Dominik Hrbaty: a career of mediocrity and underachievement [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Dominik Hrbaty: a career of mediocrity and underachievement

vogus
10-03-2006, 04:12 PM
considering the way Hrbaty burst onto the ATP scene by reaching the RG '99 semi's where he played a spectacular match against Agassi in defeat, this guy has really turned out to be nothing special.

He had the talent and the physical ability to get to the top but he is such a mentally weak wuss. And now he's turning 29 and on the way down.

charlie666
10-03-2006, 04:18 PM
Maybe, but he's definitely the best dressed player on the tour.

Horatio Caine
10-03-2006, 04:24 PM
So, his defeat today prompts posters to read out his "last rites" for his career? :scratch:

He has the sort of game which more and more players can play just as well these days. Dom will probably still post some good results but I guess I agree with you...he is on his way down a little.

Blue Heart24
10-03-2006, 04:51 PM
You are not wright:Dominator still has to say something! He has the game and he will win at leat one big title in the rest of his career!

alfonsojose
10-03-2006, 06:40 PM
He will play AO 2007 shirtless :drool:

Fed-Express
10-03-2006, 06:56 PM
The one thing that will last is his H-H against Roger. On atptennis.com was a list of the players that had a positive record against Sampras just some weeks ago, with a minimum of three wins. Come on Dominik, one more and you will make it into the history books as a footnote on Roger's page ;)

revolution
10-03-2006, 11:48 PM
Harsh.

jole
10-04-2006, 01:57 AM
Are you aware of the fact that today's loss is nothing new and basically meaningless?

Frooty_Bazooty
10-04-2006, 02:03 AM
thats what you get for running over a slovakian girl and being pardoned for it by the slovakina press

vogus
10-04-2006, 02:15 AM
thats what you get for running over a slovakian girl and being pardoned for it by the slovakina press


i didnt hear about that but knowing Hrbaty's lack of character it doesn't surprise me.

jole
10-04-2006, 02:19 AM
i didnt hear about that but knowing Hrbaty's lack of character it doesn't surprise me.

If by lacking of character you mean an extremely genuine person then you're right on the money.

Action Jackson
10-04-2006, 02:26 AM
i didnt hear about that but knowing Hrbaty's lack of character it doesn't surprise me.

What did Hrbaty do to you? Did he tell you to get lost one day or something?

vogus
10-04-2006, 02:40 AM
What did Hrbaty do to you? Did he tell you to get lost one day or something?


He wasted his talent. That annoys me greatly.

jole
10-04-2006, 02:53 AM
He wasted his talent. That annoys me greatly.

Except you are totally off base.

Dominik works harder than essentially anyone out there, pure tennis talent is what he lacks the most. :lol:

Action Jackson
10-04-2006, 02:56 AM
He wasted his talent. That annoys me greatly.

I'd like to say you are being serious, but that above statement contradicts that big time, therefore your statement that Hrbaty has wasted his talent is like saying Volandri has the hardest serve in tennis.

Fedex
10-04-2006, 02:57 AM
He wasted his talent. That annoys me greatly.
Then you could never be a Safin fan, that's for sure.

vogus
10-04-2006, 03:00 AM
Except you are totally off base.

Dominik works harder than essentially anyone out there, pure tennis talent is what he lacks the most. :lol:


i think he started working so hard physically later in his career as a way to try to compensate for earlier years wasted.

Watch the RG '99 semi and tell me Hrbaty didn't have huge talent. His problems were not physical. He needed to worry less about the physical part of tennis and more about the mental part.

jole
10-04-2006, 03:12 AM
i think he started working so hard physically later in his career as a way to try to compensate for earlier years wasted.

Watch the RG '99 semi and tell me Hrbaty didn't have huge talent. His problems were not physical. He needed to worry less about the physical part of tennis and more about the mental part.

He changed his forehand from a heavy topspin clay court stroke to a much more flat fast court stroke. I hate it, but what has happened has happened. He was always a physical machine, and he is basically the same player. He has no variety and he is not as consistent as he used to be. Players are able to figure him out.

