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Discussion Starter #1
Pretty amazing QF lineup at 2020 RG.
1. PCB despite what Kyrgios says is not great on clay, but has a chance in these conditions the way he's playing and moving
2. Tsitsipas grew up on clay and its his highest winning percentage surface. Winning serve points on hard like he's Andy Roddick and better return too.
3. Rublev is exceeding the wildest excpectations and is on verge of becoming Davydenko with a serve
4. Thiem - still might win the whole thing and become some kind of peak GOAT in the process given his draw and historic pairing with the US Open
5. Schwartzman is taking names on this slow surface and could easily stun the field as he's the best mover in the draw at this point
6. Sinner - amazing stuff from the fresh poking youngster blowing through the field and taking out a known clay court player in Zverev
7. Nadal - retooled his strokes for the conditions and still has great court coverage. Statistically Moya has him still at peak, but even prime better than anyone else that has ever played on clay
8. Djokovic - golden opportunity and he knows it. First serve has kept him near peak level and its working rather well even on this slow clay.

Tally it up this is like having three Kuerten's in the field easy at the top. Rublev and Tsitsipas have a very strong chance if they bring their A games (Rublev no chance in final with Nadal, but otherwise yes.) Schwartzman is hell on wheels on this clay. Sinner dripping with talent in his first RG and really hasn't even been playing great. The kid is probably going to bring it and won't blink an eye against Nadal. PCB just a great matchup with Nole and has a lot to prove. And lets not forget Stanimal who thought he could beat anyone in the field and was clearly feeling great. Just a strong field.

Last year was pretty good too, but Stan was no threat and then the wind just blew up the semi-finals and finals. And of course this year the conditions and new balls appear to have put a lot of doubt around all the players, save perhaps Djokovic, but he didn't exactly walk all over a very meh Khachanov whose not played well since the end of 2018.

We can try to roll back to the years when Wawrinka was a threat, but wow 2017 pretty much showed he's not beating Nadal in normal conditions at RG.

2011 was very good at the top, but Federer just never going to beat Nadal in a normal year. 90's Clay? Brugerra Courier was alright, but lets get real when you've got Americans littering RG finals and winning right and left, just shows how weak the Euros were save Brugerra for a few years. Guga 2000, 2001 was a fine player, but so many five set matches just hard to imagine he'd not be in serious trouble with most of these players on this surface and these condtions. Courier and Guga had some of the modern clay serve game, but just really not all that good especially given that in Guga's case in 1997 the entire field outside of himself did not have Poly and then even in 2000/2001 most of the top players still were sticking with gut.:sneaky:

Put together your all star clay lineup form the past:
1. Borg = Nadal
2. Djokovic = Lendl
3. Thiem = Muster
4. Tsitsipas - heading towards near peak Federer levels on clay (this year good as 2002 easy)
5. Rublev - greater than Kafelnikov already lmao
6. Sinner - Pietrageli level talent
7. Schwartzman - on this slow surface maybe as good as Coria
8. PCB - on this surface, heh probably as good as JCF
 

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Excellent post! So nice to someone noticing a strong field, rather than the classic MTF "weak era bromide" (usually proclaimed to cheapen the more legitimate Fed weakera coinage),
These are excellent quarters indeed, round of 16 separated the big boys from the rest, and unlike in past years, I feel there are threats to Nadal (and threats to Djok too of course, just that he was never a shoo-in here like Rafa).
The conditions have changed the mix, do you think? Or not?
 

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Thought you meant 1920's and I would agree
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Tsitsipas and peak Federer levels? Didn't he need 5 sets to beat Munar?
Irrelevant given his play since and of course he was in the Hamburg final and actually played on Sunday and a full week of tennis with five matches. Statistically Tsitsipas was not impressive in Hamburg but he stepped it up here in the later rounds. Tsitsipas serve game is superior to any version of Federer statistically this year. His return game is not as good as prime Federer probably in 2003 or 2004 at the latest, but otherwise he’s seems probably a better clay player at the same stage of career even though Federer does have a masters title by this age. Remember Federer did not convert to have a baseline heavy game until he switched to poly in 2002 for the Clay season when he won Madrid. It’s possible Stefanos will fizzle like Zverev over the next couple years, but I would wager he’ll have a better serve game and Federer and a slightly weaker return game which is awfully good and sounds a lot like Sampras. Of course the big difference with Stef is he grew up on clay. HIs returning this year took a medvedev2019 like jump, so he may be awfully close right now. It’s hilarious that his play in the Coric match before the crash was superlative. Super dangerous player and let’s not forget how he closed out at World tour finals last year.o_O
 

