Poll

Rafter or Kafelnikov?

Kafelnikov
1 (7.1%)
Rafter
12 (85.7%)
Tie for me
1 (7.1%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Voting closed: November 15, 2005, 04:28:50 PM

Author Topic: Kafelnikov vs Rafter?  (Read 11943 times)

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Offline kittens25

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2005, 04:46:10 PM »
Quote from: "Babblelot"
Quote from: "kittens25"
Sampras vs Kafelnikov head to head: Sampras leads 11-2            

1994 Australian Open-2nd round- Sampras wins 6-3, 2-6, 1-6, 9-7
1994 World Team Cup(clay)-round robin-Sampras wins 6-3, 6-3
1995 Year-end Championships-round robin-Sampras wins 6-3, 6-3
1995 Davis Cup final(clay)-Sampras wins 6-2, 6-4, 7-6
1996 World Team Cup(clay)-Kafelnikov wins 6-3, 6-2
1996 French Open semis-Kafelnikov wins 7-6, 6-0, 6-2
1996 Basel(hard)semis-Sampras wins 7-6, 6-3
1996 Year-end Championships-round robin-Sampras wins 6-4, 6-4
1997 Cincinnati(hard)quarters-Sampras wins 6-2, 6-2
1997 Paris Indoors(indoor)semis-Sampras wins 7-6, 6-3
1997 Year-end Championships-final-Sampras wins 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
1998 Year-end Championships-round robin-Sampras wins 6-2, 6-4
2001 Indian Wells(hard)semis-Sampras wins 7-5, 6-4

Sampras 12-4 v Rafter
2001 US Open, Hard, R16 NY, U.S.A. Hard R16 Sampras 6 3   6 2   6 7   6 4        
2001 Indian Wells TMS, Hard, Q California, USA Hard Q Sampras 4 6   7 6   6 4            
2000 Wimbledon, Grass, F England Grass F Sampras 6 7   7 6   6 4   6 2        
1999 Cincinnati, Hard, F OH, U.S.A. Hard F Sampras 7 6   6 3                
1999 World Team Cup, Clay, RR Germany Clay RR Rafter 3 6   4 6                
1998 US Open, Hard, S NY, U.S.A. Hard S Rafter 7 6   4 6   6 2   4 6   3 6    
1998 Cincinnati, Hard, F OH, U.S.A. Hard F Rafter 6 1   6 7   4 6
           
1997 Singles Championship, Hard, RR Germany Hard RR Sampras 6 4   6 1                
1997 Grand Slam Cup, Carpet, F Germany Carpet F Sampras 6 2   6 4   7 5            
1997 AUS V USA SF, Hard, RR Washington, DC, USA Hard RR Sampras 6 7 6 1 6 1 6 4        
1997 Cincinnati, Hard, R16 OH, U.S.A. Hard R16 Sampras 7 6   6 4                
1997 Philadelphia, Hard, F PA, U.S.A. Hard F Sampras 5 7   7 6   6 3            
1996 Hong Kong, Hard, R16 Hong Kong Hard R16 Sampras 6 3   7 6                
1995 Indian Wells, Hard, R16 CA, U.S.A. Hard R16 Sampras 6 4   6 7   6 1            
1994 Tokyo Outdoor, Hard, Q Japan Hard Q Sampras 6 1   5 7   6 1            
1993 Indianapolis, Hard, Q IN, U.S.A. Hard Q Rafter 6 7   7 6   6 7


Thank you Babbelot.   I think this shows that Rafter has been more competitive with Sampras than Kafelnikov was.   Several wins over Sampras in his prime on non-clay surfaces, something Kafelnikov never did, Yevgeny's only two wins were on clay.       Also far more truly competitive matches, and only one somewhat embarassing score, where with Kafelnikov vs Sampras there were several.

Granted, that is only one factor in comparing them, my general feeling always was that one thing I preferred about Rafter's career was his competitiveness with the very best players, not just Sampras, compared to Kafelnikov.

Online Babblelot

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2005, 04:56:15 PM »
Quote from: "kittens25"
...Yevgeny's only two wins were on clay.
Wow, that was a quick response.

