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egn
04-22-2009, 04:53 PM
Okay here is an interesting hypothetical say we take Ivan Lendl and put him in either the 90s or current era and replace him with the current GOAT candidates (Sampras and Fed, please no Nadal flame wars you will notice Nadal's career will not work in line with this.)

So say he hits his peak in 92 or in 2002 does he win more than 8 slams or less than 8 slams, now mind you Sampras and Federer are not in the question Lendl is basically taking their place..does he win more? Note the surface change might be a huge factor as the Austrailan Open is now going to be hardcourts. Big servers also come in to play from the 90s on etc. Opinions anyone? Working on mine right now.

pc1
04-22-2009, 05:15 PM
I always thought Lendl was underrated but if you put the Lendl of 1986 let's say in the current era I think he would do very well. In his day he was about as dominant as Federer and he wouldn't have players like Becker (who always seemed to beat him in the majors) to bother him.

In his day the Australian was on grass for the beginning of his career and the grass and Wimbledon was not suited to his game. In the current era he would be a major threat at Wimbledon with the slow grass so every surface in the majors would suit him. Considering the surfaces, I would think he would win more than the 8 he won. How much more I would have no idea?

Excellent question egn.

egn
04-22-2009, 05:39 PM
I always thought Lendl was underrated but if you put the Lendl of 1986 let's say in the current era I think he would do very well. In his day he was about as dominant as Federer and he wouldn't have players like Becker (who always seemed to beat him in the majors) to bother him.

In his day the Australian was on grass for the beginning of his career and the grass and Wimbledon was not suited to his game. In the current era he would be a major threat at Wimbledon with the slow grass so every surface in the majors would suit him. Considering the surfaces, I would think he would win more than the 8 he won. How much more I would have no idea?

Excellent question egn.

Yea I think he would do better on the slow grass but the question is how good is Nadal and how good would Lendl be on slow grass..I myself never saw an Australian Open in the 80s what is the speed on the grass like?

Winners or Errors
04-22-2009, 05:40 PM
Even playing with the Adidas GTX Pro... he would win.

To answer the other question, I don't believe the grass in Australia was as fast as Wimbledon. Just look at the list of winners. Of course, that may have had to do with the fact that no one played it until it was moved to January.

egn
04-22-2009, 05:45 PM
Even playing with the Adidas GTX Pro... he would win.

To answer the other question, I don't believe the grass in Australia was as fast as Wimbledon. Just look at the list of winners. Of course, that may have had to do with the fact that no one played it until it was moved to January.

Yea thats what I get from results but than as you said the talent field was not as deep I am going to have to look in depth at some footage I am hoping someone watched the AO..I honestly did not start watching the Australian Open till internet streams due to time difference and little coverage in America. I mean the finals are on at like 3 AM by me..heh

pc1
04-22-2009, 05:49 PM
Yea I think he would do better on the slow grass but the question is how good is Nadal and how good would Lendl be on slow grass..I myself never saw an Australian Open in the 80s what is the speed on the grass like?

I'm really not sure about the speed but Mats Wilander won it several times defeating John McEnroe in one of the matches on his way to the title so I would guess it was slower than Wimbledon grass.

If Lendl played in 2002 (no Nadal, no peak Federer) I'm pretty certain he would have been many finals in the majors.

I guess this hypothetical question sort of shows how timing is often important in how you are regarded in tennis history.

Tennis Dunce
04-22-2009, 07:18 PM
Lendl transcends all eras...period.

Mick
04-22-2009, 07:57 PM
as much i like lendl, he's not in the same league as sampras and federer.

sampras served better and had a solid net game. federer serves better and has a better backcourt game. lendl just doesn't measure up with these guys.

CyBorg
04-22-2009, 08:50 PM
IMO, Lendl at his peak was up there with Sampras and Federer. Actually I think he was better than Sampras at his very best.

But, what separates the really great from the less great is how long they stay on top. We all tend to speak in absolutes sometimes and argue who was better, but this may actually be irrelevant all things considered.

Was Lendl of 1986 really inferior to Federer of 2005 or 2006? Really hard to say. Lendl was almost a perfect player that year, winning over 90% of his matches. By far the best on clay, hardcourts and carpet. Finalist at Wimbledon on grass.

Unlike Federer though, Lendl never quite put together another year like that. Sure 1985 and 1987 were also very good, but less complete, more mortal.

Sampras, conversely, never had a year in which he posted a winning percentage over 90%, but he was consistently great nevertheless and this may be the most important quality of all.

Winners or Errors
04-22-2009, 09:16 PM
Say what you will. I believe Lendl had tougher competition than either Sampras or Federer. That is, obviously, my opinion. I am certain others will take a different view, but a simple look at the players each had to play to win their GS titles seems enough to validate my point.

Benhur
04-22-2009, 10:36 PM
IMO, Lendl at his peak was up there with Sampras and Federer. Actually I think he was better than Sampras at his very best.

But, what separates the really great from the less great is how long they stay on top. We all tend to speak in absolutes sometimes and argue who was better, but this may actually be irrelevant all things considered.

Was Lendl of 1986 really inferior to Federer of 2005 or 2006? Really hard to say. Lendl was almost a perfect player that year, winning over 90% of his matches. By far the best on clay, hardcourts and carpet. Finalist at Wimbledon on grass.

Unlike Federer though, Lendl never quite put together another year like that. Sure 1985 and 1987 were also very good, but less complete, more mortal.

Sampras, conversely, never had a year in which he posted a winning percentage over 90%, but he was consistently great nevertheless and this may be the most important quality of all.

The number of players who had at least one year with a winning percentage above 90 can probably be counted with the fingers of a maimed hand. I know of only three for sure: Lendl, Federer, and McEnroe. (I am not sure about Borg and Connors. I think Borg must have had at least one such year, but I don't know for sure. I do know that Sampras never did it.)

Actually (in terms of winning percentage alone) Lendl's best year wouldn't be 1986 but rather 1985, at 93.4%. This must be either the third or fourth highest of all time, after McEnroe's in 1984 and Federer's in 2006 (both at or near 96%, which is mind boggling - I mean 96% does not look much better than 93, but it is, because as you approach 100%, every fraction of a percentage becomes increasingly more difficult to achieve). I am not sure whether Federer's 2005 is also Lendl's 93.4% or not. Will have to check on that.

At any rate, another astounding statistic by Lendl is that he was above 90% on 5 different years. Federer did on 3 different years. McEnroe did it only in 1984.

Lendl's years at >90%

1982: 92.2%
1985: 93.4%
1986: 92.5%
1987: 90.3%
1989: 92%

I consider Lendl without a doubt the number 1 player during all those years except for 1982, where he was a close second to Connors.

PERL
04-23-2009, 04:54 AM
The australian dry grass had a higher bounce definitely. Lendl was very good on grass, though stiff and mechanical. Not among the best on fast grass. In the nineties he would have a hard time winning Wimbledon in a generation of pure powerful serve & volleyers. In 2002 Lendl would not have to play serve and volley on slower grass as he would not have to play top quality serve & volleyers anymore, that would highly favor him. On hardcourts he would have been great in any era. First tier player. I rate him in second tier on clay. Against Nadal, I have a feeling that he would not be patient enough to handle such a bulldog. In 2002-2005, he’d have a pretty good shot.
I have Federer a notch above Lendl as he’s a more natural player and at his peak does everything as well as Lendl. That said, Lendl at his best demolished the field in a terminator mode, winning tourney after tourney. Scary. Even Federer had a few close matches here and there, winning key points at the very end of a set. But the best year in my mind goes to Mcenroe ’84. He was just flying and dancing over the field. Ridiculous. A thing of beauty.

crabgrass
04-23-2009, 05:07 AM
The way i see it lendl was a better player than federer, but happened to play in maybe the most competetive era in history.
lendl was ranked number1 longer than federer, lendl has way more career titles than federer, lendl won more career matches and more importantly has a higher career matchwinning percentage,lendl had 5 seasons with over 90%winning percentage, lendl was a single match away from appearing in 10 straight end of year masters finals, lendl made a record 19 grand slam finals.
lendl's opponents in those 19 slam finals include borg (once),connors (twice),mcenroe (three times),wilander (5 times),becker (3 times),edberg (once)...personally i'd have all those guys amongst my top20 alltime.
federer has basically 1 thing over lendl, more slam titles...but besides nadal who did he ever face that would rank with the guys lendl played.
add to this lendl has strong head to head records against virtually all his great rivals while the only great rival federer ever had has pretty much dominated him.
Comparing lendl with sampras i think on a week in week out basis lendl was the better player and statistics would bare this out, lendl won close to 150 career titles overall (inc.non atp events) i dont know if sampras has even half that amount...lendl's career matchwinning percentage is a shade under 82% while sampras is at the 77% mark.
having said this, while i do believe lendl to be better than federer i do understand if people rate sampras over lendl, the fact is lendl blew a lot of slam finals early in his career and i see sampras as possibly the greatest ever big match player in history.
on my alltime list i'd have lendl & sampras as joint #3 with borg #1 & laver #2.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-23-2009, 06:08 AM
I'm really not sure about the speed but Mats Wilander won it several times defeating John McEnroe in one of the matches on his way to the title so I would guess it was slower than Wimbledon grass.

If Lendl played in 2002 (no Nadal, no peak Federer) I'm pretty certain he would have been many finals in the majors.

I guess this hypothetical question sort of shows how timing is often important in how you are regarded in tennis history.

Apparently the AO grass was faster :
see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1103724&postcount=79
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2050692#post2050692
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1097119#post1097119
by AndrewD who had the opportunity to watch both the Australian and British grass courts. But at Wimby the balls skip while at Kooyong they bounce high.

pc1
04-23-2009, 06:12 AM
Apparently the AO grass was faster :
see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=1103724&postcount=79
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2050692#post2050692
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1097119#post1097119
by AndrewD who had the opportunity to watch both the Australian and British grass courts. But at Wimby the balls skip while at Kooyong they bounce high.

Could be and that's the case Wilander's victory would be more impressive. Like I said I wasn't able to watch the Australian in those days.

Wouldn't the high bounce at Kooyong allow for more time to hit the ball?:confused:

CyBorg
04-23-2009, 10:15 AM
The number of players who had at least one year with a winning percentage above 90 can probably be counted with the fingers of a maimed hand. I know of only three for sure: Lendl, Federer, and McEnroe. (I am not sure about Borg and Connors. I think Borg must have had at least one such year, but I don't know for sure. I do know that Sampras never did it.)

I pretty sure Borg had four. 1977-1980. Connors definitely accomplished that feat in 1974. Vilas may have done it in 1977. Nastase in 1973... maybe? I'd have to do the math on that.

Guys like Vilas/Connors/Lendl tended to stock up on a lot of small events though. Connors skipped red clay events. Vilas skipped a lot of events off clay.

Actually (in terms of winning percentage alone) Lendl's best year wouldn't be 1986 but rather 1985, at 93.4%. This must be either the third or fourth highest of all time, after McEnroe's in 1984 and Federer's in 2006 (both at or near 96%, which is mind boggling - I mean 96% does not look much better than 93, but it is, because as you approach 100%, every fraction of a percentage becomes increasingly more difficult to achieve). I am not sure whether Federer's 2005 is also Lendl's 93.4% or not. Will have to check on that.

This is true, but he lost at the Australian, had an early exit at Wimbledon and was defeated by Wilander in the final of the French.

