Brad Gilbert: Darkhorses don't win the USO. [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Brad Gilbert: Darkhorses don't win the USO.

Dirk
08-17-2005, 10:51 PM
Pat and Cliff tried to argue with him by saying that Hewitt wasn't a favorite going into the USO 2001 by Brad came back with "He was seeded number 3 at that Open". They brought up Rafter who was seeded 13 at the 97 USO, but Brad retort with "Pat was in the finals of many of the USO lead up events". I think Brad is right on this statement. Can anyone find evidence to the contrary?

star
08-17-2005, 10:53 PM
I have one word for Gilbert -- Orantes

Anyway, wasn't Rafter a dark horse the first time he won the USO?

wcr
08-17-2005, 10:57 PM
Pat and Cliff tried to argue with him by saying that Hewitt wasn't a favorite going into the USO 2001 by Brad came back with "He was seeded number 3 at that Open". They brought up Rafter who was seeded 13 at the 97 USO, but Brad retort with "Pat was in the finals of many of the USO lead up events". I think Brad is right on this statement. Can anyone find evidence to the contrary?

http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity/default.asp?year=2002&query=Singles&player=S402&x=23&y=5

Check out Sampras' USO win in 2002. His ATP race ranking was 32 and he hadn't won a hardcourt title going into the event. Everyone was talking retirement time for Pete. Doesn't that make him a darkhorse? Or am I missing something here?

lau
08-17-2005, 10:57 PM
Noooooooooooo, not another Brad Gilbert thread, please :hysteric:

Lee
08-17-2005, 10:59 PM
Although Sampras had 13 Slams under his belt in 2002, he didn't win any tournament since Wimbledon 2000. I considered he's a dark horse that year.

TheBoiledEgg
08-17-2005, 11:03 PM
Rafter in 97
well someone had to win that one
look at the semifinalists :rolls:

Dirk
08-17-2005, 11:05 PM
Never thought about the Pete 02 year. That could be debatable. Star read my first post about Rafter being mentioned. I think that could go either way because he was seeded 13 (which would make him a darkhorse) yet had a really great summer that year so that is a tough call but I agree with Brad on that one. Orantes, didn't he win lots of clay (among other surfaces) events so was he really a darkhorse?

Dirk
08-17-2005, 11:06 PM
Rafter in 97
well someone had to win that one
look at the semifinalists :rolls:

Gregers isn't that bad Eggy. ;)

Dirk
08-17-2005, 11:13 PM
I have one word for Gilbert -- Orantes

Anyway, wasn't Rafter a dark horse the first time he won the USO?

http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/Titles/default.asp?playernumber=O017

Orantes won lots of title in 75 including clay events in Hamburg and Monte Carlo so he had to be seeded high. He also won hardcourt events that year too. I can't imagine him not being seeded in the top five going into that USO.

Whistleway
08-17-2005, 11:21 PM
13th seed is a "dark horse"? What y'all smokin?

Pea
08-17-2005, 11:45 PM
Rafter in 97
well someone had to win that one
look at the semifinalists :rolls:

Michael was just completely tired from his quarterfinal win over Marcelo. :angel:

Leo
08-18-2005, 12:36 AM
I have one word for Gilbert -- Orantes

Anyway, wasn't Rafter a dark horse the first time he won the USO?

When Orantes won the US Open, it was on clay. And he won other large clay events earlier that year, I believe.

Rafter in '97 was probably the last winner of the US Open who could be considered a dark horse. It doesn't happen much in New York.

Leo
08-18-2005, 12:37 AM
13th seed is a "dark horse"? What y'all smokin?

I'd say so.

NYCtennisfan
08-18-2005, 12:47 AM
Although Sampras had 13 Slams under his belt in 2002, he didn't win any tournament since Wimbledon 2000. I considered he's a dark horse that year.

Sampras did not play well all year but nobody could be surprised when Pete started rolling so he wasn't a TRUE darkhorse. Sampras in 1990, however, is a different story. He was a true darkhorse then.

