Author Topic: How many grandslams will Nadal and Djokovic win by the end of their careers?  (Read 9182 times)

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Offline Start da Game

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quality posts, emmie.......i will address some of those great points you made later.......
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

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Offline pawan89

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Start of Sampras' era:
 
1991
Australian Open: Ivan Lendl defeated Boris Becker
French Open: Jim Courier defeated Andre Agassi
Wimbledon: Michael Stich defeated Boris Becker
US Open: Stefan Edberg defeated Jim Courier
 
1992
Australian Open: Boris Becker defeated Jim Courier
French Open: Jim Courier defeated Petr Korda
Wimbledon: Andre Agassi defeated Goran Ivanisevic
US Open: Stefan Edberg defeated Pete Sampras
 
1993
Australian Open: Jim Courier defeated Stefan Edberg
French Open: Sergi Bruguera defeated Jim Courier
Wimbledon: Pete Sampras defeated Jim Courier
US Open: Pete Sampras defeated Cedric Pioline

 

That was enlightining. Thank you :) It shows that Sampras actually did play among greats, likes of Edberg, Becker, Lendl and Courier.  The only comparable player for Federer was Agassi. No wonder Sampras had to wait a few years after his first because those guys were still playing.

Similarly, I wonder if Del Potro goes on to dominate in the next couple years - 2-3 years after winning his USO, clearly catching Federer and Nadal on the down-slide, we'd still be saying "Del Potro played among the greats like Federer and Nadal" or would we be saying "Good for Del Potro to step up to the occassion when all the others were gone". Just thought it was an interesting comparion.


Offline Emma

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In 1990, the year Sampras won his first Slam, these were the players around and below is a list of their respective age:

John McEnroe – 1959 (31)
Ivan Lendl – 1960 (30)
Stefan Edberg – 1966 (24)
Boris Becker – 1967 (23)
Michael Stich – 1968 (23)
Jim Courier – 1970 (20)
Andre Agassi – 1970 (20)
Thomas Muster – 1967 (23)
Goran Ivanisevic – 1971 (19)
Pete Sampras – 1971 (19)
Michael Chang – 1972 (18)

For the sole reason that Sampras actually won his first slam in 1990, I should start his era from that year so here we go again:

1990

Australian Open: Ivan Lendl defeated Stefan Edberg

French Open: Andres Gomez Santos defeated Andre Agassi (Michael Chang was the defending Champion at age 17)

Wimbledon: Stefan Edberg defeated Boris Becker

US Open: Pete Sampras defeated Andre Agassi (beat Muster, Lendl, McEnroe and Agassi in succession to claim his first Grand Slam and establish a new era)

The year Federer started out his era (2003), there was only one worthy opponent left and that was Andre Agassi (33) but he was pretty much done by that time, but you can see that he was still a couple of years older than a couple of members in the generation Sampras had to face in his era.
 
Also, at the start of 00s, Sampras was also challenged with the newcomers like Hewitt, Safin, Roddick and Federer. And Agassi was still around.

This will tell you how much Sampras had to deal with not only during his time but also the beginning and end of his time. And I have yet to mention players like Patrick Rafter, Richard Krajicek, Wayne Ferreira, Alex Corretja, Marcelo Rios, Yevgany Kafelnikov, Petr Korda, Todd Martin, Cedric Pioline, Guy Forget, Tim Henman, Jeff Tarango, Mark Phillippousis, Andrei Medvedev, Alberto Costa, Sergi Bruguera, Greg Rusedski, Vince Spadea, B. Bjorkman, Thomas Enqvist, Arnold Clement, Fabrice Santoro, Thomas Johansson, Karol Kucera etc. The list is countless with really great playres who had the balls to take any of the top players out on any given day. Nowadays, upsets are a rare find. 
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Offline FreeBird

