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pj80
06-10-2007, 01:29 PM
The Goats are in a tie between federer and sampras. Maybe ill give pete a slight edge for now. borg is third on that list

Fries-N-Gravy
06-10-2007, 01:41 PM
thank you. someone sane

FedSampras
06-10-2007, 01:59 PM
The Goats are in a tie between federer and sampras. Maybe ill give pete a slight edge for now. borg is third on that list

I agree. It's just unfortunate that these two great champions never got a chance to play each other in their prime. That would have been the ultimate rivalry in tennis.

Sampras has great respect and admiration for Roger and vice versa. It's really impossible not to like Federer--he is classy, friendly, down to earth and extremely talented.

fastdunn
06-10-2007, 02:04 PM
His 1st gland slam is certainly overrated (when everybody was banned
because they all played in pro circuit) but hsi 2nd one (in 1969) was
genuinly rare record nobody ever did (although 3 of 4 slams were played
on grass ? correct me if I'm wrong).

kimizz
06-10-2007, 02:21 PM
I dont like when the achievments of the old greats are being belittled. Laver was the greatest of hes time. And he did some remarkable things with the racquet. I wonder how the kids in the 2030(assuming global warming hasnt killed us LOL) think of Federer or Sampras.

WhiteSox05CA
06-10-2007, 02:23 PM
Well, the competition today is much stronger. I think the players today are more talented and physically stronger. The game has changed a lot- but it's not Laver's fault.

CyBorg
06-10-2007, 02:23 PM
Federer's play on clay disappoints me greatly. I had him rated as a close 2nd to Borg, but he goes down a notch after today's performance.

The greatest player ever dominated on all surfaces - it's either Borg or Laver. Not Sampras. Not Federer.

In a better clay era Federer probably wouldn't even be a RG finalist. Imagine him up against Costa, Corretja, Kuerten, Ferrero, Norman. The current clay era is a mixed blessing for Roger - he gets good draws which get him to the final, but he gets his heart broken in ridiculous fashion by Nadal. I feel bad for him.

1. Borg .. French Open/Wimbledon combo three years in a row .. in the two surrounding years there was 1977 where he won Wimbledon but did not play at the FO where he surely would have won and 1981 where he won the French but lost in the final of Wimby .. the US open losses were not surface issues.
2. Laver .. a bit of a late-bloomer, much like Roger; I think this gives hope to Roger in the future .. Rod took a young Borg to five sets in several matches in his mid-30s.
3. Federer .. I think he may still win the French, but he'll need some good luck .. his appalling serving is a stain on his greatness - let's hope he can erase this with a great Wimbledon.
4. Sampras .. sucked on clay
5. McEnroe

VolklVenom
06-10-2007, 02:46 PM
1.
4.
3.
5. (annoying at times)
2. (deserves 5th place, but so do so many others: P.Gonzales, etc...)

PS, Nice spoiler.

VikingSamurai
06-10-2007, 02:53 PM
Well, the competition today is much stronger. I think the players today are more talented and physically stronger. The game has changed a lot- but it's not Laver's fault.

The competition today is not much stronger?.. There is just more of it.. Skill wise, tennis has only gotten harder and faster. Not better....

Big difference...

CyBorg
06-10-2007, 03:31 PM
I typically leave out pre-open era players so no Gonzalez. It's just easier to stick to the open era.

P.S. Not intentional.

Fries-N-Gravy
06-10-2007, 03:46 PM
you can't really compare the GS tournies of today with the old GS tournaments that were mostly on grass.

Lion King
06-10-2007, 04:00 PM
Have you guys ever seen Laver play? In 1977, when he was 39, he lost a very close match to Borg on green clay... just think about it. I mean, he had 2 Calendar Grand Slams, and lots of pro equivalents in between. As for measuring him against modern days, it's just stupid. Every athlete measures against his/her generation, given that the sport is developed enough. And Laver beat all of his peers so many times on so many different surfaces. Until someone wins a calendar slam, Laver will always be #1 for me. Sampras and Borg are very close (to each other) #2 and #3. Federer is #4 so far.

vsgut
06-10-2007, 04:14 PM
I had the opportunity to hit against Mr. Laver when he was 45. I was a solid 5.0 player and could not handle him. He was hitting with an aluminum frame.

He hit a heavy topspin on his forehand and backhand and could really knife his slice backhand approach shot. Volleys were awesome.

No telling what the guys back in their day had access to the dietary knowledge and fitness knowledge that todays players have to say nothing about the graphite frames and polyester strings.

vsgut1954

laurie
06-10-2007, 04:26 PM
I've never seen Laver play but I wouldn't dream about making such a derogatory statement.

I think Tennis fans are among the worst when it comes to lack of respect for the past. I know great cricketers, footballers, and I'm sure basketbal players and baseball players in the States are looked on with affection.

However, when it comes to Tennis, give someone a titanium racquet with luxillon strings and all the players from the last 50 years are suddenly not worth watching.

Maybe that's why us Tennis fans have to come on message boards to talk Tennis because you can't really have dumb conversations like this with friends or work colleagues. Imagine this conversation at work - "Hey, guess what? Laver was overated because he happened to play in the 1960s and they only had wood racquets then" Who would entertain such a stupid remark?

lambielspins
06-10-2007, 04:31 PM
I've never seen Laver play but I wouldn't dream about making such a derogatory statement.

I think Tennis fans are among the worst when it comes to lack of respect for the past. I know great cricketers, footballers, and I'm sure basketbal players and baseball players in the States are looked on with affection.

However, when it comes to Tennis, give someone a titanium racquet with luxillon strings and all the players from the last 50 years are suddenly not worth watching.

Maybe that's why us Tennis fans have to come on message boards to talk Tennis because you can't really have dumb conversations like this with friends or work colleagues. Imagine this conversation at work - "Hey, guess what? Laver was overated because he happened to play in the 1960s and they only had wood racquets then" Who would entertain such a stupid remark?

People are familiar with either now(Federer and Nadal)or recent(Sampras and Agassi). So they want to believe what they are familiar with is the best, and the past is lesser. It seems the majority of sports fans today always want to believe current or very recent is the best, and better then the past, as that is what they actually experienced and witnessed as a fan. Even analysts and experts are guilty of this, hyping athletes in some sports who have only won a few big things as the best ever before their records come anywhere near some others from past eras. Less achievements is just brushed off with the so much more competition now slogan, often without any in depth look at that.

krosero
06-10-2007, 07:25 PM
Laver did something in 1969 which Federer was not able to do today, when he beat Ken Rosewall in the French final. Unlike Federer, Laver reversed the result of the previous year's final, but that's really the small part of his accomplishment. Laver's real achievement was in beating the man who, at the time, may have been the tour's best player on clay, perhaps even the clay-court GOAT.

Federer was unable today to beat the man who is the best claycourter on the tour and who has a good shot at being the claycourt GOAT.

It's a direct comparison with Laver, in which Federer, for now, has come up short. Not to say he won't do it in the future.

Others who know Rosewall and Laver better than I do can chime in. I have only seen snippets of these two playing. I'm basing my comments on a Tennis magazine interview in the 1980s, where an older champion (can't remember the name) rated Rosewall just below Borg as the claycourt GOAT.

lordmanji
06-10-2007, 07:32 PM
nadal cannot be considered in the same breath of borg on clay until he wins at least two more french opens. period.

tennis_hand
06-10-2007, 08:22 PM
I think comparing with history is such a crappy idea, but we people like it and media fancy it. As everything develops, the conditions are never the same.

In tennis, winner all 4 majors are much more difficult than those early days, due to the development of everything. Some are even imposed by ATP to improve the variety of the game. All of these, whatever they are, increases the difficulty to win all 4. People wanna see variety and sparkle, not to create a GOAT of all centuries. In Golf, Tiger Woods also couldn't win all 4 majors in a calendar year. But he is the best you can find in modern golf. In F1, Shumacher's 7 victories (5 victories in a row) are not going to be surpassed, no matter how good Alonso or Hamilton is going to be. I bet on this. Time has changed. Conditions are different. In the IT world, Microsoft's success is not going to be replicated either.

Time advances. Environment and conditions become more stable and more mature, making greater achievements more difficult. Are we going to see another Einstein? Not!

Shaolin
06-10-2007, 09:19 PM
I had the opportunity to hit against Mr. Laver when he was 45. I was a solid 5.0 player and could not handle him. He was hitting with an aluminum frame.

He hit a heavy topspin on his forehand and backhand and could really knife his slice backhand approach shot. Volleys were awesome.

No telling what the guys back in their day had access to the dietary knowledge and fitness knowledge that todays players have to say nothing about the graphite frames and polyester strings.

vsgut1954

What was the score?

VGP
06-10-2007, 09:23 PM
Rod Laver may be overrated.

Lew Hoad is the best......and The Rocket agrees with me.

lilxjohnyy
06-10-2007, 09:25 PM
i think federer is great... but a little overated

FarFed
06-10-2007, 09:51 PM
From the precious little I've seen of Laver on youtube, he was a fantastic player. So much variety, the current lot would be put to shame if they saw what he could do with this slices and volleys.

SgtJohn
06-11-2007, 12:14 AM
Laver did something in 1969 which Federer was not able to do today, when he beat Ken Rosewall in the French final. Unlike Federer, Laver reversed the result of the previous year's final, but that's really the small part of his accomplishment. Laver's real achievement was in beating the man who, at the time, may have been the tour's best player on clay, perhaps even the clay-court GOAT.

Federer was unable today to beat the man who is the best claycourter on the tour and who has a good shot at being the claycourt GOAT.

It's a direct comparison with Laver, in which Federer, for now, has come up short. Not to say he won't do it in the future.

Others who know Rosewall and Laver better than I do can chime in. I have only seen snippets of these two playing. I'm basing my comments on a Tennis magazine interview in the 1980s, where an older champion (can't remember the name) rated Rosewall just below Borg as the claycourt GOAT.

Your comparison seems quite right to me, except for one 'small' detail: in 1969, Rosewall was 35, 4 years older than Laver. So between 1968 and 1969, time was in favour of Laver. It is of course the opposite for Federer. I doubt that Laver could have beaten Rosewall on clay some years earlier (as a matter of fact, he never did).

John

urban
06-11-2007, 12:34 AM
Sgt. John, You certainly know the result of the Kitzbühel pro tournament summer 1963 (7-12 Aug.): Laver-Rosewall 63,64,64. And that was on clay, and Rosewall was 28 or 29.

SgtJohn
06-11-2007, 02:28 AM
You got me urban :-) I should have known better before posting unobjective facts around here...

I talked only about very big tournaments...Then again, Fed beat Nadal in Hamburg. The French Pro was not on clay that year, so maybe we could say that Kitzbuehl was the main clay event of the year, I don't know about that.

What I meant was that clay is the surface that favours young players the most, I think it's easy to prove statistically. Then the fact that Laver's archrival and clay nemesis was 4 years older than him made his task a little easier than Federer, who faces an opponent who gets tougher and tougher every year. He may have already missed his chance by now...But who knows? and in 1998, who would've thought Agassi would end up a career-slamer?

Of course, all this is not to belittle Laver's achievement in 1969 which was immense...

Jon

atatu
06-11-2007, 09:37 AM
Sorry, Borg is maybe top 5. You don't get points for quitting at the peak of your career, you get points for longevity, which is why Agassi and Connors are ahead of Borg in my book. I give the guy tons of credit for winning Wimbledon and the French back to back....but how often did he win the US Open ? When someone better came along, he quit and blew his fortune on cocaine and strippers. Not the GOAT, not the top 5.

krosero
06-11-2007, 09:52 AM
Your comparison seems quite right to me, except for one 'small' detail: in 1969, Rosewall was 35, 4 years older than Laver. So between 1968 and 1969, time was in favour of Laver. It is of course the opposite for Federer. Good point. It makes me wonder, which age difference is greater in tennis? When do the legs start to go? I would think that you lose a step in the early 30s, as you approach Rosewall's age in '69 -- and that there's no real difference in leg speed between a 21-year-old and a 25-year-old.

Anyway, some years from now when Nadal turns 26, for example, we'll be able to imagine whether a 22-year-old Federer would have beaten him.

One thing we can do right now, though, is to imagine Laver at 31 and Rosewall at 27. Would Laver have taken the French in '69?

Bassus
06-11-2007, 09:56 AM
Federer's play on clay disappoints me greatly. I had him rated as a close 2nd to Borg, but he goes down a notch after today's performance.

The greatest player ever dominated on all surfaces - it's either Borg or Laver. Not Sampras. Not Federer.

In a better clay era Federer probably wouldn't even be a RG finalist. Imagine him up against Costa, Corretja, Kuerten, Ferrero, Norman. The current clay era is a mixed blessing for Roger - he gets good draws which get him to the final, but he gets his heart broken in ridiculous fashion by Nadal. I feel bad for him.

1. Borg .. French Open/Wimbledon combo three years in a row .. in the two surrounding years there was 1977 where he won Wimbledon but did not play at the FO where he surely would have won and 1981 where he won the French but lost in the final of Wimby .. the US open losses were not surface issues.
2. Laver .. a bit of a late-bloomer, much like Roger; I think this gives hope to Roger in the future .. Rod took a young Borg to five sets in several matches in his mid-30s.
3. Federer .. I think he may still win the French, but he'll need some good luck .. his appalling serving is a stain on his greatness - let's hope he can erase this with a great Wimbledon.
4. Sampras .. sucked on clay
5. McEnroe


Did Borg dominate on hard courts? I know he never won the US Open, though it wasn't always on hard courts. I know he never won the Australian, but that is not a fair knock against anyone from that era since it wasn't a true major.


As to imagining Federer against those other clay courters you mention; well Kuerten is the only one on that list I agree with you on. I think the Federer playing good on clay would beat all of those other guys more than he'd lose to them.

We shouldn't forget that Federer's first breakthrough at a major was not when he beat Sampras at the 2001 Wimbledon, but a few weeks earlier when he made the quarters at the French. Then the next two years he inexplicably flamed out in the first (or second???) rounds. If he never wins the French, I'm sure he'll think about those losses almost as much as he does the Nadal losses.

Rabbit
06-11-2007, 10:28 AM
Borg dominated on pretty much every surface. He was, in the late 70's, unbeatable.

Back on topic, Laver is the undisputed King. Lots of folks try to discredit his first Grand Slam, but the fact is, there weren't that many guys playing pro tennis. Kramer's circuit was limited and by invitation only. Laver played against some great compeititon. The arugment that he'd have lost to the pros doesn't hold any water either.

When Open tennis hit in '68, the winners of that year's Grand Slams were: Bowrey, Rosewall, Laver and Ashe. Half of the majors that year were won by amateurs. Laver defeated Tony Roche who was, I believe an amateur the year before, and Ashe defeated fellow former amateur Okker in the US Open. Of the eight Grand Slam finalists in 1968, 5 were amateurs the year before, Bowery, Gisbert, Roche, Ashe, and Okker. In 1969, when Laver won his second Grand Slam, two of the pros were on the pro tour for their second year, Tony Roche and John Newcombe. Point being, if the pros were so much better than everyone else, why didn't they show in the finals?

It's very easy to say the competiton was a breeze back then, it's harder to prove it. The only objective measure we have is the results of those tournaments and the supposition that pros were hands down better than amateurs just doesn't show up in the results.

Rod Laver was/is a great player by any measure and his accomplishments are just as stand out now as they were then. The first round matches may not have been as tough as today, but the competition at the top of the game was much keener and stronger I believe.

tomahawk
06-11-2007, 10:29 AM
I don't think Sampras 'sucked' on clay. I just think that his game just didn't translate on clay. If you call getting the the QF's and one SF and winning the Rome Masters 'sucking' I'll be you a lot of pro's would have taken those results.
If that's the way we look at his game, then you would have to say that every other player that hasn't won the French 'sucked' on clay and all the clay courters 'suck' on grass and hard courts. Let's be fair.

As far as Laver goes, if we just go on how many Grand Slams were won, I think if you take into account the 5-6 years Laver was not allowed to play Slams, and figure he was dominating the game back in 1962, I'd say he would have had about 20-22 Grand Slam wins, and we wouldn't be having this conversation. It's unfortunate that he wasn't allowed to play, but that's the way it goes.

Fries-N-Gravy
06-11-2007, 11:11 AM
while i do agree that laver is great, i feel that people just have no faith that there's a chance federer could one day achieve his greatness.

i would say that federer has a similar dominance most of the time especially at slams. he might just need some advice from him about that backhand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-VeBIal8TU

tHotGates
06-11-2007, 11:15 AM
Overrated?

Tough to argue that Laver is not the GOAT.

rasajadad
06-11-2007, 12:31 PM
While I don't want to cause controversy, anyone who says Laver is "over-rated" isn't familiar with his accomplishments and almost certainly never saw him play.

CEvertFan
06-11-2007, 01:08 PM
I think comparing with history is such a crappy idea, but we people like it and media fancy it. As everything develops, the conditions are never the same.

In tennis, winner all 4 majors are much more difficult than those early days, due to the development of everything. Some are even imposed by ATP to improve the variety of the game. All of these, whatever they are, increases the difficulty to win all 4. People wanna see variety and sparkle, not to create a GOAT of all centuries. In Golf, Tiger Woods also couldn't win all 4 majors in a calendar year. But he is the best you can find in modern golf. In F1, Shumacher's 7 victories (5 victories in a row) are not going to be surpassed, no matter how good Alonso or Hamilton is going to be. I bet on this. Time has changed. Conditions are different. In the IT world, Microsoft's success is not going to be replicated either.

Time advances. Environment and conditions become more stable and more mature, making greater achievements more difficult. Are we going to see another Einstein? Not!


You do know that only 5 men EVER in the history of tennis have won all 4 majors? Out of those 5 Laver and Budge have won the calendar year Grand Slam (Laver did it twice) and only one man from the modern Open Era has managed a career Slam during his career (Agassi). I think it would be much more difficult now for the men to win a Grand Slam or a career Slam because the majors are played on 4 different surfaces unlike Pre-Open Slams, which had 3 on grass and one on clay. Still only 4 pre Open men managed to win a career Slam, even though 3 of the majors were played on grass. It's an extremely rare thing and an extremely difficult task to accomplish in the men's game, whether it's pre or post Open we're talking about. I guess you could include Laver in the Open Era as 1969 was the 1st year that tennis became "open", but I don't think it was fully integrated until the 70's. All due respect to Laver though for coming back after turning "pro" and winning another calendar Grand Slam.

The women have always been generally more consistent across the surfaces than the men and it is a more common thing for the best women to have won each of the 4 majors at least once.


As for the GOAT, I would have to rank Laver 1st simply because his results against his peers were excellent, his longevity and because he did what no one else has ever done or even come close to doing, win TWO calendar Grand Slams.

I would put Sampras 2nd and Borg 3rd. I would currently put Federer in 4th place (he will most likely move up the list before his career is through) and Emerson 5th because of his GS title count, which was the number to beat for many years.

gmonfils
06-11-2007, 01:13 PM
Well, the competition today is much stronger. I think the players today are more talented and physically stronger. The game has changed a lot- but it's not Laver's fault.

I don't agree with this at all! Players today are not more talented I think it is the opposite. Nadal and Federer dominate because of the lack of talent in the rest of the mens field. There are no players out there to push these 2. Just look at 3 countries that are in decline tennis wise... the U.S., Sweden and France all had far better players on tour in the 80's and 90's then they do now. Federer and Nadal would not be running away with everyhting if they were playing back then.

Moose Malloy
06-11-2007, 01:52 PM
No telling what the guys back in their day had access to the dietary knowledge and fitness knowledge that todays players have to say nothing about the graphite frames and polyester strings.


Laver was supremely fit, that was a cornerstone of Hopman's training. Looking at film of him, his body is more impressive than Fed(who has no muscles & a soft belly) Laver's forearms are huge, not an ounce of fat on him, even without as much knowledge, he was always very careful about what he ate, drank, etc.

as far as the op, its a shame so many fans are so ignorant, the information is easily available, I guess people are just lazy.

some random facts:

-Laver won 22 out of his 52 open era titles on hardcourt, so it is a bit silly to get so surface obsessed in this debate.

-everyone(or at least I hope everyone) knows Laver was banned from the slams from '63-'67, but an equally important fact is that Laver was banned from the 1970 Australian & French Opens(the year after his calendar grand slam) due to some politics between the tours.

-Laver beat Borg twice in 1974, once on clay. Borg won the French that year. Laver was almost 15 years older than Borg. So Laver did deal with some modern(topspin) players & did fine.

-Laver won the 1971 Italian Open, beating Jan Kodes in the final. He was not allowed to play the French that year, due to politics. Guess who won the French that year? Kodes.

-Laver was 31 when he won the calendar slam in 1969, a tennis players' prime is much younger(& most observers say that Laver's prime was '65-'67), so it is arguable that he won the Calendar Slam while past his prime, which is amazing.

Even being robbed so many times in his career, he still has a case for being GOAT, which should tell you a lot.

You don't get points for quitting at the peak of your career, you get points for longevity, which is why Agassi and Connors are ahead of Borg in my book.

Borg did have longevity, he was a pro at 15, retired at 26. A 11 year career sounds pretty long to me. And Borg won at least one major per year for 8 straight years(a record with Sampras), that's impressive longevity, no other players were even close to that mark.

When Open tennis hit in '68, the winners of that year's Grand Slams were: Bowrey, Rosewall, Laver and Ashe.

The Australian Open that year wasn't open, only for amateurs.

atatu
06-11-2007, 02:48 PM
Borg did have longevity, he was a pro at 15, retired at 26. A 11 year career sounds pretty long to me. And Borg won at least one major per year for 8 straight years(a record with Sampras), that's impressive longevity, no other players were even close to that mark.
.

Yes, but in terms of longevity, he can't stack up to Laver,Tilden, Connors, or even Agassi. And once again, he never won the US Open....

Moose Malloy
06-11-2007, 02:57 PM
Yes, but in terms of longevity, he can't stack up to Laver,Tilden, Connors, or even Agassi. And once again, he never won the US Open....

I find it odd you rank Agassi higher because of his longevity, yet Agassi basically half-assed it in his 20s(the athletic prime of a tennis player) while at the same age Borg was putting his body through hell.

So in essence Agassi gave up early in his career & got serious late, while Borg gave up late in his career when he was worn out by many years of top level tennis & wanted to move on.

Longevity is one thing, but so is peak level & I think Borg's peak was higher than Connors or Agassi's. and what was Borg's head to head with Connors?

FiveO
06-11-2007, 03:47 PM
Sorry, Borg is maybe top 5. You don't get points for quitting at the peak of your career, you get points for longevity, which is why Agassi and Connors are ahead of Borg in my book. I give the guy tons of credit for winning Wimbledon and the French back to back....but how often did he win the US Open ? When someone better came along, he quit and blew his fortune on cocaine and strippers. Not the GOAT, not the top 5.

Hmmm. Interesting take. Who comprises your top 5? Are we doing the Tilden, Gonzalez, Budge, Kramer, et al ranking thing, or guys who played into or all of their careers in the Open era. I'll do the latter.

Borg won 11 majors over a span of 8 years when at best he competed in 3 majors per year.

For all their added "longevity"

Agassi won three less majors (8 ) competing in 4 majors per year the majority of his career and spread over a span of 12 years.

Connors? Connors won his three less majors (8 ) over a 9 year span.

So both Agassi and Connors won significantly less majors while playing significantly more of them.

For added perspective:

McEnroe won his 7 majors over a 7 year span.

Similarly Lendl won his 8 over a 7 year span.

Laver's 11 were won over a span of 10 years (with a long hiatus).

Rosewall's 8 over an amazing 18 years (with an even longer hiatus).

Sampras' 14 majors were won over a 13 year span. Throw out his first and last won before and after his prime, and that span comes down to 12 titles in 8 years.



Keep in mind Federer has won his 10 majors over a scant 5 year span. Does that disqualify him from contention?

Again Borg won 11 majors over 8 years playing for and winning them in bunches. 8 years. How long do you believe most champions stayed at the very top of the game in the Open era? Like "dog years" 8 is a big number at the top of the game. And as stated Borg won three back to back RG/Wimbledons 3 times, the only other player close is Laver who did that, and then some, twice.


And to the OP:

Laver "over-rated" seems the epitome of an oxymoron.

chaognosis
06-11-2007, 04:44 PM
Laver is overrated as the Beatles are overrated. Or Citizen Kane.

chrisdaniel
06-12-2007, 01:35 AM
the beatles overrated???? Tell that to about a billion cds,tapes,records sold worldwide...

Everyone who says Laver is overrated has no respect for the game. And saying players are more talented now is stupid as well....There will always be talented players, as the racquets improve,as the game gets faster,there will always be talent. There always has been. But there will always be a few players of every generation that rise above the rest. To take away from them because Nadal and Fed were born way later is just disrespectful and you will understand that many years from now Nadal and Fed will be the Borgs and Mcenroes.....I do agree that Fed should already be included in the top 5 of all time,as I think Nadal is the greatest clay court player ever..But Imagine Nadal(Now) Vs Agassi in a night match at the U.S Open in 99 or 95 with the crowd cheering on Agassi..Or Fed(now) Vs prime a game Sampras at Wimbledon...well you know what...Agassi had losses to Lendl who lost to Borg who was challenged by Laver.....As far back as Laver is the difference is not as much as you think...And all these guys have amazing talents that stand above the thousands and thousands that have played this game as pros....Respect People!!!!!

Gizo
06-12-2007, 02:56 AM
In 1969, Laver won the biggest tournaments available to him on every surface in one calendar year, grass (Wimbledon, Australian Open, US Open), clay (French Open), hard (Boston, Johannesburg, Los Angeles) and carpet (Wembley, Philadelphia). No-one in the open era, not even Borg, Sampras, Federer, Agass, Lendl etc has been able to match this feat. He is undoubtedly the greatest, and has been the most versatile player across all of the surfaces.
Borg was very good on his weakest surface, the hardcourts; 3 finals and a quarter-final at the US Open from 1978-1981, and 4 titles (1974 - London WCT, 1979 - Las Vegas and Toronto, 1980 - Las Vegas). However he failed to win the biggest tournament available to him on this surface, which means that he behind Laver in the pecking order. All the great players in the open era have won the US Open (probably the most competitive grand slam of the lot) apart from Borg, so not winning that tournament is a blemish on his CV (equally as big as Federer not winning the French Open or Lendl's failure to win Wimbledon).
Also to say that Borg doesn't pass the longevity test is ridiculous as many people have already said. He won at least one grand slam a year for 8 consecutive years from 1974-1981. Agassi won grand slam titles in 7 different calendar years, so I would say that Borg beats him in this department.

