Agreed. It's a shame he decided to go for consistency over power. He tried to develop into an all-court player, but it just was not his style. His best bouts vs. Fed were the ones where he pulled the trigger 24/7.
Wonder what he could have accomplished if he stayed a ball-basher?
Who am I kidding probably nothing more than he has already accomplished
I pretty much agree with this.
I'd point out though that he wasn't much a ball-basher even in the heyday of his power game. At least not in kind with a Blake, Verdasco, Gonzo, etc. He usually
had a game-plan with his aggression. At times, I'd say he was akin to a grinder with weapons.
I get why he'd want to be more well-rounded, but it shouldn't have been at the expense of his A game. And the worst part was that much of what he "reinvented" himself with through Connors (backhand dtl, net game) were things he was already developing in his early years before that awful partnership with Goldfine.
Hard to say whether he'd have done much more without the changes, but it's worth mentioning that his best showings in recent years all saw a return of aggression in his game.
But these are just musings.
at Pat Rafter being mentioned in this thread.
I agree, and it's ironic when you consider the circumstances of his wins. The fact that he was highly criticized as a fluke slam winner before going on a tear the following year for that rare Canada/Cinci/USO combo.
Hard to believe any fan of his could mention him without remembering or considering that.