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Was going to really take exception to Emma's post, but Sampras' 1st G'S title is pretty impressive.  Muster was on hardcourts not his best surface but he was already good, Agassi was in good form and Lendl was down a little from his peak but still tough.  Mac unfortunately was quite a bit off his prime even though he wasn't terribly old.  What I do take exception with is 2003 being 'only Agassi' - Hewitt was in his prime, better than when he beat Sampras a couple years earlier.  Roddick was also a force, playing fearlessly and with a flatter more dangerous forehand.  Hewitt was very tough until injuries started taking a toll in the mid 2000s, and the fact that Fed dominated him from 2003 on has more to do with Fed's complete game than any deficiency in Hewitt's.  Also remember that Hewitt was/is right up there with Nadal in terms of tenacity and competitive will.

As far as that big list of players, is it that they were better than today's crew, or is it just that today's big 3 are more consistent than Pete?  Seems near certain that each of the big 3 is MUCH more accomplished on clay than Sampras.
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Offline monstertruck

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I certainly agree with your last statement.
In answer to the question before it, I believe it's extremely difficult, if not impossible to compare players across generations.  Assigning weight to individual accomplishments when there are so many variables besides the opponent seems like a waste of time to me.  Love the game.
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Offline Emma

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Let's assume there was no Federer. If that was the case, then both Roddick and Hewitt would have won a few more Slams for sure since Safin was never consistent and you must need that consistency in order to win a few majors. So in absence of Federer, Roddick and Hewitt would have been your best bets, but that does not mean by any chance that they are in the same league as Federer and Nadal (not in Djokovic or Murray’s league either).  They are only good consistent players but that’s not enough to be a champion like Federer and Nadal. You have to have the mindset as well and a specific goal. But it’s also true that had there not been a player like Federer and later Nadal, then everyone would have thought that both Roddick and Hewitt were simply that good and that would have been a pure misconception, something that I am trying to prove all along.

In Reality, both Roddick and Hewitt came at a time when there was a certain gap from one era to another. Sampras’ era didn’t see any gap if you look back you’d notice it. Anyway, the gap was in between 2000 to 2003 and both Roddick and Hewitt had their Slams in that time period (even Safin got one of his Slams in that timeframe). Hewitt, in fact, maximized his effort and his injuries were mostly his game related as he stretched out his game and his physical ability quite a bit. This is a similar case with Del Potro as well.

As to Roddick, his game wasn’t as taxing as he had a couple of weapons in his arsenal that came naturally to him; therefore, he was able to sustain this long.  If you change the time period a bit and then both Hewitt and Roddick would be left with nothing so the gap helped them quite a bit. Federer was significantly better player than these two but not better than Nadal, Djokovic and Murray but they showed up much later. We have basically no way of knowing that, if Federer were to face some past legends like McEnroe and Lendl followed by then current legends like Agassi, Edberg, Becker, Courier etc., how many majors he would have won in the end. We now know that a baby Nadal was too much for him to handle and Djokovic too leads in the GS H2H. Murray and Federer are dead even in terms of overall H2H.

Here are some H2Hs re: Sampras vs his main rivals back in those days. I highlighted the ones where the other players lead Sampras. This is just to compare era vs era in terms of players and where Sampras stood in terms of H2H vs his main opponents. 

Sampras vs McEnro: 3-0
Sampras vs Lendl: 5-3
Sampras vs Edberg: 8-6
Sampras vs Becker: 12-7
Sampras vs Agassi: 20-14
Sampras vs Courier: 16-4
Sampras vs Mats Wilander: 2-1
Sampras vs Jimmy Connors: 2-0

Sampras vs Ivenisevic: 12-6
Sampras vs Muster: 9-2
Sampras vs Chang: 12-8
Sampras vs Stich: 4-5
Sampras vs Korda: 12-5
Sampras vs Pioline: 9-0
Sampras vs T. Martin: 18-4
Sampras vs Bruguera:  2-3 (at RG, they are 1:1 all)