What's great about 1986 is not just the percentage, but the total domination of the great events (save for Wimbledon). Winner in the 128-man Boca West, winner at the French, finalist at Wimbledon, winner of the US Open, winner of the Masters Cup. That's Federer territory.

At any rate, another astounding statistic by Lendl is that he was above 90% on 5 different years. Federer did on 3 different years. McEnroe did it only in 1984.

Lendl's years at >90%

1982: 92.2%
1985: 93.4%
1986: 92.5%
1987: 90.3%
1989: 92%

I consider Lendl without a doubt the number 1 player during all those years except for 1982, where he was a close second to Connors.

You still have to win the big ones. So 1982 and 1989 are questionable.

pc1
04-23-2009, 10:19 AM
I pretty sure Borg had four. 1977-1980.



This is true, but he lost at the Australian, had an early exit at Wimbledon and was defeated by Wilander in the final of the French.

What's great about 1986 is not just the percentage, but the total domination of the great events (save for Wimbledon). Winner in the 128-man Boca West, winner at the French, finalist at Wimbledon, winner of the US Open, winner of the Masters Cup. That's Federer territory.



You still have to win the big ones. So 1982 and 1989 are questionable.

Borg had four like you wrote Cyborg. Connors was over 90% in 1974 and 1978 and perhaps other years but I was looking at his records in those years recently. In 1974 his official record was 99 wins and 4 losses but when I checked the ITF website I counted only 93 wins and 4 losses. I have no idea where the other 6 wins vanished to.

CyBorg
04-23-2009, 10:23 AM
Borg had four like you wrote Cyborg. Connors was over 90% in 1974 and 1978 and perhaps other years but I was looking at his records in those years recently. In 1974 his official record was 99 wins and 4 losses but when I checked the ITF website I counted only 93 wins and 4 losses. I have no idea where the other 6 wins vanished too.

Thanks - I'd just remembered that and added it to my post.

I think that attaining a percentage as high as 90 was more doable at a time when the tour was less standardized. So you'd often see players win a lot of funny events like Connors did that year and it would amount to some insane numbers at the end of the year.

Borg won around 20 tournaments in total in 1979, something that wouldn't happen today. Unlike Connors though he played a very balanced schedule on all surfaces. He never overplayed on clay, but could have.

pc1
04-23-2009, 01:08 PM
Thanks - I'd just remembered that and added it to my post.

I think that attaining a percentage as high as 90 was more doable at a time when the tour was less standardized. So you'd often see players win a lot of funny events like Connors did that year and it would amount to some insane numbers at the end of the year.

Borg won around 20 tournaments in total in 1979, something that wouldn't happen today. Unlike Connors though he played a very balanced schedule on all surfaces. He never overplayed on clay, but could have.

Cyborg,

I think much of the reasons that players like Lendl, Connors and Borg had very high win percentages (often over 90%) were their incredible consistency. They very rarely played a bad match and their strokes were so solid that you wouldn't hear about either one being upset too often. Connors and Borg almost always defeated the players they should defeat.


They all had solid groundstrokes and played very high percentage tennis and rarely beat themselves.

A player like Arthur Ashe, who had solid strokes often played low percentage tennis and didn't come close to the win percentages of Lendl, Borg and Connors.

As great as Laver was and he may very well may have been the greatest, he could often play some bad matches but I think that was due to his risky style of play. But when he was on his game. Look out.

egn
04-23-2009, 01:24 PM
The way i see it lendl was a better player than federer, but happened to play in maybe the most competetive era in history.
lendl was ranked number1 longer than federer, lendl has way more career titles than federer, lendl won more career matches and more importantly has a higher career matchwinning percentage,lendl had 5 seasons with over 90%winning percentage, lendl was a single match away from appearing in 10 straight end of year masters finals, lendl made a record 19 grand slam finals.
lendl's opponents in those 19 slam finals include borg (once),connors (twice),mcenroe (three times),wilander (5 times),becker (3 times),edberg (once)...personally i'd have all those guys amongst my top20 alltime.
federer has basically 1 thing over lendl, more slam titles...but besides nadal who did he ever face that would rank with the guys lendl played.
add to this lendl has strong head to head records against virtually all his great rivals while the only great rival federer ever had has pretty much dominated him.
Comparing lendl with sampras i think on a week in week out basis lendl was the better player and statistics would bare this out, lendl won close to 150 career titles overall (inc.non atp events) i dont know if sampras has even half that amount...lendl's career matchwinning percentage is a shade under 82% while sampras is at the 77% mark.
having said this, while i do believe lendl to be better than federer i do understand if people rate sampras over lendl, the fact is lendl blew a lot of slam finals early in his career and i see sampras as possibly the greatest ever big match player in history.
on my alltime list i'd have lendl & sampras as joint #3 with borg #1 & laver #2.

Great points there but just like Federer, Lendl did struggle at times. For the part in bold his records against those players in slam finals

Borg - 0-1
Connors - 0-2
McEnroe - 2-1
Willander - 2-3
Becker- 0-3
Edberg - 1-0 (edberg retired)

5-10...ehh

Though I agree I feel Lendl was equal to Sampras and Fed in terms of talent, but I feel he was unfortunate to play in a difficult era where his worst surface was the major surfaces for 2 of the 4 slams at his best.

PERL
04-23-2009, 04:19 PM
The way i see it lendl was a better player than federer, but happened to play in maybe the most competetive era in history.
lendl was ranked number1 longer than federer, lendl has way more career titles than federer, lendl won more career matches and more importantly has a higher career matchwinning percentage,lendl had 5 seasons with over 90%winning percentage, lendl was a single match away from appearing in 10 straight end of year masters finals, lendl made a record 19 grand slam finals.
lendl's opponents in those 19 slam finals include borg (once),connors (twice),mcenroe (three times),wilander (5 times),becker (3 times),edberg (once)...personally i'd have all those guys amongst my top20 alltime.
federer has basically 1 thing over lendl, more slam titles...but besides nadal who did he ever face that would rank with the guys lendl played.
add to this lendl has strong head to head records against virtually all his great rivals while the only great rival federer ever had has pretty much dominated him.
Comparing lendl with sampras i think on a week in week out basis lendl was the better player and statistics would bare this out, lendl won close to 150 career titles overall (inc.non atp events) i dont know if sampras has even half that amount...lendl's career matchwinning percentage is a shade under 82% while sampras is at the 77% mark.
having said this, while i do believe lendl to be better than federer i do understand if people rate sampras over lendl, the fact is lendl blew a lot of slam finals early in his career and i see sampras as possibly the greatest ever big match player in history.
on my alltime list i'd have lendl & sampras as joint #3 with borg #1 & laver #2.


Lendl had a tougher competition. I will not argue against this, I fully agree. Also the surfaces were more diverse, hence the players. Now you can’t fault Federer for lack of field. Of course Nadal now beating Fed on grass and hardcourts tend to diminish him and everyone starts to reevaluate his records. Keep in mind that Nadal is 5 years younger than Fed. A 7 years younger Becker dominated Lendl in major finals. A past 30 years old Connors was beating Lendl at the biggest stages. In 1981 a 3 years younger Mcenroe beat Borg at the biggest stages, etc. All things relative. Also we must take into account that Federer did not retire yet. You might have a point with longevity at the top of the game though and I wonder if today’s tennis shortens the careers more and more. You will never see someone winning 100+ titles again.
My conclusions are more intuitive than quantitative. It’s more fun to me. Or Jimmy Connors would be up there.
#1 Laver #2 Borg #3 Sampras #4 Federer # 5 Lendl. We have the same guys in a different order.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-23-2009, 11:51 PM
Could be and that's the case Wilander's victory would be more impressive. Like I said I wasn't able to watch the Australian in those days.

Wouldn't the high bounce at Kooyong allow for more time to hit the ball?:confused:

Possibly.
Wimbledon's gardener still say that today grass is as fast as before but because of the new type of grass used since 2001 (in order to resist to the more powerful game) the ground is denser and so harder then the ball bounces much higher than before and thus the player has more time to play even if the ball is faster.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-29-2009, 05:51 AM
In Lendl's era, many tournaments were 8-man or 4-man invitational or exhibition events held for 2 or 3 days (this is why Lendl's total is far superior to his ATP total) so you could win many tourneys in a very short time. In Sampras' era and even more in modern days the best players just enter the Slams, the Masters, the Masters 1000 and some ordinary tourneys so modern players' total number of tournament wins can't be compared to the stats of the players of the 70's-80's as Connors, Borg, Mac or Lendl.

And each era had his own context :

Ellsworth Vines played no tournaments at all from 1936 to 1938 however he was considered as one of the very best if not the best in the mid-30's : Elly just played World (mainly North American) tours. From 1934 to 1936 he was considered as the best pro. Fred Perry was considered as the best amateur during these same years. Perry turned pro in 1937 to face Vines the pro king in a World Pro champ held in North America. Vines defeated Perry 32 matches won to 29 lost and was declared once again the pro king. Then later in the year, both players played 9 other matches in the British Isles with Perry winning 6 of them. So in 1937 Vines had a win-loss record of 35-35, that is a percentage of 50% and had no tournament wins. However he was considered as the #1 pro because he beat Perry in the most important matches (those played in North America) and was ranked #1 or at worse #2 in the pro-amateur rankings (at the time there was no computer ranking).

So would you claim that Vines was inferior to Lendl just because Vines' stats are inferior : 0 tournament won in 1937 for Vines and more than 15 wins for Lendl in any of his best years; and a win-loss record percentage of 50% for Vines and more than 90% in Lendl's best years ? You shouldn't.

Stats shall be used with caution before making comparisons.

You can eventually compare Lendl's stats with McEnroe's (they had one year of difference) but certainly not Lendl's with players of other eras (Sampras or Federer in your own examples). I can give you other examples of players #1 or close to that place who didn't win tournaments for the simple reason that they played in tours. Kramer and Gonzales faced in a tour from October 25, 1949 to May 21, 1950 that is almost 7 months and played ... 123 matches. Kramer was eventually declared once again the pro king because he beat Gonzales 96-27. They played in 7 months as many matches as many modern players play in two years. Do you think that Kramer and Gonzales could play many tourneys during that long grueling tour ? Of course no, they played only two tournaments. In 7 months Lendl used to play about 15-20 tournaments so Lendl's wins are considerably superior to Kramer's or Gonzales's victories but it doesn't mean at all that Lendl was greater than Kramer or Gonzales.

In my all-time list the very best are in chronological order (because I haven't finished to study tennis history) Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall and Laver.

