Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Which of these champions has the best mental strength/toughness?

MatchFederer
07-22-2009, 05:30 PM
So, who do you think has/had the greatness mental toughness.

This is encapsulated in many different ways such as the ability to play well on the big points, never giving in even when the match could seem like a lost cause or being able to rebound from a tough lost set or maybe even match.

Also, if you could rank the champions in order that would be good.

Please note that this isn't a list of the players who I feel have the best mental toughness in history (some of them are good candidates) but merely an attempt to gauge peoples opinions on some of the truly great champions of the Open Era.

Now I realise there is no Edberg or Becker on this list, sorry but I had to make some decisions and though it is close between these 2 and Nadal and Wilander, I went for the two who I felt had the greater mental powers.

I am going to consider the question for some moments for myself before I give you my views.


Andre Agassi
Björn Borg
Jimmy Connors
Roger Federer
Rod Laver
Ivan Lendl
John McEnroe
Rafael Nadal
Pete Sampras
Mats Wilander

1. Bjorn Borg

I think currently it is hard to go against Borg, despite the fact that there will always be questions over his retirement from tennis. He had a tremendous 5 set record, I know this much, and was seemingly unflappable. He played the big points exceptionally well and had the will to completely transform his game to suit the grass courts of Wimbledon, which in itself must have required an immense amount of persistence.

2. Nadal

His career may only be midway so far but I can only judge what has already happened. Of this era, he has proved on countless occasions his tremendous will to fight back from deficits and to play well on the big points. His head is clear almost all the time, and thus he rarely makes bad decisions during the big points. Also he is able to maintain a deep level of focus and intensity for entire matches and entire tournaments.

More to come I suppose...

Ivo#1Fan
07-22-2009, 05:33 PM
1. Nadal/Borg
3. Conners
4. Sampras
5. Federer
6. Lendl
7. Wildander
8. Agassi
9. McEnroe

Too young to know about Laver

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 05:33 PM
and they are...?

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 05:35 PM
This will quickly evolve into a GOAT or Fed/Nadal fan thread.

As for a serious answer, need to give it some thought.

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 05:36 PM
OP should rate them.

MatchFederer
07-22-2009, 05:37 PM
Chill out I only just finished the poll. ;)

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 05:41 PM
No good, it's not public.

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 05:42 PM
I am that abrasive. Good list. Let me think.

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 05:42 PM
On that list I'd pick Connors. Least amount of raw natural talent on the list, and yet still piled up the results. That pretty much leaves mental toughness way up there.

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 05:46 PM
Nadal
Sampras
Connors
Borg
Federer
Laver
Wilander
Lendl
McEnroe
Agassi


All of them are very mentally tough though.

MatchFederer
07-22-2009, 05:48 PM
Nadal
Sampras
Connors
Borg
Federer
Laver
Wilander
Lendl
McEnroe
Agassi


All of them are very mentally tough though.

It isn't an easy one is it. Of course, to be a great champion one needs to have at least very good mental toughness.

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 05:53 PM
It isn't an easy one is it. Of course, to be a great champion one needs to have at least very good mental toughness.

It isn't. It'll be much easier to rank them in tiers.

Nadal, Sampras
Connors
Borg, Federer, Laver
Wilander, Lendl, McEnroe, Agassi

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 05:58 PM
It isn't an easy one is it. Of course, to be a great champion one needs to have at least very good mental toughness.

It isn't and when you first posted this I started racking my brain. All tennis champions have great mental toughness. Like I said, the only reason I put Connors on top is, imo, he had the least else to work with as the other guys in terms of talent. He made a living on mental toughness.

Clay Death
07-22-2009, 05:59 PM
So, who do you think has/had the greatness mental toughness.

This is encapsulated in many different ways such as the ability to play well on the big points, never giving in even when the match could seem like a lost cause or being able to rebound from a tough lost set or maybe even match.

Also, if you could rank the champions in order that would be good.

Please note that this isn't a list of the players who I feel have the best mental toughness in history (some of them are good candidates) but merely an attempt to gauge peoples opinions on some of the truly great champions of the Open Era.

Now I realise there is no Edberg or Becker on this list, sorry but I had to make some decisions and though it is close between these 2 and Nadal and Wilander, I went for the two who I felt had the greater mental powers.

I am going to consider the question for some moments for myself before I give you my views.


Andre Agassi
Björn Borg
Jimmy Connors
Roger Federer
Rod Laver
Ivan Lendl
John McEnroe
Rafael Nadal
Pete Sampras
Mats Wilander

1. Bjorn Borg

I think currently it is hard to go against Borg, despite the fact that there will always be questions over his retirement from tennis. He had a tremendous 5 set record, I know this much, and was seemingly unflappable. He played the big points exceptionally well and had the will to completely transform his game to suit the grass courts of Wimbledon, which in itself must have required an immense amount of persistence.

2. Nadal

His career may only be midway so far but I can only judge what has already happened. Of this era, he has proved on countless occasions his tremendous will to fight back from deficits and to play well on the big points. His head is clear almost all the time, and thus he rarely makes bad decisions during the big points. Also he is able to maintain a deep level of focus and intensity for entire matches and entire tournaments.

More to come I suppose...

why is Muster excluded from this discussion? he is considered the toughest ever mentally by the most of the experts and other greats who have played the game.

add him to your poll but we know all about the usless polls at mtf. they are just not that significant if you get my drift.

fast_clay
07-22-2009, 06:06 PM
connors was tough... yep... but, you should seperate toughness from the talent to live inside the circus that he created while the other player wonders why he is staring at monkeys riding bikes...

rocketassist
07-22-2009, 06:08 PM
Nadal
Sampras
Connors
Borg
Federer
Laver
Wilander
Lendl
McEnroe
Agassi


All of them are very mentally tough though.

Federer isn't mentally tougher than Wilander, imo. And it's not hard for Nadal to be a mental monster when he plays in a dog shit era like this.

MatchFederer
07-22-2009, 06:16 PM
why is Muster excluded from this discussion? he is considered the toughest ever mentally by the most of the experts and other greats who have played the game.

add him to your poll but we know all about the usless polls at mtf. they are just not that significant if you get my drift.

Try reading the whole opening post.

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 06:19 PM
As much as I hated Connors, he was one of the best in this regard. Borg, winning the RG/Wimbledon double three times in a row, with the game he had and not playing any grass lead ins at all, but when he lost it, it was gone forever.

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 06:23 PM
As much as I hated Connors, he was one of the best in this regard. Borg, winning the RG/Wimbledon double three times in a row, with the game he had and not playing any grass lead ins at all, but when he lost it, it was gone forever.

Hey, I'm a Mac fan so hating Connors was like eating breakfast, just something you had to do. BUT, I'll give the guy credit. His mental toughness got him to the top of the game and he was in the top 3 for like 13 years.
While from a talent perspective, he was WELL below everyone else on this list.

Clay Death
07-22-2009, 06:26 PM
Hey, I'm a Mac fan so hating Connors was like eating breakfast, just something you had to do. BUT, I'll give the guy credit. His mental toughness got him to the top of the game and he was in the top 3 for like 13 years.
While from a talent perspective, he was WELL below everyone else on this list.


affirmative. he was a great fighter and tough as nails.

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 06:27 PM
Hey, I'm a Mac fan so hating Connors was like eating breakfast, just something you had to do. BUT, I'll give the guy credit. His mental toughness got him to the top of the game and he was in the top 3 for like 13 years.
While from a talent perspective, he was WELL below everyone else on this list.

Wilander is classically underrated as usual, he won 7 GS titles through his mental toughness, he never got there through aesthetics or technical brilliance, but as anyone knows any champion has to have this quality.

Sapeod
07-22-2009, 06:29 PM
Borg and Wilander do it for me.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 06:34 PM
Connors, no doubt about it. Everyone who had the pleasure to watch him play knows the fellow was the Epithome of Mental Fortitude, a exceptional 'do-or-die' sort-of guy.

I'm not that sure about Borg. Yes, he showed the mental fortitude, but only as long as he indeed managed to win the Biggies, like AJ said. As soon as he realized he'd probably be having problems with McEnroe during the remainder of his career, he... sneaked out.
Dunno what to think about that in terms of 'mental toughness'... :rolleyes:

Compare that to Agassi's, who had to fight himself back to the top after even having dropped out of the top 100. ;)

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 06:36 PM
Connors and McEnroe along with Nastase were the reason the Code of Conduct came in. Connors did it, by using every dodgy trick in the book.

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 06:39 PM
Connors and McEnroe along with Nastase were the reason the Code of Conduct came in. Connors did it, by using every dodgy trick in the book.

The servers on this forum would not survive 1 day in a Connors, McEnroe, Nastase era.

MatchFederer
07-22-2009, 06:39 PM
Connors, no doubt about it. Everyone who had the pleasure to watch him play knows the fellow was the Epithome of Mental Fortitude, a exceptional 'do-or-die' sort-of guy.

I'm not that sure about Borg. Yes, he showed the mental fortitude, but only as long as he indeed managed to win the Biggies, like AJ said. As soon as he realized he'd probably be having problems with McEnroe during the remainder of his career, he... sneaked out.
Dunno what to think about that in terms of 'mental toughness'... :rolleyes:

Compare that to Agassi's, who had to fight himself back to the top after even having dropped out of the top 100. ;)

It's a tough one isn't it. Like AJ said in different words, when it was gone is was well and truly gone. As for Agassi fighting his way back, I would expect nothing less from such a talented player, that his abilities would get him back to at least near the top. Of course is required great mental fortitude but at the same time he allowed himself to get to that place in the first place. I suppose what I am further alluding to is that indeed, mental toughness can be gauged in many different ways. The question here is pretty tough and could also spurn some very interesting discussion.

There are very good arguments for several or possibly even all of these candidates.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 06:40 PM
Connors and McEnroe along with Nastase were the reason the Code of Conduct came in. Connors did it, by using every dodgy trick in the book.

Absolutely, the three of them were a real bunch of a$$holes, especially compared to the nicey-nicey guys of today. If you watch the hullaballoo posters make of any of the slightly 'off' statements players make today, you surely wonder what they would have been posting about Jimbo, Johnny Mac & Nasty. Too bad the internet didn't exist way back then. :)

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 06:46 PM
I'm not that sure about Borg. Yes, he showed the mental fortitude, but only as long as he indeed managed to win the Biggies, like AJ said. As soon as he realized he'd probably be having problems with McEnroe during the remainder of his career, he... sneaked out.
Dunno what to think about that in terms of 'mental toughness'... :rolleyes:



The classic myth of Borg sneaking out because McEnroe was getting the better of him. Funny, how this was never said about McEnroe when it came to Lendl and he took time after he had been passed.

The game of Borg, the tour was a bit of a joke at this time, with many different factions and not always in the same time. He played a lot of matches, though many of them were being a money whore playing all those exhos.

What it came down to is that he wouldn't sign the contract to appear at a certain amount of events, that he would have had to play qualies and he hit the wall at 25, no point going on, if going through the motions.

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 06:50 PM
Absolutely, the three of them were a real bunch of a$$holes, especially compared to the nicey-nicey guys of today. If you watch the hullaballoo posters make of any of the slightly 'off' statements players make today, you surely wonder what they would have been posting about Jimbo, Johnny Mac & Nasty. Too bad the internet didn't exist way back then. :)

Some of the stuff guys used to say would be blasted today. Read this statement.
"there's nothing he can do that hurts me, he just plays defense. Every time we play, the match is on my racquet, I make errors and lose it, or don't make them and win it."
John Newcombe comment regarding Borg in 1978.

I just saw this on classic tennis matches the other day from the World Invitational Tennis Classic.
I thought man, if somebody said that today, half of mtf would be crucifying them.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 06:54 PM
The classic myth of Borg sneaking out because McEnroe was getting the better of him. Funny, how this was never said about McEnroe when it came to Lendl and he took time after he had been passed.

The game of Borg, the tour was a bit of a joke at this time, with many different factions and not always in the same time. He played a lot of matches, though many of them were being a money whore playing all those exhos.

What it came down to is that he wouldn't sign the contract to appear at a certain amount of events, that he would have had to play qualies and he hit the wall at 25, no point going on, if going through the motions.

I don't know if it's merely a myth re: Borg. Being merely a kid at that time I might have been too young to notice the 'whole story'. I do remember that there was a lot of talk about him bolting out exactly when McEnroe came in to make his mark.

Interesting final point you make. If that was the case it isn't a very positive point on his presumed 'mental strength' either. At least it shows he wasn't able to give his all anymore at a very young age indeed.

As for Agassi fighting his way back, I would expect nothing less from such a talented player, that his abilities would get him back to at least near the top. Of course is required great mental fortitude but at the same time he allowed himself to get to that place in the first place.

Well I think it still was a great achievement, but of course, you are right in saying he did it all to himself in the first place, hanging out with models, stubbornly refusing to show up at Wimbly because of his refusal to appear dressed in white, etc... :o

I suppose what I am further alluding to is that indeed, mental toughness can be gauged in many different ways. The question here is pretty tough and could also spurn some very interesting discussion. There are very good arguments for several or possibly even all of these candidates.

