Author Topic: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten  (Read 1146 times)

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Offline Clay Death

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Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« on: May 20, 2013, 08:31:51 PM »
the floor is at your disposal.


they play 15 matches on the red clay of paris.


the foremat: best of 5 sets



who wins the majority of the matches and why?

Offline Dallas

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Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 09:10:48 PM »
Nadal 15-0. If I'm not mistaken 1 Gustavo --one-handed backhand. Enough said.


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Offline pawan89

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 09:26:22 PM »
Nadal 15-0. If I'm not mistaken 1 Gustavo --one-handed backhand. Enough said.


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nailed it.


Offline Clay Death

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 09:31:36 PM »
there is an article in the latest TENNIS magazine about this.
 
their conclusion: nadal would work guga`s weaker wing to death. they said that nadal was the next step in the evolution of clay tennis from guga.
 
still I believe that guga would take at least 3-5 matches.
 
guga played Ferrero at the Italian open. I did not see the match but guga`s backhand produced a lot of errors under relentless pressure from what I read somewhere.
 
we will have to find the stats for that match.

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 08:09:21 AM »
so if federer's one hander couldn't handle nadal's topspin, then every single hander must face the same problem? how about james blake and youzhny may i ask? they did okay against rafa even being nowhere near as good as fed overall........

federer's backhand is overrated and has too many flaws compared to kuerten's great one hander........majority of his backhands go cross court with no variety........

where as kuerten could hold it to that extra split second and unleash it anywhere into the court.......his down the line was one of the best in history and he also had great consistency and finishing power off that wing........

i would give guga about 4 to 5 matches against rafa in a best of 15 match series........
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 Dallas

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Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2013, 09:05:57 AM »
Blake and the others did nothing against Nadal ON CLAY.


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Offline pawan89

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2013, 09:06:46 AM »
so if federer's one hander couldn't handle nadal's topspin, then every single hander must face the same problem? how about james blake and youzhny may i ask? they did okay against rafa even being nowhere near as good as fed overall........

federer's backhand is overrated and has too many flaws compared to kuerten's great one hander........majority of his backhands go cross court with no variety........

where as kuerten could hold it to that extra split second and unleash it anywhere into the court.......his down the line was one of the best in history and he also had great consistency and finishing power off that wing........

i would give guga about 4 to 5 matches against rafa in a best of 15 match series........

It doesn't matter. Blake/Youzhny have only beaten Nadal back in like 2006-2007 and even then only on hard courts and we all know Nadal only loses because of knee issues. So yeah Kuerten has chances if Nadal's knees are broken but that's about it. A one hander righty still has the same weakness against Nadal's topspin, Nadal is way fitter and can outlast Guga in rallies while holding his breath if he wanted.

Oh and if we want to draw comparisons with Federer, Federer at least had one of the game's best forehands and a serve that got him out of trouble and kept him in the game over and over again, not to mention Fed's variety and tactics (whether he made the most of them or not against Nadal is a discussion for another time). Even if you give the backhand edge to Guga, he doesn't compare up to Fed and no where close to Nadal on clay.


Offline Dallas

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Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 09:07:01 AM »
I just assumed you were thinking about these 2 playing on clay since this is Gustavo's BEST surface.


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« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 09:08:00 AM by Dallas »

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 09:53:48 AM »
nobody would be able to deal with rafa's topspin if federer cannot, yeah right........ :rofl_2:

kuerten was clearly better than federer on clay........

the point about blake and youzhny is that - if they could do well against rafa even on hardcourts, far superior players like guga and fed are certainly expected to do well against rafa........

federer couldn't because his backhand is crap compared to guga's and nadal exposed it to an extent that fed finally got to a point that he started resigning mentally........now with kuerten i am not saying that he would dominate or something but i am willing to bet that his backhand and overall clay game would hold up much better against rafa........and i have reasons to believe so.......

guga is 6'4" or something, with a strong backhand, one of the best DTL(a key shot with which djokovic has time and again suceeded against rafa), great endurance from the back........someone as great as ferrero was regularly routined by guga........

i can't believe that you guys think fed is better than guga on clay........ :rofl_2:   
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 Clay Death

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 10:15:04 AM »
the tennis magazine is of the similar opinion sports fans:
 
they believe that while guga was a magnificent clay court player, nadal`s "barrage" of topspin cyclones would never end and would eventually wear out guga.
 
