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The Best Grass Court Players Ever

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Post by BEL19VE on Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:33 pm

Tenez, you have not yet replied to my post- check 7:18.

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Post by BlueClay on Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:34 am

Julia Santamaria wrote:Tenez, you have not yet replied to my post- check 7:18.
 
tongueout  Hell will freeze over first. I have been asking Tenez for that link where Nadal said Djokovic is more talented but I have not seen it. Strange isn't it?  Big Grin

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:05 am

An interesting article on Wimbledon, the slowing of grass and....grass tennis disappearing the melting-pot called cash.

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/06/uncomfortable-questions-grass-stain/47977/#.UcJF4HDRfzI

"And the reality is that two men with particular grass-court skills, even on today’s slower courts, have dominated at Wimbledon over the past two decades: Federer and Pete Sampras. What appears to have changed, though, is the number of players capable of challenging the elite players, recording monumental upsets, or playing ultra-aggressive serve-and-volley tennis.

You can put that change down to the fact that there’s no percentage in pursuing that attacking game anymore, which Federer himself has said. Sampras changed to a one-handed backhand with the express purpose of winning Wimbledon (it may not have been as brilliant a decision as it once seemed), and Pat Rafter once hoped to serve-and-volley his way to the title on Centre Court. But nobody out there is creating a game for the greatest tournament of them all anymore, because the greatest tournament of them all no longer rewards certain skills as it once did, and those skills, while still marginally helpful at Wimbledon, don’t do you nearly much good at other events."

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Post by Tenez on Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:32 am

I think this article misses 2 key points.

It's not Pete's SHBH that gave him 7 Wimbies. It's his serve. In fact, to be more precise, it's his second serve. That's what made the difference between him and Goran and other great servers....or even v Agassi and other great returners.

Federer was helped by his serve but could have never won WImbledon with it despite being extremely good. It's not his SHBH that saved him either, it's simply his timing, meaning his talent. And that is his ability to pull amazing FH and BH...but also returns when he had to face the likes of Karlo or Ancic on fire. You cannot teach that. It;s simply sheer eye/hand coordination better than anybody out there. And yes Lydian Winking, better than Bjorkman.

Many other players have great grass skills nowadays but the conds are so slow that they still cannot overcome the even more amazing stamina/retrieving skills of 3 very fit players. Those players would have had no chance in the 90s. No more than Wilander, Bruguerra or even Kafelnikov or Guga had. Some of them did not even bother to enter that very different ball game.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:10 am

I think tennis world incl. journos,  has finally realised that the beautiful all-court tennis is dead and  are trying to work out why and how to revert the trend.
His point was that due to homogenisation of playing conditions the game is the same across all surfaces and there are no specialist able to benefit from their extra bit of skill for eg grass or clay: Becker and Sampras couldn't quite pass as clay greats, could they?
Which then brings me back to your greatest/best Borg/Mac dilemma:
Borg was able to win/dominate on clay and grass, in THOSE days.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:54 am

Which then brings me back to your greatest/best Borg/Mac dilemma:
Borg was able to win/dominate on clay and grass, in THOSE days.
--------------------
Yes but then again we cannot compare the grass of the 80s with the grass of the 90s.

This is why there is a miss-perception of grass being SVing only. That was solely the case from early 80s to early 2001 (~20 years) while the racquets' frames increased but nat gut was still used by 99% of players and more importantly when those who started to learn to play with luxilon were not at their peak yet or did not get the best out of those new strings. Add the fact they introduced bigger balls in 2002.....it completely changed the dynamics of grass play.

At the Borg/McEnroe time, if you look at the courts, or even game, it was fast compared to clay but nothing like lates 80s/90s. In the clip you posted the other day it looked like they were playing in slo-mo. They had rallies then cause teh wooden racquets were preventing the power game (big serve, big FH or big volley). So most of us (old enough) were used to the big SVing game but that really concerns one generation only. If yuo look at Borg/McEnroe and before it was not unusual at all to win teh FO/Wimby double...and SVing was used more but not the only game to play like it was from 20 years after that.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:19 am

Tenez wrote:Which then brings me back to your greatest/best Borg/Mac dilemma:
Borg was able to win/dominate on clay and grass, in THOSE days.
--------------------
Yes but then again we cannot compare the grass of the 80s with the grass of the 90s.

This is why there is a miss-perception of grass being SVing only. That was solely the case from early 80s to early 2001 (~20 years) while the racquets' frames increased but nat gut was still used by 99% of players and more importantly when those who started to learn to play with luxilon were not at their peak yet or did not get the best out of those new strings. Add the fact they introduced bigger balls in 2002.....it completely changed the dynamics of grass play.

