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

Top 5 rivalries to watch (according to atp)

TennisLurker
12-06-2003, 09:29 PM
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.

J. Corwin
12-06-2003, 09:36 PM
Nice to see Rafael and Richard involved.

Leo
12-06-2003, 09:45 PM
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.

TennisLurker
12-06-2003, 10:10 PM
Nalbandian and Federer could develop into a good rivalry, now that Roger has his first victory over David their matches could get interesting.

Sjengster
12-06-2003, 10:36 PM
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.

undomiele
12-06-2003, 11:25 PM
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.

Sjengster
12-06-2003, 11:34 PM
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.

TennisLurker
12-06-2003, 11:42 PM
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.

WyverN
12-06-2003, 11:44 PM
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.

Sjengster
12-06-2003, 11:49 PM
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.

Deboogle!.
12-06-2003, 11:50 PM
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.

TennisLurker
12-06-2003, 11:51 PM
A friend of mine said Nalbandian and Federer are like Ken and Ryu from street fighter.

Yes, that kind of people are my friends.

TennisLurker
12-06-2003, 11:54 PM
Yes, but it must suck to know that you need a miracle to beat Federer, supposedly Roddick and Federer are equals..

star
12-06-2003, 11:55 PM
but it must suck to know that you need a miracle to beat a Nalbandian too. :)

Ma. Estefania
12-07-2003, 02:57 AM
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. :D

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.

Chloe le Bopper
12-07-2003, 03:56 AM
Ferrero-Hewitt is always overlooked, but imo, they have a fantastic rivalry. The head to head is 4-3 Hewitt, and ALL of those matches except one have come in big events (Slams, Davis Cup, Masters Cup).

It used to be that Ferrero had nothing on Hewitt on faster surfaces, but that simply isn't the case anymore. Although Hewitt has won 2 of their last 3 matches, the 2 that he won were five set matches, and he fell to Ferrero at the US Open.

Hewitt is still yet to do anything impressive against Ferrero on clay, but there is always hope that will change.

Chloe le Bopper
12-07-2003, 03:59 AM
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.
Consistency hasn't always been Ferrero's strong point ;) (RG aside) One week he loses to Gaudio, the next he makes the USO finals :p One week he loses to Costa in Hamburg... the next he uh, loses to Costa at RG ... well, I did say he was consistent at RG ;)

Chloe le Bopper
12-07-2003, 04:00 AM
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.
That was the most crap match that I've ever seen Nalbandian play. That was on par with his Wimbledon final.

TennisLurker
12-07-2003, 04:55 AM
Nalbandian has one crap matches every two or three months, I can think off his match against Sargsian in the 2002 us open (Probably David's worst match) and the final he played against Roddick in montreal.

Chloe le Bopper
12-07-2003, 05:27 AM
Nalbandian has one crap matches every two or three months, I can think off his match against Sargsian in the 2002 us open (Probably David's worst match) and the final he played against Roddick in montreal.
I didn't see either of those matches. The USO one wasn't televised here, and I was working during the Montreal finals (damn! I missed a classic! :p)

Do you not agree that his match against Federer was pretty pathetic tennis on his part ? ;)

Deboogle!.
12-07-2003, 05:40 AM
yea from what I remember of the Montreal match, he played pretty poorly.. but I also remember Andy playing pretty well so I don't know if I'd put it in the same category as the Houston match w/Federer. But I don't remember any of the stats or anything so I guess I should really shut up shouldn't I? :p

Havok
12-07-2003, 05:53 AM
oh no Nalbandian handed over that Montreal TMS title to Roddick. he was playing very poorly, while Roddick didn't have to do much, it was as if Roddick was playing his game like he was up against someone ranked out of the top 100:o David thought in order to beat Andy, he had to take the initiative every single point, which is something he isn't able to do very well. and for the rivalries, some are ok, some are just there for the sake of being there, and others were overlooked. imo anyone in the top 5, and most in the top 10 can have great rivalries with eachother

trixy
12-07-2003, 07:32 AM
is it just me or does the atp just love making up rivalries that just dont exist??? i remember a couple of years ago roddick vs hewitt was going 2 be the rivalry to replace pete and andre and what happened with that?? oh yeah andy never beat lleyton and lleyton dropped out of the top ten.

ferrero vs coria every1s dying to see that match post roland garros but i think now that every1s building it up so much it wont even be all that spectacular.

I think the rivalry i really want to see develop is hewitt and ferrero lately there matches have been really close and i think on all surfaces from them we can see some really exciting matches from them.

WyverN
12-07-2003, 11:43 AM
That was the most crap match that I've ever seen Nalbandian play. That was on par with his Wimbledon final.

How about giving Federer some credit, not like David blew him away with brilliant play at the US open. Roger had 60 unforced errors in 4 sets of tennis.

