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When people think of great players, they understandably quote guys like Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer. After all, to go down as a great of the game, you have to win, and win a lot! These three have done more winning than anyone in history. With that said, are they necessarily the most talented players that the ATP Tour has witnessed? Believe it or not, I don’t think so!
Sure, they are each immensely talented in their own right, but there are other guys who arguably had more magic at their disposal. Below, I’d like to highlight three guys who are/were on a par with the greats of the game, who all (sadly) wasted their talents.
How good could these guys have been?
As I said, the big three aren’t necessarily the most skilful players. I actually believe that while yes, they each possess immense talent, it is their work rate and dedication to the sport that has led to such huge success. And as a matter of fact, I think that the below players could even be described as ‘more talented’ in general:
Few guys hit the ball as clean and as pure as this magic Italian. He barely has a takeback on either wing, meaning that his timing has to be immaculate to get the kind of power he does. Of course, if you watch his games, he is capable of striking winners from all over the court. But it’s not just his ball-striking, it’s his ability to think outside of the box and hit shots that nobody would have even considered logical or possible. For a guy of this skill level, the fact that Fognini hasn’t won multiple titles at the highest level signifies a waste of talent.
Just about everyone knows about Nick Kyrgios, and it’s not always for the right reasons. Kyrgios has a huge serve, a massive forehand, a strange yet highly effective backhand, and he is an all-around great player on his day. However, I’d like to put extra emphasis on the last part of that sentence – on his day! Unfortunately, the best Nick Kyrgios doesn’t always turn up to the court, and that’s putting it mildly. He hasn’t really done much in terms of winning big tournaments. Despite the fact that he has beaten all of the big three during his career.
And at the time of writing, it seems that his career is drawing to a close rather than entering its peak.
I must confess, Monfils is a player that I love. He is immensely entertaining, athletic, and his talents are obvious to see. However, the problem with Monfils, in my opinion, is that throughout his career he has always been a showman. Sure, his tennis and charisma draw in the fans, but this doesn’t win big titles. He could have done so much more with the talents that he has. But his career isn’t yet over, so there could be more to come!