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Azzurri
05-15-2007, 12:38 PM
I feel to rate a player its important to have actually seen him play. Here is my top 10

1. Sampras
2. Federer
3. Mcenroe
4. Connors
5. Borg (Connors is higher because Borg retired so early and Jimm was great into his late 30's)
6. Lendl
7. Agassi
8. Edberg
9. Wilander
10. Becker

I really like Nadal and he needs a couple more slams to break the top 10. Thos slams have to be USO, W or AO.

I may have ommited a great player, but these are the guys I watched growing up and following. I could never rate Don Budge....I don't even know what he looks like.

Moose Malloy
05-15-2007, 01:38 PM
I could never rate Don Budge....I don't even know what he looks like.

He helped the #3 on your list turn around his rivalry with Lendl after losing 6 straight in '82.

Azzurri
05-15-2007, 06:38 PM
He helped the #3 on your list turn around his rivalry with Lendl after losing 6 straight in '82.

I was joking a bit.:) Yes Don Budge did help Mac...

drakulie
05-15-2007, 08:21 PM
1. Federer (Putting statistics aside, to me, he is the best player I have ever seen between the lines)

2. Sampras

3. Agassi (what impresses me the most about Agassi is how much he was able to achieve even though he had soooo many lows, and how he didn't take the game so seriously in many of his first few years. This guy was a rare talent. Additionally, he won Wimbledon at a time where there were still "Grass Court Specialist (S & Vers), and then was able to transcend his game to a compelely different surface and win the French in an era of "Clay Court Specialist"

4. Mcenroe (I am at times more impressed with him than any other player on this list. The fact he was not only an amazing singles player, but one of the best doubles players of all time. None of the others on this list can make that boast. Additionally, his Davis Cup record makes his tennis achievements even more impressive. My first "favorite player". :)

5. Borg

6. Connors (Amazing player. Only guy on the list I coudn't stand).

7. Lendl

8. Edberg

9. Wilander

10. Becker

Pro Staff Pete
05-16-2007, 12:08 AM
World Group 1994
Quarterfinal
Mullerpier, Rotterdam, Netherlands
15 July - 17 July 1994
Surface: Hard (Plexipave) - Outdoors
Ball Type: Dunlop

Tie Completed
USA defeated Netherlands 3-2 in Netherlands

Sunday:
R.KRAJICEK (NED) def. P.SAMPRAS (USA)
2-6 7-5 7-6(5) 7-5

I was only a small boy but I can still remember that amazing game! They built a great stadium for the tie and it was fully packed. Sampras played very well, but not at his best though.

Two years ago I saw Federer play at the ABN atp in Rotterdam. I was sitting very closely to the court and it was just amazing (movement, pace).

CEvertFan
05-16-2007, 12:12 AM
1. Federer (Putting statistics aside, to me, he is the best player I have ever seen between the lines)

2. Sampras

3. Agassi (what impresses me the most about Agassi is how much he was able to achieve even though he had soooo many lows, and how he didn't take the game so seriously in many of his first few years. This guy was a rare talent. Additionally, he won Wimbledon at a time where there were still "Grass Court Specialist (S & Vers), and then was able to transcend his game to a compelely different surface and win the French in an era of "Clay Court Specialist"

4. Mcenroe (I am at times more impressed with him than any other player on this list. The fact he was not only an amazing singles player, but one of the best doubles players of all time. None of the others on this list can make that boast. Additionally, his Davis Cup record makes his tennis achievements even more impressive. My first "favorite player". :)

5. Borg

6. Connors (Amazing player. Only guy on the list I coudn't stand).

7. Lendl

8. Edberg

9. Wilander

10. Becker



I wouldn't change a thing about your list. I agree with all the choices and the order you have them. Well done!

Dedans Penthouse
05-16-2007, 06:45 AM
Renee Richards

Pete Semper
05-16-2007, 06:56 AM
Sampras
Federer
Agassi
McEnroe
Edberg
Mecir
Becker
Connors
Leconte
Nadal

z-money
05-16-2007, 10:53 AM
Best we have SEEN people: Id say Agassi was the best ive seen but mcenroe was cool too. Andy was fun but he is overrated

Azzurri
05-16-2007, 03:33 PM
Best we have SEEN people: Id say Agassi was the best ive seen but mcenroe was cool too. Andy was fun but he is overrated

I meant watched (tv or live). :D

I never got to see Mac...could have went to the 90 Open....chose to go another time. I would have been able to see his match against Pete, big mistake.

