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View Full Version : No consesnus on the GOAT...why not?


richied
04-11-2009, 03:56 PM
Everybody knows if Tiger gets 18+1 majors he is without question the greatest golfer of all time. NO DOUBT! This is because of the insanely difficult and high target of 18 majors+ a career slam and long time at number 1.

So, tennis, if someone can win 15-16 slams plus a career slam have a long period at 1 and healthly H2H against major rivals..surely that's enough to confirm a greatest player of all time.

Roger has a chance to achieve this..if he doesn't, then Nadal sure does!!

I'm sure if you asked Laver if this was enough..he would say 'YES'...he already thinks Roger is the best player he has seen.

Nadalfan89
04-11-2009, 04:13 PM
Tennis fans are less mature than golf fans. Tennis fans pick their respective idols and defend them to the grave instead of allowing facts and statistics speak for themselves.

clayman2000
04-11-2009, 04:21 PM
In golf it is harder to win majors.....you play against 100 other players....tennis you just have to beat the man on the opposite side of you

Also in tennis, the majors were not the most important events....the pro era complicates things..... see Laver, Pancho and Roswall

I believe Laver should be GOAT, but Sampras was dominant on surfaces - clay, Pancho was the best player to never win a slam by a wide mile, Federer has had an amazing career

The_Steak
04-11-2009, 04:22 PM
Pete is the greatest of all time because he won the most slams.

/thread

egn
04-11-2009, 04:24 PM
Pete is the greatest of all time because he won the most slams.

/thread

Laver won 11 slams and something like 9 pro majors? So that puts him at 20 top level tournaments.

Tennis is not as simple as golf. Every golf game is played on grass, the four majors are the four majors. Tennis has gone through evolution of surfaces, times when the majors were confused as there were two sets and various other things making it a bit more difficult. Laver has 11 slams and if you look at it there is a a 6 year gap between winning his slams from 62-68 but he was playing. He was professional and winning the professional majors that got outdated by 68 with the formation of the atp and putting the slams back into place.

pc1
04-11-2009, 04:28 PM
There are a lot of choices and there's a lot of great players. People also have different values on how to pick a GOAT. It's hard to get a consensus.

I think Tiger's probably the greatest golfer but I'd bet a lot of guys might pick Nicklaus or Snead or Ben Hogan. But I think you're right, I think golf fans have more of a consensus than tennis people.

THERAFA
04-11-2009, 04:45 PM
I usually say their is not GOAT in tennis until somebody has both the Total Slams Record AND the Career Grand Slam. But if a GOAT must be declared today then I'd say:

Sampras is the greatest till somebody overtakes his total slams record, he has the most slams and he played in a strong era (one of his opponents was a guy who won the career grand slam).

AndrewD
04-11-2009, 04:57 PM
Tennis fans are less mature than golf fans. Tennis fans pick their respective idols and defend them to the grave instead of allowing facts and statistics speak for themselves.

Thankfully, the majority of tennis fans aren't stupid enough to believe that you can pick one player above all others and call him, or her, the greatest of all time. Only an idiot would think that is possible.

rubberduckies
04-11-2009, 06:08 PM
OP, the reason it is so difficult to name a GOAT in tennis is that the structure of the pro game has changed dramatically throughout the years. The value that players have given to certain tournaments has increase for some events and diminished for some others. Nobody talked about the Slams they way we talk about them today, where they are the central focus of the sport.

To take your golf example, imagine if in the 80s, players valued the Buick Open highly and didn't care that much about the US Open. The fields at the US would have been weaker. When counting slams, the proper thing to do would be to count Buick Open's over US Opens. That is kind of what happened in tennis. Nobody counted Slams in Borg's time like they do today. The Slam metric was adopted later, but then applied to all the past greats. This is incredibly unfair.

Laver's 1st calendar slam was not against top-level competition, but he also won many other events that would have been the equivalents of French, Wimby. That's why you can't just look at Slam tallies to judge a player's career. Agassi was my favorite player growing up, but there is no way that his career was equal to Jimmy Connors' even though they both have 8 slams.

GameSampras
04-11-2009, 06:12 PM
The game is much more physically demanding these days then it was in Laver's day lets not forget. Is there a true GOAT in tennis? Prolly not. You can make arguments for many of the greats. There will always be arguments. It goes deeper than just slam counts. But its fun debating nonetheless.


