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View Full Version : Peharps Bjorn Borg is the GOAT.


Aykhan Mammadov
04-29-2007, 01:55 PM
We watch really interesting times of tennis. Time of great Federer who is No 1 and who is absolute No 2 on the clay.

The situation returns me to old disputes here at the forum - is Sampras is the greatest ever with his 14 slams, or say Rod Laver with 2 full Grand Slams 2 consequitive years and 11 slams overall is greater because he won on all 4 surfaces? Probably, Laver is greater.

Or say Borg with his 11 slams - 6 times FO champion and 5 times Wimbledon - on absolutely different and controversial conflicting surfaces !!!

Many attempts were made scientifically to create some orders in which one could position these greats. It seems to me that our old attempts to give some extra points to a player for winning on different surface MUST PREVAIL. Mathematically we should give for comparison of players much more points ( weights) for winning on different surfaces. In this regard we should divide all slams to 2 categories - ( W+USO+AO) and FO, and winning in both must prevail over bigger number only in 1 category to certaing limits , of course !

I'm here not trying to create new stupid method, not.

Today's situation shows us extra information - how difficult to win in both categories. In this regard I have started believe that Borg with 6 FO and 5 W titles is the GOAT.

P.S. To the question: "Is Nadal best player on the clay?" my answer is : Probably, not, Borg is unbeatable if u take into account that the man is not only 6 times FO winner, but also 5 times ( consequitive) W champ - unbelievable achievment.

z-money
04-29-2007, 01:58 PM
he may easily be in the top 5! but what an idiot!!!!! After his problems and offering up wimbledon trophies for sale cause he is broke...i lose all respect for the guy

Aykhan Mammadov
04-29-2007, 02:03 PM
Drugs breake lifes.

Mick
04-29-2007, 02:14 PM
the way i see it, Borg could be the GOAT among past champions who used wood racquets. Sampras is the GOAT among past champions who used graphite racquets (but Federer could dethrone Sampras in the next few years)

Wingshellphelp
04-29-2007, 02:15 PM
Hmm. borg could easily be, if federer burns out. but if fed surpasses the 14 slams, and wins the french, he will be da goat

Heavy Metal Tennis Star
04-29-2007, 02:16 PM
PEHARPS he is, perhaps not

Aykhan Mammadov
04-29-2007, 02:19 PM
But to become champion with wood is not easier than with modern. After that I think if Borg played at modern times he probably would have been great again. I count racquet-wise division and (open)-(before open) era dividing - both are very conditional and relative and are not rigorous.

CyBorg
04-29-2007, 02:35 PM
I'm a big Borg fan so many know where I stand. However I stand firm that Sampras cannot be the greatest considering his weakness on clay.

In reality there probably isn't the greatest of all time. Laver is a popular choice but those of us who know of Pancho Gonzalez are aware that he was pretty good too.

Mick
04-29-2007, 02:36 PM
But to become champion with wood is not easier than with modern. After that I think if Borg played at modern times he probably would have been great again. I count racquet-wise division and (open)-(before open) era dividing - both are very conditional and relative and are not rigorous.

they are both difficult but I feel the graphite racquets make the game much faster, so not only the champion has to be a great tennis player but he also has to be a superb athlete. But since we cannot compare players from different generations, we have to look at their results and make the assessment.

kingdaddy41788
04-29-2007, 02:39 PM
the way i see it, Borg could be the GOAT among past champions who used wood racquets. Sampras is the GOAT among past champions who used graphite racquets (but Federer could dethrone Sampras in the next few years)

Agreed. You just can't compare the two eras. The game was too different. If they played a match with wood racquets, the wood player would win, and if they played a match with graphite racquets, the graphite player would win.

grizzly4life
04-29-2007, 03:19 PM
why wouldn't rod laver be the GOAT? are his two grand slam YEARS somehow tainted?.... not being sarcastic, i don't know the answer.

kingdaddy41788
04-29-2007, 03:20 PM
They weren't in the open-era.

Mick
04-29-2007, 03:23 PM
why wouldn't rod laver be the GOAT? are his two grand slam YEARS somehow tainted?.... not being sarcastic, i don't know the answer.

I saw the match of Laver playing Borg on youtube . Laver's stroke production resembled that of Federer's (or Federer's stroke production resembles that of Laver's). I think Laver could be the GOAT too . It's too tough to decide :)

The Gorilla
04-29-2007, 03:24 PM
his first is because he was only an amateur, the pro's were about 40 times better.
The second is because when they opened up the grand slams all the former pro's were very old, in their late 30's and early forties.Rod laver's greatest rival was ken rosewall, who was a former pro and was in his late 30's.The amateurs were no match for a pro like laver.

hoosierbr
04-29-2007, 03:26 PM
Borg is absolutely one of the best ever, probably in the Top 5 of all time. However, not winning the US Open is the one blemish on his resume.

Still, winning the French and Wimbledon back to back on three different occasions, 5 straight Wimbledons and 6 total French Opens is extraordinary.

I doubt anyone will be able to win the French and Wimbledon in the same year more than once for a long time, if ever.

federerfanatic
04-29-2007, 03:27 PM
Nadal is a pretty good barometer for how well Borg would do today. By that I mean Borg plays exactly the same game as Nadal, except does everything 30% better for his time as Nadal does for his own time, in addition has a way stronger serve and a way stronger net game then Nadal. So if Nadal is able to win 5 or 6 slams before he retires around 24/25ish, then we will know Borg would have been able to win 20 slams had he been in his prime today. Anything Nadal does has to be increased by about 3.5 times to what Borg would have done today.

The fact Nadal is able to go on a long unbeaten streak on clay means Borg would have been able to go on a long straight sets streak on clay, meaning the same streak but not losing a single set. The fact Nadal made a Wimbledon final today means Borg would have made many finals atleast. The fact Nadal wins the occasional Masters event on hard courts, and reachs slam quarters regularly on hard courts mean Borg would have regularly reached semis or finals of hard court slams today, and definitely won Masters events today in more impressive fashion then Nadal(not only winning by default when Fed does not play or is taken out in a rare upset like Nadal). The fact Nadal is able to be a distant #2 behind Fed, means Borg would atleast be challenging Federer for the #1 ranking.

Basically since Nadal and Borg are exactly the same player, but with Borg clearly better in every area, combined with a few extra dimensions(serving, net game)anything Nadal does, assume Borg would do even more today.

newbiett
04-29-2007, 03:29 PM
borg retired when he is only 25 (at 26 he announced it). he's probably bored? but anyway because of crappy attitude he can't qualify for GOAT.

federerfanatic
04-29-2007, 03:30 PM
borg retired when he is only 25 (at 26 he announced it). he's probably bored? but anyway because of crappy attitude he can't qualify for GOAT.

He had personal problems that developed in the early 80s. It is unfortunate he retired, but reading a book from a jaded ex best friend of his(I forget his name but I remember reading the book)I could understand why he wasnt able to keep tennis his #1 priority at that point.

hoosierbr
04-29-2007, 03:50 PM
He had personal problems that developed in the early 80s. It is unfortunate he retired, but reading a book from a jaded ex best friend of his(I forget his name but I remember reading the book)I could understand why he wasnt able to keep tennis his #1 priority at that point.

Was that the book called Winner Loses All, or something like that, written by Borg's friend and ex-business partner who talked about how much Borg ruined his company and ripped off the investors and friends? He also talked about Borg's drug use and other strange behavior.

onkystomper
04-29-2007, 04:57 PM
Nadal is a pretty good barometer for how well Borg would do today. By that I mean Borg plays exactly the same game as Nadal, except does everything 30% better for his time as Nadal does for his own time, in addition has a way stronger serve and a way stronger net game then Nadal. So if Nadal is able to win 5 or 6 slams before he retires around 24/25ish, then we will know Borg would have been able to win 20 slams had he been in his prime today. Anything Nadal does has to be increased by about 3.5 times to what Borg would have done today.

The fact Nadal is able to go on a long unbeaten streak on clay means Borg would have been able to go on a long straight sets streak on clay, meaning the same streak but not losing a single set. The fact Nadal made a Wimbledon final today means Borg would have made many finals atleast. The fact Nadal wins the occasional Masters event on hard courts, and reachs slam quarters regularly on hard courts mean Borg would have regularly reached semis or finals of hard court slams today, and definitely won Masters events today in more impressive fashion then Nadal(not only winning by default when Fed does not play or is taken out in a rare upset like Nadal). The fact Nadal is able to be a distant #2 behind Fed, means Borg would atleast be challenging Federer for the #1 ranking.