In your list appears Laver
but do you know
that Rosewall won many major titles (that is the equivalent of modern Slam tournaments because Slam tournaments of the past had very depleted fields with no pro players allowed to enter) than perhaps anyone in tennis history,
that Rosewall beat more often Laver in great events finals than the reverse (their peak years were before the open era so their great finals weren't traditional Slam finals),
that Rosewall was perhaps the player who was in the Top2 for the longest period ever : probably in 1957, from 1960 to 1970 and possibly in 1971 ?
Except in number of years as #1 and in highest level of play Rosewall was superior to Laver in any domain.
Here is what I wrote in another post (an answer to Borgforever) about my comparison of Rosewall's peak years with Borg's :
... Now Rosewall
His best years were the early 60’s.
He won Roland Pro in 1960 but couldn’t win a Wimbledon Pro simply because it didn’t exist. However he won Wembley Pro, the greatest pro event, on wood the very next week : he hadn’t, as in the 70’s or in modern days a break of two weeks to adapt to the new surface, he just had a trip by plane from Paris to London and no day to rest. Sure both events were just 4 round events but however you had to play from the slowest surface to the quickest ever (much more than Wimbledon grass) without any transition.
He repeated this feat in 61, once again in 62. In 63 he couldn’t perfectly duplicate it because the French Pro was from then on on wood as Wembley. In conclusion Rosewall won the two greatest events by far (Forest Hills Pro didn’t exist anymore from 60 to 62 and the US Pro was very weak those years), 4 years in a row and 3 years in a row on the most opposite surfaces ever used in tennis.
Has Borg won the 2 greatest events 4 years in a row ?
No because he never won in particular the 2nd greatest event, the US Open.
A question is : what was Rosewall’s worst surface (and you will see I will ask the same question about Borg later in that post) ? Indoor wood or grass ? Apparently Rosewall had better results on wood but it is deceptive because many great events in those times were played on wood : both Wembley and the French pro from 63 to 67. There were few events held on grass. However Rosewall was probably the best on grass in 61, 62, 63 and perhaps 65. In 61 he won the only grass event of the year, the New South Wales Pro Chps, in 62 he won all the events on grass all held in Australia (the South Australian Pro and Victorian Pro), in 63 he won the US Pro and beat Laver in the Australasian tour. But in 65 Rosewall wasn’t the clear #1 on grass, though he won the greatest grasscourt event by far, the US Pro, crushing Gonzales and Laver, because he was dominated by them early in the year in the Australian circuit.
So Rosewall
in 1960, won the French on clay and Wembley on wood, won the French on clay,
in 1961 won Wembley on wood and the NSW on grass,
in 1962 won 7 of the 8 most important tournaments including the French on clay, Wembley on wood and all the tournaments on grass,
and in 1963 won Wembley on wood, the French on wood too, the US Pro on grass.
In those years there were very few important outdoor hardcourt competitions in the pro (and amateur) circuit.
I then think that Rosewall’s records from mid-1960 to 1963 are as good if not better than Borg’s triple Roland-Wimbledon wins from 78 to 80.
You could say that Rosewall hadn’t to play 7 matches but I could retort that Rosewall was the best player on 3 different surfaces several years : in 61, in 62 and possibly in 63 (that last year he was the best on grass, the best on wood (with 2 majors), and possibly the best on clay : debatable because he won Rome on clay but Laver won Kitzbühel possibly held on clay, at Geneva also probably held on clay, both players lost to Gimeno). In 62 and 63 Rosewall was so dominant that in my mind he deserved at least one Grand Slam (and perhaps even two). In 62 he won the first five more important tournaments, Wembley and the French Pro and also Milan, the Geneva Gold Trophy and Linkopping (outside Stockholm) and moreover he was undefeated in singles in the Kramer Cup. Among the other greatest events he also won the South Australian and the Victorian and only lost in Zurich. In 63 Rosewall won the Big 3 plus Rome but I recognize that Rome probably wasn’t the 4th event (Kitzbühel or Cannes would be better choices).
So Rosewall has probably made a Grand Slam n 62 and has won the “Big 3” in 63.
Borg has never been as dominant.
His best results were in 79 and 80 when he won the 1st event (Wimbledon), the 3rd event (Roland Garros) and the 4th event (the Masters) but he never won the first 3 events (because he always failed at the US Open) as Rosewall in 63 and even less the “Big4” which Rosewall has won in 62.
Borgforever, you seem to think that no tennis player has dominated his era as much as Borg. But when I look at Rosewall’s records I can wonder if you’re right : with my arguments above I’m inclined to claim that Rosewall has more dominated the 1961-1963 (or more precisely from mid-1960 to mid-1964) era than Borg has dominated the 1978-1980 (or from mid-1977 to mid-1981) years.
And it is also likely enough that another (other) player(s) had been as much dominant as Borg.
Last precision about Kenny :
In my opinion Rosewall (and others) has won all the true majors on all surfaces of his time without exception. One can retort that Kenny hasn’t won Wimbledon but in a sporting view that tournament with no pro players allowed to compete before the open era while Borg could always come and did. From 1957 to 1966, that is 10 years in a row, when Rosewall was at his best, he was forbidden to enter the tournament (Gonzales : 17 years in a row) Imagine Federer, Sampras, Becker, McEnroe, Borg, Laver forbidden to play Wimbledon during their respective 10 best years, their Wimbledon records would be nil.
Borg, he, was never prevented from playing the US Open and he never missed an edition. He played it 10 times in a row, in his best years, but lost every time. In in his whole career he has never won the 2nd event of his time (the US Open).
Moreover Borg was NEVER the best player on outdoor hard court :
in 1976 and 1977 he didn’t win any outdoor hard court tournament (whereas Connors in particular won the important Palm Springs event in 1976 and Las Vegas in 1976 and 1977) and from 1978 to 1981 always lost Flushing Meadow.
So Rosewall has won several years in a row every major on the 3 more important surfaces of the time : grass, indoor wood and clay whereas Borg always lost on outdoor hard.
Please excuse me, but in any GOAT discussion it is a negative feat for Borg...

So whenever one includes Laver and/or Borg in his all-time list, one should look at Rosewall's record and eventually also include Ken in this GOAT list.

to be continued

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-29-2009, 05:57 AM
Do you know that Gonzales beat, at least once, any #1 he had the opportunity to face, from Tilden, Vines, Budge, ... to Smith, Ashe, Connors and Borg in his career,
that he was #1 without any doubt from 1954 to 1957 and that he was the #1 or 2 in 1952, 1958-1961 ?
Gonzales retired on October 25, 1961. He made his come-back in 1963-1964 and in 1964, at 36 years old, he ended #3 behind Laver and Rosewall. In particular Gonzales met 13 times Laver in 1964, the new #1 that year, and beat Laver 8 times though Laver was 10 years younger than Gonzales. From 1964 to 1971 he could beat any top player without exception. In 1965 he beat Rosewall the #2 in the world, 7 times in 10 matches. In the open era he beat all the young lions (Newcombe, Roche, Ashe, Smith, ...) and more than once. For instance in september and october 1969 (41 years of age) he beat Rosewall, Smith, Richey at Los Angeles (with Laver and Newcombe in the draw) then Newcombe ... 61 62, Rosewall again, Smith (Laver's conqueror) again too, and Ashe ... 60 62 64. In 1970 Laver was still the #1 however Gonzales, 42 years old, beat Laver 3 times in 5 meetings. In particular Gonzales began the 1970 season by beating Laver (then the Grand Slam winner) and Newcombe, Wimbledon runner-up and future titlist 6 months later, in the next match. In 1971 he beat Connors twice and in particular in the Pacific Southwest Open at LA (which was an event similar to the Masters 1000 of today). Until now when you ask Connors who was the most thrilling, spectacular, fascinating player he had seen, his choice is always Gonzales (and not Laver, Rosewall, Borg, McEnroe, Sampras, Lendl, Becker, Federer or Nadal). In 1972 when Gonzales met Borg in December, the young Swede had already (previous October) crushed Gimeno 62 63, a Top10 player and Roland Garros holder. What happened ? Gonzales at 44 years and a half old, swept Borg 61 61. In 1973, at 45, Gonzales was still able to won sets from Toptenners such as Connors or Okker.
I just recall that Gonzales was among the best players since 1948 but won only 2 slam tourneys because he turned pro in October 1949 and was forbidden to play those events until May 1968 when he reached the semis, at 40, of the Slam OPEN tourney at Paris.

Gonzales has dominated the 50's possibly more than any other player has dominated another decade (in that point however Tilden is a great contender, many think that Laver was the super player of the 60's but if we restrict ourselves to the years 1960-1969, Rosewall was pretty close to Laver but very few know that Rosewall dominated the first half of the decade as I recall it above).
Gonzales once he had given up the #1 spot, was able to dominate in direct meetings in a given year his successors as world best player. In particular as I've just written above he led Laver 8-5 in 1964 and Laver 3-2 in 1970 when Laver was #1 both years. Do you know many players, not anymore at the very top, who dominated the current #1 player in a given year (I mean a true #1 of a calendar year but not a player who can be ATP #1 for just a week or so) ? The only one (besides Gonzales) who comes to my mind is Becker who beat Courier in 1992, 3 matches to 0. Once Federer or Sampras or Courier or Edberg or Wilander or Lendl or McEnroe or Borg or Connors or Ashe or Nastase or Smith or Laver or Rosewall or Kramer or Riggs or Budge or Vines or Tilden or Cochet or Lacoste or Johnston or McLoughlin or Wilding or HL Doherty or Larned or RF Doherty or Whitman or ... had definitely quit the #1 place he had never dominated in H2H meetings in a given year the current #1 player. Becker did it one year. Gonzales did it TWO years.
Last remark about Gonzales : he, as Rosewall, won about 20 or more major events (major = equivalent of modern Slam tournament because I repeat in the pre-open era the best players couldn't enter the Slam tourneys : for instance in 1952 Gonzales could play 7 pro tournaments (there weren't more) : he entered 5 and won 4).

So in conclusion for Gonzales, whenever one includes Laver in his all-time list he should think of Gonzales as a possible contender of his GOAT list.

Finally I will end with Laver (and Borg).

Laver was undoubtedly the #1 from 1964 to 1969 (though he wasn't allowed to enter any Slam tourney from 1964 (and even 1963) to early 1968 before the open era). He was almost certainly the #1 in 1970 and very probably the #1 in 1971. It means that Laver was very likely the #1 for 8 consecutive years that is almost as long as Borg's entire career (Borg was among the best players for 10 years, from 1973 to 1982 even though he played only 2 official competitions that last year). This single argument makes me think that Borg can't rival Laver (and Tilden and Gonzales and Rosewall) in any GOAT discussion. I can add another simple argument. (Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall and) Laver won around 20 majors that is 1 ½ more than Borg (who won 13 majors, as many as Federer, and not 11 given that I count Borg’s Masters victories because the Masters was the true #4 tennis event in those years, you can see my personal (so subjective) list of the 4 biggest events since 1950, look at http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2840980&postcount=45 and http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2840980&postcount=46). This other argument is once again to Borg’s disadvantage. One last argument : at 36-37 years old, Laver was able to beat any top player, including Borg twice in 1974 whereas Borg, at 36-37, came back in 1992-1993 in the official circuit and didn't win a single match.

SO IN CONCLUSION
WHENEVER ONE PLAYER AMONG TILDEN, GONZALES, ROSEWALL AND LAVER (and eventually Hugh Lawrence Doherty) IS ABSENT FROM A GOAT LIST
I WINCE AT IT.
NO ONE HAS NEVER PROVED THAT SAMPRAS, FEDERER, BORG OR NADAL ARE SUPERIOR TO THE FORMER PLAYERS.

pc1
04-29-2009, 06:31 AM
Carlo,

Clearly Rosewall is one of the all time greats and a top GOAT candidate.

