Men's tennis is changing as it is just starting to attract better athletes that will have the strokes and mental makeup to take the game to a higher level than what you see with a Sampras or a Federer. Imagine a Safin with brains! That is still a generation away but it's coming.
Federer looks good right now but his weaknesses will become appearant to every player on the tour once they stop treating him like god. After that it's a matter of execution. Agassi was serving at set-all 4-2 in the third and lost his serve to let Federer off the hook. I'm sure that was noticed in the locker room.
Even though Nadal may never be considered a future GOAT, he may be the one player that will prove Federer to be human on hardcourts. Nadal seems to have the ability to stay one step ahead of Federer on that surface. I can hardly wait until next season.
Sampras v Federer? Doesn't make the winner the greatest but it would have made a heck of a Wimbledon final. It will be overall record that determines that. Pete's is in the books. We saw two great matches between Rosewall and Laver in the 1970 WCT finals and a great match at Wembley between Nastase and Laver with Laver losing all three. Laver is still considered one of the all-time greatest while Nastase and Rosewall don't get a mention.
Oh yeah, I pick Pete...but that's because he was a member at a dinky little club in Toronto I used to be head pro at. It was near the hotel he was staying and it was just before he won his last US Open. Musta been our club.)
>>Federer looks good right now but
>>his weaknesses will become appearant to every player on the tour once they stop
>>treating him like god.
>Please tell us. What are they?
Agassi served extremely well up until that point but reverted to the Andre of old and failed to hold his serve at the worst possible moment. If he takes the third set and keeps Federer from finding his touch for a couple more games...who knows.
A guy that can keep Federer off balance with his serve and has a good returns and a power ground stroke game can keep Roger from finding his rhythm. Nadal on a good serving day and Safin when the mood strikes him are two players that come to mind. You could ugly it up a bit like Nic Kiefer and disrupt the flow to Roger's game too but you have to have a better serve than Kiefer if you want to win.
It's like boxing, if you can't keep the opponent from getting rhythm and establishing his game...you lose.
Last edited by cullman on Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I guess the trick is to find someone who can keep Federer "off balance". Since RF is so balanced, obviously, that is much easier said than done. You mentioned on a "good day" Nadal and Safin can do that. But it takes a very good day for them. And, as we have seen, they don't have too many days that good. Contrasting, Federer appears to have many good days. He may get knocked off balance on occasion, but he usually finds that balance again - very quickly.
Knocking a player off balance is key to tennis. The more complete a players game the harder this task is. Of course, Feder's game is very complete.
There may be a very good reason the others "treat him like God".
i've seen both of them play and i must say federer has the edge. he would beat sampras on any surface, but on grass it would be a tie. anyhoos, i think agassi is still the best unless federer wins himself the french open coz he's already better than sampras. i admit federer plays a near perfect game, but agassi had won all the grand slams so he has this winning point over federer.
>You dont need anyone to tell you Sampras had a weak backhand...just look for
Everyone in my circle knew it. It was not reliable and was easy
>prey at Roland Garros with the long rallies. <
i've no idea wha your circle may be - all i know is that it goes around & eventually gets nowhere
pistol had no problem with the backhand, just that his mentality wasn't suited to the long rallies on clay
on grass, points last usually about 3 - 5 strokes on average ( providing return is good ), whereas on a hardcourt, they may stretch to 5 - 10
pistol had the speed/power/athleticism/etc. to "handle" this kinda scenario, but on clay, serves & powerful groundshots are nullified & it turns into a patience contest, with points maybe lasting 10 - 20 shots - pistol wasn't brought up on clay & didn't have the patience to rally away all day for just 1 point - his was a quick-point power game
however, 1y he did go for it & in '95 french he beat courier ( a great clay courter ) in 5 epic sets, after losing 1st 2 sets in their quarter-final
in the semi, he was spent & lost tamely to kafelnikov ( eventual tourney winner ) - a guy i wouda favoured him to beat ( even on clay ) if fresh
>He tended to lift it too much
>and go long when pressures. It was not a well controlled stroke. Compare him to
>Fed or Lendl with their singlehanded backhands. THOSE are waepons, not just
>means to keep the point going. How many winners did Pete get of the backhand
>against top players?<
pistol got tons of backhand winners against top players - go watch the '99 wimbledon final - he was fizzing backhand winners down/cross-court in the final
how the hell do you expect to win 7 time wimbledon/ 5 time US champions with a weak backhand ???