Orantes was the #3 seed when he won it and was a darkhorse only in the sense that Connors was unstoppable that year. He really roughed Connors up in the final

Newcombe in 1973 was the 10th seed.

star
08-18-2005, 12:55 AM
I think Manuel Orantes was the biggest dark horse to win the USO.

However, when Gilbert says Rafter was in "many" of the finals in the lead up events, that's a little misleading. Rafter lost second round in Los Angeles, lost second round in Canada, lost third round in Cincy, and then lost in the finals of New Haven and Long Island to Moya and Kafelnikov respectively. I don't think that record made Rafter a favorite going into the USO. And remember, McEnroe scoffed at Rafter's win and called him a "one slam wonder."

star
08-18-2005, 12:56 AM
When Orantes won the US Open, it was on clay. And he won other large clay events earlier that year, I believe.

Rafter in '97 was probably the last winner of the US Open who could be considered a dark horse. It doesn't happen much in New York.

It was green clay. But I looked him up, and all I could find was that he lost first round at Roland Garros that year and played a few Davis Cup matches.

But anyway, I remember that USO. I remember watching the final. It was a fantastic match. I remember everyone thinking before the match was played that Orantes had no chance. He had played 5 sets late into the night the day before the final. Connors had a fairly easy afternoon match and was rested and eager.

As I recall it at the time, everyone thought that Orantes was a long shot to win the tournament.

Leo
08-18-2005, 01:07 AM
It was green clay. But I looked him up, and all I could find was that he lost first round at Roland Garros that year and played a few Davis Cup matches.

But anyway, I remember that USO. I remember watching the final. It was a fantastic match. I remember everyone thinking before the match was played that Orantes had no chance. He had played 5 sets late into the night the day before the final. Connors had a fairly easy afternoon match and was rested and eager.

As I recall it at the time, everyone thought that Orantes was a long shot to win the tournament.

I didn't know much about Orantes either so I looked him up on tenniscorner: http://www.tenniscorner.net/index.php?corner=M&action=players&playerid=ORM002

Apparently he did lose in the 1st round of Roland Garros that year but made the finals the year before. And he did win both Monte Carlo and Hamburg the same year as the US Open (1975). In 1972, he won both Roma and Hamburg.

Interestingly, he reached the quarters of the Australian Open in 1968 - his first ever Slam on the pro level - but he never bothered playing there again in his career. He also kind of gave up on Wimbledon after reaching the semis in 1972. After his solo Slam victory, he made 4 other GS quarterfinals (2 in Paris, 2 in New York) but never made a semifinal again.

Clara Bow
08-18-2005, 01:21 AM
Would Safin in 2000 be considered a dark horse?

What was he seeded?

Leo
08-18-2005, 01:24 AM
Would Safin in 2000 be considered a dark horse?

What was he seeded?

For sure! He was seeded sixth, I think? But he was a tournament pick for many after beating Sampras in a very close TMS Canada final not long before. Plus he had reached the quarters of the French earlier in the year and won a bunch of titles.

Clara Bow
08-18-2005, 01:30 AM
Thanks Leo! 1999 and 2000 were days of wine and roses with me and my friends so I didn't follow the lead in tournaments that much those years.

Leo
08-18-2005, 01:38 AM
Thanks Leo! 1999 and 2000 were days of wine and roses with me and my friends so I didn't follow the lead in tournaments that much those years.

Haha, that's okay. I didn't follow tennis very closely either until 2002 or so.

croat123
08-18-2005, 01:42 AM
sampras' last uso title was won as a darkhorse, no doubt.

as far as slams in general go, just looks at goran's wimbledon win

Angle Queen
08-18-2005, 01:57 AM
I'll preface my thoughts with this...I am NOT a Sampras fan...of any sort.

But...if he came out of retirement tomorrow, next year or the next...I would NOT put "darkhorse" by his name on a USO drawsheet. Period.