Absolutely. That's why this is indeed a very interesting discussion.
Nice thread! :D

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 06:56 PM
The classic myth of Borg sneaking out because McEnroe was getting the better of him. Funny, how this was never said about McEnroe when it came to Lendl and he took time after he had been passed.

The game of Borg, the tour was a bit of a joke at this time, with many different factions and not always in the same time. He played a lot of matches, though many of them were being a money whore playing all those exhos.

What it came down to is that he wouldn't sign the contract to appear at a certain amount of events, that he would have had to play qualies and he hit the wall at 25, no point going on, if going through the motions.

There was actually a thread on this. And no, losing to Mac was not the only reason by a long shot, but there's not much doubt it played a role in it.
I rarely believe there is any ONE reason for anything that happens in tennis. It is usually a preponderance of events. The game has changed dramatically over the last 30 years.

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=123520

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 06:58 PM
Some of the stuff guys used to say would be blasted today. Read this statement.
"there's nothing he can do that hurts me, he just plays defense. Every time we play, the match is on my racquet, I make errors and lose it, or don't make them and win it."
John Newcombe comment regarding Borg in 1978.

:lol:, compared to this, Serena Williams is Mother Theresa when it comes to humbleness and giving an opponent credit...

I thought man, if somebody said that today, half of mtf would be crucifying them.

Or maybe it would make folks realize just a little bit better that none of the players are angels, which some seem to think - there are times I somehow think the bluntness and non-political correctness of those times have a bit of attraction as well. :)

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 07:01 PM
There was actually a thread on this. And no, losing to Mac was not the only reason by a long shot, but there's not much doubt it played a role in it.
I rarely believe there is any ONE reason for anything that happens in tennis. It is usually a preponderance of events. The game has changed dramatically over the last 30 years.

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=123520

Of course it played a role, but it's was far from the only thing and this is what most lazy people focus on.

He turned pro at 14 and finished at 25, so 11 years not that short. Look at Courier, this arsehole was a mental rock for 2 years, then in 93 he went on the decline, he got worked out and he went too hard.

When your time is up, it's up.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 07:04 PM
Of course it played a role, but it's was far from the only thing and this is what most lazy people focus on.


Nobody said it was 'the ONLY thing'...
So I take it wasn't actually a 'myth' either? ;)

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 07:07 PM
Nobody said it was 'the ONLY thing'...
So I take it wasn't actually a 'myth' either? ;)

Far from it..

JolánGagó
07-22-2009, 07:10 PM
Federer isn't mentally tougher than Wilander, imo. And it's not hard for Nadal to be a mental monster when he plays in a dog shit era like this.

let the tsunami of idiocy freely flow and devastate what remains...

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 07:12 PM
Nobody said it was 'the ONLY thing'...
So I take it wasn't actually a 'myth' either? ;)

When only one thing gets trotted out, then it's a myth, because it ignores all the other relevant factors, because they don't sound as good, misleading at best.

As I said of course McEnroe's fall isn't discussed as widely, because it was to a Czech guy who wasn't a media whore.

ballbasher101
07-22-2009, 07:13 PM
Federer is turning into a mental beast in his later years but Nadal wins hands down when it comes to mental toughness. Sampras had guts from the little that I have seen and heard. Borg was just like Federer in that he was ice cool a lot of the time so he was tough mentally as well. Nadal has to be number one for me.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 07:18 PM
When only one thing gets trotted out, then it's a myth, because it ignores all the other relevant factors, because they don't sound as good, misleading at best.

No prob, I agree with you on this. I only posted the 'myth' as that was the thing I remembered the press were all on about at that time, but like I said, I was a kiddie at that time. :)

As I said of course McEnroe's fall isn't discussed as widely, because it was to a Czech guy who wasn't a media whore.

This is indeed an interesting matter. I guess you are spot-on that it had a lot to do with Lendl being Czech (at that time), and not just because he wasn't a media-whore, but he pretty much got ignored by the press as well, being the 'Baddie from the Eastern Communist Block'.
At least I remember that that surely was a factor.

DrJules
07-22-2009, 07:23 PM
Nadal.

Reason he does so well against the top players.

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 07:27 PM
No prob, I agree with you on this. I only posted the 'myth' as that was the thing I remembered the press were all on about at that time, but like I said, I was a kiddie at that time. :)

This is what sounded the best for the soundbite, therefore being propagated as the only thing, hence the myth status.

This is indeed an interesting matter. I guess you are spot-on that it had a lot to do with Lendl being Czech (at that time), and not just because he wasn't a media-whore, but he pretty much got ignored by the press as well, being the 'Baddie from the Eastern Communist Block'.
At least I remember that that surely was a factor.

I mean SI ran this famous headline about Lendl. Then I remember Connors calling Lendl a chicken. This was a hilarious time Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, the three hated each other.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/1997/weekly/catchingup/0714/images/cuo71401.jpg

mitalidas
07-22-2009, 07:28 PM
All of them have had their share of chances to show mental strength, I guess it's hard to nail it down to one person.

Agassi has come back from the dead and revived his career. Nadal has stared down MPs and CPs and won big ones, Federer has done similarly. Nadal in Wimbledon 2008 showed nothing but mental supremacy after losing CPs and still winning it in 5. Federer did similar, but different this year at Wimbledon. Federer has shown flashes of mental weakness at other times which negates some of his mental points at other times.

Borg had supreme focus which I guess is mental strength as well. Lendl, after so many losses in GS finals, still had belief to come back and win. That should not be under rated or under rented either.

DrJules
07-22-2009, 07:28 PM
No prob, I agree with you on this. I only posted the 'myth' as that was the thing I remembered the press were all on about at that time, but like I said, I was a kiddie at that time. :)



This is indeed an interesting matter. I guess you are spot-on that it had a lot to do with Lendl being Czech (at that time), and not just because he wasn't a media-whore, but he pretty much got ignored by the press as well, being the 'Baddie from the Eastern Communist Block'.
At least I remember that that surely was a factor.

I always felt the attitude towards Lendl resulted more from his personality rather then being Czech. He lacked charisma, was very serious and his tennis often looked mechanical. Also the way he spoke.

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 07:29 PM
As I said of course McEnroe's fall isn't discussed as widely, because it was to a Czech guy who wasn't a media whore.

His "fall" isn't as widely discussed because he didn't retire until he was 33 and his final year looked something like this:

In 1992, McEnroe defeated third-ranked and defending champion Boris Becker in the third round of the Australian Open 6–4, 6–3, 7–5 before a sell-out crowd. In the fourth round, McEnroe needed 4 hours 42 minutes to defeat ninth ranked Emilio Sánchez 8–6 in the fifth set. He lost to Wayne Ferreira in the quarterfinals. At Wimbledon, McEnroe reached the semifinals where he lost in straight sets to the eventual champion Andre Agassi. McEnroe teamed with Michael Stich to win his fifth Wimbledon men's doubles title in a record-length 5 hour 1 minute final, which the pair won 5–7, 7–6, 3–6, 7–6, 19-17. At the end of the year, he teamed with Sampras to win the doubles rubber in the Davis Cup final, where the U.S. defeated Switzerland 3–1.

McEnroe retired from the professional tour at the end of 1992. He ended his singles career ranked 20th in the world.

Borg's retirement/fall or what ever you want to call it is so widely discussed because he was only 25. I know he started when he was 14, but most people don't know that. Nor to they know the inside reasons he left, but to compare the end of these two guys career in any way is a stretch.

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 07:31 PM
The servers on this forum would not survive 1 day in a Connors, McEnroe, Nastase era.

Without a doubt.

peribsen
07-22-2009, 07:32 PM
Federer may well be the finest player ever, but I fail to see how someone who cracks up in public like he did on the AO 2009 final can be seriously ranked among the mentally toughest guys. I'd put him near the end of the list, far below Borg-Nadal-Lendl and almost all the others. That is not criticizing Fed, but it seems to me that the quality of his tennis allows him to win so many times, even though his mental fortitude is 'smaller' than other's (I say 'smaller' because I guess all top sportsmen have an uncommon share of mental hardiness, otherwise they'd never survive the competitiveness of the tour).

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 07:33 PM
I mean SI ran this famous headline about Lendl. Then I remember Connors calling Lendl a chicken. This was a hilarious time Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, the three hated each other.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/1997/weekly/catchingup/0714/images/cuo71401.jpg

Wow yes. I remember that one. Not very respectful towards Ivan... :o
At least they DID give him the deserved attention.

If I remember well, Lendl, Connors & McEnroe indeed didn't want to be found dead anywhere near the other two for a very long time.

I always felt the attitude towards Lendl resulted more from his personality rather then being Czech. He lacked charisma, was very serious and his tennis often looked mechanical.

It was a combination of things methinks. Yes, he was constantly described as 'dull' and 'a robot'. But him being from the Eastern Block when the Cold War was rampant surely was a factor as well. Navratilova didn't get much of a warm-hearted receival either in her early days, for the exact same reasons.
Funnily enough, it was one of the reasons why I started rooting for the two. :)

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 07:34 PM
It's a tough one isn't it. Like AJ said in different words, when it was gone is was well and truly gone. As for Agassi fighting his way back, I would expect nothing less from such a talented player, that his abilities would get him back to at least near the top. Of course is required great mental fortitude but at the same time he allowed himself to get to that place in the first place. I suppose what I am further alluding to is that indeed, mental toughness can be gauged in many different ways. The question here is pretty tough and could also spurn some very interesting discussion.

There are very good arguments for several or possibly even all of these candidates.

yeah

Absolutely, the three of them were a real bunch of a$$holes, especially compared to the nicey-nicey guys of today. If you watch the hullaballoo posters make of any of the slightly 'off' statements players make today, you surely wonder what they would have been posting about Jimbo, Johnny Mac & Nasty. Too bad the internet didn't exist way back then. :)

Imagine a thread back then of the sort: "Why is XXX so rude when saying "challenge"?

Federer is turning into a mental beast in his later years but Nadal wins hands down when it comes to mental toughness. Sampras had guts from the little that I have seen and heard. Borg was just like Federer in that he was ice cool a lot of the time so he was tough mentally as well. Nadal has to be number one for me.

Sampras is underrated in this regard cause he wasn't that sort of grinder. Those 2nd serve aces BP down were the epitome of mental toughness.

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 07:34 PM
His "fall" isn't as widely discussed because he didn't retire until he was 33 and his final year looked something like this:

After he lost the number 1 to Lendl and when he took 3 months off, he was an afterthought, yes he was still good in doubles, played on for some time, got defaulted when it should have happened years ago.

A declining force is just that, some carry on for longer. I know why Borg's retirement at 25 is discussed, just the fact that it's meant that McEnroe retired Lendl, but of course not the same thing that Lendl made McEnroe an afterthought when Edberg, Becker and Wilander were stepping up to win Slams.

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 07:36 PM
Federer may well be the finest player ever, but I fail to see how someone who cracks up in public like he did on the AO 2009 final can be seriously ranked among the mentally toughest guys.

That wasn't tennis.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 07:37 PM
Federer may well be the finest player ever, but I fail to see how someone who cracks up in public like he did on the AO 2009 final can be seriously ranked among the mentally toughest guys. I'd put him near the end of the list, far below Borg-Nadal-Lendl and almost all the others. That is not criticizing Fed, but it seems to me that the quality of his tennis allows him to win so many times, even though his mental fortitude is 'smaller' than other's (I say 'smaller' because I guess all top sportsmen have an uncommon share of mental hardiness, otherwise they'd never survive the competitiveness of the tour).

Being a fan of his, I can't say otherwise than that you are very right about this.
Feds, in his early days, was one of the tour's biggest headcases, and of course, he's dealt with the majority of that problem very well indeed - but he's still a very emotional guy and may 'crack' at times least expected occasionally still.

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 07:40 PM
what about winning Tie-breaks in GS finals as easily as letting rain fall? THAT is mental fortitude. Crying after a bad loss, well, as I've said, it's after the match is over.

DrJules
07-22-2009, 07:42 PM
Federer may well be the finest player ever, but I fail to see how someone who cracks up in public like he did on the AO 2009 final can be seriously ranked among the mentally toughest guys. I'd put him near the end of the list, far below Borg-Nadal-Lendl and almost all the others. That is not criticizing Fed, but it seems to me that the quality of his tennis allows him to win so many times, even though his mental fortitude is 'smaller' than other's (I say 'smaller' because I guess all top sportsmen have an uncommon share of mental hardiness, otherwise they'd never survive the competitiveness of the tour).

He has won a very large number of matches that indicate substantial mental strength; Berdych in Australian Open from 2 sets down, Haas in French Open from 2 sets down, Del Potro when dominated in French semi-final, Roddick at Wimbledon this year alone. Maybe not Nadal level, but certainly warrants being on this list.

ballbasher101
07-22-2009, 07:44 PM
what about winning Tie-breaks in GS finals as easily as letting rain fall? THAT is mental fortitude. Crying after a bad loss, well, as I've said, it's after the match is over.