Rickson
04-29-2009, 07:28 AM
He'd be a little worse.

crabgrass
04-29-2009, 08:04 AM
@carlo
in regards to tornament totals i dont agree with you, seems you're trying to downplay the achievements of the lendl mcenroe connors borg era.
You can take the exhibitions out of the equation and we still have connors with 109 titles, lendl 94, mac 77, borg 60something....the fact is these guys were incredibly consistent, proof of this is that not only did they win a truckload of titles but they rank 1st,2nd,3rd and 4th in career matchwinning percentage in the open era.
i do agree however that you can't really compare totals with pre-open era players, the set-up was entirely different with certain players playing world tours instead of week in week out tornaments.
You appear to be a rosewall fan and i'm not one that really needs convincing of his greatness, i'd probably have him at no.6 or 7 on my GOAT list.
One thing i noticed when singing the praises of lendl as a GOAT candidate is the common rebuttel " how could he be a serious GOAT contender if he never even won the biggest tornament wimbledon".....well this would apply to muscles also.
With pancho while not dismissing him i do find it very hard to rank his place in history, for one i never saw him play and officially he only won a couple of slams....what ive read seems overwhelmingly positive but could say the same about vines or hoad.
Actually i did see gonzales play once but was back when i was a kid in the early 80s they showed extended highlights of his old wimbledon match against passarell...i wouldnt of been more then 10 or 11 so was hard to take anything in from that match.
If anyone knows if theres a dvd of this match available then speakforth!

pc1
04-29-2009, 07:55 PM
Carlo,

While your debates with Crabgrass on the merits of Rosewall, Laver, Gonzalez, Vines, Lendl and Borg are very interesting I would like to point out several things that I disagree with you on.



In your list appears Laver
but do you know
that Rosewall won many major titles (that is the equivalent of modern Slam tournaments because Slam tournaments of the past had very depleted fields with no pro players allowed to enter) than perhaps anyone in tennis history,
that Rosewall beat more often Laver in great events finals than the reverse (their peak years were before the open era so their great finals weren't traditional Slam finals),
that Rosewall was perhaps the player who was in the Top2 for the longest period ever : probably in 1957, from 1960 to 1970 and possibly in 1971 ?
Except in number of years as #1 and in highest level of play Rosewall was superior to Laver in any domain.


The last line can be interpreted several ways but it seems to me that you are saying that Ken Rosewall is superior to Laver on any surface or if you analyze any category of greatness. If my interpretation is correct than I strongly disagree. I admired Rosewall immensely and fully admit he is possibly the GOAT but to write he is superior to Laver in any domain is not correct to me. First of all Ken was still a great player from 1964 to 1967 in the Pro Ranks and Rod was considered the best player for most if not all of thoses years. The year 1964 is of some debate but I consider Rod number one that year. In those years Laver won at least over 60 tournaments which is far more than Ken. Laver won 8 pro majors in that time period to 4 by Rosewall. Now if you included 1963, than Ken wins 7 majors to 8 by Rod. Both have a Pro Grand Slam but Rod also won the Open Grand Slam which I believe Rosewall also could have done if Open Tennis came earlier. Still Ken didn't accomplish it and Rod did which added to the Laver resume.

The biggest tournament of the Old Pro Tour may very well have been the 1967 Wimbledon World Pro Champs in which Rod defeated Rosewall in straight sets.

I frankly don't see how Rosewall can be CLEARLY superior in any domain. I can see a person giving a logical argument that Rosewall is superior and I may agree but I don't think it's totally clear. Laver to me is probably superior on faster surfaces and Rosewall on the slower even though both are great on any surface.

Now if I misinterpreted what you wrote please explain it to me.


Finally I will end with Laver (and Borg).

Laver was undoubtedly the #1 from 1964 to 1969 (though he wasn't allowed to enter any Slam tourney from 1964 (and even 1963) to early 1968 before the open era). He was almost certainly the #1 in 1970 and very probably the #1 in 1971. It means that Laver was very likely the #1 for 8 consecutive years that is almost as long as Borg's entire career (Borg was among the best players for 10 years, from 1973 to 1982 even though he played only 2 official competitions that last year). This single argument makes me think that Borg can't rival Laver (and Tilden and Gonzales and Rosewall) in any GOAT discussion. I can add another simple argument. (Tilden, Gonzales, Rosewall and) Laver won around 20 majors that is 1 ½ more than Borg (who won 13 majors, as many as Federer, and not 11 given that I count Borg’s Masters victories because the Masters was the true #4 tennis event in those years, you can see my personal (so subjective) list of the 4 biggest events since 1950, look at http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2840980&postcount=45 and http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2840980&postcount=46). This other argument is once again to Borg’s disadvantage. One last argument : at 36-37 years old, Laver was able to beat any top player, including Borg twice in 1974 whereas Borg, at 36-37, came back in 1992-1993 in the official circuit and didn't win a single match.

SO IN CONCLUSION
WHENEVER ONE PLAYER AMONG TILDEN, GONZALES, ROSEWALL AND LAVER (and eventually Hugh Lawrence Doherty) IS ABSENT FROM A GOAT LIST
I WINCE AT IT.
NO ONE HAS NEVER PROVED THAT SAMPRAS, FEDERER, BORG OR NADAL ARE SUPERIOR TO THE FORMER PLAYERS.

Again I would like to point out here that I think Laver was amazing but you mention a few arguments in favor of Rod that I feel are unfair to Borg. Let's look at the last few lines in which you mention Rod was able to defeat any top player at age 36 and 37 which is absolutely correct but you write that Borg, when he made the comeback didn't win a match.

First of all Rod never retired, got out of tournament shape and had to make a comeback. Rod was always in great tournament shape from a young age to his late thirties while Borg retired for over a decade and when Borg made his comeback, he used a wood racket. I would venture to say that using the same logic Jimmy Connors was superior to Borg since at 36, 37 he was about to defeat top players like Edberg. And the truth is that Connors was not superior to Borg.


I then think that Rosewall’s records from 60 to 63 are as good if not better than Borg’s triple Roland-Wimbledon wins from 78 to 80.
]

Rosewall had unbelievable tournament records but he did lose on occasion and was not clearly the best player during the period of 60 to 63 as I believe Borg was from 1978 to 1980. The thing that bothers me about Ken's record during this period was a tour Rosewall played with Pancho Gonzalez, Pancho Segura and Alex Olmedo in 1960. Gonzalez won the tour with disturbing ease. The final standings were
1. Pancho Gonzalez 49-8
2. Ken Rosewall 32-25
3. Pancho Segura 22-28
4. Olmedo 11-44

This is dominating tour victory by Gonzalez. Perhaps they played very often on fast indoor or some other surfaces that favored Gonzalez but it causes me some problems on how you rank Rosewall for the year. Can a person rank Ken clearly number one if he loses the Tour so decisively? I think it's possible but it causes doubt for me for that year of 1960.


Gonzales has dominated the 50's possibly more than any other player has dominated another decade [I](in that point however Tilden is a great contender, many think that Laver was the super player of the 60's but if we restrict ourselves to the years 1960-1969, Rosewall was pretty close to Laver but very few know that Rosewall dominated the first half of the decade
Possibly but Gonzalez had a number of losses on tour and in tournament play even though he probably was number one for a good portion of the decade. Now considering the quality of opposition it is understandable but dominate to me by definition means overwhelming, unstoppable and almost never losing. In most of his tours Gonzalez didn't usually overwhelm like the one tour I wrote about with Rosewall above. For example the 1959 tour with Hoad, Pancho was 47-15 and Hoad slightly behind at 42-20 while defeating Pancho 15-13 in their individual matches.

In 1954 he defeated Sedgman 30 to 21 and Segura by the same score. Both opponents played Gonzalez fairly close.

One of Gonzalez's more impressive tour victories to me is the one in which he destroyed Tony Trabert by 74 matches to 27. This is a percentage score that is better than many top pro players top years and it was accomplished against the great Tony Trabert.

The fact Rosewall and Laver played at the same time didn't stop them both from accomplishing a lot. They both played enough that both won many majors and many tournaments during the times they played on the tour together. I don't think either player took away enough titles from each other to substantially hurt the others great standing in tennis history.

I would think if you look at total domination in which there is no doubt who is number one and the one who is second best is not even close to the best choice would be during the Tilden era. However to your great credit, you mentioned that already.

Carlo,

In the case of Borg you have to look at the level of play that Borg played at throughout his career. From the time he was a teen, he was one of the greatest players in the world. Borg was a shooting star, he did not last as long as for example a Jimmy Connors and many others but I believe he burned far more brightly than just about any player. If you compare his peak years to virtually anyone, Borg compares very well.

You often mention how Borg may not have been the best hard court player but I will say that he was, one of the best clearly on hard court.

A counter argument to Ken Rosewall would be perhaps Gonzalez was a better indoor player and that Ken was never the best indoor player and a counter to Gonzalez would be that perhaps Rosewall was a superior clay courter and Gonzalez was not the best clay court player. Bottom line is that I believe that all of these players were tremendous on all surfaces and were capable of defeating any top player on any surface.

There are many excellent arguments for Borg being a GOAT candidate. His great winning percentages, lifetime and for a short term period which, for winning percentages may be superior to Laver and Rosewall, his amount of tournaments won in a short span, his majors won as opposed to majors entered, his great Davis Cup record (something I haven't mentioned) and a subjective argument in that he had no stroke weaknesses. The last statement in bold was something Arthur Ashe believed.

Rickson
04-29-2009, 08:00 PM
I don't know why the op thinks Ivan would have done better during the Sampras or Federer era.

egn
04-29-2009, 09:07 PM
I don't know why the op thinks Ivan would have done better during the Sampras or Federer era.

It was merely asking if one feels the player would have done better. I personally feel Lendl would have done marginally better if he had played in the place of Samp or Fed for the ability to play more hardcourt slams, that being the biggest factor.

Sampras spent most of his career when the two slams were grass, if two were hardcourt I imagine an increase in slams for Lendl and he winds up higher and maybe with a 3 slam year.

dataseviltwin
04-29-2009, 09:11 PM
He'd've won more on the slow grass at today's Wimbledon. As hard as he worked to win at the big W, it would've been good to see.

pc1
04-29-2009, 10:04 PM
He'd've won more on the slow grass at today's Wimbledon. As hard as he worked to win at the big W, it would've been good to see.

I would like to have seen Lendl win one Wimbledon.

I guess when we speak of Borg, with you it means it's THE Borg. Resistance is futile.:)

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-30-2009, 01:23 AM
@carlo
in regards to tornament totals i dont agree with you, seems you're trying to downplay the achievements of the lendl mcenroe connors borg era....

I wouldn't say that I downplay the players of the 70's-80's but I would say that I "up-play" the players of the previous eras because they are truly underrated. About Lendl : it is clear that compared to the very popular McEnroe, he was really underrated and even now Mac is considered superior though Lendl has a better record. But place Lendl in the 2000's he would have won many less tournaments. He would have played the most important tournaments as Nadal, Federer or Djokovic do today and so he would have won many less events. For instance in 1982 he played numerous WCT tournaments where almost no great players entered : his rivals were an old Fibak close to retirement and Vilas who was mainly a claycourter though he could be pretty good on hard and indoor courts. So he won many tournaments that year with depleted fields.
Connors has won "beach" tournaments (in reality they were held in US indoor structures because it was in winter) in the Riordan circuit in 1973-74 were no great players came except sometimes (about one third of the time) Nastase (Nasty was also simultaneously playing the Mediterranean circuit). And if Connors', Lendl's and al's special events have been counted this is because in those years these tourneys count a little though they weren't official (for instance the ECC Champs at Antwerp) while now the non-ATP events are virtually ignored by everyone. This is why we can't really compare stats between players of different eras. But there is no doubt that Lendl was undoubtedly the best player of the 1980-1989 decade.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-30-2009, 04:50 AM
There are less disagreements between us, pc1, than you think because perhaps I haven’t detailed enough my arguments (though my posts were already very quite long) this is why I concur with your following statement “The last line can be interpreted several ways”.
My arguments needed many more explanations but given that I had dedicated so much time to these posts I didn’t want to detail all my statements.