At the Borg/McEnroe time, if you look at the courts, or even game, it was fast compared to clay but nothing like lates 80s/90s. In the clip you posted the other day it looked like they were playing in slo-mo. They had rallies then cause teh wooden racquets were preventing the power game (big serve, big FH or big volley). So most of us (old enough) were used to the big SVing game but that really concerns one generation only. If yuo look at Borg/McEnroe and before it was not unusual at all to win teh FO/Wimby double...and SVing was used more but not the only game to play like it was from 20 years after that.

Yes, it's almost got a stigmatic feel to it, and so very undeservedly!

I actually loved the slo-mo tennis from Mac and Borg, there was so much skill and flair on display, all-court tennis at its best.
The 90s got it bad reputation with the booming serves, for all the reasons you explained so well.

Now it's gone the other way, and nobody's happy either, although Fed is able to still produce beautiful proper tennis on grass.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:27 am

I think it's a good sign that journos have started writing about slow grass and SBH, wanting longer grass season and all that.
Hamburg is going back to grass in 2015!!!

It's bound to bring some results, like it did with 25 sec rule after that crazy AO final.

I think it's important we, tennis fans scream and shout about it on forums because our voice IS heard and it's not all in vain.

After all, we are paying for The Show, and Nadal may soon learn people have had enough of the one he is able to produce.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:35 am

But looks like we were heard already. If you look at last year, Nadal was out logically to a big hitter on fresh grass, Federer won it playing aggressive and able to hit past both Djoko and Murray.
After that it;s a thin line to have all those huge hitters blasting their way with a big serve only.

Problem is essentially the 2nd week. It does slow down quite a bit. Even Queens slowed down over 6 days.

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:38 am

Tenez wrote:But looks like we were heard already. If you look at last year, Nadal was out logically to a big hitter on fresh grass, Federer won it playing aggressive and able to hit past both Djoko and Murray.
After that it;s a thin line to have all those huge hitters blasting their way with a big serve only.

Problem is essentially the 2nd week. It does slow down quite a bit. Even Queens slowed down over 6 days.

Winking

Couldn't  smaller balls help towards counter-balancing slowing of the 2nd week?
I reckon Murray was able to win Olympic final ONLY because the court was like the 10th week of Wimbledon. I could not believe my eyes.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:53 am

noleisthebest wrote:
Tenez wrote:But looks like we were heard already. If you look at last year, Nadal was out logically to a big hitter on fresh grass, Federer won it playing aggressive and able to hit past both Djoko and Murray.
After that it;s a thin line to have all those huge hitters blasting their way with a big serve only.

Problem is essentially the 2nd week. It does slow down quite a bit. Even Queens slowed down over 6 days.

Winking

Couldn't  smaller balls help towards counter-balancing slowing of the 2nd week?
I reckon Murray was able to win Olympic final ONLY because the court was like the 10th week of Wimbledon. I could not believe my eyes.
They certainly would.

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Post by Tenez on Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:54 am

A good imitation from Novak of Guga.

It give us a nice view of Djoko's SHBH skills too. Winking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USBXMPuVpPs

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Post by noleisthebest on Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:59 am

Tenez wrote:A good imitation from Novak of Guga.

It give us a nice view of Djoko's SHBH skills too. Winking

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USBXMPuVpPs

Grr

mind you, that volley at the end was not bad.

I can't imagine him playing SBH at all, in fact! He would have to change the game & movement completely, but it would be interesting to see, I wouldn't write him off just that easily.

I don't even know how he managed to moonball it like he did, that's a skill The Best Grass Court Players Ever - Page 4 1071211947 !!!!

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Post by summerblues on Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:17 am

noleisthebest wrote:Even my dad who hasn't got a clue about tennis can predict.
Can he predict correctly? More so than most people? If so, then he has some understanding. At the end of the day, correct predictions are more difficult than "analysis". It is the other way around from what you suggest; even those who have no clue can "analyze" the game and convince themselves they know what they are saying - talk is cheap. But in the end, the proof is in the pudding - for example if someone can consistently outpredict most, then they have a better claim to really understanding what is going on.

And BC predicted clay court season better than most here.

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Post by noleisthebest on Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:20 am

SB,
I disagree with everything you said.
I'll keep the elaboration to myself this time, I don't want you to have a heart attack Winking

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Post by Tenez on Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:58 pm

summerblues wrote:And BC predicted clay court season better than most here.

I actually disagree. Had Nadal won a bit more convincingly at the FO, then he would have been better.

But I was sure Djoko was better than Nadal and to me if they were to play again tomorrow on clay I woudl still put my money Djoko.