I don't think I can Improve on what you have just said.

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 07:44 PM
After he lost the number 1 to Lendl and when he took 3 months off, he was an afterthought, yes he was still good in doubles, played on for some time, got defaulted when it should have happened years ago.

A declining force is just that, some carry on for longer. I know why Borg's retirement at 25 is discussed, just the fact that it's meant that McEnroe retired Lendl, but of course not the same thing that Lendl made McEnroe an afterthought when Edberg, Becker and Wilander were stepping up to win Slams.

OK, now I got you. You weren't really talking about retirement you were just talking about decline. Got it and completely agree. Mac actually took a 6 month hiatus in 86 and married O'neal. That was pretty much the end in terms of consistent high level play. I don't think he was ever really the same after that 84 year.
But he just didn't disappear from tennis either. That's one thing that has kept him as popular as he is.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 07:44 PM
Imagine a thread back then of the sort: "Why is XXX so rude when saying "challenge"?

:haha:

McTheKnife? Can you provide us with a nice summing-up of all the tantrums thrown by Johnny? :D

Sampras is underrated in this regard cause he wasn't that sort of grinder. Those 2nd serve aces BP down were the epitome of mental toughness.

Indeed.

what about winning Tie-breaks in GS finals as easily as letting rain fall? THAT is mental fortitude. Crying after a bad loss, well, as I've said, it's after the match is over.

Of course Federer has a lot of mental fortitude as well, the example you give is quite telling all. I just wouldn't put him near the top guys for this matter, as like peribsen said, I think his achievements so far have been more due to his extraordinary talent for the game than because of his mental strength per se - in contrary to the Connorses, Wilanders, and Nadals of this world.

DrJules
07-22-2009, 07:46 PM
McEnroe always seemed mentally at his best after an argument.

peribsen
07-22-2009, 07:47 PM
That wasn't tennis.

I beg to differ, winning and loosing have very much to do with any sport. Besides, the final in Australia wasn´t so much about what happened after, but about the way Fed allowed himself to be owned by Nadal during some months leading to his AO defeat.

Stupid Dream: I acknowledge that I was so taken aback by his reaction in AO that maybe I wasn´t fair to all of Fed's career, but still I simply cannot imagine someone like Laver sobbing in public after a loss.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 07:48 PM
McEnroe always seemed mentally at his best after an argument.

So true. He somehow just needed his verbal explosions to pump himself up I guess. Wonder how far he'd get with those nowadays...

Action Jackson
07-22-2009, 07:50 PM
OK, now I got you. You weren't really talking about retirement you were just talking about decline. Got it and completely agree. Mac actually took a 6 month hiatus in 86 and married O'neal. That was pretty much the end in terms of consistent high level play. I don't think he was ever really the same after that 84 year.
But he just didn't disappear from tennis either. That's one thing that has kept him as popular as he is.

82-3 is hard to top, dealing with a coke head wife doesn't help either.

One thing Borg has better than anyone in that list 23-4 in 5 set matches, not always a good indicator of mental toughness, but not one to be overlooked.

JolánGagó
07-22-2009, 07:52 PM
This is my opinion today, if you don't like it I have some others, or there will always be tomorrow:

Nadal/Sampras
Lendl/Agassi
Connors/Borg/Wilander
Federer

Laver is too remote for me to pretend to judge in that respect.

mitalidas
07-22-2009, 07:53 PM
Federer may well be the finest player ever, but I fail to see how someone who cracks up in public like he did on the AO 2009 final can be seriously ranked among the mentally toughest guys. I'd put him near the end of the list, far below Borg-Nadal-Lendl and almost all the others. That is not criticizing Fed, but it seems to me that the quality of his tennis allows him to win so many times, even though his mental fortitude is 'smaller' than other's (I say 'smaller' because I guess all top sportsmen have an uncommon share of mental hardiness, otherwise they'd never survive the competitiveness of the tour).
Well you can look at the whole picture. Wasn't he two sets down, and also CP down at the Wimbledon 2008 final? He stared down those, and came back to force a fifth set which went into "overtime". So, there are the good with the bad.

AO is an example of the bad. Although, as pointed out, the crying came after the loss. Crying has also come after the win so it is not quite clear to me how you infer crying to be a sign of weakness.

MacTheKnife
07-22-2009, 08:01 PM
McTheKnife? Can you provide us with a nice summing-up of all the tantrums thrown by Johnny? :D

Since you asked. This is some of them.

YxAPKtOe0fQ

peribsen
07-22-2009, 08:11 PM
AO is an example of the bad. Although, as pointed out, the crying came after the loss. Crying has also come after the win so it is not quite clear to me how you infer crying to be a sign of weakness.

The crying came after a match in which Fed caved in to Nadal, with the match coming after several months during which the hottest topic on most tennis forums was about how much it seemed Rafa owned Roger. Now he seems to have gotten over it, which is great news for the sport. But still, to put Fed as an example of mental fortitude? I remind you I'm not saying he doesn't have mental strength, they all have it, but to rank him over icemen like Borg or Laver as some are doing in this thread? I just don´t think it is one of Fed's most remarkable assets, of which there are plenty.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 08:14 PM
Sorry for off-topic, folks!

Stupid Dream: I acknowledge that I was so taken aback by his reaction in AO that maybe I wasn´t fair to all of Fed's career, but still I simply cannot imagine someone like Laver sobbing in public after a loss.

Hey, no prob. :)
Plenty people were highly pissed off by it (and there's a lot to be said to say, rightly so!), and as he said himself, it was 'embarrassing'. But on the other side, like a newspaper in my country said, him showing his emotional side did endear a lot of folks to him just the same.
Like Rafa said himself, it was all very understandable (and he claimed he had no problems with it at all).
If you're human, of course. ;)

I tend to agree with you that it's surely an indication of his sometimes feeble mental strength, but on the other hand - he has proven enough that he DOES have the mental fortitude whenever he gets in a tough situation in a match. The RG matches against Haas and DelPotro, as well as the recent Wimbly final, were the latest of very many where he proved such. :)

Since you asked. This is some of them.

YxAPKtOe0fQ

Can't goodrep you again Glen. Hilarious stuff!
:worship: :haha: :worship: :haha:

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 08:16 PM
The crying came after a match in which Fed caved in to Nadal, with the match coming after several months during which the hottest topic on most tennis forums was about how much it seemed Rafa owned Roger. Now he seems to have gotten over it, which is great news for the sport. But still, to put Fed as an example of mental fortitude? I remind you I'm not saying he doesn't have mental strength, they all have it, but to rank him over icemen like Borg or Laver as some are doing in this thread? I just don´t think it is one of Fed's most remarkable assets, of which there are plenty.

Exactly my point as well. :yeah:

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 08:22 PM
82-3 is hard to top, dealing with a coke head wife doesn't help either.

One thing Borg has better than anyone in that list 23-4 in 5 set matches, not always a good indicator of mental toughness, but not one to be overlooked.

Most of the time.

Har-Tru
07-22-2009, 08:23 PM
My opinion about Federer is he is more mentally tough than many people think. His crying doesn't help him, but is not a sign of mental fragility in my view. Just him being emotional. We're talking about what happens on the court (er... during play).

BigJohn
07-22-2009, 09:41 PM
My opinion about Federer is he is more mentally tough than many people think. His crying doesn't help him, but is not a sign of mental fragility in my view. Just him being emotional. We're talking about what happens on the court (er... during play).

I agree with that. Tears of joy, everyone does, what ticks people are tears at Wimbledon08/AO09. Yeah... after I wonder, was there any kind of special intense pressure on the guy at that point of his career? Like a record streak in rankings or a media hyped inevitable all-time major tournament total victory kind of shit coupled with an intense rivalry with another freak of nature going on? Maybe something like that has something to do with those?

The fact that he cares so much about winning or losing is not a disadvantage. Federer dominated the tour like never before, and he the last 5 years, an off-performance in a Slam is a semi. You cannot be a mental midget and do these things.

This is Sparta
07-22-2009, 10:01 PM
Sampras

Fedchoker 2nd in the poll...what a joke

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 10:20 PM
I agree with that. Tears of joy, everyone does, what ticks people are tears at Wimbledon08/AO09. Yeah... after I wonder, was there any kind of special intense pressure on the guy at that point of his career? Like a record streak in rankings or a media hyped inevitable all-time major tournament total victory kind of shit coupled with an intense rivalry with another freak of nature going on? Maybe something like that has something to do with those?

I sort-of remember some things like those going on there at that (those) particular occasion(s), yeah. :scratch:

;)

ORGASMATRON
07-22-2009, 10:40 PM
No Hewitt. :haha::haha::haha::haha::haha:

ORGASMATRON
07-22-2009, 10:42 PM
Anyway on this poll its between Rafa and Sampy. Agassi was mentally weak, cant believe he is on here and Hewitt is not :haha::haha::haha:

ORGASMATRON
07-22-2009, 10:44 PM
Oh and lets not forget Muster. Clown poll as usual.

Sunset of Age
07-22-2009, 10:46 PM
Clown POST as usual.

Adjusted it for you. :cool:

Diphil
07-22-2009, 10:46 PM
1. Nadal
2. Borg
3. Federer

ORGASMATRON
07-22-2009, 11:01 PM
Adjusted it for you. :cool:

You dont think Muster or Hewitt belong up there? Why didnt you just say so?

Burrow
07-22-2009, 11:16 PM
I think they all deserve a mention but my top 2 would be Sampras and Borg.

ORGASMATRON
07-22-2009, 11:30 PM
Sampy serving an ace on a 2nd serve on MP down against Corretja at the USO :worship:

straitup
07-22-2009, 11:43 PM
Sampy serving an ace on a 2nd serve on MP down against Corretja at the USO :worship:

Not to be nit-picky but he served the 2nd serve ace when it was 7-7 in the tiebreaker...when he was MP down he hit a pretty clutch volley. So either way :worship:

Sampras was just ridiculous because of that serve...he just turned it up when it counted. Federer's starting to use his serve well to get out of trouble too.

rwn
07-23-2009, 08:25 AM
It´s amazing how overrated Nadal is once again. Just look at his collapses every year at the US Open.

JolánGagó
07-23-2009, 08:48 AM
It´s amazing how overrated Nadal is once again. Just look at his collapses every year at the US Open.

:spit:

habibko
07-23-2009, 09:26 AM
got to be Federer, no player was able to maintain that winning mentality, and dominate for years and years and take the pressure of being #1 and "the hunted" for 237 weeks (an all time record), and having such legendary consistency at GSs, add to that the best TB record in history, and we all know how much mental a TB can be.

do you guys remember that second serve ace against Nadal in Madrid after saving break points in the last game while serving out the match? yes that's mental strength for you.

Action Jackson
07-23-2009, 09:28 AM
Funny results so far.

JolánGagó
07-23-2009, 09:46 AM
got to be Federer, no player was able to maintain that winning mentality, and dominate for years and years and take the pressure of being #1 and "the hunted" for 237 weeks (an all time record), and having such legendary consistency at GSs, add to that the best TB record in history, and we all know how much mental a TB can be.

do you guys remember that second serve ace against Nadal in Madrid after saving break points in the last game while serving out the match? yes that's mental strength for you.

Sure. Being utterly owned by the second and then first ranked throughout most of his career and being able to win RG and then Wimby again thanks to the aforementioned player's absence is a sure sign of the strongest mentality ever seen in universal tennis.

:spit:

jonathancrane
07-23-2009, 09:57 AM
Connors

Sure. Being utterly owned by the second and then first ranked throughout most of his career and being able to win RG and then Wimby again thanks to the aforementioned player's absence is a sure sign of the strongest mentality ever seen in universal tennis.

:spit:

Nadull was in RG this year ;)

JolánGagó
07-23-2009, 10:00 AM
Connors

Nadull was in RG this year ;)


Nadal wasn't in the final, and was virtually absent from the tournament due to injury :)

bokehlicious
07-23-2009, 10:02 AM
Nadull was in RG this year ;)

Anytime Nadal loses, he's "virtually absent", didnt' get the memo? :scratch: :shrug:

jonathancrane
07-23-2009, 10:04 AM
Nadal wasn't in the final, and was virtually absent from the tournament due to injury :)

Injured? Did you see the match against Hewitt?
I think that he got injured right after the Toad match :p

JolánGagó
07-23-2009, 10:09 AM
Injured? Did you see the match against Hewitt?
I think that he got injured right after the Toad match :p

His supreme mental toughness and testicular fortitude have often allowed him win matches in great pain, everything has its limits though :shrug:

but anyway we were discussing Federer's alleged :spit: GOATness in the realm of mental strength, weren't we? Nadal's one is out of question for any living creature with a brain cell account in excess of 2 :rolleyes:

jonathancrane
07-23-2009, 10:12 AM
His supreme mental toughness and testicular fortitude have often allowed him win matches in great pain, everything has its limits though :shrug:

:rolleyes:


but anyway we were discussing Federer's alleged :spit: GOATness in the realm of mental strength, weren't we? Nadal's one is out of question for any living creature with a brain cell account in excess of 2 :rolleyes:

In mental strenght Rafito has the upper hand, I agree

MatchFederer
07-23-2009, 10:45 AM
Funny results so far.