Azzurri
05-16-2007, 03:35 PM
1. Federer (Putting statistics aside, to me, he is the best player I have ever seen between the lines)

2. Sampras

3. Agassi (what impresses me the most about Agassi is how much he was able to achieve even though he had soooo many lows, and how he didn't take the game so seriously in many of his first few years. This guy was a rare talent. Additionally, he won Wimbledon at a time where there were still "Grass Court Specialist (S & Vers), and then was able to transcend his game to a compelely different surface and win the French in an era of "Clay Court Specialist"

4. Mcenroe (I am at times more impressed with him than any other player on this list. The fact he was not only an amazing singles player, but one of the best doubles players of all time. None of the others on this list can make that boast. Additionally, his Davis Cup record makes his tennis achievements even more impressive. My first "favorite player". :)

5. Borg

6. Connors (Amazing player. Only guy on the list I coudn't stand).

7. Lendl

8. Edberg

9. Wilander

10. Becker


Great list. One question...Agassi over Borg?

FiveO
05-16-2007, 03:54 PM
Also numbers aside and based on talent and varied "talents" at that:

1. Federer
1aT Laver, Borg, Sampras, Nastase (at his best, yes he was that talented)
6. Lendl
7T McEnroe, Agassi, Safin
10T Connors, Newcombe
12. Becker
13. Edberg, Wilander, Rosewall
16. Kuerten, Nadal, Vilas

armand
05-16-2007, 04:06 PM
Define "SEEN". If I saw a 6 minute Youtube clip of Rod Laver, does that qualify me to have "SEEN" him?

drakulie
05-16-2007, 04:33 PM
I wouldn't change a thing about your list. I agree with all the choices and the order you have them. Well done!

Great minds think alike. :)

drakulie
05-16-2007, 04:46 PM
Great list. One question...Agassi over Borg?

I'll explain. Similar to what I stated about Fed, even though Agassi doesn't have as many slams as Borg, I think he was the better player.

Honestly, the list gets rough for me between 2-5. For example, I will say I'm far more more impressed with McEnroes accoomplishments in TENNIS as a whole, than I am with Pete's 14 singles slams. If Pete would of played both singles and doubles would he have as many doubles slams as Mc? Would it have had an impact on his singles totals? That goes for all those guys (Agassi, Borg, Lendl, etc).

On the other hand, I think one of, if not the most impressive achievements is Borg's French and Wimbledon success. I think that feat has proven to be far harder to obtain than total # of slams. Quite frankly, I don't see that feat ever being duplicated (even with the slower grass). I do see the total # of slams being surpassed.

As too many arguments could be made, my list finally came down to taking numbers out of the equation and going by who I thought was the better singles player in their prime.

drakulie
05-16-2007, 04:51 PM
Also numbers aside and based on talent and varied "talents" at that:

1. Federer
1aT Laver, Borg, Sampras, Nastase (at his best, yes he was that talented)
6. Lendl
7T McEnroe, Agassi, Safin
10T Connors, Newcombe
12. Becker
13. Edberg, Wilander, Rosewall
16. Kuerten, Nadal, Vilas

FiveO, interesting way to look at it. After revieweing your list I'm surprised you didn't place Rios up there. Not that I would, but with all the hoopla about him (which I really don't get), I would have expected to see him there along with Safin.

By the way, I agree Safin is one of the best players I have ever seen. I always thought he was going to be the next guy to be number # 1for years, and winning slams every year, etc. The guy could do it all.

FiveO
05-16-2007, 05:04 PM
FiveO, interesting way to look at it. After revieweing your list I'm surprised you didn't place Rios up there. Not that I would, but with all the hoopla about him (which I really don't get), I would have expected to see him there along with Safin.

By the way, I agree Safin is one of the best players I have ever seen. I always thought he was going to be the next guy to be number # 1for years, and winning slams every year, etc. The guy could do it all.


Same thoughts on Safin.

Rios? I have to admit my bias here. Yes, very talented. However with very little to show for it and just not talented in the jaw-dropping Safin-esque way to me. Believe it or not I viewed Rios as more of a Hicham Arazi with a little more court sense. Like I said, I admit my bias on him.

Azzurri
05-16-2007, 05:41 PM
Define "SEEN". If I saw a 6 minute Youtube clip of Rod Laver, does that qualify me to have "SEEN" him?

No....6 minutes is not enough.

By seen I mean watched them play for most of their career. Not every match, but 5-10 tourneys a year. How much tennis do you watch now? I watch all the GS, basically anytime ESPN shows matches. That is quite a bit of tennis. I watched/played a lot of tennis and followed it a great deal from 1979 to 2000. My list was based on players I have watched play each other a great deal. :)

Azzurri
05-16-2007, 05:44 PM
I'll explain. Similar to what I stated about Fed, even though Agassi doesn't have as many slams as Borg, I think he was the better player.