Sampras vs Rafter: 12-4
Sampras vs Krajicek: 4-6
Sampras vs Kafelnikov: 11-2
Sampras vs Rios: 2-0
Sampras vs  Enqvist: 9-2
Sampras vs Henman:  6-1
Sampras vs Corretja: 4-2
Sampras vs Moya: 3-1
Sampras vs Kuerten: 2-1
Sampras vs Rusedski: 9-1
Sampras vs Haas: 5-3
Sampras vs Phillipoussis: 7-3

In 1999 & 2000, Sampras was ranked 3 in the world. In 2001, he slipped to 10; and then finally, in 2002, the year he retired, he was ranked 13. He was ranked No. 1 from 1993 to 1998. From 1990 to 1993 he was a top ten player and the year he turned pro, 1988, he was ranked 97. Sampras was pretty much down and out after 1999. He won only 2 majors after that - Wimbledon 2000 and 2002 US Open at age 31.
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Offline Emma

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There were a few reasons why Sampras wasn’t as successful on clay as he was on other surfaces and they are:
 
 - Stiff competition (flooded with clay-courters who would only peak around that time)
 - Very different speeds from surface to surface; therefore, a lot of adjustments throughout the year
 - Least favourite surface as he didn’t grow up in Europe therefore didn’t have the luxury to be at least somewhat familiar with it
 - Not too keen on clay (Wimbledon and grass were more important followed by US hard and then AO hard season)

If you read Paul Annacone comments from time to time you’d notice the different approaches both had toward the same game.

And here's a look at Federer's clay results over the years. Turned pro in 1998 but his first title came on indoors (carpet) in Milan in 2001 where he beat Julien Boutter in the final.

2001: No title

2002: title: 1 (Hamburg Masters)
Beat Safin

2003: title 1 (Munich 250)
Beat Nieminen

2004: 2 titles (Gstaad 250, Hamburg)
Beat Igor in Gstaad
Beat Coria in Hamburg

2005: 1 title (Hamburg)
Beat Gasquet

2006: No title

2007: 1 title (Hamburg)
Beat Nadal

2008: 1 title (Estoril – 250)
Beat Davydenko

2009: 2 (RG, Madrid Masters)
Beat Soderling at RG
Beat Nadal (Nadal was far too tired after beating Nole in a 3 grueling sets in the semi)

2010: No title

2011: No title

2012: 1 (Madrid Masters – blue clay - both Nadal and Nole bombed out early due to sudden surface change)
Beat Berydych

So to sum it up, Federer has won 10 clay titles in total in 13 years – 1 RG, 4 Hamburg Masters, 2 Madrid Masters and 3 250 events (Munich, Gstaad and Estoril). That’s 13% of his total title (10/75).

He beat Safin, Nieminen, Igor, Coria, Gasquet, Nadal, Davydenko and Soderling to win those titles.

Didn’t win anything in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2011.

And now here's his overall resutls on each surface:

34 outdoor hard titles out of 75 – 45%
20 indoors hard/carpet titles out of 75 – 27%
11 grass titles out of 75 – 15%
10 clay titles out of 75 – 13%

Interesting to see that despite ATP having at least 30% of the total tournaments on clay, Federer has won so far only 10 of them or 13% of his total titles. He went back again and again to Hamburg to win one more clay title as it seemed like the only clay title he was almost guaranteed to win due to its damp and muggy nature.

The 2 Madrid (notorious itself due to bizarre history of the tournament) Masters are the notorious ones as we've seen due to blue clay this year when both Nadal and Nole, the true clay contenders bombing out early. And the previous one, both Nadal and Nole were in a dogfight in the semi and by the time Nadal made the final, he was all out of gas. Thanks to Federer easy draw he remained fresh.