Basically since Nadal and Borg are exactly the same player, but with Borg clearly better in every area, combined with a few extra dimensions(serving, net game)anything Nadal does, assume Borg would do even more today.


nothing that Nadal does at the moment has any affect on what borg would or could do now. They may have a similar style but to draw such random analysis points is clutching at straws somewhat.

mrmo1115
04-29-2007, 05:18 PM
waz G.O.A.T. stand for ?

Mick
04-29-2007, 05:26 PM
waz G.O.A.T. stand for ?

Greatest Of All Time

tennis_hand
04-29-2007, 06:39 PM
Why do you have to say one is great, the other is not?
Why not all of them are great, but in different ways?

Get a life in this endless and meaningless debate.

brc444
04-29-2007, 07:02 PM
When determining GOAT, I'm not sure why a certain combination of slam wins (6 FO and 5W for Borg) or a slam win on each surface (Laver and Agassi for example) is more important than the total number of slams won (14 for Sampras and 11 for Borg). Everybody gets to their total somehow so why judge some combinations better than others.

hoosierbr
04-29-2007, 08:16 PM
Agassi is the only player in the modern era to win the four Slams on different surfaces. The Aussie Open was on grass in Laver's day as was the US Open and Wimbledon.

fastdunn
04-29-2007, 10:47 PM
Borg's record is truely unique especially becasue grass was really quick
and skidding at the time. It was really hard to adjust.
It's mind-boggling achievement and no one ever did anything similar.

Amazingly, wee had same finalists for French Open and Wimbledon 2006 (Federer
and Nadal). But now Wimbledon grass is much slower and higher bouncing.
It's much easier to adjust. In a way, it was not a surprise to have
identical finalists for both French Open and Wimbledon.
I think it will happen again under current condition of Wimbledon's surface.

In that sense, Agassi's career slam is amazing, IMHO.
He did it in 90's extrememly polarized surface conditions: fast and lwo
bouncing grass, slow clay, quick hard court of US Open, bouncy slow
rebound ace of Australian Open. He even won Master's final on super quick
indoor carpet. All these against all those power serve and volleyers of 90's....

I personally value Agassi's career slam much much higher than 1st
grand slam of Laver when 3 of salms were playing on grass and all
the real players, professionals were not playing in slams.... very obviously.

SoBad
04-29-2007, 10:54 PM
Many attempts were made scientifically to create some orders in which one could position these greats. It seems to me that our old attempts to give some extra points to a player for winning on different surface MUST PREVAIL. Mathematically we should give for comparison of players much more points ( weights) for winning on different surfaces.

I see you are still on with your Kafelnikov GOAT agenda! He is a valid No. 2, because remember how we said that AO and USO are not the same surface...

edmondsm
04-29-2007, 10:54 PM
I'm a big Borg fan so many know where I stand. However I stand firm that Sampras cannot be the greatest considering his weakness on clay.

I don't really get why Samp couldn't be the greatest just because of his lack of results on clay. It is a specialized sport. There are guys that excel on certain surfaces and guys with all-court games, and out of all of them Samp has the prettiest trophy cabinet.

tenniko
04-29-2007, 11:01 PM
Also the courts nowadays are slow overall, so I think it's not only the matter of racquets/balls/strings, surfaces, and open era, but also how the court is maintained at that respective times. (i.e. Wimbledon. Even though I love Goran, I don't think Goran could win in the today's grass on Wimby)

TennisandMusic
04-29-2007, 11:16 PM
How many of the people who are talking about how slow todays grass, have PLAYED on todays grass? I have played at Mission Hills, the same place they played davis cup last year I believe. On grass. I guarantee you the grass is not "slow." It may be slow-ER than the grass they used to use at wimbledon but the ball still bounces WAY lower than a hard court, and skips right along. Backhand slices come maybe 2 inches off the ground. It's not even close to any other surface.

I've even seen some armchair tennis experts proclaim that Wimbledon now plays like a clay court. :roll:

stormholloway
04-29-2007, 11:19 PM
Why do you have to say one is great, the other is not?
Why not all of them are great, but in different ways?

Get a life in this endless and meaningless debate.

Agreed. It's childish.

hoosierbr
04-29-2007, 11:54 PM
I've even seen some armchair tennis experts proclaim that Wimbledon now plays like a clay court. :roll:

A couple of those experts are Tim Henman and Michael Stich. Not to mention that almost every player that played Wimby prior to 2002 and afterwards who's been asked about the court says its quite a bit slower than before.

Clay court? I'm not sure I'd go that far but several have said the US Open is, in fact, quicker than Wimbledon these days.

TennisandMusic
04-30-2007, 01:43 AM
A couple of those experts are Tim Henman and Michael Stich. Not to mention that almost every player that played Wimby prior to 2002 and afterwards who's been asked about the court says its quite a bit slower than before.

Clay court? I'm not sure I'd go that far but several have said the US Open is, in fact, quicker than Wimbledon these days.

Yeah I said perhaps the court is SLOWER than before but there is no way the grass plays like even a hard court. How do I know? I've played on one of the best grass courts in the world!

I would not doubt the grass has been slowed down, but grass is grass. The stuff bounces around your knees. Let the ball just drop and two bounces and the ball thuds flat into the ground, unlike the 10+ bounces you get on hard court. Hit a good slice and watch the ball bounce literally one to two inches off the ground and come skipping at you incredibly fast. And yes I have seen people on message boards say "Now that the grass is playing like clay..." It's just silly. Anyway this is a bit off topic. Yes Borg could be the greatest tennis player of all time. Arguments can be made for many people and I don't think anyone can "win" that argument.

Rosebud
04-30-2007, 03:55 AM
In that sense, Agassi's career slam is amazing, IMHO.He did it in 90's extrememly polarized surface conditions: fast and lwo bouncing grass.If you are goin to compare achievements by taking into account the specific conditions, why not be even more specific? Isn't it so that in the year Agassi won Wimbledon the weather also played a part? And that the sun baked courts produced a higher and truer bounce than normal?

Aykhan Mammadov
04-30-2007, 04:42 AM
I see you are still on with your Kafelnikov GOAT agenda! He is a valid No. 2, because remember how we said that AO and USO are not the same surface...

But AO and USO are closer than say AO and FO. Aren't? So a winner of AO and FO must get more points than a winner of AO and USO.

Which surface is closer to another is clearly seen on example of Federer.

CyBorg
04-30-2007, 06:40 AM
I don't really get why Samp couldn't be the greatest just because of his lack of results on clay. It is a specialized sport. There are guys that excel on certain surfaces and guys with all-court games, and out of all of them Samp has the prettiest trophy cabinet.

It's a matter of opinion, of course.

caulcano
04-30-2007, 08:37 AM
It's a matter of opinion, of course.

Of course ...

edmondsm
04-30-2007, 09:01 AM
It's a matter of opinion, of course.

Certainly, and if we go with the "prettiest trophy cabinet" criteria, I would say that Borg has a good case to be the GOAT as well.

fastdunn
04-30-2007, 10:08 AM
I've even seen some armchair tennis experts proclaim that Wimbledon now plays like a clay court. :roll:

No I think top players actually siad that. As I recall, Bjorkman was one of
them who said something like "green clay".

Some other pros says in example

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/2006-07-16-surface-tension_x.htm

illkhiboy
04-30-2007, 10:14 AM
No I think top players actually siad that. As I recall, Bjorkman was one of
them who said something like "green clay".

And when is the last time Bjorkman came close to stringing together a few singles wins on clay let alone make the Semis at Paris?

fastdunn
04-30-2007, 10:24 AM
OK. I've been saying this about 3 years now.
Some people just don't get it.

We had all top 4 seeds in the semi's of French Open 2006.
And then We had identical finalists on both French and Wimbledon 2006.

We'll see these kind of things repeatedly under current condition.
Whether it's Federer or Nadal. Since 2003 or so, all top players
are doing more evenly on all surfaces.

It's been predicted and actually it's not a surprised to see two baseliners
dominating the whole tour simply becasue the whole are all baseliners.


It's not my peculiar opinion. Everybody knows all surface speeds are
converging toward middle now. Some people like it but some people
(like navratilova) does like it because we lose variety of style.

Aykhan Mammadov
04-30-2007, 12:49 PM
When determining GOAT, I'm not sure why a certain combination of slam wins (6 FO and 5W for Borg) or a slam win on each surface (Laver and Agassi for example) is more important than the total number of slams won (14 for Sampras and 11 for Borg). Everybody gets to their total somehow so why judge some combinations better than others.