Honestly, the list gets rough for me between 2-5. For example, I will say I'm far more more impressed with McEnroes accoomplishments in TENNIS as a whole, than I am with Pete's 14 singles slams. If Pete would of played both singles and doubles would he have as many doubles slams as Mc? Would it have had an impact on his singles totals? That goes for all those guys (Agassi, Borg, Lendl, etc).

On the other hand, I think one of, if not the most impressive achievements is Borg's French and Wimbledon success. I think that feat has proven to be far harder to obtain than total # of slams. Quite frankly, I don't see that feat ever being duplicated (even with the slower grass). I do see the total # of slams being surpassed.

As too many arguments could be made, my list finally came down to taking numbers out of the equation and going by who I thought was the better singles player in their prime.

I see...good way of choosing. Now that I think about it, a 28 year old Agassi probably would have beat Borg in his prime, but not sure on clay. As for the other surfaces Agassi and Borg would be a great great match!:D

40Love
05-16-2007, 07:58 PM
No player that I have seen on courts dating back to Laver and Emerson-yes I saw them play-electrified crowds like Jimmy Connors.

z-money
05-16-2007, 08:19 PM
safins destruction of sampras in 2000 us. or his 5set win over roger at AO in 05

Azzurri
05-17-2007, 10:29 AM
No player that I have seen on courts dating back to Laver and Emerson-yes I saw them play-electrified crowds like Jimmy Connors.

Loved to watch the guy....amazing player and entertainer. Some of those US Open matches were like nothing else. I never saw a guy pump up the crowd the way he did against Krickstein and ....can't think of the other guy. :-(

Jimmy was a gift to tennis.:D

Azzurri
05-17-2007, 10:31 AM
safins destruction of sampras in 2000 us. or his 5set win over roger at AO in 05

How good should Safin have been....I mean how bad did he underachieve? I stopped watching tennis around 2000 and started up late 2004, so I missed a lot of Safin, Hewitt and some Federer.

ACS
05-17-2007, 01:01 PM
Of those i have seen (going back to the late 80s)...

1. Sampras - honestly, to see him play live, he didn't blow me away the way i had expected (possibly due to expectations being too high, or his efficiency being too high), but his record is better than anybody else's (n.b. Open era)

2. Federer - what needs to be said? but, I just can't bring myself to put him over Sampras yet

3. Agassi - to see him play live in the 90s, he just seemed to hit the ball so much cleaner than anybody else going; his timing was amazing; furthermore, the fact that he continued to win slams into the 00s and into his 30s (when a lot of players started catching up to him in terms of ball striking) speaks to his rare talents

4. Lendl - was #1 when i started watching tennis; devastating serve/groundstroke combinations in his prime

5. McEnroe - glimpses of genius, but Lendl had pulled ahead when I started following the sport

6. Connors - see above

7. Nadal - as exciting as Agassi in the late 80s (in my opinion)...and better?

8. Edberg - beautiful game

9. Becker - had periods where he appeared unbeatable

10. Kuerten - what could have been?

Kaptain Karl
05-17-2007, 01:59 PM
5 - Great starting list for me. I'll show my moves DOWN in Red; my moves UP in Green. I'll show players I'd REMOVE in Grey and my additions in Blue. (Let's see if I can keep my own key straight....) My list is based on ... wins, depth and "Wow!" factor....

1. Federer
1aT Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Nastase
6. Connors, Emerson
8T Sampras Agassi, Safin
11T Newcombe, Rosewall, Lendl
13. Becker
14. Edberg, Wilander
16. Nadal, Vilas

Kuerten

drakulie
05-17-2007, 02:48 PM
KK, interesting list. Because I like you, I'm going to remind you to duck. You are probably going straight to the inferno for putting Sampras at # 8. :)

Be careful out there.

Moose Malloy
05-17-2007, 02:53 PM
KK has said in the past that didn't follow the game that closely in the 90s, so I doubt he's seen many of Sampras' slam wins.

Not sure he followed it much in the 80s either, considering his Pat Cash question in another thread.

Azzurri
05-17-2007, 04:56 PM
Of those i have seen (going back to the late 80s)...