Anyway, at the bottom of my post (I think you were posting while I was editing), I address the claycourt "controversy."
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Offline kittens25

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2005, 05:08:24 PM »
Here are some other head to heads:

Rafter vs Agassi: 10-5 for Agassi

1993 Wimbledon-round of 32:  Agassi wins 6-1, 7-6, 6-0, 6-3  
1994 Lipton Championships(hard)-Semis:  Agassi wins 6-4, 6-2
1995 Australian Open-Round of 16:  Agassi wins 6-3, 6-4, 6-0   4 6   0 6        
1995 New Haven(hard)-Round of 16:  Agassi wins 6-4, 6-2  
1996 Washington(hard)-Round of 16:  Rafter wins 6-7, 6-0, 6-2
1997 U.S Open-Round of 16:  Rafter wins 6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3
1998 Indian Wells(hard)-Round of 16:  Agassi wins 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
1999 Italian Open(clay)-Round of 16:  Rafter wins 6-1, 7-6
1999 Wimbledon-Semis: Agassi wins 7-5, 7-6, 6-2
2000 Ericsson(hard)-Round of 16: Agassi wins 6-4, 6-4
2000 Wimbledon-Semis: Rafter wins 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
2001 Australian Open-Semis: Agassi wins 7-5, 2-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3
2001 Ericsson(hard)-Semis:  Agassi wins 6-0, 6-7, 6-2
2001 Wimbledon-Finals:  Rafter wins 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 8-6
2001 Masters Cup final(hard):  Agassi wins 6-2, 6-4
           
 



Kafelnikov vs Agassi: 8-4 for Agassi

1994 Monte Carlo(clay)-Round of 64:  Kafelnikov wins 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
1995 Australian Open-Quarters:  Agassi wins 6-2, 7-5, 6-0
1995 French Open-Quarters:  Kafelnikov wins 6-4, 6-3, 7-5
1996 Cincinnati(hard)-Quarters:   Agassi wins 7-6, 3-6, 6-3
1998 Davis Cup(hard):   Kafelnikov wins 6-3, 6-0, 7-6
1999 Canadian Open(hard)-Semis:   Kafelnikov wins 6-1, 6-4
1999 Washington(hard)-Final:   Agassi wins 7-6, 6-1
1999 U.S Open-Semis:   Agassi wins 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3
1999 Year-end Championships-Semis:   Agassi wins 6-4, 7-6
2000 Australian Open-Final:   Agassi wins 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
2000 Tennis Masters Cup(hard)-Round Robin:   Agassi wins 6-4, 6-1
2003 U.S Open-3rd round:  Agassi wins 6-3, 7-6, 6-4

Once again Rafter has better overall success even though both have won exactly the same ratio of matches vs Agassi, 1 out of 3 that is.     Rafter has beaten Agassi 3 times in a Grand Slam event in 7 attempts, Kafelnikov only has 1 win over Agassi in a Grand Slam event in 5 attempts.    Rafter has beaten Agassi twice at his peak in a Wimbledon semi, Kafelnikov's biggest win was over an injured Agassi in a French Open quarterfinal(he strained a hip flexor in that match and could barely move in the last 2 sets), although Agassi has won the French once and Wimbledon once I dont think anybody will deny a win at Wimbledon is a bigger win vs Agassi than a win at the French.

Online Babblelot

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2005, 05:18:56 PM »
I'm still arguing (editing) on page 1.  :))

I disagree. IMO, winning any slam (period) > fill in the blank
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Offline kittens25

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2005, 05:22:56 PM »
Quote
Further, I don't buy the argument that Kafelnikov's SF! win over Sampras at RG should be discounted since it's Pete's worst surface. (1) it was, after all, the semis, as opposed to an early round match; (2) of the three, only Kafelnikov won slams on both hard and claycourts*. If winning RG isn't such a big deal, then why do many slight Pete for never having won it????


Actually I agree it would be wrong to discount Kafelnikov's wins over Sampras because they were on clay, or his win over Sampras in the French Open semis as being a very significant win.    Beating Sampras in a Grand Slam semifinal is never easy, and beating him at all is a quality win, and for the record he actually was a very good clay court player(Sampras)between 92-97, it was the later years he became hopeless on clay.    

However I still personaly consider a win over Sampras on a non-clay surface to be bigger than a win over Sampras on clay, since it is still much harder to beat Sampras on surfaces other than clay, than it is to be beat him on clay.   Likewise I personaly consider a win over Sampras at a Grand Slam other than the French Open, to be bigger than a win over Sampras at the French Open, again since it is much much harder to beat Sampras at the Australian/Wimbledon/U.S Open than it is at the French Open.     Considering he has won 5 U.S Open titles, and been in only 1 French Open semi, it seems logical to my way of thinking to consider a win at the U.S Open over Sampras to be a bigger win than one at the French Open.    I did not mean to imply beating Sampras in the French Open semis is not a big win, especially to do in such impressive fashion, it is a very impressive accomplishment, just not of the same magnitude of beating him in a U.S Open semifinal.     If you feel they should be valued equaly, I respect that however, I just happen to see it differently.