The only thing that isnt debatable is each has its greatest player. The only way to prove who could be the undisputed GOAT is to take all the greats and stick them in the same era. Unfortunately, there is no time machine. The game has changed so much its too difficult to say

pc1
04-11-2009, 07:12 PM
The game is much more physically demanding these days then it was in Laver's day lets not forget. Is there a true GOAT in tennis? Prolly not. You can make arguments for many of the greats. There will always be arguments. It goes deeper than just slam counts. But its fun debating nonetheless.


The only thing that isnt debatable is each has its greatest player. The only way to prove who could be the undisputed GOAT is to take all the greats and stick them in the same era. Unfortunately, there is no time machine. The game has changed so much its too difficult to say

You're right. You could pick ten people here and they could pick ten different GOATs and they all could having totally viable reasons for picking that GOAT.

It's fun debating as long as some of the people don't get too mean about the debates.

bluetrain4
04-11-2009, 07:59 PM
It's much easier to compare across generations in golf.

egn
04-11-2009, 08:17 PM
You're right. You could pick ten people here and they could pick ten different GOATs and they all could having totally viable reasons for picking that GOAT.

It's fun debating as long as some of the people don't get too mean about the debates.

Yep you have those who feel it is laver, those who feel it is sampras, federer, borg, pancho, rosewell, nadal, and so on and so forth. YOu have even had mentions of Agassi being GOAT oh and let us not forget Tilden. The list extends onward.

saram
04-11-2009, 08:28 PM
OP--you clearly do not understand the game of golf versus the game of tennis. Golf is played against a course and yourself--not an opponent.

Tiger holds the course record at the Masters, etc...he is clearly the best ever regardless of Majors won...

Tennis is head-to-head and era versus era. There will never be a GOAT in tennis as we cannot compare Bjorg/Laver/Roger/Pete/Rafa on a level playing field....

clayman2000
04-11-2009, 08:35 PM
Yep you have those who feel it is laver, those who feel it is sampras, federer, borg, pancho, rosewell, nadal, and so on and so forth. YOu have even had mentions of Agassi being GOAT oh and let us not forget Tilden. The list extends onward.

Very true. Let me make a case for every single possible GOAT

Laver --- no explination needed
Pancho -- dominated the pro curcuit, could have won many majors had he not been pro
Rosewall -- like Laver, except he was a pro for even longer
Federer --- 10 straigt GS finals, most consec weeks no 1, won 3 slams 3 times
Sampras --- most GS titles, most wks no 1, 6 year end no 1
Tilden --- dominated era, won FO and Wimby in limited times he played there

bladepdb
04-11-2009, 08:51 PM
THE GAME OF GOLF HAS NOT EVOLVED AS PROFOUNDLY AS THE GAME OF TENNIS HAS. HENCE IT IS EASIER TO GAIN CONSENSUS ON GREATS FOR GOLF VS TENNIS.

For instance, many speculate how dominant Borg and the greats of his era could have been with today's racquet technology.

urban
04-11-2009, 09:12 PM
In all sports there is no real consensus, if one has to pick one athlete or (golf)player. I am no golf expert, but some will rate Jones, Hogan (who lost many years to war and injuries, and couldn't win a Grand Slam because of date collision), even Palmer for charisma over Nicklaus and Woods. Many call Muhammad Ali the greatest athlete of all time. He is certainly the most famous all over the world, but real boxing experts would pick Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis or even Roberto Duran over him. I think, in tennis the real records are somewhat clouded by the amateur-pro split up to 1968 (and the political struggles later). Golf has done better, by going open since the 20s. Imagine even a lonesome figure like Don Bradman playing not in Test series, but on a separate pro tour.
And tennis has a bad record in record-keeping.You cannot find the real records of players in reference books, the most completes records are probably to find on the internet (and on the stats of Andrew Tas).

THERAFA
04-11-2009, 09:19 PM
I don't mind the GOAT being the player who has the Total Slams Record, I think its fair enough. I usually said the GOAT didn't exist until someone won Career Grand Slam and Total Slams Record, but maybe the criteria should be Total Slams Record and winning 3 of the 4 slams.

bluetrain4
04-11-2009, 09:27 PM
[QUOTE=saram;3310533]
Tiger holds the course record at the Masters, etc...he is clearly the best ever regardless of Majors won...
QUOTE]


Well, I don't disagree that Tiger probably is the best ever, but not for that reason.