Yes, unfortunately. :o

Certinfy
07-23-2009, 10:49 AM
Nadal.

HattonWBA
07-23-2009, 10:54 AM
Nadal

rwn
07-23-2009, 11:08 AM
Anytime Nadal loses, he's "virtually absent", didnt' get the memo? :scratch: :shrug:

When Nadal loses he´s tired, injured, sick or having his period. Everybody knows that. :shrug:

rwn
07-23-2009, 11:12 AM
:rolleyes:



In mental strenght Rafito has the upper hand, I agree

Krajicek is also mentally tougher than Sampras, isn´t he ?

Certinfy
07-23-2009, 11:14 AM
When Nadal loses he´s tired, injured, sick or having his period. Everybody knows that. :shrug::haha: :haha: :haha:

Sapeod
07-23-2009, 11:22 AM
Nadal is winning the poll? That pretty much sums up MTF :haha: You've gotta be kidding me :haha:

Getta
07-23-2009, 11:28 AM
Connors and Wilander.

Action Jackson
07-23-2009, 11:28 AM
Yes, unfortunately. :o

This is why polls should be public.

rwn
07-23-2009, 11:29 AM
Nadal is winning the poll? That pretty much sums up MTF :haha: You've gotta be kidding me :haha:

Isn't he the guy who didn't defend his Wimbledon title because he believed he couldn't win :confused:

Getta
07-23-2009, 11:30 AM
This is why polls should be public.

I voted for Wilander.

ORGASMATRON
07-23-2009, 11:30 AM
Didnt Fed just school Nadull in Madrid in a display of utter mental dominance? And more importantly doesnt MTF operate only on current results? Something is very wrong here...

ORGASMATRON
07-23-2009, 11:33 AM
Isn't he the guy who didn't defend his Wimbledon title because he believed he couldn't win :confused:

Yes. Pathetic from that pansy fartan warrior. And why didnt he withdraw earlier? Soderling wouldnt have had to play Fed in the fourth round if he withdrew earlier!

jonathancrane
07-23-2009, 11:35 AM
Krajicek is also mentally tougher than Sampras, isn´t he ?

:rolleyes:

Is Blake mentally tougher than Nadull?

rwn
07-23-2009, 11:38 AM
:rolleyes:

Is Blake mentally tougher than Nadull?

Of course he is. It's all about H2H isn't it ? Otherwise Federer would clearly be mentally tougher than Nadal: more grand slams titles and more consistent results at the slams.

duong
07-23-2009, 11:40 AM
Nadal
Connors
Borg
Wilander
Sampras
Federer
McEnroe
Lendl
Agassi

I didn't see Laver play live

Federer has the best record among them in tie-breaks, which is the best indicator of mental toughness imo, even if it was more difficult in Sampras's period to have a good ratio as there were so good servors that it was more hazardous.

malisha
07-23-2009, 11:44 AM
This will quickly evolve into a GOAT or Fed/Nadal fan thread.



great anticipation
junk thread(but solid attempt)

BlueSwan
07-23-2009, 11:48 AM
Probably Sampras, although Nadal and Borg surely come close. I don't consider Agassi THAT tough, mentally.

Lopez
07-23-2009, 12:17 PM
This thread was pretty decent for an unexpected number of pages but then it too was, inevitably, hijacked.

Sunset of Age
07-23-2009, 12:36 PM
This is why polls should be public.

Connors got my vote.

This thread was pretty decent for an unexpected number of pages but then it too was, inevitably, hijacked.

Alas, indeed.

Sapeod
07-23-2009, 12:38 PM
Isn't he the guy who didn't defend his Wimbledon title because he believed he couldn't win :confused:
Yeah. He withdrew with injury.

MacTheKnife
07-23-2009, 12:44 PM
Connors got my vote.



Alas, indeed.

Well we comprise 2 of his 7.. :haha:

duong
07-23-2009, 01:41 PM
Wilander is classically underrated as usual, he won 7 GS titles through his mental toughness, he never got there through aesthetics or technical brilliance, but as anyone knows any champion has to have this quality.

I generally underrate Wilander comparing to how much you and some others (especially those who rate high the Australian Open from 1983-1984) rate him,

but as for mental toughness, he has to be rated high imo :D

Note that in that poll I didn't consider the fact of stopping one's carreer early as Borg did and nearly as Wilander did :lol:, as a sign of not being mentally tough : it's another topic.

duong
07-23-2009, 01:47 PM
The classic myth of Borg sneaking out because McEnroe was getting the better of him. Funny, how this was never said about McEnroe when it came to Lendl and he took time after he had been passed.

Once again (or as seldom :lol: ) I totally agree with you about that :yeah:

there were other reasons why Borg stopped than just McEnroe.
He was surely tired about his carreer and his style of play was very demanding.

duong
07-23-2009, 01:53 PM
"there's nothing he can do that hurts me, he just plays defense. Every time we play, the match is on my racquet, I make errors and lose it, or don't make them and win it."
John Newcombe comment regarding Borg in 1978.


That's a matter of different style of play : it's quite normal in my opinion that a player who likes the offense has such opinions.

And it's quite clear that many many players have this opinion : listen to Forget, Edberg, Sampras, Cahill ... they all are totally structurally unable to give Nadal credit for his defensive game.

Even that is not arrogant in my opinion, it's narrow-minded, not being able to accept that there are different styles of play, but it's not lack of humility in my opinion : rather narrow-mindedness. It's not good either (compare to MCEnroe who doesn't sound narrow-minded in his tennis analysis) but it's different from a problem of "humbleness".

MatchFederer
07-23-2009, 01:58 PM
This is why polls should be public.

Actually, I realized as soon as i pressed the posting button that I hadn't made it public. I intended to do so, but I guess there is no way of fixing that now.

duong
07-23-2009, 02:00 PM
No prob, I agree with you on this. I only posted the 'myth' as that was the thing I remembered the press were all on about at that time, but like I said, I was a kiddie at that time. :)

When the press insists and insists again on ONE point, that's exactly what a myth is made of imo.

MacTheKnife
07-23-2009, 02:01 PM
Actually, I realized as soon as i pressed the posting button that I hadn't made it public. I intended to do so, but I guess there is no way of fixing that now.

This was a great thread and an excellent subject. Just got side tracked by the usual and expected Fed-Nadal adoration. At least it didn't digress to another GOAT thread which was another option I suspected.

Good job. :yeah:

Action Jackson
07-23-2009, 02:03 PM
Actually, I realized as soon as i pressed the posting button that I hadn't made it public. I intended to do so, but I guess there is no way of fixing that now.

Trial and error, it happens we all make unforced errors.

duong
07-23-2009, 02:10 PM
Those 2nd serve aces BP down were the epitome of mental toughness.

Many poor-mental players are used to doing that (for instance Berdych, also Söderling in the past) : for them it's a way to escape from the situation ... and sometimes it works :lol:

I can't really see the purpose of trying an ace on a second serve break point down : even if you're very mentally strong, there's always a big percentage that the ball is just out.

If you really engage the point, that's really facing the situation.

Trying an ace on second serve is a poker point : of course you have more chances to succeed if you're mentally strong, very confident ... and also if you have a very good serve,
then the fact of succeeding it is a sign of mental toughness (and of a very good serve :lol:)
but the fact of trying it doesn't show mental toughness imo : it may rather be the opposite.

Then no it cannot be the "epitome" of mental toughness imo.
Looking at Nadal I have far more signs imo, even if he will probably never make an ace on second serve breakpoint down ... or it would be exceptional :lol:

duong
07-23-2009, 02:26 PM
Being a fan of his, I can't say otherwise than that you are very right about this.
Feds, in his early days, was one of the tour's biggest headcases, and of course, he's dealt with the majority of that problem very well indeed - but he's still a very emotional guy and may 'crack' at times least expected occasionally still.

Emotionally cracking after a match is not a matter of tennis.

And it can even be a good sign of mental toughness imo.

Federer cried after many wins : did that prevent him from playing great and winning ?

I've seen many tennismen crying after they had played very great (I immediately think of Noah for instance) ... and surely they had played great exactly because they had been so tense.

Roddick didn't have tears in his eyes after the Wimbledon final probably because he doesn't have humidity in his eyes (it's the same for me, I know that : however emotional I am I will not cry) but you could see from how he was after the match exactly what he had shown during the match : he had given absolutely everything and played better than ever.

JolánGagó
07-23-2009, 03:41 PM
Roddick didn't have tears in his eyes after the Wimbledon final probably because he doesn't have humidity in his eyes (it's the same for me, I know that : however emotional I am I will not cry)

:haha:

OMFG Im feeling a torrent of hot humidity down my pants right now :spit:

Har-Tru
07-23-2009, 04:13 PM
Many poor-mental players are used to doing that (for instance Berdych, also Söderling in the past) : for them it's a way to escape from the situation ... and sometimes it works :lol:

I can't really see the purpose of trying an ace on a second serve break point down : even if you're very mentally strong, there's always a big percentage that the ball is just out.

If you really engage the point, that's really facing the situation.

Trying an ace on second serve is a poker point : of course you have more chances to succeed if you're mentally strong, very confident ... and also if you have a very good serve,
then the fact of succeeding it is a sign of mental toughness (and of a very good serve :lol:)
but the fact of trying it doesn't show mental toughness imo : it may rather be the opposite.

Then no it cannot be the "epitome" of mental toughness imo.
Looking at Nadal I have far more signs imo, even if he will probably never make an ace on second serve breakpoint down ... or it would be exceptional :lol:

Thing is, many players try it, but Sampras did it. If not an ace, an excellent serve. That is a clear sign of some major testicles. Berdych? Söderling? They try it sometimes, and it works sometimes, but for the most part they get a DF. Sampras got the point the vast majority of the time. His 2nd serve is one of the best shots ever and yes, a huge sign of mental toughness.

Har-Tru
07-23-2009, 04:15 PM
I voted for Nadal, but Connors getting so few votes and Federer and others so many is MTFiculous.

MacTheKnife
07-23-2009, 04:23 PM
I voted for Nadal, but Connors getting so few votes and Federer and others so many is MTFiculous.

The majority of polls here only need two players on it, then an "other" selection.

Dougie
07-23-2009, 04:26 PM
Thing is, many players try it, but Sampras did it. If not an ace, an excellent serve. That is a clear sign of some major testicles. Berdych? Söderling? They try it sometimes, and it works sometimes, but for the most part they get a DF. Sampras got the point the vast majority of the time. His 2nd serve is one of the best shots ever and yes, a huge sign of mental toughness.

There´s a huge difference between an excellent 2nd serve and an ace. I have to agree with duong here, you have a lot more to lose that to win if you chase the ace with a second serve, and not even Sampras did it all the time, rarely in fact. Serving a good 2nd serve in a tight spot requires mental strength, that obvious. But it´s not the same as going for an ace.

fast_clay
07-23-2009, 04:30 PM
The servers on this forum would not survive 1 day in a Connors, McEnroe, Nastase era.

i agree with this... fully... the rate at which ill-feeling displayed by the players then manifests itself through the many tards and other undesirables would be quite something... the tour really kinda sterilised this sort of interaction...

i mean, in one way, a code of conduct was always going to happen (and needed to happen, cos the amount of money that came on the scene in the tennis boom meant that the development of streetfighter tactics where a given), it was really just a question of when it would happen... but, the balance kinda went the other way in the period since... but, you do the see rules being bent fairly heavily again these days... just not so outward and much more slyly ie: time wastage, tactical timeouts, ball bouncing etc etc...

the only wish i would have is that the players grow a f**ken set of iron ones and call the main offenders out out on it while the game is on and not whinge about it afterwards to the press or whatever... once upon a time players had a voice like that - not just whine to the umpire, but actually yell it out loud, across the net, at your target, use the crowd and let everyone in the stadium know what you think... apply a heavier type of pressure <--- maybe that is not a case for mental toughness, but is certainly a sign of a strong character...

today 'blueprint' of a strong mentality, imo, is a much quieter poker face... accepting and getting on with it... whereas, i believe there is room for a few different types of strengths...

Har-Tru
07-23-2009, 04:33 PM
There´s a huge difference between an excellent 2nd serve and an ace. I have to agree with duong here, you have a lot more to lose that to win if you chase the ace with a second serve, and not even Sampras did it all the time, rarely in fact. Serving a good 2nd serve in a tight spot requires mental strength, that obvious. But it´s not the same as going for an ace.

That's what I meant. I didn't say he went for an ace. Many aces aren't intended, they're just good serves.

MacTheKnife
07-23-2009, 04:38 PM
There´s a huge difference between an excellent 2nd serve and an ace. I have to agree with duong here, you have a lot more to lose that to win if you chase the ace with a second serve, and not even Sampras did it all the time, rarely in fact. Serving a good 2nd serve in a tight spot requires mental strength, that obvious. But it´s not the same as going for an ace.