Rabbit
06-12-2007, 05:48 AM
The Australian Open that year wasn't open, only for amateurs.

My bad, Moose, good catch.

I do stand by my original point that if the pros were so much better than everyone else, they certainly didn't avail themselves in the Grand Slams when they were allowed to. The way everyone talks around here, Laver or Rosewall or Gonzalez or one of the other pros on Kramer's tour should have won every Grand Slam title from '68 until probably what, '74? It just didn't happen that way. The amateurs were world class athletes and players and worthy competition for the pros who combined with them in '68. Laver's two Grand Slams were valid.

urban
06-12-2007, 06:11 AM
I agree here with Rabbit, even if the Kramer pros were getting a bit old by 1968. The top amateurs of the 50s or 60s were also some kind of pros, getting paid under the table. On the other hand, the Kramer pros were really good. When Stolle (ranked amateur Nr.1 by many in 1966) and Ralston (Nr.4 or 5) turned pro begin 1967, the ended as Nr. 5 and 6 on the pro tour, winning nothing agsinst the top dogs Laver, Rosewall or Gimeno. If you make a combined amateur-pro top ten list of the 60s, you have the pros Laver, Rosewall, Gimeno, Gonzales, and the amateurs Emerson, Santana, Newcombe, Ashe, Stolle and Roche. The missing link is of course Hoad, but he played very sporadically, with big ups and many downs.

chaognosis
06-12-2007, 08:51 AM
the beatles overrated???? Tell that to about a billion cds,tapes,records sold worldwide...

Think: sarcasm.

atatu
06-12-2007, 09:15 AM
Hmmm. Interesting take. Who comprises your top 5? Are we doing the Tilden, Gonzalez, Budge, Kramer, et al ranking thing, or guys who played into or all of their careers in the Open era. I'll do the latter.


Longevity is a factor to be considered, just as Grand Slams won is a factor to be considered, just as the level of competition faced is a factor to be considered. If Federer quits tommorrow, is he the GOAT ? No way, no more that Hoad is....I think it's pretty hard to put together a top 5 list if you haven't seen these guys play in person. I saw Laver only late in his career, on a B&W TV. I saw Borg in person, along with Agassi, Sampras and Federer. Never saw Gonzalez, Budge, Tilden, obviously.

Azzurri
06-12-2007, 09:34 AM
Sorry, Borg is maybe top 5. You don't get points for quitting at the peak of your career, you get points for longevity, which is why Agassi and Connors are ahead of Borg in my book. I give the guy tons of credit for winning Wimbledon and the French back to back....but how often did he win the US Open ? When someone better came along, he quit and blew his fortune on cocaine and strippers. Not the GOAT, not the top 5.

I agree with you 100%, but Cybog is either drunk all the time or just released from a Swedish mental hospital.

FiveO
06-12-2007, 09:39 AM
Longevity is a factor to be considered, just as Grand Slams won is a factor to be considered, just as the level of competition faced is a factor to be considered. If Federer quits tommorrow, is he the GOAT ? No way, no more that Hoad is....I think it's pretty hard to put together a top 5 list if you haven't seen these guys play in person. I saw Laver only late in his career, on a B&W TV. I saw Borg in person, along with Agassi, Sampras and Federer. Never saw Gonzalez, Budge, Tilden, obviously.

You're aware that Borg won his 11 Majors over the course of 8 years and played longer than that on tour, right?

What's your cut-off for "longevity"? Less than 9 years? Again how long do you believe champions stay at the top actually vying for major titles?

My point was while Borg's career was artificially shortened by an earlier than necessary retirement, he had a full and long playing career. Eight years winning majors is a long time. Borg also retired at 25 years of age after those 8+ years on tour. Keep in mind that most champions win a very small percentage of their Majors at 26 or older and these slam winners: Kafelnikov, Moya, Rafter, Hewitt, Stich, Kuerten, Bruguera and McEnroe are some that didn't win any after 25.

atatu
06-12-2007, 09:47 AM
You're aware that Borg won his 11 Majors over the course of 8 years and played longer than that on tour, right?

What's your cut-off for "longevity"? Less than 9 years? Again how long do you believe champions stay at the top actually vying for major titles?

My point was while Borg's career was artificially shortened by an earlier than necessary retirement, he had a full and long playing career. Eight years winning majors is a long time. Borg also retired at 25 years of age after those 8+ years on tour. Keep in mind that most champions win a very small percentage of their Majors at 26 or older and these slam winners: Kafelnikov, Moya, Rafter, Hewitt, Stich, Kuerten, Bruguera and McEnroe are some that didn't win any after 25.

Yes, I am aware of that. I really don't know how long players can stay at the top of their games, I'm sure it varies from player to player. All I said was that Borg was no higher than top 5, in my opinion, - and that's all it is, he would be behind Laver, Sampras, Federer, and Agassi. Can't comment on Budge, Tilden, Kramer, etc. Do you disagree ?? And none of the guys you mentioned at the end of your post are on anyone's top 5 GOAT list, as far as I know.

Arafel
06-12-2007, 09:51 AM
Hmmm. Interesting take. Who comprises your top 5? Are we doing the Tilden, Gonzalez, Budge, Kramer, et al ranking thing, or guys who played into or all of their careers in the Open era. I'll do the latter.

Borg won 11 majors over a span of 8 years when at best he competed in 3 majors per year.

For all their added "longevity"

Agassi won three less majors (8 ) competing in 4 majors per year the majority of his career and spread over a span of 12 years.

Connors? Connors won his three less majors (8 ) over a 9 year span.

So both Agassi and Connors won significantly less majors while playing significantly more of them.

For added perspective:

McEnroe won his 7 majors over a 7 year span.

Similarly Lendl won his 8 over a 7 year span.

Laver's 11 were won over a span of 10 years (with a long hiatus).

Rosewall's 8 over an amazing 18 years (with an even longer hiatus).

Sampras' 14 majors were won over a 13 year span. Throw out his first and last won before and after his prime, and that span comes down to 12 titles in 8 years.



Keep in mind Federer has won his 10 majors over a scant 5 year span. Does that disqualify him from contention?

Again Borg won 11 majors over 8 years playing for and winning them in bunches. 8 years. How long do you believe most champions stayed at the very top of the game in the Open era? Like "dog years" 8 is a big number at the top of the game. And as stated Borg won three back to back RG/Wimbledons 3 times, the only other player close is Laver who did that, and then some, twice.


And to the OP:

Laver "over-rated" seems the epitome of an oxymoron.


Interesting stats. The one qualifier on Connors is that he was banned from the French in 74, while having one of the greatest years in tennis history, because Ashe was playing politics. Connors then skipped the French for the following four years in protest. In 75, Connors crushed Borg at the US Open, on clay. Borg won the French that year. Connors also beat Borg on Clay in 76 at the US Open.

Connors also skipped the Australian from 75 on, so Connors 8 majors in 9 years comes while only playing 2 of the 4 for 3 of his prime years, and only 3 in the rest (he played the Aussie in 74-75, winning in 74 and runner up in 75). Connors was a very good clay court player; he won the US on clay once and was runner up twice on clay, and made the semis at the French in his first 3 appearances there when his career was actually at a stasis point. If he had played between 74-78, I think he gets one or two French Opens as well.

Also, don't forget Borg beat Connors in 5 at Wimbledon in 77 when Connors was playing with a broken thumb; if he's healthy, Connors doesn't lose that match.

Moose Malloy
06-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Also, don't forget Borg beat Connors in 5 at Wimbledon in 77 when Connors was playing with a broken thumb; if he's healthy, Connors doesn't lose that match.

Don't forget Borg was injured in the '78 US Open final, he would have defaulted had it not been a major final. That match was basically a walkover, all Connors had to do was showup(not his fault of course)

FiveO
06-12-2007, 10:03 AM
Sorry, Borg is maybe top 5. You don't get points for quitting at the peak of your career, you get points for longevity, which is why Agassi and Connors are ahead of Borg in my book. I give the guy tons of credit for winning Wimbledon and the French back to back....but how often did he win the US Open ? When someone better came along, he quit and blew his fortune on cocaine and strippers. Not the GOAT, not the top 5.

atutu,

This was the post I was addressing, and I would try to keep it to those playing at least part of their careers in the Open era to keep it to players I've seen play in person and for the sake of simply making it more manageable:

My GOATs are a group at the top: Laver, Borg and Sampras (with Fed likely to join them as longevity and length of dominance are my reservations at this point and not a lack of an RG). Agassi no. Too many as good or better than him to qualify in my book plus my bigger criteria is that you can't be the #2 player of your own era and still qualify for consideration, similar to why at this point Nadal wouldn't leapfrog over Federer for consideration.

Gizo
06-12-2007, 10:54 AM
If we look at the great players that have featured in the open era, Laver is the only one that doesn't have a blemish on his CV:
Borg - Failed to win the most competitive grand slam, the US Open
Sampras - Failed to win or even reach the final at the French Open
Rosewall - Failed to win Wimbledon
Federer - Has failed to win the French Open so far
Lendl - Failed to win Wimbledon
Agassi - Failed to dominate his era.
Connors - Failed to win or even reach the final at the French Open
McEnroe - Failed to win the French Open

Rabbit
06-12-2007, 11:53 AM
IMO, the Open Era list looks like this:

1. Laver - did it all, twice
2. Borg & Sampras
4. Agassi
5. Connors & Rosewall
7. McEnroe & Lendl
9. Mats Wilander
10. Becker & Edberg

Borg's achievments are well documented here. He may not have longevity, but he has the highest winning percentage of slams entered. He won the French every year he played it except two and lost to the same guy. While maybe not playing into his 30s, he played well enough long enough to warrant a place high up on the list, in a tie with Sampras. Borg's tie is justified IMO by his ability to not only win on the two most disparate surfaces in tennis, but to win two of the biggest majors back to back more than once and two weeks apart! His dominance on clay is unmatched. The 1982 French Open winner, Mats Wilander, recently stated on the Tennis Channel that he practiced with Borg in '82 and lost badly to him every time they played. He did say that Borg "threw him a set" every now and then, but basically Borg was the class of the field even in '82 when he was burnt out.

Sampras' only blemish is the French. He's tied with Borg for that reason. Otherwise, he was the most dominant player of his era.

Agassi gets 4th because of a career Grand Slam and a long career. Had he been more interested and focused, he probably would have given Sampras a run for his spot, but then again had be been more interested and focused he probably wouldn't have lasted as long and wouldn't have had the longevity.

Connors & Rosewall for longevity and greatness of career. Both were unfortunate to be playing at the same time a bigger legend was playing. Connors' 106+ career singles titles and Rosewalls 20+ year first and last Grand Slam titles are awesome achievements. Both men were competitors and yet polar opposites of each other. Connors started off his career bludgeoning his opponents with sheer power. Rosewall started and ended his career blunting that power and using controlled underspin off both sides to produce a game that was just eloquent.

McEnroe and Lendl are tied, if for no other reason, than it would **** both of them off to know they were tied. McEnroe owned the first half of the 80s and Lendl owned the second half. McEnroe owned the first half of their rivalry and Lendl the second. McEnroe was the most talented and Lendl was the hardest working. If somehow we could have merged the two guys, we'd have had the Ultimate Tennis Player. As it is, we had two guys who really and truly disliked each other and played their guts out.

Mats Wilander gets the 9 spot because of his 1988. He also gets a top ten spot because he grew his game from that of a retriever to one of attacking and very mind-centric. He used his weapons to their maximum effectiveness and beat guys he shouldn't have.

10 spot is a tie to Becker and Edberg. Again their rivaly and careers were like McEnroe/Lendl. They were perfect compliments to each other and at the same time alike in their agressive attacking play.


Federer is absent, he's still playing. Were he to quit today, he'd probably be at number 4 pushing Agassi down. Two 3/4 Grand Slam years, his Wimbledon record, his ability to win on any surface (yes, clay included) and two French Open finals get him #4 spot. Remember, before anyone fusses, that it's he quit TODAY. As is, he's still got another 4 years ahead of him and that'll probably translate to 6 more Grand Slam titles easy.

FiveO
06-12-2007, 12:15 PM
Interesting stats. The one qualifier on Connors is that he was banned from the French in 74, while having one of the greatest years in tennis history, because Ashe was playing politics. Connors then skipped the French for the following four years in protest. In 75, Connors crushed Borg at the US Open, on clay. Borg won the French that year. Connors also beat Borg on Clay in 76 at the US Open.

Connors also skipped the Australian from 75 on, so Connors 8 majors in 9 years comes while only playing 2 of the 4 for 3 of his prime years, and only 3 in the rest (he played the Aussie in 74-75, winning in 74 and runner up in 75). Connors was a very good clay court player; he won the US on clay once and was runner up twice on clay, and made the semis at the French in his first 3 appearances there when his career was actually at a stasis point. If he had played between 74-78, I think he gets one or two French Opens as well.

Also, don't forget Borg beat Connors in 5 at Wimbledon in 77 when Connors was playing with a broken thumb; if he's healthy, Connors doesn't lose that match.

Very true. Looked at another way however by the end of 1981 when Borg walked away Connors had played in 30 majors winning his 8. By the time Borg retired he had played in only 27 majors winning 11 or 41% of the majors he entered vs. Connors 27%.

As far a supposition regarding Connors adding titles during his "prime years" it is obviously conjecture with just as many reasons to conclude he would not have won any more majors.

Firstly Borg competed in 8 RG's in total and Connors 5 during Borg's career (thru '81) and in three that Borg won.

Regarding the conclusion that Connors would have won additional majors during the years 75-78:

Red clay and har-tur while similar, play significantly different.

In '75 he wasn't permitted to play RG and couldn't defend at at either the AO, W or the USO. In '75 Connors lost in the finals of the AO to Newcombe, Wimbledon to Ashe and at the USO on har-tru to Orantes.

In '76 he lost to Tanner at W and beat Borg on har-tru at the Open.

In '77 he lost to Borg at W and Vilas on har-tru, keep in mind this is also the same year Borg skipped the RG.

And in '78 he lost again to Borg at W but beat him on hards at the USO. So even during that span.

So while Connors played only 9 majors between '75 and '78 he won 2. During those same years Borg played 2 more majors 11 and won 3 more winning five in the same span.

As successful as Connors was in NY, on har-tru, reaching the final of the USO each year on that surface and going 2-0 v. Borg there, he went 1 and 2 in those finals losing to other clay courters who he would have most likely had to have met again prior to Borg at RG.

I know you didn't paint it as a foregone conclusion that Connors would have won an RG or two in those years, but I think there is just as much information to indicate he may not have won any.

fastdunn
06-12-2007, 02:12 PM
By the way, what was the base of argument from Jack Kramer who
put Laver as a "second tier player" among all time greats, outside of top 5 ?

Anyone read Jack Kramer's book ?

fastdunn
06-12-2007, 02:26 PM
...with Fed likely to join them as longevity and length of dominance are my reservations at this point and not a lack of an RG).

Yeah, Federer put himself under extremely high standard via last 3-4 years.
It's been dangerous high standard. 8 straight slam finals and winning just
about *all* tournaments, not just slams. I would be really surprized
if he continues for 3 more years.

Moose Malloy
06-12-2007, 02:30 PM
Well, Kramer never played against Laver. Most players are a little biased to the era in which they played, which is why Kramer was so big on Vines, Budge, he grew up idolizing them & finally playing them.

BTW Kramer does have a bit of an ego(as all alltime greats do)
In his book he went through the pre open era winners of the US Open & Wimbledon & named who he thought would have won those years had pros been allowed to play. I think he gave himself credit for winning 5 US Opens & 4 Wimbledons in that chapter titled "they way it would have been."

CyBorg
06-12-2007, 02:40 PM
In regards to Connors victories over Borg on clay at the US Open in 75 and 76 let it be known that the surface was the much faster 'green' clay, as opposed to the super-slow red clay.

I don't think Connors would beat Borg on red clay - even in 74. The high bounce was not to Jimmy's advantage, he liked to attack and work quickly. Jimmy liked to surprise opponents, not exchange deep, high grounstrokes from baseline to baseline.

CyBorg
06-12-2007, 02:45 PM
I agree with you 100%, but Cybog is either drunk all the time or just released from a Swedish mental hospital.

You're half right. I am indeed very, very drunk. But I drink only expensive liquor, which makes me a classy drunk. And people listen to classy drunks.

chaognosis
06-12-2007, 02:46 PM
By the way, what was the base of argument from Jack Kramer who
put Laver as a "secound tier" of all time great, outside of top 5 ?

Anyone read Jack Kramer's book ?

Yes. Kramer was a great player and a shrewd businessman, but also a chauvinist. Many writers who have cited Kramer give him far too much credit IMO - he has the reputation for having a fair, keen and insightful mind, but I often find him to be not-so-transparently self promoting. His analysis of the all-time greats is obviously slanted toward the players he idolized growing up (Vines and Budge). He lumps Tilden, Perry, Riggs and Gonzales together just beneath the top two, but he seems to vastly overrate Riggs... perhaps b/c he himself beat Riggs, thus implying that he belongs in that top group as well. He favors American players and big hitters. He considers Laver one of the most talented shotmaking artists of all time, but he also believes that Gonzales would have beaten Laver regularly; more controversially, he states that Riggs would have beaten Gonzales regularly! He also greatly underestimates Rosewall, and considers that Segura was a much better player.

CyBorg
06-12-2007, 02:50 PM
The neighbouring thread here has insight on Borg at the US Open: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=135637

chaognosis
06-12-2007, 02:52 PM
Well, Kramer never played against Laver. Most players are a little biased to the era in which they played, which is why Kramer was so big on Vines, Budge, he grew up idolizing them & finally playing them.

BTW Kramer does have a bit of an ego(as all alltime greats do)
In his book he went through the pre open era winners of the US Open & Wimbledon & named who he thought would have won those years had pros been allowed to play. I think he gave himself credit for winning 5 US Opens & 4 Wimbledons in that chapter titled "they way it would have been."

He is also quite certain that Perry would not have won three Wimbledons, meaning that Kramer himself would have been the first player to win three Wimbledons in the modern era. Which may be true, but nevertheless he is quite full of himself, that one.

Regarding Vines, it is interesting how many people here remember Hoad - recalling how many other great players considered him the best on his day - but few talk about Vines, who received just as many (if not more) accolades. Tilden, Budge and Riggs, in addition to Kramer, all considered him the best ever at the top of his game. Riggs, in fact, once said that Vines may have been not only the greatest tennis player ever (post-Tilden, anyway) but also the greatest athlete!

Kaptain Karl
06-12-2007, 02:52 PM
I've posted this in another thread...

My list is based on ... wins, depth (surface and Doubles variety) ... "Wow!" factor ... and if I saw them play much.

[I "saw" Gonzales play, but I've realized I didn't have an appreciation for what I was witnessing....]

1. Federer
1a. (T) Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Nastase
6. (T) Connors, Emerson
8. (T) Sampras Agassi, Safin
11. (T) Newcombe, Rosewall, Lendl
14. Becker
15. (T) Edberg, Wilander
17. (T) Nadal, Vilas

- KK

CyBorg
06-12-2007, 03:01 PM
I've posted this in another thread...

My list is based on ... wins, depth (surface and Doubles variety) ... "Wow!" factor ... and if I saw them play much.

[I "saw" Gonzales play, but I've realized I didn't have an appreciation for what I was witnessing....]

1. Federer
1a. (T) Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Nastase
6. (T) Connors, Emerson
8. (T) Sampras Agassi, Safin
11. (T) Newcombe, Rosewall, Lendl
14. Becker
15. (T) Edberg, Wilander
17. (T) Nadal, Vilas

- KK

Interesting list. I say that because it seems to give some preference to 'peak' performance. I see that in the rating of Nastase and Safin in particular. Although that doesn't explain why Agassi is on the same level as Pistol Pete.

I entertain the idea of the necessity of two lists. One being the 'peak' performance list and the other dealing more with longevity. The former, for instance, would rate Safin way ahead of Agassi and the latter would do the opposite. Combining the two is difficult, which is why so many posters disagree on where Andre should be rated.

I, myself, prefer the 'peak' aspect, which is why I find Andre to be overrated. The greatest defence for paying attention to peak performance is that it necessitates in-depth analysis of the player's game and gives less credence to statisical historical data (wikipedia expertise). In other words, take me 50 years back to see Lew Hoad at a particular moment in time and I will tell you how good he was based on that one viewing. A lot like scouting.

Moose Malloy
06-12-2007, 03:04 PM
Regarding Vines, it is interesting how many people here remember Hoad - recalling how many other great players considered him the best on his day - but few talk about Vines, who received just as many (if not more) accolades. Tilden, Budge and Riggs, in addition to Kramer, all considered him the best ever at the top of his game. Riggs, in fact, once said that Vines may have been not only the greatest tennis player ever (post-Tilden, anyway) but also the greatest athlete!

Well, I think the answer is obvious, there are still many former players & writers around who saw Hoad play. How many are alive that saw Vines? In another 10-20 years, when many of the great Aussies are gone, I have a feeling Hoad will fade away from these conversations.

CyBorg
06-12-2007, 03:07 PM
Well, I think the answer is obvious, there are still many former players & writers around who saw Hoad play. How many are alive that saw Vines? In another 10-20 years, when many of the great Aussies are gone, I have a feeling Hoad will fade away from these conversations.

I haven't heard a well thought out opinion on Don Budge in years in the mainstream media. It's a shame that tapes from that period are not readily available for public consumption. I guess they're trying to keep it a secret.

chaognosis
06-12-2007, 03:18 PM
Well, I think the answer is obvious, there are still many former players & writers around who saw Hoad play. How many are alive that saw Vines? In another 10-20 years, when many of the great Aussies are gone, I have a feeling Hoad will fade away from these conversations.

You're right of course. But I was presuming the use of written sources, too. Most books I have that describe Hoad's game in detail, also have a chapter or so on Vines.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're right about Hoad fading away.

vsgut
06-12-2007, 06:18 PM
We just played points. He won 10-2 with him serving. With me serving he won 10-5.

VikingSamurai
06-12-2007, 06:32 PM
The talk of surfaces is also something that people should do a little more homework on.. The grass courts in Melbourne (Kooyong) or at Brisbane(Milton) that the Australian Open were played on, can in no way be mentioned in the same breath as Wimbledon.

London has a wet environment and thicker air conditions. Thus making the grass a little slower and the ball a little heavier.. Melbourne (Kooyong) has a dryer climate and so the surface would have been alot faster compared to a damp Wimbledon court. In hence, a hard court of the day..

(Even to this day, Australia will always prepare a lightning fast grass court for Davis Cup in home tie's, simply as it is a completely different surface to what is being played on today by most players from other countries...

To say that also say that the surfaces were all the same again is something that I laugh at, as back in the day. They played on different varients of grass courts, clay courts (red & green), carpet, tiles, wood, cement, rubber..

But these days it seems to be just clay and hard courts, with Wimbledon and 2 or 3 grass tournaments to fill in for 3 weeks a year.. That to me would say that the tennis today is the real bore in the grand scheme of things, and so why the players of yesteryear can hold their heads up high..

In closing, I want everyone to remember that the tennis of days gone by, can never be compared to the tennis of today.. Why?.. Well, today, players have it made. Decent lifestyles, endorsments, hotels, first class everything..

Back in the day. They didnt even know if they were going to be allowed to play the following year because of the different parties involved.. They didnt have the prize money or the endorsments they do now. And to cap things off. They all seemed to get along with each other as best they could. As they were all doing what they loved.. It was never about money to them, and no matter how they did it. They have their names engraved on the trophies of the titles that they won.. No one can ever take that away from them..

So when I hear some punk kid doesnt know what he is talking about bad mouthing the greats. Then I simply just laugh to myself.. The greats are great. Because their names are on those trophies!..

alan-n
06-12-2007, 09:46 PM
Laver overrated? This is funny considering whats been mentioned. During Laver's prime he was not allowed to compete at the majors due to idiotic politics and yet when he was allowed to compete again at the majors he was able to win the calendar grand slam past his prime. As for the hard court non-sense, Laver's record and titles on hardcourts speaks for itself.

Some of you need to dig out the archive videos on the players during the wood era. Laver stands out amongst the rest of the players with his ability to hit any shot, the only player that exceeds him in the variety of shot making department is Federer. Beyond those two players there is a HUGE gap in that department.

Give a young Rod Laver modern tennis equipment and the results would be the same, the guy had the ability to hit any shot from anywhere as hard as any of the bigger men during his era. If Laver can hit the ball as hard as the big men with wood racquet, he could do the same to players today with modern equipment.

urban
06-12-2007, 10:32 PM
To Chaog, Moose and others on the Kramer question. On the Steve Flink webside, there is an interview with Kramer from 2002 or 2001, where he ranks the top 5 Wimbledon champions. I think, he ranks Vines, Budge, Gonzales, Laver and Sampras. Obviously he has changed his mind a bit between his book, around 1980, and 2002.

chaognosis
06-12-2007, 11:22 PM
Thanks for that info, urban.

I do remember an interview with Kramer at Wimbledon two or three years ago, where he compared Federer to Gonzales. At the time, he felt confident that Vines and Budge would have found a way to beat Federer.

Moose Malloy
06-13-2007, 01:49 PM
So how does Kramer rate Sampras against the other masters of his craft? Asked to name his top five grass-court players of all time, Kramer responds: "Without putting them in any particular order, I would have to start with Don Budge. I will never see anybody that played the game better than Budge. My next pick is Ellsworth Vines. Pancho Gonzales has to be in that group. So does Rod Laver. Sampras is right in there with them." He feels Budge would have provided the toughest opposition for Sampras. "He had the best return of serve of all the great grass court players I mentioned."

One champion who did not make Kramer's list is Bjorn Borg. He pokes fun at himself when he recalls telling Dan Maskell during a BBC broadcast in the early 1970s: "Bjorn Borg will never win Wimbledon with his style of tennis."