Also, he's not quite the "greatest" ever IMO.

People think I'm crazy in distinguishing between "best" and "greatest," because in some contexts, people use them interchangably.

To me, "best" is a measure of skill level, the optimum playing level of a player.

If we were to put Tiger on a golf course "playing his best" vs. any other player in history, many think Tiger would win, and therefore is the "best" player ever.

"Greatest" is all about achievement. Using your talent, your "best" or optimum playing level and turning it into cold, hard accomplishments - No. 1 rankings, major wins, etc.

How many threads to we have on TW about "the most talented", "the most naturally talented", players (answer - a lot). The posters are trying to discern who is the "best" player regardless of achievement. Otherwise, guys like Safin and Rios would NEVER be in the conversation (which they often are in TW "best" or "most talented" threads).

But, compared to others, they've achieved basically nothing. They're "best" level may be right up there with anybody in history, but they have not turned that into cold, hard results. They're non-factors in discussing the "greatest" players of all time.

Clearly, players can rank high, or even at the top, for both variables. But, they don't always go hand in hand.

roundiesee
04-12-2009, 05:24 AM
Actually it may be a "fallacy" to think that golf is that clear cut in terms of the GOAT debate. Tiger may be the greatest "competitor" ever in the game of golf, but he may not necessarily be the "greatest" golfer. As urban mentioned, many consider Ben Hogan to be the purest striker of the golf ball. His control with his irons was perhaps the best that has ever been seen. Hogan unfortunately did not win that many majors because of injuries from a horrific car crash. He also did not travel abroad that much, so that means he practically missed out on playing in The Open Championship in Great Britain. The only time he decided to play in UK he won his only Open Championship in Carnoustie. Another great golfer was Moe Norman. He was considered a rebel, with a hugely unorthodox swing that gave him almost total control of his shots. However, he had many long-running arguments with the tour, and hence mainly competed in Canada I think. Here is what Tiger said when asked about "owning" the golf swing, “Only two players have ever truly owned their swings- Moe Norman and Ben Hogan,” Woods said. “I want to own mine. That’s where the satisfaction comes from.”

vtmike
04-12-2009, 05:41 AM
Pete is the greatest of all time because he won the most slams.

/thread

I am going to save this post for later use :mrgreen:

crabgrass
04-12-2009, 06:22 AM
Very true. Let me make a case for every single possible GOAT

Laver --- no explination needed
Pancho -- dominated the pro curcuit, could have won many majors had he not been pro
Rosewall -- like Laver, except he was a pro for even longer
Federer --- 10 straigt GS finals, most consec weeks no 1, won 3 slams 3 times
Sampras --- most GS titles, most wks no 1, 6 year end no 1
Tilden --- dominated era, won FO and Wimby in limited times he played there

your post just reinforces that indeed there is no consensus, this may be every possible candidate in your mind but not neccasarilly for someone else.
lendl & connors are no.1 and 2 in the open era in career titles won and career matches won, both would be candidates in my view.
Both had an outstanding 81.8 career matchwinning % which is bettered only by bjorn borg, who incidently i'd take over any player on your list with the possible exception of laver.

clayman2000
04-12-2009, 06:44 AM
your post just reinforces that indeed there is no consensus, this may be every possible candidate in your mind but not neccasarilly for someone else.
lendl & connors are no.1 and 2 in the open era in career titles won and career matches won, both would be candidates in my view.
Both had an outstanding 81.8 career matchwinning % which is bettered only by bjorn borg, who incidently i'd take over any player on your list with the possible exception of laver.

Who cares about titles.... Laver would have had way more titles had the ATP not recognized them. Career matches won just refers to how many matches they played in a year for a long time.

How can Borg be 2nd best when he only won two different slams, and retired at age 26. I am not trashing Borg, becuase in fact i believe he has had a better career than Sampras, however it would be hard to make him a case for GOAT based on winning %

egn
04-12-2009, 06:48 AM
Who cares about titles.... Laver would have had way more titles had the ATP not recognized them. Career matches won just refers to how many matches they played in a year for a long time.