That's true. It's just that Sampras' 2nd serve was better than most 1st serves. Although, there were those few times when it was clear, he just busted it too.

MacTheKnife
07-23-2009, 04:42 PM
the only wish i would have is that the players grow a f**ken set of iron ones and call the main offenders out out on it while the game is on and not whinge about it afterwards to the press or whatever... once upon a time players had a voice like that - not just whine to the umpire, but actually yell it out loud, across the net, at your target, use the crowd and let everyone in the stadium know what you think... apply a heavier type of pressure <--- maybe that is not a case for mental toughness, but is certainly a sign of a strong character...

today 'blueprint' of a strong mentality, imo, is a much quieter poker face... accepting and getting on with it... whereas, i believe there is room for a few different types of strengths...


I agree. I just always enjoyed that uncertain feeling of "wtf is going to happen next". We really don't get that today. Players are all concerned with being politically correct. Then when there are a few outbursts, they get blasted on forums like mtf. It's a no win situation.
In a way, it's not only on court technology that has changed tennis, it's also the internet and the like.

fast_clay
07-23-2009, 04:56 PM
That's true. It's just that Sampras' 2nd serve was better than most 1st serves. Although, there were those few times when it was clear, he just busted it too.

cant quite remember who it was that quoted it, but maybe someone else knows who it was that said: 'pete's serving was definitely not the biggest that i'd faced, but certainly was by far the toughest..,'

the amount of side and tail snap he got on that second delivery made it quite a safe serve for the pace that he delivered... the move and dip he got before the ball bounced, and the movement after (esp. the wide slider) was incerdible... great for grass... and everything off the same toss which of course was the overall key - all the great attackers had that ability to make it appear like he was gonna do any number of things from right up uptil the ball was struck.. mcenroe, edberg, sampras, federer...

the saying 'you're only as good as your second serve' i think is a good barometer of ovarall mental strength for the attackers in the group mentioned...



anyways... i finally selected borg from that list... i dont think he can be criticised for finally quitting at such a young age due to the pressure he felt, i only think he should be judged for the time he was out there... and, to pull of that 'total' form of concentration so completely over such a length of time was just incredible... i dont think it was the fact that mac got close to him and gave it away, i just think he burnt out from the way he approached the game...

for me you have three types of concentration:
a) on/off (connors) - not many can pull this off
b) volume control (most players) - common
c) total - (borg) - again, this is not for everyone

for the years he was around, the effort spent being the rock like iceman was enormous - it wasn't something he was born with, he developed it and it definitely suited his personality... but yeah... both dominating GS tournaments completely and getting out of jail while not playing well numerous time to hold the trophy at the end, all while employing this total form of concetration was unprecedented and not matched since...

couple this with the fact that the type greats he was dealing with were employing methods and displaying mental traits that were the complete opposite - connors, mac - players whose design it was to completely throw the opponent off his game and you have an era that can truly be said catered for the complete spectrum of styles: both in tactical approach and mental approach... this adds weight to my decision... and yeah, as far as the mental contrasts in the history of the modern era goes, i think 1975-1984 was the peak era for that...

yeah borg...

a giant...

GlennMirnyi
07-23-2009, 05:06 PM
Whoever voted for Nadull must be legally retarded... if he were really mentally strong, he'd never lose to freaking mugs like Simon.

lessthanjake
07-23-2009, 05:19 PM
Whoever voted for Nadull must be legally retarded... if he were really mentally strong, he'd never lose to freaking mugs like Simon.

Are you kidding when you say stuff like this or are you just a fool?

Nadal is CLEARLY extremely strong mentally. I voted for him because he seems to make huge comebacks and is also the only person to get the mental edge over Federer, which is an accomplishment considering that Federer mentally dominates basically every other player on tour.

GlennMirnyi
07-23-2009, 06:41 PM
Are you kidding when you say stuff like this or are you just a fool?

Nadal is CLEARLY extremely strong mentally. I voted for him because he seems to make huge comebacks and is also the only person to get the mental edge over Federer, which is an accomplishment considering that Federer mentally dominates basically every other player on tour.

Wow, how hard is it to hold an edge against a player when you have the perfect match-up to beat him.

Nadull is just a moonballer - he's not particularly strong mentally.

To be strong mentally is to keep risking shot after shot after shot. When your shots have a 5 km clearance over the net, it's not necessary to be very strong mentally to win points.

BigJohn
07-23-2009, 07:26 PM
Wow, how hard is it to hold an edge against a player when you have the perfect match-up to beat him.

Nadull is just a moonballer - he's not particularly strong mentally.

To be strong mentally is to keep risking shot after shot after shot. When your shots have a 5 km clearance over the net, it's not necessary to be very strong mentally to win points.

Not a fair appraisal of Nadal. I do not know if he'll last long, but there is no denying he's pretty tough so far.

Dougie
07-23-2009, 08:13 PM
Wow, how hard is it to hold an edge against a player when you have the perfect match-up to beat him.

Nadull is just a moonballer - he's not particularly strong mentally.

To be strong mentally is to keep risking shot after shot after shot. When your shots have a 5 km clearance over the net, it's not necessary to be very strong mentally to win points.

Being mentally strong has nothing to do with taking risks. It´s about being able to play your own game that works best for you even when under extreme pressure. For some it´s taking risks, for others quite the opposite.

Dougie
07-23-2009, 08:24 PM
My vote goes to Connors. He could compensate his mediocre technique by mental strength. He wasn´t really that skillful, but he could fight hard, he gave his all even under extreme circumstances, he could really get under his opponent´s skin ( often overlooked aspect of mental strength), and he could get the crowd pumped up, supporting him and making his opponent´s life miserable on court. His ways of doing this were not always nice, he could be a jerk on court, but being mentally strongest is not always the nicest guy.

Black Adam
07-23-2009, 09:58 PM
Crybaby Federer is there but Hewitt isn't?? :help: Connors is the one.

Black Adam
07-23-2009, 10:04 PM
Are you kidding when you say stuff like this or are you just a fool?

Nadal is CLEARLY extremely strong mentally. I voted for him because he seems to make huge comebacks and is also the only person to get the mental edge over Federer, which is an accomplishment considering that Federer mentally dominates basically every other player on tour.

My friend, you've fallen for the bait.

Black Adam
07-23-2009, 10:06 PM
Boris Becker not being on the poll is a crime.

MatchFederer
07-23-2009, 10:26 PM
Crybaby Federer is there but Hewitt isn't?? :help: Connors is the one.

That's right, he isn't. Read the whole of the actual opening post.

fast_clay
07-23-2009, 10:35 PM
Crybaby Federer is there but Hewitt isn't?? :help: Connors is the one.

i agree that hewitt and muster deserve a mention... maybe even edberg... but.. its not my list.... so.. yeah... anyways...

connors was good at what he did...

his concentraion was of the on/off variety... with the ability to switch in and out of the match as easy as a click of your mouse... his ability to interact with the crowd was unrivalled before or since - at that multiple grand slam level... but this alone does not gaurantee mental toughness...

no, it wasn't just his ability to apply is charisma to linesmen, the audience at the match, audience at home and even apply the 'buying-time' gamesmanship with the umpire... where his true mental quality is displayed in the way he came back from that sort of interaction... he could play one intense point, switch off... buy a minute playing the joker... then, switch it back on and play another point of equal or better intensity...

likewise, this worked when a guy like mcenroe took a liking to stalling the match whether real or tactical... connors mental approach allowed for him to not get fooled by his opponent... connors was nobodies fool... such a street fighter... wits about him at all times that it seemed he read the book back to fvront and re-wrote it again...

i remember watching connors in 1991 in his run to the US Open... well... his antics and use of sentiment in his run was just world class... then, i saw him as a champion in 1974... and i am thinkin... 'wtf?'... started really getting into the history of tennis then... but, i digress...

certainly, to play to that level for such a long time required his exact mental approach... but, i give the nod to borg over connors because his mental level was unwavering over his time on tour - and what seperates borg from the rest most importantly, his time with this approach was ultra successful...

GlennMirnyi
07-24-2009, 12:12 AM
Not a fair appraisal of Nadal. I do not know if he'll last long, but there is no denying he's pretty tough so far.

Nah.

Being mentally strong has nothing to do with taking risks. It´s about being able to play your own game that works best for you even when under extreme pressure. For some it´s taking risks, for others quite the opposite.

Of course it has.

Having to go for shots all the time is a lot more taxing mentally than just retrieving.

ORGASMATRON
07-24-2009, 12:18 AM
Of course it has.

Having to go for shots all the time is a lot more taxing mentally than just retrieving.

For once i agree with you. The way Sampy went for those second serve aces on key points took a lot mental stregth. Nadull just hangs in there.

Sunset of Age
07-24-2009, 12:28 AM
Crybaby Federer is there but Hewitt isn't?? :help: Connors is the one.

Sure as hell he is. Can't help but feel rather icky of this thread turning into some Nadal vs. Feds thread thingie once again. :rolleyes:

ORGASMATRON
07-24-2009, 12:52 AM
I think there is a difference between the mental strength of Roger pre 2008/beginning09 and now. In fact i know there is. Coming back from adversity successfully always makes a player stronger mentally. Rafa on the other hand is now questionable in the mental department. Those questions will not go away untill he comes back from adversity in convincing fashion like Roger did. After Madrid, the career grand slam and the most GS titles in history, Roger is now clearly the mentally stronger of the 2. Hence the poll results is a joke, which is of course expected at MTF.

Har-Tru
07-24-2009, 01:32 AM
I think there is a difference between the mental strength of Roger pre 2008/beginning09 and now. In fact i know there is. Coming back from adversity successfully always makes a player stronger mentally. Rafa on the other hand is now questionable in the mental department. Those questions will not go away untill he comes back from adversity in convincing fashion like Roger did. After Madrid, the career grand slam and the most GS titles in history, Roger is now clearly the mentally stronger of the 2. Hence the poll results is a joke, which is of course expected at MTF.

Golden comedy value.

I wonder how you can actually perform the most basic daily tasks with that logic of yours.

vamosinator
07-24-2009, 01:53 AM
The Australian Open was a good example of the mental polar opposites that are Nadal and Federer. Nadal was playing dropshots on the biggest points of the match, over and over again. Federer was just junking his backhand into play for the whole 5th set. Nadal was physically not good, after that 5hr semi, Federer was as fresh as a daisy both physically and mentally having beaten scaredycats for 2 weeks. Point is, what transpired in the final had nothing to do with "moonballing" or a "matchup problem for Federer". Federer has a better head2head against Nadal than Djokovic and Murray do. Federer is flat-out weak when challenged. I give him kudoz for hanging on v Roddick, but look at their head2head, you got to feel confident when its 18-2.

Henry Chinaski
07-24-2009, 01:54 AM
the current results of the poll are embarrassing

if safin was on the list he'd probably be somewhere between fed and nadal in votes

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 01:59 AM
the current results of the poll are embarrassing

if safin was on the list he'd probably be somewhere between fed and nadal in votes

The thread actually started out very good, with some well thought out, sound logical debate. Then it digressed to this. Pretty typical really.

HKz
07-24-2009, 02:02 AM
Tough poll. It is really difficult to say what constitutes mental strength and toughness... The player who is able to come back after losing early in the match or the player who is able to quickly find his mental strength to quickly win the match, because you know it does take a lot of mental strength to be able to accomplish that latter as well. Which is why it would be tough to maybe rank someone like John McEnroe who has the highest match winning percentage in one season over or under somebody like Borg who has a great five set record. They both require a lot of mental strenth with John McEnroe needing head fortitude to continue to win the entire year while Borg needing it to hang on during crucial moments in the fifth set. This is also problematic when comparing a Federer to somebody or Nadal to somebody because both Federer and Nadal are similar to McEnroe in Borg when comparing how their mental games matched up. But this poll does not have certain players that should have been added. Boris Becker, along with Aaron Krickstein, have the best come back record from two sets to love, so he SHOULD have been put on the list. Honestly, for me, mental strength means being able to continue what you do for so many years consistently at the top of the game so my vote went to Roger. Plus, at the same time, especially in Grand Slams, he has proven that he has a very solid mental game when it comes to 5 setters. Just the few I could think of are a 5 setter against Agassi along the way in his first US Open, a 5 setter against a ressurected Tommy Haas in AO 06, a 5 setter against Nadal in Wimbledon 07, a 5 setter against Tipsarevic in AO 08, a 5 setter against Andreev in US Open 08, a 5 setter against Berdych in AO 09, a 5 setter against Haas and Del Potro at French Open 09, and then the Roddick final at the most recent Wimbledon. And from 04-07, this is on top of being the consistent player on the main tour overall.

Arkulari
07-24-2009, 02:02 AM
as usual on GM, it all comes down to a popularity contest :o

Fedex
07-24-2009, 02:03 AM
I think Nadal and Borg are in a stratosphere of their own. I think Borg's inability to play under the lights at the Open hurts his case slightly, but other than that, he was uncrackable under pressure. Nadal speaks for himself. I don't think I've ever seen him give away a match.