So Federer basically has won less than 1 clay title a year (0.67% - 15 years on tour) and personally I don't feel that's anything outstanding. Better than Sampras for sure but then again, Sampras was never as keen as some of these small tournaments were concerned but clay in particular. He had a different sets of goals which he pretty much achieved. Federer has different sets of goals and he's someone who clearly takes even a small tournament seriously. You'd almost never see him dumping a tournament. It's extremely rare. Nadal, Djokovic, Murray they have all done it. Sampras did a number of times but it's very rare for Federer. Just goes to show how seriously he takes this tennis career of his.
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Offline Emma

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Was going to really take exception to Emma's post, but Sampras' 1st G'S title is pretty impressive.  Muster was on hardcourts not his best surface but he was already good, Agassi was in good form and Lendl was down a little from his peak but still tough.  Mac unfortunately was quite a bit off his prime even though he wasn't terribly old.  What I do take exception with is 2003 being 'only Agassi' - Hewitt was in his prime, better than when he beat Sampras a couple years earlier.  Roddick was also a force, playing fearlessly and with a flatter more dangerous forehand.  Hewitt was very tough until injuries started taking a toll in the mid 2000s, and the fact that Fed dominated him from 2003 on has more to do with Fed's complete game than any deficiency in Hewitt's.  Also remember that Hewitt was/is right up there with Nadal in terms of tenacity and competitive will.

As far as that big list of players, is it that they were better than today's crew, or is it just that today's big 3 are more consistent than Pete?  Seems near certain that each of the big 3 is MUCH more accomplished on clay than Sampras.

But why does it matter when Sampras has the most Slams only 2nd to Federer at this point? It's not like they've all achieved far more in each field than Sampras, have they? Sampras is much more accomplished on grass, hard and indoors be it hard or carpet. He lacks on clay for sure, but then again, the 90s probably saw the toughest clay era of all time, as it was crawling with clay courters who would typcially bomb out early at Wimbledon (and hard courts) each time, which made clay even tougher as their focus would mainly be clay.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2012, 03:23:11 PM by Emma »
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Offline monstertruck

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There were a few reasons why Sampras wasn’t as successful on clay as he was on other surfaces and they are:
 
 - Stiff competition (flooded with clay-courters who would only peak around that time)
 - Very different speeds from surface to surface; therefore, a lot of adjustments throughout the year
 - Least favourite surface as he didn’t grow up in Europe therefore didn’t have the luxury to be at least somewhat familiar with it
 - Not too keen on clay (Wimbledon and grass were more important followed by US hard and then AO hard season)

If you read Paul Annacone comments from time to time you’d notice the different approaches both had toward the same game.


I'd love to hear more about that observation if you've got time. :)
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Offline oracle86

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And here's a look at Federer's clay results over the years. Turned pro in 1998 but his first title came on indoors (carpet) in Milan in 2001 where he beat Julien Boutter in the final.

2001: No title

2002: title: 1 (Hamburg Masters)
Beat Safin

2003: title 1 (Munich 250)
Beat Nieminen

2004: 2 titles (Gstaad 250, Hamburg)
Beat Igor in Gstaad
Beat Coria in Hamburg

2005: 1 title (Hamburg)
Beat Gasquet

2006: No title

2007: 1 title (Hamburg)
Beat Nadal

2008: 1 title (Estoril – 250)
Beat Davydenko

2009: 2 (RG, Madrid Masters)
Beat Soderling at RG
Beat Nadal (Nadal was far too tired after beating Nole in a 3 grueling sets in the semi)

2010: No title

2011: No title

2012: 1 (Madrid Masters – blue clay - both Nadal and Nole bombed out early due to sudden surface change)
Beat Berydych

So to sum it up, Federer has won 10 clay titles in total in 13 years – 1 RG, 4 Hamburg Masters, 2 Madrid Masters and 3 250 events (Munich, Gstaad and Estoril). That’s 13% of his total title (10/75).

He beat Safin, Nieminen, Igor, Coria, Gasquet, Nadal, Davydenko and Soderling to win those titles.