WyverN
12-07-2003, 11:46 AM
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.

This was the first time Federer didn't get impatient with Nalbandian. Coincidence that Nalby got waxed? If you look at their previous matches Federer was the one making UE's every second shot.

oxy
12-07-2003, 04:15 PM
I think the rivalry i really want to see develop is hewitt and ferrero lately there matches have been really close and i think on all surfaces from them we can see some really exciting matches from them.

same here....its beginning to be very interesting especially even on grass, ferrero seems to be in for a fight wif hewitt...its gonna be excting if on clay, their matches are tight too...i wonder if there will be a day where surface does not matter anymore between these 2 players....;)

Leo
12-07-2003, 05:35 PM
I just re-watched my tape of the Agassi/Hewitt semi from the US open last year. Some really mind-blowing baseline tennis. It's a shame that we didn't get to see them face off this year, especially since they were battling over #1 the first half of the year, but hopefully they'll play against eachother a couple times in 2004 - preferrably in Slams. :)

Crazy_Fool
12-07-2003, 05:43 PM
I dont like either player but Nalbandian-Federer has the potential to become a great rilvary. I still Roger is gonna have major problems with Nalbandian next yr, despite the victory in the masters cup. Contrast in styles majorly.

You know as much as love Ferrero i cant see him having a rilvary with anyone.

Iza
12-07-2003, 08:18 PM
Roger vs. Rodduck is NOT a rivalry bcos Rogi beats him even if he is asleep or while having breakfast!
Juanqui vs. Guille will be very interesting 2 watch because they are both amazing on clay. I can't wait 4 RG to see what happens there.
David with Schuettler isn't a rivalry, I agree with y'all.
Rodduck can't be in a rivalry with any1 else cos he's an idiot. Sorry for being so harsh on him, but he is the only player on the tour that i totally hate. His arogance and big-headed attitude make me dislike him a lot.

heya
12-07-2003, 09:04 PM
HURRAY #1

Deboogle!.
12-07-2003, 09:07 PM
Roger vs. Rodduck is NOT a rivalry bcos Rogi beats him even if he is asleep or while having breakfast!
Juanqui vs. Guille will be very interesting 2 watch because they are both amazing on clay. I can't wait 4 RG to see what happens there.
David with Schuettler isn't a rivalry, I agree with y'all.
Rodduck can't be in a rivalry with any1 else cos he's an idiot. Sorry for being so harsh on him, but he is the only player on the tour that i totally hate. His arogance and big-headed attitude make me dislike him a lot.

BAHAAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAAHAA that's the funniest thing I've ever read here.

heya
12-07-2003, 09:22 PM
"arrogance" *jumps on quack bandwagon*

Sjengster
12-07-2003, 10:32 PM
This was the first time Federer didn't get impatient with Nalbandian. Coincidence that Nalby got waxed? If you look at their previous matches Federer was the one making UE's every second shot.

But although he played poorly, Federer was nowhere near as bad in his previous losses to Nalbandian as Nalbandian was in that Houston match. I mean come on, 6 winners to 25 unforced errors? I'm not saying that Federer won't be able to beat Nalbandian in the future, since he seems to have worked out the right way to play him (ie patience and working for his points in rallies, rather than going for quick winners), but he will still struggle with him more often than not - and he certainly won't crush him for the loss of 3 games in future unless Nalbandian plays that awfully again.

WyverN
12-07-2003, 11:01 PM
But although he played poorly, Federer was nowhere near as bad in his previous losses to Nalbandian as Nalbandian was in that Houston match. I mean come on, 6 winners to 25 unforced errors? I'm not saying that Federer won't be able to beat Nalbandian in the future, since he seems to have worked out the right way to play him (ie patience and working for his points in rallies, rather than going for quick winners), but he will still struggle with him more often than not - and he certainly won't crush him for the loss of 3 games in future unless Nalbandian plays that awfully again.

In US open Federer made 28 winners and 58 unforced errors in 4 sets of tennis.

Sjengster
12-07-2003, 11:06 PM
Yes, that was four competitive sets as opposed to an easy two, of course the numbers are going to be higher. I'm talking about the ratio - Federer had just over twice as many errors as winners, Nalbandian had more than 4 times as many errors as winners.

Chloe le Bopper
12-07-2003, 11:32 PM
How about giving Federer some credit, not like David blew him away with brilliant play at the US open. Roger had 60 unforced errors in 4 sets of tennis.
David beats Federer because Fed plays like crap against him usually... that isn't a big secret ;) That day that Fed beat him, Fed played alright. Frankly, he did nothing spectacular. But David did play like complete and total ass, imo.

Not sure why you're being so touchy... it's not as if I said David>Fed, sheesh ;)