Originally Posted by Tennis_Passion
Well, Muster beat a lot of people, just as Nadal did, but that does not make him a greater player than those he beat. But yes, Thomas Muster is probably the best clay-court player in history. But I must disagree with him being Nadal's prototype. Thomas Muster was not the aggressive player that Nadal is, and he also has more variety in his game, I would say he should be more closely associated with Coria, despite playing left-handed. And I have to say that Chang, while fast, does have one of the best anticipation right up there with Hewitt and probably Safin. Nadal also is a one-dimentional player and his accomplishment, as I said, came at an era when the #3 player, Hewitt in this instance, doesnt care much about winning, #4, player, Roddick, who cant win anything, and a #1 player who skips Master events from time to time. I admit that he is a successful, (Chang's success also came at an earlier age mind you), but he certainly is one that I would consider as being one of the talented, off-topic, but still worthy of note.
Muster was nowhere the best player in claycourt history not even close, number 5 at best. Why is Nadal like Muster? Extreme determination, excellent anticipation and both can attack when they needed to and had/have outstanding defensive skills, can run all day, hugely dominant with their forehands, but hard to break down their backhands that is much more in common with Muster than other players.
Chang won RG when it was it's weakest, if you want to play that game, in trying to discredit Nadal. Wilander was on the slide and gone, Lendl was outsmarted by Chang, he had a weaker field and after his RG achievement he didn't come close to winning there again, easily beaten in 95.
Yes, Nadal only won Monte Carlo, Barcelona (tougher than most TMS clay events), Rome and RG in the same season that easily out accomplishes anything Chang did as a teen in an overall context.