Didn’t win anything in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2011.

And now here's his overall resutls on each surface:

34 outdoor hard titles out of 75 – 45%
20 indoors hard/carpet titles out of 75 – 27%
11 grass titles out of 75 – 15%
10 clay titles out of 75 – 13%

Interesting to see that despite ATP having at least 30% of the total tournaments on clay, Federer has won so far only 10 of them or 13% of his total titles. He went back again and again to Hamburg to win one more clay title as it seemed like the only clay title he was almost guaranteed to win due to its damp and muggy nature.

The 2 Madrid (notorious itself due to bizarre history of the tournament) Masters are the notorious ones as we've seen due to blue clay this year when both Nadal and Nole, the true clay contenders bombing out early. And the previous one, both Nadal and Nole were in a dogfight in the semi and by the time Nadal made the final, he was all out of gas. Thanks to Federer easy draw he remained fresh.

So Federer basically has won less than 1 clay title a year (0.67% - 15 years on tour) and personally I don't feel that's anything outstanding.

You should also take into account all the times he lost to Rafa on clay. RG 2005 SF, MC 2006 F, Rome 2006 F, RG 2006 F, MC 2007 F, RG 2007 F, MC 2008 F, Hamburg 2008 F, RG 2008 F, Madrid 2010 F, Madrid 2011 SF, RG 2011 F. He's lost to Rafa in 4 RG finals and 6 clay Masters finals - proof that he has been the 2nd best claycourter of this era; and possibly right up there with the all time greats on clay.   
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Offline Bazcovic

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Emma, on your comparison of Federer and Sampras on clay, I think you forget to take into account that:

* Nadal, probably the best clay court player ever, has denied Federer a lot of claycourt 1000 and GS titles (4 RG finals)
* Federer has (by far) a better GS winning percentage on clay than Sampras
* Federer has won (by far) more GS matches on clay than Sampras
* Federer reached 5 Roland Garros finals, and won one; Sampras zero
* Etcetera

Altogether, in terms of clay court achievements, Sampras is simply miles behind Federer.

(For a nice summary, cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_World_Tour_records)

Sampras may have suffered stiff competition from the likes of Muster on clay, Federer has to deal with Nadal on clay, whose records are unmatched (80+ match streak, 8 RG titles, 8 Consec. Monte Carlo titles, 254-16 carreer record, etc.).

Furthermore, Federer hasn't played any of the small clay tournaments in Europe, the US, and South America for the last 8 years or so (except for Estoril). Ferrer by constrast, tends to contest in a lot of these tournaments.

In addition, I don't think it is fair to look at clay court titles alone. Clay court match wins, and Roland Garros performances, are also indicators to be considered.

In the end, Federer reached 5 Roland Garros finals during Nadal's clay reign, which is impressive to say the least. Sampras was never considered a player of any considerable significance on clay, unlike Federer.

Offline Djokovic Champion

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Nadal: 12
Djokovic: 9

I think.

Offline Start da Game

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Nadal: 12
Djokovic: 9

I think.


nadal: 16 - 18


djokovic: 7 - 9
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline mav140

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Was going to really take exception to Emma's post, but Sampras' 1st G'S title is pretty impressive.  Muster was on hardcourts not his best surface but he was already good, Agassi was in good form and Lendl was down a little from his peak but still tough.  Mac unfortunately was quite a bit off his prime even though he wasn't terribly old.  What I do take exception with is 2003 being 'only Agassi' - Hewitt was in his prime, better than when he beat Sampras a couple years earlier.  Roddick was also a force, playing fearlessly and with a flatter more dangerous forehand.  Hewitt was very tough until injuries started taking a toll in the mid 2000s, and the fact that Fed dominated him from 2003 on has more to do with Fed's complete game than any deficiency in Hewitt's.  Also remember that Hewitt was/is right up there with Nadal in terms of tenacity and competitive will.