Mentally he isn't Borg, but he isn't a joke. He loses 9/10 matches because he either isn't having a good day ballstriking wise (ie the third ball is long) or someone figures him out. Often it's a combination of these.

vogus
10-04-2006, 03:31 AM
Then you could never be a Safin fan, that's for sure.


well, but i forgive Safin for this because he really can't help it. It couldn't have been any other way with him.

NATAS81
10-04-2006, 05:10 AM
The guy who relies most on fitness to get where he is. No real outstanding weapons. Just solid swings that usually wear opponents down.

80% of his career income is from five setters.

Magical Trevor
10-04-2006, 07:18 AM
He's an overachiever if you ask me. I think he once proclaimed himself as the OK tennis player who runs a lot

Horatio Caine
10-04-2006, 07:28 AM
I'd like to say you are being serious, but that above statement contradicts that big time, therefore your statement that Hrbaty has wasted his talent is like saying Volandri has the hardest serve in tennis.

:lol: :worship:

charlie666
10-04-2006, 01:24 PM
well, but i forgive Safin for this because he really can't help it. It couldn't have been any other way with him.
Then what's the difference between Safin's waste and Hrbaty's? (other than their looks...)

Corswandt
10-05-2006, 09:08 PM
considering the way Hrbaty burst onto the ATP scene by reaching the RG '99 semi's where he played a spectacular match against Agassi in defeat, this guy has really turned out to be nothing special.

He had the talent and the physical ability to get to the top but he is such a mentally weak wuss. And now he's turning 29 and on the way down.

It's interesting that I was thinking exactly the same a few weeks back.

I follow the women's tour more closely than the men's; on the WTA, even the players at the very top typically have glaring flaws or major weaknesses on their games that can be exploited by their opponents. So for me it's a mystery how players without obvious weaknesses and gifted with a good all-round game like Hrbaty haven't achieved good results more consistently throughout their careers. The same can be said of Malisse, possibly Mathieu...

tangerine_dream
10-05-2006, 09:16 PM
A Dommy-bashing thread, wow. MTF is finally branching out.

Sjengster
10-05-2006, 09:57 PM
It's interesting that I was thinking exactly the same a few weeks back.

I follow the women's tour more closely than the men's; on the WTA, even the players at the very top typically have glaring flaws or major weaknesses on their games that can be exploited by their opponents. So for me it's a mystery how players without obvious weaknesses and gifted with a good all-round game like Hrbaty haven't achieved good results more consistently throughout their careers. The same can be said of Malisse, possibly Mathieu...

Hrbaty, no significant weaknesses? I'm no Dominator-hater, but come on, there are plenty of weaknesses in his game that hold him back.

1) He's a very compact flat hitter with a low margin for error, which means on a good day he's devastating and on a bad day he'll be hitting the back fence.

2) As someone who likes to play with rhythm and establish cross-court rallies almost like practice drills, he's very vulnerable to someone who mixes it up, changes pace and placement, uses surprise angles etc. Rusedski has destroyed him every time they've met for precisely this reason, no rhythm through a mixture of serve-volley/slice from the baseline.

3) He is most comfortable at the back of the court and rather like Agassi, is very reluctant to follow penetrating groundies into the net and finish off sitter volleys. You can get away with this a lot in today's game, but it still hurts him at times, and when he does come in he can often look wooden making the transition even though he's a decent enough volleyer.

The bottom line is, as a commentator once pointed out he's a very rigid player who looks highly coached. And before anyone starts complaining, I should mention that nearly everything I've said here applies to the man in my avatar as well. :p

Mathieu is a different kettle of fish to Hrbaty in the technique department but he's another player who prefers to hang back and not always be ambitious enough when he has the advantage in points (conversely he can go for crazy winners when the point doesn't demand it). Even Malisse, who has no real technical weaknesses and is adept at almost everything, so often insists on playing miles behind the baseline stroking smooth groundies as though he's impressed by his own shots instead of actively seeking to win the point. And that's not even mentioning the mental issues, of course....

vogus
10-05-2006, 10:34 PM
3) He is most comfortable at the back of the court and rather like Agassi, is very reluctant to follow penetrating groundies into the net and finish off sitter volleys. You can get away with this a lot in today's game, but it still hurts him at times, and when he does come in he can often look wooden making the transition even though he's a decent enough volleyer.