U didn't read first post attentively. The combination of different slams is better than overall number of slams to CERTAIN LIMITS, OF COURSE, and this is because of our experience with Federer. We see that he defeated Nadal at W but can't come close on the clay. These are different tennis games.

But again to certain limit !!!! Say if one player won 100 times W and the second 1 time W and 1 time FO, the first player is certainly better.

But I personally give my preference to Borg with his 11 over Sampras with 14. Because AO, USO and W are close in some meaning - they are fast surfaces while FO is another thing.

To be completely true we must differentiate all 4 slams and give extra points for winning different slams. It is why Agassi is considered as one of greatest with 8 slams. I can't tell Pete with 14 surely is better than Agassi.

Baghdatis72
04-30-2007, 01:06 PM
Let's wait a few more years to see what Federer and Nadal accomplish and then we might be able to decide who is the GOAT more clearly imo.

brc444
04-30-2007, 07:08 PM
I prefer the total slam approach because it is a more objective standard for determining GOAT. Even if you prefer bonus points (which are essentially bonus slam wins) for certain slams, it seems to me you are giving too much of a bonus for the FO when you are not sure that Sampras's 14 slams are not better than Agassi's 8 because Agassi won 1 FO. That one FO win is not worth an extra 6 bonus slams.

Aykhan Mammadov
05-01-2007, 11:17 AM
brc444, I understand your point. It is easy to choose such an approach - by total quantity of slams. But then question rise - see below:

1. Say if player A won full grand slam what means all 4, and the player B won only USOpen 5 times, to whom will u give preference ? I'd give to player A.

2. Yes, there is difference in 6 slams between Sampras and Agassi. But now do the following: keep same difference 6 and add to each number by 100 same slams say USO. Shortly imagine Sampras who won 114 slams without FO and Agassi with 108 slams but with all 4, don't u think that for big number of slams to win also FO is more important than the quantity itself? Doesn't it tell about ability of a player?

Say Connors and McEnroy couldn't win FO, while Lendl and Wilander with 8 slams each couldn't win Wimbledon. It tells certainly about ability of a player on clay or grass.

I didn't try to give perfect mathematical method of determining who is the GOAT, I just tried to tell that different slams to some limit must prevail over the quantity ( again to certain limit) and must give extra points.

slice bh compliment
05-01-2007, 11:22 AM
We watch really interesting times of tennis. ....I'm here not trying to create new stupid method, not.

...[quote=Aykhan Mammadov;1411141]Drugs breake lifes.


"...McEnroy"

Aykhan, you're smart and funny. It's just uncanny how much your syntax resembles that of Borat Sagdiyev.
Baku looks far from Almaty on a map, but is it really that far?


And don't even get me started on a discussion of GOATs.

Aykhan Mammadov
05-01-2007, 02:45 PM
slice bh compliment, I'm not neither American ,not an English-man. Also English is my 4-th. I speak Azeri-Turkish, Turkish, Russian fluently. My English is weak, I recognise. Additionaly to this fact sometimes I type very fast and don't check the post for mistakes after.

Borat is funny hero. Anyhow I don't understand your irony over my weak English, at least I attempt to talk at my 41.

I don't know where are u from ( u don't indicate) but u must understand that we are coming ( 15 former republics) from another world called before 1991 USSR, that world was completely restricted from Europe and USA, and Russian was there as English for the rest of the world. Only-only people in this part of the world try to learn English. So I do to become closer to the world culture.

In the end I don't blame u that u can't speak Turkish.

slice bh compliment
05-01-2007, 03:14 PM
slice bh compliment, I'm not neither American ,not an English-man. Also English is my 4-th. I speak Azeri-Turkish, Turkish, Russian fluently. My English is weak, I recognise. Additionaly to this fact sometimes I type very fast and don't check the post for mistakes after.

Borat is funny hero. Anyhow I don't understand your irony over my weak English, at least I attempt to talk at my 41.

I don't know where are u from ( u don't indicate) but u must understand that we are coming ( 15 former republics) from another world called before 1991 USSR, that world was completely restricted from Europe and USA, and Russian was there as English for the rest of the world. Only-only people in this part of the world try to learn English. So I do to become closer to the world culture.

In the end I don't blame u that u can't speak Turkish.

Aykhan, sorrymate. I did not mean that as a jab to you. I meant it as a compliment, likening you to a razor sharp Hollywood or London film executive .... posing as an Azeri tennis-head.
They say SBCohen's bit is largely made-up, but your syntax ends up giving him some credibility as an ersatz Kazakh. (And uhm, yeh, I just used 'syntax', 'ersatz' and 'Kazakh' -- all in the same sentence. Yes I did.)

I can speak a few languages, but yeah, sorry the Indo-European ones are definitely a weakness of mine. Much love and respek to the 'Stans and the other breakaway former Soviet Republics. And to glorious nation of Azerbaijan, of course.

TheNatural
05-02-2007, 02:52 AM
I rate the TOTAL slams higher, especially compared to players who won wimbledon and the french 30 or 40 years ago. There was a lot less competition back then so it would be easier for the for players to continue their form and confidence etc from the french into wimbledon.(mabe why borg won wimbledon and not the US open) Now the top 100 is a lot stronger so thats harder to do. And even if somone wins the french and winbledon, it means they only have to peak for about a month a year. I think a better judgement of a players ability is to judge them on their ability to peak in any of the slams. If a player is so great to be able to win wimbledon and the french, they should also be great enough to win the US open or Australian Open too - unless theyre not really that great.




U didn't read first post attentively. The combination of different slams is better than overall number of slams to CERTAIN LIMITS, OF COURSE, and this is because of our experience with Federer. We see that he defeated Nadal at W but can't come close on the clay. These are different tennis games.

But again to certain limit !!!! Say if one player won 100 times W and the second 1 time W and 1 time FO, the first player is certainly better.

But I personally give my preference to Borg with his 11 over Sampras with 14. Because AO, USO and W are close in some meaning - they are fast surfaces while FO is another thing.

To be completely true we must differentiate all 4 slams and give extra points for winning different slams. It is why Agassi is considered as one of greatest with 8 slams. I can't tell Pete with 14 surely is better than Agassi.

noeledmonds
05-02-2007, 03:26 AM
I rate the TOTAL slams higher

Players in the past did not. Lendl gave up playing the FO to try and win Wimbledon. Lendl essentially gave up the chance to win several slams (he would have been favourtie to win) in order to try and complete his career Grand Slam set. McEnroe claims his biggest career regret was failing to win the FO. If Federer does not win the FO then he has clearly failed to accomplish something he tried very hard to achieve.

especially compared to players who won wimbledon and the french 30 or 40 years ago. There was a lot less competition back then

I am not sure on what basis you view the competition as worse. After Federer and Nadal there is almost no real competition today. I would like to see the likes of Davydenko and Ljubicic take on the might of Connors, Vilas, Nastase etc.

easier for the for players to continue their form and confidence etc from the french into wimbledon.(mabe why borg won wimbledon and not the US open)

It is commonly known (and I belive acknowledged by Borg himself) that Borg's inablitiy to win the USO was down to the atmosphere in the USA. Borg did not like the noisy crowds or the late night sessions and under the artificial lighting. Borg has a relativly poor record in the whole of the USA, not just at the USO.

Now the top 100 is a lot stronger so thats harder to do.

This is debatable but the top 10 and 20 are certainly not stronger than 30 years ago. It is the top players that generally challange the other top players. Does it really matter if Galvani and Pavel are in the top 100 rather than some even weaker players. None of these players are going to mount a serious challage against any top player.

And even if somone wins the french and winbledon, it means they only have to peak for about a month a year.

This does not make sense. It is a lot harder to win these back-back slams as there is little time to adjust. This adjustment is particuarly important from clay to grass as these surfaces play so radically different. 30 years ago the surfaces were far more different than they are today making it even harder to win back then.

TheNatural
05-02-2007, 06:07 AM
Mabe as Ayhkah says the different slams should prevail over total slams to some limit. Mabe if someone has won 14 slams on 3 surfaces versus 13 slams on 4 surfaces, then they can be considered on about the same level. But if someone has only won on 2 surfaces, or only at 2 venues (like Borg)they should be regarded even lower than someone who has won the same number of slams but on 3 or 4 surfaces/Venues.

Obviously if a player has won all 3 except one slam, then the missing one will be the one they crave.

Obviously it benefitted Borg that Wimbedon was so close to the French Open.
The game was much slower 30 years ago, so it could also be argued that it would have been easier to transition from clay to grass back then compared to playing somene like Ivaisevic on fast grass shortly after playing guys like Muster on slow clay.