Kramer recalls: "I was misjudging Bjorn's ability to change his style of play for grass. His serve improved 100 per cent when he played on grass compared to other surfaces. But I don't think he played anybody as good as Pete Sampras. John McEnroe was a fabulous grass-court player... but I definitely feel Pete is a better grass- court player than John."

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20010625/ai_n14398833

federerfanatic
06-13-2007, 02:14 PM
As a Federer fan I can appreciate what Laver did at the French Open in 1969 on his way to winning the Grand Slam that much more. Nadal in all likelihood will be rated higher then Rosewall on clay, but Rosewall is still one of the greatest clay courters in history(and players in his case). He was clearly believed to have the advantage over Laver on clay, similar to how Nadal is on Federer. So that was an against the odds match on the way to a Grand Slam, and he rose to the occasion in that big pressure match and won it convincingly with one of his best matches ever on clay. Watching in frusteration Federer struggle with the pressure and the magnitude of the occasion of playing Nadal in a French Open final, and not even come that close to pulling off the same thing, one can appreciate it more.

Arafel
06-13-2007, 03:11 PM
Don't forget Borg was injured in the '78 US Open final, he would have defaulted had it not been a major final. That match was basically a walkover, all Connors had to do was showup(not his fault of course)

He wasn't fully healthy, no, but I don't put an admittedly bad blister on your thumb in the same category as a broken thumb. I don't thnk that the blister should have resulted in Connor's straight set demolition of Borg. I always viewed that as Connors' payback for the 78 Wimbledon final, and ensuing press conference, where Connors quipped "I'll follow that ******* to the ends of the earth," when he was asked if he'd play Australia if Borg won the US.

Arafel
06-13-2007, 03:16 PM
In regards to Connors victories over Borg on clay at the US Open in 75 and 76 let it be known that the surface was the much faster 'green' clay, as opposed to the super-slow red clay.

I don't think Connors would beat Borg on red clay - even in 74. The high bounce was not to Jimmy's advantage, he liked to attack and work quickly. Jimmy liked to surprise opponents, not exchange deep, high grounstrokes from baseline to baseline.

I don't think anyone would have stopped Connors at the French in 74, certainly not Borg, whom Connors owned until Borg turned it around with his 5 set win at Wimbledon in 77. Connors did like to play aggressively, moving the ball around and then coming into net for the putaway (which he did masterfully in the 76 US Open final), but Connors was equally adept at taking the ball on the rise and slugging from the baseline, which is why I don't think the high bounces would have troubled him too much. What amazed people in 74 was Connors' consistency, given how hard he was slugging the ball.

Had he played the French in 74-78, I think it likely he would have won in 74, and possibly in 76 when Borg passed it by. Unfortunately, we'll never know. Thanks Arthur, you hypocrite

krosero
06-13-2007, 04:59 PM
As a Federer fan I can appreciate what Laver did at the French Open in 1969 on his way to winning the Grand Slam that much more. Nadal in all likelihood will be rated higher then Rosewall on clay, but Rosewall is still one of the greatest clay courters in history(and players in his case). He was clearly believed to have the advantage over Laver on clay, similar to how Nadal is on Federer. So that was an against the odds match on the way to a Grand Slam, and he rose to the occasion in that big pressure match and won it convincingly with one of his best matches ever on clay. Watching in frusteration Federer struggle with the pressure and the magnitude of the occasion of playing Nadal in a French Open final, and not even come that close to pulling off the same thing, one can appreciate it more.Anyone here know how Laver pulled off that win over Rosewall?

Did he do something different, or was his regular game just too good for Rosewall on that day?

krosero
06-13-2007, 05:07 PM
I don't think anyone would have stopped Connors at the French in 74, certainly not Borg, whom Connors owned until Borg turned it around with his 5 set win at Wimbledon in 77. As of the '74 French Open, Connors did not own him. Borg had won their only meeting, the previous autumn on a fast indoor court in Stockholm. Had they met in the final in Paris, Borg would have come in as the Italian Open champion and Connors was still just a one-time Slam winner in Australia; he would not necessarily have been more confident than Borg or the favorite to win.

Now, Connors did beat Borg on Har-Tru later that summer, in the final of the U.S. Claycourt Championships in Indianapolis, 5-7 6-3 6-4. That's a close match. How would a match in Paris have been different? Well Connors felt at home in the U.S. while Borg did not. Also factor in the slower red clay of the French, and Borg's prowess in best-of-five matches, and you've got a tough match in Paris. I'd give it to Borg.

Arafel
06-13-2007, 05:54 PM
As of the '74 French Open, Connors did not own him. Borg had won their only meeting, the previous autumn on a fast indoor court in Stockholm. Had they met in the final in Paris, Borg would have come in as the Italian Open champion and Connors was still just a one-time Slam winner in Australia; he would not necessarily have been more confident than Borg or the favorite to win.

Now, Connors did beat Borg on Har-Tru later that summer, in the final of the U.S. Claycourt Championships in Indianapolis, 5-7 6-3 6-4. That's a close match. How would a match in Paris have been different? Well Connors felt at home in the U.S. while Borg did not. Also factor in the slower red clay of the French, and Borg's prowess in best-of-five matches, and you've got a tough match in Paris. I'd give it to Borg.


Maybe, but you could say the same thing about Borg feeling at home in Stockholm and Connors not so. Connors would have had confidence from the Aussie. By 76, I think Connors had an 8-2 record over Borg, so at least in the early years, Connors was much stronger.

The other thing is that if Connors plays that tournament, he's seeded #1 or 2, and that would affect who Borg played, so who knows what would have happened. It's unfortunate, one of those great "what ifs?".

fastdunn
06-13-2007, 06:36 PM
I just can't accept that Federer has more varieties than anyone in history.

He plays all the varieties 90% of time at the baseline.
But the artistry done inside service box used to be pretty big part of the
whole thing. Maybe more than 50% of whole thing, sometimes.

Plus, he deals with baseliners 99% percent of time and puts out all the
varieties within that domain only.

If the domain was smaller, wouldn't past greats use more varieties within that smaller domain ?

Of course he has the most skills among current players.
How can I consider him as most verstile player ever ?

Enlighten me on this one.

krosero
06-13-2007, 06:38 PM
Maybe, but you could say the same thing about Borg feeling at home in Stockholm and Connors not so. Connors would have had confidence from the Aussie. By 76, I think Connors had an 8-2 record over Borg, so at least in the early years, Connors was much stronger.

The other thing is that if Connors plays that tournament, he's seeded #1 or 2, and that would affect who Borg played, so who knows what would have happened. It's unfortunate, one of those great "what ifs?".True, Borg had the home-court advantage in Stockholm, Connors in Indianapolis. Paris was, at least technically, neutral ground -- though Borg was "at home" on European clay courts. He'd just won the Italian; for the French I think that translates into more confidence than the victory in Australia.

CyBorg
06-13-2007, 07:22 PM
I don't think anyone would have stopped Connors at the French in 74, certainly not Borg, whom Connors owned until Borg turned it around with his 5 set win at Wimbledon in 77. Connors did like to play aggressively, moving the ball around and then coming into net for the putaway (which he did masterfully in the 76 US Open final), but Connors was equally adept at taking the ball on the rise and slugging from the baseline, which is why I don't think the high bounces would have troubled him too much. What amazed people in 74 was Connors' consistency, given how hard he was slugging the ball.

Had he played the French in 74-78, I think it likely he would have won in 74, and possibly in 76 when Borg passed it by. Unfortunately, we'll never know. Thanks Arthur, you hypocrite

Borg skipped the French in 77. Lost to Panatta in 76 - just to clarify.

It would have been interesting to see Connors at the French in those years. But I do think it is important to point out that green and red clay are vastly different and thus not comparable.

Rabbit
06-13-2007, 08:09 PM
after the arthur ashe match, everything changed.
Everybody knew how to beat him,

1)heavy slice out wide-short slice to his forehand/hit into the open court.
2)move him out wide,( giving him no pace), short slice to the forehand

That match changed connor's life.

Yes, I agree. Connors limped to 5 more Grand Slam titles, 10 more Grand Slam finals, and was lucky to win the 65 remaining titles of the total 105 that he won. Some times I wonder how he was able to do it after being a broken beaten man when Ashe got through with him. In '75, he was so distraught, that he made the US Open finals and lost to Manuel Orantes who can barely play on clay. Orantes probably used the very same tactics that Ashe did.

It is a wonder that he was able to be ranked #1 in the world in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, and 1983 (source ATP rankings on website). Clearly those tactics cut short his 263 weeks at #1 in the world. Although he won more matches than any other pro in tennis history, 1,337, the 285 he lost are a clear indication that he couldn't handle low slices. His .824 winning percentage would have been much higher had he just changed his grip or hit a one-handed slice backhand.

Why, it was pure luck that enabled him to win the '76 Open over Borg, the '78 Open over Borg, the '82 Wimbledon over McEnroe, the '82 Open over Lendl, and the '83 Open over Lendl. Had Lendl followed the prescribed method for beating Connors, he wouldn't have lost that 4th set 6-0 to a clearly changed Connors. Had Connors been able to defeat those tactics, he might have won 3 more Grand Slam titles which would have catapulted him to first place among American men in total Grand Slams. As is, he'll have to settle for second place, but first among all American men who played in the Open era.

I felt really bad for him in '91. He was still out there trying to counter those tactics. I vividly remember Jim Courier in the semifinals of the US Open using the low slices and spins to keep Connors at bay. The way Courier hit with no pace is strikingly familiar to a serious tennis fan as reminiscent of Ashe.

Yes, Ashe's victory over Connors clearly ruined what would have been an otherwise brilliant career.

krosero
06-13-2007, 08:19 PM
Borg skipped the French in 77. Lost to Panatta in 76 - just to clarify.

It would have been interesting to see Connors at the French in those years. But I do think it is important to point out that green and red clay are vastly different and thus not comparable.I recently saw the '76 USO final and I think what Connors liked about Har-Tru was that the ball did not die as it did on grass, but it also came to him with more of the pace that he liked than it did on red clay.

Now I've never seen Connors play a full match on red clay, but I think he has two problems on that surface: the ball kicks up high with topspin and he has to generate more of the pace. On Har-Tru the ball was often right in his strike zone and he could just throw his entire body into it. Not that different from what he did on hard court.

NoBadMojo
06-13-2007, 08:30 PM
after the arthur ashe match, everything changed.
Everybody knew how to beat him,

1)heavy slice out wide-short slice to his forehand/hit into the open court.
2)move him out wide,( giving him no pace), short slice to the forehand

That match changed connor's life.

i dont know that it changed connors life, but clearly a mid court low bounding ball to the connors forehand was his kryptonite. i suppose it was because of his semi western but flat struck forehand, which was VERY unorthodox. try hitting a flat forehand sometime with a semi western grip just for chuckles.

i remember one match in particular where Lendl kept slicing backhands to the Connors forehand kind of shortish in the court..a steady diet of that stuff infuriated Connors, he mae a ton of UE's, and he got thumped and angrily left the court. in his post match interview he was still fuming and said that Lendl was just 'bunting the ball out there'....lol..Lendl bunting?

rasajadad
06-14-2007, 06:51 AM
Yes, I agree. Connors limped to 5 more Grand Slam titles, 10 more Grand Slam finals, and was lucky to win the 65 remaining titles of the total 105 that he won. Some times I wonder how he was able to do it after being a broken beaten man when Ashe got through with him. In '75, he was so distraught, that he made the US Open finals and lost to Manuel Orantes who can barely play on clay. Orantes probably used the very same tactics that Ashe did.

It is a wonder that he was able to be ranked #1 in the world in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, and 1983 (source ATP rankings on website). Clearly those tactics cut short his 263 weeks at #1 in the world. Although he won more matches than any other pro in tennis history, 1,337, the 285 he lost are a clear indication that he couldn't handle low slices. His .824 winning percentage would have been much higher had he just changed his grip or hit a one-handed slice backhand.

Why, it was pure luck that enabled him to win the '76 Open over Borg, the '78 Open over Borg, the '82 Wimbledon over McEnroe, the '82 Open over Lendl, and the '83 Open over Lendl. Had Lendl followed the prescribed method for beating Connors, he wouldn't have lost that 4th set 6-0 to a clearly changed Connors. Had Connors been able to defeat those tactics, he might have won 3 more Grand Slam titles which would have catapulted him to first place among American men in total Grand Slams. As is, he'll have to settle for second place, but first among all American men who played in the Open era.

I felt really bad for him in '91. He was still out there trying to counter those tactics. I vividly remember Jim Courier in the semifinals of the US Open using the low slices and spins to keep Connors at bay. The way Courier hit with no pace is strikingly familiar to a serious tennis fan as reminiscent of Ashe.

Yes, Ashe's victory over Connors clearly ruined what would have been an otherwise brilliant career.

Rabbit- You are, as usual, quite right. Though I heard that after the Ashe match, he had the wind with him for the entire balance of his career.

bluegrasser
06-14-2007, 07:06 AM
I had the opportunity to hit against Mr. Laver when he was 45. I was a solid 5.0 player and could not handle him. He was hitting with an aluminum frame.

He hit a heavy topspin on his forehand and backhand and could really knife his slice backhand approach shot. Volleys were awesome.

No telling what the guys back in their day had access to the dietary knowledge and fitness knowledge that todays players have to say nothing about the graphite frames and polyester strings.

vsgut1954

Spot on - I saw him live when he was in his forties at the John Wayne Club' in Newport beach Ca & his strokes were amazing - I've also seen Connors Mac, Borg, Sampras, Courier, AA, and others live, so i have something to compare to. The 'Rocket' would of fared well in todays game.

Rabbit
06-14-2007, 08:13 AM
I had the opportunity to hit against Mr. Laver when he was 45. I was a solid 5.0 player and could not handle him. He was hitting with an aluminum frame.

He hit a heavy topspin on his forehand and backhand and could really knife his slice backhand approach shot. Volleys were awesome.

No telling what the guys back in their day had access to the dietary knowledge and fitness knowledge that todays players have to say nothing about the graphite frames and polyester strings.

vsgut1954

On a side note given who you were hitting with, how were you able to keep the ball in court? My arm would have been rubber. Were you awestruck at all? Did you go into it thinking you could hang? That would have been awesome to say the least. You're a lucky guy.

Arthur Ashe used to say he was in such awe of Laver that he would get physically ill prior to playing him. There was the story of Ashe throwing up just prior to his match at the Open with Laver in '69; all from nerves.

CyBorg
06-14-2007, 08:50 AM
I recently saw the '76 USO final and I think what Connors liked about Har-Tru was that the ball did not die as it did on grass, but it also came to him with more of the pace that he liked than it did on red clay.

Now I've never seen Connors play a full match on red clay, but I think he has two problems on that surface: the ball kicks up high with topspin and he has to generate more of the pace. On Har-Tru the ball was often right in his strike zone and he could just throw his entire body into it. Not that different from what he did on hard court.

Good post. Connors is a guy who liked to create a pace to the match and maintain it to the detriment of his opponent. The red clay was an entirely different ball game. The long rallies made the matches about individual games. One rally would have almost no relation to another. That meant every single game was like starting over from scratch. Domination was in being consistent and icy-veined, not intimidating.

Much has changed since those years.

CyBorg
06-14-2007, 09:03 AM
So how does Kramer rate Sampras against the other masters of his craft? Asked to name his top five grass-court players of all time, Kramer responds: "Without putting them in any particular order, I would have to start with Don Budge. I will never see anybody that played the game better than Budge. My next pick is Ellsworth Vines. Pancho Gonzales has to be in that group. So does Rod Laver. Sampras is right in there with them." He feels Budge would have provided the toughest opposition for Sampras. "He had the best return of serve of all the great grass court players I mentioned."

One champion who did not make Kramer's list is Bjorn Borg. He pokes fun at himself when he recalls telling Dan Maskell during a BBC broadcast in the early 1970s: "Bjorn Borg will never win Wimbledon with his style of tennis."

Kramer recalls: "I was misjudging Bjorn's ability to change his style of play for grass. His serve improved 100 per cent when he played on grass compared to other surfaces. But I don't think he played anybody as good as Pete Sampras. John McEnroe was a fabulous grass-court player... but I definitely feel Pete is a better grass- court player than John."

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20010625/ai_n14398833

Kramer sure is an old fogey. He's entitled to his opinion about Mac and Borg.

However I take issue with his last comment in particular, that Borg never played anyone as good as Sampras on grass.

Asinine comment, considering that Pete Sampras never played anyone as good as himself on grass. Also consider that Pete Sampras never played anyone as good as Borg on grass. Kind of goes both ways. Consider the possibility of a 5-time Wimbledon Champion and a 7-time Wimbledon Champion both playing each other on grass, each in his prime. This is virtually impossible, because their wins would embody 12 years in between them - with no one else winning in the meantime. This just doesn't happen - one player dominates a major, then stops and another takes over. Both don't do it at the same time. There is no way Borg would have someone like Sampras in his era and vice versa. It is actually amazing that Borg faced such greats as Connors and Mac, considering those two guys' great accomplishments at Wimbledon (2 and 3 Wimbys respectively).

Now let's see who Sampras faced in the Wimbledon finals:

Jim Courier in 1993 .. that's right, the amazing grass-courter himself
Goran Ivanisevic in 1994 .. the Roscoe Tanner of his day .. big serve, contender, one major
Boris Becker in 1995 .. a great champion 6 years removed from his last Wimby, past his prime .. sort of a John Newcombe of his day, if you will
Cedric Pioline in 1997 .. don't even get me started
Goran Ivanisevic in 1998 .. back and as error-prone as ever .. nice battle though
Andre Agassi in 1999 .. not even close to the level of Connors on grass .. he counterpunched to his one and only Wimbledon in the transitional era between the Becker-Edberg dominance and the Sampras one .. at that time, Sampras was a tad stick-figured and inexperienced.
Patrick Rafter in 2000 .. major props to Patrick of course, but he's no Connors and no Mac.

Now, I can go deeper as to the other finalists Pete faced in his career .. he faced Pioline one more time at the US Open 1993 and played Chang at the 1996 US Open final. Admittedly, I think that the 90's era of hard court tennis was outstanding - very deep, pretty good top-end talent. But very few of these guys translated well to grass and this helped Sampras dominate on that surface, as great as he still was on it.

Kramer is a stubborn guy. He made an initial comment which he regrets, but he feels that he cannot abandon it altogether, thus he partly justifies it by stating that Borg is not at the level of Sampras and Laver. Well, whatever helps you sleep at night, Jack.

CyBorg
06-14-2007, 09:15 AM
Week 1 draws for Pete Sampras at Wimbledon

1993 - Borwick, Morgan, Black, Foster (WC)
1994 - Palmer, Reneberg, Adams, Vacek
1995 - Braacch, Henman (very young and a wildcard at the time), Palmer, Rusedski
1997 - Tillstrom, Dreekmann, Black, Korda
1998 - Hrbaty, Tillstrom, Enqvist, Grosjean
1999 - Draper, Lareau, Sapsford, Nestor
2000 - Vanek, Kucera, Gimelstob, Bjorkman

Week 1 draws for Bjorn Borg at Wimbledon

1976 - D. Lloyd, Riessen, Dibley, Gottfried
1977 - Zugarelli, Edmondson, Pilic, Fibak
1978 - Amaya, McNamara, Fillol Sr. Masters
1979 - Gorman, Amritraj (Vijay), Pfister, Teacher
1980 - El Shafei, Glickstein, Frawley, Taroczy
1981 - Rennert, Purcell, Gehring, Gerulaitis

Overall, I see a wash. It really depends on how much you know about the 70s guys - some of them are quite good, some not so much. Sampras' week one draw in 1999 is particularly laughable with the Lareau-Nestor matchups - it's funny how he got to face both doubles partners separately.

Interestingly, Sampras' toughest week one draw came up in 1996, where after facing Philippousis, Kucera and Pioline he was out of sorts and lost to Richard Krajicek in the QF.

Moose Malloy
06-14-2007, 10:53 AM
The other thing is that if Connors plays that tournament, he's seeded #1 or 2, and that would affect who Borg played, so who knows what would have happened. It's unfortunate, one of those great "what ifs?".

Nastase was still #1 at the time of the '74 French. Borg was seeded 3. Not sure where Connors was ranked, but he didn't get to #1 until late July '74. I'm also not sure that the French used the ATP ranking for seeding in those days, I see some inconsistencies between seeds at the slams & the rank at the times of those slams. Connors was only seeded 3 at Wimbledon '74.

I used to think Connors was a lock for the '74 French, but the more I've learned about that year, the less likely I think that would have been the case. In '74, outside of the slams & a few ATP events, Connors was playing events with considerably weaker fields. The fact that Connors didn't play Newcombe or Laver(they won a lot of titles that year) in '74 is a little troubling for such a clearcut #1. And he only played Smith & Nastase once each that year! Didn't play Vilas either.
And he wasn't blowing people away at the slams(except Ken Rosewall), he played several 5 setters at Wimbledon & US Open that year, so you can't say he was really that far above everyone else, if you look closer. Plus the French was in May of that year, I don't think Connors was really considered the dominant player until after Wimbledon, so I doubt Borg would have been intimidated by playing Connors at the French, its not like he was #1 or was the favorite, & they had no real history in big matches at that point. And yes Connors won the Australian Open in January '74, but not sure that was perceived to be that big a win to the other players, it had a weak field that year & was already losing its luster. Connors won 3 straight small events after the AO beating Karl Meiler in the final. I doubt that would have meant anything to his chances at the French. He didn't win any of the big events(wasn't even entered in Philadelphia, Dallas, or Vegas, those were like masters series type events) between the Australian & French.
Connors was very impressive post US Open that year though, winning some high profile events with strong fields. I think the Connors of May '74 was still unproven in big tourneys though.

Connors' record on red clay was poor in '73, losing in the 1st Round of the French & Italian(was seeded at both events), I doubt he could have improved his claycourt game that much in a year. Frankly, I don't think he wouldhave reached the FO final that year. Americans weren't so good on red clay those days.

Connors blew off the red clay season until 1979. Once he started playing he had some good results, but it was clearly his weakest surface & he lost some matches to guys he would have destroyed on any other surface. Though Connors skipped the French from '74-'78, I doubt he would have ever won it, though may have made the final there at some point. It just didn't suit his game, you needed topsin(even in those days) to do well there.

Plus looking at the draw for the '74 French, it doesn't look like anyone had it easy. Many early round upsets, & Borg had to go 5 in his last 3 matches. Not sure how Connors would have fared vs Dibbs, Solomon, or Parun that year, let alone Borg(or the finalist that year-Orantes)
And don't forget Borg won the Italian Open the week before the French that year, beating Vilas, Nastase & Orantes, he didn't win that French out of nowhere or something.

Now I've never seen Connors play a full match on red clay, but I think he has two problems on that surface: the ball kicks up high with topspin and he has to generate more of the pace. On Har-Tru the ball was often right in his strike zone and he could just throw his entire body into it. Not that different from what he did on hard court.

I saw his SF losses at the French '79/'80, he didn't look comfortable at all, couldn't really get the same stick on his shots that he did on green clay. And he was playing Pecci & Gerulaitis those matches, not the most heavy hitters from the baseline(both were S&Ving quite a bit actually)

urban
06-14-2007, 11:45 AM
Fully agree with your description of Connors in 74, Moose.

kevhen
06-14-2007, 01:02 PM
Players of today are much more athletic, able to hit a ball with much more power and spin although maybe not as crafty or as skilled at net as the players of the past, but players of today would beat players of yesterday if only because players of yesterday were not capable of generating the amount of topspin using classic grips as well as not being as tall or as fast as today's players. Sports evolve and usually athletes have improved over time as noted by records like track and field results over the last 100 years.

Federer is the best and Sampras second best if you let everyone use modern equipment and play at the peak of their career on all 4 surfaces.

Federer did beat Sampras the only time they played. Peter was still ranked higher at the time and Federer has only gotten better.

Rabbit
06-19-2007, 04:25 PM
^yeah, I've noticed how much bigger and stronger stringers are today as well. They have better equipment, and can string polyester too.

Japanese Maple
06-21-2007, 06:33 AM
Its a joke to compare Laver to todays players particularly Sampras and Federer. Laver played against what 3-4 countries versus the world and every country imaginable and Laver won his grand slams mainly on grass. Besides, he is only 5'8 and can't compare to the 6'1-6'3 studs today-he is a shrimp! I think the fact that Federer is the second best clay courter in the world and has played in two straight French Opens speaks volumes to his enormous talent and dominace as the greatest player ever!

CyBorg
06-21-2007, 07:45 AM
Its a joke to compare Laver to todays players particularly Sampras and Federer. Laver played against what 3-4 countries versus the world and every country imaginable and Laver won his grand slams mainly on grass. Besides, he is only 5'8 and can't compare to the 6'1-6'3 studs today-he is a shrimp! I think the fact that Federer is the second best clay courter in the world and has played in two straight French Opens speaks volumes to his enormous talent and dominace as the greatest player ever!

Yes. It's a joke. It really, really is.

Thanks for contributing. Your post has changed everything.

sandy mayer
06-22-2007, 02:16 AM
If we look at the great players that have featured in the open era, Laver is the only one that doesn't have a blemish on his CV:
Borg - Failed to win the most competitive grand slam, the US Open
Sampras - Failed to win or even reach the final at the French Open
Rosewall - Failed to win Wimbledon
Federer - Has failed to win the French Open so far
Lendl - Failed to win Wimbledon
Agassi - Failed to dominate his era.
Connors - Failed to win or even reach the final at the French Open
McEnroe - Failed to win the French Open

Connors would have atleast reached a French final if he'd played his peak years in 74-78. I don't think Borg's failure at Flushing Meadows was such a blemish. He was a great hard court player.
Rosewall would have won Wimbledon if he'd been playing in the open era. Federer would have won the French in the 80s and 90s. Nadal would have stopped anyone at Roland Garros, with the exception of Borg.

sandy mayer
06-22-2007, 02:33 AM
[QUOTE=CyBorg;1518165]Kramer sure is an old fogey. He's entitled to his opinion about Mac and Borg.