I predicted Djoko to beat Nadal at MC and he did it convincingly. There BC was plain wrong. And despite being in poor form almost beat him again in the FO if it was not for a lack of composure on a single key point which again could not be predicted. Nadal, like BC were lucky that Djoko made a mess of it. So no glory in my view in predicting this one.

So I think I am (and I think you also picked the same player but maybe less convincingly) closer to predict the encounter between those 2 on clay than BC who at the end of the day was quite lucky to get Djoko stumble on the finishing line. Luck can play a part and clearly it was a case in this FO semi...it certainly played less of a part in MC.

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Post by Tenez on Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:00 pm

Tenez wrote:
summerblues wrote:And BC predicted clay court season better than most here.

I actually disagree. Had Nadal won a bit more convincingly at the FO, then he would have been better.

But I was sure Djoko was better than Nadal and to me if they were to play again tomorrow on clay I woudl still put my money Djoko.

I predicted Djoko to beat Nadal at MC and he did it convincingly. There BC was plain wrong. And despite being in poor form almost beat him again in the FO if it was not for a lack of composure on a single key point which again could not be predicted. Nadal, like BC were lucky that Djoko made a mess of it. So no glory in my view in predicting this one.

So I think I am (and I think you also picked the same player but maybe less convincingly) closer to predict the encounter between those 2 on clay than BC who at the end of the day was quite lucky to get Djoko stumble on the finishing line. Luck can play a part and clearly it was a case in this FO semi...it certainly played less of a part in MC.I say luck cause Nadal certainly did not want to put that ball so close to the net to be put away...but I understand it's aso lack of composure from Djoko I agree

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Post by BEL19VE on Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:17 pm

I agree with Tenez, I think it's fair to say experts NITB and Tenez have predicted the results of the European clay court season better than anybody Hug

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Post by summerblues on Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:18 pm

noleisthebest wrote:I'll keep the elaboration to myself this time, I don't want you to have a heart attack Winking
Kind of you.

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Post by summerblues on Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:35 pm

Tenez wrote:
summerblues wrote:And BC predicted clay court season better than most here.
I actually disagree.....
Don't specifically remember BC's Monte Carlo prediction. If he predicted a Rafa win, obviously he did not do so well there smiley.

The two predictions I remember from BC are:

First, that Rafa would again win most of the clay court tournaments. BC did not predict a sweep, just the usual haul of wins - and he got that pretty much spot on.

Second, before the RG semi, BC said (going from memory, no time to look it up) something along the lines of "hard to predict, it could be close, but going with Rafa", which he again got pretty much spot on.

I thought Nole would win, in fact perhaps relatively easily. There is no two ways about it, BC was closer than I was. Even if Nole made that overhead, and even if he then went on to win, I would still say that BC's prediction was closer than mine. The reality is that match was close enough that either one could have won, and BC picked that up quite well.

Now, I agree with you that an individual correct prediction can be a sheer coincidence. But one has to be very careful with the temptation to "explain away" own incorrect judgements. It is tempting - and all too easy - to convince self that one's analysis was really all good and only a coincidence caused the conclusions not to bear out.

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Post by Tenez on Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:26 pm

summerblues wrote:
Now, I agree with you that an individual correct prediction can be a sheer coincidence.  But one has to be very careful with the temptation to "explain away" own incorrect judgements.  It is tempting - and all too easy - to convince self that one's analysis was really all good and only a coincidence caused the conclusions not to bear out.

I am not trying to. I admit that Nadal's come back surprised me....and it's fair to say it surprised many including his camp apparently. However on the Nadal v Djoko rivalry on clay I actually think I was closer than BC.

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Post by Tenez on Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:29 pm


We read that a year ago..but it's still makes good reading.
Federer after Wimby 12 final..v Murray.

Q. I imagine when you were 22 that you felt like a better tennis player than you were at 18. I'm curious, how you feel about that now? Do you feel like you are a better tennis player now than you were than five years ago?
ROGER FEDERER: I hope so. God, I've practiced so much that I you don't want to be worse five years later, you know. (Laughter.)
I feel I have, you know, a great game today. But then again, maybe there were times I had such incredible confidence that you do pull triggers and you pull off shots that maybe today I don't because I maybe do play a bit more the percentages.
I know how hard it is, you know, to pull off those great shots and I know how easy it is to miss, so I'm more aware of these things.
But I'm so happy I'm at the age I am right now, because I had such a great run and I know there's still more possible. You know, to enjoy it right now, it's very different than when I was 20 or 25. I'm at a much more stable place in my life. Yeah, I wouldn't want anything to change. So this is very, very special right now.