Tough luck about the atmosphere at the US open. The noise shouldnt make someone lose if theyre good enough. The facts are that Borg failed to win the US open, even though he tried VERY VERY hard to achieve it 9 times.
No excuses.

No doubt the competition is much tougher now, or guys like Karlovic and Arthurs wouldnt be knocking out good players first round at WImbledon. Koralovic was ranked 203 when he knocked out 1st seed Hewitt first round .

Players in the past did not. Lendl gave up playing the FO to try and win Wimbledon. Lendl essentially gave up the chance to win several slams (he would have been favourtie to win) in order to try and complete his career Grand Slam set. McEnroe claims his biggest career regret was failing to win the FO. If Federer does not win the FO then he has clearly failed to accomplish something he tried very hard to achieve.

I am not sure on what basis you view the competition as worse. After Federer and Nadal there is almost no real competition today. I would like to see the likes of Davydenko and Ljubicic take on the might of Connors, Vilas, Nastase etc.



It is commonly known (and I belive acknowledged by Borg himself) that Borg's inablitiy to win the USO was down to the atmosphere in the USA. Borg did not like the noisy crowds or the late night sessions and under the artificial lighting. Borg has a relativly poor record in the whole of the USA, not just at the USO.



This is debatable but the top 10 and 20 are certainly not stronger than 30 years ago. It is the top players that generally challange the other top players. Does it really matter if Galvani and Pavel are in the top 100 rather than some even weaker players. None of these players are going to mount a serious challage against any top player.



This does not make sense. It is a lot harder to win these back-back slams as there is little time to adjust. This adjustment is particuarly important from clay to grass as these surfaces play so radically different. 30 years ago the surfaces were far more different than they are today making it even harder to win back then.

Rabbit
05-02-2007, 06:16 AM
I rate the TOTAL slams higher, especially compared to players who won wimbledon and the french 30 or 40 years ago. There was a lot less competition back then so it would be easier for the for players to continue their form and confidence etc from the french into wimbledon.(mabe why borg won wimbledon and not the US open)

I don't think you can say this. There may be better competition in the 1R now, but you can also say that there was more compeitition in the QF's forward then.

I don't care when you played, winning the French and Wimbledon back to back multiple times is a feat that screams great. The fact that the surfaces were more disparate then says even more about Borg's abilities.


Now the top 100 is a lot stronger so thats harder to do. And even if somone wins the french and winbledon, it means they only have to peak for about a month a year. I think a better judgement of a players ability is to judge them on their ability to peak in any of the slams. If a player is so great to be able to win wimbledon and the french, they should also be great enough to win the US open or Australian Open too - unless theyre not really that great.

Before saying something like this, it might be good to know what Borg's records were in Slams. While he didn't win the US, he was in the finals almost every year he played.

noeledmonds
05-02-2007, 06:36 AM
Mabe as Ayhkah says the different slams should prevail over total slams to some limit. Mabe if someone has won 14 slams on 3 surfaces versus 13 slams on 4 surfaces, then they can be considered on about the same level. But if someone has only won on 2 surfaces, or only at 2 venues (like Borg)they should be regarded even lower than someone who has won the same number of slams but on 3 or 4 surfaces/Venues.

I agree with much of this in theory. However in reailty comparions are not nearly this simple. The AO was not regarded as the prestigious event it is today before 1988, therfore there were only really 3 slams. Borg only entered the AO once, and most top players skipped it before its conversion to rebound ace in 1988. I belive there are other considerations other than just number and type of slam when determining the GOAT.


Obviously it benefitted Borg that Wimbedon was so close to the French Open.
The game was much slower 30 years ago, so it could also be argued that it would have been easier to transition from clay to grass back then compared to playing somene like Ivaisevic on fast grass shortly after playing guys like Muster on slow clay.

Clay was slower, but grass was faster than it is today. Racket tecnology meant that there was on average less power, but the difference between clay and grass was more extreme than it is today. In Borg's time there were far more specilist grass court players, and Borg was going against the normal by not being a Serve and Vollyer by trade (of course he did still S&V a far amount). You can't use Ivanisevic as an example of todays players anyway. He was a player of the '90s who through an extraordinary tale managed to win in 2001 against the odds. Today there are no real true Serve and Vollyers at Wimbledon and the transition is far easier. Grass plays like a hard court with even and predictable bounce.

Tough luck about the atmosphere at the US open. The noise shouldnt make someone lose if theyre good enough. The facts are that Borg failed to win the US open, even though he tried VERY VERY hard to achieve it 9 times.
No excuses.

Of course Borg suffers from this faliure but you argued he failed for the wrong reason. I was just informing you why Borg struggled at the USO.

No doubt the competition is much tougher now, or guys like Karlovic and Arthurs wouldnt be knocking out good players first round at WImbledon. Koralovic was ranked 203 when he knocked out 1st seed Hewitt first round.

The fact that Karlovicic can knock out a defending champion is just testonimy to how weak a champion Hewitt was. As I said it is the top 20 who consistantly challange for the big tournaments not the top 200 or more. Hewitt is undoubtably the weakest player to finish year end number 1 for two years or more since the ATP rankings began. Look at all the other players who achived this: Federer, Sampras, Edberg, Lendl, McEnroe, Borg, Connors. All these players haev at least 3 times as many slams as Hewitt and are undoubtably far greater champions.

(Note I am not arguing that Borg is the GOAT, actually I think Rod Laver is the undisputed GOAT, I am just disputing your flawed logic that you use to argue against players who you have never seen play and therefore disregard.)

TheNatural
05-02-2007, 06:44 AM
If you agree theres better competition in the first round now, then ofcourse there will be better competition in the 2nd 3rd 4th rounds etc.

Not 'almost every year he played' but in 4 of 9 US Opens he made the finals. Winning Zilch times. No doubt his achievements show greatness, but he could have been greater had he won some of the US opens he desperately tried to win.

I don't think you can say this. There may be better competition in the 1R now, but you can also say that there was more compeitition in the QF's forward then.

I don't care when you played, winning the French and Wimbledon back to back multiple times is a feat that screams great. The fact that the surfaces were more disparate then says even more about Borg's abilities.



Before saying something like this, it might be good to know what Borg's records were in Slams. While he didn't win the US, he was in the finals almost every year he played.

TheNatural
05-02-2007, 06:51 AM
I used karlovic because several years ago the grass was still fast.
So mabe its not as hard to win both the French and WImbledon now compared to 1990-2000 or 30 years ago. I dont Agree that Hewitt was a weak champion. When he was world number one for a few years i'd rate that level as good as past champions.

I agree with much of this in theory. However in reailty comparions are not nearly this simple. The AO was not regarded as the prestigious event it is today before 1988, therfore there were only really 3 slams. Borg only entered the AO once, and most top players skipped it before its conversion to rebound ace in 1988. I belive there are other considerations other than just number and type of slam when determining the GOAT.




Clay was slower, but grass was faster than it is today. Racket tecnology meant that there was on average less power, but the difference between clay and grass was more extreme than it is today. In Borg's time there were far more specilist grass court players, and Borg was going against the normal by not being a Serve and Vollyer by trade (of course he did still S&V a far amount). You can't use Ivanisevic as an example of todays players anyway. He was a player of the '90s who through an extraordinary tale managed to win in 2001 against the odds. Today there are no real true Serve and Vollyers at Wimbledon and the transition is far easier. Grass plays like a hard court with even and predictable bounce.



Of course Borg suffers from this faliure but you argued he failed for the wrong reason. I was just informing you why Borg struggled at the USO.



The fact that Karlovicic can knock out a defending champion is just testonimy to how weak a champion Hewitt was. As I said it is the top 20 who consistantly challange for the big tournaments not the top 200 or more. Hewitt is undoubtably the weakest player to finish year end number 1 for two years or more since the ATP rankings began. Look at all the other players who achived this: Federer, Sampras, Edberg, Lendl, McEnroe, Borg, Connors. All these players haev at least 3 times as many slams as Hewitt and are undoubtably far greater champions.

(Note I am not arguing that Borg is the GOAT, actually I think Rod Laver is the undisputed GOAT, I am just disputing your flawed logic that you use to argue against players who you have never seen play and therefore disregard.)

baseliner
05-02-2007, 08:30 AM
Obviously no one believes total GS's is the sole measuring stick for GOAT, otherwise we would be hearing about Roy Emerson and his 12 titles a topic I have never seen on this board. My personal GOAT ranking system factors in number of slam titles, strength of field (pre-open era had no pros), number of different surfaces won and color of the ball used (that last one is a joke for the literal minded). Rod Laver came out GOAT in my highly objective computer analysis.