The bottom line is, as a commentator once pointed out he's a very rigid player who looks highly coached. And before anyone starts complaining, I should mention that nearly everything I've said here applies to the man in my avatar as well. :p




when your groundstrokes are as good off both sides as Agassi's and Hrbaty's, you can volley like a granny and still win Grand Slams. But as you noted, Hrbaty just appears very rigid, kind of like an old-school Eastern European player who never quite learned to think for himself, who just did what his daddy or the communist party boss was telling him to do.

GlennMirnyi
10-06-2006, 12:26 AM
Hrbaty is hardly a talented player. He's very consistent and very fit. I don't think he's an underachiver.

Corswandt
10-06-2006, 06:14 PM
Hrbaty, no significant weaknesses? I'm no Dominator-hater, but come on, there are plenty of weaknesses in his game that hold him back.

1) He's a very compact flat hitter with a low margin for error, which means on a good day he's devastating and on a bad day he'll be hitting the back fence.

2) As someone who likes to play with rhythm and establish cross-court rallies almost like practice drills, he's very vulnerable to someone who mixes it up, changes pace and placement, uses surprise angles etc. Rusedski has destroyed him every time they've met for precisely this reason, no rhythm through a mixture of serve-volley/slice from the baseline.

3) He is most comfortable at the back of the court and rather like Agassi, is very reluctant to follow penetrating groundies into the net and finish off sitter volleys. You can get away with this a lot in today's game, but it still hurts him at times, and when he does come in he can often look wooden making the transition even though he's a decent enough volleyer.

The bottom line is, as a commentator once pointed out he's a very rigid player who looks highly coached. And before anyone starts complaining, I should mention that nearly everything I've said here applies to the man in my avatar as well. :p

Mathieu is a different kettle of fish to Hrbaty in the technique department but he's another player who prefers to hang back and not always be ambitious enough when he has the advantage in points (conversely he can go for crazy winners when the point doesn't demand it). Even Malisse, who has no real technical weaknesses and is adept at almost everything, so often insists on playing miles behind the baseline stroking smooth groundies as though he's impressed by his own shots instead of actively seeking to win the point. And that's not even mentioning the mental issues, of course....

Nitpicking.

By "obvious weaknesses", I mean truly glaring stuff like say Roddick's inability to force a decision in a baseline rally, or Ljubicic's lack of speed and agility.

BTW, 1) also applies to Davydenko.

But I agree that Malisse is even more perplexing, and perhaps even more of a waste of talent, than Hrbaty.

Sjengster
10-06-2006, 07:36 PM
Those are obvious weaknesses, considering they display themselves just about every time he loses a match (which has been frequently this year, after an exceptional 2004 comeback and a solid 2005).

scarecrows
10-06-2006, 11:03 PM
I'd like to say you are being serious, but that above statement contradicts that big time, therefore your statement that Hrbaty has wasted his talent is like saying Volandri has the hardest serve in tennis.

you always have to include Voladnri's serve when making comparisons, dont you?

:lol:

Action Jackson
10-07-2006, 07:46 AM
you always have to include Voladnri's serve when making comparisons, dont you?

:lol:

I could have used Lucho Horna's or Gaudio's grasscourt record as a reference point and have done. It's just the Volandri serve is easier to use.:)

disturb3d
10-07-2006, 09:53 AM
I remember Hrbaty winning 3-4 tournaments successively, some time ago.
When he times the ball well, he's dominated the World's best.

Seeing him school Ljubicic from the baseline in the last 12 months was one of the greater perks of being a tennis fan.

CmonAussie
10-07-2006, 10:03 AM
I remember Hrbaty winning 3-4 tournaments successively, some time ago.
When he times the ball well, he's dominated the World's best.

Seeing him school Ljubicic from the baseline in the last 12 months was one of the greater perks of being a tennis fan.