How can Borg be 2nd best when he only won two different slams, and retired at age 26. I am not trashing Borg, becuase in fact i believe he has had a better career than Sampras, however it would be hard to make him a case for GOAT based on winning %

Borg played in an era where Australia was not held with high regard. He only attempted play Australia once in his youth I believe it was 1974 well before his best years. In his best years he even said I will go play Australia if I win the first three to attempt the slam. Since back then Australia was the last slam of the year. Borg is up there for consideration because he won 6 french opens and 5 wimbledons. I would right now rank Borg far ahead of Wilander and Wilander won 3 unique slams and a slam on all the surfaces. Borg had week in and out dominance something Wilander did not have outside of maybe 88 and even then Wilander wasn't dominating week in and out he was only truly destructive at the slams.

Josherer
04-12-2009, 06:59 AM
Yeah. The average age of most tennis fans would be less than that of most golf fans

clayman2000
04-12-2009, 07:15 AM
Borg played in an era where Australia was not held with high regard. He only attempted play Australia once in his youth I believe it was 1974 well before his best years. In his best years he even said I will go play Australia if I win the first three to attempt the slam. Since back then Australia was the last slam of the year. Borg is up there for consideration because he won 6 french opens and 5 wimbledons. I would right now rank Borg far ahead of Wilander and Wilander won 3 unique slams and a slam on all the surfaces. Borg had week in and out dominance something Wilander did not have outside of maybe 88 and even then Wilander wasn't dominating week in and out he was only truly destructive at the slams.

Im not denying the stuff hes done.... but i am saying that while i would put him above many GOAT candidates, i would never think him to be one

crabgrass
04-12-2009, 07:36 AM
Who cares about titles.... Laver would have had way more titles had the ATP not recognized them. Career matches won just refers to how many matches they played in a year for a long time.

How can Borg be 2nd best when he only won two different slams, and retired at age 26. I am not trashing Borg, becuase in fact i believe he has had a better career than Sampras, however it would be hard to make him a case for GOAT based on winning %

well if nobody cares about titles then why even have a tour and rankings system, just play the 4 slams each year.
personally how a player performs on a week to week basis seems like a pretty important criteria to me.
btw i never said borg was 2nd best, i said the only guy on your list i see as arguably as good would be laver, how anyone can not even have borg as a contender really beggers belief.

GameSampras
04-12-2009, 09:07 AM
GOAT candidates also have strikes against them as well you could say. Laver, impressive 2 calendar slams, however, slams were only played on grass and clay in lavers day. Nowadays a player has to overcome two different styles of hardcourts along with grass and clay to get the calendar or career slam


Sampras- Slam record and no rival getting the best of Pete, but the French Open title always alluded him during his whole career which left a bit of a blemish on his resume

Borg- Retired too young and couldnt overcome his nemesis McEnroe


Fed- Hasnt been able to grab the French Open and can't overcome his rival Nadal and now has lost to his rival on every surface at the slams aside from the USO

deltox
04-12-2009, 09:11 AM
one day there will be a GOAT, but it will only happen when the majority of Pros say the same name. What we spout on this forums, in the grand scheme of things, means little.

egn
04-12-2009, 09:12 AM
GOAT candidates also have strikes against them as well you could say. Laver, impressive 2 calendar slams, however, slams were only played on grass and clay in lavers day. Nowadays a player has to overcome two different styles of hardcourts along with grass and clay to get the calendar or career slam


Sampras- Slam record and no rival getting the best of Pete, but the French Open title always alluded him during his whole career which left a bit of a blemish on his resume

Borg- Retired too young and couldnt overcome his nemesis McEnroe


Fed- Hasnt been able to grab the French Open and can't overcome his rival Nadal and now has lost to his rival on every surface at the slams aside from the USO

Right on there. THe problem is nobody is perfect.

pc1
04-12-2009, 09:19 AM
GOAT candidates also have strikes against them as well you could say. Laver, impressive 2 calendar slams, however, slams were only played on grass and clay in lavers day. Nowadays a player has to overcome two different styles of hardcourts along with grass and clay to get the calendar or career slam


Sampras- Slam record and no rival getting the best of Pete, but the French Open title always alluded him during his whole career which left a bit of a blemish on his resume

Borg- Retired too young and couldnt overcome his nemesis McEnroe


Fed- Hasnt been able to grab the French Open and can't overcome his rival Nadal and now has lost to his rival on every surface at the slams aside from the USO

GameSampras,

Actually Laver was a great hard court player. The surface actually was perfect for his power game. He won a lot of hard court tournaments. You can't penalize Laver for not playing a hard court major.