1. Sampras - honestly, to see him play live, he didn't blow me away the way i had expected (possibly due to expectations being too high, or his efficiency being too high), but his record is better than anybody else's (n.b. Open era)

2. Federer - what needs to be said? but, I just can't bring myself to put him over Sampras yet

3. Agassi - to see him play live in the 90s, he just seemed to hit the ball so much cleaner than anybody else going; his timing was amazing; furthermore, the fact that he continued to win slams into the 00s and into his 30s (when a lot of players started catching up to him in terms of ball striking) speaks to his rare talents

4. Lendl - was #1 when i started watching tennis; devastating serve/groundstroke combinations in his prime

5. McEnroe - glimpses of genius, but Lendl had pulled ahead when I started following the sport

6. Connors - see above

7. Nadal - as exciting as Agassi in the late 80s (in my opinion)...and better?

8. Edberg - beautiful game

9. Becker - had periods where he appeared unbeatable

10. Kuerten - what could have been?

Nice list, but why Nadal and Kuertan over Wilander? He had a great CC game.

Kaptain Karl
05-17-2007, 06:15 PM
KK, interesting list. Because I like you, I'm going to remind you to duck. You are probably going straight to the inferno for putting Sampras at # 8. :)

Be careful out there.

KK has said in the past that didn't follow the game that closely in the 90s, so I doubt he's seen many of Sampras' slam wins.

Not sure he followed it much in the 80s either, considering his Pat Cash question in another thread.Nah! I'm not that worried. My criteria are just different. I give more weight to "well-roundedness" -- meaning they played Dubs, too!

So the fact I put Sampras ahead of Newk, Rosewall, Edberg and Wilander shows how I gave weight to his singles prowess.

P.S. I never got an answer to that Cash service motion question.... Did he always serve so "square" to his target?

- KK

CyBorg
05-17-2007, 07:23 PM
1. Bjorn Borg
2. Roger Federer
3. Pete Sampras
4. John McEnroe
5. Rod Laver
6. Ivan Lendl
7. Jimmy Connors
8. Ken Rosewall
9. Andre Agassi
10. Boris Becker

McEnroe's peak may have shone the greatest.

Borg's domination on grass and clay trumps any other accomplishment in the history of tennis, bar none.

Federer's a very close second. I was tempted to put Nadal on the list. He's right there.

Azzurri
05-18-2007, 06:49 AM
1. Bjorn Borg
2. Roger Federer
3. Pete Sampras
4. John McEnroe
5. Rod Laver
6. Ivan Lendl
7. Jimmy Connors
8. Ken Rosewall
9. Andre Agassi
10. Boris Becker

McEnroe's peak may have shone the greatest.

Borg's domination on grass and clay trumps any other accomplishment in the history of tennis, bar none.

Federer's a very close second. I was tempted to put Nadal on the list. He's right there.


Borg??? You are a weird little man.

35ft6
05-19-2007, 03:39 AM
Some players who really impressed me in person, in no particular order...

- Amir Hadad
- Verdasco's forehand
- Roger Federer practicing
- Ljubicic's kick serve
- Bjorn Phau
- Cedric Pioline, especially during warmups
- Mac's drop shots
- Monica Seles
- Paes playing doubles, just seemed to be in the right place all the time
- Korda practicing
- Albert Costas strokes during a threeway (when I saw him practicing with Kraijeck though, not as impressive)
- Agassi warming up for US Open finals, just insane hitting
- Jan Vacek smoking Alex Kim in qualies
- Nadal practicing
- And I even saw a Lendl playing an exhibition way back in kiddy land.

VikingSamurai
05-19-2007, 05:48 AM
16-17-18y.o Becker..

Why, because at the same age, everyone was still dreaming about winning a Grand Slam...

He had 2!......

AndrewD
05-19-2007, 06:32 AM
9 Greatest players I've seen live (also, with the exception of Connors, called lines for all of them).

1. Federer
2. McEnroe
3. Connors
4. Sampras
5. Lendl
6. Becker
7. Agassi
8. Wilander
9. Edberg

ACS
05-19-2007, 07:24 AM
Nice list, but why Nadal and Kuertan over Wilander? He had a great CC game.

Because I totally forgot about Wilander...and (and I'll qualify this by saying that I never saw McEnroe or Connors at their peaks) I'd probably put him at #5...there's something about him that seems so much more cerebral than other players (Agassi developed it over time, Sampras would hint at it, but Wilander always seemed very intelligent)

suwanee4712
05-19-2007, 03:35 PM
1. Laver
2. Sampras
3. Federer
4. McEnroe
5. Borg
6. Connors


I hate ranking players while they are still playing. But Roger is undeniable in my opinion. He's got plenty of time to move up to the top spot. Although I really could go back and forth between he and Sampras.