In any case, in addition to having a better head to head vs Sampras, numbers wise, the wins on an non-clay surface depending how one values that, and more competitive matches generaly depending how one values that, Rafter has a second fairly substantial win by beating Sampras in a Masters event final in 98, a very good backup win to his win in a Grand Slam semi that Kafelnikov also has.    By contrast Kafelnikov's second biggest win is in something called the World Team Cup, one of those goofy events the ATP has.



Quote from: "Babbelot"
*Rafter's two slams came on the same surface (USO).

other*
Rafter's 2 slams came 12 months apart ('97, '98)
Kafelnikov's 2 slams came nearly 4 years apart ('96, 2000)
*testimony to Kafelnikov's staying power on the tour


Yes you are right, Kafelnikov winning slams on 2 different surfaces, while Rafter did not, is an argument in Kafelnikov's favor.

Also Kafelnikov winning slams 4 years apart shows his staying power on tour in comparision to Rafter, that is a good point.
Rafter was a bit unlucky IMHO to not win a slam in 2001, but that cant be used as an argument since it is a purely subjective comment.     :)~

Online Babblelot

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2005, 06:09:01 PM »
Quote from: "Babblelot"
other*
Rafter's 2 slams came 12 months apart ('97, '98)
Kafelnikov's 2 slams came nearly 4 years apart ('96, 2000)
*testimony to Kafelnikov's staying power on the tour

Ooooewps! My bad, Kafelnikov won 1999 AO not 2000; somewhat, but doesn't totally diminish this point.
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Online Babblelot

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2005, 06:43:01 PM »
1996 RG
1R def Blanco
2R def T. Johansson (1)
3R def Mantilla
4R def Clavet
QF def Krajicek (2)
SF def Sampras (3)*
F   Kafelnikov def Stich (4)

*QF Sampras def Courier!
**F Kafelnikov/Vacek def Forget/Hlasek
( ) denotes player has won at least 1 slam

1997 USO
1R def Medvedev
2R def M. Norman
3R def Roux
4R def Agassi (1)*
QF def Larsson
SF def Chang (2)
F   Rafter def Rusedski

*Agassi was returning from oblivion, unseeded and ranked #63 in the world
**F Kafelnikov/Vacek def Bjorkman/Kulti
( ) denotes player has won at least 1 slam

1998 USO
1R def Arazi
2R def Gumy
3R def Nainkin
4R def Ivanisevic (1)
QF def Bjorkman
SF def Sampras (2)
F   Rafter def Philippoussis

( ) denotes player has won at least 1 slam

1999 AO
1R def Bjorkman
2R def Stoltenberg
3R def Courier (1)
4R def Pavel
QF def T. Martin
SF def Haas
F   Kafelnikov def Enqvist

*F Rafter/Bjorkman def Bhupathi/Paes
( ) denotes player has won at least 1 slam
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Offline kittens25

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2005, 06:51:08 PM »
Quote from: "Babblelot"
Quote from: "Babblelot"
other*
Rafter's 2 slams came 12 months apart ('97, '98)
Kafelnikov's 2 slams came nearly 4 years apart ('96, 2000)
*testimony to Kafelnikov's staying power on the tour

Ooooewps! My bad, Kafelnikov won 1999 AO not 2000; somewhat, but doesn't totally diminish this point.


You are right, that is just a silly detail.   No sweat.     :)~

Offline kittens25

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2005, 07:33:03 PM »
Quote from: "Babblelot"
1996 RG
1R def Blanco
2R def T. Johansson (1)
3R def Mantilla
4R def Clavet
QF def Krajicek (2)
SF def Sampras (3)*
F   Kafelnikov def Stich (4)

*QF Sampras def Courier!
** Kafelnikov/Vacek def Forget/Hlasek
( ) denotes player has won at least 1 slam

1997 USO
1R def Medvedev
2R def M. Norman
3R def Roux
4R def Agassi (1)*
QF def Larsson
SF def Chang (2)
F   Rafter def Rusedski