You wrote "Laver to me is probably superior on faster surfaces and Rosewall on the slower even though both are great on any surface." and I completely (at 100%) agree.
It’s something I should also have detailed about Laver’s superiority points : I said it very briefly in “Except in number of years as #1 and in highest level of play”. “...in highest level of play” was a very short summary stating that the very best Laver was superior to the very best Rosewall : this is a digest of “Laver better on fast courts and Rosewall better on slow courts”. In those times fast courts were dominant so they were the main judges to compare players so Laver there had the edge. And even on slow courts when it was on dry clay courts (so faster than humid clay courts) peak Laver was possibly (far from sure) superior or at least even to peak Ken. So globally (all surfaces mixed) there is no doubt in my mind that peak Laver was better.

You also stated "First of all Ken was still a great player from 1964 to 1967 in the Pro Ranks and Rod was considered the best player for most if not all of thoses years" and here again I agree fully and I have never contradicted that : IMO Laver was the first from 1964 to 1969 (and even probably to 1971). I even go longer than you : I don't think there is any doubt about 1964. For me Laver was clearly the best, I made a system point ranking including 29 tournaments and Laver and Rosewall were very very close (according to the points allocation one or the other was very slightly ahead) but it didn't take into account small tours and in particular the New Zealand tour in February where Laver was better than Kenny (AndrewTas has recently found some of the results) so even in a point system Laver would have the edge. Besides Rocket had the advantage his overall win-loss record, in majors won, and in H2H with Kenny. So Laver #1 in 1964 though no one ranked him first at the time (except perhaps Robert Geist who co-ranked them and still continue).

You also wrote about the Slam "Ken didn't accomplish it and Rod did which added to the Laver resume."
Here I disagree. I don’t think it should be added to Laver’s advantage. We have to judge players as they really were and not as “false” shining could show them. Rod Laver is very well considered because he did the Slams but he was born at the “right” time while Kenny “wasn’t”. If Laver had been born in 1934 as Kenny, Laver probably would have won no Slam at all because in that case Laver’s peak years would have probably been 4 years earlier that is around 1963-1965 and not 1967-1969. In 1963-1965 there were no open tennis and so Laver wouldn’t have done the Slam. Laver had been very lucky among the great pro players playing before the open era because he was the only one whom peak years were in part in open era years. Rosewall, Gonzales, Kramer, Budge and others had their peak years before 1968 so they weren’t “allowed” to win the Slam. Politics in tennis have been so stupid, petty, unfair etc that I think it’s unfair to credit Laver more than players older than him, because he was the only one who could do the slam given that he was "young enough" when open tennis began. The others were too old when open era began. So when you say that “Ken didn’t accomplish and Rod did” for me it is completely unfair.

When I say that Rosewall can be CLEARLY superior in any domain (except those I cited) I mean in majors records, in overall career rankings and in longevity. I recognize it could be interpreted in many ways and that I should have written it as I do just above :
Rosewall has a better overall record :
he won at least as many majors as Rod if not more, he reached many more finals in majors than Rod, he reached many many more semis in majors than Rod. So in majors, Ken has a very clearly better record than Rod. I’m not restricting it to (1963-)1964-1967 as you’ve done in your explanation.

Rosewall had better overall rankings (except of course the 1st places as I indicated in my exceptions) than Rod. In my mind Ken was in the Top2 in 1957, 1960-1967 (perhaps a co-No2 in 1968 because many overrate(d) Ashe feats who except the US Open won mainly amateur tournaments with at best 3 players of the Top10 each time), 1970 (and perhaps 1971). Longer than Rod. Ken was in the Top5 in 1955 (Sedgman ill or absent from the pro circuit, most of the time), 1957-1972, longer than Rod. Ken was in the Top10 from 1953 to 1974 (I think that Ken was close to the Top10 in 1975 and not 6th as in the ATP ranking) and in the Top20 from 1952 to 1977. Longer than Rod.
In conclusion Ken was superior to Laver in majors’ record, in global rankings and in longevity (the last point is very forgotten or underrated in many judgments).
Laver was superior in potential (peak Laver superior to peak Rosewall and to peak Gonzales,…) and had clearly more (at least twice as many) years than Kenny as #1.

I wrote that “I then think that Rosewall’s records from 60 to 63 are as good if not better than Borg’s triple Roland-Wimbledon wins from 78 to 80” and you have a little disagreed : you were right because I haven’t been precise enough and since I changed my original post. What I should have written is “I then think that Rosewall’s records from mid-60 to 63 are as good if not better than Borg’s triple Roland-Wimbledon wins from 78 to 80”.
We agree at 100% that Gonzales was clearly the best player in the first half of 1960. I even think this is Gonzales’ peak of his whole career : Pancho has probably never dominated the pack as much as in that world tour. And I also agree with you : some have good arguments to place Ken #1 or co-No1 in 1960 but that World Pro Tour has always prevented me from ranking Kenny at the first place in 1960, perhaps I’m wrong but still now I can’t rank Kenny #1 or co-N°1 in 1960. So my error is not to have written “mid-”.

About Tilden’s and Gonzales’ dominance of decades I can’t choose now because I haven’t analysed Tilden’s career enough. About Gonzales it is sure that he didn’t dominated as much his 1954 or 1959 tours than that of 1960 but however he won all the tours he entered in the 1950’s, year after year (1954, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959), which is pretty good even though Hoad beat Gorgo in head-to-head meetings in the 1959 tour (but Gorgo dominated Hoad in overall 1959 H2H including the tour results) but in the end Hoad didn’t win that tour because he lost often to Cooper-Anderson while Pancho had an immaculate record against the rookies.

“Ken was never the best indoor player” : I strongly contradict this assessment of yours.
Rosewall was undoubtedly the best indoor court player in 1962 (he won Wembley) and 1963 (he won Coubertin and Wembley in a row).
Rosewall was possibly the best indoor court player in 1961 (Gonzales was pretty great that year because he won all the indoor court events he entered except Wembley) and at least won the greatest indoor court event, Wembley in 1961. And even in 1960 Rosewall won Wembley and many consider that he played the best tennis of his life at Wembley 1960 against Olmedo.
Sorry but Borg was never the very best on outdoor hardcourt any single year and never won the most important outdoor hardcourt event in any year so when one compares Rosewall’s record on indoor courts with Borg’s record on outdoor hard courts there is no photo at all. Ken is clearly better on that point.

to be continued

pc1
04-30-2009, 04:56 AM
Carlo I didn't say that Ken was never the best indoor player I meant that you could argue that Ken was never the best indoor player because of the presense of Pancho Gonzalez. For example Vilas won the French in 1977 and may very well have had the best clay record that year but Borg was clearly the best clay court player in my opinion.

The argument I had at the end was that all of the players mentioned were great and worthy of GOAT status.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-30-2009, 04:56 AM
About Laver (compared to Borg)

Here again I haven’t been precise at all. And of course Connors isn't superior to Borg even though he was better than Borg in their respective thirties.
I said that Laver was #1 or close to #1 almost as long (8 years) as Borg had played good tennis (10 years : 1973 to 1982 (I include the last year though Borg didn’t play official events but 2). Then I added that this only argument was a very good advantage to Laver.

Then I should have said : “I can pick up many other arguments at random in Laver’s favour”. For instance longevity. Laver was a good or great player from 1959 to 1975 that is 17 years in a row (as opposed to Borg’s 10 years) and in particular in his old days Laver was a threat to anyone while Borg almost didn’t play in his thirties.

You wrote “First of all Rod never retired, got out of tournament shape and had to make a comeback. Rod was always in great tournament shape from a young age to his late thirties while Borg retired for over a decade and when Borg made his comeback, he used a wood racket.” as an argument in Borg’s favour but here I disagree. Laver made the effort not to retire while Borg chose the easy option : to retire and not to fight. This is one of the argument I use to say that Borg was not that great while many use that argument to overrate Borg by showing great percentages. In 1962-1963 Rosewall and Hoad were so tired by the pro circuit because it didn’t work financially. They played so often in horrible locations with very small publics. In 1962 there was no long great tours but only some tournaments (from April to July if I’m not wrong, Rosewall didn’t play at all because there was no competition) and the public wasn’t interested : each time I see the terraces empty at the French pro final at Roland Garros in 1962, I’m sick. Apparently their only solution to continue and to improve their economical situation was to hire in the pro ranks the most popular player in the game since Gonzales’ retirement : the winner of the amateur Slam, Laver. Rosewall and Hoad were, at 28 years old, on the verge of retiring but they were even ready to put their own personal money (if the sources are right, they indeed did it) to save the situation and to convince Laver to turn pro. Rosewall didn’t refuse the obstacle and continued his career. Borg he refused the obstacle in 1982 and retired. Who is the best in this case between Rosewall and Borg ? Rosewall without any hesitation. Yes Borg had much pressure because of the Borgmania and Borgforever thinks rightly that it was one of the reason why Borg retired. About that point McEnroe told later a story very revealing. McEnroe and Borg got to Tokyo in October 1981 and McEnroe revealed that he was (for once rightly) shocked because all the Japanese had eyes only for him and were all around him as “loving” bees while the Japanese completely ignored Borg (though he had won 5 successive Wimby tourneys) and let him all alone. In 1981 Mac was the new champion and the Wimby winner and in the eyes of the Japanese Borg wasn’t a winner anymore and suddenly ignored the ex-idol. It shows that if Borg had continued and probably won less, he would have been perhaps less popular and therefore would have dealt with less much pressure from the public and the media.
So once again Borg’s retirement shouldn’t be used as a good point for him. Though Borg seems to have a great love for tennis (finally he came back many times in exhib's and even in the official circuit and even in the senior tour nowadays), Rosewall’s and Laver’s love for their sport is greater than Borg’s and so the Australians (and other players) deserve more credit than the Swede on that particular point.

I can’t understand why so many credit Borg for his retirement whereas he shall be debited. To retire is to avoid, to retire is to lose. To retire is certainly not to win or to cope. To retire is negative while to continue is positive. Rosewall had a very different pressure in 1962 from Borg’s pressure in 1982 but I’m not sure Rosewall’s was smaller than Borg’s. What is sure is that Rosewall continued while Borg didn’t so it is unbelievable to credit Borg (and in a sort of way to debit Rosewall because Ken continued).

You also wrote "There are many excellent arguments for Borg being a GOAT candidate. His great winning percentages, lifetime and for a short term period which, for winning percentages may be superior to Laver and Rosewall, his amount of tournaments won in a short span, his majors won as opposed to majors entered, his great Davis Cup record (something I haven't mentioned) and a subjective argument in that he had no stroke weaknesses. The last statement in bold was something Arthur Ashe believed."

I also strongly contradict “There are many excellent arguments for Borg being a GOAT”.
It is very much easier to have great winning percentages in a short period than in the long period. When Borg was burnout he retired so of course he didn’t lost but we can also count this absence of loss in another way : that is the absence of victories. Borg had planned to play until 1985 if I believe Borgforever before choosing to retire. So Borg has a great winning percentage because of course he was very good but also because he avoided to play from 1982 to 1985. Borg has great percentages because statistically the people count 0 loss from 1982 to 1985 but why people don’t count in another way ? For instance we also could say that Borg missed 16 majors in 4 years (based on 4 majors each year, 16 = 4*4 years). If we consider that in 1982 the Masters was a major (with 5 matches possible) and that the Australian was the major next years (with 6 matches possible in those years) then Borg has won 0 match out of 107 ( = (3*7+5) + (3*7+6)*3) ). In that case if you had his 1982-1985 record in majors then his new winning percentage is pretty much lower.

