Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness? - MensTennisForums.com
View Poll Results: Who has/had the greatest mental toughness?
Andre Agassi 2 1.59%
Björn Borg 13 10.32%
Jimmy Connors 13 10.32%
Roger Federer 28 22.22%
Rod Laver 0 0%
Ivan Lendl 3 2.38%
John McEnroe 1 0.79%
Rafael Nadal 43 34.13%
Pete Sampras 20 15.87%
Mats Wilander 3 2.38%
Voters: 126. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

So, who do you think has/had the greatness mental toughness.

This is encapsulated in many different ways such as the ability to play well on the big points, never giving in even when the match could seem like a lost cause or being able to rebound from a tough lost set or maybe even match.

Also, if you could rank the champions in order that would be good.

Please note that this isn't a list of the players who I feel have the best mental toughness in history (some of them are good candidates) but merely an attempt to gauge peoples opinions on some of the truly great champions of the Open Era.

Now I realise there is no Edberg or Becker on this list, sorry but I had to make some decisions and though it is close between these 2 and Nadal and Wilander, I went for the two who I felt had the greater mental powers.

I am going to consider the question for some moments for myself before I give you my views.


Andre Agassi
Björn Borg
Jimmy Connors
Roger Federer
Rod Laver
Ivan Lendl
John McEnroe
Rafael Nadal
Pete Sampras
Mats Wilander

1. Bjorn Borg

I think currently it is hard to go against Borg, despite the fact that there will always be questions over his retirement from tennis. He had a tremendous 5 set record, I know this much, and was seemingly unflappable. He played the big points exceptionally well and had the will to completely transform his game to suit the grass courts of Wimbledon, which in itself must have required an immense amount of persistence.

2. Nadal

His career may only be midway so far but I can only judge what has already happened. Of this era, he has proved on countless occasions his tremendous will to fight back from deficits and to play well on the big points. His head is clear almost all the time, and thus he rarely makes bad decisions during the big points. Also he is able to maintain a deep level of focus and intensity for entire matches and entire tournaments.

More to come I suppose...

Last edited by Omnipotence; 07-22-2009 at 05:44 PM.
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post #2 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:33 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

1. Nadal/Borg
3. Conners
4. Sampras
5. Federer
6. Lendl
7. Wildander
8. Agassi
9. McEnroe

Too young to know about Laver

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Groth, Tursunov, Nadal, Russell, Butorac, Nic Monroe, Marcus Willis

Last edited by Ivo#1Fan; 07-22-2009 at 05:42 PM.
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post #3 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:33 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

and they are...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by philosophicalarf View Post
Armstrong says in-competition testing will never catch anyone, only out-of-competition testing and the blood passport can.

Tennis has no blood passport system, and does basically no out of competition testing.

The methods and drugs used by Armstrong in 1999 would work in tennis right now, with zero chance of being caught (not slightly surprising to anyone familiar with the topic, btw).
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post #4 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:35 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

This will quickly evolve into a GOAT or Fed/Nadal fan thread.

As for a serious answer, need to give it some thought.

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post #5 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:36 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

OP should rate them.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #6 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

Chill out I only just finished the poll.
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post #7 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:41 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

No good, it's not public.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #8 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:42 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

I am that abrasive. Good list. Let me think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philosophicalarf View Post
Armstrong says in-competition testing will never catch anyone, only out-of-competition testing and the blood passport can.

Tennis has no blood passport system, and does basically no out of competition testing.

The methods and drugs used by Armstrong in 1999 would work in tennis right now, with zero chance of being caught (not slightly surprising to anyone familiar with the topic, btw).
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post #9 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:42 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

On that list I'd pick Connors. Least amount of raw natural talent on the list, and yet still piled up the results. That pretty much leaves mental toughness way up there.

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post #10 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:46 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

Nadal
Sampras
Connors
Borg
Federer
Laver
Wilander
Lendl
McEnroe
Agassi


All of them are very mentally tough though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philosophicalarf View Post
Armstrong says in-competition testing will never catch anyone, only out-of-competition testing and the blood passport can.

Tennis has no blood passport system, and does basically no out of competition testing.

The methods and drugs used by Armstrong in 1999 would work in tennis right now, with zero chance of being caught (not slightly surprising to anyone familiar with the topic, btw).
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post #11 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Har-Tru View Post
Nadal
Sampras
Connors
Borg
Federer
Laver
Wilander
Lendl
McEnroe
Agassi


All of them are very mentally tough though.
It isn't an easy one is it. Of course, to be a great champion one needs to have at least very good mental toughness.
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post #12 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:53 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxygene7 View Post
It isn't an easy one is it. Of course, to be a great champion one needs to have at least very good mental toughness.
It isn't. It'll be much easier to rank them in tiers.

Nadal, Sampras
Connors
Borg, Federer, Laver
Wilander, Lendl, McEnroe, Agassi

Quote:
Originally Posted by philosophicalarf View Post
Armstrong says in-competition testing will never catch anyone, only out-of-competition testing and the blood passport can.

Tennis has no blood passport system, and does basically no out of competition testing.

The methods and drugs used by Armstrong in 1999 would work in tennis right now, with zero chance of being caught (not slightly surprising to anyone familiar with the topic, btw).
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post #13 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:58 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxygene7 View Post
It isn't an easy one is it. Of course, to be a great champion one needs to have at least very good mental toughness.
It isn't and when you first posted this I started racking my brain. All tennis champions have great mental toughness. Like I said, the only reason I put Connors on top is, imo, he had the least else to work with as the other guys in terms of talent. He made a living on mental toughness.

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post #14 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 05:59 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxygene7 View Post
So, who do you think has/had the greatness mental toughness.

This is encapsulated in many different ways such as the ability to play well on the big points, never giving in even when the match could seem like a lost cause or being able to rebound from a tough lost set or maybe even match.

Also, if you could rank the champions in order that would be good.

Please note that this isn't a list of the players who I feel have the best mental toughness in history (some of them are good candidates) but merely an attempt to gauge peoples opinions on some of the truly great champions of the Open Era.

Now I realise there is no Edberg or Becker on this list, sorry but I had to make some decisions and though it is close between these 2 and Nadal and Wilander, I went for the two who I felt had the greater mental powers.

I am going to consider the question for some moments for myself before I give you my views.


Andre Agassi
Björn Borg
Jimmy Connors
Roger Federer
Rod Laver
Ivan Lendl
John McEnroe
Rafael Nadal
Pete Sampras
Mats Wilander

1. Bjorn Borg

I think currently it is hard to go against Borg, despite the fact that there will always be questions over his retirement from tennis. He had a tremendous 5 set record, I know this much, and was seemingly unflappable. He played the big points exceptionally well and had the will to completely transform his game to suit the grass courts of Wimbledon, which in itself must have required an immense amount of persistence.

2. Nadal

His career may only be midway so far but I can only judge what has already happened. Of this era, he has proved on countless occasions his tremendous will to fight back from deficits and to play well on the big points. His head is clear almost all the time, and thus he rarely makes bad decisions during the big points. Also he is able to maintain a deep level of focus and intensity for entire matches and entire tournaments.

More to come I suppose...
why is Muster excluded from this discussion? he is considered the toughest ever mentally by the most of the experts and other greats who have played the game.

add him to your poll but we know all about the usless polls at mtf. they are just not that significant if you get my drift.
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post #15 of 225 (permalink) Old 07-22-2009, 06:06 PM
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Re: Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

connors was tough... yep... but, you should seperate toughness from the talent to live inside the circus that he created while the other player wonders why he is staring at monkeys riding bikes...

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Originally Posted by SelvenluvJo View Post
why are you so seriously
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