Rabbit
05-02-2007, 09:06 AM
If you agree theres better competition in the first round now, then ofcourse there will be better competition in the 2nd 3rd 4th rounds etc.

Not 'almost every year he played' but in 4 of 9 US Opens he made the finals. Winning Zilch times. No doubt his achievements show greatness, but he could have been greater had he won some of the US opens he desperately tried to win.

Not so, the drop off between the top ten and the rest of the field was greater back in the 70s, but at the top of the game there was more competition amongst the players. Today, the finals of most Grand Slams played today are a cast of two, Nads and Federer. I don't see that as "more" competition, I see it as less at the top.

Borg's US Open record is better than you indicate:

81 - Final
80 - Final
79 - Quarterfinal
78 - Final
77 - R16
76 - Final
75 - Semi-final
74 - R64
73 - R16

Mind you in 1973 Borg was 17 years old when he played in the Open, his first final then came at 20 and his last at 25. He lone blemish of not making it to the Quarters or above after 75 was when he retired to Dick Stockton I can only assume due to injury, I don't remember. I think your argument that Borg "peaked" only for the French and Wimbledon is facetious. Borg was a consistent performer at any Grand Slam event he entered. Times were different then and players didn't care about their results in non-Slam events. Borg was no exception.

Aykhan Mammadov
05-02-2007, 11:30 AM
Not to humiliate the role of USO and AO but for me as a tennis fan USO and AO are secondary slams in the comparison with W and FO.

The last two are traditions. W is the dream for every tennis PRO if u ask any. It is now that USO has become very popular because USA as a country became No 1 and single superpower in the world. But I believe somewhen it was graded as AO now.

It is why I didn't give such a big importance to results of Borg in USO. Then hards are something between grass and clay and who showed genius results in both ends of this segment surely is able to show same between. Then when Borg was at his highest level USO was conducted some years on clay ( before 1977) so surely 6 times FO champion was able to show good results at USO.

brc444
05-02-2007, 05:05 PM
I am interested in knowing more about Emerson and Court and why there slam totals never seem to put them in GOAT discussions (especially when Emerson led the men with 12 before Sampras passed him). Please let me know. Thanks.

tenniskid3119
05-02-2007, 05:07 PM
what does the term "goat" mean? its been in a lot of threads lately and i dont get it. I know its probrably an easy answer and Im not thinking enough.

EasternRocks
05-02-2007, 05:09 PM
is this actually true or is this a rumor
______________________________
does bjorn borg go on tennis warehouse message boards...
____________
i dont believe :)
:D

slice bh compliment
05-02-2007, 07:17 PM
what does the term "goat" mean? its been in a lot of threads lately and i dont get it. I know its probrably an easy answer and Im not thinking enough.

Greatest Of All Time

SgtJohn
05-03-2007, 01:01 AM
Not to humiliate the role of USO and AO but for me as a tennis fan USO and AO are secondary slams in the comparison with W and FO.

The last two are traditions. W is the dream for every tennis PRO if u ask any. It is now that USO has become very popular because USA as a country became No 1 and single superpower in the world. But I believe somewhen it was graded as AO now.



Sorry, but I think that's not true. The US championships was a real slam long before the US began a political hyperpower, if that's what you mean. After the early British dominance in tennis came the time of the American players, who won the first Davis Cups (1900), and later on dominated the game during the Tilden/Johnston era(1919-1925)...From this time there was a tradition for the European players to play the US Championships, whose level of play was even much better than Wimby's in the 20s...The French became a major only later, when the Musketeers made the event widely known. So you can't say that the FO has more tradition... I don't believe the USO was ever graded as the AO either...

John

noeledmonds
05-03-2007, 01:24 AM
I am interested in knowing more about Emerson and Court and why there slam totals never seem to put them in GOAT discussions (especially when Emerson led the men with 12 before Sampras passed him). Please let me know. Thanks.

If you look at Emerson's slam total break down you will notice that 6 of his 12 slams were at the AO. This was a less significant slam before 1988 when the surface was changed from grass to rebound-ace. More importantly than this Emerson won slams relativly late in the '60s but before the open-era. 9 of his 12 slams were won after 1962. Professionals were not allowed to compete at the grand slams until 1968 (the open-era). Most players turned professional after winnning a few slams. Laver turned professional in 1963, Rosewall turned professional in 1957, Gonzales in 1950. The professional tour was therefore far more competitive than the amateur tour. However as the professionals could not compete in the slams slam count was largely irrelevant until 1968.

Court is rated as one of the greatest female players, however it was the fact that she also won many slams pre-open era including 7 pre-open era AO titles that make her figures more impressive than she was.

CEvertFan
05-03-2007, 02:17 AM
Not to humiliate the role of USO and AO but for me as a tennis fan USO and AO are secondary slams in the comparison with W and FO.

The last two are traditions. W is the dream for every tennis PRO if u ask any. It is now that USO has become very popular because USA as a country became No 1 and single superpower in the world. But I believe somewhen it was graded as AO now.

It is why I didn't give such a big importance to results of Borg in USO. Then hards are something between grass and clay and who showed genius results in both ends of this segment surely is able to show same between. Then when Borg was at his highest level USO was conducted some years on clay ( before 1977) so surely 6 times FO champion was able to show good results at USO.


In the days before air travel was even existed or was common, the European players would play Wimbledon and the French and the US players would play the US Championship, and the Aussies would only play the Australian Championships. This was because it took days/weeks to travel by ship, depending on where you were going. With faster ships, the US players started traveling to Europe to play in the European Slams because the travel time wasn't too bad. Once air travel became more common then the only Slam that was still very much under-attended was the AO, because even by plane it is still a very loooong flight to travel there. Only in the modern era has the AO become a bona fide Slam beside the other three. I do think in most player's minds that Wimbledon and the French are the two most desired Slams to win simply because of the great history associated with both tournaments, although the US Championship/US Open is older than the French.

The AO is also now known for being the Slam that the players like best for it's amenities/facilities, and the fans love it because it doesn't cost a fortune to attend.

Rabbit
05-03-2007, 04:58 AM
I am interested in knowing more about Emerson and Court and why there slam totals never seem to put them in GOAT discussions (especially when Emerson led the men with 12 before Sampras passed him). Please let me know. Thanks.

To add to what noeledmonds posted and maybe disagree with it just a little, I think the pre-Open records are discounted a little too much. If you go back and look at who played pre-Open in the late 60s and who played post-Open in the late 60s, you'll see the same names. Who won the last amateur-only Wimbledon? John Newcombe.

Point being that a lot of the names of pros in the Open era were players who just made the hop. There were no real amateurs in tennis, they called them shamatuers because they accepted money under the table. The whole point in amateur-only tennis was so the Grand Slams, notably the ITF, could control the $'s and keep the players in line. That went on until the formation of the ATP from what I've read. But, the ATP hasn't done such a kicking job of managing things either by the state of tennis today. The inmates are currently running the asylum.

Roy Emerson doesn't get his due credit IMO. He was one of the fittest guys around in his prime. He was one of the few Aussies who didn't go pro when he could have. He also said that it was because he knew he couldn't compete, but I think that is just his Aussie-ness coming out in him. He was pretty much worn out physically by the time Open tennis came along, but went on to do well in the pro ranks with wins over players much younger than him like Ashe, Borg, and Tanner.

Margaret Court was also a great player. She was physically impressive, being very strong and athletic. She is one of the few women to win a Grand Slam title, have a baby, and come back to win more.

It's true that both of these players won the majority of their slam titles in Australia. But, when one considers where the quality players were coming from in that era, the AO wouldn't have been a cake walk for anyone.

CEvertFan
05-04-2007, 11:02 PM
He's not. Top 5 definitely, maybe even top 3, but not the GOAT.

Gizo
05-16-2007, 02:41 AM
Top 3 definately. I'd put him on a par with Sampras, but behind Laver. The Australian Open was a micky mouse grand slam from 1976-1982, so the fact that he didn't win the title there means nothing. However his failure to win the US Open, despite the fact that he reached 4 finals and hated the bright lights and noisy crowd, is quite a big omission from his CV. In my opinion the US Open has been the most competitive grand slam (the best winners' list and the best playing fields) in the open era on the most neutral surface (even the har-tru which was used from 1975-1977 was fairly neutral). It is a huge shame that Borg was the only great player in the history of the open era, not to have triumphed at Flushing Meadows.
For me, Borg was one match away from becoming the absolute GOAT. Had he won any of his US Open finals on a hardcourt in 1978, 1980 or 1981 (especially the first two as then he would achieved the calendar French Open-Wimbedon-US Open treble on clay, grass and hard which for me would have topped Laver's calendar grand slam in 1969 on grass and clay), I would have given him the title, but unfortunately he couldn't. Still he had an amazingly good career and was an absolute legend and genius.