It's too bad about Sampras never winning the French because if he didn't have Thalassemia that affected his stamina I believe he would have won the French at least once. At least he won the Italian which is perhaps the second more important clay tournament. Pete had all the tools to win on clay and his biggest weakness, his backhand return wouldn't be as vulnerable on clay.

Everyone seems to think that Borg retired because of McEnroe. From what I've read, it was because of being burnt out. The guy had a lot of injury problems over the last few years of his career and played tennis on the tour since he was a young teen. For example according to Bill Scanlon's book, Borg defeated McEnroe in the 1980 Wimbledon final, a match people have called the greatest ever with a torn stomach muscle.

GameSampras
04-12-2009, 09:26 AM
GameSampras,

Actually Laver was a great hard court player. The surface actually was perfect for his power game. He won a lot of hard court tournaments. You can't penalize Laver for not playing a hard court major.

It's too bad about Sampras never winning the French because if he didn't have Thalassemia that affected his stamina I believe he would have won the French at least once. At least he won the Italian which is perhaps the second more important clay tournament. Pete had all the tools to win on clay and his biggest weakness, his backhand return wouldn't be as vulnerable on clay.

Everyone seems to think that Borg retired because of McEnroe. From what I've read, it was because of being burnt out. The guy had a lot of injury problems over the last few years of his career and played tennis on the tour since he was a young teen. For example according to Bill Scanlon's book, Borg defeated McEnroe in the 1980 Wimbledon final, a match people have called the greatest ever with a torn stomach muscle.



I agree.. From what I have read Laver was certainly a good hardcourt player as well. But again... people can make that argument about the slams regardless. Whether laver could win on Hardcourts or not, he is usually widely credited the most with the calendar slams. However, is that fair to say a player like Nadal? Who is is in position to possibly grab the calendar this year. At the end of day, if Nadal does somehow grab the calendar this year, whos calendar slam is more impressive Lavers or Nadal's? I would have to say Nadal's beyond a shadow of a doubt due to the circumstances compared to Laver. Imagine if slams were only played on grass and clay today? Who knows how many calendar a player like Nadal could get. Grass and clay are his two best surfaces.

thejoe
04-12-2009, 09:32 AM
I agree.. From what I have read Laver was certainly a good hardcourt player as well. But again... people can make that argument about the slams regardless. Whether laver could win on Hardcourts or not, he is usually widely credited the most with the calendar slams. However, is that fair to say a player like Nadal? Who is is in position to possibly grab the calendar this year. At the end of day, if Nadal does somehow grab the calendar this year, whos calendar slam is more impressive Lavers or Nadal's? I would have to say Nadal's beyond a shadow of a doubt due to the circumstances compared to Laver. Imagine if slams were only played on grass and clay today? Who knows how many calendar a player like Nadal could get. Grass and clay are his two best surfaces.

Yes, but winning at RG and Wimbledon would have been harder for Nadal in Laver's era I am guessing, seeing as the difference in surface was greater than today.

GameSampras
04-12-2009, 09:33 AM
GameSampras,

Actually Laver was a great hard court player. The surface actually was perfect for his power game. He won a lot of hard court tournaments. You can't penalize Laver for not playing a hard court major.

It's too bad about Sampras never winning the French because if he didn't have Thalassemia that affected his stamina I believe he would have won the French at least once. At least he won the Italian which is perhaps the second more important clay tournament. Pete had all the tools to win on clay and his biggest weakness, his backhand return wouldn't be as vulnerable on clay.

Everyone seems to think that Borg retired because of McEnroe. From what I've read, it was because of being burnt out. The guy had a lot of injury problems over the last few years of his career and played tennis on the tour since he was a young teen. For example according to Bill Scanlon's book, Borg defeated McEnroe in the 1980 Wimbledon final, a match people have called the greatest ever with a torn stomach muscle.

Sampras had his chances definitely. 1996 was his best chance. He had a couple quarterfinals appearances as well. But he did play in a pretty solid clay court era as well. I take that into consideration, along with his Thalassemia Minor, and that old crap pro staff racket as well

thejoe
04-12-2009, 09:40 AM
^A bad workman blames his tools. Racquet technology wasn't why Sampras didn't win RG. His ailments must have had an impact though. Clay exposes any physical shortcomings.

