him of a true #1. Did he deserve to be #1? I'd say yes, sorta. But he's a weaker #1.

So in conclusion: Rios, not a legitimate #1. Moya, slightly more legitimate #1 but still not a legitimate #1. Muster, legitimate #1 but a weak #1. Kafelnikov, legitimate #1 but a weak #1.

Everyone else who has been #1 though in the moder era, I feel is an upgraded #1, i.e. the distinction between "legitimate" and BONAFIDE #1...awe, and what a sweet feeling it is.
 

friedalo1

Semi-Pro
All number #1 are good. There is no worse #1 players. To be number #1 you have to win a lot of tournaments before you are the #1 player in the world.
 

littlelleyton

Semi-Pro
i think the title of the thread should be made simpler for tpduke112 and the others who said they dislike hewitt. they obviously miss the point of this thread, but hey keep the lleyton hate going.


as for worst #1 i think its hard to pick a " worst " player but more a player from the group. i think Kafelnikov went through a period playing so many tournaments and he didnt really make his mark as much as some of the other #1's. i think #1's should be judge on all surfaces, grand slams and the end of year rankings. For me Rios might just shade it as he never won a slam.
 

Yours!05

Professional
Perfect !Tym!
Say what you will about Muster, but he brought a virtual life force and SOUL to his matches. You could FEEL him breathing down your neck like a dragon waking up from a 1000 year hibernation. Muster at his best, DID have that intimidation factor, that aura of invincibility about him
 

hoosierbr

Hall of Fame
Just to clarify, Moya DID win a Slam - the '98 French.

IMO, I'm not sure "worst" is the most appropriate term for classifying weak number ones. In order to be number one in the world during the last 20 years you had to be a pretty damn good player. Back in the mid and late 70's when McEnroe, Connors and Borg were at their peak, the number one ranking was based on an odd computer formula that made Connors number one some years when he didn't win a Slam. On the women's side, the number one ranking was voted on at the end of the year by a group of journalists, which is why Chris Evert was number one a lot longer than she should have been when Martina Navratilova was winning tournaments left and right.

Now, to answer this thread's question, I've thought about it and in no small part due to the pounding Roddick has taken at the hands of Federer and Hewitt lately and a never-gonna-be number one Paul Henri-Mathieu tonight, I think A-Rod gets my vote. I'm sorry but I think Federer will be this generation's Sampras and Roddick could very well be the Michael Chang of the group. Hewitt is probably the Courier of the bunch and Safin the Agassi, if only because he seems to play great tennis when you least expect it and can beat anyone when he shows up to play. Though I doubt Marat will be around at 35.

Roddick's short stint at the top equaled that of Juan Carlos Ferrero, another candidate for this poll, but even JCF seems to be heading in the right direction now. Roddick has gone nowhere but down since 2003.
 

!Tym

Hall of Fame
Yeah forgot about Roddick. He was completely dominant on hard courts for that one stretch where he was playing just ouf of his mind and his forehand was on fire. Now, however, he's misfiring more and not as confident. He maybe doesn't play the big points quite as freely as before, I still consider him a very clutch player though. Still, he has won a slam and is a very consistent performer on all surfaces (the serves helps a lot with that) excluding the European red clay. To me, anyone who's won a slam is a legitimate #1 (after all, how can you in your heart consider yourself truly #1 if you've never won a slam which is supposedly what everyone on the tour shoots for), doesn't mean you're a bonafide #1 though. Also, Roddick has gone deep at the Australian Open as well, and if not for Federer *easily* would be a two time Wimbledon champion by now. He deserves his props for that, problem is that he's starting to play bridesmaid to Federer now kind of like Chang did once Sampras peaked. Chang also had good results at all slams, finals at Australian, U.S. Open, and French on top of his one slam. I never would have thought it possible before, but it seems Roddick may turn into this generation's Chang. I actually think he has a higher top gear than Chang due to the overwhelming power, and is really an underrated player as far as talent by some; but he like Chang is plagued with a few KEY matchup problems, and at its core, tennis really is a game of matchups. Roddick can beat everyone fairly consistently, but like Chang doesn't really match up well with his elite foes, guys like Sampras (in this case Federer) and Agassi (when he was playing well), or even Courier (in this case, Hewitt).