:wavey: Yeah you`re referring to the Aussie summer in 2004~~ Hrbaty won Adelaide & Auckland in successive weeks before the AO;) ...Also he won Marseille in February of that year & he narrowly lost the Casablanca final-->> Hrbaty really was on fire for the 1st half of 2004:angel:

BTW,. here`s some trivia ~~who is the only man to beat Nadal in an ATP final other than Federer (Miami 05, Wimby 06):confused: :confused: ........"Give up" i hear you say:p -->> So it was Hrbaty in the Auckland final of 04:worship: :worship:

I wonder who the next person to beat Nadal in a final (not named Federer) will be:confused: :confused:

canbera
10-07-2006, 11:56 AM
The Finals of Davis Cup is be the best thing he has achieved in his career. Beating Ljubicic and Ancic is something he won't be able to repeat today.

Merton
10-07-2006, 07:22 PM
This is an incredible thread, Hrbaty is one of the hardest workers on tour, there is no doubt he has done quite well. So somebody needs to be a multiple slam winner or otherwise he is a loser?

JW10S
10-07-2006, 07:30 PM
This is an incredible thread, Hrbaty is one of the hardest workers on tour, there is no doubt he has done quite well. So somebody needs to be a multiple slam winner or otherwise he is a loser?

I agree with that. Hrbaty has won 6 singles and 2 doubles titles and over $6 million in prize money as well as leading his team to the DC finals. I'd hardly classify him as mediocre.

helen phillips
10-08-2006, 04:34 PM
Too many guys to list that had more talent have achieved far less. The guy is a hard worker who has had tremendous success given his limitations. While the stroke may have changed his forehand was as suspect in 99 as it is today. He has never been able to make any adjustments on the serve to correct the toss and he is awkward at net. He is well coached and generally gets the most out what he's got. The notion that he is some sort of 1st tier talent that didn't cut it is ludicrous. Anybody who takes what Hrbaty has achieved and dismisses it out of hand obviously doesn't understand the game. Thousands of guys have come and gone who would have given anything to enjoy a long and successful career like Hrbaty's.

vogus
10-08-2006, 10:28 PM
Thousands of guys have come and gone who would have given anything to enjoy a long and successful career like Hrbaty's.




it's easy to say, "well Hrbaty had a nice long career and won a few minor titles, that's better than a lot of other guys."

But the fact is, this was a player who at the age of 21, on the world's biggest stage at Roland Garros, was playing a level of tennis that was blowing people's minds, against one of the game's all time greats. I'd say that semifinal was one of the five best matches Agassi played in his career.

I just expected more from Hrbaty, and when he reached the Monte Carlo final the next spring, it looked like it might be coming. But that was the end of him on the elite stage.

Leo
10-08-2006, 10:30 PM
I don't agree; I think Hrbaty made the most of his talent. He won a bunch of titles and had a handful of nice Grand Slam results. His game doesn't have enough margin for error for him to being consistently at the top. It's no surprise he's up and down. Overall, a career to be very proud of.

Leo
10-08-2006, 10:32 PM
it's easy to say, "well Hrbaty had a nice long career and won a few minor titles, that's better than a lot of other guys."

But the fact is, this was a player who at the age of 21, on the world's biggest stage at Roland Garros, was playing a level of tennis that was blowing people's minds, against one of the game's all time greats. I'd say that semifinal was one of the five best matches Agassi played in his career.


Everyone has the match of his life and doesn't necessarily get that level back. Hrbaty's game is all about timing, and he can't be on all the time. Lack of variety, spin, and a dominant weapon have held him back.

MariaV
10-09-2006, 07:18 AM
This is an incredible thread, Hrbaty is one of the hardest workers on tour, there is no doubt he has done quite well. So somebody needs to be a multiple slam winner or otherwise he is a loser?
Don't forget Marat has 2 GS titles and is still a loser for many people. :shrug:

Action Jackson
10-09-2006, 07:23 AM
But the fact is, this was a player who at the age of 21, on the world's biggest stage at Roland Garros, was playing a level of tennis that was blowing people's minds, against one of the game's all time greats. I'd say that semifinal was one of the five best matches Agassi played in his career.