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Post by BEL19VE on Sun Jun 23, 2013 5:33 pm

Federer's level is not as high as 5-8 years ago when he was in his prime, back injury or not.

He still plays some fantastic tennis, but not as consistently and with more drops in intensity.

Ludicrous clutching at straws Tenez.

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Post by Tenez on Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:42 pm

And what is my interest in saying Federer plays as well as ever? despite him losing to many average players nowadays?

Would you say that Nadal played his best v Rosol? So? think a bit.

What I am saying is that Federer is happy with his game when he plays well.He believe he is playing better...though different than when he coudl afford to go for broke. This article is interesting cause he says he had to change his game and play more percentage recently...And that means we cannot even compare the pre 2007 with the post one. .


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Post by noleisthebest on Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:00 pm

My impression while watching him play this year, esp during clay season was that he was trying to cut down percentage play and go back to the old ways, esp on his FH. He was going for the lines, but often missed. Lack of wins, lack of confidence, it can be a fine line with that way of playing with him. That's why I am really happy for him going to Wimbledon with the Halle win.
Your explanation for it at the time was that he was trying to make points shorter because of the back, which is a valid explanation, too.
I think he is fairly relaxed in his mind now, doesn't have anything to prove, and can play any way he likes, maybe he wants to enjoy his game playing just like that, for the soul.

Against Haas in Halle, and I assume against percentage players he will be forced to include a bit of percentage aspect as well but I hope this Wimbledon he will be able to win matches by playing his vintage tennis, just like he did against Murray last year and against Nole in 2011 RG SF.

He arrives in Wimbledon with a lot less tennis played  than last year, so that could turn against him. 
However, a bit of crowd love, a few good matches could make the world of difference, too. 
Where else can it happen if not at Wimbledon?

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Post by BlueClay on Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:26 am

Tenez wrote:
summerblues wrote:
Now, I agree with you that an individual correct prediction can be a sheer coincidence.  But one has to be very careful with the temptation to "explain away" own incorrect judgements.  It is tempting - and all too easy - to convince self that one's analysis was really all good and only a coincidence caused the conclusions not to bear out.

I am not trying to. I admit that Nadal's come back surprised me....and it's fair to say it surprised many including his camp apparently. However on the Nadal v Djoko rivalry on clay I actually think I was closer than BC.

Tenez, stop lying. You were not closer than I was re the clay season. I said Nadal would win most of the clay tournaments this year and he did just that. I also said the FO would be a tight contest but Nadal would prevail. You were predicting Nadal would lose most if not all of the clay tournaments including the FO, how the hell does that make your predictions closer than mine. Doh Just admit when you are wrong, otherwise you look like an even bigger dummy. Winking

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Post by BlueClay on Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:28 am

summerblues wrote:
noleisthebest wrote:Even my dad who hasn't got a clue about tennis can predict.
Can he predict correctly?  More so than most people?  If so, then he has some understanding.  At the end of the day, correct predictions are more difficult than "analysis".  It is the other way around from what you suggest; even those who have no clue can "analyze" the game and convince themselves they know what they are saying - talk is cheap.  But in the end, the proof is in the pudding - for example if someone can consistently outpredict most, then they have a better claim to really understanding what is going on.

And BC predicted clay court season better than most here.

Thank you SB. A lot of sore losers around here who can't admit when they are wrong. Doh

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Post by Tenez on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:52 pm

So BC what a good predictor you make now. Will you dare come back here and face your predictions?

Nadal going further than Federer at Wimbledon?

As the saying say that "it's not far from the Tarpaein rock to the Capitol"

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Post by Tenez on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:53 pm

And Julia.....yes Nadal's game is obsolete! Cool

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Post by Tenez on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:28 am

BlueClay wrote:
luvsports! wrote:Sure. Think we are done here Winking.

We are definitely done because comparing the talent of a Gasquet to a Nadal is laughable. Gasquet is a beautiful backhand and that is about it. What is the h2h between Gasquet and Nadal? If Gasquet is so talented why has he not been able to beat the topspin monkey?

You were right actually. We should compare the talent of Nadal versus Darcis instead....though it was not close either.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:32 am

Here's a bit from the best grass player ever himself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpP03ttfGmQ


Last edited by noleisthebest on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BEL19VE on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:33 am

Tenez wrote:And Julia.....yes Nadal's game is obsolete! Cool
Possibly. Let's see.

Frankly he's already proved his critics wrong in Paris, anything he gets from here for the rest of the year is just a bonus.

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Post by luvsports! on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:43 am

I have such a great story to tell about my day at wimbledon Big Grin

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