*Agassi was returning from oblivion, unseeded and ranked #63 in the world
**Kafelnikov/Vacek def Bjorkman/Kulti
( ) denotes player has won at least 1 slam

1998 USO
1R def Arazi
2R def Gumy
3R def Nainkin
4R def Ivanisevic (1)
QF def Bjorkman
SF def Sampras (2)
F   Rafter def Philippoussis

( ) denotes player has won at least 1 slam

1999 AO
1R def Bjorkman
2R def Stoltenberg
3R def Courier (1)
4R def Pavel
QF def T. Martin
SF def Haas
F   Kafelnikov def Enqvist

*F Rafter/Bjorkman def Bhupathi/Paes
( ) denotes player has won at least 1 slam


Actually you are right that Kafelnikov did beat many more slam winners during his 2 slam wins, than Rafter.   This is something I did not realize.      Right now it is 6 to 3 in Kafelnikov's favor.   I was going to point out that it might be worth considering that Thomas Johansson and Krajiceck had not won their slams yet, and in fact Thomas was so far away(5 years)
that it would not be accurate to consider him slam-champion caliber at that point.     However Ivanisevic had not won his slam yet either, so it would still be double, 4 to 2, in this instance.    

You are right Agassi was basicaly in oblivion at the time of the 97 U.S Open.   I remember following what he was doing at the time, and he was willing to swallow his pride and go down and play challengers in order to be able to enter main draws directly starting 98, without asking for wild cards, or playing qualifiers.     On a more subjective note, I would consider clay by far the worst surface of both Sampras and Stich usually, but that has to be balanced with the fact Sampras was coming off a win over still world #8 Courier(2 time French Champ)as you said, and I would add to that Stitch had a win over overwhelming favorite to win the 96 French-Thomas Muster in the 4th round.

The more things you have brought up, the more I am leaning towards Kafelnikov as having the better career.     Perhaps subconsciously I just wanted to believe Rafter was the better player, so it was easier to pinpoint the arguments that made his career superior.     :)~

I still think Rafter at his peak was probably a bit better, but Kafelnikov had many more years of proving himself, Rafter did most of it in 3 years(97, 98, 2001, although he reached the Wimbledon final in 2000).

Online Babblelot

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2005, 07:45:25 PM »
When Tennis magazine's "40 Greatest Players of the Past 40 Years" discussion first surfaced, I stated the following:

*Although Rafter is my second favorite player of all-time behind John McEnroe, I'd argue that Kafelnikov belongs ahead of Rafter on the list.

(...btw, to this very day, I'll wear a Samari ponytail in tribute to my conquering hero, Patrick Rafter, circa 1997.)
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Offline kittens25

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2005, 07:48:46 PM »
Quote from: "Babblelot"
When Tennis magazine's "40 Greatest Players of the Past 40 Years" discussion first surfaced, I stated the following:

*Although Rafter is my second favorite player of all-time behind John McEnroe, I'd argue that Kafelnikov belongs ahead of Rafter on the list.

(...btw, to this very day, I'll wear a Samari ponytail in tribute to my conquering hero, Patrick Rafter, circa 1997.)


I forgot which player was ahead in that list, but I do seem to recall only 1 of the 2 made it.     Is that the case?

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2005, 08:07:45 PM »
Quote from: "kittens25"
Quote from: "Babblelot"
When Tennis magazine's "40 Greatest Players of the Past 40 Years" discussion first surfaced, I stated the following:

*Although Rafter is my second favorite player of all-time behind John McEnroe, I'd argue that Kafelnikov belongs ahead of Rafter on the list.

(...btw, to this very day, I'll wear a Samari ponytail in tribute to my conquering hero, Patrick Rafter, circa 1997.)


I forgot which player was ahead in that list, but I do seem to recall only 1 of the 2 made it.     Is that the case?

YEAH! In fact, my (above) post started...

On the outside looking in: Yevgeny Kafelnikov

40. Gabriela Sabatini
39. Patrick Rafter
38. Virginia Wade
37. Gustavo Kuerten
36. Jennifer Capriati
....
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Offline kittens25

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« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2005, 08:19:34 PM »
Quote from: "Babblelot"
I forgot which player was ahead in that list, but I do seem to recall only 1 of the 2 made it.     Is that the case?
YEAH! In fact, my (above) post started...

On the outside looking in: Yevgeny Kafelnikov


Thanks, I am a bit surprised both did not make the top 40 list, although if I studied the list closer I would probably get a better perspective the caliber you need to be to be in the bottom part of the top 40 of the last 40 years.     Atleast Kafelnikov probably cares absolutely nothing how a U.S tennis magazine, embarassingly partial to American players(
although in recent years they have globalized and redeemed themselves somewhat)rates him.    