Rabbit
05-16-2007, 04:31 AM
Top 3 definately. I'd put him on a par with Sampras, but behind Laver.


I've posted the same thing before. I agree wholeheartedly.

Q&M son
04-19-2008, 02:17 PM
Borg is absolutely one of the best ever, probably in the Top 5 of all time. However, not winning the US Open is the one blemish on his resume.

Still, winning the French and Wimbledon back to back on three different occasions, 5 straight Wimbledons and 6 total French Opens is extraordinary.

I doubt anyone will be able to win the French and Wimbledon in the same year more than once for a long time, if ever.

Fully agree. I just add the soon retirement.

Mansewerz
04-19-2008, 02:43 PM
The game of tennis is way faster than before. It's hard to put guys like laver, borg, and sampras together.

CyBorg
04-19-2008, 03:09 PM
The game of tennis is way faster than before.

How can it be faster if everyone is staying back on the baseline? Have you ever seen a taped match of Laver playing Rosewall on grass?

Mansewerz
04-19-2008, 05:57 PM
How can it be faster if everyone is staying back on the baseline? Have you ever seen a taped match of Laver playing Rosewall on grass?

Umm, the ball is traveling much faster, thus they need the extra time to react by staying farther back.

And no I haven't seen a Laver match. Have any vids?

The technology back then was very primitive compared to what we have today.

CyBorg
04-19-2008, 08:19 PM
Umm, the ball is traveling much faster, thus they need the extra time to react by staying farther back.

No. We've had baseliners going back 100 years. Guys aren't staying back because the ball is travelling faster. In fact, the faster the ball travels the more sense it makes to serve and volley and shorten points.

You can search on YouTube - there's some nice Laver/Roche footage. The serve and volley is impeccable. The amount of running these guys had to do horizontally and vertically reveals a much more multi-dimensional game. And, yes, reacting to a Rod Laver passing shot right at the net is much more impressive reaction-wise than exchanging groundstrokes.

I think that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what graphite did for tennis. Yes, there is the whole power aspect, but the speed at which the ball travels is not what is important. What's important is that graphite allows for better accuracy, bigger sweet spot, increased control in general. Returning is much better due to what the technology allows. It's not about speed. Tennis was fast - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcRNZeo70P4 - very fast. It's too bad that we have no clips of the Kramer era. Very fast, lots of serving and volleying, very short points.

The technology back then was very primitive compared to what we have today.

Some would argue that alluminum baseball bats are superior to the wooden ones. The only reason major league baseball hasn't gone alluminum is because it's a hazard to the fans in the stands.

But there's nothing great about alluminum, just like there's nothing to write about graphite. It's about power, which was a marketing decision.

Mansewerz
04-19-2008, 09:22 PM
No. We've had baseliners going back 100 years. Guys aren't staying back because the ball is travelling faster. In fact, the faster the ball travels the more sense it makes to serve and volley and shorten points.

You can search on YouTube - there's some nice Laver/Roche footage. The serve and volley is impeccable. The amount of running these guys had to do horizontally and vertically reveals a much more multi-dimensional game. And, yes, reacting to a Rod Laver passing shot right at the net is much more impressive reaction-wise than exchanging groundstrokes.

I think that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what graphite did for tennis. Yes, there is the whole power aspect, but the speed at which the ball travels is not what is important. What's important is that graphite allows for better accuracy, bigger sweet spot, increased control in general. Returning is much better due to what the technology allows. It's not about speed. Tennis was fast - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcRNZeo70P4 - very fast. It's too bad that we have no clips of the Kramer era. Very fast, lots of serving and volleying, very short points.



Some would argue that alluminum baseball bats are superior to the wooden ones. The only reason major league baseball hasn't gone alluminum is because it's a hazard to the fans in the stands.

But there's nothing great about alluminum, just like there's nothing to write about graphite. It's about power, which was a marketing decision.

Wow, i'm misinformed, that was fast.

However, I do still have a question though. It's obvious that back then they used much small head sizes. I can't find the article right now, but it was about how one inch saved tennis. It explained that the larger headsizes of today totally changed the game up and allowed for more spin and the ball could be hit harder due to this amount of spin. I'm just curious about your thoughts on a theory like that.

CyBorg
04-19-2008, 10:05 PM
Wow, i'm misinformed, that was fast.

However, I do still have a question though. It's obvious that back then they used much small head sizes. I can't find the article right now, but it was about how one inch saved tennis. It explained that the larger headsizes of today totally changed the game up and allowed for more spin and the ball could be hit harder due to this amount of spin. I'm just curious about your thoughts on a theory like that.

Well, sure. You can really smack the ball now, but I think that the important thing to realize is that players are careful about this. Typically you don't see guys pound the ball like crazy and succeed. In fact, some of the hardest hitters are the worst players. This is particularly revealing in doubles, where it is players with touch who win, not those with the big forehands.

But let's say that a ball stays up for too long after a generous bounce - if a player catches up to it he can deposit it with a lot more oomph with a larger graphite racquet than before. For example - Pete Sampras' dunks are representative of this, while one would watch guys struggling to hit perfect overheads with wood for obvious reasons.

Someone made a post recently wondering why Nadal, capable of hitting monster passing shots with his backhand, seldom hit his hardest from the same side in the course of a typical rally. I think that the answer is that guys like Nadal still have to rely on control and precision and they also realize that if they hit a rocket groundie the opponent can catch up to it and smack it even faster. It's kind of like hitting at a wall - if you really muscle the ball you won't catch up to what comes back your way.

The other factor is the surfaces. Grass is slower than in the past. Clay is faster. In the 70s clay and grass were polar opposites in the sense that grass was considered to be very fast and clay was very slow. Today grass is medium-quick and clay is medium-slow. This has as much of an effect on how fast or slow rallies are as do the racquets. Another factor is standardized coaching - styles are more universal and this explains why there's less serve and volley.

I don't buy the whole 'graphite saved tennis' argument. The people who write this work for media sources who themselves work directly or indirectly for corporations who make equipment. Almost no one will ever write that graphite ruined tennis.

TennisExpert
09-24-2008, 02:16 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2005/jun/05/tennis.features1

hoodjem
10-07-2008, 02:12 PM
I read that: a bit hyperbolic and poetic in one. Less truth and more myth than anything.

Benhur
10-07-2008, 04:26 PM
Laver-Borg-Federer are at the top of my list, in no particular order, though Laver's overall record seems perhaps the most impressive.

Sampras is below them. And then Lendl. (I am not considering pre-Laver players due mostly to crass ignorance)

Sampras was a slam specialist. But his edge in slams does not make up for the all-court superiority of Laver and Borg. And it does not make up for the much higher level of domination Federer had while at the top.

The main problem is that Sampras performance on clay is very, very underwhelming, to put it mildly. Of all the goat contenders who have the blemish of failing to win a major in one specific surface, his failure is the loudest.

Consider for example that from 1990 through 2002, he failed to make it past the second round of Roland Garros on 7 different occasions, more than half the times he entered. And 3 or 4 of them were first-round exits. In 1995, at the top of his powers, he lost in the first round at Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome and Roland Garros.

Overall, during those years, he lost in the second or first round of clay tournaments a total of 24 times. He didn't enter a lot of clay tournaments, so this cannot be attributed to chance.

Also, his level of domination as number 1 is nowhere comparable to other number ones, especially Federer, but even Lendl. His highest winning percentage while being number one is lower than Federer's or Lendl's *lowest* winning percentage while holding that ranking.

To me, the argument that Federer's domination is due to a lack of competition does not sound too convincing. The argument works in two directions: you can say Federer towered so high above his contemporaries because he lacked good competition. That may be true. But it may also be true that he lacked good competition simply because he was so much better than the others. And there is no way to settle which of the two statements is truer. If Federer hadn't been around, there would have been a lot of "competition" for the majors he won, and you could easily conclude that the few players among whom those majors may have been distributed had a very tough "competition." Similar argument for the purported "lack of competition" Nadal has had on clay. If he and Federer hadn't been around, some might have seen a titanic "competition" for the main clay tournaments the last few years.

thalivest
10-07-2008, 05:04 PM
Laver-Borg-Federer are at the top of my list, in no particular order, though Laver's overall record seems perhaps the most impressive.