And like some of the other posters...I hardly consider ANY current Top 20 player a darkhorse winner. Sure it's a label...but you don't get those seeds/rankings for nothing. Since I'm neither a gambler nor statitician...I suppose we could get into a discussion over "odds" at defining a "darkhorse" but I see no real purpose in that. Gilbert is trying to make discussion which is part of his job.

When someone comes out of nowhere, through the qualies and takes home the trophy (like Huss and Moodie did in Wimby doubles this year)...then you'll have a bonafide darkhorse.

All my humble opinion, of course. ;)

joycomesmorning
08-18-2005, 02:05 AM
http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity/default.asp?year=2002&query=Singles&player=S402&x=23&y=5

Check out Sampras' USO win in 2002. His ATP race ranking was 32 and he hadn't won a hardcourt title going into the event. Everyone was talking retirement time for Pete. Doesn't that make him a darkhorse? Or am I missing something here?
Pete was probably more of a dark horse when he won the Open in 1990 as a 19 year old than he was in 2002...in my opinion.

jcm

PamV
08-18-2005, 02:17 AM
http://www.atptennis.com/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity/default.asp?year=2002&query=Singles&player=S402&x=23&y=5

Check out Sampras' USO win in 2002. His ATP race ranking was 32 and he hadn't won a hardcourt title going into the event. Everyone was talking retirement time for Pete. Doesn't that make him a darkhorse? Or am I missing something here?

That's an interesting question. Although I would think that by that time Pete was not worrying about trying to maintain his ranking, but he still had the talent left. I wouldn't think of him as a dark horse in 2002. What about when he first won in 1990? What was Pete's ranking then? I don't think he was top 10 at that point. I checked and he had only won Philadelphia and Manchester in that year leading up to the USOpen.

wcr
08-18-2005, 02:34 AM
That's an interesting question. Although I would think that by that time Pete was not worrying about trying to maintain his ranking, but he still had the talent left. I wouldn't think of him as a dark horse in 2002. What about when he first won in 1990? What was Pete's ranking then? I don't think he was top 10 at that point. I checked and he had only won Philadelphia and Manchester in that year leading up to the USOpen.

Pete the darkhouse at his first and last slam, the USO. A fitting start and end to a great career.

tangerine_dream
08-18-2005, 02:46 AM
Define "darkhorse". A player ranked outside the top 20? A top ten claycourter not expected to win on hardcourts? Last years champion returning from injury? A former champion who'd lost his stuff? What?

NYCtennisfan
08-18-2005, 02:52 AM
But...if he came out of retirement tomorrow, next year or the next...I would NOT put "darkhorse" by his name on a USO drawsheet. Period.

Bingo.

Define "darkhorse". A player ranked outside the top 20? A top ten claycourter not expected to win on hardcourts? Last years champion returning from injury? A former champion who'd lost his stuff? What?

The word needs to be defined for sure before we can say who is, who isn't a darkhorse winner.

World Beater
08-18-2005, 03:16 AM
Bingo.



The word needs to be defined for sure before we can say who is, who isn't a darkhorse winner.

Krajicek fits the mold perfectly for wimbledon. He was good enough on the surface, but not so highly ranked at the time. When people saw him in sampras' quarter, im sure many wrote him off.

Goran is not as good of a fit just because of all his prior success at wimbledon.

Leo
08-18-2005, 03:17 AM
Pete was never a darkhorse winner after 1993.

PamV
08-18-2005, 03:32 AM
Pete was probably more of a dark horse when he won the Open in 1990 as a 19 year old than he was in 2002...in my opinion.

jcm

I agree that his 1990 USOpen win was more unexpected than his last one. In 1990 Pete was ranked 12th, and he beat McEnroe (20), Lendl (4), and Agassi (4) to win the final. People had thought Agassi was the better player up to then. Also what's interesting is that I have their final on tape and back then Agassi looked the same height or a little bigger than Pete. It's hard to imagine that.