 
 
I have to say that there is nothing wrong with guga`s backhand or fed`s backhand. they are both the best single handers in history.
 
its just that the arm eventually gets tired from hitting high backhands for 3-4 hours. and then all kinds of mistakes/errors happen.
 
 
there is one other issue with a single hander: the return of serve. you cant return well enough with a single hander in the modern game.
 
single handers looks magnificent but a single hander has far too many variables to hit it perfectly.
 
 
a double hander, on the other hand, can be hit perfectly for hours and hours. you can even hit it late with a double hander and get away with it.
 
 
translation: single hander is useless in the modern game against the greatest baseliners ever lived.
 
nole and nadal are the greatest baseliners ever lived so that is another problem. these 2 are hardly your average players.

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 10:27:19 AM »
the tennis magazine is of the similar opinion sports fans:
 
they believe that while guga was a magnificent clay court player, nadal`s "barrage" of topspin cyclones would never end and would eventually wear out guga.
 
 
 
I have to say that there is nothing wrong with guga`s backhand or fed`s backhand. they are both the best single handers in history.
 
its just that the arm eventually gets tired from hitting high backhands for 3-4 hours. and then all kinds of mistakes/errors happen.
 
 
there is one other issue with a single hander: the return of serve. you cant return well enough with a single hander in the modern game.
 
single handers looks magnificent but a single hander has far too many variables to hit it perfectly.
 
 
a double hander, on the other hand, can be hit perfectly for hours and hours. you can even hit it late with a double hander and get away with it.
 
 
translation: single hander is useless in the modern game against the greatest baseliners ever lived.
 
nole and nadal are the greatest baseliners ever lived so that is another problem. these 2 are hardly your average players.

hercules you know better than any non-playing tennis analyst in america who writes in magazines.......why do read their work i wonder.........

i would never go as far as dismissing that kuerten would win zero matches against nadal on clay.......after all he's the best on clay of his generation and was the best on clay since the times of borg and lendl........his single hander is the best ever in my opinion and he had no endurance problems........and who knows how far he would have done with the latest head rackets and increased physical conditioning?

i am giving him 4 to 5 matches, not just for his backhand greatness but for his overall clay ability........10 to 12 for nadal........

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 Clay Death

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 10:33:12 AM »
how about lendl who made 5 French open finals?
 
how would he do against nadal on the red clay in best of sets foremats?

Offline pawan89

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 10:45:49 AM »
nobody would be able to deal with rafa's topspin if federer cannot, yeah right........ :rofl_2:

kuerten was clearly better than federer on clay........

the point about blake and youzhny is that - if they could do well against rafa even on hardcourts, far superior players like guga and fed are certainly expected to do well against rafa........

federer couldn't because his backhand is crap compared to guga's and nadal exposed it to an extent that fed finally got to a point that he started resigning mentally........now with kuerten i am not saying that he would dominate or something but i am willing to bet that his backhand and overall clay game would hold up much better against rafa........and i have reasons to believe so.......

guga is 6'4" or something, with a strong backhand, one of the best DTL(a key shot with which djokovic has time and again suceeded against rafa), great endurance from the back........someone as great as ferrero was regularly routined by guga........

i can't believe that you guys think fed is better than guga on clay........ :rofl_2:   

unless you misinterpreted my line "Even if you give the backhand edge to Guga, he doesn't compare up to Fed and no where close to Nadal on clay.", nowhere have I said that Fed was better than Guga on clay. I am saying Fed is overall the far better player. And as far as comparing him to Guga on clay, I don't want to get into that primarily because I have watched very little of Guga and I can only call upon stats and I am positive that stats show Federer in better light even on clay, but those are just stats right? I forget if you're one of the people who believes stats are everything or that stats are nothing, either way you are one of the people who'll argue in the most condescending fashion regardless, making any discussions mostly moot, but you do bring up good points so I don't mind taking the time to reply occasionally.