Sampras is below them. And then Lendl. (I am not considering pre-Laver players due mostly to crass ignorance)

Sampras was a slam specialist. But his edge in slams does not make up for the all-court superiority of Laver and Borg. And it does not make up for the much higher level of domination Federer had while at the top.

Federer should never be above Sampras at this point. Even with much weaker competition then what Sampras had, Federer still has yet to break or tie any of Sampras's most important records, not the slam singles titles record (14 to 13), no the Wimbledon singles titles record (7 to 5), not the year end #1s (6 to 4). Also they are close enough in history to compare their games and Sampras was by far the superior player in almost every facet. Far better server, far better volleyer, more explosive movement, more punishing forehand, slightly more solid backhand, and more agressive return game.

Benhur
10-07-2008, 05:53 PM
[QUOTE=thalivest;2767406]Federer should never be above Sampras at this point.

He is in my mind. There are no laws against it.

Even with much weaker competition then what Sampras had

The weaker competition argument is very weak. It can be asserted at will. It cannot be proven. It's just one of those magic levers.

Federer still has yet to break or tie any of Sampras's most important records, not the slam singles titles record (14 to 13) no the Wimbledon singles titles record (7 to 5), not the year end #1s (6 to 4).

There is a lot more to tennis than counting slams. One could also mention inability to tie a good number of equally important Federer records:

AO 3 to 2
consecutive Wimbledons 5-4
consecutive US Opens 5-2
consecutive number of weeks as number 1
plus a much much better winning record in all the years as number one.

Sampras winning percentage as year-end #1

1993: 84%
1994: 87%
1995: 82%
1996: 86%
1997: 82%
1998: 78%

Federer winning percentage as year-end #1

2004: 93%
2005: 95%
2006: 95%
2007: 88%

Those differences are very big. They reflect a very radical gap in their level of dominance.

So the main gap is in the level of dominance AND their all-court ability. Federer being clearly the second best clay court player during the last 4 years. Sampras was never anywhere near that.

To me, all this is more than enough to make up the difference of 1 slam.

Being from different generations, comparing the different aspects of their games is very subjective. But as far as that goes, I give Sampras a clear edge only on the serve, not anywhere else.

thalivest
10-07-2008, 06:03 PM
The weaker competition argument is very weak. It can be asserted at will. It cannot be proven. It's just one of those magic levers.

Sampras main competition: Courier, Becker, Agassi, Rafter, Ivanisevic (because of Wimbledon)

Federer main competition: Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick, Hewitt, Safin

Outside of Nadal there is nobody to stack up vs Sampras's top 3 competitors of Courier, Becker, and Agassi, so Federer does not have a 2nd or 3rd contemporary rival the caliber of Sampras's. Ivanisevic is most similar to Roddick and is a much better player with an even more outstanding serve and better all around game, and if you saw the two play I think you will agree.

There is a lot more to tennis than counting slams. One could also mention inability to tie a good number of equally important Federer records:

AO 3 to 2
consecutive Wimbledons 5-4
consecutive US Opens 5-2
consecutive number of weeks as number 1
plus a much much better winning record in all the years as number one.

These are either not records but someone else holds them over Federer, or they are not as important as the ones I mentioned Sampras still holds. Yeah Federer has 1 more Australian Open, but still neither holds the record there, not even the open era record. Federer's consecutive Wimbledons is equal to Borg, but Borg has the edge in consecutive matches won there (41 to 40).
Federer has more consecutive U.S Open titles then Sampras but neither hold the record for that either, as Tilden still holds this record. Consecutive # of weeks at #1 is a pretty good record, but the year end #1 record still is even more important as being #1 at the end of the year is what matters most.

Sampras winning percentage as year-end #1

1993: 84%
1994: 87%
1995: 82%
1996: 86%
1997: 82%
1998: 78%

Federer winning percentage as year-end #1

2004: 93%
2005: 95%
2006: 95%
2007: 88%

Those differences are very big. They reflect a very radical gap in their level of dominance.

True but Sampras peaked for the big events and at the right times as he realized that is what most people care about when your careers are over.

So the main gap is in the level of dominance AND their all-court ability. Federer being clearly the second best clay court player during the last 4 years. Sampras was never anywhere near that.

Yes Federer is better on clay I agree.

Being from different generations, comparing the different aspects of their games is very subjective. But as far as that goes, I give Sampras a clear edge only on the serve, not anywhere else.

You wouldnt even give Sampras a clear edge in volleying?!?

Benhur
10-07-2008, 06:41 PM
Sampras main competition: Courier, Becker, Agassi, Rafter, Ivanisevic (because of Wimbledon)

Federer main competition: Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick, Hewitt, Safin

These things lead to circular arguments. Aside from Agassi, whose caliber is comparable to Nadal's, I don't see the other competition you mention as automatically better than the ones you mention as Federer's main competition. I don't see any way of proving that peak Courier would have been better than peak Safin or Hewitt, or that the Becker of the early-mid 90s was better than 2004 Roddick, or 2007 Djokovic, and so on. They won more majors? Sure. Somebody let them. But how many majors would Federer's competition have won if Federer hadn't been good enough to stop them, or if he hadn't been around? Wouldn't they appear better in that case?

True but Sampras peaked for the big events and at the right times as he realized that is what most people care about when your careers are over.

Yes, but a nearly permanent peak lasting four years is more impressive (to me) than peaking a couple of times a year and then sleeping on your laurels in the valley. Federer took up permanent residence way up there on the high snows. That's impressive.

You wouldnt even give Sampras a clear edge in volleying?!?

Not really. Sampras was a decent volleyer, but not on a par with Edberg or Mac or Rafter. A large proportion of his volley winners were sitters, set up by his massive serve. It's hard to compare because Federer doesn't go to net much, but when he does he usually shows excellent hands.

JoshDragon
10-08-2008, 07:44 AM
Fed, is the GOAT for sure.

Stampen
10-12-2008, 12:17 PM
Compiling 14 GS wins in 12 years

or

13 GS wins in 5 years. (So far).

/A

wksoh
05-04-2009, 03:30 AM
[QUOTE=thalivest;2767577]Sampras main competition: Courier, Becker, Agassi, Rafter, Ivanisevic (because of Wimbledon)

QUOTE]

Two more.... Michael Stich - what a terror he was on court and Edberg.

pc1
05-04-2009, 12:32 PM
I saw the match of Laver playing Borg on youtube . Laver's stroke production resembled that of Federer's (or Federer's stroke production resembles that of Laver's). I think Laver could be the GOAT too . It's too tough to decide :)

Laver had much much more stroke versatility, a far superior volley and his backhand was so superior to Federer's.

Check out this video of Laver against Connors in 1975 (Laver was to turn 37 in August of that year) and compare his volley and his strokes to Federer. Even at 36, Laver's volley there is far superior to Federer's now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptdffCeVmM

Here's one of Laver against Ashe at Wimbledon in 1969. Rod was probably a bit past his prime but he was on his way to his second Grand Slam here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdPX9avs1M

GameSampras
05-04-2009, 12:42 PM
No. GOATS are not quitters. Borgy Boy took his ball and went home at only 25 years of age cause he couldnt beat Johnny Mac at the USO

Borgforever
05-04-2009, 01:13 PM
Laver had much much more stroke versatility, a far superior volley and his backhand was so superior to Federer's.

Check out this video of Laver against Connors in 1975 (Laver was to turn 37 in August of that year) and compare his volley and his strokes to Federer. Even at 36, Laver's volley there is far superior to Federer's now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptdffCeVmM

Here's one of Laver against Ashe at Wimbledon in 1969. Rod was probably a bit past his prime but he was on his way to his second Grand Slam here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdPX9avs1M

Great to see pc1 out on this forum writing! Hope your well! :-)

Yeah -- check out the incomparable Rod Laver in these clips. He certainly pulled off shots with such beauty and fierceness that we've never seen it's like again since IMO. And Thank Goodness for that krosero-fella and that he exists and did what he did when he decided to cut his pieces together and posted them! Superb work that's inspired me and given me many, many moments of sheer joy watching them.

In that Caesar's Palace-clip from the third set against Connors (which Rodney won in great style as we can witness) one sees the absolute greatness in his Howizer-BH -- maybe the finest BH of all time (it probably is IMO), his still extremely quick court coverage at 37 (!!!) and his magical volleys. He could side-spin his FH-volley very hard indeed down the line, his half-volleys are so swift and deep, the touch: feather-like would be an understatement!

Talk about versatile masterful deadly volley from everywhere...

And then the Howizer-power...