I am not sure if a darkhorse is supposed to be a totally unexpeced winner .....or just say maybe someone lower on the list of possible winners? Who was #1 and #2 in 1990???

JeNn
08-18-2005, 03:35 AM
Brad's comment seems to me to be pretty redundant.

I mean whats the point of it?

If by darkhorse he means completely left field winners, which seems to be the case as he has rationalised slightly surprising winners like Rafter, then sure you dont get them very often at the US Open, but you don't really get them at the other Grand Slams either, apart from RG and even then you are rarely blown away. Most GS's are won by players in the top ten and in form. Duh.

Therefore if it was an attempt to differentiate the US Open from the other GS tournaments it fails. Wimbledon is MORE predictable than the US Open in general, and the Australian Open has been consistently won by favourites too since it moved to Melbourne Park.

jole
08-18-2005, 03:51 AM
Brad and friends made a point to confirm that Rafter in 1997 was as a 13th seed which I don't think is darkhorsish at all. I tend to think someone outside the top 15, or top 20 is a darkhorse. Factors such as certain players playing best in certain events/surface also obviously determine it. They also mentioned Voltchkov and his Wimbledon escapade, which was so random it is kind of beyond darkhorse.

Btw, darkhorse is a really dumb word.

http://www.tennisserver.com/wildcards/images/wildcards_04_10/gilmoore.jpg

wcr
08-18-2005, 04:36 AM
That Brad Gilbert. He sure gets folks talking.

Havok
08-18-2005, 04:49 AM
For sure! He was seeded sixth, I think? But he was a tournament pick for many after beating Sampras in a very close TMS Canada final not long before. Plus he had reached the quarters of the French earlier in the year and won a bunch of titles.
Sorry, but if you're seeded within the top 8 or even top 10 you're hardly a "darkhorse" for the title. IMO darkhorse players gunning for a slam are those who are ranked below the top 12 at least, or if it were a highly ranked clay courter playing the USO but is obviously somewhat out of his element (still good on the stuff but not as dangerour on clay). Safin in 2000 won a TMS event leading up to the USO and if you are correct with his seed, he wouldn't be considered a darkhorse but rather a favorite.

Leo
08-18-2005, 05:14 AM
Sorry, but if you're seeded within the top 8 or even top 10 you're hardly a "darkhorse" for the title. IMO darkhorse players gunning for a slam are those who are ranked below the top 12 at least, or if it were a highly ranked clay courter playing the USO but is obviously somewhat out of his element (still good on the stuff but not as dangerour on clay). Safin in 2000 won a TMS event leading up to the USO and if you are correct with his seed, he wouldn't be considered a darkhorse but rather a favorite.

I didn't say he was a darkhorse. The question I said "for sure" to was whether or not Safin was seeded at the 2000 US Open. Certainly after Toronto, he was a leading contender.

I'll always remember Safin saying that if he got out of the early rounds, he'd definitely win. Sure enough, he struggled early and barely scraped by Grosjean (I think 5th set breaker?) and after that he was in major cruise control.

Lee
08-18-2005, 05:30 AM
To define a 'dark horse'? I'm not sure whether it's the same today but in my good old college days, I worked as cashier in off-course betting center for horse races. (The paid was much, much better than working in McDonald) A dark horse has a rate of about 1:10, i.e. if you bet $10, you got paid $100 if the horse won. The sure win one is about 1:1.2 and a long shot or unexpected winner is anywhere from 1:50 and so on.

A dark horse is usually one 1): with the potential and 2) up and coming or an experienced one that's recent results were not great.

That's why IMO, Sampras in 2002 also fits the definition. Since I was not following tennis in 1990, I'm not drawing any definite conclusion but it also seems fit for Pete.

JeNn
08-18-2005, 05:54 AM
To define a 'dark horse'? I'm not sure whether it's the same today but in my good old college days, I worked as cashier in off-course betting center for horse races. (The paid was much, much better than working in McDonald) A dark horse has a rate of about 1:10, i.e. if you bet $10, you got paid $100 if the horse won. The sure win one is about 1:1.2 and a long shot or unexpected winner is anywhere from 1:50 and so on.