GameSampras
04-12-2009, 09:42 AM
^A bad workman blames his tools. Racquet technology wasn't why Sampras didn't win RG.

It wasnt the sole reason Pete didnt win it. But I think it contributed as to why. But thats just my opinion. I think Thalassemia Minor definitely had something to do with it. At the french open you need some serious stamina to get through it. Pete was handicapped his whole career due to thalassemia minor before he even started tennis. PEte wasnt pathetic on clay. HE won the davis cup in 95 and Rome. So I think he could have managed a French Open at least one year.

People may call these excuses but I call Thallasemia Minor a REASON just as I would Fed's mono at the AO in 2008

thejoe
04-12-2009, 09:46 AM
^I acknowledged that, you just quoted too late. :) From what I've seen, Pete just wasn't a good enough clay courter. Remember that his sole clay final victory came against Boris Becker, a fast-court specialist.

GameSampras
04-12-2009, 09:50 AM
^I acknowledged that, you just quoted too late. :) From what I've seen, Pete just wasn't a good enough clay courter. Remember that his sole clay final victory came against Boris Becker, a fast-court specialist.

Well yea but he did beat Bruguera, Muster, Courier. Maybe not at their peaks but he still beat them. They werent slouches by any means on clay. Their clay performances speak for themselves

helloworld
04-12-2009, 10:54 AM
It wasnt the sole reason Pete didnt win it. But I think it contributed as to why. But thats just my opinion. I think Thalassemia Minor definitely had something to do with it. At the french open you need some serious stamina to get through it. Pete was handicapped his whole career due to thalassemia minor before he even started tennis. PEte wasnt pathetic on clay. HE won the davis cup in 95 and Rome. So I think he could have managed a French Open at least one year.

People may call these excuses but I call Thallasemia Minor a REASON just as I would Fed's mono at the AO in 2008
I wouldn't back up your assumption just by his sole victory at Rome. Roddick has won many clay tournaments way more than Sampras, but nobody expects him to win at the French. Sampras is just not good enough to win at the French. Same goes to Federer. Nadal isn't the excuse for him not winning the French. The score from the finals last year strongly indicates that Federer is clearly not among the greatest clay courters around.

Cyan
04-12-2009, 10:56 AM
I would say Laver has to be the GOAT. 2 CYGS is amazing!

helloworld
04-12-2009, 11:06 AM
I would say Laver has to be the GOAT. 2 CYGS is amazing!
It's amazing, but it's not the most important statistics. A person who wins 4 slams in 1 year and then completely disappear afterward wouldn't be in any GOAT discussion. The reason that Laver is regarded as GOAT is because he could have won 20++ slams and 200++ tournaments if he hadn't turn pro.

egn
04-12-2009, 11:07 AM
It's amazing, but it's not the most important statistics. A person who wins 4 slams in 1 year and then completely disappear afterward wouldn't be in any GOAT discussion. The reason that Laver is regarded as GOAT is because he could have won 20++ slams and 200++ tournaments if he hadn't turn pro.

Also add the fact that he dominated the pro circuit. Winning all three pro majors in a single year in 1967 and was top player for most of the 60s.

GameSampras
04-12-2009, 11:32 AM
Numbers are the only thing we can go by when comparing eras but whos to say what would happen if all the greats met in their respective primes? COuld Prime Laver handle Prime Borg, Sampras, Fed, Lendl, Mac etc? And VIce versa. Would Laver be able to adapt to the conditions today? Or even the conditions of the 90s? Would Sampras and Fed be able to adapt to the conditions in Laver's time?

All big what ifs.


Numbers are just that numbers. Records are made to be broke. Im sure 10-20 years from now there will of came a few players who could actually get the calendar slam and or slam record.

But whos really to say, whos better than who? We didnt get to see all the greats at their peak square off and go at it.

We didnt get to see Tiger go against Nicklaus. Didnt get to see MJ go against Oscar, Wilt, or Russell etc. Didnt get to see Tyson go against Ali. Same goes for tennis.

Its a shame isnt it

clayman2000
04-12-2009, 04:32 PM
one day there will be a GOAT, but it will only happen when the majority of Pros say the same name. What we spout on this forums, in the grand scheme of things, means little.