I rank Federer and Sampras both about the same... both played the big points very well, especially on serve, seemingly hitting clutch aces whenever they were needed.

vamosinator
07-24-2009, 02:05 AM
But was Sampras likely to crumble in the 5th set of an Aust Open Final? I've seen Sampras crumble physically but mentally he was rock solid at all times. Sampras was nobody's bunny.

crude oil
07-24-2009, 02:12 AM
borg kind of threw the towel in.

the ability to bounce back from tough defeats is part of mental toughness.

nadal has also had some weird matches, getting blown out in the final set of a few matches. nadal needs to conquer his demons at the usopen.

sampras mentally gave up at RG and just started to concentrate at wimbledon.

federer of course has his much documented difficulties with rafa.

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 02:14 AM
Tough poll. It is really difficult to say what constitutes mental strength and toughness... The player who is able to come back after losing early in the match or the player who is able to quickly find his mental strength to quickly win the match, because you know it does take a lot of mental strength to be able to accomplish that latter as well. Which is why it would be tough to maybe rank someone like John McEnroe who has the highest match winning percentage in one season over or under somebody like Borg who has a great five set record. They both require a lot of mental strenth with John McEnroe needing head fortitude to continue to win the entire year while Borg needing it to hang on during crucial moments in the fifth set. This is also problematic when comparing a Federer to somebody or Nadal to somebody because both Federer and Nadal are similar to McEnroe in Borg when comparing how their mental games matched up. But this poll does not have certain players that should have been added. Boris Becker, along with Aaron Krickstein, have the best come back record from two sets to love, so he SHOULD have been put on the list. Honestly, for me, mental strength means being able to continue what you do for so many years consistently at the top of the game so my vote went to Roger. Plus, at the same time, especially in Grand Slams, he has proven that he has a very solid mental game when it comes to 5 setters. Just the few I could think of are a 5 setter against Agassi along the way in his first US Open, a 5 setter against a ressurected Tommy Haas in AO 06, a 5 setter against Nadal in Wimbledon 07, a 5 setter against Tipsarevic in AO 08, a 5 setter against Andreev in US Open 08, a 5 setter against Berdych in AO 09, a 5 setter against Haas and Del Potro at French Open 09, and then the Roddick final at the most recent Wimbledon. And from 04-07, this is on top of being the consistent player on the main tour overall.

Good post and I've always struggled with the same question. Is it great to have an outstanding 5 set record, or is it better to have not gotten your ass into a 5 set situation to start with. You elaborated more than that, but I believe that to be the essence of what you mean.

I picked Connors on the poll for a few simple reasons, the guy probably had the least natural talent of anybody on this list, yet won 8 slams, 108 titles and was in the top 3 for 13 years, in a damn solid era, that really spanned more than one generation. If you took a guy with Connors metal strength, passion, competitiveness and gave him a guy like Federer's talent, no telling what kind of stats we'd be looking at.

Sunset of Age
07-24-2009, 02:16 AM
Good post and I've always struggled with the same question. Is it great to have an outstanding 5 set record, or is it better to have not gotten your ass into a 5 set situation to start with. You elaborated but than that, but I believe that to be the essence of what you mean.

I picked Connors on the poll for a few simple reasons, the guy probably had the least natural talent of anybody on this list, yet won 8 slams, 108 titles and was in the top 3 for 13 years, in a damn solid era, that really spanned more than one generation. If you took a guy with Connors metal strength, passion, competitiveness and gave him a guy like Federer's talent, no telling what kind of stats we'd be looking at.

Spot-on, on all accounts, but most of all, on the bolded part.
Great post Glen. Great post HKz as well.

Fedex
07-24-2009, 02:21 AM
borg kind of threw the towel in.

the ability to bounce back from tough defeats is part of mental toughness.

nadal has also had some weird matches, getting blown out in the final set of a few matches. nadal needs to conquer his demons at the usopen.

sampras mentally gave up at RG and just started to concentrate at wimbledon.

federer of course has his much documented difficulties with rafa.

You make some good points. All of the great players had their "Achilles heel" mentally, so to speak.

crude oil
07-24-2009, 02:24 AM
There´s a huge difference between an excellent 2nd serve and an ace. I have to agree with duong here, you have a lot more to lose that to win if you chase the ace with a second serve, and not even Sampras did it all the time, rarely in fact. Serving a good 2nd serve in a tight spot requires mental strength, that obvious. But it´s not the same as going for an ace.

people always remember the highlights...not the screw ups.

sampras tried to serve huge second serve and DFed to give the match away in canada against safin.

he also made some costly double faults against rafter at the usopen.

you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

crude oil
07-24-2009, 02:27 AM
many people say federer mentally caved in during the 5th set. im not sure about that - i just think he played a bad set - too bad it was the fifth set.

but federer also has played some good 5th sets. oh right, they dont count cos they were against his pigeons.

this is a chicken and egg argument. if federer were winning all these matches that his critics say he should win against nadal, then federer isnt challenged and nadal is his pigeon. if he loses, then he is challenged and caves in. LOL.

Clay Death
07-24-2009, 02:33 AM
useless thread. anybody starting a thread like this should have proposed some measures of mental toughness up front instead of trying to invite endless subjective statements from the masses that mean little or nothing.

also why was Muster not included in the poll? and as far as the polls go, it too is useless. based pretty much on subjectivity, it would have little meaning.

i will recommend at least one measure of mental toughness before i leave this pathetic thread:

How good is the player once he makes it to the big dance. the final. what is his batting percentage in the finals which is where it really counts?

that is a very strong measure of mental toughness in my opinion. how well you do at the big dance is what it is all about.

Clay Monster ranks at the top in terms of the highest winning percentage in the finals in the open era. Muster is close 2nd. keep in mind that your sample size needs to be reasonably sufficient. that to me suggests certain level of mental toughness.

still another measure is one`s performance at the slams finals. Fed has won 15 of 20 slams finals. he would have to be considered one of the toughest if that was your measure of mental toughness. can it get any bigger than a slam final?

now all that talk about saving match points or coming back from a deficit or even the performance in tiebreakers is all factored in the measure i have suggested. you dont win so many finals without overcoming some difficulties here and there.

crude oil
07-24-2009, 02:34 AM
i think there is a difference between having enormous HEART and having enormous MENTAL TOUGHNESS.

to me tiebreaks are the best indicator of MENTAL TOUGHNESS.

5 set matches are more an indicator of HEART because it takes into account the ability to overcome physical ailments. also one can have enormous HEART and still lost matches. heart can be shown in both loses and wins.

lessthanjake
07-24-2009, 03:01 AM
Wow, how hard is it to hold an edge against a player when you have the perfect match-up to beat him.

Nadull is just a moonballer - he's not particularly strong mentally.

To be strong mentally is to keep risking shot after shot after shot. When your shots have a 5 km clearance over the net, it's not necessary to be very strong mentally to win points.

That is a silly way to think about it.

If Nadal went for risky shots in crucial moments, he would be a mental fail. His game is to be "a moonballer." If he abandoned that in a fit of adrenaline and tried to make risky shots at crucial moments, he would be hurting himself, and it would be a mental problem not a physical one.

Mental toughness in tennis is the ability to keep ones composure in pressure filled situations, not to always take risky shots in those situations. Nadal certainly keeps his composure. You just don't like the way he plays.

fast_clay
07-24-2009, 03:10 AM
the current results of the poll are embarrassing

if safin was on the list he'd probably be somewhere between fed and nadal in votes

i dont know if oxygene attempted some sort of tard expose' for public heckling.... but, it does a pretty good job of it...

the voters need to be named...

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 03:14 AM
i dont know if oxygene attempted some sort of tard expose' for public heckling.... but, it does a pretty good job of it...

the voters need to be named...

Yea, I think she said she just overlooked the public vote deal. Early on in the thread most of us were naming our vote anyway, and making points about it. I don't at all think it was intended to become what it did.
I liked the thread and enjoyed seeing how others thought of defining mental toughness. I also like the subjectivity of it. Frankly, I don't think there's any way to take subjectivity out of this subject.
Maybe if I was mentally tougher, I'd figure out a way.

Sunset of Age
07-24-2009, 03:19 AM
Jimbo seems to be seriously on the rise on votes right now.
I mean, rule out the obvious R&R votes and he's in 2nd position right now. Yayyy. :yeah:

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 03:20 AM
Jimbo seems to be seriously on the rise on votes right now. Yayyy. :yeah:

No kidding, I really hadn't noticed. He's almost doubled..

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 03:21 AM
Jimbo seems to be seriously on the rise on votes right now.
I mean, rule out the obvious R&R votes and he's in 2nd position right now. Yayyy. :yeah:

P.S. - love that sig. I seriously need to learn more about my computer and how to make those.

Sunset of Age
07-24-2009, 03:40 AM
P.S. - love that sig. I seriously need to learn more about my computer and how to make those.

Didn't at all make it myself, nicked it from the net somewhere. :p

fast_clay
07-24-2009, 05:16 AM
that sig is too big... federer's mentally tough matchday exterior really f***s up royale here... :spit:

Bargearse
07-24-2009, 09:32 AM
I didn't watch a lot of tennis in Connor's day, so I can't comment too much on him although I remember him being incredibly intense. I came of age more in the Sampras era, and I thought he was tough as nails mentally.

Everyone has their own definition for what constitutes mental toughness, but for me, it's serving for the set and not getting broken, serving for the match and not getting broken, having the courage to go for a huge serve down the middle on break point... basically not getting tight and choking on the big points. Sampras was like a stone.

Mimi
07-24-2009, 10:06 AM
I didn't watch a lot of tennis in Connor's day, so I can't comment too much on him although I remember him being incredibly intense. I came of age more in the Sampras era, and I thought he was tough as nails mentally.

Everyone has their own definition for what constitutes mental toughness, but for me, it's serving for the set and not getting broken, serving for the match and not getting broken, having the courage to go for a huge serve down the middle on break point... basically not getting tight and choking on the big points. Sampras was like a stone.

wise post :bigclap:

rwn
07-24-2009, 10:12 AM
Federer has won 18 out of 21 tiebreaks in Grand Slam finals. A good sign of mental strength isn't it ?

Mimi
07-24-2009, 10:13 AM
Federer has won 18 out of 21 tiebreaks in Grand Slam finals. A good sign of mental strength isn't it ?
yes, his mental toughness is great too :wavey:

rwn
07-24-2009, 10:23 AM
yes, his mental toughness is great too :wavey:

They are both great, we agree on that ;)

Bargearse
07-24-2009, 12:59 PM
Federer has won 18 out of 21 tiebreaks in Grand Slam finals. A good sign of mental strength isn't it ?

Yes I agree that is a sign of mental toughness.:worship:

I'm not always perfect on my stats so forgive me if I'm wrong, but Sampras and Federer are pretty close in many areas. Without including 2009 Wimbledon, Sampras has played 65 GS final sets and Federer 72. Sampras won 9 TB and lost 7 while Fed won 17 and lost 3. Fed had 5 GS losses and Sampras 3. I think Sampras won in straight sets 6 times and Federer 7...

This is the sticky bit...

Sampras' losses came against 3 different players (Agassi, Hewitt and Safin - Sampras had a winning record over Agassi, but was I think 4-5 to Hewitt and 3-4 to Safin, so pretty close) whilst all of Fed's losses have come against Nadal who has a commanding 5 and 2 GS final winning record over Federer. This is what bothers me about Federer's mental toughness. He has it against every one else it seems but Nadal. :confused:

This is the only reason I chose Sampras over Federer. I wish I had access to other stats like break point conversions... but unfortunately I can't get my hands on them. That stat would be key.

I'm sure I'll get flogged for this post. :scared:

duong
07-24-2009, 01:03 PM
Thing is, many players try it, but Sampras did it. If not an ace, an excellent serve. That is a clear sign of some major testicles. Berdych? Söderling? They try it sometimes, and it works sometimes, but for the most part they get a DF.

No not most of times, no : Berdych has saved many important points with that (and another "crazy player" Cuevas played one yesterday at deuce serving for the match).

A second-serve ace is still not at all the best sign of mental toughness imo : the best sign of mental toughness is when you don't take this sort of huge risks, and really build a strong point, giving no chance (including a chance of a DF) to your opponent.

Nadal doesn't have the best serve at all but he can build and attack strong points at this moment.

Without taking this kind of risk.

severus
07-24-2009, 01:06 PM
We'll see now how mentally strong Federer is ?:smoke:

duong
07-24-2009, 01:18 PM
Many aces aren't intended, they're just good serves.

Not on a second serve : on a second serve they're nearly always intended.

But yes, the best mental and best serve players are more able to manage to do it : Tsonga succeeds in that also quite often.

But he also has some concentration lacks, which also Sampras had sometimes (and Federer as well : that's also his biggest problem on that field imo).

On the opposite Nadal's or Borg's, a little bit less Connors's greatest strength is that they almost never lose concentration.