In an overall winning percentage, suppose if he hadn’t retire, he would have played about 50 matches a year in these 4 years. Then his winning percentage win-loss record could be counted as 0 win out of 200 matches (1982 is a very strange year because even though Borg played very little in the official circuit, I consider he was in the Top10 or even the Top5 so eventually I can grant him with a about 40-10 win-loss record and even in 1983 he was still good enough good, well I could give him a 25-25 W-L record). So perhaps he should deserve a 75-200 win percentage record for those years . Add it to his truly counted winning percentage and then the new percentage is clearly lower.

Laver and Rosewall, them, didn’t stop their career at their top or close to their top and they continued long after. So their winning percentages are of course less good than Borg’s. And their peak years where in the pre-open era for Ken (and in part for Rod) when Ken and Rod had to face pretty good players in the preliminary rounds : they could be beaten as early as the 1st round by players such as Buchholz, Anderson, or even old Gonzales or Sedgman. And when Ken or Rod won a tournament his win-loss record was only 2-0 or 3-0 or 4-0. Borg, he, in the open era when he won a tourney had a 5-0 or 6-0 or 7-0 win-loss record and in the first rounds he faced pretty ordinary players. Shall I list you all the unknown players he beat in the first rounds of his peak years while beaten players by Ken or Rod in the first rounds were most of the time Top20 or Top10 or even better players ?

So Borg’s winning percentages strongly overrate him and underrate pro players of the pre-open era (and I could recall Vines’ “ridiculous” percentage of 50% in 1937).

Yes Borg had won many tournaments in a short time period but he would have very few more tournaments had he played longer because he hadn’t much petrol in his tank after his 10-year career (this is why he retired).

Exactly same remark : once again Borg is overrated when one looks at his percentage in Slam events. Had he played a “normal” career that is about 15 years (and not 10) his Slam percentage would be much lower because he would have lost most of the next majors (had he been able to won them he wouldn’t have retired).

Yes Borg's Davis Cup is great but the only very great player he beat in all these years was Orantes in 1975 (I consider Orantes as a very great player in 1975 because he won a major and was in the Top4) and besides Orantes had a complex since 1975 when he faced Borg. But who else did Borg beat in that Cup : old Kodes in 1975 not in the Top10 and Ashe in 1978 (close to the Top10) but not very great players ?

Since the open era there have been very few summits between very greats in Davis Cup. See Mac's apparently superb record in Davis Cup but in reality he never beat a very great in an important match (he lost to Lendl, he lost to Becker, he beat a pretty young Wilander in 1982 and though in 1984 Wilander was clearly better than two years before Mac beat him again but in a dead rubber).

The true summits in Davis Cup were before WWII and in the amateur ranks until the end of the amateur era but since 1968 count them and you will see that they are very rare : no contract pro until 1972. 1973 was a good year. Some sparse summits since.

However I agree that peak Borg had no stroke weaknesses but I suppose you also agree that Laver too. Even Borgforever who is such a Borg's fan, once wrote that Laver at his best could be unattainable and even extraterrestrial : see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2912059&postcount=450 where he even suggested (but wasn't adamant at all) that peak Laver could beat peak Borg 61 62 62 on grass (I however think that Borgforever was bold and for once underrated Borg).

Rickson
04-30-2009, 05:08 AM
Ivan would have been waiting around for Roger to go downhill like the rest of the field if he played in this decade.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-30-2009, 05:17 AM
Carlo I didn't say that Ken was never the best indoor player I meant that you could argue that Ken was never the best indoor player because of the presense of Pancho Gonzalez. For example Vilas won the French in 1977 and may very well have had the best clay record that year but Borg was clearly the best clay court player in my opinion.

The argument I had at the end was that all of the players mentioned were great and worthy of GOAT status.

I don't think the Gonzales-Rosewall and Borg-Vilas examples can be compared.
As Borg in the 80's, Gonzales was tired of tennis in the early 60's and too retired. So Ken was the best in the early 60's on indoor courts (and Pancho didn't play at all) while Vilas wasn't possibly the best because Borg played (even though he didn't enter Garros) and the Swede crushed Vilas in their meetings on clay that year : that's clearly different from the Gonzales-Rosewall case on indoor courts. In 60 Gonzales retired and Rosewall won. In 61 Gonzales played and Rosewall won. In 1962 Gonzales didn't play and Rosewall won. In 1963 Gonzales (if I go to the extreme) played (he made his return at the US Pro and though he didn't enter any official event he wasn't retired at all but preferred to train very hard for 11 months between June 1963 and May 1964 because the US Pro 63 had shown him his great decline, but he wasn't retired at all) and Rosewall won.

Vilas won on clay when Borg played elsewhere while Rosewall won on indoor courts when either Gonzales played the same event or when Gonzales was retired. That's pretty different. Vilas has never beaten Borg on clay for 6 years in a row (from the 1974 Canadian to the Nations Cup in 1980) while Rosewall has beaten many times Gonzales on indoor courts and every year.
There is no doubt that the best Gonzales was better than peak Rosewall on indoor wood or canvas courts (I also think that peak Gonzales was better than peak Laver on those surfaces) but on a whole year, Rosewall was superior some years to Gonzales (not only at their best but also on their whole career Gonzales was better than Kenny on fast indoor courts) whereas I don't think Vilas was the best claycourter any given year (even in 1977).

crabgrass
04-30-2009, 05:31 AM
I wouldn't say that I donwplay the players of the 70's-80's but I would say that I "up-play" the players of the previous eras because they are truly underrated. About Lendl : it is clear that compared to the very popular McEnroe, he was really underrated and even now Mac is considered superior though Lendl has a better record. But place Lendl in the 2000's he would have won many less tournaments. He would have played the most important tournaments as Nadal, Federer or Djokovic do today and so he would have won many less events. For instance in 1982 he played numerous WCT tournaments where almost no great players entered : his rivals were an old Fibak close to retirement and Vilas who was mainly a claycourter though he could be pretty good on hard and indoor courts. So he won many tournaments that year with depleted fields.
Connors has won "beach" tournaments (in reality they were held in US indoor structures because it was in winter) in the Riordan circuit in 1973-74 were no great players came except sometimes (about one third of the time) Nastase (Nasty was also simultaneously playing the Mediterranean circuit). And if Connors', Lendl's and al's special events have been counted this is because in those years these tourneys count a little though they weren't official (for instance the ECC Champs at Antwerp) while now the non-ATP events are virtually ignored by everyone. This is why we can't really compare stats between players of different eras. But there is no doubt that Lendl was undoubtedly the best player of the 1980-1989 decade.

i'd say pretty much every great player has among their career titles a portion which werent top draw events....lendl would be the last guy i'd be making an example out of, bar wimbledon he won every major tornament and usually multiple times over.
us open... 3 time champion
french open... 3 time champion
aussie open... 2 time champion
end of year masters... 5 times champion (record holder)
lipton key biscayne... 2 time champion
wct dallas...2 time champion
italian open...2 time champion
german open...2 time champion
monte carlo...2 time champion
us claycourts...2 time champion
wct tornament of champions forest hills...4 times champion
seiko tokyo indoor...5 time champion (record holder)
us pro indoor philadelphia...2 time champion
us national indoor memphis...1 time champion
european community championship antwerp...5 times champion (record holder)
australian indoor...3 time champion
benson & hedges london indoor...3 times champion
canadian open...6 times champion (record holder)
volvo international vermont...3 time champion
queens...2 times champion

this is just a sample of some of the highly rated top draw events lendl won,
so can't really see how he's inflated his numbers by playing low class events with no competition.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-30-2009, 06:14 AM
Thanks for the interesting list just above crabgrass (I've recorded it in my own files)

pc1
04-30-2009, 06:36 AM
About Laver (compared to Borg)
Then I should have said : “I can pick up many other arguments at random in Laver’s favour”. For instance longevity. Laver was a good or great player from 1959 to 1975 that is 17 years in a row (as opposed to Borg’s 10 years) and in particular in his old days Laver was a threat to anyone while Borg almost didn’t play in his thirties.

You wrote “First of all Rod never retired, got out of tournament shape and had to make a comeback. Rod was always in great tournament shape from a young age to his late thirties while Borg retired for over a decade and when Borg made his comeback, he used a wood racket.” as an argument in Borg’s favour but here I disagree. Laver made the effort not to retire while Borg chose the easy option : to retire and not to fight. This is one of the argument I use to say that Borg was not that great while many use that argument to overrate Borg by showing great percentages. In 1962-1963 Rosewall and Hoad were so tired by the pro circuit because it didn’t work financially. They played so often in horrible locations with very small publics. In 1962 there was no long great tours but only some tournaments (from April to July if I’m not wrong, Rosewall didn’t play at all because there was no competition) and the public wasn’t interested : each time I see the terraces empty at the French pro final at Roland Garros in 1962, I’m sick. Apparently their only solution to continue and to improve their economical situation was to hire in the pro ranks the most popular player in the game since Gonzales’ retirement : the winner of the amateur Slam, Laver. Rosewall and Hoad were, at 28 years old, on the verge of retiring but they were even ready to put their own personal money (if the sources are right, they indeed did it) to save the situation and to convince Laver to turn pro. Rosewall didn’t refuse the obstacle and continued his career. Borg he refused the obstacle in 1982 and retired. Who is the best in this case between Rosewall and Borg ? Rosewall without any hesitation. Yes Borg had much pressure because of the Borgmania and Borgforever thinks rightly that it was one of the reason why Borg retired. About that point McEnroe told later a story very revealing. McEnroe and Borg got to Tokyo in October 1981 and McEnroe revealed that he was (for once rightly) shocked because all the Japanese had eyes only for him and were all around him as “loving” bees while the Japanese completely ignored Borg (though he had won 5 successive Wimby tourneys) and let him all alone. In 1981 Mac was the new champion and the Wimby winner and in the eyes of the Japanese Borg wasn’t a winner anymore and suddenly ignored the ex-idol. It shows that if Borg had continued and probably won less, he would have been perhaps less popular and therefore would have dealt with less much pressure from the public and the media.
So once again Borg’s retirement shouldn’t be used as a good point for him. Though Borg seems to have a great love for tennis (finally he came back many times in exhib's and even in the official circuit and even in the senior tour nowadays), Rosewall’s and Laver’s love for their sport is greater than Borg’s and so the Australians (and other players) deserve more credit than the Swede on that particular point.

I can’t understand why so many credit Borg for his retirement whereas he shall be debited. To retire is to avoid, to retire is to lose. To retire is certainly not to win or to cope. To retire is negative while to continue is positive. Rosewall had a very different pressure in 1962 from Borg’s pressure in 1982 but I’m not sure Rosewall’s was smaller than Borg’s. What is sure is that Rosewall continued while Borg didn’t so it is unbelievable to credit Borg (and in a sort of way to debit Rosewall because Ken continued).

You also wrote "There are many excellent arguments for Borg being a GOAT candidate. His great winning percentages, lifetime and for a short term period which, for winning percentages may be superior to Laver and Rosewall, his amount of tournaments won in a short span, his majors won as opposed to majors entered, his great Davis Cup record (something I haven't mentioned) and a subjective argument in that he had no stroke weaknesses. The last statement in bold was something Arthur Ashe believed."