I am saying Guga's backhand might hold up better than Fed's does against Nadal on clay, but let's not forget that the backhand is just the weak wing Nadal takes advantage of against Federer. Against most other players he takes apart their whole game, whether it be neutralizing their serve by returning 15 feet behind the baseline, by outlasting them in rallies and physical stamina, by being so good at retrieving and defending that most shoemakers will eventually succumb to errors.. and by attacking when the player is not upto the level of putting him under pressure. So even if Guga's DTL backhand might be great and his backhand might be superior to Federer's, his serve, his forehand, his overall skills, his fitness are not either on par or subpar to Federer's and Nadal can easily capitalize on all that. Federer stays in matches with Nadal on clay because he does have a great forehand, a great serve, he does try to be the aggressor - and he is let down because Nadal is smart and targets his weaker wing. Nadal would just have to develop a different game plan against Guga if what you say about his backhand being less susceptible than Federer's is true.

Also, Guga's best surface by far was clay. When was the last time that someone who calls clay their best surface defeated Nadal? The past few notable wins against Nadal on clay were by Djokovic, Federer, Soderling ... I can't think of too many but the point is the people who seem to have the best chance are not your typical clay courters at all. Even the ones who have given him most trouble are people like Gulbis, Isner, Davydenko and folks who can and do play on top of the baseline and go for it. I know Guga was decent on other surfaces as well but would anyone really dispute that he was by far the best on clay and therefore closer to being a typical clay courter than not?

Lastly, someone "as great" (in quotations because i am fairly positive you have ripped him apart in the past as someone useless) as Ferrero was regularly routined by Ferrero? Ferrero leads Guga 3-2 Head to Head, 2-2 on clay with each of them splitting the 2 5 setters they played and straight setting each other comfortably once. I fail to see the point you are trying to make here. By contrast Federer has been far superior to any other clay courter of today (and let's not get into weak eras and weak clay courters because that is not the topic at hand, we are by definition comparing a clay court king from an older era to clay court king who is playing in current era)

Out of curiosity, these are his Rome results:

2003 Lost to Gaudio (#34) in round 1
2002 Lost to Montanes (#61) in round 2
2001 Lost to Ferrero (#9) in Final - wins over Corretja and Chang
2000 Lost to Norman (#4) in Final - wins over Costa(#21) and Corretja(#11)
1999 WON d. Rafter(#4) - wins over Corretja(#7) and Kafelinkov(#1)
1998 Lost to Rios (#3) in Semi - no notable wins
1997 Did not play.

And what the heck, here are his Monte Carlo results

2003 Lost to Norman (#94) in round 2
2002 Did not Play
2001 WON d. Arazi(#53) - wins over Coria(#41)
2000 Lost to Kucera (#42) in round 1
1999 WON d. Rios(#13) - wins over Mantilla(#17)
1998 Lost to Pioline (#16) in round 3
1997 Lost to Dosedel(#51) in round 1


I don't know when you consider his peak but he won RG in 97, 2000 and 2001. And won 11 of his total 20 titles including 4 of his total 9 final appearences all in 2000 and 2001. Sure he was injured a lot and this and that but overall he's taken his fair share of losses to normal players and clay courters along his career and even in his peak years and even on clay. The only clay courter he seems to have owned is Corretja. Apart from that his loses at the two big Masters events have come to people anywhere in top 100 - that's not exactly a great clay court record by the standards set by Nadal, Federer, and Novak.

Oh and might I remind you, should you use injury as an excuse for Guga's losses, that an uninjured Nadal never loses to anyone, and on clay even an injured Nadal beats upon the best of the best. And even Guga at his best has had his share of questionable losses while Nadal at his best on clay... well we all know.

Final conclusion? Guga was an excellent clay courter, but does not stand a CHANCE against Nadal on clay.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 11:02:57 AM by pawan89 »


Offline pawan89

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 10:56:02 AM »
I'll go ahead and guess that Shank's response will be somewhere along the lines of:

"Stats mean nothing, Kuerten is far better than Federer  :rofl_2: and he'll have a few wins over Nadal because he's a clay legend!"



 :innocent:
« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 10:57:14 AM by pawan89 »


Offline Clay Death

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 11:03:35 AM »
does anybody have the stats for that memorable 5 setter ferrero and guga played in rome?
 
I am guessing that guga may have had 50+ errors with vast majority of them coming from the single hander side.
 
just a guess is all I have at the moment since I never saw that match.