lendl was brought up on clay & had patience to rally on it all day ( regardless of his backhand ) & allied to his power did give him an edge over the opposition ( if both players have the patience, power can tip the balance )
federer hasn't impressed on clay - he won a masters tourney on it this year, but got soundly whupped on it by nadal in the semi of french & similarly, kuerten taught him a lesson on it the previous year
his "great" backhand has only got him to a french semi ( same as pistol ), so i don't see this as some "key" for him
fed to me, also doesn't have the patience for clay - to me, if all the guz are fit & ready, i'd back a nadal,ferrero,coria & nalbandian to beat him on it
>Rafters bserve came from a closed racket face and yes
>while he could get lift, it was not particularly angled or powerful. No one
>feared his serve...how many aces did he average???<
you know bugger all about tennis, if your going on aces
how many aces does rudeski serve ?
how may slams has he got ?
count how may aces fed serves - not in the rudeski/roddick/karlovic/ancic league - but count the no. of slams they have & he has
fed's acknowledged to be the best server around ( on the FAR more important criteria of how often he is broken in a match/tourney ), but he doesn't dominate aces count
>He was a decent volleyer
>but tended to 'pop up', a fatal flaw in my books. Lendl would have eaten him
>for breafast, lunch, tea and dinner.<
agassi, the best returner in the game coud do little with it in 2 succesive wimbledon semis ('00 & '01 ) & got beaten in 5 sets both times
if you had either a weak serve or weak volley, agassi wouda eaten you for breakfast !
Last edited by eldrick on Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
may i point out an overlooked performance this year
my tip for french this year was coria, who i believe has the best clay court game out there ( since ferrero has gone downhill following injury ) - maybe even better than nadal !
coria choked in last year's final, when it looked like he coudn't lose ( & taught agassi a lesson on clay in an earlier round ) & this year in run-up to french he'd lost only to nadal & fed ( but claimed those claycourts weren't ideal for him - too quick for him & more akin to a slow hardcourt, than the "true" slow courts of roland garros ( albeit, he couda beaten ginepri to get to US Open semi ! ))
well, to cut a long story short, i thought only nadal or fed wouda stood a chance to beat him in paris & then probably only in 5 hard sets
however, he lost this year to davydenko after winning the 1st set:
see story here ( it's towards the middle of the article ):
I don't watch all that much tennis, but am I the only one who thinks that the clay-court game is ridiculous? Not in and of itself (cue Paul Simon---slip-slip slidin' away), but because it's sooo different than the rest of the sport.
Seems to be a few historical tennis buffs here: if you get the cable channel Spike, they had a special bio on Pancho Gonzalez last night that was supposed to be pretty good. That's the kind of channel that replays things, so you might look for it.
>I don't watch all that much tennis, but am I the only one who thinks that the
>clay-court game is ridiculous? Not in and of itself (cue Paul Simon---slip-slip
>slidin' away), but because it's sooo different than the rest of the sport.
Clay court tennis is an unforgiving test of stamina, technique and balls. If the basics aren't there, one is doomed to failure. Sure ain't pretty to watch, bu it takes a special player to master it. Clay GOAT - Bjørn Borg.
>>Clay court tennis is an unforgiving test of stamina,
>technique and balls. If the basics aren't there, one is doomed to failure. Sure
>ain't pretty to watch, bu it takes a special player to master it. Clay GOAT -
the 2 best clay-courters since the open era began in '68 were borg & lendl & they had a classic final in '81 when borg outlasted him in 5 pulsating sets( lendl ran out of gas after levelling at 2 sets-all )
it was a rivalry which lasted just that 1 match on clay ( grand slams ), when borg retired & lendl was on the way up
if borg had carried on for the next 3 - 4y, we couda seen the greatest clay court matches of all-time between these 2 ( strange though that lendl did go thru a clay "slump" in '82 & '83 only reaching 4th round & qf before reaching 4 succesive finals ( winning 3 ) - i can't remember who beat him in '82 & '83 - maybe someone can look it up ? )
Aces were just one indicatorr. I agree that services held are just as good if not better over the longer term, but aces show when a server is HOT. Look at Venus. Second serve is also important, big advantage Sampras over most big servers. Control is more important than raw speed, but you have to have basic speed to be in the top echelon.
BTW, Pousis is MY favourite server. Pity he was not a good dnough player to back up those MONSTER strokes. Proves his worth against Pete in that Wimbledon Semis some years back when he pulled a leg muscle while leading.
I maintain though that the whip forehand crosscourt (Serena does it too) is a killer stroke that is UNPLAYBLE.
Regarding winning majors with a weak backhand, you need look no further than Steffi with her 22 slams. The slice kept her in the match and allowed Fraulein forehand to set up the killer stroke.
I urge you to go look at tapes of Pete in the last few years and examine his backhand and you will see what I mean. I was never a Pete fan till post 1999 and I wanted him to win a few more for nostalgia when people started to write him off. The bugbear was the backhand when pressured. If he wasnt able to protect it, he lost. On the contrary, I have seen Fed go toe to toe with the double fisted clay courters and Roddick backhand to backhand and WIN the majority of points. THAT is a solid single fister.