How important are matchups? Well, I think for instance that Roddick matches up pretty well with Safin. For some reason, he just seems more comfortable playing him than he does the other top guys, but the problem is Safin isn't always motivated and hence not always a factor in the title picture.
 

Shyyre

Rookie
i'm gonna stick with roddick on this one (especially after last night), but time will tell... he needs to fire thatnew coach of his and find someone who will help with the rest of his game.

but the biggest thign he needs is an attitude adjustment and a little humility (the only player he gives credit to is federer).
 

rhubarb

Hall of Fame
35ft6 said:
Seriously, how could it be Roddick. He was a year end number 1. Shouldn't the guys only there for a few weeks be considered first?
Well, he was there just for a few weeks (13). Just so happened it was over year-end, and that was the only reason he got as many as 13.

But I would agree, there are better candidates, such as Rios, Rafter, Moya, Muster and Kafelnikov.

There's no way Hewitt can be considered a bad number one going by the stats.
 

35ft6

Legend
I really feel like if Rios didn't get injured, he could have dominated the game for a while (like a year or almost a year). No power? Rios hit the ball so early and with so much control that his shots were effectively more powerful than people give him credit for. When he was on he could toy even with top 10 players. Sick talent. He had everything but height.

When he beat Agassi in the final of that one big tournament, when Agassi was just beginning his comeback, after the match Andre said he was surprised by how "big" Rios was serving. He had tremendous action on that serve, a hard to read motion, and he was moving that delivery around like Greg Maddux. He'll probably always be up there in my top 5 of the most talented players I've ever seen, along with Federer, Mac, and I'm not sure about the other 2.
 

35ft6

Legend
rhubarb said:
Well, he was there just for a few weeks (13). Just so happened it was over year-end, and that was the only reason he got as many as 13.
But I'm saying he was the official number 1 for that year. He won the race in 2003. He went 44-9, reached the semi's of the Aussie and Wimbledon, won the US Open, and won 5 other tournaments including one on clay and one on grass. He also lost in a few other finals. That's a pretty good year.
 
Good point, but...

35ft6 said:
Seriously, how could it be Roddick. He was a year end number 1. Shouldn't the guys only there for a few weeks be considered first?
Your point makes total sense. In theory. Absolutely.
But, would anyone over 16 really place him ahead of Becker? Or Rafter? No thanks.

My opinion? I like spinbalz's list. This is all so subjective, but, I also think Rios is near the top of this list talent-wise. What an incredible player! Up there with Mac, Nastase and Federer. Chino is, however, the least accomplished of all the ATP no. 1's, despite that stretch in 1998 when he absolutely ripped through the draws at Indian Wells and Key Biscayne.

That season, Moya won Roland. Props, also to Kafelnikov for winning two Slams and an Olympic Gold medal.

There are a couple of number twos who I would put on or above Chino's level. Stich and Chang come to mind. Stich for his Wimbledon Championships in singles and dubs, Olympic Gold in dubs, GS final appearances in NY and Paris, and his '93 ATP World Championship final win over Pete. Chang for his Roland Garros triumph in '89, his final appearances in NY and Melbourne, and his overall consistency through the years.

That said, it's kind of a fun/silly/pointless thread [not that there's anything wrong with that]! The worst of this list is still one of the greatest players of his time.
 

littlelleyton

Semi-Pro
tpduke112 said:
In this OPINION thread, my opinion remains Hewitt.

your opinion of his tennis ability or your opinion of him as a person? cause im pretty sure that World #1 is based on tennis performance, points earned in tournaments etc and is not a popularity poll. there is already a thread on atp most hated players. i havent yet seen any intelligent reason why you feel he is the worst worlds #1 in the open era?????
 

35ft6

Legend
slice bh compliment said:
Your point makes total sense. In theory. Absolutely.
But, would anyone over 16 really place him ahead of Becker? Or Rafter? No thanks.
But would anybody over 15 assume that Becker and Rafter were the players I had in mind? No thanks.
 
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