However I take issue with his last comment in particular, that Borg never played anyone as good as Sampras on grass.

I agree. It's a myth Borg didn't play good grass courters. Connors was an underrated volleyer and a great grass court player: a tough match for anyone. Borg beat him for 3 of his titles. Mac is also great. So for 4 of Borg's titles he had to overcome Connors or Borg. Tanner was tough and Borg beat him twice, and Nastase was very formidable, and Borg had to beat him for two of his titles.

sandy mayer
06-22-2007, 02:38 AM
Fully agree with your description of Connors in 74, Moose.

Connors was head and shoulders above everyone else in 74.

Japanese Maple
06-22-2007, 03:58 AM
Cyborg! I noticed you didn't address my statement because ypu know it is true. Laver played against a very small pool of talent representing mainly Australia, US, and England. At only 5'8'' he couldn't possibly compare athletically to Sampras and Federer. I get so sick about hearing about Lavers two grand slams-what a joke! He won those mainly on grass against only a handful of players competitively. When it is all done Federer will go down as the greatest player ever and not a little munchkin!

Rabbit
06-22-2007, 05:56 AM
Cyborg! I noticed you didn't address my statement because ypu know it is true. Laver played against a very small poll of talent representing mainly Australia, US, and England. At only 5'8'' he couldn't possibly compare athletically to Sampras and Federer. I get so sick about hearing about Lavers two grand slams-what a joke! He won those mainly on grass against only a handful of players competitively. When it is all done Federer will go down as the greatest player ever and not a little munchkin!

I guess then the difference between 5' 8" and 5' 11" is astronomical? Andre Agassi is 5'11" and seemed to fare well against Roger Federer even though he was way over 30.


Using your logic, there is no way Oliver Rochus at 5'5" (really 5'3") should be able to compete with, I don't know, Ivo Karlovic? And yet, when the cold light of reality is shown, Rochus has defeated Karlovic not once, but twice. And, one of those victories was on grass.

Now, certainly the "poll of talent" (is that different than "pool of talent") is greater now, but I don't believe Mr. Laver's height would in any way preclude him from competing on today's tour. Much as it doesn't appear to hurt a host of players who compete on today's tour and are under 6' 2".

Your assumption is false and your agrument ridiculous.

FiveO
06-22-2007, 07:52 AM
Cyborg! I noticed you didn't address my statement because ypu know it is true. Laver played against a very small poll of talent representing mainly Australia, US, and England. At only 5'8'' he couldn't possibly compare athletically to Sampras and Federer. I get so sick about hearing about Lavers two grand slams-what a joke! He won those mainly on grass against only a handful of players competitively. When it is all done Federer will go down as the greatest player ever and not a little munchkin!


Massive oversimplification combined with overlooking some fact:

Did the US and Australia dominate International competition in those days? Sure. ("England"? Yeah, okay.) Was tennis still one if not the most international sport of the time? Yeah it was.

How about South Africa, Spain, Romania and Italy?

In Laver's era when Davis Cup actually meant more than it does now, at least in the U.S.:

Italy behind Nicola Pietrangali reached the DC final in '60 and '61.

Mexico reached a DC final in behind Rafe Osuna and Tony Palofax in '62.

Spain behind Manuel Santana reached the DC final in '65 and '67.

India reached finals in '66 and '74.

Romania with Ilie Nastase reached DC finals in '68, '69 and '72.

S. Africa won it in '74 before that blond guy from Sweden took his team to the title.

Here are some other guys in Laver's draws. And this list is limited to the Major winners and finalists reflecting Nationality and height (was that a joke?) in Laver's era.

Ever hear of these guys?

Pancho Gonzalez (6'2")? U.S.

Alex Olmedo (6'1")? Peru. (Olmedo was only allowed (after some heavy lobbying) to play for the U.S. Davis Cup team only because he was a U.S. resident and Peru had no Davis Cup team.)

Rafael Osuna? Mexico.

Arthur Ashe (6'1")? U.S.

Tom Okker? Netherlands.

John Newcombe (6'0")? Australia

Andres Gimeno (6'1")? Spain.

Stan Smith (6'4")? U.S.

Manuel Santana? Spain.

Nicola Pietrangeli? Italy.

Fred Stolle (6'3")? Australia

Jan Kodes? Czech Republic

Željko Franulović? Croatia former Yugoslavia

Alex Metreveli? Russia

Ilie Nastase (6'0")? Romania


Other 6'+ guys aside from John Newcombe who could play a little in Laver's time? Nikki Pilic (former Yugoslavia), Cliff Drysdale (South Africa) part of Lamar Hunt's original "handsome eight" along with Laver and Rosewall. The only three aside from Laver and Rosewall, that I'm not sure were over six feet tall were Butch Buchholz, Pierre Barthes (France) and Roger Taylor (Great Britain).

Height? Still got to be a joke. On average the top 100+ players on tour are shorter than they were even in Sampras' day. There is more to it than height or even raw athleticism. How did Yannick Noah do vs. better "tennis players"? How about Max Mirnyi or later Gael Monfils? How about Agassi's success v. Sampras. Let's pick a more current one, how 'bout Safin v. Santoro. Yeah, I know. "Yeah, but..."

You are welcome to the opinion you hold. The facts you offer in support, on the other hand, are mis-represented.

CyBorg
06-22-2007, 10:06 AM
The smallest guys are often the strongest on the tour. Years working as a hockey scout I learned that small players should not be ignored - particularly the short, stocky ones. They frequently exhibit the best lower body strength and build up muscle exceptionally well and quickly.

I watched Martin St. Louis throughout junior and he dominated tall lanky men on the ice. Today he can bench press an ungodly amount of pounds with his legs.

Short guys are also often the nastiest, meanest, most determined.

Japanese Maple
06-22-2007, 10:41 AM
Rabit,Gorilla,Fiveo,-you guys are missing the point. Of course
pros play at all different heights but the ideal height for a male pro is 5'11-6'3"-McEnroe,Edberg,Lendl,Borg,Sampras,Federer,Nadal, Agassi,Kuerton,Courier,Brugera,Krajek,ect. I am talking about the all time best players will be taller due to leverage on the serve and ground strokes. Ideal height for leverage and movement is 6-6'2". Of course there are exceptions but there is no way to compare Laver at his height to Sampras and Federer due to leverage on the serve-last I checked the serve is the most important shot in mens tennis. Laver at 5'8" is a shrimp who could not hold a candle to Sampras and Federer athletically, particularly Sampras. Savin is the best overall athlete on tour today but lacks motivation and mental toughness. When you start getting over 6'3" there are movement issues and under 5'11" you tend to be very quick but lack leverage which translates to power. Of course there are exceptions but not as it relates to being the best tennis player ever. Noone under 6' enters in that discussion period! Also, McEnroe was the biggest waste of incredible talent due to his lack of training and partying but that is a whole different subject.

urban
06-22-2007, 10:47 AM
i think, Borg was 1,77 m, 2 cm higher than Laver. Connors was also 1,78.

Rabbit
06-22-2007, 10:59 AM
Rabit,Gorilla,Fiveo,-you guys are missing the point. Of course
pros play at all different heights but the ideal height for a male pro is 5'11-6'3"-McEnroe,Edberg,Lendl,Borg,Sampras,Federer,Nadal, Agassi,Kuerton,Courier,Brugera,Krajek,ect. I am talking about the all time best players will be taller due to leverage on the serve and ground strokes. Ideal height for leverage and movement is 6-6'2". Of course there are exceptions but there is no way to compare Laver at his height to Sampras and Federer due to leverage on the serve-last I checked the serve is the most important shot in mens tennis. Laver at 5'8" is a shrimp who could not hold a candle to Sampras and Federer athletically, particularly Sampras. Savin is the best overall athlete on tour today but lacks motivation and mental toughness. When you start getting over 6'3" there are movement issues and under 5'11" you tend to be very quick but lack leverage which translates to power. Of course there are exceptions but not as it relates to being the best tennis player ever. Noone under 6' enters in that discussion period! Also, McEnroe was the biggest waste of incredible talent due to his lack of training and partying but that is a whole different subject.

Unfortunately, you're the one missing the point(s). There are intangibles in the mix which you don't account for or even comprehend. Tennis magazine some years ago said the perfect physical build for a tennis player could be found in Jose Luis Clerc. While he had the perfect build, he did not have the intangibles to go with it. Laver did.

Rod Laver is simply the greatest player to ever step foot on a tennis court at any height. He could compete with Sampras, he did compete with Borg, Newcombe, Nastase, Connors, and other players around 6 feet.

Saying Laver couldn't compete with taller players is just plain stoopid and woefully uninformed.

FiveO
06-22-2007, 11:07 AM
Rabit,Gorilla,Fiveo,-you guys are missing the point. Of course
pros play at all different heights but the ideal height for a male pro is 5'11-6'3"-McEnroe,Edberg,Lendl,Borg,Sampras,Federer,Nadal, Agassi,Kuerton,Courier,Brugera,Krajek,ect. I am talking about the all time best players will be taller due to leverage on the serve and ground strokes. Ideal height for leverage and movement is 6-6'2". Of course there are exceptions but there is no way to compare Laver at his height to Sampras and Federer due to leverage on the serve-last I checked the serve is the most important shot in mens tennis. Laver at 5'8" is a shrimp who could not hold a candle to Sampras and Federer athletically, particularly Sampras. Savin is the best overall athlete on tour today but lacks motivation and mental toughness. When you start getting over 6'3" there are movement issues and under 5'11" you tend to be very quick but lack leverage which translates to power. Of course there are exceptions but not as it relates to being the best tennis player ever. Noone under 6' enters in that discussion period! Also, McEnroe was the biggest waste of incredible talent due to his lack of training and partying but that is a whole different subject.

This gets even more outlandish. The argument now is leverage advantage, based on nothing more than because 'you say so'. Explain the leverage advantage to these players who were considered at one to or another the best player in the world. ALL sub-six footers.

Hoad
Rosewall
Laver
Osuna
Santana
Connors
Borg*
McEnroe*
Agassi*
Hewitt

* Having stood in close proximity to each of these player the " 5'11" " heights ascribed to these players seems about as believable as Serena's weight she lists in her WTA bio.

These players beat other major winners with the "leverage advantage" you want to believe exists, and who haven't progressed to the movement limiting heights of over 6'2".

Your claim is outlandish and baseless. You have to "want to believe" in order to make it so. The history says you are wrong. The current "downsizing" of players today from the 90's only amplifies how wrong your theory is.

You've missed the point.

Rabbit
06-22-2007, 12:17 PM
Of course there are exceptions but there is no way to compare Laver at his height to Sampras and Federer due to leverage on the serve-last I checked the serve is the most important shot in mens tennis. Laver at 5'8" is a shrimp who could not hold a candle to Sampras and Federer athletically, particularly Sampras.

Rabbit, I never said that Laver could not compete with todays players including Sampras and Federer just don"t enter him in the discussion of the "greatest" player.

So, you just make this crap up as you go, huh? Why don't you read what you wrote and then try to lie your way out.

Fellow TW'ers, I would like to place Japanese Maple's name in nomination as Troll of the Year. Do I hear a second and is there any need in a vote?

Gizo
06-22-2007, 12:56 PM
Connors would have atleast reached a French final if he'd played his peak years in 74-78. I don't think Borg's failure at Flushing Meadows was such a blemish. He was a great hard court player.
Rosewall would have won Wimbledon if he'd been playing in the open era. Federer would have won the French in the 80s and 90s. Nadal would have stopped anyone at Roland Garros, with the exception of Borg.

Would have, could have, should have. What ifs are entirely irrelevant.

sandy mayer
06-22-2007, 01:52 PM
[QUOTE=FiveO;1536007]This gets even more outlandish. The argument now is leverage advantage, based on nothing more than because 'you say so'. Explain the leverage advantage to these players who were considered at one to or another the best player in the world. ALL sub-six footers.

Hoad
Rosewall
Laver
Osuna
Santana
Connors
Borg*
McEnroe*
Agassi*
Hewitt

* Having stood in close proximity to each of these player the " 5'11" " heights ascribed to these players seems about as believable as Serena's weight she lists in her WTA bio.

How tall are Borg, Mac and agassi?

caulcano
06-22-2007, 04:21 PM
IMO, the Open Era list looks like this:

1. Laver - did it all, twice
2. Borg & Sampras
4. Agassi
5. Connors & Rosewall
7. McEnroe & Lendl
9. Mats Wilander
10. Becker & Edberg

Federer is absent, he's still playing. Were he to quit today, he'd probably be at number 4 pushing Agassi down. Two 3/4 Grand Slam years, his Wimbledon record, his ability to win on any surface (yes, clay included) and two French Open finals get him #4 spot. Remember, before anyone fusses, that it's he quit TODAY. As is, he's still got another 4 years ahead of him and that'll probably translate to 6 more Grand Slam titles easy.

I'd put Sampras #2 & Borg #3 AND agree with what you said about Federer.

Japanese Maple
06-22-2007, 04:59 PM
Sandy Mayer-I am talking about the best player of all time-not the best player in their era. Once again, no player under 6' can remotely enter into the discussion of the best player of all time except for Borg who was 5'11 1/2. I believe most definitely that Agassi was closer to 6' than 5'11 and Roddick is not 6'2 he is 6'3 plus.

CyBorg
06-22-2007, 07:33 PM
3 or 4 pages please.

FiveO
06-22-2007, 10:38 PM
...How tall are Borg, Mac and agassi?

My very unscientific, personal observation having stood in close proximity to each of them at different times. I stand 6'1" exactly, and eyeballing each they appeared shorter than 5'11". Could I swear to it in court? No. While it is not unusual for athlete's to inflate numbers regarding height in most competitive sports or measure themselves in playing footwear, it is, admittedly, my own impression.




Additionally regarding heights of tennis players trending downward since the highs of the mid-'90's which I've read in several tennis publications here is a graph furnished by Moose Malloy in another thread on a similar topic:

www.tennis28.com/charts/Player_Heights.GIF

Japanese Maple
06-23-2007, 05:27 AM
FiveO-you are the one who has misseed the point! Your idea that the mens tour is downsizing is ridiculous! The latest ATP rankings list 21 out of the top 25 at 6' or greater and the majority are 6'1"-6'2"-is this your idea of downsizing? There will always be top players in the history of the game at various heights including under 6', but to be considered the greatest ever that person will most definitely be over 6'. When the serve is the most important shot in mens tennis a taller person as a distinct advantage, but you can't be too tall because movement becomes an issue. Ideal height for optimum leverage and movement is 6'1"-6'2"-Federer, Nadal,Sampras,Lendl,Edberg,ect. Agassi is closer to 6'. FiveO, get your facts correct before you babble on about "downsizing"!

FiveO
06-23-2007, 06:08 AM
FiveO-you are the one who has misseed the point! Your idea that the mens tour is downsizing is ridiculous! The latest ATP rankings list 21 out of the top 25 at 6' or greater and the majority are 6'1"-6'2"-is this your idea of downsizing? There will always be top players in the history of the game at various heights including under 6', but to be considered the greatest ever that person will most definitely be over 6'. When the serve is the most important shot in mens tennis a taller person as a distinct advantage, but you can't be too tall because movement becomes an issue. Ideal height for optimum leverage and movement is 6'1"-6'2"-Federer, Nadal,Sampras,Lendl,Edberg,ect. Agassi is closer to 6'. FiveO, get your facts correct before you babble on about "downsizing"!

Babble on Maple, babble on.

Rabbit
06-23-2007, 07:22 AM
FiveO, I believe the literary term for Japanese Maple's retorts is Jabberwocky.

NoBadMojo
06-23-2007, 08:45 AM
I've been wondering why a 'Drago' type tennis player hasnt ever emerged in tennis...you know...A 6'6 type of human speciman with crazy skills, athelticism, endurance, and power. When Safin first came up, I thought he might be it, but we all know what happened to him, and no need to discuss why.

The only thing I can figure out is that the sports where you swing something (a racquet, bat, hockey stick, golf club, etc), dont seem to benefit the very tall types, perhaps having something to do with having a longer lever which is harder to control. There are exceptions of course like the Big Unit in baseball altho he cant swing a bat very well <i dont think>, and Mario in hockey.

Rabbit
06-23-2007, 03:44 PM
What you still don't get, what you either refuse to get or just plain can't comprehend is that tennis is not about height. The proof in the pudding is a player like Agassi, Connors, or Laver. While you keep on about how 6'2" is the great height, it's simply not the height of the greatest player.

You have already said that Laver couldn't compete with Sampras and/or Federer in one post and then in another denied ever having said anything like that. Until you can put forth a cogent argument and stick with it without waffling back and forth and saying this and that, you're nothing but a troll. In fact, you've defined troll.

I could care less about the height of the ATP now. You made the blanket statement that Laver couldn't compete with guys taller. That is a complete fabrication and totally untrue and proved untrue when Laver competed with guys at that height. Further, players shorter than him (Ken Rosewall) have competed longer and with guys taller with as much success albeit not a Grand Slam. Your statement that Laver's two Grand Slams doesn't mean anything to you further exemplifies your total lack of perspective or appreciation for the greatest accomplishment in the sport. None of this is name calling, it's just statement of fact.

Why don't you address how Oliver Rochus could beat Ivo Karlovic on grass? There is better than a foot difference between these two players. If height is such an advantage and such a determination of how good a player is, how does a player like Rochus survive, or win?

Why don't you explain how Andre Agassi won a career Grand Slam against players in the height range you described as being the optimal one when Agassi is 5'11" (on the books and possibly shorter).

If height is so important, let's include Justin Henin in the conversation and let you explain how she can't possibly be #1 in the world because she's too short.

You can't. The reason is that height is not the final determination of how good a player is. Your premise is invalid and your arguments are specious at best and just plain trolling at worst.

jnd28
06-25-2007, 11:13 AM
Havent read all the posts here but would offer the following.

I think that Lavers record against Arthur Ashe was something like 21 -0. Ashe competed favorably with Conners and even McEnroe. To say that Laver couldnt handle the players of today is foolish.

When discussing the best tennis player of all time, I also think that you should include doubles. Without his doubles record Laver should be considered the best of all time, and when you include his doubles record it's really a no-brainer.

JN

JMHO

ACE of Hearts
06-25-2007, 03:13 PM
Is there any video of Laver's serving motion?

jnd28
06-25-2007, 06:21 PM
You can see a couple of his serves here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-VeBIal8TU

krosero
06-25-2007, 06:38 PM
" 'We had a lot of time to talk', revealed Federer. Maybe it all gave me a sense of security because, for me, Sampras was the best player of all time. That is not to take anything away from Rod Laver, but when he won the Grand Slam, three of the tournaments were played on grass.' In any Sampras-Laver comparison, this fact about the Slams of Laver's time is inapt, because Sampras' failure was on clay, and Laver did win the Slam on that surface.

jnd28
06-25-2007, 07:03 PM
It is hard for me to understand how anyone who has any understanding of tennis could look at the you tube video I posted above and not recognize that his game would hold up today. There is no one that volleys like that today - no one. Even at the age he was when this video was shot, his superior movement is apparent.

I am old enough to have seen him as well as many other all time greats play in person. In my humble but informed opinion, the best of any era could compete with the best of today. I believe that is true with all sports. Willie Mays, Joe Montana , Terry Bradshaw, and Tom Seaver would dominate today - as would Mr Laver.

JN

scholarlyg
06-25-2007, 07:34 PM
can u imagine how many slams sampras would have had three of out of four been on grass

Rabbit
06-25-2007, 07:34 PM
I believe when Laver played Borg in the video provided, he was 36 years old. The Rocket was rock solid.

krosero
06-25-2007, 07:42 PM
can u imagine how many slams sampras would have had three of out of four been on grassWhich type of grass? All on Wimbledon grass?

jnd28
06-25-2007, 10:34 PM
can u imagine how many slams sampras would have had three of out of four been on grass

Not sure what your point is here. Laver could and did win on all surfaces - fast slow and medium. Having the different surfaces would have suited him more than anyone. With todays grass at the all England Club, not sure if Sampras would benefit. If the grass was as it is now in the not so distant past, Mr Lendl would have won a couple for sure.

JN

jnd28
06-25-2007, 11:07 PM
I would be very interested in more of Mr Mayers thoughts on the subject of the "best of all time". As I have said I think its Laver for sure. I would also put Emmo up there as well. Again I think that that doubles should be part of the equation unless you are ttalking about the best singles player. If you say best tennis player than doubs need to be part of the answer.

JN

lostinamerica
06-25-2007, 11:13 PM
Watching that YouTube clip and Laver just looks like an artist out there. Who is the best is certainly debatable but Laver is in the conversation.

alan-n
06-25-2007, 11:21 PM
I believe when Laver played Borg in the video provided, he was 36 years old. The Rocket was rock solid.
I think Laver was closer to 40 Rabbit in that video. None the less not many people have talked about Rod Lavers movement, that was an area he was the at the top in during his era among other things such as top spin passing angles. The serve and volleyer of the past were torched by the angles that only Rod Laver could generate from his combination of pace and topspin. As great as Sampras still is and will always be, come-on Laver had the shots off the ground to put the ball out of anyone's reach. As for the all-court game, only Federer exceeds Rod in movement and anticipation. Agassi shortened the court by playing closer to the baseline and hitting on the rise... Federer and Rod are in a class of their own when it comes to being so smooth getting into position and executing any shot.

Moose Malloy
06-26-2007, 10:00 AM
Which type of grass? All on Wimbledon grass?

Yeah, I think its very poor logic, just assuming sampras would have 20 majors or something if grass was still used at 3 majors. look at how close goran was to beating him at wimbledon, imagine if he got 2 more shots at him per year, he'd get his share. ditto krajicek, stich, or even agassi.

And I think navratilova's record at the AO on grass compared to her record at Wimbledon in the 80s pretty much debunks this theory. She won 9 Wimbledons & only 3 AOs(she even lost to Chris Evert on grass in the '82 AO final, someone who was always at a clear disadvantage vs martina on grass) All grass is not the same, fans(& commentators) should look at players results from when 2 slams were on grass to see how they varied. Wilander couldn't even get to the semis at Wimbledon, yet made 3 finals on AO grass(winning 2). Becker won Wimbledon in '85/'86, yet lost early at the AO on grass in '85, '87.

Wilander played Zivojinovic at both Wimbledon & the AO in 1985. He lost to him at Wimbledon & beat him at the Australian. Wonder if the different grass was a factor in those results, I'm sure they thought so.

If so many here go on & on about the difference between the hardcourts at the AO & US Opens, its only fair to point out there were similar differences when grass was used at 3 majors. And Agassi & Sampras' records on Rebound Ace vs the US Open can show what this slight differences can do to favor one player over another.

Moose Malloy
06-26-2007, 10:13 AM
Yeah Laver was 38 & already basically retired(1977)at the time of that match, while Borg was reigning Wimbledon champ(& 20) That youtube match was not considered an official match(its not on the atp site), it was a 4 man invitational event with some good prize money.
Mixed doubles was part of the event as well.

CyBorg
06-26-2007, 10:20 AM
I've been wondering why a 'Drago' type tennis player hasnt ever emerged in tennis...you know...A 6'6 type of human speciman with crazy skills, athelticism, endurance, and power. When Safin first came up, I thought he might be it, but we all know what happened to him, and no need to discuss why.

The only thing I can figure out is that the sports where you swing something (a racquet, bat, hockey stick, golf club, etc), dont seem to benefit the very tall types, perhaps having something to do with having a longer lever which is harder to control. There are exceptions of course like the Big Unit in baseball altho he cant swing a bat very well <i dont think>, and Mario in hockey.

A 6-foot-6 tennis player. Guys this tall are typically very lanky and awkward. Not too likely, but I suppose possible if the guy is a freak of nature.

As for Mario, I think he's 6-foot-4, but hockey is different. Zdeno Chara is 6-foot-9 and successful on ice, but wouldn't be very good on a tennis court. Just look at him.

krosero
06-26-2007, 11:56 AM
Yeah, I think its very poor logic, just assuming sampras would have 20 majors or something if grass was still used at 3 majors. look at how close goran was to beating him at wimbledon, imagine if he got 2 more shots at him per year, he'd get his share. ditto krajicek, stich, or even agassi.I agree, and I think part of the problem is that some people are imagining what things would be like for Sampras if he played the opponents that he played and nothing else changed except the surface.

For instance, Sampras lost to Agassi in the '95 Aussie Open final. If you imagine the same matchup but simply change the surface to grass (and you imagine it to be just like Wimbledon grass), then of course you would give the edge to Sampras.

But if the Aussie final in '95 had been on grass, Sampras might well have faced Ivanisevic, Krajicek, or Stich. I like their chances against Sampras, though as you point out even Agassi was a threat (pushing him to 5 sets at Wimbledon in 1993).

Everything changes if three Slams go back to grass, I think that's the key; Sampras is not the only variable.

And I think navratilova's record at the AO on grass compared to her record at Wimbledon in the 80s pretty much debunks this theory. She won 9 Wimbledons & only 3 AOs(she even lost to Chris Evert on grass in the '82 AO final, someone who was always at a clear disadvantage vs martina on grass) All grass is not the same, fans(& commentators) should look at players results from when 2 slams were on grass to see how they varied. Wilander couldn't even get to the semis at Wimbledon, yet made 3 finals on AO grass(winning 2). Becker won Wimbledon in '85/'86, yet lost early at the AO on grass in '85, '87.

Wilander played Zivojinovic at both Wimbledon & the AO in 1985. He lost to him at Wimbledon & beat him at the Australian. Wonder if the different grass was a factor in those results, I'm sure they thought so.I think it was in 1987 that Becker, during the 1987 AO, said that the center court made him feel 5 feet tall, when he was serving from the end that was lower. I'm not saying this had anything to do with Martina, but it seems to have affected the men with huge first serves -- of which Sampras was certainly one.

CyBorg
06-26-2007, 12:16 PM
That and don't forget the fact that Aussie simply didn't mean as much as Wimbledon and still doesn't.

Sampras won there twice and I doubt he put in as much preparation into winning it a third time as he did at the other three slams. Twice was enough. He knew it.

NLBwell
07-03-2007, 11:40 PM
Where did you get the information on who Sampras and Borg played in the early rounds at Wimbledon? I was looking for information like that.