I hesitated ranking Laver #1 because I didn't watch him play while he was in his era. I saw him play some in the 70's when he wasn't really playing full time. But you could plug him into a draw somewhere and he'd start beating people. I saw him play in a special event on Hilton Head Island in the late 70's vs. Borg. And it was amazing to watch him flick winners by Bjorn on green clay. Plus, the guy won 2 slams. Just think if he had been allowed to play all those slams he missed before the Open era began?

I also have a ton of respect for players like Edberg and Vilas. But I'm satisfied with my top 6.

suwanee4712
05-19-2007, 03:39 PM
1. Bjorn Borg
2. Roger Federer
3. Pete Sampras
4. John McEnroe
5. Rod Laver
6. Ivan Lendl
7. Jimmy Connors
8. Ken Rosewall
9. Andre Agassi
10. Boris Becker

McEnroe's peak may have shone the greatest.

Borg's domination on grass and clay trumps any other accomplishment in the history of tennis, bar none.

Federer's a very close second. I was tempted to put Nadal on the list. He's right there.

It was almost inexplicable. How Borg could go from the greatest clay court player to the greatest grass court player in the span of 2 weeks I'll never know. But he did it better than anyone else I can think of. His back to back French and Wimbledon wins are amongst the most impressive feats in tennis history I believe.

I just wish that he had won one of those US Open finals. Like Goolagong, he was very unlucky in New York. I also wish he had tried the Australian another time or two. But then again there wasn't a lot of emphasis on that tournament in his day.

CyBorg
05-19-2007, 08:55 PM
It was almost inexplicable. How Borg could go from the greatest clay court player to the greatest grass court player in the span of 2 weeks I'll never know. But he did it better than anyone else I can think of. His back to back French and Wimbledon wins are amongst the most impressive feats in tennis history I believe.

I just wish that he had won one of those US Open finals. Like Goolagong, he was very unlucky in New York. I also wish he had tried the Australian another time or two. But then again there wasn't a lot of emphasis on that tournament in his day.

It would have been nice if Borg had won a US Open, but I just don't see how winning one would have made a huge difference. We all know that Borg could play on green clay and hard courts. It's not like he had any issues with the surfaces.

The Aussie Open aspect is definitely irrelevant. It is for thise reason that counting up slam totals is flawed practice. With those draws Borg would have won there every year. But he prefered the time off.

suwanee4712
05-19-2007, 10:17 PM
It would have been nice if Borg had won a US Open, but I just don't see how winning one would have made a huge difference. We all know that Borg could play on green clay and hard courts. It's not like he had any issues with the surfaces.

The Aussie Open aspect is definitely irrelevant. It is for thise reason that counting up slam totals is flawed practice. With those draws Borg would have won there every year. But he prefered the time off.


Yep its a shame that the Australian lost some of their luster in the 70's and didn't attract the fields the other slams did. It would've been great to see Connors try and win in Paris in 1974. But I think most of the world's best clay courters were still showing up for the French for the most part. I never saw Borg play Vilas in Paris. Considering how good of a clay courter Vilas was, Borg's wins over him are impressive.

Also if Borg had played the Australian every year, perhaps he wouldn't have been as fresh for the spring circuit. When we start making hypothetical changes, we never know what exactly the effects and side effects will be.

I'm pretty solid on my top 6 of the ones I've seen, although I would not quibble much about the particular order. I think Borg has a good case for all time best. But I think a US Open would have more or less sealed the deal for him. Perhaps the same could be said of Sampras and McEnroe had they won the French.

Azzurri
05-25-2007, 08:31 AM
There is no question that the Australian Open was a lesser tournament in those days. How else do you explain why the top players routinely skipped it? Today is a completely different story; the Australian has actually become my favorite event of the year.

Borg may only have won 2/4 majors, but he absolutely dominated those two--and most impressive, they are the ones played on the two most disparate surfaces. Borg may not be the G.O.A.T., but he is up there, and he is certainly greater than McEnroe, who is rarely even part of the discussion anymore. Laver, Borg, Sampras, and now Federer are the stand-out names of the Open Era.

Thank you for actually making good and logical statements. Yes..I agree that the AO was not as important in those days but not because it was lesser tourney, but the timing was bad. It somehow messed with Christmas. I think that is why the Euro and US players skipped it. Once it changed to January US and Euro players started to play it.

The thing is people are always talking about the Grand Slam. If the AO was so irrelevant then why bother talking about Rosewall and Laver? Agassi won 4...Pete won 2. I was just saying he can't be GOAT because he did not win the AO and USO...you obviously understand this. I agree Borg was a special player and an all-time great. I don't agree that he was better than Mac, but none the less he is still a special player.:D

But not winning a US Open is big....big negative on his resume just like it is for Pete (no FO). Think about it...if Pete won the FO, he would be a no brainer for GOAT to 99% of the tennis population. ;)

chaognosis
05-25-2007, 08:47 AM
But not winning a US Open is big....big negative on his resume just like it is for Pete (no FO).