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The OP's post is a joke. Meles has obviously never ever seen Kuerten play. Post-hip surgery Kuerten routined prime Federer on clay, and the only reason Kuerten didn't win more Roland Garros titles was because his career was plagued by injuries. Djokovic, Thiem, and all these Next Genners wish they were as good as Kuerten was on clay. Coria also had fabulous game and is way better than most of these clay pretenders out there these days. Watch the Rome 2005 Nadal vs. Coria to see an example of a clay court masterclass. It's too bad that the 2004 Roland Garros choke along with the 2005 Rome loss to Nadal killed Coria's self-belief, resulting in him being unable to serve properly and being sent into an early retirement. If that hadn't happened, Nadal would have actually had proper competition during his early years on the tour even if Coria, and Kuerten, to a lesser extent, were not on good on clay as he is. Federer is not a Top 10 of all time player on clay even though he has made it to 5 RG finals, and Nadal was fortunate that Federer was his primary opposition on clay for several years. It's also a joke to suggest that Tsitsipas is anywhere near peak Fed on clay, and Rublev right now wishes he could shine Kafelnikov's shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The OP's post is a joke. Meles has obviously never ever seen Kuerten play. Post-hip surgery Kuerten routined prime Federer on clay, and the only reason Kuerten didn't win more Roland Garros titles was because his career was plagued by injuries. Djokovic, Thiem, and all these Next Genners wish they were as good as Kuerten was on clay. Coria also had fabulous game and is way better than most of these clay pretenders out there these days. Watch the Rome 2005 Nadal vs. Coria to see an example of a clay court masterclass. It's too bad that the 2004 Roland Garros choke along with the 2005 Rome loss to Nadal killed Coria's self-belief, resulting in him being unable to serve properly and being sent into an early retirement. If that hadn't happened, Nadal would have actually had proper competition during his early years on the tour even if Coria, and Kuerten, to a lesser extent, were not on good on clay as he is.
I’m not saying early Federer was great on Clay I’m just equating him to Tsits right now and saying Tsitsipas just as good if not better. That federer kuerten match is almost as ridiculous as the Sampras federer match for comparing players. The most ridiculous statement is that Nadal caused Coria’s yips. That was a physical issue. Nadal is extremely lucky that Coria was not a better player in 2004 and then peaking in 2005 and 2006.

As far as Kuerten goes basically his game was not truly built for Poly. He quickly took to it, but there is little doubt that those Injury issues were related to the rigors of the game and just so many players having injury issues early with Poly. There has to be a connection. That was a huge technology change and it clouds everything. I would definitely put 2020 Thiem up against 2000 Kuerten easy. Some players develop at different paces and let’s remember that Muster impressively won RG the year he turned 28. If RG had been held this year on time Thiem would’ve been 26, but 27 by that reckoning. It will be interesting to see what he does the next few years especially with the ball change he did seem to like the Babolat balls a lot and I think it gave him an edge at this event that may not continue.:cry: And I maintain without Nadal around he would’ve won the last three RG in a row.
 

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Some overstatements regarding players, but in general I agree that we should appreciate the field we've got now instead of complaining about weak eras, it's one of the more exciting slam QF lineups and it'll look even better in hindsight when Tsitsipas, Rublev and Sinner get a decent career resume on clay. We can only know for sure after the matches are played out, but I still think 2012 is the best QF lineup at RG by actual form, we had big 4+ Tsonga, Ferrer, Delpo and Almagro, Ferrer and Almagro played very well before losing to a peaking Nadal, while Tsonga and Delpo both got through a tough draw and pushed Djokovic and Federer to the limit in the quarters.
 

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Yeah, I’m loving this lineup, it’s pretty damn good.
The funny thing in the 90’ players specialized more on different surfaces than they do now and despite that the field was still on average considerably weaker than now. I can’t recall a single year when the QF lineup was as strong as in 2020. But what would you expect when the best player of the 90’ Sampras was an absolute mug on that surface. I mean give him the technology and he would rarely make it past R1 at RG in today’s era.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Some overstatements regarding players, but in general I agree that we should appreciate the field we've got now instead of complaining about weak eras, it's one of the more exciting slam QF lineups and it'll look even better in hindsight when Tsitsipas, Rublev and Sinner get a decent career resume on clay. We can only know for sure after the matches are played out, but I still think 2012 is the best QF lineup at RG by actual form, we had big 4+ Tsonga, Ferrer, Delpo and Almagro, Ferrer and Almagro played very well before losing to a peaking Nadal, while Tsonga and Delpo both got through a tough draw and pushed Djokovic and Federer to the limit in the quarters.
Time will tell with the lesser players. 2012 no joke and PCB not worthy. Talent wise the other seven and 2020 are very very high. Schwartzman in these conditions gets an upgrade but he also is not worthy career wise on clay. I find 2020 far far more interesting.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I’m loving this lineup, it’s pretty damn good.
The funny thing in the 90’ players specialized more on different surfaces than they do now and despite that the field was still on average considerably weaker than now. I can’t recall a single year when the QF lineup was as strong as in 2020. But what would you expect when the best player of the 90’ Sampras was an absolute mug on that surface. I mean give him the technology and he would rarely make it past R1 at RG in today’s era.
I have to admit that I ignored 90s clay, it just often did not have any of the star players. I have a good friend who was really fond of it but I think it was more just the contrast on the fact of the top players were not very good on the surface so it was like a league of its own.