CyBorg
07-04-2007, 05:35 AM
Where did you get the information on who Sampras and Borg played in the early rounds at Wimbledon? I was looking for information like that.

go to www.atptennis.com and 'players'. Thereafter you just need to search for the player's name and his profile appears. There you just need to go to 'playing activity'. The info goes back to 1973 only, so it's missing Borg's first major - the 1972 US Open. If you need info for that let me know.

NLBwell
07-04-2007, 09:23 AM
Thanks -----------

NLBwell
07-04-2007, 10:25 AM
Looked up Laver's record in 73/74 Laver did not play any of the majors in 74 -
Everyone speculates whether Connors would have won the French in 74 - Laver could have won it. He was 2-1 vs. Borg through 73-74 including beating him on Red Clay in Houston.
Though Connors wiped out Rosewall in the finals of the US Open and Wimbledon which everyone remembers, he had 5 setters against Syd Ball (Laver Record 0-0), Jan Kodes (5-2), and Phil Dent (3-1) in Austrailia and Wimbledon - guys who Laver would be expected to beat. Maybe Connors won those because Laver didn't play. [They played on competing circuits, so they never played each other in that time period]
Also, for those who think the modern serve would hurt Laver, he had commanding records vs. Roscoe Tanner, Colin Dibley, and Phil Dent. The first two hit the serve harder than anyone playing now except Roddick and Guccione -145 mph on the non-juiced radar gun. Don't think Laver would've have much trouble with Taylor Dent, since Phil was a better player. (well, a lot of guys don't have much trouble with Taylor Dent)

herosol
07-04-2007, 11:27 AM
hmm. you cant say someone is just as good because they almost could've won

you either win or don't win.
that separates the champions from everyone else.

btw: can't compare what happened 30 years ago to now.

things have changed.

krosero
07-04-2007, 11:53 AM
Looked up Laver's record in 73/74 Laver did not play any of the majors in 74 -
Everyone speculates whether Connors would have won the French in 74 - Laver could have won it. He was 2-1 vs. Borg through 73-74 including beating him on Red Clay in Houston.
Though Connors wiped out Rosewall in the finals of the US Open and Wimbledon which everyone remembers, he had 5 setters against Syd Ball (Laver Record 0-0), Jan Kodes (5-2), and Phil Dent (3-1) in Austrailia and Wimbledon - guys who Laver would be expected to beat. Maybe Connors won those because Laver didn't play. After Connors won either Wimbledon or the USO in 1974, he reportedly went to his promotor, Bill Riordan, and said, "Get me Laver." So Riordan set up a Challenge Match between them in Las Vegas that took place the following spring, which Connors won in four sets.

tennishead93
07-10-2007, 11:02 AM
its so annoying that ppl are saying laver is the best. in his time 3/4 of the yr slam were played on grass and none of the 4 were on clay!!!!!

quest01
07-10-2007, 11:14 AM
I dont think Laver is the best. I think Sampras and Federer are both better then Laver.

8PAQ
07-10-2007, 11:16 AM
Only old timers call him the best because Laver was their idol. In reality, I would woop him in a heartbeat if i played then.

Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLzbXvh64sY

This was Laver when he was about 40 years old. Now imagine him in his prime and tell me if you think you can woop his ***.

Rabbit
07-10-2007, 11:42 AM
its so annoying that ppl are saying laver is the best. in his time 3/4 of the yr slam were played on grass and none of the 4 were on clay!!!!!

Do what? Ever heard of Roland Garos? It was played on clay when Laver won it, twice....

And, I dare say that the 4 surfaces they have now probably play more like each other than the surfaces that Laver competed on then.

There is a reason "they say" Laver is the greatest....it's true.

tennishead93
07-10-2007, 11:45 AM
what! 3 /4 were grass. have u heard of a high bouncing court made up of mashed up tires, a grass court, clay, and hard. they arer a lot differnet than just grass

Eviscerator
07-10-2007, 11:45 AM
none of the 4 were on clay!!!!!


Hmmm, what was the the surface of the FO?

Rabbit
07-10-2007, 11:53 AM
what! 3 /4 were grass. have u heard of a high bouncing court made up of mashed up tires, a grass court, clay, and hard. they arer a lot differnet than just grass

What! Have you never heard of Roland Garos? It's CLAY, it's been CLAY for a hundred years.

The grass at Wimbledon, the Australian and the Open were not the same. They were different and played differently.

The courts of the 4 Grand Slams are closer in speed today than they ever have been.

Jonny S&V
07-10-2007, 12:04 PM
You are an OLD TIMER probably in your 50s-60s that love the game but started to dislike it because of the power game today. You are probably a Fed lover and a Nadal hater. Laver is a GREAT club player today at best.... if he was playing his prime. Admit it!

You realize that, even though you are new to this board, being a troll will not bring you fame. In fact, most people will hate you. You saying that Laver is not a candidate for GOAT is like saying Fed and Sampras are not candidates, and Laver WON Roland Garros. Nuff said, I think. But it is very hard to talk to trolls. And also, you try hitting an extreme topspin backhand with a 65 sq in racquet and an "Australian" too. It is very, very hard to do that with today's racquets and was even harder with wood racquets, yet Laver hit them all the time.

ManOfSteel
07-10-2007, 12:13 PM
:roll:
If you could take Federer or Sampras and put them back in Laver's day he could have beaten them. Conversely if you took Laver in his prime and put him into either Sampras's time, or Federer's today, they would win. Regardless of that, to comment that Laver was a club player that you could have beaten is absurd.

We don't know how well Laver would be able to play with today's technology. Sure, he was the best with 65 sq inch wood racquets... that doesn't mean he'd be able to compete with the power, etc. of today and use today's powerful frames.

Look at Royce Gracie. He dominated MMA for a period of time. Then the sport completely evolved (like tennis has), and he couldn't compete. There's no way to accurately speculate.

arnz
07-10-2007, 12:32 PM
We don't know how well Laver would be able to play with today's technology. Sure, he was the best with 65 sq inch wood racquets... that doesn't mean he'd be able to compete with the power, etc. of today and use today's powerful frames.

Look at Royce Gracie. He dominated MMA for a period of time. Then the sport completely evolved (like tennis has), and he couldn't compete. There's no way to accurately speculate.


And it should be left at that. All the greatest of all time threads are purely subjective at this time, each man was great for different reasons, like Pete with 14 grand slams, Laver with 2 calendar grand slams (altho mostly on grass), Borg the only man to win both on fast grass and slow clay several times, or even Andre Agassi who won all 4 slams on fast grass, rebound ace, hard court, and clay in his lifetime.

the question is not who can beat who, but whose achievement merits being called the GOAT. we do not have a time machine to make the old players young again, and then it would be unfair comparison because they played with different equipment. If you gave a young Laver the type of racquets we have today, how would he play? speculation at best.

I do know he had the eye hand coordination and anticipation of a great tennis player, downthewall's comment are ridiculous at best. Do you think he could get a game off of a 47 year old John Mcenroe, who was from the wood era? Of course he would say yes, coz hes a troll, but I thought I'd have fun with ridiculous trolls like that

callitout
07-10-2007, 12:54 PM
Watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLzbXvh64sY

This was Laver when he was about 40 years old. Now imagine him in his prime and tell me if you think you can woop his ***.

I appreciate the video....Whats so striking as it is whenever I see tennis from the 70's is presumably because of the racquets and strings they dont swing very hard, and dont hit hard. Particularly the serve looks incomprehensible weak for a male pro...but you generally dont see the players being lifted off the ground by the momentum of their vicious swings.
To me its like watching basketball from the 1950's. Obviously the guys had skills, but lacked the strength, speed and yes obvious athleticism which characterizes the modern (Becker, Sampras, Federer) game.

Eviscerator
07-10-2007, 12:58 PM
We don't know how well Laver would be able to play with today's technology. Sure, he was the best with 65 sq inch wood racquets... that doesn't mean he'd be able to compete with the power, etc. of today and use today's powerful frames.

Look at Royce Gracie. He dominated MMA for a period of time. Then the sport completely evolved (like tennis has), and he couldn't compete. There's no way to accurately speculate.

Maybe you did not understand my post since that is essentially what I said. Put Pete or Roger back in Laver's day and Laver would win. Put Laver in either Pete's or Roger's time and he would lose.

Rhino
07-10-2007, 01:06 PM
Laver grew up in the era of grass court tennis, when three of the four majors were on that low-bouncing surface. To me that is not what winning the Grand Slam is all about. For me a Grand Slam is about winning on the four different surfaces: AusOpen - synthetic rebound ace, French - clay, Wimby - grass, and US Open - hardcourt.
Imagine if the first 3 slams were on clay and then the US was still hardcourt. I wonder how many calendar slammers we'd have then? Lendl, Agassi, Courier, Wilander, Vilas perhaps...? Nadal would probably manage it eventually too!

downthewall
07-10-2007, 01:13 PM
I appreciate the video....Whats so striking as it is whenever I see tennis from the 70's is presumably because of the racquets and strings they dont swing very hard, and dont hit hard. Particularly the serve looks incomprehensible weak for a male pro...but you generally dont see the players being lifted off the ground by the momentum of their vicious swings.
To me its like watching basketball from the 1950's. Obviously the guys had skills, but lacked the strength, speed and yes obvious athleticism which characterizes the modern (Becker, Sampras, Federer) game.

Exactly, players those days play like little girls. I dont see how anyone can think that he is the best ever. I dont think there is such thing as the best ever. But what I do think is that Laver looks to me like a good SV/pusher style strokes. But you can't blame him.... he was born too early.

arnz
07-10-2007, 01:20 PM
Whatever you are smoking downthewall, its not good for you

logansc
07-10-2007, 01:43 PM
DTW, a little ridiculous wouldn't ya say...you are trying to measure up one of the past greats, one who played in a completely different time period when the game was so different. Laver played over 30 years ago. People weren't hitting with western grips and Pure Drives with polyester strings back then. Who are you to say if he gets developed in a completely different system that he will most definitely suck? That's completely asinine.

rasajadad
07-10-2007, 01:58 PM
Only people who know what they're talking about say Laver was the best. Most people on this forum who claim otherwise are either really young or who shave their legs and chest. Flame on!

veritech
07-10-2007, 03:01 PM
you think you could beat prime laver with an old 65 si racquet with inferior strings? not likely.

downthewall
07-10-2007, 03:19 PM
you think you could beat prime laver with an old 65 si racquet with inferior strings? not likely.

I think i can.

ManOfSteel
07-10-2007, 03:25 PM
Maybe you did not understand my post since that is essentially what I said. Put Pete or Roger back in Laver's day and Laver would win. Put Laver in either Pete's or Roger's time and he would lose.

Oops. I did read it wrong, sorry.

eldoop
07-10-2007, 03:37 PM
Laver was way before my time, but someone told me that back in his day they used to have "made for tv" competitions between the best athletes of different sports. Supposedly Laver was stronger than the athletes in other sports and won the strength competition. He also never cross-trained, he only played tennis (i.e. no weight training, running suicides etc). I don't know this stuff for a fact.

With a modern training program he would have been significantly more athletic. I don't think he is the greatest of all time.

Moose Malloy
07-10-2007, 04:27 PM
KK was it really necessary to merge this guys' thread into this? I thought your responsibilty was just to delete offensive posts, should you really be allowed to merge threads, just because you feel subjects are similar? if that's the case you can go back over the last 3 years & put all similar topics(hottest wta player, fed vs sampras) into one massive thread.

I appreciate the video....Whats so striking as it is whenever I see tennis from the 70's is presumably because of the racquets and strings they dont swing very hard, and dont hit hard. Particularly the serve looks incomprehensible weak for a male pro...but you generally dont see the players being lifted off the ground by the momentum of their vicious swings.
To me its like watching basketball from the 1950's. Obviously the guys had skills, but lacked the strength, speed and yes obvious athleticism which characterizes the modern (Becker, Sampras, Federer) game.

Video can be very misleading, as is using a few seconds from one match to generalize how an entire generation of professionals play. I have so many matches from the 70s on tape where guys are blasting the ball(even Laver) & many where it seems quite slow, possibly due to inferior video or it not just being their day. Was just watching Laver play Ashe & Newcombe, there was incredible pace on the serves from Ashe & Laver was just blasting clean winners off it(btw that youtube footage is from when Laver was 38 & retired, it was an exhibition that he was playing Borg at, not a real match. Plus Sampras' shots today look quite slower than when he was winning slams, no? and I'm guessing Jordan can't quite jump as high today as when he was winning nba championships)

And I was watching Roscoe Tanner play Vilas & Borg, that guy can serve as big as anyone today, it was scary. And it was with a joke of a racquet, I'm surprised it didn't break.

Hitting slower also wasn't because they couldn't, but because they didn't want to make so many errors(which are much higher with wood racquets)
Check out this article in which Djokovic, Ginepri, Robredo hit with wood racquets earlier this year, they said they couldn't hit with the same pace as with their racquets & that they would make more errors if they had to play with wood. Somehow I doubt everyone would be jumping off the ground & using extreme western today when hitting if they still had wood racquets.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=140275

also look at footage of Mac(who isn't a hard hitter in any way) playing with wood in '81 & with graphite in '83. He is hitting all his shots with much more pace.

And as far as strength, speed, athleticism, from that clip, you do know all the facts on Borg? That he outsprinted an olympic hurdler in a competition, that he regularly trained with pro soccer players & blew them away in drills, that his resting heart rate was like that of a tour de france cyclist, not that of a pro tennis player? Saying he lacked the strenth, speed, & atheticism of todays players is kind like saying the same about Sugar Ray Leonard compared to todays boxers. The overall athleticism is higher today, but the pace of shot today is mostly about equipment, not athleticism. Its kinda the equivalent of comparing the steroid era in baseball to pre-steroids. Todays tennis players are juiced(with graphite)

tricky
07-10-2007, 05:15 PM
KK was it really necessary to merge this guys' thread into this? I thought your responsibilty was just to delete offensive posts, should you really be allowed to merge threads, just because you feel subjects are similar?

If the mods merged like threads, it would have a revolutionary effect on improving board quality. Imagine, just one troll thread for Nadal and Fed ***** each! :D

(Merging threads and stopping threads of like subjects is generally best policy to improve quality of any board. It isolates trolls because they no longer have the power of controlling board discussion by initiating redundant threads. It also starves inane discussions because nobody likes to visit 10+ page threads unless there's pictures. It is however a lot of work for mods.)

Supposedly Laver was stronger than the athletes in other sports and won the strength competition.

Old footage of 30-something Laver, you'll see he has very strong forearms. Thinning hair and a Viking build. :D

BounceHitBounceHit
07-10-2007, 06:19 PM
I think i can.

So you could defeat Laver in his prime. Really. ;)

Well then please tell us what ATP Tour level wins you have notched thus far?

CC

BounceHitBounceHit
07-10-2007, 06:22 PM
BTW, have you ever played an actual match against an honest to goodness touring pro, past or present? If not, please do so and then post some video on YouTube so we can all check out your skills. ;) CC

arnz
07-10-2007, 06:42 PM
Hello, I'm downthewall and I could beat rod Laver at his prime.


However there is this pusher in the local courts that I have a hard time beating. How do I beat this old pusher who just slices everything back? By the way, I'm a 5.5 who have excellent strokes and can pwn anyone else 'cept the pusher

callitout
07-10-2007, 07:07 PM
Video can be very misleading, as is using a few seconds from one match to generalize how an entire generation of professionals play. I have so many matches from the 70s on tape where guys are blasting the ball(even Laver) & many where it seems quite slow, possibly due to inferior video or it not just being their day. Was just watching Laver play Ashe & Newcombe, there was incredible pace on the serves from Ashe & Laver was just blasting clean winners off it(btw that youtube footage is from when Laver was 38 & retired, it was an exhibition that he was playing Borg at, not a real match. Plus Sampras' shots today look quite slower than when he was winning slams, no? and I'm guessing Jordan can't quite jump as high today as when he was winning nba championships)
Somehow I doubt everyone would be jumping off the ground & using extreme western today when hitting if they still had wood racquets.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=140275

also look at footage of Mac(who isn't a hard hitter in any way) playing with wood in '81 & with graphite in '83. He is hitting all his shots with much more pace.

And as far as strength, speed, athleticism, from that clip, you do know all the facts on Borg? That he outsprinted an olympic hurdler in a competition, that he regularly trained with pro soccer players & blew them away in drills, that his resting heart rate was like that of a tour de france cyclist, not that of a pro tennis player? Saying he lacked the strenth, speed, & atheticism of todays players is kind like saying the same about Sugar Ray Leonard compared to todays boxers. The overall athleticism is higher today, but the pace of shot today is mostly about equipment, not athleticism. Its kinda the equivalent of comparing the steroid era in baseball to pre-steroids. Todays tennis players are juiced(with graphite)
Many good points about the racquets....I made the same points that because of the racquets and strings the players are now taught to swing as hard as they can. And while Borg was undoubtedly a great athlete, and his endurance is unequaled (I watched tennis in the 70's as well), most players simply didnt take the full cuts or sprint around the court with the same explosiveness as players in the mid 80's to current do.
Obviously with a modern racquet Borg and current technique Borg would be hitting different shots...But it is quite a noticeable difference.

downthewall
07-10-2007, 08:35 PM
Have you seen Nadal play with a wooden stick? If not, then be quite. He can still hit the nasty lefty topspin like he does today. only downside is that it doesnt match what hes wearing. I've seen him hit with a wood stick and believe me...... he would destroy the prime Laver in straight sets.

Chopin
07-10-2007, 10:18 PM
While I don't like the trolls who go out of their way to discredit Laver without any valid argument, I also have a problem with everyone calling Laver "the greatest" (if there is even such a thing). What I think most people mean to say is "most accomplished," which does not translate to "greatest."

Greatest, to me, implies most skill, technique, and mental strength. In other words, pound for pound, the “best” (I admit I have a real qualms about these classifications) tennis player. I think it would be hard to argue that Federer, Sampras, Borg and a host of others aren't ahead of Laver in this regard. With all respect to Laver, there's no way you could compare Laver physically to Federer, Sampras, Agassi (or most ATP pros).

I'm a firm believer that today's generation of players is playing the best tennis ever. The racket/string argument is fine (yes, of course past would be great players with modern rackets and strings) but only part of the story. Today's top players are bigger, stronger, faster and more importantly, more technically sound than ever before. It would be tough to argue with that. Look at a guy like Djokovic, I’d take his strokes over Laver’s. Yes, there's less variety, but that's because of how the game's evolved. I mean even Sampras (not far removed from the game) has complained about the lack of variety, but I seem to recall Sampras getting trounced by Hewitt and Safin in two U.S. Open Finals. Everyone knows Sampras comes off as a little arrogant and likes to make his "I could still compete" statements but I remember Hewitt ripping passing shots passed him at the U.S. Open! And Sampras to me, is far ahead of someone like Laver.

With all respect to all the great champions of the past (and I've seen quite a few play), no one hits the ball like Federer does--no one. I watch old ESPN classic matches and it simply does not compare to tennis today. Laver was certainly the best of his generation but there are a plethora of other players that have better strokes, timing, and shot-making ability than him. I’m not sure Laver’s backhand compares with even a lesser champion like Alex Corretja (truly beautiful stroke)

I get the sense even Laver finds it baffling when people proclaim him the "greatest" ever. By all accounts, he seems like a classy (and modest) champion, but it's completely irrational to me when people say he’s “the best,” as if you could stick him in any era, give him a modern racket and he’d be dominating. I just can’t see it. I know some of you are going to say “Ha--comparing Laver’s strokes to Djokovic--how absurd!” but I’m not saying this to trash Laver, who truly was the greatest of his era, but to merely point out that we’re comparing apples to oranges here and I don’t think many people are approaching this question objectively enough, instead sticking to their blind reverence for him because he won the grand slam twice. Agassi won the grand slam but there's no way I think Agassi was pound for pound the "best" ever.

Rabbit
07-11-2007, 07:03 AM
Hello, I'm downthewall and I could beat rod Laver at his prime.


However there is this pusher in the local courts that I have a hard time beating. How do I beat this old pusher who just slices everything back? By the way, I'm a 5.5 who have excellent strokes and can pwn anyone else 'cept the pusher

If you can't beat a pusher, you're not a 5.5, plain and simple.

avmoghe
07-11-2007, 11:50 AM
What I think most people mean to say is "most accomplished," which does not translate to "greatest."

Yes it does... at least to me (and I suspect many others). A hundred years from now, it is almost guaranteed that someone with better strokes, rackets, and physical condition will come to our sport. Or are you claiming that, for example, the forehand stroke cannot be hit any better in the future than Federer hits it today?

Skills change, surfaces change, game rules change, equipment changes, physical condition changes..... these are transient. Comparing skills across different eras is a lost cause. What CAN be compared is the enduring accomplishment.. and Laver's 2 Grand Slams (one in the open era) are our sport's supreme accomplishment.

In summary, there is absolutely no way to determine whether Laver or Federer is more skilled.. since they played with different rules, rackets, training equipment. Federer's strokes may be better.. but there is no way to determine whether Laver's wouldn't have been the same or better if he was given the same environment.

Given the above limitation, the meaning of "GOAT" is necessarily restricted to "Player with the greatest Accomplishments". There is absolutely no meaning to "Best of all time" .. or "BOAT" since our changing sport makes it impossible to compare player ability across different eras.



Agassi won the grand slam but there's no way I think Agassi was pound for pound the "best" ever.

.... I'm not sure if this is a simple typo, but Agassi won the *career* grand slam... a far cry from the REAL grand slam (which Laver has two of).

arnz
07-12-2007, 02:36 AM
If you can't beat a pusher, you're not a 5.5, plain and simple.


Apparently, some people take my intended as witty posts literally. Please read the post again and this time with humor in mind. I was trying to make fun of downthewall's claims. Thanks

PS if you still dont get it, no I'm not a 5.5

Marius_Hancu
07-12-2007, 03:35 AM
Avmoghe said:

>and Laver's 2 Grand Slams (one in the open era) are our sport's supreme accomplishment.

I for one fully agree.

Marius_Hancu
07-12-2007, 04:10 AM
do any of your stickies still exist on the internet marius?

Yes:

In Tips:
Sticky: Post Links to Useful threads here
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=33383

In Health:
Great fitness sites
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=15571

Rabbit
07-12-2007, 05:13 AM
Apparently, some people take my intended as witty posts literally. Please read the post again and this time with humor in mind. I was trying to make fun of downthewall's claims. Thanks

PS if you still dont get it, no I'm not a 5.5

Ooops...... :mrgreen:

Kaptain Karl
07-12-2007, 10:28 AM
I was trying to make fun of downthewall's claims. ThanksNuance is tricky on the Net. (But I *thought* you were going for sarcasm.)



Avmoghe said:

>and Laver's 2 Grand Slams (one in the open era) are our sport's supreme accomplishment.

I for one fully agree.Me three!

- KK

CyBorg
07-12-2007, 11:14 AM
Avmoghe said:

>and Laver's 2 Grand Slams (one in the open era) are our sport's supreme accomplishment.

I for one fully agree.

The first was accomplished as an amateur. As overrated an accomplishment as Roy Emerson's 12 majors.

Laver's second grand slam, however, is a biggie. But it took him years to figure out how to beat Rosewall.

TheNatural
07-12-2007, 12:33 PM
Rod Laver may well be very underrated, since he may well have won 9 Wimbledons in a row had pros been allowed to compete:

WImbledon titles:

1961 won
1962 won
1963 turned pro, pros couldnt compete
1964 as above
1965 as above
1966 as above
1967 as above
1968 won- Open era, pros could compete
1969 won - as above

Marius_Hancu
07-12-2007, 12:40 PM
He's never going to be overated

FiveO
07-12-2007, 01:58 PM
Rod Laver may well be very underrated, since he may well have won 9 Wimbledons in a row had pros been allowed to compete:

WImbledon titles:

1961 won
1962 won
1963 turned pro, pros couldnt compete
1964 as above
1965 as above
1966 as above
1967 as above
1968 won- Open era, pros could compete
1969 won - as above

It should also be emphasized that Laver turned 25 on August 9 of that year and didn't play a major again until he turned 29.

Not only did Laver miss opportunities in terms of numbers of majors, he missed them in what many would consider 5 of his peak athletic skill years.

Chopin
07-12-2007, 10:13 PM
Yes it does... at least to me (and I suspect many others). A hundred years from now, it is almost guaranteed that someone with better strokes, rackets, and physical condition will come to our sport. Or are you claiming that, for example, the forehand stroke cannot be hit any better in the future than Federer hits it today?

Skills change, surfaces change, game rules change, equipment changes, physical condition changes..... these are transient. Comparing skills across different eras is a lost cause. What CAN be compared is the enduring accomplishment.. and Laver's 2 Grand Slams (one in the open era) are our sport's supreme accomplishment.

In summary, there is absolutely no way to determine whether Laver or Federer is more skilled.. since they played with different rules, rackets, training equipment. Federer's strokes may be better.. but there is no way to determine whether Laver's wouldn't have been the same or better if he was given the same environment.

Given the above limitation, the meaning of "GOAT" is necessarily restricted to "Player with the greatest Accomplishments". There is absolutely no meaning to "Best of all time" .. or "BOAT" since our changing sport makes it impossible to compare player ability across different eras.





.... I'm not sure if this is a simple typo, but Agassi won the *career* grand slam... a far cry from the REAL grand slam (which Laver has two of).

1) I see your point, but still disagree. There is no universal definition of GOAT (otherwise these debates wouldn't be raging and reasonable people wouldn't disagree). Unfortunately (and fortunately) no one even agrees that "the meaning of "GOAT" Is necessarily restricted to "Player with the greatest Accomplishments" "

2) Even if I were to assume that your definition of GOAT is valid and universally accepted--it's still impossible to measure. One player's 2007 Wimbledon does not necessarily equal a Wimbledon win of a previous era. As you so aptly pointed out, "Skills change, surfaces change, game rules change, equipment changes, physical condition changes..... these are transient." Yes, I completely agree. And as a result, accomplishments are not equal from era to era!
There's no completely objective way of saying that Laver's "grand slam" which included 3 tournaments on grass is any more impressive than Federer's season in 2004! One could argue that Federer's accomplishments are more impressive. The debate rages on but different accomplishments in different eras are inherently unequal.