Absolutely agree. The one difference is that it didn't indicate a surface deficiency for Borg... it was more that he hated playing under the lights and the comparatively rowdy US crowd. People focus on Borg's achievement of winning the French on clay and Wimbledon on grass, but overlook what these two majors have in common: they are played in Europe! This can make a big difference for a player--back in the 1950s, the No. 1 pro Gonzales was invincible in the U.S., but he was very vulnerable when he toured abroad. To Borg's his credit he lost those four US finals to Connors and McEnroe, two of the greatest champions in US Open history. Sampras, on the other hand, had a real problem on clay. His movement was dreadful, and his two greatest achievements on the surface (his one Rome title and run to the French SFs) qualify as small miracles. So I agree that the lack of a US title is a huge negative against Borg, and that he cannot be the G.O.A.T., but it's probably a little less serious than Sampras's deficiency on clay. Just my opinion, though. The more serious knock against Borg is his short career; if he had been able to sustain it longer, he might have had a real shot at being the greatest. As it is, all things considered, I'd say that Sampras had the "greater" career, even considering that he had a clear surface weakness.

Gizo
05-25-2007, 08:54 AM
The Australian Open was a mickey mouse grand slam from 1976-1982. At that point tournaments like Dallas and the Italian Open were far bigger. It did make a recovery in 1983, but in my opinion it only moved on a par with the other 3 grand slams in 1988, with the tournament relocating from Kooyong to Flinders Park, switching surface from grass to rebound ace, and more importantly the expansion of the draw to 128 participants. Borg and McEnroe not winning the title Down Under is not a blemish on their resume.
However as much as I like Borg, his failure to win the US Open costs him the GOAT title to Laver in my opinion. The US Open has been the most competitive grand slam in the open era. Every other genuinely great player in the open era has won the title there at some point, making Borg the odd one out. Just look at the winners' list at that tournament. It is very impressive indeed. Every open era US Open champion has been able to win a grand slam away from New York, expect Orantes, Rafter and Roddick, who have all reached finals. Since the introduction of the computer ranking system in 1973, every US Open champion has reached world no. 1, apart from Orantes and Vilas who have both reached world no.2.
Had Borg been able to win the US Open just once, I would have no qualms crowning him the GOAT, but unfortunately he couldn't. In 1978 and 1980, Borg was one match away from completing a calendar French Open-Wimbledon-US Open treble on clay, grass and hard. In my opinion, had he accomplished that, it would surpassed Laver's 1969 calendar grand slam on grass on clay as an achievement. Borg's problem wasn't the surface, but the night sessions under the lights and noisy crowds. However that is something that a player has to deal with and overcome.
Although I would still put Borg in 2nd place behind Laver.

jackcrawford
05-25-2007, 09:00 AM
Thank you for actually making good and logical statements. Yes..I agree that the AO was not as important in those days but not because it was lesser tourney, but the timing was bad. It somehow messed with Christmas. I think that is why the Euro and US players skipped it. Once it changed to January US and Euro players started to play it.

The thing is people are always talking about the Grand Slam. If the AO was so irrelevant then why bother talking about Rosewall and Laver?
AO was irrelevant from 1976-87; in 1988 move to present location in Melbourne and hard court resurrected it. The grass had become so awful and as you point out the December scheduling that the top players would only have gone there if a grand slam was on the line. In Rosewall and Laver's day it was the least important major, but not as low as the above years.

Moose Malloy
05-25-2007, 09:19 AM
Yes..I agree that the AO was not as important in those days but not because it was lesser tourney, but the timing was bad.

actually it was a lesser event, for many factors. top players were very critical of the facilities there, until they moved & built a new tennis center.

keep in mind the Australian Open was only a 64 draw event until 1988! Even if the top players played it more, I think the smaller draw was an acknowledgement that it was lesser event. And there were many 64 draw events on tour in the 70s/80s(which offered more prize money), what would make Australia any more important than them?

When Edberg was the Australian in '85(his first major) he said it wasn't as important as if he had won one of the other 3 majors. 1988 was when it finally became a real event.

If the AO was so irrelevant then why bother talking about Rosewall and Laver?

I think Laver & Rosewall's most important achievements don't involve their record at the Australian Open.