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2013, 11:27:42 AM »

unless you misinterpreted my line "Even if you give the backhand edge to Guga, he doesn't compare up to Fed and no where close to Nadal on clay.", nowhere have I said that Fed was better than Guga on clay. I am saying Fed is overall the far better player. And as far as comparing him to Guga on clay, I don't want to get into that primarily because I have watched very little of Guga and I can only call upon stats and I am positive that stats show Federer in better light even on clay, but those are just stats right? I forget if you're one of the people who believes stats are everything or that stats are nothing, either way you are one of the people who'll argue in the most condescending fashion regardless, making any discussions mostly moot, but you do bring up good points so I don't mind taking the time to reply occasionally.

I am saying Guga's backhand might hold up better than Fed's does against Nadal on clay, but let's not forget that the backhand is just the weak wing Nadal takes advantage of against Federer. Against most other players he takes apart their whole game, whether it be neutralizing their serve by returning 15 feet behind the baseline, by outlasting them in rallies and physical stamina, by being so good at retrieving and defending that most shoemakers will eventually succumb to errors.. and by attacking when the player is not upto the level of putting him under pressure. So even if Guga's DTL backhand might be great and his backhand might be superior to Federer's, his serve, his forehand, his overall skills, his fitness are not either on par or subpar to Federer's and Nadal can easily capitalize on all that. Federer stays in matches with Nadal on clay because he does have a great forehand, a great serve, he does try to be the aggressor - and he is let down because Nadal is smart and targets his weaker wing. Nadal would just have to develop a different game plan against Guga if what you say about his backhand being less susceptible than Federer's is true.

the serve advantage is negated to most extent on clay........so that doesn't have much say here........then the forehand.......i know guga's game quite well and his forehand was a solid shot, very consistent again........easily good enough to direct the traffic towards nadal's backhand on his serve........fed's forehand being great has little say in the overall scheme of things because it was never about his forehand........

kuerten may not have possed a forehand as great as fed's but he certainly had much more overall balance(on clay) in his clay game with two solid and utterly consistent wings, a solid forehand and a great backhand compared to fed's great forehand and a poor backhand........so it wouldn't be as straightforward for nadal against guga........

Also, Guga's best surface by far was clay. When was the last time that someone who calls clay their best surface defeated Nadal? The past few notable wins against Nadal on clay were by Djokovic, Federer, Soderling ... I can't think of too many but the point is the people who seem to have the best chance are not your typical clay courters at all. I know Guga was decent on other surfaces as well but would anyone really dispute that he was by far the best on clay and therefore closer to being a typical clay courter than not?

yeah guga's best surface was clay but IN THE 90s, in an era of specialists.......who knows how far he would have gone on the homogenized slow hardcourts in this era playing like clay? so i don't think he would be confined to just clay in this era........actually guga was no pushover on hardcourts.......he had big wins over sampras, safin, agassi and a year end championship title as well........if ferrer a dirtballer from spain could make two semifinals in hardcourt slams, why not the great guga who had a good serve too?
 
Lastly, someone "as great" (in quotations because i am fairly positive you have ripped him apart in the past as someone useless) as Ferrero was regularly routined by Ferrero? Ferrero leads Guga 3-2 Head to Head, 2-2 on clay with each of them splitting the 2 5 setters they played and straight setting each other comfortably once. I fail to see the point you are trying to make here. By contrast Federer has been far superior to any other clay courter of today (and let's not get into weak eras and weak clay courters because that is not the topic at hand, we are by definition comparing a clay court king from an older era to clay court king who is playing in current era)

Out of curiosity, these are his Rome results:

2003 Lost to Gaudio (#34) in round 1
2003 Lost to Montanes (#61) in round 2
2001 Lost to Ferrero (#9) in Final - wins over Corretja and Chang
2000 Lost to Norman (#4) in Final - wins over Costa(#21) and Corretja(#11)
1999 WON d. Rafter(#4) - wins over Corretja(#7) and Kafelinkov(#1)
1998 Lost to Rios (#3) in Semi - no notable wins
1997 Did not play.

