Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp) - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Andre Agassi vs Lleyton Hewitt

In January, all eyes will turn to the Australian Open and no two players will be more eager to make an impression than defending champion Andre Agassi and local hero Lleyton Hewitt. The Australian has consistently struggled at his home Grand Slam event, having failed to advance beyond the fourth round in seven appearances. In marked contrast to Hewitt, Agassi has thrived at the Australian Open, claiming the title in four out of seven appearances. Hewitt struggled throughout much of 2003, finishing the year in 16th place of the ATP Champions Race. In 2004, the Australian will be eager to stamp his authority back on a sport in which many of his critics have been quick to write him off.

Hewitt and Agassi have had some blockbuster encounters in the past, with Hewitt leading their head-to-head series 4-3. However, Agassi claimed their last match, putting an end to the Australian's US Open title defense at the semifinal stage in 2002. With Hewitt looking to reclaim his spot at the top of the rankings, and an ageing Agassi eager to make every match count in the twilight of his career, theirs is a rivalry that could come to an enthralling climax in 2004.

Juan Carlos Ferrero vs Guillermo Coria

Ferrero and Coria ruled the clay courts of 2003, with Ferrero claiming his first Grand Slam at Roland Garros, while Coria won three successive tournaments in Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel and Sopot, as well as claiming his first Tennis Masters Series title in Hamburg. The Spaniard won their only meeting of 2003 with considerable ease in the Monte Carlo final. The Argentine has come a long way since then though, gaining vital big-match experience with his run to the Roland Garros semifinals as well as competing in the Tennis Masters Cup season-finale in Houston. And while Martin Verkerk's stunning form at this year's Roland Garros ended hopes of a blockbuster final match-up between these two, players will be hard pushed to stop Ferrero and Coria battling it out in 2004. These two clay court giants are now poised to duel for the title of 'Clay Court King' for years to come.

Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick

Roddick and Federer both had outstanding seasons in 2003 and have made themselves the men to watch in 2004. While Roddick finished the year as World No. 1, it was Federer who stole the show at the Tennis Masters Cup Houston, making his intentions clear for 2004. These two young guns have the makings for a classic rivalry for years to come, with Roddick's high-tempo aggressive play coming in strong contrast to Federer's silky smooth stroke play and calm demeanor. And while it may be too soon for comparisons with Borg and McEnroe's legendary rivalry, the ingredients are certainly there.

So far in their young careers, it is Federer who was come out strongest. The Swiss leads 5-1 in their head-to-head series with the standout match undoubtedly coming with Federer's straight sets defeat of Roddick in the Wimbledon semifinals. Roddick, however, got the measure of the Swiss a few weeks later, defeating him in the Montreal semifinals in three tight sets. The scene is now set for these two to battle it out in their quest for tennis world supremacy.

Rainer Schuettler vs David Nalbandian

Schuettler and Nalbandian are regarded as two of the toughest nuts to crack on the ATP circuit. While Nalbandian failed to win a title in 2003, it was a testament to his consistency throughout the year that he still qualified for the year-end season finale in Houston. Meanwhile, Schuettler continues to defy the odds as he improved his year-end ranking for the ninth consecutive year. These two have had some grueling encounters, meeting a total of seven times in the past two years, with Nalbandian edging their head-to-head 4-3. Look out in 2004 as these two fighters extend their on-going series at the highest level on the ATP circuit.

Rafael Nadal vs Richard Gasquet

While Federer and Roddick may be the leading lights of men's tennis today, Nadal and Gasquet have displayed enough precocious talent to suggest that they are more than ready to challenge the "New Balls Please" generation in years to come. Having collected four Challenger titles, 17-year-old Gasquet finished 2003 as the youngest player in the Top 100. And in a year in which he broke into the Top 50 for the first time, Nadal claimed two Challenger titles of his own and reached the semifinals of Umag. The two young stars have both had prolific careers at Challenger level and are now set to make their presence felt at the higher echelons of the ATP




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I dont think Nalbandian-Schuettler is a rivalry.

I miss: Ivan Lendl, Korda, Novak, Bruguera, Rios, Kucera, Courier, Mantilla, Costa, Santoro and Ferreira.

Good luck to:

Gaudio, Murray, Florian Mayer, Chela, Nalbandian, Radek Stepanek, Volandri, Youzhny and Verdasco.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO IS AN EXOTIC BEAUTY
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 08:36 PM
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Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Nice to see Rafael and Richard involved.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 08:45 PM
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Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Wow, I couldn't disagree more.

Federer is still dominating Roddick, so how is that a great rivalry?

Ferrero has never lost even 4 games in a set to Coria.

I have no clue how they came up with Nalbandian/Schuettler.

Personally I like to see Hewitt or Nalbandian vs. anybody else in the top 10. Particularly Agassi, Ferrero, Roddick, and Federer.

/ / / /
Djokovic.
\ \ \ \
Coric.
/ / / / /
Youzhny.
\ \ \ \
Del Potro.
/ / / /
Paire.
\ \ \ \
Ferrero.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Nalbandian and Federer could develop into a good rivalry, now that Roger has his first victory over David their matches could get interesting.

I miss: Ivan Lendl, Korda, Novak, Bruguera, Rios, Kucera, Courier, Mantilla, Costa, Santoro and Ferreira.

Good luck to:

Gaudio, Murray, Florian Mayer, Chela, Nalbandian, Radek Stepanek, Volandri, Youzhny and Verdasco.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO IS AN EXOTIC BEAUTY
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 09:36 PM
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Re: Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

I do wonder, though, whether Federer's first victory over Big Dave is something of an aberration rather like Roddick's one win over Federer seems to be at the moment (the head to head is exactly the same for both "rivalries", 5-1). But importantly they do have contrasting styles of play, which is something the ATP have obviously forgotten when making this list.

