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And the greater single slam achievement goes to....

  • Stich

    Votes: 18 43.9%
  • Krajicek

    Votes: 17 41.5%
  • Not about the big three, I don't care!

    Votes: 6 14.6%

  • Total voters
    41
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
No MTF, this is not a contest between a big three title at Wimbledon. This is the comparison between Michael Stich's victory in 1991 and Richard Krajicek's 1996 victory. Both would never win the tournament ever again, not even play the final. And for both it is the absolute highlight of their career. A bit more for the Dutchman with Stich winning a YE championship and two more slam finals. But still this was their tennis zenith.

First for Stich's tournament. He had an incredible run from the quarter final onwards. First beating Courier in straights. Not a grass giant of course, but he had just won his first slam in Paris and then also reached the final of the US open later that year. And he would reach the final of Wimbledon two years later.

But then the two great matches. Beating Edberg and Becker back to back. The two guys who had played the previous three finals at Wimbledon and on course to meet for a fourth consecutive time. First edging Edberg in four, taking the last three sets in tie breaks. Clutch as hell. An incredible feat. Edberg hadn't lost a set up till that point. And then following that up with a straight set victory against Becker.

And in 1996 we have Krajicek winning it. His most impressive match was of course the quarter final, in which he straight setted Sampras. The only defeat the American tasted in eight years in London. And in the fourth round he won against no other than Stich himself in three sets. The semis and final were of course not against greats with so many players dropping out early. But the Dutchman went on to win the tournament losing only one set. A tiebreak second set in the third round.

So here we have two great single slam achievements at Wimbledon. I have not seen enough of Stich's matches to make a good conclusion, but as much as I adore Krajecek's achievement, I'm inclined to give this one to Stich on those incredible two last matches.

What does MTF think here?
 

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I tried thinking backwards pre big 3 era and my head almost exploded, I mean with a breath of fresh air kind of way
 

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The good old days of surprise winners at Wimbledon, and other Slams.
Stich was pretty hard to beat, and he dismantled Becker in the final, who looked clueless.
Krajicek also had a monster serve and used it well to beat Pistol Pete, and was a great result back then.
 

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I prefer Rafa's 2018 title *accounts for roof+scheduling


no srsly, two unique runs. Sport needs those surprises every once in a while
 

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Pretty much equal and both great

I'm surprised you even had a few responses as I created a hall of fame post when Kafelnikov elected and less than this many responded.

If it's not glory hunting 90 percent don't want to bother.

I was actually in Europe the year Pete lost to Krajicek and I was a big Pete fan - but didn't attend that match. I also liked the 2 Germans and Edberg, so there were some great memories from those guys.
 

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I happened to be passing a place playing the stich edberg match and ended up watching it. It's stuck with me because, unless I'm mistaken, edberg wasn't broken the entire match and still lost. Gutsy result by stich to hang in there but it wasnt great to see the serve dominating so much in that era.

For me, stich should have won more slams. He had a beautiful game, perhaps mentally not consistent enough ? I'd be interested in opinion from other mtfs who watched him play more than I did as to why he didn't win more.

I'd say stichs win was more impressive. Beating Sampras was incredible but it was a one off that he had to win and once he had the tournament was his.
 

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Stichs win was more impressive, Krajiceks was more surprising.
 

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Refreshig thread, thanks OP. Both incredible and unique runs. Stich’s probably more impressive for the later rounds but personally I prefer Krajicek’s for beating the grass GOAT at the time.
 

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Stich ultimately had the tougher run beating the two best grass players of the last five years in the semi and final. So I guess his was more impressive.

But oh man it felt like Sampras was absolutely unbeatable on Wimbledon centre court, much like Nadal at RG, so what a shock that QF was in 1996.
 

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Stich without a contest. It felt he had a matchup advantage against both Edberg and Becker, was clutch when needed and was toying with them at times.

Krajicek's win was impressive, but he was also very inconsistent and injury prone. Still beating Sampras at his best court and best game is a feat no one ever reproduced so far.
That would have been required to beat Federer in WB between 2003-09 (obviously the mono year in '08 doesn't count!) or Nadal in RG between 2006-12. Never happened, never will.

Still Stich takes it with beating the 2 grass greats at his time. Incredible level, even comparing with Sampras.
 

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I would go with Krajicek. If not for him, Sampras would have how many, 8, in a row? Krajicek's game was perfectly suited for grass, he should have won more in his career.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Pretty much equal and both great

I'm surprised you even had a few responses as I created a hall of fame post when Kafelnikov elected and less than this many responded.

If it's not glory hunting 90 percent don't want to bother.

I was actually in Europe the year Pete lost to Krajicek and I was a big Pete fan - but didn't attend that match. I also liked the 2 Germans and Edberg, so there were some great memories from those guys.
Was wondering the same when I made this non big three thread. Positive surprised that it's getting some attention. It's hard enough talking bout other then the usual suspects on here. Let alone players from the past. Missed your Kavelnikov post though. When was that?
Stich ultimately had the tougher run beating the two best grass players of the last five years in the semi and final. So I guess his was more impressive.

But oh man it felt like Sampras was absolutely unbeatable on Wimbledon centre court, much like Nadal at RG, so what a shock that QF was in 1996.
That shock was even bigger in the Netherlands. Almost everybody was talking about it. At least in my direct environment.
Is that Stich-Becker final the infamous match with grand total of 9 minutes of pure gameplay?
Wow could that be? That's a really low number. Even for two serve volley players facing each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I happened to be passing a place playing the stich edberg match and ended up watching it. It's stuck with me because, unless I'm mistaken, edberg wasn't broken the entire match and still lost. Gutsy result by stich to hang in there but it wasnt great to see the serve dominating so much in that era.

For me, stich should have won more slams. He had a beautiful game, perhaps mentally not consistent enough ? I'd be interested in opinion from other mtfs who watched him play more than I did as to why he didn't win more.

I'd say stichs win was more impressive. Beating Sampras was incredible but it was a one off that he had to win and once he had the tournament was his.
I would also be interested in this. Maybe @masterclass can enlighten us. My father some times talks about him as a player he liked. But haven't seen that much of him myself.
Stich without a contest. It felt he had a matchup advantage against both Edberg and Becker, was clutch when needed and was toying with them at times.

Krajicek's win was impressive, but he was also very inconsistent and injury prone. Still beating Sampras at his best court and best game is a feat no one ever reproduced so far.
That would have been required to beat Federer in WB between 2003-09 (obviously the mono year in '08 doesn't count!) or Nadal in RG between 2006-12. Never happened, never will.

Still Stich takes it with beating the 2 grass greats at his time. Incredible level, even comparing with Sampras.
If only he wasn't so damn injury prone. Could've gotten a slam or maybe two more in my eyes. I remember a anecdote from Krajicek from just after winning Wimbledon. He was at the champions ball and Graff, who had won the women's title, gave him a note (on a napkin I think) which read: ''The second feels even better''. Alas it was not to be.
 

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Richard's but I'm biased of course as a Dutchman. Then again beating an all-time great at his favourite tournament is legendary so even if I were not a fan and a Dutchman I would still vote Krajicek.
 
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