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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

I was very young but very much into tennis during the final 3 years of Borg's career. The game characteristics I remember from him are...very fast (incredible court coverage), great pressure time player. He did not hit the ball with a lot of pace, but he generated a ton of topsin from both sides, and kept the ball in play long enough until his opponent made an error.

Master on clay, adapted his game to grass very quickly and won a ton of Wimbledon titles, but never won any hard court slams. Very similar in some ways to Nadal (so far). Question is, could it be that players that rely on so much topsin on their shots have a harder time on hardcourts? I can't recall a big topsin user winning the US open during the 2 decades + I have been watching it.
Just wondering whether people here who followed most (if not all) of Borg's career think if there is any relationship to Borg/Nadal & Topspin/HC's.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 12:07 PM
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Re: Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

well don't forget that he was very close to winning at U.S. Open. Made it to the finals a few times. As for the Aussie Open he only played it once. If he played it more times (at that time only 64 players competed instead of the usual 128) he would have had good chances of winning it.

Rod Laver was the clever guy, playing all 4 grand slams in his prime unlike McEnroe, Connors (with French Open), Chang, Agassi (who did not play Wimbledon and Aussie Open in his early years) etc... Then again Laver was Australian and so felt bound playing at the Aussie Open which at that time was considered the weakest of the 4 grand slams.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 01:24 PM
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Re: Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

Borg says he couldn't deal with the spectator crowd in the USO, he made some finals but McEnroe and Connors got the better of him.

Nadal may have a similar problem with crowds rooting against him (USO 05 and 06), in addition to his tendency of being to defensive on fast courts. I think he can win USO eventually, but it is far from a given. AO is slower, hence suits his gamestyle better, so he should have a good shot down under.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oz_boz
Borg says he couldn't deal with the spectator crowd in the USO, he made some finals but McEnroe and Connors got the better of him.

Nadal may have a similar problem with crowds rooting against him (USO 05 and 06), in addition to his tendency of being to defensive on fast courts. I think he can win USO eventually, but it is far from a given. AO is slower, hence suits his gamestyle better, so he should have a good shot down under.

I am not sure about 05, but in 06 he lost to a Russian player. I did not see the match, but it would be very surprising if the crowd was pulling severly for MY and not Nadal. I don't think his loss to Youzhny had anything to do with the crowd. He just ran into a talented player, who was playing out of his mind at the time, on a surface the he has not yet fully adapted to.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 02:55 PM
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Re: Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vahep
I am not sure about 05, but in 06 he lost to a Russian player. I did not see the match, but it would be very surprising if the crowd was pulling severly for MY and not Nadal. I don't think his loss to Youzhny had anything to do with the crowd. He just ran into a talented player, who was playing out of his mind at the time, on a surface the he has not yet fully adapted to.
As far as I remember, Nadal mentioned in the press conference following his loss to MY that it bothered him with the crowd rooting for Misha.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 03:09 PM
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Re: Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Jones
well don't forget that he was very close to winning at U.S. Open. Made it to the finals a few times. As for the Aussie Openb he only played it once. If he played it more times (at that time only 64 players competed instead of the usual 128) he would have had good chances of winning it.

Rod Laver was the clever guy, playing all 4 grand slams in his prime unlike mCenroe, Connors (ewith French Oen), Chang, Agassi (who did not play Wimbledon and Aussie Open in his early years) etc... Then again Laver was Australian and so felt bound playing at the Aussie Open which at that time was considered the weakest of the 4 grand slams.
Jim, you skipped one minor fact concerning Laver. He didn't play ANY of the slams from 1963-1967, as he turned pro after winnning the Grand Slam in 1962, and pros were not allowed to play in the slams until the Open era began in 1968. So, he actually played none of the slams for a major chunk of his playing prime.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 10:24 PM
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Re: Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vahep
I am not sure about 05, but in 06 he lost to a Russian player. I did not see the match, but it would be very surprising if the crowd was pulling severly for MY and not Nadal. I don't think his loss to Youzhny had anything to do with the crowd. He just ran into a talented player, who was playing out of his mind at the time, on a surface the he has not yet fully adapted to.
I think they wanted to pull for Rafa at first, but as you say Youzhny was indeed playing out of his mind, and eventually the crowd really did get behind him. It probably bothered him but as Rafa himself said, his biggest problem was that he didn't take advantage of the chances he had. In '05, he lost to James Blake, so yeah I would guess the crowd was a factor then too.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 11:03 PM
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Re: Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

This is a good point. Well done.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 11:49 PM
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Re: Borg, Nadal and Hard Courts.

It's fascinating that Borg, the king of clay, lost to Connors in four sets in 1976, in the one U.S. Open final he played on clay. (It was on har-tru clay from 1975-77). It does make you wonder if the surroundings played a big factor.

On the other hand, I also wonder if there isn't a certain element of chance to the way it panned out. I mean, in 1980 Borg won Wimbledon over McEnroe 8-6 in the fifth, and McEnroe won the US Open over Borg 6-4 in the fifth. Pretty close.

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