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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me begin: yes I am a comic geek. Debates that always go on in that industry: who would win Superman vs. Thor? Batman vs. Wolverine? And the like...

My question to the posters here: what former players would be great match-ups for the present top ten? And what would be the outcome of these matches?

To me, one of the most interesting match-ups would have been Boris Becker vs. Roger Federer? Can you imagine Boris' serve and volley power game matching up against Roger? And how about Rafa vs. Muster? Two lefty clay court wizards...with incredible clay court streaks to their name.

For my money, Boris vs. Roger...ten times they play, five victories for each (except on clay of course).

Rafa vs. Muster...ten times they play (excluding grass), Rafa wins nine out of ten.

Comments?
 

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Federer - Becker is hard to discuss because Becker struggled very much against younger players with a little more power than him and who controlled him from the baseline so that moves toward Federer but then that is if you take Becker as he was then against Federer as he is now. The game has moved on, that's what I am trying to say. If the game hadn't moved on and it's skill vs skill...

...Becker isn't winning much from the baseline and he hasn't got the power to really stop Federer making passes. However, this is a slight guess, but I feel Becker has the type of serve Roger can't read too well, I think he would get a lot of free points. Federer would certainly win the majority on clay, 9 out of 10 or so. On hardcourts, well, Federer is arguably the best hardcourt player in the history of the game and even if you disagree he is one of them for sure, I would take him to win 7/8 out of 10. Indoors I'd say it's 50/50. On grass, Becker would get passed a lot but he would make some great volleys too. I just see it being harder for Boris to break than it would be for Federer. So, maybe 6/4 to Federer? Very tough one.


Nadal Muster is easier, Muster is a slightly more defensive version of Nadal and probably more one dimensional than the Spainard as well. I would take Nadal every time on grass and probably 7/8 out of 10 on hard, or clay. I think they split things indoors though. Thing is Muster isn't actually very far behind Nadal and especially in his best years he was a monster of similar proportions to Rafa. However, matchups are matchups and Muster doesn't have the right game to hurt Nadal while I think Nadal doesn't struggle with opponents who get his shots back because he has such a high margin for error he can gradually press the point.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Nadal Muster is easier, Muster is a slightly more defensive version of Nadal and probably more one dimensional than the Spainard as well. I would take Nadal every time on grass and probably 8 out of 10 on hard, indoor or clay. Thing is Muster isn't actually very far behind Nadal and especially in his best years he was a monster of similar proportions to Rafa. However, matchups are matchups and Muster doesn't have the right game to hurt Nadal while I think Nadal doesn't struggle with opponents who get his shots back because he has such a high margin for error he can gradually press the point.
How is Muster more defensive than Nadal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Federer - Becker is hard to discuss because Becker struggled very much against younger players with a little more power than him and who controlled him from the baseline so that moves toward Federer but then that is if you take Becker as he was then against Federer as he is now. The game has moved on, that's what I am trying to say. If the game hadn't moved on and it's skill vs skill...

...Becker isn't winning much from the baseline and he hasn't got the power to really stop Federer making passes. However, this is a slight guess, but I feel Becker has the type of serve Roger can't read too well, I think he would get a lot of free points. Federer would certainly win the majority on clay, 9 out of 10 or so. On hardcourts, well, Federer is arguably the best hardcourt player in the history of the game and even if you disagree he is one of them for sure, I would take him to win 7/8 out of 10. Indoors I'd say it's 50/50. On grass, Becker would get passed a lot but he would make some great volleys too. I just see it being harder for Boris to break than it would be for Federer. So, maybe 6/4 to Federer? Very tough one.


Nadal Muster is easier, Muster is a slightly more defensive version of Nadal and probably more one dimensional than the Spainard as well. I would take Nadal every time on grass and probably 8 out of 10 on hard, indoor or clay. Thing is Muster isn't actually very far behind Nadal and especially in his best years he was a monster of similar proportions to Rafa. However, matchups are matchups and Muster doesn't have the right game to hurt Nadal while I think Nadal doesn't struggle with opponents who get his shots back because he has such a high margin for error he can gradually press the point.
Spot on. :yeah:

What about Edberg vs. Fed? I think on almost every surface other than grass, Roger would have a tough time. Grass head to head: 5-5, indoor, probably 5-5, and hardcourt, 6-4 advantage to Roger. Yes, Stefan's forehand was....um....but he did possess probably the best backhand volley in the history of the game.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Nadal Muster is easier, Muster is a slightly more defensive version of Nadal and probably more one dimensional than the Spainard as well. I would take Nadal every time on grass and probably 8 out of 10 on hard, indoor or clay. Thing is Muster isn't actually very far behind Nadal and especially in his best years he was a monster of similar proportions to Rafa. However, matchups are matchups and Muster doesn't have the right game to hurt Nadal while I think Nadal doesn't struggle with opponents who get his shots back because he has such a high margin for error he can gradually press the point.
Grass, getting Muster to play would be an achievement itself.