Tennis was so disorganized, even in the early years of the open era, its hard to know what were & weren't big events. Browsing through the draws of the slams at atptennis might help, you can see which ones(& regular atp events) had the best fields. I've found urban to be the most knowledgable poster here, if you search his past posts you may get a better grasp of that time.

also a poster called SgtJohn provided a very interesting list of the "masters series" level events of the 70s/80s in this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=118045

Notice how many of these Laver won, even though he was near the end of his career. The guy was still winning very big events when he was 36. And Borg won a ton of them as well.

federerfanatic
05-25-2007, 09:48 AM
I put them into tiers something like this:

first tier-Sampras, Laver, Gonzalez, Rosewall, Borg
second tier-Budge, Federer, Tilden
third tier-Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, Kramer, Perry
fourth tier-Agassi, Newcombe, Cochet, LaCoste, Wilander

Federer will be in my first tier by years end I predict.

CyBorg
05-25-2007, 12:15 PM
The thing is people are always talking about the Grand Slam. If the AO was so irrelevant then why bother talking about Rosewall and Laver? Agassi won 4...Pete won 2. I was just saying he can't be GOAT because he did not win the AO and USO...you obviously understand this. I agree Borg was a special player and an all-time great. I don't agree that he was better than Mac, but none the less he is still a special player.:D

The Aussie got good draws in the Laver-Rosewall years and was reinvigorated once moved up to January in 1987. The 15 or so years up to that show a Sahara of a tournament.

For the record, I think that the Aussie is the most fun of the grand slams to attend today.

Azzurri
05-27-2007, 04:32 PM
Absolutely agree. The one difference is that it didn't indicate a surface deficiency for Borg... it was more that he hated playing under the lights and the comparatively rowdy US crowd. People focus on Borg's achievement of winning the French on clay and Wimbledon on grass, but overlook what these two majors have in common: they are played in Europe! This can make a big difference for a player--back in the 1950s, the No. 1 pro Gonzales was invincible in the U.S., but he was very vulnerable when he toured abroad. To Borg's his credit he lost those four US finals to Connors and McEnroe, two of the greatest champions in US Open history. Sampras, on the other hand, had a real problem on clay. His movement was dreadful, and his two greatest achievements on the surface (his one Rome title and run to the French SFs) qualify as small miracles. So I agree that the lack of a US title is a huge negative against Borg, and that he cannot be the G.O.A.T., but it's probably a little less serious than Sampras's deficiency on clay. Just my opinion, though. The more serious knock against Borg is his short career; if he had been able to sustain it longer, he might have had a real shot at being the greatest. As it is, all things considered, I'd say that Sampras had the "greater" career, even considering that he had a clear surface weakness.

I have heard he did not like the US Open....and I agree he did lose to great players. Sampras, IMO, had a better career, but Borg may have had better competition.

Azzurri
05-27-2007, 04:34 PM
actually it was a lesser event, for many factors. top players were very critical of the facilities there, until they moved & built a new tennis center.

keep in mind the Australian Open was only a 64 draw event until 1988! Even if the top players played it more, I think the smaller draw was an acknowledgement that it was lesser event. And there were many 64 draw events on tour in the 70s/80s(which offered more prize money), what would make Australia any more important than them?

When Edberg was the Australian in '85(his first major) he said it wasn't as important as if he had won one of the other 3 majors. 1988 was when it finally became a real event.



I think Laver & Rosewall's most important achievements don't involve their record at the Australian Open.

Tennis was so disorganized, even in the early years of the open era, its hard to know what were & weren't big events. Browsing through the draws of the slams at atptennis might help, you can see which ones(& regular atp events) had the best fields. I've found urban to be the most knowledgable poster here, if you search his past posts you may get a better grasp of that time.

also a poster called SgtJohn provided a very interesting list of the "masters series" level events of the 70s/80s in this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=118045

Notice how many of these Laver won, even though he was near the end of his career. The guy was still winning very big events when he was 36. And Borg won a ton of them as well.

Good points...guess I feel that its a major and great players are ranked based on majors.

35ft6
05-28-2007, 11:44 AM
It was almost inexplicable. How Borg could go from the greatest clay court player to the greatest grass court player in the span of 2 weeks I'll never know. It's not like he was at some special disadvantage. Everybody else had to make the same difficult transition.

FiveO
05-28-2007, 12:40 PM
It's not like he was at some special disadvantage. Everybody else had to make the same difficult transition.


I think the point was that no one made that transition better and that Borg proved it not to be a fluke by doing it that well three times.

federerfanatic
05-28-2007, 12:48 PM
I think the point was that no one made that transition better and that Borg proved it not to be a fluke by doing it that well three times.

Probably would have been 4 times had he been at the 77 French Open.