I just expected more from Hrbaty, and when he reached the Monte Carlo final the next spring, it looked like it might be coming. But that was the end of him on the elite stage.

Stop overrating Hrbaty, the way you make him out it's like he is Rios, Mecir and Leconte combined.

He has done well enough with his game, it's not like he has the greatest variety around and Jole explained it so obviously, see how his forehand has changed and he likes a rhythm, change the rhythm up and he struggles.

As for that match against Agassi at RG, Hrbaty has played much better in Davis Cup ties.

vogus
10-11-2006, 12:44 AM
Stop overrating Hrbaty, the way you make him out it's like he is Rios, Mecir and Leconte combined.

He has done well enough with his game, it's not like he has the greatest variety around and Jole explained it so obviously, see how his forehand has changed and he likes a rhythm, change the rhythm up and he struggles.

As for that match against Agassi at RG, Hrbaty has played much better in Davis Cup ties.


i guess that's the point, early in his career he had a great forehand and now he has a women's tennis flat forehand where he'll hit two winners and then the next two 20 feet long.

I don't know about Leconte, but Hrbaty certainly did have elements of Rios and Mecir (who is from the same town as Hrbaty and maybe even the same club) in his game, early in his career.

GlennMirnyi
10-11-2006, 01:23 AM
i guess that's the point, early in his career he had a great forehand and now he has a women's tennis flat forehand where he'll hit two winners and then the next two 20 feet long.

I don't know about Leconte, but Hrbaty certainly did have elements of Rios and Mecir (who is from the same town as Hrbaty and maybe even the same club) in his game, early in his career.

Women's forehand? Don't talk crazy, big boy. Women's forehands are those moonballer, full of spin forehands, never flat.

jole
10-11-2006, 01:25 AM
Women's forehand? Don't talk crazy, big boy. Women's forehands are those moonballer, full of spin forehands, never flat.

Furreal. Dominik's forehand oozes machismo, but it lacks a little thing called consistency.

JW10S
10-11-2006, 01:29 AM
Women's forehand? Don't talk crazy, big boy. Women's forehands are those moonballer, full of spin forehands, never flat.

I guess you've never seen Sharapova, Davenport, Pierce, etc., play. The amount of spin on their forehands would measure about 1 revolution per minute.

jole
10-11-2006, 01:45 AM
I guess you've never seen Sharapova, Davenport, Pierce, etc., play. The amount of spin on their forehands would measure about 1 revolution per minute.

~25/1000 = ~0

vogus
10-11-2006, 02:23 AM
Women's forehand? Don't talk crazy, big boy. Women's forehands are those moonballer, full of spin forehands, never flat.


not to be rude, but the next time you open your mouth, little guy, why don't you make sure you know something about the subject. I know that's asking a lot, but give it a try.

Action Jackson
10-11-2006, 02:38 AM
I don't know about Leconte, but Hrbaty certainly did have elements of Rios and Mecir (who is from the same town as Hrbaty and maybe even the same club) in his game, early in his career.

The forehand issue aside. First of all Mecir isn't from Bratislava and the only similarities they have is that they are both Slovaks. Total opposites as game styles, and what similarites apart from being tennis players do Rios and Hrbaty have, apart from 2 handed backhands?

vogus
10-11-2006, 03:24 AM
The forehand issue aside. First of all Mecir isn't from Bratislava and the only similarities they have is that they are both Slovaks. Total opposites as game styles, and what similarites apart from being tennis players do Rios and Hrbaty have, apart from 2 handed backhands?


Mecir isn't from Bratislava? That is news to me. As far as i know he has been living there for a long time.

Rios and the young Hrbaty were both making contact very early on both groundstroke sides, generating a lot of pace, and taking time away from their opponents, and both were notable for their very offensive 2-handed backhands. Mecir the same, although his effortless movement and strokes was not like Hrbaty's or really anyone else's style.

its.like.that
10-11-2006, 09:23 AM
He wasted his talent. That annoys me greatly.