And Nadal is also able to elevate his level and even play strong and attacking points when needed to save breakpoints or to come back in a match.

duong
07-24-2009, 01:23 PM
To be strong mentally is to keep risking shot after shot after shot. When your shots have a 5 km clearance over the net, it's not necessary to be very strong mentally to win points.

it's true : it's more demanding mentally and especially on important points, when you attack all the time.

... but it's also true that it's less demanding mentally when you're able to finish the point with a big serve :shrug:

When you're in a bad position and you can save it with a big serve, the ball not coming back, it's a huge relief.

What's really very proving mentally is when you are able to really build a strong point on those points.

As for Nadal, he's often better than a moonballer on these points.

duong
07-24-2009, 01:54 PM
Everyone has their own definition for what constitutes mental toughness, but for me, it's serving for the set and not getting broken, serving for the match and not getting broken, having the courage to go for a huge serve down the middle on break point

Several of you insisted again and again about this notion of a big mental" being related with "serving a huge serve on break point" :

I don't agree.

I think it's less demanding mentally to play a great serve on an important point than to really build a point.

I've seen many players, not the greatest ones at all play a big serve on break point, then they have to face a breakpoint again, this time their serve comes back (often because they tried an ace on first serve and missed it) ... and they awfully miss.

Because they really hoped an ace ... being free at once.

I mean it's such a relief (and also an element to be very confident when you know you can do it) when you can save a breakpoint with a huge serve.

You concentrate better, and you play that point the way you know you can play it and you've played it so many times.

No need to think or worry about that, you don't even have to face your opponent's opposition or surprising shots : you just concentrate and play.

Roddick, Federer, even Querrey, many many players do it very often. Mathieu who is often teased here, I've seen him do it very very often.

But then when the ball comes back ... that's the moment when you see really tough players, when you have to create a point you're not completely used to at this moment, when you have to face an unexpected reaction sometimes, when you have to keep the ball in but also not only do that, also go a little bit further.

I mean there are many styles of play, and of course everybody plays according to his style, but for "poor-mental" players I've often seen either of these situations :

- either they try a big serve, and when they miss it, if the ball comes back, and they have a ball to attack mid-court, they miss it (it's quite Mathieu's problem actually)

- or they don't take a risk at all : sometimes this method works but against very good players, it doesn't work.

Many players can win an important point with one of these two methods (a very big serve or just keeping the ball in with no risk)
... but the best players can do better.

I mean all of the players in the poll are strong enough to do that "better point" of course,

but in my opinion,

just a strong serve

or just keeping the ball in

are not "epitomes of mental strength".

In my opinion these best players who are all in this poll show their very best mental strength when they do something else than that.

Thta's why I'm surprised about this insistance by several of you about a "big serve being the epitome of mental strength".

PS : here I spoke mostly about mental strength on important points ... but another element of mental strength is being able of never losing concentration, and for that Nadal (or Borg, also Connors) is clearly ahead of Sampras or Federer who both had some moments when they lost their concentration (actually I think it was Federer's problem, or either physical tiredness, in the 5th set in AO like against Simon in Toronto or Stepanek in Roma : he played exactly the same against Simon missing many consecutive balls).

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 02:11 PM
At this point is should be totally cleat that there are multiple elements that we consider important to mental strength and toughness. That's no surprise at all, there are many elements to it. I think the most critical is how a player plays under "the threat of victory". So many times a guy plays great when he's ahead, or plays better when he's behind, but how many are there that consistently focus, maintain concentration, and execute when the time actually arrives to close out a set or a match. (OMG I can win this thing)
I don't care how you do it, serve, returns, rallies, or attacking. The difference is the great ones are the most successful when crunch time arrives, and the really great ones don't always do it the same way. They can determine the best and most effective way to close out THIS opponent.

ORGASMATRON
07-24-2009, 02:18 PM
Well Roger obviously have massive mental strenghth the way he won RG and the Wimby final. The forehand winner he hit against Haas when he was break point down in the third was just sick. He has done it many times of late. Against Andreev at the Open, Berdych at the AO as well. And then of course Del Potro at the FO, and Roddick in the Wimby final as well. The matches against Acasuso and Mathieu at the French was tough as well. :worship:

duong
07-24-2009, 02:23 PM
I think the most critical is how a player plays under "the threat of victory".
(OMG I can win this thing)
They can determine the best and most effective way to close out THIS opponent.

Actually, several people before you took for the epitome of the mental strength players coming back from 2 sets-0 down (with the examples of Becker and Krickstein) :shrug:

I quite agree with you on that point.

And actually it has been my main problem about Federer's mental strength in my mind, especially for one year, that quite often, and not only against Nadal, not at all, he missed some points when he was serving to close a set or a match.

Anyway it's clear that it's two different things : I always consider Nalbandian who often plays bad when he leads but who was able to come back from being led in many tough matches, including Davis Cup, where everybody knows how hard it is mentally.

Nalbandian is the clear example in my mind that they are two very different things.

In my opinion, your version of mental strength is better than from the ones who spoke about players coming back from 2 sets-0 down.

Because I've seen mentally bad players coming back from these situations : they are just relaxed, take risks, the other ones gets weaker, their physical becomes better than the opponent, and they win (because in a 5-setter I still think that the physical is as important as the mental, even maybe more important between two players who don't have a great mental).

But really closing a match when you lead I've seen many mentally bad players miss it.

And it's true that the best ones do it better.

shmeeko69
07-24-2009, 02:24 PM
The difference between a good player & a great player lies in their head. I think most of the top players in any sport have a very strong mentality & on their day can perform as well as each other.
I think Nadal has shown great mental strength, especially to beat Federer at Wimbledon last year after being 2 sets up & Federer coming back to 2-2 & the fact that he seemed to favour only clay & hard court surfaces.
Borg was strong but walked away when Johnny Mac ruined his great run & Lendl blew hot & cold. Sampras had great mental strength & used his power & serve to frighten his opponents.
Agassi had a great winning mentality & won all the slams & ofcourse Federer, he has an abundance of talent & a great winning mentality. His mental blueprint is programmed for success.
Murray has got all the shots & is a gritty opponent, but until he can reprogam his mind to being the best, he'll struggle to overcome Nadal & Federer & will have to improve mentally !!

Cheers

Mark :)

Agassi'sMullet
07-24-2009, 03:25 PM
Only one person voted for Agassi.

Hmmm..

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 03:27 PM
Only one person voted for Agassi.

Hmmm..

Don't feel bad, only one voted for McEnroe too and it wasn't even me..:D

BigJohn
07-24-2009, 04:25 PM
I think it is obvious that Federer has the edge both over Connors and Sampras.

Sampras has achieved less when it matters and has comparable overall numbers in a much longer career. Connors has lost too many GS finals compared to how many he won. His peak was also less dominant that Federer's.

Dougie
07-24-2009, 04:32 PM
I think it is obvious that Federer has the edge both over Connors and Sampras.

Sampras has achieved less when it matters and has comparable overall numbers in a much longer career. Connors has lost too many GS finals compared to how many he won. His peak was also less dominant that Federer's.

Things you mentioned are due to so many more things than mental strength.

BigJohn
07-24-2009, 04:54 PM
Things you mentioned are due to so many more things than mental strength.

I agree, but it is still is a factor. I only saw Connors play as a kid, so I used criterias that were pretty objective. And mental strenght/stamina does have big part in what I listed.

oranges
07-24-2009, 05:12 PM
I think it is obvious that Federer has the edge both over Connors and Sampras.

Sampras has achieved less when it matters and has comparable overall numbers in a much longer career. Connors has lost too many GS finals compared to how many he won. His peak was also less dominant that Federer's.

Yet, I can't remember Sampras freezing and chickening when he was about to make history, which can't be said for Fed. If Nadal's knees and hands didn't start to wobble when he came close to victory, he would have lost 2008 Wimby final in straights with abysmal play. Having a pretty much indisputable block against one his rivals also doesn't exactly speak in his favor.

BigJohn
07-24-2009, 05:34 PM
Yet, I can't remember Sampras freezing and chickening when he was about to make history, which can't be said for Fed. If Nadal's knees and hands didn't start to wobble when he came close to victory, he would have lost 2008 Wimby final in straights with abysmal play. Having a pretty much indisputable block against one his rivals also doesn't exactly speak in his favor.

Being on the losing side of the Wimbledon finals in 2008 or 2009 is not an indication mental frailty IMO.

Now... about Sampras freezing and chickening when he was about to make history: #14 2002, #13 2000, #12 1999 #11 1998. Not exactly a quick pace IMO. Federer was in every GS finals in the last streach.

oranges
07-24-2009, 05:59 PM
Being on the losing side of the Wimbledon finals in 2008 or 2009 is not an indication mental frailty IMO.

Now... about Sampras freezing and chickening when he was about to make history: #14 2002, #13 2000, #12 1999 #11 1998. Not exactly a quick pace IMO. Federer was in every GS finals in the last streach.

It's not about pace (and I don't feel like going into the subject I don't particularly care for and sidetrack a decent thread) :rolleyes: Sampras has never demonstrated the kind of practically match-long choke. Any particular reason you're not addressing that issue? You think Federer played at some level normal for his standard in 2008 final for practically 3 sets? He normally sends countless easy returns to the net and is nowhere to be seen on court?

BigJohn
07-24-2009, 06:44 PM
It's not about pace (and I don't feel like going into the subject I don't particularly care for and sidetrack a decent thread) :rolleyes: Sampras has never demonstrated the kind of practically match-long choke. Any particular reason you're not addressing that issue? You think Federer played at some level normal for his standard in 2008 final for practically 3 sets? He normally sends countless easy returns to the net and is nowhere to be seen on court?

OK. Pete's greater than Federer, not even close.

duong
07-24-2009, 08:25 PM
You think Federer played at some level normal for his standard in 2008 final for practically 3 sets?

Absolutely yes, and also in the AO final.

If you saw him "freezing and chickening", it's in your imagination (or maybe you saw his skin better than us :devil: ), because you think that he always plays "normally" like a God. He doesn't.

oranges
07-24-2009, 08:28 PM
OK. Pete's greater than Federer, not even close.

As far as mental toughness goes, he most definitely is :shrug:

duong
07-24-2009, 08:29 PM
As far as mental toughness goes, he most definitely is :shrug:

yes Sampras didn't "freeze and chicken" :bs:

oranges
07-24-2009, 08:33 PM
Absolutely yes, and also in the AO final.

If you saw him "freezing and chickening", it's in your imagination (or maybe you saw his skin better than us :devil: ), because you think that he always plays like a God. He doesn't.

Oh please, if he played like he played the first two sets in earlier rounds, it is dubious he would make the final, and if that is his standard level of play in a final, I'm amazed he has any GS, let alone 15. I'm pretty sure you could see his face and expression,. Go watch it again and tell me what you see.

oranges
07-24-2009, 08:35 PM
yes Sampras didn't "freeze and chicken" :bs:

Any comparable example you have in mind?

Dini
07-24-2009, 08:38 PM
I've only watched Nadal, Fed, Sampras and Agassi live.

1) Nadal - fights for every point, has the best 5 set record among active players, has the best winning percentage in Slam finals, has saved countless MPs and you know it's never over until it's over against him. The only thing perhaps is that he plays it with low risk percentage (high clearance over the net, high top spin forehand) and I don't know how that should be perceived really. Is a person who goes for his shots under extreme pressure brave or stupid? Is a person who plays it safe but ultimately controlling clever or a coward?

2) Sampras - he was able to produce the best serves in a match under extreme pressure. Enough said.

3) Federer - being number 1 for so many consecutive weeks, winning a lot without much fuss, having the best TB record in open era and only losing 3 TB's in 19 finals is mentally strong no matter how you twist it.

4) Agassi - at the bottom of my list simply because I see the others I've ranked above him stronger mentally.

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 08:39 PM
yes he doesn't "freeze and chicken" :rolleyes:

I heard Agassi interviewed on a Tennis Channel special and the interviewer asked him what was the toughest thing about playing Sampras ?

Agassi replied, "frustration, he would play average or just above for about 40-42 minutes in a set, and you were thinking you were in it, and had a good shot at winning it. Then he would play about 3 minutes at a level nobody on the planet could match, and the set was over so fast you weren't really sure what happened. Then you'd sit on the sideline at the change over not quite sure what to do because you basically did everything right except for about 3 minutes". "It was really frustrating because you had real problems figuring out what adjustments to make."

That so well capsulizes so many of Sampras' matches.

duong
07-24-2009, 08:40 PM
Oh please, if he played like he played the first two sets in earlier rounds, it is dubious he would make the final, and if that is his standard level of play in a final, I'm amazed he has any GS, let alone 15. I'm pretty sure you could see his face and expression,. Go watch it again and tell me what you see.

yes yes I easily saw him "freeze and chicken" against Simon in Toronto.

It was highly visible : how could he play such horrible service games with horrible mistakes if he was not completely frightened by Simon ? :rolleyes:

Also Djokovic made him terror-stuck in Miami and Roma :eek:

duong
07-24-2009, 08:41 PM
Any comparable example you have in mind?