This is what i mean.
Rating the top 10 players of all time is different than rating the top 10 players who you think could be the GOAT. Why? Becuase being the greatest ever requires longetivity, something Borg didnt have (whether it was him loosing or not playing at all)

Personally, i dont think most pros and former pros would say Borg as the GOAT. You would hear Sampras, Federer, Laver, Pancho, Rosewall. However on a top 10 list, i would pace Borg above Sampras and maybe Rosewall and Federer

AprilFool
04-13-2009, 01:26 AM
one day there will be a GOAT, but it will only happen when the majority of Pros say the same name. What we spout on this forums, in the grand scheme of things, means little.

That has already occurred, no? And most of them said it before he accumulated many of his records. Perhaps they were mostly referring to his form.

stormholloway
04-13-2009, 01:33 AM
The guy who started this thread should take his head and bash it against a wall until he can't feel anything.

crabgrass
04-13-2009, 03:51 AM
The guy who started this thread should take his head and bash it against a wall until he can't feel anything.

i think we could get a consensus on this one

Gorecki
04-13-2009, 04:41 AM
no consensus on goat? well maybe not here but in the middle east, eastern mediterranean and north africa goat is consensual... and lamb...

pig on the other hand! :)

NE14Tennis?
04-13-2009, 07:19 AM
^ LOL

In Scotland, sheep are strictly consentual (or should I say "con-sensual"?)

NE14Tennis?
04-13-2009, 07:31 AM
Seriously though, Laver himself has said that winning a GS today would be much more difficult than when he played (as 3 of the 4 were on grass). Now, we all know Rocket Rod is impeccably modest, but I believe this is true.

I think we should have (at least) three G.O.A.T.'s -

One for "Amateur/Early Open Era" (when pros weren't allowed initially and nobody cared about the Aussie) - most likely Laver

One for Mid Open Era (1970-1983, when pros were allowed, but everything except RG was still grass, and almost nobody cared about the Aussie) - Connors, Borg, McEnroe, <insert your choice here>, etc.

and one for Modern Era (4 different surfaces, 4acknowledged majors that top players actually showed up at, more ball-bashing) - Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Agassi, etc.

Then, if we can forge a definitive set of criteria, we might have a chance of agreeing on one for each.

veroniquem
04-13-2009, 07:39 AM
Seriously though, Laver himself has said that winning a GS today would be much more difficult than when he played (as 3 of the 4 were on grass). Now, we all know Rocket Rod is impeccably modest, but I believe this is true.

I think we should have (at least) three G.O.A.T.'s -

One for "Amateur/Early Open Era" (when pros weren't allowed initially and nobody cared about the Aussie) - most likely Laver

One for Mid Open Era (1970-1983, when pros were allowed, but everything except RG was still grass, and almost nobody cared about the Aussie) - Connors, Borg, McEnroe, <insert your choice here>, etc.

and one for Modern Era (4 different surfaces, 4acknowledged majors that top players actually showed up at, more ball-bashing) - Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Agassi, etc.

Then, if we can forge a definitive set of criteria, we might have a chance of agreeing on one for each.
I completely agree with the 3 eras you defined. It makes a lot of sense as the tour and the events themselves went through tremendous changes between each era. For instance, the master shields have only existed in the modern era, it's much easier to compare players that have been confronted with similar challenges.
+ it can't be just 1 guy because 1 player cannot achieve everything. For instance, Sampras got most slams and most weeks at #1 while Agassi got all 4 slams and most # of master shields (although I believe that record is gonna be broken by Nadal eventually ).

r2473
04-13-2009, 08:26 AM
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF "GOAT" IN TENNIS?

If the term cannot be defined, how could a player possibly be identified as GOAT? It is not even logical in principle.


"All issues discussed are of one of two kinds: we can either give them a definite meaning by careful and accurate explanation and definitions, and then we are sure that they are soluble in principle, or we fail to give them any meaning, and then they are no questions at all.

Neither case need cause uneasiness. The greatest trouble arises from a failure to distinguish between the two".

oberyn
04-14-2009, 06:34 AM
Everybody knows if Tiger gets 18+1 majors he is without question the greatest golfer of all time. NO DOUBT! This is because of the insanely difficult and high target of 18 majors+ a career slam and long time at number 1.

Actually, I post on a golf forum, and there are fans of Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones who I can guarantee you will not acknowledge Tiger Woods as GOAT even if he passes Nicklaus' majors total.