>I maintain though that the whip forehand crosscourt (Serena does it too) is a
>killer stroke that is UNPLAYBLE.<
that's a basic stroke - clisters,henin, davenport,sharapova, etc. can all play it - & all with power !
>Regarding winning majors with a weak
>backhand, you need look no further than Steffi with her 22 slams. The slice
>kept her in the match and allowed Fraulein forehand to set up the killer
& who was her oppostioin - a too ole martina, a powerless sanchez, a too young capriati
the only top player in her time was hingis - & apart from grass, she had a winning record in their other slam meetings ( upto the stabbing )
give her the belgians, venus sisters, russians of today & see how well her "backhand" stands up
>I urge you to go look at tapes of Pete in the last few years and
>examine his backhand and you will see what I mean.<
i've seen every one of his big matches since '90 !
don't tell me what i need to see !
>I was never a Pete fan till
>post 1999 and I wanted him to win a few more for nostalgia when people started
>to write him off. The bugbear was the backhand when pressured. If he wasnt able
>to protect it, he lost.<
pistol had winning records ( on hard ) against agassi, courier, brugera,kafelnikov,muster,kuerten,moya - all french open champions & most of them ( if not all ) with double-handed backhands
his single-handed back-hand stood up to all of theirs & usually destroyed them in the end
>On the contrary, I have seen Fed go toe to toe with the
>double fisted clay courters<
& the 2 class clay-courters he came up against in french in last 2 y - kuerten & nadal whupped him
Last edited by eldrick on Mon Sep 19, 2005 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
It is obvious that you like and know about tennis.
This is a discussion (back and forth), not a dictation!
You say FF (Steffi) did not have much competition???? You forgot Seles, even though some of her best years were stolen from her. Even if not, FF would have won at least say 15 slams!!!!
I could say the same about PP (Pete). He never faced a Federer at his peak, who would have dented his chances dramatically. Also, if Pousis wasnt so injury prone, perhaps Wimbledon would have been a LOT tougher.
PP could serve, could 2nd serve, had a great forehand and could volley. His backhand, NAAAAH.
I know you have seen the matches and I was asking you to go back and look for something specifically...with new eyes. You may just see something you missed.
Regading the whip, tell me who can do it with the facility of Serena and Fed. I dont mean just a cross-court, I mean a powerfully whipped X-court from deep, picked up with little preparartion and angled so that it ends on in the side fence!!!!
FYI, dont call me boy...I am probably older than you are! Show some respect.LoL
>say FF (Steffi) did not have much competition???? You forgot Seles, even though
>some of her best years were stolen from her.<
that was typo - it meant to say seles - you can work that out from the "stabbing" comment
>I could say the same about PP (Pete). He never faced
>a Federer at his peak, who would have dented his chances dramatically.<
pistol faced 9+ french open champs ( forgot to add lendl & chang ), stich,edberg,becker & rafter, all playing at/near peak
that is not competition fed has faced
>Pousis wasnt so injury prone, perhaps Wimbledon would have been a LOT
PP could serve, could 2nd serve, had a great forehand and could
>volley. His backhand, NAAAAH.<
1 trick pony - his name doesn't deserve to be included with the likes of the above
if he's the best you can come up with, i'd find some other sport to talk about
>I know you have seen the matches and I was
>asking you to go back and look for something specifically...with new eyes. You
>may just see something you missed<
after 12y off watching him, i missed nothing !
>Regading the whip, tell me who can do it
>with the facility of Serena and Fed. I dont mean just a cross-court, I mean a
>powerfully whipped X-court from deep, picked up with little preparartion and
>angled so that it ends on in the side fence!!!!<
We are having a nice Tennis discussion and you keep having to ruin it with the snide remarks!!!!
Stick to the sport for a change.
PP is PISTOL PETE, not Mark P.
I mentioned Pousis, as like Goran, he was a wimbledon specialist. If he didnt have the injuries, he career would have been much different. He, not Crafter, was the Aussie Junior superstar!
You mention Davenport for the X-court whip???? Hahahahaha. She cant even move properly, a prereq. to execute this killer stroke!!! Get real here, you obviously dont understand the stroke I am talking about.
12 years of watching Pete? Is that the extent of your tennis watching? Hell, Mac had a far better backhand, as did most of the previous generation. I wont even mention Lendl!!!!!