Not sure where you get the more defensive from? When he started out he was defensive and he was far from defensive in his golden period on clay. So what extra dimension does Nadal have? He hits a better dropshot?

Well Nadal doesn't have the game that really matches up badly with Muster he doesn't have the serve, the changes of pace or unlike say someone like Guga he can't through him or Edberg/Rafter that would keep Muster off balance and piss the Austrian off.

Muster can hit down the lines, whereas Nadal does that very rarely especially on the forehand side. Both would hit off forehands all day, but Muster could generate pace off the high ball, it was the fact that he became more aggressive in 95 that lead him to the success on clay and hardcourts later on.

Muster is fitter, so Nadal is going to outlast him, as for speed around the court both are incredible in that regard. All in all it would be who executes better on the day, while there are definitely similarities there are differences and Nadal hitting the slider in the ad court goes to Muster's strength.

I am using the match up based on their respective peak.
 

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muster is much more aggressive than nadal.

having said that, nadal would take most of the matches.

becker is like the poor man's sampras. He doesnt move as well, has less firepower and isn't as well rounded as the pistol.

Federer kick's the shi# out of becker most times.

federer - rafter is a better matchup than federer-becker.

fed-rafter would be split on fast courts, and fed would take most of them on slower courts.

fed-edberg is a generational gap in tennis. Fed takes this every time.
 

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muster is much more aggressive than nadal.

having said that, nadal would take most of the matches.

becker is like the poor man's sampras. He doesnt move as well, has less firepower and isn't as well rounded as the pistol.

Federer kick's the shi# out of becker most times.

federer - rafter is a better matchup than federer-becker.

fed-rafter would be split on fast courts, and fed would take most of them on slower courts.

fed-edberg is a generational gap in tennis. Fed takes this every time.
yes Muster was a little more aggresive than Nadal, hit way flatter

here there are two clips of a muster claycourt match

 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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muster is much more aggressive than nadal.

having said that, nadal would take most of the matches.
On grass it would be 10-0 and why would Nadal win most of the matches on the other surfaces?
 

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Spot on. :yeah:

What about Edberg vs. Fed? I think on almost every surface other than grass, Roger would have a tough time. Grass head to head: 5-5, indoor, probably 5-5, and hardcourt, 6-4 advantage to Roger. Yes, Stefan's forehand was....um....but he did possess probably the best backhand volley in the history of the game.
As much as I like Edberg, he would have a very tough time against Federer. Sure, Edberg could volley well. But in all the other departments he would be very much behind Federer. Besides, Edberg's serve would be too weak against Federer. He would constantly be passed, or forced to hit some very difficult volleys.
 
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Wow, nice clips! Muster is a classy player, and he was obviously much more aggressive than I remembered, I´m sure he would give Rafa a hard time, at least on clay,probably on hard courts as well.

As for Edberg, he was my favorite player, but he wouldn´t stand a chance against Federer, not on any surface. His volleys were magnificent, but his serve would be too weak, and from the baseline he would get crushed by Federer. The level of game has risen since the beginning of the 90´s, both Becker and Edberg had too many clear weaknesses compared to todays top players. Having said that, comparing eras is always pointless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As for Edberg, he was my favorite player, but he wouldn´t stand a chance against Federer, not on any surface. His volleys were magnificent, but his serve would be too weak, and from the baseline he would get crushed by Federer.
Don't underestimate your man Stefan. ANYONE who has a winning 14-13 head to head record over Ivan Lendl is an amazing player regardless of era. And, with the racquets of today, can you imagine Stefan's kick second serve? Are you trying to tell me that it wouldn't be superior to Rafa's? Stefan's backhand was a thing of beauty. And if a washed-up player like Bjorkman can make it to the semis of Wimbledon (yes, he got annihilated by Roger), imagine what one of the top two or three serve and volleyers of all time can could do.

And as far as Boris is concerned: I'm sure this has been posted before, but you tell me this man would NOT give fits to Roger on every surface but clay:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbV5wb-eKcE


And if Boris could get to a fifth set on clay, as he famously said,

"The fifth set is not about tennis, it's about nerves."
;)
 

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Nadal vs. Muster has been discussed a lot of times already.

As for Becker vs. Federer, it would be a big mis-match in my opinion in Federer's favor. ONe thing you have to realize about Becker was that serving at 55% was a GOOD % for him. He oftentimes served at only about 45%-48% in big matches. His strategy was to win 85% to 90% of the points off of his 1st serve and then take his chances on the 2nd serve using his big kicker. He hit a ton of double faults. Giving free points to Federer whether off of errors from the ground or off of the serve gets you broken. You make an error, he forces and error, then hits a winner. Now you have to save break points.

