Tennis Prose



Mannarino vs Ramos-Vinolas: Perfect Rivalry

The most perfect rivalry in tennis is when every time two players compete against each other, they alternate results each match. No player in the rivalry can manage to win two in a row over the other, it’s a see-saw, back and forth result each time.

To my knowledge there is only one such rivalry currently in the ATP…Albert Ramos Vinolas vs Adrian Mannarino.

They played yesterday at Roland Garros and Ramos Vinolas won in three straight sets, to level the series at 4-4.

The first duel between the two lefthanders was in a Futures final in 2006, won by the Frenchman 60 62 in Spain (hard).

Match two came five years later in Hamburg 2011, Spaniard Ramos Vinolas won 62 64 on clay.

Match three was three years later in Miami (hard), Mannarino won 64 36 62.

Match four was a year later 2016 in Turkey on clay, Ramos Vinolas prevailed 75 61.

Match five: 2016 Beijing China hard, won by Mannarino 63 46 63.

Match six: Geneva clay 2019, won by Ramos Vinolas 67 63 62.

Match seven: China Zhuhai 2019 semifinal, Mannarino won 60 46 61.

Match eight: Roland Garros yesterday, Vinolas Ramos won 64 63 60.

The amazing series of the pair of 32 year old southpaws is now locked again at 4-4.

So who is better?

Ramos Vinolas is ranked 44 now, Mannarino is 39.

Ramos Vinolas has won two career titles, Mannarino – one title.

Career prize money edge tips slightly for Ramos Vinolas at $7.74 million to Mannarino’s $7.48m.

Overall won lost records?

Ramos Vinolas is at 215-240, Mannarino is 193-230.

Can you name a more perfect, symmetrical rivarly in pro tennis than these two evenly matched gladiators?

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  • Truth Teller · September 29, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    Hewitt vs. Safin should be considered. Their H2H is 7-7, and neither man won more than two consecutive matches vs. the other. Both men, of course, won 2 slams.

    The ultimate battle of strong mentality, mediocre talent vs. strong talent, poor mentality.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 29, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    Truth Teller this is a great call. Miami night showdown 76 in third is one of the best matches I ever remember seeing. Ultimate tennis warfare. Perfect symmetry and conrast of two different greatnesses.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Truth Teller, Safin also had another very very even rivalry with so many close scores with Hrbaty, which Hrbaty told me about for my Facing Safin book. Their last match was Hopman Cup, 76 in third, to give Hrbaty the overall edge by one win. If I remember correctly. Safin vs Kuerten was another great rivalry but it was more unbalanced in that Safin won all the early duels then Kuerten figured out how to beat Safin and won all the second half rivalry matches. This rivalry discussion could get good.

  • Cory · September 30, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    Nice find, scoop. I find Ramos to be a decent all-courter (obviously best on clay) but he always seems to choke. His talent is disproportional to his results. I’ve been betting on and against him for years… bet on him and then sell before he has to close it out.

    I’ve always liked Mannarino’s game… he hits the ball very flat – great for hard and maybe grass. He can be tricky as an underdog. Of course, he doesn’t have great results – just one title – but always seems to be steady enough to show up for the second and third rounds of tourneys. Pretty steady, no real dips in his ranking over the years; always seems to be 30-50.

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 30, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Both solid talented veteran players Cory. Maybe just missing that obsession to be the best. The emotional adrenaline ingredient. As Thiem finally seems to have learned to use.

  • Cory · September 30, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Worth mentioning Querrey & Anderson. Perhaps nothing will be as perfectly even as Ramos & Mannarino (again great find) but this worthy of mention:

    Anderson 34 y/o, Querrey 32 y/o
    Anderson 6’8″, Querrey 6’6″
    both love hard & grass, and dislike clay
    8-8 H2H pro (9-8 Querrey if include 1 challenger)
    Anderson 334/232 (58%), Querrey 372/303 (55%)
    Anderson 6 titles, Querrey 10 titles
    Anderson $16m, Querrey $12m

  • Scoop Malinowski · September 30, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Cory, I remember some of the Querrey Anderson battles, like at Wimbledon. So close, back and forth. Definitely a perfectly symmetrical rivalry also. It’s such a notable thing for two players to play 16 times and be deadlocked at 8-8. Usually in tennis one player finds the edge and solves the puzzle. Like Kuerten and Bjorkman were losing to Safin always and then figured it out and then turned the tables and beat Safin always. When two players can’t figure out an opponent and the matches keep going back and forth, it’s a special brand of tennis.



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