I also strongly contradict “There are many excellent arguments for Borg being a GOAT”.
It is very much easier to have great winning percentages in a short period than in the long period. When Borg was burnout he retired so of course he didn’t lost but we can also count this absence of loss in another way : that is the absence of victories. Borg had planned to play until 1985 if I believe Borgforever before choosing to retire. So Borg has a great winning percentage because of course he was very good but also because he avoided to play from 1982 to 1985. Borg has great percentages because statistically the people count 0 loss from 1982 to 1985 but why people don’t count in another way ? For instance we also could say that Borg missed 16 majors in 4 years (based on 4 majors each year, 16 = 4*4 years). If we consider that in 1982 the Masters was a major (with 5 matches possible) and that the Australian was the major next years (with 6 matches possible in those years) then Borg has won 0 match out of 107 ( = (3*7+5) + (3*7+6)*3) ). In that case if you had his 1982-1985 record in majors then his new winning percentage is pretty much lower.

In an overall winning percentage, suppose if he hadn’t retire, he would have played about 50 matches a year in these 4 years. Then his winning percentage win-loss record could be counted as 0 win out of 200 matches (1982 is a very strange year because even though Borg played very little in the official circuit, I consider he was in the Top10 or even the Top5 so eventually I can grant him with a about 40-10 win-loss record and even in 1983 he was still good enough good, well I could give him a 25-25 W-L record). So perhaps he should deserve a 75-200 win percentage record for those years . Add it to his truly counted winning percentage and then the new percentage is clearly lower.

Laver and Rosewall, them, didn’t stop their career at their top or close to their top and they continued long after. So their winning percentages are of course less good than Borg’s. And their peak years where in the pre-open era for Ken (and in part for Rod) when Ken and Rod had to face pretty good players in the preliminary rounds : they could be beaten as early as the 1st round by players such as Buchholz, Anderson, or even old Gonzales or Sedgman. And when Ken or Rod won a tournament his win-loss record was only 2-0 or 3-0 or 4-0. Borg, he, in the open era when he won a tourney had a 5-0 or 6-0 or 7-0 win-loss record and in the first rounds he faced pretty ordinary players. Shall I list you all the unknown players he beat in the first rounds of his peak years while beaten players by Ken or Rod in the first rounds were most of the time Top20 or Top10 or even better players ?

So Borg’s winning percentages strongly overrate him and underrate pro players of the pre-open era (and I could recall Vines’ “ridiculous” percentage of 50% in 1937).

Yes Borg had won many tournaments in a short time period but he would have very few more tournaments had he played longer because he hadn’t much petrol in his tank after his 10-year career (this is why he retired).

Exactly same remark : once again Borg is overrated when one looks at his percentage in Slam events. Had he played a “normal” career that is about 15 years (and not 10) his Slam percentage would be much lower because he would have lost most of the next majors (had he been able to won them he wouldn’t have retired).

Yes Borg's Davis Cup is great but the only very great player he beat in all these years was Orantes in 1975 (I consider Orantes as a very great player in 1975 because he won a major and was in the Top4) and besides Orantes had a complex since 1975 when he faced Borg. But who else did Borg beat in that Cup : old Kodes in 1975 not in the Top10 and Ashe in 1978 (close to the Top10) but not very great players ?

Since the open era there have been very few summits between very greats in Davis Cup. See Mac's apparently superb record in Davis Cup but in reality he never beat a very great in an important match (he lost to Lendl, he lost to Becker, he beat a pretty young Wilander in 1982 and though in 1984 Wilander was clearly better than two years before Mac beat him again but in a dead rubber).

The true summits in Davis Cup were before WWII and in the amateur ranks until the end of the amateur era but since 1968 count them and you will see that they are very rare : no contract pro until 1972. 1973 was a good year. Some sparse summits since.

However I agree that peak Borg had no stroke weaknesses but I suppose you also agree that Laver too. Even Borgforever who is such a Borg's fan, once wrote that Laver at his best could be unattainable and even extraterrestrial : see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=2912059&postcount=450 where he even suggested (but wasn't adamant at all) that peak Laver could beat peak Borg 61 62 62 on grass (I however think that Borgforever was bold and for once underrated Borg).
Part one response to Carlo
Carlo,

You are putting me in a very strange position of trying to argue against a player I feel can be the GOAT, that is Ken Rosewall. Bear in mind I am not arguing against Rosewall but arguing against your statement of Rosewall CLEARLY having a better record than Laver.

pc1
04-30-2009, 06:37 AM
First let's discuss Borg. I have NEVER argued against the fact that Borg's LIFETIME WINNING PERCENTAGES would probably go down with age but in the study that has been done his peak five year period is locked in stone and this shows the Borg greatness at its peak and the percentages and numbers at the five year peak are among the highest of all time, maybe the highest and perhaps even superior to Laver and Rosewall. I say perhaps.

Let's try to use an example here. Let's say there is a great hockey player called Wayne Gretzky and he plays for only 10 years but in those 10 years (we won't count defense and assists in this example) he averages 70 goals a season and scores 700 goals over that 10 year period. He retires as an all time great but he could have continued because he was still young. Clearly he is an amazing player at his peak.

Let's say there is another player called Mark Messier who plays at the same time as Gretzky and averages 35 goals a season and scores 350 goals over that same 10 year period as Gretzky. Messier is also an excellent player however Messier doesn't retire after 10 years. He plays for 25 years and scores 701 goals. My question here is "Who is the better player?"
Also who accomplished more?

There are two ways of answering this, for career totals Messier is better but he played longer. But if you had to pick between Gretzky and Messier at their peak, there is no doubt it is Gretzky.

Borg is the same in many respects as Gretzky in this example. When he played he was the equivalent of a 70 goal scorer but he did not play as long as many. Borg accomplished more in his short career than just about anyone in tennis history. When I analyse players I don't eliminate the peak period because a player may decline. This would hurt players like Vines, Budge, Federer or Hoad. You cannot penalize Borg on how great he was while playing because you assume he would decline.

Let's discuss the relative merits of Rosewall and Laver.

Ken had the chance to win many Grand Slam tournaments and of course he did. He also had the opportunity to win a Pro Grand Slam for the year numerous times but he only accomplished that in 1963. Laver to my mind won two very strong Grand Slams, one in 1967 and the other the Open Grand Slam in 1969. Ken did have the chance to win Grand Slams in the Pros but he accomplished this amazing feat only once and Rod did it twice. Admittedly the Open Grand Slams would have been very hard for Ken considering the point of his career but he had more chances than Rod to win the Pro Grand Slam and he accomplish this great feat fewer times than Rod, once to Rod's two. I don't count Laver's 1962 Slam in this example because it is almost certain that Rod wouldn't have won the 1962 Grand Slam if all the top players were playing.

Edit-According to my notes Rosewall entered 69 Slam tournaments including Pro Slams and Laver entered 55. Rosewall won 23 of 69 majors and Laver 19 of 55. These numbers and the percentages that go with them are especially impressive considering they took many a major tournament from each other. At the same time you must realize Ken played 14 more Slams than Rod. Ken won 4 more Slams but Rod's percentage of Slams won to Slams entered is higher.

I am of the opinion a player should be especially recognized if they won the Grand Slam so Rod won two of them and Muscles one. This should count for something when we consider the player's record in majors. I suppose you could say it is giving extra credit for a spectacular accomplishment which of course the Grand Slam is.

Rod has won around 200 tournaments, Ken probably over 130. Rod has won 19 majors, Rosewall about 23.

Carlo, you value the length of a player's career and I agree it is important but as in the hockey example above, it is not the length of the career but how much they accomplish in the career. Laver's career wasn't short but it is arguable the Rod accomplished more (yes globally too) than Ken in perhaps a slightly shorter amount of time.

I'm not going to argue whether Ken was ever the best in a particular year on a particular surface. You could argue the same with Rod Laver. It was simply a statement that we are trying to nitpick too much on certain issues. Rosewall is of course a great indoor player but so was Gonzalez, Laver, Borg and numerous others. I mentioned that because I think you are nitpicking a bit with Borg and his hardcourt play which at its worst is still terrific. I was trying to say and I will say it again, that all these players are great on all surfaces which is one of the criteria for being a possible GOAT. None of these players are Eddie Dibbs on grass.

Ken Rosewall's majors record may (or may not) be superior to Laver's but we must also take into account Ken was a top player before Laver was a top player and had more chances to enter the Pro majors and regular majors. We must take into account the amount of times a player has entered a major and we must also look at the majors won in relationship to this.

One thing that had annoyed me over the years is how many tennis experts use the major reason that they think Sampras is the GOAT because he won an incredible 14 majors. And yet they don't realize that Sampras entered an incredible 52 majors. I never thought 14 was such an incredible number because the circumstances of entering majors is far different than in the past with open tennis and better transportation. If we use statistics we must all try to put it in perspective.

My gut is that perhaps Ken may have a slightly better majors record than Rod but you must give Rod additional credit for two Grand Slams instead of Ken's one and Ken had the chance to win numerous Pro Grand Slams so we are talking about a level playing field. Overall it may be equal.

Bottom line is I think both Rod and Ken are clearly GOAT candidates but I think you cannot say Ken is clearly superior to Rod in his overall record. If you wrote Rod was clearly superior to Ken I would defend Rosewall. It is not a clear choice. I think the analysis in some ways mirrors many of the Laver-Rosewall matches, it will go late into the 5th set before we have winner.

I might include Tilden, Gonzalez and Borg there also. Each player had their pluses and minuses but I feel only these players can be in consideration for GOAT.

Carlo Giovanni Colussi
04-30-2009, 07:17 AM
thanks for the post pc1. I haven't read it (I will do later because I think I won't came back to that forum for weeks). Bye bye see you later

pc1
04-30-2009, 07:31 AM
thanks for the post pc1. I haven't read it (I will do later because I think I won't came back to that forum for weeks). Bye bye see you later

Take care Carlo. It's enjoyable having these discussions with you.

CyBorg
04-30-2009, 11:30 AM
Again, I reiterate this: Borg's lifetime winning percentage is probably not inflated. It was when he initially retired, but it went down considerably with his horrific comeback in 1991-93.

egn
04-30-2009, 01:32 PM
Ivan would have been waiting around for Roger to go downhill like the rest of the field if he played in this decade.