This would absolutely not work against Feds. First of all, he wouldn't win 90% of the points off of his 1st serve and then he would get killed serving and volleying off of the 2nd serve or get killed hitting from the baseline. 9 out of 10 on clay, 8 out of 10 on hard, 6 or 7 out of 10 on grass and maybe, maybe 5-5 on super fast carpet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This would absolutely not work against Feds. First of all, he wouldn't win 90% of the points off of his 1st serve and then he would get killed serving and volleying off of the 2nd serve or get killed hitting from the baseline.
Tell Ivan Lendl that...he had a superior return of serve to 00 Ego, and still managed to lose to Boris 10 times...and only ONCE in grand slam competition.
 

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Grass, getting Muster to play would be an achievement itself.
:lol: A good quote that one.

Not sure where you get the more defensive from? When he started out he was defensive and he was far from defensive in his golden period on clay. So what extra dimension does Nadal have? He hits a better dropshot?
Well the difference is that Muster has more aggresive shots but if you're looking at % of points in which the player is in control I think Nadal takes it. Furthermore, Muster aggressive shots aren't the type to trouble Nadal, they still have all the spin and Nadal loves to hit hard against those shots off his BH and with his FH the battles would be endless. I mean, points would be so long it would be ridiculous for sure and I for one would love to see a highlights reel or a couple of sets though perhaps more than that would be a little boring.

Extra dimension? I said more one dimensional, not that Nadal is an allcourt superstar. Muster plays his game, Nadal has a little more variety, the BH he uses for slice change ups and he varies the DTL/CC more than Muster does as well on that side. His FH would also give Muster more trouble going DTL than the opposite of that and I think that would be very important as long as Nadal would be willing to take the risk. Also, Nadal is nothing special in this department but his volley is fairly strong considering the type of player he is and you rarely see him missing once he gets to the net and it's not exactly news that Muster doesn't play great against S&V so if Nadal could implement that tactic with the swinging serve and then finishing at the net it would be good for him.



Well Nadal doesn't have the game that really matches up badly with Muster he doesn't have the serve, the changes of pace or unlike say someone like Guga he can't through him or Edberg/Rafter that would keep Muster off balance and piss the Austrian off.
They are not bad matchups for each other they cancel each other out in the matchup department, I just think Nadal is better than Muster.

Muster can hit down the lines, whereas Nadal does that very rarely especially on the forehand side. Both would hit off forehands all day, but Muster could generate pace off the high ball, it was the fact that he became more aggressive in 95 that lead him to the success on clay and hardcourts later on.
As far as generating pace goes Nadal is far, FAR better at doing that on the BH and he does it better than anyone in the top 100 bar perhaps Gasquet off that wing. Muster does have firepower off the FH that Nadal can't match and he has more variety with the spin but Nadal would be attacking a weaker Muster BH with his inside out or his bigger BH whilst Muster would be attacking the counter-puncher style BH of Nadal and defnesibley that is his stronger wing for sure.

Muster is fitter, so Nadal is going to outlast him, as for speed around the court both are incredible in that regard. All in all it would be who executes better on the day, while there are definitely similarities there are differences and Nadal hitting the slider in the ad court goes to Muster's strength.
Muster had better health. Fitter? Well they are both fit enough to go 5 hours in gruelling matches so fitness isn't important in this case. Speed around the court they are equal but then Nadal has two advantages which are important. Number 1, he hits the ball better on the run, particularly on the FH. I see Muster missing countless FH and BH's going for the DTL shot when runnign whilst Nadal makes more than him I think. Furthermore while both can move very well Nadal has better balance when playing on teh hardcourts and watch matches where Muster is running about indoors and yes he is fast as a cheetah but he is off balance after hitting the shot more than the Spainard.
 

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And what about Feds - Muster (on clay) or Rafa - Becker/Edberg (on hard)?
 

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And what about Feds - Muster (on clay) or Rafa - Becker/Edberg (on hard)?
Muster would probably beat Federer 7 times out of 10 on clay. It's similar to the Nadal matchup but slightly less bad for Roger because he can use the net more. Muster, while good, doesn't have the passing shots of Nadal and also he goes for his shots more which is actually an advantage for Federer I think.

Rafa - Becker/Edberg depends really on what hardcourt you mean.
 

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On grass it would be 10-0 and why would Nadal win most of the matches on the other surfaces?
I don't get that either. Clearly, no-one is going to outlast the other, but Muster is better at deciding points himself. Even Stebs's analysis seems unclear to me, and I usually agree with him on issues like these. :confused:
 

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I don't get that either. Clearly, no-one is going to outlast the other, but Muster is better at deciding points himself. Even Stebs's analysis seems unclear to me, and I usually agree with him on issues like these. :confused:
Which bit of my analysis is unclear to you.

Muster is better at deciding points with a single shot but overall? I'm not so sure.
 

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I don't see what Becker or Edberg have to hurt Federer with. :shrug: I think sawan just overestimates players of the past while understimating Federer.
 
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