I have nothing to say about Sampras, only about your "thoughts" about Federer : you can see so many things I don't see :rolleyes:

oranges
07-24-2009, 08:42 PM
yes yes I easily saw him "freeze and chicken" against Simon in Toronto.

It was highly visible : how could he play such horrible service games with horrible mistakes if he was not completely frightened by Simon ? :rolleyes:

Also Djokovic made him terror-stuck in Miami and Roma :eek:

So now you admit that he played well below his normal level, it's just not due to trepidation over the importance of the match :lol: I give up on anything Federer-related when it comes to you, it's Sisyphus job

duong
07-24-2009, 08:43 PM
Oh please, if he played like he played the first two sets in earlier rounds, it is dubious he would make the final

Playing like in the first two sets in Wimbledon final, he would have for sure reached the final in 2008 imo.

duong
07-24-2009, 08:44 PM
I heard Agassi interviewed on a Tennis Channel special and the interviewer asked him what was the toughest thing about playing Sampras ?

Agassi replied, "frustration, he would play average or just above for about 40-42 minutes in a set, and you were thinking you were in it, and had a good shot at winning it. Then he would play about 3 minutes at a level nobody on the planet could match, and the set was over so fast you weren't really sure what happened. Then you'd sit on the sideline at the change over not quite sure what to do because you basically did everything right except for about 3 minutes". "It was really frustrating because you had real problems figuring out what adjustments to make."

That so well capsulizes so many of Sampras' matches.

once again my sentence was not about Sampras, but it was irony about Oranges' "visions" :rolleyes:

duong
07-24-2009, 08:48 PM
So now you admit that he played well below his normal level, it's just not due to trepidation over the importance of the match :lol:

only in the 5th set in AO2009

... but contrary to you I've been used to seeing the level of the players vary quite a lot, and for many reasons including concentration and physical.

If players always played their so-called "normal level" it would be so simple :rolleyes:

I give up on anything Federer-related when it comes to you, it's Sisyphus job

yes I don't have your "visions", it must be my problem, I'm not enough experienced about tennis, I just think it can be watched with my eyes, sorry I can't do better :shrug:

oranges
07-24-2009, 08:50 PM
once again my sentence was not about Sampras, but it was irony about Oranges' "visions" :rolleyes:

:rolleyes: I see that I have personally insulted you. To make it at least remotely warranted - I'm sure I'm the only one who saw him scared shitless as soon as he stepped on court and any doubts one might have were immediatiely dispersed when they started to play.

fast_clay
07-24-2009, 08:51 PM
I heard Agassi interviewed on a Tennis Channel special and the interviewer asked him what was the toughest thing about playing Sampras ?

Agassi replied, "frustration, he would play average or just above for about 40-42 minutes in a set, and you were thinking you were in it, and had a good shot at winning it. Then he would play about 3 minutes at a level nobody on the planet could match, and the set was over so fast you weren't really sure what happened. Then you'd sit on the sideline at the change over not quite sure what to do because you basically did everything right except for about 3 minutes". "It was really frustrating because you had real problems figuring out what adjustments to make."

That so well capsulizes so many of Sampras' matches.

yeah... the gunslinger mentality... sampras was always up for a mexican standoff at 4all or 5all... i believe these were always his finest moments... he was the quickest draw in west for the best part of a decade... i didnt like it at all the routine way he used to execute at wimbledon... now, i'd just like to see someone bring it like pete did...

duong
07-24-2009, 08:54 PM
:rolleyes: I see that I have personally insulted you.

not at all.

I just don't have the same "visions"

I'm sorry for that :worship:

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 08:56 PM
once again my sentence was not about Sampras, but it was irony about Oranges' "visions" :rolleyes:

What's with the eye roll on everything, we're just having a discussion.

fast_clay
07-24-2009, 08:59 PM
:rolleyes: I see that I have personally insulted you. To make it at least remotely warranted - I'm sure I'm the only one who saw him scared shitless as soon as he stepped on court and any doubts one might have were immediatiely dispersed when they started to play.

yeah, i feel in a way, nadal's inability to look after himself has robbed us all of witnessing a massive meltdown that was initially opened up like a sardine can at FO08... for sure, federer was holding it together well... faced murray at USO08, then kept his semis and finals record going till AO09... where we saw the fracture gape open... it is here, post AO09 where the fracture began to manifest itself physically... crying, racquet samsh, unforced error counts etc...

but the best was when federer said he believed that nadal could lose... and, now sadly, the wounds that were so evident... have healed...

we were robbed of a massive mental event...

that gif in karen's sig really explained what happened at AO09 well..

MacTheKnife
07-24-2009, 09:00 PM
yeah... the gunslinger mentality... sampras was always up for a mexican standoff at 4all or 5all... i believe these were always his finest moments... he was the quickest draw in west for the best part of a decade... i didnt like it at all the routine way he used to execute at wimbledon... now, i'd just like to see someone bring it like pete did...

Yea it was unreal to watch. It was just always so interesting to me the way he'd just go into cruise control when he did get a break. No unnecessary energy expended. It was like ok bub, break my serve if you can.. good luck.

ORGASMATRON
07-24-2009, 09:04 PM
yeah, i feel in a way, nadal's inability to look after himself has robbed us all of witnessing a massive meltdown that was initially opened up like a sardine can at FO08... for sure, federer was holding it together well... faced murray at USO08, then kept his semis and finals record going till AO09... where we saw the fracture gape open... it is here, post AO09 where the fracture began to manifest itself physically... crying, racquet samsh, unforced error counts etc...

but the best was when federer said he believed that nadal could lose... and, now sadly, the wounds that were so evident... have healed...

we were robbed of a massive mental event...

that gif in karen's sig really explained what happened at AO09 well..

Wow what a pathetic little hater you are. I bet you are crying in your basement all the time now.

fast_clay
07-24-2009, 09:12 PM
Wow what a pathetic little hater you are. I bet you are crying in your basement all the time now.

no.. i won't bad rep you for that...

lets just say i find it enetertaining when adults act like upset children...

so... guess what... i also found your banning quite entertaining...

your next one should be a hoot...

oranges
07-24-2009, 09:15 PM
not at all.

I just don't have the same "visions"

I'm sorry for that :worship:

Nah, you only have "visions" about posters here and why they think what they think about Federer. So :worship: you don't need visual input to read emotional signs at all.

ORGASMATRON
07-24-2009, 09:19 PM
no.. i won't bad rep you for that...

lets just say i find it enetertaining when adults act like upset children...

so... guess what... i also found your banning quite entertaining...

your next one should be a hoot...

Youre the upset one :haha: I was just thinking how badly it must hurt the haters when Roger was so close to being down and out, and then he comes back to win the career GS and the most GS titles in history. But the fact is he was never close to a mental breakdown, thats what you haters dont understand. He was having health problems that he only revealed after he was successful again, like a real man. But then again, you pathetic haters wont know anything about being a man, now would you?

duong
07-24-2009, 09:27 PM
Nah, you only have "visions" about posters here and why they think what they think about Federer. So :worship: you don't need visual input to read emotional signs at all.

I try to understand people, that's all :shrug: never pretended I knew the truth, especially for you, you said one day that I pretended you had a phobia, whereas I never thought that even 1% :shrug:

But as for tennis it's not my specialty I'm sorry :o

I know nothing about it, just watched it during 30 years without understanding anything :o

I thought it was quite simple, I missed it :worship:

fast_clay
07-24-2009, 09:28 PM
Youre the upset one :haha: I was just thinking how badly it must hurt the haters when Roger was so close to being down and out, and then he comes back to win the career GS and the most GS titles in history. But the fact is he was never close to a mental breakdown, thats what you haters dont understand. He was having health problems that he only revealed after he was successful again, like a real man. But then again, you pathetic haters wont know anything about being a man, now would you?

i'm not a hater mate.. i actually admire the fed game... and, teach the sport that way... expressing at all times the benefits of a game that is not uncomfortable in any part of the court... total tennis...

what amazed me, was the display of one man owning a great... and damage it was causing... a simplistic get the ball back heavy game at that... i'm not much into hypotheticals, but had Team Nadal been able to avoid performing such sh!thouse management, what are the chances of federer being stranded at 13 right now...

if this discussion relates to the mental aptitude of the mentioned list, it is at least worth noting the lowest point of one of the highest rated choices on this particular poll...

but... you're not too intersted in joining the discussion are you..?

only polluting it...

now f*** off...

ORGASMATRON
07-24-2009, 09:34 PM
i'm not a hater mate.. i actually admire the fed game... and, teach the sport that way... expressing at all times the benefits of a game that is not uncomfortable in any part of the court... total tennis...

what amazed me, was the display of one man owning a great... and damage it was causing... a simplistic get the ball back heavy game at that... i'm not much into hypotheticals, but had Team Nadal been able to avoid performing such sh!thouse management, what are the chances of federer being stranded at 13 right now...

if this discussion relates to the mental aptitude of the mentioned list, it is at least worth noting the lowest point of one of the highest rated choices on this particular poll...

but... you're not too intersted in joining the discussion are you..?

only polluting it...

now f*** off...

Youre a funny guy.

Bargearse
07-25-2009, 12:43 AM
I heard Agassi interviewed on a Tennis Channel special and the interviewer asked him what was the toughest thing about playing Sampras ?

Agassi replied, "frustration, he would play average or just above for about 40-42 minutes in a set, and you were thinking you were in it, and had a good shot at winning it. Then he would play about 3 minutes at a level nobody on the planet could match, and the set was over so fast you weren't really sure what happened. Then you'd sit on the sideline at the change over not quite sure what to do because you basically did everything right except for about 3 minutes". "It was really frustrating because you had real problems figuring out what adjustments to make."

That so well capsulizes so many of Sampras' matches.

Absolutely. I have made mention of this fact in other threads and have been attacked for it by tards with the excuse that Sampras was so good at holding serve he knew he would win in the TB so he never made an effort to break serve. (Basically refuting my claim that Sampras was able to cruise along and then lift to break serve at will and serve it out).

Well, according to my research, he wasn't so good at tiebreakers (9 won and 7 lost) in career GS finals so obviously he was better at breaking his opponent to win the set. As Agassi indicated in that interview, he would step up his game for 3 minutes and it would be over in a flash.

And he didn't seem to have issues with any one particular player either.

JolánGagó
07-25-2009, 06:22 AM
I think it is obvious that Federer has the edge both over Connors and Sampras.

:spit:

duong
07-25-2009, 06:46 AM
Sorry if I started with :rolleyes: because I had no time or desire arguing with the majority opinion that Federer "freezed and chickened" especially in that 5th set in AO2009.

If anybody is really interested in a discussion and my opinion, although my opinion is a minority,

here it is about what Oranges said :

- in my opinion Nadal was the better player both in Wimbledon 2007 and Wimbledon 2008. In 2007, Federer only won because Nadal got a problem with his knee. You can speak about "Federer not playing his normal level" I didn't see it : I rather saw a very strong Nadal (only in the final in 2007, during the whole tournament in 2008).
Whether you like it or not, Nadal is a baseline player but he was stronger than the best representative of "attacking tennis" in Wimbledon

- in my opinion Nadal was diminished in the final of AO2009, at least after 1st set. Federer missed his chance in 1st and 3rd set (especially 3rd one) where Nadal showed a great courage and mental. He really won this tournament thanks to his courage and also mental (especially attacking on break points in the 3rd set), also against Verdasco in semifinal :yeah: In the 5th set, Federer ran out of gas, which has often happened to him, especially for one year (I mentioned the 3rd set against Simon in Toronto and Djoko in Miami and Roma as good examples). Many forget it, but Federer is an old player, who has past his best (2005-2006) for a while (like Sampras in 1999). And he often has had concentration problems in his carreer. Sometimes he makes several very bad games like that, more now than before because being old leads to being more irregular but he also did it in the past. I guess the physical was important in that 5th set against Nadal. Sampras also had many concentration or physical problems in his carreer ... the only difference being that they were not interpreted as "freezing and chickening" because the man showed less emotional than Federer.

I know that people here consider me as a Fedtard who is not able to recognize Federer's drawbacks. Actually I can see many of them ... and most importantly, I don't consider that Federer's tennis "normal level" is as good as lmany think here.

You consider that he's a "God" of the game of tennis who should always win when he plays "normally".

I don't. He can be beaten when he plays his best (see Nadal in Wimbledon, or Murray in Madrid).
And he doesn't play his best so often ... like the vast majority of the players, and especially for an "old" player.

Some also consider that he "should" beat Nadal because he's the greatest attacking player and should win as Sampras did. I guess the attacking player doesn't always win : see who's number 2 (ex-number 1 losing his rank because injured) and number 3 in the world now and how they play ?

In my opinion Federer may not be the "Goat" (Laver or Gonzales may be) but I've read many prejudice and simple explanations about his mental everywhere, which I disagree with.

Here's the opinion of somebody who has watched tennis for 30 years, who has quite some experience about life, but who has never played tennis in competition.

turkjey5
07-25-2009, 07:38 AM
nadal is the most intense competitior ever without doubt, but does that make him the mentally toughest?