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View Full Version : Greatest Generations by decade ?


joe sch
04-20-2009, 05:06 AM
The latest May 2009 Tennis Magazine ran an excellent article that compared the total major "slam" championships for the top 10 players of different decades:

http://www.tennis.com/features/general/features.aspx?id=151846

I found this article very satisfying since I believe it pretty much puts to rest that todays tennis players are the best ever, which is what many of the current tennis fans seem to believe, along with proclaiming Federer the GOAT which has also been pretty much put to rest by the only other great player from the 2000..2009 decade, Nadal.

If you compare the total majors won by each of the decades, the article provides stats for 1970s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, the respective totals are 35, 43, 23, 20. Also if you skew the decades somewhat and provide the totals ending at 1992 (50) and 1974 (56) you can see that the caliber of multi-major championship totals far exceeds the current crop of players for this latest decade. There are many reasons including longevity of players careers, which also far exceeded todays greats. I believe that the greats and GOAT contenders from years past were superior tennis players, not athletes, since they were much more skilled with playing allcourt tennis games on a greater variety of different types of tennis surfaces.

Agree ?

Joe

SgtJohn
04-20-2009, 05:24 AM
I like Tom Perotta's articles, but this one is a little bit absurd, isn't it? Very poor methodology, at least.

So you take the highly unreliable ATP rankings to select the best players in a given year, and add up every major they would ever win by the end of their career... So Federer's presence in the top 10 in 2002 was a huge boost to the level of play that year then? oh no, it includes the future results to account for the strength, not of the players on a given year, but of a 'generation'? Then I suppose that Federer and Agassi are in the same generation? or Rosewall and Borg (both in the top 10 in '74)?

As for the predictions concerning today's players they are anyone's guess really, but I admit it is still funny making them...

Anyway, there is no need of an article to know which was the best generation (or rather the best group of players at the top): in 1964, the top 3 in the world was Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Ricardo Gonzales... that says it all, in my opinion!

J

pc1
04-20-2009, 05:34 AM
I like Tom Perotta's articles, but this one is a little bit absurd, isn't it? Very poor methodology, at least.

So you take the highly unreliable ATP rankings to select the best players in a given year, and add up every major they would ever win by the end of their career... So Federer's presence in the top 10 in 2002 was a huge boost to the level of play that year then? oh no, it includes the future results to account for the strength, not of the players on a given year, but of a 'generation'? Then I suppose that Federer and Agassi are in the same generation? or Rosewall and Borg (both in the top 10 in '74)?

As for the predictions concerning today's players they are anyone's guess really, but I admit it is still funny making them...

Anyway, there is no need of an article to know which was the best generation (or rather the best group of players at the top): in 1964, the top 3 in the world was Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Ricardo Gonzales... that says it all, in my opinion!

J

I agree with you. There are a lot of flaws in that article. It had Connors in the 1985 group when it's clear Connors was over the hill at that point.

Also total majors, while very important, differ from generation to generation. For example in the 1970's, very few top players entered the Australian so essentially the top players entered three or less majors a year. Some were banned from the French because of ridiculous politics, for example playing in World Team Tennis.

So players like Sampras, Nadal and Federer may have more opportunities to enter majors and add to their total.

And in 1964 do we include Pro Majors? If that's the case I believe Laver, Rosewall and Gonzalez total over fifty, otherwise it's just over twenty, which is still super for just three players.

joe sch
04-20-2009, 12:53 PM
I like Tom Perotta's articles, but this one is a little bit absurd, isn't it? Very poor methodology, at least.

So you take the highly unreliable ATP rankings to select the best players in a given year, and add up every major they would ever win by the end of their career... So Federer's presence in the top 10 in 2002 was a huge boost to the level of play that year then? oh no, it includes the future results to account for the strength, not of the players on a given year, but of a 'generation'? Then I suppose that Federer and Agassi are in the same generation? or Rosewall and Borg (both in the top 10 in '74)?

As for the predictions concerning today's players they are anyone's guess really, but I admit it is still funny making them...

Anyway, there is no need of an article to know which was the best generation (or rather the best group of players at the top): in 1964, the top 3 in the world was Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Ricardo Gonzales... that says it all, in my opinion!

J

J,

I agree with you that there never was and probably never will be a better top 3 than Laver, Rosewall, and Gonzales. Im glad Perotta wrote this article for the tennis masses to read in Tennis Mag since many probably did not realize the level of the competition in the top 10 for decades past. I dont think any kind of predictions of the future should be considered and its probably a good idea to calculate for various 10 year spans with more criteria than just the ATP rankings. I have been preaching about the strenght of past generations top players so this article was a good reference outside of the conversations on some of these message boards.

Joe