Their arguments are usually along the lines that Tiger has faced inferior competition as compared to Nicklaus (some guys even bring up the fact that Nicklaus finished second in majors 19 times and that Tiger will have to also break Nicklaus' combined 37 top 2 finishes. Seriously.)

They also argue that Bobby Jones not only won a calendar Grand Slam, but did so as an amateur beating professionals.

Basically, I can't think of a single universally acknowledged GOAT in any sport.

There are people who claim that Bobby Orr and/or Gordie Howe were better all-around hockey players than Wayne Gretzy and that Mario Lemieux was a more complete offensive player. And Gretzky owns pretty much every single scoring record there is!

LuckyR
04-14-2009, 08:07 AM
Everybody knows if Tiger gets 18+1 majors he is without question the greatest golfer of all time. NO DOUBT! This is because of the insanely difficult and high target of 18 majors+ a career slam and long time at number 1.

So, tennis, if someone can win 15-16 slams plus a career slam have a long period at 1 and healthly H2H against major rivals..surely that's enough to confirm a greatest player of all time.

Roger has a chance to achieve this..if he doesn't, then Nadal sure does!!

I'm sure if you asked Laver if this was enough..he would say 'YES'...he already thinks Roger is the best player he has seen.


As others have posted, the idea that golf fans are of a single mind on this issue is a total fantasy.

Golf does have two issues which make it very different from tennis (besides the obvious one of not being a sport). The first is that the governing body of golf takes steps to make the equipment not as helpful as the equipment makers have the ability to make them. The second is since golf has no defence, raw scores on the same course are somewhat comparable, whereas tennis scores are not comparable at all.

cknobman
04-14-2009, 09:14 AM
In golf it is harder to win majors.....you play against 100 other players....tennis you just have to beat the man on the opposite side of you


LOL Golf harder to win majors? Ummmmm not really.

100 other players? Isnt a GS draw made of 128 players?

In golf there are 100 other people playing but no persons play affects anyone else, everyone is essentially playing themselves. Your opponent making birdie on hole 9 has zero effect on if you make birdie on hole 9.

Tennis on the other hand your opponent has a direct impact on how you play and if you are successful. If you opponent aces you because of serve placement and speed then you are not going to break his serve and there is nothing you can do about it. If you cant break your opponent then you can beat them. Tennis forces you to directly beat your opponent where in Golf your only required to have a lower score than your opponent.

Anyways point I want to make is that it is not any harder in Golf than it is in Tennis to win a major.

drakulie
04-14-2009, 09:29 AM
The guy who started this thread should take his head and bash it against a wall until he can't feel anything.


LOL. Totally out of left field. :evil:

Lion King
04-14-2009, 10:19 AM
Seriously though, Laver himself has said that winning a GS today would be much more difficult than when he played (as 3 of the 4 were on grass). Now, we all know Rocket Rod is impeccably modest, but I believe this is true.

I think we should have (at least) three G.O.A.T.'s -

One for "Amateur/Early Open Era" (when pros weren't allowed initially and nobody cared about the Aussie) - most likely Laver

One for Mid Open Era (1970-1983, when pros were allowed, but everything except RG was still grass, and almost nobody cared about the Aussie) - Connors, Borg, McEnroe, <insert your choice here>, etc.

and one for Modern Era (4 different surfaces, 4acknowledged majors that top players actually showed up at, more ball-bashing) - Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Agassi, etc.

Then, if we can forge a definitive set of criteria, we might have a chance of agreeing on one for each.

OK, speaking about criteria... If this discussion is to go anywhere and not end up being another exercise in free speech, we need a sort of scale that would give weights to different kinds of accomplishments. They have to be quantifiable because it is very difficult to assess things that cannot be measured (e.g. beauty of shots or dominance of the tour).

For example: The number of GS gets 25% weight, the total number of tournaments won gets 15%, the number of weeks at #1 gets 15%, the total number of different surfaces the player won slams on gets 10%, the career winning percentage gets 10%, the win/lose ratio against the player's worst nemesis gets 15% (like Federer's performance against Nadal - this could be extended to include two or three nemeses), and the overall career matches won gets 10%. You can also shave off a few percentage points from any of these criteria to create a new one (like having a calendar year GS or career GS).

This way you get a balanced scale that accounts for the different factors people say are important for determining the GOAT. You can now argue about weights or the factors that should be included, but I guess we all would agree that these are probably the most important factors most people would consider as important in determining the greatness of a player.