He's so great and watchable my words fail me...

Rod's 37 here almost. He was like this every set at his peak and he was IMO slightly more deadly than seen at Caesar's that night.

I also love the commentary and the über-cool, legendary TENNIS ICON Harry Hopman's sly comments. Examples:

Vince Scully: "He's a champion but Harry? You've seen him down, he's really down now? (two sets to love at that stage)

Harry Hopman: "Rod is never, ever beaten until the final point is called against him."

Anyone know Harry's ultimate opinion of The Rocket offhand? Pc1? His opinion when he saw Rodman at first wasn't exactly that of unbridled ecstasy over The Rocket's skills and future as a tennis-player...

pc1
05-04-2009, 02:29 PM
Great to see pc1 out on this forum writing! Hope your well! :-)

Yeah -- check out the incomparable Rod Laver in these clips. He certainly pulled off shots with such beauty and fierceness that we've never seen it's like again since IMO. And Thank Goodness for that krosero-fella and that he exists and did what he did when he decided to cut his pieces together and posted them! Superb work that's inspired me and given me many, many moments of sheer joy watching them.

In that Caesar's Palace-clip from the third set against Connors (which Rodney won in great style as we can witness) one sees the absolute greatness in his Howizer-BH -- maybe the finest BH of all time (it probably is IMO), his still extremely quick court coverage at 37 (!!!) and his magical volleys. He could side-spin his FH-volley very hard indeed down the line, his half-volleys are so swift and deep, the touch: feather-like would be an understatement!

Talk about versatile masterful deadly volley from everywhere...

And then the Howizer-power...

He's so great and watchable my words fail me...

Rod's 37 here almost. He was like this every set at his peak and he was IMO slightly more deadly than seen at Caesar's that night.

I also love the commentary and the über-cool, legendary TENNIS ICON Harry Hopman's sly comments. Examples:

Vince Scully: "He's a champion but Harry? You've seen him down, he's really down now? (two sets to love at that stage)

Harry Hopman: "Rod is never, ever beaten until the final point is called against him."

Anyone know Harry's ultimate opinion of The Rocket offhand? Pc1? His opinion when he saw Rodman at first wasn't exactly that of unbridled ecstasy over The Rocket's skills and future as a tennis-player...

Borgforever,

I'm doing okay. Thanks for asking.

The funny thing about the Connors-Laver clip is while you know Connors won the match and was at that time the better player, you just can't help staring at Laver and what he could do. Maybe it's just me but it's almost like there's no one else on the court but Rod. Just a minor thing, notice how great Rod's lobbing was, very deep and landing near the baseline. Very few lob as well as Rod today. Actually Connors had a super lob also.

Krosero does have wonderful tennis clips. I watch a lot of his tennis videos while I'm doing paperwork.

Hopman named Laver the Rocket because he felt Laver was a bit lackadaisical on the court but the name fit because he really ran like a rocket and his shots were rockets. I know most of you guys know that but the story amuses me.

I'm not sure of Hopman's ultimate opinion of Laver.

To answer the question on the topic, I do think it is very possible Borg is the GOAT but you can say that about Laver too and a few others.

jimbo333
05-04-2009, 03:42 PM
That Connors - Laver video was Superb!!!

They probably had the 2 best Backhands of all-time!!!

Really great to see:):)

GameSampras
05-04-2009, 04:01 PM
No one sees how Peak COurier couldnt be comparable to peak Hewitt or Safin, Roddick? Courier is leagues better at his peak than those guys ever were. Im sorry but its no comparison. Courier at his peak 1992 was just plain GREAT. Way better than Roddick and certainly a player much more complete and far more consistent than nutcase, inconsistent Safin ever was. Though Safin was awesome, but how often did he show up to play? Once a half a decade?

Courier IMO would have gave Roger fits and would have been a very good consistent rival to Fed I think. Something Safin was SUPPOSED to be.

pc1
05-04-2009, 05:40 PM
That Connors - Laver video was Superb!!!

They probably had the 2 best Backhands of all-time!!!

Really great to see:):)

Jimmy almost never mishit the ball. He was such a great ball striker, especially on that great backhand side of his.

PERL
05-05-2009, 04:03 AM
Just a minor thing, notice how great Rod's lobbing was, very deep and landing near the baseline. Very few lob as well as Rod today. Actually Connors had a super lob also.



I have noticed that too watching the Laver/Ashe match and other clips (the Newcombe/Connors final at the AO for instance). You have to know how to lob when you face someone who comes to the net so often. That was an essential weapon in the arsenal of any serve and volleyer at this time. Lobs, returns and volleys are awesome in that Laver/Ashe video. Skills, pace, accuracy. They really touch all the zones possible, every inch of the court to make winners, and they can do that from all positions as well. That is all court tennis.

pc1
05-05-2009, 06:40 PM
Anyone know Harry's ultimate opinion of The Rocket offhand? Pc1? His opinion when he saw Rodman at first wasn't exactly that of unbridled ecstasy over The Rocket's skills and future as a tennis-player...

Borgforever,

Couldn't find his list at the end of his life but this is the best I could do.
In 1974 Hopman listed this as his top ten all time.

1. Tilden
2. Budge
3. Perry
4. Laver
5. Cochet
6. Lacoste
7. Johnston
8. H.L. Doherty
9. Vines
10. Tie with Gonzalez and Emerson

I don't want to question the great Hopman but this list is very strange. Gonzalez tied with Emerson??

Here was his list of all time top female players in 1974.
1. Wills (Moody)
2. Lenglen
3. Connolly
4. Lambert Chambers
5. Marble
6. Jacobs
7. Mallory
8. King
9. Court
10. Tie with Bueno and Brough.

Odd list for females also. King ahead of Court??

crabgrass
05-05-2009, 11:32 PM
Borgforever,

Couldn't find his list at the end of his life but this is the best I could do.
In 1974 Hopman listed this as his top ten all time.

1. Tilden
2. Budge
3. Perry
4. Laver
5. Cochet
6. Lacoste
7. Johnston
8. H.L. Doherty
9. Vines
10. Tie with Gonzalez and Emerson

I don't want to question the great Hopman but this list is very strange. Gonzalez tied with Emerson??

Here was his list of all time top female players in 1974.
1. Wills (Moody)
2. Lenglen
3. Connolly
4. Lambert Chambers
5. Marble
6. Jacobs
7. Mallory
8. King
9. Court
10. Tie with Bueno and Brough.

Odd list for females also. King ahead of Court??

2 things strike me about these lists, firstly it appears hopman shows a preference for the players dating back to pre-ww2 and secondly and maybe surprisingly he tends to underate his fellow aussies.

pc1
05-06-2009, 04:45 AM
2 things strike me about these lists, firstly it appears hopman shows a preference for the players dating back to pre-ww2 and secondly and maybe surprisingly he tends to underate his fellow aussies.

Sometimes you wonder about these lists. Maybe Hopman was just picking the players off the top of his head. Maybe he was upset at some of the Aussie players who turned pro. Who knows? I think I read somewhat he was annoyed at Rosewall and Hoad for turning pro.

The top few names on the male list are choices many would have picked at the time. I'm kind of glad he picked Alice Marble who is rarely mentioned on these lists but was almost unbeatable for a few years and was a serve and volleyer which was unusual in those days. She deserves some recognition.

Jacobs is not a name most would put in the top ten so I was surprised there.

urban
05-06-2009, 05:30 AM
Allmost all the tennis writers around 1970 had a strong preference for pre WWII players, including Lance Tingay or Allison Danzig. In Max Robertsons Tennis Encyclopedia they all rank along Hopman, Tilden as Nr.1. Danzig has only Laver (8)and Emerson/Gonzales (10) under the top ten, all others are pre WWII men. This oldfashioned preference reminds of boxing expert Nat Fleischer, who always, even around 1970, ranked Jack Johnson as Nr. 1 heavyweight of all time ahead of Jeffries and Fitzsimmons, and had Muhammad Ali only at 8th or 10th.

urban
05-06-2009, 05:33 AM
Marble and Betz are probably the most underrated women champions of all time. Marble invented the serve and volley game even ahead of male Kramer, and many experts ranked her at her best over Lenglen and Wills. Her career was cut short by injuries and illness (i think she had tubercolosis), and later by the war. At Wimbledon 1939 she was really devastating.

pc1
05-06-2009, 05:36 AM
Urban,

I always find these old ranking lists fascinating. I enjoy looking at their reasoning whether I agree with them or not and often they can change my thoughts on certain player.

I heard Betz was fantastic and that her backhand was modeled on Don Budge's backhand.