If you keep calling me boy, I will have to refer to you as foetus!!! LoL
>I mentioned Pousis, as like Goran, he was a wimbledon
>specialist. If he didnt have the injuries, he career would have been much
>different. He, not Crafter, was the Aussie Junior superstar!<
philopousis was too bulky & too slow to be any consistent threat - if a guy coud get him into a 3 or 4 stroke rally, philopous woud crumble
>Davenport for the X-court whip???? Hahahahaha. She cant even move properly, a
>prereq. to execute this killer stroke!!! Get real here, you obviously dont
>understand the stroke I am talking about.<
i doubt you even know what you're talking about !
if it was in davenport's firing line, she coud blast that forehand cross-court, down the line, or anywhere she wished !
she was that good !
>12 years of watching Pete? Is that
>the extent of your tennis watching?<
pistol had 12y peak career - '90 - '02
i didn't see him play as a 12y old !
>Hell, Mac had a far better backhand, as did
>most of the previous generation. I wont even mention Lendl!!!!!<
how about laver & rosewall - those were better backhands - did you see those guyz on tv ???
>If you keep
>calling me boy, I will have to refer to you as foetus!!! LoL<
keep begging for that respect you crave
Last edited by eldrick on Mon Sep 19, 2005 4:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
I was just joking with the Sampras 12 year, as I had seen previous posts that indicated you knew of the old timers. You really have a thin skin.
Dav. CANNOT execute the stroke I speak of, so please go watch Serena and Fed to see what I mean. They go after these shots, they dont wait or balls to come close to them and its placement more than power that make these strokes unplayable.
Very entertaining back and fourth between Eldrick and Infama. While Eldrick's early attacking style proved deadly in the early going, the more patient return game, with some well-placed lobs from Infama is proving to be quite worthy, and has drawn the match even.
two sets all.
Last edited by Cyril on Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Actually the score is decided already by the cogent arguments of Pat Cash.
The thing about Eldy is that he concentrates too much on the insults and not enough on advancing his rationale. Indeed, I am no closer to 'getting' what he has to say. He brngs no real insight to the table (though I dont doubt that he may have some).
For example, WHY does he consider PP more worthy of the GOAT title than the Fedex??? I dont mean the shallow comparison of who they faced. That is not within their control. The GOAT may face the weakest field of all, that does not diminish his GOATishness (LoL). That is not to say that the FEDEX does not have tough opposition as I have shown.
I rather would like to analyse the respective games and see what weapons and weaknesses they have. Short of a head to head series, we have little else.
The French Open has become tougher over the years as all the Spanish and most of the Latinos peak just for that tourney!!! The Spanish Armada is relatively new and has probaly gotten tougher, while the South Americans have risen like an rocket! Except for Rios and Nalbandian, they all have 100% clay court dedication and think that grass is just for cows.
BTW, speaking of Rios, that was a guy who could volley (hands almost as good as Mac). Is Larry Stefanky (sp?) the best volley coach out there?
>Dav. CANNOT execute the stroke I speak of, so please go watch
>Serena and Fed to see what I mean. They go after these shots, they dont wait or
>balls to come close to them and its placement more than power that make these
serena & venus play that shot out of desperation & only have limited success with it - there's a damn good chance they'll net it or hit it out
for their undoubted power ( without question the best 3 or 4y ago, now more just part of the pack ), they didn't have any tennis "brain" ( due mostly to the fact "dick" williams taught them completely out of a book & didn't send them to a coach in their early teens to tighten up their serve & teach them some court nuance
nuance which meant that with their power, the woud dominate rallies with combo of power, spins, short balls, drops, move opponents around unexpectedly & finish them off easily in rallies as a result
instead, all they learnt was a power game, which if an opponent was willing & coud trade ( plenty about nowdayz ), all of a sudden, the opponent puts in the good, intelligent shot we see the venus sisters scurrying along the back of the court chasing the ball, whizzing along side to side like a demented typewriter printer with everyone marvelling at their athleticism & saying what fantastic retrieving skills they've got, & what great occasional forehands they have, etc.
these retrieving skills, whilst keeping them in the point & perhaps even winning it & further the game/match, was nothing that ever impressed me - great athleticism, but with 1/2 a tennis brain, the shoud never have been put in that position in the 1st place !
their retrieving was undignified & just sign of an inability to have out-thought the opponent earlier
with power & brains, they shouda dominated from the get-go, with them in control at the back of the court & their opponent doing all the rerieving & then messing up as they didn't have the sisters' athleticism
so don't bs me about some "magical" forehand - mostly just a low percentage desperation shot played at a full stretch, a position they shoud never have been in the 1st place !
davenport has a tennis brain & rarely had to play this shot at full-stretch as she had the nuance to control the rally better & play it in a good, controlled position, with feet properly positioned & far greater chance of success with the shot
>I crave nothing, so please dont go there. Hahahah<
i'll go wherever i damn please !
keep begging for your "respect" - it's a loser's request, which no one else on this forum has ever asked for