3) I'm making no predictions about the future, I never professed to do so. However, up to this point, there's no way that in picking a perfect tennis player I would choose a single stroke of Laver's over Federer's (I believe Federer could hit an eastern forehand better than Laver), nor would I take Laver's physical attributes over Federer's.

4) I think its clear that GOAT is a completely subjective but fun to debate. Case in point, you said that "Laver's 2 Grand Slams (one in the open era) are our sport's supreme accomplishment." Well, some may think so, but others might think that Sampras's 14 grand slams are our sports "supreme accomplishment!" I'm not arguing for one or the other, only pointing out that there is no universal standard for GOAT, and the fact that people reasonably disagree undermines your definition for any inherent GOAT.

lawrence
07-12-2007, 10:35 PM
The greatest player ever dominated on all surfaces - it's either Borg or Laver. Not Sampras. Not Federer.

did borg and laver both dominate on hardcourts too though?

CyBorg
07-13-2007, 10:24 AM
did borg and laver both dominate on hardcourts too though?

Sure they did. Look at the number of titles Laver has on hardcourts.

Borg was great on hardcourts as well - the problem is that they weren't plentiful as today and his losses at the US Open give some the impression that he struggled on hard.

To quote Ivan Lendl: "rank nonsense!"

P.S. The greatest player ever is Pancho Gonzales.

chaognosis
07-13-2007, 11:00 AM
It should also be emphasized that Laver turned 25 on August 9 of that year and didn't play a major again until he turned 29.

Not only did Laver miss opportunities in terms of numbers of majors, he missed them in what many would consider 5 of his peak athletic skill years.

The argument you make is of course an important one, but it works both ways. Would Laver have won many more majors in the 1960s if, as a pro, he weren't banned from competition? Most likely. But would he have won as many majors early in his career (including his 1962 Grand Slam) if the other pros--Gonzales, Rosewall, Hoad, etc.--had been eligible? Most likely not. Rosewall, in particular, beat up on Laver in 1963, the latter's pro debut, and it wasn't until 1965 that Laver definitively surpassed his great rival. I would say that in an open environment, Laver would have won more than 11 majors, but not the 20+ some give him credit for. In fact, Gonzales and Rosewall may very well have ended up winning more than anyone, given their dominance and unparalleled longevity. The crucial thing to note, though, is that these historical realities must be taken into account when evaluating the true significance of Sampras's major record. In a fair world, he may actually be no higher than fifth or sixth on the list.

urban
07-13-2007, 11:55 AM
Now, if you go the 1962 situation a bit deeper, Laver maybe may not have won a Grand Slam, but he would have won 3- 4 majors up to 1962. Gonzales was completely out of the game in 62 and 63, Hoad for most of the time, was not in the form to challenge Rosewall on the pro tour. Rosewall had to deal with a very inconsistent Hoad and a still growing up Gimeno on the pro tour. On the amateur scene, Laver had primarly to deal with Emerson and Santana, to a lesser extend with Fraser, McKinley and Osuna. I think the pro and amateur game was pretty even balanced in 1962. It is right, that Laver had for his standards a bad 1963, the baddest in his whole career and his first pro year. He was clearly beaten by Rosewall and Hoad in the first month (January) of 1963, he had to play them one after the other in two days back to back for a short Australian and NZ tour. But if you look at the detailled results at the Australian part of the series, the series between Rosewall and Laver was pretty close, 3-2 to Rosewall, with Laver beating him at Melbourne, probably the most important venue 6-2,6-1,6-2. Only at the NZ tour in venues like Wellington and others, Laver gave in to Rosewall. Laver lost the first 8 matches to Hoad, but over the year came to grips with Hoad (the hth was say 5 or 6-11, 5 or 6-3 after first 8 defeats over the year). Later, in March/ April 1963, Rosewall finished first in a US series indoors, a surface, which was unknown to Laver at that moment, with most of the matches long pro sets to 8. But Laver finished the series second, ahead of Gimeno, McKay, Buchholz and the other pros. When the pros turned to a European tour with a tournament format, Laver became the most successful player of the summer with 3 wins on clay and indoors at Cannes. Late in the year Rosewall won the two pro biggies at Paris indoors and Wembley, the first in a superb 5 set match over Laver, after Laver lead 4-1 in the last set. Trabert and Sedgman, the pro pomoters ranked Laver second behind Rosewall in 1963 and expected a very close race for 1964. In 1964 then, Laver and Rosewall pretty even in title wins (8-7), but Laver had a 12-3 head to head over Rosewall. To make a short resume: After a shaky start at the pros, which all the former amateurs like Gonzales, Hoad and Rosewall experienced, Laver established himself quite fast as top player. In fact, only at Wembley 1963, when he lost early to Buchholz, Laver was not in the final of a pro major event until 1967. His chances in 1962 against the pros were imo better, than some think.

Rabbit
07-13-2007, 12:01 PM
P.S. The greatest player ever is Pancho
Gonzales.

The more I learn about Gonzalez, the more I agree with this statement.

chaognosis
07-13-2007, 05:08 PM
Great post as usual, urban. I of course don't mean to discredit all of Laver's pre-1963 achievements, but I do think he would have had a harder go of it with a field that included Rosewall, and even a wildly inconsistent Hoad. Just imagine if Federer did not have to contend with either Nadal or Safin - he would have already won two Grand Slams!

CyBorg
07-13-2007, 05:17 PM
Now, if you go the 1962 situation a bit deeper, Laver maybe may not have won a Grand Slam, but he would have won 3- 4 majors up to 1962. Gonzales was completely out of the game in 62 and 63, Hoad for most of the time, was not in the form to challenge Rosewall on the pro tour. Rosewall had to deal with a very inconsistent Hoad and a still growing up Gimeno on the pro tour. On the amateur scene, Laver had primarly to deal with Emerson and Santana, to a lesser extend with Fraser, McKinley and Osuna. I think the pro and amateur game was pretty even balanced in 1962. It is right, that Laver had for his standards a bad 1963, the baddest in his whole career and his first pro year. He was clearly beaten by Rosewall and Hoad in the first month (January) of 1963, he had to play them one after the other in two days back to back for a short Australian and NZ tour. But if you look at the detailled results at the Australian part of the series, the series between Rosewall and Laver was pretty close, 3-2 to Rosewall, with Laver beating him at Melbourne, probably the most important venue 6-2,6-1,6-2. Only at the NZ tour in venues like Wellington and others, Laver gave in to Rosewall. Laver lost the first 8 matches to Hoad, but over the year came to grips with Hoad (the hth was say 5 or 6-11, 5 or 6-3 after first 8 defeats over the year). Later, in March/ April 1963, Rosewall finished first in a US series indoors, a surface, which was unknown to Laver at that moment, with most of the matches long pro sets to 8. But Laver finished the series second, ahead of Gimeno, McKay, Buchholz and the other pros. When the pros turned to a European tour with a tournament format, Laver became the most successful player of the summer with 3 wins on clay and indoors at Cannes. Late in the year Rosewall won the two pro biggies at Paris indoors and Wembley, the first in a superb 5 set match over Laver, after Laver lead 4-1 in the last set. Trabert and Sedgman, the pro pomoters ranked Laver second behind Rosewall in 1963 and expected a very close race for 1964. In 1964 then, Laver and Rosewall pretty even in title wins (8-7), but Laver had a 12-3 head to head over Rosewall. To make a short resume: After a shaky start at the pros, which all the former amateurs like Gonzales, Hoad and Rosewall experienced, Laver established himself quite fast as top player. In fact, only at Wembley 1963, when he lost early to Buchholz, Laver was not in the final of a pro major event until 1967. His chances in 1962 against the pros were imo better, than some think.

I think that it's a good point that Laver's shaky first year as a pro may have been caused by the whole shellshock effect of suddenly moving up a few steps and facing such guys as Rosewall. It figures that if Laver could have turned pro earlier he may have had a better handle on the field by 1963. Thus granting him very little credit for his early majors is probably unfair. Very interesting points.

urban
07-13-2007, 11:15 PM
The numbers game has always two sides, Chaog. If Safin would be playing up to his potential, and say a healthy Kuerten still in the picture (or a Coria), or a Ferrero in his 2003 clay form, or a big server as Joachim Johansson fit and healthy, Federer would have probably no RG final, and maybe a few majors less.I saw an interview with Butch Bucholtz on the internet at the USO 2 years ago, where he stated, that Laver would have won at least 2 Grand Slams more in his pro years. And Bucholtz was one of the pros in those years. Its always difficult to speculate, especially regarding the different formats of the pro and amateur circuits. One thing is certain: Laver (and Rosewall for that matter) stood the test under all conditions: on the amateur, pro and on the open tour. Nobody - no amateur, Kramer pro or open era pro - has won more in one year in amateur, pro and in open competition than Laver in 62, 67, and 69.

chaognosis
07-13-2007, 11:34 PM
Nobody - no amateur, Kramer pro or open era pro - has won more in one year in amateur, pro and in open competition than Laver in 62, 67, and 69.

I think that's the single strongest piece of evidence in support of Laver as the G.O.A.T.

avmoghe
07-14-2007, 12:02 PM
1) I see your point, but still disagree. There is no universal definition of GOAT (otherwise these debates wouldn't be raging and reasonable people wouldn't disagree). Unfortunately (and fortunately) no one even agrees that "the meaning of "GOAT" Is necessarily restricted to "Player with the greatest Accomplishments" "

What I've said is that anyone who argues that GOAT is not restricted to Player with greatest Accomplishment is necessarily being unreasonable. There is absolutely no way to claim that Federer is or isn't a better tennis player than Federer - and anyone who thinks that Federer cannot possibly be improved upon is simply being unreasonable and short-sighted. Given that, you're left with *no choice* but to compare accomplishments. When tennis skills cannot be compared, what else can you possibly compare aside from accomplishments?



2) Even if I were to assume that your definition of GOAT is valid and universally accepted--it's still impossible to measure. One player's 2007 Wimbledon does not necessarily equal a Wimbledon win of a previous era. As you so aptly pointed out, "Skills change, surfaces change, game rules change, equipment changes, physical condition changes..... these are transient." Yes, I completely agree. And as a result, accomplishments are not equal from era to era!

There is of course some truth to this. This is why most slam wins from the time when defending champions played only 1 match are usually discounted. That is why even pre-open era accomplishments are somewhat devalued. But, what many agree on is that the open era accomplishments are roughly equal in difficulty. From this point on, the surfaces, technology, etc were changes that *all* pros had to adjust to.. and the tournaments were open to just about anyone who wished to play. From this point onwards, it should be clear that a grand slam win in the 70's was roughly equivalent to one on the 90's. If you do not agree to this, then there is absolutely no way to compare even accomplishments of players (let alone skill which was already eliminated). It is under this assumption that Laver is considered the GOAT - 11 slams with 1 *open era* Grand slam.

It is not my intention to come up with a universally accepted definition or measuring scale. It's essentially impossible, and there will always be disagreements. Hell, people exist today that still insist on the Earth being flat!



There's no completely objective way of saying that Laver's "grand slam" which included 3 tournaments on grass is any more impressive than Federer's season in 2004! One could argue that Federer's accomplishments are more impressive. The debate rages on but different accomplishments in different eras are inherently unequal.

Of course there isn't. If you're looking for a mathematical proof of such things, one does not exist. As I said above, the only way to even have a debate is to agree that all grand slams in the open era (at least) are of equal difficulty and prestige. (In addition to some other similar assumptions about other lower tournaments).

If you cannot agree to that, and insist on some mathematical proof, there is no way to even prove that Bill Tilden was any better or worse player than Donald Young!

"I hereby claim that Donald Young winning Junior wimbledon in today's day and age is a greater accomplishment than Tilden going essentially undefeated for six years back in the 20's. *Prove* me wrong." Am I allowed to hide behind the rather ridiculous "subjectivity of accomplishments" criteria with this?

CyBorg
07-14-2007, 12:32 PM
Given that, you're left with *no choice* but to compare accomplishments. When tennis skills cannot be compared, what else can you possibly compare aside from accomplishments?

Why can't skills be compared exactly?

avmoghe
07-14-2007, 01:58 PM
Why can't skills be compared exactly?

Changing technology in rackets, fitness, balls, etc.
Changing surfaces, and how the surfaces behave.
Changing rules of the sport.. tiebreaks, challenge system, dress code, etc
Lack of direct head to head matches between old and new players.
Lack of videos from old times....leading to reliance on written text which cannot give an accurate picture of the potency of strokes
General dearth of knowledge about the old greats in comparison with new era..

Is there any conclusive way to prove that Bill Tilden had a better forehand than Donald Young? No. What this leads to is simple handwaving saying how good Tilden's forehand was in comparison with his peers, and how poor Young's forehand is in comparison with his own. Add to this the mess that is created by the changing rackets, balls, and fitness technology.

At best you might be able to some old tennis fan who has seen both play... and rely on his judgment. Even this fan cannot accurately answer the hypothetical of what would happen if Young played with old rackets, rules, etc.... nor how Tilden would fare in today's environment. This is far from a comprehensive direct tennis skill comparison.

I take Tilden and Young as examples. For fun, we can go back to the 1800s for someone else instead of Tilden, and pick someone like Federer or Sampras instead of Young.

CyBorg
07-14-2007, 02:21 PM
Changing technology in rackets, fitness, balls, etc.

And? I can tell how good Rod Laver's backhand was and I can tell that Kenny Rosewall had a sweet forehand by watching them play and reading expert analysis of their games. Fitness norms were different, but that has little to do with skill. Yes, the racket and ball technology was different and one has to be aware of that when watching older matches.

Changing surfaces, and how the surfaces behave.

Vital for everyone to know, but not a deterrent from acknowledging and comparing skill levels.

Changing rules of the sport.. tiebreaks, challenge system, dress code, etc

I'm losing you here.

Lack of direct head to head matches between old and new players.

Excellent point and this is the biggest problem, of course. But this doesn't prevent die-hard tennis fans and historians from researching and reading. Whatever I cannot see with my own eyes I can complement by reading scouting reports. It is not ideal and does not provide me with altogether accurate perspective but it is necessary nonetheless. With statistics and results on hand only I cannot consider myself armed with in-depth scouting information - I can only be a pseudo-historian at best.

Lack of videos from old times....leading to reliance on written text which cannot give an accurate picture of the potency of strokes
General dearth of knowledge about the old greats in comparison with new era..

We rely on what we have. Ask a war historian/expert and he'll tell you that he has his limits, but he can formulate valid ideas in regards to Napoleon's conquests and provide an accurate, astute personal profile of the man. This is sans video, audio and even photo.

[Is there any conclusive way to prove that Bill Tilden had a better forehand than Donald Young? No. What this leads to is simple handwaving saying how good Tilden's forehand was in comparison with his peers, and how poor Young's forehand is in comparison with his own.

Stop and think for a second about what you've just posted.

At best you might be able to some old tennis fan who has seen both play... and rely on his judgment. Even this fan cannot accurately answer the hypothetical of what would happen if Young played with old rackets, rules, etc.... nor how Tilden would fare in today's environment. This is far from a comprehensive direct tennis skill comparison.

It can get very comprehensive if you dedicate much of your being to studying the game and past greats like Bill Tilden.

I take Tilden and Young as examples. For fun, we can go back to the 1800s for someone else instead of Tilden, and pick someone like Federer or Sampras instead of Young.

Bad examples.

Rabbit
07-14-2007, 02:47 PM
^Fitness? I'm sorry, when Laver and Rosewall were in their prime there was no tiebraker, ergo the set could go on and on and on and... you get the idea. And, the pros at the time fought the idea of the tiebreak. They thought it would change the nature of the game. Ivan Lendl has said that the game when he played was more of a marathon and now it's more of a sprint. IMO, neither sprinter or marathon is in better condition, they are in different condition.

avmoghe
07-14-2007, 03:02 PM
And? I can tell how good Rod Laver's backhand was and I can tell that Kenny Rosewall had a sweet forehand by watching them play and reading expert analysis of their games. Fitness norms were different, but that has little to do with skill. Yes, the racket and ball technology was different and one has to be aware of that when watching older matches.

You've picked people who you have videos for - something that is not true for many old greats. Furthermore, you cannot just determine how good Laver's Rosewall's forehand is by just watching them play his peers - when your intention is to try and compare it with someone like Federer or Sampras. You cannot simply be "aware" of rackets and ball changes, and claim that you can render a definitive conclusion by adjusting accordingly. Your are comparing balls that are hit by completely different rackets at completely different speed ranges. Furthermore, what you're "watching" is completely subjective. Try making a poll on who had a better backhand - Rosewall and Federer and see how much disagreement you have. Finally, fitness has everything to do with tennis skill. Fitness is what makes players like Hewitt and Nadal great (at least one of the many things).


Vital for everyone to know, but not a deterrent from acknowledging and comparing skill levels.
Sure it is... Wimbledon grass today is not what it was a mere 10 years ago. Serve and volley skill are essentially worthless today. Extrapolate that to over a hundred years...


I'm losing you here.
I don't see why...Rules of the sport present completely alter the game. Tiebreaks for example naturally result in more critical "crunch" points, then a no-tiebreak set. Wearing shorts is certainly more convenient than wearing long pants.


We rely on what we have. Ask a war historian/expert and he'll tell you that he has his limits, but he can formulate valid ideas in regards to Napoleon's conquests and provide an accurate, astute personal profile of the man. This is sans video, audio and even photo.
And? This automatically implies "what we have" is sufficient to conduct direct tennis skill comparison between players a hundred years apart? We rely on what we have - but what we have is not necessarily sufficient.



Stop and think for a second about what you've just posted.

I'm perfectly aware of what I have posted. I chose Young to illustrate an utterly ridiculous comparison. If you like, replace Young with Federer, Sampras, or Agassi.


It can get very comprehensive if you dedicate much of your being to studying the game and past greats like Bill Tilden.
Disagreed. You can read as much as you want about Tilden, and what his peers said about him. You *still* dont have anything conclusively to prove that his forehand was better than Young's ... let alone Sampras, Federer, or Agassi. We do not have much video, nor any *real* way to predict how Tilden would fare with modern equipment.

The *ONLY* way to determine conclusively determine who had a better forehand between Federer and Tilden would be to put them in the same environment and watch them play over an extended period of time. This is of course, impossible.



Bad examples.

Like I said, pick whoever you want . We can only compare player skill when they are put in the same environment..something which is impossible to do with the old greats and new players. As a result, we can only compare a player's skill *relative to his peers*. Our sport changes far to much to be able to make a comprehensive comparison across decades.

CyBorg
07-14-2007, 03:41 PM
You've picked people who you have videos for - something that is not true for many old greats. Furthermore, you cannot just determine how good Laver's Rosewall's forehand is by just watching them play his peers - when your intention is to try and compare it with someone like Federer or Sampras. You cannot simply be "aware" of rackets and ball changes, and claim that you can render a definitive conclusion by adjusting accordingly.

I said nothing about a definitive conclusion. What I speak of is an informed opinion. It's like science - one cannot prove something; only disprove it. I can make an informed opinion based on what I see and read, while keeping an open mind for further investigation. You advocate simply giving up in all respect and giving all credence to numbers. This is lazy and frankly not at all interesting.

Your are comparing balls that are hit by completely different rackets at completely different speed ranges. Furthermore, what you're "watching" is completely subjective.

It is not subjective - it is ambiguous and complex. There are many factors involved, but I can make a case for a player regardless of his era based on the information I have. What would be subjective is a counter-argument formed entirely based on data. My argument would be richer and while not fool proof, essential, convincing and as thorough as possible.

Try making a poll on who had a better backhand - Rosewall and Federer and see how much disagreement you have. Finally, fitness has everything to do with tennis skill. Fitness is what makes players like Hewitt and Nadal great (at least one of the many things).

Disagreements are wonderful. Someone watching Rosewall's forehand may make different conclusions than I, which makes for a fascinating debate. Someone who has never seen Rosewall's forehand will simply shove my nose into pure statistics - not interesting, not informed with stats alone. Similarly I can compare both Ken and Roger's forehands and make an appropriate judgement as to whether Federer is groundbreaking - and it is. There is a reason why tennis experts say that Roger may be the most naturally gifted athlete of all time and they do not base that on statistics. I can write a 10-page paper on Roger's forehand alone and sometimes that is worth as much as an image or a visual byte.

Sure it is...

Sure it is? You may want to reread my post - a deterrent?

Wimbledon grass today is not what it was a mere 10 years ago. Serve and volley skill are essentially worthless today. Extrapolate that to over a hundred years...

Bill Tilden was a baseliner in the 1920s. Pat Rafter was a server and volleyer seven years ago. What we can extrapolate from this knowledge is a lot more than you think.

I don't see why...Rules of the sport present completely alter the game. Tiebreaks for example naturally result in more critical "crunch" points, then a no-tiebreak set. Wearing shorts is certainly more convenient than wearing long pants.

You're reaching here. Tennis hasn't turned into football over a period of 80 years. It is still tennis - a somewhat different creation as all would acknowledge but one perfectly worthy of study and comparison. The differences are studied - not avoided.

And? This automatically implies "what we have" is sufficient to conduct direct tennis skill comparison between players a hundred years apart? We rely on what we have - but what we have is not necessarily sufficient.

Nothing is sufficient to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. You cannot prove that I don't have a pink elephant under my table. You can tell me with utmost confidence that I don't, but you cannot prove it. Tennis isn't sport alone - it is science, particularly that what we write and document of it. The ambiguities that result are fascinating and they bring us back into the debate. The essence of the sport is an essence of nature. It is not foolproof and it is not exact, but we study it to provide us with additional understanding or our world, our bodies. You will never find absolute certainty - in anything. But you also won't find knowledge in numbers alone - this is why we go deeper.

I'm perfectly aware of what I have posted. I chose Young to illustrate an utterly ridiculous comparison. If you like, replace Young with Federer, Sampras, or Agassi.

You did not provide an illustration - you provided a simplistic negation. An illustration is a thorough study. If anything, you advocate against illustration.

Disagreed. You can read as much as you want about Tilden, and what his peers said about him. You *still* dont have anything conclusively to prove that his forehand was better than Young's ... let alone Sampras, Federer, or Agassi. We do not have much video, nor any *real* way to predict how Tilden would fare with modern equipment.

I repeat - science cannot prove; it can only disprove. Scouting is likewise. This planet is inahibted by certain fools who feel that they have unfettered knowledge of all matters - they are all around us; politicians, analysts, lawyers. They will brainwash you and tell you that that white is black and black is white. Some hack in the media may also sell you on why Joe Blo was the greatest tennis player of all time. He'll make his lame, paper-thin case and then say that it is entirely conclusive. He'd be wrong and one would be a fool to believe him. Don't look for conclusions - look for facts and insight. What you'll garner is perspective, but perhaps not certitude. Certitude is for neoconservatives.

The *ONLY* way to determine conclusively determine who had a better forehand between Federer and Tilden would be to put them in the same environment and watch them play over an extended period of time. This is of course, impossible.

You know perfectly well that this cannot be done. Similarly, we are not able nail down complex, near-infinite numbers about our world, having to rely on estimations of certain data, strata - of the world's population, public opinion polls, trends, you name it. What we do is we compromise - we do our best to establish knowledge within a certain acknolwedgement of error. We do not surrender to our insecurities and admitted knowledge that we will never be entirely 100% accurate. We desire knowledge. Not false certitude.

Like I said, pick whoever you want . We can only compare player skill when they are put in the same environment..something which is impossible to do with the old greats and new players. As a result, we can only compare a player's skill *relative to his peers*. Our sport changes far to much to be able to make a comprehensive comparison across decades.

History in numbers is a false utopia. You sound young to me. Read some Dostoevsky and throw away all false ideas in your head about what you think is true beyond all reasonable doubt. Conclusions aren't interesting - ideas, research, philosophy, art, beauty are interesting. Numbers won't give you any answers - they can only aid your research, leading up to your theories.

avmoghe
07-14-2007, 04:54 PM
I said nothing about a definitive conclusion. What I speak of is an informed opinion. It's like science - one cannot prove something; only disprove it. I can make an informed opinion based on what I see and read, while keeping an open mind for further investigation. You advocate simply giving up in all respect and giving all credence to numbers. This is lazy and frankly not at all interesting.

This conversation is about *closing* or at least attempting to *close* the GOAT debate - not about adding another supposedly informed opinion into the mix. We have plenty of those from historians who have written about the game, and adding another one into the mix does not change much. What's even more infuriating about this is that these so called "informed opinions" contradict each other - essentially rendering the exercise worthless.

What I have suggested to this end is to ignore the subjective skill based comparison (comparison based on incomplete, text based accounts of random observers, living in an era with radically different balls, rackets, and surfaces). If we ignore these aspects, and focus on accomplishments, we would certainly be far closer to a conclusion. By agreeing eliminative skill comparisons from the GOAT debates, we make the debate simpler - the player with the most accomplishments is the GOAT.

It is not subjective - it is ambiguous and complex. There are many factors involved, but I can make a case for a player regardless of his era based on the information I have. What would be subjective is a counter-argument formed entirely based on data. My argument would be richer and while not fool proof, essential, convincing and as thorough as possible.

How is that not subjective? You're essentially making random guesses as to who has more tennis skill after watching two players play in completely different environments. How you evaluate the different factors in the environment, and how these factors affect the player strokes is completely subjective. This is not thoroughness ... it is the addition of your personal biases into the issue. Like I said, the only way to compare skill levels is to put them in the same environment - that's it. Any guesses you may make as to "what would happen if Tilden played with modern rackets" are just that... guesses.


Disagreements are wonderful. Someone watching Rosewall's forehand may make different conclusions than I, which makes for a fascinating debate.

No they are not. Disagreements are worthless in terms of achieving the objective of the debate. The objective of a debate is is to *end* it and convince everyone of your position. The objective of this discussion is to come to one conclusion - not marvel at each other's subjectivity. While debates may result in educating the participants, the education itself is not the *goal* of the debate - it is simply a fortunate side-effect.

On a side note, this is sounding more like a discussion about the merits of philosophy, literary interpretation, and every other discipline that thrives on simply reading opinions with no concrete notion of "correct" or "incorrect".