As far as that big list of players, is it that they were better than today's crew, or is it just that today's big 3 are more consistent than Pete?  Seems near certain that each of the big 3 is MUCH more accomplished on clay than Sampras.

But why does it matter when Sampras has the most Slams only 2nd to Federer at this point? It's not like they've all achieved far more in each field than Sampras, have they? Sampras is much more accomplished on grass, hard and indoors be it hard or carpet. He lacks on clay for sure, but then again, the 90s probably saw the toughest clay era of all time, as it was crawling with clay courters who would typcially bomb out early at Wimbledon (and hard courts) each time, which made clay even tougher as their focus would mainly be clay.

I just wonder.. have you even watch tennis lately??? I mean for the past 10 years? Cause all your assumptions and arguments just LACK strength..

I mean, to count clay titles for Federer. But you didn't count all the finals he has played against NADAL (the best claycourter to ever played the game, not even Kuerten and I loved Kuerten... So, let's resume, he has some clay court titles, that would mean much more than Sampras, starting by those standards, he has like 14-15 finals on clay (including RG), all of them lost to Nadal, how many finals did Sampras played on clay? I mean, what are you really talking about?

The 90s the toughest era on clay?? Sure they were some good clay courters, but first of all, NO ONE from the 90s would hurt NADAL on clay, they wouldn't even stand a chance.. Who? Sergi Bruguera? LOL, Muster (LOL), Chang (double LOL), who? I would like Fed's chances against all these guys.. but unfortunately for Fed, he ended up with Nadal, just the same as Nadal ended up in Fed's era... Just trying to come up with arguments that doesn't even add up. The 90s the toughest era.. LOOL.. ask any of your "suppossedly" great clay courters from the 90s if they would want to play Nadal... Actually media have asked all of them and well, you know the answer from that one! LOL:.

And about Sampras being more achieved on any other surface? Where are you getting your stats from? I loved Pete, he was a joy to watch, and I really MISS S&V, but WHAT??

Anyway, discuss all you want, but there are no strenghts in your arguments.

Offline Start da Game

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mav, you missed her point.........it's not about who from the 90s would challenge nadal, it's about the no. of clay courters from the 90s that could challenge federer and deny him the opportunity to even face nadal in so many finals.........that's the point........


nobody from the 90s would beat this clay freak called nadal but all of bruguera, muster, courier, corretja, kuerten, mantilla, ferreira, berasategui and a bunch of other small time surface specialists made for a very difficult passage to roland garros final or any clay final as to speak........


so the argument that sampras made less no. of finals is not fair........stats never tell the full story........i actually think that nadal himself slightly benefited from this relatively weak clay era but the fact that he handled the likes of ferrero, corretja and other clay courters quite comfortably when he din't even hit 18 makes me believe that he is the best and nobody can match him on clay.......



 




 
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 01:43:33 PM by Start da Game »
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline FreeBird

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How many grandslams will Nadal and Djokovic win by the end of their careers?
« Reply #75 on: August 15, 2012, 03:20:56 PM »
mav, you missed her point.........it's not about who from the 90s would challenge nadal, it's about the no. of clay courters from the 90s that could challenge federer and deny him the opportunity to even face nadal in so many finals.........that's the point........


nobody from the 90s would beat this clay freak called nadal but all of bruguera, muster, courier, corretja, kuerten, mantilla, ferreira, berasategui and a bunch of other small time surface specialists made for a very difficult passage to roland garros final or any clay final as to speak........


so the argument that sampras made less no. of finals is not fair........stats never tell the full story........i actually think that nadal himself slightly benefited from this relatively weak clay era but the fact that he handled the likes of ferrero, corretja and other clay courters quite comfortably when he din't even hit 18 makes me believe that he is the best and nobody can match him on clay.......