A dark horse is usually one 1): with the potential and 2) up and coming or an experienced one that's recent results were not great.

That's why IMO, Sampras in 2002 also fits the definition. Since I was not following tennis in 1990, I'm not drawing any definite conclusion but it also seems fit for Pete.

Thats what I'd consider to be a darkhorse as well. A $10-$20 shot. But some people (and Brad obviously) here seem to think that a darkhorse can be equated with a long shot :confused:

Dirk
08-18-2005, 05:54 AM
Lee I would say Rafter's 97 USO and Pete's qualify. I didn't know Pat only did well in two of the smaller USO events leading up to it.

switz
08-18-2005, 05:55 AM
if darkhorse means your ranked outside the top 20 then isn't it safe to say that darkhorses don't win slams much in general? sure it happens at the french sometimes but it's rarely a player who isn't an outstanding clay courter ala Kuerten/Gaudio.

when it comes to slams a darkhorse IMO is anyone who is not being talked about as a genuine threat to the title. Rafter certainly was one before the 97 US Open.

Gonzo Hates Me!
08-18-2005, 06:09 AM
dark horses don't win the US Open, and thats the way I like my US Open!... unless it would be like, Gonzalez or Nalbandian or something, thatd make me real happy, but, very unlikely

Merton
08-19-2005, 12:14 AM
I was arguing in another thread that ranking seems to be the most important variable in explaining odds in the winner-take-all market for the U.S. Open. Originally i thought that the only exceptions in the last 25 years of a non high rank was Sampras in 1990 and 2002 but RonE correctly pointed out Agassi 1994 and Rafter 1997.

I think that statistically we cannot include the years when the U.S. Open was played in green clay, since the change to hard courts represents a major structural change. Therefore, Orantes should not be included in this discussion.

tennisace
08-19-2005, 02:42 AM
Rafter was definitely a darkhourse in '97. Yes, he made the finals of a few tourneys that summer - but before that his year wasn't much to write home about, nonewithstanding his surprise semi appearance at RG. Not only that - he had a horrible record before '97 at the USO. Lost first round every year he played it, except one - '93 or '94 - when he lost in the second round. He wasn't on any pundits' radar as a real threat to win it. And it was JohnnyMac who called him a one-slam wonder, not PMac.

binkygirl
08-19-2005, 11:47 PM
I remember when Pete won the Open in '90 and after he got by Lendl, I felt confident that the tournament was his to win. His serve was on fire. He was in control during all his matches. He looked like a champ, not a darkhorse.

mitalidas
08-20-2005, 12:18 AM
I remember when Pete won the Open in '90 and after he got by Lendl, I felt confident that the tournament was his to win. His serve was on fire. He was in control during all his matches. He looked like a champ, not a darkhorse.
I would say that Pete was no longer a darkhorse by the time he beat Lendl. But he was definitely a darkhorse to win the title before the tournament began. So, how are we talking about darkhorses? Gonzo to me is a darkhorse for the USO, but if he reaches the final and has to play against Ancic, I would say he's as much a contender

Merton
08-20-2005, 04:18 AM
I would say that Pete was no longer a darkhorse by the time he beat Lendl. But he was definitely a darkhorse to win the title before the tournament began. So, how are we talking about darkhorses? Gonzo to me is a darkhorse for the USO, but if he reaches the final and has to play against Ancic, I would say he's as much a contender

You should think of dark horses ex ante, not ex post. Somebody below the 10th seed at the beginning of the tournament is a darkhorse.

mitalidas
08-20-2005, 04:33 AM
You should think of dark horses ex ante, not ex post. Somebody below the 10th seed at the beginning of the tournament is a darkhorse.

yes that's what I said, or implied. Pete was a darkhorse because, going in, he was not a leading contender. Obviously once 4 guys are in the semis, they each have much higher chances of winning than they did starting out