You are wasting oxygen.

That annoys me greatly.

its.like.that
10-11-2006, 09:34 AM
This is an incredible thread, Hrbaty is one of the hardest workers on tour, there is no doubt he has done quite well. So somebody needs to be a multiple slam winner or otherwise he is a loser?

And if you a truly a champion you must remove the letters A and N from your surname.

Don't be surprised to see Rafael Dal, Igor Dreev and David Nalbandi on the tour in years to come.

:p

Action Jackson
10-11-2006, 04:48 PM
Mecir isn't from Bratislava? That is news to me. As far as i know he has been living there for a long time.

Rios and the young Hrbaty were both making contact very early on both groundstroke sides, generating a lot of pace, and taking time away from their opponents, and both were notable for their very offensive 2-handed backhands. Mecir the same, although his effortless movement and strokes was not like Hrbaty's or really anyone else's style.

Mecir was from the provinces Bojnice and the closest to him in style was his protege Kucera.

Well you answered my question, and there isn't really much I can say to it. I mean you once tried to convince me that Al Costa had a better forehand than backhand, and this is up there.

Rios was not a power player, he was about timing and effortless in his stroke production. Hrbaty isn't or ever has been. Rios could change the pace of shot very easily and had a dropshot, something Hrbaty couldn't and doesn't do. One outhought his opponents, the other one wears them down.

They play tennis and 2 hand backhands and that is all they have in common.

vogus
10-11-2006, 05:21 PM
Mecir was from the provinces Bojnice and the closest to him in style was his protege Kucera.

Well you answered my question, and there isn't really much I can say to it. I mean you once tried to convince me that Al Costa had a better forehand than backhand, and this is up there.

Rios was not a power player, he was about timing and effortless in his stroke production. Hrbaty isn't or ever has been. Rios could change the pace of shot very easily and had a dropshot, something Hrbaty couldn't and doesn't do. One outhought his opponents, the other one wears them down.

They play tennis and 2 hand backhands and that is all they have in common.


i'm sure you have seen a lot more of Al Costa than i have, but i what i have seen in detail were 4 of Costa's matches at Roland Garros '02 and he was hitting amazing shots with his forehand using a variety of angles, and running around his backhand at every chance.

Rios hit with plenty of pace. Any perception of him as a junkballing lefty is wrong, or at least incomplete.

Action Jackson
10-12-2006, 06:21 AM
i'm sure you have seen a lot more of Al Costa than i have, but i what i have seen in detail were 4 of Costa's matches at Roland Garros '02 and he was hitting amazing shots with his forehand using a variety of angles, and running around his backhand at every chance.

Rios hit with plenty of pace. Any perception of him as a junkballing lefty is wrong, or at least incomplete.

I have seen plenty of Costa matches, even Gaudio runs around his backhand sometimes, this does not make his forehand a better shot.

When did I say Rios was hitting junkballs? The answer is that was never said. When did I say Rios didn't hit with power? There is a difference he was a touch and feel player, sure he could hit it hard, but he was not a slugger, see that's the thing called variety, which he used and that's the thing Hrbaty has never had.

Jimnik
11-04-2006, 03:48 PM
Well, there's still time. ;) He could reach his 2nd TMS final, 6 years after his first.

Maybe he'll win a few slams next year.

DrJules
11-04-2006, 04:11 PM
His career has probably been strongly hindered by that high ball toss and a suspect serve action.

Jimnik
11-04-2006, 04:57 PM
But the high ball toss shouldn't be a problem for him when playing indoors. I'm surprised he hasn't reached an Indoor TMS final, until now.

As for the topic of the thread, I don't think he's underachieved, although we have seen eqaully good players win Grand Slams in the past.

DrJules
11-04-2006, 05:01 PM
But the high ball toss shouldn't be a problem for him when playing indoors. I'm surprised he hasn't reached an Indoor TMS final, until now.

As for the topic of the thread, I don't think he's underachieved, although we have seen eqaully good players win Grand Slams in the past.

But it certainly means that the serving action is less smooth.