Alot of things you pointed out to me on Kafelnikov's career I was not totally aware of though, I knew his many years in top 5, and top 10, and his 2 slams at different sites, Olympic Gold, 3 slam finals, no Masters titles; I did not realize he had beaten that many former Slam Champions to win his Slams compared to somebody like Rafter though, and although I am aware of his doubles success when I think hard about it, and remember finding out about him winning doubles slams at the time, it is something that is easy to forget about in his retirement.     Basicaly he is a player who is not liked by many, and is easily to subconsciously diminish in your own mind, the fact I did that to some extent while trying 100% to be fair confirms that to me, and I have to believe many who make "greatest player" lists find it easy to do the same without trying to.

Offline kittens25

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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2005, 08:24:42 PM »
Also surprised Kafelnikov had 26 titles to Rafter's 11, never thought he had that many more, though I suspected he had more.     To be fair I am pretty sure Kafelnikov plays more tournaments per year than Rafter(or anybody), but even that considered, he would still be well ahead.     Counting number of tournaments played would not be totally fair, since players should be rewarded for having longer careers, but tournaments per year played could be seen as a deceptive advantage in some cases(eg-Nadal this year winning alot of tier 3 or lower events).

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« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2005, 08:29:22 PM »
Quote from: "kittens25"
Basicaly he is a player who is not liked by many, and is easily to subconsciously diminish in your own mind, the fact I did that to some extent while trying 100% to be fair confirms that to me, and I have to believe many who make "greatest player" lists find it easy to do the same without trying to.
That's a shame, because the fact of the matter is, Yvgeny was a terrific interview--never at a loss for a witty one-liner. I recall on the rare ocassions that he was interviewed, Cliffy could hardly contain himself.
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Offline kittens25

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2005, 08:32:24 PM »
Omigod, Kafelnikov is below Gabriela Sabatini as well?     A bit surprised at that I must say.     Gaby did win alot of Masters titles on clay as well as her 1 slam win, 3 slams finals, and brief #3 ranking however.    Perhaps she is inflated by those.   Then again wouldnt Martinez warrant top 40 as much ore more than Gaby then as well, and she wasn there if I recall.

Offline kittens25

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« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2005, 08:34:00 PM »
Quote from: "Babblelot"
That's a shame, because the fact of the matter is, Yvgeny was a terrific interview--never at a loss for a witty one-liner. I recall on the rare ocassions that he was interviewed, Cliffy could hardly contain himself.


Yeah he came across as a pretty humourous and witty guy in the ESPN interviews I saw.

Offline gm3106

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Kafelnikov vs Rafter?
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2005, 02:40:59 PM »
Quote
also find Rafter was more competitive with the best players, he had fair success vs the likes of Sampras, Agassi,
and other top players.    Kafelnikov did not, I remember him being embarassed by Sampras, Agassi, and even Rafter fairly often.    


I voted for Rafter for similar reasons. Especially since he came much closer to the big W.

Offline kittens25

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« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2005, 02:55:25 PM »
Quote from: "gm3106"
I voted for Rafter for similar reasons. Especially since he came much closer to the big W.


Yeah if Rafter had won Wimbledon even once, it would be an easy choice between the two.  Poor Pat, so close both times (I think he would have won the 2000 final if he had won 1 or 2 more points in the 2nd set tiebreaker when up two mini breaks).    ;>)

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« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2005, 07:34:06 AM »
Quote from: "kittens25"
Quote from: "gm3106"
I voted for Rafter for similar reasons. Especially since he came much closer to the big W.


Yeah if Rafter had won Wimbledon even once, it would be an easy choice between the two.  Poor Pat, so close both times (I think he would have won the 2000 final if he had won 1 or 2 more points in the 2nd set tiebreaker when up two mini breaks).    ;>)
If. IF! Heck, if Kafelnikov...  :)~
1995 USO, 1997 USO, 2004 USO, 2005 RG, 2005 USO, 2006 RG, 2006 USO, 2007 USO, 2008 RG, 2008 USO, 2009 USO, 2010 USO, 2011 USO, 2012 USOhttp://www.gifsoup.com/view4/1856936/2005safin-o.gif
http://www.gifsoup.com/view1/1857331/2004gaudio-o.gif