Sure it is? You may want to reread my post - a deterrent?
You confused me. You're claiming surfaces are not a deterrent in determining skill levels. I claim it is.


Bill Tilden was a baseliner in the 1920s. Pat Rafter was a server and volleyer seven years ago. What we can extrapolate from this knowledge is a lot more than you think.

We can extrapolate absolutely nothing about their relative skill levels. You can extrapolate absolutely nothing about what would happen if they were put in the same environment in a match against each other. You can only guage Tilden's skills by how well he did against his peers, and the same applies to Rafter. How skilled Tilden would be if he was playing Wimbledon 2007 is essentially a random guess.


You're reaching here. Tennis hasn't turned into football over a period of 80 years. It is still tennis - a somewhat different creation as all would acknowledge but one perfectly worthy of study and comparison. The differences are studied - not avoided.[./quote]
How am I reaching? Does the tiebreak not add a completely different dynamic to the game? (see the other poster's comment about the tie break) The differences are indeed studied, but that gets us nowhere - we still cannot tell how many slams Federer would have won without tiebreaks - it would require longer matches, different strategies, etc.


[quote]
Nothing is sufficient to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. You cannot prove that I don't have a pink elephant under my table. You can tell me with utmost confidence that I don't, but you cannot prove it. Tennis isn't sport alone - it is science, particularly that what we write and document of it. The ambiguities that result are fascinating and they bring us back into the debate. The essence of the sport is an essence of nature. It is not foolproof and it is not exact, but we study it to provide us with additional understanding or our world, our bodies. You will never find absolute certainty - in anything. But you also won't find knowledge in numbers alone - this is why we go deeper.

... This is an irrelevant discourse. Nothing here addresses my statement about our data being insufficient to compare skill levels across a hundred years.

If you're speaking of absolute mathematical proof, of course nothing can be proven. The notion of absolute certainty does not exist outside of the abstract mathematical world. However, put Federer and Donald Young on a court and make them play 10 matches. I can sure tell you who has better tennis skills - and most would agree that my conclusion would be "beyond a reasonable doubt".


You did not provide an illustration - you provided a simplistic negation. An illustration is a thorough study. If anything, you advocate against illustration.

Arguing about semantics now? Or are you not familiar with the correct usage of the term "illustrate"? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/illustrate I made my position clear through a ridiculous analogy. Happy?


I repeat - science cannot prove; it can only disprove. Scouting is likewise. This planet is inahibted by certain fools who feel that they have unfettered knowledge of all matters - they are all around us; politicians, analysts, lawyers. They will brainwash you and tell you that that white is black and black is white. Some hack in the media may also sell you on why Joe Blo was the greatest tennis player of all time. He'll make his lame, paper-thin case and then say that it is entirely conclusive. He'd be wrong and one would be a fool to believe him. Don't look for conclusions - look for facts and insight. What you'll garner is perspective, but perhaps not certitude. Certitude is for neoconservatives.

Same as your above comment. I do not use "prove" in the mathematical formal logic sense - I use it in the sense of proving beyond a reasonable doubt to most people. Reading text about Tilden or players from the 1800's certainly does not constitute as this type of proof.



You know perfectly well that this cannot be done. Similarly, we are not able nail down complex, near-infinite numbers about our world, having to rely on estimations of certain data, strata - of the world's population, public opinion polls, trends, you name it. What we do is we compromise - we do our best to establish knowledge within a certain acknolwedgement of error. We do not surrender to our insecurities and admitted knowledge that we will never be entirely 100% accurate. We desire knowledge. Not false certitude.

Again, this isn't about 100% accuracy.. this is about even 80 or 90 percent accuracy with a margin or error. Even this cannot be managed by the very little information that we have - you can read a hundred articles about the old time greats, and you'll still not get anywhere near 80 or 90 percent certainty when you try and compare their skills with Federer.

This is not about surrender.. this is about simplifying the GOAT arguments by eliminating something that cannot be shown to be even reasonably accurate (player skill level comparisons)


History in numbers is a false utopia. You sound young to me. Read some Dostoevsky and throw away all false ideas in your head about what you think is true beyond all reasonable doubt. Conclusions aren't interesting - ideas, research, philosophy, art, beauty are interesting. Numbers won't give you any answers - they can only aid your research, leading up to your theories.

I'm certainly not young (I'm no teenager if that's what you are worried about). I do have a marked distaste for philosophy, literary interpretation, and art - disciplines which thrive on opinions with no concrete notion of "correct" or "incorrect". I'm not quite sure why research fits in there.... research is the cornerstone of science.

I do take issue with labeling tennis as "science" - I take that as a direct insult to science personally. Science does, in fact, have very rigid rules and notions of what is correct and what is incorrect (not always, since areas like quantum mechanics are filled with atrocious approximations - anything within an order of magnitude is considered to be equal). But that's a discussion for another forum altogether.

Chopin
07-14-2007, 07:12 PM
What I've said is that anyone who argues that GOAT is not restricted to Player with greatest Accomplishment is necessarily being unreasonable. There is absolutely no way to claim that Federer is or isn't a better tennis player than Federer - and anyone who thinks that Federer cannot possibly be improved upon is simply being unreasonable and short-sighted. Given that, you're left with *no choice* but to compare accomplishments. When tennis skills cannot be compared, what else can you possibly compare aside from accomplishments?




There is of course some truth to this. This is why most slam wins from the time when defending champions played only 1 match are usually discounted. That is why even pre-open era accomplishments are somewhat devalued. But, what many agree on is that the open era accomplishments are roughly equal in difficulty. From this point on, the surfaces, technology, etc were changes that *all* pros had to adjust to.. and the tournaments were open to just about anyone who wished to play. From this point onwards, it should be clear that a grand slam win in the 70's was roughly equivalent to one on the 90's. If you do not agree to this, then there is absolutely no way to compare even accomplishments of players (let alone skill which was already eliminated). It is under this assumption that Laver is considered the GOAT - 11 slams with 1 *open era* Grand slam.

It is not my intention to come up with a universally accepted definition or measuring scale. It's essentially impossible, and there will always be disagreements. Hell, people exist today that still insist on the Earth being flat!




Of course there isn't. If you're looking for a mathematical proof of such things, one does not exist. As I said above, the only way to even have a debate is to agree that all grand slams in the open era (at least) are of equal difficulty and prestige. (In addition to some other similar assumptions about other lower tournaments).

If you cannot agree to that, and insist on some mathematical proof, there is no way to even prove that Bill Tilden was any better or worse player than Donald Young!

"I hereby claim that Donald Young winning Junior wimbledon in today's day and age is a greater accomplishment than Tilden going essentially undefeated for six years back in the 20's. *Prove* me wrong." Am I allowed to hide behind the rather ridiculous "subjectivity of accomplishments" criteria with this?

1) I see no reason why people can't try to analyze technique (or make educated guesses about "skills). All you need is a video recording, really pretty simple. I'm pretty sure Sampras's serve is more technically sound than Laver's and that this wouldn't change regardless of rackets (I remember Sampras crushing serves with a wooden racket in an exhibition.) You're wrong that only "accomplishments" can be compared reasonably. There's a reason why technique has evolved a certain way, (yes, it has to do with rackets and strings) but it also has to do with looking at making strokes more economical and efficient.

And even if you disagree that skills can be compared, you're probably in the minority as everyone from Cliff Drysdale to John Mcenroe compares technique of different players from different eras.


2) I never said Federer's game could not be improved upon. But once again, pound for pound, in any era, I think it's far fetched to say that Laver would fair better than Federer.

3) No one agrees that all the slams in the open era are of equal prestige and difficulty. For example, many greats have looked at the Australian Open as a barely worth their time. All slams are not equal. You make a rather large and unqualified leap of proclaiming that one player's slam victory is equal to another.

4) Laver is not considered GOAT by many people, many (probably most) people consider Sampras's 14 grand slams to be greater. Some people consider Federer to be GOAT.

5) There is no way to prove Laver's win is any greater than Young's win! There is no way to "prove" who is GOAT. It's completely subjective, looking at results and making unscientific (*cough* subjective) assumptions stating that every grand slam win from 1970 to 2007 is "equal" to one another does not prove anything.

6) All that can be done is to offer subjective opinions of what makes a certain player GOAT, and, if enough people are persuaded by it, then maybe we can decide that it's "true," at least in a loose sense of that word.

avmoghe
07-15-2007, 12:07 AM
1) I see no reason why people can't try to analyze technique (or make educated guesses about "skills). All you need is a video recording, really pretty simple. I'm pretty sure Sampras's serve is more technically sound than Laver's and that this wouldn't change regardless of rackets (I remember Sampras crushing serves with a wooden racket in an exhibition.) You're wrong that only "accomplishments" can be compared reasonably. There's a reason why technique has evolved a certain way, (yes, it has to do with rackets and strings) but it also has to do with looking at making strokes more economical and efficient.

We don't have video recordings for many of old greats for one thing - we rely on text articles. How does your educated guess process account for the fact that the racket technology has changed? How does it account for the fact that the new players *learned* the strokes from the successes and mistakes of the old players? How do you account for the benefit of hindsight that the new players have? How do you account for the fitness technloogy changes?

Do you understand what is involved in guaging tennis skill? It implies putting two people in the same environment in a tennis match. Watching players play their peers from different eras gets you absolutely nowhere. When comparing Federer and Laver you get absolutely nowhere in answering the question of "if Federer had played during that era, how well would he have done?" Every single stroke of Federer you see today is necessarily tainted by today's technology and lessons learned from the mistakes made by the old greats.

You're perfectly free to make your educated guesses on the strokes - but your educated guesses are just that... guesses. What we're trying to come up with here is a criteria that *everyone* (almost everyone) can agree to. Eliminatiing your own subjective guesswork is certainly a step in the right direction.


And even if you disagree that skills can be compared, you're probably in the minority as everyone from Cliff Drysdale to John Mcenroe compares technique of different players from different eras.
Hold on a minute....you're completely misunderstanding what I said. I said we should eliminate comparison of skills to simplify the GOAT argument. I didn't say we should ban talking about it altogether. McEnroe and Drysdale are free to make their educated guesses on the subject just like you are...(McNeroe by the way takes full advantage of this by changing his GOAT regularly)


2) I never said Federer's game could not be improved upon. But once again, pound for pound, in any era, I think it's far fetched to say that Laver would fair better than Federer.

I'm not claiming that either... I'm claiming its essentially worthless to let our guesses about tennis skill needlessly complicate the GOAT argument. Federer is incredibly skilled.. and in the next hundred years, there will appear to be even more skilled (due to the evolution of our sport). The question of how Federer would perform if he was playing in the 1960's is essentially an unanswerable hypothetical. The best thing to do IMO is ignore the unanswerable hypothetical, and go straight to comparing player accomplishments.



3) No one agrees that all the slams in the open era are of equal prestige and difficulty. For example, many greats have looked at the Australian Open as a barely worth their time. All slams are not equal. You make a rather large and unqualified leap of proclaiming that one player's slam victory is equal to another.

Again, you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. No one claims the Australian Open is as important as the other slams - Wmbledon has always been, and still is the crown jewel of our sport. What I was saying was that winning a Wimbledon in 1975 should be considered an accomplishment equal to winning a Wimbledon in 2005. If you do not agree to such a premise, then there is no way to even compare accomplishments.



4) Laver is not considered GOAT by many people, many (probably most) people consider Sampras's 14 grand slams to be greater. Some people consider Federer to be GOAT.

When you say "people" do you mean tennis fans such as the ones on this board? Most tennis authorities who have been around the sport for a while consider Laver to be the GOAT (You can see at least five links from the wiki article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Laver). Of course, if you poll the younger tennis fan, they'll pick Sampras who looms large in their short memory.


5) There is no way to prove Laver's win is any greater than Young's win! There is no way to "prove" who is GOAT. It's completely subjective, looking at results and making unscientific (*cough* subjective) assumptions stating that every grand slam win from 1970 to 2007 is "equal" to one another does not prove anything.

Which is why I said, as long as we can agree that Slams from 1970's are equal in Prestige to slams in the 1990's, we can indeed come up with a player who has *accomplished* the most. If you agree to this assumption, you do indeed eliminate most of the subjectivity from the matter.


6) All that can be done is to offer subjective opinions of what makes a certain player GOAT, and, if enough people are persuaded by it, then maybe we can decide that it's "true," at least in a loose sense of that word.

See above. If we agree to some basic premises, we can indeed eliminate the subjectivity. If you can agree that winning wimbledon in 1969 is equal in prestige to winning wimbledon in 2005, we can indeed do a straight comparison between players across eras. If this method is adopted, the subjectivity stemming from the "skill" argument is completely negated.

Chopin
07-15-2007, 09:52 AM
We don't have video recordings for many of old greats for one thing - we rely on text articles. How does your educated guess process account for the fact that the racket technology has changed? How does it account for the fact that the new players *learned* the strokes from the successes and mistakes of the old players? How do you account for the benefit of hindsight that the new players have? How do you account for the fitness technloogy changes?

Do you understand what is involved in guaging tennis skill? It implies putting two people in the same environment in a tennis match. Watching players play their peers from different eras gets you absolutely nowhere. When comparing Federer and Laver you get absolutely nowhere in answering the question of "if Federer had played during that era, how well would he have done?" Every single stroke of Federer you see today is necessarily tainted by today's technology and lessons learned from the mistakes made by the old greats.

You're perfectly free to make your educated guesses on the strokes - but your educated guesses are just that... guesses. What we're trying to come up with here is a criteria that *everyone* (almost everyone) can agree to. Eliminatiing your own subjective guesswork is certainly a step in the right direction.


Hold on a minute....you're completely misunderstanding what I said. I said we should eliminate comparison of skills to simplify the GOAT argument. I didn't say we should ban talking about it altogether. McEnroe and Drysdale are free to make their educated guesses on the subject just like you are...(McNeroe by the way takes full advantage of this by changing his GOAT regularly)



I'm not claiming that either... I'm claiming its essentially worthless to let our guesses about tennis skill needlessly complicate the GOAT argument. Federer is incredibly skilled.. and in the next hundred years, there will appear to be even more skilled (due to the evolution of our sport). The question of how Federer would perform if he was playing in the 1960's is essentially an unanswerable hypothetical. The best thing to do IMO is ignore the unanswerable hypothetical, and go straight to comparing player accomplishments.




Again, you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. No one claims the Australian Open is as important as the other slams - Wmbledon has always been, and still is the crown jewel of our sport. What I was saying was that winning a Wimbledon in 1975 should be considered an accomplishment equal to winning a Wimbledon in 2005. If you do not agree to such a premise, then there is no way to even compare accomplishments.




When you say "people" do you mean tennis fans such as the ones on this board? Most tennis authorities who have been around the sport for a while consider Laver to be the GOAT (You can see at least five links from the wiki article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Laver). Of course, if you poll the younger tennis fan, they'll pick Sampras who looms large in their short memory.



Which is why I said, as long as we can agree that Slams from 1970's are equal in Prestige to slams in the 1990's, we can indeed come up with a player who has *accomplished* the most. If you agree to this assumption, you do indeed eliminate most of the subjectivity from the matter.



See above. If we agree to some basic premises, we can indeed eliminate the subjectivity. If you can agree that winning wimbledon in 1969 is equal in prestige to winning wimbledon in 2005, we can indeed do a straight comparison between players across eras. If this method is adopted, the subjectivity stemming from the "skill" argument is completely negated.

We can agree to disagree. We're both repeating ourselves. However, you're completely wrong when you say that "we can indeed eliminate the subjectivity." Obviously, subjectivity can never be eliminated from a discussion like this, because A) I still disagree that every U.S Open, Australian Open,ect.from 1969 to 2005 is an equal achievement to another regardless of the circumstances of that tournament--to say that every one is equal to another is in itself a subjective statement. Besides, in 1969 the U.S. Open (and Australian Open I believe) were played on grass!! B) Even it was not subjective, we still have no "objective" criteria for determining what accomplishments are greater between players. This is all hearsay and guessing!

Furthermore, all we can hope to get out of this discussion are informed persuasive opinions, we cannot prove anything. This debate is (and probably will always be) be an "open book," not a closed one.

And with all due respect, why do you write that you, "have a marked distaste for philosophy, literary interpretation, and art - disciplines which thrive on opinions with no concrete notion of "correct" or "incorrect". These disciplines are cornerstones of our society that have intersected with science--think of Aristotle). Tennis could certainly be considered an art form.

It would seem to me that the beauty of something like literary criticism is in the ambiguities/possibilities of interpreting a text. And while there may be no "correct" or "incorrect" interpretations, generally scholars agree that "good" readings of text have strong textual evidence to support certain patterns, motifs or themes in a text. And, some people find such readings persuasive. I think that this type of analysis is not all that different from what were doing/should be doing in the GOAT debate.

As Einstein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” :-)

CyBorg
07-15-2007, 11:08 AM
Science does, in fact, have very rigid rules and notions of what is correct and what is incorrect

This is very wrong. If we can't agree upon science then we cannot really continue the conversation. Science couldn't be further from that what you say it is. Also, statistical comparison isn't science. It's what folks at Fox Sports do.

I enjoyed the exchange, but I would have trouble continuing because you desire immediate certainty and I don't. Of course, I find your urges for certainty ironic as I think that you achieve the complete opposite than the truth by stripping down your research. Regardless, different means to responding to questions are comforting to me, as I enjoy the multiplicity - despite the fact that some I find more interesting than others, more worthy of my time.

avmoghe
07-15-2007, 12:53 PM
This is very wrong. If we can't agree upon science then we cannot really continue the conversation. Science couldn't be further from that what you say it is. Also, statistical comparison isn't science. It's what folks at Fox Sports do.

I enjoyed the exchange, but I would have trouble continuing because you desire immediate certainty and I don't. Of course, I find your urges for certainty ironic as I think that you achieve the complete opposite than the truth by stripping down your research. Regardless, different means to responding to questions are comforting to me, as I enjoy the multiplicity - despite the fact that some I find more interesting than others, more worthy of my time.

I'm not claiming statistical comparison is science either. What I am claiming is that sciences does have very rigid rules as to what can and cannot be claimed as theories - this is very much embedded in the basic scientific process itself. Either way, this is beyond this scope of this discussion as you have pointed out.

I enjoyed the exchange too. It is refreshing to debate in a civil fashion without resorting to uglyness. Take it easy..

CyBorg
07-15-2007, 01:26 PM
What I am claiming is that sciences does have very rigid rules as to what can and cannot be claimed as theories

Sounds a tad despotic to me, and I still struggle to understand exactly what you're getting at.

It doesn't matter though - I can ramble for centuries. And I like hearing others ramble as well, because I value stories - they are like borrowed fieldwork. Without them I have the bare minimum of statistics and accomplishments, none of which I can assess without analysis, whether it is borrowed or entirely mine.

I do entertain the prospect of analyzing tennis from a strictly statistical perspective - I don't think that it can be in any way conclusive (nothing is), but it could accompany varying kinds of study. Probably the most statistical sport of them all - baseball - is reknowned for this. Americans keep the most incredible records of statistical accomplishments going back to the late 19th century. A favorite of mine is Bill James - a statistician and a current scout for the Boston RedSox - who has developed groundbreaking theories and percentages to calculate things like (in layman's terms) the relative dominance or effectiveness of players in their respective eras.

Very statistically grounded stuff, but it goes into incredible depth - beyond slugging and on-base. It is interesting because we have a wealth of statistical information. Tennis-wise, I would be fascinated to read something as sophisticated in measuring relative dominance - measuring anything ranging from clutchness to focus and fatigue. It can be done but it isn't as common in tennis and we have very little information going back decades. It's a shame.

In the most stripped-down sense, we have very uncomplicated facts about our past greats - such as, we know that Rod Laver won 181 singles titles, we know that some of them were in four-to-eight man fields, some against weak draws, some draws are missing. We know that he won a number of majors: some against pro competition, some against amateur competition. We know that he won a number of prestigiuos pro championships (perhaps on par with majors at the time), but we hold back a bit because we know that a number of them did not have strong depth of fields. We are left with a lot of unanswered questions. Especially if we just go on what we can find on the Internet.

I'm not satisfied. I'm much more interested in first-hand reports. Maybe Bill James will take up tennis writing.

slice bh compliment
07-15-2007, 02:27 PM
Ever seen the guy actually play? Great technique. Bold style. Very quick. Ridiculously agile. Powerful for a compact guy. And I only got to see him play in the late seventies and early 80s in exhibition tennis.

Universally admired. A regular guy. On the humble side. Oh, and a Grand Slam in 1962 as an amateur. And another in 1969 as a professional.

Did I just overrate Rod Laver? Really?

Chopin
07-15-2007, 04:35 PM
Ever seen the guy actually play? Great technique. Bold style. Very quick. Ridiculously agile. Powerful for a compact guy. And I only got to see him play in the late seventies and early 80s in exhibition tennis.

Universally admired. A regular guy. On the humble side. Oh, and a Grand Slam in 1962 as an amateur. And another in 1969 as a professional.

Did I just overrate Rod Laver? Really?

No, of course not. But the thread has turned into a GOAT debate/GOAT criteria debate rather than a "Laver is overrated" bashing one.

Dean
07-15-2007, 07:51 PM
This is such a ridiculous thread.

Laver is a legend and holds records that will never be broken. The double Grand Slam and more than 180 pro singles titles are the most impressive.

I'm quite sure the great man couldn't care less if anyone on this forum called him the GOAT or not.

Fact: He was a great champion.

now lets move on.

vive le beau jeu !
10-09-2007, 06:14 AM
When Open tennis hit in '68, the winners of that year's Grand Slams were: Bowrey, Rosewall, Laver and Ashe.
The Australian Open that year wasn't open, only for amateurs.
ah ok... now i understand why Bowrey is never mentionned as the weakest slam winner in the open era: it's because... it wasn't the open era yet ! ;)
thx for this precision, i will have to remove it (the 1968 australian open) from my open era table (http://orycterope.free.fr/OpenEra.html)...

so we have another year with only 3 slams, like in 1986.

Gorecki
10-11-2007, 10:42 AM
the single fact that the skinny shy aussie won 2 times all 4 big SAYS PRETTY MUCH ABOUT THE MAN...

slicelob
10-11-2007, 04:44 PM
There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.
- Ecclesiastes 1:8

Kaptain Karl
10-11-2007, 04:59 PM
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones

- Marc Antony in Julius Ceasar


- KK

Wuornos
04-07-2008, 01:50 AM
Deleted as found unuseful by board members. :cry:

AndrewD
04-07-2008, 02:59 AM
Using the ELO rating system for performances in the Open Era only we can calculate the following peaks.

1 Roger Federer 2776
2 Ivan Lendl 2769
3 Rod Laver 2763
4 Pete Sampras 2749
5 Björn Borg 2748
6 Mats Wilander 2739
7 John McEnroe 2736
8 Stefan Edberg 2731
9 Boris Becker 2725
10 Jim Courier 2719

Correct up to and including AO 2008.


What about Connors? Surely he would have a peak performance in the Open era that far exceeds everyone who didn't win 3 of 4 majors in one year? Also, how can Laver's Grand Slam be sensibly rated below anyone else's peak performance? Given that it's seen as being the ultimate achievement in our sport it has to be apportioned significantly more regard than 3 out of 4 majors or an impressive win/loss record. If it doesn't then you've got a system that doesn't work.

Wuornos
04-07-2008, 06:00 AM
What about Connors? Surely he would have a peak performance in the Open era that far exceeds everyone who didn't win 3 of 4 majors in one year? Also, how can Laver's Grand Slam be sensibly rated below anyone else's peak performance? Given that it's seen as being the ultimate achievement in our sport it has to be apportioned significantly more regard than 3 out of 4 majors or an impressive win/loss record. If it doesn't then you've got a system that doesn't work.

Hi Andrew

You know how ELO ratings work, they place no emphasis on what achievements may be considered subjectively as superior to another. e.g. 3 majors in a year as opposed to 8 majors in a career.

It's all based around probability theory and opinions don't really come into it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system.

It is to a certain extent based upon good quality of results over a limited number of matches against a good quality of opposition. rather than a specific time period like a year. Hence Laver's perfromance being ranked below the peak of Lendl or Federer.

The two points you have made seem to look at the rating of players from different stances. The first being Laver should be very high because of his performance within a short time frame of the open era, i.e. his 1969 Grand Slam, while the query of Jimmy Connors being higher because of his perfromance spread over a much longer period. It is precisiely this kind of difficulty that ELO tends to be used for. Which aspect of perfprmance should be given most emphasis. ELO would say the answer is neither but instead somewhere between the two.

Connors ranks just below the top 10 using this methodology at 12th with 2703. One of only 12 players in the open era to exceed the 2700 mark. Typically given the activity of players it requires good performances over more than a single year for ELO to consider the performances statistically significant and to elimenate the role luck plays so that the figure given is beyond reasonable doubt. His total of 8 majors spread over a long period are not considered as significant as the concentration of good results yielded by some players with lesser totals.

Remember this isn't my personal opinion, or indeed my system, it's just a statistical calculation using a probability based methodology first utilised by the American Dr Arpad ELO.

Take care regards

Tim

Tennis old man
04-07-2008, 06:04 AM
The Goats are in a tie between federer and sampras. Maybe ill give pete a slight edge for now. borg is third on that list

You don't know much about tennis.

Tennis old man
04-07-2008, 06:07 AM
Well, the competition today is much stronger. I think the players today are more talented and physically stronger.

Another tennis "wise" man....................... What happened to you???

Tennis old man
04-07-2008, 06:09 AM
I think comparing with history is such a crappy idea, but we people like it and media fancy it. As everything develops, the conditions are never the same.

In tennis, winner all 4 majors are much more difficult than those early days, due to the development of everything. Some are even imposed by ATP to improve the variety of the game. All of these, whatever they are, increases the difficulty to win all 4. People wanna see variety and sparkle, not to create a GOAT of all centuries. In Golf, Tiger Woods also couldn't win all 4 majors in a calendar year. But he is the best you can find in modern golf. In F1, Shumacher's 7 victories (5 victories in a row) are not going to be surpassed, no matter how good Alonso or Hamilton is going to be. I bet on this. Time has changed. Conditions are different. In the IT world, Microsoft's success is not going to be replicated either.

