2018 NextGen Talk

Discussion in 'Pro Tennis (Mens)' started by El Dude, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. El Dude

    El Dude Grand Slam Champion

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    At best Thiem becomes the "Baron of Clay" or "Regent of Clay" after Rafa begins to fade. I could see him winning anywhere between 0 and maybe 2 French Opens, depending upon who emerges as strong clay players.

    But right no he looks more like a second tier player. He's already 24, turns 25 this year, and has not yet won a big title or even reached a Slam final, or even a non-clay Slam QF.

    That said, I hope he somehow manages to take Rafa out at RG this year, but I'd be very surprised.
     
  2. Wimbledonerer

    Wimbledonerer Club Member

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    Also the new promising youngsters like Zverev,Rublev,Coric,Chung are all power baseliners who will do well on clay.
    Thiem's window of opportunity is closing.I think he will be like the clay version of post-surgery Del Potro. occasional upsets but no big tournament wins.
     
  3. Nadal goat2

    Nadal goat2 Futures Player

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    OK so clearly everyone disagrees with me Then I said thiem is the next Nadal which he is. I have already said some of the reasons why thiem is next king of clay so I guess we will see in the next 3 seasons. I'm going to say I told you so.
     
  4. El Dude

    El Dude Grand Slam Champion

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    Haha, OK.

    The "next Nadal" is absurd for a number of reasons, the main one being that Nadal is one of the very best players in the history of the sport AND the very greatest clay player. The only player who is vaguely close in terms of clay greatest was Bjorn Borg, and Nadal is a much more dominant clay-courter than Borg was.

    Now if by "next Nadal" you mean next dominant clay player, then that's worth discussing. Thiem could be the the next best claycourter, but he's got a few things against him:
    1) He's 24, 25 this year. He should be in his peak right now.
    2) Rafa, even at 32, is still pretty darn good.
    3) NextGen is coming up, with some promising clay players (as @Wimbledonerer pointed out).

    To put it another way, Thiem's problem is that the gap between Nadal's late prime and NextGen's ascendancy is quite narrow, if it exists at all. Like most of "LostGen"--players born from 1989ish to 1993-94ish--Thiem may be passed by.

    I do think Thiem will win clay Masters, and maybe a RG or two. But I highly doubt he'll every reign supreme on clay, and I'm absolutely certain he won't be the "next Nadal."
     
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  5. Nadal goat2

    Nadal goat2 Futures Player

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    I think N.kyrgios could win a slam in the next 2, seasons, already 2-0 vs. Djokovic.
     
  6. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    I agree with you that Thiem is not the next Nadal. It has been normal to have the "best clay player" of the moment. That is what we will have, after Nadal isn't the King of Clay, anymore. Coria was the best clay player before Nadal, and there were various others before Coria. Albert Costa was for a time, I think. It took 30 years for Nadal to be as good as Borg (and Vilas.) It's going to take some time for us to see the next King of Clay. Thiem seems to have the most credentials for being solid on the surface, but I don't see him dominating, unless everyone else falls fallow after Rafa becomes a non-factor.
     
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  7. sid

    sid Masters Champion

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    Keep an eye on Kedders when chatting Clay it's his best surface.
     
  8. Busted

    Busted Major Winner

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    OK...showing my age here...but there was this dude in the '70s named Guillermo Vilas who was the King of Clay until Nadal came along. Yes, Borg won 6 FOs and 30 clay titles but Vilas won 48 clay titles - 1 FO and 1 US Open. IIRC they only played the US Open on clay for 3 years (1975-1977)...cuz...well...it was a dumb idea because Americans have always sucked on clay. Vilas won 62 career titles - and like Nadal the vast majority of them were on clay.

    I would also argue that Thomas Muster was a more dominant clay court player than Borg - even though he only won the FO 1 time. He had 44 career titles - 40 of them on clay. And Muster was a bull who could play all day. He was known for his fitness like Nadal is. I can't stand to watch Nadal...but if I could roll back the clock and see him play another clay court great? It would be Muster not Borg.

    Yes, I know that it's all about the Slams, but Borg actually won more titles on other surfaces than he did on clay (34 to 30). It;'s just...he peaked at the FO and Wimbledon. The irony is the 3 years the US Open was on clay - he didn't win it. His results were SF, F, 4R. It was a different type of clay. That hard green stuff that American clay courts tend to be - not the red dirt of RG.
     
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  9. El Dude

    El Dude Grand Slam Champion

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    I hear you, @Busted, but I think Borg is in a higher category on clay than Vilas, who is in a higher category than Muster.

    Or look at it this way: Borg was 14-1 vs. Vilas in his career, including 10-0 on clay. Need I say more?

    Vilas was really, really good on clay, but not as good as Borg.
     
  10. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

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    Coming from the old days, too, I have to confirm your conclusion. I was a fan of both Borg and Vilas, but Vilas was never the player that Borg was, and they played each other rather a lot.
     
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