I have 0.0 sympathy for the late 90s and early 2000’s clay. Far too many players with injury issues and of course half the field not even using poly probably until federer force them all to change before end of 2004. Well I do have sympathy for them because I believe Poly actually was a root cause of the injuries or at the very least the greater baseline capabilities that it brought to the field.
 

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Great post,mate.One of the best in recent times among these garbage threads that flooded forum...
 
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Tsitsipas and peak Federer levels? Didn't he need 5 sets to beat Munar?
Stop moaning NADAL IS GOD OF CLAY in ANY ERA. Nobody is even close when he is on. The man is a miracle. He has won twice as many French opens as Borg. And number 13 is INCOMING.

Nobody even approaches Nadal on clay..You can argue until the end of time who is the alround GOAT. When it comes to CLAY. That argument has been over for 6 years. All that happens from here is he extends his already untouchable record. And status as GOD OF CLAY.
 
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Good attempt.

Nadal greatly surpassed any past legend. He's in his own class, category, species, etc
Djokovic is nowhere near Borg, Lendl or even Vilas on clay. Sure, he plays excellent on the surface, but that is it.
Thiem and Muster, I agree a bit.
Tsitsipas is not at all like Federer on clay, not yet anyway.

The rest in agreement, Schwartzman maybe better than Coria, PCB maybe not as good as Ferrero. Sinner is the player who reminds me of Kuerten a bit.
 

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Put together your all star clay lineup form the past:
1. Borg = Nadal
2. Djokovic = Lendl
3. Thiem = Muster
4. Tsitsipas - heading towards near peak Federer levels on clay (this year good as 2002 easy)
5. Rublev - greater than Kafelnikov already lmao
6. Sinner - Pietrageli level talent
7. Schwartzman - on this slow surface maybe as good as Coria
8. PCB - on this surface, heh probably as good as JCF
1. I'd have Nadal over Borg

2. Djokovic over Lendl, despite Lendl having more RG titles I'd have Djokovic as the better player

3. Again I'd rate Thiem higher than Muster on Clay. I think Thiem would win at least 15/20 matches between them.

4. No way I'd have Tsitsipas as good as peak Federer on clay, 2005-07 Federer especially would be far too strong for Tsitsi.

5. I have this pretty even, but Rublev is not greater considering Kafelnikov won the tournament, although in a far weaker era.

6. Possibly, but again Sinner is dwarfed in accomplishments.

7. I'd take peak Coria over Diego, although in a RG final Coria more likely to choke. Close one.

8. I doubt PCB would've won RG, even 15-20 years ago, so I have JCF ahead of him on clay.
 

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Stop moaning NADAL IS GOD OF CLAY in ANY ERA. Nobody is even close when he is on. The man is a miracle. He has won twice as many French opens as Borg. And number 13 is INCOMING.

Nobody even approaches Nadal on clay..You can argue until the end of time who is the alround GOAT. When it comes to CLAY. That argument has been over for 6 years. All that happens from here is he extends his already untouchable record. And status as GOD OF CLAY.
I wasn't even talking about Nadal but the OP's comparison of Tsitsipas's current clay form to prime Federer.
Nadal is obviously the greatest clay player of all time, no one should doubt that, nor should that really have to be argued. Borg comes second based on his statistics and 6 French Open titles (though retired by 26, rather early).
 

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Coria is overrated, his game was nothing special, probably only slightly better than a David Ferrer. Gaudio was far more creative and better on the surface (when he had his mind right). Djokovic and Thiem at their best on clay are a league or two above Coria.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Coria is overrated, his game was nothing special, probably only slightly better than a David Ferrer. Gaudio was far more creative and better on the surface (when he had his mind right). Djokovic and Thiem at their best on clay are a league or two above Coria.
How dare you:mad:
 
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