So much talk about all the tough clay courters from the 90s.  Anyone have the DETAILS of who Sampras lost to on clay?  A quick search didn't show me anything.  If Sampras was consistently taken out by top clay courters, then maybe your argument has some merit and Sampras deserves more love on this angle.  The flip side of this though, is:  if Fed is the 2nd best clay courted of this era and he would get stomped by the 90s specialists, then what clay competition is Rafa really facing?  Maybe the Rafa era should really be known as the weakest clay court era ever seen, and Rafa's achievements are just a reflection of poor competition.  Where have I heard that type of argument before????
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Offline Gawdblessya

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.............. then what clay competition is Rafa really facing?  Maybe the Rafa era should really be known as the weakest clay court era ever seen, and Rafa's achievements are just a reflection of poor competition.  Where have I heard that type of argument before????
Second that Freebird!     If they say, as in cricket - "howzat!!"  the resounding answer is "well & truly bowled out."  I call it a maiden over to you, to boot. 

« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 04:54:02 PM by Gawdblessya »
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Offline williamchung7

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Assume they don't have injure in following years or assume they keep injure free in following years?
I cannot predict these things.

Me either.

Sent from my SPH-D600 using Tapatalk 2

I keep this point in my mind. I still cannot predict it. There is no way predict it, the figure is just changing and changing.

Offline Start da Game

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mav, you missed her point.........it's not about who from the 90s would challenge nadal, it's about the no. of clay courters from the 90s that could challenge federer and deny him the opportunity to even face nadal in so many finals.........that's the point........


nobody from the 90s would beat this clay freak called nadal but all of bruguera, muster, courier, corretja, kuerten, mantilla, ferreira, berasategui and a bunch of other small time surface specialists made for a very difficult passage to roland garros final or any clay final as to speak........


so the argument that sampras made less no. of finals is not fair........stats never tell the full story........i actually think that nadal himself slightly benefited from this relatively weak clay era but the fact that he handled the likes of ferrero, corretja and other clay courters quite comfortably when he din't even hit 18 makes me believe that he is the best and nobody can match him on clay.......

So much talk about all the tough clay courters from the 90s.  Anyone have the DETAILS of who Sampras lost to on clay?  A quick search didn't show me anything.  If Sampras was consistently taken out by top clay courters, then maybe your argument has some merit and Sampras deserves more love on this angle.  The flip side of this though, is:  if Fed is the 2nd best clay courted of this era and he would get stomped by the 90s specialists, then what clay competition is Rafa really facing?  Maybe the Rafa era should really be known as the weakest clay court era ever seen, and Rafa's achievements are just a reflection of poor competition.  Where have I heard that type of argument before????

federer is not a bad clay courter, as a fact he grew up on clay........i am just saying that he wouldn't have had 5 french finals(chances) in the 90s to win the FO........like sampras if he was forced to face serve & volley and mixed play almost everywhere and then shift to the slow clay all of a sudden, i don't think he would have adjusted like he does today........
 
sampras was taken out by good clay courters at roland garros a few times (courier, bruguera, agassi) and it was also his personal choice to neglect the slam after 96.......he couldn't sacrifice his strengths in order to max out on clay and achieve the french title........as you know different seasons needed different set of skills and there was only so much one could adjust........


Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline oracle86

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I disagree. Federer would have adjusted pretty well if he had played in the 90s. And he would have won the French Open multiple times too.

1990    ECU   Andrés Gómez   
1991    USA   Jim Courier   
1992    USA   Jim Courier   
1993    ESP   Sergi Bruguera   
1994    ESP   Sergi Bruguera    ESP   
1995    AUT   Thomas Muster   
1996    RUS   Yevgeny Kafelnikov   
1997    BRA   Gustavo Kuerten   
1998    ESP   Carlos Moyà   
1999    USA   Andre Agassi   

Federer in his prime could have beaten any of these guys on clay. [even Guga, who is possibly the best among the guys on this list. Remember Hamburg 2002?]
''If somebody says I am better than Roger, I think this person don't know nothing about tennis'' - Rafael Nadal