Time advances. Environment and conditions become more stable and more mature, making greater achievements more difficult. Are we going to see another Einstein? Not!

Totally agree.

AndrewD
04-07-2008, 07:37 PM
It is to a certain extent based upon good quality of results over a limited number of matches against a good quality of opposition. rather than a specific time period like a year. Hence Laver's perfromance being ranked below the peak of Lendl or Federer.

Given that the system omits elements which are invaluable to our game (tradition and prestige being factors of high significance in tennis) I can't see why you would bother using it? Surely it'd be better to have no list than one that isn't truly representative.

Kaptain Karl
04-07-2008, 08:32 PM
You know how ELO ratings work, they place no emphasis on what achievements may be considered subjectively as superior to another.Then ELO is not worth the time it took you to explain and post about it. Ask any Pro; the Majors ARE subjectively more important. (And most fans know this, too.)

For as long as I can remember, people grumbled that [Budge, Kramer, Laver, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Llendl, et al] used the "tuneup" tourneys prior to the Majors for just that; tuning up. The Pros didn't appear to mind losing in the early rounds of the tuneups ... because they didn't mind.

If ELO doesn't weight the accomplishments, it isn't valuable.


The two points you have made seem to look at the rating of players from different stances. The first being Laver should be very high because of his performance within a short time frame of the open era, i.e. his 1969 Grand Slam, while the query of Jimmy Connors being higher because of his perfromance spread over a much longer period. It is precisiely this kind of difficulty that ELO tends to be used for. Which aspect of perfprmance should be given most emphasis. ELO would say the answer is neither but instead somewhere between the two.ELO would be grossly mistaken.

- KK

fastdunn
04-07-2008, 08:59 PM
# of majors and # of years at the top.

if you want to be in the top 5 all time great, you should win roughly 15+ majors and basically dominate about a decade.

then you can bump someone out of top 5 all time greats (laver, gonzales,budge,tilden, sampras maybe).

Wuornos
04-08-2008, 02:59 AM
Given that the system omits elements which are invaluable to our game (tradition and prestige being factors of high significance in tennis) I can't see why you would bother using it? Surely it'd be better to have no list than one that isn't truly representative.

Oh well back to the drawing board. :(

Wuornos
04-08-2008, 03:15 AM
Then ELO is not worth the time it took you to explain and post about it. Ask any Pro; the Majors ARE subjectively more important. (And most fans know this, too.)

For as long as I can remember, people grumbled that [Budge, Kramer, Laver, Connors, Borg, McEnroe, Llendl, et al] used the "tuneup" tourneys prior to the Majors for just that; tuning up. The Pros didn't appear to mind losing in the early rounds of the tuneups ... because they didn't mind.

If ELO doesn't weight the accomplishments, it isn't valuable.


ELO would be grossly mistaken.

- KK

Well I definitely seem to be outvoted on this. Any suggestions for an objective methodology, or are we just concluding that tennis ratings must be subjective.

If I wasn't a manic depressive I'd find the fact that having recently defended the idea that a rating system looking at the majors wasn't irrational because of the lack of reflection of other tournaments amusing given that now reflecting the other tournaments I am in a position where the opposite criticism is put forward. Speak to Jeffrey Neave about Dallas in 1975, he put me straight saying that the majors weren't more important then.

I certainly know as a fan that the majors are subjectively more importnt now, but they weren't during Connors era. Both the French and Australian were considerably weaker at this time. Any fan will know that to provide something that weights majors as subjectively more important irrespective of era is just plain wrong.

Seriously though I am interested in the development of an objective rating system that removes personal opinions, views arbitary weightings etc. Do you have any suggestions as to where I go from here.

Can anyone tell me why the negatives always come forwward on this site. If I provide a system that has a sound mathematical basis in probability but is not subjectively weighted I am attacked because it does not have the subjectivity. When I put forward a system that does have the weightings and puts majors above other events, I am criticised because of the weigtings and lower events should be better reflected. No problem with any of this as feedback but why don't the people who agree with each system post to the threads for a discussion with those who don't. Why is it only those who don't agree that post. Why do the the others who agree with me leave me to be attacked. Why didn't you defend me before Kaptain Karl when I was doing what you are criticising me for not doing here.

I give up.

Bye

Tim:cry:

zagor
04-08-2008, 06:47 AM
# of majors and # of years at the top.

if you want to be in the top 5 all time great, you should win roughly 15+ majors and basically dominate about a decade.

then you can bump someone out of top 5 all time greats (laver, gonzales,budge,tilden, sampras maybe).

If your conditions are 15+ slams and dominating a decade then Sampras doesn't fit into that group either as he won 14 slams and had dominated six years(although 1998 was hardly dominating),so he is 4 years short.

hoodjem
04-08-2008, 08:18 AM
If your conditions are 15+ slams and dominating a decade then Sampras doesn't fit into that group either as he won 14 slams and had dominated six years(although 1998 was hardly dominating),so he is 4 years short.


True. Almost everyone on this site discounts doubles, and so far NO ONE has won 15 GS singles titles. According to the facts and the logic suggested above, there is no GOAT--because not a single person has ever achieved the minimum requirements.

hoodjem
04-08-2008, 08:38 AM
Tim,

I think your ELO ratings are useful and intriguing. I occasionally disagree with the results, but that does not mean they are a waste of time.

It means that I had better sharpen my thinking and hone my rationales.

Keep it up; statistical science does have a role to play here.

Gene

laurie
04-08-2008, 08:41 AM
This is an old thread......

Anyway, Laver is not overated.

hoodjem
04-08-2008, 11:54 AM
Well, the competition today is much stronger. I think the players today are more talented and physically stronger.
What are you smoking? Physically stronger maybe (thanks to the tie-breaker.)

"I know nothing about history, that's why the present is better."

Top FIVE in 2008
1. Federer
2. Nadal (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
3. Djokovic (1 Grand Slam titles: singles)
4. Davydenko (0 Grand Slam titles)
5. Ferrer (0 Grand Slam titles)


Top FIVE in 1969
1. Laver
2. Rosewall (17 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles)
3. Roche (15 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
4. Ashe (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
5. Newcombe (26 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)

Leelord337
04-08-2008, 12:28 PM
The Goats are in a tie between federer and sampras. Maybe ill give pete a slight edge for now. borg is third on that list

watch this video and u'll see why he's the GOAT

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

ODAC
04-08-2008, 01:58 PM
watch this video and u'll see why he's the GOAT

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wHaN2h21ANs

Thanks for the link.

What a backhand. It might seem somewhat cliche to note the demands of
wood racquets, but having hit with Laver's Dunlop and many Kramer's the
pop and angle Laver could generate with those dead trees is really awesome.

llgc8080
04-08-2008, 02:23 PM
What are you smoking? Physically stronger maybe (thanks to the tie-breaker.)

"I know nothing about history, that's why the present is better."

Top FIVE in 2008
1. Federer
2. Nadal (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
3. Djokovic (1 Grand Slam titles: singles)
4. Davydenko (0 Grand Slam titles)
5. Ferrer (0 Grand Slam titles)


Top FIVE in 1969
1. Laver
2. Rosewall (17 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles)
3. Roche (15 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
4. Ashe (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
5. Newcombe (26 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)

Great answer hood!:)

CyBorg
04-08-2008, 06:37 PM
What are you smoking? Physically stronger maybe (thanks to the tie-breaker.)

"I know nothing about history, that's why the present is better."

Top FIVE in 2008
1. Federer
2. Nadal (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
3. Djokovic (1 Grand Slam titles: singles)
4. Davydenko (0 Grand Slam titles)
5. Ferrer (0 Grand Slam titles)


Top FIVE in 1969
1. Laver
2. Rosewall (17 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles)
3. Roche (15 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
4. Ashe (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
5. Newcombe (26 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)

I agree with your point, but your numbers are a bit misleading. Djokovic is already better than Roche ever was. Yes, I realize that Tony is a very accomplished (former) pro who was great at doubles and singles, but I think that Djokovic when all is said and done will end with with a Becker-Edberg type career. And that I think would trump Roche's accomplishments.

The top-10 today is quite strong, but it may not look that way to some because these guys are still building up their legends.

edmondsm
04-08-2008, 08:46 PM
Well I definitely seem to be outvoted on this. Any suggestions for an objective methodology, or are we just concluding that tennis ratings must be subjective.

If I wasn't a manic depressive I'd find the fact that having recently defended the idea that a rating system looking at the majors wasn't irrational because of the lack of reflection of other tournaments amusing given that now reflecting the other tournaments I am in a position where the opposite criticism is put forward. Speak to Jeffrey Neave about Dallas in 1975, he put me straight saying that the majors weren't more important then.

I certainly know as a fan that the majors are subjectively more importnt now, but they weren't during Connors era. Both the French and Australian were considerably weaker at this time. Any fan will know that to provide something that weights majors as subjectively more important irrespective of era is just plain wrong.

Seriously though I am interested in the development of an objective rating system that removes personal opinions, views arbitary weightings etc. Do you have any suggestions as to where I go from here.

Can anyone tell me why the negatives always come forwward on this site. If I provide a system that has a sound mathematical basis in probability but is not subjectively weighted I am attacked because it does not have the subjectivity. When I put forward a system that does have the weightings and puts majors above other events, I am criticised because of the weigtings and lower events should be better reflected. No problem with any of this as feedback but why don't the people who agree with each system post to the threads for a discussion with those who don't. Why is it only those who don't agree that post. Why do the the others who agree with me leave me to be attacked. Why didn't you defend me before Kaptain Karl when I was doing what you are criticising me for not doing here.

I give up.

Bye

Tim:cry:

Aw man don't give up Tim, your posts are extremely stimulating. In regards to your efforts to finding an objective ranking system, if I may make a suggestion:

People never talk about money when it comes to rankings and I think it is because it injects an element of cold, heartlessness into a game that we love. However, if you look at the year end rankings and compare it to the amount of prize money won the two are almost identical.

The amount of money in a sport is very indicative of the competetiveness of that sport. I.E: if there is not much money to be had then the sport will not be able to support a large pool of pros and therefore the competition will be weaker.

If you could gather statistics on prize money over the years and adjust it to inflation I think you would have a really good idea of how prestigous different events were, not to mention the sport in general. If you use cold hard cash as your basis then you have a barometer to base all eras against each other.

In any case, hang in there Tim. The boards are better with you around.:)

Kaptain Karl
04-08-2008, 09:02 PM
If I wasn't a manic depressive....What does this have to do with Laver's legacy?

Seriously though I am interested in the development of an objective rating system that removes personal opinions, views arbitary weightings etc. Do you have any suggestions as to where I go from here.Doing so across the generations will always be difficult. It's an interesting topic of conversation ... but you will not ever get *close* to unanimity.

Can anyone tell me why the negatives always come forward on this site.Huh? It's an InterNet forum. It's an opinion site. That's life.

If I provide a system that has a sound mathematical basis in probability but is not subjectively weighted I am attacked because it does not have the subjectivity.I haven't seen any TT-er "attack" you. Your ideas have been challenged, but that's a very different thing.

When I put forward a system that does have the weightings and puts majors above other events, I am criticised because of the weigtings and lower events should be better reflected. No problem with any of this as feedback but why don't the people who agree with each system post to the threads for a discussion with those who don't. Why is it only those who don't agree that post. Why do the the others who agree with me leave me to be attacked.The above is some of the most confusing stuff I've read on TT. All I can post is, "Huh?"

Why didn't you defend me before Kaptain Karl when I was doing what you are criticising me for not doing here."Whachoo talkin' 'bout, Willis!!??"

Seriously, I don't know what you're posting about.



Top FIVE in 2008
1. Federer
2. Nadal (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
3. Djokovic (1 Grand Slam titles: singles)
4. Davydenko (0 Grand Slam titles)
5. Ferrer (0 Grand Slam titles)


Top FIVE in 1969
1. Laver
2. Rosewall (17 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles)
3. Roche (15 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
4. Ashe (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
5. Newcombe (26 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)Good data. Nice job.



Djokovic is already better than Roche ever was.Ludicrous assertion.


- KK

Wuornos
04-09-2008, 02:18 AM
What does this have to do with Laver's legacy?

Doing so across the generations will always be difficult. It's an interesting topic of conversation ... but you will not ever get *close* to unanimity.

Huh? It's an InterNet forum. It's an opinion site. That's life.

I haven't seen any TT-er "attack" you. Your ideas have been challenged, but that's a very different thing.

The above is some of the most confusing stuff I've read on TT. All I can post is, "Huh?"

"Whachoo talkin' 'bout, Willis!!??"

Seriously, I don't know what you're posting about.



Good data. Nice job.



Ludicrous assertion.


- KK

Personally I don't find Cyborg's quote that 'Novak Đoković is already better than Tony Roche ever was' a LUDICROUS assertion.

I might not agree with it but I do feel the statistical evidence is currently sufficient to say that Đoković has already proven himself to be within the same ball park as Roche.

I find the use of the word LUDICROUS within such a context to have an implication that the statement being judged is clearly incorrect and without merit. I don't think this is the case at all, as in my opinion the evidence is sufficiently comparable betweeen these players for their to exist some doubt that the statement may be correct. In such a scenario I find the use of the word LUDICROUS misleading.

To be honest I always look forward to reading Cyborg's posts they are always well thought out and have sound basis in the history of the sport. Perhaps you could make a more contructive comment regarding Cyborg's original post other than LUDICROUS without any kind of logical argument or reason behind your assertion other than it is your opinion. E.g. why is this your opinion.

Regarding my Bipolar disorder of course it has nothing to do with Laver's legacy and if the quote you posted hadn't deleted the rest of the paragraph this was taken from this would be clear. But then again your original post criticising ELO as a valids statatistical methodology in the face of all mathematical probability theory didn't make mention of Laver either.

As for my posts on which you commented 'being some of the most confusing stuff I've read on TT. All I can post is, "Huh?" "Whachoo talkin' 'bout, Willis!!??" Seriously, I don't know what you're posting about'. I refer you to your original comments regarding the ELO system, i.e. "The Pros didn't appear to mind losing in the early rounds of the tuneups ... because they didn't mind". Now that confused me. Although I'm disputing the fact that it was and is true, although I am unclear why something that can be said about all the top pros should invalidate a rating system of them. Surely it would have to be an accusation levelled at some and not others for this comment to be relevant.

Finally and I feel this is a point you have missed in saying the major events do not have greater weighting using ELO methodology. While it would be fair to say that a meeting between the same two players at two different events would be given the same weighting, it is not fair to say individual tournaments would have the same weighting. Events which attract more of the top players and have a greater number of rounds will reward the eventual winner, finalist, etc with a greater number of ELO points. I don't feel you have even tried to undertsand the ELO system. This of course would automatically adjust for events as their status changes as more top playes become attracted at the exclusion of the lower rated players. My original comment said that ELO does not adjust for subjective opinion, it did not say that the relative values of the majors cannot be reflected objectively.

I have to confess, I do not feel you made any attempt to understand ELO methodology prior to judging it as the evidence of your comments in relation to ELO do not support this. Please if you wish to post constructive comments whether positive or negative please have the courtesy to try to understand what your commenting about first, especially when links have been provided to help you to do this. Anything short of some understanding prior to criticism must be considered an attack as I can't think of any other motivation for taking such an action. Possibly becase the data being quoted does not correlate with your personal views.


Regards

Tim

Wuornos
04-09-2008, 02:23 AM
Aw man don't give up Tim, your posts are extremely stimulating. In regards to your efforts to finding an objective ranking system, if I may make a suggestion:

People never talk about money when it comes to rankings and I think it is because it injects an element of cold, heartlessness into a game that we love. However, if you look at the year end rankings and compare it to the amount of prize money won the two are almost identical.

The amount of money in a sport is very indicative of the competetiveness of that sport. I.E: if there is not much money to be had then the sport will not be able to support a large pool of pros and therefore the competition will be weaker.

If you could gather statistics on prize money over the years and adjust it to inflation I think you would have a really good idea of how prestigous different events were, not to mention the sport in general. If you use cold hard cash as your basis then you have a barometer to base all eras against each other.

In any case, hang in there Tim. The boards are better with you around.:)

Thanks Edmond.

That's really appreciated.

Your point about prize money was absolutely spot on. Unfortunately I had already considered this last year and found the necessary levels of data to be unavailable.

Thanks for teh feedback though it is appreciated.

I feel much better in myself today, So I shall repost the ELO rating data I previously deleted and keep it updated so those that do have an itererst in this methodology as a statistic will still have it available.

Thanks again

Tim

Wuornos
04-09-2008, 06:19 AM
A man walks into a bar, throws three darts at a dart board and all three hit the triple 20.

After he sits down another man walks into the same bar and throws eighteen darts at the same borad, out of which 4 hit the triple 20.

Who is the better player?

It is for this reason and this reason alone that Grand Slam count is one of the crudest statistical measures of a players peak standard.

It no more makes sense to say that a player who has won eight majors in their career must be be rated above a player who has scored three majors in a year than it does to say that the second darts player above must be rated as better than the first. The player with eight majors may well be a better player, but it cannot be judged from major count alone and it is certainly not conclusive in it's own right.

A simplistic view of looking purely at major count as an ineffective barometer of talent perhaps, but nevertheless one which makes the point clear as to one reason as to why in isolation it lacks the necessary statistical depth to be considered effective in it's own right.

Regards

Tim

diggler
04-09-2008, 06:26 AM
If you break a world record in running are you the GOAT? Probably not, just the fastest of all time.

Federer may well beat Laver, but that doesn't make him the GOAT.

Laver, Rosewall and Margaret Court did a lot over a considerable period of time.

Wuornos
04-09-2008, 06:50 AM
If you break a world rrcord in running are you the GOAT? Probably not, just the fastest of all time.

Federer may well beat Laver, but that doesn't make him the GOAT.

Laver, Rosewall and Margaret Court did a lot over a considerable period of time.

Excellent point Diggler, it depends how GOAT is defined. Something on which I have posted on numerous occasions.

One of the reasons people can never agree on this subject is that they don't first define what is meant by the word 'Greatest'.

If they at least started with that definition they might might make a bit of progress, although I still doubt they will all agree.

Regards

Tim

Kaptain Karl
04-09-2008, 12:05 PM
Personally I don't find Cyborg's quote that 'Novak Đoković is already better than Tony Roche ever was' a LUDICROUS assertion.I wonder why you felt the need to use RED ALL-CAPS to "quote" me. I also wonder why you spent three paragraphs posting about it.

... I do feel the statistical evidence is currently sufficient to say that Đoković has already proven himself to be within the same ball park as Roche.a) I don't really care how anybody "feels" on this subject.
b) If anybody thinks Djoker's record approaches (the already posted) "Roche (15 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)" that strikes me -- analytically -- as a ludicrous assertion.

Regarding my Bipolar disorder of course it has nothing to do with Laver's legacy ...Thank you.

... your original post criticising ELO as a valids statatistical methodology in the face of all mathematical probability theory ...Context, friend. Context.

I didn't criticize ELO's validity "in the face of all mathematical probability theory." (Until your posts, I'd never known about "ELO". And from what you've posted about it, I don't care to study it.) What I criticized was your explanation and interpretation of ELO. If your explanation of ELO is "accurate," I have concluded ELO is faulty. Go back and read my post (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2233983&postcount=223) and please stop putting words in my posts, thanks.

As for my posts on which you commented <snip>Nice try. You seem to *purposely* misinterpret my posts. I question why this is necessary, but my points were...

... when you posted, "When I put forward a system that does have the weightings and puts majors above other events, I am criticised because of the weigtings and lower events should be better reflected. No problem with any of this as feedback but why don't the people who agree with each system post to the threads for a discussion with those who don't. Why is it only those who don't agree that post. Why do the the others who agree with me leave me to be attacked" the paragraph made no sense. It reads like a random collection of sentences.

... when you posted, "Why didn't you defend me before Kaptain Karl when I was doing what you are criticising me for not doing here," the question makes no sense. You pretend you posted differing points of view? (You did not.) You imply I should have defended you in [the non-existent] other POV? (Since you didn't do what you claim, how could I?)

... I am unclear why something that can be said about all the top pros should invalidate a rating system of them.IMO, when you boil down all the "Who's the best?" discussions, those whose views really matter most are ... the Pros' views. They, more than we mere mortals, are the best judges of the (very subjective) question.

Surely it would have to be an accusation levelled at some and not others for this comment to be relevant.::sigh:: Huh?

Finally and I feel this is a point you have missed in saying the major events do not have greater weighting using ELO methodology. While it would be fair to say that a meeting between the same two players at two different events would be given the same weighting, it is not fair to say individual tournaments would have the same weighting. Events which attract more of the top players and have a greater number of rounds will reward the eventual winner, finalist, etc with a greater number of ELO points.This is the first instance in this thread where you've suggested ELO *does* carry some semblance of "weighting" in its calculations.

I don't feel you have even tried to undertsand the ELO system.(For the 2nd time) I have read only your explanations of ELO. Your prose is so difficult to follow, I'm not surprised I don't understand it.

My original comment said that ELO does not adjust for subjective opinion, it did not say that the relative values of the majors cannot be reflected objectively.Okay. I managed to keep up with you on that distinction. Thanks.

Please if you wish to post constructive comments whether positive or negative please have the courtesy to try to understand what your commenting about first, especially when links have been provided to help you to do this.If you cannot explain ELO in plain English, maybe you shouldn't have attempted it. I haven't had my curiosity piqued enough by your comments ... to care to learn any more about ELO.

Anything short of some understanding prior to criticism must be considered an attack as I can't think of any other motivation for taking such an action.This is really getting tedious. (Is English a second, third or fourth language for you? Seriously, I wonder if that's the reason I'm having so much difficulty with your writing....)

- KK

Kaptain Karl
04-09-2008, 12:12 PM
A man walks into a bar, throws three darts at a dart board and all three hit the triple 20.

After he sits down another man walks into the same bar and throws eighteen darts at the same borad, out of which 4 hit the triple 20.

Who is the better player?Not enough data ... and a bad analogy.

Now, if the darts player had a track record of entering and winning tournaments ... and those tournaments had been the pressure-packed tourneys which characterize events where the best players in the world compete ... then we may be able to attempt to answer the question.

The player with eight majors may well be a better player, but it cannot be judged from major count alone and it is certainly not conclusive in it's own right.How about that? We agree.

A simplistic view of looking purely at major count as an ineffective barometer of talent perhaps, but nevertheless one which makes the point clear as to one reason as to why in isolation it lacks the necessary statistical depth to be considered effective in it's own right.Where did you learn to write? Geez!!!

- KK

hoodjem
04-09-2008, 12:45 PM
Top FIVE in 2008
1. Federer
2. Nadal (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
3. Djokovic (1 Grand Slam titles: singles)
4. Davydenko (0 Grand Slam titles)
5. Ferrer (0 Grand Slam titles)


Top FIVE in 1969
1. Laver
2. Rosewall (17 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles)
3. Roche (15 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
4. Ashe (3 Grand Slam titles: singles)
5. Newcombe (26 Grand Slam titles: singles, doubles, mixed doubles)
I should be the first to admit that the implications of this comparison are limited (and thus slanted) by our knowledge at the present time.

This comparison will only be truly valid (and more revealing) after the careers of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Davydenko, and Ferrer are concluded--as are the careers of all five in the 1969 list.

Maybe in ten more years Nadal and Djokovic will have more GS singles titles than Ashe.

Benhur
04-09-2008, 02:27 PM
If you cannot explain ELO in plain English, maybe you shouldn't have attempted it. I haven't had my curiosity piqued enough by your comments ... to care to learn any more about ELO.

This is really getting tedious. (Is English a second, third or fourth language for you? Seriously, I wonder if that's the reason I'm having so much difficulty with your writing....)
- KK

Explanations about ELO are widely available. Plain English can only carry you so far in this task, especially if you want it very very plain, and if that's all you speak. It is understandable that you may choose not to care about ELO if you fail to understand anything about it. But in that case you have no business entering discussions on something you have no clue about. Nor should should you blame your handicaps (which are very serious) on the language capabilities of others. Wuornos English is fine, actually much ampler and adequate than the miserable barroom language you speak.

Understand, Karl?

Kaptain Karl
04-09-2008, 03:02 PM
Explanations about ELO are widely available.So what?

It is understandable that you may choose not to care about ELO if you fail to understand anything about it.You and Wuornos must have gone to the same "Twist Peoples Words on InterNet Forums" school. You have not accurately described my position.

But in that case you have no business entering discussions on something you have no clue about.By your logic, you shouldn't be joining in discussions, period.

Nor should should you blame your handicaps (which are very serious) on the language capabilities of others. Wuornos English is fine, actually much ampler and adequate than the miserable barroom language you speak.Considering the source, this is pretty humorous. (I don't recall ever participating in threads with you, yet your initial post to me is this (weak) attempt to position yourself superiorly. You should go back for a refresher on that Dale Carnegie course.)

Understand, Karl?Completely. Thanks for playing.

- KK

Chopin
04-09-2008, 03:17 PM
What are all you clowns wasting your time arguing about? :-) Just agree to disagree, it doesn't sound like any of these exchanges are particularly pleasant (or even civil) or going anywhere at all.

Wuornos
04-10-2008, 02:15 AM
Explanations about ELO are widely available. Plain English can only carry you so far in this task, especially if you want it very very plain, and if that's all you speak. It is understandable that you may choose not to care about ELO if you fail to understand anything about it. But in that case you have no business entering discussions on something you have no clue about. Nor should should you blame your handicaps (which are very serious) on the language capabilities of others. Wuornos English is fine, actually much ampler and adequate than the miserable barroom language you speak.

Understand, Karl?

Hi Benhur.

Thank's for the support but I think Chopin's right, we're not going to win this argument and we just need to agree to disagree with Kaptain Karl.

Anway take care

Regards

Tim

Wuornos
04-10-2008, 02:26 AM
What are all you clowns wasting your time arguing about? :-) Just agree to disagree, it doesn't sound like any of these exchanges are particularly pleasant (or even civil) or going anywhere at all.

Yes Chopin. You are absolutely right I should be rising above this rather than letting it upset me.

What gives you the right to call me a clown though?

Take care

Regards

Coco