AndrewD
05-28-2007, 01:06 PM
AO was irrelevant from 1976-87; in 1988 move to present location in Melbourne and hard court resurrected it. The grass had become so awful and as you point out the December scheduling that the top players would only have gone there if a grand slam was on the line.

The Australian Open was never irrelevant, that's just ridiculous. It was, however, a second-third tier tournament between 1976 and 1982, NOT 76-87.

When Mats Wilander won his first Aus Open in 1983, that marked the re-birth of the tournament. In the final he beat the number 1 seed Ivan Lendl (world #1). In the semis he beat the tournament's second seed and world #2 John McEnroe (world #2). Wilander was 3rd seed and, at the time, world #4.

Nothing changed in 84, 85 or 87. The best in the world, with the exception of Connors, competed in the Australian Open.

The main problem with the Australian Open WAS NOT the December start or the grass. While the start date didn't help sell the tournament to the top players the key issue was always the lack of financial incentive.


In Rosewall and Laver's day it was the least important major, but not as low as the above years.

In the day of Laver and Rosewall the Australian Open was the SECOND MOST IMPORTANT major tournament because the best players in the world were Australian. Very simple really. Wimbledon was always the pinnacle but, apart from that, everyone else wanted to win their home event- partly due to the prestige, partly due to the benefits that would come after retirement (in those days players were thinking local, not global).

At that particular time, the US Open vied with the French as the least significant of the four majors, for a number of reasons. Primarily it was due to the US tournaments being invitation only so not everyone could compete and if you couldn't make a few dollars at the smaller events it wasn't worth playing the Open. Secondly, the playing conditions and officiating were considered to be decidely sub-standard. Thirdly, while the French was seen as a good tune-up for Wimbledon, the US Open was just another long flight or boat ride. All of that is very well documented so it isn't merely a matter of my opinion.

noeledmonds
05-28-2007, 01:46 PM
The thing is people are always talking about the Grand Slam. If the AO was so irrelevant then why bother talking about Rosewall and Laver?

No player has won the the US Open, Wimbledon and the French Open without also winning the Australian Open in their career since 1955.

chaognosis
05-28-2007, 01:55 PM
No player has won the the US Open, Wimbledon and the French Open without also winning the Australian Open in their career. Even if you make the career slam just the other 3 slams then only the likes of Agassi, Laver, Perry, Buldge and Emerson have won these 3 slams; the same people who have achived the career grand slam.

This isn't true at all. Tony Trabert won the French, Wimbledon, and US Open in the same year (1955), but never won the Australian. Cochet and Lacoste - the two greatest players of the 1920s after Tilden - both won the French, Wimbledon, and US Open, without ever winning the Australian. The most striking example of all is in women's tennis: the great Helen Wills Moody won the French four times, Wimbledon eight times, and the US Open seven times, but never bothered to compete at the Australian even once in her career.

noeledmonds
05-28-2007, 02:07 PM
This isn't true at all. Tony Trabert won the French, Wimbledon, and US Open in the same year (1955), but never won the Australian. Cochet and Lacoste - the two greatest players of the 1920s after Tilden - both won the French, Wimbledon, and US Open, without ever winning the Australian. The most striking example of all is in women's tennis: the great Helen Wills Moody won the French four times, Wimbledon eight times, and the US Open seven times, but never bothered to compete at the Australian even once in her career.

Sorry, I was incorrect here (although I was refering to men's tennis only). I will correct the statement to read, since 1955. I notice that Trabet did not skip the AO in 1955 but lost in the semi-finals. My point still stands though in answer to slappano's comments. The reason we continue to talk about the likes of Laver is that no player since then has achiveved The Grand Slam, even if we exclude the requirement of the Australian Open.

35ft6
05-29-2007, 07:34 AM
I think the point was that no one made that transition better and that Borg proved it not to be a fluke by doing it that well three times. I know what his point was, but it's sort of like when a player blames their loss on the sun and wind. It's like, well, your opponent had to play in the same conditions. Whatever.

WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis
06-11-2007, 02:18 PM
Wasn't quite sure if you meant in person or television, but from your list in person, the greatest I saw play would be Becker.

From television watching:

1. Sampras (hard toss up for 2nd but...)
2. Borg
3. Federer
4. McEnroe
5. Agassi
6. Lendl
7. Edberg
8. Becker
9. Connors
10. Wilander

I had to rate some players lower like a Connors because I combine personality with ability. His on-court behavior was lacking, as well as McEnroe's. Much preferred them both after they stopped playing on the men's tour. Wilander would have to be 10 for me, because I think he was a great achiever, but not one of the greatest.