God this reeks of Fed fanboyism. Too bad the question had Lendl taking the place of Fed and Fed not being around...amazing

dvd
05-01-2009, 02:09 PM
1988 US Open:

Lendl v Davis
Connors v Aldrich
Agassi v Kriek
Gomez v Krickstein
Connors v Agassi
Chang v Wilkison
Mcenroe v Woodforde
Edberg v Krickstein
Wilander v Woodforde
Wilander v Pernfors
Wilander v Curren
Wilander v Cahill
Lendl v Agassi
Lendl v Wilander
Evert v Torres & Wiesner
Graf v Hanika/Sabatini

1989 Forest Hills Agassi v Krickstein & Lendl
1989 French Open
Agassi v Courier
Chang v Chesnokov & Lendl
Graf v Sanchez

1989 US Open :

Lendl v Courier
Agassi v Grabb
Chang v Mayotte
Connors v Gomez
Becker v Pernfors
Graf v Fairbank
Evert v Seles
Mcenroe doubles
Lendl v Agassi / Becker
Becker v Krickstein
Graf v Sabatini
Navratilova v Garrison /Graf
Sampras v Wilander




Becker v Lendl / Edberg





1987 Orlando Connors v Gilbert & van Rensburg
1987 Piscataway Sukova v MccNeil
1987 Chicago Mayotte v Teltscher & Pate
1987 Dallas WCT McEnroe v Edberg & Mecir
1987 Family Circle Maleeva v Evert & Graf
1987 French Open Maleeva v Evert
1987 French Open Graf v Navratilova
1987 French Open Lendl v Wilander
1987 Wimbledon Mayotte v Wilkison
1987 Wimbledon Becker v Doohan
1987 Wimbledon Navratilova v Evert & Graf
1987 Wimbledon Lendl v Cash
1987 US Open McEnroe v Reneberg & Zivojinovic
1987 US Open Cash v Lundgren
1987 US Open Connors v Grabb/Leconte/Lendl
1987 US Open Evert v Maleeva
1987 US Open Graf v Tarabini
1987 US Open Navratilova v Lindqvist & Graf
1987 US Open Edberg v Wilander
1987 US Open Lendl v Wilander
1987 AT&t Lendl v Annacone
1987 AT&T McEnroe v Connors & Annacone
1987 Stakes Match Lendl v Cash and Round robin with MCEnroe,Edberg,Cash & Lendl
1988 Dallas WCT Becker v Edberg
1988 Orlando Mecir v Chesnokov
1988 Family Circle Cup Navratilova v Sabatini
1988 Chicago Mayotte v Annacone
1988 TOC Agassi v Krickstein
1988 TOC Agassi v Zivojinovic
1988 French Open Agassi v Gustaffsson & Wilander
1988 French Open Wilander v Leconte
1988 French Open Evert v Sanchez
1988 French Open Navratilova v Zvereva
1988 French Open Graf v Zvereva
1988 Wimbledon Connors v Rostagno
1988 Wimbledon Becker v Giammalva
1988 Wimbledon Navratilova v Evert & Graf
1988 Wimbledon Mecir v Edberg
1988 Wimbledon Becker v Lendl & Edberg

1990 Lipton Agassi v Edberg
1990 French Open Agassi v Courier Svensson Gomez
1990 US Open Agassi v Berger Becker Sampras
1990 Masters Agassi v Becker Edberg

1991 French open Agassi v Becker Courier
1991 Wimbledon Agassi v Prpic(brief) Wheaton

1992 French open Agassi v Sanchez (brief)
v Courier
1992 Wimbledon Agassi v Rostagno Becker Mcenroe Ivanisevic
1992 US Open Agassi v Siemerink Costa Courier

1993 Wimbledon Agassi v Krajicek Sampras

1994 Wimbledon agassi v Krickstein Martin
1994 US Open agassi v Ferreira Chang Martin Stich
1990 Lipton Agassi d Edberg
1990 Lipton Seles d Wiesner
1990 Lipton Leach Pugh d Becker Motta
1990 Family Circle Cup Navratilova d Capriati
1990 French Open Agassi d Courier
1990 French Open Capriati d Paz
1990 French Open Agassi d Svensson
1990 French Open Gomez d Agassi
1990 Wimbledon Chang d Kratzmann
1990 Wimbledon Graf v Capriati
1990 Wimbledon Navratilova v Sabatini
1990 Wimbledon Lendl v Shelton
1990 Wimbledon Lendl v Pearce
1990 Wimbledon Lendl v Edberg
1990 Wimbledon Edberg v Chang
1990 Wimbledon Edberg v Bergstroem
1990 Wimbledon Edberg v Becker
1990 Wimbledon Becker v Gilbert
1990 Wimbledon Ivanisevic v Curren
1990 Wimbledon Seles v Garrison
1990 Wimbledon Graf v Garrison
1990 Wimbledon Navratilova v Garrison
1990 New Haven Rostagno v Chesnokov
1990 New Haven Rostagno v Woodbridge
1990 US Open Preview show
1990 US Open Highlight shows
1990 US Open Capriati v ?
1990 US Open Capriati v Graf
1990 US Open Lendl v Bloom
1990 US Open Cash v Krickstein
1990 US Open McEnroe v Sanchez
1990 US Open McEnroe v Sampras
1990 US Open Agassi v Berger
1990 US Open Agassi v Becker
1990 US Open Agassi v Sampras
1990 US Open Becker v Cahill
1990 US Open Sabatini v Fernandez
1990 US Open Graf v Sanchez Vicario
1990 US Open Graf v Sabatini
1990 US Open Mens doubles final
1990 Milan Shootout Lendl Mcenroe Edberg Agassi Cash Noah Edberg Svensson
1990 ATP Semis Agassi v Becker
1990 ATP Semis Agassi v Edberg
1991 Lipton Courier d Wheaton
1991 Lipton Seles d Sabatini
1991 Family Circle Cup Semis & Final
1991 French Open Chang d Forget
1991 French Open Courier v Larsson
1991 French Open Courier v Agassi
1991 French Open Becker v Agassi
1991 French Open Seles v Sanchez Vicario
1991 Wimbledon Mcenroe v Stolle
1991 Wimbledon Mcenroe v Fleurian
1991 Wimbledon Connors v Krickstein
1991 Wimbledon Connors v Rostagno
1991 Wimbledon Borg feature on NBC
1991 Wimbledon Ivanisevic v Brown
1991 Wimbledon Sampras v Rostagno
1991 Wimbledon Becker v Forget
1991 Wimbledon Agassi v Wheaton
1991 Wimbledon Sabatini v Capriati
1991 Wimbledon Graf v Sabatini
1991 Wimbledon Becker v Wheaton
1991 Wimbledon Stich v Becker
1991 Wimbledon Lendl v Washington
1991 Wimbledon Agassi v Prpic
1991 Indianapolis Becker v Sampras
1991 US Open warm up Capriati v Sabatini (not their quarterfinal match)
1991 US Open Connors v Mcenroe
1991 US Open Connors v Novacek
1991 US Open Connors v Krickstein
1991 US Open Connors v Courier
1991 US Open Mcenroe v Chang
1991 US Open Navratilova v Shriver
1991 US Open Graf v Navratilova
1991 US Open Seles v Capriati
1991 US Open Navratilova v Seles
1991 US Open Lendl v Edberg
1991 US Open Courier v Edberg
1991 US Open Fitzgerald Jarryd v Davis Pate
1991 US Open Highlight shows
1991 ATP FINAL Sampras v Courier
1992 Lipton Seles v ?
1992 Lipton Chang v Mancini
1992 French Open Courier v Medvedev
1992 French Open Courier v Agassi
1992 French Open Courier v Korda
1992 French Open Agassi v Sanchez
1992 French Open Seles v Graf
1992 Wimbledon Courier v Olkhovskiy
1992 Wimbledon Agassi v Rostagno
1992 Wimbledon Mcenroe v Cash
1992 Wimbledon Mcenroe v Olkhovskiy
1992 Wimbledon Mcenroe v Forget
1992 Wimbledon Mcenroe v Agassi
1992 Wimbledon Becker v Agassi
1992 Wimbledon Ivanisevic v Edberg
1992 Wimbledon Ivanisevic v Agassi
1992 Wimbledon Graf v Seles
1992 Wimbledon Navratilova v Seles
1992 Wimbledon Graf v Sabatini
1992 Wimbledon Mcenroe Stich v Reneberg ?
1992 Olympic coverage
1992 Mahwah Seles v Capriati
1992 US Open Arthur Ashe Kids Day
1992 US Open Highlight shows
1992 US Open Mcenroe v Fromberg
1992 US Open Mcenroe v Courier
1992 US Open Courier v Agassi
1992 US Open Becker v Lendl
1992 US Open Agassi v Siemerink
1992 US Open Courier v Sampras
1992 US Open Sampras v Forget
1992 US Open Sampras v Edberg
1992 US Open Edberg v Lendl
1992 US Open Edberg v Chang
1992 US Open Seles v Sanchez Vicario
1992 US Open Mens Doubles Final
1992 US Open Womens semis
1993 Lipton Womens final
1993 Lipton Sampras v Washington
1993 Family Circle Cup semis & final
1993 French Open Sampras v Svensson
1993 French Open Courier v Krajicek
1993 French Open Graf v Fernandez
1993 French Open Courier v Bruguera
1993 Wimbledon Agassi v Krajicek
1993 Wimbledon Sampras v Agassi
1993 Wimbledon Sampras v Becker
1993 Wimbledon Sampras v Courier
1993 Wimbledon Becker v Stich
1993 Wimbledon Courier v Edberg
1993 Wimbledon Edberg v Matuszewski
1993 Wimbledon Graf v Novotna
1993 Wimbledon Womens semis
1993 Wimbledon Highlight shows
1993 US Open Sampras v Enqvist
1993 US Open Sampras v Volkov
1993 US Open Sampras v Pioline
1993 US Open womens semis Sukova v Sanchez Vicario
1993 US Open Masur v Pioline
1993 US Open mens doubles final
1993 US Open Muster v Mcenroe
1993 US Open Graf v Sukova
1993 US Open Navratilova v Sukova
1993 US Open Sampras v Chang
1993 US Open Muster v Volkov

BORIS BECKER MATCHES

1987 Forest Hills Gomez d. Becker
1987 Wimbledon Doohan d. Becker
1987 Davis Cup Becker d Mcenroe
1988 Wimbledon Becker d Giammalva
1988 Wimbledon Becker d Cash
1988 Wimbledon Becker d Lendl
1988 Wimbledon Edberg d Becker
1988 Dallas Becker d Edberg
1989 French Open Becker d Perez Roldan
1989 Wimbledon Becker d Lendl
1989 Wimbledon Becker d Edberg
1989 US OPEN Becker d Pernfors
1989 US Open Becker d Krickstein
1989 US Open Becker d Lendl
1990 Lipton Pugh / Leach d Becker / Motta
1990 Wimbledon Edberg d Becker
1990 US Open Becker d Cahill
1990 US Open Agassi d Becker
1990 ATP CHps Sf Agassi d Becker
1991 French Open Agassi d Becker

1992 Wimbledon Agassi d Becker
1992 US Open Lendl d Becker
1993 Wimbledon Sampras d Becker

380pistol
05-02-2009, 11:44 AM
Since Lendl was born March 1960 and peaked in the 1980;s, I'll scroll him.....

Born 1970, peaked in the 90's, replacing Sampras
1981 - may win French Open vs Courier
1982 - losees US Open final to '92 Edberg
1983 - beats Pioline to win US Open
1984 - would get nod over Bruguera at French, Agassi would be a great final in NY
1985 - lost to Edberg 9-7 in 5th Melbourne and Agassi wos on fire, he loses to peak Muster at French (lost to Wilander in 1985), and likely beats Dre for 2nd or 3rd US Open title
1996 - wins French and US Open
1997 - wins Australia, French Open and US Open, maybe even Wimbledon, if he can navigate through Stich
1998 - Rios may get him in Aus, the way Cash did, would give him French, but can't seeing that he lost to Leconte, Wim Ivanisevic and Krajieck, but he and Rafter '98 would have a great match in Flushing
1999 - wins Aus Open, lost to Chang in French so forget that, and I'd favour him over Agassi in Flushing


Born 1980, peaked in the 00's, replacing Federer
2001 - loses french final to Guga
2002 - loses US Open F to Sampras
2003 - could very likely win US Open with Roddick and Ferrero his obstacles
2004 - wins French and US
2005 - wins US Open and would have a battle with Nadal (Rafa then isn't the Rafa now)
2006 - wins Wim (see Fed's draw) and US
2007 - wins Aus Open (no Edberg), Wim (maybe vs Nadal), and US Open again
2008 - wins US Open (blows Murray away)
2009 - would have a battle with Nadal in Aus Open F.....

Just my opinions.