I don't know when you consider his peak but he won RG in 97, 2000 and 2001. And won 11 of his total 20 titles including 4 of his total 9 final appearences all in 2000 and 2001. Sure he was injured a lot and this and that but overall he's taken his fair share of losses to normal players and clay courters along his career and even in his peak years and even on clay.

yeah i will give you this but i was mostly referring to their roland garros contests, the contests which mattered the most.......if i remember correctly, ferrero was just brushed aside in one semifinal and outlasted in five in another........even with federer if you remember, fed scored a win in hamburg but come roland garros, he had no answer to the brazilian master who was just returning from a hip surgery........

as for guga's peak, i too am not sure when his exact peak was, but he did look amazing in 2001 RG though........

« Last Edit: May 21, 2013, 11:30:26 AM 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 Clay Death

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2013, 11:32:43 AM »
there are some stats in the latest TENNIS magazine:
 
those stats suggest that nadal`s numbers--in all departments--improve at RG while dropping for the other top players.
 
so he tries to step it up at RG.

Offline Start da Game

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2013, 11:47:30 AM »
regarding fed's and guga's backhands -

fed's backhand is only consistent as long as he keeps rolling it cross court, he barely ever misses then........that pattern of play works against most players because he knows eventually he will get a forehand with a quick move to the left........but the moment he tries to change direction with his backhand or tries to force the issue with it, errors start to flow regularly........he strikes a flashy winner here and there but that only adds to the style, not substance........

against the best movers like rafa and djokovic, he is forced to do a lot more like changing directions for a start........first thing is that plays on his mind........he tries to slice and dice but there's really no substitute for the down the line........that's why in matches with djokovic, you see djoker leaving the entire forehand side and daring fed to go down the line........

DTL is such a great weapon to have, just ask djokovic, nalbandian, any other great two hander........the greatness of kuerten was that he possessed that weapon being a single hander........his technique on the backhand was just excellent with plenty of disguise holding it till the last split second........   

conclusion: fed's backhand was never great.......its weaknesses are overshadowed by other brilliant aspects of his game........gasquet, almagro, wawrinka, haas they all have better backhands than fed but their rest of the games are not half as good as fed's........

guga's forehand might not be one of the best ever but it certainly wasn't weak either........so nadal would not have his way as straightforward against guga.......   
 
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 pawan89

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2013, 01:41:47 PM »
All points taken :) Thank you!

You are right that the two matches in RG between Kuerten and Ferrero were both won by Kuerten, one fairly comfortably in straight sets and the other in a 5 setter which also seemed to have fairly straight forward sets.

And I can see that Kuerten might have been overall more competitive against Nadal on clay today than Federer seems to be. I guess how much more competitive and whether that is enough to win him matches is to subjective.


Offline huntingyou

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Re: Gods of Clay: Clay Warrior(Nadal) vs Gustavo Kuerten
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2013, 04:32:13 PM »
Sorry, but I have to disagree with my old friend shankar. I'll go to the point right away and move from there:


Federer on clay>>>>>>Guga on clay


It's that simple, the results speak for themselves and even if you were to ignore the results and only rely on your eyes and tennis knowledge; there is no way Guga comes even in the same planet as Federer.

First of all, Guga's record on clay was pedestrian day in and day out and although he had marvelous firepower and beautiful creativity on the dirt; his inconsistency and overall tennis skills fell shorts to the greatest that has ever play. Out of his three RG, I consider 1997 the most impressive, giving his age and draw at the time......pretty spectacular to say the least. But what happened to Guga 1998-1999?   pawan stats at Rome and MC are telling because it gives a glimpse into this mythical king of clay and basically expose what was an average player with occasional display of brilliance.......think of Soderling for example at RG or Gonzalez at the 2007 AO.

Why we don't talk about Ferrer in the same light as Guga? Well, the answer is how many times has Ferrer being draw against Nadal or Federer on clay at the big events?

If you want to dispute my main argument, go and research Guga overall record on clay and to who he used to lose day in and day out. Players not even in the top 50 sometimes.......

So in conclusion, Federer moves MUCH better than Guga, has a greater TOPSPIN forehand, more accurate serve, greater all court skills and ability to take the ball early like very few can. I give the nudge to Guga in the backhand department on clay only; it's just a matter of grip and stance to be honest. Federer has a more economical and efficient backhand while Guga takes advantage of the time clay allows to coil and hit a heavier ball with the ability to handle higher balls.




Enjoy Federer backhand on surfaces that suites it:


Federer vs Blake Shanghai 2006 Highlights HD