They've gone for players who have similar styles or who have similar success on certain surfaces - e.g. Ferrero and Coria, reasoning that the two best clay-court players must produce great tennis versus each other, when in fact Coria has been blasted off court by Ferrero. Similarly Hewitt and Agassi are looked on as the most consistent baseliners, and Schuettler and Nalbandian as the best "grinders", for want of a better word. Having said that, those are actually rivalries when you look at the head to head, since they've had alternating victories against each other.

Roddick and Federer - 1 and 2 in the world, both big servers who play aggressive tennis, ergo they must have a great rivalry... but as I've said before, they don't produce great tennis. It's a serving battle, and since both men always produce short points (Roddick with the serve, Federer with the serve and volley/serve and quick winner) it doesn't make for a really long, close-fought match. I'll admit that their Montreal match had drama, but the quality was terrible, both men were up and down and made plenty of poor errors.

The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?

ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:25 PM
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Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Ferrero beat Coria before Coria upped the level of his game,and considering they never played against each other during and after Roland Garros, its safe to assume Ferrero would have a harder time beating Coria now than he did before.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:34 PM
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Re: Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Possibly, but I'm not sure he has enough punch off the ground to really worry Ferrero, who is also quick enough himself to get to all of Coria's dropshots and clever angles, so both his offence and defence would be cancelled out. Coria did have more consistent hardcourt results than Ferrero this year so perhaps he might beat him there, but clay... not really likely at the moment. They will certainly be the dominant forces and the players to beat going into the clay season, though.

The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?

ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

I think that Ferrero will probably beat Coria on clay, but, after waching Coria destroying everybody 6261 for three consecutive weeks, I have to say that I do not see Coria losing to Zabaleta, Calleri, Gaudio, Moya, Robredo, Massu, Costa or Gonzalez on clay but I think that Ferrero may lose to any of them if he is having a bad day or if his opponent is inspired (Gonzalez,Calleri or Gaudio).

He didnt finish his clay season very well, he lost to Zabaleta, Horna and Calleri.

Because of his losses to Zabaleta and Horna in Kitzbuhel and Sopot we could not see Coria and Ferrero play each other.

I miss: Ivan Lendl, Korda, Novak, Bruguera, Rios, Kucera, Courier, Mantilla, Costa, Santoro and Ferreira.

Good luck to:

Gaudio, Murray, Florian Mayer, Chela, Nalbandian, Radek Stepanek, Volandri, Youzhny and Verdasco.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO IS AN EXOTIC BEAUTY
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:44 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjengster
I do wonder, though, whether Federer's first victory over Big Dave is something of an aberration rather like Roddick's one win over Federer seems to be at the moment (the head to head is exactly the same for both "rivalries", 5-1).
The difference is Roddick produced a miracle to get back in the match at Montreal and won by the smallest of margins while Federer comprehensively beat Nalby which surely must give him confidence. Roddick would have severe doubts about whether he can beat Federer the next time they meet

As for those rivalries, pretty poor choices.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:49 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Yes, I think the miracle that Roddick performed that day was making Federer's serve atrocious, he had more double faults than aces. But bear in mind that Federer wasn't serving very well (below 50% first serves) against Nalbandian either in Houston, he said it himself - which is why that 6-3, 6-0 scoreline is a deceptive one. Chances are the next time they meet, Nalbandian isn't going to have over 4 times as many unforced errors as winners, like he did in that match.

The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?

ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:50 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyverN
The difference is Roddick produced a miracle to get back in the match at Montreal and won by the smallest of margins while Federer comprehensively beat Nalby which surely must give him confidence. Roddick would have severe doubts about whether he can beat Federer the next time they meet

As for those rivalries, pretty poor choices.
Perhaps not as much, but knowing he could produce the miracle, as you put it, should give him confidence that at least he knows he is capable.

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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

A friend of mine said Nalbandian and Federer are like Ken and Ryu from street fighter.

Yes, that kind of people are my friends.

I miss: Ivan Lendl, Korda, Novak, Bruguera, Rios, Kucera, Courier, Mantilla, Costa, Santoro and Ferreira.

Good luck to:

Gaudio, Murray, Florian Mayer, Chela, Nalbandian, Radek Stepanek, Volandri, Youzhny and Verdasco.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO IS AN EXOTIC BEAUTY

Last edited by TennisLurker; 12-06-2003 at 10:55 PM.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Yes, but it must suck to know that you need a miracle to beat Federer, supposedly Roddick and Federer are equals..

I miss: Ivan Lendl, Korda, Novak, Bruguera, Rios, Kucera, Courier, Mantilla, Costa, Santoro and Ferreira.

Good luck to:

Gaudio, Murray, Florian Mayer, Chela, Nalbandian, Radek Stepanek, Volandri, Youzhny and Verdasco.

NICOLAS ALMAGRO IS AN EXOTIC BEAUTY
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 10:55 PM
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Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

but it must suck to know that you need a miracle to beat a Nalbandian too.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-07-2003, 01:57 AM
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Re: Re: Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TennisLurker
A friend of mine said Nalbandian and Federer are like Ken and Ryu from street fighter.

Yes, that kind of people are my friends.
LOL.

Anyway...I disagree with that Schuettler vs. David rivalry, they've faced very few times I think, and I haven't seen any "great" to take it as a rivalry, they're just big fighters but mainly playing with another players, not against each other....at least that's what I've seen at their matches.

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